Too many topics, not enough time

Like many writers, I have a long list of ideas that I never got around to writing about. I’m not very consistent about writing them down, but still the list gets longer and longer, until I start deleting old ideas that no longer make any sense to me. Some of them I missed the moment to write them, or they required more research than I had energy to put into it. Some of them were just bad and non-starters.

Here is a short list of ideas that I made after deleting the ones that I’m obviously never going to write about. If any of these interests you, let me know, your comment might cause it to happen!

For A Trivial Knot

1. What is a predicate?

These ideas are not in chronological order, but I think this is the oldest idea on this list, which means it’s survived many rounds of deletions. Predicates are so basic in philosophy that they’re taken for granted, but I’m fascinated by questions that nobody seems to ask, like, what is the cardinality of the set of predicates, and what’s up with the idea of an atomic predicate? Unfortunately, would require some study.

2. Artists and creators aren’t obligated to be good at what they do.

That’s the thesis statement. It’s so obvious though, what would I even say?

3. The scientificity of multiverses & string theory

People argue that certain cosmological theories aren’t scientific because they aren’t experimentally testable. But this relies on a simplistic view of the scientific method, where every scientist goes through every single step, as if it were a science fair project. In reality, people can spend their whole careers on just the theory step, trying to reach the experimental step.

4. What is cultural appropriation? An empirical investigation

Following my post “What is identity politics? An empirical investigation” (a post from 2017 that made no impact whatsoever), I thought I’d try a similar approach to “cultural appropriation”, using time-constrained google results to see what people use the term to mean. Too much work and doesn’t sound rewarding.

5. Revising my guide to sexual violence terminology

A guide to sexual violence terminology” is a really important article from 2018, and I was thinking about revising it. Make a few adjustments, additions, and make it clearer. That’s work though.

6. Indigenous ways of knowing

At some point I learned about the concept of Indigenous Ways of Knowing, which recalls to mind the idea of “other ways of knowing”, as discussed and opposed by skeptics since as long as I’ve known. “Indigenous ways of knowing” is a distinct idea with distinct merits, but it’s not entirely non-overlapping. This is an uncomfortable comparison, because we’re all interested in being sensitive to indigenous peoples, but we’ve already formulated many opinions and reactions to “other ways of knowing”, which continue to ring true. Obviously a difficult topic, which is why I never got around to it.

7. Ways of ranking Dominion cards

As readers know, I have a long-term obsession with Dominion, and I’ve also had some involvement with the fan community. There are many years of history of fans trying to rank cards, and I thought it would be interesting to write about the different approaches and philosophical assumptions involved.

8. The Book of the New Sun

Remember when I wrote about Shadow & Claw, the first two books of Gene Wolfe’s premier tetralogy? I’m still reading that. I still have plans to continue this blog series that I started in… 2019. I just read very very slowly. Next time one of y’all recommend a book to me, just remember that I am absolutely dying to spend the next two years pecking at a book that a rando said was good, that’s obviously how you should imagine that I feel.

9. Puzzle solving skills

What skills are useful for solving puzzles? I weigh in, as a long-time puzzle enthusiast. I even have an outline and intro written for this, but I’m sure I would scrap it if I revisited.

10. The overjustification effect

I learned about this from Mark Brown, and I find it really compelling.  I’m not sure what I would say though, probably something about my fear of overjustifying things by blogging about them?


I have a handful of ideas that are basically, report on this paper. Oh, but then I need to read the paper, dang it. For some reason many of these are about music.

11. Sight-reading vs repertoire performance on the piano

I found this study while I was using sight-reading as an analogy for video games. Might be interesting

12. Who solved the Secretary Problem?

The secretary problem is a math puzzle created by Martin Gardner. I can’t remember why I was interested in this, but it’s a math problem, how can I go wrong?

13. Sometimes behaves so strangely

This is the name of the most incredible sound illusion, identified by researcher Diana Deutsch. I don’t have a reference, but have definitely read at least one paper on the subject already.

14. Constituents of Music and Visual-art related pleasure

I experience music very differently from the visual arts, in that listening to music has some intrinsic hedonic value, whereas my appreciation of visual art is more intellectual. I don’t know how universal this experience is, but here’s a study about the subject.

15. Decoding the implicit association test

Implicit association tests are often used to demonstrate implicit racism and prejudice, but I’ve heard that there are criticisms from a statistical and psychometric perspective. I’m so interested to understand this in detail, but this paper is obviously a difficult read.

For The Asexual Agenda

I have another blog, and list ideas for that one too.

16. A review of asexual images in the media

There’s an amazing Tumblr post from 2012 or so identifying trends in images from asexuality articles at the time. Me and some other bloggers keep on saying we ought to write about it again, bring it up to date. I have a large archive of google alerts on asexuality, I could do it. I don’t know though, sounds like it might be better as a project for a media studies undergraduate.

17. People who dislike movies

What is it like to dislike something that everybody else in society seems to love? I had this idea of googling people who don’t like movies, and comparing and contrasting with asexuality. Obviously motivated by the fact that I don’t like movies. I’ve done initial searches, and man people who don’t like movies can be really elitist about it.

18. Convergent orientation

While the asexual community is renowned for splitting attraction dozens of different ways, most famously into sexual attraction and romantic attraction, many asexuals still experience these attractions together. There isn’t an established term for this, but I’m calling it convergent. My orientation is convergent. Cool topic, but I’m missing a thesis statement.

19. Gray: It’s not just about attraction

Gray-asexuality is commonly described as experiencing attraction infrequently, in contrast with asexuality which is not experiencing attraction at all. That’s incorrect. There it is, that’s the essay.

20. Aces who choose not to disclose to partners

When aces don’t tell their partners they are ace, why is that? I supply a few possible narratives, based on talking to people, and basic imagination.

21. Positivity posting gives me negative feelings

Positivity posting is a popular pattern on certain social media where people go on about how such and such group of people is so valid. Some people like that, and cool for them. I do not like it, it has the opposite of the intended effect. That’s the essay.

22. “Orientation is about who you’re attracted to, not how”

This is a saying that I associate with people attacking demisexuality. And I think it’s used in other contexts as well. I had a rant in me inspired by some post or other, but I lost the reference and now I can’t remember what I was going to say.

23. Low libido and essentialism

This is inspired by an article that came across my google alerts, that I hate: “3 ways to distinguish being on the asexuality spectrum from having a lower libido“. Just because asexuality is not customarily defined by libido doesn’t mean that we ought to treat this as a meaningful distinction between essentially different classes.

24. Jones and the emotionless aroace

I am a big fan of Gunnerkrigg Court, which I have read for over a decade. Jones is a non-human character who really obviously should be interpreted as aroace, but nobody talks about it, possibly because of the emotionless non-human thing. …I absolutely love Jones as a character.

25. Gray-asexuality in media

Coyote compiled a bunch of examples of gray-asexuality as it is discussed in academic ace studies. The obvious next thing to do, is to compile examples of gray-asexuality in mainstream media. I have that archive of google alerts, I can definitely do this.

26. The State of the Gray

This is an overly broad idea, that probably needs to be narrower in scope. But the idea is to sum up the current state of gray-asexuality, pointing towards the compilations of mentions in academia and mainstream media, reminding people of common misconceptions, and also discussing trends in the Ace Community Survey.

27. I hate “A is not for ally”

“A is not for Ally” is a motto in asexual activism, coined in 2015. I don’t like it, and have never liked it, and already have half an essay explaining why.

28. The Split Attraction Model series

Last year I started a series about the Split Attraction Model, addressing stuff that people have been saying on Tumblr and Twitter (but I’m not on Twitter so I don’t know exactly what they’re saying). I don’t know, I’m not feeling this any more. I should probably give myself permission to drop it, but on the other hand, I should also look over the draft I already have and see if it’s publishable.

29. Schizoid Personality Disorder and asexuality

I wanted to write two essays, one analyzing the consequences of having two conditions with a symptom in common (i.e. asexuality and SPD). The other asking where all the SPD people are, since statistically we’d expect more of them in the ace community. Something that makes this difficult, is that I’m motivated by a resonance between SPD and my own experience of being low emotion, but I definitely don’t have SPD so it’s seems like even mentioning that motivation is overstating it. I think I have a draft somewhere, but IIRC I needed to make diagrams, and I wanted to complete both drafts first.


  1. Bruce says

    To me, the top topic would be based on #4, on cultural appropriation. But rather than a google analysis of word usage, maybe you could explore ideas about what people of good will can do to be able to discuss diverse issues without accidentally appropriating in an improper way. If a reader were on a committee drafting a statement, what principles could be guidelines, other than just telling the rest of the committee that they are being offensive and need to submit to your superior enlightenment?

  2. says

    I’m taking an empirical approach to cultural appropriation, if I ever write about it all. I feel like I need to know what it is to talk about it (and I’m puzzled how everyone else seems to be so much more confident!)

    For a more analytical take on cultural appropriation, Julia Serano had interesting thoughts, and I don’t think I could say something more thoughtful than that.

  3. Cicada Cycle says

    #2: a possible alternative thesis to explore: technical proficiency and skill in artists can make them feel to the audience as less unique, powerful, or interesting. I think of something someone said in the documentary “20 Feet from Stardom” about how the broken imperfect voices sing lead vocals and the perfect voices sing back-up, but I suspect it applies to other media as well, at least some of the time. My very favorite cartoonist of all time, Lynda Barry, comes to mind, and I know my own first reaction to her art, which I now adore, was to kind of recoil and think it was terrible.
    #7: I’m not a gamer and have no knowledge of Dominion, but something tells me that this might still be interesting, but only if you have fun in the writing of it.
    #12: I’m a sucker for anything math puzzle related.
    #13 sounds fun.
    #14 might be interesting.
    #17: You’ve mentioned your dislike of movies before and I find it fascinating. But then, I don’t generally like video games and it seems like everyone my age and younger always likes video games. I only play 2 games, and it’s less of a game than a meditative space. My first love didn’t share my enthusiasm for movies, but then we saw Daughters Of The Dust, which moved her tremendously but put me to sleep. She told me afterwards something to the effect of “this is what films could be!” It’s interesting to me that you categorize this under asexual agenda. If all you can find are elitist anti-cinephiles, it doesn’t interest me, but if you could find a movie you do like, or find an anti-cinephile who could articulate more complicated reasons for not generally liking the medium, or could list some exceptions to their dislike and why they liked those exceptions, I would find that extremely interesting. Is it just about unusual tastes, or is there a neurodiversity angle to this as well?
    P.S. have you ever seen the Luis Buñuel film, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie? I found it interesting that documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to The Dark Side, Mea Maxima Culpa, etc.) listed this surrealist film as an important influence, but I think of it now mostly because I was reminded of it when I finally got around to reading Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled. But I don’t know, you might hate it, lol.

  4. says

    @Cicada Cycle,
    #2 – yes, actually I thinking of shifting the thesis in that direction. I feel like I have different standards for different kinds of art, maybe at the divide between commercial and non-commercial art.

    #17 – It may be exaggeration to say that I don’t like films at all. I still watch movies sometimes, and then I’m kind of neutral to negative on all of them. Actually one of the aspects that interests me, is what it means to not like movies. I think some people mean that they really don’t watch any at all, and others just mean they don’t like most movies, or they just dislike the popular movies.

    I haven’t seen that film, no.

  5. says

    Like many writers, I have a long list of ideas that I never got around to writing about. I’m not very consistent about writing them down, but still the list gets longer and longer, until I start deleting old ideas that no longer make any sense to me. Some of them I missed the moment to write them, or they required more research than I had energy to put into it. Some of them were just bad and non-starters.

    Think of it as evolution in action!

  6. says

    I really love so many of those asexuality blogging ideas and would be excited to read most of them. #17 is very relevant to my most recent relationship where I, someone on the excessive end of being into television and fiction, was dating someone who dislikes them and we’re broken up now and I still am trying to be defensive of my now ex when talking to a friend who just can’t believe that she really didn’t like TV as opposed to like was dishonestly claiming that “to hurt me”?? It was a weirdest argument I got into…

    #18. Convergent orientation is definitely a pretty fascinating and important topic to me that my mind wanders back to fairly often. I don’t know where exactly I fall with ideas related to it but like I’m identifying now as feeling what I consider alterous attraction – something I’d rather not define as romantic but not exactly friendship based feelings either – I’m pan-alterous, and I’m also demisensual, and my sensual attraction (aka my comfort with and desire for certain types of touch like hugging, cuddling, caressing hands gently, comforting someone with touching their arm, being kissed on the head or shoulder or cheek, etc) is pretty darn linked/convergent with when I feel alterous feelings… as just one example.

    A bunch of these ideas maybe could be good Carnival of Aces topics lol…

    19 through the end are all so great, and #23 about low libido is super relevant to me personally. That article is extremely frustrating… and such a common point of view in ace spaces.

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