cardigan's recent activity

  1. Comment on Little Moz onstage with Morrissey (San Luis Obispo, 05/12/22) in ~music

    cardigan
    Link
    This warmed my heart to see, and I relate to the experience. I know what that feels like. I hope it will always be a happy memory for him.

    This warmed my heart to see, and I relate to the experience. I know what that feels like. I hope it will always be a happy memory for him.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Does anyone here have daydreams so intense that they can't think about anything else? in ~talk

    cardigan
    Link
    I have done this for as long as I can remember, and am like you in that I do it in part to escape my body, and that I want to live as the person I imagine. It isn't always the same person, but I...

    I have done this for as long as I can remember, and am like you in that I do it in part to escape my body, and that I want to live as the person I imagine. It isn't always the same person, but I never imagine being myself, either. When things get worse for me, I go deeper into my daydreams. Often, I want it to happen, and encourage it, so that I can get out of whatever situation I'm in.

    It's difficult to explain what it's like to people who don't picture things that vividly. I don't seriously see or hear anything; it's more that I have the awareness or memory that I've just seen or heard something, in the same way that I "remember" seeing a door close seconds after it happened. This is how it can become dangerous, as once it's in that state, everything just blends together -- the things that really happened, and the things that didn't.

    Although it's been going on for years, I've only recently started writing fiction to try and channel it. That helps and hurts: helping by giving it some outlet, and hurting in the sense that as it gets more elaborate, it's more tempting for me to dissociate from life.

    5 votes
  3. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    cardigan
    Link
    I am playing Mother (Earthbound Beginnings) for the Famicom. I've never played any of the games in the series, despite being a fan of JRPGs. I've just arrived in the second main town,...

    I am playing Mother (Earthbound Beginnings) for the Famicom. I've never played any of the games in the series, despite being a fan of JRPGs.

    I've just arrived in the second main town, Thanksgiving, and Lloid has just joined the party. Right now, I'm walking around and looking for Duncan's factory, so that Lloid can shoot off his bottle rocket.

    I'm not using a guide and have an imperfect understanding of Japanese, so there have been a few places where I've gotten stuck. An embarrassing example of this was that I didn't think to keep talking to the Forgotten Man, and turned around and walked all the way back up through the underground stream, only to run out of places to go and try again hours of playtime later. On the other hand, I've been good about knowing when to use telepathy, which my friend tells me is where some people get stuck.

    Truthfully, I was never all that interested in the series before I heard a friend talking passionately about it. I assumed it was just a quirky little send-up of 1980s America. What sold me on it was when my friend mentioned that the title wasn't arbitrary, and that at least Mother 1 was about "a mother's love." Hearing that touched me, so I decided to play it.

    Minor spoilers, and thoughts about what that might mean:

    I'm getting the feeling that there's a deep current of emotion running below the game's surface. The first intimation I had of this was the melody's poignancy: even when getting the first note from the baby doll. There was something about that tune that made me want to cry, and I felt the same way about the flawed or incomplete motherhood being hinted at. There is something inherently sad about a broken music box inside of a broken doll. This feeling has persisted through the other notes, some of which are collected in other "motherly" situations, like Song Princess Laura's singing the melody out in joy when you return her chick to her.

    But the main place this has come through for me, and the single most touching moment of my playthrough so far, is something one of Queen Mary's clown(?) attendants says to you. It goes something like this: "Everyone in Magicant knows that you don't belong here, but we don't care, because we consider you to be our friend. Just remember that you can always come back here, because everyone here loves you."

    I've been a misfit my whole life, so that touched me more than I can really say.

    3 votes
  4. Comment on What changes are you looking to make in 2022? in ~talk

    cardigan
    Link
    I need to find a way to get over an intense but peculiar kind of social anxiety that I have, one which I can't really seem to find any help with or resources about. But despite having more or less...

    I need to find a way to get over an intense but peculiar kind of social anxiety that I have, one which I can't really seem to find any help with or resources about. But despite having more or less the same level of social anxiety as other "anxious" people, I am extremely and unpredictably afraid of certain kinds of communication: typically things like text messages, letters, forum comments, and emails.

    I can't recall ever having an experience bad enough with one of those to make me this afraid of them. It doesn't matter how close I am to the person, as I've neglected opening things I've received from my best friend in the world for over a year before and on more than one occasion, just because I've been afraid of what it might say. I would get panic attacks every time I thought about it. This extends to every other part of my life: things as simple as bills; texts from people I'm trying to plan something with; answers to yes or no questions; whatever. Sometimes they're fine, and sometimes they throw me into an acute state of panic. I hate it, and often do wish I could be invisible and inaudible so that I wouldn't have to deal with it. Then, I get depressed because I feel invisible, and everything starts over again.

    So, that's what I hope to change.

    8 votes
  5. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    cardigan
    Link
    I'm playing Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne on the Switch. The mood that this game evokes is completely captivating, and I can't say that I've ever played one with the same approach. Even among...

    I'm playing Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne on the Switch.

    The mood that this game evokes is completely captivating, and I can't say that I've ever played one with the same approach. Even among other "post-apocalyptic" works, there certainly aren't many that begin with the annihilation of all life on the planet, or perhaps not so much life. Fifteen to thirty minutes into your playthrough, the human race has been extinguished save for the five people who coincidentally happened to be in the same building. As everyone else is quick to tell you, the main character is no longer human, having been changed into a demon by a living, maggot-like jewel placed into his mouth in a chilling scene. I'm not sure whether everyone else is truly dead or if they've just been radically transformed; the game calls them 思念体, "thought bodies," which make me think of some kind of residual image.

    I've started and stopped other SMT games, and while all seem to deal with the aftermath of some apocalyptic event, one which brings demons into the real world, they haven't had the same melancholy or lonely mood that Nocturne does. Maybe it's something in the character design. Of the five humans left alive, all of them have eyes that seem empty and distant, and I imagine this "empty" feeling is what leads some people to find it boring. Outside of cutscenes that seem few and far between, those characters don't appear, leaving the protagonist running around a bunch of derelict warehouses and train stations by himself and a party of demons that aren't given much characterization. That only helps to make it seem even sadder and emptier.

    Yet things get poignant when the protagonist's old friends do appear. The game turns on how the current world is only the "conception" of another, and how each character wants to recreate the world in their image. From what I understand, each is given at least one "speech" scene to state their case before the player decides between them.

    Spoilers for what characters believe what

    Of these, I've only seen Chiaki's scene, in which she makes the case that the old world had "too many" things in it: "too many people, too many buildings" that contributed nothing to its value. Her goal is to pursue the world of "confusion" or chaos, and create one of competition, where only the strong will survive. Being somewhat familiar with SMT, I figured there would be "law," "chaos," and "neutral" routes, but I was surprised to see Chiaki as the representative of the chaotic route. She's given a line that reads something like "After the world ended, I stopped grieving; instead, I began thinking of what made the world what it was." I know that voice acting wasn't in the original PS2 release, but the actress really brings out the resignation involved in making a statement like that. The art design does, too, as the speech is given against a white background, with Chiaki standing in a classroom made up of the silhouettes of students rather than real people.

    I'm about to enter the Ikebukuro Tunnel, so have heard some of Hikawa's reasoning for wanting to create the world of "stillness." And while he hasn't gone into depth, I'm surprised by Isamu's abrupt change of character and decision to "find the truth for himself," which I imagine will lead to the neutral ending.

    As a side note: My Japanese isn't good enough for me to understand the choices of ヨスガ (縁?), ムスビ (結び?), and 静寂 for the ending names. Before playing, 静寂 is the only word I'd ever come across before, and apart from 静寂, I don't immediately see the connection between those words and the character philosophies relating to them, but I'm also being extremely careful not to spoil myself.

    The game allows you to switch difficulties, but I'm playing on hard mode, just to stay with it longer and help re-enforce its bleak tone. I definitely plan on playing long enough to see all of the endings for myself.

    From a technical perspective, the Switch port isn't very good. Certain demons and locations will cause the framerate to stutter every time they appear on screen, and in at least one instance I can remember a cutscene slowing things down to a crawl. None of this is hindering my enjoyment of it, though.

    6 votes
  6. Comment on What useless information do you have memorized? in ~talk

    cardigan
    Link
    Dic, duc, fac, and fer are the four main (or only?) irregular second-person singular imperatives in Latin.

    Dic, duc, fac, and fer are the four main (or only?) irregular second-person singular imperatives in Latin.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Learning math / mathematical reasoning as an adult in ~science

    cardigan
    Link Parent
    It's comforting to hear so many people saying that they struggle with arithmetic but excel in calculus and algebra. I also never stopped to consider that the bottom-up approach might be...

    It's comforting to hear so many people saying that they struggle with arithmetic but excel in calculus and algebra. I also never stopped to consider that the bottom-up approach might be detrimental to an adult learner, but what you've written makes a lot of sense. Thanks very much.

    5 votes
  8. Comment on Learning math / mathematical reasoning as an adult in ~science

    cardigan
    Link Parent
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I never stopped to consider that arithmetic and higher math require two different skill sets, so it's encouraging to see it echoed so strongly in the...

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I never stopped to consider that arithmetic and higher math require two different skill sets, so it's encouraging to see it echoed so strongly in the comments here.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on What are your favorite bits of more juvenile humor? in ~talk

    cardigan
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm a sucker for pretty much all of Will Ferrell's Saturday Night Live sketches, particularly Dr. Beaman, the Welshly Arms hotel, the old prospector, and his Harry Caray impersonation. None of his...

    I'm a sucker for pretty much all of Will Ferrell's Saturday Night Live sketches, particularly Dr. Beaman, the Welshly Arms hotel, the old prospector, and his Harry Caray impersonation. None of his movies really did anything for me, but his skits are classic.

    3 votes
  10. Learning math / mathematical reasoning as an adult

    For a very, very long time, I've had a strange but persistent envy of people who have good "logical" thinking skills or who can do math well. I wish that I was the type of person who could play...

    For a very, very long time, I've had a strange but persistent envy of people who have good "logical" thinking skills or who can do math well. I wish that I was the type of person who could play chess to even a passable degree, as I'm convinced a toddler could beat me. But most of all, I wish I could learn something like calculus, which has held a strange allure for me even as a young kid. But I was failing math as early as the fifth grade, and do not remember even an iota of information about geometry or trigonometry. Ultimately, I dropped out of school altogether.

    A year or so ago I started in the "pre-K" mathematics category of Khan Academy, because I had such a low opinion of my own abilities. Sure enough, I breezed by it, but even found some parts of the second or third grade curriculum difficult. It's like I was born completely without numerical ability, but I don't want to go so far as to say I have something like dyscalculia, as I at least read analog clocks and musical notation on a daily basis, and have no problem discerning if a number is bigger or smaller than another. I'm also decidedly not aphantastic; quite the opposite. Something I do have is an extreme distrust or even hatred of my own critical thinking abilities. If I mess up simple arithmetic, I'll beat myself up mentally for being "stupid," or an "idiot," and so on for way too long. It's a habit I learned early. Complicating matters is that I'm in my mid-twenties, so my neuroplasticity is probably not great. In fact, one of my deepest fears is that it's too late for me to learn any new subject to a competent degree.

    This might be a ridiculous thing to say, but I'm hoping someone can reassure me that it's possible to learn math as an adult, even for a "hopeless" case like me. If you've been in a similar situation and have found particular resources helpful, I'd really like to see them. Khan Academy wasn't really my thing, but if it's more or less the best option for someone like me, I'll try it again.

    22 votes
  11. Comment on Have you felt or do you still feel the optimism of the Internet / Web 2.0 in the early 2000s and 2010s? in ~tech

    cardigan
    Link
    I have always been optimistic about what it can do for myself, and pessimistic about what it can do for others. Being someone of a certain era, this clip from Boy Meets World comes to mind when...

    I have always been optimistic about what it can do for myself, and pessimistic about what it can do for others. Being someone of a certain era, this clip from Boy Meets World comes to mind when considering what the Internet could have been, and what it became for most people.

    The main conceptual problem with Web 2.0 is that it supposed users would be interested in making the flow of culture and knowledge a reciprocal one. This has never been the case. The overwhelming majority of users do not want to create or contribute, nor to record their ideas or experiences in a meaningful way. They want to sit slack-jawed in front of a television, and in this sense, the Internet serves them well. I don't mean that as a value judgment; that's just how it seems to me.

    For those with the right disposition, the Internet is absolutely capable of being the utopia it was lauded to be. In an instant you can see the great masterpieces of visual art, download the entirety of Shakespeare, or begin learning a language spoken by people on the other side of the world. At the same time, you can reach out: writing a blog entry to see if others feel like you, share the song you've just recorded, or comment on a film that struck you. But the Internet cannot make you an individual, and in fact, being exposed to the Internet too much or too early might prevent you from becoming one. For the web can provide things so instantaneously, and in such overwhelming quantities, that the space and silence necessary to forming a deep personality or thinking independently is gradually eroded. The path of least resistance is always easier, and indeed, already taken for you: "This video will autoplay in 10 seconds."

    2 votes
  12. Comment on "What has been happening across the arts is not a recession. It is not even a depression. It is a catastrophe." in ~arts

    cardigan
    Link Parent
    I make a living as an artist. Growing up where I did, my getting an artistic "education" would have been absolutely unthinkable without peer-to-peer networks. I lived miles away from any sort of...

    I make a living as an artist. Growing up where I did, my getting an artistic "education" would have been absolutely unthinkable without peer-to-peer networks. I lived miles away from any sort of library system, let alone one that stocked the things I needed to see. No one in my family attended college, and I dropped out of high school. Without the Internet, I have no clue what type of person I would have become. Sharing those files made and saved my life.

    Anyone who writes the phrase "the scandal of free content" in earnest, as this author does, is guilty of the most reprehensible classism and should be ashamed of themselves.

    18 votes
  13. Comment on Spirited Away meets Heidegger: We killed the gods with technology in ~humanities

    cardigan
    Link
    An English translation of the Der Spiegel interview -- which Heidegger only permitted to be published after his death -- is available here. It's the source of his remarks on the reappearance of...

    An English translation of the Der Spiegel interview -- which Heidegger only permitted to be published after his death -- is available here. It's the source of his remarks on the reappearance of "the god[s]."

  14. Comment on Tildes Virtual Film Festival? in ~movies

    cardigan
    Link
    I haven't seen any shorts nominated yet, so I propose Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon.

    I haven't seen any shorts nominated yet, so I propose Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on E.M. Forster: "The Machine Stops" in ~books

    cardigan
    Link Parent
    Just commenting on this particular part, which is very reminiscent of the late Heidegger. Anyone interested in reading more thinking along these lines should pick up (or do a carefully crafted...

    You know that we have lost the sense of space. We say 'space is annihilated', but we have annihilated not space, but the sense thereof.

    Just commenting on this particular part, which is very reminiscent of the late Heidegger. Anyone interested in reading more thinking along these lines should pick up (or do a carefully crafted search for) "The Question Concerning Technology" and/or "The Thing." Both are just astounding.

    For a long time, the English editions of these works took them out of the context of the seminar in which Heidegger gave them; luckily, the Indiana University Press put out Bremen and Freiburg Lectures a number of years ago. But if you read German, you should go straight to Holzwege, which, as far as I know, has never been put out in English, although everything in it has been translated in other anthologies.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on What's a question you want to ask, but you're worried about how it might come across? in ~talk

    cardigan
    Link Parent
    No, but it doesn't bother me that that's what the prevailing opinion in the community seems to be.

    No, but it doesn't bother me that that's what the prevailing opinion in the community seems to be.

    8 votes
  17. Comment on Mineral - Gjs (1998) in ~music

    cardigan
    Link

    You woke me in the morning
    To say, "He is risen."
    And I replied with a smile
    "He is risen indeed."
    And somehow you always leave the room
    Alive with truth and beauty
    And carry yourself like you know
    That it's all just a matter of time

    1 vote
  18. Comment on Thinking about death in ~talk

    cardigan
    Link
    I've never understood the fear of death. I feel ready for it at any moment. The idea that we should keep our loved ones alive for as long as possible is barbaric in most cases. I spent two years...

    I've never understood the fear of death. I feel ready for it at any moment. The idea that we should keep our loved ones alive for as long as possible is barbaric in most cases. I spent two years volunteering at a nursing home to try and comfort the people there, after becoming inwardly convinced that it was a kind of prison, and that I should try to do what I could to help offset the pain of that.

    I often think about this line from Socrates:

    For [the] fear of death is indeed the pretense of wisdom, and not real wisdom, being the appearance of knowing the unknown; since no one knows whether death, which they in their fear apprehend to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good. Is there not here conceit of knowledge, which is a disgraceful sort of ignorance?

    After 2400 years, this is still the case. It is even worse now, because the worldly wisdom that considers death an evil has been employed to postpone it for as long as possible, spending inestimable amounts of resources just to pretend that it does not exist. Our fear of age and death is so profound that we kill tens of thousands of animals each year in the course of testing cosmetics, just to look a little bit younger, and to seem both to ourselves and others a little further away from death.

    3 votes