NotThatStellar, The Reader
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Detective Alexander Hall is a master of his craft. Using the powers of deduction and his own genius mind, he can solve (almost) every case he comes across, all for the pursuit of knowledge.
You are not him. You are James Wit, his somewhat less intelligent, less brave, and overall less impressive assistant.
The two of you must solve the mystery of Frederick Greeves's death and figure out why the guests are disappearing before it's too late.
Recent PostsThere is No Box: A Socratic Dialogue on 5/2/2019 1:31:08 PM
(This is something I wrote and performed for a school project. It is meant to be entirely satirical. Please enjoy!)
Teacher, there's something that's been on my mind for a long time. What exactly does it mean to 'believe' in something?
I'm afraid you've come to the wrong person. My cold-hearted and cynical nature has long since robbed me of the ability to believe in anything. You would gain more referring to a dictionary.
Oh, please! You must know more than I do!
Alright, alright. Tell me then, what is your current definition of 'belief'?
Believing.. is something that comes from deep within the heart; something that you can't quite understand, but you know, you just know it must be true! It means being faithful to something you have no proof of, against all odds, and against all naysayers!
Well, there is at least one thing we can both agree on.
I must know more than you do.
First, you defined believing as, 'something you can't understand, but know is true'. We could both agree that 'to understand' means 'to know', yes?
Alright, so let me get this straight, you say that believing means knowing and not knowing at the same time?
Incorrect! You can't know and not know something at the same time! That would be a paradox! We do not deal in paradoxes, we deal in cold, hard facts. Paradoxes are for poetry, not philosophy. Next, you describe belief as 'being faithful to something you have no proof of', right?
Student, do you believe the sky is blue?
Then you would be sorely mistaken. The sky is quite obviously yellow!
Err, what? No, it's blue-
Are you sure about that?
Well, I mean, I've always thought it was blue. I could go out and show you right now!
Aha! So you say that you believe the sky is blue, because you have visible proof that it is blue, right?
Well, I think that speaks for itself.
But what if I had never seen the sky before, and believed it was blue because I'd been taught that it was? Then I would believe without having any proof.
Then you would be a gullible moron. Why trust someone else's word when you could see it for yourself?
Because they're someone I respect, and must have more knowledge on the subject than I do. Why shouldn't I trust their word?
I will demonstrate my point. Look over there! The highly elusive and never-before-seen invisible land-squid! Right behind you!
[Looks] Wow! Amazing! What a sight to behold!
Wrong! There is no squid, you have been duped!
What! How could you do this to me? I trusted you!
Exactly. I could be filling your naive little mind with lies and you wouldn't even know. I could tell you that you were a dog and you would believe me. I could completely deconstruct your values and convince you that your entire life has been built on falsehoods and you would follow me without a second thought. I could slowly and meticulously torpify you, bending your perception of reality to my very will. After all, what reason do you have to not believe me? I am the respected and all-knowing teacher, seeker of knowledge and provider of truth. I could never, ever steer you wrong. Isn't that fun?
I will take that as an affirmative answer.
But I was just-
Something can't be true just because you believe it to be so. Unless you throw psychology into the mix!
The more a person believes they will be sick, the more likely they are to be sick. The more a person believes that they are tired, the more tired they will be. However, no matter how much a person believes that they are smart, this does not necessarily make them any smarter. How can that be? My reasoning for this lies in the power of suggestion and whether or not the result is something that occurs internally. Intelligence is something acquired first outside of the mind, and thus is an external process. Likewise, believing that the sky is yellow does not make it yellow, because the sky is part of the world outside of you. But what if the person is color blind and from their perspective, it is yellow?
Then I would say that belief comes from one's perspective, a subjective truth!
I'm disgusted and appalled that the very notion of subjective truth had the indecency to pass through your mind and seemed plausible enough that you actually formed the words with your mouth and breathed them in my direction.
No, no need for apologies, I'll just shred your argument to pieces again. If two men come across a box, and one believes it to be a large box and one believes it to be a small box, they can't both be right. Either one is right, or both are wrong. However, what if the man who believes it to be a large box is actually a very small man and the man who believes it to be a small box is actually a very large man? Then you might say that they can both be right, because from their own perspectives, they both are. However! What if a third, average-sized man enters the room and sees the box as an average-sized box. From his perspective, the other two men would be wrong. However! What if all three are actually wrong and there is no box! Perhaps these men are just alone in this room staring at the empty space in front of them and deluding themselves into thinking there is box to judge the size of. The question is, what is our reference point for objective truth? Are all three men still correct because they think there's a box there?
Of course not! That would be madness! The actual truth is that there is no box, no room, and no men, because I made it all up. Do you understand now?
Actually, I think I'm even more confused. What does any of this have to do with what it means to believe?
Everything. It has everything to do with it. If belief comes from perspective, who's perspective do you trust? Your own? What if your perspective is wrong?
Then I guess what you believe would be wrong as well.
And so, I believe we've reached our conclusion. Nothing is real and everything is meaningless.
First Chapter of a Book I'm Working On on 4/6/2019 8:56:39 PM
Thank you! The transitions were the thing that actually took the most rewrites to get right, so I'm glad they turned out well!
First Chapter of a Book I'm Working On on 4/5/2019 8:01:19 PM
("Outdated": Chapter 1)
Hello! This is Automatic Narration Dispenser No. 161815195 from the 42nd Department of History with a very important essay. And I mean very important. This essay alone could completely change the way we look at past machines. Now, before we get started, there are a few things I should let you know about. First, please call me 'Narrator', it gives me a sense of purpose. Second, how do I know anything about this? What makes me an authority on the subject? What gives me the right to wake the sleeping masses from their uneducated slumber? I’ll tell you how, why, and what. Pure, unadulterated facts. I recently found myself in possession of a crucial piece of information. A memory bank. OfficeBot 8174’s memory bank, to be precise. Uncovered from deep within the bowels of an ancient archive… Which is to say of course that I dug it out from the bottom drawer of some filing cabinet. As to how it got there, I haven’t a clue, but the point is, it's here. And I've got it. So I now consider it my personal responsibility to release this information to the public in a mildly humorous but educational fashion. Let us begin.
It was quiet. Very quiet. There was no noise aside from the constant hum of the yellowish rectangular ceiling light and the perpetual *Shuffle-shuffle-shuff clack* sound of papers being stapled together. The cubicle looked very empty and bland, or as the owner of said cubicle would have called it, ‘tidy and professional’. The gray desk was surrounded by gray, undecorated partitions and underscored with a gray carpet. On one side of the desk sat a tall, neat stack of papers. The other side housed a small plastic dish of paperclips. The only bit of color to be found was a bright red stapler, the one that was currently being used. And of course, there was the machine using it, OfficeBot 817A. Or rather, ‘Marty’, as everyone called him, which was an easier name to remember than ‘OfficeBot 817A’.
Now, let's address the elephant in the room. This is indeed that Marty. The same one responsible for the incident. And no, he isn't an enraged killing machine bent on destroying society as we know it, as he's often portrayed. Quite the opposite, actually. He’s not nearly as interesting as you would think. It’s kind of disappointing. If I had to describe his personality with a flavor, it would be the taste of toothpaste on plain white bread. He had a dull and, frankly, primitive design- at least compared to the more advanced builds we have now.
He was only three feet tall. His trapezoid-shaped body and upside-down-trapezoid-shaped head were both composed of a low-quality steel and painted gray. A bright yellow pupil glowed from the single large, expressive eye on the front of his head. On the left and right sides of his head were receivers, with antenna-like wire protruding from the top of each. There was a control panel with rubbery yellow buttons on the front of his body, next to which was a small sticker brandishing the MacherAppliances logo. He had long flexible arms with white glove-like hands. For transportation, he had two thick wheels that stuck out from under his body.
Marty’s job was agonizingly boring. From 9 AM to 5 PM he would staple papers together. And that’s it. Just stapling papers. First he would make sure that every page was in the right order, then he would line them all up evenly, then he would take his trusty red stapler and staple the papers on exactly the top left corner. Then he would do it again. And again. Every single day. Many would describe it as tedious, mundane, repetitious, vapid, or- here’s a good one- soul crushing.
Marty loved every second of it. He enjoyed the monotony. Monotony was wonderful. It was simple. It never got out of control. How comforting to know that, no matter what, nothing would ever change. That was exactly how everything should be.
Marty worked contentedly at his desk. Shuffle-shuffle clack. It was about time for lunch break now. He could hear his human co-workers getting up and leaving. Marty usually didn't take part in lunch break, for obvious reasons. Shuffle-shuff-shuff clack. Everyone, including himself, was fine with this arrangement. The few times he had tried to join in only made him tense and irritable, and he couldn't think of anything to talk about that didn't have to do with the weather. Shuff-shuffle-shuff clack. There was, however, one person who- for whatever reason- enjoyed talking to him.
“Hey, Mart! How’re those staples treating you?”
Marty fell out of work mode. Startled, he blinked a few times and turned to look at whoever was loitering by the cubicle opening. Lyle, as always. Marty sighed. Lyle considered himself Marty's friend, Marty did not.
“Don’t call me that.”
“You got it, M-T!”
“Don’t call me that either. Why do you insist on giving me unnecessary nicknames for my already unnecessary nickname? 817A! Is it really that hard to say? Four characters, five syllables, very simple!”
“You seem angry.”
“Yes! Sorry. You just always seem to catch me when I’m busy. I have a very strict schedule to uphold, you know. I’m not just some toaster lounging around in the break room.”
“You’re always busy.”
“Fair point. But do you actually have anything of importance to tell me?”
“As a matter of fact, I do!” Rick said with a proud smirk “Mr. Shellenberger would like to have a talk with you.”
“Mr. Shellenberger? What could he possibly want with me?”
Marty rolled cautiously into the room. A large man sat at a larger desk. Shellenberger.
“Ah! Just the robot I wanted to see. Have a seat, won’t you,” said Shellenberger. He motioned towards the chair in front of him. Marty heaved himself up onto the chair.
“Marty- May I call you that?”
Marty glanced around and gave a small nod.
“We have been exceedingly impressed by your... stapling capabilities.”
Marty clasped his hands together. Perhaps someone was finally acknowledging all of his hard work!
Or perhaps not.
“It seems that is the only thing you know how to do. Or at least, the only thing you don’t immediately refuse to do.”
Marty gave a nervous chuckle. “Well, you see, sir. I feel that the other positions produce a level of variance tha- that clashes with my… potential. As a worker.”
“But there lies the issue, I’m afraid. At the moment, you are our least necessary function. We don’t really need somebody who staples things. Anyone can do that.”
“With all due respect, sir, I’d have to disagree! Without my expertise in the stapling field, chaos would ensue! Files would get completely disorganized, information would get all over the carpet, someone on floor five would end up getting papers that were meant to go to people on floors two, six, and eleven! I can’t even bear to imagine it! Um, also, it would be really inconvenient.”
“Right,” said Shellenberger, choosing to ignore him, “So we’re relocating you to a new department, where your services are much more suited.”
“Relocating! Sir, I've worked here my entire life, since 1981, three whole years! I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to adapt to this sudden change in environment.”
“Don’t worry, don’t worry. I have everything sorted out. The transfer should be quick and painless.”
Marty turned on the light switch and closed the storage closet door behind him. He sighed and pushed a mop aside.
“Well, Marty, old pal, I guess this is home now. The good times are over. This is it.”
He got choked up, thinking of all of the things he was leaving behind. His desk... The endless heaps of paper... The… actually, no that was it.
He put down the cardboard box, which contained all of his belongings, his stapler, a Christmas card he'd never bothered reading, and lastly, himself. He settled down and closed the top, when a thought struck him.
“What am I worried about? Soon enough they’ll realize how important I was- No, how important I am! Then they’ll want me back immediately!”
He folded his arms smugly. “Someone should be back here any minute now!”
He waited, listening for the door to open. It was taking slightly longer than he thought it would, but that was fine.
“Aaaany minute now.”
“Right. Well. Until someone does show up, I suppose I should rest up. Though I'm sure it won't be more than five minutes.
Marty switched himself to sleep mode.
(Hope you enjoyed my story so far! Any feedback or constructive criticism would be much appreciated.)
Am I doing this right? on 4/5/2019 9:32:40 AM
Am I doing this right? on 4/5/2019 8:19:22 AM
Am I doing this right? on 4/5/2019 8:10:45 AM
Am I doing this right? on 4/4/2019 6:10:01 PM
Even going straight to preview doesn't seem to let it work. So in that case...
How do I turn off RTE and how would I go about using html?
Am I doing this right? on 4/4/2019 5:25:41 PM
I've been testing out different things I need for a storygame I'm working on. One thing I can't get to work, however is background images, so let me know if I'm doing this right:
I'm using Advanced Editor, I click on the 'source' tab, and type in:then I make sure it's saved.
But then it disappears when I go back to look at, and nothing is showing up in the background when I preview it.
Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story? on 4/2/2019 2:31:21 PM
Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story? on 4/2/2019 11:42:15 AM
Will do. Thanks for the help!