If they treat education like a product, they can't very well bitch when you act like a consumer.

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Messages - Rococo Modem Basilisk

Only Maybe Arts Lab / Re: MAYBE DAY 2022 IS COMING!
June 13, 2022, 05:28:03 PM
I suspect we'll probably get a lot of writing, images, video, & audio, but it occurs to me that it'd be really cool to do something interactive (ex., with twine).

I may not have time to do anything cool myself, though.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
July 27, 2021, 01:04:13 AM
Funded by an eccentric billionaire after years of laboring over small grants, a group of research psychologists are finally able to do an extremely large-scale dream survey: at least one person in every town in britain, and more according to population density, filing any remembered dreams for five years. When analysing data, they begin to see patterns that are both geographic and semantic: patterns of wavy lines of closely-related hyper-specific terms radiating out of particular points. As they are studying this, their own thoughts and behaviors become more dream-like. At the end, they find another, smaller radiating node (though growing in power); its geographic center is their own research facility, but none of them are sure whether or not this pattern is a hallucination.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
July 12, 2021, 03:24:05 PM
A teenager in a society built around rationing bumps into a forbidden book and discovers that his whole society is actually in a fallout shelter. The other forbidden artifact (which people avoid touching because they don't know what it does, and instead leave votive offerings for) is the button to open the doors. It was safe to leave after 75 years, and there was about 100 years worth of rations, but the first generation (the original set of adults) was almost completely killed off in riots over ration allocation, with the result that the now-current third generation (after 120 years) is running out of rations and has no idea that they are underground, that there is an 'outside', or that it's completely safe out there. This kid ends up being the only survivor of another run of fatal ration riots, and opens the doors to find the outside world overgrown with easily-harvested edible plants and already full of small communities of survivors from other shelters. The damaged sign outside his shelter says "Chesterton Municipal Shelter".
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
May 17, 2021, 05:16:03 PM
Our protagonist has a whirlwind romance with a ghost during a near-death experience, and struggles with the urge to attempt suicide repeatedly in order to recapture that connection.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
May 17, 2021, 05:14:43 PM
An aspiring architect, while on a road trip, gets lost and ends up cutting through a field, where he is taken by the beauty of a particular piece of land, immediately imagining the ideal house to place there. Even though he can't really afford it, he purchases the land as soon as he can, and draws and files blueprints. There's some kind of strange paperwork problem, as the zoning office claims that he double-filed the same blueprints with different dates, but he works it out and hires some contractors to start actually building, but construction has to halt almost immediately because the foundation he had drawn up, mysteriously, was already laid. Furthermore, there is a corpse in it. Upon investigation, it turns out that dozens of aspiring architects have passed through this plot of land, bought it, filed identical blueprints for something they want to build on it, and then run out of money while trying to construct it and died or disappeared.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
May 17, 2021, 05:14:26 PM
A man listens to a recording of a lecture by a thinker he has only vaguely heard of before, and is surprised, by the end of the lecture, to hear his own voice: unmistakably, he himself is asking dumb questions of the lecturer on this recording, making a fool of himself, wasting the lecturer's time. He calls his friends over for confirmation. They say, at the beginning, that yeah, it sort of sounds like him, could be him or someone who has a similar voice, but by the end they all believe he has arranged this as an elaborate prank: this was obviously him on the recording! This was very disturbing to him, and to them. Did he have repressed memories? Is there, somewhere, an exact duplicate of him, in all his mannerisms? This particular lecture was recorded, and after a great deal of work, he tracked down the only recording -- a 35mm print in a private university collection. He drove across the country to see it, thinking all the time about how the person on the phone had an eerily familiar voice -- it sounded just like his! After much wrangling and some bribery, he got some poor intern to set up the projector and show the film to him, and indeed, there he is, unmistakably, in the audience. However, wasn't this too long ago? In fact, this lecture occurred before he was born. Just as he realized that, the film began to change. His doppelganger on the film turned to the camera and began addressing him directly: a stream of lazy, crass insults.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
May 17, 2021, 05:14:09 PM
A true crime author and an aging shock-rock star are promised the same murder house. They end up as room-mates, and hijinks ensue.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
May 17, 2021, 05:13:47 PM
A journalist is stranded by car problems and a storm at a run-down bed and breakfast run by a young woman and, she claims, her older handicapped husband. They met when she was his nurse after a surgery. It slowly becomes clear that he was not always physically handicapped: he pressured her into marriage after recovering from the surgery, and then was physically abusive, until she finally cut out his tongue and cut off all his limbs.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
May 17, 2021, 05:13:26 PM
A soldier in a war zone narrowly escapes an attempted sexual assault by her superior officer and stumbles upon an incoming attack, becoming severely wounded, losing her limbs, and becoming physiologically mute. She is pressured by the military into becoming a guinea pig for new prosthetic technology intended to put amputees back on the battlefield without loss of effectiveness (but is given no psychological treatment, and remains mute). During recovery, she escapes and hunts down her former superior officer, who has been promoted for heroism and is in charge of executing a new, poorly-thought-out battle plan.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
May 17, 2021, 05:11:44 PM
All of the babies concieved after January 1st are telepathic vampires, and the hive mind is planning something.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
January 04, 2021, 03:13:23 PM
The botched assassination of Marilyn Monroe, from the perspective of the assassin, a Mishima-esque japanese nationalist. This assassin hopes that, by killing Monroe, he will foment both a war with the United States and internal conflict within Japan, thus breaking the flows of cultural capital that favored the west. However, the assassination attempt follows the sequence of events that led to the death of Franz Ferdinand almost exactly, before switching to elements of the still-future Kennedy assassination -- connections he does not see. Ultimately, his rifle jams and he is unable to shoot until Monroe's car passes the view from the book depository, and he realizes that he's not actually trying to save an isolated Japan but to produce the suicide of a unified transpacific assemblage that already essentially exists.
I recently read High Weirdness and thought it was fantastic. I've been really into both RAW and PKD for a long time (and read about half of the published Exegesis), and I've read a couple McKenna books, so it was sort of surprising to me how much in HW was new. If HW feels too straightlaced for you, I recommend Davis's Nomad Codes, which is a collection of articles he's written for various publications over the past 30 years. He draws on some ideas developed in Nomad Codes in HW without actually really explaining them, so reading the one certainly casts light on the other.

Right now I'm almost finished with McLuhan: Hot and Cool, an anthology of reviews of/essays about McLuhan's three major works. For something targeted at McLuhan fans, it contains a whole lot of critical perspectives. Some of them are awfully petty or seem to seriously miss the point (or simply claim that they don't want to live in a world where McLuhan's points have any validity and that McLuhan is therefore a bad person), but a lot of them mirror my own perspective on him: that he's brilliant but sloppy, and that it's very useful to read him in order to challenge your own thought, so long as you don't simply take his claims as true. (I feel this way about Zizek as well.) Some folks spent a lot of time ragging on McLuhan's prose style, claiming that he is a "bad writer", which I don't understand at all -- unless it's part of this tendency McLuhan himself described where Literary Men consider wordplay to be below them (a tendency that seems to have died out at least in popular treatments by the 70s or 80s).
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
November 25, 2020, 08:47:32 PM
Romance novel: a warrior is caught in a love triangle between his sentient talking sword (who feasts on the blood of his enemies) and his sentient talking kilt (who feeds on the semen of his friends).
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
November 25, 2020, 08:47:14 PM
After a global nuclear war, a rag-tag group of clever survivors try to save themselves by using genetic engineering to try to gain admittance to the last remaining functional biome -- a nature preserve protected, managed, and defended by an AI.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
November 25, 2020, 08:46:55 PM
A spree of kidnappings of comatose patients is traced to an aristocrat who, at twenty, discovered that he could sustain eternal youth so long as a living human being was entombed in the coffin intended for him.