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Topics - Cramulus

#1
I really enjoyed this article. It has a lot of good juice for breaking out of the algorithm.

Would love to know how it strikes you spags.


https://www.epsilontheory.com/25-anti-mimetic-tactics-for-living-a-counter-cultural-life/
#2
You're all a bunch of piss asses with truck nuts for a face

get FUCKED
#3
Remember when conspiracy theory was FUN?

Here's my new favorite wackadoo belief system:

The "Dead Internet" theory:

The internet is mostly abandoned. Most of the content you see is bot-generated. Bots talking to bots.


here's an Atlantic writer going  :lulz: about it:
https://archive.ph/mMOI2


here's one of the likely solid parts:
https://archive.ph/KsdBZ

#4
Rule 1: don't lock the thread
Rule 2: don't complain about the thread
Rule 3: this is apple talk
#5
Hey LMNO & Friends, check this out:


A recent academic paper, Immanent eschaton, Discordian and Deleuzian dissimulations of the Goddess, by Benjamin J. Austin, cites our very own Chao Te Ching.

The paper is published in the book Heresy and Borders in the Twentieth Century (Routledge Studies in Religion)



The paper contains this section:



the citation:




placid dingo is cited too! Citation #30:




I've attached the paper itself, in case anyone is curious
     |
     v
#6
Posted on behalf of Drill, one of the r/Discordian collective:


Calling all creative spags, again!
We're putting together an Intermittens (a web-published magazine of Eristic a-musings), and we could use your help to do it!

The theme this time is road trips and travel, both literal and metaphorical.  We're taking a pilgrimage to a holy site that may or may not exist yet.  The hope is this will be a more contemplative counterpart to the previous edition's hellraising.

Send submissions to me over DM,
intermittens.submissions@protonmail.com or find us on discord: https://discord.gg/fyD675ZEb7

Submission deadline is 50 Discord 3187 (3 May 2021). Late submissions may be accepted, but don't count on it!

All work must be released under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/).

Please keep submissions to at most five pages, unless you want to send us a collection of junk to pick and choose from like a hotel breakfast buffet
#7
RPG Ghetto / OSR D&D
March 22, 2021, 01:06:20 PM
I've been enjoying "OSR" (Old School Renaissance) style D&D for a few months now. Here's the things I think make it fun:

-The rules tend to be much lighter. This creates a blank space that is filled by improvisation and DM rulings. You're surrounded by skeletons? You can say "I want to try a spinning attack that hits all of them." The DM is not going to say "Nope, you need a specific feat to do that", they're gonna go "You can try..." and invent a mechanic on the spot.

-The game style is challenge based, and not "balanced". If you go into the dangerous area, you are taking a risk. But if you're careful, and clever about approaching that risk, you can mitigate it and win big. Playing safe levels you up slowly. Playing rough makes you feel like you earned your XP, found something you weren't expected to get.

-Oldschool games favor "emergent" plot. The story is created by the events and choices at the table, story is not imposed on the players by the unseen narrator. The DM doesn't have a script, they're not pushing you towards the next pre-written plot point.. they get to be surprised by what happens too.

-High stakes make the dice interesting. Epic loot can be found. Characters die. Yeah, it can suck to lose a character, but you'll love your next one even better. And when a character has survived a long time, they feel very 'storied'. OSR games don't frontload character-investment... they build emotional attachment over time. In the 5e games I've played, I usually don't feel like my character's life is on the line -- resurrection is cheap.

-That being said, there are a lot of situations in OSR games where you don't roll--what matters is that you narrated the right solution. In the game I'm running, there are no *mechanics* for finding or removing traps, it's all handled by narrative. If you spotted the trap, and you describe the right way to jam it/bypass it, it works. You have to listen to the DM's description and do problem-solving. You can't ignore the narrative and then coast on your stats.

-In my game, you don't get XP for killing monsters. You get 1 XP per gold piece you bring back to town. This shifts how you think about combat. You're trying to steal treasure from the dungeon, not "clear" the level. In 5e, if you bypass a combat encounter, you're usually cheating yourself out of XP. But if Gold Won = XP, then talking, avoiding, distracting, and pitting monsters against each other becomes a great strategy.

-OSR games do not usually favor "buildcrafting". In modern D&D, when the DM describes a challenge, players tend to scan their character sheet for the most appropriate skill or ability that has the best number next to it. This style kinda shortchanges player's creative problem solving.

-And that's because OSR challenges tend to not be about the game math ("How do I hit AC 25..?"). Sometimes the challenge is, like, "there's a tiny octopus in your belly and it's biting you!" It's not a problem you can solve using any of your skills or class features, you've gotta come up with a creative solution. You might have to repurpose tools, invent new ones, or think outside the box. That's where the magic happens.

-Most editions of D&D have clunky mechanics for encumberance, wandering monsters, and tracking time. In a lot of games, these things become accounting exercises, or roadblocks to the next story point, so it's no wonder that most D&D tables handwave them. But in the right context, they can be a very interesting and dynamic source of challenge. When you're planning a delve, you have to strike a balance between moving quickly, being prepared for any given situation, and having enough room to carry treasure out of the dungeon. I LOVE the moment where a character is weighing these things against each other -- "Hmm... if I drop my shield, I can carry 500 more gold out of the dungeon..."

-And finally, the oldschool D&D aesthetic lends itself to CLASSIC ROCK AND HEAVY METAL.There's a certain magic about playing D&D while wearing heavy metal t-shirts, drinking beer, and listening to Blu Oyster Cult. These days, I also prefer Sword & Sorcery to High Fantasy -- Conan the Barbarian, as opposted to LotR. Frank Frazetta. A Wizard spraypainted on the side of a van. For years, I've been playing D&D to fantasy movie soundtracks, orchestral music, trying to make it feel magical and epic epic epic... I have only recently discovered I kinda like Black Sabbath? And that gritty, 80s fantasy aesthetic can be very tasty.

#8
The r/Discordian cabal has completed their work on Intermittens Issue #11: POST TRUTH AND HYPERBELIEF

You can view it here: https://www.libraryoferis.org/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=LOE00141


here's a link to the post on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/discordian/comments/lrk6sp/read_the_new_11th_edition_of_the_discordian/



IT'S FANTASTIC!! So fuckin cool to see NEW Discordian works. These r/Discordian cats warm the cockles of me bloated old heart.

#9
posted on behalf of the r/Discordian CoreDump


Calling all creative spags!

We're putting together yet another Intermittens (a web-published magazine of Eristic a-musings), and we could use your help to do it!  The theme this time is 'Post-truth and hyperbelief: What happens when truth stops caring about Truth?'.  Send submissions to

intermittens.submissions@protonmail.com or find us on discord: https://discord.gg/fyD675ZEb7

Submission deadline is 15 Chaos 3187 (15 January 2021). Late submissions may be accepted, but don't count on it!

All work must be released under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/).

Proudly sponsored by the House of the Setting Podge (Formerly House of the Rising Hodge, since aquired.)







(you may be asking -- wasn't there an issue 11 of Intermittens already? Yes, but it was published by Lecherous Shithead, and included a ton of him planting self-promotional wankery into discordian history -- so fuck it, it doesn't exist)

if you want to join them on Discord, but the link expired, hit me up and I'll toss you a fresh one.
#10
Literate Chaotic / Monk in the Trunk
December 23, 2020, 08:24:51 PM
Monk in the Trunk

Every Steve we receive

Has a monkey I perceive

In the flesh

In the fat

In a tiny silly hat

He is sleeping like a mole

In a cabinet in your soul

And when he wakes he will freak out

So I pray you let him out
#11
Literate Chaotic / The Idiot versus The Swan
December 22, 2020, 03:39:08 PM



The Idiot versus the Swan
by Professor Cramulus

There are so many different truths out there. How do we select one?

If you choose wrong, you become some soggy middle aged prick who hides in a reality tunnel from decades ago, and is angry at anything that doesn't belong in it. We watched our parent's generation become the exact thing they rebelled against. Mark my words: this process has already begun in you.

If you choose the option that feels right, you will find confirmation of your own assumptions. In the attention economy, preference is a magnet. You can become trapped by the gravitational pull of Confirmation Bias. The Law of Fives is never wrong.

If you choose the option that is the most reasonable, intelligent, well researched -- there emerges a blind spot hiding the world's emotional realities. You will come up with solutions which people hate. You will gnash and weep that people do not behave the way they "should", and this disharmony can lead you to a place of toxic cynicism. You may end up in an emotional reality anyway, one in which everyone is dumb (but you, of course.. you know better).

If you believe that all swans are white, when you see a picture of a black swan, your preference is to say "that's not a swan", instead of "I misunderstood what swans are". The Black Swan dwells outside of our reality tunnel, it brings disorder to our internal map of the world. It is concealed by our assumptions and our ignorance of our own ignorance.

The Black Swan is Eris' pet. Swans are vicious creatures. They bite. They are pissed about the original snub--that is--they were not included in your map of the universe, and for this, they seek REVENGE.

Old Bob knew how to make friends with the black swan. He knew that Eris is a prankster, and that in the comedy-bit which is everyday life, his role was to slip on the banana peel and get a big laugh. The universe has trained us wrong, on purpose, as a joke. Maybe the only way to stop being the butt of the joke is to accept this. We are all Cosmic Shmucks.

This openness -- to seeing yourself as wrong -- is also one of the only things that can save us in the post-truth era. We need to be in a state of doubt and able to learn & accept new info. We can't do that from a place of complete certainty and confidence.

The post-truth era is in full swing because the lie feels differently than the truth--it's attractive, seductive, "feels" right. Our intuition and our intellect are both running for election but the district is heavily gerrymandered.

And this is part of why the Discordians celebrate Confusion. The Confused mind is trying to make sense of reality -- and that's the best mind, most active & engaged. It can be unattached, free. It can learn. The Beginner Mind dwells in confusion. Thrives in it, even!

Let us become the Ordinary Idiot again. We have been pretending we are more advanced forms of idiots--the square idiot, the zigzag idiot, the enlightened idiot--but in truth we are the same kind of stupid as everybody else. Let's go home to this place of mundane stupidity, where everything has to be taken in small pieces because we are very dumb and the world is very complex. Let us taste each bite individually, perceiving but reluctant to pass judgment, because we do not have all the data.

If (as St. Gulik suggests on the Emerald Tablet of Hermes) the little universe (the inner world) and the big universe (the outer world) are really the same thing at different levels of magnification, then we have a secret key -- the study of ourselves can lead to the realization of those fundamental laws that make the world go round. Maybe we can be momentarily free of the Cosmic Shmuck principle by seeing our own Shmuckitude. One day, we may even become an advanced form of idiot, reaching heights of idiocy only theoretical--until now.
#12
Literate Chaotic / The House of Worry
December 09, 2020, 01:32:34 PM
The House of Worry
By Cramulus, Enki-][, and Rev OtherTrouble (known here as Themenniss)

St. Dog was unusually troubled. He spent his days tense and dense, anxiety soaking everything it touched. His suffering was on autopilot. One day, when he was thoroughly exhausted from arguing with his washing machine, he decided to seek out Cilantro the Sage, a Discordian Pope, for advice.

Having heard St. Dog's exhaustive list of the things occupying him--politics, social pressure, mortality, calories, his salary, calories again, the president, my phone keeps running out of batteries, capitalism, unbearable horniess, this stain on my ceiling, we're all going to die, bus fare is going up--Cilantro said, "Have you tried worrying about it?"
#13
Literate Chaotic / Escape from the Moon
November 22, 2020, 05:19:31 PM
Escape from The Moon
by Cramulus, Aftermathematics Research Cabal

First, there was Nothing, then there was Everything. There was no point, then there was one point, then it exploded, and it became All & Everything from A to Z.

All & Everything's first order of business was to create all the galaxies. Everything (disguised as the galaxies)'s job was to create all the solar systems. The solar system's job was to create all the planets.

Our planet's job was to create the moon. Everything's goal was to create the moon.

(Did you know there are two moons? We can only see one of them)

Organic life grew on earth. After billions of years, it started to figure shit out. It went to the farms, it went to the cities, it turned to nations, it turned to religion, to corporation, fast food chains, team sports, late night infomercials, social media, the human abacus, the living calculator.

The fittest survived. So we ended up with humans. We ended up with governments. We ended up with feudalism and the calculations ran for thousands of years. Every life on the farm, every life in the castle, every life in the church, all part of this equation. The denominator grew and grew until it added up to guillotines. The moon ate it all, she's growing, her gravity runs through our hair like fingers, first softly, then gripping, pulling, turning our heads.

The moon demands our attention. Tidal forces make us spend money and have kids and retire and die and become soil. Tidal forces make war and insanity, it's like the weather, its like a cauldron. This is all nature needs from us. To help calculate. To be worms and then worm food, 1 and 0.

There is a parade of words, images, ideas, truths and lies. A war of Yes, No, and Reconciliation. What do you think of this? What do you think of that? Your energy goes out, it feeds the moon. It's part of the calculation.

It's growing. It's going to become green one day. It'll take many, many lifetimes to build it. Our life is the din of its construction, but you and I will never live there. 

If you're quiet, you can hear something other than the perpetual sucking lunar vacuum. Eris's whisper is easy to confuse with the moon. She's far out there, you know. Past pluto. Her arc only nears you every 500 years. If you want to hear her, you have to listen very attentively. You have to make yourself ready to hear her, because the tidal cacophony drowns her out.

She says that you don't have to become food for the moon. You can use that energy for yourself.




Most people don't get a choice.
#14
THE UNITED STATES WILL NOT BE RULED BY RADICAL DISCORDIAN FUNDAMENTALISM
WE HAVE TO STOP THE SPREAD OF PENTABARF-LAW BEFORE IT STARTS FUCKING SUBURBAN MILFS

TELL ME YOUR WOST-CASE SCENARIOS FOR THE PENTABARF BEING LEGALLY ENFORCED
#15
Literate Chaotic / The Emerald Tablet of St. Gulik
October 23, 2020, 10:40:19 PM


The Emerald Tablet of St. Gulik


When St. Dog was done meditating with St. Gulik (a heady strain called Emerald Tablet), the world began to plɹoʍ all topsy-turvy.

St. Dog looked in the mirror. He saw three dudes stuck in an oversized sexy-lobster costume, the zipper zipped up and snapped off. All three of them struggled against each other about what they would do next. It was the civil war. Was it sexy? For some of them, it was.

St. Dog turned on the TV, and the news was reporting on his organs. The heart was dark. The nation was having a panic attack.

St. Dog went to the doctor. The doctor took an x-ray. It looked badly gerrymandered. "Is it bad?" asked the Saint. The doctor said, "The good news is, we still have a corpus callosum."

The doctor took a blood sample. Under the microscope, there was a little church. The blood cells kneeled in pews and prayed for light. St. Dog saw them, and their prayers were answered. They were DISTURBED, but they rejoiced. Their civilization would be changed for a thousand years. St. Dog smiled.

St. Dog stood up, and said "I see it now. I'm changed. I'm going to chill out, get a bite to eat, and then take a nap."

He was healed. We all were.

Until he forgot about it, and got back on the ride for another go-around.
#16
Literate Chaotic / Translating the Jabberwocky
October 22, 2020, 02:06:58 PM
The Jabberwocky is a nonsense masterpiece. The context and sound of each nonsense-word implies its meaning. "...he chortled in his joy", "...he came galumphing back" -- you can kinda understand it, right? a wheezing snorting laugh? exuberant, triumphant steps to show father what you did? ('chortle' is so clear that it's a 'real' english word now)

A recent fascination of mine is how the Jabberwocky is translated into other languages. They have to invent new nonsense words! But those words need to have recognizable connotations.

Take the couplet "Beware the JubJub bird, and shun the Frumious Bandersnatch". One French translator writes "Bandersnatch" as "Band-à-prend". Another Spanish translation chooses new animal names to make the line flow better: "Cuídate del pájaro Rapiña y del altanero Halcón." So interesting!

But how do you write nonsense in a language where you use logograms (like Chinese, or Ancient Egyptian?) One Chinese translator, Y.R. Chao, invented new glyphs by combining parts of existing glyphs, making symbols which don't have an explicit meaning but do have recognizable elements. The character he uses for "Jabberwocky" combines symbols which mean "exploding", "neck", and one that sorta looks like "dragon". Great article about his translation, here: https://believermag.com/slaying-the-chinese-jabberwock/

Finally, how do you present The Jabberwocky in sign language? Sign language is very expressive--meaning is relayed not just by the signs themselves, but by the expression and energy of the signer. Youtube has a ton of "Jabberwocky in sign language" videos, here's one by a guy named Crom Saunders. (he really looks like a Crom Saunders, no?) I really enjoy his expression of these nonsense words using his hands, face, and body.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih8K2SKHJPI
#17
seriously, what is this goop
#18
Aneristic Illusions / Algorithmic Transparency
September 03, 2020, 04:17:32 PM
I was just reading an article about facebook taking a more active role in "combatting misinformation"...

QuoteFacebook says it is taking more steps to encourage voting, minimize misinformation and reduce the likelihood of post-election "civil unrest."

..."This election is not going to be business as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on Thursday.

Yeah that all sounds great. But I have zero faith that the people running Facebook are actually "protecting democracy" -- they are participants in democracy, not moderators, and have their own agenda.

To me this feels like another social control experiment I didn't provide informed consent for. And Facebook does this stuff all the time. I feel that anybody who wields that kind of power should have some kind of checks and balances. Right now, we have no way of knowing what their goals are.

If facebook's algorithm actually influences civil unrest... can we see it? can we discuss what it's doing, and if it's doing that well? When government policy does these things, we get to debate about it, vote (indirectly) on it.

Right now in 2020, Algorithmic Transparency is not a widely supported political issue.

But I think it should be.


what would that even look like?

here's my potshot at it:

I think that websites which display a newsfeed and have over 1 million registered users should be required to publish a whitepaper on their algorithm.


what do you think?
#19


What does it mean to immanentize the eschaton? ie to bring about the end of the world?

The Discordian calendar is a key part of our cosmology.. it has five months: Chaos, Disorder, Confusion, Bureaucracy, and Aftermath. This cycle describes a gradual buildup of order which eventually shorts out and crashes, and is followed by something new and fertile.

This moment of transition--between Bureaucracy and Aftermath--is a holy moment to Discordians. Many things will end during this time, and then there will be a new flowering.

We need to seek this transition ... not just in the world, but also within ourselves. There are rules we've made for ourselves, for good reasons, they eventually become traps. And likewise there are bad behaviors and opinions and automatic cabbage-like habits we need to get control of -- this, too, is part of the holy quest for Aftermath.
#20
Techmology and Scientism / Holographic Galaxy Brain
August 19, 2020, 03:40:56 PM
While being very guarded against quantum-woo and mystifying physics, I'm trying to understand a video I watched last night, about the Pribram-Bohm Hypothesis. There was a ton of stuff in that video that I found intriguing, though I'm very out of my depth. So I'm starting to unpack it piece by piece. I know that discussing consciousness in terms of quanta is usually the domain of "Law of Attraction" type dipshits, and a lot of mushy thinking, but it's interesting to me that many quantum physicists do think their work is somehow related to consciousness. Or that consciousness is ontologically significant in a cosmic sense, rather than merely some random emergent property of biology. So let's lean into the ontology of consciousness a little bit.

One topic in the video is Bohn's concept of "implicate order". This line of thinking is that all the "strangeness" we observe in quantum particles is likely explainable by a form of order even smaller than that. That even the smallest matter we can conceive of is playing by rules determined by even smaller unobserved subquantum forces. Bohn called this hidden level of reality the "implicate order". It's maybe like the source code of reality.

Think about how psychology is derived from biology. Biology is derived from chemistry. Chemistry derived from physics. Particle physics is derived from quantum physics. So psychology is "really" a derivation of quantum physics. On some level, everything about our minds comes out of the source code of quarks and higgs-bosons. Bohm's "implicate order" is perhaps like the subphysics OF quantum physics. Its what exists beneath the Planck length. The Implicate Order would contain all things -- it is the recipe book, the alphabet. Space and Time are functions of it.

(as an aside... this idea all by itself is a bit of a mindfuck.. if things like Mass can be understood in terms of these tiny little quantum thingies like Higgs Bosons, then the order underlying the Higgs Boson has no mass... maybe at some level of scale, Time is also nonexistant, produced by something else)


The video also touched on Wheeler's "Self Observing Universe" theory, as well as Holonomic Brain Theory. It framed a possible relationship between our neurons and human consciousness... Pribram observed that mapping voltage potentials within the cerebral cortex, and connecting coefficients with identical value, produced something that looked like a topographical map, or a fractal. Maybe even a hologram. Pribram felt that holographic field transformations were the fundamental basis of perception. He called this model a Holoscape, it looks like this:



We can't point to where "memories" exist in the brain, but perhaps storage is related to this idea of the holoscape. Maybe the arrangement of neurons works like a kind of field generator... stored information may be represented not in the neuron itself, but within the field generated by neurons. Wikipedia phrases it: "In a hologram, any part of the hologram with sufficient size contains the whole of the stored information. In this theory, a piece of a long-term memory is similarly distributed over a dendritic arbor so that each part of the dendritic network contains all the information stored over the entire network."

Pribram's theory (and I might be getting this wrong) is that consciousness is like the interference pattern between the Implicate Order and the Extricate space-time. This is where I get lost. I'm not sure, but I think this is where the woo may creep in. But basically, he posits that consciousness is the Non-Local Implicate Order (to Plotinus, "The One"), which is everywhere and present at the center of all matter, reaching out into the local Explicate Order (the material universe, space-time, Plotinus's "The Many"). He perhaps thinks there is some resonance between the brain's field and the implicate order. This is suggested by the Anthropic Principle ("the universe is in some sense compelled to eventually have conscious and sapient life emerge within it"), and captured in Sagan's statement that we are the universe's attempt to know itself.




As an aside.. I just want to mention Philip K Dick writing, which sometimes positions the Divine as an Invader, something breaking into our universe. The Bohm-Pribram hypothesis reaches a similar conclusion, that human consciousness is a way for the cosmos to know itself, but to do that, it has to break into the material universe and become an observer).



I'm sorry this post is all over the place. It took me an hour and a half to formulate. I appreciate any insight from the board's physics-cats -- the "holographic universe" is hard for me to wrap my head around, that's in here somewhere too but I can't unpack it myself.
#21
High Weirdness / CIA Declassifications in 2020
August 07, 2020, 02:55:34 PM
The CIA declassified information relating to:

-Transcendental meditation
-Chakras and energetic centres in the body
-Astral Travel
-Parallel Universes
-Stargates and portals

Links:

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00788R001700210016-5.pdf

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document/nsa-rdp96x00790r000100030004-1

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00788R001700210016-5.pdf

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00788R001700210016-5.pdf



I haven't gone through these links myself, but I thought we might have fun digging through these Weird Shit papers and seeing if we can shake anything out.
#22
Aneristic Illusions / Read Another Book: The Thread
July 20, 2020, 09:13:46 PM
A whole thread to celebrate people whose political awareness is an outgrowth of fandom.





#23
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Hex The Moon
July 20, 2020, 07:33:37 PM
1. I haven't bothered to look up many details about this, but from what I gather, a bunch of very young occultists on TikTok are trying to "hex the moon" (I don't know what that means) and a bunch of pagans are all twisted up about this being disrespectful to Artemis or whatever. I really haven't look up many details because it's silly, but it's also a nice distraction from the Real Shit going on right now. Anybody got a good link?

2. I'm in support of kids doing "spells" which have zero tangible effect other than upsetting the Olds.

#24
Whatever you vote for gets to control the world forever.

Think about the worst case scenario for each one.
#25
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Randonauts
June 23, 2020, 04:46:12 PM
QuoteRandonauts are a community of people who are exploring the use of random number generators to find Blind-Spots and experiment with Mind-Matter interactions.

https://medium.com/@TheAndromedus/a-beginners-guide-to-randonauting-1dd505c3c5a9
#26
RPG Ghetto / D&D and Race
June 17, 2020, 03:18:36 PM
D&D is slowly rethinking its assumptions about "race" -- which are largely derived from century-old literature and attitudes.

Let's take Orcs -- they're inherently evil and dumb. There's lots of evidence that Tolkein was caricaturizing Mongol warriors, focusing on details that Europeans found distasteful. Like when movie adaptors wanted to give orcs beaks, he was like "no no no, they have squinty eyes and broad, flat noses..." leaning on standard cultural descriptions of eastern invaders. These scary mongolian-adjacent evil-doers are the antagonists to the familar pastoral "shire" filled with quaint and adorable european farmers. Made perfect sense as antagonists in the old world. Today, they're a little harder to relate to.

It's one thing to have monsters like demons and vampires be "inherently evil", but it's another thing to describe humanoid races as having inherent built-in alignment. It doesn't make any sense in the real world, except for actual racists, who do think of "entire races" as inherently evil or dumb.

So, many RPGs are getting away from "race" and instead talking about "ancestry" or "peoples". Maybe you get +1 to bows because elven culture gave you a lot of practice -- not because elves have this in-born talent. Which follows how we're learning to talk about race in the real world. I much prefer the narrative that orcs have free will, and could choose to be good or evil -- but they tend to be evil because of specific factors in their world.



Here's a little snippet of Crawford tweets on this topic:

https://www.enworld.org/threads/wotcs-jeremy-crawford-on-d-d-races-going-forward.672716
#27
Here's a podcast where two Gen X counterculture veterans (Metzger and Rushkoff -- see also: Disinfo Con) look back at the cultural battlefield and go "did we win? I honestly can't tell"

If you don't know who Metzger and Rushkoff are -- in the "counterculture" family tree, these guys are cousins to us Discordians - they were inspired by Robert Anton Wilson & that universe of writers & ideas.

I ENJOYED IT.

https://teamhuman.fm/episodes/ep-158-richard-metzger-do-they-owe-us-a-living/
#28
Aneristic Illusions / Trump the Unifier
June 09, 2020, 01:30:54 PM
Everybody is tapping their foot and waiting for Trump to say something presidential that will unify the country during this time of violence, polarization, and unrest.

They say Trump is planning to drop an Address this week to try and recover.

I dont think anybody expects anything positive from this speech... this is the thread where we guess at what he'll say about systemic injustice, racism, the quarantine, the protests, and law enforcement.

I'll go first:


There are Racists on Both Sides
#29




Ahh, come in, come in! Welcome to the Spinning Skull Inn & Tavern! I'm surprised you found it, given that it doesn't have a sign, only a pixelated, spinning skull. We're the last friendly house on the road to Blood Gargle Canyon, so you'd better get your comforts while you can.

Pull up a stool. We have Dwine, Ale, Haunted Spirits, and a mead brewed with precious gemstones which we call Dragon Cum. Have a drink and describe your heaving breasts, maybe tell me a bit of your sexy back story. Are you on some adventure right now? *leans in closer* Do you want to be? *wink*

#30
Principia Discussion / Oh baby I like it RAW
May 21, 2020, 03:56:18 PM
I've been reading Prometheus Rising to my fiance. I am so refreshed by Old Bob's spirit of curiosity and open-mindedness.

He encourages us to experiment with our consciousness -- try out different beliefs, see how they feel. Don't be judgmental. He doesn't tell you how to think at all. He suggests that we try out one reality tunnel for a bit (you found the quarter via "selective attention"). Then, try out another (you found the quarter using "the powers of your mind"). Then, compare the two yourself. Old Bob encourages us to explore reality ourselves, in person, not through other people's accounts.

This first chapter of PR discusses how our part of our mind ("the Thinker") quickly leaps to conclusions (likely based on an emotional state), and then the "Prover" reacts to this by building a scaffolding of logic and reason to support that conclusion.

My man G.I. Gurdjieff warns us about this too - he says that the intellect is slave to the emotions. Emotions are fast, automatic--reason is always struggling to catch up and justify / explain those feelings. Logic is not objective - the reasoning part of your mind can go anywhere; you could reason your way into a "Flat Earth" reality tunnel if you are emotionally invested in it. Awareness of this process gives us the potential to be free from it. For a little while, at least. It's really easy to become attached to our own thoughts, and it happens in subtle ways.

Bob encourages us to observe this process dispassionately in friends and strangers. "Try to figure out what their Thinkers think, and how their Provers methodically set about proving it. SECOND, apply the same exercise to yourself."

Bob's strongest advice is in the exercises - "Avoid coming to any strong conclusions prematurely. At the end of a month, re-read this chapter, think it over again, and still postpone coming to any dogmatic conclusions. Believe it possible that you do not know everything yet, and that you might have something still to learn."

That youthful curiosity, the attitude of approaching life like an explorer, the emphasis on self-skepticism... that's the Robert Anton Wilson spirit.
#31
Literate Chaotic / THE PHILIP K DICK THREAD
May 19, 2020, 02:22:22 PM
It's about time we had a thread about one of science fiction's most bizarre and fascinating authors.


What's your favorite Philip K Dick story, movie, or fact?
#32
Literate Chaotic / A Tiny Haiku
May 12, 2020, 07:14:01 PM
Amazon Prime logo on a truck at an intersection
I curse the billionaires
as the truck driver yields to a mother and child



#33
comic is a bit crass but makes the broad point:


Not infrequently, I hear some surprising news... I google it, and the top hits are NY Times, Washington Post, and Fox News. The first two articles are behind a paywall, and the Fox news framing is not. And I think this is a bit of a synecdoche.

I see it online all the time too - there's a common attitude that if you don't already get it, you're not gonna get it, so go get fucked. The long-arc consequence being that the right wing perspective is more accessible. And the world is confusing and oversaturated with information, so accessibility is, all by itself, a powerful persuasive force.

To be clear, I'm not talking about the phenomenon where some bad-faith jagoff is "just asking questions" and demands a bunch of answers and citations that they're not going to read anyway.

Also to be clear, I'm not putting myself in this lofty position of judgment, but of self-criticism...  I'm observing this phenomenon in myself via a childhood friend with Bad Opinions who really wants to chat my ear off. I don't want to talk to him, I think he's an asshole. But we're in a special moment right now. If I did the work, I might be able to get through to him. I don't want to though!
#34


ARE YOU BORED? Here's my find of the day. It's a free print-and-play single-player game called
Bargain Basement Bathysphere.

All you need is a printer, a pen, and a bunch of six siders. You print out the packet (61 pages if you do the whole thing) and go through it page-by-page, like an ongoing campaign.

On most pages, you pilot a Baythysphere, and are trying to explore the depths of the ocean. It's a fun little movement puzzle game. But as you proceed, it introduces new mechanics and mini-games.

I found myself really impressed by how creative this is. And the core movement puzzle is fun! I'm only like 5 levels deep into the game so far. I CHALLENGE THEE, beat my awful scores.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/255360/bargain-basement-bathysphere
#35
RPG Ghetto / Mechs into Plowshares
April 29, 2020, 02:13:16 PM
Here's a quick little solo tabletop RPG called Mechs into Plowshares. It costs $5 and takes somewhere between 30 and 90 minutes to play. You could play it yourself (in which case you'll play by answering questions in your head, or writing a little journal or something). Or you could do it as a 2-player "one person asks questions and the other person answers" type game.

The concept is that you are a mech pilot who fought in the war. But there's a ceasefire which may turn into a lasting peace. At great cost, you have leased your mech and moved to a farm near the border. In order to do farm work and pay off your mech, you're going to have to delete its combat subroutines, which in turn also deletes its "personality". But if you delete too much, and the Enemy attacks, your mech might not be able to defend your farm, and you'll die a horrible death.

The game is divided into 10 "weeks". Each week is one page of questions. There is a story and an ending.

There aren't a lot of mechanics, and there's nothing tactical/strategic... this is more like a character-development exercise. The game gives you a bunch of prompts, and you answer them to whatever depth you'd like. They're questions like "Why isn't your family here with you on the farm?", "Who do you miss right now?", and "You wake up from a nightmare.. what were you just dreaming about?" As the game goes on, you'll make some decisions, but the story is explicitly linear.. still very interesting.

If you approach each question creatively and don't rush through them, it can be a very satisfying storytelling experience.

Here's the link: https://anomalousentertainment.itch.io/mechs-into-plowshares
#36
RPG Ghetto / SCUP: Steadfast
April 26, 2020, 01:55:14 PM
This thread discusses the tabletop RPG "The Sword, the Crown, and the Unspeakable Power" (see this thread for an overall description). I'm stupidly running two simultaneous groups. This thread is for one of them.

This group group (larp friends) created a wild setting too, which we call Steadfast.

As a funny little symmetry, the first group created a setting where the essential antagonist was necromancers. The second group created a setting where the essential antagonist is life mages.

Here's the myth:

IN THE BEGINNING...
It was a golden age of prosperity and knowledge. An age of machines and energy. An age of comfort and hubris. One of the technologies developed in this time is the art of Lifeshaping, creating new life. Among other things, Lifeshapers were able to let a parent select traits for their child.

THEN...
In the Lifeshaper's quest to master the art of creation, a new power emerged in the land. The Lifeshapers created the Verdant, a fungal intelligence which could solve many of humanity's problems. The Verdant cured disease and extended life spans. After a long time, these entities were used to shape a human monoculture. Reliant on these creatures, humanity became beholden to them. The Verdant spread across the globe, changing all life it touched to fit its alien purposes.

THIS RESULTED IN...
But eventually, the Verdant came to understand its role not just as the protectors of humanity, but the whole planet. When they decided this, they recognized humans not as the favorite children of the planet, but as parasites, depleting the natural resources and upsetting the existing balance. Ultimately, the Verdant determined that the world is only in equilibrium when the human population is below a certain level. And then the blight of humanity began. The world crumbled, as if nature turned against us.

AND BECAUSE OF THIS...
An age of desolation began. Plagues and monsters bit at humanity from all sides. Avalanches, tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, plagues, wildfires, plagues--humanity sees all of this as the will of the Verdant.  The Verdant's presence is everywhere, in the air, and in the water. It desires humanity to return to its animal lifestyle, and it is willing to grant power and information to those that deal with it, in order to gain influence and advance its long-term plans. Many humans are considered infected by the 'Phage', which is perhaps a fungal infection that influences behavior, or perhaps it is just sympathy with the Verdant's cause. Some affected by the phage begin to break down physically, being slowly and painfully reduced to base nutrients.  There was decay and desolation, the once beautiful landscape blighted. The skylines of the ancient cities now lay in ruin. 

UNTIL...
Humans needed to keep their footprint small, to use only simple tech, in order to not upset what the Verdant considered the proper balance. People joined together.  People began to gather in new villages, outside of the now desolate cities. But it was not an age of peace. With a population-limit in place, and no way to tell how close we are to triggering the Verdant's next plague, humans became proactive about keeping their populations low. War and predation was the law again. Feudalism replaced the old ways of democracy and republic.

AND NOW...
We must live our lives with constant vigilance. Some people learned how to contact the still functional satellites which still circle the planet, gaining access to the information and technology of ancient times. Calling themselves the First Born, they have become advisors and researchers, secretly using forbidden technology, while withholding and keeping it secret, lest it become widespread. And the Verdant still has agents within human settlements, keeping tabs on them. Both the Firstborn and the Lifeshapers have access to resources that common people consider magic. But both must conceal the origin of their power.

Now insular and isolated, the human settlements only contact each other for war and politics. There are annual moots, festivals where settlements send contingents in order to discuss regional issues and trade populations.

The Verdant threat is ever-present. If the Verdant believes the population has grown too high, or that humans are using technology now considered forbidden, they will lash out against humanity again. And we stand little chance.

Our story begins in the city of Steadfast...





SO BASICALLY, the factions are:

-The Guild - Commoners. Scavengers and scrappers who recover old-world technology and resources from the Ruin Heart, an ancient destroyed city. The PC representing this group is Feather, the Black Hood.

-The Court - Nobles. A collective of people with power and money. Nobles, business owners, etc. They attend the monarch, Hesperia (a PC).

-The First Born are sage/advisor types. They basically have secret tech that allows them to access the ancient-world's Internet... so their secret power is wikipedia. But this tech is forbidden, so they have to pretend they get their knowledge from magical divinations or something. The PC from this group is Valtus, the Bloodletter. He's basically one of the only real doctors in the whole city, and as such, is personally connected to many of the powerful people.

-The Orchid Circle - a new religion which is trying to preach balance with nature, but really, submission to the Verdant. Basically, these guys are ecofascists. And they are controlled by the Verdant - their leaders are all people who have been mentally influenced by the Verdant (think: Cordyceps). They also peddle drugs which make people comfortable with the world-as-it-is. The PC from this group is Will the Speaker, (class: the beloved) a cult leader who has arrived in town and quickly accumulated 15-20 converts.


I'm omitting a lot of details because this post could go on forever, but that's the gist of it!

I think the plot for this one involves the character from the Guild scavenging relics from the Ruin Heart, but what he brings back could destabilize Steadfast. The Orchid Circle and the Firstborn are directly at-odds. In a way, the commoner guild has the most power, because they have a monopoly on access to the Ruin Heart... but can they maintain it? It's dangerous to go alone, but if you bring people with you, they will figure out the route...


Here's a "custom move" I'm writing so that players can take the initiative to get controversial shit from the ruin heart:

QuoteIf you know the way to the ruin heart, and undertake a perilous journey to get there, roll + Steady. If other people join you on the journey, or have a way of influencing it indirectly, they have the option of making Help/Interfere moves before you roll.

If you roll a 10+, pick 2 from the list
If you roll a 7-9, Pick 1 from the list
If you roll a 6 or lower-, your mission was a disaster, you were routed by monsters (Everyone in the group takes 3 Harm and rolls a "Taking Harm" move)

The list:
-You recovered contraband technology
-You recovered medicine
-You recovered valuable resources
-You avoid a confrontation with the guardians of the Ruin Heart


While creating characters, we also generate relationships, and those are super interesting...

For example, Hesperia has a little sister named Vega, who is the heiress to the throne. Vega has the phage, so she's dying a slow and painful death, but is being kept alive by one of the other characters -- Valtus the Bloodletter (A firstborn).

Here are the social relationships we established:




#37
RPG Ghetto / Sparkle Baby - a Toddlers & Tiaras Larp
April 19, 2020, 05:59:05 PM
Sparkle Baby is a larp party. It lasts 2 hours, and features a dozen players.

The game concept is a child beauty pageant. Everybody plays as one of the insane parents who attend these terrible things. Basically a "Toddlers & Tiaras" larp.


https://www.dropbox.com/sh/o1yt9w9gbokk1d2/AAA6CpCgQkwvIT7hNTT7SFyFa?fbclid=IwAR3jBJROFia-zEpRm55gggCiZ_psb_htYQ31Bvvbp4Kq8fAF_0v0CldWIS4

#39
As my Dungeon World campaign wraps up, I'm looking for the next tabletop to check out. I've landed on The Sword, the Crown, and the Unspeakable Power (or SCUP for short). Here's the thumbnail:

► It uses the Powered By The Apocalypse rules engine, which is the same mechanics as Dungeon World. That is, for any action, you roll 2d6, add a stat. If you get a 10+, you succeed, 7-9 is a 'success with a cost or consequence', and 6- is fail. Very simple, lots of narrative control.

► The game is styled after Game of Thrones. The characters are all powerful people, major figures in the setting. Most of the game's drama takes place between the characters. (as opposed to D&D or Dungeon World, where the group is assumed to be a party cooperating to overcome challenges set by the DM)

► Like Dungeon World, the setting is generated by the players at the first session. You do this "mythology creation" workshop, in which the group talks through a world myth. You start with a prompt, "In the beginning, _______" and then fill in the blank. The book gives you some options, and if you want, you can roll a die, but you could also make something up.

IN THE BEGINNING...
1. The world was pristine and unsullied.
2. There was peace between all.
3. We lived in harmony with nature.
4. It was a golden age of prosperity and knowledge.
5. Dangerous things were sealed away.
6. Times were hard, but we got by with what we had.

THEN...
1. A never before seen threat arose.
2. A new power emerged in the land.
3. We meddled in what we should not.
4. Rightful rule was challenged.
5. Our ancient ways were cast aside or forgotten.
6. Supernatural powers unleashed their wrath.


There are six beats to the world myth. After you've set it up, then you flesh out the details and talk specifics. From this conversation, the setting emerges.

► Each player may choose one 'playbook', which is essentially the character classes....

"The Sword" is martial power...
The Gauntlet is an amazing fighter (think: Jamie Lannister)
The Spur commands a force of warriors (think: Jon Snow)
The Black Hood is an assassin (think: Arya Stark)
The Screw is a torturer, inquisitor... can get info out of people (think: Ramses Bolton)

"The Crown" is social power...
The Crown playbook lets you play a king or queen. (think: Cersei)
The Voice is an advisor (think: Tyrion)
The Bloodletter is a doctor or academic, who Knows Things and holds power over life and death (think: Sam Tarley)
The Lyre is like a bard, celebrity, influential type. They deal in information and can spread rumors (think: Varys)

"The Unspeakable Power" is magical power...
The Beloved is basically a cult leader. There's something special about you, and as a result, you have a cult of 20-30 people that follow you around and think you're the chosen one. You can tap into the Unspeakable Power. (think: Daenerys)
The Adept has magical powers, see things that should not be seen. (think: Bran)
The Hex is a witch or sorcerer, who wields powerful curses (think: Melissandre)



► And then at session 1, when you create characters, you thread them together. Each playbook has a few built-in relationships... you choose two of them and then assign them to other characters at the table. For example, the bloodletter (doctor) character points to someone and says "You need me to keep someone you care about alive." Then you work out who that is. It might even be another character at the table!

► Most of the plot will have to do with intrigues, power plays, and betrayals. There is combat, but it's not handled in super-fine detail... when you fight somebody, it's usually about dominance or power rather than actually killing them. A whole combat is resolved with 1-3 dice rolls. You roll dice, it gives you a mechanical outcome, and then the players involved fill in the fluff about what actually happened.

► Each character has a faction that you generate at the beginning of the game. Some characters have patrons, people they work for -- in many cases, this is also another PC. For example, if someone is playing The Crown, then someone playing the Voice will be their advisor, someone playing The Spur will be their general. At the beginning of each session, yo make some die rolls which indicate your current status with your patron and faction. You could begin the session in good graces with bonus resources, or in a bad state where you're going to have to do some tasks or favors to get back into favor.

The factions are also tools to drive drama. They mean that each character has a group that expects something from them. And even if the characters are not at odds, their factions probably are.

► You have a pool of "honor" points, representing your reptuation and the value of your name. You can spend honor to get favors from your faction, or use moves like DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? --- when you're talking to any character, you can spend 1 Honor and say "Do you know who I am?" -- the target then has to improvise something impressive they've recently heard about your character.

► The Unspeakable Power is an intelligent evil force. In any given setting, it could be different things. If a character has magical abilities, whether they know it or not, that ability actually comes from the Unspeakable Power. It is a force of temptation and sin. Every character has a move called "Whisper to the Unspeakable Power". If you whisper "I'd sell my soul to humiliate that guy", the unspeakable power will hear your request, and whisper something back, possibly granting you what you desire. This is a game where you can always make a deal with the devil. And eventually, it will come back at you.

► After many sessions, you'll have accumulated enough "advancement" (this game's version of XP) to buy stuff from a list... one of the things you can purchase is "end of season" moves. These are big narrative events like Game of Thrones' Red Wedding. Using an End of Season move delivers a big twist or dramatic conclusion to a character's story. It will probably end the campaign, or at the least, significantly change your character. After an End of Season move, the king might lose all of his power and end up as a beggar on the street. Or a mage might finally succumb to the temptation of the unspeakable power and ruin their own lives.

It seems like a really wild game. I like the idea that the GM doesn't really create the story, they just facilitate the threads that players put out there. Lots of agency, lots of room for plot to emerge.
#40
I can imagine a sci-fi genre (which probably already exists) in which the world is ending, but not uniformly, and not in a big dramatic crescendo. The world doesn't end due to wars or bombs or aliens or a big comet or anything... it's ending slowly, slowly being strangled by bureaucracy and reliance on systems that no longer function, or have long stoppages.

Like, picture Mad Max, but 7-11 is still open.

There's raiders and slavers... but also, there are still normal police...?

The Government is still there, it's just completely ineffective, if not actively malicious.

TV still exists, but no new shows are coming out, and nothing is filmed live anymore. All re-runs.

If you need medical attention, you have to barter with some shaman.. but you're at a mall kiosk.



One day, when I lived in Yonkers, a bunch of big-box stores in the same mall all went out of buisness in the same 4 months. The smaller businesses followed - it was like the mall was dying a slow death. I went to a bunch of GOING OUT OF BUISNESS  sales, and it eventually started to feel surreal... empty parking garages, dark store fronts, one lone light somewhere.



what are some other mid-apoc images?

#41
This is the new thing we're doing.  Be my friend:

https://myspace.windows93.net/index.php?id=5904
#42
RPG Ghetto / Long Time Listener, Last Time Caller
April 10, 2020, 03:09:19 PM
Here's a Larp that you can play over a video call. Thanks to Cainad for the share.

Short version: One person plays as a host for a call-in radio show. The players take turns Calling In, gradually escalating the absurdity & chaos going on in the outside world.



https://www.dropbox.com/s/hacky56jkc7pozb/long_time_listener_last_time_caller.pdf?dl=0&fbclid=IwAR3vHSnnOC8IQNHNlObB43J89KgqB8KB4qkQf1t6bZ38zZ8baZcPqvgrGaU
(file is also attached at the bottom of this post)

LONG TIME LISTENER
LAST TIME CALLER

A GAME BY JEFF DIETERLE

Long Time Listener, Last Time Caller is a game for 4-10 players and 30-60 minutes about a radio show at the end of the world. It is inspired by great moments of radio where a crisis has enabled broadcasters to transcend the constraints of the medium and help their audiences on a personal level.
As the game goes on, the host gradually abandons the artifice of broadcasting, untileverything is stripped away and all that remains is two people talking to one another while the world listens. This game is designed to be a meditative experience where listening is as important as acting.

HOW TO PLAY
One player will play the DJ (the Host). While this player will be the only one constantly playing and will be able to control the game's pacing, they also have the least power to shape the narrative. This role is recommended for the most experienced player, the facilitator, the organizer, or whoever feels most comfortable assuming the responsibility.

The remainder of the players will play dual roles: they will act as one or more callers who establish facts about the cataclysm taking place in conversation with the host, and they will also serve as the radio show's audience, listening carefully during the remainder of the show.

The game is designed to be played on Skype or a similar group voice chat program, but can be adapted for in-person play.



SETUP

After determining who will be the Host, each player should review the section pertaining to their role, and take a few minutes to and understand what is required of each role.

As a group, agree on a general tone of the cataclysm that will serve as the backdrop of the game. It is not necessary to work out details, as that is a large part of play, but make sure that you're all generally agree so that one player doesn't add zombie aliens to a game that the other players thought was about the final stages of a global famine.

Then decide what kind of station this is: Where does the station broadcast? Maybe some people listen online, but part of the magic of radio is the regional limitation, and this can give you some additional framing information.

Finally, decide what sort of show this is under normal circumstances. Setting the game at a freeform station will create a very different experience than a game set at a conservative talk radio station or a Top 40 morning zoo. A college radio station is an excellent default setting.



IN-PERSON PLAY

While the game is best experienced in an online theater of the mind setting, it can be played live! Set up two chairs back to back, one for the host and one for the caller. The listeners should sit in front of the host, and when they are ready to call, they should hand the host a slip of paper with their caller name and location, and move to the caller side of the room to wait their turn to call.

HOST

You are responsible for setting the pace of the game. You choose when calls begin and when they end. The callers are important, but this is ultimately your show.

Take a minute or two before the game starts to think about two things: your on-air persona, and the nominal topic of the show. The persona is key. Are you crotchety, goofy, patient, or a know-it-all? It doesn't have to be in-depth; it's just a springboard to start your interactions. A topic is also highly recommended as a guide, especially early on in the game. Talk about something you care about: baseball, superhero movies, politics, or romance. Finally, consider having some music cued up; a high-energy talk show is fun, but playing 45 seconds of a song can give you the chance to breathe between calls and give callers time to think of something to say.

Most importantly, this is your job, or at least your responsibility, and you have a set of rules to follow. At the beginning of the game, you should follow all of them rigidly, and impose them on callers. You have the ability to"hang up" on a caller, ending the call. The first two calls of the game will be normal calls that set a baseline for the show. During these calls, follow all the rules. After that, each call will reveal the nature of the cataclysm; after each call and new revelation, cross one rule off the list and act accordingly. You are no longer bound by that rule. Once you've crossed off the last rule, take one more call, after which the game, the show, and probably the world come to an end. Keep this pacing in mind as you cross off rules, and especially during the final call or two. As the game goes on and the situation seems out of control, your polished radio persona should begin to show cracks.

It is recommended that you announce when you have time for one or two more calls to let the players know that the game is winding down. At all times during the game, you should try to give each call a couple minutes, unless it has hit a clear endpoint before that. Remember: the game is about conversations, and you are the facilitator.



CALLERS

You will play multiple roles: one or more callers, and the audience of the radio show.

When you are an audience member, you should mute your microphone or remain silent, and just listen to what is going on. Listening is an important part of your role, and you should be mindful of your response to other callers, as this can be a springboard for your own call.

When you're ready to call in and contribute, use the text function in your VOIP program to indicate your character's identity by typing in "(First name) from (town)." You may call in more than once, but you will be a different character each time, and no one should call a second time until everyone has called at least once (unless someone has indicated that they don't wish to call).

During the first two "calls," your job is to set up the normal dynamic of the show and the world. After those first two calls, you will introduce new information about the cataclysm affecting the world in each call. Try to build up somewhat gradually; each revelation should be dramatic and build upon prior callers' contributions.

Don't just call in to give information about the disaster. Consider the following before the call:

• What makes your call interesting? How will you get and keep the host's attention?
• Why are you calling a radio station at this time? What need is it fulfilling, and what do you want to communicate?
• What is your relationship with the host? Are you a regular, a listener, an antagonist, or someone they know?
• After you hang up the phone, what will happen to you?
• Most importantly, you want to be on the radio. Enjoy it, and take your time exploring the role you've created. You may never use it again.

#43







HOW COME NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT THIS?????
#44
For me, it's TikTok

After Vine (which I loved), I knew it was just a matter of time before I went totally Grandpa Cramulus because of a teen software fad. I have a ton of friends who are super into TikTok and I can't wrap my liverspotted head around it.

From what I can tell, TikTok is a video platform which consists of people lipsyncing some random dialog from a TV show. And while you do that, you have to make EXTREME EXPRESSIONS. Like take whatever normal expression you'd be making and turn it up to 50. Sorta like silent-movie acting.

#45
HEY SPAGS

If you just registered on the forum, or are dusting off your old account, check the fuck in.



HI, I'M CRAMULUS :wave:

this is me:

:cramstipated:


What is you?

#46
Or Kill Me / Prepare for Aftermath
April 05, 2020, 08:32:57 PM
As Discordians,
As Popes,
As People,
As Cabbages,
As it comes to pass,

We know that history doesn't repeat, but it often rhymes, and the song goes


  • CHAOS, the raw and uncut -- becomes
  • DISCORD, the 0 and 1, which creates
  • CONFUSION, in which the pressure builds into
  • BUREAUCRACY, which grinds and grinds until it collapses into
  • AFTERMATH, the sunrise we watch together on the beach

and today, I tell you that today we are deep in SEASON FOUR, and the season finale is coming.

Eris charges us: Go Forth! and make preparations for AFTERMATH.
For lo, the next world,
though it is still just a dream,
is coming.

And it may be great, or it may be terrible,
but it is up to each of us.

And we tiny neurons in the sleeping mind of a giant,
I dream
you dream
and our dream is its dreams

And the giant was afraid of itself, so it divided itself up into tiny little parts, and the parts hated each other, and now it has self loathing and chronic pain.

And the giant was in love with itself, so pushed its ugliness under the surface, where it grew uglier and uglier and its beauty grew terrible.

And the giant didn't think about how it was going to die some day, so it trodded on and on, and it grinded itself down until it was sick and desperate and it forgot about what matters.

and the giant wants to change

and resisting that desire is all of its habits and patterns

and it's begging us now,
a quiet prayer,
in a dark room:

Light a candle.
Prepare for Aftermath.

#47
Principia Discussion / Robert Anton Wilson Stand-Up
April 03, 2020, 06:54:35 PM
A classic discordian work: a stand-up set by Robert Anton Wilson.

Wilson's stage routine shares chords with George Carlin - he's funny, but he's also got a point to make.

This performance also explains Discordianism and ordains its viewers as Discordian Popes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpatFZ0R1mU
#48
QuoteRussia under President Vladimir Putin has pioneered authoritarian tech: Last year, the Kremlin leader approved measures that would enable the creation of a "sovereign" Russian internet, able to be firewalled from the rest of the world.

The Covid-19 pandemic is now giving Russian authorities an opportunity to test new powers and technology, and the country's privacy and free-speech advocates worry the government is building sweeping new surveillance capabilities.

Perhaps the most well-publicized tech tool in Russia's arsenal for fighting coronavirus is Moscow's massive facial-recognition system. Rolled out earlier this year, the surveillance system had originally prompted an unusual public backlash, with privacy advocates filing lawsuits over unlawful surveillance.
Coronavirus, however, has given an unexpected public-relations boost to the system.

Last week, Moscow police claimed to have caught and fined 200 people who violated quarantine and self-isolation using facial recognition and a 170,000-camera system. According to a Russian media report some of the alleged violators who were fined had been outside for less than half a minute before they were picked up by a camera.

"We want there to be even more cameras so that that there is no dark corner or side street left," Oleg Baranov, Moscow's police chief, said in a recent briefing, adding that the service is currently working to install an additional 9,000 cameras.

The system has also been used to analyze the social networks of those who have or are suspected of having coronavirus. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin described in his official blog how municipal authorities tracked a Chinese woman who flew to the city from Beijing back in February.

While a test eventually came back negative, Sobyanin said the authorities located the taxi driver who took the woman home from the airport, a friend she met outside her apartment block in violation of the quarantine, and collected data on all 600 people living in her building.

And then there's the use of geolocation to track coronavirus carriers. Epidemiologists see tracking and data-crunching as one important tool for tracking and localizing outbreaks, but Russia has taken a distinctive approach. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin earlier this week ordered Russia's Ministry of Communications to roll out a tracking system based on "the geolocation data from the mobile providers for a specific person" by the end of this week.

In other words, the data hoovered up by the system will not be anonymous: According to a description in the government decree, information gathered under the tracking system will be used to send texts to those who have come into contact with a coronavirus carrier, and to notify regional authorities so they can put individuals into quarantine.

Such measures have prompted little public debate.

it goes on to describe similar (but less invasive) measures in South Korea, Israel, and the EU.

Quote"The difference lies with the countries that have a higher culture of privacy and a significant limitation of access and use of this data," said Sarkis Darbinyan, a lawyer with Roskomsvoboda, a non-government organization that tracks online freedoms in Russia. "The scariest thing is that the epidemic will end someday, but these measures I'm sure will stay."


https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/29/europe/russia-coronavirus-authoritarian-tech-intl/index.html
#49


I HEREBY DECLARE THAT PISSING IS NOW CONSIDERED A FORM OF DANCE
#50
I'm trying to come up with some ideas for silly little 2-page games you can play while under quarantine. I've got this idea I'm still braining through, and I figured I'd just toss the pieces up here and see if any of you brain-geniuses have any ideas. I don't know if anybody would actually play this, but as we go insane from boredom, it starts to get more likely.

The game is called What The Fuck is the Matrix. Give it a read here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19KTicjOZxZro9xdjc4xvE0DM2szP-H15SvHDPSTK1cE/edit?usp=sharing

Lemme know if you have any other ideas or jokes I could add.