My feelings about fashion

Fashion is an artform, one in which we’re coerced into participating. Anything you wear is making some kind of statement. Even if you wear something that tries not to make any statement at all, that in itself is a kind of statement. So, how I feel about fashion is about how I’d feel if I were forced to draw a picture every day, for my entire life. I hate it.

You might guess that I wear clothing that is pretty generic, and which says as little as possible. That’s not entirely true though. My dislike of fashion causes me to particularly dislike clothes shopping. My family picked up on this, so they know I really like being gifted clothing. So what I actually end up wearing is determined by a number of factors that have more to do with my family than with me.

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A season for giving

This is a repost of a short essay I wrote earlier this year, and published on Tumblr.  This is the last of the articles I wanted to import from Tumblr, so now Tumblr can burn down for all I care.

My mother is a hoarder, and her large house is approximately 90% filled with junk. I have, on multiple occasions, given her origami models, either as gifts, or because a lot of it’s just sitting in a storage box in my apartment anyways. I later see these scattered around the house.

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In the weeds with analogies

Sometimes I make an argument from analogy, and I deeply regret it. I say, “X is Y for the same reason A is B,” and commenters counter, “But X and A are different!” and I say, “I never said they were the same!” And so it goes back and forth, and into the weeds.

Arguments by analogy are terrible. They never convince anyone who wasn’t convinced to begin with. Never use them. Or so I say. But before I know it I’m using analogies again, because they’re just so darn effective for making a point.

But maybe I’m still right? Perhaps analogies really don’t convince people who aren’t already convinced, it’s just that I have an audience who is already convinced. Come on, readers! Think for yourselves!

I’d like to share my thought process about arguments from analogy, and the best way to do this is to discuss a specific case study with all its messy details. So I came up with a novel analogy for a subject that most readers are familiar with: the tone argument.

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Link roundup: November 2019

A few plugs:

There is a video of me talking about the Ace Community Survey.  Also cat and dog persons.

I wrote about my approach to putting asexuality on my resume.

And now the links:

Why I Can’t Trust You With The Term “Purity Culture” – Coyote explains purity culture, which is the Christian culture surrounding chastity, and virginity before marriage.  And then explains how “purity culture” is now being (mis)used on Tumblr, to refer to… something to do with supposed problems around social justice discourse?  It’s rather confusing, honestly.  Anyway, if you’ve ever talked about Christian purity culture, Coyote has some insightful commentary that really lays out what you’ve been talking about, even if you hadn’t realized it.

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After atheism, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop

In New Atheism: The Godlessness that Failed, Scott Alexander explains how New Atheism was a much bigger phenomenon than younger people realize, and theorizes about its demise.  Scott’s hypothesis is that New Atheism seamlessly transitioned into the social justice movement (while leaving the remaining atheist movement behind with all the anti-social-justice folks).  I don’t entirely agree, but I’ve advocated similar theories myself.

But as much as I enjoy theorizing about the demise of New Atheism, I’d like to highlight a point Scott makes in his conclusion:

I’ve lost the exact quote, but a famous historian once said that we learn history to keep us from taking the present too seriously. This isn’t to say the problems of the present aren’t serious. Just that history helps us avoid getting too dazzled by current trends, or too swept away by any particular narrative.

The “current trend”, the current paradigm of the culture wars, is social justice.  As a former atheist activist, and current social justice activist, I am perpetually concerned that social justice will crash and burn the same way atheism did.  I mean, isn’t it practically guaranteed?  Do you really think that 10-20 years down the road, people will be concerned about the same things?

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Explain at various lengths

One sentence

This article explains itself at various lengths to demonstrate a common communication technique.

Two sentences

There’s a tradeoff between the accessibility of short explanations and detail of long explanations. Essays can get the best of both worlds by doing it both ways, and this essay is an explicit example.

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Origami: 3.6.3.6

3.6.3.6, sourced from Eric Gjerde’s Origami Tessellations, which credits it to Shuzo Fujimoto.

This month, I felt like posting one of my really old models, this one made in *checks notes* 2014. This is surely one of the very earliest tessellations I tried making.  But surely this was after practicing a few times, because these aren’t exactly a cake walk to make.

Providing a back light for the tessellation illuminates its structure.  The tessellation consists of a series of hexagonal twists and triangular twists.  Adjacent twists are connected by pleats, which are darker because the light is going through three layers of paper instead of one.

I looked up the symmetry group, and I’m pretty sure this is p6 wallpaper group.