queenlua: (Birds are Love)
i talked about birding in the skagit on tumblr over the weekend, but it occurs to me it may be of interest to some folks who follow me here and not over there, and also it was a really fucking cool trip i can't stop thinking about it, so, there's a link~
queenlua: (Default)
fact: when i moved to boston my roommates claimed i had a southern accent. i had no idea i'd had an accent, but whatever accent i had, i lost in under a year. for a while my roommates claimed it still came out when i was drunk, but i sort of doubt that's the case anymore.

fact: seattle is full of terrible drivers. i know, every goddamn city thinks their drivers are the worst, but seattle's are terrible in a specific way: they are all painstakingly polite. like, in boston, car accidents happen because two assholes tried to pull a fast merge on each other and collided. in seattle, they happen because some dumbass was trying to wave someone across an intersection, when that person really didn't have the right of way, but it's just nice to let other people go sometimes, and then that person gets t-boned because they didn't have the right of way, idiot. *

fact: my boyfriend is a seattlite but drives like a maniac. he claims this is because he learned to drive in Los Angeles. if this is the actual case then i am never driving in Los Angeles.

i was pondering these and other facts when i was wondering how "sticky" certain aspects of culture are. all things being equal (e.g. i know some people naturally pick up new accents more easily than others, i know a lot of this stuff depends on the extent to which you're immersed in a new community, etc), i wonder which regional tics you are most and least likely to lose? i'm not thinking so much about conscious cultural things, like continuing to be southern baptist in a city of liberal heathens, but the unconscious things that you may not even think of as being particularly regional on a daily basis: driving styles, saying "hello" and smiling at strangers, always being on time vs always being late, etc

half-baked theories welcome; i'd produce some myself but am too braindead to do so atm

* the way it was described to me once, by a friend who lived in all three of the cities he described: "in boston, everyone's an asshole, but at least they know how to drive. in seattle, everyone's fucking terrible at driving, but at least they're polite about it. in washington d.c., everyone is terrible and everyone is an asshole about it."
queenlua: (toritachi)
i had no idea final fantasy xv came out yesterday, actually, but i already had plans to hang out and play video games with an amazing brofriend of mine, and he was the one who was like "this came out today and we should buy and play the shit out of it and do the high school nostalgia thing" and i was like "AGREE"

disclosure of my own tastes/preferences: i've played all of FF6 through FF10 and varying amounts of others in the series; i think 10 is objectively the best (for some sense of objective—by this i mean the plot in that one is remarkably tight/streamlined throughout, in a way that even a non-JRPG fan would be able to appreciate, and the gameplay is very polished), but 9 is my personal favorite; i was bitterly disappointed that i couldn't really get into 13; while I appreciated that the series was trying new things, i thought they made some pretty major missteps.

anyway, thoughts so far:

one extremely minor spoiler for something that happens in the first three hours, but really it's just a general take on gameplay and storytelling choices )

in conclusion FFXV is surprisingly fun and hope i get to blaze through more of it soooooon
queenlua: Red XIII from Final Fantasy 7. (Red XIII)
apparently there's another final fantasy movie coming out and i just found out about this yesterday

somewhere, fifteen-year-old me is howling in rage at twenty-five-year-old me, because how has my older self become so lame to not know about this, younger-me would've been counting down the days for months, etc

anyway i'm sure it's going to be a beautiful disaster like every other final fantasy film ever and i've accepted the fact that i'm going to watch it anyway
queenlua: A wolf resting. (Wolf: Resting)
i've mused, in the past, on how it seems like being too close to your subject can make your writing quality suffer. now i'm musing over a highly-related but possibly-distinct concern: being too close to any one character.

Read more... )


Jul. 22nd, 2016 10:52 am
queenlua: (Default)
Some number of years ago I stumbled on this blog post, "I don't see anything when I close my eyes".

The author says that he can't mentally "see" objects in his mind—for instance, if asked to imagine a red square, while he knows intellectually what it looks like, he can't really imagine/see it unless it's in front of him.

I found this fascinating to stumble upon, because I thought this was how everyone was. When people talked about seeing a picture in their mind, I thought it was just kind of a figure of speech, but this dude's post + various anecdata indicates most people actually do this, and I'm the weird one for not being able to picture things!

Anyway, this week I found a couple cool articles on this topic! Turns out researchers are starting to look into this, which I find exciting, because it seemed like such a tricky and quirky thing to study that we'd never get actual scientists on it, and yet here we are. Also it has a name now: "aphantasia."

Also, another person reports he's also unable to mentally "hear" music, which is fascinating to me. I can hear music in my mind, quite vividly, and have composed whole songs that way; it feels weird that not everyone can do this.

Other tidbits:

* I'm really curious if there are any good artists with visual aphantasia. I actually liked art a lot as a kid and drew lots up through middle school, but I wasn't excellent at it. I imagine with more training/effort I could've become good, but I wonder if I'd eventually hit difficulties once I got to Serious Business stuff? Like, I can imagine composing music without being able to hear music in the mind, but it'd be a huge pain in the ass, you'd be pretty reliant on synthesizer-like tools to experiment with sounds, and I imagine not having the ability to turn over different approaches in your mind would make iterations/improvements harder. But maybe not!

* Amusingly, I think this explains why I found it so impossible to find an approach for meditation that worked for me. A bunch of meditation guides have stuff like "start by imagining a white dot in your mind," and I think that was supposed to be the easy part, but I would get stuck there, trying and trying to conjure up a thing in my mind that just was not happening. Once I read a guide on walking meditation it all made much more sense.

Also if anyone else shares this experience let me know, because I'm super curious, join the aphantasia club etc etc
queenlua: (Mejiro: Hanging)
Here, have an abstract-y ideological-y post about Brexit, "The New Politics of Meaning".

It reminded me of my own post on enlightenment vs technocracy, but I think this guy states it a little more cleanly. In particular, I like his term "systematic mode" better than what I call "technocracy", since it pins the root of this sort of thinking further back historically, and avoids the Soviet-Russian-communism insinuations I think of when I hear "technocratic."

I do not have the time to dig through the whole of his blog, which seems like one of those things that's aiming to offer a Grand Master Theory Of Culture and Ethics, and thus would probably be interesting to scour through once I do have the time. His blog has the faintly wild lilt you'd expect from the sort of internet person who has a Grand Master Theory, and thus I suspect I will mistrust/quibble/argue with a lot of it (already in this other post I skimmed I'm raising eyebrows hardcore at the offhanded "mostly only STEM majors who can make [the transition to a higher mode of thinking]," and I'm a little skeptical of his leaning so hard on some dude's theories which, granted, I've not heard of before but feel really similar to Kohlberg's theories, which I have some familiarity with), but it's nice to see some of my own confused, intuited understandings reflected in the words of someone else, and I'm hopeful perhaps he has a better resolution to the dilemma than I found.
queenlua: (Magpie)

My dad and I went birding in Colorado. Not for long, just for as long as we could sneak away from the family, one hour one evening, when we drove up to a nearby ski resort and tromped through the forest.

There was a path, but I abandoned it because I could hear a hermit thrush singing and I wanted to see it. Hermit thrushes are elusive little birds, prone to hiding in the underbrush. We went deep into the forest; I took a step and got soaked all the way to my calves in mud. Damn, wetland.

Dad and I struggled through the mud for a bit before my dad noticed—there were these slender white flowers that seemed to like water; the mud was deepest where they were, shallowest where they weren't. Sure enough, we wound a far-drier path forward by creeping between patches of white, and just a few minutes later, we came to a clearing and saw the thrush: singing, loud, triumphant, at the very top of a tree where no thrush ever sings from.


I started writing this because in my mind all my hobbies are the same: programming is music is writing is birding is everything. And I thought I'd come up with some brilliant connection between birding and programming, how they're exactly the same, but I wound up convincing myself it was also, well, everything.

The key to everything—it's so zen-sounding obvious-sounding stupid: awareness. Or rather, observantness. But hear me out; I promise there's not an iota of pseudo-zen in this post. (EDIT: rereading this by the light of not-3am-on-a-work-night, this is a blatant lie and this is all hippie shit but feel free to read anyway!)

Read more... )
queenlua: Tamaki and Kyoya of Ouran High School Host Club with the text "Elitist Bitches." (Ouran High: Elitist Bitches)
Here, have a very interesting story by Elon Musk's first ex-wife, where she talks about how she fell in love with the to-be uber-jillionaire & what caused them to grow apart.

I like it because it's not a "wow this guy was an A+ raging asshole" screed, and is more about how a young, ambitious woman fell in love with a young, ambitious man, the only man who seemed to respect and admire her ambition. And yet, as the man became more and more successful, he became more and more wrapped up in work, expecting her to take up more domestic responsibility, expecting her to be blonde like the wives of all his friends, showing more and more disdain for her "books," until one day she realizes she's been slowly turned into the trophy wife she never thought she'd become.

Read it a while ago, but posting it now since a friend brought up an interesting question this morning—if you had the opportunity to marry a fabulously wealthy person, e.g. a Saudi prince, would you go for it? (I answered, first I need to love them and have compatible goals for our future, and if that hurdle's cleared even then I'm a little nervous. Most marriages end in divorce, so you can't just be "now I've got it made"; I'd want to continue having my own money and my own career. Friend seemed more optimistic about the idea, saying it'd open huge opportunities for him and his potential kiddos. idk. interesting stuff.)


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