The Dolphins of Pern: Pursuing The Not-Quite-Forbidden

Last chapter, Alemi got told not to involve Readis in dolphin tales, then went to AIVAS to get instructions on how to talk to the dolphins. Rather than read them, Alemi scouts, and then rings, the bell that summons the dolphins, establishing more contact and firmly cementing them as intelligent mammals instead of non-intelligent fish.

The Dolphins of Pern: Chapter IV: Content Notes: References to abusive family

Chapter IV opens with Alemi returning to a Paradise Hold and talking about what he did to Jayge.

“That’s all very well and good, Alemi, I suppose”–Jayge hesitated–“it’s good. We’ve got fire-lizards and dragons, why not intelligent life in the seas? The Ancients apparently knew what is combine to make a perfect world, so those doll-fins had their role to play…” He hesitated again.
“But you’re worried about Readis?”
Jayge let out an explosive sigh. “Yes, I am. He’s still talking about his mam’l…”
“They are,” Alemi said, regaining his perspective on the matter, “mammals.”
[…Jayge is confused that AIVAS has data on dolphin births and such…]
“Look, I’ll keep my findings to myself, then. You didn’t mention my interview with Aivas to Readis, did you? No. All right. I certainly won’t, but I’d like your permission, as my Holder, to discreetly pursue a closer relationship with these creatures.[…]”
[…Jayge asks what Idarolan thinks of it, and then assents…]
Alemi nodded, perversely pleased that he could try to establish himself with the dolphins without having to share the experience.

And also, doesn’t actually mention that he’s planning on building a bell (and a float for it) so that he can summon and talk to the dolphins. How is anyone going to keep a curious Readis from hearing the bell, or from piecing together that the bell summons the dolphins when you ring it? Especially when the narrative tells us that Alemi plans on building a bell bigger than the one that’s currently on his ship to use. It’s going to carry.

We also get more about the strained relationship between Alemi and Yanus, who remains unnamed.

Alemi was extra mindful of some of the precautions Aivas had mentioned–precautions Fishmen always observed but without knowing why: taking care of the size of the nets, as well as the old warnings of the “sin” of netting a shipfish. Even his father, who hadn’t the imagination to be superstitious, followed those precepts. Now Alemi knew the reason behind those practices, but he doubted his father would ever admit to it–much less admit that dolphins could actually talk and were intelligent. One of the many gulfs between them.

No, wait, hang on. The idea of “sin” and “hadn’t the imagination to be superstitious” do not belong in the same description. Yanus does these things in a near-fanatical devotion to TRADITIONS (traditions!), which suggests there’s something driving that belief. “Society collapses if we deviate from the perfect ways of our ancestors” is a perfectly good superstition.

That said, “sin” is a distinctly religious concept, and until AIVAS specifically made reference to it, Pern very specifically never had any sort of religious work. (Unless you count Harper ballads about the Cult of the Dragonriders. Which we probably should.) There’s no Being Represented By The Tetragrammaton, but also no Wiccan Rede, Wheel of Karma, or any other concept that would facilitate the idea of virtue and sin. Netting a shipfish might be a sign of ill fortune, but unless a theology developed somewhere while we weren’t looking, it wouldn’t be a “sin”. (This is where you need a continuity editor, no really.)

Anyway, Yanus’s stubbornness at being proven wrong would have an easier time being accepted if Alemi casually dropped something here about how long and how far Menolly has risen as a Harper, and yet, if you asked Yanus about her, he would say his daughter had ran away to become Holdless [x] years ago and he’s never seen her since. It’s probably bad enough that Alemi is a Masterfisher and went away from the Hold to go South.

There’s also a lot about more settlers coming south to get their own hunk of land to do work with. Which, essentially, temporarily relieves the pressure problem that’s been plaguing the North. Once there’s no more land to grab, though, the problems will start all over again unless the Lords decide there’s some way they can parcel out their land in smaller ways.

Or the end of the threat of Thread is the harbinger of the complete takeover by the Crafts and conversion of the feudal society into a capitalist one, now that there’s no overarching threat to hold the society together. (Assuming the dragonriders don’t get involved, anyway.)

Alemi does inform Idarolan of his plans, framing it as good research toward the end of making sailing and fishing safer – if all ships can summon additional help in bad situations, that’s a benefit to the Fishercraft. There’s a little praise of Menolly, as it’s her methods for fire-lizard training that Alemi used to get his well-behaved Tork.

After discarding the idea of using Jayge’s alarm triangle as a dolphin bell (has the triangle been here for longer than this book and the last one? Or is it an instrument that’s definitely came with the AI? It’s talked about as a “post-Thella” thing, but does that make it post-AIVAS?), Alemi asks Fandarel if he’ll cast him a nice bell. Fandarel says yes, but it will have to wait until all the other commissions are done. Robinton sends a handbell and the possibility that a bigger bell might exist somewhere else.

For the moment, Alemi concerns himself with learning the hand signals and commands for dolphins on the printout that AIVAS provided and shaking his head at the fact that the Pernese have had intelligent species there the whole time and have not put the pieces together. And then offers a useful explanation of the why, although it’s couched in yet another commentary on Yanus, who is finally mentioned by name.

“Yes, indeed, I can just picture my good father, Yanus, listening to a shipfish!” He snorted.
“Exactly,” Kitrin said with some heat, for a moment abandoning the little wrapper she was hemming for their expected child. “I mean no disrespect–well, maybe I do,” she added with a rueful expression, “but he is sometimes…”
Always,” Alemi amended firmly with a smile.
“So set in his ways. You know, neither he nor your mother have ever mentioned Menolly. Though your mother often remarks on ingratitude in my presence.” She sighed. “It’s as if Menolly never existed.”
“I think she prefers it that way,” Alemi said with a wry and slightly bitter grin, knowing all too well the treatment given his talented sister during her adolescence at Half Circle Sea Hold. “Both of them–mother and daughter.”
“Menolly’s never been back? Ever?”
“Not to the Sea Hold. Why should she?”
Kitrin shrugged. “It seems so…so awful…that they cannot accept her accomplishments.” Then she added shyly, “Sebell always remembers to send us copies of her latest songs. Alemi, when are we going to have a harper?”
He grinned, for he knew that had been the main reason for the trend of their conversation.
“Hmmm. I’ve asked Jayge and Aramina. Readis is growing old enough to learn his ballads and so are enough youngsters, including our own, for the hold to have its own harper. Enough for a journeyman surely, and we can offer many benefits here: decent weather and property to develop.”
“Ask if they’ve asked,” Kitrin said with unusual force. “I’m not going to see the girls, or our son“–and she said this defensively, one hand on her gravid belly–“grow up ignorant of what they owe Hold, Hall, and Weyr.”

And there’s the thing that should have come first – the easiest way of establishing that Yanus is stubborn to the point of disowning and insisting his daughter doesn’t exist because she bucked his traditional worldview.

Given how abusive Yanus is, I can’t make a judgement on whether Mavi is going along with this because she believes the same thing or because she’s too afraid of him. The questions about ingratitude might be solidarity or attempting to get information about Menolly without appearing sympathetic to her. I realize that Mavi allowed Menolly’s hand to heal improperly, but everything she’s done that’s hurt Menolly has been passive instead of active – she allows Menolly to come to harm instead of actively harming her.

Alemi does inquire of Jayge, who says that all the Harpers are essentially booked to transcribe AIVAS’s data banks. Alemi offers to lean on Menolly to get a Harper freed up to be sent to Paradise River. And gets Menolly herself, who needed to go somewhere warm to compose. And also to give birth to what will be her second child. She came with Camo, who is apparently not just great at taking care of fire lizards, but also children, by virtue, supposedly, of being “not much more than an overgrown baby himself.” Menolly apparently brought mostly instruments and writing instruments and only a couple changes of clothes for herself.

Menolly’s arrival in person causes a scramble, as they erected quarters only for a journeyman and Menolly is far too important for that kind of structure, but Menolly refuses fancier accommodations. In response, Kitrin organizes a baking and cooking storm to make sure there’s enough food of fancy enough making to be appropriate for her rank for the impromptu Gather put on in her honor.

Menolly’s singing brings memories of childhood and adolescence for Alemi (which I am beginning to suspect is a reasonably well-crafted way of bringing new readers up to speed that haven’t read the Harper Hall trilogy, or have forgotten enough of it to need the refresher – it’s been nearly a decade or more since those books came out) as well as what is the narrative’s answer to my speculation before about Mavi’s malevolence.

He had been furious with his parents’ vindictive attitude when she’d cut her hand on a venomous packtail fish and it looked as if the injury might prevent her from playing again. They looked so pleased!

What would have been more useful is if Alemi ever got to see or hear Mavi talk about it in a situation where she could be reassured that her talk wouldn’t get back to Yanus. Because everything that’s presented as evidence is always them together, and really, if you’re in a situation with an abuser and there doesn’t seem to be a way of getting out and living a life in your own (because fucking patriarchy and flesh-eating rain), then you order your life and your thoughts around making sure that abuser doesn’t hurt you, by whatever formula your brain comes up with that it believes will work. Mavi might have been pleased in the sense of “Oh, if that scars badly, then Yanus will stop abusing all of us” and not “what a blessing from God that will stop my wayward daughter from straying from His commands.” The difference is crucial, and the narrative is trying to elide it in insisting Mavi was enthusiastic about the abuse.

After a spell of singing, Alemi thinks to himself that Menolly’s songs continue to do their jobs as effective tools.

Still, that’s what harpering was about, wasn’t it? Getting people to think and feel and, most of all, learn. The Fishercraft fed bodies, but the Harpercraft fed souls.

Setting aside for a second the continuing problems of religious concepts invading the nominally atheist Pern, this line could be read in both a way that’s virtuous, if you believe the Harpers are educators and entertainers, or sinister, if you blame them as propagandists who have been trying to keep a world stagnant from progress for the last two and a half millennia. Think, feel, and learn (what we want you to) sounds very much like the Harpers, and it’s a little chilling in light of what Kitrin said earlier about making sure the children learned their obligations.

Which, actually, I should point out is an insistence that children learn a way of life that has as a keystone a situation (Thread) that could presumably be permanently removed in their lifetime. Because when the threat of being sent out in the deadly rain evaporates, what reason is anyone not currently being benefited by the social structure going to have to continue it? Especially if the dragonriders decide to take retirement and essentially remove themselves from Pern. Someone should be laying the groundwork for post-Thread civilization social contract. The Harpers have the responsibility for it, but they’ve all got their heads in the sand, it seems.

As things are, Alemi sneaks off one night and rings his ship bell occasionally, but only when he hits the Report sequence do the dolphins come, squealing “Bellill!”, because dolphins can’t possibly be expected to get a two-syllable word correct.

There are two good things that comes out of this – dolphins get fish, and finally, Alemi asks what “blufiss” are and gets shown so he figures out that they’re bloodfish and is then able to remove them with his knife. Getting close enough to them allows Alemi to see their distinguishing features and associate them with their names. After cleaning, everyone goes to sleep and there’s a short dolphin interstitial about how they are pleased mans are remembering more of their duties, but mans still haven’t figured out the dolphins know where the best fishing spots are, and there’s no bell for the dolphins to ring yet.

The next morning is frank talk between Idarolan and Alemi, with Idarolan promising not to mention dolphins to Yanus, because they both know that Yanus wouldn’t believe it anyway, much like how he doesn’t believe AIVAS exists. And Idarolan relays a very touching confession from Menolly about why she came.

“You’re why she came, you know. Told me one night she’d never had a chance to get to know you but you were the best of the lot.”
Alemi stared back at his Master. “She said that? About me?” He felt his throat get tight with pride and love of her.

Not that it was a particularity high bar to get over, but yes, Alemi, you were not awful to Menolly.

After that, Alemi rings a report bell and Idarolan gets his first up close with the dolphins…and is mostly bowled over by the legends being true, but also there’s some going over of the contractual bits between dolphins and humans. The mention of Tillek sends the dolphins into a frenzy, asking if there’s a Tillek present. The humans don’t get it, but it’s still essentially a good first contact, and Idarolan leaves with the idea of enlisting those Fishers he believes would be open to the idea of working with dolphins. And that’s the end of the chapter.

Have to say that the Fishercraft are definitely the best so far as a whole at adapting to their new realities.

Writer’s Workshop August 16th, 2017

(Posted by chris the cynic)

[We now have a place specifically for non-writing creative work now, if you’d prefer that.]

Those of you who also frequent Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings will find this somewhat familiar.  Here, as there, it was requested that there be a regular post to talk about writing projects (and other artwork-creation). Thus this post exists.

Pencil by Elisa Xyz

What are you working on? How are you feeling about it? What thoughts and/or snippets would you like to share? How does your activism work into your art? What tropes are you hoping to employ and/or avoid? Are there any questions you’d like to ask or frustrations you’d like to vent?  Writing workshop below!

Open Thread: Mid-Month Check In, August 2017

(by chris the cynic)

What have you been doing of late?  How are you?  Are you still alive?  So forth.

[As a reminder, open thread prompts are meant to inspire conversation, not stifle it. Have no fear of going off topic for there is no off topic here.]

This month(ish) in the Slacktiverse, July 17 to August 13th, 2017

(posted by chris the cynic; written by members of The Slacktiverse)

The Blogaround

  • chris the cynic wrote:
    • I’ve been so inconsistent about getting the weekend post done weekly that I think I drove away all of the other contributors well before this unplanned month long hiatus.  Sorry everyone.
    • I wrote an exposition dump for a setting where the apocalypse isn’t a result of one type of creature (see: “apocalypse, zombie”) but rather an entire invasive ecosystem.  Said exposition dump takes the form of an introductory lecture given to people who have signed up to fight the monsters of the invasive ecosystem.
    • In Hasbro’s Equestria Girls movies it’s taken as a given that, regardless of whether someone has lived as a human or a pony, someone put in a human body will instantly be attracted to other humans and someone put in a pony body will instantly attracted to other ponies.  “Species Dissonance” is a short piece that doesn’t exactly hold to that.
    • Chatlog -or- Not that kind of necromancy” is a log of an inter-dimensional conversation.
    • I wrote my thoughts on how vertebrate flight originated.
    • Those Kim Possible fanfic awards that I’ve kept on talking about? They’ve reached the final round of voting. So I am naturally shamelessly asking for people to vote for my work and me. I have a post with everything one needs to know about how to do that.
    • I had a birthday, I got new glasses. I finally admitted to myself that my depression is back. Not the unpleasant after effects that can be very depression-like, full force depression has come out to play. I admitted it in the form of a checklist of a signs I’m suffering from depression.

In Case You Missed This

No submissions this week.

Things You Can Do

No submissions this week.

–Co-authored by the Slacktiverse Community

Deconstruction Roundup for August 11th, 2017

(by the Slacktiverse and others; collected by Silver Adept, who is waiting on other people to get things done.)

The point of these posts is threefold:

  1. To let people stay up to date on ongoing deconstructions. (All ones on our list, including finished and stalled ones, here.)
  2. To let people who can’t comment elsewhere have a place to comment.
  3. To let people comment in a place where people who can’t read Disqus can see what they have to say.

Amarie: Amarie’s Dreamjournal

Fred Clark: Slacktivist

Froborr: Jed A. Blue

Ross: A Mind Occasionally Voyaging

RubyTea: Heathen Critique

Silver Adept: Here on The Slacktiverse

Let us know, please, if there are errors in the post. Or if you don’t want to be included. Or if there’s someone who you think should be included, which includes you. We can use more content. Or if you are afraid that there’s a small enough SAN score in politicians that they might do something short-sighted and destructive. Or for any other reason, really.

The Dolphins of Pern: Ring the Doom Bell

Last time, after a promising prologue, we retread the situation where Alemi and Readis were knocked overboard fishing and rescued by talking dolphins.

The Dolphins of Pern: Chapter III: Content Notes: Possible flashbacks, Silly Animals

Aramina has voiced strong objection to Readis continuing to seek friendship on the sea, because he’s supposed to be learning how to be a Lord Holder on land, not chasing things on water. She continues this objection in Chapter III, being grateful to Alemi for teaching Readis much of the Fishercraft, but not wanting him to tell more of the plentiful tales of dolphins that his crews have relayed to him.

“Do me a favor, Alemi?” Aramina asked, her expression severe.
“Don’t tell Readis any of those tales.”
“Ara…” Jayge began in protest.
She wheeled on him. “I know all too well, Jayge Lilcamp, what can happen to a child who gets its head full of notions!”
Jayge pulled back and and gave her a sheepish expression. “All right, Ara, I take the point. Alemi?”
“Oh, aye, I’ll keep my mouth shut.”
There was an awkward pause and then Aramina relented. “If he asks, tell him the truth. I won’t have him lied to or put off.”
“You want it both ways?” Jayge asked.
She gave him a scowl, then relaxed a bit with a rueful smile on her face. “I guess I do. But he’s only seven and the least said the best as far as I can see.”

(Do they even have the conception of a favor on Pern, much less this idiomatic construction? I’ve got no reason to believe they do, but at this point, I think I just have to roll with the idea that Terran customs and such survived wholesale to this far flung future society.)

Aramina’s objections make more sense, finally, instead of being classified as “Aramina insists the social structure be perpetuated to the next generation unthinkingly,” which is what they were definitely coming across as. A post-traumatic stress reaction to having been disbelieved, then kidnapped and held hostage, and then hunted by that kidnapper until a relatively recent fight actually killed her? That would mess anyone up about anything, and that it was about a special talent of communication that she had makes Aramina extra sensitive to someone else discovering a similar “hey, we can talk to things we thought we couldn’t” sort of situation, at an age earlier than Aramina’s first narratively-recorded encounter. Because even if Thella is gone, Aramina is probably going to be having nightmares about that for the rest of her life.

The narrative stays with Alemi, whose wife (Kitrin) doesn’t really want him to go to Landing while she’s pregnant. Alemi is extremely excited about being to go, but trying to hide it. Because, well, he gets to tell the AI about the dolphins (and that the dolphins are distinguishable by features, colors, scars, and such) and to ride a dragon. There’s a detour into how Alemi came south (Menolly convinced him to do it) and an interesting bit of worldbuilding – any Mastercrafter can call for a dragon to convey them where they want to go. Alemi doesn’t use the privilege much, but that seems like a new invention that doesn’t truck much with earlier books and Sean Connell’s insistence that dragons aren’t supposed to be used as cargo (or people) transporters.

In any case, after a little awkward about how new the bronze rider sent to get him is, Alemi arrives at the AIVAS building at Landing.

Alemi knew the story of its discovery–it had been a harper’s tale at many a gather. It had been one of the last of the Ancients’ buildings to be excavated, a task undertaken by Mastersmith Jancis, Journeyman Harper Piemur, and Lord Jaxom–on a whim, it was said. And Ruth had helped.

That’s…accurate. I’m surprised it hasn’t mushroomed into some giant propaganda story and been embellished into something that’s more useful for the Harpers.

In any case, a short conversation with Robinton reveals the AI is quite happy to hear of the rediscovery of the dolphins and even more pleased that they retained the ability to speak in human-intelligible speech. Considering that Alemi goes in and sees AIVAS right afterward, there doesn’t seem to be a need for Robinton to do anything at all, except show Alemi to the correct room.

AIVAS was hoping for Readis to be there, but Alemi explains Aramina’s reluctance (for the second time in as many pages) and AIVAS continues on to the substance of the matter, asking Alemi to fill in information about the dolphins as it plays archive footage of them. Alemi does, which allows AIVAS to explain that dolphins are, in fact, mammals, and then produce a video of a live video of dolphin birth. Along with more information about them, and Alemi recognizing that all the footage is from a planet other than Pern, we get this gem of an unintentional argument about why Impression is not the best thing in the world.

“Doll-fin ears?” Alemi exclaimed, slapping his knee with one hand as he saw men and women working with the dolphins, both undersea and being propelled across the surface of the water alongside their unlikely mounts. “Like dragons and their riders?”
“Not as close a bond as I am told that is. There is no ceremony similar to Impression as dragons and riders undergo. The association between humans and dolphins was of mutual convenience and consent, not lifelong, though congenial and effective.”

Although Impression is always played up as the best thing and a permanent happiness boost forever, by having a friend that knows you equally as well as you know yourself, we’ve never actually seen whether or not that lasts forever, and whether any rider actually hopes for or asks for some alone time away from their dragon. (Or has a spot in their mind that’s just their space, no dragons or fire lizards allowed.) It would be so much nicer, easier, and cleaner for dragons and riders for their linkages to be voluntary and possibly time-limited.

Alemi totally wants to get to the dolphin communication.

“How do you get them to talk to you, Aivas?”
“It is frequently a matter of record, mentioned by numerous dolphineers, that getting the mammals to stop talking was considered more of a problem.”
“Really?” Alemi was delighted.
“Dolphins apparently have an unusual ability to delay ‘work’ in favor of ‘games’.”

Which segues into a discussion of the recovered Monaco Bay bell, and AIVAS printing instructions for Alemi on how to reestablish contact with the dolphins. Then some flying around and looking for the recovered bell to see it for himself. Even in its barnacle-encrusted state, lacking a clapper, the first thing Alemi decides to do with it is ring it with his finger. Which surprises him that a bell can still ring, so he takes a rock from T’lion, his assigned dragonrider, and then rings the bell much more vibrantly. And continues to do so with rocks until, as he should have been told, the entire bay is full of dolphins. Perhaps even if he had read what the AI had printed for him, he would know that this would have happened.

Alemi expresses concern that the dolphins are going to beach themselves in their exuberance, but wading out to turn them back instead has him be tossed around by the dolphins, much to T’lion’s horror and attempts to rescue him. Eventually Alemi gets everyone calm with a mighty shout and sorts out who is in charge. And then had to understand that ringing the bell actually means something, since he didn’t get it the first few times, presumably.

“We titch. You lis-ten,” Flo said, turning one eye on him so he could see the happy curve of its mouth. “Bellill ring? Trub-bul? Do bluefiss?”
“No, no trub-bul,” Alemi said with a laugh. “I didn’t mean to ring the bell to call you,” he added. And then shrugged because he didn’t understand their last question.
“Good call. Long lis-ten. No call. We…[a word Alemi didn’t catch]…bell. Pul-lease?” She cocked her head–Alemi didn’t know why, all at once, he decided she was a female, but something about her seemed to give that clue to her gender. He was also peripherally aware of how much he had actually absorbed from the pictures that Aivas had shown and the explanations of these…mammals. That was going to shock the conservative fishmen. His father especially. “Fish” had no right to be intelligent, much less answer humans.

And if we have been reading along since the beginning, we remember that Alemi is Menolly’s brother, and therefore the father mentioned is Yanus, who happily let his daughter be maimed to prevent her from practicing arts be believed were forbidden to her gender by TRADITION. (tradition!) And since there’s no way of replacing a bad Lord short of murder, one can only guess how miserable the population of Half-Circle is with this technological, tradition-defying change going on around them.

Alemi promises to build a proper bell for the dolphins at Paradise River, and inadvertently agrees to the part where people are going to scrape off the bloodfish, although he doesn’t know it yet, and then sets down to read the paper AIVAS printed…after rescuing it from his wet jacket. But thankfully, nothing appears to have degraded.

The dolphin part of the chapter is all glee about how the dolphins of Moncobay heard a bell and came, and how the dolphins are extremely excited that the mans have finally remembered things and it’s time for the great partnership to resume between the two species.

I still can’t get over the decision to make the dolphins into crude speakers, though. The dolphin segments are supposed to be showing us that they are still intelligent and can communicate just fine, but the artificial intelligence got to run a subroutine and correct for several thousand years of drift so that it could sound important and erudite. The dolphins, presumably, have had the same opportunities to overhear human speech for the same amount of time. If the dolphins are teaching their calves human from generation to generation, barring sounds that the dolphins can’t actually vocalize, there should be no reason for them not to be understandable, and without the need for this phonetic speech pattern. (And if a lot of human sounds are unpronounceble by dolphin, then the Ancients would have presumably figured out some other way of communication that worked for both species.) Dolphins still should not sound like children. Unless you’re the author, that is, who is basically making them children and then trying to have the narrative tell us that pairing with them children is the best thing for both the dolphins and the children (perhaps because they’re about the same mentality, in the author’s eyes?)

Maybe, hopefully, after communication is more firmly established, the dolphins will lose their childlike patterns. Because it’s getting painful to have to read this.

Deconstruction Roundup for August 4th, 2017

(by the Slacktiverse and others; collected by Silver Adept, who can see the finish line for the first time in years.)

The point of these posts is threefold:

  1. To let people stay up to date on ongoing deconstructions. (All ones on our list, including finished and stalled ones, here.)
  2. To let people who can’t comment elsewhere have a place to comment.
  3. To let people comment in a place where people who can’t read Disqus can see what they have to say.

Ana Mardoll: Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings

Froborr: Jed A. Blue

Silver Adept: Here on The Slacktiverse

Let us know, please, if there are errors in the post. Or if you don’t want to be included. Or if there’s someone who you think should be included, which includes you. We can use more content. Or if you are really enjoying the ability to properly multitask. Or for any other reason, really.