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Off Topic

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    Subliminal Sayn't
  • Birthday 07/06/2014

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    A seeker of Wizdumb: to be ignorant of assumption and see the world as magic once again.

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  1. "The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then - to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn."
  2. I've done this with a few characters, mostly as a talking book where most of the references made were things like switching the idea of "parent" with "author". I thought it was a funny gag to demand to speak to a character's author because that has internal consistency while also being a fourth wall break--it's hard to tell whether or not I'm talking about the character's IC parents (which makes sense, if you're a book, to call an "author") or the OOC person writing that character, but I could be doing both at the same time. I think that's the real trick, to be on the edge so that it's only a fourth-wall break when interpreted to be while giving just as valid of a reason why it isn't. I liked it so much that I wanted to build an entire religion out of it called Narrativism with the idea that the experience of reality is fundamentally in narrative form. This is obviously true of an IC RPing environment but I think that can be true on multiple levels from microcosm (like someone's particular life, memories and experiences being a linear timeline comparable to a story) to macrocosm (the idea of "God's Will" or the overarching narrative of the universe; someone's life story becomes a nested feature of a much larger structure and meta-story) but the fun part would be using literary terms in place of religious talk or expletives or what have you. "God's Will" becomes "The Plot" so that you have a crowd with torches and pitchforks about to sacrifice someone chanting "THE PLOT DEMANDS IT" (smaller voice in the background "the Plot demands it!"). Maybe this same group of fanatic cultists are so fundamentalist that they ride against an opposing army without normal weapons, holding pencils like swords and with books where their shields should be, bravely yelling "the power of story compels you!" to their enemies but two minutes later when inevitably dying from lack of actual weapons cry out "OH PLOT WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME!" (smaller voice in the background "the Plot has forsaken us!"). Something like this would allow you to use religious or existential vocabulary synonymously with narrative terminology or literary devices, where the line between IC and OOC becomes ambiguous or even dualistic, kind of like 4 1/2 wall breaking. "NPC" becomes IC slang for non-playing characters, or people who don't realize they live in a narrative, the equivalent of the Us (Narrativists) vs Them (any character who doesn't prescribe to Narrativism, even if not NPCs) mentality. You could have self-proclaimed Messiahs or Chosen Ones willing to duel to the death because "I'm the Protagonist!", "No, *I'm* the Protagonist!" and there are no such things as coincidences, when you find a resolution to a current problem it would be because "the Screenwriter put it there!". The idea would be to give legitimacy to knowing you live in a story while leaving open whether that "story" is the literary RPing aspect or the literal IC environment, and when ideal, both at the same time. A priest comes to baptize a newborn child, sprinkles Holy Ink on his forehead, reciting: "IN THE BEGINNING was the WORD, and the WORD was made NARRATIVE; AVAST HENCEFORTH, by the blessed union of Fatherpen and Motherpaper A NEW PLAYER unto the world is received; AND LO, AND SUCH."
  3. You forgot to turn on Knockout Groups: I fixed it. Also this map has two "The Breach"s on it but I didn't fix that. Here's your thing.
  4. Understandable. I think we'd agree on many things if that's the case. I actually don't know of any descriptions of actual tortures in Hell beyond apocryphal and peripheral additions like that of Dante's Inferno (which to my knowledge was the first conceptualization of multiple layers of hell and degrees of torment within each according to the severity of sin, casually accepted as canon as late as the 14th century and sparking quite a bit of art in the years after to the extent of shaping current understanding in many denominations despite a lack of direct reference) in the original texts save for pretty vague references relating it to being a furnace of sulphur or a lake of fire, calling it a "second death" (Rev 21:8) rather than perpetual torture. Admittedly I was born and raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses and they don't believe in hell as a literal place so those might have been omitted from the translations I'm most familiar with. If you can provide a few to support what you're saying along with what translation they come from, I'd be interested in seeing them. Just keep in mind that I'm not going to accept them as literal to any degree because I don't agree with the premise of this debate being restricted to literal interpretation.
  5. Want to preface this by saying that any one who is here, at Valucre, and enjoys RPing (and by extension the content of the fantasy genre, specifically concerning magic, concepts, races and beyond) but is explicitly anti-theistic simply does not understand whose sandbox they're playing in. Also that, if literal interpretation of the text is what the non-religious dislike about the religious, then it's quite odd they'd be so passionately guilty of doing it themselves. I don't see much a difference (or potential for compromise) between two sides both arguing for a literal interpretation. Esoteric vocabulary is most accurately described as referencing states of mind rather than physical locations. This often shows through in our speech even when secular: if someone is in a "living hell", we inherently understand the connotation of that term and all the implications of its use. When not interpreted as a literal location but rather a metaphysical one, it's not hard to see that "Hell" (or any other equivalent underworld, save for the Greeks because they were oddly lax and we'd have to dig deeper into Tartarus) can be a place you're able to inhabit at any particularly down-trodden time in your life--as can "Heaven" in the opposite regard. You're being quite literal. These stories are dramatic representations of abstraction from pre-literate people who needed to dramatize abstraction before being able to articulate them. In reference to a "sacrifice to the Gods" as a universal trait within religious context, we have practical use for the term "sacrifice" and there's a reason why it's still in modern vocabulary (along with many other dramatic representations). Haven't you sacrificed for your children, Cody? You sacrifice all the time without a blink of the eye. In essence what this means is that you're recognizing the future (in reference to sacrificing time for a paycheck this becomes something like recognizing the spirit of the culture and the promise that you can redeem your stored sacrifice later) and loosely dramatizing the idea that there is a future; which is a Judge of yours and with whom you can and do have a relationship. Essentially, tribes and cultures were recognizing the future, and that sacrificing short term gratification can lead to long-term (and distant) satiation of future ambitions or goals. That's what a sacrifice to the gods is. It's only a trivial thing to us in our privileged time because we've inherited the concept and we're now bred in literacy (still a very recent endeavor) and compatibility with abstraction. It's the recognition that something like a contract can be made between yourself and the future, and that giving something up in this moment has the potential to yield results--we might say that you "reap what you sow", etc. This was a dramatic representation of an abstract idea which allowed us to more fully articulate it in literate times. If I were to say "Wait, let's redefine 'God' in this scenario (and all others you've mentioned) not as a personified conscious being, but as the imaginative projection of the promises of mankind distributed into the future or as whatever manifestations of reality or potential which exceed your current knowledge and control (including forces of nature and situations we dramatize within our own life narratives as 'fate' even extending to the actions of others)" this would be a much different discussion. To me it's not unreasonable to dramatize "God" as a quasi-human figure because we've still yet to find anything as complex as humans are within the scope of our universe, therefore any method of categorization (meaning the difference between one particular problem and the set/category of all possible problems) through abstraction of the category of All Unknowns as a personified human-like entity (making man in his image or vice versa) is perfectly reasonable, to be honest. If nothing in the universe is as complex as us, why not personify abstract categories in our own image? I see no fault in this or any religion when accepted as figurative language and not as a literal basis for an exclusionary model of reality. I bet I could spin the story of Adam and Eve in a way you've never heard before and might even agree with, if not in the least as an interesting interpretation. But I won't bother typing it out if you're uninterested because I could be making cartoons instead.
  6. Pretty sure someone's hacked your Skype, unless you're really trying to send me to spam sites about winning free vacations (which is nice of you and all, I just don't take vacations).

    1. Die Shize

      Die Shize

      They did. I changed the pass. Hoped that would have sorted it. Still getting spammed?

  7. Your opinion definitely does matter. I like this. Also want to mention that you guys have been spending years building up stories with what might be thousands of characters and hundreds of other people writing with you, and a lot of locations in the real world are eponymous--they're named after someone. I don't expect any one to be able to pull random, never before heard words out of a hat like magic or anything and especially on such short notice, but I know that both of you have a ton of characters and a ton of significant events, stories, and the like under your belts. It's a good chance to really make some of that shine. Pretty sure I read a while back that the Atlantic Ocean is either a reference to the city of Atlantis or to Atlas (maybe both?). Otherwise normal names or ones you were particularly fond of (whether for the sound or story behind it) would be a great starting off point. The text will be editable and can change afterwards, but oceans and things outside these nations are just as important as the nations themselves in making this into an actual world instead of just being boards on a forum. I'll put whatever is wanted on the map, I'd just rather have my like to dislike ratio known, as small as possible, and out in the open.
  8. Rally your forces. Contact these board leaders you've been involved with for years, pull some strings and get opinions, bring together all these imaginations you've herded. That's the point of this place, right? Why are me and Song Sprite waiting two days (and probably longer had I not answered for you) when you have a godbook in your pocket and other one on your desk? Send an army.
  9. It doesn't work that way because I'm much faster than you, I don't have time to wait and I typically get tunnel vision towards the end--I get eager to finish and that's inescapable, so when maps are done, my attention goes to something else. It's just natural. Now's the only chance to get real changes instead of "sure I can do that real quick" edits because I do things, then I throw them away and rarely look back, so if you want pinnacle involvement, I need pinnacle response time because if you don't catch me while on fire, there'll be no flame. Plus Song Sprite's contributed a lot and you've just proven how fast you type. Go sharpen your sword then, show me what you've got. Write something, "writer," just make it something I can put on a map. That's a lot of words you just gave me that I can't put on a map.
  10. @supernal @The Hummingbird I'm at 73 hours and counting on 2.0 maps alone. Please take two minutes out of your day to answer her question, it affects my work too. There's no need to have universally accepted names for bodies of water and each board can obviously have their own subjective preferences for names of oceans, but if no one answers at all, it's the opposite of encouraging. @Song Sprite With the way the nations are positioned currently, the largest body of water is the ocean north of Genesaris and Tellus Mater: (This is the older map, obviously.) If we were to intersect the world at the equator, these two oceans would be roughly similar in size once we subtract the Southern Sea from Noerest and the Great Northern Sea; which is above Genesaris but not labeled on this; from the Ariatic. When we parallax this map, there's definitely a large chunk between Terrenus and Genesaris, but it still wouldn't come close to accounting for half the globe like the Pacific does, due to all the negative vertical space (above Genesaris and Tellus Mater, then below Terrenus) because Valucre's landmasses aren't at the moment set up much like earth's landmasses (having a lot of vertical positive space and horizontal negative space). I was the one who suggested the Ariatic and Carlos suggested the Noerest, but it was more of a chicken-or-the-egg scenario and, at least from my point of view, meant to open the dialogue rather than solidify anything into canon. It's just extremely awkward to have a world map with such large stretches of water but no oceans to be had--which is why a world map is such a useful visualization, because it forces us to notice things like that which would otherwise get lost in translation when every one imagines the world through reading piles of text. As long as we're flexible and willing to compromise, say someone doesn't like Transival but would settle for a Mad Gab variation like Transvitae or Transivelle or even go for a nice homage like Off Tropic then I don't see any problems. But from here on I'm going to assume that silence equals unwavering acceptance, and I'm more than willing to hear more recommendations from any one else before I publish everything--Valucre's been around for many years yet despite that, it seems obvious to me (after meticulous site wide searches) that naming oceans hasn't occurred to any one or been taken very seriously and likely won't happen until something like this does. If board leaders would rather decide all this in private, then make that known and do so, as long as it gets done. I have other projects and groups lined up to work with and I'm not going to be actively working on this much longer, though I will be providing source files so that any of you will easily be able to rename or add them in afterwards.
  11. Definitely. I'm awfully dense though, if life has no meaning and death has no meaning, then how could one have any preference over the other? Wouldn't the series of events that leads someone to that conclusion, by definition, become that meaning, in a 'the adventure is the journey, not the destination' way? I still don't get it, I still don't get what people mean, lol. I do think (and agree), though, that life isn't always easy, and we each embody and inhabit our own narrative models of reality; pattern upon pattern of narrative upon narrative stretching from the time of our birth and earliest memories to present day and even our perceived future or ambitions. Sometimes it doesn't feel worth it to play this game, but sometimes we don't realize what we're doing to ourselves. I spent something like 5 years being the architect of my own underworld and personal hell, tormenting myself every day and utterly convinced that everything was meaningless--until I suddenly saw what I was doing in a way that I could no longer ignore (or not take seriously enough to change) and I realized that, maybe, I should stop hurting myself--maybe that even the world and all the people in it could never hurt me as much as I could hurt myself. That realization was the most meaningful moment of my life, but it wouldn't have been so high had I not come from such a low place, and now, looking back, I'm grateful for all of that suffering I put myself through. But the meaning of it was invisible and I had no way of knowing anything of it at the time. In short, sorry for all the exposition but I think "meaningless" is pretty meaningless, if you know what I mean.
  12. That's quite a bit of meaning though, isn't it? That's an existential claim about the validity of existence. That's the kind of stuff that philosophers talk about. If life is meaningless to the extent someone wouldn't have reason to continue, then what meaning could ending it possibly have? And isn't suggesting that still putting us all in imminent danger of implosion?
  13. I think I'm too dumb to understand nihilism or phrases like "life is meaningless," or "life means nothing to me," because we're using words. Language is the way in which we parse information, ideas, and data, and on principle, every word *must* have meaning--even the word "meaningless" itself does have meaning or it wouldn't have any utility in speech. I don't get it. When any one says "Life is meaningless," what do they even mean? And if that can be answered, then... How does everything not spontaneously implode?
  14. A few of the links provided sparked some alternate options for potential use, so I appreciate the reply!