January 26, 2022

Now the virtual is primary, IRL secondary: From digital people to embodied accounts

As this year shapes up to be worse than 2021, something has become suddenly clear to me about the relationship between virtual reality and physical reality. Zoomers are even more virtual-dependent or virtually-existing than Millennials, who were already bad enough on that score. And Gen Alpha will be worse still.

Usually these discussions treat the virtual and IRL as merely separate domains, with some interfaces. But there's really an ordering where one is more fundamental, and the other is an outgrowth, parasitic, dependent, or otherwise secondary to the fundamental layer underneath.

For most of online history, IRL was primary and the virtual was secondary. Most of young people's conversations in the '90s were face-to-face or voice calls, which fall under IRL (more on voice calls later). That was not affected by them having online access. Online was only for stuff you couldn't already do IRL, and conversing with your friends and family was something you could and did already do IRL. Therefore, nobody had their friends and family on their AOL buddy lists for Instant Messaging, or their email contacts, both of which were instead reserved for accounts belonging to people some distance away who you had encountered only online (in a chat room, bulletin board, etc.).

During the early 2000s, the balance shifted more towards the virtual direction, while still having IRL as primary. In college, most students' AIM buddy lists now included their friends from around campus, not online-only contacts. Ditto for emailing their friends instead of calling them or dropping by their dorm room. Text messaging over a cell phone is, socially, the functional equivalent of IM-ing and emailing, and the opposite of a voice call or face-to-face chat, and texting IRL friends and family also took off during the 2000s.

This trend grew worse over the 2010s as users demanded even more virtual-dependent interactions with their IRL friends, family, and co-workers. This drove the growth of social media platforms, mainly Facebook but also Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, etc. By the later part of the decade, young people's social lives had dramatically shifted toward online interactions with accounts on social media platforms, rather than keeping in touch with IRL friends and family on a dinosaur platform like Facebook.

And now, as of the 2020s, this decades-long shift from IRL to the virtual has finally crossed the threshold where now the virtual is primary and fundamental, while IRL is relegated to secondary and parasitic / dependent status in young people's social lives.

Perhaps this crossover event just happened within the past month or so, rather than 2020 or '21. But I have never seen public spaces so deserted, even compared to 2020 when COVID hysteria was far greater. They basically never leave the house, unless they have to for work, and even then, they're still in online-mode while outside the home.

In 2020, I used to see girls out filming TikTok videos in public places like parks and outdoor shopping centers. That itself was treating virtual reality as primary, and IRL as dependent on it -- we'll only go to the park in order to film a TikTok video and interact with other accounts on that platform as a result of our upload. Or we'll only go to the park to take Instagram-worthy pictures. We'll only hang out at the Starbucks in order to bitch about some aspect of the atmosphere there, on Twitter / Tumblr / Reddit / wherever else. We can have a face-to-face conversation, but the topic has to be what some accounts are discussing on one of the platforms, or what one of my friend-accounts texted me, etc.

But by now I don't even see that level of IRL participation. All TikToks are now being filmed within their hermetically sealed domestic pod. (And maybe the gym? I don't know, never been to one.)

* * *

This post is more of a preliminary one, just to note the crossover event where IRL has finally been driven into secondary status, and the virtual finally having risen to primary status. But to briefly preview where this mini-series is headed...

I'll follow this up with more about what distinguishes IRL from virtual reality, since it's not obvious. For example, most people would not immediately recognize that a relationship where most of your communication is through texting or other messaging tools is a virtual, not an IRL, relationship. That's because IRL, understood as referring to a real space, also goes along with "in real time". Two people in the same place at the same time. But virtual interactions do not require two accounts being in the same virtual space at the same time -- usually they are not. Voice calls do unfold in real time, though, which is why they never felt fake like texting, emailing, or DM-ing do.

The strangest development on that matter is the inability of Skype and Facetime to displace texting and its variants, despite the former seeming to be more techno-futuristic and progress-marking. However, it makes sense because they required communication in real time, and that is anathema to virtual reality. So something that would've seemed out-of-this-world in the '60s, like Facetime, plays second fiddle to a glorified form of pen-pal letters or playing phone tag on each other's answering machines back in the '80s.

And we'll also have to adjust what we consider "going out," "joining the crowd," "enjoying the hustle-bustle environment," "leaving the private behind for the public," and so on and so forth. Now that people's social lives are primarily online, they can "go out in public" by logging on to a public platform and interacting with the other accounts on there, even while remaining alone in their home.

But the flipside of that is that merely leaving their IRL domicile does not constitute "going out in public" -- their mind and behavior is still entirely centered on their online existence, whether it's stewing in what another account posted, or thinking of how to exploit their outside-the-home trip for online engagement (perhaps something as innocuous as leaving a post on their feed about what they picked up at the grocery store, to generate some attention and engagement). They don't tell their neighbor what they got at the store, and they don't share a picture of their hike face-to-face with their family member. Those details are uploaded to an online platform for other accounts to see and interact with.

Sadly, this means the total death of the brick-and-mortar danceclub among young people, its primary demographic. TikTok or its successors will be the virtual danceclub where they go to show their moves, see and be seen, get some quick validation, etc., but without actual physical touching or even proximity and feeling corporeally part of a single pulsating superorganism called a crowd. That will be the hardest IRL space to let go of for me, especially since we're in the restless warm-up phase of the 15-year excitement cycle, and that always means dance fever. Which is in fact happening right now -- but only online, via TikTok, not IRL in clubs.

Oh yeah, and no IRL relationships will ever be initiated spontaneously IRL. Whether for same-sex friends, opposite-sex friends, or romantic / sexual partners, everybody will have to pass through an online app's algorithm, after submitting their personal data. At the very least, you will have to "meet" first online, whether it's an explicitly designed dating app or just a generic social media platform. It will be accounts forming bonds with accounts, primarily. Secondarily, and occasionally, the accounts may take physical form and hang out as friends on the beach, or as lovers scratching their animal itch for sex, before disembodying once again to return to account form in the virtual domain.

Plenty more to say, some of it as per yoozh will be posts-within-the-comments-section, and others will be separate posts altogether.


  1. On a related note, Happy Australia Day to a special Great Southern Fren. Even if, by some crazy series of favorable coincidences, we ended up getting married -- that would still count as online accounts who were matched up by an algorithm of sorts (the one that made her viral in late 2018, else I would never have known about her).

    When they say "every platform is a dating app," it's true. Everyone refuses to meet first IRL, and conduct the entirety of the relationship IRL, as it develops. At some point, it has to be re-routed through the online platforms, personal data, algorithms, etc.

    At the very least, it means you'll just be texting each other, not calling or talking face-to-face. That's still reducing an IRL relationship to a virtual one.

    That's why I never asked you for your phone #, special fren. I wouldn't mind talking so much, but I'm minimizing texting, trying to cut it out altogether. No more virtual, only real. Naturally I'd rather chat with you face-to-face, but you're all the way down under over there.

    Close enough to give you a virtual hug across cyberspace, though. Hehe.



  2. Cliffor Simak predicted all of this in the 1950s in his City stories.

    The stories do not have a happy ending.

  3. looking forward to more of the good stuff (including epidemiology/neo-miasmism)

    I still reference your dead-on boob sperg~crypto-tranny breakdown almost on a daily basis

  4. As for same-sex friends, the last buddy I had who I'd originally met IRL was back in 2012-'13, and even then he was a literal Boomer. Another regular at Starbucks, who I started shooting the bull with, and we eventually got to talking for hours at a time, most days of the week.

    Mostly in that location, occasionally going over to the supermarket nearby to pick up stuff before heading back home, and we never saw each other's home, didn't exchange phone numbers, or make other plans.

    But still, a recurring predictable relationship based on camaraderie, like the regulars at a bar or club or church, who socialize and bond there, but not outside that environment.

    Crucially, not a worker / customer relationship, not a co-worker at a workplace. Someone who had no initial vested interest in chatting with me, or me with him. Seems like these days, what limited friendly IRL interactions people have with others is customers and workers at their favorite haunts.

    Most of the Millennial guys I befriended at that same time were workers at the record store, used video game store (local chain, not GaymeStop), etc.

    I got zero long-term friends from all the clubbing I did, and I was *the* life of the party every night I went, everywhere I went, with groupies / fans of both sexes (no homo on the guys, just guys who look up to you). That's just not a way to make friends for Millennials, since it didn't pass through a virtual platform filter of some kind.

    At best they would've given me their phone number, and we would've become virtual pen pals (texting).

    Really the only source left for friends is co-workers (or co-students, if you're in grad school etc.). No IRL social life outside of the workplace. Social life outside of a workplace (yours or theirs) must be virtual only. Very sad.

  5. How exactly would this affect the rising/falling extroversion cycles?

    How exactly would extroversion, crime, outgoing behavior, and promiscuity rise if everyone just interacts online? Would people just sext, Snapchat, and use Tinder more?

  6. Things like that, or getting more flirty with other accounts in a not-overtly dating platform (Twitter, Twitch, etc.).

    Also, forming more stable packs to hang out in online, rather than being loose individuals. In the '80s, you not only saw "people" hanging out in public -- they were almost always in groups.

    It was a fractal phenomenon, where the individual formed a small group, the small groups gathered in the same place to form crowds, and crowds sometimes assembled in larger groups to form what seemed like armies (e.g. at a stadium concert).

  7. Today's public IRL flirting report: two girls came into TJ Maxx almost right on my heels. A white brunette and a MENA baddie, both wearing sweatshirts that ended above the waistline of their leggings, and idk what shoes (guys never notice, probably jogging shoes).

    After slowly following me back toward the clearance section, they finally took the plunge into the same aisle as random hot guy. While pretending to ponder various items, one of them found a candle and said, "This smells like... MENNNN". Very emphatic on that last word.

    "But like, not like men our age..." said the other while a clearly older man is right beside / behind them.

    "Men our age are BOYS" the first said with palpable disdain.

    "Yeah, not like college boys".

    "It's like a classic DAD scent..." I was expecting to maybe hear the word "daddy," but that's what she meant, anyway. Hot older guy.

    BTW, I was wearing four sprays of Bijan today, so they undoubtedly caught quite a whiff of that while spending a few minutes in close quarters with me. Hehe. It wasn't right after spraying, none of that initial bracing sage & artemisia. More into the smoldering honey & cloves stage. Definitely not a "teen guy going to Hollister for his first beachy aquatic scent" kind of deal.

    Incidentally, we were never big into aquatics even as teens back in the '90s. My friends and I were more into whatever the samples were in Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, etc. Basic stuff like Obsession, nothing out there, but still in the masculine tradition, not the fruity / unisex / aquatic / and other light trends of the '90s.

    I did my best not to egg them on in return, while they were clearly trying to provoke my horniness with that exchange between "themselves".

    But then later I was in the proper candle section, and they spied me and made their way over slowly but audibly again. They started to mirror my direction on the other side of the shelving unit, so that we met each other at the end display.

    OK, enough pretending that we're not noticing each other. After smelling one odd candle, I turned my head slightly to look at them both and asked, "You guys have any idea what lava is supposed to smell like?" The brunette was the most pent-up in horniness (probably the one who started the "smells like MENNN" convo), and started talking a mile a minute about lava, candles, etc., just to get it out of her system.

    And then a little small talk about whatever, while standing next to each other, crossing over, staying close after that crossover instead of immediately bolting away, where the MENA baddie reached up at nothing at all, just so her sweatshirt would ride up and reveal her smooth, tight olive-toned tummy. Then repeating the mirroring paths on opposite sides of the shelving, until we were all finished.

    I'm telling you, girls are now eager and willing to start conversations in public with strangers about whatever pretext the environment allows (if they're into the guy, of course). It was not like this a few years ago. Horny levels going off the charts -- and some of it still directed towards IRL people!

    And both were maskless! I thought of saying something about it, but thought that might steer the convo into a political direction, and wanted to keep it on the spontaneous horny tone.

    Maybe could've achieved both if I'd said, "Y'know, it's so much more enjoyable flirting with girls when you're not wearing those masks. It's much appreciated..."

  8. Sounds like a good general tip: maskless girls will be found in scent places, for candles, perfume, etc.

    Not only because a mask would get in the way mechanically of sampling the wares, but because corporeal people -- the type who resonate with scents, unlike cerebrals -- need to express and see expressions of others' faces, not just words with their arbitrary pairing of sound and meaning. Faces don't lie, words do.

    And both of these college girls were butt girls, proving again that corporeal people are butt people.

    And both had luscious dreamy eyebrows. Mmmmm...

    Some of the current trends that I thank God I'm able to enjoy on a mass scale -- leggings (to display the waist, tummy, buns, hips, and thighs, all in one holistic form, not broken up by tops, belts, shorts, etc.), thick-ass eyebrows, high-waisted bottoms, and minimal make-up (as these two girls were sporting -- or rather, not sporting).

    Only two huge trends that I wish were reversed are middle parts in the hair (side part allows her to pile hair on top of hair and make it BIG, the more volume the better), and oversized / baggy bottoms (not a problem when they're wearing leggings, though, which are skin-tight).

    I don't actually mind the baggy tops, since I'm not a boob man, and I don't want manipulative boob women trying to hypnotize me (to no effect) by wearing tight tops. Baggy tops foil the boob men from staring at her tits, and force them into being a normal human being and looking her in the eyes (usually scared to death, because boob men are socially frightened children seeking the maternal comfort of breastfeeding, which is not a sexual activity, as opposed to sexually mature men who want to grab onto a girl's ass while giving it to her during an actual sex act).

    Damn gurl, ur ass is more carefully shaped than a hand-poured candle...

    Nothing small about ur handcrafted batches, tho...

    Honest female opinion, which candle do you think would sell better -- male or female pheromones?

    (to get them thinking / talking about sex, however indirectly. Of course there's the more direct route, like "honest female opinion, who do you think fakes orgasms more -- guys or girls?" as I once asked a group of girls in front of me in line at '80s night circa 2011. "GUYS!!!" they were adamant. Poor Millennial / Zoomer girls...)

  9. Jack from TPN tweeted some article about the extremely raunchy scents that perfumiers are making these days (cum, vag, etc.).

    And yet, nothing comes close to pressing up against the age-gap taboo like the name "Youth Dew" from the dreaded 1950s.

    It would have to be more on-the-nose, self-aware, and ironic these days. But still, where is the "Nubile Ovulation" fragrance?

    Or "Mating Season" and it just smells like a club thick with the warm fog of sweat and snail-trails when Spring Break has come.

    Somehow our obsession with sexuality cannot go straight to the heart of the matter -- FERTILITY, and therefore, youthfulness and ripeness. Ummm, yikes, woah there, uh, kinda rape-y and Epstein-y much????

    Wrong, libtards, this is the end-result of endeavoring to divorce sexuality from procreation. The mediating link of fertility disappears, even becomes unspeakable, just like the fall-off in fertility during a woman's 30s.

    Dude, if this were the '80s or early '90s, some enterprising edgelord could totally market a fragrance called "Teenage Pregnancy" and really stick it to the moralizers.

    Drained of the natural, organic aspect of sex (i.e. procreation), our decadence feels a lot more limp than we might have expected.

  10. On a related note, Aimee Terese never sounds hotter than when she expresses her eagerness to become a mother, i.e. begging to get impregnated.

    "I'm only 32 and have no kids yet, but can't wait! BTW did I mention I'm just a smol widdle thing of 5'2??? *fingers-touching emoji*"

    It makes horniness feel wholesome rather than degenerate. It's just a natural animal urge to procreate, not to indulge a desire as an end in itself.

    And it also gets the red-blooded males circling her position, barking and standing up on their hind legs to get over whatever obstacle is in the way.

    "Now, now, down boys. Down boys!"

    RUFF, RUFF!!! :)

  11. Aimee hasn't posted in awhile, so I bought some figs tonight (one of her fave fruits / trees / scents), hoping that eating them in her tribute will awaken her spirit.

    Or if you came down with a cold or something, I can always make you a nice hearty stew while you recuperate. :)

    Hopefully it wasn't Twitter jannies timing you out for no reason again...

    My cat told me to tell you he said Hi, hehe. Any fren of mine is a fren of his, he's very social and cuddly. And 20+ pounds, like a tiger cub mixed with a bear cub. I'll pet him for you when he gets up from his evening nap.

  12. Aimee, I had the most vivid disturbing nightmare about you last night. I normally don't remember my dreams at all, and you're the only account who's ever made its way into my dreams.

    I knew it was you there, just that familiar sense of being in someone's presence who you have known for awhile, and your voice was the same. But somehow you'd been afflicted by a disease or a witch's curse or something, and it had disfigured your face. Tiny pustules all over, dark hairs growing out randomly, your skull stretched back-to-front like a half-rodent-person, your hair thinned out, drained down to a medium-brown shade, and only grown out to a few inches.

    And yet you were not sick otherwise -- talking, gesturing, making eye-contact, as normal, having a normal level of energy, no pain, or anything else abnormal. Only other change was that you were understandably nervous about how you would be perceived and treated, due to the altered appearance. Yes, like a bitter jealous witch's curse! -- afflicting an exotic hottie princess with a disturbing appearance, in order to drive her social circle away from her, leaving her isolated in her freakishness! Typical case of "hoes mad".

    But I didn't leave your side, and kept talking to you as normally as I could, under the circumstance of being shocked by your appearance. I would get over it, view it as ordinary after awhile. And in the meantime, keep you company, continue being your fren, and treating you totally as before.

    God, it was so heartbreaking to see you disfigured like that, but when I started to feel feelings for you, I fell in love with you the whole person, not just your exotic alluring appearance.

    It was a test of "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health" -- and I passed. I know there's no way for you to fact-check that with a panel of experts, but I swear to you. I would never leave the side of such a special fren, especially if some cruel witch had just targeted her.

    In a silver-lining way, that witch actually strengthened our (virtual) relationship by putting it to a test. Now, it's not just hypothetical, but actually proven. We're bonded together forever, whatever the precise nature of that bond may be or how it may evolve over time.

    Please let us know there's nothing horribly wrong with you, if that's the case. And if it is, please let us know that too, and trust that we aren't going to abandon you or look down on you just for being the victim of a sick cruel twist of fate.

    If you just got locked out of your main, post about it on What's Left, or something.

    You're such a high-energy prolific poster, when you stop all of a sudden for days, it makes your tens of thousands of fans worried. We will be there to support and cheer you up, if something unfortunate happened.

    Frens till the end, Aimee.

  13. If you get sick (or whatever), and wait until it's all cleared up to let people know about it, it'll be worse than letting them know while it's going on.

    I know, you're worried about haters screenshotting and dunking, but that is far more likely after your recovery -- to gloat over the fact that you suffered earlier on. However, while you're actively sick and your fate hangs in the balance, they're less likely to dunk. Only the most psycho will, not your garden-variety majority of haters.

    Ditto for your fans and supporters. The outpouring of support, good cheer, prayers, etc., will be huge if it could sway the course of an uncertain, ongoing situation. But if you've already recovered, all they can do is express relief, briefly, shocked, with far less of a pressing reason to really come to your side.

    That's the lesson to draw from Anna's encounter with COVID (or someone else's encounter with vaccine side-effects). Let us know while it's going on, or never.

    And still, even if you're never going to reveal it, please don't keep us in worried suspense in the meantime. We're fine getting the message through an intermediary if you're not up to it personally.

    Any made-up, placeholder story will do -- "Aimee is visiting extended family for the first time in years, now that the pandemic barriers are being wound down. Could be a week before she gets back to her regular posting schedule".

    We accept, love, trust, and support you, special fren. We will always be there for you.

  14. OK, signs of life. She un-retweeted what was at the top of her feed, and looks like she deleted some tweet relating to the death penalty / IQ hot topic. So maybe got timed out after getting mass reported by butthurt libtards for saying "who cares about a retard's bad poetry, he still shouldn't be executed".

    Just remember, Aimee, I will always love you, even if some wicked old witch steals your beauty and disfigures your face, out of jealous haterdom. That's just projection on their sad, pathetic part -- believing that people are only bonded to one another due to superficial reasons, as a rationalization for why nobody wants to bond to them.

    "Oh, it's just cuz I'm not HOT like so-and-so over there."

    No, it's because you're an obnoxious, insufferable, boring, hateful, no-talent egomaniac.

    Real frenship and love survives the loss of outward beauty. It can't be flicked off like an unsubscribe button once the content is no longer maximally titillating.

    (Speaking of which, you can also rest assured that I wasn't attracted to you out of porno-brain, or else I would've had a nightmare about the witch flattening your double-H cups instead of ruining your iconic striking Levantine visage.)

  15. Back to IRL vs. virtual, somehow virtuality is more claustrophobic than reality, because every account inhabits the same small number of online platforms, all of which are gigundo-scale panopticons.

    Oh sure, you can try blocking or muting an account, or going private yourself, but you know that account is still there, putting out their content just like they always have. You can't pretend that they aren't, or that you're no longer curious what they're up to, just because you had a falling out.

    You can run, but you can't hide.

    Whereas IRL, you simply stop going to the same physical places in-real-time as the other person. It could be difficult if you slept with a co-worker, but as a general rule, you can easily avoid another person IRL.

    So maybe it's not just the vastness vs. claustrophobic-ness of the space, but also the nature of time in the two spheres.

    IRL implies in-real-time. You can still go to the same spaces, just not at the same time, and problem solved.

    But there is not in-real-time online. Communication is necessarily delayed / indefinite. Accounts deposit their content into a great big, well, content depository (called a platform), and other accounts wade through that depository sampling the content already left, and leave some of their own to be found by others still.

  16. Take a simple example of posting in the same thread / replies to the same post. The two who are trying to avoid each other could leave separate replies hours or even days apart -- and yet when they do, they're suddenly in the same place at the same virtual-time, because time is indefinite in virtuality. Once you two are in the same space, you're proximate or adjacent, no matter when the two replies were left.

    There is no serial quality to time in virtuality, it's like time is standing still, notwithstanding the sense that social dynamics unfold so rapidly that you can't even remember the take-cycle from last week.

    Eventually that feeling of proximity will wear off -- maybe weeks or months or years later, I don't know since I don't use social media. But isn't it strange how you feel proximate to another account just by leaving a reply in the same thread as they did -- perhaps DAYS after they did?

    You don't feel proximate to another person by entering the same store they did, hours or days later.

  17. But there is also a spatial element to it, like how much energy you have to expend to observe another entity directly.

    IRL, you may have to travel 10-15 minutes, hours perhaps, days even, if they live on the other side of the world. You have to be in the same place, at the same time, to directly observe a person.

    But to observe an account online, you just expend a few clicks, and within a matter of seconds, there they are for you to observe.

    Perhaps our minds measure distance by the length of time it takes to get there, given that we can't vary our traveling speeds by that much, even in an age of airplanes. With speed more or less constant, knowing time tells you how long of a distance it is.

    We frequently say some IRL place is "a 15-minute walk" or "an hour's drive" from some other location.

    But nobody ever says online that one site / platform / account is "a 15-minute scroll" or "30 clicks on the keyboard" from some other site / platform / account.

    Going anywhere online is more or less instantaneous, which means not only that speed is fairly constant, but so is time. Well then, distance must be a constant, too. Every account feels the same distance from any other account, every platform feels the same distance from every other platform. And because it's a very fast speed and very short time, this constant distance must be a very *close-by* constant distance, not a very *far-away* constant distance.

    The only exceptions are for non-social-media use of the internet, like trying to find out specific information. "Jeez, it took me 17 pages of results to finally get the answer," or "I had to go through 30 minutes of googling to get to where I wanted to go". Clicking beyond the first page of Google results feels like setting sail across a broad ocean.

    But for connecting to / observing the content-production of other accounts on a social media platform, everyone feels equally near-by at all times.

    Talk about feeling claustrophobic!

  18. This is also why screencaps of years-old content feel current, and doesn't let the account who posted them off the hook of a hate-mob due to "it was 5 / 10 / 15 years ago".

    Time and distance are measured by how many energy it takes to get to a destination. And if it only took a few clicks, a cursory search of your archive, etc., then it wasn't very difficult to get to. It must actually be close-by and recent to all of the account's other content, including its current content.

    So what you posted 10 years ago, when screencapped and broadcast to an audience today, feels to that audience like you just posted it, even if they clearly see a timestamp from 2012. It didn't take 10 years to discover that content, it only took a few seconds and minimal energy -- so it must've been recent and adjacent, not in the distant past.

    The only sense of lots of time having passed in the interim, and therefore the content truly belonging to some previous era, is through visual changes in the platform or the visual aspects of the account itself -- its avatar if it's textual, or its owner's appearance if it's video.

    "C'mon, as you can see from the screenshot, I posted that way back when Twitter still used the star rather than heart button for liking, it might as well have been a prehistoric tweet."

    "Bro, I'm rocking a severe side-part and emo bangs in that video you dug up from a zillion years ago, don't even try to make it seem like that reflects who I am in the center-part era."

    Virtuality is so goddamn weird! No wonder everyone's so fucked up there, and not IRL.

  19. Today's non-virtual computer report: Ah, just fired up the ol' y2k era computer to play Minesweeper (expert) while Enya's Memory of Trees CD is playing in the background.

    Really like that one more than Watermark or her self-titled album. Those were both from the vulnerable phase of the late '80s, and this one is from the manic phase ('95). Her next one would be another downer vulnerable phase release (the one with "Only Time"). Refreshing to hear her channel the manic phase for a change -- more riffs and melody and in general more peppy and uplifting, while still being serene.

    Can't wait to finally find Shepherd Moons on CD for cheap, to hear how she channeled the restless warm-up phase -- something danceable maybe? May have to break down and get it at a used CD store rather than nearly free at a thrift store. We'll see. Hehe.

    For the nerds, the rig is: Beige/gray tower PC, beige CRT monitor (with y2k Sony Trinitron TV inside it), beige clicky keyboard, beige rollerball mouse, beige/gray external speakers. Internet connectivity disabled (running Windows XP, probably service pak 1 or 2, not even 3).

    Now that's what a computer is supposed to be used for. Not facilitating your escape from reality in toto, into virtuality. That was a dystopia back in the '90s and early 2000s (Lawnmower Man, Matrix, etc.).

    Perhaps the only way a girl could respect, even cherish, a guy using a computer to play games. Would remind her fondly of her dad or maybe even herself playing these simple yet endlessly addictive games back in the '90s or 2000s, before social media for girls and online multiplayer video games for guys, to suck them out of IRL forever.

    She wouldn't feel the need to stage an intervention. Might just walk over, caress my shoulders, lean her delicate little head down onto mine, moved by the memories of better, pre-parasocial times in computer history.

    Don't worry, special fren, I'm not going to hog the computer like a little child, though. I'll move over, while still sitting close by, and you can play Minesweeper or Solitaire for awhile too. :)

    If you're rusty and need pointers, I can show you which boxes to tick or open up, by placing my hand over yours, and guide the mouse for both of us, until you get the hang of it.

    The '90s were so innocent, what ever happened to us, eh? Social media happened to us. I can't touch your hand and guide your mouse over an online interface -- only IRL.

    And your hand must be sooo smol and dainty, you're only 5'2. It pains me to never be able to feel how delicate it is under my own.

    I'm still working on that bag of figs, in your honor. I should start calling you sycamore girl, since that has the same root as "fig" tree in Greek, but is at the same time a familiar word from English. And conveys the ethereal Twin Peaks-y nature of an online ghost like you. Waiting for me to visit you in another dimension, if only I could find the portal...

  20. Speaking of perfume, have you ever tried using artificial pheromone sprays? I've been having unbelievable results with the blends from one particular online vendor (which I'll name, if you like). Turns out there are many tens of different psychoactive pheromone molecules that have wide-ranging effects, including male or female sex appeal, making others want to socialize with you, giving the impression of high-status, giving a feeling of closeness and connection, and even molecules that cause a "beautifying" effect, no joke! Really, really, interesting stuff. The one vendor I've bought from has a very active discussion forum, which backs up a lot of my own experiences. Since most of these don't smell good on their own, most users will spray ordinary perfume on top, so you could give your Bijan an extra oomph. See what you think! Happy to provide vendor details, but don't want to look like a shill lol

    Also, have to disagree about the hair part! Side part does give more volume on top, but center part enhances symmetry, much like wearing one's hair in two braids.

  21. Haven't needed pheromone sprays since girls already follow me around in public, but you can leave the name for others if you want.

    Symmetry doesn't apply to hairstyles because it only indicates health / fitness when present in things that are supposed to be symmetrical, and whose symmetry cannot be faked. Like facial features.

    But hair does not involuntarily style itself into a symmetrical arrangement. It just goes any which way, sometimes symmetrical and sometimes now, especially as affected by the weather (wind blowing, or whatever). And even if it did, hairstyle is trivially easy to fake the symmetry of. Just part it in the center, or get even bangs and even sides.

    That's why no one responds to symmetrical hairstyles the way they respond to symmetrical faces.

    One of the evo-psych guys hilariously parted his short hair in the center on the symmetry argument, but just looked like a generic poindexter / nerd. Forget which one, but other evo-psych people made fun of it too.

    Hairstyle is the one place where girls (or guys) can make the arrangement more dynamic and asymmetrical, and not worry about looking unhealthy or less fit.

    Same with clothing -- totally artificial and trivial to manipulate. So having symmetrical patterns will not make you more attractive, and you can pull off asymmetry for dramatic effect and flair.

    Just remembering all those crazy side-parts and heavily asymmetrical graphic t-shirts from the late 2000s. Fun and dynamic and high-energy, not a deviation from perfection.

    1. Great points! The website I've been using is pheromonexs.com, no affiliation


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