Alexandra Erin | Profile picture
Tentatively back, not very active. Follow me on Patreon ( ) to keep up with me - you can follow for free under ... menu!
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Jul 8 23 tweets 6 min read
Hey, everyone. This is a long-overdue life update thread. Don't know how long it's going to go on, but I'd say there's a chance that I come back and add to it later on another day. I've been trying to be more active here on Twitter in order to be more connected to people and events over here, my supporters and friends and the communities I've interacted with and been a part of.

But it's hard for me to be on here, and probably unhealthy.
Jan 25 5 tweets 1 min read
"How can one person be a they? It doesn't make sense."

Same way one person can be a he or she.

"Those words are singular."

No. Those words, like all words, are shapes and sounds. Words don't make any sense. Words don't do anything.

We make words, and we make sense of them. There's all kinds of other arguments that favor the validity of singular they, including the fact that even people who claim it's a contradiction use it reflexively when the *only* thing they know about the unknown antecedent is that it's one singular person.
Jun 21, 2023 13 tweets 2 min read
Here's a reason I'm a pro-mockery of the OceanGate fiasco: that whole "regulations stifle innovation" thing that crops up in their PR to present the whole "untested and unlicensed" thing as a feature rather than a bug: people who want us eating heavy metals for breakfast say that The idea that safety regulations and oversight are anti-business, anti-competition, anti-future, and anti-human survival (because the geniuses who would save us have their hands tied)... that's a huge and consequential part of right-wing/libertarian mythology.
Jun 21, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
Don't disagree with Representative Raskin here about the principle, but we all need to be ready for the fact that the GOP attacks on Joe Biden via Hunter aren't likely to stop or even change no matter what he does or does not do. And counting on the people - even those who aren't specifically part of the right-wing echo chamber - to notice the disconnect and the hypocrisy... well, I mean, a lot counts on the media not blandly reporting/repeating the attacks like they're normal and well-founded.
Jun 20, 2023 36 tweets 7 min read
Writing this thread yesterday was a huge aid in further clarifying and refining What I'm Doing Here with this TTRPG project.

Today I'm finding that weighing against me a bit, as I remember how much writing the thread felt exciting and like I was doing something... ...and how much more it felt like I was getting something done and communicating ideas clearly in the thread vs. when I try to write even a "gallop draft" or Pratchettian 0th draft of actual mechanics.

So I'm going to give my brain a break by threading about the ideas more.
Jun 20, 2023 5 tweets 2 min read
The sentence "At some point, safety is just pure waste." is such a perfect distillation of something I've tried to articulate over the years about *gestures vaguely around at everything*.

Whatever happened to the sub now, it was cheaper at the time to assume it just wouldn't. This logic goes into oil tankers and pipelines: sure a spill will be catastrophic and expensive, but what's the alternative... spend "extra" money forever to try to head off something that just might not happen?
Jun 20, 2023 5 tweets 1 min read
I. What. This is something Todd from Bojack would make as step one of filming Todd Chavez's James Cameron's Titanic.
Jun 20, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
This is just to say

I have eaten
the grapes
you worked
hard to grow

and which
were probably

I ate them anyway.
They sucked.
Ate all of them.
So sour, so bitter.

Do you happen to have any more? "Those of us here who identify as sinologists".
Jun 19, 2023 54 tweets 9 min read
Had a huge moment of clarity on my TTRPG project this morning, about what I'm doing with it and why.

Like, there are many things I'd change about D&D itself, but it hit me why I keep coming back to a D&D-ish game that is not D&D as a game concept. What I'm looking for instead. And there are things I have articulated as differences that matter to me, like different stakes for physical conflicts and more focus on story and character, more freedom within the guiding structure of character class, etc.
Jun 19, 2023 12 tweets 2 min read
Within the limits of the Byzantine idiosyncracies of the source material, the D&D Rules Cyclopedia from 1991 does a lot better job of explaining itself than so many RPGs that are an obvious attempt to improve on D&D or do D&D better/right.

(NB:I am not talking about Pathfinder.) I don't think I've ever read it-read it, as opposed to looking through it or looking something up in it, but I've been doing a survey of various I Can't Believe It's Neither Dungeons Nor Dragons games (Tunnels & Trolls, Palladium Fantasy, 13th Age, etc.) and their approaches.
Jun 17, 2023 48 tweets 8 min read
One of the thing that really interests me about Yazeba's Bed & Breakfast as a tabletop roleplaying game is how it does something every TTRPG does, but in a more explicit and conscientious fashion, in giving the players (of any age) an explicit structure and permission to play. And I don't mean "play the tabletop game that is on the table, according to the instructions for playing the game". I mean "play" as in "engage in the creative act of imagination play", which does happen in a TTRPG, but mostly when the adults doing so are unaware of it.
Jun 17, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
When the sketch comedy show All That debuted on Nick, I was in the upper margins of the target audience age demographic. I probably might have unironically enjoyed it, except I had younger siblings who watched it, giving me a case of Too Cool For School Syndrome By Proxy. But as I lived in the house with them, I was often in the same room as a TV when it was on, not watching it or anything and definitely not enjoying it, appreciating it, or thinking its cringe-worthy little baby jokes (for babies) were actually funny or anything like that.
Jun 16, 2023 16 tweets 3 min read
I still have very vivid memories of online interactions with Trump backers before the 2016 election, about why I was against "the most LGBTQ friendly candidate of all time".

They then explained being anti-Muslim made him this, and lovingly described my imagined torture and death And make no mistake, this was an intensely Islamophobic defense of Islamophobia that had nothing to do with being "LGBTQ friendly".

But they spoke with such loving excitement about the things they claimed only Trump could save me from.
Jun 16, 2023 25 tweets 5 min read
I keep seeing people responding to critiques of... everything breaking down all at once... with "But the point of a business is to make money, why wouldn't they take every chance they see?"

Two problems here. One is that "make infinitely increasing amounts of money forever" is not a thing. That's not something you can do. They're not "seeing" a chance. They're making it up. Making steady profits that can be sustained is the winning business move because it's real and you might succeed
Jun 16, 2023 23 tweets 4 min read
This is an interesting point and one I've kept thinking about even as the prevailing idea I've seen is that Reddit knew the API price was unreasonable and the goal was to kill off third-party apps.

I've been unconvinced. Not convinced the other way. But dubious. I follow the logic: hiking the price to something that no third-party app that exists to act as a gateway to an unprofitable site up into any kind of "we're talking real money here" territory will result in no sales and also no apps, obviously, so that must be the goal, right?
Jun 16, 2023 28 tweets 5 min read
This is a cute, sweet story but there is a very real and important point here: mostly, what trans people want if someone accidentally or unknowingly misgenders us is to move past it. Correct yourself if you catch yourself. Then please just be normal. Will we sometimes react with hostility when someone who is also otherwise actively denigrating us pointedly misgenders us? If we do, that's reacting to hostility with hostility.
Jun 16, 2023 40 tweets 7 min read
The thing about writing is that it's all telling, and therefore it's really about what you tell, and how, and why.

I think the grain of insight in it is that it can be very powerful when the audience conjures something up for themselves.

But a story need not be a guessing game. And in fact, most parts of most stories should not be a guessing game, or a mystery that must be solved, or a tangled web of insinuations, implications, and things left unsaid.
Jun 16, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
A lot of the scammy computer hype of the past few years reminds of the 90s when there was a whole genre of fiction where the premise was basically, "In VR, anything is possible. Therefore, if VR exists, then magic is real." And I don't mean "fiction about VR worlds where there is magic as part of the VR world", but shows and such where it was "there is VR, VR can do anything, therefore VR must be able to produce magical effects and powers in real life"
Jun 15, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
It is bad and shouldn't be happening at all so there's not a threshold at which it suddenly goes from "This is fine." to "This is evil."... but I would be *deeply* interested to see an accounting of how much federal anti-terrorism efforts by the FBI etc. is "stings" like this. Stories about the feds taking on the work of radicalizing people and recruiting them into "terror plots" they can then bust have happened enough in the post-9/11 world, and stories about any other home-grown terror plot that isn't white nationalist basically don't exist.
Jun 15, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
There are layers here, but there's a contingent among his most violent and virulent supporters who are 100% ready to believe that his enemies/targets are transhuman, non-human, literal demons, alien hybrids, genetic experiments, etc., and he is speaking to them. It's one of those things that (by design) is going to sound over-the-top and laughable to most people outside the target audience that is tuned to the frequency of the whistle... *of course* he doesn't mean mutants, he's just disparaging them, metaphorically. Has to be, right?
Jun 15, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
I read. Because I only had so much reading material, I spent a lot of time reading and re-reading RPG sourcebooks to pieces, as they were fodder for the imagination. Also because reading material was limited, I'd often read whatever books I got from the library in bed before trying to sleep. As a fast reader and an insomniac, I sometimes read two books in one night.

Once they were Gerald's Game and Misery.