Tag: science


@gracefulleopard asked:

Would it be possible for a ghost to go
intangible, through a wall or object, and then return to tangibility
while still inside the physical object? Or would there be some sort of
instinct/fail-safe type thing that prevented them from doing so until
they were clear of the obstruction?

In short, there doesn’t need to be a instinctual fail-safe because
they just wouldn’t be able to do it! Matter hates existing in the same
place as other matter. If a ghost tries to unphase in the same space as
other stuff, the stuff either compresses, breaks, forcefully ejects
them, or they are trapped in their phased state.


Keep reading

I was thinking about your redesigns and the problems about making stuff accessible to aliens, and I was thinking what if the Federation has the ships built in ‘parts’ that get put together? like the bridge is a blank slate with spots for the consoles and you can put in the klingon vs bajoran vs benzite accessible consoles as the officers get hired. so if your vulcan navigator retires and a tellarite takes their place the console gets swapped out.


this is great! ships like models kits, with interchangeable pieces to fit the crew. there could be prefabricated pieces for quarters to, all made so that they suit a particular species but can fit into a designated space. 

For some species, their quarters are the only place where they can be entirely comfortable; every other part of the ship is, by necessity, a compromise between those species using it. the gravity is less than on Tellar but higher than Vulcan so both people must adapt. But for officers, the quarters can be their own customized home away from home. 

people can use the same consoles if their senses and appendages are mostly analogous. A Klingon could use and LCARS panel like a human, but they’d have a different colour scheme to fit their different range of the EM spectrum. An Elaysian on the other hand would need something radically different—the holotank used by Melora Pazlar aboard the USS Titan would do nicely! Probably nicer than for an inexplicably humanoid low-gravity species (i still headcanon they’re colonists, not an indigenous species.) Haptic hoods for Benzites who don’t have to see, panels for Bolians that support their posture, a system that responds to Andorians’ many claws; there is so much!

Why do you think controllers can morph, wouldn’t the yeerk get squished, and then wouldn’t there be two brains stuck in the animal, I love the series but that stuff has always bothered me


If I interpret the Laws of Applied Phlebotinum in this series correctly, the reason that yeerks don’t get smooshed when their hosts morph is because they get schlooped into z-space right along with the extra mass of the host’s original form every time the host morphs.  The science here is of course sci fi, so laws of physics need not apply, but the basic principle is that the morphing tech “extrudes” the extra mass of the original body into z-space, which is sort of this anti-matter type dimension that, like, exists in the space between atoms.

The way Marco’s dad explains it in human terms during The Revelation is:

Well, the surface of a cone is the two-dimensional analog to the five-dimensional space we inhabit… The cone contains a singularity.  The place where all the lines intersect.  The place where you can head out in any direction, or in all directions at once.  Where you can move in any direction without moving anywhere at all…  We’ve been stuck on the surface of the cone all this time.  When we want to go anywhere, we have to travel on the line.  But now, imagine someone notices the singularity.  A point with no size, no breadth, no extent.  The physical representation of nothingness.  By itself, it’s nothing.  Yet it’s the starting and ending place of everything!  A multiplier of real space! … Zero, I suppose.  Zero-space.

Marco responds (not out loud, of course) with “News flash, Dad: my matter passes through the singularity several times a week.  Every time I morph, my excess mass gets sucked into nothingness.  A bubble in time” (#45).

Anyway, that would suggest that every time (for instance) Visser Three wills Alloran to turn into a human, Alloran’s entire original andalite mass, yeerk and all, gets schlooped through some kind of singularity.  It then just hangs there in this non-space as this “big blob of blood and skin and assorted body goos” as Rachel so artistically describes it (#32).  We know that an object passing through the same patch of z-space can also “yank” the morpher’s conscious mind into the original body for a time, as happens to all the Animorphs in #18, but that the rubber band of consciousness eventually snaps back into the correct alignment regardless of anything the morpher might do to try and prevent it.

We also know that intentionality is key when it comes to morphing.  It’s impossible to morph while unconscious or asleep, and the very act of morphing involves creating and then sustaining a vivid mental image of the shape one would like to assume (#1).  The andalites’ semi-telepathy ability appears to be the principle underpinning morphing, the way it is with most of their tech (mind-reading computers, translation chips, long-distance communication, etc.) so the key component here is willpower.  And that explains why Esplin is able to change Alloran’s body at all: using the same intentionality that allows him to move Alloran’s tail or close Alloran’s eyes, Esplin can exert willpower toward shifting “his” body to become human.  The morphing technology functions through that same exertion of conscious willpower as thought-speak, so that’s all it really takes to start the process.  Alloran’s brain and body pass through the singularity into z-space as the human form he acquired passes out of that singularity and becomes expressed in physical space.

That principle of willpower also helps to explain why the Animorphs can attach clothes to their mental representations of their human bodies: with enough effort, they can conceive of their mental representations of selfhood to include minimal clothing.  It also explains why in #42 the helmacrons and mini-Animorphs in Marco’s body get smooshed when he morphs, because they’re not exerting willpower, and they each have entirely separate z-space connections of their own.  If they’d been (for instance) E. coli bacteria wandering around his intestines, or hair mites stuck to his head, then they might’ve gotten schlooped into z-space when he morphed.  But they’re intentional creatures of their own, controlling their own bodies and not Marco’s.  His z-space connection doesn’t override theirs.

I also assume that that’s how getting trapped in morph works: the connection decays over time.  We know that it’s easier to reverse a morph before it’s been completed than after it’s done (#17, #45), and that as one approaches the two-hour mark it becomes steadily more difficult to demorph (#2, #21), and that the progressive nature of the entrapment means that it is sometimes possible to demorph after sliiiiightly more than two hours in morph (#3, #33).  So I believe the implication there is that the connection through the singularity just naturally breaks down over the course of time, and that demorphing within two hours is the only way to guarantee safe return to one’s original body.

Anyway, it’s canon that some yeerks can morph (Aftran, Tom’s yeerk) and also canon that eventually lots of yeerk hosts can morph (Alloran, Tom himself, etc.) and we know that the mind which started the morphing process retains control of the connection.  Marco describes a human-controller in eagle morph as “a golden eagle is almost three times as big as an osprey… Stir in a crazed Yeerk and a terrified human host, and we’re talking one seriously demented bird” (#51).  So presumably the experience from Alloran’s or Tom’s or whoever’s point of view is sort of like Cassie describes with Aldrea morphing her body and then running around in her morph: “Morphing has always been creepy. This time it was terrifying. Each sensation felt magnified by a hundred. I wanted to scream as I felt my intestines shift and my ribs contract… I felt as if I was locked in a speeding car with no brakes and no steering wheel” (#34).

So I think what happens is this: Visser Three decides to take on human shape for a while.  Esplin focuses the intentionality of morphing toward a shape he “taught” the “program” of morphing through earlier touching a human.  Parts of Alloran’s original shape get schlooped through the singularity into z-space, human limbs and whatnot replacing andalite organs.  The morphing tech registers that there are two sets of intentionality present — Esplin’s and Alloran’s — but yeerks have evolved in such a way that they can easily override the intentionality of their hosts, and thus Esplin’s desire to pass as a human for the duration of this Sharing meeting overrides Alloran’s desire not to be seen walking around as a Level Six mud monkey.  Esplin’s and Alloran’s original mass remains in z-space for the duration of the morph, a bag of assorted goo hanging in space, but both their consciousnesses remain with the human shape currently expressed in real space, and Esplin’s consciousness remains dominant.  At some point before the connection between that consciousness and the original yeerk shape can break down (i.e. within two hours), Esplin focuses his intentionality on Alloran’s original andalite shape, and the demorph occurs.  Esplin’s mass schloops back through the singularity along with Alloran’s, and they return to their starting form.

Again: this process not in line with real physics.  K.A. Applegate is writing a science fiction story, not a quantum mechanics textbook.  However, the process is (mostly) internally consistent. And that is impressive as hell.










Things I need to research:
– hydraulics
– soft robotics
– I need a list of every country in the world so I can determine if they signed onto the 2023 peace accords, and what they would bring to the table resource wise in the founding and construction of Kataru.
– I need to ask people what elements of their homes they would like to see in a city designed from the ground up to stand for equality and multiculturalism, in a floating city state in the pacific literally designed to accept a global migrant population. If anyone has thoughts on that, little touches from your culture you’d enjoy seeing in passing as my protag moves through the city that’d help make this idea more real, please share!

elements of home: people have different needs so you want a variety of home types. hi-rises for people who want a view and convenience. small detached dwellings surrounded by garden/trees for people who want greenery/privacy. and in your floating citystate, you can build DOWN as well! a lot of people would love underwater apartments where they can watch the fish – the bottom layer perhaps with a pressurized airlock closet with a hole in the floor, so they can dive out and tend the seaweed farms.

gotta have seaweed farms. how are you gonna have CUISINE without nori and konbu?? lotta japanese food in your floating citystate. you can be very happy and healthy with a near-vegetarian diet if you can grow rice and soybeans.

how are you handling salt buildup in the soil? i guess you could do all your farming hydroponically, but i would lay odds that if you don’t have official dirt farming, people will compost and make dirt and grow stuff just to look at it and smell it. humans need dirt and flowers and trees. if the city has some kind of propulsion so it can avoid major storms, there probably wouldn’t be a hell of a lot of salt spray, so you’d just have to flush the soil with fresh water every so often. rain would do it if you’re in the right latitude.

in a tropical latitude, rainwater collection is probably amost sufficent for the city’s needs. add in graywater recycling so people don’t have to ration their baths, and you’re pretty much set.

one thing a lot of utopian society designs do is give everyone the same size living space. a lot of them pretty much eliminate private space and private property. but residents shortly find out that this is genuinely unpleasant. you want to know whether you’ll have access to basic items in your daily routine, and that means owning those items. some people don’t want to (or can’t) maintain their own space or a public space, but some people very much need alone time they can own and enforce. i’d suggest that for long-term functionality your egalitarian design should not have mechanisms for large wealth accumulation, such as investment banks and trust funds and all the machinery of financial dynasties, but let people have a say in how they want the fruits of their labor to play out. some people would prefer to put their work/wealth into art, some people want to play and party, some people want to adopt six children. freedom has to be a part of it, or it’s just soviet centrism on the high seas, you know?

ummm what else. oh! your floating city will have rats, roaches, and various other invasive critters. it’s just about impossible to keep that from happening. cats, dogs, and ferrets can be employed for pest control. there’ll probably be underwater pests too – opportunistic herbivores that would rather eat your kelp crop than find their own, and dangerous predators hanging around to eat your garbage. certainly there’ll be periodic accumulations of barnacles on the underside of everything. ships are usually dry-docked to remove those – how are your people going to handle them underwater?

sorry if this is Too Much. i just love your worldbuilding and got excited.

ooh thank you 😀
For dirt supply I was gonna have them get donated the original compost from a nation nearby that signed onto the peace accords and project, and from there have all the human, animal and food waste composted. The agriculture and rural living rings will be surrounded by high, clear walls (material to be determined) to minimize salt deposits, and the fields basically covered in giant poly tunnels to further reduce that when growing foods, which get taken down when its time to sow the pastures for the livestock. The walls have drainage at water level, and every meter up after that until about 16m or so, so if wash or big waves run against them it just goes through, rather than being a solid smack. I imagine this being very visually impressive when people can watch the water flow through the walls.
Soil that does get too salty gets moved down into a holding zone and flooded repeatedly, with the water then sieved and drained into salt water purifiers to be recycled. The soil is then folded back through fresh compost and used to construct parks and add to the synthetic mountain range (still under construction at time of story, about ¼ is accessible nature preserve). This would be a fairly substantial undertaking at the end of each permaculture cycle.
Water would primarily be obtained via recycling, rainwater harvesting, and salt water purifiers. The fresh water supply is (at this stage) actually gonna double as ballast in each ring, which ensures that if something happens and a hole is punched in the side, each ring is self contained and the whole water supply for the city won’t be boned. Commercial kelp farming takes place on terraces arranged along the ballast tanks.
Everything is built elevated above the base ground layer in every node so that when wash passes through, it goes through channels and canals. Some drains into the water purification bays, if there’s a lot some will go out the other side, any litter that falls in being strained through the filters.
My protagonist actually lives in a below-water home! For safety, only one wall/floor per room is allowed to be made of (aquarium glass/clear plastic substance tbd), and each room must be capable of being sealed off in case of an emergency with an emergency exit and rebreathers installed in clear locations. The exception is dedicated viewing tunnels, which link the main dwelling and the airlock for going outside. It’s important that my mermaid hero is able to get into the water at a moments notice.
On pests- I was gonna adopt an nz style customs system to try to minimize the bulk of pests that get into the city, and rabbits and other burrowing animals would not be allowed in, as them getting into the agriculture nodes would be devastating very quickly. Access to the nature preserves is via a gate system, and all cats and dogs must be on leashes at all times. Cats can still be outside cats as a result, as the ecological impact would be far lower, but unless you are a registered breeder all pets must be spayed and neutered, and it is free to do so on adoption or if you import your furry friend.
Every country that signed on to send first wave migrants was able to design a variety of living areas in order to connect them back to their cultures. In order to aid with community development, these are not seperated out into districts, but are all mixed together as part of the symbolic nature of the city. Civic buildings are also mixed through residential zones in order to encourage participation in in community and civics. Voting is compulsory and citizens can vote at 16, non citizens at 18. After the first three waves if migrants, citizenship is conferred after four years of continuous residency and a free class series held every year on the city structure. Healthcare is free, but if you want advanced cybernetics for cosmetic reasons that is out of pocket for most unless you work somewhere that includes access to that stuff in the benefits package.
Barnacles are lazered off in monthly maintenance undertakings. Learning to swim is free and compulsory for kids, and is undertaken at the aquacenter where my protag works. It is the largest recreational building in the city, set up in a sorta coliseum style in the center, where the daily aquarium shows are held. The tank in the center extends up to the top of the building, and down to about four meters below seat-level and is a fully functional ecosystem. The professional mermaids swim in through airlocked tunnels under the floor. Behind the aquacenter is the Utopia Center, which is the flashy name for the seat of government. It is prone to being attacked by villains. These attacks are never particularly effective due to the nature of the construction, but it doesn’t stop assholes in high tech suits from trying.

‘prone to being attacked by villains’ – and i just suddenly connected this with your marlin superhero. my brain no worky. 😛 this sounds awesome.

i gotta say though – you ARE going to have rats and roaches. the ships people arrive on will bring them. they will swim across the intervening sea if the ships don’t dock directly. it sounds like there won’t be a lot of places for them to breed, so they probably won’t be a super big problem. but any city will develop its own garbage ecology sooner or later. cruise ships have ‘em, isolated military bases have ‘em, missile silos have weird ones, it’s just a thing that life does. i honestly think it’s cool.

what if the seawalls were fine mesh instead of solid? you’d still kind of have the whole city acting like a sailboat, but a bit less, and it’d break the wave momentum without stiff resistance. like if it had some give it’d be more durable. you wouldn’t get breakers anyhow, being so far from land. so your main wave source is high winds, which would pose a much bigger problem to the city themselves than the salt they’d fling, so the city would probably make a serious effort to avoid them.

Hello, NZ person quite familiar with the back-end side of our border control, and traps are set up not just at the boarder but all over the country for potential invading pests. This means that when a pest does get through, we can quarantine the area quickly and wipe them out. We have whole islands that are indeed pest free. Yes, very occasionally a rat or stoat will get on to the island, but thanks to the traps and trained sniffer dogs, we catch the buggers within days. We haven’t had a non-insectoid or piscine animal make it past the border in the last 20 years, as far as I know.
We’re pretty good at insects, using the same technique, but we have a lot more issues to deal with. Although all baggage (and humans) are fumigated and individually searched on entry to the country, insects don’t actually need humans in order to travel long distances – they arrive in the air. So again, we have hormone traps and “trap reserves (where a favourite food of a particular pest is grown in abundance, and traps are set out EVERYWHERE)” set out all over the country and we can almost always identify an intruder rapidly enough to quarantine and destroy. The area I live in is actually in a quarantine zone and has been for the past two years – a pea weevil got in through some contaminated straw. It was quickly identified, all pea crops were harvested and no new peas are allowed to be planted until the weevil has been gone for 2 years. Pea products are not allowed out of the quarantine. We’re pretty much on top of it now – over 40 weevils were found the year before last, and only 3 the year after, all of which were male. They haven’t found any at all so far this year, and the growing season is over. So it looks like we got the bugger. 
I’ve also been through another successful quarantine where a few fruit flies of a bad type had been blown over from Australia in a storm. No fruit or vege allowed out of the quarantine zone, hormone traps set up everywhere and we got rid of it in two years. 

Unfortunately one area where we often can successfully quarantine is with microbial diseases. They blow over from Australia in the summer storms and are distributed all over the country. Sometimes it’s just in one area and we can quarantine it, but unfortunately often we can’t.

It was also announced in the past few days that the government is paying $500 million to wipe out a bovine disease. All cattle will be tested and if the disease is found the whole herd will be culled and the farmer compensated by the government and the industry union. We imagine we’ll have it gone in the next 5 years. The meat is still edible so I’m looking forward to cheap beef!

I am happy to answer any further questions, I love infodumping on this subject.

Thanks so much, I just moved here myself so I’m still learning a lot about the quarantine processes. I’ll want to make sure that all planting done is done carefully and to avoid making an accidental halfway home for pathogens and bugs that’ll devastate other environments.


i did not know that. i retract my insistence on a garbage ecology. they will still get rats and roaches, because i’m not kidding about them swimming off of container ships and cruise ships to seek their fortune, but it sounds like it actually is possible to keep them controlled. and the connected-floating-islands structure would be easier to quarantine than land islands.

i think i was initially envisioning something more hippie-commune-farm and less organized. with people coming and going in little fishing vessels and the like.

OKAY SO: I’m doing this thing, I’m making it happen. And since tumblr is an extremely clunky mechanism for collecting information, I made a survey!

I really want to do my best in making a vastly multicultural speculative fiction city, and while I’m doing a ton of research to be sure I don’t do anything stupid with this endeavour, first hand sources are always the best 😀

So if you have some time and want to directly help me build an organic city for my narrative, please consider filling in things here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZN8NDQ2

If you have things you want to contribute but can’t fit them into the survey, please email me at kathygaele (at) gmail (dot) com 😀

i’m sure my answers weren’t terribly useful, since i’m from the american midwest, but hey, the more the merrier, right?






Here are some scientific facts about blood loss for all you psychopaths writers out there.

This is actually very nice. I like the soda bottles as reference. (I remember when I was writing ‘Wizards of Ceres’ how I had to do a similar soda-bottle conversion to try to work out how much blood Fai could drink from Kurogane without killing him.)

On  the topic of vampires incidentally, this basically means that there is no reason why feeding from someone should necessitate killing them, unless the vamp can chug two soda bottles worth of liquid in one go or carelessly leaves the bottle open when they’re done

@fieldofclover thought this might come in handy for, you know, vampirey things

Ooh, I like this! The bottles as a reference makes it quite easy to picture mentally – especially since, having previously experienced just how much mess a litre-bottle spilt on the floor actually makes, it gives a better idea of volume etc.

Incidentally, as a frequent blood donor myself (thank you, haemochromatosis), and thus being more aware of the volume of blood donated at each session (the average appears to be 450ml, or 0.45 litres per blood bag filled) and needing to know how long it takes red blood cells and plasma to recover after donation–

about 24 hours for plasma, and up to 8 weeks for red blood cells themselves, which is why the average length between donations is 12 weeks, to ensure the body is well recovered by the next donation (which is also why I was so fucking tired after having to donate once a month for the first three months of my treatment)

– I ended up doing a bit of reading re: blood loss, but this really is the best imagery for it I’ve seen without bogging down into too much science stuff.

Other crucially important facts relevant to vampire porn I have learned: 

  • yes, you can get an erection after donating blood, as the body generally maintains blood pressure equilibrium even if the volume of red blood cells per liquid ml is lower, though if you lose anything more than half a litre you’re probably gonna find it a bit difficult; 
  • erythropoietin is a funky chemical involved in converting stem cells to red blood cells which your body produces when you need more of ‘em, so if we’re going with the standard ‘vampire saliva is an anticoagulant and narcotic stimulant, and/or induces arousal’ conceit, it probably makes sense that said saliva introduces a similar compound into the human blood stream in the post-feeding stage to encourage their food to recover quickly for a repeat feeding, usually while licking the wounds left behind;
  • your vamp is probably gonna have a really full belly if they try and drink more than the average 450ml or so in one sitting. Blood is quite a bit thicker than water or soft drink; it’s more like drinking a hearty broth or soup. Can you imagine attempting to chug a litre of pressurised soup as it squirts into your mouth with considerable force? No thanks!

tl;dr the science behind blood loss is fascinating, especially in a vampire context, and the government agencies monitoring my search history probably think I’m a serial killer

@audreycritter was it you who was looking this up for a fic last week?

why do you give the trolls tails? aren’t they meant to be bugs



i mean youre giving hussie a lot of credit for a guy who probably couldnt tell you the difference between a phylogenetic tree and a cladogram. like. for the argument that they are at the very least arthropod-adjacent, mister hussey has provided the following information:
> trolls are sapient @ hatch
> mother grub/egg (some mammals lay eggs, but the mother grub is demonstrably and assuredly not a mammal) thing? caverns?
> implied metamorphosis between grub stage + adolescence
> not very subtle and yet misinformed metaphors for ant queen = condesce

but then he goes on to just kind of slap his massive authorly dick around on the keyboard and presents some contrasting evidence to the “these guys are strictly bug-adjacent”argument? like:
> little to no mention of chitinous exterior
> repeated mentions of bones/skeleton/spines/pumps (hearts)
> vertebrate adjacent metabolisms (lifespans > 3 years) ((and before someone talks about queen termites to me like theyre the rule and not the exception i have a fucking skateboard and i WILL do flips))
> bipedal, four [visibly presented] limbs at adolescence
> HORNS? okay this one could be taken to be the equivalent of insect protuberances around the vertex/occitus area, but like, I Doubt It
> visibly distinct vertebrate oral organs (tongue/teeth/gums) and keratinous/chitinous hair
> visibly distinct digits
> implied simple eyes as opposed to compound eyes (will concede that an eye like those in mantids is also possible here, but then again, hussie literally wrote about irises filling in with color – and irises are an organ absent in literally every bug)
> consciously applied and maintained symbiotic relationship with mother grub species. don’t even fucking tell me that theyre the same species. mother grub is there as a surrogate for a species that is heavily implied to produce external gametes. kind of gross, but you could also make the easy assumption that the mother grub could constitute tool use
> implied lack of abdominal spiracles re: hissing with mouth open (will concede to this being only visually presented as a jadeblood thing, unclear for other castes), implying abdominal cavity as resonator and mouth/windpipe as opening
> mention of lungs anyway, lmao

and then we have evidence that they are directly mammalian in nature, given that they have no feathers and reference ‘birds’ at an established lingual contrast to themselves (featherbeasts, cluckbeasts, cawbeasts):
> heavily implied to be warmblooded across the species; common interpretation of mindfangs journal tidbits is that the varying base temperatures of the castes actually correlates to an overall rate of metabolism. could also be a reference to deep sea fish tolerating and maintaining internal body temperatures near freezing with locomotion, but like, OP is literally the author of homestuck

> altruism present in species (jadeblood caste taking on mothering/caring role, the societal development of nonreproductive relationships like moirallegiance and auspictising) ((this one’s not as strong espec. considering literally all of alternia is set up for Maximum Efficiency Soldier Producing, up to and including deep-set and ancient societal safeguards against violent trolls reducing the gene pool (moirallegiances, auspictising) ))
> forward-facing eyes for fine stereopsis and binocular summation, and more importantly, prehensility
> oral communication and nuances
> nonverbal + sublingual communication in the form of facial expression, gesture, and body language
> domestication re: lusii. lusii apparently do not encompass all wildlife, but all lusii are acting with altruism towards a low-reward target (grubs). this is more of a sapience / anthropomorphic marker than anything else

finally: they’re sapient and that in itself is demonstrably enough to imply that they are mammalian. or a cephalopod.

double finally: like all this is just to show that theyre literally just grey humans that talk funny and have big horns and weird blood. its not that deep

in conclusion hussie can’t write a decently researched and backed alien species for his fucking life and if the people behind petst*ck could get away with it then im here to reclaim tails and paws for the people

post post post script: dont fucking @ me i dont care im gonna draw them with tails sometimes and sometimes ill draw them without tails like im gay what do you want

I have mixed feelings about this post. From a strictly xenobiological perspective, I’ll say that some arthropods do have heart-like structures, and I have a (very contrived) explanation for how mother grubs (I doubt there is Only One All The Time) could be the same species; furthermore, trolls are aliens and thus only analogous to Earthly insects at best. Most of the “directly mammalian in nature” section shows far too much Terran bias (that such traits, especially sapience, are not present in Earth arthropods does not mean arthropods, or alien analogues, are incapable of evolving them; that trolls are equal in size to humans could be a sign of very different physical conditions on Alternia), although the bits about vertebrate anatomy (irises, tongues, teeth, skin, internal skeletons) are also very canon and something I choose to ignore in my own fanart.

However, from a literary perspective – Homestuck is, after all, a work of fiction – to the nearest extent that authorial intent can be determined, Homestuck is a comic about death of the author and the validity of the reader’s interpretation. My attempts to justify the contradictory picture of troll anatomy are merely the way that I like to engage with the comic, and frankly a reading that says “folkloric Scandinavian trolls have bovine tails proves that Alternian trolls have bovine tails” is at least as if not more valid than my “convoluted alien arthropod” reading. Trolls are a horrible and confusing mess of xenobiological traits that play more on established troll and alien tropes than any idea of biology; “it’s not that deep” is exactly right. The “reclamation of tails and paws for the people” and “im gonna draw them with tails sometimes and sometimes ill draw them without tails like im gay what do you want” are, as long as they are the way one likes to engage in the fandom, eminently defensible and defensible on that basis alone.

If this comes across as standoffish or a violation of the request not to @ you, I apologize; I just … really like engaging with Homestuck on both the spec bio nerd and death of the author nerd levels and this post has both.





Androids are my special interest so i’ve been following discussion about them and development of them for almost ten years and I’m stupid passionate about it. If anyone is wondering where we are at in our ethical discussion of robot development, this is whats going on.

Most of the discussion seems to be between these 5 fields:

Robot makers of all kinds (from animatronics all the way to industrial robotics)

The general consensus has been:

All: Humanity clearly wants these robots and are getting blisteringly close to being able to build them to Chobits level, but not Blade Runner level, so while we have some free time between those phases lets talk about potential outcomes.

Psychologists: hem hem. we are concerned about what happens to the way we develop relationships. Humans imprint on things hardcore and because of this we are concerned.

Sociologists: I mean… yeah thats a concern, but its not nearly as concerning as what introducing an entire class of humanoid beings without rights to a society where real living people dont have rights

Lawyers: speaking of rights, what happens if you kill one. Like. do we call it “kill” or is it “break?” can you kill something that’s technically not alive??? what if you rape it?? Can you rape a robot? I feel lawsuits coming and its making me itchy.

Robot Makers:  Everyone calm down. They’re just objects, they’re toys. Its chill.. See, we’ll make something like it and see what hap–they broke it. they fuckin destroyed it. They destroyed it in a creepy way too….We are now also concerned.

Psychologists: Maybe we should be less concerned about people falling in love with robots and more concerned about what all this might do to their understanding of the disposability of concent and personhood.


Ethicist: While you were all talking I’ve been thinking about what Lawyer said about raping a robot. While technically it wouldn’t be “rape” by our laws, would the robot perceive it that way? Do robots have concepts of justice?

Robot Makers: They don’t if we don’t program it into them. See I’ll just make this prototype and–wow. it can comprehend fairness and concern. I only taught it the difference between a safe and unsafe situation under the circumstances of it rolling off a table or not. huh. uh. ok…thats. hm. 

Lawyers: If it can be concerned for its well being, does that give it personhood? Becuase if its got personhood, its gotta have rights. And if it needs rights, we gotta make laws.

Ethicist: The question is not whether we think it has personhood, but more whether IT considers ITSELF to have personhood. Because historically, people have decided other groups of people dont have personhood regardless of the opinon of individuals within that group and it was bad. Like… real bad.

Sociologist: Does anyone remember what i said 20 years ago about being concerned about introducing an entire class of humanoid beings without rights to a society where real living people don’t have rights? Can we be concerned about that now?

All, chagrined: Yes.

Sociologist: Cool, lets move on. Ethicist brought up an interesting point about personhood and Lawyer brought up an interesting threat about personhood and Robot Maker is having an existential crisis about what it means to become God. So let’s condense our viewpoints and overview potential consequences:

1. we agree that society frames the use and consequences of all products/entities developed in it.

2. personhood is self-defined, and thanks to Robot Maker we now know that adding components to a robot that seem benign can have the added effect of them developing aspects of personhood.

Robot Maker, interrupting: And I think that the more complex the android, the more immediate and complex their understanding of personhood would develop–

Sociologist: Yes, we get that. This is a review. Anyway, 3. When they develop that personhood, they should be eligible for rights??

Lawyer: Get back to us on that, we’re trying to figure out whether this is going to make us a lot of money or just be a giant red-tape headache and you know how much we hate those. But also, if we give them rights they might not kill us all later, so we’re taking that into consideration. 

Sociologist: Noted. 4. when they develop personhood, denying them rights is unethical????

Ethicist: Technically yes, but that’s dependant on the definition of personhood within our legal systems ethics. You see Kant believes–





Robot Maker: while you guys were talking I made a robot that has opinions, can understand the nuances of humor, can teach itself to walk, and also doesn’t like humans much apparently so can you tALK FASTER PLEASE

And that’s where we’re at now. That was 35-ish years of intracommunity discussion condensed. 

Well done OP. Fascinating and creepy af

This is excellent.