Recent comments

How to "just" accept pattern

David Chapman 2021-01-03

Commenting on: Pattern

Excellent question, thank you.

Recognizing and participating in the intertwined nebulosity and pattern of everything may take some work, actually doing things. A conceptual, philosophical “accepting” may be inadequate and impossible initially, in which case it’s not a matter of “just.”

On the other hand, the work is simply to notice how things normally are, and to feel and act accordingly. For many people, that’s easy because how things are is pretty obvious: some things are meaningful, and some are not, for example. Everything in this book grows out of such simple observations.

The complete stance chapter has a detailed answer to the “how” question. You might start with “Textures of completion” to get the flavor, and then go back to start at the beginning of the chapter. There’s a step-by-step recipe in “Finding the complete stance,” and then additional detail following.

Darn Pattern

Bee Liano 2021-01-03

Commenting on: Pattern

I read this and wonder how one simply accepts the idea of patterns as just ‘there,’ and by doing so, somehow resolves the problem of HOW and WHY they are there. Perhaps the same reason why evolutionists won’t discuss language. Of course, I’m an eternalist, but I’m one who seeks to assign responsibility to the patterns we are told to just ‘accept.’ Neither nihilists nor eternalists should be content just ‘accepting.’

A subjective (mis)understanding

David Chapman 2021-01-02

Commenting on: Ethical nihilism

a disappointingly short page

It’s a placeholder, as it says…

picking an arbitrary ethical standard myself

This sounds like what I describe as “existentialism” rather than “nihilism.” It’s a subjective theory of meaning, not a rejection of all meaning.

And, it doesn’t seem at all arbitrary to me. I would guess, further, that 97.8% of the ethical judgements you make comport with that of your peers… in which case they are neither arbitrary nor personal. (I could be wrong about the 97.8% … I hope I am not.)

Here’s a challenge for you if you think anything at all about ethics is objective

You may find this page interesting. It explains why meaning is neither objective nor subjective.

I think you’re strawmanning nihilism

Amos 2021-01-02

Commenting on: Ethical nihilism

Well, this was a disappointingly short page :)

If ethical nihilism is indeed as wildly implausible as you say it is, it should be easy to disprove it in depth. As someone who is in fact a strong proponent of it, I will instead have to engage with something you wrote about in a different page that links here:

If ethics is merely cultural convention, there is no way to condemn evils such as the “honor killing” of women who have been raped.

Just because I recognize that all ethical standards are ultimately arbitrary doesn’t mean that I’m prohibited from picking an arbitrary ethical standard myself and criticizing others based on that.

This criticism is of course useless when directed at those who don’t share the same basic values I do. The most I can do if I find such folks inside my society is to get somebody to lock them up for honor killing their own daughter. Neither I nor you can actually logically prove honor killing to be objectively immoral, because any such proof rests on arbitrary ethical axioms that those doing honor killing simply don’t hold.

As arbitrary as ethical axioms may be, those who live inside any particular society often hold similar axioms to one another, so meaningful ethical dialogue can still exist.

In short, unless “ethical non-criticism” (for lack of a better term) is part of your cultural convention, nothing about cultural convention prevents you from criticizing others for not following your cultural convention. What you’re attacking isn’t a steelmanned ethical nihilism, it’s at best a weak, constricted version of it.

Here’s a challenge for you if you think anything at all about ethics is objective: prove something to be objectively immoral. Anything at all. The most heinous act you can think of. Prove that any rational entity must conclude that heinous act to be immoral.

I’ll be delighted if you could prove it. I don’t believe you can, because unless I’ve missed something, it seems to be an impossible task. And if you do, I dare say that would be good content to put on this page, instead of a simple “wildly implausible” statement that only ridicules but does nothing to actually refute the idea :)

Awakening the Balrog

David Chapman 2021-01-02

Commenting on: The collapse of rational certainty

Lol… I shall illustrate this with a suitable image from DeviantArt when I finish writing it!

Quoting Saruman

Michael Taft 2021-01-02

Commenting on: The collapse of rational certainty

The dwarves delved too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dum… shadow and flame.

Re: brands

James 2020-12-01

Commenting on: Countercultures: modernity’s last gasp

On second thought, I think brands work better as analogues for subcultures. That had been my initial thought, but I changed my mind right before posting because of an analogy between the console war and the culture war.

Brands as countercultures

James 2020-11-30

Commenting on: Countercultures: modernity’s last gasp

It seems to me that brands have become a contemporary analogue of countercultures, providing a kind of coherency to a small corner of your life. Hence the “console war,” or the hostilities between iSheep and Fandroids.

Apple in particular arguably sells coherence as its main product, most noticeably in the fantastic interoperability between the various iDevices. But even its choice to offer only a few options for each device is part of the picture: where PC and Android afford choices galore, Apple sells the confidence that you made the Right Choice, something that’s hard to get in an otherwise atomized culture.

This obviously doesn’t apply to all brands; I doubt very many people draw a sense of identity/meaning from preferring General Mills’s breakfast cereals rather than Post’s. My first guess was that it’s a price thing: expensive items can be emotional as well as financial investments. But then I think of In-N-Out Burger, which is a source of meaning for many people, as evidenced by recent events in Colorado.

(Full disclosure: I had In-N-Out once, when I was on a road trip out west. It was OK.)

I found a cheaper, and easier alternative.

Michael Watts 2020-11-15


So I just spent about 2 hours looking up research papers and reading what you said. I don’t want to build a set up so I found an alternatives that gives enough light/wattage etc with a single item. It’s meant for garages and large spaces but it’s something you can simply install above your head. Please check it out and let me know (250W version) 5000k

How do you not go Blind?

Jonathon Wisnoski 2020-11-12

Commenting on: MORE LUX: light bars for SAD

Trying to research these SAD lights, but it is so confusing to me. sunlight is bight, that is why you never allow it to even be in your peripheral vision or you go blind. Even 60 watt equivalent lights, you never look at, and 100 actual Watt LEDs are placed 50 feet up and you always keep your back to them.

Also, are LEDs just always safe for UV? I was under the impression UV control was an important aspect of SAD lamps?

One last question. What is the benefit of having a sad lamp you use for therapy, vs just upping the wattage of your house lights? Could I not just replace all the 40-60 equivalent LEDS in my house for 100+? would this passive light for hours and hours not be more beneficial?

Gregory's Girl

Benjamin Taylor 2020-11-09

Commenting on: Wonder

This is really good. I’m really enjoying myself.

Good. I’m glad we bumped into each other.

SHE WHISTLES Do you want to dance?

It’s really good. You just lie flat down… and dance.

I’ll start it off. You join in when you feel confident enough.


SHE GIGGLES Just dance.

I’ll tell you something,…

..and not a lot of people know this,…

..we are clinging to the surface of this planet…

..while it spins through space at 1,000 miles an hour,…

..held only by the mystery force called gravity.


A lot of people panic when you tell them that and they fall off.

You’re not falling off. That means you’ve got the hang of it.

That means that you have got… Natural ability.


A thousand miles an hour, eh?

Why are boys obsessed with numbers?

I’m not.

You are!

Don’t stop dancing or you’ll fall off.

culture war ceasefire

echo 2020-11-01

Commenting on: Wreckage: the culture war

Thank you for your kind offer of of a truce to the culture wars. I would be happy with a government that ensured an even playing field for the mating strategies you describe. In this spirit, I ask for the elimination of welfare and social programs that support children in families with minimal parental investment. I am sure you can agree that transfer payments that support strategy one do not make for an even playing field, and levying taxes to pay for these programs is not leaving people alone.

Same here! Casting my vote

Martin 2020-10-31

Commenting on: Enjoyable usefulness

Same here! Casting my vote for more focus spent here :-)

The Values Auction

J’Carlin 2020-10-29

Commenting on: The Court of Values and the Bureau of Boringness

The values auction is an even better way to soak the rich than my VAST Tax ( a highly progressive Value Added by Status Tax. I didn’t think I would ever find one. Congratulations!


Joe 2020-10-26

Commenting on: Pattern

from the beginning of a chapter on symmetry in Philip Ball’s book Patterns in Nature:

Randomness might seem the opposite of uniformity, but the two can be equivalent: a random structure is perfectly symmetrical and uniform on average, which means that it recognizes no “special” directions in space. In the natural world, perfect uniformity or randomness are surprisingly hard to find, at least at the everyday scale. Put yourself on a seashore. The sky is scattered with clouds, perhaps patterned into rows of feathery cirrus. The sea’s surface is wrinkled into waves that arrive on the shore with a distinctive pulse. There are plants around the shore, each with its own characteristic shape of flower and leaf. The sand at the water’s edge is grooved with ripples, and strewn with the delicate whorls of shells. All around there is shape and form: diverse, yet, but far from random, far from uniform. Symmetry is being broken, again and again.

Emotions and Nutrition

Raederle Phoenix 2020-10-21

Commenting on: Nutrition offers its resignation. And the reply

I studied nutrition for a decade, and psychology for the last seven years. I have to say, psychology trumps nutrition. The studies presented in the book Mind over Medicine show that your social connections and emotional health have EVERYTHING to do with getting cancer, whereas foods have a marginal impact by comparison. That said, foods do have impacts. Ironically, people eat “healthier” when they are more emotionally satisfied, so it is hard to say how much of our concepts about healthy food goes straight back to emotional healthy anyhow.

I defeated SAD this year

Pen Helm 2020-10-13


I felt SAD coming on this year. I prayed until it went away. It worked. I had to be persistent, but I was determined to not let it win.

Is there a way to offer

Rowan 2020-10-13


Is there a way to offer myself up as a study subject for these sad light studies? I’d be a good one…! I’m left-handed though so they might not want me :(


Rowan 2020-10-13


Thanks for this, it was relieving when your website finally came up on google for me. I have narcolepsy and grew frustrated with the inefficiency of SAD lamps on the market. I wonder if the “something missing” feeling is just the lack of receiving all factors at once like we could from the sun…bright light that illuminates everything, diffuse blue light, UVA, UVB, warmth. It almost feels oddly dystopian to be trying to recreate the experience of being in the sun! I do get green light from the trees outside my window, but direct light (sunbeam) only a few times a year, and I need more. I’m in an apartment, so I don’t think my landlord would appreciate it if I hang up truck lights!

I try to respect my lower energy levels in the winter, after all, modern office life goes against billions of years of evolution. I wish there was a better solution, because my body seems to know when I am trying to trick it. I have bought clear umbrella, so on rainy days I can still go out and get maximum light. Tanning beds used to work great for me, the only thing that ever felt like “real” sunlight, and did wonders for my energy, pain levels, and mood. But I have stopped that due to health concerns.

Have you tried using mirrors to increase the area of the light source? Maybe not on the other side of the room, unless you wanted to increase overall light in the area, but angled out on either side of the light source. Paying attention to finishes and colors around the light is important as well in my opinion… ask anyone who’s ever gotten sunburned because the snow reflected too much light! I’m not sure how much light is technically really reflected from a mirror though, or if it’s exactly the same.

Prioritizing work spots right by the window has also helped significantly in the past, now that I’m working from home due to Corona, it’s been much better than office fluorescents. It’s almost like hearing the sounds outside, feeling the breeze, etc is all part of the experience my body is pissed at me for not getting. Apparently an hour long walk a day is not enough. It has improved my focus and energy significantly even on rainy days, if I can get some diffuse green light and breeze on one side.

For anyone interested… this is now a thing (for filthy rich people)
I’d love to cover my whole ceiling in these! It would only be a couple million dollars…

Deism is just as confused as

Taylor Horne 2020-09-03

Commenting on: The emotional dynamics of nihilism

Deism is just as confused as nihilism. Anyways, you misunderstood me friend. I was not looking to nihilism for answers, I was looking for content which one might find amusing from the view of nihilism. Things like this here youtube video:

Some Help

Chrispy77 2020-09-03

Commenting on: The emotional dynamics of nihilism

I’m sorry friend, but the only hope the philosophy of Nihilism (the purpose of this page) has in assisting your suffering is to numb you by telling you your suffering, like all things, only matter because you feel they do, so stop that.

If you are asked to accept the absurd either way, look towards a form of Deism (preferably a benevolent one). I assure you, not limiting your mind to such things opens the door to unique feelings of comfort, belonging, and peace in conventions such as prayer and meditation.

Do not let these guys tell you there is no food for the hungry. If you must choose madness on either end of belief, choose the madness that most benefits the inner you.

Resources for Enjoying How Much Life Sucks

Taylor Horne 2020-09-03

Commenting on: The emotional dynamics of nihilism

Hi there,
I’m particularly feeling the absurdity and senselessness of intergenerationally self-inflicted human suffering at the moment, and am curious if you might have resources for finding humor and enjoyment in how fucked up everything is.

Revolutionary Self-Theory as alternative to nihilism

Danyl Strype 2020-09-03

Commenting on: 190-proof nihilism: intoxicating intellectual idiocy

David, are you familiar with this situationist pamphlet from 1975, attributed to one Larry Law?

A quote relevant to the section on nihilism?

“Nihilists constantly feel the urge to destroy the system which destroys them each day. They cannot go on living as they are, their minds are on fire. Soon enough they run up against the fact that they must come up with a coherent set of tactics that will have a practical effect on the world.

But if a nihilist does not know of the historical possibility for the transformation of the world, his or her subjective rage will coralise into a role: the suicide, the solitary murderer, the street hoodlum vandal, the neo-dadaist, the professional mental patient… all seeking compensation for a life of dead time.

The nihilists’ mistake is that they do not realise that there are others who are also nihilists. Consequently they assume that common communication and participation in a project of self-realisation is impossible.”

Spot on...

Dj Joyrider 2020-08-21

Commenting on: Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution

Chapeau…this is a pretty accurate description what happened to the Goa-Scene. It was extraordinary resistant, so the sociopath takeover took about 10 - 15 years, but now it’s just a shadow of it’s glory days in the beginning and mid 90th, completely striped from it’s fertile creativity.

How do you respond to the

Taylor Horne 2020-08-14

Commenting on: Fluid self in relationship

How do you respond to the loneliness of being exceptional?

Still great

Kenny 2020-08-12

Commenting on: The Cofounders

I just re-read this and was very moved!

Thanks again for all of the work you’ve so graciously shared.

I was just discussing elsewhere Ayn Rand and Objectivism and Kegan’s development stages. I think Rand’s fiction is pretty good ‘stage 4’ work. I was trying to think of a good ‘stage 5’ author and immediately thought of you, even tho you haven’t written an entire ‘stage 5’ fiction novel (AFAIK anyways).

I hope you to continue to find this great project as rewarding as I do!

Meditation method

Alex 2020-08-04

Commenting on: Wonder

The meditation method you describe sounds a lot like what Insight Meditation can be. Check out Joseph Goldstein. When I did an Insight Meditation retreat, I was at first frustrated by the lack of a clear, concrete technique, but later realized that it’s intentionally left fluid, and there are lots of ways to practice, one of which is akin to what you describe here. Or maybe I just misinterpreted and was doing it wrong shrug

Existentialism vs. a paper towel tube

James 2020-07-25

Commenting on: You’ve got nihilism wrong


If meanings were subjective, I could live a meaningful life by beating myself over the head with a paper towel tube a few times every day, simply because that’s what I’ve decided is meaningful for me.

And if meanings were subjective, that strikes me as a pretty good choice! It would require a lot less time, effort, and risk than many of the more conventional ways of finding meaning.

The reason I don’t do that is I know it would not be very meaningful, no matter how much I tried to decide it was. There’s no realistic context in which I would find that action meaningful.


rissa timmons 2020-07-25

Commenting on: You’ve got nihilism wrong

Nihilistic enlightenment is simply a realization, that’s all it is, and that realization is that objective meaning is nonexistent.
That’s it! that’s all it is, nonetheless, objective meaning does not eliminate meaning but merely renders it subjective. There exists aspects of my own life which are meaningful to me however, those particular meanings are again, subjective, which means I personally get to determine what is meaningful to me despite the universal fact of existences destitution of purpose, reason, value, or the slightest tincture of meaning whatsoever.

Moral Ecology

James 2020-07-23

Commenting on: Ethics

I know it’ll probably be a while before you get back to this section, but I wrote a blog post I thought you might be interested in, since your work here is one of the inspirations behind it.

In the post I outline a “myth of Moral Ecology” as an alternative to the Hegelian/Spencerian myth of Moral Progress. Like with Progress, I base my myth on an analogy with evolutionary biology, but without making the mistake that evolution is going someplace.

I’m 28 right now :o

Marko 2020-07-06

Commenting on: Peak experiences

I’m 28 right now :o

Kitsch decor.

Jeanna Davis 2020-07-01

Commenting on: Kitsch and naïveté

I like some kitsch decor items, but I think they can also be classified as “retro”. I’m closer to being nihilistic than idiotically optimistic, however.

For the Author

Taylor Horne 2020-07-01

Commenting on: Appendix: Further reading

I have recently been listening to Stephen Jenkinson a great deal and would be curious how his words land with you. He is known for his work in the palliative care business, or as he calls it the “death trade,” and his commentary on death and dying may be of interest to you. I recommend Campfire Stories, they have quality interviews of him that are an absolute treat to listen to.

Situation is far worse, totalitarianism is almost here

J. Michael Hudson 2020-06-16

Commenting on: Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution

I read this article with interest after hearing about it at saidit, a subculture I was just recently excluded from for daring to question the obviously shifty moderation decisions of its founder. This stuff is very much happening in real time.

Someone like myself, now watching on revvedit as accounts I posted to reddit on for over 10 years are being ideologically trimmed, history erased, my work erased. I fled to from slasshdot after the microsoft sale, I learned the same apple banana( ) style moderation happened there. Then steemit, saidit, now notabug.

The same happened to me IRL, I spent 3 years in hollywood doing free open mics, got invited to a single party at the house of an aging near-extra from caddyshack.

I am an outsider, a nobody, someone who probably should not even exist, and there is a real system that makes it that way. I have heard here and there about SCP, and it is not my genre of writing, but to come across it again in this context and find this culture facing the same....containment procedures on....itself....yeah things have gotten weird.

I recently showed True Romance, Tarantino’s first written feature, he probably sold his soul to get this made now that I look back on how awful he has become, slinging race war propaganda. In the final scenes, Alabama keeps saying Clarence is so cool. So cool. You’re so cool. And Clarence was just trying to impress Elvis.

Maybe you didnt watch the PBS frontline “Merchants of Cool” in the late 90s? You can still find it and torrent it. How woodstock 69 became woodstock 95. How the rainbow gathering still exists, but it is 90% cops entraping people.

That is what Mr. Thompson meant when he saw the high tide of the 60s, and the death of the american dream. Something powerful took over the united states and western civ, and people like me only fully realize how bad it is after we look back over 20 years of failure and realize much of it was fake.

That at least I really did encounter dozens of undercover agents pretending to be civilians, and I never once thought about terrorizing something or using violence to achieve my means.

It is totalitarianism, and not a classic form, a new thing under the sun, or to our history. Every work of intelligence, every intelligent person every group of 2 people, is a threat to this system if not carefully watched. Yet cults of wealthy people like mr. epstein and NXVIM still operate with impunity and then only a handful of people get slaps on the wrist.

“They get anything they want” Julia said to Winston, and somehow everything they said in the woods was recorded. That is where we are at.

I have put a lot of it together, but everyone who is interested in this article should listen further to what I have to say, you do not have to be famous or popular or powerful or rich to have agents mess up your life. The police are not enforcing the law against wealthy or connected(to aipac) abusers.

It is the wild west out here, and it is a crime to throw the youth into this maw of unreality. Maybe that is the point of Catcher in the Rye, that Holden is like “how can things be this messed up?”, like his entire life is a trap. And that is why Phoebe is ready to go with him at the end, she had it worse.

THEY were in their own special containment procedures, I have been in my own special containment procedure, the SCP subculture was put in a SCP. It is, I now realize, a core operational pattern of totalitarianism, a form of governance where freedom cannot exist.

There is a benevolent way to imagine this sort of thing, but given epstein, at least as of this date, I can hardly call the evolution of the United States a success. I would like to be proven wrong. Maybe all of my work is a chance to eek some change out of this thing, or to say at least I will not help build this, whatever it is.

But I have been hurt by it, and I am a real american, and I will try to make America something good or die trying. For what it is worth, and not much, I do not believe the agents doing this are all meanspirited or evil, but they are tentacles of the same beast.

When you set out to contain an entire culture, entire generation, entire species, it seems to me that is where you risk creating the real monster. It seems in some of their efforts to limit themselves, remain unseen, and in rare glimpses behind the curtain(watch The Day Shall Come for some of this), they know the danger of the fire they are playing with and have some sense of moderation.

Perhaps the next generation of agents will not turn it absolutely dystopian but if you are looking to a guy like Kushner to shepherd in some improvement, some freedom, I would give up on that now and live in reality and make some real plans for how a real human being should respond to this elaborate form of bullshit slavery.

At least that is what I am doing.

The answer is always good writing. The answer is to refuse slavery or die trying. The answer is reality.

Be bold and powerful forces will come to your aid. The prayer of the righeous avails much in the eyes of God. Seek ye out the best books.

If you build it, they will come.

The truth is out there.

Do your work. (archive:


It seems I screwed up the

Isaac Lewis 2020-06-15

Commenting on: Illuminatus!, Voegelin, and the politics of SBNR monism

It seems I screwed up the Markdown formatting of some of the links above. Doh. Anyway, I thought it was interesting that you’d hit on the same intellectual trail from quite a different starting point. I’ve been an Objectivist for a few years but few Objectivists are interested in following the trails marked out by Rand and Peikoff above, so I found your blog(s) very interesting reads.

Objectivism vs Platonist/Hegelian Monism

Isaac Lewis 2020-06-15

Commenting on: Illuminatus!, Voegelin, and the politics of SBNR monism

You might be interested to learn that Ayn Rand and other Objectivists have discussed the connection between Platonist ideas and totalitarian political systems (especially, in the modern age, via Kant, Hegel and the other German idealists). Rand was an outspoken advocate of Aristotelian ideas and saw Western philosophy as a “duel” between Plato and Kant.

You might see Objectivism as simply yet another “big idea” (as it offers a system that claims to explain everything) – but its also opposed to monism and idealism for similar reasons to those given in the above article.

Ayn Rand wrote about the duel between Plato and Aristotle in the title essay of
For the New Intellectual

Leonard Peikoff applied Objectivist ideas to analyse the rise of Nazi Germany, and discovered the same connection to Hegel, Fichte, etc, that you describe here – see his book (The Ominous Parallels)[]

A few years ago he wrote “The DIM Hypothesis”, which applies his framework to Western philosophical/intellectual history in general. Broadly, the hypothesis is that Western philosophy is a clash between Platonist “misintegration” (mysticism, idealism, rationalism), Aristotelian “integration” (science, naturalism, empiricism) and Kantian “disintegration” (which he sees as leading to postmodernism, skepticism, nihilism, etc). It’s a complex thesis which ultimately revolves around the different answers given by the big three philosophers to the theory of universals. I wrote a review of it (here)[].

How to run a successful business and life

David Chapman 2020-06-04

Commenting on: In praise of choicelessness

This is a difficult question. Everyone who runs a business, or seriously considers doing so, wants an answer! My impression is not many people find one. I didn’t.

Some people do manage to combine the two without sacrificing either. I’m afraid I don’t have any generic advice about that. I expect it depends heavily on details of the business and the life and the surrounding circumstances.

My company developed data management software for the pharmaceutical industry. At the time of sale, we had ten employees plus a bit of non-employee contractor work.

From what I’ve read, the absolute maximum headcount that’s feasible without a layer of middle management is 20. But at that point, everything will be falling apart all the time. You can go that far if the business is highly profitable and you can afford to waste resources and have everything breaking—but it’s not a good idea. In the last pre-sale year, I was spending all my time managing “out” (sales, marketing, finance, legal), and left the engineering team to manage itself, which didn’t work well.

The Tea Party was more dualist than atomized

Danyl Strype 2020-06-03

Commenting on: The new politics of meaning

As an addendum to my previous comment, here’s a reference on the astroturf nature of the Tea Party:

Variations in meaning

David Chapman 2020-06-01

Commenting on: Rumcake and rainbows

Yes, definitely! For example, some songs that are highly meaningful for me almost certainly wouldn’t be for you, and vice versa. Some meanings are shared almost universally; other might be purely personal.

Specific Meanings For Specific People

Thomas 2020-05-31

Commenting on: Rumcake and rainbows

Very interesting post. It answered a lot of questions that I had regarding meaning.

But I still have one question left after reading this:
Since meanings aren’t exactly like rainbows, I suppose due to the subjective part of it not being passive, does it mean that there is, at the least at some level, an actual subjective or individual element on meanings wich could make certain interactions unique from person to person? Or even certain meanings being inacessible to some people (for example: blind people, who can’t “interact visually” with the world)?