The 2020 election has been one of the more contentious during my lifetime, but not in the way you might think. For a lot of people abortion, party lines, immigrants, the environment, and all the other long-standing debates are still the most important; there are a lot of random factors in play this year -- the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protests, politicians lying -- but the only thing that is really new is Covid-19, and that's not actually a major campaign issue, despite the candidates trying to make it one; both parties want to do what's best for the economy, want to preserve the rights of local jurisdictions to make their own rules on public behavior, want a vaccine, want this over with.

What is new is that the old president is not a politician, but a media personality. He came in amongst sex scandals, tax scandals, embezzlement, and high drama of every sort. When he was accused of rape -- again -- he responded by saying random things until everyone forgot the old scandal and focused on the new ones. It worked -- tax returns have been in the news more often than presidential rape for four long years.

So what do you do when you think the worst thing in America is unborn babies being murdered, and the only person in a position to support this battle is the tongue-tied American version of Silvio Berlusconi? Well, you ignore most of what is going on. It's easy enough, most people are; Donald Trump moves through scandals quickly enough that you only have time to react to whatever hits Twitter first; policy is hardly ever in the news, and in fact, news is hardly ever in the news; Donald will saying something just so he has the chance to retract it, contradict it, or forget it two days later.

But there is another option: try to make Donald make sense. He likes this -- he's happy to say that reporters are liars, that he is a genius, playing the game on a level that we can't understand, and that facts are there to be ignored.

And so... Donald mixed up in the sex trafficking trade? He's undercover for the FBI, here to save America from the Dark State. Donald stealing money from children with cancer? Fake news; Donald is so rich that he doesn't even need to take his presidential salary, why bother to commit fraud? Donald caught lying? Well, we've been through this; it's all just a big smear campaign.

The existence of people willing to buy into nutty conspiracy theories has muddled the waters; people no longer have faith in other people. So when Trump tells his next big lie -- that he won the election, and won't leave the White House -- people aren't worried that he really did win, but they are worried that if he sticks to this lie, maybe there will be angry armed nutcases out there willing to shoot up a school or two while the secret service escort him from the White House. Or worse, maybe there are nutcases in the secret service.

This certainly isn't the first conspiracy theory that involved a president, or the first where a bomb or anthrax packet might not be set off by a domestic terrorist who got a little too wrapped up in it. We see those all the time. But this may be the first time where the general public are uncertain if a substantial amount of the government might have bought into the conspiracy to the point where American Democracy might just... stop.

Don't worry, it won't. But the crazy times haven't ended just yet. E2 is fortunate enough to be documenting a sample of the crazy for future generations to see, and that is not a bad thing.

I woke up over an hour early today. I want to say that it was nice, but I was nauseous.

I spent the whole day down the e2 rabbit hole and then spent 5:00-11:00 PM working on what I was supposed to have gotten done much earlier in the day — university assignments. I rushed them, ultimately I got them done but e2 is a distraction. I want to get my writeups in for iron noder though. I have a really, really long paper and three days to write it, so if I spend 8 hours a day on it for 3 days that should equate to a full paper. I'm guessing 20 pages will just about cover it, maybe 15. I need to get my grade up, I bullshitted (bullshat?) my way through my last paper and got a 70/100. I've decided to write the best goddamn paper possible and hopefully get 100/100 or something close to that.

I sent an email to my penpal today, a French theater and art student. She has a habit of not responding to my emails (she gets busy, I am told) and then sending me really, really long emails months later. She responded the same-day today though, so I'll respond tomorrow. Maybe we can get an actual conversation going and not something drawn out over months. The coronavirus hasn't been good to either of us, so there's some solidarity in that.

I had probably the second most vivid dream of my life last night. It was pretty coherent too, considering that it was a dream — one of the most coherent dreams that I've had. I was an android in a Portal-style testchamber. I had small centimeter-wide gaps in my skin plating that formed lines down my arms and up my body and neck. Also, my skin was orange and shiny like plastic, vinyl, or silicon. In the testchamber, I was supposed to jump from steel platform to steel platform, or else a panel would come out from the wall and a mechanical arm would knock me off my current platform. I didn't jump to the other platforms, and sure enough, the mechanical arm came out and knocked me down. Also, I was a woman.

In the next scene, I was still the orange android. I was sitting at a long table, and another orange-skinned android was sitting next to me, trying to get me to do basic math as a "test" of my abilities. I vividly recall that I had a relationship with her, and that she was my good, close friend. I also vividly — and I mean vividly recall that the numbers were 7 + 35 - 2. I remember doing the math in my head whilst in my dream. Then, a short, mousey-looking blue-skinned android — also a woman — came into the room, and I vividly recall that I loved her. Adored her. I had a relationship with her — she was my creator. She told me that for my next test I would be running around a track. I can't remember if it was a half-mile or a quarter mile. All I remember was that the size of the track kept changing, getting bigger and smaller. The track was immediately connected to the room in which I had been doing the math. I ran around the track and went back inside the room and found the other orange android passionately kissing the blue android. I was stunned.

In the next scene, the blue android — whom I loved and adored — was sitting in a sunroom with what was formerly me. But in this scene, I was my actual real-life self, not the orange android (the orange android in this case being different than the one she was kissing.) The blue-skinned android said something about turning off the "adoration subroutine", on the grounds that because she and the android that she created had built up such a relationship that the "adoration subroutine" was non-necessary and that their relationship had grown to actual, genuine love. She powered off the orange-skinned android (the one I had inhabited, not the one she kissed) and turned off the adoration subroutine. She then powered off herself for some unknown reason, and the orange-android powered back on, and tried to kill her. She tried to kill her creator, the one she had just moments before loved deeply.

I — remember, the real-life me, whom I was inhabiting — frantically made my way to the blue-skinned android and tried to power her on, pushing down on her knees, her chest, her neck. I felt button-presses under her skin, but she didn't come on.

I woke up feeling incredibly sad. The love I felt for the blue-skinned android was the type of super-intense emotion that you only really experience in dreams. Sigh.

I feel more affection and connection for the people in my dreams than I do to anyone in reality. And they're not even real. Why can't I feel that way about real people?

Actual daylog stuff ends here. Keep reading if you feel like it.

I think in many ways I'm still learning E2, even though I've spent probably a hundred hours on this website by now just browsing node after node. E2 has its own culture, rules, nettiquette, terminology, and lore. Which is fine. Every noder on this website was new once.

It's funny. Some of (what I consider) my best writeups are some of the worst-received, some of my worst writeups are some of the best-received. This isn't always the case, though; 5D chess got pretty good rep, and I consider it my second-best writeup. I consider I used to worship the porcelain goddess to be one of my worst writeups of all time, and it got a ton of chings. Those two writeups are basically complete opposites; one is factual, informative; an in-depth review of chess in four axes. The other is subjective garbage, emotional vomit, no real point or purpose. Yet they both were well-received. What? 
I think I just haven't found the right type of content. Reviews are easy to write and I could write a million (see this, this, and the aforementioned 5D chess) but they're kind of lazy. Extremely lazy, in fact. Anybody can write reviews, and any in-depth review on a thing will look exactly like every other in-depth review on a thing.

So how can I possibly be posting "good content" if I'm just posting factual reviews? What else can I post that would make my content simultaneously unique and also worth reading?

Opinions, I thought to myself some days ago. Yes, opinions! They combine the two elements of my two best writeups! They're factual and informative but they're also philosophical and subjective. So I posted a couple of opinion-related posts, and got mostly negative response. Negative direct-messages as well. this didn't go over well at all. It was just a regurgitation of a blog post I wrote a year ago, adapted for E2. this didn't get very high of a rep either, though someone did link me to an interesting writeup because I posted that, which made it worthwhile I suppose. And of course, my latest opinion-post (and probably the last one I will ever, ever, ever put on E2 -- you can breathe a sigh of relief) didn't go over well at all.

So, fiction then. Fiction! I posted what I consider to be my best writeup, a fictional post about a wizard, and it got awful rep (I think right now it's sitting at 0). It got a C! though (thank you Zephronias) I posted what was going to be a multiple-installment serial-fiction, and it got awful rep. So I guess fiction is a no-no, but I'll play around with it some more before giving it up.

And to make it even worse, I've gotten conflicting opinions on my writeups. Person x hates the subjective portion and loves the factual portion, person y hates the factual portion and loves the subjective portion, person z hates both, so what in goddamn hell makes a good writeup? 

I'll stick to reviews for now, I guess. There's plenty of things I can review. I can fill up the "node your steam library" category, there's a lot of profound digital experiences and excellent stories that I've encountered through the medium of video games. Plus, I played video games way too much as a teenager. I don't really play them much now.

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