im trying to figure out what it's like to be a person

january 3rd, 2023

i liked when i showed my friend one of those side-by-side tik toks & they were willing to point out that they thought it was
a little mean to the guy on the right, that he didn't know that his video was kind of gibberish. it's good to slash through
little cognitive dissonances even if they're not so important, like, where it's not in a moralistic way but just making sure
to keep an eye on kindness. i told them this days or weeks later, even though it was oddly difficult to, but i did

the video is still funny to me just cause of the way it can be read as the guy on the left kind of, like,
spontaneously having his brain taken over, or some kind of insane coincidence that he doesn't even
react to as he records. like it's not just making fun of the other guy but a... diegetic occurrence

january 13th, 2023

there's no thinking my way out of overthought, or thinking my way out of worrying that i am not thinking enough
during times of successful non-thought. there is just: "i know that the balance is possible & i will have faith in that"

the sun obscures itself with one of those deranged school gymnasium type ceilinga

january 15th, 2023

when i was a child someone could write a flippant label like "michael's stash" on a container
with a sharpie marker & it would feel completely inherent to the world & indistinguishable
from any other element of labeling or structure presented by it, up to & including
traffic laws, the aisles at wal-mart, our procedures at school, the name of
my school, & the authority of the united states federal government

january 16th, 2023

i could listen to a hundred new albums in a day but a hundred people might each listen to one new album that day, none
of them being among my hundred, & when they each talk about their album for the day i'll feel "behind" on exploration

january 19th, 2023

i feel this tension between the idea of never doing anything like mash a dead leaf to bits in my hand, rather to
be gentle, respect fragility, not intervene destructively, let anything i touch survive & persist for as long as it
will; versus what feels like a childlike freedom of engaging in acts of harmless destruction with abandon, &
just interaction & affect in a way that feels surely opposite to gentility but that i can't call bad, really

i felt this when my friend & i were sitting against a tree & i took a leaf in my hand & slowly lowered it to the palm
of the other, the instant it made contact i crushed it in my hand quickly, like a mousetrap. & i thought my friend's
expression looked almost a little earnestly startled & upset by that, briefly. & i regretted it. normally i think
i am inclined towards the former way but there, on a whim, i was making a conscious exception

if a person is born e.g. infertile, does it really make sense to classify them as still being of a reproductive class of being
(just one who just wouldn't happen to function in that way); or, with the notion of being reproductive having been out of the
question for them from the start, does this kind of overlook & discredit the singularity of being that they & anyone else have?

january 22nd, 2023

the thought of something being locked in place

which will only ever be an idea to project onto reality taken as a sea of churning particles. except those particles
do sometimes assemble into things that literally are, at least for a time, locked in place - a latch, for instance

it's confusing

someone who diminishes their empathy in the interest of e.g. religiously mandated homophobia, & someone else who inexorably begins
to act a bit differently once they notice someone filming - both feel like the same class of occurrence: life on earth, with its truth
of ephemerality & metabolism, is "distorted" a bit in its course by the introduction of some notion of eternity, which skews
all stakes. the former eternity is something transcendental while the latter is embedded in the world but still enough

& this "distortion" cannot be taken as the truth being encroached on by untruth as some outside aggressor, nor is
it really honest to call it "distortion," since those notions of eternity themselves arise out of the ephemeral
reality. so if anything it could just be framed as one of life's many processes of self-modification

not that it's accurate to call it "self-modification" either, since this suggests that it adjusts itself away from a
default course which never contains any notions of eternity. but that was never going to happen. this is why the
"self-modification" is only a framing for the process, an interpretation laid down over the overall hodgepodge

january 24th, 2023

life imperceptibly becomes a closed system of finite elements when you more or less start out with that
finite set, then apply processes of randomness & serendipity that seem sufficient for their purposes of
shaking things up. but you are lax in introducing true newness, perhaps are not equipped at the time
to imagine it. & so your processes inevitably draw from, remix, & recontextualize that initial set

then you construct yourself from the blended & enmeshed products of those processes. these products seem cleansed by their
randomness of the limitation imposed by the finitude of that initial set. but this only makes it more difficult to pick out
& trace back the ways that each moment is marked & defined by that initial set, no longer identifiable by discrete
elements but lingering as the haze of those elements disassembled atomically & blended together

as you apply randomness & serendipity to successive generations of products, now blending & enmeshing
the products themselves, you forever find the tinge of that initial set, even though it seems long gone,
unrecognizable, even forgotten. but each generation is only their diluted rearrangement, & finally
you grow accustomed to it & from inside of it see nothing. you are trapped in your world

something odd to me is, as an example: i feel very averse to purposefully littering at a nature trail or anything like that,
dropping a wrapper or a cup somewhere. the natural effect of this is that i can't really imagine doing it, right? it makes sense,
why should i be expected to deviate from my preference for no reason? but this takes the "soft" boundary of preference &
seems to make it "hard." & more than that, i can hardly imagine myself even doing it as an exception to my usual nature
just for the sake of proving my own free agency. this seems to highlight an uneasy & uncertain boundary
between what i voluntarily prefer not to do, & what i actually cannot do, may ultimately never do

january 27th, 2023

a concatenation of six text posts i wrote
yesterday that felt very continuous


need to keep a gentle vision in my head strong & clear & set it out in contrast to the world instead
of letting the world creep in & make the vision start to look more like it instead. it's so easy to lose


yesterday while i was lying in bed listening to a song i like very much i briefly pictured in my head what i would
describe as "an autumnal neighborhood" & felt the wholly comforting emotional truth of that mental image

that truth felt like something that wasn't so simple & easy to bring to mind & hold there any time i want. maybe
because it's so specific, a very specific emotional imprint to call into myself & touch. something like a part
of me, which should seemingly make it easy to access, but it's a part of me obscured by all kinds of
interference. it feels difficult to recapture right now. feeling it for that moment felt valuable

it's not like i could just go to an autumnal neighborhood & rediscover it. once there i could just end up distracting myself
with all kinds of thoughts. it'd only be through that fleeting invocation of that truth feeling that i could experience it
in conjunction with the actual location that it was the truth of. it's something that could easily never happen again. it
wouldn't be hard to spend an entire lifetime distracted from something if it is so wispy & particular in the first place

i felt... what it meant, how it functioned as a source of source of comfort, how it feels when the world is there for
me, when i'm not led so astray as to observe self-abasing reasons that the world must not be there for me, when it
really can be. when i love myself enough to read everything in front of me in the personal language that draws out
from my surroundings what i love about them, granular, particular, drawing out all that touches the personal vision
in my head & makes me feel at home... the overall texture of the autumnal neighborhood, & the imprint of my own
head that i can find laced into everywhere. holding onto myself enough to keep in touch with all of these
things & being willing to hear them when they're there is how to feel at home in the world again

in that moment i thought about how i would be averse to typing "autumnal neighborhood" here out of fear that
you might picture an illustration of one, or a photograph, or maybe an actual one, but in any case something that
lacked it, something that reduced it to a common language, since with an illustration or photograph or image
there is always the assumption that it intends to justify its own existence by evoking something for you in a
sensory language that you're both expected to speak & read, which means it must be common instead of personal

three (a)

it's about, for instance, getting warm under a blanket & the blanket itself & a fireplace & squirrels & dim tan light, but it's not
really about these things, it's about what it means to me when i picture my own images of getting warm under a blanket &
the blanket itself & a fireplace & squirrels & dim tan light, & i risk losing myself to pretenses of common language
& appeals to objectivity for the sake of communication when i try to relate to the outside about these things by
the phrases "getting warm under a blanket," "the blanket itself," "a fireplace," "squirrels," & "dim tan light"


sure it's obscene that even the kindest permutation i could ever hope to coax my neurons into would still coexist with e.g.
miming a pretend conversation on a sleekly coded discussion board every week for grade points, but i can't succumb to the
bizarre temptation to cope with that obscenity by living mentally in the way that it feels even whenever it's not happening

& i'll seek not to take the internet into the coffee shop, to instead make the coffee shop safe, even if the coffee shop isn't
blameless either, even if it's the amorphous & indifferent machination of the moss-like growth & decay of local businesses,
there taking on the superficial appearance of a coffee shop, & beneath the decor is just interchangeable commerce. but it
still contains that imprint of myself which cannot help but to cast out from my eyes & linger over everything if i just
permit myself to see it, in the same way as that autumnal neighborhood, which could itself even be an un-blameless
blight of suburban sprawl. but it's all there is to be in, & it's still a pattern of lights in the dark
to love as a pattern of lights in the dark & not the neighborhood that it is

do you see the ice sculpture of excuses to feel okay that i am trying to shape from a tub of room temperature water with my hands?
but nonetheless i think it can be okay. because if everything is already as it is then why shouldn't it? because it feels complacent?
where is the penumbra between the dark of thinking things should change & the light of nonetheless not feeling bent out
of shape all the time & progressively soured by it? the in-betweenness where full okayness isn't complacent

three (b)

i might write a post with the explicit intent of demonstrating the futility of communicating my true undiluted inner state
through language, & then still feel pierced when it goes totally unreceived... as if the impossibility of communicating the
unmediated truth is something i can handle, but the idea of it being impossible even to communicate the impossibility
itself, that's too much. i guess i expect to be alone with my own qualia, but to also at least have a more or less
universal kinship with others on the grounds of us all being alone with our own qualia - a unity that is
sort of consolatory, being a unity based on abject difference, but a unity all the same


no one else has to love dim tan light of course, but, whenever i'm not losing myself & feeling dissociated, the way that i love
dim tan light & other things feels so cleansingly simple & real that i want to know that its general character is how other people
love things too, or if nothing else that it's at least the style, character, mood, feeling, mode of loving that they try to remember,
& reach, & hold in their minds & feel, the way i try to, reaching for those periods of non-dissociation. i want to know
that, even if they're dissociated & displaced from themselves & distracted a lot of the time, that they at least know
it well enough to be capable of taking it as their goal. i want to believe that everything is not caricatured or
detached, that the simplicity isn't completely forgotten or replaced only with behavioral images of simplicity

htiw snooccar tuoba deklat i yug eht deen i

so much refuge & peace seems to lie in the inexpressible, & it's like a cruel trick, a challenge. but i guess it's only
natural - if all that lies in the inexpressible, which is so easy to lack, instead lied in the expressible, then we'd
all talk & advise each other about it, & then we wouldn't be prone to lacking it in the first place, would we?
that not everything was ever going to be expressible simply has this scarcity as its corollary, inevitably

alex i genuinely appreciate your apparent
willingness to, within a conversation,
drop a "cf [several paragraphs]".
i will indeed cf momentarily

january 28th, 2023

a conversation with a friend about the preceding writing

interesting. then, do you feel as though your apparent quest to express your experience puts you
at risk of losing yourself, or is it something else entirely? i think i am not quite connecting this

it receives attack from both the interior & exterior i think

there is the pressure to be understood which wells up from my interior & compels me to risk losing myself
to some extent, should i make attempts to standardize my least standardizable aspects for the sake
of fitting them into language, & then begin to confuse myself with the language i chose

but from the outside there is also just everything that creates distraction, dissociation, cynicism, etc.

oh, i see. i think i understand this viscerally. but it is interesting to me that you seem to worry about this; i feel as
though i am within the same arena as you but entering from a diametrically opposing angle, in that i am perfectly willing
to say the words "I love when i go to 7 eleven and there is a guy" and trust that, to at the very least a close friend who is
willing to say "Right? You get it.", this quale is fully understood, even though i know tjos to be categorically Not the case

but then, i think that would indicate that i'm not experiencing the same sort
of pressure. do you think your pressure to be understood is fundamental?

i think the interaction you've described would be enough to me too


i think it may be that sometimes i problematically extend my desire to be understood
to things that despite my best intent will only ever be of utility & comfort to me

"no one else has to love dim tan light" but when i think of the outside world i think of a kind of dissociative othering
suction towards things that don't matter, & i fearfully imagine it being a general tendency to be subject to that kind
of thing. & i feel like the world would be better if everyone knew & fully felt their equivalent of dim tan light

maybe something like wanting to see in others a willingness to let some things be personally... sacred?

interesting, so do you believe (with at least one part of your psyche) that there are people who dont have
the same "love" for an equivalent of dim tan light? (quotes around love to highlight that im talking
about the line connecting you to dim tan light rather than meaning the word "love" literally)

that is to say, are you on some level pessimistic about the universality of this trait?

yes. or that there is generally the same love but too much noise around to the point of potentially forgetting
about one's loves [too much noise to leave room for serene connection with types of private gentilities...]

i think i am as well, but i actually dont think i would have comfortably acknowledged that without you saying
this. it is a pessimism that resides in the same part of my brain as my toxic "i am the only one who gets it" ego

as a person i feel generally aligned with the preservation of conceptual fragilities because they are naturally
what becomes scarce & so become, insofar as they are useful or good, what is most profoundly lacked

hmmm... would i be accurate in saying that a concrete (though reductive) example of this would be today's redirection
of desire through consumerism, which seeks to "cleanse" this desire into something Shared or Singular, "commodifiable"?

a hundred percent

hm. i am realizing now that i (subconsciously) personally seek to enact sort of commodification but utilizing
the aesthetics i declare to be "avant garde" (for instance, "this is like a shower beer"). in a way this feels
dishonest. but i worry that abandoning that easy commonality might be to reject something innately human

i think we need common referents & are often happier for having them. communication is good. it's just that i think we all
ultimately contain something we'll remain alone with & that we risk losing track of if we throw ourselves headlong into the
futile task of using a language to resolve this solipsism. the best hope for a communicative art which seeks to bridge
that gap, is, i think, still the invocation & exploration of that tension in its [inability] to fully realize its aim

i think the inclination to throw oneself headlong into that futile task is exacerbated in consumerist society with its
constant inclination towards prescriptive languages of humor & drama & everything, towards general understandability
as sort of exemplified by the BuzzFeed quiz esque tradition of trying to make oneself feel known through assembling
an array of discrete social categories (metastasized into like mogai stuff & the aesthetic wiki), & this feels
kind of constrictive to that fuzzy indistinct singularity of personhood that exists underneath

[consumerism, at its logical extreme, has no rewards for being contently in touch with oneself,
i think. it can still sell things to a population of whole & content people but at some point
i imagine it needing to seek to become the mediator of that contentment too]

i was about to mention, i think to say we will remain alone is incorrect.
i believe that through a certain type of shared experience this quality
which is nevertheless inexpressible might still be shared

this, though, would perhaps be fundamentally incompatible with a lens that i think we both apply. because
if it is the case that a certain type of shared experience might cause this sort of understanding of some
inexpressible quality, that would imply that the experience itself is fundamentally inexpressible.
but i don't think i believe all experiences are fundamentally inexpressible, and i optimistically
(though maybe unfoundedly) extrapolate this to a belief that any experience is expressible

but my local library doesn't have any good books on qualia so who's to say

something i've been confronting with respect to my journal lately: maybe description of
an experience can only approach the horizon of fully encapsulating the singular
juxtaposition of all of its diverse sensory & contextual elements

hm, is that to say that sometimes a description of an experience can express its qualia because, by chance, the
receiver of this description had a "close enough" understanding of other experiences that description references?

i meant the opposite really but the more i think about it the more i'm unsure

hmm.. could you elaborate on what you mean? i'm very anxious to try to understand

i was going to say that the singular juxtaposition of elements which comprises even some mundane trip
to a coffee shop might be such a hyperspecific goal that ultimately the experience will only ever be
its own expression, which nothing else will ever quite adequately represent. even for someone who
has driven that route there & spent a similar amount of time there on a similar type of day


but maybe i am observing too stringent a goal. maybe filing it all down to the elements which matter
can be enough to produce an image that matters. that's sorta just what writing is, in many cases

i think actually both of these are the same idea but from different lenses/thresholds. yeah. if we both were
identically-behaving , and we were to both go on that coffee shop trip, and we were both to modulate
our behavior as a result identically, truly who cares if the internal experience was different

you know who

good point. i truly cant argue with that one

i think i can sustain this optimism because i baselessly assume that there is no such thing as the "internal."
which to my rudimentary understanding would actually be to reject the idea of qualia altogether in fact. but
thats lame and qualia as a concept seem intensely practical so i am going to ignore this la dee da

i like the idea of questioning how much division there really is between subjects & the world they exist in

i feel opposed to the idea of this division on a basic level, but this feels like somewhat of a failing.
it is genuinely prohibitively difficult for me to apply a lens in which this division is present

i think it's reasonable & how i usually feel, there's lots of perspectives employing it which don't really
feels like leaps at all, lots of naturalist conceptions of our relation to the earth, or probably lots of
sociological theories. Norbert Wiener's anti-aircraft predictor thing that he developed by modeling
the encroachment of a missile & the reaction of the pilot as a predictable system of feedback

i have this odd sense of wonder about what places there might be,
though, to follow the mindset to that i haven't ever considered

end of conversation. back to random thoughts

if you're not a nice person but you become one you may then present to all new & unfamiliar people, who are unkind or less kind than
they'd like to be, the natural suggestion of having arrived fully formed in that niceness & giving no impression of what came before,
perhaps reinforcing to this person that there's just something they don't have, a pessimism which might last until the cycle goes
around & they learn to dispense with notions of inherent insufficiency & take charge of themselves the same way you did

january 29th, 2023

hurt people hurt people which is why it is our common responsibility to heal,
material & socioeconomic factors & freedom of information notwithstanding

january 30th, 2023

to have a very clear idea in mind of what one wants to exclude from themselves & thereby exist as alternative to - like safe harbor
in the world which is otherwise host to "it," whatever that damnable behavior or quality is - while nonetheless never naming
"it" or decrying it. holding it in one's mind as an anti-model only secretly, so as to honestly serve as its absence rather than its
opposite... to decline the adoption of criticism as a prominent element of one's character. the burden of private machinations which
come together into a simplicity which is the reward that can be commonly appreciated by anyone & everyone who responds to it

february 5th, 2023

i have this haze of things i always think about & i don't know how to take my mind off of them because i feel like they
prefigure whatever i choose to branch off to, if not directly then by way of a chain. i don't know how to think of the
things i do in conceptual isolation, as islands. each thing reminds me of whatever prefigured my interest or direction
towards it, which in turns reminds me of the preceding thing, & everything leads back to the same climate of thoughts

a classical alex action is to go to a place that is grassy or with flowing water while severely dissociated & more
or less beseech the location silently to accept me & to let me exist as part of its inherent presence & tranquility

february 6th, 2023

i like thinking of "world" as synonymous with a system of meaning

i just want to exist wherever i actually am, wherever i actually live, & have it be spatio-temporally & psychically consistent instead
of punctured & interlaced with abstracted signals that render it a mere extension of "the world," rather some image of the world.
i want to just have a life wherever i am, not that i want it to preclude using the computer for genuine cultural & subjective
enrichment either but you have to figure out how to do it without succumbing to the false commonality effect that
disintegrates whatever place you actually are & fixes it at some point amid a different, incorporeal geography

february 8th, 2023

Anonymous writes: hate how much cooler than me u r

the system of coolness is tearing us apart we gotta band together & destroy it... but what if one of us
goes about destroying it in a really cool way & the other in a really lame way (whimpers in fear)