0162 - Authority - 2020.11.09



Certain drugs have specific effects on the human brain. Substances like cocaine or alcohol or psilocybin are not only associated with increased heartrate or pupil dilation, but with particular moods, attitudes, and personality traits. One can often determine, from behaviour alone, what drugs a given subject is on.

It therefore follows, I think, that those neural pathways must be pre-existing in the human brain to be stimulated, and, given that all humans are different, that some humans must naturally have a stronger cocaine-pathway than others. I've heard the argument made that, since attention deficit is often treated with buffered amphetamines, that ADHD might be reinterpreted as a form of inborn amphetamine deficiency. Discworld fans may remember Sam Vimes being described as naturally "knurd", i.e., lacking the personality traits that most people have all the time that can be accentuated with alcohol.

I mention this because after some recent soul-searching, I've come to the conclusion that my most notable personality traits are consistent with someone who is constantly under the influence of marijuana. I am (and have been since birth) naturally a little bit stoned all the time.

I have a slow reaction time and poor hand-eye co-ordination. I'm very creative and have a strong imagination, verging on low-grade hallucination. I'm easy-going and slow to anger, and I want everyone to just get along. I'm extremely susceptible to suggestion, but nothing sticks. I eat like a garbage can. I'm prone to meandering philosophical bullshit.

And, of course, I'm naturally inclined to paranoia, particularly about authority figures.

I don't like or trust teachers. I don't like or trust bosses. I don't like or trust elected officials. I absolutely do not like or trust police of any sort. If any human being has the power to help or hurt me, and no particular incentive other than their own personal niceness to do one and not the other (especially in cases where I know they would receive praise and promotions and money for ruining the life of someone they can designate as a bad guy), I am naturally inclined to do everything in my power to avoid that person's notice.

(...And this is where I have to disappoint any libertarian readers I may have by saying that no, this doesn't mean that I'm anti-government. I feel that this is a persistent failure in the right-wing imagination, the misapprehension that wanting higher taxes and a stronger social safety net must mean that progressives somehow like or trust the Powers That Be. I assure you, the fact that I want to give politicians more of my money and have them use it to help people means that I trust them far far less, not more. In an ideal world, every year, I'd sign over most of my paycheck to an elected official, and they'd immediately sweat bullets, holding this hot potato, knowing that if they even think of spending a single dollar on something other than the public welfare, they'll be fed feet-first into a woodchipper.)

Anyway, all of this is to say that Lee, as always, is repping my laziest, basest, most unexamined instincts - and, of course, finding a way to spin their natural inclinations as a form of virtue. One can assume that Lee, like me, has a very strong neural marijuana pathway. I do not know if there is an equivalent of Discworld's Klatchian coffee that can make someone "denots", but no doubt Lee's assorted indistinguishable-from-magic implants can simulate it. Whether or not this alteration will ever be implemented - and whether doing so would in any way improve Lee's behaviour - remains to be seen.


0162 - 2167/07/06/16:10 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, living room.
LC: Okay, so...you're saying I should be motivated to take care of myself... for Zoa's sake. And Zoa will be happy.
Doc: Yes. Most of my attempts to nudge you towards healthy behaviour patterns thus far have been unsuccessful, possibly because of an apathy or even antipathy towards your own wellbeing, but perhaps the wellbeing of this general-purpose automaton with big blue cartoon eyes and squishy chest spheres will prove more compelling.
Zoa: I'd be ever so grateful.
Zoa: Although now that I think of it, I did try to tell you to go to school just a few minutes ago, and you yelled at me to fuck off.
LC: Well, I mean... that wasn't at you. That was at my Mom.
Zoa: Of course.
LC: And, as my Mom, you weren't asking me to do something for you, you were just telling me to do things because you want to control my life.
Zoa: You think parents and authority figures that tell you what to do aren't doing so for your benefit or for their benefit? Just... control for the sake of control?
Doc: Zoa, Lee's reaction to your... roleplaying service... was clearly one of emotional catharsis, and attempting to analyze it on a logic-
LC: Yeah. Yeah, I do think that. Authority figures, by definition, have to exert authority. If someone - like my Mom, or like Orb or Patricia or anyone - wants to retain their position as authority figure, they would have to exert that authority on a regular basis, regardless of whether it benefits anyone or not.
Doc: Well, that's certainly an interesti-
LC: If you don't tell people what to do, you aren't a leader, so, in their minds, an arbitrary command is better than leaving someone to their own devices, even if that command actively makes situations worse, which it usually does.
Doc: I think we should take the time to unpack tha-
LC: That's why I've always avoided any activity or career path that might eventually turn into a leadership position of any sort, I'm just not comfortable hurting people like that. Doc: ONE HORRENDOUSLY MISGUIDED REVELATION AT A TIME, PLEASE.