My avatar explained
Unlike most people's avatars, mine isn't an arbitrary illustration I got temporarily infatuated with and will change next week. It's a cryptic summary of who I am - and that's why it changes at major turning points of my story, but *only* at such turning points. Here was the first version (excuese my inconsistent use of tenses in this article):
Each element was carefully pondered:
- The command-line symbol. Of course I'm into programming and use terminals, but the main reason I decided to use this symbol instead of some other computing-representing symbol, which came to my mind first, is the minimalism. Minimalism is a core tenet of mine across all domains.
The Philosophy of Minimalism
- The black background represented loneliness. When I used this logo, I had literally never met friends in meatspace, and it was my greatest pain in life. My family felt like an insulting excuse for company. I wrote the poem Solitude and the article on "snakes" to vent about it. I made black the background to show that it was the most pervasive feeling.
But loneliness suited me in other ways. I was not the only Protagonist by the time I decided to make myself a logo, but I felt rejected from every camp. I thought I was closest to ancaps but they still hated me. Due to my very unusual life, I was often the only one who couldn't relate to an experience everyone else assumed was shared, like high school, job interviews, non-remote employment, leaving the house to hang out with friends...
- The white underline represents philosophy and wisdom, since light gives information. I was 12 when I became a philosopher by rejecting universally accepted but contradictory metaphysics. I now consider myself very wise. I have a vastly above average understanding of human nature (which does actually encompass all of philosophy).
Universally accepted but contradictory metaphysics
What philosophy is
- The yellow line represents Protagonism. My favorite color has always been yellow, but by the first time I named my religion (it went through several names), the color had gained a religious symbolism to me. Yellow is the color of the sun, especially at dawn and dusk, and the image of a setting sun would be the Protagonist flag, if there were to be such a thing.
It's because of a couple things. Firstly, anomaly is a factor of beauty. Part of the reason all of us find the sunset colors beautiful is precisely because they're only there for a tiny sliver of the day. If the sun were yellow all day and things turned more white for a few minutes around midday, we'd find that equally beautiful.
Secondly, there's something very real to the relationship between Protagonism and the sunset. More generally, it's about vast things being beautiful. Associating beauty with vastness leads us toward thinking about vast things in real life; finding a purpose, ambition.
- The blue line represented my weakness. Water is fluid, harmless in most ways and easily appropriated. So I chose blue because I'm weak. I'm a coward in real life; a terrible Protagonist. But I've come to terms with that, so I put it in my logo. I even put it on top of yellow to symbolize that I'm less than halfway an ideal Protagonist.
This is part of why I want so badly to teach others, whether leading them to philosophic truth or just teaching programming or whatever. I'm not a hero and might never be. But I can be a mentor. So that's the role I'll try to fill as long as I'm on team good.
When I finally left my parents to go live with a fellow Protagonist marked the first turning point big enough to warrant a logo change. It became this:
The yellow and white mean the same thing as before, although I rearranged the colors because blue is here for a different reason: instead of sin, it represents my recently-acquired role as comforter. In my year on Twitter, I met more suicidal anarchists than I can count, and keeping them alive became a core aspect of what I perceive my role to be. I'm very comfortable with the role, and I started to imagine myself as the party healer in a JRPG. (I would also cast buffs to represent my role as teacher, but I'm a healer too, and maybe first.)
I did not suddenly decide that my logo shouldn't have anything representing my flaws. Rather, I realized that red was the appropriate color because my greatest sin was spilling blood, and also that it was more appropriate as the background because it clearly outweighs all noble actions on my part. I had stopped committing this sin as soon as I left, but because of its sheer magnitude, I didn't deserve to erase the sign of it so easily.
My greatest sin
About a year later, it became this:
After a year of veganism, I felt I had earned the right to remove the red. The magnitude of the sin cannot be overstated, but it is too common to continue to define me.
I promoted yellow to the background now that I felt I had finally matured as a Protagonist.
The grey represents a drastic shift in attitude I had since the previous year: walling off. I no longer engaged with normies: not just statists, but normal ancaps and ancoms too. Such minds had become so alien to me that I felt as if I could never have a meaningful conversation with them. I was no longer interested in gaining followers or friends - I had enough friends and I didn't care about having followers who aren't friends. I wished to interact only with my friends, the Protagonists. I didn't want to hear anything about the millions of stories out there I couldn't do anything about.
Accordingly I was less interested in insurrection. I still believed it's the right strategy against the state... that is, if you view everyone who isn't part of the state as someone you're fighting for. But this is false. Not only are most people bad, but most people would backstab their liberators. If I killed a stormtrooper in front of a normal person, they would help the enemy capture me. I would not throw away my life for people like that. I planned only to gather hand-picked innocents - my friends - and protect them, which I could do without sacrificing my life.
On 2022-05-04, it became this:
The cause of this change was a traumatic event where I, blinded by anger, pushed away my closest friend, and could not get her back. I won't dump the whole story here.
So I brought back black to represent my pain from being without her. Blue changed position because it changed meaning. I didn't really identify with the healer role anymore. I had stopped doing much comforting. Rather, blue represents the lesson I learned: to be more lenient. Anger led me to ruin. After this event, I couldn't feel it anymore, at anyone. When friends did things that used to make me angry, I would be lenient with them instead. Anything is better than hurting a friend, even if they deserve it. Blue and black are placed together because of their relationship.
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