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  1. Rationally, I know that she definitely isn't the only one for me. I mean, when I look at it dispassionately, we're not even that compatible. Different life goals and different values (not so different that we can't be friends, but different enough that a deeper relationship would be challenging). There are absolutely thousands of other women out there who I would almost certainly be happier with. But unfortunately none of that knowledge makes even the slightest dent in my emotions. The heart wants what it wants. In any case, I have other dates lined up in the near future. None of which I'm particularly enthusiastic about TBH, but I'll go in with an open mind. I'll vent online, and to my therapist, but in my actual life I'm not going to allow myself to wallow.
  2. Good advice, and I don't disagree, but unfortunately it's been nine months and things are getting worse rather than better. I'm pretty sure I just have a thing for unavailable women.
  3. Ughhh, I cannot get over these feelings for my friend. I asked her out, she turned me down, that should be the end of it. But I can't stop my hopes from flaring up against all reason every time I think I've got a handle on things. She'll casually touch my arm or laugh at one of my lame jokes and suddenly I'm a stupefied fifteen-year-old with his first crush again. Fuck, I should be over this shit. I'm too drunk to deal with this, or I wouldn't have even posted it. Feelings really fucking suck sometimes.
  4. I've always absolutely hated the idea of the real world being just another layer of the matrix, because it renders literal what was already established thematically. Zion, the One, the war between freed humans and agents, was all a system of control. The freed humans thought they were a resistance, but in fact Zion was built by the machines to put all the troublemakers in a relatively controllable environment, and the One was the method by which they re-set everything when it started getting to the point of being uncontrollable. I.e. the real world was just another extension of the matrix, but it was a false ideology, rather than a literal simulation. This was an interesting thematic counterpoint to the first film, essentially comparing the machines' manipulation and management of human resistance to the way the real-life establishment will co-opt the imagery of anti-establishment movements and turn them into brands, or try to turn social movements into empty lifestyle expressions. You thought you were a rebel? We'll come down to the mall and get your entire look from Hot Topic.
  5. The Guardian certainly has its own political agenda, but in terms of the overall political spectrum, it definitely doesn't sit "way" to the left.
  6. The two options are neoliberal capitalism or 20th century state communism. That's it. There are literally no other ways to organise human affairs.
  7. Time marches on. Things that seem solid melt away. All must eventually decay. Nevertheless, Maiden will always be Maiden.
  8. Well done to Piers Gilliver, gold for GB in the class A individual épée. Nice improvement on his Rio result.
  9. The show remains as charming as it was in season one. That said, I can't help but feel that this season is a bit...anemic? The first season had stakes, and conflict. People sometimes got angry. People sometimes got sad in a way that wasn't immediately solved by the end of the episode. There were conflicts that lasted more than a single episode. I'm still enjoying it, but I'm also a bit worried that it's becoming kind of aimless.
  10. So, this video by Innuendo Studios is talking about how some people get sucked into the alt-right online, and how they might be pulled out of it. The alt-right and incels are not strictly the same phenomenon, but they have some pretty heavy overlap, both in membership and in the way people get radicalised into them. Anyway, in the conclusion, there's one concept brought up that I thought would be pertinent to the "how to deradicalise incels" question. "In a perfect world, people who care about Gabe could build for him, to use a therapy term, a holding space. Someplace private - physical or digital - where Gabe can work out his feelings. Where he is both encouraged and expected to be better but is not, in the moment, judged." I think the key point here is "people who care about Gabe [the hypothetical incel/alt-righter]." It is definitely not on people at risk of harm to be doing the outreach work. In the absence of immediate loved ones who might be able to do this, men need to be working to build safe social spaces for other men where these kinds of conversations might happen.
  11. Essentially, yes. I think that incels need to be looked at as another example of online radicalisation, not dissimilar to other violent / hateful ideologies that perpetuate themselves in the absence of any central organisation. And pulling incels out of that ideology should probably be approached in a similar way to other forms of de-radicalisation. I honestly don't know what the solution is here. I think the modern incel phenomenon is born from a confluence of many different large-scale social factors that are difficult to reverse. The online echo chambers are a huge part of it, but I'm not sure how you get rid of those without dismantling the internet itself. But also; extreme modern individualism and atomisation, the rise in widespread loneliness and isolation (not exclusively but disproportionately amongst men), social messaging that combines hypersexuality with sexual repression and rigid sexual roles. And more. It's an extremely toxic stew and I don't know that there are any simple or easy solutions.
  12. I know it was already raised in the UK politics thread, but people really should watch the Contrapoints video on the topic. She's come out with a lot of arguments over the years that I'm not really sold on, but I think this one is genuinely insightful. I'll also try and give some personal perspective. I'm definitely not proud of admitting this, but if the online incel phenomenon had been around in its current form 15 - 20 years ago, I think my teenage / early-20s self would have been extremely vulnerable to falling into it. I'm not an incel, and it's not something I've ever identified as, but there was a time in my life when I was probably incel-adjacent, and I want to try and communicate some of the midset that involves. Not to elicit sympathy (either for myself or modern day incels). Not to excuse or minimise the harm these people do. Rather, just to give some insight as to how this mindset forms and how difficult it can be to break out of. The main thing to consider, these people fucking hate themselves. For all their anger and hatred directed towards women - it's substantial and I don't want to minimise it - their self-loathing is just as great. And one of the reasons they hate themselves so much, is because of the amount of time spent online, in venues that do nothing but reinforce their self-hatred. It's why the whole "just take a shower" thing is so ineffective. These people believe that they are fundamentally cursed from birth to be alone. At the time I was depressed, lonely teen, it was just a non-specific pessimism. But nowadays, these people are wallowing in an online culture constantly telling them that their fucking skull shape or "canthal tilt" (look it up, it's bananas) makes them a hideous mutant. It's just an endless barrage of despair. And one of the reasons that it's so difficult to break out of this mindset once you're in it; the self-hatred feels good. At least, in a way. It's a bit like cutting, or other self-harm. It feels like taking control of your shitty situation. You think you're worthless, deformed, pond-slime destined to die alone? Well at least you're aware of it. At least you know the truth. Not like those sheeple who think that there's hope in life. It feels good to face what you perceive to be a hard truth. In the video above, Wynn calls it masochistic epistemology. The thought process goes, people delude themselves to feel better. Therefore, if it hurts, it must be true. And the more it hurts, the more true it must be. You can't reason someone out of this mindset. Would taking a shower, dressing better, practising a hobby, and getting some non-online friends help these people (not just help them get laid, but help in general)? Absolutely. But they are in a deep, self-reinforcing well that's very difficult to climb out of. You can't fix the rest of it until you fix the mindset. Again, none of this is to excuse, or elicit sympathy. It's just to point out, this is not just a bunch of random lonely losers who just need a stern talking to. It's a...the closest word I can think to describe it is ideology. And people generally can't be reasoned out of their ideologies. Toxic ideologies either need to be fought, which is difficult when the overwhelming majority of subscribers are anonymous message board users who will be awful to the people in their lives but are unlikely to be actively violent. Or, the social conditions that give rise to the ideology need to be changed.
  13. So we should understand what conditions lead to their emergence, and whether and how we might change those conditions.
  14. Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you've got a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies: God damn it, you've got to be kind. – Kurt Vonnegut
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