Celebrating 20 years of Pokémon Snap

207 words

Pokémon Snap first came out today 20 years ago. It is an on-rails shooter game. You’re in a car that drives around an island filled and your goal is to take pretty pictures of the pokémon that live there. It was one of my favourite games when I was little. Its relaxing gameplay and cute jokes still managed to put a smile on my face when I played the game again recently for the first time in years.

“apple-shaped food”

It takes only a couple hours to take a picture of every pokemon in the game, though with high variance since some pokemon are really tricky to find. The game feels quite modern despite its age.

At the end of every course you can show a number of photos to Professor Oak and he will rate their quality on a couple different aspects, like how well the pokémon fits in the frame and if they are in a nice pose. The amazing thing is that algorithm almost exactly matches my own opinion of which photos are good. You don’t see that often in algorithms.

The original Pokémon Snap website is surprisingly still online. It is blazingly fast. Wirth’s law is my least favourite law of nature.

Abstinence-Only Education Criticism | Part 2

172 wordsDue to recent events, here is a part 2 to my earlier post on abstinence “treatment”. Slightly more personal this time.

Eating Disorders

Reddit just banned /r/ProED and /r/ProEDmemes. I’m not sure what to say, other than that it sucks.

I’ve never had an eating disorder. I’ve flirted with it and my eating has never been healthy, but it has never interfered with my day-to-day functioning.

I liked ProEDmemes. Many posts were relatable, and the community has helped me through some dark spots. The people were lovely and caring, it was a place to relate and to vent. It wasn’t a place where eating disorders were encouraged, but one where eating disorders were accepted and everyone could work it out on their own pace, sharing and receiving help along the way.

Reddit is really convenient. You can easily participate in many different communities at once, so any single community can survive even when little fresh content gets posted. But for vulnerable communities, it doesn’t work so well.

I miss the old internet.

What am I feeling

317 wordsWhat do normal humans look like? Have my arms always looked this out of place? Are my arms too long or too short? Too wide or too narrow? They are wrong, but I can’t quite put my finger on what part is wrong.

My face looks off. All its parts have the wrong shape, size and location. My head looks fake and silly, not like heads are supposed to look.

Proprioception is bothering me. It constantly makes me aware of where my left leg is, even when I’m trying to concentrate on things that have nothing to do with anyone’s left leg. What’s up with that? Why a leg, why only the left one?

I want loud music, I want to stand outside in the cold, I want physical sensations. Anything to stop the goddamn noise.

I press my tongue against my teeth. Have my teeth always been there? They feel too widely spaced and too narrowly. They are too close to the centre of my jaw. My teeth don’t fit in my mouth and they definitely shouldn’t be where they are now. I want to grab a hammer and smash them from my skull.

Has my hair always looked this ridiculous?

All proprioception is too present right now, all over my body. My ears are bombarding my brain even though the world is quiet. My eyes are doing something equivalent that I can’t describe. My skin is crawling, itching to be cut. I wish my senses could turn off for an hour; I want some rest.

Everything about my body is deformed and in the wrong place and feels like it doesn’t belong.

Isn’t it strange that depression dampens your colour vision while also heightening proprioception? Because hypomania increases both and depression should be the opposite of hypomania.

I feel like a stranger in my own body. Maybe I would feel like a stranger in any body.

On rainbow t-shirts and colleagues

215 wordsShopping for pride t-shirts is non-trivial. Few pride t-shirts look halfway decent, and few t-shirts look good on my big man-shoulders. Imagine my delight when I found this pretty one at the Human Rights Campaign shop in San Francisco. I bought it back when I was a student a year ago, and I have been wearing it regularly ever since.

The simple student life is in the past. These days I am a PhD student, and I periodically visit conferences and workshops in various countries. One important part of these activities is to meet people and develop a professional network. I wonder, is it appropriate to wear a pride t-shirt to a conference?

On the one hand, I might not want to come out to colleagues I meet for the first time. Moreover, it might be seen as an overt political statement in an otherwise apolitical environment.

On the other hand, my field could use more queer visibility, and, most importantly, deliberately not wearing my pride shirt is also a political statement. Not an identifiably visible one, but a political statement nonetheless.

It is misguided to think anything can be apolitical. Everything is either overtly political or political by omission. The only choice is, whose politics will I adhere to? I proudly choose my own.