There’s a discussion on my dashboard about whether UBI is harmful because it promotes idleness, which is psychologically unhealthy. 

I do think that people vary, and that there are in fact lots of people who’d rather have a subsidized make-work job than a handout. I think it’s important to acknowledge that those people exist, because they’re not common among young progressive some-degree-of-anticapitalist tumblr users, and a discussion about idleness that either writes them all off as evil or pretends they don’t exist is going to be a less constructive one. I think that the reason this is so central to many peoples’ identify is because we have told them repeatedly that if they fail to provide for their family they have no other sources of value and affirmation, and that in the long run we should be offering other sources of value and affirmation, but in the meantime, their desire to provide for their family through work does matter, and policies which give them that opportunity are doing a good thing for them.

That said, I do not think that not having a paid job is soul-destroying or psychologically destructive or even unhealthy for most people, particularly not compared to actual real-world minimum wage jobs, and I don’t think that most people who say that have really thought about it. There are a lot of stay-at-home spouses, and I don’t tend to see opponents of idleness campaigning to make this unaffordable and untenable for the sake of saving those poor souls. There are rich people who just do whatever they feel like, and I’ve never seen the people who think the poor need to be saved from idleness argue that these rich people should be taxed into privation for their own good (or even that it would be good for their souls although it is poor overall economic incentives).

So, we clearly don’t think that idleness is always soul-destroying. But lots of people think that specifically the idleness of poor people would be soul-destroying. I think this is mostly just an error. Some people find value in work, and with a UBI they would largely choose to work. Some people find value even in stupid makework, but they’d probably find more value in real work, and there’d be plenty of real and needed jobs for them to do if they weren’t competing with people for whom those jobs are awful and torturous hells they are subjected to only because it’s slightly better than slowly starving. And most minimum-wage jobs are absolutely awful and soul-destroying! “More soul-destroying than a 12-hour shift being shouted at and forbidden from bathroom breaks” is a pretty high bar and it’d honestly be astonishing if idleness cleared it. 

I think a useful way of thinking about this is to imagine that tomorrow someone invented tiny, cheap robots that could produce food, water, electricity, shelter and wi-fi and cost $5, with $1/year in upkeep. 

Would lots of people buy one and quit their jobs? Yep. Would this make them worse off? I really really doubt it. I bet they’d spend more time with their loved ones; write their novels; recover from mental illnesses they’ve been fighting through for years, start a band, corner the Minecraft market, whatever interested them. I expect most of them would be made better off by their robot purchase. I expect that some would notice they were bored and go back to work, but I’d expect almost everybody who was better off working to notice this on their own, once they had both work and non-work to compare to. and it would astonish me if we were good at guessing in advance who would be worse off through a robot purchase. 

The biggest problem with UBI is that we don’t actually have those robots. And that’s legitimately a big deal. But it’s absurdly implausible to me that if we had those robots, most people who bought one would be worse off. And I feel like to some degree we’re putting the breaks on robot development (on efforts to make it as easy as possible to live extremely cheaply, and on private-sector privately funded UBI efforts which libertarians really shouldn’t be objecting to, and on efforts to spread the value ‘it’s good if people don’t have to choose between working and starving’, and to give poor people money when we want to make them better off) because we just don’t realize that, no, actually, most lives would be straightforwardly more fulfilling out from under the threat of starvation.

I feel like people who think this have never been in a position they legit CANNOT WORK for whatever reason forna long period of time.

Like if you can replace work with hobbies it’s one thing but it took all of like a year for me to feel worse about being unable to work when my previous job was so awful I was fired for refusing to walk 6 miles in 2’ of unplowed snow. I’d much rather have that job then be disabled but I don’t get to make that choice.

For every person who sits there drinking in front of the tv when they don’t have to work there is another person who is full on suicidal from boredom. I frequently injure myself because I need to do things or I lose my mind.

Also so many people who have degrees in “things that would move humanity forward” currently are working minimum wage retail and go home at night and collapse from exaustion. Prioritizing busy work over what is actually productive and healthy isn’t actually helpful and instead full on stagnating progress.


all right. gloves off. i’ve never seriously contemplated doing this before because of fear. i’m done being afraid of hypothetical assholes.

here’s my deal: i transitioned, and then i did it again. when i was 15, i realized i was a guy. so i did that for about a decade, including various medical interventions.

in my early 20s, i encountered more nb people and, particularly, nb people who used to identify as binary trans, including ones who had gone the medical route. this opened up uncomfortable possibilities i promptly repressed (and was a huge dick about. im sorry).

at 24 my health, already flagging, broke down completely. housebound in a basement studio apartment for 8 months in an icy northern city, to put it simply i lost my mind. when you are alone with yourself like that 24/7, in pain and no end in sight, no answers, no friends, not knowing if this thing inside you might kill you… well, that’s a really great time to have a crisis about your gender apparently.

so that took me to some places. eventually it all shook out to where i am now. i’ve arrived at a point where my gender is fuck you and my gender expression is whatever the fuck i want and i prefer not to think about it.

but i am going to talk about it now, like it or not, because someone has to. someone who has been there and been somewhere else too and not regretted it. someone who is not brandishing their experiences to support violent terf rhetoric. i have seen one or two people allude to similar experiences but i am here to start a conversation. i’m done feeling alone. i can’t be the only one and i don’t want others to feel like they are, either.

most importantly: every way of being trans is right and good. binary, nonbinary, even if you eventually realized that you aren’t or never were trans, or not the way you thought at first. just do what’s right for you. i regret nothing. i lived the life i had to live and i went through the places i needed to go. i was who i was and that was real. now i am who i am and i am better than ever.

if you feel inclined to reblog this, feel free. i feel like there was more i wanted to say but i need to post this now or i never will.

there is nothing wrong with exploring. there is nothing wrong with trying different things. there is nothing wrong with changing your mind. there is nothing wrong with who you are changing, or realizing something different fits better. there are no rules. make the life that works for you and don’t look back.

it is also ok if you do have regrets. mistakes are a thing. metal illness is a thing. if you want to talk about it. im here. but don’t use your regret as a weapon against innocent people.

and let me make one last thing clear: do not come to me or onto this post with any terfy garbage. i am specifically, completely against that and my story will not be used to support anything that hurts trans women, or anyone else for that matter.

Autism Approaches Should Respect Children’s Emotions – Mona Delahooke, Ph.D. – Pediatric Psychologist – California




“The mainstream treatments for children and tots diagnosed with autism focused primarily on reinforcement schedules, with little attention to the child’s (or parents’) emotional life or internal world. These approaches considered emotions and relationships ancillary to the main goal of tracking readily observable behavioral tasks and goals.

While I saw utility in measuring observable progress, I became increasingly concerned about the practice of ignoring toddlers’ negative expressions of emotions (fussing, refusing, crying) to avoid reinforcing them. In my mental health training, these behaviors were important to understand, while in autism treatment they were often deemed as something to ignore in the service of extinguishing “non-preferred behaviors”. In other words, the mental health principles of emotional attunement that Dr. Bowlby and Dr. Brazelton espoused were not applied in autism treatment.”

“Treat humans like humans”

Thanks science!

Autistic people are often denied the most basic decency. 

Autism Approaches Should Respect Children’s Emotions – Mona Delahooke, Ph.D. – Pediatric Psychologist – California




Chynara Madinkulova (long hair) and Aida Akmatova (bun) compete in the “Traditional Archery” category at the World Nomad games in Kyrgyzstan, which concluded last week.

Said games also include eagle hunting, horseback wrestling, and setting people on fire. Also this game where you chuck javelins at people to knock them off their horse.

Clearly the Olympics needs to step it up.

I’m sorry did you say setting people on fire?

Yes. Yes I did.


It’s called Oert Jalymdagan Chabandes. It’s on a stamp.


We live in a weird, wonderful world, Tumblr.



Queer kids are not allowed to be kids.

They aren’t allowed to get angry when people bully them because by reacting people believe they justify the abuse. They are forced to deal with adult situations often without support from any of the actual adults around them. When they look for leaders in their community they often find no one who is like them and are left with only scraps of representation in media to look to. And they don’t have the support system they deserve, the support system heterosexual/romantic cisgender kids are given without question. They are forced to hide parts of themselves from their family members and we pretend that it is normal. And if they decide to discuss that particular part of their identity it is picked apart and examined often before the kid even knows how to process it themselves. Their own identities is branded as “too adult” for them when it is not their identities that is too adult, but how we treat them once we are informed of these parts of their identities.

Queer kids deserve so much better than they are given. 

They are forced to hide parts of themselves from their family members and we pretend that it is normal.