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Yeah, that's my main issue, too. I know the original incredibly well, I worked out the chords on piano from scratch years ago. So while I get the motivation here I would really have trouble with the adapted version. 

I natively have higher expectations in terms of congregational musical and rhythmic ability, due to where I grew up (Congo), so I always feel the need to push back when people dumb down songs for group singing. My brain expects random untrained people to be able to do melody and descant, syncopation and pick-up notes, and so on, because that's what I grew up with, though I know that's not necessarily the case here, not with this demographic.

One thing that would work is to have part of the song being sung by the leader, not the whole group. That might be a workable way to incorporate the bridge back into this version of Level Up. Drop back to just low accompaniment and have the best singer do that part solo, then bring people back in. If you were to attempt something more like the original, you could also do this with the start of the song, where the beat is a lot less consistent. Have the leader start the song and then bring people in as you move toward the first chorus and the groove really kicks in.

Also, I wonder if an unclear understanding of the time signature of the original (or an attempt to fit it into something more standard) is causing issues. It's pretty much all in 7, especially once the beat gets going, and a good rhythm section that can hit the accents right really makes everything quite easy to hit in proper time. There's a quick and tight 1212123 (with the occasional 1231212) through the whole song (though for the into and first bit of the first verse it's a lot more nebulous) and most of the "challenging" notes actually land on that first beat of the 7. But yeah, you'd have to have the band really work on the song to get it to a place where you could lead it well in its original form.

Answer by OrualDec 09, 20222323

That you think they're going super hard woke (especially Disney) is perhaps telling of your own biases. 

Lets look at Disney and Hollywood (universities are their own weird thing). The reality is that in the Anglosphere there are lots of progressive people with money to spend on media. You can sell "woke" media to those people, and lots of it. Even more so when there's controversy and you can get naive lefties to believe paying money to the megacorp to watch a mainstream show is a way to somehow strike back against the mean right-wingers. And to progressive people it doesn't feel like "being lectured to about politics", because that's not what media with a political/values message you agree with feels like. So going woke is 100% a profit-motivated decision. The leadership at big media companies didn't change much over the last decade or two, nor likely did their opinions (whatever those actually are). But after gay marriage gained significantly above 50% approval rate in the US and the Obergefell decision happened it became clear to them that it was safe to be at least somewhat socially progressive on issues like that, and would be profitable.

But equally, almost every single "woke" Disney movie has the "woke" components carefully contained such that they can easily be excised for markets where they are a problem. You see a gay kiss in the background of a scene in Star Wars, it gets cut for the Chinese and Middle East markets. Disney has many very progressive employees who are responsible for making the actual art they produce; artists lean pretty strongly progressive in my experience, so of course the employees' values come out in the art they make. But the management puts very strict limits on what they can do precisely because anything less milquetoast is believed to be less profitable.

My experience is that there's a huge amount of conservatism among classical instrument players. 

One part is the sound change. If something changes the sound of their instrument in a way that isn't clearly positive it's very hard to convince people to switch to it. Sometimes this is pretty rational, (I don't think anyone thinks plastic brass instruments sound better) but other times it's a kind of superstitious audiophile sort of logic. For a flute, I think bending a formerly straight tube will always have some effect on the sound. If the tube is already bent one or more times (as a bass flute must be even if the play orientation of the concert flute is maintained, because you have to have a certain length of tube which would be completely unwieldy if kept straight), a different or additional bend is lower impact. We see this with brass instruments, where you can fit a tuba into a significantly smaller volume without changing the sound significantly, so long as the bell is not shrunk too much and the mouthpiece remains the same size, simply by bending the tubing in more and different ways, so that the overall lengths of the main tube and each of the valve tubes remain the same.

The other part of it is muscle memory; people have spend thousands of hours playing an instrument with a very specific configuration. They don't want to change how they hold something even if it would be more ergonomic because it would mean a bunch of re-learning, not on their main instrument. I've encountered this myself as a pianist. If you change anything about the piano keyboard too much, it trips me up. The whole part of my brain that handles the movements for piano relies on the keys being in very specific positions relative to each other (and me) and responding to my touch in specific ways. I once botched a recital because the piano provided had too high an initial actuation pressure on the keys and I hadn't been able to do enough practice on it to adjust. I would love a piano with keys about 60% the size of the standard ones, because I have small, slender hands. But actually switching to such a piano if it were to be made would be a painful process, and getting up to speed on it would likely mean that I would lose facility with pianos that have standard-size keys.

The exceptions I've seen to this, where ergonomic innovations have been readily accepted, are triggers on trombones and 4th valves on some other brass instruments. Those have become very popular over the years. I think the reason for the difference is that a trigger or 4th valve is completely optional to use. You can still play everything exactly as you would have before, you just now have an additional option which makes certain things more convenient. There's a gradual adjustment process where you integrate the new feature into your play and you don't experience a phase where you feel hampered by the change. That makes switching costs much, much lower.

Apologies in advance for any tonal issues in this.

I have serious issues with the autogynephilia analysis, both yours and more generally. You've likely heard the critiques that many cis women qualify as AGP if they take the same surveys, but I also think the questions and scenarios are simply not useful in terms of distinguishing a sexual motivation from any other sort of gender euphoria/dysphoria/identity. Someone with entirely non-sexual motivations for transition would still likely find a sexual fantasy where they are their transitioned gender in one way or another arousing and could thus easily be a false positive on your AGP/AAP scales, in as much as those are supposed to separate out a specific type of (trans) person or reason for transitioning. Many, many entries on your list of common AGP/AAP fantasies fall into that category and can only classed as abnormal by virtue of being had by someone of the "wrong" birth sex. Given that, I really do not understand why you believe it more likely that AGP/AAP is the upstream, causal condition and not gender identity, given the inability of the tests to distinguish between the two possibilities. It seems like you're massively privileging the Blanchard/Bailey hypothesis in spite of the major issues (including arguable fraud) that you admit their research has (and I see little reason to assume Hsu's research will be any better quality, given that he clearly works extremely closely with Bailey).

Parsimony isn't everything, humans are as you say complicated, but when you're working with a typology that claims two separate, distinct causes for a transgender identity and the surveys used to analyze the supposed phenomenon can't easily distinguish between a normal variation in sexuality for someone's (identified) gender and a primarily sexual motivation for that identity despite that being an explicit goal (on top of the other issues with the research), it seems likely that you have a problem with your hypothesis. It seems particularly likely that this is the case when there is another hypothesis that matches the data at least as well, doesn't posit multiple causes for what seems like a single phenomenon, and also matches with the reported experiences of the vast majority of transgender people (where the Bailey/Blanchard typology being true would essentially require that the vast majority of trans people be lying to themselves).

And if AGP/AAP measures don't really work for their intended population, trans people, why would they be useful measures in cis people, as you're using them here?

And for the flip side, my (cis male) partner was having acne issues and decided on a whim to take my anti-androgen to see if it helped (because it's been used to treat hormonal acne, primarily in women for reasons that will become immediately obvious). He was absolutely miserable within a couple days. I was kind of amazed because I had a very similar reaction to you when I started feminizing HRT, I wasn't expecting such a dramatically different reaction on his part, even though he's a cis guy.

That being said, I don't necessarily suggest this kind of experimentation in general. I really don't know what the error rate of this method of diagnosing gender dysphoria is, and I don't want people stuck with changes they'll regret if they do feel good and decide to stay on hormones long-term solely based on that feeling (in the absence of other indicators that they are probably trans). In particular I don't recommend AFAB people try testosterone this way, partially because that one is actually illegal to possess without a prescription due to doping and also because T tends to have superficially positive mood effects in a lot of people, to my understanding, meaning feeling good on T is not as indicative of it being "correct" for you. For presumably cis guys it usually feels pretty awful to have your testosterone levels suppressed, and/or to have higher levels of estrogen, so if you don't feel that way on girl pills and you actually feel better, it's a decent signal that maybe your ideal hormone balance is somewhere in the feminine direction, with all the potential implications that may have for your gender identity.

Answer by OrualDec 29, 202114

I've wondered the same thing. Currently I'm leaning toward not seeking a formal autism diagnosis. 

I am actually glad that I did not get diagnosed while I was still a minor, despite potentially gaining access to some accommodations. A friend who was diagnosed young but is overall fairly "high-functioning" for lack of a better term, found that his (otherwise pretty reasonable and decent) parents were much less willing to respect his choices, give him privacy, and so on than they were for his neurotypical siblings, even into adulthood. The accommodations available for someone with autism when I was a minor would likely not have been that useful to me, though it might have meant that I got diagnosed with ADHD earlier, which would have been helpful. Overall, I'm glad I avoided something like my friend's experience.

The very low-probability outcome of my being formally diagnosed with autism now which worries me is my parents deciding to use that diagnosis as reason to do something like gain guardianship over me and control over things like my medical care, despite my being an adult. It's highly unlikely that a court would agree to it on the off chance my parents would be sufficiently controlling assholes to seek it, given their likely reasoning, but I wouldn't call it impossible.

One reason my social and medical transition has been mostly smooth is that I am financially independent from my parents and live in another province, so they cannot interfere much and interfere less than they might otherwise attempt to because they see me as a competent adult who is making choices they don't like and think are wrong, someone to be argued with, criticized, not accommodated if possible but ultimately not actively hindered, not someone whose decision-making is inherently compromised by a developmental disorder and may have been manipulated into transitioning against their own best interests. If they learn of my diagnosis and believe it accurate, that could well change.

I may reevaluate if I'm struggling at work after finishing this bit of college and think I might be able to get useful accommodations, but for the moment the benefits aren't very substantial and the process of getting a diagnosis would be irritating, plus there's a real tail risk in my case.

Minor correction. The UK is not the only country employing the delayed second dose strategy. Canada has done so as well, as a way of maximizing and front-loading the benefit of its relatively limited supplies of vaccine, and I believe we started doing so fairly quickly after the UK, before the effectiveness was clear. So whatever answer explains the UK's willingness to take that risk has to also explain Canada's similar decision.

I think you might be better served by using a slightly higher gear and adjusting your seat upward so that your leg is at full extension when the relevant pedal is at the bottom of its rotation. I expect that's the main reason you're seeing an advantage, you're using more of your leg in the pedaling motion, which is more efficient. And would be even more efficient if you weren't having to balance your weight on your pedals. Look at how professional cyclists have their bikes set up. Obviously you won't exactly replicate that without toe clips that you won't want to use, but that's where I'd look for improvements as opposed to reinventing the wheel.

Colour me intrigued. Might you happen to have the code for this anywhere? I didn't see it linked in any of your posts, though I may have missed something.

I've got time. I'm happy to validate predictions. Give me as many as you want.

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