0302 - Advanced history - 2023.07.17



You may have noticed that characters in Forward refer to almost every human, including historical figures like Socrates, as "them". This is not because "he" and "she" have been outlawed, but because people in the twenty-second century assume that anyone who lived prior to the mid-twenty-first may not have been been able to verbalize (let alone come out with) nontraditional gender identities, and, therefore, the let's-not-assume nongendered "they" is preferred.

I'm noticing more and more that people default to "they" when they're not sure of things, and it's not hard to see how, in time, that could become the default. Heck, I was recently "they"d by someone who evidently didn't see the "he/him" in my bio, and I don't particularly consider it to be a misgendering, just someone who wanted to opt out of the whole deal. I can't blame'em, having to declare someone else's gender identity every time you mention them in passing is weird.

Honestly, it's weird that most of our common languages have gendered third-person pronouns to begin with, and it's inconvenient that it's only the third-person ones. This is part of the awkwardness of confronting someone for misgendering you - you have to butt in on someone who was, by definition, not talking to you. There'd be a lot less misgendering, I think, if first- and second-person pronouns were gendered as well (i.e., "Hi, mI'm Mason, it's a pleasure to meet fyou.").


0302 – 2167/07/07/09:00 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, hall
[Lee is, presumably, off somewhere finding their hover-boots]
Zoa: So, Caleb Paratta, what’s your take on Socrates? Excited to learn more about’em?
CP: Socrates is… an interesting place for Mezzer Twofeather to start.
Zoa: Mm, from what I’ve seen, that’s pretty much where all classes on Greek philosophy kick off from. Socrates was, like, the first dude to do the damn thing. Where would you prefer we start? The first civilizations of the Fertile Crescent? The development of the protohuman neocortex?
CP: I… would have hoped we would start with philosophy and… and deal with the philosophers themselves as a… as a side note.
Zoa: Ahh, you care more about the ideas than the people who had them.
CP: Y-yeah. This is… more like a history class than a philosophy class.
Zoa: Y’know, I’ve heard it said that sufficiently advanced political science is just psychology, sufficiently advanced psychology is just biology, advanced biology is just chemistry, and advanced chemistry is just math. Maybe sufficiently advanced philosophy is just history.
CP: But we’re not doing advanced philosophy yet. We’re… this is Intro. We’re in Intro.
Zoa: Mm. Maybe it’s the other way around then, and advanced history is philosophy.
LC: Okay, I found my old hover-boots. Let’s just hope I can figure out how to use’em.
Zoa: Aw, don’t worry, Lee, hover-skating is just sufficiently advanced meteorology!
LC: ...What?
CP: Huh, m-maybe we sh-should have let Mezzer Twofeather t-t-teach us about advanced aeronautics after all...