Aella Profile picture
14 Sep, 5 tweets, 1 min read
As a kid/teen, I read a lot - and I mean a *lot*; for example I got through nearly 1 book from the Sword of Truth series *per day*. I built a contraption to let me read while showering; I read in the car, by the moonlight, I snuck books under the glass dining table at dinner. 1/
I had at least 2 books on my person at all times just in case I finished one and needed another. I lined my bed with books and slept on top of them.
At this level of excessive, near-constant reading I remember having a different experience of reading than I can achieve now. 2/
I wouldn't read words, I'd read phrases as solid chunks, and often treat full paragraphs similarly to the way I read sentences now; some part of my brain skimmed *in addition* to reading; it sort of told my eyes where to jump to catch the important words so I could come out 3/
of the paragraph with good comprehension. And my comprehension was good - reading tests clocked me at around 800 wpm with decent retention.
What interests me about this is that I think I was doing some sort of data compression? Like, I read fewer total words than were there. 4/
I don't know how my brain managed to figure out which words to read and which ones not to at that significant a scale.
I can't do this anymore; my reading speed has dropped a few hundred wpm. There's still some chunking, but it doesn't feel the same.

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More from @Aella_Girl

21 Aug
When I was younger, I was much more aggressive, conservative, and hostile. I once asked someone a 'debate' question around a touchy topic, ready to fight; she responded neutrally, well-considered, and asked gentle, clarifying questions.
That snapped me out of it - permanently. 1/
In witnessing someone just patiently take my attack and not attack back, it radically shifted my perspective on what discussions could be like. I suddenly saw that I'd been holding a 'war' mentality, not a 'discover truth together' mentality.
This happened years ago but I still vividly remember everything about this - the building, the chair I was sitting in, the direction I was facing. It was a really important change for me, and I now feel compelled to do the same thing for others, if I can. 3/3
Read 4 tweets
12 Jul
Are trans women, women?
What is a woman? It's a cluster of traits that's reappeared so often that we recognize it as a pattern. These traits are all over the board - physical, behavioral, mental. Nobody has the perfect set of all 'woman' traits, but we recognize 'womanness' 1/
in traits; e.g., 'dresses' are something that occur in the 'woman' cluster. A certain look to facial features and body type is also associated as 'womanness' (and why trans people try to assume this appearance in order to become 'womanly'). Same with genitals and temperment 2/
It's also based a lot on shared experience and treatment! Being raised female is a 'womanly trait'; having men pursue you is a 'womanly trait'. Wanting to have a safe space away from ambient sexual pressure is a womanly trait. 3/
Read 12 tweets
10 Jul
A twitter thread summary of this paper on the accuracy of stereotypes, which I read so you don't have to:…
We open with a summary of attitudes in various fields (mostly academic) which assume stereotypes are inaccurate, with a few peeks into how the research supporting this assumption is lacking. Theory: that a belief that stereotypes are harmful has lead to belief they're inaccurate.
Stereotypes *don't* mean prescriptions (e.g., "children should be seen and not heard), but rather descriptions (jews are rich). Believing that all descriptions of groups are inaccurate is silly. Calling only inaccurate group descriptions 'stereotypes' is also silly.
Read 11 tweets
19 Jun
@eigenrobot something about this way of thinking is triggering me. I am saying this cause I want to be clear that a lot of my response is 'me-based' and you're not necessarily doing anything wrong, but I might say lots of strongly worded things out of a long-growing anger
@eigenrobot cause yes like consciously these are important things to consider and i even address these first when people wanna do sex work but there's something about the weight being given to the possible consequences here that is really getting me beefed up
@eigenrobot it's been a long-standing sense I've had of this community that people are waaaay more risk averse than i think is ... virtuous? i don't usually think in virtuous terms but that seems to be the best frame for this. like there's no discussion about tradeoffs or life vitality
Read 6 tweets
14 Jun
Religion is a self-sustaining beast.
It reproduces - it's got 'evangelizing' parts and 'have lots of babies' parts - also some vestigial 'don't abort' and 'get married before sex' parts too, which were ideal in its original environment, but now no longer useful.
It has survival instincts - it features mechanisms that convert toxins into fuel; as a crude example, "I am doubtful God exists" gets converted into "evidence for Satan, because Satan creates doubt in God", thus ultimately reaffirming the belief. There's a LOT of these.
It is built for conflict. It processes other frameworks as "wrong", "bad", or "sinful", an incredible hard shell which prevents other viewpoints from penetrating at all. It curls into a hard ball when it identifies the presence of a differing viewpoint.
Read 9 tweets
31 May
1/ When I was a Christian, we believed that we were persecuted. Any time there was a high profile killing of a Christian, we heard about it. Any bad thing that happened to Christians was fed through a narrative that the world was out to get us because they hated us.
2/ As a woman, I hear a lot about sexism. I personally don't much view things through gendered lenses, and so don't interpret negative stuff that happens to me as sexism, because often I think it isn't. The wage gap is mostly a myth, yet I hear it being promoted constantly.
3/ So I have a similar view about feminism as I do about my old Christianity - we're being emphasized specific examples in a victim narrative that gives us a sense of cohesion and power, gives shape to our pains and a clear moral direction for where to go.
Read 11 tweets

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