mattc, The Wordsmith
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If anyone wants to check up on what I'm doing now I (should) have it all here. Below are updates to the project(s) I'm working on right now.
I live in Australia so I'll probably spell words such as 'legalize' as 'legalise'. Fight me.
Title: Fantasy Adventure Story Thingy?
Stage in writing (~>):
[*Still happening] Initial brainstorming - developing ideas
~> Planning stage - making diagrams and so forth
[OUTDATED] Eureka! I have an idea. I want to make a medieval-fantasy 'strategy' storygame (emphasis on story since the game aspect of all this is still new to me). By strategy, I'd like to have a story where, as a commander of an army, you need to lead your troops to victory. I'd like to base the social + military hierarchy in this story on either Rome or pre-Meiji era Japan (when there were Daimyos and cool shit like that). It could end up being a mix between, or become completely different. So far, the plot will have a narrative throughline of divine(religious?) fanaticism (hopefully portrayed in a similar way to 'His Dark Materials' by Philip Pullman) that threatens to destroy the world. It starts out as open conflict against another nation and turns into a 'save the world' scenario. Along the way things happen. My main focus at this point is figuring out what happens in the story and deciding how I would structure the CYOS (https://heterogenoustasks.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/standard-patterns-in-choice-based-games/). If anyone has any suggestions or wants to talk about this, shoot them at me.
[SEMI-OUTDATED]The medieval-fantasy genre is now expanded to include elements of steampunk. After some quality feedback on my basic idea, I have derived some more vision into what I'm doing. That is:
I'm going to have most of the narrative stakes tied to the strategy segments of the story. This means that the course of the story and the outcomes of its complications are mostly decided by the reader's decisions during such segments. That doesn't guarantee only significant choices lie in these segments (but considering the scale of how much would probably be in here, who knows?). After those segments are finished, the focus will shift back to progressing the story, which will then build up to another strategy segment.
This project will be a storygame, which means there'll be less emphasis on items or other fancy scriptwork. Variables in the same vein as 'scores' or 'stats' will be integrated into the story.
The structure of the story will (most likely) follow a branch and bottleneck format.
"There is a story, it branches around, maybe there's some love interests or minor quests, etc. Perhaps some of the branches lead to tips related to the best strategies to employ at the next bottleneck point (or perhaps a later bottleneck). Then, the bottleneck is a high point, and a battle of some sort that takes you into the next phase of "non battle" time and lots more branching, maybe some story development that follows from before, maybe some other stuff."
- Ogre11, 2017
Thanks to mizal and Ogre11 for the feedback!
I am currently in the planning stage. Once I have an outline I'll start writing, and along the way flesh things out. Feel free to ask any questions (within reason) about the story.
While I do appreciate any offers of co-authorship, currently I cannot spare the extra time needed to coordinate with another human bean over this project. Later down the track this may not be true, but until then I'm doing this in my downtime.
I should probably record the dates of these so here it is, update on 12/05/2017.
~> We have an update! I have now finished planning and I know where I want to go in terms of plot. There is one prominent change.
Since I want your decisions to affect the course of battle etc., I decided to have the setting/world change depending on the choices you make. An example of this setting change could be, in Battle A of Timeline A, large catapults will be used to send flaming balls of lead crashing into a column of cavalry. In Battle A of Timeline B, steam-powered, automatic turrets spray cones of death at armoured vehicles. Depending on whether you invested in training your soldiers, developing technology etc. etc. these massive changes will accommodate for your decision.
So I'm now officially in the writing phase! That is, once test block is over. Again, if anyone has any queries or ideas (within reason) - I'd love to hear them! While I do appreciate any offers of co-authorship, I'm now planning on keeping this a one-man job. Thanks anyway!
Date - 01/06/2017
Currently using yWriter5 to do things alongside NotePad, MS Word and OneNote.
I want to start off by challenging myself so I went for possibly one of the hardest 'genres' to do well (my opinion) - especially in choose-your-story format. Fantasy adventure. I have reasonable confidence in my writing ability and want to see what I can learn from this foray into storygames.
This is an adventure. So I want to include lots of fun things to read whilst maintaining a cohesive narrative 'through-line' and a 'good plot'. There will actually be a description about what this thingy will be when I have reached a stage in my planning that warrants me to do so. My progress can be tracked under the 'Current project(s)' (can't miss it) section in my profile.
Recent PostsSkool Sucks on 9/13/2017 10:50:12 AM
If you're bored because everything you're doing is easy, do something you find hard.
A very sincere message to my fellow homo sapiens. on 8/15/2017 11:56:53 PM
Actually, I found their reasoning.
Cannibalism, like all of these points, should ALSO be made legal. Good point on it being flesh already dead! Instead of burying the dead of our race in a way that the body is preserved, instead, let me propose that bodies of the dead should be cremated, buried in the ground so that the body can decompose quickly, donated to medical science, or broken down into its nutrients for use as food-stuffs. With food shortage being as it is, remember Benjamin Franklin: Waste not, want not!
Human Nature in Charchters on 8/15/2017 11:35:33 PM
This reminds me of an activity my group did when I was studying drama (and re-enacting Lord of the Flies). Since we were performing with realism (as in, there isn't a lot of stylistic/abstract blocking), we made an 'in-depth character sheet' that was literally the script but with annotations. These annotations described what our character's goal was in each scene, and how he would achieve his goal. For example, Jack's long-term goal would be to rule his own tribe (the hunters) - and to help him do that he needed Piggy's glasses (to make fire). Since he wants to remain the alpha dog, however, Jack will stand at an elevated position upstage centre and be a bossy dick while shouting commands etc. Once we were done with all the annotations, each of us had a pretty good insight into the personalities, faults, merits etc. of our character. Keeping this in mind, you could apply this method to pretty much any text study (like Macbeth, To Kill a Mockingbird etc.) or your own writing to get a better sense of everyone in your story.
Anyway, I just wanted to leave my two cents here.
A very sincere message to my fellow homo sapiens. on 8/15/2017 11:15:29 PM
<<<< Looks like the joke's on you, Dominik. It must be tough getting through life with the cranial capacity of a chipmunk. We are pro-abortion. Shall I say it again? Pro-abortion, Dominik, as in sucking human fetuses out of vaginas with a bloody great vacuum. Now Dominik, you're not a vegetarian, are you? Does the thought of eating flesh bother you? I hope not, because we think pro-life cretins like you should be munching on those fetuses, Dominik. That's right, not only are we pro-abortion, we are also pro-cannibalism, as you would have discovered if you were capable of comprehending anything other than the Reader's Digest edition of the bible. And I'll bet you do read the bible, Dominik, don't you, so you'll be delighted to know that we're also pro-sodomy. Yes indeed, the only thing we'd like better than watching you dine on mangled human fetuses would be watching you get fucked up the ass with a giant rosary, while our entire board of directors take turns peeing in your mouth. Of course you'd probably rather kill yourself than submit to such an ungodly invasion of your sacred sphincter, and that's just fine with us. I hate to be pushy, but it's time to go. We'll all be much better off. Eat a queer fetus for Jesus, Dominik, and then SAVE THE PLANET--KILL YOURSELF!"
^ Cannibalism for Jesus
A very sincere message to my fellow homo sapiens. on 8/15/2017 9:38:35 AM
"Save the Planet, Kill Yourself"
- The Church of Euthanasia
A very sincere message to my fellow homo sapiens. on 8/15/2017 9:12:53 AM
"Rev. Chris Korda confronted an alien intelligence known as The Being who speaks for the inhabitants of Earth in other dimensions. The Being warned that our planet's ecosystem is failing, and that our leaders deny this. The Being asked why our leaders lie to us, and why so many of us believe these lies."
Into the face of the young man who approached me at five past noon, there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty hangdog look which announces some sinister secret is to be shared. Wordlessly, he beckoned me with a flap of his hand and pressed a scrap of paper into my palms. An address, not one of the physical kind - but one that leads to a certain website, was carelessly scrawled into the parchment. I queried him, asking for the nature of his enterprise, and was answered by a frantic gesture towards my computer. Puzzled and beleaguered, I acted upon his insinuations and tapped away at the search bar. It was then, that I discovered THE CHURCH OF EUTHANASIA [NSFW].
It is an inconvenient truth, that us humans attempt to smother beneath their selfish affirmations, that our actions will doom this planet to fire and brimstone. This raises the question, not of 'who is to blame', but of why we are to blame - and what should be our next course of action? I will elaborate on the first question before I proceed.
Edward O. Wilson proposes the profound theory, that intelligence snuffs itself out. He solves Fermi's paradox: we don't receive messages from the stars because by the time an alien life form has enough power to transmit that far, it's already on the threshold of annihilating itself, and the odds of its brief blaze of glory lining up with ours are infinitesimal. This is closely related to the view that life (particularly human life) creates short-term order at the cost of accelerating the entropy of its environment, in stark contrast to the idealistic Gaia theory. Antihumanism, is the answer.
Antihumanism can be usefully contrasted with humanism. Humanism derives from the ancient Greek notion that man is the measure of all things, and that without human existence nothing would have value. Concealed within this is the assumption that only humans experience value. This assumption has no basis in biology, but is nonetheless one of the pillars of modern civilization, because it provides justification for extermination of other species. The denial of intrinsic value to nonhuman life is the essence of speciesism, and is closely related to the dogma of dominion, i.e. that it's man's destiny to subjugate all other living things. Human monoculture and its destructive nature is the crucible for our regression as a species.
The central paradox of antihumanism is that humans evolved, and are therefore no more or less natural than any other living thing. Stephen Jay Gould argued convincingly that evolution doesn't converge on anything except fitness for conditions: there are no good or bad organisms, just ones that survive, and mostly ones that don't. Richard Dawkins went even further and described organisms as mere transport for genes, in which case the DNA we share with all other eukaryotes is the winner, regardless of what humans do. One proposed resolution is that humans are malignant life, as argued by A. Kent MacDougall in Humans As Cancer. This sidesteps the problem however, because cancer is also natural, and closely related to viruses. The higher-order question is ethical: why is malignancy bad, and from what point of view is its badness determined?
The paradox of human naturalness could possibly be resolved by arguing that sentience is not intelligence but the ability to feel pain and pleasure. What distinguishes humans from other primates is the existential suffering that results from self-knowledge, particularly fear of death. Since humans have such capacity for suffering, we should have equally developed empathy, but instead we succumb to corruption, creating hellish conditions for humans and nonhumans alike. Thus despite our naturalness, humans can and should be blamed for wrecking the planet, precisely because we're capable of feeling remorse for having done so. If we're unable to reform ourselves, as seems increasingly to be the case, we should have the decency to step aside and give other organisms a chance. Apes might re-evolve back into us, but they might not, and either way it won't be our fault.
Onto, the latter issue - and more importantly - the issue of what should be our course of action. It is simple. Thou shalt not procreate. Achieving species consciousness is key to this One Commandment, and the only way we can achieve species consciousness is to eliminate history, and free ourselves from the malicious tyranny of our 'leaders'. Jeremy Rifkin explains.
"How do we leap in consciousness to species politics, how do we go beyond the rhetoric? First of all, we can't have cheap grace. You know what cheap grace is? Any neo-orthodox Christian philosophers, theologians? Okay, I'll give you the cheap version of cheap grace, you ready? You go to a Jimmy Swaggart rally. The guy got caught again, didn't he? (laughs) You go to a Jimmy Swaggart rally, and afterwards you're so moved by his eloquence you say "I have been saved." And the next morning you go out there in the driveway and there's the BMW, you stick that little bumper sticker on the bumper "Honk If You Love Jesus." You don't fight the powers and principalities, you don't bear witness to the coming of the kingdom, we don't walk in the footsteps of Jesus, we don't minister to the poor, God forbid, we don't re-distribute our wealth and commit ourselves to Jubilee, we just honk, honk, honk if we love Jesus, you know people like that? (cheers, applause) ... alright, you know these people.
Ha, ha, some of your friends ... okay. Cheap grace and the body politic. Is it tempting to isolate out these great environmental and human tragedies, as if they could be neatly addressed through legislative initiatives? Electing the right people to office. Committing ourselves to a covenant or charter. These crises cannot be dealt with or addressed until we are willing to do battle with the world view that gave rise to them. That's what's missing at the Summit at Rio. That's what's missing at the official Summit at Rio. I sat in a room, I shouldn't tell you this, but I'll let you in on this, I sat in a room ... for four days, three years ago, on the first little planning session on Rio. With Maurice Strong and about twenty-five people. Not one word at that meeting about changing world views.
A world view is a world view when you don't know it's a world view. A way of thinking that's so embedded into the psychology of a species or a culture that we never challenge it, we never question it, yet it's world views that dictate our policies ... that motivate our politicians, that underwrite our institutional foundation. Let me give you an example. Anybody here have a, ah, and keep thinking the global and human environmental crisis, anybody here have a digital watch? A digital watch. Okay, let me, what's you name? Shawn, let me see that watch, if that's the right one for me. Absolutely. Thank you. Alright.
Keep thinking world views, and keep thinking global structures, now here's Shawn's watch, here's mine, what do you see on my dial that you don't have on Shawn's. Circle. You know if I were to come down here from another galaxy and I landed in this room at the Marriott, first stop, homo sapiens. Cute. But I don't know a thing about you, first thing I'd say is "show me your timepieces." If I know how you keep time, I'm going to know more about you ... than any other part of your social experience. Time is the most intimate part of our consciousness. Yet, it is the most important part of cementing social relationships. St. Augustine, the great schoolman of the church, once mused, "What is time? I know what it is," he said, "until you ask me." So I have a circle on my watch, and what's going on on the watch, we've got what else on that watch? Hands. And what are they doing? Which way? Good. (laughs) I had a student at a university two years ago who said "counterclockwise." (more laughs) My watch has a circle on it, the hands are going clockwise, and they relate to what? Right. The sun, the rotation of the Earth, the Circadian reference of the solar day, the last faint reminder that for eons of time, we measured time, in terms of our indebtedness to, the larger Earth rhythms that we are a part of. And if anyone ever asks you at a cocktail party "How do you know we're part of an organism?" Easy.
Below our spatial reality, below the atoms, below the DNA, there is a temporal reality they have not even been able to understand. And in every species, there are biological clocks, more than we can ever count. And we're learning, that they are totally in synchronization, with the Circadian day, the lunar month, as in the menstruation cycles, the Circannual rhythms, men and women, all species, are totally temporally, rhythmically synchronized to the rotation of the Earth in the universe. An accident of history? Darwinian trial and error?
If a civilization nails its time span to the moment, and loses a sense of history and the future, does that have any relationship to the global environmental crisis, enclosure, and the human crisis on the planet? Eliminate history, eliminate obligations, covenants, contracts. Eliminate history and my time is not spoken for; I can have pure power in a vacuum. That's what Big Brother did. He remade history every day to suit the expediency of the political moment. And our kids have a little saying, are there any people here under twenty? ... That should say something to us, we've got to get moving here, anyone under twenty? The young people have a saying, if they want to dismiss someone, they'll say "hey man, you're ... " What's the other one, "hey man you're ... " History. Because history doesn't exist for them. Eliminate history ... eliminate continuity ... between the generations. And narrow the time span ... can we then steward the future? Shawn? Where are you? Have you been born again? Shall we bury this out at the Marriott Hotel in a kind of ceremony? (applause) Thanks. Alright.
World views. Alright, I'm going to try something, with you folks. This is a little sleazy way to learn, but, I'm going to try it anyway. Are you ready? One dollar. One dollar. See if you can get this. If I were to say to you what value has emerged in the last ... how many have heard me speak in the last three ... four years? You can't play this. If I were to say what value has emerged in the last hundred years, out of obscurity, did not exist more than a 150 years ago, it is now the dominant value of our civilization, critical to our science, essential to our technology, motivates the marketplace, absolutely underlines our economic theory, and pushes most of our private and public life, what is that value? (many answers) Greed and sex? (laughs) That's close ... Ego ... Y'all missed it, you got pretty close, but you missed it. You ready? You're going to really regret that you didn't get this, because this is the simplest.
There are two basic coordinates: time and space. If we want to know the problems of our world view, go deep into the temporal value, and deep into the spatial value, and then we'll be able to re-learn our participation in the universe, you ready? Here's the temporal coordinate of the modern world view. It is this word.Efficiency. How important is that? Have you ever had anyone ... efficiency is the prescription for disaster for this Earth. Efficiency is destroying the planet. Now you heard real crazy stuff, didn't you? That's how you know you're deep in a world view."
And with that, let me remind ourselves to maintain the great vigil of this great insitution. The Four Pillars: suicide, abortion, cannibalism and sodomy. In the words of the Cree people:
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten.
The Internet on 8/11/2017 8:07:59 PM
All of this sounds fair enough. I'll check out the anacyclosis stuff though (just in case I missed something).
The Internet on 8/11/2017 10:49:37 AM
I assumed you were proposing the Chinese or military internet as a solution to the problem, my bad. I still don't see how restricting anonymity would address the problem though. I agree that spreading and moderating marginal ideas would keep them in check, but how could we go about it? Yeah, I don't deny that it's a problem, but there isn't much point to complaining if there isn't a solution in sight.
If anacyclosis is indeed in effect (haven't heard of it before until now)... There'll probably be greater concerns that need attention rather than this.
I think that, by taking successful education models from other countries (Singapore etc.), and adapting them into an education system like America, it would take at most three generations to achieve memetic immunity (whether we have the time to do so is questionable, but I don't see another way of fixing a 'dumb' population). In the meanwhile, adjusting the voting system to what I mentioned before would probably combat any extremism attempting to take up positions of power (unlikely to happen, but any other model is probably just as or even more dubious). Ideally, this would last in the long-term and prevent any more Pizzagates. With the state things are, however, that probably won't happen.
The Internet on 8/11/2017 10:10:06 AM
Umm, the response I wrote further down is basically my answer to this as well. Instead of shutting down networks and censoring ideas that are extremist, it would be more helpful to revamp the education system (teaching methods, better teachers [not just qualified idiots] who can control classes and teach kids, spreading awareness of key issues to parents and children alike etc.). As I see it now, the American schooling system (elementary to high) isn't pretty.
The Internet on 8/11/2017 10:03:54 AM
If the threat of a 'tide of falsehoods' is so great (to the point where everyone who has a say in it is in on it), there really isn't anything the average joe can do is there? How would shutting down 'marginal'/alternative lines of thought improve the situation? Doesn't that disadvantage those expressing the truth? The majority falsehood is already overrunning the minority truth - why would handing the power to censor the internet/media to some NGO/MCO improve the situation? How will we even know if something's a hoax or not in the first place (ad infinitum)? I don't see how your model fixes the extrapolation you've proposed.
Either we're dealing with organised hoaxes or we're dealing with singular absurdities. The latter is usually ignored altogether, so there's no need to fend off every false claim. There's plenty of false, poorly justified claims that have been spun up in the internet, we're not spending all our time debunking each one. Hardly anyone would stop and "not get anything productive done" if they came across a conspiracy theory detailing how lizard people are running the world. And the reason conspiracy theories don't have a larger hold on the population is (I wager) because they aren't forced to operate insidiously in the background and are exposed outright by the publicity of the media and the subsequent publicity of its critique.
For your analogy, I see the exploitation of the voting system to be a cause of 'the strong man' - coupled with poor design for the voting system. Mob mentality is a seemingly inherent issue in everyone. The ability to appeal to the masses (by being 'the strong man' ~> Trump, Putin, Hitler etc.) is, therefore, a critical skill to being a politician. It makes sense to exploit the math behind a voting system to win a democratic election. Changing the method of voting to one that doesn't lead to strong man politicians (there was a model that was used to do so in some debate I had - I'll see if I can dig it up) should cut out over-characterisation of politicians and subsequently prevent a majority 'conversion' to extremism. I still don't see how cutting out alternative views would be helpful in this regard. So, instead of trying to police the internet, wouldn't it be more useful to fix the education system/enhance it (by actively reforming how things are done, instead of throwing money at the education sector) and harbour an educated people? The problems you are proposing are a cause of poor judgement in a large number of people, so shouldn't we prevent the problem at its source instead?*
*Basically, we should fix the politicians and the sheeple instead of trying to shut down minority ideas.