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Yoda/Count Dooku duel fixfic 

Through the thick smoke, emerges the heroic figure of YODA. He stops on the smoke-filled threshold, FOUR DROIDS lined up on either side of him, guns pointed.

Before the DROIDS can get off a shot, YODA raises his hand, and the DROIDS are flung against the far walls and crash to the floor in heaps of smoking metal.

Silence. COUNT DOOKU steps away from ANAKIN to face the Jedi Grand Master. His lightsaber whirls in a formal salute.

Master Yoda. At last we shall
know who is the most powerful.

YODA draws a miniature lightsaber out of his cane. He salutes formally.

Count Dooku. No interest in
contests, do I have.

COUNT DOOKU charges across the space at YODA. As he touches ground for the first blow, CLOSE on YODA's lightsaber moving calmly from its sideway position to an overhead instance. COUNT DOOKU stops his swing midair before contact, eyes widening as he realizes he'd have lost the fight then and there. After a beat, COUNT DOOKU steps back, and as he does so, YODA's small lightsaber simultaneously descends, pointing forwards towards COUNT DOOKU, as if tied to his movements by invisible strings.

Silence. COUNT DOOKU lifts his lightsaber in the same stance, master and disciple looking like symmetric figures as in a painting, except for their size difference. YODA nonetheless is impassive, while COUNT DOOKU looks increasingly nervous. He slides a foot forward and tilts his body menacingly, ready to spring, while bringing the lightsaber overhead. YODA again moves simultaneously, lowering the tip of his own lightsaber, now pointing downwards. Neither move further. A single drop of sweat runs down COUNT DOOKU's face.

Suddenly COUNT DOOKU breaks the silence with a yell, pulling his lightsaber to his side, vertically, in an aggressive posture. YODA accompanies the movement by bringing his own saberpoint down to the side, holding it casually in an empty stance, looking almost careless. COUNT DOOKU comes forward swirling his lightsaber in complex movements, feinting an upwards blow that YODA doesn't move to meet as it whirls half a centimetre from his face. The twirling lightsaber finally commits to a downwards diagonal strike that would cut right through YODA's body. SLOW MOTION. YODA steps with his small frame *into* the blow, bringing his saber up in a single strike that simultaneously deflects COUNT DOOKU's point to the side, slightly, just enough that it breezes by YODA's body, while his own saber continues forward to slash COUNT DOOKU's forearms, burning a black line on both.

COUNT DOOKU'S lightsaber drops from his hands, and bounces on the floor with a noise that dies off slowly in the silence. COUNT DOOKU staggers back, gasping and spent, against the control panel. YODA brings his lightsaber back into a forward stance, tip honed on the defenceless COUNT DOOKU.

(sliding a foot forward)
The end for you, Count, this is.

...Not yet...

(continues as in original script)


I’ve complained before about how colourless is GoT TV compared to the books, but even the official- and fan artworks seem afraid of using as much colour as the text.

and not just the Loras and Illyrios of the story, but even the 'dark' characters are vivid, bursting out of the page with glittering, larger-than-life hues. Consider Theon’s outfit to meet his father: sleek black leather boots, soft silver-gray woolen pants, shiny silk black doublet with the kraken of his house embroidered large in gold thread, a necklace of fine gold, a bright white leather belt to hold sword and dagger, both sheated in gold and black stripes, and black silk gloves filigrained in spirals of gold.

I simply can't find Theon illustrations that dare to push it as far as this description does, and similarly for the other characters, castles, creatures. I think people in contemporary Western societies think of colour as childish and frivolous (cf. Batchelor’s book «Chromophobia» for a discussion of this prejudice), and ASoIaF is supposed to be all mature and realistic (→not really), so they go for sombre palettes in representations – losing one of the books’ greatest visual strengths: the way the splendour of nobility highlights, reinforces, the shock of what they do to the people. Far from softening the blow, the colour and pageantry of Loras’ flower armour only makes Gregor’s brutality feel even worse.

adhd meds review 

as previously discussed, the most perceptible effect lisdex has on me, by far, is calming me down. subjectively, it feels more like an anti-anxiety med than a stimulant. somebody used the metaphor "the snow globe settles down", and it's spot on. I'm taking breaks from the amphetamine on weekends, and when the brain goes back to thinking 20 things at the same time, I miss that settled mind. The peacefulness of it is quite pleasant, and a quality-of-life improvement for sure.

I don't feel much of a difference regarding resistance to distraction, planning, organisation, or memory. I tried doubling the dose to 60mg to see if the effect was more dramatic; instead the side effects got bad (no appetite, upset stomach) while the benefits seemed the same.

In any case, according to Additude mag, if the dose is just right you shouldn't feel unusual or euphoric; look at results to see if it's working. And it’s true that I’ve been working a lot more, though it’s hard to measure how much is due to the medicine; I was thrown in a very difficult situation at work atm, with intense pressure and scrutiny, which might have pushed me forward regardless of meds (tho the calming effect was _very_ useful when dealing with this). Still, housemate gf says that she noticed I can do more than 1 thing now. Like I'll wash dishes, then take out the trash, then shave my legs. Normally I'd do 1 thing then crash on the sofa nonfunctionally.

I feel like it’s still hard to start working, I still get sidetracked by the Internet or other stuff, I still forget events and appointments; but I can tell that when I start doing work, I seem more likely to continue doing it. I’m handling a particularly boring task right now (marking points in 90+ interview audios), and there were a number of times when I was feeling tired and bored and wanted to take a break, but somehow couldn’t bring myself to do it; I felt like, "just a few more %", "let's just stay until it reaches 17:00", as if it was a videogame or something else compelling. I wanted to see the completion bar done. Is this how non-ADHD ppl feel when they focus on things?

Even though I'm doing a lot more now than before, I'm not exactly happy or satisfied. I still feel like all of my energy and time is spent with work and household maintenance, leaving me too drained to do things for fun or pursue personal interests. I don’t know how to improve that in a safe way, but I guess I’ll keep looking for ways to build a daily life worth living.

Game of Thrones season 8 spoilers 

For all the disaster that was the latter half of TV, I will concede it one thing: Brienne's knighting scene was beautiful. I think I never cried so much over a scene as this. For a week I'd remember it and start crying again.

This is because, unlike most things in the show, Brienne and Jaime had actual growth arcs leading them to this point, an actual connection that we got to see on screen as it developed, and the other ppl in the room made a lot of sense and acted in a believable way true to their character.

Tormund, as a cultural outsider, is the spur. Now that the freefolk have arduously gained enough respect to be listened, he's in position to bring Westerosi traditions into question, to demand a "why" and make the others think "yeah, why not".

Davos is, from the beginning, the moral compass that cuts across convention and class. His approval validates the change in tradition as the right thing to do.

Tyrion, as a scholar and chronicler, lends gravitas; his testimony turns the ceremony from intimate scene to historical landmark.

Podrick, as Brienne's de facto squire, is the one she looks at for validation; being in a power dynamic with her, he's the one who can prove she's worthy, in the way a student is the proof of a worthy teacher. He quietly nods.

Just like Brienne's, Jaime's arc is all about the institution of knighthood. He has seen and experienced how meaningless it can be. He himself is far from an ethical actor, and far from redeemed; this does give him personal perspective on the failure of the ideal. Jaime from the inside, Brienne from outside, both have as their innermost secret drive to transcend cynicism, to make it be true.

Jaime and Brienne's romantic feelings are criss-crossed with their long, complex, individual & shared histories around knighthood. They're the beauty and the beast: Brienne is the beast outwardly and socially, but the roles reverse ethically, Jaime the shiny golden knight saw himself become the monster. If Jaime claims the power to socially institutionalise Brienne, she, by accepting his knighting, forgives him.

Thus Brienne is not the only one becoming a knight, this is Jaime's utmost knightly act; he's bravely facing not an enemy, but the institution itself. By revolutionising the notion of merit, he is symbolically disavowing the many established "no true knight"s in Westeros; "see, this what a knight should be". Unknowingly to either, this is also closure to Brienne's ancestor, Ser Duncan the Tall, who was probably never actually knighted but was recognised as such by the people he was supposed to serve.

ASoIaF is, at a meta level, a fall-and-redemption arc about fantasy itself; the opening act is about naïve trust in power institutions, in the moral of songs, being crushed by harsh material reality; then it becomes about how the core ethical values, matured, socialised, are worth their price after all. Brienne's arc is the series itself in one stroke.

All of these shared connections and personal growth are conveyed by the actors superbly, not just in words but facial expressions, body language, meaningful glances. The weight of meaning plus the great acting make for a scene that's just 😚⁠👌

re: polyamory, jealousy 

Another common feeling behind jealousy is that of unfairness: how come you’re dining out with them but we haven’t dined out in months? Now this is a bit of a trap – every relationship has different levels of commitment, different material conditions etc., and you can’t approach it like a checklist, I did activity Y with B so now I have to do Y with C and D and F. If C is demanding a checklist approach, there’s a conversation to be had about that. _Why_ is it that C feels like they need all the same things?

Often the feeling of unfairness has some root that you can address. Maybe they’re jealous of your NRE because they miss going on dates, or being courted. Maybe they’re jealous of you living with them because they don’t like sleeping alone and wish they had somebody to hug too. The jealousy might have been triggered by A doing something with B, but it’s pointing to a lack internal to A+C; you can’t magically argue away the jealousy, and you can’t duplicate the same exact relationship with everyone, but you can listen to and address the lack.

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polyamory, jealousy 

I see a lot of material on how to deal with one’s own jealousy when you’re polyam, but little on how to deal with your partners’ jealousy. This is my personal take on it, reflecting my own experiences. I won’t cushion my statements with "I think that…" or "in my view…" this time, or this long toot would get too repetitive; but please don’t take me for any kind of authority, ok? I’m just making it up as I go like everybody else x3

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you can’t blame them for their feelings, argue them out of feelings, or convince them to not have feelings. It’s easy to fall into that trap, because it feels bad for you to be treated as the cause of jealousy; it feels like an unfair accusation, like you’re being punished for loving. If A is going to see B and C is feeling sad because of that, then A (who was happy about seeing B) will naturally feel guilty, worried and sad. It’s easy for A to feel like their time with B was unfairly ruined; that everything would be alright if it wasn’t for C’s dastardly feelings. But C can’t be held responsible for _feeling bad_. They don’t want to feel bad, and they would avoid it if they could. Since C consented to a polyam relationship, chances are C doesn’t even want to feel jealous. But they do. It’s just a thing that happens, and it’s nobody’s fault.

Of course, the appropriate response to that is _not_ for A to call B and say whoops sorry I can’t see you today. That would breach the fundamental boundary: what A does with their time is theirs to decide, what A and B do together is for A+B to decide. C should not hold power over this. But C is entitled to feel sad; feeling sad is not the same as prohibiting. If their sadness reverberates in A, it’s up to A to deal with their own feelings. Moreover, A should take care to treat C in such a way, that C feels safe and encouraged to express their feelings, even difficult ones. That’s one core responsibility of being in a relationship.

The step A has to take in this situation is the hardest thing I’ve ever faced in relationships, which is to say something like:

“I understand that you feel bad about this, and I care about you and I’m willing to do anything I can to help you feel better; but this is important to me, and I am going there now.”

If you’re conflict-averse like me, your first reaction is to try to compromise on everything, to please the people, to respect everybody’s needs but your own. I’ve learned (from ) to be sceptical of compromising for love. Maybe it’s ok to compromise on small things, you prefer listening to music on a speaker but they dislike the noise so you accept putting on headphones. But don’t compromise on your values, your boundaries and needs and dreams, the stuff that makes you you. If you are drawn to polyamory, your spirit will wither without it, and you have to make this need bright and clear, draw a boundary around it.

This doesn’t mean you have to abandon ppl at the first sign of jealousy or difficulty, of course. Since you love them, it’s a given that you care about their feelings and want them to be happy. You can and should listen to their needs, make yourself available to support them, as long as that doesn’t involve self-destructive compromises.

(If they are absolutely 100% irrevocably unhappy about being in a polyam relationship, and being polyam is core to you, then it might be a good idea to consider whether you aren’t both better off as friends rather than lovers. But since they knowingly embarked in a polyam relationship, they must have some attraction of their own to it; and then chances are there’s ways to make it work.)

I like to think of listening to what’s _behind_ the jealousy. Jealousy is a surface emotion, like pain; it sprouts from underlying causes. With queer people, the cause is not usually (the toxic kind of) possessiveness, typical of abusive relationships. Rather, most often the cause is insecurity, self-doubt, fear of abandonment: "B is so cool and pretty, there's nothing interesting about me, you'll get tired of me after being with them". If you spot that feeling, think how you can address it without compromising on your time with B. Maybe write messages to C regularly, every day, or before and after seeing B. Tell them not only that you love them, but give them reasons why. Tell them you want to continue to be with them. Demonstrate it with actions. Do that often; fear of abandonment has deep roots and won’t go away easily.

adhd, work, rambling 

still thinking on the notion of what would it be like to live with adhd if I just take it as a part of who I am rather than something to be corrected.

one tip you’re told in academia is to ‘follow the lilt’. that means to work on projects that you currently find yourself being enthusiastic about. the issues with butterfly brain are that

1) my lilt refuses to stay bound to within important, useful ,or work-relevant subjects, and indeed seems to resent and actively reject those reasons in favour of intrinsic motivation; and

2) my lilt is as intense as it is short-lived.

today, for example, my interest was on how to go about mounting orchids (grow them on a slab of wood or rock, as they do in nature, unrestricted by pots). I could tell you a lot right now about different, conflicting approaches to mounted orchid watering, strategies for humidity retention, which genera are easier and so on. there is no reason at all why I should know these things or be reading on them rn; I might not even ever risk mounting an orchid (they need watering every day—scary!), and even if I do, I’d only try in spring.

but following the lilt feels good. I rarely feel as satisfied as when I learned one of those things that my brain wanted for no reason. I’m inclined to think that it’s one of the few things that make life worth living, along with sharing time with loved ones and destroying capitalism. maybe I should just accept that I won’t ever work on a single thing for any length of time, that any personal project will be abandoned half-finished as soon as the challenging (=fun) part is over, that my habit tracker works best looking like a single item ‘did whatever my mind was inclined to today’, everyday. how would life feel like if you actively _chased_ that high? if I logged with pride rather than shame, ‘today I learned a lot about mounted orchids’?

the little snag being ofc that if I can’t prioritise tasks regardless of fickle interest levels, I will end up unemployed, unable to feed the children, and deported.

ideally one would set aside some work time for obligatory tasks, then use leisure time to follow the lilt. the nature of the lilt makes this very challenging – it’s often pulling the strongest when I have _just_ said to myself, ‘ok I should do this work thing before 18h’ (and, perversely, the lilt may go away as soon the clock hits 18h). the methods to engage with the obligatory tasks are probably the same as for everybody (break into small steps, pomodoros etc.), but I still find all that very challenging, and I really hope medication+specialised therapy helps cause things are looking dire. but at the very least for stuff that I do for myself, as opposed to tasks imposed externally, there’s no reason I should feel guilty for jumping from one infatuation to the next as fast as I please.

one thing my therapist suggested for work tasks is to have a list of all the things that are mandatory for me to do, and switch between them as soon as I feel bored with one. this is structured procrastination; it has worked for me in the past, but that rebellion perversity means I will often cycle between them in precisely the reverse order of importance. I have to find some way to defeat this tendency, for the sake of my own future incl. physical safety…

adhd, conversation 

I feel very unfair with conversations because if ppl interrupt or disengage from my long, meandering monologues, I feel deeply wounded. But I myself will impulsively interrupt other ppl speaking, or lose their thread entirely.

I know this is bad ofc, and I don't want to hurt my friends the way I feel hurt, so I make an active effort to be here and listening attentively. I think I do well when e.g. we're having an emotional moment, they're venting about depression and so on. But if they're telling me a long anecdote from work or something? Roll 1d6, on 1 I'll find myself wondering for last 5 minutes what would be the reflections on world mythology if we had ice rings like Saturn, or if I add a toggle button to my raspberry I could double the use of the OLED screen space, I wonder how are buttons programmed with GPIO, can you use inotify with pins?, or what would the dwarven empire be like if the One Ring by chance ended up with the kings-under-the-earth, it would be a machine of meaningless accumulation for sure, kinda like dragons when you think about it, in the early mediaeval songs about dragons they're humans transformed for hoarding, if dwarves became dragons would they look different?, and now my friend is looking at me expectantly & I have no idea what was just said.

Which, again, if somebody did that too me I'd dig up a hole in the ground and bury myself.

I'm not young, and long experience has taught me to rein the impulses somewhat. I hold back on ‘this reminds me of...’ even if I feel like I have to say it _now_ or it'll fall in the black hole of memory, cause now it's their turn, they deserve to speak and if I forget things I wanted to say that's on me. When I notice I've been away I stop my daydreaming and try to get involved with what's happening, say ‘sorry, what was that?’ if it was brief enough to recover. And ofc if somebody interrupts my story I try to think ok, yeah, I do that too and understand how it feels like. But sometimes I still do these things, without meaning to.

things I wish ppl had told me about adhd 

- it doesn't always look like a boy being hyper and screaming jumping flipping tables.

it can also look like a shy kid being late, again, because there was a funny green bug, and a cat ran away, and check out this red flower, doesn't it kinda look like a fireflower from super mario, maybe mom could teach me to plant flowers?, and I wonder if that ice cream cart has jackfruit, and then you're almost ran over by a car.

(or, in the case of child me, you ran _into_ the car. while it's speeding.)

this is called an innatentive presentation, and it's though to be more common in girls, leading to underdiagnosis. it's still considered to be the same condition because both kids are suffering from understimulation and desperately trying to find something, anything to busy themselves with. the "h" part can look like hyperactivity of the mind, rather than bouncing around the room.

- the name is a misnomer, and a pretty misleading one at that.

there's no deficit of attention. in fact adhd ppl are notorious for paying inordinate amounts of attention to the most random things (‘hyperfocus’). they will manage to be attentive to stuff that everybody else filters out.

the difficulty is in controlling what the attention latches onto, and how much of it to dispense. alternative names proposed include ‘executive function disorder’, ‘attention regulation deficit disorder’, and in a positive framing, ‘variable attention stimulus trait’.

- adhd and autism overlap somewhat in symptoms

for example, adhd ‘hyperfocus’ can look a lot like spectrum ‘special interest’ (I suspect special interests are more long-lived). both are likely fidgety and trying to stim. both spectrum ppl and adhd will have trouble with conversational behaviour norms, turn-taking, word-dumping etc. (spectrum due to problems with unspoken cues and nonliteral language, adhd because (interrupts you)—ever notice that the word "because" is made of "be" and "cause" (in German the prefix be- like this is very productive and it's an unaccented prefix (which is important because of this thing called separable verbs, where if the prefix is accented... (goes on opening a few more parentheses; won't rest until closing all of them properly))).

difficulty with social norms will lead to bad experiences which may cause social anxiety, correlated to both traits.

this overlap in symptoms means if you have one trait, you'll score higher than average in tests for the other, without meaning you have both. otoh...

- autism, adhd, dyslexia, gender issues are all correlated

(I hate the word ‘comorbidity’).

the new large-scale study on the connection between trans ppl and autism is notorious. but previous (smaller) studies suggest about just a strong a connection between gender stuff and adhd, and the intersection between the spectrum and adhd seems even bigger, and some 20~40% of adhd ppl have dyslexia (which in my opinion is less a ‘mental disorder’ than a hardware issue in implementing this weird new brain hack that connects an out-of-manual wire between the 3d edge detection module and the language module, a mod which we call ‘reading’).

trying to take a wider view, adhd and autism diagnoses are clusters of symptoms, and AFAICT it's not very clear yet the extent to which items in each box occur together vs. inter-boxically. irl ppl seem to be able to show some symptoms from each box. maybe you took ‘can't process faces and social cues’ from the spectrum box, but not ‘needs routine and known patterns’, preferring ‘needs stimulus from constant novelty’ from the adhd box.

I suspect these labels and models will probably be redrawn as our knowledge of weird brain stuff improves.

- adhd is significantly hereditary (35~75%)

so if you have a diagnosis, you might want to take a closer look at your parents/children, and vice-versa.

adhd, "disability" vs. "superpower" 

There’s something to the framing of ADHD as a "superpower", I think, but it’s also unsatisfying.

Many things that most people find relatively easy seem to be very-hard-to-impossible for me (e.g. sending a form, planning a day, remembering to do a thing, staying with a hobby after I got the hang of it). And I find it easy to do some things that most people seem to find hard (devouring the entire textbook on the first week so that I'm done with the class for the semester; learning from widely divergent fields and combining them; taking big risks).

A lot of the ADHD material concentrates on what I lack, and how can I compensate for it, which is useful but kind of depressing. I’m curious about how to try to work with what my mind got, rather than forcing it to grudgingly fit average patterns of working.

There’s some neurodiversity material out there that treats ADHD as a superpower instead. For example, consider the fact that I always write my stuff on the last couple days.

  • Standard framing is blaming myself for my apparent perpetual laziness and irresponsibility.
  • Disability framing means being bummed about this incurable hardware defect that puts some sort of impassable repulsive force between me and The Thing.
  • Superpower approach is when Perpetua Neo (pause to appreciate her name!) calls it "timebending". Timebenders have little control over their powers, and will unconsciously bend a short interval (the time to take out the trash or shave) for hours without end. But in an emergency, they can also compress superhuman amounts of output into impressively small amounts of time.

I guess from one point of view it is kind of impressive that I can write a publication-quality, professionally worthy article in 2 days. I can look at the full list of my accomplishments and feel like I’m an impostor tricking everyone because 99% of the time my mind was jumping all over the place, and all I did was done in the remaining 1%. I can fantasise of how much I could achieve if I got that hyperfocus for even 50% of the time, and then be disappointed in myself because that feels physically impossible. Or, I could pat myself on the back because with this mere 1% time I could get all these titles, accolades, positions, monies.

But this doesn’t feel quite right, either. For one thing, it reeks of meritocracy, which is to say ableism. "The Power of Different" by Gail Saltz has some pretty interesting case studies of how neurodiversity can be leveraged and not just lamented. Sadly the subtitle is "The Link between Disorder and Genius". It buys into the myth of the genius wholesale, never considering how much "genius" is shorthand for "useful to capitalism", and never considering what happens to diverse minds who don’t qualify as "genius". For people like me, who spend their childhoods hearing "you’re such a genius, if just you tried a bit harder!", the word itself is filled with trauma.

I’m trying to think of this as not a disability and not a superpower, but something like a character class. Most ADHD books read like this: You’re a rogue. That means you can’t wield two-handed swords or full armour. Let’s discuss some mitigation strategies, like how to layer boiled leather with chainmail, and how to avoid dungeons with large monsters. "Superpower" materials instead read like this: You’re a rogue! Your DPS can be quadruplied ! wow! you’re first tier!

I figure what I should do instead is to stop trying to function as a defective fighter, and try to acknowledge my strengths and limitations without ranking ppl into tiers. (I always thought parties are more fun when the game is _un_balanced anyway.) Like if my DPS is all-or-nothing, is there a way to increase the rate of critical hits? If I have this big range of lateral skills like detecting traps and opening locks, maybe I should embark on adventures where they can be put to use, rather than purely kill-the-monster quests. If I’m forced to run through a gauntlet full of attacks from all sides (=distractions), don’t feel bad at taking a defensive potion to increase my AC to levels approaching that of a less fragile class. I’m stretching this metaphor way too far amn’t I.

In real life: on the one hand I can only work in short bursts, on the other I know I’ve done some pretty neat stuff in these short bursts. It is what it is, neither genius nor lazy. If I just accept that this ain’t changing anytime soon, then what? How does one make a living on short work bursts, without being fired or called lazy? Is there any technique to doing the bursts right at the start (the way I got through school and college), rather than right at the deadline or past it (as I do in grad school and professionally)? Can timebending be, at least to some degree, tamed?


glitch-soc running on a raspberry pi :3

Elilla’s personal server.