Sahasrahla's recent activity

  1. Comment on A Beginner’s Guide to MMT in ~misc

    Sahasrahla Link
    There are a few contenders for most complicated thing ever made: the internet is a network of glass and metal and radiation that lets a bunch of thinking rocks work together; the ISS is a giant...

    There are a few contenders for most complicated thing ever made: the internet is a network of glass and metal and radiation that lets a bunch of thinking rocks work together; the ISS is a giant floating house above the sky that you can only visit by falling sideways so fast you miss the ground; the electrical grid takes photons and exploding atoms and falling things and super-flammable ancient plants and turns them into an almost magically useful energy that lives in our walls. One less obvious candidate though, because of its sheer ubiquity in our lives, is that thing which is whatever economics tries to describe.

    Think on it for a moment: for at least 10,000 years we've been developing a globe spanning social technology that dictates how we distribute our resources, how we work together, and even how we spend most of our day. Its construction has been ad hoc and accidental and planned, piecemeal and distributed and unified, spanning time and space with different parts of the system disappearing and growing and interacting in unpredictable ways. Money, debt, corporations, banks, etc. are all part of this system and cannot be described or understood individually without considering the whole.

    All of which is to say: this is complicated. I haven't heard of MMT before and I don't know if it will become as influential as the article says it might, but one thing that is clear is that this system we live with that dictates our lives could be about to change. There is hope in this because maybe things will be better, but it's worrying as well because I don't think we really know what we're doing. If we were building a bridge we could hire engineers and know from physics and experience what would be safe so that we could make a structure that wouldn't collapse under us, but for building our system around a new economic paradigm we don't have those kind of guarantees.

    Buckle up, I guess.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on Would you go to Mars? in ~talk

    Sahasrahla Link Parent
    Just as an addendum to your excellent comment: ideas like asteroid mining and large scale energy harvesting in space may seem like outlandish science fiction that could never be real, but it's...

    Just as an addendum to your excellent comment: ideas like asteroid mining and large scale energy harvesting in space may seem like outlandish science fiction that could never be real, but it's worth comparing our own biases to how people in the recent past would see the world today. Imagine what someone from 1800 would make of electric appliances, crossing the world within 24 hours, thinking machines that could act autonomously, medicines that could cure or prevent the worst diseases of the day, people visiting the moon, buildings a half mile tall, or any other modern wonder. The average person, knowing what they knew then, would very probably dismiss these ideas too.

    Or, thinking of this from the other direction: if we try to imagine what our future will be like, and the answer is that there will be nothing that would seem impossible to most people now, then that answer is almost certainly wrong.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? in ~life

    Sahasrahla Link Parent
    The landlord who will raise rents by $1000 will have to hope their tenant has not shopped at the baker who is charging $1000 for a loaf of bread or that they have not already paid off their $1000...

    The landlord who will raise rents by $1000 will have to hope their tenant has not shopped at the baker who is charging $1000 for a loaf of bread or that they have not already paid off their $1000 phone bill. Realistically, prices will behave the same way they always have: businesses will charge whatever they think will yield the most profit, tempered by demand and competition and regulation. There are different proposals for UBI but most of them are redistributive—the net effect would be to take money from wealthier individuals and corporations and give it to poorer people as part of a no-strings-attached form of welfare with the purpose of ensuring every member of society is able to meet their basic needs for food, shelter, etc. Rising prices would not swallow up these redistributions to leave people as poor as they were for the same reason that does not happen with increased wages achieved by unions or minimum wage laws.

    9 votes
  4. Comment on What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? in ~life

    Sahasrahla Link
    Basic income will probably work. There are fears about what negative outcomes it might have but it's important to remember there are drawbacks to maintaining the status quo as well: millions of...

    Basic income will probably work. There are fears about what negative outcomes it might have but it's important to remember there are drawbacks to maintaining the status quo as well: millions of people live in poverty or otherwise precarious situations and if we don't find a solution (where basic income is one possibility) then society suffers as a whole. Also, even though the conversation about UBI often focuses on poverty and automation, UBI has another couple of effects which I think are important as well. One is that it helps people who currently fall through the cracks of an incomplete and paternalistic welfare system that is often dependent on the arbitrary whims of caseworkers (e.g. a tragic Reddit thread full of anecdotes of people not taking their medication before applying for assistance so that they wouldn't appear "too healthy" to the person deciding their fate), and secondly a basic income would represent a necessary shift in power from bosses to workers by allowing people to leave exploitative jobs without fear of destitution.

    To the worry that people will leave the work force en masse I'd ask, what are those people who will quit work doing now? Are we worried about doctors and engineers and middle class office workers quitting their jobs to sit around all day and live on an income that barely covers food and rent? Or are we more worried that the pool of cheap, underemployed, easily exploited labour will suddenly get a bit more expensive and a bit less willing to do or dirty work? And there's also the fact that some people probably should leave the work force: if more people were free to pursue unpaid labour like family child/elder care or volunteering in their communities then I think society would benefit.

    Also, just as a note, this article is a few years old. The experiment in Ontario began but was cancelled by the subsequent conservative government of Doug Ford, and I believe the Finland trial ended early (or was simply not extended?) as well. On a positive note though there's the interesting case of Andrew Yang: a long shot Democratic presidential candidate with UBI as a cornerstone of his campaign who is starting to get more notice after qualifying for the first round of debates. However well he does my hope is that he can push the discussion about his "freedom dividend" into the mainstream just like Bernie Sanders did for "medicare for all".

    16 votes
  5. Comment on Just wanted to gush about Dracula theme in ~tildes

    Sahasrahla Link Parent
    Interesting to see, thanks! I wonder how these numbers would change when/if Tildes becomes less dominated by techies who are used to dark themed code editors.

    Interesting to see, thanks! I wonder how these numbers would change when/if Tildes becomes less dominated by techies who are used to dark themed code editors.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on Just wanted to gush about Dracula theme in ~tildes

    Sahasrahla Link
    Using it and loving it too. It would be interesting to see some statistics about how popular different themes are on active accounts.

    Using it and loving it too. It would be interesting to see some statistics about how popular different themes are on active accounts.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on Would you go to Mars? in ~talk

    Sahasrahla Link Parent
    The response to most of your comment wouldn't be substantively different than what I've already written but it's worth addressing this: As a genre science fiction is a bit of a double-edged sword:...

    The response to most of your comment wouldn't be substantively different than what I've already written but it's worth addressing this:

    The whole idea just seems like a desperate attempt to fulfill a juvenile sci-fi fantasy on other people's dime.

    As a genre science fiction is a bit of a double-edged sword: some people see the ideas in it and take inspiration for how we can build our own future, while other people see those ideas in the context of silly spaces fantasies and think them as outlandish and unrealistic as Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. Looking at it the latter way, any advancements in science or technology already thought of in science fiction which are fundamentally different than what we already have will look like "dumb nerd shit" that only perpetual adolescents would dream of.

    For a bit of a counter to that mindset there's an anecdote I heard in a talk from Guy Gavriel Kay. Though a historical-fantasy author (who, incidentally, is respected enough for his literature to have been appointed to the Order of Canada) he was invited to China to discuss his work with some academics and to attend a science fiction convention set up by the ruling Communist Party. While there he says he asked his hosts why they were encouraging science fiction when previously the Party had been against the genre. The answer he was told was that when talking to some of the best scientists in the west one thing many of them had in common was that they were inspired by science fiction. So, the Party (or at least some elements within it) decided to encourage Chinese science fiction to help produce better scientists. Again, it's just an anecdote, but I think it's relevant when considering if science fiction is just dumb entertainment or something more.

    other people's dime

    The good news is that's not happening. The only two groups seriously pushing for space colonization are the private companies Blue Origin and SpaceX. Blue Origin is self-funding by its founder Jeff Bezos selling Amazon stock, and SpaceX (after some startup money from its own billionaire founder and other investors) is funding itself from paying customers. There is public funding for SpaceX in the form of contracts for government satellite launches and supply runs and such to the ISS, but that's more of a strategic choice by the US government to ensure cheap and reliable access to space by encouraging private industry.

    4 votes
  8. Comment on Would you go to Mars? in ~talk

    Sahasrahla Link Parent
    I don't want to try to change your mind on this but maybe in the spirit of discussion I could give some reasons why some people think trying to live permanently in space and on other worlds is a...
    • Exemplary x2

    I don't want to try to change your mind on this but maybe in the spirit of discussion I could give some reasons why some people think trying to live permanently in space and on other worlds is a good idea.

    There's nothing you can do there that robots can't do

    That's an opinion I see often and it's one that I think shows a disconnect in how different people view the possibilities of humanity's interactions with space. This is a view that sees space as, at best, a giant laboratory. It's somewhere kind of interesting that we can send robots to so that we can analyze chemistry on distant worlds and take nicer pictures of the stars. In this view sending people is superfluous; the risk and effort of supporting a squishy warm person who likes food and water and air is a bit silly when we can much more cheaply send a robot with some fancy attachments to do that science instead.

    What this view misses, though, is that the people arguing for living on Mars and elsewhere don't see space as a laboratory but as a potential home. Which, of course, brings us to the next point: we already have empty barren wastelands on Earth that are more hospitable than anything out in space, so why not try living there instead? The answer I have for that (leaving aside issues like ecological damage, treaties, etc.) is that if we learn to live in, say, Antarctica then that really only opens up a small additional area that people could live in and it doesn't really open up any possibilities that don't exist elsewhere on Earth.

    Learning to live on other worlds, though, opens up much greater areas. Mars alone has about as much surface as the non-ocean parts of Earth. Learning to live in space itself, on crafts and habitats we build, opens up practically infinite areas compared to what we have now. It wouldn't necessarily be a harsh life after a while either: when we talk of living on Mars or space what we're really talking about is living in artificial habitats we've built in those places. No one would be sitting around on Mars or floating out in space wondering where all the air and water was in their new home.

    That still leaves the question though of "why?" Why bother doing any of that at all? If we see a possible future of a billion people living on Mars and a trillion people living on space habitats, what's so great about that future that would be worth the time and effort now to work towards it?

    (And just as an aside to the usual question of "why spend time/money on some space thing when we've got problems on Earth?" I'd say that, 1. those goals aren't mutually exclusive, and 2. we're already spending vast resources on things other than "solving our problems". How much effort is human civilization putting towards making, advertising and distributing beer and potato chips? Where's that on our list of priorities?)

    To answer the question of why do this at all I can think of a few answers:

    • More people means more of everything humans do well. More art, more science, more inventiveness, more varieties of human culture, more ideas. Imagine what would be lost to humanity if a quirk of geology had submerged half the continents eons ago. What if places such as China, the US, India, Europe etc. had simply never existed? Space is big, and what future societies would we be missing if humanity were on the scale of only billions instead of trillions?

    • Space is a challenge and the inventiveness needed to live there would have ripple effects throughout the rest of society. Innovation and invention mostly doesn't come from people sitting around thinking up ideas out of the blue, it comes from people solving problems in unique ways. Learning to live in space and on other worlds would be an unprecedented challenge that could give us not only new science and engineering but new cultures and ways of thinking, just like the industrial revolution inspired new ways of thinking about our societies and ourselves.

    • Our solar system is full of resources. Why extract raw materials and build on Earth, polluting ourselves and exhausting our resources in the process, when we could do this in space? Even just near-Earth asteroids could supply more than our terrestrial mines ever could, and the asteroid belt has even more. This could be done in large part by robots, but being able to have people involved at least for some of the manufacturing stages could be useful. In any case, technologies and infrastructure required for asteroid mining and space habitation would have quite a bit of overlap.

    • Space is big and we don't know what's out there. We can look at Mars and say it's a useless desert, but what else might there be a few star systems over? This would be a very long term goal but the first step would be a presence in space and some practice living in our own solar system.

    • Every now and then there are mass extinction events. That isn't to say that a colony on Mars or elsewhere is supposed to be an Earth 2.0 which will let us trash our current planet by ignoring climate change, but rather it increases the chances of humanity surviving long term when extinction level events happen, as they have several times in our world's history. On the scale of a human lifetime something like a giant meteor strike or a supervolcano erupting seems hardly worth considering, but on a long enough timescale such events become a near certainty. If we want to ensure the long term survival of humanity into the distant future we need to have self-sustaining populations somewhere besides Earth.

    Mostly the drive to live and work in space comes down to seeing it not as a lifeless void but as a place full of possibilities. Living there seems like science fiction but that's only because the best science fiction tries to imagine our possible futures. Space isn't full of laser swords and green women, but with enough effort and ambition and clarity of vision I think the possibilities of what we could achieve there are very real and worth pursuing.

    10 votes
  9. Comment on Would you go to Mars? in ~talk

    Sahasrahla Link
    Maybe. Assuming we're talking about building a permanent settlement it would depend on the answers to a few questions: Would I have something to contribute? My professional skills wouldn't be the...

    Maybe. Assuming we're talking about building a permanent settlement it would depend on the answers to a few questions:

    Would I have something to contribute? My professional skills wouldn't be the most critical and for the usefulness they would have I'm not at the top of my field. That's fine on Earth but in at least the early days of settlement every seat on the rocket would count.

    What kind of society and lifestyle exist on Mars? People have conflicting ideas about how society should work and if we're building a new one from scratch there's no telling right now how that will turn out. And will the lifestyle be like working on the ISS, a remote research station, a small town, or what? Will I have to be an employee with a set job or would I have more freedom to live there and choose what I do?

    How is my age and health? Fine now I hope but what about when they start selling tickets?

    What and who will I be leaving behind on Earth? This is probably the biggest one people think of, the "I'll never see my friends or family again" argument, but realistically people do this all the time when moving to new cities or countries. The main difference is, even if you rarely or never see your old friends or family in person again, there's always the feeling that you could if you ever wanted to. Would there be people staying on Earth who I wouldn't want to live apart from? There's also considerations such as whatever career, home, etc. I might be giving up.

    Who will be coming with me to Mars and who will already be there? The flip side of the question above. If I'm married or otherwise in a relationship going to Mars won't be a decision for only one person. There's also the possibility that I'll know some people who have gone already or who are planning to go. What if staying on Earth is the option that costs me friends and family because a bunch of them are planning on going to Mars?

    What opportunities are on Mars? No, not the rover. Aside from walking alien landscapes what would I be able to do on Mars better than I could do on Earth? Starting a business, shaping a new society, helping a cause I believe in, being a part of history; what could I accomplish?

    What possibilities are there for returning to Earth for a visit? Every rocket that goes to Mars will likely be coming back (why waste an expensive space vehicle when you can reuse it?) so I doubt the trip would ever be "one way", but if I did take a return trip how easy would it be to get back to Mars? Would I have to abandon the new life I built if I ever wanted to see the Earth again?

    What's the purpose of the settlement and how viable is it? Would I really be contributing to a new permanent settlement or would I be contributing to something that would end up being an extended rock collecting expedition?

    What's it like to grow old on Mars? If I'm staying long term will I have adequate elder care when I need it? What kind of health problems will I be dealing with from living in a lower-g environment and other issues?

    What do the people who live there say about it? What about those who have returned? Important to consider, especially as it relates to the questions above.


    I think expanding beyond Earth and learning to live in space and on other planets is important. It's something that I hope humanity will do and I hope it's something that we'll make progress on in my lifetime so I can at least see the beginnings of it. That being said, I expect the profile of an early settler on Mars will be someone without deep roots who is young, healthy, talented, ambitious, idealistic, and maybe a little bit nuts. How many of those qualities will I have when settlement starts? And how long will it be until a greater range of people would be welcome or desirable?

    I hope a lot of people do go to Mars and elsewhere, but I won't know if I want to be one of them until the decision to go is more concrete.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on Both sides of the abortion debate want to defend and protect in ~talk

    Sahasrahla Link Parent
    This isn't a miscarriage—it is, like you said, unknown. The actionable item would be to say, "this is a medical crisis, let's make it a priority to research this issue to save these hundreds of...

    This isn't a miscarriage—it is, like you said, unknown. The actionable item would be to say, "this is a medical crisis, let's make it a priority to research this issue to save these hundreds of thousands of children who die each day." People would protest, call their representatives, have media campaigns, churches would make official statements; everything currently done about abortion, but towards research to fix this.

    Lack of knowledge that it's happening

    My position is that if pro-life people really cared about a fertilized egg in a morally consistent way then this knowledge would spread and become widely known and they'd be incensed that nothing was being done about it.

    14 votes
  11. Comment on Both sides of the abortion debate want to defend and protect in ~talk

    Sahasrahla Link Parent
    I don't see this in terms of individualism vs collectivism. It's definitely not about an unborn child potentially being a burden on society; personally, I don't think it's any of our business why...

    I don't see this in terms of individualism vs collectivism. It's definitely not about an unborn child potentially being a burden on society; personally, I don't think it's any of our business why someone gets an abortion, and the usual pro-choice argument is about personal liberty anyway (i.e. the right of a woman to her own body).

    The core of the issue is about the personhood of a fetus: if a fetus is morally equivalent to a person then abortion would be a bit like allowing one conjoined twin to kill another. If the fetus is not morally equivalent to a person then abortion would be as morally complex as getting a wisdom tooth removed. The problem, mostly, is that there's no real obvious place to draw the line, no moment where we can say "one second it's not a person the next it is." Religious fundamentalists draw the line at conception, some more extreme pro-choice people might draw the line at birth, but mostly western society has drawn the line somewhat arbitrarily in the middle somewhere. The arguments on both sides are usually framed as "protecting a child's life vs protecting a woman's rights" but the question of when a fetus becomes "human" enough to afford it rights is, I would say, the real issue of contention.

    Then you have more centrist viewpoints on the issue where they support abortion in the cases of rape or if the mother's life is in danger from the pregnancy. ie: Abortion shouldn't be used as birth control.

    In the US maybe this would be considered centrist. Here in Canada (and I'm sure in many Tilders respective nations) this would be a far right position beyond the official stance of any viable conservative party.

    9 votes
  12. Comment on Both sides of the abortion debate want to defend and protect in ~talk

    Sahasrahla Link
    Maybe tangential to your point but I've never seen anyone holding this view have moral consistency on it. If life (defined as human life we want to protect the same as any child or adult) starts...

    Conservatives want to protect the life of the unborn.

    Maybe tangential to your point but I've never seen anyone holding this view have moral consistency on it. If life (defined as human life we want to protect the same as any child or adult) starts at conception then we have a profound public health crisis because many fertilized eggs never make it with '50 percent of all fertilized eggs lost before a woman's missed menses.' When activists focus on this as much as they focus on throwing up barriers to abortions then maybe I'll believe their views are solely about being "pro-life".

    18 votes
  13. Comment on BirthStrikers: meet the women who refuse to have children until climate change ends in ~enviro

    Sahasrahla Link Parent
    Thanks, I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this. I agree that we need to be aware of the kind of lives our hypothetical children might have. I'm sure many of us are considering this not only in...

    Thanks, I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this. I agree that we need to be aware of the kind of lives our hypothetical children might have. I'm sure many of us are considering this not only in terms of climate change but also hereditary disease, mental illness, etc. On the subject hoping one's child will become a "superhero" who saves us, I agree that while one individual can sometimes make a huge history changing difference in the world (and that these people will be rare) I think it's also important to consider the small good that most of us can contribute, whether that means bettering society or just being a good friend, partner, etc. to the people we care about. There's something worthwhile in that.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on BirthStrikers: meet the women who refuse to have children until climate change ends in ~enviro

    Sahasrahla Link Parent
    Maybe this just comes down to a disagreement about whether or not society will collapse, but how many times and places in history would be better (in terms of quality of life) to have a child than...

    Maybe this just comes down to a disagreement about whether or not society will collapse, but how many times and places in history would be better (in terms of quality of life) to have a child than the circumstances the women in the article are living in? In the pre-modern world you had abysmal infant mortality rates and a much greater threat of disease later in life, including devastating plagues. Nearly everyone who wasn't a member of the ruling class would have suffered under tyrannical regimes with very little concept of what we would consider human rights, and even until recently you would face extreme amounts of legal and social discrimination if you were anything but an able-bodied neurotypical cis heterosexual male of the majority ethnicity and religion. It seems to me that saying it is unethical even for middle-class women in the west to have children because of the suffering those children will live through is tantamount to saying that it has always been unethical to have children except for maybe a brief period of a few decades that has now passed.

    And anyway, unless we're wanting to give up on humanity and embrace something approaching voluntary extinction, we will need to keep having children. A human being is more than a machine that consumes resources and experiences suffering. If one is concerned about the life their child will live in the uncertain times ahead, I'd say one of the best things to do is to educate your child well and instill in them a strong sense of compassion, because if the world is ending then we need people who can fight back and help those who are unable to help themselves.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on Tildes and personal content? in ~tildes

    Sahasrahla Link
    I feel the same. As far as the community goes there are several usernames I recognize but only a few of them really have 'personalities' where I remember much of anything about them. I think this...

    I feel the same. As far as the community goes there are several usernames I recognize but only a few of them really have 'personalities' where I remember much of anything about them. I think this is something the old forums did well: different subforums had different rules and cultures and there were places to basically hang out, post silly content, and get to know each other. Avatars helped too I'm sure since they're easier to notice at a glance than usernames and sometimes easier to remember.

    Here on Tildes even if we had "here's how I'm doing" posts we'd still be missing the other more casual interactions that don't necessarily go along with in-depth discussion threads. There could be groups for this but that wouldn't really work well because it would confuse what exactly a group is and how it should be used, i.e. are groups used for socializing or for discussion, and what use would upvotes have in a socializing thread? Right now Tildes is built for discussion and it does that well but if we wanted to use it for a personal community too we would probably need some new features that encouraged that.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on Reddit Has Become A Battleground Of Alleged Chinese Trolls in ~tech

    Sahasrahla Link Parent
    Maybe not exactly what you're looking for but /r/Taiwan is the friendliest local subreddit I've seen (and it does seem to be largely local, as opposed to somewhere like /r/China) and they...

    Maybe not exactly what you're looking for but /r/Taiwan is the friendliest local subreddit I've seen (and it does seem to be largely local, as opposed to somewhere like /r/China) and they obviously wouldn't accept any anti-Asian racism like in so many other places on Reddit.

  17. Comment on Reddit Has Become A Battleground Of Alleged Chinese Trolls in ~tech

    Sahasrahla Link
    I'm glad this is getting some notice. I used to lurk on /r/geopolitics but stopped after seeing too much pro-PRC and pro-CCP bias. /r/worldnews is also particularly bad for this as are certain...

    I'm glad this is getting some notice. I used to lurk on /r/geopolitics but stopped after seeing too much pro-PRC and pro-CCP bias. /r/worldnews is also particularly bad for this as are certain subjects on other subreddits. On the other hand, the issue is complicated both by the extreme anti-Chinese and anti-Asian racism on Reddit (check out any /r/canada or /r/vancouver thread involving housing or international students) and by people who are sincerely pro-China; not to mention Reddit's small network of Asian and Chinese supremacist subreddits.

    I don't have any good answers for how to deal with mass manipulation campaigns but on a personal level I find it useful to tag people with RES for certain subjects to make it more apparent when it's the same few people pushing certain views again and again.

    7 votes
  18. Comment on Have you ever experienced Sleep Paralysis? in ~talk

    Sahasrahla Link
    I've had sleep paralysis very frequently for as long as I can remember; most recently either last night or the night before. I'm lucky in that I don't have hallucinations or delusions except for...

    I've had sleep paralysis very frequently for as long as I can remember; most recently either last night or the night before. I'm lucky in that I don't have hallucinations or delusions except for maybe some mild ones related to proprioception. I'll try to explain the experience for anyone who's interested:

    Normally I'll experience sleep paralysis at night when I'm falling asleep, or during either falling asleep or waking if I take a nap during the day. Sleep position doesn't seem to matter much as a trigger but if I'm tired enough I'll avoid resting in a position that I wouldn't want to be paralyzed in. If I'm tired and resting but trying not to fall asleep I can slip into and out of paralysis multiple times.

    When I'm paralyzed I can't move at all except for being able to control my breathing. When I try to move it's not like there's a force keeping me in place and it's not like my muscles are too weak, rather it's like I'm sending the signal to move but something is blocking the signal from getting to the rest of my body. When I notice I'm paralyzed I do try to move though, quite desperately, because I know that movement is what breaks the paralysis. This is where my only hallucinations come in: sometimes it will feel like I'm able to move very slowly with a lot of effort, but sometimes when I do this I'll realize I've moved into an impossible position (e.g. my arm would be in the wall) so I'll realize I was moving my "dream arm" and not my real arm.

    I don't see or hear anything or feel any "presence" like I've read from other reports of sleep paralysis. It's not frightening or painful, it's just psychologically unpleasant not having control over my body. People say it's like being awake but being unable to move as if you were still asleep, but I'd say my state of mind is somewhere between sleep and wakefulness. It feels more similar to the state of mind I'd have in a lucid dream; I'm aware of what's happening and where I am, I'm capable of some logical thought, but I don't really feel fully conscious either.

    In addition to trying to snap out of it by struggling to move I'll also try to take deeper breaths. It's my attempt to sort of shock myself awake and if I can't feel myself obviously breathing I'd be worried that I was paralyzed in a position where I couldn't breath. Like I said, I'm not in a fully-awake state of mind. In fact I've heard that holding your breath is actually a good way to break out of the paralysis but I don't have the presence of mind to try. Sometimes I'll be able to open my eyes a little and sort of look around but it's like there's a strange filter on my vision, like what a soap opera might use to indicate a flashback. If there's a bright light like a window nearby I'll stare at it to try to help myself wake up.

    Mostly I don't mind that I get sleep paralysis so often. It's not pleasant when it's happening but it's interesting to look back on. It has also come in handy at least a couple of times: a friend was experiencing sleep paralysis (and hallucinating ghosts) and I was able to explain what was going on to her and ease her mind, and it helped settle a discussion that came up in a D&D game about whether or not you could talk if you were paralyzed but could still control your breathing (you can't talk, shout, or make any noise).

    2 votes