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Messages - Roko's Modern Basilisk

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Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: October 23, 2016, 06:30:27 pm »
A hardboiled / mystery story revolving around the candy industry. When a jelly bean heiress disappears, a private investigator is enlisted to to find out what happened to her; meanwhile, a terrorist group poisons & labels batches of particular type of candy (like in the Glico case) while getting manefestoes published in newspapers. The private investigator uncovers massive corruption & family politics in the (financially and literally) incestuous candy industry, and uncovers that the person who hired him died 20 years ago -- in other words, he was probably hired by the same terrorist group that has been trying to take down major industry figures, and that this group probably also kidnapped & killed the heiress. He follows this lead to the end, and eventually discovers that this group is, in fact, being funded by a minor candy company that couldn't compete with the big players. Embarassed by being tricked into performing corporate espionage, the private investigator attempts to commit suicide via a poisoned box of candy -- but it doesn't do anything.

Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« on: October 22, 2016, 02:52:18 pm »
Finished Echopraxia last night -- it's a bit denser than Blindsight or any of the Rifters books, and I think I'll probably need to re-read it in order to really understand all of what went on.

Last night I also read A Brief History of Vice, Robert Evans' summary of the ways that vice (mostly drugs, but also gossip, trolling, and prostitution) affected the course of history. As a history, it's not great -- it's short & written like a Cracked article without the links, and contains a lot of typos; it breezes over ideas that could profitably be covered in more depth and spends a lot of time on ideas that are familiar to people who read a lot about these subjects, along with repeating a lot of material from Evans' Cracked articles. In the end, with the exception of a section on Stonehenge, I had either already read his sources, read a slightly modified version of the chapter on Cracked, or had read most of the details he covers elsewhere. I still recommend grabbing the book because of its recipes: it serves as a sort of cook-book for legal (in the United States) drugs, and contains information about preparation that I haven't seen elsewhere. Recipes I intend to try include: bappir (a kind of cookie made as the basis for mash in Sumerian beer, as described in The Hymn to Ninkashi), bhang (an indian pot milkshake), soma (specifically: Evans read the part of the Hindu scriptures describing the way that Shiva liked to prepare soma, operated on the assumption that the drug in question was Fly Agaric, and followed the directions), and power balls (a kind of calorie-rich trail mix made by mixing roasted coffee cherries with ghee and wearing it in a leather sack around your neck while exercising).

I'm currently reading Hard-Boiled Anxiety, which is basically somebody doing Freudian psychoanalysis of three early authors of pulp detective fiction. It would have been better had it been written by Zizek -- it's pretty dry, all things considered -- but it's sort so I'll probably finish it.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: October 19, 2016, 08:44:01 pm »
A wacky comedy about a Hollywood agent who, by accidentally pressing "Reply All" instead of "Reply" twice, has accidentally sold exactly the same pitch to five different major studios. She can't back out because her boss is extremely proud of her for landing five lucrative deals on her first day (but is also clearly shown to be emotionally unstable, firing people for minor things while heaping praise on other people for similarly minor things), and so she must work with the screenwriter she represents (who is also a naive first-timer) to write five different screenplays based on the same pitch so that they don't look similar, all before a deadline intended for a single script. At the eleventh hour, the agent, who works a second job as a diner waitress, is overheard on the phone by a repeat diner patron -- a curmudgeon and loner who nevertheless always tips well -- and he explains that he is a retired former script doctor, and offers to help finish the scripts before the deadline in exchange for setting him up on a date with the owner of the diner, a heavy-set sixty year old chainsmoker. In the end, they make all the scripts on time & make a lot of money, the agent's boss comes into work after the deal is set and fires her for having an "ugly-colored scarf", and a few years later it turns out that all five movies are smash hits, making back many times their original budget & making enough money for the agent & writer to start their own firm.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: October 18, 2016, 12:13:02 pm »
A serial killer runs a "room escape" attraction in a tourist-driven area (Las Vegas, maybe). This attraction has many duplicate copies of the same room / puzzle, which is horror-themed, and (like the current wave of "extreme" haunted houses) multi-modal: the special effects extends to scent profiles. The serial killer, when he sees a customer who strikes his fancy, directs her to the room in the back with extra soundproofing and an electronic lock controlled from the observation booth. He locks her in until she starves to death, then cleans her skeleton with bugs & uses the bones as props in other rooms. He gets off on seeing the point at which people realize that they are no longer playing a game & solving the puzzle won't let them out.

Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« on: October 15, 2016, 04:51:42 pm »
Finally getting to read Echopraxia, Peter Watts' newest. It's a good follow-up to Blindsight. Where Blindsight used vampires and space ships to ask the question of "what is the benefit of consciousness at evolutionary scale, and does it still exist?", Echopraxia uses hive minds, bioengineered plagues, and sun-adjacent power plants to ask the question of "what is the benefit of faith at an evolutionary scale, and does it still exist?".

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: October 07, 2016, 01:00:59 pm »
A haunted house story, wherein the house is haunted only by its own shitty design. The architect's abnormally poor taste and lack of common sense drives tenants slowly to madness, as a house that to an outside observer looks only tacky reorganizes the minds of anyone spending too much time inside of it along the lines of the warped logic created by its thrown-together design.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: October 05, 2016, 11:07:36 pm »
A long sequence of framing sequences, starting off long and complex before getting increasingly tiny, so that by the half-way point we're only four framing stories in but the remaining ten or fifteen happen in the last half. Each framing device sets up the immediate next framing device, but has nothing to do with the following. The ending is the typical exit from a framing story (like, waking up from a nightmare), but the person who wakes up is a character we've never seen. This character then slowly turns to the camera, and blood begins to flow from her eyes and mouth as white noise steadily increases in volume.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: October 05, 2016, 07:43:48 pm »
After discovering that one of their own agents has a striking physical resemblance to a known KGB agent, the CIA sends their agent to impersonate him, never realizing that their agent was in fact a soviet mole. However, their agent, due to secret KGB brainwashing, had his memory erased initially -- and doesn't realize it himself. So, while impersonating this agent, he keeps having traumatic flashbacks to his repressed past as the person he is impersonating -- and the people he interacts with were never in on the plan (to them, he was just "missing" all this time). So, meanwhile, the people who sent him initially are hunting him, since they planned to use this technique against the soviet upper echelon in order to take power themselves.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: October 03, 2016, 08:04:53 pm »
An eccentric hedge fund manager dies of a heart attack & wills his high speed trading machine to itself, allowing it to pay for its own electricity and rental space out of its profits. Nobody much cared because it wasn't making a lot of money -- it was an older algorithm that had been abandoned by newer machines, and so it was making just enough to pay for its continued operation. However, five years later, a flash crash occurred that affected all of the other high speed trading machines -- leading to 98% of the world's money being owned by this self-owning machine. Several governments conspire to destroy the machine, but must contend with the deadly force of the trading center's private security team, tasked to protect the machine so that they can continue extracting rent from the only remaining rental machine.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: October 02, 2016, 03:27:23 pm »
An outsider politician whose meteoric rise surprised pundits self-immolates after losing a close race. Despite fire damage, autopsy shows unambiguously that the corpse, while human-like, wasn't fully human: some organs more closely resemble those of fish, and others of insects, and massive deformities in the digestive system indicate that the candidate was under such great and constant pain that he would be unlikely to be capable of any kind of complex thought. The doctor performing the autopsy suggests that perhaps his shame at his non-human heritage was the source of his intense drive and nativist rhetoric.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: September 15, 2016, 09:06:32 pm »
A version of Crash for the A man dressed like a bat universe: a group of people develop a sexual fetish surrounding accidental falls into vats of mutation-inducing toxic waste.
That's cool.  I was thinking, when the Joker gets his perma-grin from the acid wash, is there any way DC was using "mutation inducing" industrial waste as a veil for some lysergic counterpart?  I figure this question probably betrays my ignorance, and I'm fine with that.

The Joker's original appearance is a bit too early for that, though I'm not sure about the red hood arc (i.e., his origin story). It's hard to tell how much of the really strange stuff in comics had its origin in legitimate psychedelia, since the comics code disallowed that sort of stuff. That said, the outfits that continued through the comics code era as comics were generally fairly conservative & straight-laced -- whereas the real freaks at EC shut down and started MAD.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: September 15, 2016, 07:06:12 pm »
A version of Crash for the Batman universe: a group of people develop a sexual fetish surrounding accidental falls into vats of mutation-inducing toxic waste.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: September 11, 2016, 03:37:25 am »
A family moves to an isolated village surrounded on three sides by mountains after the head of the family, an artist, unexpectedly strikes it rich. The family is unaware that this village, which caters mostly to light tourism, is the home of a family of vampires that have the entire citizenship of the village in thrall -- and under command to deny their existence.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: September 08, 2016, 09:10:22 pm »
A young, naive journalist stumbles upon a war between a pair of secret societies predicated upon two renown prophets who made conflicting prophecies. The members of each are attacking and sabotaging the other in order to prevent the other's prophecy from coming true, because these two prophets were, in life, contemporaries with famous historical feuds over which had greater predictive power. The journalist figures out how to reconcile the two prophecies, with the help of a law student who he woos over the course of the story, and as a result unifies the two secret societies. Skip forward to the future and he is renown prophet and head of the combination of seven previously warring secret societies, and it is implied that his position is due to his ability to write prophecies that are seemingly very specific while actually being extremely vague.

Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: August 31, 2016, 01:34:44 am »
A buddy cop movie featuring the archangel Michael and Lucifer teaming up and going undercover in as policemen 70s New York in order to track down a rogue angel looking to take over both heaven & hell & reorganize them along eugenic lines. In this film, Michael acts like an "ideal" policeman (i.e., shiny uniform, good posture, going out of his way to play up the whole white-bread beacon of righteousness thing) while Lucifer acts the part of a hardboiled noir-style detective (bordering on con artist) and the whole thing is leaning heavily on the analogy of falling from heaven being like getting kicked out of the force.

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