[talk to people as often as possible they might hold the solution to your problems]

I have a story for everyone.

My Mom is a mutant.

To be specific, she has a disorder called Factor V Laiden Thrombophilia (same as me *waves*), a genetic mutation that causes abnormal clotting of the blood. When treated appropriately (I can never take birth control, I’ll develop complications if I ever get pregnant if I’m not careful, and in situations such as long flights I have to make sure to move around as often as possible), it’s manageable.

There’s always a very real sense of danger, however. See, blood clots can form anywhere in the body, and *move* anywhere if not caught quickly enough. If it moves to the heart or the brain, you’re screwed, plain and simple. Even if it doesn’t, and it just stays in your leg and eventually goes away, for example, it leaves damage that is often irreparable.

Fifteen years ago, when my Mom was pregnant with my youngest sister and what would have been her twin, she developed a bloodclot in her left leg. It was late enough in her term that attempting to get rid of it would have meant terminating the pregnancy, and my Mom, after asking if she would die from it and being told no, decided to not go through with the procedure. She lost one of the twins, gave birth to my baby sister, and ever since then has lived with a disability that puts her in constant pain.

The first time I saw her with her bad leg, it was when I was six-years-old. She came home with my little sister–I had to hold her since my Mom needed crutches to get around. She screamed the entire time she walked down the hallway to her room. It hurt her that badly. I’ve never felt more helpless in my entire life. The sound of her crying like that has never ever left me.

The best way to describe the physical atttributes of her leg would be like taking a hot knife and stripping off all the skin of your lower leg. Among the symptoms she’s had for over a decade include: swelling to the point that she’s torn pants, weeping–which means the wound on her leg that never goes away because of the poor bloodflow leaks fluid–to the point that she has to wrap a towel around it, bleeding, the skin cracking and falling off on a regular basis, a higher chance of getting infections (in the past four years, she’s had two staph infections, one of which resulted in an emergency room visit), and the almost complete assurance that in the next ten years, she’ll be completely wheelchair bound.

She raised me and my three other siblings on her own with that disability after my Dad left and our extended family stopped giving a shit about us, and as often as she frustrates me, I want to be able to help her. She has done *so* much for me, and seeing her in pain every single day, having her crying in bed because she thinks nobody will ever love her again because of her bad leg, seeing her cycle through seasons of depression only to fight back with everything she has, seeing the look of hope when she finds something that might fix her leg only to learn that it’s too expensive to get the treatment, kills me. Knowing that it’ll only get worse without proper help hurts more than I can properly articulate. She isn’t the perfect mother, not by a long shot, but I love her and I want to be able to help.

The thing with her leg nowadays is that the bloodclot is gone. It has been for about a decade. It’s the damage it did to the veins that remains. We have yet to encounter a doctor willing to attempt surgery to replace the damaged vein, and everything else has been more for dealing with it than actively trying to find a solution.

We have found one possible one, however. An oxygen treatment that has been proven to help restore bloodflow. The problem is, the treatment is expensive and considered experimental, so it isn’t covered by our insurance.

You’re probably wondering where I’m trying to get at with all of this. It’s simple. One treatment costs 150 dollars, and my Mom would need to do about eight of those in the span of a few months to see any actual improvement. I want to change that. I want to be able to go up to her, tell her, “I’ll handle paying for the oxygen treatments to fix your leg.” I want to be able to see some hope on her face again, instead of the near-constant acceptance that she can’t change it no matter how hard she wants to.

I’m still just that six-year-old kid that wants to help her Mom. The only difference is, I’m not helpless anymore.

On my Patreon, I make a grandiose show of how I want it to help launch my career as a professional writer, which is true, but nestled deep in those descriptions is one throwaway line about helping to pay for medical bills. I didn’t delve deeper into how on there, since as this post shows it gets rather long-winded, but of the many medical bills that comes with this family, the need for my Mom to get this treatment is starting to creep higher and higher. She’s already showing signs of being unable to walk, and her leg is slowly but surely getting worse. Her doctors have even started talking about possible amputation if there isn’t any improvement.

In short, I’m asking you guys for help, because I don’t know what else to do. I don’t want to see my Mom in pain anymore. I know how to help her, but since losing about $500 worth of income last month, my paychecks go towards the bills and such that we already have. I haven’t been able to save like I used to, and the longer we wait the less likely we’ll be able to fix anything.

I need your help, guys. My Mom needs your help. I know this is a longshot. I know I’m not popular, I’m not beloved in a way that warrants having money thrown at me for no good reason, my creations are still fledgling, I know there are people out there that have it so much worse, but I’m still taking this chance. I’m coming with my nose pressed to the ground before you in supplication, and asking from the bottom of my heart: please, help my family.

Whether this story warrants that is beyond me, but stories are all I have.

If you can offer anything, thank you. If all you can do is read this, thank you. There isn’t any guilt here. It’s simply a story and a question from someone with nowhere else to turn. Those don’t always need responses.

I Wish I Was You

A fic for @snowbaz-feda
Genre:
Fluff
Word Count: 4505
Summary:
One day, Simon wakes up in Agatha’s body. That’s weird. But things get really messed up when he accidentally starts dating Baz. (And he might or might not have to deal with his feelings for his enemy. Things are going great.)


Simon.


When I wake up, something seems different. I blink in confusion, looking at the ceiling. This is not how I usually wake up. It looks like I’m on the other side of the room. Have I slept in Baz bed? No way, he would never allow that. (I accidentally did one night in second year. I was so tired that night that I couldn’t even find the light switch on the first attempt. When Baz found me the next morning, he almost threw his math book at me. Never found out where he was that night.)
I frown, as I realize that my hair is a lot longer than I’m used to. How would it grow like that over night? Hesitant, I sit up and look carefully around the room. There are flowers on the windowsill. On the wall, there are posters of movies that I haven’t seen. On the chair, there are some rose colored clothes, neatly piled up. That’s when it dawns on me – this is Agatha’s room. I’ve been here before. (Not often. We rarely hang out without Penny, and Penny doesn’t like Agatha’s room. She says the smell makes her sick.)
How did I get here? Why can’t I remember anything about it? Agatha will kill me if she finds out that I slept here.

My gaze falls on the small mirror on the nightstand. But I don’t see there what I expect to see – my own reflection, probably a really confused look on my face. Instead, I see Agatha. Or rather, Agatha’s face. My first thought is that she’s been trapped in the mirror, but then I realize that I do see my reflection. Except that my face is a different one. Why the hell do I have Agatha’s face? And – as I now see – Agatha’s body? And why did it take me so long to figure that out? Baz would call me an idiot for not noticing it immediately.
I guess I’m less shocked about this than I should be. After years of living in the wizarding world, there’s not much that can still surprise me. I wonder if this is the Humdrum’s work. Or maybe it was Baz? Playing a prank on me? It probably was. That git. But if I’m Agatha now, where’s she? Did she wake up in my body?
I have to find Penny. We have to reverse this as quickly as possible, before people start talking to me, thinking I’m Agatha. I’m not good at pretending to be someone I’m not. I just have to stop myself from thinking about it until I can try to find a solution to this problem.

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Tips for Dealing with Jungian Types

When working with persons who prefer these cognitive process, consider the following tips:

Introverted Feelings

• They are listening intently to you, especially for tone of voice, motivations, words that link to your values, and what’s left unsaid.

• Speak thoughtfully, take your time, and don’t rush; because when they are done listening, they may seem surprisingly definitive about decisions.

 • Speak to their values, especially positively-felt values, to get their attention. At the same time, remain true to yourself to avoid phony affect.

• They experience strong gradations of importance from like to dislike but may only verbalize circumstantial reasons for their evaluations.

• When trying to persuade them, know that their deep values and moral assessments tend to resist pragmatic arguments or contextual factors.

• Withholding feedback arouses their attention. Otherwise they are hard to faze and may not adjust their behavior to fit social expectations.

Extraverted Feelings 

• They attend to you, your words, and how you may be evaluating them, though they may show few outward physical signs of doing so.

• Give them room to discuss considerations of justice and injustice. Ethics of people’s choices and failings are highly salient to them.

• While they often stay sociable and may self-disclose in order to build a relationship, be cautious about implying that you fully understand them.

• They use and respond to value-laden language. They focus on word choice more than tone of voice, which may be steady even when upset.

• They are more verbal than visual, and may look and sound highly logical sometimes, for certain tasks, while eschewing logic in general.

• Some of them are more visionary and planful for the future while others are more playful and willing to consider what-if.

Introverted Thinking

• They tend to rely on sophisticated, complex reasoning using multiple reasoning methods including deducing, categorizing, weighing odds, etc.

 • Their thought processes are not directly linked to sensory inputs, so their decision-making tends to be “deep” and “detached”.

• Set aside time for them to clarify—to make and correct mistakes and inconsistencies—as they strive for high accuracy before implementing.

• They are adept at navigating conceptual terrain, and possibly physical terrain, so provide space for them to shift course or backtrack.

• Provide techniques—besides putting up a “brick wall”—to deal with excessive social and emotional data, which may overwhelm them.

• They may quickly stop listening as they assess the relevance of what others are saying. Consider asking them to repeat back what they’ve heard.

Extraverted Thinking

• They use their brain in an energy-efficient way, relying chiefly on seeing measurable elements, hearing words, and making decisions.

• They use and respond to facts and figures, preferably using visual/spatial formats like charts, diagrams, and grids.

• They attend to the specific words they and others use, such that the choice of one word over another can alter the bigger picture for them.

• Brainstorming, especially when it is off-task, is a non-preferred activity. That said, they may get creative for leisure or in quiet moments.

• Help them invest in defining their areas of strength. Important: Do not mistake their confidence and speed for competence.

• They can do rapid decision-making and/or explaining for many hours. Encourage them to take time to consider their responses more thoroughly.

Introverted Sensing

• They prefer low-distraction environments and need time to review experiences in order to ground new learnings.

• Utilize step-by-step methods to help them develop skills, and provide a road map for them to track their progress.

• Provide a skillful role-model for them to observe and copy, and schedule follow-up time, review sheets, etc. to practice with correction.

• Recognize they may want to focus on one path or goal longer than you might, or may simply keep working to please you or until you say “stop”.

• Stay alert for a surprising skill they might have that doesn’t fit their usual pattern. They may not mention the skill unless asked about it.

• Take care with your feedback. They are adjusting their behavior in light of your input including nonverbal clues such as facial expressions.

Extraverted Sensing

• They prefer stimulating environments with rich sensory input. Work in a place with windows, enticing views, and interesting decor.

• Provide and encourage movement. Consider ways to take breaks while remaining productive, such as talking while walking through a park.

• Make your ideas meaningful with relevant context, sensory details, and physical tools. Allow them to test the tools by trial and error.

• Don’t rely on metaphor. You can use metaphors, just use familiar metaphors and start with and support the metaphors with literal meanings.

• Focus on challenges, and allow for resourceful responses to crises. Hold back from over-defining the experience or making it too safe.

• Let them respond to whatever comes up, and be willing to join them if you wish to earn their friendship and respect.

Introverted Intuition

•They prefer time away from external stimulation and mundane demands in order to access their rich internal processes.

• They benefit from a physical or sensory focus (e.g. using a finger while reading) to stay focused while gathering information (reading, etc.).

• Help them verbally or visually communicate the hazy multitude of factors they consider as they arrive at a holistic solution to a problem.

• Provide techniques for them to turn to when their introspective intuit- ing process isn’t working and they need to act fast.

• Carve out time for them to explore the future and visions of what will be. Also work with them to develop specifics to actualize these visions.

• Encourage rich experiences that feed different brain regions, so when they search within themselves, their brain has something to offer them.

Extraverted Intuition

• They prefer diverse inputs for brainstorming. Allow sensory distractions with television, radio, friends, and so forth all present at once.

• Allow their goals and meanings to coalesce from various inputs, mental processes, and side treks rather than pushing a linear process.

• Focus on meanings and relationships between ideas, starting perhaps with metaphors and analogies. Make sure the analogies work well!

• They may need help taking abstract and associational ideas into literal communications that will be effective with others.

• Encourage role-play, acting as-if, and ad-hoc problem solving. Feel free to propose fanciful or vague scenarios that afford improvising and imagining. 

• Use some humor, word-play, and similar cognitive games. If people are laughing together, there is a good chance they are using this process.


(From the book “Neuroscience of Personality: Brain Savvy Insights For All Types of People” by Dario Nardi)

anonymous asked:

Headcanon of the bros s/o as a super shy person that is kinda a crybaby? btw love your blog keep up the amazing work! ^^

sure thing! and thank you so much for your compliment, it really means so much ;u;

Noctis: 

  • He might have initially thought that their shyness would be an annoying trait that would get in the way of their personal growth, but eventually he’d come to learn that he has his own shy sides that he feels he can show around this person. 
  • Since he is the more assertive one out of the pair (being heir to the throne doesn’t exactly allow for any shyness), he feels the need to stick by his partner often if he ever needs to save them from situations they feel uncomfortable in. But he honestly doesn’t mind it; he likes being needed, a lot more than others might think.
  • He would try to gently nudge his partner to do things they might think are scary but end up not being so bad. Like when talking to someone new, he’ll give them a little pat on the back and say, “Go on.” At the end of the day, he really does want his partner to feel okay with themselves and try to improve upon their crippling shyness.
  • Once he finds out that they cry easily, he has to take differing procedures whenever they start to tear up. If it’s just because a movie didn’t give the protagonists a happy ending, he’ll sigh (fondly) and pull them to him to kiss their hair. If it’s because someone crossed a line, he will definitely find who did it and make them regret it. 

Ignis:

  • His mother hen tendencies practically double in regards to his partner; he often has a “they’re hopeless without me” mindset whenever they’re in a pinch and thus isn’t very surprised when problems arise from their shyness. If it weren’t already obvious, he is very good at saving people and pretty much considers it his job.
  • He might become confused at some points. Though their quiet demeanor and gentle heart are undeniably endearing, he sometimes wonders if their extreme shyness is something they’ll have trouble with in the future, then worry he’s not doing enough to get them to open up and grow as a person. 
  • Ignis probably comes off as more of a babysitter than a romantic partner when in public with them. The way he fawns over them and makes sure they’re comfortable at all times may even seem saccharine at some point, but it’s because he genuinely adores them and the last thing he wants is to see them cry. 
  • When he’s especially torn over how he takes care of his partner, he’ll hold them gently and sigh. “What am I to do with you? Everything you do somehow makes me want to spoil you rotten.”

Gladio:

  • Oftentimes he’s unable to relate to moments that make his partner uncomfortable, since Gladio’s idea of an awkward situation is vastly different from normal standards. He usually doesn’t see a reason for his s/o to get flustered when a seemingly obvious solution to the problem exists, but they’re just too nervous to see it. 
  • Thus, he’s not the best at helping them out in uncomfortable situations, since most of the time he sits back and consciously leaves his partner to try to figure out the best way out of it themselves. He’s the opposite of Ignis, who spoils his partner by letting them depend on him all the time. It may seem too harsh, but the bottom line is that he also wants to see his partner grow and come out of their shell.
  • At the same time, he likes their shy nature because getting them flustered is easy (and therefore fun for him). He’ll often say it’s not that he hates their shyness, but just that they can’t stay that way forever or else they might miss out on a lot of opportunities in the future.
  • If they end up crying over something trivial, even he can’t get frustrated. “You’re adorable,” he’ll laugh while petting their head.

Prompto:

  • He probably thinks that his partner’s shyness is the cutest thing in the world. His favorite thing to do is shower them in compliments, then watch them go red. Having such an effect on someone is something he can’t seem to get over. It’s too fun and too cute to watch. 
  • Prompto also insists on sticking by his partner’s side as much as he can, because the thought of them wandering off somewhere or being approached by scary people is enough to scare him. He’ll always remind them to call him if they’re ever in trouble, because “your hero Prompto is always at your beck and call!”
  • He doesn’t see their shyness as a problem. If they aren’t comfortable doing things, then he’s more than happy to help them or do it for them. The idea of pushing them out of their comfort zone makes him worry his partner might have a meltdown at some point. In general, he’s very sensitive to how they might feel in certain situations, and says he’s just fine with the way they are. 
  • Usually if his partner’s in trouble, he’ll just grab their hand and run away from the situation if possible, or try to puff up his chest and look aggressive to possible predators. (It usually doesn’t work.)

(whgwbhgbhhw THIS ENDED UP BEING SO LONG oops,)

How INTPs express their affection/love

I had an ask a while back on how INTPs express affection/love to people they’re close to (and actually affectionate with, not just a crush). I thought I’d compile all the input from other INTPs as well.

If you’d like to contribute, reblog with your comment, and I’ll add it here.

eilamona

Hmm…I don’t know if it applies to other INTPs but I’m very physically affectionate with someone I really like. I’d also try to help them with work problems or any life issues. I’d be more attentive than usual to their needs and changes in their emotional state (like if they’re slightly annoyed or sad). And do little things like these.

iamtyping98

I’m the same. I have a tendency to give a lot of hugs to the people I’m close to, and I’m also good at noticing when they’re upset about something. I think it has to with them mattering enough to actually notice those things.

aphindonesia

verbal (or written) expressions, cuddles and hugs. I’d be more willing to leave the internet just to hear them talking/ranting. Also harmless pranks.

hellocupcakesonmars

I agree. I also tend to get kind of protective, and I’ll do them little favors and things like that. This doesn’t only apply with romantic interest, it’s how I am with my closest friends too. If I’m worrying about someone, it means I really care about them.

dewdrop156

Try to offer solutions to things, write little notes (which probably isn’t very intp-ish), go for a long time without being very affectionate and then suddenly send them a list of why they’re awesome and why I love them because I just gotta tell ‘em

sempiternalgratia

Well I am an female INTP. Im not very expressive verbally but usually I write letters or something that expresses that other than spoken words. Also time. I will be spending time if not with you then for you

hiroyukiblack

Pretty much the same. I can be very physically affectionate, but love words, verbally? Nope. It’s really really hard for me to do it. Writing it is easier, tho. Something else? Well, I can buy things I know the person likes. If I really like them, I will, but could think about how useful could be or if it’s enough to make them smile with that for the time it lasts (if we’re talking about chocolates or flowers and so). I could take the time to do something myself for them… I guess that’s it.

borgazm

wow this is me as hell i always thought i was an abnormal intp for being really physically affectionate also i like to make lists of why i love someone like “here is the empirical evidence i have gathered that proves you are loveable”

foo1sama

I am not physically affectionate at all.  At all. Almost positive that has more to do with my parental environment than being an INTP, though, since my ESTJ brother has the same problem (he lost a wife because of it, and my wife and I have had difficulty with this issue).

To me, love is just ‘best friend who I can be ‘intimate’ with. A degree of how much of my energy I’m willing to spend on you vs. me.  I have people who I would still consider ‘best friends’ that I haven’t talked to for ten years. I can go about … 3 days before I will want to talk to my wife again.

thebuddingexpositaire

I do get pretty physically affectionate as well with the hugs and the gentle pushes and what not (though I can’t receive/display the same amount of affection publicly as opposed to privately) I also get them to (inconspicuously) take the love languages questionnaire in order to respond to their needs better (which, though arguably may seem rather impersonal to Fs, is a manifestation of my actual concern for that person). I’m also bothered to take heed of what they like (as well as jotting down their dates of birth etc)

Also, I do get pretty sappy (by my standards) in my written correspondences with the individual in question. I partake in a lot of cringing afterwards, but oh well.

maybeiexist

Well, it’s the same as most people already put here. I tend to care about them a lot more than I do other people. I try my best to attend anything that’s important to them (from birthdays to public readings) and I also find myself making cards for them for even the littlest of things, haha 

doctortinykat

Lots of hugs

iamnayrel

I agree with the physical affection. I’m not a very touchy feely person unless I really care and trust someone. Also I have made lists of why I’m close friends with certain people that way if they ask I have an answer.

My inferior Fe is always double checking making sure that everyone’s okay. If I love someone that manifests itself in making sure that they are well taken care of and happy and aware that they are loved.

Not super into gift giving but I will pay for your food if I have the money and if you allow me to. Part of the whole “make sure everything’s okay” thing.

ditalova

When I dedicate my time to spend with them although I yearn for solitude (as always). When I dedicate something for them. When I joke and laugh with them. When I seek out for a physical contact, like holding hands or encircling my hand around their arm.

arachnophxbia

Mhm, I relate to a lot of this. I give a lot of physical affection and try to help people I care about through their issues by giving them practical advice and a place to vent to or draw support from. If I care about someone I’ll actively seek to talk to them and know how they’re doing instead of letting them come to me like I do with most. I go out of my way to learn their behaviors and what it means in terms of how they’re feeling or what they might need in a situation, too.

i-just-have-a-lot-of-feelings

I’m an INTP female and I like to be physically affectionate with people I love, but that’s not my relationship with everyone I’m close to.  What is pretty consistent -however- is me making sure people are healthy.  Being a person they can vent to, trying to help them find solutions to problems, and generally making sure they are on the right track w/whatever they’re doing.  I also like getting gifts and doing things like taking someone out for lunch.  I feel like I’m a very gift-giving kind of person.  I remind people to take their medication, and buy them coffee, more often than I say “I love you”

vv31rcl

I actually enjoy talking to them and having a full on two person conversation/discussion as opposed to just listening to someone else drone on. I’ll try to spend as much time with them as possible, and will try to find out what’s going on with them emotionally and in their personal life. Lots of touching and doing/giving them little things as well

loganvok

One person said something about sounding sappy when communicating, and I totally understand that, but I think the best expression of affection is loyalty.

corpusmortum

Physical contact varies with person, generally not touchy. I love getting or making people gifts, and I’ll spend time with them (unless I’m anxious about their disinterest). Make sure they’re healthy and taking care of themselves, making sure they have someone to talk to if they need an ear. Ask them if they want advice or just to vent. I like giving them random bits of information that might be useful. I’ll be silly so they laugh, I’ll say ridiculous things so they focus on me. And laugh.

I really enjoy helping people solve problems. I’ll also troll them with an impish smile, or I’ll deadpan. Trolling intensifies the more I like a person, much to my ISTJ’s dismay. Friendly, non-violent trolling. Like Rick Rolling.

facelessmoon

I’m kind of terrible at expressing how I’m feeling in person, and I struggle to show emotion and emoting in general. I tend to overthink my actions as though I need to convince my partner that I’m feeling what (I genuinely am) feeling but I’m also terrified that it’s coming off as mechanical. I also do a lot of little, cute things like little crafts, little love notes, and thought out gifts to show what I’m feeling. I can be misunderstood easily as well at times, when I put too much focus on showing them I love them when they (unbeknownst to me) already know.

thelightsandstars

Like other people have stated, I’m also really physically affectionate with the people I truly, truly connect with, like my boyfriend and my little sister. It’s super hard for me to be physically affectionate with anyone unless I REALLY REALLY like them. Otherwise it just feels fake and awkward. Like… what am I even expressing if I hug someone I don’t care about? Nothing! (Unless it’s an act of courtesy for a particular situation.)

Additionally, I’ll spontaneously think of cute/funny things to do for them, and because I’m often reminded of them by the things I encounter (like interesting facebook posts) I tend to send them waaaay more messages than I send to other people. And like a couple of people have said, I’ll actually start conversations with them instead of waiting for them to talk to me first. I’ve also written really sappy letters to my boyfriend before.

And I tend to be at my silliest around the people I love and connect with. They’re the only ones with whom I feel enough at ease that I can really be my silly stupid self.

Underestimated - Legends of Tomorrow

Originally posted by laurelscanary

- Y/n = Your Name

- Y/L/N = Your Last Name

Prompt- can i request a LOT team/reader where reader is the youngest and thus the ‘baby’ in the team? everyone is protective and kinda underestimate her like she doesnt get a say. anyway the team are having argument with each other and reader lost it and scream to get all their attention? everyone is surprised when she yell at them and kinda amused but finally listen.” -anon

Word count - 1,021


MASTERLIST

Keep reading

Book review — Stranger Than Fanfiction

After loving Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories series, I picked up his latest book without a second thought. What a fool I was.

You know how “don’t write a self-insert” is such a common writing advice that it has people arguing against it, and not unreasonably so, on the grounds that any character one writes has an element of oneself, and desperately trying to avoid that only results in trite, flat characters because you have no real experience to ground them in?

Yeah, well this book reminds you why it’s a common advice in the first place. Oh, but don’t worry, it also does so much more wrong! It’s like a massive clusterfuck of “why do you waste my time so?” Really, this could have had its own snark. You’ve been warned.

Also, I’ll be spoiling stuff, because a huge amount of what makes the book infuriating rather than mediocre is in its ending. Beware.

Keep reading

Type Spotting: Conversations

Conversational style is difficult to analyze because the things that people say are often just responses to others and not necessarily an indication of their personality, especially if you are relying on one-sided interviews that force people into talking about themselves in an unnatural way. Here are some general rules of thumb that I have observed but they are not foolproof and should only be used as a starting point in type analysis (use the Type Spotting Guide to do a more thorough breakdown). Obviously, the more evidence you can collect, the better, so look for consistent patterns over a longer period of time instead of fixating on one-time details whenever possible. If you are participating in the conversation, you can also try to steer it in directions that will help to confirm/eliminate certain types.

Keep reading

20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADHD

This nifty little (article?) was posted in my ADHD doctor’s office! It’s pretty validating!! It was hard to get all of the points in pictures and legible, so I’ll list them down here. 

It’s nice for a lot of these things to be written down, especially because a lot of people think ADHD is fake or some hyper 12 year old in a Walmart who won’t shut up. 

I’ll be changing ADD to ADHD since ADD is kind of a dated term.

Keep reading

Who’s Steering This Ship, Anyway? (on SPN and Destiel)

If you have watched as many shows as I have, you get used to the careful maintenance of romantic/sexual tension between characters. Just as important as exciting plot twists and mysteries to solve, these relationship and their will theys/won’t theys keep us coming back for more. In fact, there are times when I find myself becoming way more caught up in the personal lives of characters than whatever the actual plot of the series is. Small moments between characters become huge. The touches, looks, and angst became the things that I talked about in school hallways, coffee shops and at the water cooler. The same things I now expound on via twitter and tumblr.

Thinking back to childhood, I remember even then watching shows through this romantic haze and before I even knew what I was doing, I was inadvertently shipping the heck out of people. In elementary school, David Addison and Maddie Hayes literally drove me nuts. From the minute Joel Fleischman started bickering with Maggie O’Connell during my high school years, I was hooked. With my twenties came a need for John Crichton and Aeryn Sun to make it official. I literally gave the best years of my life to Mulder & Scully. 

I know I am dating myself here with these ships that many of you won’t even recognize (that’s what God created Google for, my children), but the message remains the same: No matter what the show is about, people are gonna ship. Sometimes it’s intended by the creators, and sometimes it’s just a happy accident of chemistry, but ships will sail. In truth, a show is lucky if a ship develops within it’s world as this almost always adds to both the ratings and the longevity of the series. More often than not, show runners will embrace said ship and use it to fuel continued enthusiastic viewership.



This brings me to the current love of my life/bane of my existence: 

Supernatural. Now, no matter who you ship on this show (or even if you don’t ship at all), you have to admit that the dark broodiness and heightened emotional content coupled with the attractiveness of the cast makes it hard not to let your mind wander. 

There have been many canon relationships throughout the show’s eleven seasons and plenty of unresolved sexual tension. Unfortunately for the Winchester brothers, most of their relationships are short lived as their romantic/sexual partners often end up being evil (Ruby, Meg, Lydia, etc.) die (Jessica, Anna, Sarah, Madison, Layla, etc.) or the hunting life just gets in the way (Cassie, Lisa, Amelia, etc.).

Most telling in regard to these various relationships are what the brothers themselves seem to be looking for in a partner and what types of significant others they are drawn to. For the purposes of this discussion, I will not be delving into Sam’s personal romance arc and focusing on Dean.

While I understand why the show runners have decided to keep the boys unattached in an effort to ensure that the relationship between the brothers remains in the forefront, I believe that in doing so they have created the very problem they try so hard to combat. The audience yearns for these characters to find someone to connect to on a romantic level and when you keep killing off or otherwise disqualifying love interests, the viewers will seek those connections where they can. It continues to boggle my mind that the creators of a show filled primarily with male characters seem surprised when their audience has to look for these relationships in not so straight places.

Consequently, it’s becoming more and more difficult for me to see the relationship between Dean and Castiel heading anywhere but in a romantic or at least soulmate direction. I think that at this point the story has been written in such a way that we see the endgame of Dean especially, and Sam probably, finding someone to love and commit to. For years this has been part of the brothers’ arcs. They have grown in both knowledge of self and others and have achieved a level of self acceptance that allows them to finally truly connect with someone and believe that they might deserve love. Dean is, not surprisingly, taking a little longer to shake the self worth issues, but it has been made clear through his actions in recent seasons that this connection is something that he yearns for. He revels in the idea of home and family (which is why he tried so hard to make things work with Lisa) and holds romantic love in high regard as something that he is only just realizing as a possibility for himself.



If It’s Too Easy, You’re Doing it Wrong

To introduce a brand new character at this juncture for Dean’s endgame would do the impressive and meaningful character arc that he has traversed a great injustice. He has struggled from season one to find self worth and the courage to allow himself to even hope for someone to love who loves him in return and his is a personality that would not respond with such a strong emotion to someone he only just met. Think about all you know about Dean Winchester and repression of emotion/difficulty in communication regarding feelings. Are we as an audience to believe that he would be able to traverse these fears and insecurities with someone new? No, I believe that he would have to have already formed a rather large level of trust with someone in order to open up and make himself vulnerable to love. 

In all honesty, the powers that be have backed themselves into a corner. The only solutions, if you want the writing and character development to be of any quality and value, are to have Dean end up alone with his sense of self sacrifice for the greater good still intact and going strong, have him make the ultimate sacrifice and not be able to come back from death (a very real possibility given Sam’s recent conversation with the reaper Billie) or you give him a relationship with someone with whom he shares trust and affection already. Someone who “understands the life” as Sam so easily put it in the episode “Baby”. Had the writers not gone around willy nilly killing or eliminating all of Dean’s previous love interests, they might be able to bring someone from his past back to be that connection. As it is, though, the only truly viable character that knows Dean and all his faults/doubts/sins and is still by his side, forgiving and loving him at every turn, is Castiel. Granted, there are ships representing Dean and other characters that he has long standing history with, but I find it hard to believe that the show would go in any of those directions. They have already finalized the Lisa relationship, I can’t imagine Dean and Crowley attaining anything beyond bromance and (sorry all you Wincest shippers out there), I hardly think show runners that are having difficulty approaching a bisexual main character would suddenly be down with homosexual incest.



To Canon or Not To Canon, That is the Question

Does this mean we will ever see Destiel go canon? Honestly, probably not. My money is on the show going the route of the brothers either dying or just riding off into the sunset towards hunting destinations unknown. I think that would cheapen both brothers’ character development, but I feel the best we can honestly hope for from a show renowned for its queerbaiting is Castiel being Tonto to Dean’s Lone Ranger….platonic life mates and bros ‘til the end. 

That being said, do I think the show would damage it’s popularity if the decision was made to make the relationship canon? No, and here’s why:

  • Given the extreme popularity of the ship and the fact that it consistently makes itself known by winning popularity awards and being referenced on legitimate entertainment news sites, I find it hard to believe that most of, if not all, the viewership is at least aware of the romantic pairing. I am in no way saying that all fans of the show support a Dean/Cas romance, but I do believe that the notoriety of the ship is in it’s own favor as the idea is already planted in our collective audience mind and would therefore not completely shock anyone. Does this mean that there would not be outraged fans who would speak out loudly against this development? Certainly not, but it would mean that the media, which seems to have already accepted the existence of Destiel, might be a lot more positive/kind and less shocked/freaked by the coupling.


  • Those that despise the ship either based on the premise that they would never believe Dean Winchester to be bi-sexual (don’t even get me started on his sexuality or the fact that angels have no gender designation beyond the constructs of their vessels), hate Castiel, or have another romantic partner in mind for Dean would no doubt be vocal and loudly so against any romantic change in their relationship. That would completely be their right just as it would be my right to wail uselessly on twitter if Dean suddenly met a hunter named Susie and skipped off with her to kill some werewolves. 


  • The good news is that the show would most certainly gain a whole new group of supporters in the queer community which could possibly counteract any viewership lost over a canon romantic pairing. This community is not only thirsty for representation, but fiercely loyal when they receive it.


  • The show would become a trailblazer. It would no doubt be lauded for inclusiveness, bravery and forward thinking and would guarantee itself a place in television history. What a perfect way to shut everyone up about all the straight white guys on your show that tends to kill off all women and queer characters. Literally solve all your PR problems with a single kiss.


What do I think the show runners should do? First of all, stop looking a gift horse in the mouth. Supernatural literally has the most active and supportive fandom that I have ever been a part of. We may not be upper middle-class white men with votes in the boardroom, but what we do have is a thriving social media network and a give’em hell attitude. We would not hesitate to rally the troops to go to bat for the show if it has the guts to “go where the story takes it”. Supernatural has a goldmine with Destiel: the already established and powerful online support of many fans, the support of the queer community en masse should it go canon, the professional acclaim of being a trailblazer, the amazing and award winning chemistry of the actors playing the roles and the fact that it would do justice to the years long development of two of the main characters.

What I hope is happening: 

Testing the waters. The brothers are up against the Darkness right now who seems to be in direct opposition to Castiel so far as Dean is concerned. (I spoke about my ideas regarding Cas vs. Amara in an earlier post here.) Either it’s is being written this way, or the writers are subconsciously shipping right along with us. In summary:

  1. Castiel/Amara
  2. Love/Lust
  3. Light/Dark
  4. Faith/Knowledge
  5. Profound Bond/Accidental Bond
  6. Handprint Mark/Mark of Cain
  7. Acceptance/Expectation

Add to this the Cain/Colette parallels that were hinted at and never really addressed and the fact that they have kept Cas squirrelled away in the bunker for the majority of the episodes leading up to now and I think it isn’t hard to see that Cas will make his return to play a pivotal role in the defeat of the Darkness. What I hope we see is Dean having to choose Cas in some way (admit feelings, sacrifice himself, dare I say it- kiss). Setting Amara up with Wizard of Oz/Fire symbolism makes me wonder if water will come into play with her downfall as Dean fights to find his way “home” (ie the bunker currently defined by Cas’ presence). Will someone be sacrificed and that water come in the form of tears? Who knows? All I know is there is no place like home and for Dean Winchester, that seems to be where Castiel is.

Something like this would give the show runners the opportunity to see just what kind of reaction an admittance of feelings would garner. They could choose to then plant Dean firmly in the garden of denial once the Darkness is defeated and he can spend the rest of the season in a big gay panic or pretending it never happened. They could have the characters proclaim the event just part of the job and draw the UST out with the added element of a promise of more to come. Honestly, it’s a perfect way to test out the effect canon Destiel would have on the viewership. They would literally make anyone who ships it ecstatic while still playing the ‘no homo’ card close to their chest.

It probably won’t happen, but I would love to be surprised by strong storytelling that isn’t afraid to let the characters develop organically without fear of losing ratings. I think the network would be surprised that though they are afraid to take the plunge, a majority of viewers are already in the pool. 


*Note* I am simply expressing my own opinions and thoughts regarding a fictional character on a television show. If my ideas make you mad, sorry? If you feel the need to contact me/respond with anger, hatred, etc. that is completely your right as it is my right to not be bothered by that at all nor respond in any way. Remember, shows are meant to entertain and be fun and if one becomes so important to you that you lash out at others and lower yourself to the level of internet bully, you should probably take a break.

The Problem with “It’s just to get a reaction out of him”

The usual go-to excuse for Janna’s treatment of Marco is that it’s all ‘just’ Janna liking to tease the easy target Marco. It’s a nice idea, an interpretation I actually like, because the alternative interpretation would potentially lead to a rather sad and tragic Janna, and no one wants that.

However, there are a few weaknesses in that way of thinking that need to be patched up if the Sad Janna Interpretation is to be fully wiped away.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Kisuke's answer to Askin's question stays with me: a true scientist wouldn't want to watch someone else recreate the universe; he'd want to be the one doing it. Now, Kisuke was speaking of Mayuri there, but I have to wonder: Aizen believed (believes?) he could do it. Yhwach believes he can. Do you think that Kisuke actually knows HE could do it, and the only thing holding him back is the terrible cost? Do you suppose that 'blank canvas' reference is a veiled threat? Nuke it all and start over...

The short answer?  No.

The long (VERY LONG) one?

I think, anon, the answer to your question was given a number of years ago, in chapter 421: 

All Kubo did in 664 was elaborate on it:

Keep reading

Finding success in the tarot community

In the tarot community there’s been discussion about everyone in the community wanting to be appreciated, and how the view of how appreciated we are gets skewed by the system of followers and notes that tumblr has. More numbers mean more approval and more investment from the community - at least, that’s how it seems. In reality, how many people see your post and register an opinion on it can change due to a lot of random factors, so it’s bad to draw too much meaning from the stats tumblr gives us on our posts.

But that doesn’t dismiss the core problem: people want recognition and interaction and a stronger sense of community on a social media network with few actual community-maintaining features. Numbers and stats are tangible, visible things, so it’s easy to latch onto them when you’re trying to figure out what’s wrong, but let’s look more at connections in the community itself.

How many people do you know in the “community”? Are you aware that any tumblr “community” is really just a bunch of bloggers who all happen to post in the same tags and know some of each other? This isn’t a bad thing, but it means that most tumblr communities are really groups of micro-communities sort of unified by a topic instead of by any particular common goals or ethics. These micro-communities will not all eventually unify because some are ideologically opposed.

Instead of focusing on forcing that impossible unification, your best bet is to simply make good connections with people and strengthen the parts of the community that intersect with you. That way even when someone is posting on some uncensored/confession blog about all the things wrong with the community, you can experience the pleasure of having no idea what they’re talking about. And by this I don’t mean that you should ignore the problems that affect the parts of the community that you intersect with, but you’ll get a better sense of when to completely ignore “all of you people are terrible and this is why we can’t have nice things” types of comments on anon submission blogs. (Maybe you will even stop paying attention to those blogs at all since they often just become soapboxes for people who want confrontation-driven attention!)

How do you foster good connections with people to form a sense of community within your micro-group? How do you even get a micro-group? It’s actually pretty easy, though it takes time, thought, and nuance. These are also things that a good friendship requires, and that’s no coincidence!

Your first step: find blogs you like that are associated with the community you’re trying to build relationships with. Read these blogs for long enough to get a sense of the people behind them. If you can’t get that sense from a blog, take it off of the list for now. You’re looking for actual interaction from people so if you can’t get a sense of how someone interacts yet, then that’s not gonna be a useful blog for this exercise.

Okay, now wait for these blogs to do things you like, then promote these things. Don’t just reblog, but comment saying what you think is important about the post, or ask questions, or make suggestions, or add a link to a related post from someone else’s blog, or do literary analysis. Just any constructive contribution and signal boosting that shows you’re thinking about their work and appreciate it, and that possibly connects them to others. This is different than a critique response or a debate-style interaction, because this is for stuff you agree with that you want to promote, not stuff you disagree with that you want to advance your own narrative on. The goal of this is that you like THIS person’s narrative and you want to advance it. You aren’t just subscribing to their metaphorical newsletter, you’re forwarding it to your friends with a recommendation note.

This takes some time to invest in! Which is why you should only do it for stuff you care about and are sincere about. Don’t waste time presenting a false front about what you enjoy or care about because then you’re building up a false friendship, no matter how nice your intentions are. It’s important to be genuine or you’ll end up playing a game instead of truly interacting with people! This means that not everything your tumblr favs put out will be something you promote, which is good anyway, because constantly promoting every single thing a person puts out just makes you look like a PR machine. Instead, remember that this is all potential interaction. People might talk with you about your observations. Hopefully they will! That’s sort of a huge part of real community interaction.

If this seems like a silly or unexciting suggestion, remember that it’s not just about reblogging and commenting! It’s also about noticing other people’s needs. I saw thewitchyrose​ was giving away an oracle deck soon, and I’d just gotten the same deck myself and had taken photos of the cards. I was going to go ahead and post the photos but asked her when she’d be doing the giveaway so I could hold back and link to the giveaway in the photoset’s description. People who liked the photos would probably want a chance to win the deck, and it helped Rose out in the process.

What does this gain me? That’s not actually rhetorical, we might as well think through what this sort of effort gets a person in response and what impact it has on our community. First of all, I promote content I want promoted. I think the giveaway is cool and I want people to know about it! As a demonolator, I’d also like to see more people connecting to the Goetic demons this deck is based off of. And TBH I believe linking to the giveaway made more people share the photoset, and I did want the photos to get an audience. Now, does the benefit extend beyond me? Yup! Rose is rebuilding her follower count and getting more exposure for her giveaway will help with that situation. People who want the deck will have a chance to win it and will be able to connect with other people who have it and ask questions about it.

But what I think is also important is that people see me promoting Rose for no monetary gain. I wanted to show a way you can support a person besides reblogging. I want to show that it’s okay to help a fellow reader out even if there’s no profit for me, since I see people in the comm observe on occasion that all tumblr readers/seers are competitive or only out for themselves. Sometimes they are, but quite a few tumblr readers are actually very invested in friendships and community. And that’s to their advantage, because investing in the success of your peers is also an investment in your own success.

That’s counter to the attitude that all other peers in your field are competition. Sure, on a certain level they are, but who cares? Who is going to understand your struggles in a field more than your peers will? Who is going to have been through the problem you’re going through already, and can share solutions? Who will most likely have connections to people who can further your advances through the field or teach you amazing things? Your peers! They are the biggest help you can get. And all you have to do is give them a reason to genuinely invest in you.

The best part of working in a field, even for free, even as a hobby, is that when you succeed it can impact everyone around you. Not only can people who invested in you, even with just well-wishes and reblogs, be happy that their investment was successful, but the energy of success is in itself a boost. You know how good news tends to make time pass better or faster? Or how it might grease the wheels on a difficult task because your attitude changes? These are the shared benefits of success! And when you start understanding how it feels to share success with someone, you want to do it more. You want to connect more. Your connections feel stronger and more valid. And if you have a hand in someone’s success you gain an understanding of someone because you went through something together.

This isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s not even something that happens in a week. But it works. I try to do it with each community I interact with, because I love to boost voices and connect people. It’s not like I go for incredible success stories either, sometimes I just want a meme to get more mileage or I think this person might like this other person’s art. But overall I have made friends, found great content, and fostered real connections with micro-communities because I just helped boost other people’s signals and paid real attention to the kind of help they needed. I have also gotten a lot of follows/notes/recognition through this, by being helpful instead of trying to figure out how best to get people’s attention on my own. People pay attention to you when they know you’re helpful!

I think the only con is that I can’t do this at a macro scale, personally. I can’t read very fast so I only follow about 70 people (and half of them don’t post much). I keep up with people well enough to remember what’s going on with their lives and I’ve only got so much mental capacity for that. So I, as a person, can only keep up so many direct connections. But if other people are doing the same thing, helping boost signals for each other and making connections, then a larger amount of people will gradually become interconnected through this extended web of people and be able to share each other’s overall successes on a larger scale.

You could almost call that a community.

Roles in the Industry: The Gameplay Programmer

Some people love game development, and are more technically-minded than others and are more interested in the actual nuts and bolts of how things work. These types of people love to solve problems - the “how” is as important as the “what”. Finding a solution that works is what drives these folks, and they end up being programmers. It is on the backs of these people that video games are even possible - they are very much the glue and mortar that hold all games together. Today, I’m specifically going to talk about a key role in the industry - the gameplay programmer.

I’ve realized that not everyone understands what different flavors of programmers actually do, ever since one misguided individual once tried to convince me that every programmer on the team is technically a gameplay programmer because they all work on the game on some level. This is not true at all - gameplay programming is its own specialization, just like graphics programmer, physics programmer, or network programmer. When companies are hiring a gameplay programmer, they will look specifically for qualifications for a gameplay programmer.

What a gameplay programmer actually does is work directly with the game designers to support them and build the tools and systems they need. So, for example, if you wanted to build a power up system for a game, the designer would work with the programmer to come up with a set of rules for how the power ups work (there are these many different power ups, they activate when you touch them, they last for 30 seconds, they provide these discrete bonuses when active, if you touch a new power up it overwrites the old one, you can only have one power up active at a time, etc.), and then it is up to the programmer to actually write the code that handles what the system does. This is what engineering is all about - finding a solution that works for the task at hand and considering (and preparing for) the potential future issues that might crop up (what if we want more power ups? What if we want power ups with different individual durations? What if we want to be able to tweak the strength of individual power ups while in game?).

The best gameplay programmers are the ones who can think about things both from a designer’s perspective (how do we make this fun, intuitive, and interesting?) but also consider all of the technical constraints at the same time (we can only show 12 fully-animating characters at a time, this system is not efficient enough, it’s crashing because we’re overflowing the memory we allocated to it). They work hand-in-hand with the designer, and often get to make design calls as well because of their familiarity with the technology that is being used to make these game systems function. This can result in some very interesting problems to solve, like the ones I had to deal with when I created a grab system for a first-person shooter. I’ll illustrate.

The feature: My action hero walks up to an enemy, grabs him, and then kills him in some spectacular, cinematic-looking fashion.

Considerations that must be made while working with the game designer:

  • How do we keep this from getting dull? (multiple different grabs)
  • How do we decide what sort of grabs to use? (Motion capture the grabs, get animators to direct the action)
  • Is there a difference between a grab from the front, or a grab from behind? (yes - if the victim is aware of the hero, then it will be a grab from the front. If the victim is not, it will be a grab from behind and a stealth kill)
  • What happens when you grab someone while other enemies are shooting you? (You can take damage up to 50% of your health dependent on difficulty level, but cannot actually die while grabbing someone)

Considerations that the programmer must make on his or her own:

  • What happens if the hero and the victim are at different heights? 
  • What’s the maximum range of motion for the grab?
  • When the player initiates a grab, does the player move to the victim, or does the victim move to the player? How do you ensure the player or the victim is left in a legitimate position and doesn’t get stuck in something?
  • What do we do if the player tries to perform a grab in a place where the hero will not have enough room to do the full grab animation?

That last question in particular took me months of work to solve, and even then I didn’t solve it completely by the time the game shipped. As you can see, being a programmer is about solving problems even moreso than the designer - you have to really figure out all of the bits of the problem and solve them all. But you also have much more in-depth knowledge of how the entire system works. You get to create those systems. You get to be the first to see something awesome happen, and you get to be the one to feel good to know that every time a player grabs an enemy and kills him in a spectacular fashion, that was something you did. Every time the NBA player puts his hand in the right spot and blocks a shot, that was something you did. There’s really a strong sense of ownership knowing that it was code you wrote and debugged directly that makes these features actually happen.

One of the things that is incredibly important to gameplay programmers is a strong grasp of mathematics, particularly vectors and 3D math. I constantly hear high school and college kids wonder aloud what they’d ever use the math they’re learning for. I’ll tell you that if you ever want to get into gameplay programming, you will need math. When I’m doing software engineering work, I use it all the time. Once I sat down to have lunch with some of my university friends, and we talked it over. Between the three of us - a microchip designer who designs RF chips for cell phones, a database software engineer who works for a major major database company (the one who does all of the databases for World of Warcraft, Fortune 500 companies, etc.), and me… I’m the one who uses math the most often. But if you think about it, it makes sense given the sort of tasks a gameplay programmer needs to do.

One of the most common questions I’ve seen at job interviews (including ones I’ve given) is a math question. Let’s suppose that you’ve got a gun somewhere in a world and it has a position (where it is) and an orientation (direction it’s pointing). You also have a circular target in the world somewhere and it has a position (where it is), an orientation (which way it’s facing), and a radius (how big around the target is). The question is… if the gun were to fire, would it hit the target?

How do you answer this question? The answer is in the math… you’re looking at vector math here, and you need to be able to calculate this sort of thing because being able to tell whether a gun hits its target, whether your character is visible to an enemy, whether a position on the map is reachable, or even whether a punch will connect all require some amount of math, as well as the ability to visualize how these things are represented in 3 dimensional space.

For students interested in solving problems at a more fundamental level, you’ll want to study computer science and math in school. I can’t stress this enough, because it’s very much needed if you really want to make games.

For those who are interested in becoming a programmer and don’t have the option of formal schooling, I would suggest studying and learning basic programming principles, especially how object-oriented programming works. You should also study data structures and algorithms - these are means to create more efficient solutions, and the speed at which your solutions run is very important when you are trying to make a game run at a good frame rate. Learn the basics of how physics works… basic concepts for Newtonian physics are useful - how objects move, and how acceleration affects them. And finally math - there are a lot of online resources that will teach the basics for vectors. More specifically, you must know how matrices are used to represent positions and orientations, what a dot product and cross product are, and how they can be used to calculate positions in 3 dimensions.

It really isn’t as complicated as it sounds, but that’s why it’s incredibly important to find a teacher who can explain the concepts in a way you understand. Knowing how things are represented in 3 dimensions and how to get from point A to point B quickly are incredibly valuable skills to game developers, and will carry you far if you choose to pursue a career in development. Being a gameplay programmer is a fun and rewarding job, because you are literally there where the rubber meets the road. You are the one who gets to make the game feel responsive, you are the one who gets to make the game system actually work, you are the one who gets to adjust and tune and tweak all the little bits to make everything come together smoothly, and being able to point at a feature or a mechanic and say “I did that. That’s me.” in a game that’s on the shelf is an incredibly rewarding feeling.

anonymous asked:

I'm writing a story about how four characters react to a clash between the revolutionary movement and military in their society. How could one of the characters prevent all out war while also overthrowing the government?

Not easily. My department chair in college focused on non-violent revolutions when he was getting his doctorate. His comment at the time was that there’s virtually no (scholarly) literature on the subject.

Avoiding violence in a revolution requires two things: You need to convince those in power not to use violence to enforce their authority and you need to convince everyone in the opposition from resorting to violence and deliberately escalating the situation.

The former is very difficult, the latter is nearly impossible.

When you’re looking at the factors that create a revolution, you’re primarily interested in oppression, exclusivity and capacity.

Oppression is fairly self explanatory, but the fact remains, if a government is not mistreating its citizens, or the vast majority of the population considers the system just, then you won’t have people rising up in revolt. People are stirred to action when they feel wronged. Normal bureaucratic malaise doesn’t cut it.

More disturbingly, it can be incredibly difficult to detect oppression, depending on how it is presented. If the population doesn’t feel oppressed, then they’re not going to rise up, even as members of society are being put down brutally and executed in the streets.

Exclusivity is the ability for private citizens to affect the government. An exclusive government is one that does not allow the civilian population to influence policy. It may also be highly nepotistic, with many key positions filled by family members of the head of state, or by close friends.

As with oppression, exclusivity is highly dependent on public perception. A dictator that frequently takes public input under advisement and acts on it wouldn’t be an exclusive system, even if their entire cabinet is made up of family members and close personal friends. Likewise, a state with rigged elections, and no public input wouldn’t be perceived as exclusive, unless the voter fraud is exposed.

It’s also worth pointing out, a state can be oppressive and exclusive, but still be perceived as the protector of its population. In these cases, you won’t see a revolution because people believe the state has their interests in mind. Of course, if the illusion shatters, everything else follows.

Capacity is the ability for a government to enforce its will. In the context of revolutions, we’re normally interested in its ability to inflict violence on the population.

Again, if a government has the capacity to kill everyone involved in the revolution they’ll hunt them down as a warning to any future rebels. Remember, when we’re talking about what the government can actually do, not what it should hypothetically be capable of if everything goes according to plan.

Capacity rises and declines based on a number of factors. Their available manpower, their financial and material resources, the quality of their intelligence. Prolonged warfare, military dissent, economic unrest, technical obsolescence, counterintelligence, deteriorating public support and espionage (among other possible factors) can all whittle away at a state’s capacity.

What you’re looking for in a revolution is an oppressed population who cannot influence government policy and a weak state. If any of these three elements fail, then your revolution can’t happen, at least not normally.

A non-oppressive totalitarian regime sounds weird. It’s a kind of political philosophy unicorns that keeps coming up in hypothetical discussions on governance. From Plato to Machiavelli, the idea refuses to die.

A powerful and oppressive regime with public access is also, surprisingly, hard to unseat. There have been plenty of examples of these without associated revolutions.

Well funded and equipped, totalitarian regimes are, sadly, something we have plenty of examples of. A number of these did eventually fall to revolutionary forces, but it only came after the state’s capacity was undermined or decayed.

Under normal circumstances, you have a state that’s subjugating it’s population, an isolated elite pulling the strings, and a government that can’t actually wipe out a potential rebellion before it gets rolling, and recruiting real numbers, and engaging in actual combat operations.

In a non-violent revolution, you need to convince the state to sit down and listen to your grievances without resorting to violence. The reason I described this as “very difficult,” is because, you need to sit down with someone and get them to agree with you, when their first impulse is going to be to toss you in prison and wash their hands of the problem.

This can happen. When the threat of violence, and a painful death appears imminent, and your revolutionary is offering a way out that doesn’t end with the city in flames and the roads coated in blood. Managing to actually do this is truly impressive stuff, and most of the people who have attempted this in the real world ended up imprisoned and/or tortured.

Your revolutionary can’t step in earlier, because the state won’t listen, and once the situation has degenerated into outright warfare, it’s too late.

The second problem is that revolutions are not homogenous entities that operate as a single coherent organization. They’re a coalition of groups who are unified by one common belief, that the state needs to be replaced, and not much else. They can agree that the guy in power needs to go, but not what the shape of the new government will be, after it’s over.

In case you’re wondering, you can’t really skip the coalition building phase of getting a revolution off the ground. Having a single, ideologically unified group to overthrow the government would be ideal, but reality is rarely so accommodating. Finding enough people to actually overthrow the government means making unlikely allies, and working with people you normally wouldn’t want to talk to. They have live bodies, and together you’ve got enough to turn the tide. “Stand together or die alone,” and all that.

Keeping everyone non-violent before the revolution is hard enough. You’ve got a lot of people who have a grudge against the existing government. These are people who feel strongly enough about their grievances to die for them. Finding enough people who are willing to do that is hard enough. Finding enough people who are willing, are smart enough to realize that there might be a way out of this without killing, and are also okay with a non-violent solution to the situation is nearly impossible.

A revolutionary leader who can hold their movement together on sheer force of will, and can inspire people into a unified cause can, potentially knit their revolution together to prevent this. Someone who is very careful in how they bring people in, and how their revolution operates can, potentially, keep this from becoming a problem.

After it’s over is the nearly impossible part. When all of these different factions united by one common goal have achieved that, the only thing they have left is a desire to reshape the state to suit their image of how things should be. Far too often, this translates into purges and civil war.

In a non-violent revolution, overthrowing the government is the easy part. Keeping all of the different political factions, which were oppressed under the previous regime playing nice while you try to build a new state is the hard part.

The most dangerous thing after the revolution is someone more ruthless than you. Revolution is not a pleasant business. It destroys the idealists and rewards the pragmatic and ruthless. The process of running one is a crucible. No one who goes in will come out exactly the same person. After the revolution, if you’re not the most ruthless person in the room, you’re not long for this world.

Keeping a coalition together after a revolution isn’t impossible. There are historical examples, including the United States, but it is an exceedingly difficult bar to hit. It’s far more common for the victors to begin by purging remnants loyal to the old regime, and then work their way through various minor factions who aided them, but are no longer necessary, and have become a potential liability. This can be framed any number of ways. It can be carried out covertly, it can be framed as remnant loyalists, it can be treated as normal criminal arrests.

In cases where the prior regime was supported by a foreign power, these purges are often couched in terms of removing foreign agitators or spies.

In fact, it’s very easy to end up exactly where you started, or worse off.

The best case examples are probably Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Mandela kept South Africa together by instituting policies that kept members of the Dutch government as members of the new integrated government, and pushed hard for a policy of no retribution. This, arguably, did a lot to keep South Africa intact. In contrast, while Gandhi managed to remove the British from India without resorting to violence, he did see his nation break apart into separate states.

Even if your revolution manages to hold themselves together, and don’t turn on each other, they’ve created a serious problem. They’ve destroyed their state’s capacity, creating a power vacuum. Other factions that may not have participated in the revolution are now in a far better position to exploit the current situation. This could include groups like organized crime, or even foreign powers, who aren’t above using the chaos to opportunistically grab a few bits for themselves.

Non-violent revolutions aren’t a panacea against this either. Even simple political instability can open the door for an aggressive foreign power to move in, “in order to ensure the peace” and annex anything that’s not nailed down. It also allows organized criminal enterprise to become more brazen; even under the best circumstances, you’ve removed the checks that were holding them in place, and any less oppressive policies will be viewed as a practical invitation.

A military junta isn’t off the table either. This is especially true if the previous regime kept the military under control because of close personal ties, and the transition to the revolutionary government would diminishes the military’s political influence. They may even view this as an act of self defense. Sadly, the term “military junta” is an established phrase because this exact kind of coup has happened many times before, including cases where there was a democratic regime change, and not an actual revolution.

So, how would someone walk into all of this and keep it from degenerating into a bloodbath? Search me. You’re talking about a very singular kind of character, and they could still end up splattered across the pavement because of a fanatic.

-Starke

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The Problem with Premiere Culture


Last week, I arranged for 4 song, video, or album stream premieres with 4 different editorial outlets for my artists. This is obviously not uncommon for any of you, as this is has become a substantial part of our job as music publicists. There are aspects of it that are appealing, both to publicist, label, band, and management. It offers newer artists an in with outlets that might otherwise not give them coverage. It is guaranteed coverage for an artist and asset when otherwise, a press release may have gone out with the possibility that high-profile outlets choose to ignore it. It purports to offer a strategically-timed editorial posting, running coverage just as an artist chooses to make other announcements (tour dates, album release date, etc.). I’m explaining the obvious because I think it’s important to review the reasons we do this. Yes, all the reasons listed above are beneficial. But this system is corrupted. Not in a devious way that takes advantage of anyone without their knowledge, but simply in a broken way that doesn’t hold both parties accountable and doesn’t incentivize the editorial outlet to care about the artist, publicist, or label at all, and truly reduces this content to the “dissemination of an asset.” When we are discussing art, which is what we are discussing here, let’s not forget, it’s pretty much the most antiseptic and dispassionate way to consider it.

Those 4 premieres I mentioned above? They were all botched by the outlet. Three of them were anywhere between 45 and 120 minutes late, mostly with little regard or apology for the inconvenience. With the fourth one, the editor had completely forgotten about the premiere the day before it was scheduled to happen and tried to push it to the next day. After suggesting I find another premiere partner last minute (an extremely difficult proposition), he  finally offered an ultimatum of premiering it 3 hours later than previously agreed upon, all with an air of frustration as though he was doing me a favor. One of my colleagues arranged another premiere where the outlet misspelled the name of the song (clearly spelled correctly on the soundcloud, of course), leading to another high-profile music outlet to pick up the item and also spell the song incorrectly.

This happens because outlets are not incentivized to give a shit. They don’t even strive to write their own copy about whatever asset it is they are premiering; they request a quote from the band or video director, plug that in with one sentence mentioning a release date, and go live with it, often an hour or more after the agreed upon premiere time. This is what we spend our days arranging. We stress and work against the clock to secure premieres that account for publicity campaigns spanning multiple continents that rely on specific timing with editors who have literally no reason to care. Their editors above them saddle them with the job of handling premieres, and their job is simply to secure enough of these for people to believe they are doing their jobs. They are not interested in going out on a limb on a new artist, nor are they rewarded for being the first to premiere a new artist that is going to be significant in the future. They don’t play to win, they play not to lose. This is in direct conflict with what I can only assume is the reason why we all got into this, publicists, label staff, and writers alike. We love music. We live for it, we work for it, and we voraciously consume it. We are music fans and get excited about hearing new music that fills us with emotion.

I recently pitched an editor on a video premiere. I even offered that they host it in their Youtube channel, because this was a new artist I believe to be meaningful and I wanted to expose their viewership to a really great artist and adventurous video. I was prepared to essentially concede ownership of this video to this outlet because this was something they have been asking for recently, (despite their complete lack of involvement, financial or otherwise, in the meticulous creation of this video), but I felt this was a case where truly the pay-off stood to be worth that cost. She passed on the video. I asked if she watched it, and she said no. I protested, saying I usually bring her good stuff, and the least she could do is watch it, and she proceeded to tell me what I already knew, but what is still difficult to hear: It doesn’t matter how good it is, this artist is just not at “video premiere level” yet.

I’m no spring chicken, and I’m not naive about outlets’ ultimate motive of driving traffic, but when an outlet that purports to be a champion of new music is not interested in even viewing something before passing on it, something is broken. When we are unable to get outlets to care enough to double-check the name of a song before posting it, something is broken. When outlets unapologetically and brazenly dismiss agreed upon timing, or simply don’t care enough to get it right, something is broken. When editorial content has been relegated to [insert artist quote here] [insert release date here] instead of actually describing the music, then something is broken and the passion that brought us all here is a fond memory turned to dust.

One big casualty of premiere culture is the truly inventive and creative pitch. Finding premieres takes up such a large part of my week, and I can only imagine it does for most other publicists, as well. This gives us less time to spend on thinking of honestly transformative pieces of press, the kind that both artists and editorial outlets both get excited for. These are the pieces that live on, the ones that people talk about later. They are loving and lived in, approached by all parties with an understanding that this can change the way people think about music. They are a relationship. The premiere is a bad one night stand.

I don’t know what the solution to this problem is. Right now, unless you’re in the position to and the type of publicist to withhold access to your larger clients unless your smaller clients get play (which I personally find problematic and disrespectful to all involved), we are in a position of weakness. I have an imaginary dream scenario where all labels, management, and artists join with publicists in some massive meeting room somewhere and decided en masse that we will not premiere another thing with another outlet. Everything is disseminated via press release, and if an outlet wants to be first on something, they need to be quick on their toes. Think about how much time, energy, and frustration that would save.

Obviously, some, myself included, have artists that are smaller and may be routinely ignored by larger outlets unless they are premiering an asset. This is a problem. But I think this puts the impetus back on the outlet to be a true musical frontiersperson. They have the opportunity to be an early champion of a potentially relevant new artist. It’s fun, it’s why we do this, right? There are so many better ways to make money than doing what we do.

The main thing I see is a model that is unsustainable. We can laugh it off as “one of those pains in the ass we just have to deal with,” or we can identify this as a cancerous aspect of our jobs, something that keeps us from doing truly good work, and find a way to cut it out. I’m open to any sort of dialogue, and want to hear how other people feel about it. And I certainly would not cease pitching premieres for my artists until a better system was in place. I’ve just hit a wall with it, and hope to get back to really promoting my artists through thoughtful editorial rather than mad libs written by unincentivized writers who want to be writing these premieres about as much as I want to be pitching them.

Jacob Daneman

Pitch Perfect PR

Why the games press won't talk about ethical corruption

As an ex-journo turned internet-monkey, I’ve spent the last week carefully toying with the idea of producing a video about the belief that the traditional games media is ethically compromised and/or corrupt.

After much consideration, I’ve decided that this would be a massive waste of time for one simple reason: It isn’t a rational belief. I gave up arguing against irrational viewpoints when I realised that repeatedly spending entire evenings arguing about religion with strangers wasn’t a good use of the £5 it cost to get into most student nightclubs. It really doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong - no change will occur as a result of the conversation.

A large part of the problem is the misuse of language, with many who use logic and rationale as their banner having twisted the scientific basis of these words completely out of shape - adding a powerful new variable to the deduction process that entirely fucks everything up: Intellect.

It takes a genuinely outstanding level of arrogance to believe that your personal (or even crowd-sourced) intelligence can make up the rest of the gaps in any theory. This isn’t restricted to gaming, of course - the study of Psychology largely boils down to learning to quickly identify when wanker academics are using big words to cover up the fact that their claims of correlation are entirely based on half-baked theories.

Games industry conspiracy theorists take things to the next level, stepping up from correlation (the claim that two variables are somehow related) to full-blown causation (the claim that one variable is directly influencing another). These leaps are made without any actual evidence, using bastardised ‘logic’ to plug any gaps. It’s a risky system that entirely relies on the person involved being Sherlock-fucking-Holmes.

In the same way that duff psychologists make leaps because they want to reinforce specific theories they already believe to be true, accusations of corruption or ethical wrongdoing gloss over genuinely whopping gaps to further reinforce the strength of a theory that simply hasn’t been proved.

I bring up the parallel between forum threads and academia to point out that this isn’t about specifically pointing the finger at teenage boys or hardcore gamers - it’s a shitty pseudo-scientific practice used by shitty people in all walks of life.

Packaging arguably unrelated pieces of information together and presenting them as being linked without concrete proof is entirely irrational behaviour, which makes the process of arguing against it a bloody big waste of time for everyone involved. That’s the main reason that a huge number of the gaming press openly refuse to engage in the conversation.

Of course it does remain entirely possible that the real reason they don’t want to debate this issue is because they’re trying to silence the issue as part of some ongoing conspiracy, but again - if we’re sticking to the traditional use of the word, this argument isn’t rational - which makes arguing against it a big waste of time. Until any form of actual concrete evidence is presented, we might as well argue about the existence of ghosts.

This might sound flippant or dismissive, but you have to understand that it categorically isn’t. Theories based on unproven assumptions are almost always a lot of fun, but you can’t bring a theoretical knife to a knife fight.

Over the past decade we’ve seen a couple of examples of times when editorial values have been compromised - with both examples having large repercussions for the industry. Gamespot’s Jeffy G fiasco tore the site’s reputation to shreds, while reasonable questions posed about the freebie culture following a promotion at the GMAs saw the vast majority of professional media outlets cracking down further on a phenomenon that was largely already handled reasonably well. If this isn’t true on the websites you visit, it’s time to start visiting websites that aren’t shit.

Every time I’ve seen reasonable criticisms made I’ve also seen a shift in the way press operate, and yet I’ve never seen any kind of reduction in the deeply-held belief that games media are inherently ethically corrupt. Unfortunately this leads to only one conclusion - there is nothing that can be done to change this.

Which leads us back to the ultimate question: with so little evidence proving it to be true and attempts at reparations so quickly dismissed, why do so many people fervently believe that the traditional games media cannot be trusted? Why do people who often align themselves with the importance of rational thought and unbiased opinions hold so much faith in a belief that is - on paper - undeniably irrational?

I don’t really have an answer for that, but I’d argue it’s likely a swirl of factors whipped up into an anger-meringue by an outside third-party that I now represent. People don’t like traditional games media for a wide variety of reasons. They feel like the biggest gaming websites only represent mass-media bollocks. They feel like their hobby is changing in ways that isn’t aligned with the elements they love. They feel like games media don’t talk about games in a way that personally speaks to them.

All of these points are entirely reasonably things to be unhappy about, but they don’t represent a systematic problem. The belief that the root of these problems is caused by some sort of systematic injustice, however, is undeniably intoxicating. It allows us to fabricate a tangible solution to an impossible problem: creating the illusion that if we fight hard enough we can force the world to change to suit our personal needs.

As with all the best illusions, it’s one that can’t be broken - no manner of action or shows of goodwill will erode this belief, as the endgame criteria remains impossible. Short of every traditional media outlet entirely shutting down, arguments will still remain that the truth has simply been buried deeper - the same shadowy agendas are still running the show.

Notably over the past week I’ve seen every attempt to openly refute unwarranted claims with actual facts quickly countered with newly fabricated unwarranted claims. The content within these conversation simply doesn’t matter - if it did then the vast majority of these claims would have since been dropped. Information which damages the stability of a well-established illusion cannot be accepted as truth at any cost, which is why we’ve still got climate change deniers and people who think dinosaurs are just a big lol from God. 

It all boils down to dissatisfaction, which is where the meringue comes into play. Look back at the history of any regime change and you’ll observe clear patterns, but step one is almost always the same: discredit your predecessors. The way many YouTubers have used this tactic has been absolutely reasonable, and the rise in their popularity is inarguably linked to traditional media’s failure to provide a changing audience with what they want.

But that hasn’t the only front of the battle, and blows from both sides haven’t always been above the belt. While arguably sparked from the disdain and jealousy that many games journalists feel towards YouTubers at large, many YouTubers have harnessed this culture of dissatisfaction and distrust as a springboard for personal success. Working as underdogs this made sense, but now I just feel like I’m watching big dogs kicking dying dogs to death.

But again, this isn’t a conspiracy - it’s just an unjust side-effect of the way things have panned out over the past ten years; a butterfly effect of individual agendas swooping back later to cause a storm. Context has shifted dramatically: For those who’ve managed the ascent into internet stardom, “Games media are corrupt” has gone from being an effective way of building a fanbase to being a largely well-respected viewpoint, legitimised by nothing more than a larger audience that believe it to be true. No more facts, no more proof, just a considerably bigger church.

It all comes back to community, and the idea that thousands of people can’t possibly be wrong. When of course if there’s anything that history has shown us, that’s one of the only things that thousands of people have consistently been.

So yeah, we could debate about the blatant ethical corruption that’s rife within gaming media, but to be honest I’d rather debate about ghosts. Either way I’ll probably be wasting my time, but at least I get to run around with a sheet on my head shouting “WOOOOOOO.”

BYE!

How I design software

I am not foolish enough to say that the way I write software is the only way, but I am foolish enough to believe how I approach software design might be helpful. This isn’t about project management, or algorithmic strategies, but how I fumble around until something works, guided by the scars of past mistakes.


Research

For every good idea, there are probably three implementations out there already. If you’re lucky, one of them might work, and might even be documented. There could be some academic work too, that isn’t buried in a paywall. Search engines are your friends.

Being able to work out the right name for a problem will help you greatly in your search. This is the one advantage of a grounding in computer science — rich technical jargon to find existing work easily. This is opposed to the “which pokemon would I name this library after” school of thought.


Readmes

Sometimes it’s best to start with human language. Write a readme, it should explain what problem the software solves, what sort of features it will have, and the interface planned. Avoid the trap of writing a heavy specification, skip the implementation details. The job of the readme is to set expectations.


Implementation Strawmen

Come up with a number of vague ideas, roughly sketched out, and list their positive and negative features. Take these positive and negative lists and distill them into a small number of constraints.

Start again, but hopefully you’ll have less options to choose from. Once your constraints are settled, it’s a good time to move onto trying things out in practice.


Prototype

It is often cheaper to experiment and see what fails, rather than trying to work this out ahead of time. Prototypes are a great place to make lots of mistakes, and an opportunity to play around with rough ideas.

Beware: the only difference between production code and a prototype is deployment — it’s hard to justify rewriting things that work. Putting prototypes into production is the software equivalent of being hoisted by your own petard.


Get feedback as quickly as possible

Write the smallest program that runs to begin with, often just a skeleton or a framework stub. Get other people to write code that uses yours. Let them hack away at your library, and change it to match how they use it. Mistakes cost less to fix when you find them shortly after making them.

Don’t spend an hour writing code without checking it at least once. For the more strict among us, you may choose to test, type check, formally verify, or prove code regularly. The rest of us plebs should remember to avoid binge writing code without any feedback from the computer. It’s much easier to come back to coding a program if it still runs or compiles.


Make incremental changes

Small code changes are the easiest to recover from, but it’s often hard to break new features into small edits. People will use the term “legacy code” refer to code that is hard to change or maintain in this way (Apart from legacy code, the only other type of software is code no-one uses).

Small changes can include rewrites, if you can slowly migrate users from the old to the new component. You’ll still need to maintain the old code though.


Work alone

Sometimes it’s good to hole up and get yourself up to speed on the problem. For me this involves covering my desk in scraps of paper with diagrams and scribbles. Other times it’s clawing away at an interactive session, trying things out.


Take a bath, get some sleep

Although it’s good to be immersed in a problem, it’s easy to get lost or overwhelmed in it. Go outside, stay inside, read a book, play a game, socialise, or retreat. Inspiration will come from distraction. I highly recommend naps.


Work with a friend

The code i’m most proud is the code i’ve worked on with other people. It’s easier to keep to your goals if someone else will hold you to them, and you’re not attached to your ideas.

Humans will often talk about problems in terms of the solution they have in mind, so be patient and try and extract the rationale behind it, even if the idea doesn’t sound so good (This often surfaces as the X-Y problem).

You don’t have to agree on the solutions but it’s good to agree on what makes a solution good. You can compromise on the former, but the latter usually ends up making everyone miserable.


All of the above

I approach design as a process of refining a question until the answer is obvious, and I see the above as ways of doing it. I don’t always do them in a strict order, i’ll skip some bits, repeat others, and some i’ve missed out or forgotten.

Everyone will approach design differently, which is why it’s so much fun to work with other people.