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Hi! I'm Bardic. And who would you be?

Discussion in 'The Welcome Lounge' started by Bardic, Sep 14, 2018 at 8:27 AM.

  1. Bardic

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    I'm Bardic! Well, I'm not, but I'm not allowed to use my real name. So, I'm Bardic now.
    As it turns out, the name 'Bardic' happens to be in a book called The Ancient Solitary Reign, which I haven't read, but apparently it's terrible. Bardic is supposed to be--and I'm not kidding--this gay owl who spends all of his time writing poetry. And... that's basically me in a nutshell, so I suppose it all worked out well.

    I didn't originally plan on hanging around here--I just wanted to see if anyone happened to have a magic potion that was going to cure my self-loathing issues. But, well, that obviously wasn't going to happen.
    I had the wrong attitude.

    Now, I just want to get to know people and see what happens.

    So, I guess I should tell you a little bit about myself... I'm a mess pretending to be a human being.
    I wish I could tell you about all the quirky things I like, but... I don't really have any. I was taught to be Normal and quirks were Not Normal, so I was taught not to have quirks. It's all very logical.
    I do like logic, though. I don't know if you could call logic quirky, but you could definitely say it's Not Normal, so I suppose I wasn't taught out of all my Not Normal--just the Not Normals everyone else has.

    I like writing poetry, and I'm apparently quite good at it, but most of my best poetry is about internalised homophobia and self-loathing which is a little sad. I want to write novels, too, but novels are harder because there's so much more to write but you need just as much precision, and you need to be okay with getting a lot Wrong, and people don't like Wrong. Maybe that's why novelists are so strange and good novelists are so rare?

    I love music, and I especially love to sing; I sing every day.
    I crochet, too. (That's the thing where you use a hook to turn yarn into blankets. It's a terrible hobby--don't do it).
    I also love videogames. I grew up mostly playing 3D platformers like Super Mario Sunshine, Banjo-Kazooie, and Spyro; but I love all sorts of games... Morrowind, Pokemon FR/LG/R/S/E, Resident Evil 4, Fable TLC, others that I can't remember right now or I'm too embarrassed to list...

    So, that's some of me. I don't know if I could make the rest of me interesting or coherent. At least, not at 10:50 at night.

    I'd love to hear about some of you. Here's some questions if you want help getting started:
    1. What's your favourite videogame and why?
    2. If we call ostriches and emus and kiwis "flightless birds", then shouldn't we call bats "flighted mammals"?
    3. What is your opinion on the "Cow in the Field" thought experiment?
    4. What do you think your patronus/spirit animal would be? Why?
    5. What's your coming-out story? What about your coming-out-of-denial story?
    6. Best D&D/Elder Scrolls class? Why?
     
  2. FugaciousFellow

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    Greetings, Bardic! I certainly was not anticipating that serendipitous backstory about a gay owl from an obscure novel that writes poetry and the idea of you inadvertently stumbling across that book that does indeed appear poorly conceived in all other ways save for the sheer majesty of that owl appeals to my ironic disposition. I also did not really intend to wind up here, and while I do not have an uncanny origin story of my own, I did at least choose a username that reflected that sense of being both within and without. Paradoxically, in conveying how little you perceive yourself as quirky you've employed what seems to be an idiosyncratic inversion of grammar conventions with your capitalization of improper words and phrases. It reminds me of the style of Emily Dickinson, seen here in the first poem of hers to come to mind:

    After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
    The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
    The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
    And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

    The Feet, mechanical, go round –
    A Wooden way
    Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
    Regardless grown,
    A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

    This is the Hour of Lead –
    Remembered, if outlived,
    As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
    First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –

    I've always admired her ingenuity and would be thoroughly intrigued if your poetry also featured some of those unorthodox techniques. Either way, I'd love to read some of your pieces if you're comfortable sharing them! I'm also a bit of an aspiring writer/poet though I don't have all that much to show for it. You mentioned music as well and I'm curious what kinds of songs/genres you're most passionate about and if that in any way relates to how you write poetry. Without further adieu I'll arrive at the questions that were probably intended to be the beginning of this conversation.

    1. What's your favourite videogame and why?

    Without a doubt it would have to be Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on my now obsolete Xbox 360. It feels like I've invested an entire lifetime into exploring the possibilities of that game and have never encountered anything quite like it. There was the allure and wonder of being able to just venture off into uncharted territory on the outskirts of civilization with no predetermined notions of what I might discover; there was the intricate history and lore weaved throughout the entire world that I would spend hours reading about and unraveling; there was the brilliant sense of self-discovery as I challenged my characters to master and learn all sorts of magic and skills; there were all those minor characters who had lives and quests of their own for whom I'd embark on miscellaneous adventures without giving a second thought to the grand war unfolding around me; there was archery and more guilds than I can name; even then there was so much more to experience than I can ever categorize. It truly was the most remarkable journey I've ever had with a videogame.

    2. If we call ostriches and emus and kiwis "flightless birds", then shouldn't we call bats "flighted mammals"?

    Bats are already awesome and I wouldn't be opposed to creating this category just to acknowledge how great they are.

    3. What is your opinion on the "Cow in the Field" thought experiment?

    I'm currently unfamiliar with this thought experiment that you've referenced. Perhaps you could give a sense of it before I look it up and potentially become swayed to one side or another by hearing the perspectives of others before I've formed my own.

    4. What do you think your patronus/spirit animal would be? Why?

    I've undergone that test on Pottermore to determine my patronus more times than can be reasonably justified (even going so far as to make multiple new email accounts for the sole purpose of retaking it) and each time wound up with a different animal. The most fitting one I've had through those means would have to be white swan, I suppose, though if I were to choose one for myself it would probably be a phoenix. The idea of constantly remaking oneself and growing from the ashes you left behind is so poignant and apt for me that there's no other conceivable creature I'd identify with; flight itself is also an essential element of why the phoenix works so well for me and played a considerable role in why I found the swan more fitting than the other possibilities.

    5. What's your coming-out story? What about your coming-out-of-denial story?

    At one point a question like this would have warranted an entire thread of its own; nowadays, however, I truly could not tell you much about it. Somehow there's not much I can recall about something that was so significant at the time, though I suspect that has more to do with other conditions of my life than it does the nature of that experience itself. In fact, it was hardly two years ago when that cascade commenced.

    6. Best D&D/Elder Scrolls class? Why?

    Though I've always wanted to, I've yet to truly try D&D so I could not really say which class is the best for that. I've done my own inquiries and could envision myself partaking in quite a few roles, including Monk, Ranger, Druid, and Wizard. I'd be open if not enthused about trying any of the other classes except ones like Barbarian or Fighter that seem too linear for my tastes. Keep in mind, I know next to nothing about how it really works so this is mostly conjecture. As for Elder Scrolls, I'm not as familiar with the actual terms used to differentiate classes as it was a very individual experience for me, so I'd say I'm more inclined to a mage/archer approach in general.

    Hope you have a nice day! ( :
     
  3. Bardic

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    Hey, thanks for responding to my post! It's good to meet you!
    The questions are actually optional--intended for those who have trouble breaking the ice--and, well, you don't have to do something just because it was 'intended', either. But your answers were fun to read, so I'm glad you answered them.

    "The Cow in the Field" is very easy to look up without spoiling it which is why I didn't post it in full (and because I think tangential learning is a good thing), but basically the way it goes is a farmer is worried that his prize cow has wondered out of the field, and the milkman says not to worry because he saw it on his way to the door, but the farmer is still worried and looks out at the field to see a black-and-white speck and is satisfied his cow is still there. Then, as the milkman leaves, he decides to check on the cow and finds it in some trees outside of the field, and he finds a piece of black-and-white paper in the field that the farmer mistook for his cow. So, did the farmer know his cow was in the field?

    If you like Skyrim for its lore and the endless possibilities of its world, I would recommend playing Morrowind GOTY edition on a PC if you can. I find that it's not as easy or user-friendly as Skyrim, but the world is a lot richer (and a lot more alien), your actions have more of an impact, and there's just more content in general (like, more factions, for example). Mods also help a lot with the various issues the game has due to its age. Just to give an example of what Morrowind's like, you know what I'm currently doing in my own game? Building a Pillow Fort on the balcony of my stronghold. And I'm using a mod that gives my pillows collision so that the fort actually stops things from getting inside.


    The paradoxical nature of my saying that I'm not quirky while writing in a quirky way was very much intentional. I was using irony partly for humour, but partly to show that I'm breaking out of the patterns I was taught. I've been struggling a lot with learning to do more of what I want as opposed to what I'm 'supposed' to do, and learning to be more spontaneous, so that's what that section was all about. In fact, a lot of my post was rather tongue-in-cheek; for example, I imply that the name Bardic being shared by the book character was mere coincidence when it was quite obviously intentional. As for capitalising words, that's a technique that's rather wide-spread, but I picked it up mostly from Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (HPMOR) where capitalising words is extremely common for a variety of reasons.

    As for my music, I like any kind of music I can sing, but I hate any kind of hard rock or metal with a passion, and (somewhat ironically), I also hate rap. I tend to gravitate towards music that's softer with lyrics I can identify with, but music like that spans across all kinds of genres. I basically have to listen to it to figure out if I like it or not.
    One kind of music I know I like, though, is Sokkie music, which is a kind of pop music from South Africa. Kurt Darren and Elvis Blue are my favourite artists (their work in Afrikaans, anyway; I haven't listened to much of what they've written in English). I'm very lucky to listen to their music as someone who's only just started learning the language, because the rhythm and sounds of the words are actually very beautiful in their own right, and I wouldn't be able to appreciate it properly if I was distracted by what the words mean. It's not high art by any means, and a lot of the lyrics turn out to be very simple and shallow, but I still really like it.
    Two of my favourite songs are Kom Bietjie Hier by Kurt Darren (very roughly translates to "Please come with me" and is about him running away with a Xhosa girl because interracial dating and marriage was/is frowned upon in his culture) and Spore by Elvis Blue ("Spore" means tracks, and he sings "get me on the path, the path, where the dreamers walk" and "we can choose what we believe, we can choose what we think", so make of that what you will). I also really like Bloubergstrand se Sonsak by Kurt Darren just because the tune is really catchy ("Bloubergstrand" is a place name that literally means "Blue mountain beach" and the title translates to "Bloubergstrand's sunset").

    Unfortunately, and much to my chagrin, I can't listen to music when I write my poetry.
    Poetry is very rhythmic and so is music, so the rhythm of the music becomes very confusing and distracting. As for whether the music affects my poetry, I don't know. I doubt it would, but it's still possible.
    I'd be happy to share some of my better work with you, and maybe some of my mediocre work, but not right away. I'd like to get a little more settled into Empty Closets first.

    In the meantime, I'll share some poetry that isn't mine.

    As simple as it is, Binker by A. A. Milne is one of my favourite poems:

    Binker-what I call him-is a secret of my own,
    And Binker is the reason why I never feel alone.
    Playing in the nursery, sitting on the stair,
    Whatever I am busy at, Binker will be there.

    Oh, Daddy is clever, he’s a clever sort of man,
    And Mummy is the best since the world began,
    And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan-

    But they can’t See Binker.

    Binker’s always talking, ‘cos I’m teaching him to speak
    He sometimes likes to do it in a funny sort of squeak,
    And he sometimes likes to do it in a hoodling sort of roar…
    And I have to do it for him 'cos his throat is rather sore.

    Oh, Daddy is clever, he’s a clever sort of man,
    And Mummy knows all that anybody can,
    And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan-

    But they don’t Know Binker.

    Binker’s brave as lions when we’re running in the park;
    Binker’s brave as tigers when we’re lying in the dark;
    Binker’s brave as elephants. He never, never cries…
    Except (like other people) when the soap gets in his eyes.

    Oh, Daddy is Daddy, he’s a Daddy sort of man,
    And Mummy is as Mummy as anybody can,
    And Nanny is Nanny,and I call her Nan…

    But they’re not Like Binker.

    Binker isn’t greedy, but he does like things to eat,
    So I have to say to people when they’re giving me a sweet,
    “Oh, Binker wants a chocolate, so could you give me two?”
    And then I eat it for him, 'cos his teeth are rather new.

    Well, I’m very fond of Daddy, but he hasn’t time to play,
    And I’m very fond of Mummy, but she sometimes goes away,
    And I’m often cross with Nanny when she wants to brush my hair…

    But Binker’s always Binker, and is certain to be there.

    I'm also partial to The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe (but who isn't?), and another poem that I will... Never forget... Is Peanut Butter by Eileen Myles, and I would post it here, but I genuinely don't know whether it's even allowed on the site, so...

    Today has been good. Any day that I get to inundate someone with the weird things I find interesting is a good day.
    I hope things are going well for you, and I hope my message has been more of a positive experience for you than a negative one, for I know I have a tendency to ramble. I look forward to hearing more from you.
     
  4. Estelle

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    Hi! I read the poem, "Peanut Butter." And wow. That's a really cool poem. And the free verse style reminds me of a poet I know: Joshua Beckman. However, Beckman doesn't really use stanzas... But, it has that same fragmented story-telling sort of vibe. One of my favorite poems by him is called "The Birds Know."

    The birds know. The wind knows. Call me. I'm always
    in the same place watching the same thing. The sound of
    water, of wind, of flags, of the birds' deserved babies
    crying for rain. The birds know. Translucent is the wallet
    that holds the money on its way. Children stop. Pilgrims
    stop. Tugboats drift. The wind knows. I'm always in the
    same place watching the same thing. You know. The blue bridge
    opening for no one. The water knows. A translucent wallet
    filled with water. Flags flapping at the sign of water. We
    know. We start singing at the sight of the translucent wallet
    holding water. It's singing. It knows. It's always in
    the same place watching the same thing. The blue bridge
    opening for no one. The rain is on its way to a wallet of water.
    The birds know. Always the same place, the same thing.

    And, as to your questions:

    1. What's your favourite videogame and why?

    2. If we call ostriches and emus and kiwis "flightless birds", then shouldn't we call bats "flighted mammals"?
    3. What is your opinion on the "Cow in the Field" thought experiment?
    4. What do you think your patronus/spirit animal would be? Why?
    5. What's your coming-out story? What about your coming-out-of-denial story?
    6. Best D&D/Elder Scrolls class? Why?
     
  5. Estelle

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    Hi! I read the poem, "Peanut Butter." And wow. That's a really cool poem. And the free verse style reminds me of a poet I know: Joshua Beckman. However, Beckman doesn't really use stanzas... But, it has that same fragmented story-telling sort of vibe. One of my favorite poems by him is called "The Birds Know."

    The birds know. The wind knows. Call me. I'm always
    in the same place watching the same thing. The sound of
    water, of wind, of flags, of the birds' deserved babies
    crying for rain. The birds know. Translucent is the wallet
    that holds the money on its way. Children stop. Pilgrims
    stop. Tugboats drift. The wind knows. I'm always in the
    same place watching the same thing. You know. The blue bridge
    opening for no one. The water knows. A translucent wallet
    filled with water. Flags flapping at the sign of water. We
    know. We start singing at the sight of the translucent wallet
    holding water. It's singing. It knows. It's always in
    the same place watching the same thing. The blue bridge
    opening for no one. The rain is on its way to a wallet of water.
    The birds know. Always the same place, the same thing.

    And, as to your questions:

    1. What's your favourite videogame and why?

    I'm not really into playing games as much as I'm into watching games being played. But if I had to choose a game that I like to play myself, it would have to be Terraria. I enjoy the open world concept and it's more complex than minecraft.
    2. If we call ostriches and emus and kiwis "flightless birds", then shouldn't we call bats "flighted mammals"?
    That logic makes sense. Never thought of that before. XD
    3. What is your opinion on the "Cow in the Field" thought experiment?
    Hmmm. I'm not sure. I guess it's a commentary on how people always assume, rather than take a second, closer look at things?
    4. What do you think your patronus/spirit animal would be? Why?
    I took a test on Pottermore and it said I would have an otter, like Hermione Granger. Because apparently otters represent loyalty and friendliness? But, my favorite animal is the elephant because I love how much they're loyal to each other, want to protect one another and have the power to do so.
    5. What's your coming-out story? What about your coming-out-of-denial story?
    I came out actually about a couple months ago to an old High School friend. I finally had come out of the denial that I'm straight. I have a homophobic, strictly religious family so I was taught that the LGBT+ community are all of the devil and whatnot. But, I finally realized: if I feel this way after suppressing it for so long, then god must have made me this way and an all-loving, good god wouldn't make something that's evil. So I came to terms with who I am. :slight_smile:
    6. Best D&D/Elder Scrolls class? Why?
    Hmm... I played a bit of Elder Scrolls but not enough to know what the classes are without research. After a good Google Search, I've found that any class would be good because they would all give you a benefit that you would not have previously had. I've decided "Assassin." Because that just sounds cool. :sunglasses:

    Thanks for the questions. I hope to hear from you, because you sound like a pretty awesome person.

    And I'm sorry for posting this twice. I messed up somehow.
     
    #5 Estelle, Sep 15, 2018 at 5:40 PM
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018 at 5:43 PM
  6. FugaciousFellow

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    I figured there wouldn't be much harm in answering them and they were interesting enough that there wasn't much of a sense of obligation anyway; if anything, that I responded at all is more notable. Once I overcame that initial threshold, the rest was just my being thorough. Observation comes far more naturally to me than interloping ever will; as such, I haven't engaged with anyone here for well over a year.

    Hmm. For clarification, other accounts indicate that the trees obscuring the cow from view were indeed inside that field and thus that the cow still was as well. Either way, it is apparent that the farmer believed their cow to be in the field and founded that assumption on their perception which to our external perspective seems unsubstantiated. In my mind, the farmer could not be indubitably sure of the validity of the milkman's claim without venturing into the field to verify for himself; regardless of whether or not the farmer possessed some awareness beyond the scope that we are presented with, they are still relying on ostensibly inconclusive methods to support their claim. If we consider knowledge to be objective and inviolable then the farmer could not have truly known whether or not the cow was in the field, though their belief is somewhat justifiable in that they had no definitive evidence to the contrary. We, equipped with the understanding of both the milkman and the farmer, could easily disregard this scenario as luck or coincidence; all the same, however, it raises a pertinent question about the nature of reality itself and our perceptions of it. For all intents and purposes, that piece of black-and-white paper was as much a cow for that farmer as the cow itself and in the end it made no tangible difference whether or not it was what they perceived it to be. If someone can be so convinced that a piece of paper is a cow then through what means can they be made to realize the fallacy of their belief if all forms of persuasion are dependent on a universal understanding of which they are not even aware? I am reminded of the novel 1984 and the principles of doublethink and alteration of the past upon which the IngSoc society is ensconced (A few works by Anthony Marra are analogously relevant though probably less widely known).

    Alas, it would not be possible for me to pursue that version as I am in possession only of a Mac laptop to which it would be incompatible; it does, nonetheless, sound like something I would enjoy.

    Fair enough. I wasn't entirely sure how much to take for granted considering that message constituted my entire awareness of you and I was reluctant to impose my own assumptions upon it. I can certainly relate to that notion of figuring out how to act upon my own will and not allow oneself to drift alongside everyone else's currents. On the topic of spontaneity, you've probably noticed that I haven't really displayed much of that; on a fundamental level everything that you read within these messages has already been examined and curated. Consider it my hamartia, if you would, that even while resonating so much with that insatiable desire to be free of expectations and mindless conformity, it is to my own restrictions that I adhere the most.

    I have but a vague and inchoate impression of what Sokkie music is, having never heard it previously, so I am not comfortable commenting on it as a genre, though I can appreciate those two songs from a stylistic standpoint. Beyond that, however, I will never truly enjoy those songs the way you do; this is an unyielding condition of my existence: I must understand that which I would love. I could never really know a song in any other language except this one, and even then there is so much meaning to which I am utterly uncomprehending; where others hear soliloquies I sense only silence. All I am is aware of the oblivion in which I exist.

    Oh, I didn't mean writing and listening concurrently; I imagine it would be quite difficult to concentrate while pulling that off! I was more curious if the sound and cadence of the music you listen to is in any way reflected or paralleled in your approach to poetry. While the visual element of a poem occupying space on paper is integral to its interpretation, reading it also contributes a layer of meaning which it might not otherwise have. That's what I was really wondering about with respect to your music tastes. "Blinker" is a great example of that sort of lyrical flow to which you might be more attuned while "The Birds Know" as Estelle so graciously provided highlights a more atonal rhythm that carries with it a significance of its own. This is my first time encountering each of them and I found them quite lovely. Perhaps I too will be inspired to share my poetry at some point.

    It has been an experience and for that much I am grateful; I do not deal in positives and negatives so much as I do moments of being and everything in between. I'm especially fond the authenticity that it takes to ramble into the void as it assures me that somewhere there is reckless abandon even if I do not possess it.

    Likewise ( :
     
  7. Bardic

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    I was a bit surprised that you liked Peanut Butter since my friends and I all hate it with a burning passion. Personally, for me, the worst part is the way new lines are started so deliberately as to keep the poem from having any kind of persistent rhythm. But I that's just me. I prefer poetry that's a little more consistent.
    If you ever figure out what it means, please tell me because I can't figure it out at all; I don't have much experience with that sort of writing since my poetry is always a lot more straig--I mean, direct.


    Thanks for answering the questions, and even taking the time to research them. They were really just meant to be conversation starters for people who wanted or needed them, so actually putting in effort is just amazing.

    Come to think of it, I never actually answered my own questions, so I suppose I should do that...

    1. Favourite videogame and why:
    I could never pick a single favourite since my favourite games are always changing and I grew up with so many great games. I can narrow it down to 3 games, though.
    A. Banjo-Tooie. It's so beautifully designed! There are so many different worlds with their own unique style, yet they all have the same over-arching style as well that's just unmistakably Banjo-Kazooie. The characterisation is amazing given how little time you have with each character, and they're likeable enough that it can actually be fun helping them. The puzzles are creative and challenging, and connecting all the worlds to each other was a stroke of brilliance! (Though it can be a little frustrating when you're introduced to a puzzle in world 4 and you can't actually solve it until you unlock world 9), but that also encourages players to remember the problems that need solving and come up with solutions purposefully instead of just trying everything, which is good. Also, I promise I'm not being payed by a Rare employee with a time machine.
    B. Morrowind. Though the game has a lot of failings due to its age, and it's very difficult, the world is vibrant, beautiful, and creative. Morrowind culture and racial relations are shown to the player much better than many RPGs. Morrowind is also a game that doesn't hold the player's hand and lets them make huge (even game-breaking) mistakes, which can be scary, but also gives one a profound sense of freedom.
    C. Resident Evil 4. While the characterisation and story are rather cheesy, and the game is basically created to be a straight teenage boy's power fantasy, the gameplay is brilliant. The puzzles aren't hard by any means, but the combat is surprisingly strategic and every aspect of the game from the body-language of the zombies to the music subtly informs the player of threats which gives the player a feeling of being able to 'just know' what's going to happen. The architecture and atmosphere is also amazing (can you see a theme here?)

    2. Should bats be called "Flighted mammals"?
    I think you know the answer to this one. Absolutely!

    3. Cow in the Field thought experiment?
    In retrospect, I should've asked about the Chinese Room thought experiment since that one doesn't actually have a clear answer. I just thought the CinF was a brilliant demonstration of someone being correct purely by chance. People rarely make a distinction between being right and being right for good reasons, and I think there needs to be a lot more of that.

    4. What would my Patronus/Spirit Animal be?
    I rigged all of the Pottermore quizzes I took since they're really badly designed, so I can't go off those.
    Personally, I think I'd be some sort of rodent or bird species. Rodents are intelligent, curious, and cautious, and birds are the same, but they also tend to be a lot more aggressive. I'm learning to stand up for myself more, so I'd say I'm more like a bird at this point.
    As for the kind of bird, I'd probably be some kind of Macaw or an African Grey or Eclectus Parrot since I'm good with words and I'm reasonably social.

    5. What's my coming-out story?
    I've come out a few times over quite a few years, so it would take forever to tell my whole story (and I've forgotten most of it).
    There are two main stories, and they overlap because screw things being simple: My trans-coming-out and my gay-coming-out.
    So, before I even finished my first year of high-school it became very clear to literally everyone that I liked boys. Everyone except me, at least. I was staunchly in denial.
    Then, by the end of my second year of high-school, my gender dysphoria started to become very noticeable, and I started identifying as non-binary. After a few months of that, about a third of the way through my third year of high-school, I finally settled on being a boy. After that, it took everyone about 1.83 seconds to realise I was also gay. I was completely oblivious.
    So, fast-forward about a year and a half, and I'm lying in bed one night, then I start thinking about kissing my friend. I think "Huh, that's weird" and then I think about kissing him some more, then I go to sleep.
    Then the same thing happened about a week or two later, and I again thought it was a little weird, then at some point the penny finally dropped. Well, next chance I got I came out to some of my friends, and everyone's reaction was basically "Reeeeeeally? I had noooooo ideeeeeeeea!" There was quite a bit of friendly teasing, as well.
    One of my friends was also kind of a jerk and told me to hide my sexuality, so I made a rainbow bracelet and wore it for the rest of the year.
    And, that's basically it. I can't say it's interesting, but it's what happened.

    6. Best D&D/Elder Scrolls class? Why?
    I haven't played enough D&D to be familiar with the classes, but I think a charisma-based class like a bard would be best since you basically have the power to warp reality by saying things, and if that's not god-like, then I don't know what is.
    As for Elder Scrolls, I always go for a self-created class since the pre-made ones always have some redundancies, but if I had to pick a pre-made class, I think the best class from a game-play perspective is Spellsword: They start off with extra endurance and willpower, which means more health and more stamina. They begin Hearth Heal which is the second- or third-most powerful healing spell in the game. Spellswords also have enchant and alchemy which will eventually help them ascent to god-hood, and they have very useful support magics (restoration, alteration, and destruction). They also have a few weapon and they specialise in medium armour which is all over Morrowind, so that makes scavenging for equipment easier. They're not a good class by any means, but they're probably the easiest class for a new player to start with if they want to stay alive.
     
  8. Bardic

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    Right! Sorry! That's what I get for trying to recount the entire thought experiment from memory.
    It makes more sense that way, actually, because the farmer was correct even if his reasons for being correct were wrong.
    Since I have a lot of involvement with the Atheist Community on YouTube, I can't help but see the whole scenario through the lens of that struggle. To me, it's always going to be, first and foremost, a demonstration of the difference between being correct by pure chance and being correct by careful reasoning and experimentation.
    Due to that same lens, I find it difficult to agree that the paper could be for all intents and purposes a cow, since I'm forced to think of what will happen in the next situation if, perhaps, the cow were a child and the trees in the field were home to wolves. Such is the mindset borne of a decade of hearing about the suffering caused by faulty thinking, but not one I think I'd want to give up.

    That may be true, and my messages are much the same, but spontaneity is only one part of freedom. The fact that you would even talk in a way that society deems to be pretentious, even if it's only here, shows that you aren't entirely bound by what people want and expect. Perhaps you actively fight the internalisation of those punitive judgements, or maybe you never internalised them. Either way, I'm quite envious of you.

    Ah. Well, in that case, no. Poetry may be rhythmic, but it's an exercise that's strictly confined to words. Pitch, cadence, and timbre have no contribution to it.
    I find that books and conversations contribute much more to my poetry since each person has their own particular style and favours different words; that, and, as you may have noticed, I have a tendency to start imitating the writing or speaking style of many of the people I interact with. Emotions also have a large contribution to my work, and I find I write best when I'm overflowing with pain or anguish, which is sad, but that's how it is. Connotations are also an important as the vast majority of the meaning in my work is conveyed with the unspoken baggage each word carries. Or I'll use a metaphor if I'm feeling lazy.

    Then I am again envious of you because I do not have the luxury of treating every moment as simply something that is.
    Now that I think about it, I deal almost exclusively in positives and negatives. Perhaps it would be good for me to try and approach more experiences simply as they are, but I have a feeling that many of my experiences will be negative whether I choose to see them that way or not, and the few that are not will undoubtedly be positive by comparison.
     
  9. Cognition

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    Hello!

    I too love writing and music, although my tastes seem to be different to everyone else’s on this thread. I love hip-hop/rap, because the genre is beautiful in that it’s all wordplay and manipulation of language, put to a rhythm and melody. I also prefer poetry that rhymes to free verse- unsophisticated, I know. It might be because I find it easier to write material when there are restraints imposed on it (structure, syllables, rhyming, et cetera), since there’s a more limited array of language that can be used- and the flow is better.

    I agree with regards to music from other languages! A few years ago, I went through a Eurovision obsession because I loved the diversity of sound. Also, there’s nothing more satisfying than listening to a piece over and over again, and several months on in the language-learning process, realising ‘that’s what that line means!’

    Will stop rambling now and answer the questions.

    1. What's your favourite videogame and why?

    I’m not at all a video gamer. In the past, I’ve gone through obsessions with Hearthstone, Clash of Clans, and Terraria. Currently, I’m fixated on an online game called Town of Salem, which is a bit like the game Mafia? Each round, 15 people get a role, good or evil (there’s also neutral), and have to figure out who the evil people are and vote them up to be lynched. I like the interactive element of it.

    2. If we call ostriches and emus and kiwis "flightless birds", then shouldn't we call bats "flighted mammals"?

    Are the other flighted mammals? (Probably, and I’ll google this in a bit. I bet Australia has some weird ones). If so, then yes, because the category has more than one member belonging to it. If not, then there’s no point bothering.

    3. What is your opinion on the "Cow in the Field" thought experiment?

    That the farmer should erect a higher fence, and put an end to all this fretting about whether there’s cattle on the loose or not.

    4. What do you think your patronus/spirit animal would be? Why?

    Pottermore is an unreliable source; it put me in Hufflepuff, so I’m not trusting a word of it. Would love to have my dog, though.

    5. What's your coming-out story? What about your coming-out-of-denial story?

    That’s a long one. Basically, when I was 12ish, a lot of my age cohort were coming out as bi or pan or whatever. It was a trend. Someone asked me what my sexuality was, and I freaked out and said ‘asexual’, because, y’know, I was 12. (And I kind of figured I wasn’t straight, but I wasn’t about to be a straight-up liar, either).

    Cue spending the next two years identifying as ace, even though it really wasn’t applicable and I’d just rushed into the label in a moment of panic. It wasn’t a bad experience, though. No one questioned me going to pride, and I could use ‘I’m ace’ as a get-out-of-jail card when people were discussing their male crushes. It worked okay. The main reason I stuck with the label for so long was not wanting to A) undermine the asexual community, because they get told ‘it’s a phase’ more than they should and I didn’t want to perpetuate that stereotype B) have people not take me seriously by any label C) have to do any explaining. Furthermore, I was kind of repressing. But then at 14, one of my friends was like ‘hey everyone I’m pan’ and I was like ‘cool I think I’m gay’ and I basically piggybacked on her coming-out so that it really wasn’t a big deal.
     
  10. Bardic

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    This is weird. For about half of your post I felt like I was reading something an alternate-universe version of me wrote that's like, the same, but a little bit different. Though I'm afraid that I hate hip-hop and rap with a burning passion. :stuck_out_tongue:

    It's great that someone else sees the Pottermore quizzes for the trash they are (I was starting to feel a little crazy). So, if you're not Hufflepuff, what is your house? I'm a Ravenclaw (with very strong HufflePuff tendencies).
    And I love your answer to the CinF thought experiment. I've found that no-nonsense solutions like that are often the best.
    Also, there are lots of gliding mammals, but the only mammals with true flight are bats. I knew this in advance and suggested the category just to be a pain. You're welcome.

    If you happen to remember any good songs from your Eurovision then I'd love to know about them.
     
  11. FugaciousFellow

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    I am as resolute an atheist as they come, more so after having been raised by a Catholic family and witnessing firsthand how blatantly they could disregard logic when it was at odds with the beliefs that to them are infallible. Yet even with that mutual understanding in mind, I find it borderline absurd how readily you've dismissed and misconstrued my entire message. The farmer was told that the cow was in the field, wanted to believe that the cow was in the field, and took the slightest indication of that as corroboration of his preconceived notion. You approached this discussion believing your viewpoint to be an absolute truth, isolated the one sentence from my initial examination that could be perceived as a contrary opinion (only when taken completely out of context), and proceeded to respond to my message as though that were all I had said. In that sense, you and the farmer are not so different; in fact, we have all been in the position of the farmer. The only misconception was my initial impression that we would be having a nuanced conversation that incorporates and acknowledges multiple perspectives; as it happens, you did not even deem the thought experiment that you chose worthy of thought. Now, if we were to consider what I did say, we would have to include what is relevant: "We, equipped with the understanding of both the milkman and the farmer, could easily disregard this scenario as luck or coincidence; all the same, however, it raises a pertinent question about the nature of reality itself and our perceptions of it. For all intents and purposes, that piece of black-and-white paper was as much a cow for that farmer as the cow itself and in the end it made no tangible difference whether or not it was what they perceived it to be. If someone can be so convinced that a piece of paper is a cow then through what means can they be made to realize the fallacy of their belief if all forms of persuasion are dependent on a universal understanding of which they are not even aware?" I have emphasized here the phrase that I'd thought adequately established the distinction between my point of view and that of the farmer, especially considering that everything I had said previously aligns with your own viewpoint. Moreover, the question following the sentence that you alluded to indicates that I was wondering how someone in the farmer's situation, which I had just conveyed, could be informed of their warped worldview; I would consider that line of thought a much more practical and interesting avenue of approach than simply pointing out that the farmer was right for the wrong reasons and leaving it at that.

    It had not even crossed my mind to evaluate the way I write based on how society might perceive it; what may very well be seen as pretentious nowadays could easily have been seen as less refined in another era. There is no defiance in the way I write; if anything, it constitutes the closest I have ever been to saying what I mean to say, even though it does not occur spontaneously. I do not really understand envy; nonetheless, if that is what you thought I was reflecting, let it not evoke such feelings in you, for that is not what I mean to convey.

    Poetry has existed before writing itself and has been used throughout the ages as a medium to propagate oral histories; to claim that it is strictly confined to words denies its very purpose. I deliberately did not use the words pitch or timbre as those are more appropriately used with regards to music; cadence, on the other hand, is a relevant component of the spoken word and is prevalent in everyday conversations. Consider this example by Maya Angelou of how the experience of listening to a poem imbues it with unprecedented meaning:

    Read the poem here, then watch the video.
    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may trod me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

    Does my sassiness upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I’ll rise.

    Did you want to see me broken?
    Bowed head and lowered eyes?
    Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
    Weakened by my soulful cries?

    Does my haughtiness offend you?
    Don’t you take it awful hard
    ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
    Diggin’ in my own backyard.

    You may shoot me with your words,
    You may cut me with your eyes,
    You may kill me with your hatefulness,
    But still, like air, I’ll rise.

    Does my sexiness upset you?
    Does it come as a surprise
    That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
    At the meeting of my thighs?

    Out of the huts of history’s shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
    I rise
    I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise
    I rise
    I rise.



    Other than the creative liberties that she took in her recounting of the poem, there is no denying that her vocal mannerisms (cadence included), breathed a life into those words that would not otherwise exist. As I already said, "While the visual element of a poem occupying space on paper is integral to its interpretation, reading it also contributes a layer of meaning which it might not otherwise have. That's what I was really wondering about with respect to your music tastes." You have inadvertently answered my question already by indicating that you are more inclined to poems with a consistent rhythm, probably along the lines of the sonnet (which, for that matter, is meant to be read aloud—the word sonnet is itself derived from the Latin word for sound!).


    I suppose that is the lens through which you perceive; I do not fault you for that. If this post seemed in any way harsh or unwarranted, it has more to do with this being the one place I have ever felt that I could truly be myself and having my voice taken away from me, despite being as clear as I could be in saying what I meant to say.

    I have also found the Harry Potter house system insufficient and never really took the Pottermore quizzes to seriously indicate anything about who I am. There is another categorization system that I find remarkably intuitive and that encompasses a much more diverse spectrum of personality profiles. If anyone is interested, I would ecstatic to discuss it some more; on all accounts, there is still more that I am discovering about it. That said, I think I have said enough on this particular thread and will restrain from further comment unless requested otherwise. It has been nice to meet all of you and I hope that there is something to be salvaged from all of this. Cheers! ( :
     
  12. Bardic

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    I suppose you could argue that I dismissed and construed your message, but you say it like I was attacking your message or saying it was wrong somehow? I mean, I was more talking about my own interpretation and mostly ignoring yours because, truth be told, sometimes your messages are really hard to read and it's late and I can't be bothered getting out a dictionary or sitting there for ten minutes trying to recall and remember the definitions of about ten words I don't usually use simultaneously. I understand that you write for precision even at the expense of readability, and that is your right, but you cannot force other people to put in more effort than they will.
    Also, please tell me when and where I said that my viewpoint is the absolute truth. I happen to recall making it clear multiple times that my perspective is my own subjective opinion and that it's heavily influenced by my experiences. Misconstruing my message like that seems a little hypocritical, don't you think? Or was that intentional?
    Also, I know I didn't outright state that the paper was for all intents and purposes a cow for that farmer, but that's what context is for.

    That's very true. Perhaps I should have said that for me poetry is confined strictly to words, and perhaps I should have explained that I was talking about the kind of pitch, cadence, and timbre that are typical of music. Or you could have taken my statements in the context of the discussion and figured that out for yourself. That's also an option. Or is this intentional to get back at me for the time that I kinda-sorta-not-really misconstrued your message?

    Please explain to me how in the unholiest of all hells your voice has been taken away from you!
     
  13. FugaciousFellow

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    Here I thought you would immediately recognize your own tongue-in-cheek tone! How quick we are to doubt the sincerity of others! Forgive me for trying to inject some ironic levity into the situation. After all, there wasn't all that much to talk about after my response was mostly ignored. Haha! I have immortalized the cow in the field as our own little meta humor; now the farmer will never have to worry again whether or not the cow is truly in the field. All he'd have to do is look right here and know for certain. So, tangential learning is all well and good until you have to google a word or two? Duly noted. All that out of the way, it's about time for a story:

    Once upon a time there was a boy from France. He would be coming up on seventeen around this time, I figure. This boy was brilliant and perceptive, devoting himself so thoroughly to self-reflection that one could only marvel at his awareness, well beyond his years. He was also struggling, quite severely, in the face of a condition that seemed poised to take over his entire life. He would try to record his fluctuations to a minute detail, as though through some precise measurement only he could perceive he could learn to control and overcome that which plagued him so desperately. This boy reached out for guidance and at a time when I thought I could never find a kindred spirit in these parts, he was there. On some level we both knew that helping him was beyond either of our abilities. All we could do to show solidarity, we who were oceans away, was write, I in my long-winded and meticulous manner, and he in his sarcastic and self-deprecating ways; he would read and acknowledge every word I wrote him and I would bear the smallest amount of anguish he allowed himself to convey through his tone. For a time, there was parity—until his last message to which I did not respond. To this day I could not tell you why that was, but the fact remains that when he perhaps needed me most I was not there. Before long he arranged to have himself banned; I would never again have the opportunity to say anything to him. Years later, as I am only just reaching the point of being as self-aware as he was, I am reminded of a boy I never knew from a land I will never see, to whom solace was not an option.

    The End
     
  14. Cognition

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    It’s funny that you thought that about my post, because when I was reading yours I was thinking about how relatable parts of it were- especially this bit:

    “I wish I could tell you about all the quirky things I like, but... I don't really have any. I was taught to be Normal and quirks were Not Normal, so I was taught not to have quirks. It's all very logical.
    I do like logic, though. I don't know if you could call logic quirky, but you could definitely say it's Not Normal, so I suppose I wasn't taught out of all my Not Normal--just the Not Normals everyone else has.”

    I have Asperger’s Syndrome, and this paragraph ^ really hit home.

    Honestly, this thread is the first thing I read on this forum after signing up (was looking for what people typically wrote in introductory posts), and as I scrolled through it, I got more and more ecstatic about the fact that there are “nerdy” (not meant in a derogatory sense, but in the sense of intelligent + creative people unafraid to be different) on this forum. And I learnt some new stuff scrolling through all the intellectual discussions in this thread, which is a bonus!

    A fact struck me with regards to what you said about being taught to be Normal- extreme conformity is a form of non-conformity in itself. :-/

    As for Hogwarts houses- I have spent a lot of time agonising over whether I’m a Slytherin or a Ravenclaw. Though I’ve settled on Slytherin for now, neither answer feels conclusive. No online test is accurate and free of subconscious bias, and different people have different perspectives. I really wish that the Sorting Hat existed.

    Haha, my answer was facetious at best- using humour to cover the fact that I don’t have a unique, fresh philosophical outlook on the problem.

    I have meant to get more into philosophy, and thought experiments and the like, but I simply wouldn’t know where to begin in such a broad field.

    I didn’t see that you were from Australia when I wrote the comment about there probably being weird flying creatures in Australia. (I mean, gay poetry-writing owls are indeed an unusual thing flying around in Australia, but...that’s besides the point). The rest of the world has a bit of a running joke about how weird Australia is, you see, especially when it comes to flora + fauna. We still can’t get our heads around marsupials and flesh-eating spiders.
     
  15. Bardic

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    Ah, see, I have autism, and that paragraph was about the way people had dealt with my autism, so that's why it hit home.
    I never understood just how tight the reigns were until one day when a friend was over at my house. He stepped out of my room and said into the empty air "I'm a jellyfish." and then my mum was really confused and a little bit shocked, and that's when I realised that her idea of normal was actually just as abnormal as I would've been without her intervention.
    I'm really happy to meet someone else with ASD. Never really knew anyone with it when I grew up. I mean, I did, but theirs was always too severe or mine was too mild and we could just never 'click'. I have one friend with autism at the moment, but more ASD friends would be great. Especially since I'm still trying to figure out what autism means and how it affects me and a whole bunch of other vague-sounding nonsense.

    I know it was only a coincidence, but I still feel all kinds of warm fuzzies that this is the first thing you read.

    It's an interesting idea, though since 'conformity' is defined by doing the same as the group does--i.e., it's measured in relation to what is normal for the group--I don't see how that works. Maybe you mean that we have to force ourselves not to conform with ourselves? Idk. Please elaborate.

    I know that struggle. I spent a long time agonising over Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, but in the end I decided that knowledge and scepticism have been a part of my life for longer than loyalty and friendship, and I decided that knowledge and scepticism and non-conformity and weirdness were just a tad more important than loyalty and camaraderie.
    Slytherin is a good house, and one I would have seriously considered choosing had I not been too tired for ambitions. And if not, the upside of there being no sorting hat is that there's no-one to stop you from changing your mind.

    Honestly, I put that question in at the last minute, and I picked it because I wasn't familiar with the thought experiment. I don't have a good answer, and I don't expect a good answer. Besides, fictitious answers are a good display of creativity, non-conformity, and pragmatism; and those qualities are just as good as introspection and logic.

    Personally, I'd suggest looking at logical fallacies to begin with and also looking at logic gates (if you can get your head around them).
    That's what I did, and it's taught me to spot all sorts of redundancies and inconsistencies in what people say, it's helped me to process information more quickly and easily, and it's taught me to make my own ideas more coherent and succinct. It's also helped me recognise bad arguments more easily, and in a world full of quackery and scams that's a very good thing.
    I can't always say learning about logic has changed my life for the better, but it's not a change I'd want to reverse.

    Australians are well aware of the stereotypes about us, and they're quite amusing when they're not annoying.
    If you've ever wondered why we seem to only have marsupials, I actually know.
    See, back in the day (a little after Pangea, but before the continents were as we know them today) Australia was part of Antarctica (which was much warmer at the time) along with South America, Arabia, Africa, India, and Madagascar. After monotremes and marsupial mammals evolved (but before placental mammals), Australia broke off of Gondwanaland which broke off a section of life's family tree to grow in an entirely different direction to the rest of the world, and that's why our ecosystem is so different.
     
  16. Bardic

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    Irony is subtle and easily missed, especially as the internet age has given us access to a multitude of people who are so lacking in self-awareness that they thoroughly blur the lines between it and sincerity.
    That is why it is best to make our irony harmless, at least amongst strangers and acquaintances who do not know our character well enough to know something is amiss.
    I did see an uncanny similarity in your message to my own irony, but I had no way of knowing if this was intentional or if you truly were that prone to anger when misunderstood, or perhaps both.

    Tangential learning is looking for treasure without a map. And such learning done through convoluted writing is looking for the McGuffin that will allow one to translate the legend of the treasure that still has no map. Assuming that the legend isn't complete nonsense.
    The rewards of such an exercise may well be worth it, but can you seriously fault someone for wishing not to do so at any old moment? When it has been a long day and your brain is in fog and you feel sick for no reason because you are always sick for no reason, can you say that you would jump for joy if someone knocked on your door demanding (or at least expecting) that you embark on such a quest?
    Tangential learning is good, but it can also be exhausting and tedious and it can lead nowhere, and there are only so many hours in a day for so many quests, and that is why I make tangential learning optional.

    3/10 needs more dragons.

    Okay, fine, I'll take it seriously.
    You're obviously trying to tell me something, perhaps through metaphor, but I cannot figure it out on the first reading and I don't have time for a second right now. I will have to come back to it later.
     
  17. FugaciousFellow

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    Thank you for that response, Bardic; it truly means more to me than I can ever express. That joke of yours was exactly what I needed in this moment when I am more apathetic and disillusioned than I have ever been. I don't think I'll ever be able to apologize profusely enough for this whole ordeal that I put you and whoever read this thread through. Witnessing your interaction with Cognition was so heartwarming and so poignant for me, as I know I will never experience anything remotely close to that level of connection with someone else, especially not here, where every time I reply to someone I recall all that I never had the chance to say to him. I could not save him. I will allow myself a day to reflect; tomorrow I will be untethered. On the bright side, you will never again have to waste any more time or effort on me, that much I guarantee. It was a pleasure meeting you, Bardic, and I wish you the best with your time here. With me out of the way, you'll find it a much more hospitable and inviting atmosphere, I'm sure. Farewell ( :
     
  18. Bardic

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    Out to everyone
    Honestly, I don't really care about what you said. It's nothing compared to what I've had to deal with people from other places on the internet. ...Or in person.
    I'm just really, really confused. But I don't really care about that, either, since I'm too confused to have any questions I want answers to.
    I just... It's just... You sound kind of unhinged, mate, and that's fine, but if it's bothering you then you might want to see a therapist. Might want to see a therapist anyway.