not a theremin

I found this YouTube video delightful. Not just because he turns a Commodore 64 into a theremin using a spoon, and I am nostalgic for the C64 and its ahead-of-its-time sound chip. More because he explains the process quite clearly. I finally understand capacitance and why its symbol on schematics is ─┤├─ .

I commented the other day on just how hard-hitting the end of Oathbringer was. Well, after my second reread of Rhythm of War I have to say that it’s no slouch either. Several big things happen all at once, including a main character’s personal victory over depression and PTSD that he can leverage into a wider victory, several reconciliations, a cascading series of rewarding payoffs and a shocking surprise twist or three. Overall it’s still not the grand moment from the third book, but it’s impressive nonetheless.

Some weird vivid dreams last night. For some reason I found myself needing to wield four knives simultaneously, so I took a drug called Prehensyl to be able to, uh… hold and move them with the backs of my hands, somehow. And I was thinking about that as I was started to wake up and ease into consciousness. I imagined hands growing from my fingers, climbing skyscrapers in gecko fashion, and all sorts of other effects and side effects of Prehensyl. That wasn’t the only weird and vivid bit, but it’s what I remember and wrote down as soon as I woke up.

Normally I can’t really visualize things in my “mind’s eye.” According to the VVIQ test, I am hypophantasic — I have very little ability to “see” things in my imagination and usually it doesn’t happen at all. I grew up thinking that “mind’s eye” was metaphorical and was surprised to learn otherwise. Aphantasia/hypophantasia has only been researched in the last couple of decades, and some of the information I’ve read about it online doesn’t really match my experience. For instance, they claim that you’re less likely to have nightmares or vivid dreams, or to daydream and be distracted. Ha. When I’m dreaming I have no trouble seeing things without my eyes, and as I wake from a vivid dream I still have some capacity to do so. When the dream goes a little bit lucid, that can be really neat — as long as my primary emotion at the time isn’t frustration at having a particularly repetitive dream or pointless efforts, at which point I simply wake myself up. Or that’s how it feels; perhaps lucid dreaming only feels like you have control over it.

(After all, consciousness itself might not be a real thing. The decisions of our conscious mind might just be rationalization for what the nervous system has already started doing deterministically anyway.)