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The contrast of language between Therian and Otherkin
Autumne
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Post: #11
RE: The contrast of language between Therian and Otherkin

(2021-02-06 23:58)Atlantis Wrote:  As a theriomythic myself I think this is a conclusion a lot of us have come to and will understand perfectly well. I first discussed this with BearX and immediately found it to align more with my own experiences.
Of course the same people who's "Therianthropy" or "otherkinity" is based more on identity than experiences would also like to define what is and isn't Therianthropy based on identity rather than experiences.
I'm not saying it's bad to have a sense of identity, but it should be drawn based on experiences not trivialities or because it's "cool"


Do you see anything bad/harmful about terms like 'beast-like'/'human-like', wild/civilized, etc? I'm not sure how to differentiate what I meant between the two that doesn't also step into connotations of lacking worth for one over the other, or lacking respect. But it would sure help me explain even to myself what I'm seeing is as the difference between these groups. Maybe the issue is in me feeling like they have to have the same value, rather than being both valuable in very different ways?

On the topic of identity vs experiences:
I feel like... it really depends on the way in which you're either. And it's more likely that you're otherkin if you're focused on identity (a sort of complex, higher order interest/need/consideration) and more likely you're therian if you're focused on experience (a lower order, more instinctual and immediate reaction). I think it maybe "matters more" who you are to one type and "matters more" what you do to the other.

Not that there can't be exceptions, or people can't care a lot about both. Moreover, even as a therian, you're having a human experience. A human experience is a "complex, higher order" experience, so you may be inclined to care about identity because you're human now, too. But it makes sense that if you're beast-like in true self (a therian due to your thinking, your spirit, your soul, whichever is your understanding), you're going to be on the more experiential/doing side rather than just the identity/feeling side.

I am definitely on the side of the spectrum here that I would think is more common in otherkin.

(2021-02-07 2:14)Alliana Wrote:  Yeah, I agree with Autumne and Atlantis when it comes to therians and otherkin:
Therians: More beastlike in terms of instincts and behavior (this includes beasts from mythology known as theriomythics)
Otherkin: Beings who have a civilization, sapience and how they conduct themselves (more humanlike).

But yeah, I agree with those two as well as Bear on the issue. Smile


Same question as above, but I wanted to tag and ask you too: do you think there's anything wrong or problematic about 'human-like' vs 'beast-like' as terminology? Is my unwillingness to put animalistic traited beings in their own separate category for fear of making them 'less than' human people misplaced?


(2021-02-07 11:12)DustWolf Wrote:  [...] For the AI to learn what it needs to learn in order to develop human-like intelligence itself, it will need to follow the same process [...]


Why is this considered to be the case? I don't understand the need/value/importance of an AI being recognizable as thing or being that functions as a person only if it develops as a human being does. Can you help be understand why that's regarded to be vital for this pursuit? Is my hang up that I differentiate between 'person' and 'human', whereas this field equates the terms?

(2021-02-07 9:35)kaiyoht Wrote:  Or looking at it a different way, emotions and sensations in humans are just chemical reactions in the brain that people interpret as "feelings". They arise to serve a purpose: I get hungry because my body needs caloric energy to sustain itself; I get angry to defend my family/people/whoever from threat of harm (which, over time, makes my family more likely to survive). As cultures change and shift faster than biology does, sometimes that makes emotions feel kinda out of place (or nascent emotions come up, which are weird to handle because they aren't so well-understood). But it would be difficult for me to say that these chemical reactions and responses to stimuli that I have are so dramatically different from the sorts of input acceptors/reaction an AI might undergo to similar stimuli. And if I can't from the outside tell for sure that an AI is responding in some identifiable way differently than a person might, I don't know what else I can ask for to be more convinced.


I agree with you on the point of 'if it is functioning as if it is thinking and feeling, then... I'm not sure what else I need it to pass for me to feel compelled to accept that I am dealing with (and should be thinking in terms of) a thinking and feeling being.

One thing I thought about a lot a couple of years ago was a difference I saw between two types of feelings. It came to mind while I was in courses about language, and consequently thinking about what language as 'the operating system of the human brain' allows us to do. It facilitates so much of our processing of complex ideas that we just... it would be so difficult to grasp onto concepts for consideration without it.

The two categories were the 'base feelings' and the 'complex emotions'.

'Base feelings' were the ones that were simple and highly useful to survival/life/sustenance. They were things like 'angry', 'scared', 'happy'. The simple reactions one has to things that are troublesome, dangerous, or resulted in good reward.

'Complex emotions' were the states one only experienced because of nuanced thinking, extensive memory, and or seeing relationships between disparate things. 'Nostalgia', 'fulfillment', 'mourning', 'melancholy', or 'boredom' were things I felt were only accessible to those with the intelligence, memory, and ability to organize for processing (for humans, given by language).

What you were saying about the difference between biological emotions and newer emotions that occur because of changing society reminded me a lot of that.

Of course, I'll add the caveat that I also... have an uncomfortability with accepting that emotions are merely brain chemicals. I believe strongly that feeling is also a function of "the soul", and thus the way our "true selves" feel can be different than what our human brains are telling us we feel. Such thinking has become increasingly my belief as I interact with mental health and am aware of chemical means of altering the mood. I can't really defend that, and certainly not scientifically, though.

2021-02-07 19:57
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Post: #12
RE: The contrast of language between Therian and Otherkin

Autumne Wrote:

(2021-02-07 2:14)Alliana Wrote:  Yeah, I agree with Autumne and Atlantis when it comes to therians and otherkin:
Therians: More beastlike in terms of instincts and behavior (this includes beasts from mythology known as theriomythics)
Otherkin: Beings who have a civilization, sapience and how they conduct themselves (more humanlike).

But yeah, I agree with those two as well as Bear on the issue. Smile


Same question as above, but I wanted to tag and ask you too: do you think there's anything wrong or problematic about 'human-like' vs 'beast-like' as terminology? Is my unwillingness to put animalistic traited beings in their own separate category for fear of making them 'less than' human people misplaced?


I'll answer your question with another question: Why would it be wrong or problematic to think that way? I see nothing wrong with doing so because of my honesty with such things. Both have their pros and cons about them, mine just happens to manifest when I least expect it. Sometimes I have problems embracing my beast-side but other times, I do enjoy the alternate view of things. There is nothing wrong about saying one aspect is beast-like considering that's what it is, what would you like me to refer to it as? We humans have our own instincts we have to deal with much like with my theriotype.

Anyways, I hope that answers your question.


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(This post was last modified: 2021-02-08 2:11 by Alliana.)
2021-02-07 22:28
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Post: #13
RE: The contrast of language between Therian and Otherkin

(2021-02-07 11:12)DustWolf Wrote:  With AI, obviously, we can open the box and see what it's actually doing.


I mean, the point of the Turing test, which I was alluding to, is that if you do that it becomes difficult to emotionally remove yourself from seeing the mechanisms turn. That's why you can't see the entity you're chatting with during a Turing test -- to remove that potential bias.

That being said, this is also kinda just the larger problem with AI, at least as it stands right now. You... can't open the box and see what it's actually doing. I mean you can, but you won't understand it, because it's not functioning in any way that makes sense to people (at least not beyond "The stuff is what the stuff is, brother"). It's why you can make the middle line in a 3 just a little bit longer and suddenly the computer vision system reads a "SPEED LIMIT 30" sign as a "SPEED LIMIT 80" sign, even though to a person it's clearly still 30. This stuff is not doing things in the way a human would, it's just that it gives outputs which most of the time are roughly the same as what a human would give output to in the same task (I mean, literally, that's the most basic definition of machine learning: stir a matrix equation enough and feed it testing data curated by humans until it gives an output vector as similar to the human output vector as you can get).


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2021-02-07 22:45
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Post: #14
RE: The contrast of language between Therian and Otherkin

(2021-02-07 22:28)Alliana Wrote:  I'll answer your question with another question: Why would it be wrong or problematic to think that way? I see nothing wrong with doing so because of my honesty with such things. Both have their pros and cons about them, mine just happens to manifest when I least expect it. Sometimes I have problems embracing my beast-side but other times, I do enjoy the alternate view of things. There is nothing wrong about saying one aspect is beast-like considering that's what it is, what would you like me to refer to it as? We humans have our own instincts we have to deal with much like with my theriotype.

Anyways, I hope that answers your question.


It does answer the question!

I see potential problems because of how many humans I've seen and interacted with that think if something isn't 'a person' or if they're 'just an animal', then they're not worth as much. Moreover, that it is okay to treat 'an animal' or a 'beast' poorly or worse. It's made me want to be careful about how I discuss animals or those who don't exist/live/look to thing and feel like humans do in a way that insinuates they are not due respect as "people".

I'm struggling to find vocabulary that honors both the above and allows me to differentiate between the experiences of beings that function like humans (or, in fantasy/other worlds, like elves, or like merpeople, etc) and beings that live like our animals do (such as coyotes or sharks).

2021-02-07 22:48
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Post: #15
RE: The contrast of language between Therian and Otherkin

(2021-02-07 19:57)Autumne Wrote:  

(2021-02-07 11:12)DustWolf Wrote:  [...] For the AI to learn what it needs to learn in order to develop human-like intelligence itself, it will need to follow the same process [...]


Why is this considered to be the case? I don't understand the need/value/importance of an AI being recognizable as thing or being that functions as a person only if it develops as a human being does. Can you help be understand why that's regarded to be vital for this pursuit? Is my hang up that I differentiate between 'person' and 'human', whereas this field equates the terms?


Not to answer for Dust, but, I would say that this is at least a little bit his opinion rather than a "known truth" of AI or anything. Like, to the best of my knowledge strong AI is not actively being researched anywhere in the world right now (and, in response to the failings of AI research back in the 80s or so, such lines of research are actively discouraged for the statistical/ML approach that is currently embraced today -- doesn't mean nobody can try, but the money would have to be coming from a private entity very passionate about that line of research). So there aren't many folks outside of fiction writers and Ray Kurzweil to have much of an opinion on strong AI.

(2021-02-07 19:57)Autumne Wrote:  Of course, I'll add the caveat that I also... have an uncomfortability with accepting that emotions are merely brain chemicals. I believe strongly that feeling is also a function of "the soul", and thus the way our "true selves" feel can be different than what our human brains are telling us we feel. Such thinking has become increasingly my belief as I interact with mental health and am aware of chemical means of altering the mood. I can't really defend that, and certainly not scientifically, though.


That's fair, I understand that. I would say I have my own thoughts on that as well. To some degree, the argument I was trying to make before is more targeted to, if you must think about things with big Science Brain or very mechanistically or so on, there's not so many differences between such a machine and a human. But the question of the soul is one that is difficult to approach in any empirical sense, and I almost think that it would be difficult to make a logic-based decision about that one way or another. It seems to me like it would come down to what exactly you believe a soul is to be able to decide whether or not a machine could have one, and that won't necessarily be a widely believed definition no matter which way you believe.


(2021-02-07 22:48)Autumne Wrote:  I see potential problems because of how many humans I've seen and interacted with that think if something isn't 'a person' or if they're 'just an animal', then they're not worth as much. Moreover, that it is okay to treat 'an animal' or a 'beast' poorly or worse. It's made me want to be careful about how I discuss animals or those who don't exist/live/look to thing and feel like humans do in a way that insinuates they are not due respect as "people".

I'm struggling to find vocabulary that honors both the above and allows me to differentiate between the experiences of beings that function like humans (or, in fantasy/other worlds, like elves, or like merpeople, etc) and beings that live like our animals do (such as coyotes or sharks).


I see similar problems, but I think also that reflects an issue with humans and the way folks see the world than necessarily a problem of the word itself. Like, I don't know if I would be comfortable describing things in terms of "beasts" or whatever to non-therians, because I don't know what baggage that term is going to come with for them, but among therians I might think about that language differently.


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2021-02-07 22:55
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Post: #16
RE: The contrast of language between Therian and Otherkin

(2021-02-07 22:28)Alliana Wrote:  I'll answer your question with another question: Why would it be wrong or problematic to think that way? I see nothing wrong with doing so because of my honesty with such things. Both have their pros and cons about them, mine just happens to manifest when I least expect it. Sometimes I have problems embracing my beast-side but other times, I do enjoy the alternate view of things. There is nothing wrong about saying one aspect is beast-like considering that's what it is, what would you like me to refer to it as? We humans have our own instincts we have to deal with much like with my theriotype.

Anyways, I hope that answers your question.



I've nothing to truly add as it has all been said (mostly)--however, I have to agree pretty strongly with Alliana on this one. Especially with all definitions having their own pros and cons depending on the one writing or describing themselves. In conversations like these, I see it as more of topic that in the end, really shouldn't have such a divide yet it does. Especially in the light of certain events.

But on that topic alone..
Describe what is best for your identity/experience. Forget the naysayers- they are not living in your shoes.


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2021-02-07 23:05
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Post: #17
RE: The contrast of language between Therian and Otherkin

(2021-02-07 22:48)Autumne Wrote:  

(2021-02-07 22:28)Alliana Wrote:  I'll answer your question with another question: Why would it be wrong or problematic to think that way? I see nothing wrong with doing so because of my honesty with such things. Both have their pros and cons about them, mine just happens to manifest when I least expect it. Sometimes I have problems embracing my beast-side but other times, I do enjoy the alternate view of things. There is nothing wrong about saying one aspect is beast-like considering that's what it is, what would you like me to refer to it as? We humans have our own instincts we have to deal with much like with my theriotype.

Anyways, I hope that answers your question.


It does answer the question!

I see potential problems because of how many humans I've seen and interacted with that think if something isn't 'a person' or if they're 'just an animal', then they're not worth as much. Moreover, that it is okay to treat 'an animal' or a 'beast' poorly or worse. It's made me want to be careful about how I discuss animals or those who don't exist/live/look to thing and feel like humans do in a way that insinuates they are not due respect as "people".


True, that is a problem but I guess it depends on the context. You are describing it as an insult that a lot of people use regarding animals, whereas I am just using it as an identity (my werewolf side is very beastly). Personally, I think the insult needs to go away, which I have to assume you want as well. But for my usage (and I am sure others who identify like I do) should be allowed to use the beastly word as such to identify themselves.

We are finding out more and more regarding animals all the time, so hopefully that insult will go away in time.


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2021-02-08 2:09
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Post: #18
RE: The contrast of language between Therian and Otherkin

(2021-02-08 2:09)Alliana Wrote:  

(2021-02-07 22:48)Autumne Wrote:  

(2021-02-07 22:28)Alliana Wrote:  I'll answer your question with another question: Why would it be wrong or problematic to think that way? I see nothing wrong with doing so because of my honesty with such things. Both have their pros and cons about them, mine just happens to manifest when I least expect it. Sometimes I have problems embracing my beast-side but other times, I do enjoy the alternate view of things. There is nothing wrong about saying one aspect is beast-like considering that's what it is, what would you like me to refer to it as? We humans have our own instincts we have to deal with much like with my theriotype.

Anyways, I hope that answers your question.


It does answer the question!

I see potential problems because of how many humans I've seen and interacted with that think if something isn't 'a person' or if they're 'just an animal', then they're not worth as much. Moreover, that it is okay to treat 'an animal' or a 'beast' poorly or worse. It's made me want to be careful about how I discuss animals or those who don't exist/live/look to thing and feel like humans do in a way that insinuates they are not due respect as "people".


True, that is a problem but I guess it depends on the context. You are describing it as an insult that a lot of people use regarding animals, whereas I am just using it as an identity (my werewolf side is very beastly). Personally, I think the insult needs to go away, which I have to assume you want as well. But for my usage (and I am sure others who identify like I do) should be allowed to use the beastly word as such to identify themselves.

We are finding out more and more regarding animals all the time, so hopefully that insult will go away in time.


Agreed. I will resume using 'wild or beast-like' to describe that side of things, and continue not having a word for the other side. Thank you again for your input!

2021-02-08 2:30
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Post: #19
RE: The contrast of language between Therian and Otherkin

(2021-02-07 19:57)Autumne Wrote:  Do you see anything bad/harmful about terms like 'beast-like'/'human-like', wild/civilized, etc? I'm not sure how to differentiate what I meant between the two that doesn't also step into connotations of lacking worth for one over the other, or lacking respect. But it would sure help me explain even to myself what I'm seeing is as the difference between these groups. Maybe the issue is in me feeling like they have to have the same value, rather than being both valuable in very different ways?

On the topic of identity vs experiences:
I feel like... it really depends on the way in which you're either. And it's more likely that you're otherkin if you're focused on identity (a sort of complex, higher order interest/need/consideration) and more likely you're therian if you're focused on experience (a lower order, more instinctual and immediate reaction). I think it maybe "matters more" who you are to one type and "matters more" what you do to the other.

Not that there can't be exceptions, or people can't care a lot about both. Moreover, even as a therian, you're having a human experience. A human experience is a "complex, higher order" experience, so you may be inclined to care about identity because you're human now, too. But it makes sense that if you're beast-like in true self (a therian due to your thinking, your spirit, your soul, whichever is your understanding), you're going to be on the more experiential/doing side rather than just the identity/feeling side.

I am definitely on the side of the spectrum here that I would think is more common in otherkin.


I personally use the terms animalistic vs sapient most frequently. I think it could be insulting to some, but I think only those who have been brainwashed by society that animals are lesser or who haven't experienced intense enough shifts to know what it's really like to be an animal. Personally the differences I've experienced during shifts in a difference in thinking. Animals think in the present. It's not like we aren't aware of the future but we "exist" very much in the present.
We also think non-verbally. That has happened to me at times during very intense shifts. And thus we are not able to understand such complex technical subjects. When I was younger and very deep in thought I would sometimes accidentally switch over to this way of thinking. It was usually uneventful, but occasionally if I was snapped out of it suddenly I wouldn't immediately regain my ability to understand language or speak. One of these times it was my teacher talking to me. I understood she was someone important, even a mentor figure. I was afraid because I was aware she was trying to communicate with me and she was important and I couldn't understand her. Until I snapped out of it after around a minute I wasn't able to conceptualize what a teacher was. My feelings were more powerful without an understanding of complex ideas and I relied on emotions and impressions to think. I don't think it's worse, or that animals are stupid because of it though. When I think without words I find I have a much deeper emotional understanding of the world around me verbal language can't express.

My personal experience on why otherkin have a stronger basis in identity rather than experiences (and this is something I share with them) is because we HAVE to have that strong conviction. If we didn't have that absolute core knowledge we might conclude we're merely an Earth animal (maybe a couple) that would also match the shifts. Where this becomes harmful that I see in otherkin is when they base their otherkinity on identity entirely rather than experience. More like therians, I got my strong sense of identity when I awakened. I had the experiences long before that. However without that strong identity (and also my past life memories) I could just say I'm a fox bird polytherian and my two types have completely blended together to form one type. However if you did more digging there's more to Avask that birds and foxes alone can provide and things Avask have in common with neither probably too.

I don't think a feeling of idenity alone justifies a claim. That falls into "I am because I am" territory and ew circular logic. I can feel that I am anything but if there's no experiences to back it up I'd classify that as a delusion rather than any rational thinking.

What's your 'type?


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2021-02-08 3:09
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Post: #20
RE: The contrast of language between Therian and Otherkin

(2021-02-08 3:09)Atlantis Wrote:  

(2021-02-07 19:57)Autumne Wrote:  Do you see anything bad/harmful about terms like 'beast-like'/'human-like', wild/civilized, etc? I'm not sure how to differentiate what I meant between the two that doesn't also step into connotations of lacking worth for one over the other, or lacking respect. But it would sure help me explain even to myself what I'm seeing is as the difference between these groups. Maybe the issue is in me feeling like they have to have the same value, rather than being both valuable in very different ways?

On the topic of identity vs experiences:
I feel like... it really depends on the way in which you're either. And it's more likely that you're otherkin if you're focused on identity (a sort of complex, higher order interest/need/consideration) and more likely you're therian if you're focused on experience (a lower order, more instinctual and immediate reaction). I think it maybe "matters more" who you are to one type and "matters more" what you do to the other.

Not that there can't be exceptions, or people can't care a lot about both. Moreover, even as a therian, you're having a human experience. A human experience is a "complex, higher order" experience, so you may be inclined to care about identity because you're human now, too. But it makes sense that if you're beast-like in true self (a therian due to your thinking, your spirit, your soul, whichever is your understanding), you're going to be on the more experiential/doing side rather than just the identity/feeling side.

I am definitely on the side of the spectrum here that I would think is more common in otherkin.


I personally use the terms animalistic vs sapient most frequently. I think it could be insulting to some, but I think only those who have been brainwashed by society that animals are lesser or who haven't experienced intense enough shifts to know what it's really like to be an animal. Personally the differences I've experienced during shifts in a difference in thinking. Animals think in the present. It's not like we aren't aware of the future but we "exist" very much in the present.
We also think non-verbally. That has happened to me at times during very intense shifts. And thus we are not able to understand such complex technical subjects. When I was younger and very deep in thought I would sometimes accidentally switch over to this way of thinking. It was usually uneventful, but occasionally if I was snapped out of it suddenly I wouldn't immediately regain my ability to understand language or speak. One of these times it was my teacher talking to me. I understood she was someone important, even a mentor figure. I was afraid because I was aware she was trying to communicate with me and she was important and I couldn't understand her. Until I snapped out of it after around a minute I wasn't able to conceptualize what a teacher was. My feelings were more powerful without an understanding of complex ideas and I relied on emotions and impressions to think. I don't think it's worse, or that animals are stupid because of it though. When I think without words I find I have a much deeper emotional understanding of the world around me verbal language can't express.

My personal experience on why otherkin have a stronger basis in identity rather than experiences (and this is something I share with them) is because we HAVE to have that strong conviction. If we didn't have that absolute core knowledge we might conclude we're merely an Earth animal (maybe a couple) that would also match the shifts. Where this becomes harmful that I see in otherkin is when they base their otherkinity on identity entirely rather than experience. More like therians, I got my strong sense of identity when I awakened. I had the experiences long before that. However without that strong identity (and also my past life memories) I could just say I'm a fox bird polytherian and my two types have completely blended together to form one type. However if you did more digging there's more to Avask that birds and foxes alone can provide and things Avask have in common with neither probably too.

I don't think a feeling of idenity alone justifies a claim. That falls into "I am because I am" territory and ew circular logic. I can feel that I am anything but if there's no experiences to back it up I'd classify that as a delusion rather than any rational thinking.

What's your 'type?


Perhaps I could use 'sapient' and 'beast-like' in spaces like these where the distinction would be clear but there wouldn't also be a misunderstanding/judgment perceived there.

My 'type is shapeshifter. I'll PM you a longer version, since it's off topic for the thread.

2021-02-08 4:11
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