GmailSimon Sane <magnusjnorgaard>

The Flimsy Parkins Suicide Project (extra-long version)

Jack Masters & SUZZZZZY <poorlyplannedcomics>29 August 2015 at 16:09
To: Sy Marlinspike <sy.marlinspike>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jack Masters & SUZZZZZY <poorlyplannedcomics>
Date: 26 August 2015 at 16:11
Subject: An extremely long email about my problems, some parts of which I've already sent you
To: Andrew Hussie <andrewhussie>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: SUZZZZZY <magnusjnorgaard>
Date: 26 August 2015 at 15:48
Subject: An extremely long email for you to skim
To: Leonard Richardson <leonardr>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: SUZZZZZY <magnusjnorgaard>
Date: 26 August 2015 at 15:29
Subject: The extremely long email
To: Alex Bebout <lemmer>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jack Masters <magnusjnorgaard>
Date: 29 March 2015 at 17:40
Subject: spider kisses
To: Joan Masters <joanmasters>

mary is giving my spider kisses on my foot again (rgR'A RG that's what SUZZZZZY calls these weird super painful cramps that happen sometimes, she attributes them to a fictional babysitter we never had named "mary")

Iris: It must be quite a burden, always being the smartest one in the room.

Mary: You have no idea.

Mary: It sounds like a joke to you, because whenever you need help or advice or someone to bounce ideas off, there I am. And if I make you feel dumb, you can ignore me.

Mary: Who do you I think I call when a problem is too big for me?

Mary: There isn't anyone.

Mary: I look up, and all I see is the icy blackness of space. Nobody is in charge; nobody's wisdom is there between me and the abyss. And it's always like that, I can't turn it off.

Mary: If I found someone who made me feel stupid, I would be ecstatic. I would feel like a child who was lost in the woods for as long as she could remember finally seeing the lights of home.

i xcan't express anythi ng important in these emails so let me just express urgency
it is urgent urgent that i can talk to somebody who understands, i feel the possiblitity lslepepping away and SUZZZZZY taking control and there's a metaphor for this but i dc'na to know what it is but it's bad

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Joan Masters <joanmasters>
Date: 29 March 2015 at 18:06
Subject: Re: spider kisses
To: Jack Masters <magnusjnorgaard>

So if you can find somebody who understands then SUZZZZZY won't take control? If SUZZZZZY takes control then you disappear like in this Gravity Falls clip (which was very scarry)?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jack Masters <magnusjnorgaard>
Date: 30 March 2015 at 10:48
Subject: Re: spider kisses
To: Joan Masters <joanmasters>



yresh ukimf og rcvrpy nrv

yrd kimf og rcvrpy ni

yes kind of excvept bill's not evil he's just insane and bill's not SUZZZZZY

s  in the gravity falls analogy, SUZZZZZY is modtyl mabel in the gravity falls analogy

besides bill isn't scary he's on the disney channel! it comes on after Dog with a Blog!

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: WTCA Board <wtca505board>
Date: 3 April 2015 at 06:31
Subject: Unit 527 #7 D'Onofrio Drive, Madison WI
To: 527-7_MagnusNorgaard <magnusjnorgaard>


We have this email address in our "contacts" list as belonging to the owner of 527 D'Onofrio Drive, Unit 7, in Madison.

We are writing because security footage taken in the common building of our condo complex (the gatehouse) shows the person known to us as the resident of 527-7 engaging in irresponsible behavior.

While we know the resident of 527-7 by sight, we are uncertain of the resident's name.

We are writing to inquire about the resident and to discuss the behavior we have observed.

Please reply and let us know if you are able to help us with this matter.

Thank you for your assistance.

WTCA Board

West Towne Condominium Assn 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jack Masters <magnusjnorgaard>
Date: 4 April 2015 at 17:28
Subject: Re: Unit 527 #7 D'Onofrio Drive, Madison WI
To: WTCA Board <wtca505board>

I actually do not know!

Check the name label on the gatehouse mailbox.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jack Masters <magnusjnorgaard>
Date: 8 April 2015 at 21:27
Subject: this is how the clear umbrella made me feel today
To: Sandy Lindner <alindner1988>,+read,

Monday, 16 February 2015:

Simon Sane - 00:34
I am on a train.

Monday, 13 April 2015:

(Unnamed) - 07:48

Monday, 13 April 2015:

Simon Sane - 16:40
i got off
even though the song sauys not to
homestucx updates today
the collective unconscious is super stressed about it
so me too!@
as much as in this song pretty much
i am going to sleep again
beep at me if it updates. so
that i can get up and read it
choo choo choo! it is 4/13
just like this train, the andrew express
andrew is the hourgrass time girl, who is venus? it is john egbert
his blowing scarf or whatever is her tongue
or, well
Venus is the Trinity’s restless goddess of space, wielder of the otherworldly parasite, Abaddon. She grows tired of waiting for Mother’s plan and calls upon her unwilling foothold on the outside in a small act of rebellion. Her physical form is deceptive, as the true nature and size of Venus and Abaddon exist beyond the threshold of human comprehension.
this is so my life, you know?
anyway i have to finish this pizza and go to SLEEP, goodNIGHT!
andrew HORSIE or should i say RACHEL FROM CARDHOLDER SERVICES!11 IT'S ALL ANDREW, EVYWHERE!@!@ there's worse things for it to could be...
i don't rally thing so most of the time though
i'm just tired of waiting!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015:

Simon Sane - 00:55
ohhhhh,shellyyyyy, everything is...... oh... they re is CLAY, and... oh, i don't know
i just... want................. for....... oh, sigh............ i can't do anything because i keep bumping into all of these domino runs and andrew is
he has sticky notes by them that says DO NOT TOUCH
and, and, and i want to play but
everywhere there is machinasians and such
i don't know how to spell that
i don't know, i just want some adderall so i can............. mmnnmnmnnnnnnnn... think between the frames more where there is more space.
because, i am out of space on this page because andrew colored it already

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jack Masters <castlezzt>
Date: 24 July 2015 at 06:45
Subject: Portal
To: Anna Barker <auntie.annagardner>, Aaron McCarthy <bicycleboy>

Do you still want to get together and play Portal sometime?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Aaron D McCarthy <bicycleboy>
Date: 24 July 2015 at 21:33
Subject: Re: Portal
To: Jack Masters <castlezzt>
Cc: Anna Barker <auntie.annagardner>

Hi Jack,

That was definitely the plan, but I've just been too sick. Hopefully our abysmal medical circumstances will relent at some point here and free us up for video games...


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jack Masters & SUZZZZZY <poorlyplannedcomics>
Date: 24 July 2015 at 09:50
Subject: death threat / selfie
To: Andrew Hussie <andrewhussie>

Hello and welcome to 7 Cups. We are very glad you joined us. We are currently searching for a kind and compassionate listener for you.
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Please tell us what is on your mind so we can better match you with a listener:
Noni (Friendly Bot) - 12:49 PM

I'm full of seething, boiling hatred and pain, and the only reason I'm not out killing people right now is that I'm lucid enough not to want to deal with the consequences of such behavior.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 5:51 AM

Got it.
Noni (Friendly Bot) - Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:51 AM

I'm not sure what category that falls under.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 5:51 AM

While you wait, you have a few options. (Don’t worry, we’ll automatically connect you when your listener is ready). You can:
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Numerous company, at least...
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 5:52 AM

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powerfulSky8652 (G) - 5:53 AM
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 5:53 AM

Noni (Friendly Bot) - Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:53 AM
Can you provide any more detail abourt what brings you here today? I’ll use this information to match you up with your listener.

I hate everyone, to the extent that I feel there's no one I can share my feelings with without directing hostility towards them in the process, and I don't know anyone with whom I have a relationship that would weather such hostility without damage.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 5:55 AM

Noni (Friendly Bot) - Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:55 AM
Some people come to 7 Cups to talk about a specific challenge they are facing. Other come just to chat with another caring human. To better help, we’ll ask you a few questions about any specific challenges you might be facing.
You can respond with “N/A” if you are here to simply connect with another person. And, by the way, that is great too and a big reason why 7 Cups exists.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being “very challenging” how difficult would you say your problems are right now?

powerfulSky8652 (G) - 5:56 AM

Noni (Friendly Bot) - Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:56 AM
How many days do you feel this way in a typical week?

powerfulSky8652 (G) - 5:57 AM

I see.
Noni (Friendly Bot) - Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:57 AM
How long have you been feeling this way?

Your temporary screen name for this listening session is powerfulSky8652

@ShiroKuma (L) - 5:58 AM
@ShiroKuma (L) - 5:58 AM

powerfulSky8652 (G) - 5:58 AM

Just being here shows us that you want the world to be a better place. That is how we feel too.

good afternoon/evening/mornin there! i'm shirokuma, your friendly, personal, bear assistant
@ShiroKuma (L) - 5:59 AM
i mean listener!
@ShiroKuma (L) - 5:59 AM
excuse me while i take the time to read your chat with the bot thingy
@ShiroKuma (L) - 5:59 AM
or do you want to explain it to me, person to person? :3
@ShiroKuma (L) - 5:59 AM

The former, I guess.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:00 AM

We are building a community that is free from stigma and stereotypes and rich with love and support. A world where all 7 billion of us can feel like we truly belong.

alright then... gimme a sec :#
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:00 AM
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:00 AM
i think i'm getting what you are feeling there :3
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:02 AM

When you personally grow, you make us all stronger. When you move forward, we all move forward together.

at times, i also feel like... i'm hating everyone i know. whether my parents, my friends, ex, everyone i've met @_@, the feeling, at times, surfaces. hatred
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:03 AM
but different reasons for different people. tell me mr/ms sky
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:03 AM
why, do you think, do you hate everyone? o . o
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:04 AM

It's difficult to summarize... different reasons for different people, but broadly speaking, it's because they don't see what I see, or don't have or make the time to listen to me, or don't have anything to say if they do. I feel alone on the road of life, and that everyone I meet has filled their time with things that mean nothing to me.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:06 AM

When your conversation is over, please click on the power button on the bottom right underneath the send button to end the live chat.

people don't see what you see... that's a nice way of putting it :3
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:06 AM

I read it in a description of schizophrenia / schizoid personality disorder.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:07 AM

so... in short... people can't understand you?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:07 AM

Can't, or don't want to, it seems.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:08 AM

We believe that each one of us is inherently valuable. We do not measure people based on where they are from, what they look like, or what position they hold.

ahhh, yes
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:08 AM
i know how that feels
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:09 AM
it's very frustrating @_@. it's like people don't appreciate your presence right?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:09 AM
but, i dont think you have schizophrenia though :3
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:10 AM

When your listener says something that shows they truly get it, click the heart to let them know they’re on the right track.

you might just be frustrated with your life right now, and i am too to tell you the truth
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:10 AM
but you dont seem to be experiencing hallucinations, right?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:10 AM

Kind of... though a lot of times, when people attempt to empathize with me, they take my problem to be a lack of validation or inclusion in a social or emotional aspect, but it's not that. I live my life on a very intellectual plane, and it's the CONTENT of what I say and think about that I wish I could find someone to connect with. The ideas, not just the feelings.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:11 AM

and you don't experience stuff like that classic batman villain; two face. because from where i'm reading it involves split personality : O
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:11 AM

After your chat, you can take a 2 minute emotional wellness test to learn more about yourself.

I don't hallucinate, but I experience periods of psychosis, where I stop believing in things like math.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:11 AM
I don't have a split personality per se, but there is another side of me that acts differently and has a different name.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:12 AM
It's like a David Lynch movie, where someone escapes the mundane world into a scary fantastical one. It's a mental illness only to the same extent an addiction is an illness. I turn to insanity because I find reality unbearable.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:14 AM

ahh, too bad i don't watch david lynch movies
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:15 AM

We believe that you make sense in the larger story of your life. We understand that life is not simple or easy.

this... other name of yours...
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:15 AM

powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:15 AM

Do you know that one of the best ways to help yourself if to help someone else. Consider becoming a listener to give back. Click here to learn more.

what does it do and how much does it affect you?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:15 AM

Difficult to summarize. She mostly keeps me company, but sometimes she'll mail boxes of creepy stuff to my lawyer's daughter or threaten to kill my psychotherapist or write on the walls or whatnot.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:16 AM

Every action you do on the website gives you growth points. This helps you move up through levels, solve problems, and learn new skills. Create an account now to save your rewards and progress.

She's kind of a caricature of what Julian Jaynes called the dormant bicameral god-voice, if that means anything to you.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:18 AM
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:19 AM

well, you lost me @_@
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:20 AM
none of those names ring a bell
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:20 AM

Your personal growth makes the world a better place and empowers you to care more for others around you. We are all connected. When you get help, you help others!

some kind of joker persona then?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:20 AM
pardon me for not knowing other than those mundane, generic stuff : /
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:21 AM

When your conversation is over, please click on the power button on the bottom right underneath the send button to end the live chat.

She is playful, yes.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:21 AM
Right now she says my problem is that I'm "just hungry".
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:22 AM

Each small step on 7 cups is a step in the right direction. You are already taking steps on your personal growth journey. We’ve created an easy to follow growth path just for you. You’ll be able to see it at the end of the chat.

how goes your relationship with her?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:23 AM

We are like two villainous henchmen who argue to provide exposition.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:23 AM

how does your point of view differ from hers? :3
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:24 AM

I am more cynical and grounded.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:24 AM

Did you know that we have 90,000 positive conversations on 7 cups a week? Thanks for helping us make the world a better place.

while she dons the mad, insane mask?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:27 AM

Yes. Or just wants to do stuff, like eat.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:27 AM

what do you want to achieve in the end? do you want to overcome her influence? or do you want to reach a balanced state, merging you two together?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:27 AM

Neither. I am not unhappy because I am split, I am split because I'm unhappy.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:28 AM

We are all on the same path. Some of us are just starting out. Others are further down the road. No matter where we are, being kind, compassionate, and accepting of one another enables us all to grow.

My life story is tangled up with the stories of three other people. Their names are Christopher, Vincent, and Andrew.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:33 AM
We do not talk to each other, though Vincent has talked to Andrew, and I used to talk to Vincent frequently. We are all authors. Christopher came first, he wrote his book before I was born.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:34 AM
It is a puzzle book. It remains unsolved.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:34 AM
Then Vincent wrote his book, inspired by Christopher's without consciously understanding what he was copying.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:35 AM

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Then I and Andrew began our works, influenced by Christopher and Vincent.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:36 AM
Vincent's book is more of a story than Christopher's, but is also a puzzle and also remains unsolved.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:36 AM
Andrew's work is unfinished, and does not appear to be a puzzle, but is.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:37 AM
I am apparently the only one on earth who recognizes this, despite Andrew's work being incredibly popular and famous.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:37 AM
My work is not a puzzle; it is inside-out in relation to the other three. It is an exploration of an abstract field of ideas.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:38 AM
It is not finished, but instead goes off the rails into a schizophrenic bramble.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:39 AM
As of late, I have come to realize that Christopher's book, which started this whole story, is riddled with references to hell, damnation, Satan, etc., all subtle enough to be plausibly deniable, but so pervasive as to form the core theme of the book. It is unclear to me what Christopher's intent was.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:41 AM
For instance, on page 3 there is a drawing on the wall of a falling stick figure with a hat, below it is a radiator. On page 18, a hat lies on the floor in front of a roaring fireplace. On page 26, a play is being performed featuring devils coming out of trapdoors and a wooden devil with wings hanging from above the stage.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:43 AM

After your chat, you can take a 2 minute emotional wellness test to learn more about yourself.

The connection between the radiator and the play is that "heater" and "theater" are one letter off.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:44 AM
So, the man with the hat is falling into hell.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:44 AM
On page 4, there is a piece of paper on the wall with the letters ELL, missing the H, also some chopped firewood, a candle, a box of matches, and a mallet.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:45 AM
Implying fire, and in the case of the mallet, judgement.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:45 AM

mmhmm, go on...
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:46 AM

At the far end of the room is a doorway to darkness, with a sign reading "11" above it, and above that, a decoration in the shape of the sun. Turned sideways, the 11 becomes an equals sign, implying "darkness = light". Or perhaps, rather than light, fire again.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:47 AM

Each small step on 7 cups is a step in the right direction. You are already taking steps on your growth path. We’ve created an easy to follow growth path just for you. You’ll be able to access it at the end of your chat.

The book is a choose your own adventure, and the only ending is a page which is completely black except for many pairs of eyes staring out of the darkness at you.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:48 AM

what, do you think
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:49 AM
what could possibly be behind those... dark...
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:49 AM
dark backgrounds? what are those eyes? what could they possibly mean?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:49 AM

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I think it's meant to be a picture of hell, with the reader filling in the fire and such in their unconscious imagination. Then again, perhaps Christopher intended people to put it together consciously, as I have. It can be difficult, when one is as intelligent as he is, to make puzzles that other people will solve.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:51 AM
But I do not know.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:51 AM
The examples I've given barely scratch the surface, there is much more, and it is quite cleverly done. I go back and forth between admiring Christopher's ingenuity and disliking his taste.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:52 AM
I strongly suspect that Andrew has also figured out what was in Christopher's book, and in fact, it was clues in Andrew's work that lead me to the discovery myself. Andrew's motivations are, if anything, even harder to divine than Christopher's.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:54 AM
He has built his work upon Christopher's in an equally subtle yet pervasive fashion, sometimes making mockery of it, sometimes twisting it into new, seemingly experimental forms, to what purpose I can't say.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:55 AM
Occasionally Andrew's work seems directed at me personally, though as this is one of the classic misapprehensions of schizophrenia I remain skeptical it was truly intended as such.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:56 AM
My pain comes from these things:
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:57 AM
1. I am unable to solve these puzzles
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:57 AM

mhhmm, and the rest of it?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 6:58 AM

2. I am unable to share in the process of solving them with anyone I know, as everyone either lacks the time, the talent, the interest, or the courage to assist me.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 6:59 AM
3. I am unable to turn my mind to a different subject, as this thing has been so woven into my thoughts and my life, and nothing else I try to do has the same spark of significance to me.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:00 AM
I also have severe ADHD, but am refused medication for it as I also have schizophrenia.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:01 AM

but what about going to a therapist?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:02 AM
a real professional therapist, of your local area has one?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:02 AM
he or she might be able to tackle your schizophrenia problem
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:02 AM

The last therapist I went to insulted SUZZZZZY's intelligence and lied about reading the emails she sent him, and SUZZZZZY sent an email to a colleague of his asking what kind of gun to buy to blow his brains out with.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:04 AM
And you know, he was easily the best therapist I've been to.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:05 AM
Seeing someone for half an hour once a week who is paid to pretend to care about your problems just isn't much help.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:05 AM

well hahaha
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:05 AM
the best therapist for you might not be the best for her
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:05 AM
maybe consider understanding her more, and trying to know what therapist she prefers :3
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:06 AM

She prefers that I not see therapists at all.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:06 AM

hmm... why is that?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:07 AM

Because they're rubbish, basically. I'm inclined to agree, at this point. Most of them we've seen get a deer-in-the-headlights look after listening to us for about five minutes.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:08 AM
In any case, the schizophrenia isn't the source of the unhappiness, it's if anything a side effect of it.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:09 AM
Having no one else to talk to, I unravel so that I can talk to myself.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:10 AM
It's not that I don't have places to go where I'm accepted, or people to shoot the shit with.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:11 AM
What I lack is someone with whom to have an intelligent conversation about the things which obsess me and have been my life's work, the puzzles into which I have unique insights.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:12 AM

maybe what you guys should really seek isn't human
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:13 AM
maybe... it's some form of experience instead?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:13 AM
a certain point in life where you guys can form equality, a balance
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:14 AM
a certain... point of agreement?
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:14 AM
but then again, to tell you the truth, i'm not intelligent enough to solve your puzzles
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:14 AM
i might be able to help you morally, but that's as far as i can help you
@ShiroKuma (L) - 7:16 AM

SUZZZZZY often suggest we kill Christopher. I say no, but not for any moral reason. It just seems to me it'd be a big ugly mess and wouldn't really accomplish anything. When she asks for alternatives though, I have nothing except "wait to see where Andrew's going with his thing" and in only a few months Andrew's work will be finished and I doubt anything will have changed.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:18 AM
Our only balance point that I've found is when we're fire-in-the-eyes angry.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:18 AM
Now SUZZZZZY wants to kill all three of them.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:24 AM
With an umbrella.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:24 AM
This is part of why she doesn't like me talking to therapists. A lot of what I have to say triggers the "danger to self or others" flag.
powerfulSky8652 (G) - 7:24 AM

Well, I should probably go. I'm feeling somewhat better, so thank you.

(G) - 7:25 AM

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jack Masters <castlezzt>
Date: 8 August 2015 at 19:17
Subject: Please send this to Scribbit and tell him that I'm sorry and I want to be his friend again and I'm sending it through you because I don't know if he'll get it if I send it myself.
To: Ashley Sgromo <asgromo>

Saturday, 8 August 2015:

Simon Sane - 18:50

Nadia Fortune - 18:50
oh hi
whats up

Simon Sane - 18:50
you fell. 😞

Nadia Fortune - 18:51
i did?
ahahaha awwwwww!
thats so cute
how's it going?
im at my parents house

Simon Sane - 18:51
Nadia I miss my friend Matt but he won't talk to me!

Nadia Fortune - 18:51
ive been studying way better since ive been here, cuz theres little to do, but i also hate being here cuz everyone fights
well what have you said to him to reach out to him?

Simon Sane - 18:52
I don't know, a couple sorry emails and other emails of stuff he might like.

Nadia Fortune - 18:52
aww really?
and he hasnt answered at all?

Simon Sane - 18:52
Ashley talks to him on Facebook comments but she won't tell him to be my friend again.

Nadia Fortune - 18:53
yea, its kinda hard to tell someoneelse to be your friend
matt USED to be my friend, but doesnt even remember me so i dont talk to him cuz that offended me

Simon Sane - 18:54
Yeah, I remember how he forgot you.
I don't know why, it seems so mean.

Nadia Fortune - 18:54
do you remember he and i being friends? i CANT HAVE MADE THAT UP

Simon Sane - 18:54
You should send him all the logs of you talking!

Nadia Fortune - 18:55
its probably on my old computer
i was basically his MOM
i like was the GIRL for all you and your dorky boy friends cuz they didnt talk to girls
and you all told me all your sad things
and, its kinda shitty to not remember that
i remember he and i being SUPER close
and him all talkng about going to art school and he didnt like it and then he also needed money so he got a job at some huge supermarket and hated that too

Simon Sane - 18:56
It's true!

Nadia Fortune - 18:57
he said he just remembered me contextually existing as your girlfriend and didnt remember even talking to me
good to know youre valued as an individual person and not an extension of a man you associate with

Simon Sane - 18:58
But Nadia who else will draw my comic and put up with my incredibly lazy and persnickety art direction!

Nadia Fortune - 18:59
uhhh some other random internet dork who worships you?

Simon Sane - 18:59
None of them can draw!
Well, Ashley can draw backgrounds.

Nadia Fortune - 18:59
well, can he? lets be honest
haha just kidding, i guess he draws fine

Simon Sane - 18:59
Ashley's backgrounds are better than Matt's, honestly.

Nadia Fortune - 18:59
just keep apologizing to him til he comes around

Simon Sane - 19:00
He draws good! And he draws things that are FUNNY, which is harder than drawing good.

Nadia Fortune - 19:00
if you write genuine apologies they can be hard to ignore i think
you could send him a copy of this conversation of you complimenting hi
you know, minus what i said about him

Simon Sane - 19:00
I don't know, though, I think he has me blocked on most of my names and if I send it to him on another name I feel like he'll just be like UGH and block that one too.
That's why I wanted Ashley to poke him as an intermediary...

Nadia Fortune - 19:01

Simon Sane - 19:01

Nadia Fortune - 19:01
so he hasnt even gotten your emails?

Simon Sane - 19:01
I don't know!
I could print this out and mail it too him but I don't have a printer...

Nadia Fortune - 19:05
did you smash it?

Simon Sane - 19:05

Nadia Fortune - 19:05
you should stop smashing stuff

Simon Sane - 19:06
I smashed it all at the same time, back in the winter.

Nadia Fortune - 19:06
well, you could mail him stuff, yea
a present!
a non-creepy, non-mean present
that reminds me of when i used to have aspirations of making a stuffed pistachio doll and mailing it to you
remember how i was a fan?

Simon Sane - 19:07
You mailed me a bunch of cheese and chocolate one time too but I didn't check my mail often enough to find it before it spoiled.

Nadia Fortune - 19:08
yea, that was like five years ago
for valentines day
you could have eaten the CHOCOLATE still
well that was way after i was a fan anyway
that was when i was being friendly
do you think we have spent more time disliking each other than being friends? i think that may be very possible

Simon Sane - 19:11
I don't know, maybe! Probably.
I'm a pretty difficult person I guess.

Nadia Fortune - 19:12
maybe im the difficult person!

Simon Sane - 19:13
Well, I feel like the common element in all my failed relationships is me.

Nadia Fortune - 19:14
the common element in anyone's list of failed relationships is theself
that being said, no you arent the nicest person in the world all the time
but its nice that you want to try to reconnect with your friends and feel bad

Simon Sane - 19:15
I wish I could go back and not have been crazy.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Matt Smith <>
Date: 9 August 2015 at 11:39
Subject: Closure? I hardly know her!
To: Simon Sane <magnusjnorgaard>

Ha ha ha, wow, this new season of Rick and Morty is sure a laugh and a half. But enough television, let's talk about a serious issue. Sometimes I look back on our friendship and wonder if it wasn't all an elaborate 11 year troll.  When you first cut off communication and I was calling your phone every day, I was feeling hurt and extremely concerned, but after re-establishing contact it turned from concern to disgust and annoyance and finally hatred. There were some nights I actually lost sleep wondering if you were going to come after me, or Ben, or Vincent with a gun or some way to harm us. A pretty good case could be made I was just projecting my own violent impulses onto you. Frankly, I question the wisdom of someone who currently has no contact with me, is intimately familiar with the kind of person that I am, and tries to come back for more. If we're both so screwed-up maybe it's no coincidence we were friends for so long. I also doubt the sincerity of your claims of rehabilitation, but you knew that already, it's just what I do. I can't say I never want to talk to you ever again, just not now or in the near future. I don't want to get back on the ride yet. I may need years.

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Monday, 10 August 2015:

Simon Sane - 00:09
Matt emailed me

Ashley Sgromo - 00:09
oh yes?

Simon Sane - 00:10
I'll forward you it.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:10
jeez, what a baby!
well, i mean, not really, though

Simon Sane - 00:13
I don't know, he has a point...

Ashley Sgromo - 00:20
i know where he's coming from, i just have fewer principles
also, probably, fears

Simon Sane - 00:21
I don't think less fears. Less prudence, maybe.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:22
fair enough!

Simon Sane - 00:22
What he said about doubting my rehabilitation was completely sensible.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:24
agreed, i guess, with reservations

Simon Sane - 00:25
I doubt it myself, to an extent.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:26
i didn't imagine you were "rehabilitated", what does that even mean? that you'll never say crazy stuff again? why think that? why condition being your friend on that?

Simon Sane - 00:27
As I read it, he meant "no longer psychotic or liable to become so".
Mind you, psychosis is a bit of a slippery term, but I think in my case I was definitely out there.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:29
well, it's out of the box, it can't be put back in. in that sense i don't think rehabilitation is meaningful
it's more like now you know what's at the bottom of that valley, so you're both more and less likely to go back down there

Simon Sane - 00:30
Sort of.
That's putting it differently than I would...
I think it's more about patterns of behavior.
Letting yourself be consumed by a certain way of thinking.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:35
do you think there was a chance you would seriously harm anyone?

Simon Sane - 00:35
A chance, yes.
Well, I mean, it's hard to say, the same with whether you'd really go through with a suicide attempt if something intervened.
As it has for me.
Kind of...
Even if there wasn't, and I expect there's not, any more than there is for Matt, it's something that can damage a person's life to live on the edge of, both from the outside and from the inside.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:40
i don't have very much prudence, yeah
you made me pretty worried and miserable for a while but i found i was pretty good at compartmentalizing it

Simon Sane - 00:47
I feel like I should draw Matt a nice goodbye picture too, but I don't know what to draw it of.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:48
now that i think about it, i was viscerally angry with you for hurting matt and alienating vincent
i'm not feeling it at all anymore, but it was definitely there for a while
but i guess i didn't feel... directly injured?
well, same difference

Ashley Sgromo - 01:19
yeah, it's funny, it never felt like you particularly betrayed me, but thinking about matt being sad could bring me to panic or tears, and watching vincent run out of patience made me really mad at you

Monday, 10 August 2015:

Simon Sane - 09:08
I'm reading Harry Potter and the Natural 20. I'm at the beginning of what's book 2 in the original series.

Ben Heaton - 09:10
Are you enjoying it?

Simon Sane - 09:10
It's interesting to note the similarities and differences between it and Erfworld.
Which it's closer to than it is to Harry Potter, really.
The main difference is that Erfworld is a story about a player summoned into a gameworld, and Harry Potter and the Natural 20 is about a player character summoned into a story.

Ben Heaton - 09:23
I think my original reason for recommending it to you was that PPC also had bits about how alien player characters would be around "more real" characters.

Simon Sane - 09:24
Yeah, it's got a very similar vibe. It's made me realize something about myself, too.
The dynamic is quite different from PPC because Milo is the only one. He thinks of Harry and Ron and Hermione as other PCs, but they're not, really, or at least, they're not munchkins. He's drawn to them because they have adventures, and having adventures is what gives his life purpose.
He has a hard time being human, or even understanding humans. He has to adjust to it in the opposite way Parson does.
It's not a huge thing for either of them, because they're both near the border and the place they've come to live in is near the border too, just on the other side.

Ben Heaton - 09:31
The apparent similarities work against Milo more than Parson. Parson gets some insight from the pop culture references, but HPatN20 mostly goes the other way, highlighting where something in Harry Potter is completely different from the D&D thing with the same name.

Simon Sane - 09:37
It's hard to meaningfully compare the two situations in terms of advantage, as Parson's story is open-ended while Milo's story is winding its way through a pre-existing one. In many RPGs I've played, the PCs were just as oblivious to the structure of the plot as Milo is, or even deliberately, actively so, because they knew it was pre-written and that attempts to figure it out ahead of schedule would be stymied anyway.
If an RPG is seen as a struggle between the game master to tell a story and the players to play a game, acting like an idiot in regards to The Plot is a victory. Work hard to figure things out and make yourself a part of it, and all you end up doing is making it seem natural. Act oblivious and wander around at right angles as fate swoops in to railroad things back into line, and you reveal the artifice of the thing while puncturing its aesthetic.
Of course, this is a STORY about someone doing that, so things get a bit murky.

Ben Heaton - 09:43
Have I told you about the D&D campaign I've been playing in lately?

Simon Sane - 09:44
I don't think so.

Ben Heaton - 09:44
There was a session a month or two ago where our goal was to break into the headquarters of a rival organization and steal their banner, which would be some major insult to their pride.
We broke in, spent a while arguing about the maps we were drawing of the floor plan as we went through, then found the banner easily. But when we took it off the wall, there was a mysterious passageway hidden behind it.
Then I said, "Okay, we have a choice to make here. Do we try to get this banner out through the bathroom window where we came in, or do we take it out through the front door, which is much closer but risks getting spotted?"
The other players started engaging with that as though those were the only options.
Then the DM got kind of a pained expression, and had us hear the people whose headquarters it was returning, forcing us to actually check out the mystery passageway of adventure.

Simon Sane - 09:53
Munchkins make an interesting choice for fish-out-of-water characters because they're kind of fish who don't live in water in the first place.
They're autistic killing machines who travel with the only other three of their kind and have little to no interaction outside that group, the interactions within it being weight-in-a-matchbox-unpredictable, dysfunctional, and mysterious due to being the tip of the iceberg of the OOC interactions between their players.
I find Milo to be the most identifiable character I've run into in quite some time. When I was psychotic, I had a very similar-feeling set of eccentric, mostly false beliefs, and the same call to adventure and alienation from the people around me. Although I didn't think of it in those words, it was exactly the feeling that they were NPCs.
My estrangement from the Synod, from my perspective, in retrospect, was centrally a matter of me wanting you guys to act like PCs and you guys wanting me to act like an NPC.

Ben Heaton - 10:08
Hm. That's not a parallel I'd thought of, but it does make sense.
I think of myself as a supporting character rather than a main character, which isn't the same distinction, but it's similar.

Simon Sane - 10:39
Main characters and supporting characters are more equally human, I'd say. PCs and NPCs differ dramatically in their humanity, but in different directions in different ways.
Harry Potter is a main character, Hannah Abbot is a supporting character, Milo is a PC. NPCs don't really appear in narrative fiction.
Arguably none of them appear in real life, but to the extent classifications could be made, it seems like it's mostly a scattered slew of main characters in a sea of NPCs, somewhat weirdly.
And that PCs and supporting characters, as you and I consider(ed) ourselves or aspire(d) to be, don't turn up much.

Ben Heaton - 10:51
Which makes those much cooler categories to identify as.

Simon Sane - 10:54
Most people live their lives on autopilot, a rare few have autopilots which take them on interesting journeys. We, the schizoids, are detatched from this grand machine.
You want to connect to it while remaining outside the plane of its operation, I want to break it.
We are both, I think, conscious modern humans whose spiritual identity is as one half of a bicameral mind, though in somewhat perpendicular ways.
I, like Milo, as the mind below, cut off from the mind above, but feeling nonetheless that I have a purpose or significance in the world that others do not.
You, as the mind in the wings, missing the mind on stage, but feeling nonetheless that a play is to be performed.

Ben Heaton - 11:09
A play that I don't take too seriously, but would like to see through, perhaps.
I do sometimes get frustrated around extreme NPCs, though.

Simon Sane - 11:11
Your placidity has always been strange to me. You are like a statue of a god that is no longer worshiped.

Ben Heaton - 11:12
My mom had a childhood friend of hers visit with her husband a week or two ago. They were incredibly dull people. The first evening they were here, I decided there would be zero benefit to engaging with them beyond the minimum required for politeness.
My brother instead got in an argument with one of them about Israel, the kind of argument where one person says a talking point, then when it's questioned, repeats it word for word.
That guy expressing a vaguely racist opinion about Palestinians was the most noteworthy thing either of them did their entire visit.

Simon Sane - 11:18
I have been struggling for several months to make more friends.
They all seem... too far behind, without enough time to catch up, and I feel I've fallen behind myself due to my attempts to gather them.
Though what it is we've all fallen behind, I can't say. Sensibly speaking, I don't think there's anything TO fall behind.
That's what I think, anyway. What I feel is that we're so far behind, the trail has gone cold, and we are no longer relevent, no longer on-panel.
The Abilify dampens most of my psychotic intuitions completely, but not this one of being off-panel, and it's something I find... difficult.

Ben Heaton - 11:28
Or I guess ones who are able and willing to get up to speed fast.
You don't want just any friends, you want people who already have the right shared cultural literacy and attitudes, right?

Simon Sane - 11:29
Do you remember this song?

Ben Heaton - 11:31
Can't check it right now. In car with cousin going shopping.


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Saturday, 15 August 2015:

Simon Sane - 07:34
I don't know, Ben. Maybe I really am a narcissist.
The people I've talked to about my crazy theories about MAZE and Homestuck, in the rare cases where they followed what I was saying at all, they ask me what I hope to get out of it.
And I say that I feel like my own story is so deeply entangled with the story of these works that I have to figure them out in order to tell it, or something along those lines.
But maybe I just want attention, I just want to steal the show.
Maybe I want to make it about me.
I'm increasingly given to feel that if I were a Community character, it would be Chang.
I just wish I had one person who shared my perspective, who was interested in what I'm interested in and could see what I see.

Ben Heaton - 08:25
I think the fact that I'm not such a person is kind of highlighted by me being closer to it than most.

Simon Sane - 08:25

Ben Heaton - 08:28
Like Hydrogen Guy being harmed by plasma rifles set to a frequency slightly offset from the natural frequency of hydrogen.
(Most accessible analogy possible)

Simon Sane - 09:16
What frustrates me is I get the impression from you that you could play with me, you just won't allow yourself to.
That you have an intuition that could see what I see, but that it's locked away somewhere.

Ben Heaton - 09:19
Hard to rule out. But my interest is sort of a limit, and the conversation the other night was pushing up against that boundary re: Homestuck secrets.

Simon Sane - 09:19
Yeah, I know...

What's up with this avatar, apropos of nothing?

Ben Heaton - 09:22
I used that in a MazeCast episode where we discussed room 24. We had a gag where over the course of the episode, people's images got gradually replaced by darkness or just eyes, and they went silent.

Simon Sane - 09:22

Jack Masters: Daniel, I'm very sad and unhappy. Unbearably unhappy, at times. It feels like it's due to not having much for friends and no one who gets me, but I expect it's insight-related. I feel like I should meditate to get through it, but when I try, I just can't seem to muster the attention.

Jack Masters: The furthest I got with meditation, I was on three-to-six times as much Adderall as I am now, and  in the interim I developed schizophrenia, which is in remission, more or less.

Jack Masters: Do you think I should be trying to do insight meditation or not?

* * *

Daniel M. Ingram: Dear Jack,

Daniel M. Ingram: I am sorry to hear you are having a hard time. As to meditation and schizophrenia: it is a very complex topic about which not nearly enough is known, particularly by me.

Daniel M. Ingram: I get this question somewhat often, but I don't have great answers.

Daniel M. Ingram: Visualization and mantra practices are probably a bad idea, as they tend to create psychosis of some kind even in non-schizophrenics, so, at least in theory, I would recommend avoiding those.

Daniel M. Ingram: Bodily-centered practices are typically recommended, such as the breath, but not in high dose, and definitely with someone locally to help you in case things get complicated.

Daniel M. Ingram: This set of standard advice is still weak and incomplete, I realize.

Jack Masters: Hmm. I see.

Daniel M. Ingram: There is a meditation and mental-illness on-line dharma community somewhere, thought its name eludes me at the moment.

Daniel M. Ingram: I seem to recall an email by someone who recommended it to me: let me see if I can find it.

Jack Masters: My main concern is that there's a big gets-worse-before-it-gets-better aspect to insight meditation, and I never have any grip on where I'm at or how much more effort is required to get to the next part, or if I have it in me to get from here to the end.

Daniel M. Ingram: It is a totally reasonable concern. How much effort is required is complicated, as the point is to synchronize right here with the effortlessness and naturalness of things, and yet, still, somehow that seems to benefit from effort and training.

Daniel M. Ingram: somehow the email with the links is also eluding me: will look tomorrow for it and see if I can find it

Jack Masters: OK, thank you.

Jack Masters: Another major issue I have is that there's something basic about the process which feels like it fundamentally runs against my grain. I live for understanding, the kind that's made of words, and the attainments of insight meditation seem not to connect to that, or even, to take it from many practitioners, to deny the legitimacy of such understanding.

Jack Masters: For me to find happiness this way, and not be able to explain it, to share it with anyone else in words, seems kind of like selling out my principles.

Daniel M. Ingram: It incorporates it, but doesn't take from it. The immediate, sensory, living experience of meaning is like colors, textures, flavors. Being very aware of the sensations that make up thoughts and their true nature brings us closer to the true meanings, the experience of those meanings, rather than farther away.

Daniel M. Ingram: Those meanings, those thoughts, become more alive, more clear, more a part of the natural field of experience. No sense of the importance of the words or meanings is lost in that process, and much that is beneficial is gained as those meanings are seen as they are.

Daniel M. Ingram: I find the experience of meaning vastly more interesting and profound than I did before.

Jack Masters: But you cannot explain the process by which you came to feel differently, there is no convincing  story of what is different in the mind.

Daniel M. Ingram: If one values thoughts, then one should value clearly knowing thoughts as thoughts, knowing meanings as meanings, clearly, easily, naturally.

Jack Masters: I don't really see why that should be so, any more than one should value fonts or letters. The thing that makes thoughts so useful is that it doesn't MATTER what they're made of.

Daniel M. Ingram: I can explain the process: I paid attention, very careful attention to everything, and, by paying careful attention to everything, things became more clear. When sensations were more clear, I perceived things about them that I wasn't able to before. Those perceptions became more and more natural, until finally that was just the way things were perceived.

Daniel M. Ingram: Things do matter, clearly, or you wouldn't care, and it matters what thoughts are made of, as they are an integral part of your living experience, and thoughts have power, and that power is easier to keep in perspective and use well when thoughts are known clearly as they actually are.

Jack Masters: I see your point, but what I mean to complain is that you're offering insight into understanding instead of understanding of insight.

Daniel M. Ingram: Your construction of the distinction is clever linguistically, but unfortunately its fine meaning is still lost on me. Perhaps say that another way such that I know what you mean, even if it might lack the lyrical beauty of that sentence.

Jack Masters: I want to know what happens in the mind during insight meditation and spiritual attainments in the same way that I can know what happens when I fix a problem with my computer. The practice of meditation, as it stands today, feels like the equivalent of running the bare minimum number of applications, turning it off and on again, etc., these standard procedures that sometimes fix things, and if they fix it for you, be happy.

Daniel M. Ingram: There is an animated movie from decades ago that features spiritual teachings constructed along similar lines, but I forget its name.

Daniel M. Ingram: What happens in the brain is unclear, but what it feels like is both that unnecessary processes are eliminated from the background and foreground, such that the process at once operates much more efficiently and also doesn't waste time doing things that were actually harmful rather than helpful, and also that things are re-wired such that things that should be just grounded down to zero get automatically grounded down, as well as things that should be clear are just clear.

Jack Masters: But there is a trick of some kind between just generally paying very close attention to everything and these fixes you talk about. It's not unheard of for people to make sudden dramatic progress without learning to meditate, when in altered states from drugs or in some cases just due to a quirk of their brains or their thinking. When I am helping someone with their computer, and I can't see the screen, I tell them to read all the text that appears, and this is good advice, but I don't go so far as to pretend that the secret to solving their computer problem is suffused throughout the graphical user interface and that every bit matters just as much as every other bit.

Jack Masters: Patience and attention to detail are good in general, but in most instances they're just nice and in some they're completely critical, and the formalized practice of meditation seems to gloss over this or even deny that it's the case, instead contending that the solution is everywhere like the holy spirit.

Daniel M. Ingram: If you read all the sensations that arise in your experience clearly, this is just like your advice to read the words on the screen clearly.

Daniel M. Ingram: It is just that this takes some realizing that they read themselves.

Daniel M. Ingram: The sensations, clearly seen, are the solution, being the whole of your life

Daniel M. Ingram: So, it is not like saying the holy spirit is everywhere, which is hard to make sense of

Daniel M. Ingram: But it is like saying that all the sensations that make up your life are all the sensations that make up your life, as they clearly are

Jack Masters: Well, the first line you said is the metaphor I intended, but from there I lose track of what you mean, and your last line is a tautology. At least the idea of the holy spirit being everywhere means SOMETHING. It is hard for me to see how the knowledge of a tautology could be the solution to anything at all, whether in the domain of introspection or outside it.

Daniel M. Ingram: experiences contain their own light

Daniel M. Ingram: no sensations know any other

Daniel M. Ingram: these sensations here don't know those sensations there

Daniel M. Ingram: seeing all sensations clearly reveals this

Daniel M. Ingram: sensations are just where they are

Daniel M. Ingram: this is extremely obvious once you see it, like the great cosmic "Duh!"

Daniel M. Ingram: it makes you realize that the whole does itself

Daniel M. Ingram: this is vastly easier than when people imagine they are some small separate part of this whole thing and have to do things for things to happen, which even sitting for a few minutes on a cushion proves is totally not true

Daniel M. Ingram: everything is still happening

Daniel M. Ingram: thoughts still happen

Daniel M. Ingram: movements still happen

Daniel M. Ingram: sounds still happen

Daniel M. Ingram: even when people try to make them not happen

Daniel M. Ingram: and even that just happened on its own

Daniel M. Ingram: and finally getting that screaming obvious point all the way through for everything beats the shit out of the previous way

Jack Masters: But it SOUNDS obvious when you say it to a naïve listener, as well, and while I can accept that the truth enlightenment reveals is actually extremely plain, but if that is the case, then what is needed is an explanation of the strange mistake made in the unenlightened model of the world.

Daniel M. Ingram: it not only sounds obvious: sit for 5 minutes: make your experience conform in even the slightest ways to your wishes: good luck with that

Daniel M. Ingram: try to do it in a way that was different from what was going to happen anyway: good luck with that

Daniel M. Ingram: try to stop thoughts or think just what you wish: good luck with that

Jack Masters: If the unenlightened brain can exist and function, then surely it can be explained, and the errors in its perspective specified. Instead it's treated as an unspeakable impossibility that somehow billions of people are living in, as though they were potential immigrants from some counterfactual world where 1 = 0 and there's just no way to tell them the way they're wrong.

Daniel M. Ingram: control the flow of sensations such that you exclude those you don't like: good luck with that

Daniel M. Ingram: It really very much like drawings that you can look at two different ways, like the classic one of the old and young woman: same lines, totally different interpretations possible

Daniel M. Ingram: It is like magic eye pictures: looked at one way they are just a bunch of visual noise, and looked at another way, they reveal 3D images: totally same picture, totally different interpretations and experiences and meanings

Jack Masters: But I can explain how to do a magic eye picture, I understand the process by which the hidden image appears, and I know it won't work for my friend who has a lazy eye no matter how long he tries.

Daniel M. Ingram: I look at Chinese characters and nothing happens in my brain but appreciation of their forms and a sense of confusion

Daniel M. Ingram: To someone who reads Chinese, they have vast meanings

Jack Masters: You do not understand the process of enlightenment in this way, that you can say who it will work for and why.

Daniel M. Ingram: Except that even if you can explain magic eye pictures, some people can see it and some people will stare at them for hours and try crossing their eyes and do whatever you tell them to do but they still just won't get it

Daniel M. Ingram: That is not necessarily your fault

Daniel M. Ingram: Even if they don't have a lazy eye

Daniel M. Ingram: some just won't see it

Daniel M. Ingram: Many, in fact

Daniel M. Ingram: I have known a good number who were totally vexed by magic eye pictures

Daniel M. Ingram: They are really easy for me

Daniel M. Ingram: I even do it naturally with bathroom tiles on the floor, and can make them in something that looks like a 3D floor a few feet below where they actually are, as if I were floating above it

Jack Masters: Yeah, me too.

Daniel M. Ingram: Fun stuff!

Daniel M. Ingram: Still, just because I can't explain to everyone how to see magic eye pictures doesn't mean there isn't something to see there, or that it isn't a thing I can understand and tell someone how to see

Jack Masters: But I've never run into someone who I couldn't either help to see the picture or diagnose their problem, like lazy eye. I can draw diagrams of the eyes and the different ways they have of focusing, explain the difference between the various systems by which people perceive and adjust to depth, the binocular angle of the eyes, the distortion of the lens, parallax movement, etc.

Jack Masters: I can explain why 3D glasses in theaters used to make people sick if they tilted their heads and now they don't.

Jack Masters: My friend with the lazy eye can still see the 3D in a Nintendo 3DS, because it uses eye-tracking and parallax, and those work with one or two.

Daniel M. Ingram: Interesting

Jack Masters: But in meditation, instead of an explanation as to what is happening, there is simply a set of instructions which according to ancient metaphysics should work for everybody, and if it doesn't,  keep trying, and as someone who has often found himself an exception to things, this leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Daniel M. Ingram: Ok, I get that

Daniel M. Ingram: Except that it actually is true that if you just hold the assumption that the same thing that applies to the vast majority of your experience (you have no control of it, it is not you, it just happens, it is over there and knows itself as it is where it is) to a few aspects at the apparent center of experience, then you will see that the same thing applies there also

Daniel M. Ingram: If you were right for 95%, you can be right in the same way for 100%

Daniel M. Ingram: Most of our experience we take to be out of our control and not us

Daniel M. Ingram: This just happens to be right all the way through

Daniel M. Ingram: It is simply a question of noticing these same obvious aspects for sensations in the region of space that seems to be us

Daniel M. Ingram: This is straightforward

Daniel M. Ingram: It does just require doing it a lot, as our old and erroneous habits sometimes die hard

Daniel M. Ingram: And it seems somehow creepy, even though it is actually really cool when you actually see it, just like magic eye pictures

Jack Masters: But how am I to find the center? When I tell someone to check the properties on their USB microphone, I can give them instructions to the properties window, the volume control, the system tray, the taskbar, to the mouse if need be. When finding the hidden assumptions at the apparent center of experience, the closest thing to a map is "hang out in high equanimity and eventually you'll probably run into it".

Jack Masters: I'm reminded of a fake set of mapquest instructions that had something along the lines of "1. Drive toward CANADA. 2. You will see a GUY. It's COOL, I KNOW HIM."

Daniel M. Ingram: Except that it is actually not that vague: the instructions are: notice the sensations you take as you arising on their own. You presumably know where you think you are. You presumably are clear about where you think the boundaries are. Notice the sensations on both sides of those boundaries having the same nature: they arise on their own, they are where they are.

Jack Masters: If the instructions are so great, why do so many people who are otherwise fine at following instructions have such trouble with them?

Daniel M. Ingram: Notice how those boundaries redefine themselves all the time in crazy ways on the fly: you think you are your head, then you are noticing things from the back your head seemingly from a vantage point on the front of your head, then you are noticing things on the front of your head seemingly from the back of your head, etc.

Daniel M. Ingram: People just think that somehow it can't be that easy, it can't be that straightforward, it must be somewhere else, somewhen else, when there is no other time and there is no other place

Daniel M. Ingram: Which brings us back to thoughts: if you can't see thoughts as thoughts, meanings as actual, immediate living experiences, then whatever content they have can trick you into thinking things like there being some future at some other time, when clearly there never is anything but this moment, and thinking things like there must be something other than this, when there never, ever is

Daniel M. Ingram: When you finally wire yourself to see thoughts as thoughts, meanings as meanings, those meanings are always right now, those thoughts always right now, and they are always right here, and so time vanishes in a puff of direct comprehension, and answers that involve some imagines something somewhere and somewhen else are seen automatically as actually just being the answer now

Daniel M. Ingram: QED

Jack Masters: Although as someone who believes in a reality outside my perceptions, I dislike the way you express these things, on an intellectual level I think I at least get the broad gist of what you mean to convey. But the part of me that understands and the part of me that needs to understand are as separate as a person who wants to print something and a computer that refuses to acknowledge the existence of the printer. Convincing ME there's a printer doesn't help, you have to help me convince IT, and "use your computer a lot and one day you'll figure out how to install printers" isn't really top-shelf advice.

Daniel M. Ingram: Except that is exactly how most of us learned to use computers: we just played around with them breaking things, pushing the wrong buttons, being frustrated, and finally some part of it and saw a part of the pattern of how we learned it and began to apply that to other parts of the computer

Jack Masters: This is quite true, and I am a computer nerd as well. But "spend years becoming a computer nerd" is not a satisfactory set of instructions for installing a printer, any more than "spend years becoming a doctor" is a satisfactory set of instructions for performing a kidney transplant.

Daniel M. Ingram: Regarding a reality beyond your perceptions: clearly sometimes that is a useful assumption and sometimes it isn't, and presumably you are very much meta-cognizant enough to realize this.

Jack Masters: I like to think so.

Daniel M. Ingram: So, you clearly realize that any assumption has its value in the right context. For insight meditation: experience is key. It is the gold standard. If you want to get to know sensate reality, and you can't experience most of reality, then the part you can experience is clearly the correct focus of attention, as you have no other actual options. For most other things, object permanence, concepts like time, infinite space, and the like are all damn useful.

Daniel M. Ingram: Given that your actual immediate sensate experience is clearly relevant at times, being able to just work that level is a useful skill, as is the ability to work on the level that presumes that the rest of the universe is there when you can't experience it. This is paradigm fluency, not something limiting.

Daniel M. Ingram: It shows that you can use a paradigm in its proper context and for the proper task and discard it in favor of one that might initially seem contradictory or antithetical to it if that next context required it.

Daniel M. Ingram: For example, I presume all the time that I have control of some things. Physics tells me that I have none at all, that everything is simply lawful forces playing out according to the laws of reality. Sometimes one paradigm is useful, sometimes another one is.

Daniel M. Ingram: They seem contradictory, but a person with paradigm fluency can pick and choose the paradigm that best fits the situation and question, rather than clinging to one paradigm regardless of its actual utility in a given situation.

Jack Masters: Are paradigms really what you're talking about, though? It seems like a misleading use of the word. When I see the picture hidden in a magic eye, I am not setting aside the paradigm that the picture is flat and assuming instead the paradigm that it's three dimensional, I'm adjusting the binocular angle of my eyes. Surely what's done in meditation is more like this than it is like a paradigm shift; noting practice leaves little room for thinking in sentences, much less paradigms.

Daniel M. Ingram: Paradigms are important: you believe in aspects beyond those you can experience in that moment: that is a paradigm, and a very useful one for lots of things

Daniel M. Ingram: If you believe that only what you experience in that moment is real: that is also a paradigm

Daniel M. Ingram: If you believed that you were the only true person living and that everyone else was a figment of your imagination, that would be a paradigm

Daniel M. Ingram: These have powerful implications for how you relate to your world

Daniel M. Ingram: The magic eye thing does involve believing that there is something there you can't initially see: if you didn't believe that, you wouldn't spend your time trying to see it

Daniel M. Ingram: That is a paradigm: that the world contains hidden meanings and messages: this is actually one of your core paradigms, isn't it?

Daniel M. Ingram: You delight in seeking out seemingly hidden meanings and in creating things that similar have hidden meanings

Daniel M. Ingram: You do this as you believe that is how many parts of the world are, and sometimes it may be true

Jack Masters: Again, I contest the use of the word paradigm. A person does not see a face in the leaves of a tree because they have a paradigm that there are faces everywhere, they see it because there is a part of their brain which is evolved to pattern match faces. Belief has little to nothing to do with it.

Daniel M. Ingram: Others might look at the same text, image, video or whatever and have a totally different paradigm: that there is nothing there beyond the obvious, the literal, and thus, from your paradigmatic point of view, they would miss much

Daniel M. Ingram: Belief does have a ton to do with it

Daniel M. Ingram: If you are a Republican, you filter the world through that paradigm: helping the poor is socialist, so it must be bad, as the world socialist is bad, regardless of whether or not it is actually good to help the poor.

Daniel M. Ingram: So, if a candidate says, "We must help the poor and downtrodden," then Republican will likely label them a socialist and dismiss them as evil. The same sentence to a Democrat might fill them with a sense of joy. Same sentence, very different interpretation and experience.

Jack Masters: Calling a person's inclinations, instincts and reflexes paradigms is to sweep under the rug the vast disconnect between the part of our mind that thinks in words and ideas and beliefs and the parts which feel emotions and relay sensory stimuli up levels of organization to make into what I've read you refer to as formations

Daniel M. Ingram: It is the same with leaves: some people might not believe there are faces to be seen in the leaves and not be able to see them at all. They might think people who saw such faces were crazy. Similarly, a person who couldn't help but see the faces in the leaves might think that people who couldn't were lacking in sensitivity to what was implied by the leaves.

Daniel M. Ingram: Formations are a complex topic that freak people out: perhaps best to stick to things that are less confusing, even thought in experience formations are extremely straightforward

Jack Masters: What I'm saying is, I don't have a paradigm that a certain arrangement of shapes and lines indicates an object which is standing upright, it's an organic classification made between two layers of my visual cortex, I don't know which ones and most people don't even know they do it.

Daniel M. Ingram: Alright, I see what you are saying

Daniel M. Ingram: Still, paradigms filter how we perceive all sorts of things

Jack Masters: I don't know, I find the paradigm-shift model very difficult to square with your descriptions of the three doors, which seem to be generally agreed to be where the key rewiring happens. Passing through the three doors doesn't sound like a paradigm shift, it sounds like a GLITCH, and fruition sounds UNMISTAKABLY like a glitch. Why should a paradigm shift involve consciousness going offline for a moment?

Daniel M. Ingram: Calling finally synchronizing with how reality actually is a glitch seems derogatory of something profound and beautiful

Jack Masters: Well, I certainly don't mean in that way. In the circles I'm from, glitch is a good word and paradigm shift is practically a curse.

Daniel M. Ingram: ah, well then, my mistake and misinterpretation

Jack Masters: Have you seen the film Wreck-it Ralph?

Daniel M. Ingram: Still, paradigm shifts occur when you perceive things as having totally different implications from what you had imagined

Daniel M. Ingram: Haven't seen that

Daniel M. Ingram: I have heard it was good

Jack Masters: It's not directly relevant to the debate but it's a very strong positive portrayal of glitches.

Jack Masters: And has useful... cultural vocabulary in general. Weird ideas.

Jack Masters: Anyway

Jack Masters: Is, then, the experience of the three doors something that feels like the keystone of a construction which one has gradually built along the way? A conclusion to an investigation?

Jack Masters: This was not my impression from your writing.

Daniel M. Ingram: The doors happen when your understanding that you have built up for various categories and locations of sensations converges, such that you comprehend the things you have learned for parts of the puzzle all at once together

Jack Masters: Rather, it seemed to be more that during the previous stages, one was wandering or running or moping or pacing around in a spooky old house, and at the end finally sits down and leans on a wall and whoops there's a secret door.

Daniel M. Ingram: Yeah, it does feel like that also

Jack Masters: I find myself very skeptical that there is really no better way through the labyrinth of the mind than acting like Scooby Doo characters and trying not to be too self-aware about it.

Jack Masters: And even if there really isn't, it's so unappealing to me, as someone whose skills are all in vocabulary and self-awareness...

Daniel M. Ingram: Well, I think that the best way is to be very aware about it, as that is what worked for me, and it apparently worked for the people who told me to do that, and similar instructions are found in books over 2,000 years old, so it apparently worked for them also

Daniel M. Ingram: I like that, and it makes good sense: if you want to get to know something better, pay attention to it

Daniel M. Ingram: It is a straightforward assumption

Daniel M. Ingram: Anyway, it grows late, and I have worked about 100 hours in the last 9 days, so I should crash

Daniel M. Ingram: Good typing with you

Daniel M. Ingram: Be well, my friend

Jack Masters: "This solution worked for many people" is an OK start to a help thread in a technical support forum.

Daniel M. Ingram: True dat

Jack Masters: It's not as good as "We know what causes this problem", but it's OK.

Jack Masters: Alright, I'll think about what you've said and talk to you again another day.

* * *

Jack Masters: I've thought more about our conflict, and I think I've successfully introspected the nature of my discomfort.

Jack Masters: I do not trust happy people and I do not trust things that cannot be explained in words. Moreover, this cynicism and doubt are quite central to my sense of self. Not just who I am, but who I wish to be.

Jack Masters: Enlightenment, as you present it, looks to me like the only real solution to my unhappiness, but the dedication and state of mind needed to achieve it seem to require a level of trust I am incapable of giving.

Jack Masters: It feels as though I am damned for my lack of faith, and moreover that if I could change my nature so as to be able to pass this test, it would be a betrayal of my core principles.

Jack Masters: I know it is not your intention to paint a picture such as this. Had it not been for the comparatively cynical, modern and secular perspective from which you wrote MCTB, compared to other scholars of the dharma, I would not have come as near to it as I have.

Jack Masters: But I still feel, at this point, that I cannot perform the mental contortions you instruct me to, and it doesn't seem right to expect them of anyone. Whether enlightenment is the realization of a great truth, the seduction of a great lie, or an exploitable glitch in the brain with no metaphysical implications whatsoever, I hope for a day when it is accessible to everyone, without tests or trials or pilgrimages.

Jack Masters: Until that time, I think I will seek happiness and answers elsewhere.

This is an old recording of me talking to Matt about meeting my old pediatrician, some weird dreams I had, and UFOs

This is the recording of my first LSD trip, with several things edited out. Specifically,

the audio of the second half of the first episode of this anime, Non Non Biyori Repeat

and four songs:

Cardiacs - Dirty Boy
The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets - Cultists on Board
Scissor Sisters - Return to Oz
Sfork - Cave Johnson
(This is a dubstep remix of the Aperture Science Psychoacoustics Laboratory track Reconstructing More Science with dialog clips from Portal 2 added in)

Simon Sane - 12:17
Oh, apparently the person who said he would give me a ride didn't have my number, so he decided to simply not give me a ride, despite knowing where I live.

Evan Caswell - 12:45
it looks like you'll be hitchhiking

Simon Sane - 12:45

No, I made him come back here and give me a ride.
It's only like two miles away.

Evan Caswell - 12:46

Simon Sane - 12:48
He's probably going to miss the screening of some classic Dr. Who episodes though!
I don't even know why I'm going to this convention, all the events sound awful.

Evan Caswell - 12:48
does it have a catchy name

Simon Sane - 12:49
Geek Kon
I should bring more zipties...
It stars no one and features nothing.

Evan Caswell - 12:51
Oh Dear, it's a Panel about Zardoz

Simon Sane - 12:52
I'll probably end up talking to the guy who draws Wonderella all day, like I did at the last local convention.

Evan Caswell - 12:52
excellent strategy

Simon Sane - 12:53
Ha ha, yes. I remember 99% of my conversation was about different adaptations of Alice in Wonderland. He mainly sat there eating his pasghetti.
We never spoke again.
That was some sort of feminist sci-fi convention though, which to be fair was even worse than this.
Though much easier to sneak into without paying.

I'm in the registration line now
Three deadmi5e... Deadmou5es? Went by
Already lost track of the number of homestucks

Evan Caswell - 13:35
counting homestucks is definitely a fool's game
count the fantrolls instead

Simon Sane - 13:37
Louise from Bob's burgers
Hmm, I wonder if you have to pay cash for some difficult reason.

Evan Caswell - 13:39
did you not bring any flimsy fun bucks

Simon Sane - 13:56
Have now lost count of fantrolls
[Note: Fantrolls are a subset of Homestuck cosplayers who cosplay as troll characters from Homestuck rather than human characters.]

This would be a good place to commit suicide.

Evan Caswell - 14:44

Simon Sane - 14:44
This hotel, I mean, not the convention specifically.
It's got a ten story atrium.
I wonder if it's the tallest atrium in Madison.
I'd send you a bunch of photos of atriums, but I'm not at home.

Evan Caswell - 15:01
a pity
maybe i should send YOU some photos of atriums here's one from near me that i have been to and enjoyed

Simon Sane - 15:03

Evan Caswell - 15:03
and here's one with a cool spiral

Simon Sane - 15:03
This one also has a spiral but not as big


Simon Sane - 18:21
I left early because I wasn't having any fun.

Ben Heaton - 18:34
No good panels?

Simon Sane - 18:35
I went to one, none of the people who were supposed to be on it showed up, so some audience members got up and did it themselves. Their panel consisted mainly of asking each other what pronouns to refer to each other by.

Ben Heaton - 18:37
That's a useful thing to establish, but it shouldn't take long.
Was the panel about gender identities? Because if so, it's your own fault.

Simon Sane - 02:54

Ben Heaton - 02:56

Simon Sane - 03:12
I feel like the bottom has fallen out of my desire to live.
Like, I had all these little ideas written down of things to try doing to make it better, and waking up today, none of them interest me anymore at all.
I'm going to hang on till the end of Homestuck, because I want to see how it ends.

Ben Heaton - 03:13
The issue is a lack of things that interest you?

Simon Sane - 03:13
I feel like that's it.
SUZZZZZY wrote on the wall above a big spiral "Everyone can find something that they can bear to fill their life with"
"Except 4 me"

Ben Heaton - 03:15
I don't know how common it is for people to have one thing that fills their lives. Having lots of little things seems like a legit option.
Or like two or three medium things.
Actually, I'd go further than that. I don't know if picking things to fill your life with is the approach for everyone.
It makes me think of a Yudkowsky character who talks about how obvious it was to them what the thing they have to protect is, once they just meditated on their utility function properly.
I think you can do better than that. I mean "better" aesthetically, not morally, as usual.

Simon Sane - 03:33
Vincent sent me another long email about MAZE, but I don't even care to read it.

Ben Heaton - 03:33
Vincent's emailing you?

Simon Sane - 03:33
Yeah, he responded to the one I sent him, unexpectedly.
I'll forward you the chain.
what's your email address? for some reason typing "ben" in the "to" field doesn't list you.

Ben Heaton - 03:35

Simon Sane - 03:36
Did I forward you my original email to him?

Ben Heaton - 03:36
Or, but that one's mostly for other stuff.
I don't think so.

Simon Sane - 03:41
OK, sent.
It's super long, I don't really know why I'm sending it, since at this point neither you nor I seem to care anymore.
If you ever did.
About MAZE, I mean.
Apart from finishing Homestuck, the only other lingering obsession or passion I can find is getting someone to listen to my story, to try and get someone to see things from my perspective, or find someone who can.
But even that seems to be fading.
I think about forwarding this conversation I'm having with you to Alex, who's kind of my newest smart friend who I retell the whole story to in summary form, and... it doesn't conjure up the editor in me.
Either thinking "yes, this is important to tell!" or wringing his hands because it's all such a mess of tangled esoteric whining, or anything.
It's just ceasing to matter to me if it gets told or not.

Ben Heaton - 03:52
<Flimsy> Hypothetically, navigating a maze by this system, if you were in actuality assigning and updating meanings to completely meaningless assemblages of imaginary omens, how would you ever figure out that was the case?
<sp> well exactly
<sp> manson did a shitty job 
This exchange is pretty amusing.

Simon Sane - 03:54
I took a hit of LSD just now.
I thought about taking four, to maybe trigger some kind of spiritual breakthrough, but I decided I'd rather just try to make what I have last longer, to make thing more bearable until the end.

Ben Heaton - 03:55
The bit on a sundial that casts the shadow is called a gnomon.

Simon Sane - 03:55
Ah, good to know.

Ben Heaton - 04:04
I don't like the ad hoc "solutions" they find on the Abyss site, but I do agree with the "manson did a shitty job" part of SP's position.
In terms of puzzle design, anyway. The art's great.
I kind of dropped out of the Mazecast group when it became clear that it wouldn't get anywhere. I suspect that it can't get anywhere, because Manson underestimated how impossible it would be to separate out his intended puzzles from his red herrings.

Simon Sane - 04:08

Ben Heaton - 04:08
It's easy to make a puzzle harder than you intend it to be, and not realize it.

Simon Sane - 04:08

Ben Heaton - 04:08
Possibly even easier back in the early 80s.

Simon Sane - 04:08
Especially when the difficulty comes from the ambiguity of the rules or the boundary of the puzzle or the goal of it.

Ben Heaton - 04:09
There's something I did as a kid, which I can't remember specific details of, but I think I can give a rough idea.
I'd have some word in mind, and challenge a friend to guess it, and I'd give them a hint.
But the hint was very poorly constructed.

Simon Sane - 04:10
I'm still not convinced that's what's going on with MAZE though, I think it might be a bunch of plausibly-deniable little obtuse hidden messages relating to a sinister central theme, and not actually designed to be a puzzle per se.

Ben Heaton - 04:11
Like, if the word was "dromedary," I'd take the first letter, D, count that it's the fourth letter of the alphabet, and so then I'd take the first letter of "four," and that would be my hint.

Simon Sane - 04:11
Watkins said his inspiration for Eidophusikon was to make a sort of everlasting gobstopper, a thing which gave the impression of having a solution that could be reached, but actually didn't. I think MAZE may be the same thing, essentially.
But I don't know, that may be giving Christopher too much credit.
Either way, in the end for all his intelligence, he seems to be a jerk with no real sense of humor and nothing to say which is worth listening to.

Ben Heaton - 04:13
He's a jerk?
He didn't answer his door when I went over to his place, but I figured he just wasn't home.

Simon Sane - 04:14
Well, as I read it, the message of his book is something along the lines of "everyone's going to hell and you're the devil, blah blah blah"
It's unclear to me whether he believes that in any shape or form, and whether his theology is a mysterious satanic darkness = light thing or a generic christian thing, or if he was just trying to scare people, or if his idea of a puzzle was to make something unpleasant enough that people's minds would squirm away from thinking it, or what, but whatever the case, he seems like a jerk.
Not that that's the worst thing, I can be a jerk too, as can Vincent and Andrew and so on.
But that combined with his seeming total lack of humor makes it hard for me to like him.

Ben Heaton - 04:19
I can feel sympathy for him if I imagine myself in the position of having made a puzzle book a few decades ago that's unsolvable due to incompetence, which nevertheless is my most famous work and still occupies the efforts of lots of my fans.
I imagine I'd feel kind of embarrassed about that.

Simon Sane - 04:19
I feel like I would just tell the answer.

Ben Heaton - 04:20
He did, and it was a bunch of nonsense about an inconsistent pattern spelling out "SHOULDERS" and so on.
Which nobody's satisfied with, of course.

Simon Sane - 04:21
Oh, it was him who revealed the solution to the riddle of the maze and how it was hidden?
I never knew that.

Ben Heaton - 04:21
Unclear. It was sent out through the publisher, I think?
He doesn't have an explanation up on his website or anything. He could do a lot more to explain the intended solution if he wanted to be clear about it.

Simon Sane - 04:25
It's just suddenly so hard for me to care about any of this.
Maybe it's BECAUSE Vincent responded, and so I know HE still cares, and now I can relax into the feeling that it's somebody else's problem.

Ben Heaton - 04:28
I'd be sad if you died, you know.

Simon Sane - 04:44
Yeah, I know.

Ben Heaton - 04:44
Not sure how much that matters, but it feels like something that shouldn't go unsaid.

Ben Heaton - 06:07

Simon Sane - 06:15
This is what I'm afraid of.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jack Masters <castlezzt>
Date: 19 August 2015 at 21:50
Subject: Five Easy Pieces
To: Alex Hancock <hancockalex99>

I watched Five Easy Pieces. Jack Nicholson's discontent is certainly identifiable, but like the stories in Dubliners, it didn't go anywhere. I am a person of complex and frustrated passions, but I am not like the characters in these stories. I feel it is vital for me to emphasize this. I have something in me that will change the world, and I am TRYING, ever so painfully, to shape myself and the context I live in such that this change will be a positive one.

But the fuse has been lit and at some point I will make something happen. I am not living a life of quiet desperation, though it may look misleadingly similar. I am holding a monster at bay, and currently I strongly believe that the fuse has only a few months left. Specifically, it has until Andrew finishes Homestuck.

This is the track that SUZZZZZY asks to listen to at the end of the LSD recording. If I am unable to get the engine of a healthy creative social fabric working around me in the time I have left, I will not run away, as Jack Nicholson does at the end of the film. We have been around the world; we know there is nowhere to run to.

Instead, SUZZZZZY will turn me inside out and I will become a monster.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Alex Hancock <hancockalex99>
Date: 19 August 2015 at 22:15
Subject: Re: Five Easy Pieces
To: Jack Masters <castlezzt>

You're scaring me speechless, Jack. What would you have me--or anyone else--do?

Ben Heaton - 06:17
I'm skeptical about this monster stuff, to put it mildly. What scares me is that you're sounding suicidal.

Simon Sane - 09:10
It could be that SUZZZZZY is all bark and no bite, it's hard for me to have the perspective to know.
I've worked my way from "murderous" to "suicidal" by trying to make the case to her that all the people and things she wants to strike out against are ultimately just symptoms of a systemic failure which we do not have the resources to attack.
And that we should go peacefully instead.
That it is better to do this than to lash out, unskillfully, and become part of the problem we want to fight.
And, perhaps more than this, to convince her that we are not heroes, that we are not the characters around whom the story of the world revolves.
The thing is, without this fire burning in us, and without this quixotic sense of self-importance, I really can find no reason to live.
Except, as I said before, to finish reading Homestuck.
It's the last thing that feels like it might matter.
So, until that time, I'm going to make whatever unsophisticated efforts I can muster to enjoy life, and I'll be trying to tell my story to a few people and communicate my problem to them in the hopes that they could help or learn something from it, but without really feeling either that there's much potential in those endeavors, or that I have a great stake in... seeing them through.
I can't even really be bothered to find the just right way of ending that sentence.

Saturday, 22 August 2015:

Simon Sane - 23:49
I emailed you an email to maybe email along to Matt.
I don't know if you should or not though.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:08
god, sometimes you're enough to make me think that getting a job and working for the man and buying insurance or whatever is the right thing to do

Simon Sane - 00:08
Yeah, I don't know. 😞
I feel like I spent years of my life clearing all the detritus out of it that normally fills people's lives, and it turns out you need that stuff in there taking up space, that otherwise things get ugly because you see how empty it all is.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:10
yeah, i mean, for most people even the slight hint of how empty it is causes existential terror

Simon Sane - 00:11
On the plus side, I got my Adderall prescription raised from 20 to 30.
It's not much compared to the 120 I was on before I threatened to kill my therapist, but it's better.
I also ordered enough LSD that I can probably manage to be high on it continually until Homestuck ends. Or at least, every day until that time.
It doesn't make things nearly as trippy as I'd expected, but it makes them more bearable. It feels comfortable and familiar.
I lied about being on Abilify, as Matt correctly guessed.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:16
hm, i don't know if you told me you were on it even once

Simon Sane - 00:17
I just remembered what SUZZZZZY wanted me to write on the wall.
I thought of it yesterday in the shower and then forgot, and couldn't even remember if it was important.
"Honestly," I said to myself, quoting Primer, "it could not have been much."
It was "GET MRI"

Ashley Sgromo - 00:28
is that a reminder or an acronym

Simon Sane - 00:29
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:29
well, i know that!

Simon Sane - 00:29
Yes, it's a reminder.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:30
expensive habit

Simon Sane - 00:30
I've never had an MRI, and it just seems like I should.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:30
yeah, that could be interesting

Simon Sane - 00:32
Or even important. It's not that unthinkable that there's something massively wrong with my brain, some obvious structural difference that could point to a cure, or at least help researchers and/or people like me (if there are any).

Ashley Sgromo - 00:32

Simon Sane - 00:34
I'm going to need to either get enrolled in a study at the university that involves MRI scans, or lie my way into getting my insurance to pay for one.
I wonder what's the easiest condition to fake the symptoms of that warrants an MRI scan.
In a better world, I could just tell them the truth.
In a better better world, I would've had an MRI when I was 7, really...
It's too bad I'm estranged from my mother, she's employed as a standardized patient.
Her job is to fake symptoms, to test the diagnostic chops of newbie doctors.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:39
UGHufhuf i hate living and being alive and having a life and life and lives
why can't i just get over on the other side of the fence where the grass is greener jack why
where the gcs is megazeuxier
where the lesbian-only window manager is more tile based

Simon Sane - 00:45
Some years ago, I would've said some insight meditation stuff.
I've lost faith in that, now.
I think there's some truth to it, but that the answer to your question is basically complicated.
Do you want to read my final conversation with Daniel?

Ashley Sgromo - 00:46
if i didn't already, sure

Simon Sane - 00:47
I don't think I emailed it to you. For some reason it looks like I emailed it directly to Matt.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:55
yeah, i read this

Simon Sane - 00:55
Yeah, I did.

Ashley Sgromo - 00:57
all i'd really like out of life is to be around dogs and be a dog and be predominantly tired of life in a purer way and perform emotional labor without the expectation that i first work to earn that privilege
this is setting the bar real low, real lower than i used to, and of course no more achievable than i used to because i went and put the bar on another planet somewhere
and it's frustrating, because when i was setting the bar then, it was like "i know the things i'm supposed to want, so i should put the bar at this point between what those are and what i actually want", and that's not what's going on here

Simon Sane - 01:02

Ashley Sgromo - 01:02
now i just don't give a shit, i'll put the bar exactly where it feels right!!!! it's just i was SO PRETTY SURE I GUESS that being a human being was going to feel more like a useful fulfilling thing to do at some point and now it just feels like i've been wearing the wrong size shoe for 26 years waiting for it to be broken in

Simon Sane - 01:02

Little kids often make up alter-egos with special powers, as I understand it.
Or imaginary friends... mine was called Kcaj, though, so it was pretty obviously me.
His power was complete omnipotence.

These are just all the images I have with "want" in the filename.

Ashley Sgromo - 01:05
i agree with scribbit
i don't even want answers, though, i just prefer answers to suzzzzzy's typical bullshit

Simon Sane - 01:06

SUZZZZZY is the best! She is my best friend.

Ashley Sgromo - 01:07
for a while i thought of you as my best friend
probably five years or so

Simon Sane - 01:07
A surprising number of people have.

Ashley Sgromo - 01:08
well, you have lots of free time and perform a lot of free emotional labor for them
i like how every other zzt and mzx game opens with a trivially easy prison breakout
i think it'd be funny to have a game where you just did trivially easy prison breakouts over and over

Simon Sane - 01:11

Ashley Sgromo - 01:12
that's how they always feel, yeah
mzx and zzt always felt particularly homeless to me, more than most games, even

Simon Sane - 01:12
Did you listen to my LSD recording?

Ashley Sgromo - 01:13

Simon Sane - 01:13
See, this is why I like SUZZZZZY better than you. SUZZZZZY always listens.

<lindso> :(
<Flimsy> What's the matter, lindso?
<lindso> hi Flimsy
<lindso> life
<lindso> how are you
<Flimsy> I'm feeling pretty good! Calm, clear-headed, peaceful, yet full of purpose and the will and practical perspective with which to accomplish things.
<Flimsy> Relatedly, I've decided to commit suicide in a few months.
<Flimsy> For the first time in my life, I feel that everything is coming together.
<Flimsy> That I have the will to change what I can, the grace to accept what I cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference.
<Flimsy> The key piece of that being that life is unbearable to me and that despite years of trying, I can find no way to fix it which appears viable in the long term.
<Flimsy> I have a few things I want to get done, fairly simple for the most part, and one of them happens to require a few more months of being alive, so rather than trying to get my affairs in order ASAP to more quickly end the pain, or obsessing over whether I'm letting myself get sucked into obsessive projects of indefinite scope in an unconscious attempt to avoid my end, I'm just relaxing and doing whatever things seem comfortably achievable within the arbitrary deadline.
<Flimsy> It's not much to do, really. There's a few odds and ends like getting an MRI, making a final sophisticated attempt to track down an interesting acquaintance, having a proper salvia trip, maybe trying some other drugs, though nothing really leaps out at me as significant.
<Flimsy> The three major things I want to do are
<Flimsy> 1. to make all my data public; text files, pictures, videos, music, recorded audio conversations and monologues, chatlogs, IRC logs, emails, everything
<Flimsy> 2. to provide a halfway decent overview of it all for anyone who's interested
<Flimsy> and finally 3. to write out my will / suicide note
<Flimsy> I think thing #2 is going to account for by far the bulk of my remaining time, as I've accumulated an enormous quantity of stuff I want to pass on and it's intricately and insanely woven through an even more enormous quantity of irrelevant and confusing bullshit
<Flimsy> I doubt I could completely pull the signal from the noise and organize it into a clear and comprehensible work if I had all the time in the world.
<Flimsy> Nonetheless, I want to at least try to provide the broad strokes of a map, to pass once more through all the grand vistas and halls of my memory and point out things of major interest that might otherwise have remained unseen.
<Flimsy> I don't really hope to achieve immortality through this project, I doubt my life and my thoughts and the things I've collected will ever be more than a temporary fascination to anyone, if even something as substantial as that.
<Flimsy> But as I've never been good at being a person, it seems fitting to turn myself inside-out in this way as best I can.
<Flimsy> I expect that was a longer and more honest answer than you were looking for though, wasn't it, lindso?
<Flimsy> I suspect the proper etiquette would've been to have left it at "I'm feeling pretty good", or something even shorter!

Sunday, 23 August 2015:

Simon Sane - 12:10

Simon Sane - 13:42

Ben Heaton - 13:43
The eye.
That's neat.

Simon Sane - 13:43
I put a piece of construction paper on Connie's door asking if she wanted to hang out with two checkboxes, yes and no, and she checked yes! So that's good. She put her email.
I tried to communicate some years ago using umbrellas, where I would leave a colorful umbrella leaning against her door, but she didn't respond.

Ben Heaton - 13:44
That's even better than if she'd written in a third checkbox saying maybe.

Simon Sane - 13:44

I feel very at peace since I decided to commit suicide, the same as I did that time I had a migraine aura or a transient ischemic attack or whatever it was and thought I was going to die.
I remember lying down on the floor like they told me to, waiting for the paramedics to come, and feeling that all was right with the world.
I've actually wanted to die for a long time, since before you knew me. When I got out of college and couldn't find anything that was remotely appealing as a career, I decided to just wait until my savings ran out and jump off a building.
When my parents figured out a way for me to be on disability, I remember I cried, not because of any status associations or anything, but just because I had been looking forward to dying.
To it being over.
Somehow in the years since then, that desire got buried and covered up by all these other things...

I wonder how much of my attraction to evil actually comes from an attraction to death.

These desires can be... confusing
For someone of my signs

Ben Heaton - 14:01
What's appealing about having everything be over?
You've mentioned boredom with everything except Homestuck. Is that basically it?

Simon Sane - 14:02
"Jack" is not typically the name of someone who dies. Rather, it's the name of a killer, and/or someone unkillable...
It's not just boredom... there's a great unhappiness in me, it's difficult to summarize.'s%20problems%20are%20surprisingly%20complex.jpg
Whoops, that's not it.
If I remember right, this is the best explanation of it I've come up with so far.

Ben Heaton - 14:08
Listening to it now.

Simon Sane - 14:28
And then of course, that's only my side of the equation, SUZZZZZY's side is more like

Funny, peculiar, that; not until the bullets were whizzing past me; and my neurons were racing to plot my counterstrike; and I felt my blood pulsing and leaking; and I gained an instant, almost telepathic understanding of my surroundings, of how to escape and how to attack, where to find shelter and where to pass and what to use; and shots flew wild as hornets through the streets; and fear and chaos broke out over the stupefied masses of stupid churchgoers; and blood spattered dark and hot against my perfect, ivory face; and I knew exactly how I would win; not until then did I understand why this had been the happiest day of my life.  Happiness is nothing more than concordance with destiny, and I am destined to rise above this vile world and its simple subjects, by the most violent of possible means.  Bring them all against me, the world at once, and I will not cower.  I am prepared.  Where David has slain ten thousand, I shall slay ten million, or ten billion if the need should be.  Is there any more beautiful revelation than this: that the world is flawed in every respect, and you shall be the one to correct it?  Whether true or false, whether I will strike out as a god or as a flash of lightning, the emotion is the same, and that is all that reality imports.  St. La Cama may have been wrong; the history of humankind may be written in monuments of stone.   But the future will be written by me.

A Riddling Tale

It can be a little disconcerting at first, to get an order like “kill everybody.”  You don’t know exactly who everybody is, but you know you have to work outward in concentric circles.  The bartenders, the Nazis; they’re just common sense.  And they’re the easy part too, so it’s tempting to call that a day and let it end there.  But my bosses have a rather idiosyncratic way of giving orders.  It’s like what Edgar said about Hister.  I know how Hister is, yeah.  I wouldn’t have done what Edgar did, but I can understand why he did it.  That’s the difference, between Edgar and me, and maybe why I’m alive and he’s dead.  If he’s uncertain, he takes the easy way.  But I have to see things out.

            And I can even see why the bosses, and even Hister, do things that way.  Part of it is just that they don’t want to be bothered with the details.  All this dirty business, the killing and the kidnapping and whatnot, it’s not what they’re really there for.  Nezzar and Innocence, they’re scientists.  Well, Innocence was, Nezzar is.  State’s the business head.  Now Darius, Darius may just be muscle, but she’s not too hot on giving orders either.  She’s the one who probably would give it to you straight, and she’s the one who doesn’t do any directing.  Well, not much.  And anyway, I think the orders usually come down from State.  State’s more vague than any of them, but it’s not that he can’t be bothered with details.  State knows everything that goes down.  He oversees the technological end, the legal end, the financial end; he knows everything, flat-out everything.  But he doesn’t want to talk about what I do.  That’s the other big part of why Nezzar and State and the other bosses don’t like to tell you things.  They don’t want to name the people that they’re condemning to death.  They can say, “Kill everybody,” and it means nothing to them.  I get to sort things out, and decide who’s somebody.  I sort things out, I see things out.

            Seeing things out, you do things, things a lot more complicated than aiming a gun.  I’m making decisions, I’m thinking creatively.  I’m the original existentialist.  That’s exactly what I am.

I really feel like I don't belong in this world.
Here's two more conversations in an email.

Ben Heaton - 14:34
Do you feel averse to being on Abilify or whatever antipsychotic?

Simon Sane - 14:35
It seemed pointless to try for multiple reasons.
The dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia is obviously wrong, and antipsychotics are snake oil, like SSRIs, but with way more unpleasant side effects.
Moreover, even if the antipsychotics would work on me, which I'm nearly certain they would not, I find psychosis more bearable than sanity.

Ben Heaton - 14:37
You don't seem to be bearing it well.

Simon Sane - 14:37
Certainly SUZZZZZY is a better companion than no one.
There can be deeply unpleasant aspects to psychosis, but that's not what's getting to me, and certainly not what's been getting to me for the past seven years or however long its been.
It's the other side, the mundane side.
Ultimately I feel that life is like a David Lynch movie, where one can find quarter in neither the surreal nor the banal.
Hence my exit.
Did YOU listen to the LSD recording?

Ben Heaton - 14:42
Did you link me to that?

Simon Sane - 14:42
I'm not sure.

Ben Heaton - 14:42
I don't think you did.
Is it worthwhile?

Simon Sane - 14:43
This was our first time on it, since then we've gotten used to it to the point where you'd be hard pressed to know we're on it at all, I think.
We're on it right now, actually.
I think it's worthwhile... there's a lot of stupid laughing, there's wandery drug-addled nonsense about trying to look up movie titles etc. but there's insights.

Ben Heaton - 14:45
It's over an hour long.
Is there a more abridged version?

Simon Sane - 14:45
I've edited it down quite a bit, removed the songs and such, normalized the volume.
No, this is the best there's going to be.
It's got more back-and-forth between me and SUZZZZZY than you might anticipate.
In fact, it's basically all that.

Ben Heaton - 14:48
I'm three minutes in and unimpressed with your Gollum voice.

Simon Sane - 14:48
In any case, I provide the recording not to entertain you, but to rebut your assertion that I don't seem to be bearing psychosis well.

Ben Heaton - 14:53
You remind me of the sort of bipolar person who claims he can't be having a manic episode because mania is bad and everything that's happening with him now is amazing.

Simon Sane - 14:54
And let's say I am. What do you take for bipolar disorder? Lithium.
I know because my mother is on it.

Ben Heaton - 14:54
Right, it's a much more treatable thing.

Simon Sane - 14:54
And guess what? It's shit! She's near-suicidal herself.
So suicide still seems like the sensible way out.

Ben Heaton - 14:56
I don't have actionable advice for you. The thought briefly crossed my mind earlier of suggesting that instead of killing yourself, you could fake your death and go on a super-wacky roadtrip adventure, but your disgust reaction is pretty predictable.

Simon Sane - 14:57
Yeah, I've been around the world. I was dragged on the biggest, most amazing road trip my parents could afford and hated every minute of it.

Ben Heaton - 14:57
Wow, even getting dragged on a trip with your parents wasn't fun?

Simon Sane - 14:58
Well, and who would I go with in this case?
You're basing this idea on how House MD ended, right? Who's my Wilson?

Ben Heaton - 14:58
I haven't seen the ending.

Simon Sane - 14:58

Ben Heaton - 14:59
I'm basing it on being something I'd prefer over dying.

Simon Sane - 14:59
This is a pretty relevent video in general, actually...

Ben Heaton - 14:59
Other such activities include eating a salad, doing a crossword, or walking around aimlessly.

Simon Sane - 15:08
Breaking news: Cheerful man enjoys life

Ben Heaton - 15:09
Yeah, this is the problem with the wacky roadtrip plan, as noted.

Simon Sane - 15:10
Here's me not manic, if you want a second opinion from non-manic me.

Ben Heaton - 15:11

Simon Sane - 15:12

One of these guys committed suicide in real life. I don't remember which one.

Ben Heaton - 15:13
I think I first heard about that comic when he killed himself.
I looked at a couple and didn't get into it. That second one is good, though.

Simon Sane - 15:19
I think we've already pretty much sped through what there is to discuss about the desirability of suicide, but just out of curiosity, when you said your thing about how going on a wacky road trip was just something you'd prefer over dying, and went on to list eating a salad, doing a crossword, and walking around aimlessly as additional examples, was it your intent to make your position empathizable to me, or to demonstrate that it was internally robust?

Ben Heaton - 15:20
Just giving some preference-ordering examples. I wasn't expecting you to be struck by how wonderful a salad would be.
Do you want me to make a serious effort to convince you of the value of living? That doesn't seem likely to go anywhere.

Simon Sane - 15:21
No, I'm just morosely curious as to the extent of your model of my mind.
The thing is, for me all the things you listed are things I find actively unhappy, as are most other everyday things.

Ben Heaton - 15:23
Hm. I would have expected walking around aimlessly to be neutral.

Simon Sane - 15:24
It fills me dimly with the sense of being in a wasteland, with nowhere to go.

Ben Heaton - 15:24
And that's a bad thing.

Simon Sane - 15:24
When I was younger, there was a positive aspect that was present to it as well, a flickering hope that around the next corner might be... something. Something to make it all worthwhile.
After years of aimless walking, that aspect gradually flickered and went out.
I also wonder, a little bit, how well-examined your distaste for dying is, and to what extent you unthinkingly project it on me.

Ben Heaton - 15:28
I often go on walks in the middle of the night. Nobody's around, everything's quiet and dark. It's not the same wasteland feeling you describe, but there's a sort of desolation to it that feels pleasant. It's not that there's nowhere to go, but it doesn't feel as though it matters where I go.

Simon Sane - 15:28
As I mentioned earlier in the conversation, I once thought that I was dying.
And it was the most content I've ever been.

Ben Heaton - 15:29
You've told me about that before. You've also told me about being on a rooftop, considering jumping off, and getting interrupted by an unexpected phone call.
I may be misremembering some of the details there.

Simon Sane - 15:30
Yes... I take some solace in the idea that my slice of the many-worlds pie is probably already pretty thin.
In addition to that time, earlier this year I attempted to jump off the roof of another tall campus building, I think Engineering Research, but was stopped by a piece of green construction paper I'd left lying in an odd loft/crawlspace at the top of the stairwell, years earlier.
And had forgotten about.
Or that SUZZZZZY had left, I suppose.

Ben Heaton - 15:32
How did the paper stop you?

Simon Sane - 15:33
It said "55" "12 12 12 12 12"
Which in my psychosis of that moment read to me as a message saying the maze was broken.
5 = May, ergo 55 = Mays = Maze
"12 12 12 12 12" is one of the things the fact sphere says.
So, it gave me hope. That and the feeling that I had unconsciously reached out to myself in this way, that there was someone inside me who cared about me.
Which, sanely speaking, was an illusory impression.
Nonetheless, I decided once again not to jump.

Ben Heaton - 15:36
But Jack, there is someone inside you who cares about you! It's you!
Sorry, now I'm just baiting you with corniness.

Simon Sane - 15:37
Well, it's not working anyway, because I do feel that there is, even if the green paper had nothing to do with it.
But she and I have made a suicide pact.
To end my pain, and to end the danger she poses to everyone else.

Ben Heaton - 15:39
Just to check, what sort of credence do you think I give to her being non-imaginary?

Simon Sane - 15:40
I don't believe in her myself, Ben. Even SHE doesn't believe in herself. It's beside the point.

Ben Heaton - 15:41
When you say that you've made a suicide pact with her, I interpret it as you having made up a story about making a suicide pact with an imaginary character who you also made up.

Simon Sane - 15:42
We are all, as people, imaginary characters ourselves.

The point is somewhat moot, though. Remove SUZZZZZY from the picture and all it does is make me more unhappy.

Monday, 24 August 2015:

Gene Masters - 11:34
you actually looking at your screen?

Simon Sane - 11:34

Gene Masters - 11:34
I tried to track down Matthew for you
There are no CS students with matthew and avn in their name
the closest is an electrical engineer named Vandertie,Matthew

Simon Sane - 11:36
Maybe he graduated!,-89.4000408,138a,20y,41.67t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x8807accd0d411a5d:0xdc5263a8e3228aa9!6m1!1e1
This is where he lives, this brown house next to Fraboni's. Or did, at least.
I think it's 818 regent street.

Gene Masters - 11:37
He graduated in May, and left no info about where he was going

Simon Sane - 11:37
It was definitely Matthew Van _ _ _ _
Something with four letters.
Or possssibly just "Matt", and possibly "Von" instead of "Van", but I'm pretty sure.

Gene Masters - 11:40
no VONs in the database

Simon Sane - 11:41
Well! I wonder where he went off to.
I emailed the landlord of the house, but he didn't reply.

Gene Masters - 11:44
Don't know.  I see several people who have lived at 816, 818, or 918 Regent.  But none of them have names like Matthew

Simon Sane - 11:45
Hmm. Well, either he graduated or I'm totally wrong and he was never enrolled!

Gene Masters - 11:46
maybe he was an MATC or Edgewood student?

Simon Sane - 11:46
I suppose it's possible! I really remember him being a university student, though.
I guess I'll try calling computer repair services. There aren't that many.

Gene Masters - 11:53
The only ones in the recent past are Van Lysel,Matthew   Van Buren,Matthew Smith Van Boxtel,Matthew  

Simon Sane - 11:54
Well, thanks for checking.

Gene Masters - 11:55
and none of those lived on Regent St
Good luck with the phone calls.  Did you get to your appts last week, or have you rescheduled?

Simon Sane - 12:28
I got to them, yes.
It turns out there's like a billion computer repair services in Madison, so I'm giving up.
I called 15 of them.

Gene Masters - 12:31
Sorry to hear.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Becky Torrisi <>
Date: 24 August 2015 at 08:49
Subject: Re: Learning Games Network & eye-tracking systems
To: Jack Masters <castlezzt>


Nice to hear from you! Unfortunately, we actually don't have that type of system. If we did, you would be more than welcome to come play with it.

We may be getting a Canon MREAL early next year, if that holds any interest for you.

I wish you luck in finding what you are looking for.


Becky Torrisi
Learning Games Network, Inc. and
Games + Learning + Society
455 Science Drive, Suite 210
Madison, WI 5371

On Sun, Aug 23, 2015 at 4:56 AM, Jack Masters <castlezzt> wrote:

Hi! This is Jack Masters.

This is way out of left field, but for several years I've been fascinated by a poorly-studied psycho-optical illusion by which some people can allegedly be made to see colors that can't exist.

There are only a handful of papers that discuss the experiment, but it's quite simple to reproduce provided you have access to an eye-tracking system that can stabilize an image in the subject's gaze. After looking all over campus to no avail, I heard from my father that you now work at a place that has one!

Is this true? And if so, are you guys at all interested in replicating this experiment / open to allowing an eccentric personal acquaintance near your machines?

Tuesday, 25 August 2015:

Simon Sane - 05:59
I made all my videos public again, and now I'm going to make a video overview about which ones are worth watching and why and stuff about why or how I made them. Want to be on it?

Ben Heaton - 06:00
In the video?

Simon Sane - 06:00
Yeah, it'll be a hangout on air.
All screenshare.

Ben Heaton - 06:01
I'm going to be going to sleep soon.
I vote for the Gangnam Style one being worth watching.
And I vote against the video overview being worth watching.
On all the others, I abstain.
Wait, I vote in favor of the one where you narrated drawing Tall Comics.
OK, it's clear that I have things to say in such a hangout on air, but I'm not going to be awake for it.

Simon Sane - 06:04
I'll try to wait till you are.

Ben Heaton - 06:07
OK. But keep in mind that I haven't watched all your videos, not even the ones that have been known to me.

Simon Sane - 06:07
I know.

Simon Sane - 07:57
I managed to dig up an old PPC character template.
It's really, really old, though. It's not much use.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015:

Simon Sane - 15:13
Alex came over and we talk about stuff. I tried to tell him the story of Plorg, but he didn't really seem to connect to the point of any of it.

Ben Heaton - 15:14
The Story of Plorg.

Simon Sane - 15:14
He said he didn't want to help me tidy up my loose ends if it meant that he'd be abetting my suicide, which kind of annoyed me, because I feel like "what the hell help would you be regardless?"
Nobody's ever really helped with me with anything creative... not with the parts I really needed help with, anyway.

Ben Heaton - 15:15
What parts are those?

Simon Sane - 15:18
The structure and organization of the project. Setting priorities and achievable goals, having a plan, looking at things from more practical angles.
The synod was always up for kind of riffing or doodling in response to my ideas, but all the structure always came from me.

Ben Heaton - 15:19
I tried to get you to write out a description of what Plorg was intended to be, but I don't think you did.

Simon Sane - 15:20
Yeah, which is about as much help as an Eliza bot.

Ben Heaton - 15:20
Any time I tried coming up with a description of what it might be, you'd tell me I hadn't guessed the idea you had but couldn't communicate.
Plorg wasn't a Grant project exactly, but it was unusually close to one.

Simon Sane - 15:22
I remember the reason I quit the synod was that I had this idea for suggestcast, and I was serious about it and wanted to make it good, and all the rest of you just wanted to goof off and put on silly hats and fill it with the same bullshit that's in every other shitty podcast.
Yeah, and why do you hang out with Grant?
Because the inherent unworkability of his ideas means your lack of assistance is excusable.

Ben Heaton - 15:23
To annoy Lewis by dragging him into Grant projects.
Although that hasn't happened for a while. I haven't had as much contact with Grant lately as I used to, though I did record some scenes for a video project he's doing.

Simon Sane - 15:26
Leaving the group, and looking back into it from afar and seeing Vincent take up the role of project coordinator pissed me off, because it really underscored how he didn't lift a finger in that regard as long as I was there.
I don't know, maybe I'm the jerk and I have it wrong, but it feels like the schizophrenic with ADHD shouldn't be the one in a creative group who handles all the logistics and organizing.
I wonder if Dan Harmon has better friends than I did, and I wonder if there's a reason for that which is within my control.
Matt at least would lift one end of the couch. It wasn't really the one I needed lifted, but it was something, I could work with it.
The rest of you just sat on the couch making dick jokes.
I wonder if Matt and I would still be friends if I had never introduced him to you guys.
Right now I don't really feel like bothering to go through with my plan to make all my data accessible. It seems like a lot of work, and for what? It's hard for me to believe there's anybody out there who'd care about it or build on it, since I've never met anyone like that.
I asked Alex how far he'd gotten into PPC. Six strips! Six now. I had him read one out loud to see if I could figure out what his problem was, and he obliged in a hasty let's-get-through-this manner and quickly said "oh yeah, oh, ok, that's what I was doing wrong, I'll definitely read the rest now! I'll get right on it!"
As though he expected me to believe that.
Of course, part of my sourness is just that it's the end of the day for me and the Adderall is wearing off.
I got two MRIs scheduled, so that's good!
Surprisingly easy.
I feel right now that the chances are pretty slim that the problem is really in my brain, though. It feels like the social fabric around me is just rotten in all directions.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jack Masters <castlezzt>
Date: 27 August 2015 at 04:26
Subject: I keep having dreams with you in them, where we're talking and laughing and having fun
To: Joan Masters <joanmasters>

and then I wake up and remember that you're not like that

and that we don't talk anymore

Wednesday, 26 August 2015:

Ashley Sgromo - 16:47
I'm on lunch at work and I just want to tell you that I would be very sad if you died. Like, pathetically distraught, probably
I know that isn't super helpful or useful to know and it may not even sound plausible, but I'm pretty sure it's the case and I'm inclined to tell you anyway

Simon Sane - 16:50
Here, I sent you more chatlogs.

Ashley Sgromo - 16:50

Wednesday, 26 August 2015:

Ashley Sgromo - 22:51
You once had since kind of poem or verse about vanity in one of your aim profiles. do you know what that might have been? I think that I had been surprised to find no results when I googled it

Thursday, 27 August 2015:

Simon Sane - 04:26
I can't think what it would've been.
I only dimly remember AIM profiles being a thing.
Once again, it's thursday, and the RPG group meets at 5:00 PM and I'm up at 4:30 AM.
And I have to decide whether I want to take the adderall now, to make my waking hours more bearable, and then go to sleep and miss the game, or if I want to try to stay up for another five hours before I take it.
I'm listening to these mix CDs Alex made for me.
This one is listenable but unmemorable so far.

Simon Sane - 04:49
I wish I had LSD.
I like this Radiohead song.
Apparently this is the only Radiohead song Alex likes.

Simon Sane - 05:11
I like this one as well, but I've already heard it.

Simon Sane - 05:29
Time for CD #2.

Simon Sane - 05:46
Track 4 is "Hush, boy!" which I think Lemmer sent me years ago.
It's by Basement Jaxx.
This is track 5. I think I like it pretty good.
Listening to unfamiliar music is irritating me too much to continue these CDs right now, though.
I'm going to listen to this instead, which is an extract from the preface of the audiobook of Thinking Fast and Slow.
This is what I can most easily point to as a description of a kind of person I wish I had for a friend but never have.
And never will, I expect.
Now I'm sad.
I took the Adderall for today.
In all likelyhood, it'll keep me up until I get to the RPG group, but then I'll start to flag during the game and wish I was at home, asleep.
I have a few spare, so I could redose in the afternoon, but the last time I did that, returning to a lower dosage the next few days felt miserable.
I wish all my problems stemmed from one person, so I could kill that person and at least have the satisfaction of revenge.
But the problem is too spread out.
It's mostly an absence, like Andrew says.

Thursday, 27 August 2015:

Simon Sane - 09:42
Are you there?

Ashley Sgromo - 09:42

Simon Sane - 09:42
Want to continue the picture thing?

Ashley Sgromo - 09:43
probably not worth it right now, i'm showering and leaving within the next hour or so

Simon Sane - 09:43

Ashley Sgromo - 09:44
i did read that email yesterday and i listened to some of the sad recording you linked
i suppose i'll finish listening to that
i don't think my ssri is a placebo, but i suppose my perception of it isn't meaningful

Simon Sane - 09:49
Yeah, "it worked for me" doesn't really carry a lot of weight against a meta-study of double-blind clinical trials.
Especially when the effect in question can only be measured by self-report.
If you said stem cells regrew your thumb or something, that'd be a different story.
Alex is also on an antidepressant, he says it's the only thing that's kept him from killing himself for the last five years.
He says when he was a teenager or a young adult, his father told him and his sister that once they left the nest, he and their mother were going to kill themselves.
So he has some psychological baggage around suicide, understandably.

Ashley Sgromo - 09:55
i got pretty suicidal a couple months ago, which is what prompted me to go back on the ssri, which abruptly made work tolerable
i stopped spontaneously panicking and crying on the drive there, for example
but it's true that placebos can be good for that too
i don't like it even if it is working
making me more functional in a shitty, pointless purpose isn't much of a step forward

Simon Sane - 09:57
At least you help people work their Xerox machines.

Ashley Sgromo - 09:58
no, their cell phones
it's called outsourcing, jack!!! OUTSOURCING! you idiot!

Simon Sane - 09:59
Maybe your problem is that you don't have a LinkedIn profile.

Ashley Sgromo - 10:01
oh, haha, i do! it's super useful and i look at it all the time and talk to all the fun and interesting people on LinkedIn

Simon Sane - 10:01

Ashley Sgromo - 10:01
nope, never any pained screaming of boredom on the LinkedIn, not at all

Simon Sane - 10:02
Nobody in #idiots-club will be on my video podcast picture sorting thing.

Ashley Sgromo - 10:02
that's because it's a boring idea.

Simon Sane - 10:03
I bet that's not why!

Ashley Sgromo - 10:03
yeah, it could also be because you told them all you were going to kill yourself
but it's probably a combination of factors

Simon Sane - 10:05
I don't see why saying you're going to kill yourself makes people not want to do a podcast with you.

Ashley Sgromo - 10:06
fear of involvement in your death, probably
not really wanting to abet that or make themselves obligated to help

Simon Sane - 10:06
But they're from the internet!!

Ashley Sgromo - 10:13
One drug that's pretty good is my hormones/antiandrogen, which are almost certainly not placebos
Since they make me have boobs and soft skin etc.
The grass really is prettier on the other side............

Ashley Sgromo - 10:29
It would be pretty funny if true. "You were a pretty girl from the animes all along, lemmer! You only needed to believe in yourself!"

Simon Sane - 10:29
I can't find a stranger willing to be on it either.
<Honk_Dog> I was going to compose a response to that email but I wanted to phrase everything I was going to say just right, but I guess I might as well just talk to you about it directly
<Flimsy> OK
<Flimsy> Want to talk on google audio chat? I'm sorting pictures. It's all screenshare, you don't have to comb your hair.
<Honk_Dog>  I can barely string a coherent sentence together these days, but I'll move to a computer so I can at least type nornally
<Flimsy> What's your problem? Booze, brain gremlins? Brain snakes?
<Hot_Dog> i'm not going to try to convince you not to kill yourself because i think it's way more selfish to do that than committing the act itself
<Flimsy> OK
<Hot_Dog> i know that if you, specifically, have decided on this then it's not something that comes lightly or without any amount of consideration or whatever
<Flimsy> Yeah, it's been a long time coming, I think.
<Flimsy> That or murder.
<Flimsy> It may still come to murder, if my suicide is prevented. SUZZZZZY has made... contingency plans.
<Flimsy> "plans" isn't quite the right word... I get the impression that she would try to have fun with it, so even to the extent she's layed out any kind of script, she'd be deviating from it almost immediately.
<Flimsy> She went to the mall yesterday and bought a cute red-and-rainbow umbrella and some knives.
<Hot_Dog> i don't know how to respond to this
<Hot_Dog> i considered reaching out to you last year, you know
<Flimsy> SUZZZZZY's not averse to using guns, but just straight up BUYING a gun seems too easy to her, I think. She'd prefer to like, steal one from a cop after stabbing them in the eyes.
<Flimsy> When I was psychotic?
<Hot_Dog> yes, which i wasn't aware of at the time
<Hot_Dog> it wasn't long after my dad died, and i was going to just sort of update you on things
<Hot_Dog> i was going to mention that i had quit drinking shortly after i cut off contact with you, and that after two years of continuing to do absolutely nothing i had realized that you were right about what you said, that i was completely creatively inert and doing nothing to change it
<Hot_Dog> that wasn't something i was willing to listen to when you told me it, and i was probably blackout aggressively drunk at the time which didn't help matters at all
<Hot_Dog> but over time it not only became stultifyingly obvious to me but i became pretty sad and angry that there was no one else in my life who was willing to tell me something like that, or even begin to proffer any advice regarding how badly my stupid life was going
<Hot_Dog> it's like ashley mentioned in one of the chat logs in that email, you've done a lot of emotional load bearing for us over the years, and in my case more so than just about any other of my friends
<Hot_Dog> it probably seems like a triviality to you, especially now that the maze/homestuck/eidophusikon stuff has been a mounting concern
<Hot_Dog> but it was always grounding in a sense, even if i didn't realize it or appreciate it at the time, to just have that kind of blunt frankness in my life
<Flimsy> My frustration with you has mellowed out a lot since then as well, because everyone I make friends with, or even try to, seems creatively inert as well. And worse, like they didn't have the spark to begin with.
<Hot_Dog> yeah, it's undeniable that most people are content with being that way, and i want you to know that it's at least a source of everyday frustration in my life, that what once may have been laziness has been replaced by a sense of genuine inadequacy or helplessness to try to rail against
<Flimsy> The exceptions being Christopher, Vincent, and Andrew, and of those only Andrew is still going. Christopher seems to have burned out before I was born, and Vincent's flame was dying as I met him.
<Hot_Dog> i don't know that i ever will manage to do so, it's very likely that i'll just sit around in this bedroom for the rest of my life doing nothing other than idly scrolling through my steam games list and listening to podcasts
<Hot_Dog> but there's an unease about that that wasn't there when i was content drinking myself to death for a few years there
<Hot_Dog> anyhow
<Flimsy> I've been thinking about who to leave my various internet accounts to, and it occurs to me just now that it should probably be you, for all your faults.
<Hot_Dog> if you want to do that you can, but someone like ashley would probably be better equipped to handle that
<Flimsy> Why do you think so?
<Hot_Dog> or maybe she wouldn't, i don't know, but she's smarter than me and seems less sentimental or at least more stable than i am
<Hot_Dog> i don't know that it's what you want to hear, or whether you're tired of hearing it from everyone else, again i don't know, but i'm being completely honest when i say that everything with SUZZZZZY and all of the talk of murder terrifies me, and i don't know how to handle it and it's what stopped me from contacting you when you started emailing me out of the blue late last year
<Hot_Dog> it was easier to put it out of sight and out of mind rather than try to discern how serious you were about any of it

Ashley Sgromo - 10:39
it makes me feel bad that lemmer would say i'm smarter
not even really in a pretentious "i wouldn't want to appear to feel good about it" way, just an actually bad way
when i think of lemmer i always think of the time he called me out as a nebbishy something something, well, now i can't remember

Simon Sane - 10:41
A surprising number of people think you're smarter than you are. I think it's because you rarely talk.

Ashley Sgromo - 10:41
oh, yeah, that's absolutely the case

Simon Sane - 10:43
If I had the self-control to only communicate with the world thoughtfully and carefully, I'd look like a goddamn genius!
I sometimes feel that this is what's prevented me from being successful.

Ashley Sgromo - 10:44
it's true

Simon Sane - 10:45
Brave men tell the truth

The wise man's tools are analogies and puzzles

A woman holds her tongue

Knowing silence will speak for her

Simon Sane - 12:02
Oh, here's Mimi's true form:

Ashley Sgromo - 12:03

Simon Sane - 12:04
Ok, I finished listening to Alex's second mix CD.
The other songs from I liked were:
This one, which Lemmer or somebody sent me years ago.
And this one.

Friday, 28 August 2015:

Simon Sane - 12:49
I'm sitting here just listening to this third Alex CD because nobody wants to do a podcast with me.

Ashley Sgromo - 12:50
i'm working on my twine

Simon Sane - 12:50
The tracks on it seem pretty good for the most part, but nothing sticks out to me to remark upon.
<hmst> nadir i was about to complain that walking into the ocean is not an option for me, as i'm thousands of miles from any ocean
<hmst> but then i remembered i do not live in illinois any longer
<NEGA-SCQQT> it's good that you remembered where you live
<Flimsy> .yt walk into the sea
<m> Flimsy: Low - Walk Into The Sea - length 2m51s - 7↑0↓ - 473 views - Darko Mandić on 2015.01.16 -
<NEGA-SCQQT> anyway, illinois has the great lakes
<NEGA-SCQQT> they'd work
<hmst> and that puget sound is an easy walk, or i could indeed roll downhill into the canal if i'm no longer able to walk
<Flimsy> More like the "great" lakes.
<Flimsy> Lake Superior? More like Lake INFERIOR!
<Oranjer> .yt running to the sea
<m> Oranjer: Röyksopp ft. Susanne Sundfør  - Running To The Sea (HQ) - length 4m48s - 10988↑110↓ - 1,522,024 views - RelaxYourEars on 2013.01.26 -
<Oranjer> hey Flimsy what's up
<Flimsy> Not much today.
<Flimsy> Thinking of sorting more pictures, maybe doing a google hangout on air of it.
<Flimsy> But I'm not sure it's worth recording, really.
<hmst> let me make a token protest against suicide
<Flimsy> Or worth doing at all, actually...
<Flimsy> Registered.
<NEGA-SCQQT> good wire-fu jumping in this movie
<NEGA-SCQQT> let's all remember flimsy's greatest work, Spongy
<NEGA-SCQQT> wait, that's probably just me who remembers it
<Flimsy> I don't even have it anymore.
<Oranjer> :O
<Oranjer> #;D
<Flimsy> It was a comic written in reverse that ended/began with someone escaping from a maze.
<Oranjer> what I'd do was, I'd pretend to be one of those deaf-mutes
<NEGA-SCQQT> spongy was legit
<Flimsy> I had a three doors experience once that reminded me of that face.
<NEGA-SCQQT> frankly i was very disappointed you gave up on it
<Flimsy> Cyan and blue, vectory, asian-looking kid with a bad haircut and an evil green.
<Flimsy> Rectangular glasses depicted in an opaque style, with diagonal reflection lines.
<Oranjer> hey Flimsy I'm working on an infographic editor and right now I'm implementing being able to make this kind of chart given just data about which characters were with who when
<NEGA-SCQQT> an evil green...
<gbelo-bot> xkcd: Movie Narrative Charts
<Flimsy> Very nice.
<Flimsy> Whoops, legit typo there...
<NEGA-SCQQT> i suppose what i'm saying here is, even if you feel like you are moving backwards through a maze, i don't think you should kill yourself
<NEGA-SCQQT> i would be very disappointed, all over again
<Flimsy> I like you, Nadir, but you never hang out with me!
<Oranjer> haha
<Oranjer> gotcha
<NEGA-SCQQT> when you hang with me, you hang with hitler
<NEGA-SCQQT> you're right though and i am sorry
<Flimsy> Zenith Nadir, the biggest bastard in history.
<Flimsy> Want to guest commentate on this pictures sorting?
<NEGA-SCQQT> i'm eating burgers and watching a movie
<NEGA-SCQQT> and these things may not be interrupted
<Flimsy> Okay.
<hmst> i'd do it but i'm being very important at work
<NEGA-SCQQT> another time ... ... ...
<Flimsy> What's your excuse, Oranjer?
<NEGA-SCQQT> a likely story [[[not sarcasm]]]
<Oranjer> no headphones because I forgot my headphone charger cord visiting my sister
<hmst> listen this is code i do not want to write
<Oranjer> also it would make me sad anyway
<NEGA-SCQQT> but you're the only one who can
<Flimsy> You don't need headphones, just a microphone.
<NEGA-SCQQT> the price of being incredibly important is to write code
<Oranjer> the microphone is on the headphones!
<Flimsy> Ah, sou.

Ashley Sgromo - 12:54
maybe no one wants to do a picture sorting podcast with you because the only incentive you seem to be offering is "might delay your suicide (?)" and also the idea in its own respect sounds totally unappealing, like something someone would suggest in a gag about an annoying person who suggests annoying things to do

Simon Sane - 12:56
Nobody ever wants to do anything with me... I could go back in the logs and show you examples, but I know you know.

Ashley Sgromo - 13:00
what's the subtext there?

Simon Sane - 13:01
I don't understand what you're asking.

Ashley Sgromo - 13:01
ok, what are you implying when you say nobody ever wants to do anything with you? that it's a conspiracy against you? that everyone has some kind of grudge? that they're too stupid and pathetic?

Simon Sane - 13:02
Just that they're creatively inert, in Lemmer's words.
And, I guess, that they care enough about me to ask me not to kill myself, but not to hang out with me.

Ashley Sgromo - 13:03

there's a screenshot of my twine

Simon Sane - 13:03
I'm not asking them to sort pictures themselves or anything, just to talk to me while I do it.

Ashley Sgromo - 13:04
yeah, i'll talk to you while you sort pictures

[I sorted pictures for four hours and we had a good bit of potentially interesting stuff to say, but I forgot to hit the record button. At the end, Ashley said she had noticed the thing wasn't recording, but declined to mention it to me. When I asked her why, she said "To see what would happen". She seemed uncomfortable introspecting on this point, though she maintained the broad, placid smile she puts on whenever cognizant of being observed. It's a smile made by mixing equal parts benevolence and smugness, designed to broadcast an empowered, refined contentment. It actually broadcasts "I care more about my appearance than anything else going on in this conversation".]

[My impression is that it's part of her gender identity.]

[We had some good reminiscences, though. Incomplete MZX games and comics we'd worked on together, that sort of thing. Time Bandits came up due to a picture of the poster for it or somesuch, and Ashley recalled correctly that I was a big fan of it. We talked about how it ends, with the kid's parents ignoring him and touching the smoking chunk of pure evil in their toaster oven and blowing up, and the fireman winking and the crane shot pulling back from the smoke trailing from the exploded parents back into space and zooming out to the entire universe and God rolling up the map and the George Harrison song over the end credits, and I mentioned that the feeling of that ending was very much the same feeling as the one I had had quietly but continually in the background since I had decided to commit suicide.]

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