kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[Content notes: living with trauma, basically]

A thread that keeps coming up in speculative fiction I'm reading at the moment (which is probably more indicative of what I'm seeking out than any publishing trends?) is the necessity for artificial intelligences to have emotions, in order to facilitate making arbitrary choices (the Imperial Radch; the Wayfarers; ...). Logic alone isn't adequate for a complex responsive intelligence: they'd stall out agonising over minutiae.

I've also been having a fair few (they say, wryly) conversations around emotional reactions and responses to contexts and events. I've known for a long time that going "okay, but that's not what's going on, here's a coherent model for my actions and behaviour and motivations that demonstrates that the thing you're scared of isn't actually happening" doesn't actually seem to have as much effect on most people's decision-making and behaviour as I'd (naively) expect. And then yesterday my interlocutor said: doesn't impact how I feel about the thing ;-) just what I logically conclude

... and -- oh. oh. Between the BPD or c-PTSD or whatever and the depression, I've in fact had to spend a lot of time working on... precisely that, right? I have to spend a lot of time and energy directing myself away from reacting based on compelling emotional "truths" and toward responding based on logical frameworks. I don't have to act as though people I'm close to want me to vanish absolutely from their lives unless they directly tell me that in fact they have changed their mind and they do*. For me, having a logical framework that contradicts my emotional understanding of the world doesn't stop me having feelings. It just -- informs what I do with them? I can free up a lot of processing power because I stop "having to" worry about how accurate they are, how much I should be taking them into account, whether I should be acting based on them. The solution to the feelings then becomes self-validation ("wow yep feeling like this is pretty rubbish, have some hot chocolate and do some stretches"), rather than their being an additional constraint I have to try to solve for, that's usually mutually exclusive with what other people are actually telling me they want.

"This information changes what I logically conclude about the situation" seems to be pretty powerful for me in a way that, as far as I can tell, it perhaps isn't for many folk? And I'm just... amused by having fitted together a model for why "no, that's not what's happening" doesn't do what I expect, that is superficially such a contradiction to the fiction.

I think it isn't, of course: this is how emotion interacts with making big decisions, not trivial ones. I'm simultaneously (still) exploring the potential of having unjustified or arbitrary preferences, particularly in the context of modern art. Just: goodness, but the inherently contradictory nature of existing. Think, two things on their own and both at once.

* Yes, we're aware that puts them in potentially awkward positions, but we've negotiated this very carefully in specific instances where I get the strongest compulsions to Just Vanish.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Just about all of you have pointed me at Translating Gender: Ancillary Justice in Five Languages, for which I am grateful! But having told [personal profile] jedusaur I'd liked it give or take disagreeing with a couple of the approaches taken, I completely failed to actually elaborate on what those points of disagreement were.

Read more... )
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
(Not sure what's going on here? The answer is Ancillary Justice.)

We're told that Radchaai does not bother with gendered pronouns. It seems to me that the default pronoun used means gender-irrelevant (rather than gender-unknown or gender-specific, which seem to me to be a useful way of considering pronouns of gendered beings). We're told that Strigan's society uses gender-known pronouns even though it professes to consider gender irrelevant.

And yet: the Radchaai frequently refer to ships as "it" (I note that the standard English pronoun used to refer to vessels is the same as the way in which the Radchaai default pronoun is rendered). It's clearly not as simple as in/animate - ships have emotions, ships have personality and identity, ships are sentient, ships have ancillaries. Except that this is done in a literally dehumanising way - ships are explicitly not Radchaai, not citizens, and therefore not considered human; characters who are uninterested in or unsympathetic toward ships are far more likely to refer to them as "it", whereas characters who like ships seem to mostly not pronoun them; non-Radchaai humans are generally called the standard pronoun for Radchaai, despite being considered by at least some in the society to have sub-human status - and so I am left picking away at what distinction it is the Radch is making here...

Thoughts very much appreciated!
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
... that I am beyond delighted by Ancillary Justice and The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere's Hugo wins, very pleased about several other things, and despite no prior emotional investment at all in the Editors categories I actually started crying during Ginjer's acceptance speech.

I have had a... variable con, on which more later; but I am very pleased to have done the thing, very pleased to have spent time with so many awesome people, and very pleased to have met so many more awesome people. One more panel I want to make it to, tomorrow afternoon, and then I guess I'll start posting write-ups of the panels I attended.



Jun. 11th, 2014 06:56 pm
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
1. Sunshine.

2. The strawberry plant is starting to have actual fruit on it. Still nowhere near ripe, but nonetheless!

3. Flomping around in vest top and linen trousers.

4. My new wallet. It was a ridiculous extravagance and I felt super-guilty about it, but... it makes me happy every time I look at it, so.

5. Living close enough to friends that if my housemate is out for the evening and I'm not doing brilliantly at food, I can ping someone over IM and ask them to come over for dinner and they will. (I really love that "do me a favour? let me feed you?" is a thing I can ask people.)

6. I am on my first reread of Ancillary Justice because it became perfectly apparent that my brain wasn't going to let me settle into anything else until I did. It is a long time since that last happened.

7. ... apart from the bit where my ereader ended up partway through Famine (by [personal profile] lightgetsin, part of A Deeper Season, the epic Vorkosiverse AU I love to bits) and ~for some reason~ this time round I ended up highlighting huge chunks of it. Ways to fit myself into the world, indeed.

8. My supervisor has replied usefully to the last e-mail I sent her, which means she doesn't hate me forever and I can get on with the things I was trying to get on with with rather less anxiety, thank goodness.

9. People: in addition to spontaneous-friend-tonight, I'm seeing my mum for lunch tomorrow (and possibly visiting London Volcano in company), and [personal profile] randomling is coming over for dinner Friday night; and TOG is staying Friday-Sunday morning. And I then have about three different options for Interesting Things I Can Do With Nice People on Sunday afternoon.

10. Having finished The Middleman, I have persuaded my housemate that A:tLA is a good choice for Next House TV Show. However I am probably going to try to get my act together to make Orphan Black a thing we can do together next season, given how much the entire Internet seems to like it!


kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

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