0257 - Metaphors - 2022.09.05



"Can" is context-dependent.

Let's say you've got two $20 bills in your pocket that you're going to use buy groceries, and a homeless person stops you and says "hey, can you give me any money?". You don't have any loose change, the $40 you do have is already spoken for, so you shake your head and say "nah, I don't have any money, sorry."

The homeless person then pulls a gun and says "how about now?". Of course, you hand over the bills, and the robber waves them in your face and says "Aha! You were lying about not having any money!".

But you weren't lying, were you? You were operating under one framework, and that framework changed. What you "can" do is variable based on your resources and your priorities and your emotions and your knowledge and your skills.

It's worth remembering - especially in the contexts of ableism, poverty, or sexuality - that being able to do something is not the same thing as being able to do it comfortably, or safely, or with dignity. It also might not count as being "able" to do something if you need to use a convoluted and memory-intensive trick to keep things straight.


0257 - 2167/07/06/18:59 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, living room
CP: Lee, it's... it's pretty obvious that what you want is a f-f-friend. A friend with sh-shared interests. Doc... Doc isn't that. It can't be.
Doc: Thank you, Caleb.
CP: I mean, I... I talk to Ziggy and it h-helps me sort out my p-p-problems, but I d-don't expect it to p-play roleplaying g-games with me. It doesn't have the capacity for that. That's not what the program is for.
Doc: Well said.
Zoa: I dunno, Caleb, I think you're selling Therapro Psyhealth short. It could probably play a roleplaying game or retain a cartoon plotline or write a novel if you reframed everything properly.
LC: What do you mean?
Zoa: Well, it's like how humans can't retain the idea of eleven-dimensional spacetime, so you always see it expressed as a rubber sheet covered in graph squares with a ball on it for gravity. Same diff, you just gotta use metaphors to make it all stick.
CP: I don't think that would actually be p-possible, Zoa.
Zoa: No, really. Check this out:
Zoa: Doc, for the purposes of this conversation, Lee's agoraphobia and fear of judgement are now called "Jaxxon".
Zoa: Their loneliness is called "Sorcelance". Their potential emotional attachment to other humans is "Johnni". Their actual attachment to me is "the Gigahorden".
Zoa: So where did "the Gigahorden" come from?
Doc: Oh. Well, Sorcelance took Johnni, and twisted it into the Gigahorden to make it strong enough to defeat Jaxxon. Easy.
Zoa: Boom.
LC: So you COULD retain the information I gave you and you CHOSE NOT TO! FUCKER!