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    1. What are you learning right now?

      Whether it be for school, work, a hobby, or personal interest, what are you learning right now? How are you learning it and what prompted you to start learning? What are some things that surprised...

      Whether it be for school, work, a hobby, or personal interest, what are you learning right now? How are you learning it and what prompted you to start learning? What are some things that surprised you about what you are learning? What advice would you give to someone who just started to learn about it?

      17 votes
    2. Are there any aspects of your mental life that you know/suspect to be idiosyncratic?

      As it is only possible to know what it is like to be yourself, it could be that you perceive the world in a completely different way than is typical and have no idea that that is the case. Hence...

      As it is only possible to know what it is like to be yourself, it could be that you perceive the world in a completely different way than is typical and have no idea that that is the case. Hence the existence of invisible disabilities such as face blindness or double vision, conditions such as synesthesia and aphantasia, etc. I am curious if anyone here experiences any such mental/perceptual phenomenon that could possibly be unique to you/atypical. Or if you experience one of the above it would be very interesting to hear about as well!

      Some examples of what I'm going for:

      • a YouTuber/blogger I follow claims their internal monologue takes the form of a humming or buzzing following the cadence and intonation, but not the sounds, of speech.
      • my personal inner monologue is usually more of a "dialogue", as in a discussion between me and 1+ imaginary participants (usually someone I know IRL or a character from a book). Although I don't perceive "them" as a separate entity I can't really predict what "they" will say. (feel free to comment if you experience this as well! I only suspect this is weird because mental vocalization is typically referred to as monologue but maybe this is totally normal?)
      • I'm pretty sure I experience emotions at a much shallower level than most. When I was very young I actually considered the possibility that I was a robot constructed by my parents, based on some Twilight Zone episode. I would say 95% of the time I don't really feel any emotion and when I do, it feels much less intense than it seems to be for most people judging by their behavior.
      • When I'm reading particularly dense text or have spent some time memorizing things, there is sometimes a certain sensation in my head, which, while I wouldn't really call it tiredness or exhaustion, does compel me to stop studying or whatever I'm doing. It's almost analogous to muscle soreness?
      22 votes
    3. Is sex work bad?

      Prompted by a recent tildes post about vice, and also this from the bbc, and a conversation with a colleague who just went to a strip club, I keep thinking about this issue. I have a stake in...

      Prompted by a recent tildes post about vice, and also this from the bbc, and a conversation with a colleague who just went to a strip club, I keep thinking about this issue.

      I have a stake in this, despite being cis male: I have mother, sisters, wife, and most importantly young daughter. And I am a feminist, on simple moral grounds.

      My baseline position is that whether a woman chooses to engage in sex work is, and should be legally and socially supported as, entirely her own choice.

      The only question I have any business answering, or participating in finding an answer, is whether my patronage of sex work is inherently exploitive, to either the woman whom I am patronizing* or to other women individually or to womanhood and general issues of gender.

      And I just can’t come up with a good answer. I do look at porn, but increasingly, as with meat, the potential ethical problems of it are reducing the enjoyment. I have tried to ease my conscience by limiting myself to cartoons and stories, but those wouldn’t stop the harm that is caused by the mere existence of porn, if any exists.

      As a purely practical matter, the existence of the industry leads to opportunities for exploitation of individuals, and the advancement of a culture of gender exploitation. But as the war on drugs has so ably demonstrated, any attempt at prohibition only increases the level of exploitation, while smart regulation decreases it. Regardless, though, there’s plenty of exploitation to go around the world, I heard there’s thing called #metoo.

      I come from a sex-suppressing, fundamentalist “Christian” background. The quotes are there to indicate that I think much of the practices were anything but christ-like. The principles there swirl through the culture around me in varying degrees of intensity, and they inform and direct my choices (sometimes against my will and my better hopes and ideals). I have to be open to the notion that any objection I have to sex work, or my participation, is entirely a cultural construct. And while I don’t think it is true, I cannot dismiss the notion that morals themselves may have no possible objective existence, having relevance and utility (if at all) only in very time and space limited scopes.

      It is what I believe the sociologists call a “wicked” problem. It involves really complicated normative stances, and there’s no data analysis that can provide any guidance. For myself, I expect my participation to continue to wane as I mature. I only hope that whatever I do only further enables and empowers the women in my life and everywhere.

      • I almost stopped myself from using this word when I realized potential implications, but ultimately left it in because it (and the fact it was my natural inclination to select it) really highlights the issue for me and hopefully others

      Bonus hypothetical: If porn is somehow wrong and harmful, even drawings and writings, are sex fantasies also wrong?

      30 votes
    4. Choosing to not have children

      I hesitate to even use the term "childfree" for this post, as the reputation the community has gathered on reddit isn't the greatest. For good reason tbh - there's a reason I don't post on that...

      I hesitate to even use the term "childfree" for this post, as the reputation the community has gathered on reddit isn't the greatest. For good reason tbh - there's a reason I don't post on that sub.

      I knew from a very young age that I wasn't cut out for kids. I didn't want to play "house", hated baby dolls (especially the gross ones that "peed" so you could change the diaper), babysitting was done only under duress, and the noise that came from being around a crowd of kids made me crazy. I grew up with dozens of cousins, of which I was one of the oldest girls, so "taking care of the young ones" was kind of an expectation. But while the other cousins in my age range were happy to do so, I was off in a corner with a book, avoiding the entire thing.

      As I got older and started dating, the conversations about weddings and having kids were the last thing on my mind. I went off to university, got a job, moved out on my own, and just didn't really think twice about it to be honest. I guess I always assumed it'd happen one day, and the urge to settle down would kick in, but it never did.

      Now as I'm past the ever so major gate of 30 (that crucial age where everyone says you'll change your mind), nothing's changed. I have a large circle of friends who feel the same way (none of us have or want children) and we're enjoying our lives in a way I didn't think was possible. We enjoy our dinners with each other, traveling on weekends to spontaneous destinations, last minute concerts, festivals, and many other events that keep us busy and engaged. The thought of giving it up and settling down just doesn't hold any appeal.

      The accusations of selfishness, shallowness, leading an unfulfilled life are all just water off a duck's back. If I'm selfish, it hurts no one but myself. If I'm shallow, well, I'm not shallow so that's not an issue. My life is my own, and it's exactly how I want it - full of friends, spontaneity, and peace and quiet when I want it.

      41 votes