Yes. Wonderfully spelled out. “As if” is the best as it is clearly fiction and does not cause the massive amount of confusion possible with the other options. And the mandates — -oh ,those mandates. It’s the shoulds I put upon myself that can be the worst.

Yes. Wonderfully spelled out. “As if” is the best as it is clearly fiction and does not cause the massive amount of confusion possible with the other options.
 
And the mandates — -oh ,those mandates. It’s the shoulds I put upon myself that can be the worst.
Feeding the cat just now, I think you helped me have an insight.
 
I wondered, “Why do I keep returning to old ancient internet things?” I know there’s basic nostalgia but it seems like more than that.
 
And it ‘clicked’ as my cat was attempting to knock the can out of my hand:
 
I never finished. I had to leave this wonderful world of ancient internet that I’d just discovered far too soon (Dec 1991 after only 3 semesters) and while managed to cling on through the years, I never fully finished things
 
Now, what’s weird to me is that I don’t ask myself, “What if I finished?” No point in that. Ran out of money. It was simple. No going back.
 
But I go back to these ancient technologies “as if” a continuation was possible while knowing full well it isn’t — not a true continuation but more of a remake — a roleplay. “as if” rather than “what if”.
 
I like this distinction. Thank you for it, even if I’m may be using it wrong  
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 I’m going to read that. I tend to be a fan of non-fiction and also of fiction but leery of the crossovers as there’s an awful lot of trouble that goes on when they get mixed up. Thank you.
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  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_VaihingerCool:” reappraisal of Vaihinger by the American philosopher Arthur Fine concluded that Vaihinger was actually the “preeminent twentieth-century philosopher of modeling”.

Vaihinger’s influence has since markedly increased, and the currently booming fictionalism movement in the philosophy of science takes his contributions as its main historical lead and inspiration.”

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Ah yes – this aligns with my thinking nicely.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fictionalism
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oh this is a fantastic direction you’ve sent me on. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kendall_Walton where was this all m life?
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