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Topics - Telarus

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Humans develop an incredible ability to pattern match. So much so that it's built into our DNA. When we see another monkey reach for a fruit, crack a smile, or grow annoyed, our biology immediately 'primes' the exact same muscle groups used for the task seen by queing up signals in the motor cortex, etc (thanks, Gautama, for that piece of the "karma" puzzle). We can mimic expressions, facial or whole body, some of us to the point of "impersonation" (Jim Carry does who?).

Humanity also has the pretty amazing ability to project impressions of humans onto their environmental events (from stormclouds to wild animals), which we call 'anthropomorphication'. Aren't we just the clever monkeys, to have made up a term for that.

----===[This space intentionally left blank for illumination.]===----

This is not a coincidence.

This is a feedback-loop.

Increasing the number of elements that the muscle cortex and related brain areas can model, accelerating the system when the brakes are taken off.

I've got a few more of the damn twisty things intuited out(subconscious feedback loops, that is).. but this is the first one I've managed to pin words to following a bit of parsimony. Look how much negentropy it took to pull that off.  :p

Techmology and Scientism / This just in: Universe cheats at EVERYTING
« on: August 02, 2012, 11:15:07 pm »
So check this out. Guys is Japan have created a quantum scale "engine" which converts heat to information and then back to energy. WTF you say? Yeah, I had to double-take as well. You kind of just have to read the article, but they've given you a cute little analogy-photo with a little Maxwell's Demon silhouette.
Here's a fascinating piece of work. Build a tiny staircase and place a small polystyrene bead on the bottom step (a staircase is fairly straightforward to construct using electric fields).

It's easy to see the bead being jostled around by the random motion of molecules in the surrounding air, the well-known phenomenon of Brownian motion.

Most of the time, the Brownian motion tends to knock the bead down the stairs but sometimes the jostling is powerful enough to push the bead up a step.

Keep a close eye on the bead using a video camera and every time you see it go up a step, change the electric field so that it cannot drop back down again. This is like placing a barrier behind the bead.

As you repeat this process, the bead will move up the staircase, driven by Brownian motion.

This is exactly the experiment that Shoichi Toyabe at Chuo University in Tokyo and a few buddies have successfully carried out. The implication is that the bead is somehow able to extract energy from the environment, which at first sight, looks like a blatant violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics....

RPG Ghetto / Extracting Semantic Data from Classic Modules
« on: July 19, 2012, 01:21:51 am »
I have been learning to use a very cool tool recently:

V.U.E - Visual Understanding Environment [ ]

An open source "Concept Mapping" application that allows you to visually map data. Mostly by hand, as other 'mind mapping' software does, but VUE has some really cool automated tools for importing and extracting data. So, what good is this?

Well, here are the last 10 entries from Justin Alexander's blog (the Alexandrian's RSS feed, to be precise).

I've dropped all 10 "post" nodes onto the map, then the "hexcrawl" category node. Links are formed due to the meta-data. You can even double-click each node to open that post in your browser window.

[ Then I got fancy and called AlchemyAPI and OpenClais on one post, some web2.0 services, to generate new metadata nodes based on the content of the post! As you can see by the nodes with red outlines, this isn't an exact proccess... it seems they tagged 'Hex' as from the Discworld series.. lol.. Anyway, this step isn't applicable to the use-case I'm leading up to. I just wanted a more complex map to show the relationship features possible with visual relationship mapping. ]

So, what then can we really do with this tool?

Well, obviously we can plot "relationship maps" quickly and easily, with nodes for characters and links for one or two-way relationships.

Even better, once we have laid down nodes and links, then given them labels and keyword-metadata (examples: "NPC", "Treasure", etc), we can use the map-search feature to find unique entities quickly or to extract entities onto a new map (say we need all the NPC's from a certain location, simply search your master NPC database-map for that location tag and generate a new map with all the NPCs tagged with that location name).

Even better (did I say that already?) we can add nodes to other nodes in a nested child/parent relationship, and nodes can take a URI/URL reference. This last features means we can link to any file on our computer OR on the web. The child/parent relationship nesting means we can have multiple resources within a parent node to describe different aspects of it (nodes should be "one cocept" per the VUE specs). A simple doubleclick will then open, say.... the NPC's character sheet (once you've made it, save it, and linked it, of course), or a portrait or token image from your computer or the web (with the ability to preview images in the map itself). Or a PDF file. Or an online Wiki entry...

Have I blown your mind a little yet? (Good, Eris hands out gold stars for that... -><-)

How about this: VUE is FREE AND OPEN SOURCE.

Another one? Ok, so I had to introduce you to the tool for you to understand the next part. This is my main use case, currently:

VUE can import spreadsheet data as CSV files (comma-separated-value text files). So, I am current crawling through Hommlet [T1-4] and jotting down every single NPC listed into a GoogleDocs spreadsheet according to the following Keywords. Who says Hommlet has to be boring? It's just the info-overload that kills it. There's a lot of intrigue and skulduggery in Hommlet, all buried in the Map Key... so we need some way of extracting that semantic data (meaning) behind the repetitious Key.

I've listed these Keywords at the top of my spreadsheet, VUE takes the first row as the meta-data categories for each "row-object" which defines an NPC:

Name: [for unnamed characters use Title(key##), examples: Farmer(01), Farmer's Son A(01), Farmer's Son B(01), etc... this will be our Master Key so they have to be unique]
Location: Hommlet [T1-4]
[Key]: [Location key [##] with leading zero, for sublocations use [##] ## format]
Class:  [examples: commoner, Fighter, etc]
[Hit Die]: [examples: ~[0], [2], etc]
Gear: [the npc's equipment]
Loot: [the NPC's carried valuables... NOT the location valuables]
Militia: [militia = a member of hommlet's militia, civilian = not, other = other]
Faction: [so far I have: Old Faith, New Faith, Rufus & Burne, Lareth's Camp, The Temple, Adventurers, Random Encounters ...not all may apply to hommlet]

Once I have this entered into my spreadsheet, I can drop a pic of the Hommlet map into a background layer in VUE and start laying out the NPCs. I can either auto-cluster them by Faction (If I define that relationship as the Key), or by Map Key## (ditto). I can then make a spreadsheet for the location information, import that and drop those nodes (using a different color scheme). Then, I can associate the two datasets, and auto-link NPCs to their locations.

So, is this something that you all would be interesting in seeing in action? Also, what would be some good Column Headers for my NPC roster?
Have I missed any key 0/1e "metadata" which all NPCs usually have? (Besides the 6 stats..I'm not including stats at the moment.)

Example: If I use an "Image" column, and populate it with URI/URLs from the web or my computer (and set the 'image-key' to that field when I import the dataset), VUE will then grab those images automatically! So, I've been considering that on a second pass at the NPCs. I know there are pics of Rufus and Burne floating around out there....

This is a Work-In-Progress, but I've got a "first pass" done. No color coding (yet), but I have bolded the names of the militia members, and hidden young children under their mothers node (to save space).

I really like what I'm getting so far. Here's a WIP image (note that I have Elmo selected, and his metadata is in the Info window):

Hope this was useful, stay tuned to see my results. :cool:

Aneristic Illusions / 150+ Page Threads to Nowhere
« on: June 28, 2012, 05:40:54 am »
It's not just us, guys.

Wizard vs Fighter Balance Bullshit (currently 159 pages of screaming and ink throwing)
Quote from: Bloody Stupid Johnson
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm pleased with the outcome of the thread so far. OK, More or less exactly as usual we have 157 pages of ass with no one budging their positions by a Planck length, but at least the damage seems to be contained in this thread, instead of derailing everything everywhere like in tgdmb or rpgnet's D&D ghetto.

(Meanwhile, I have a thread going about my Earthdawn/Greyhawk mashup that has gotten over 200 views and only 4 "2-line" replies.. all from the same guy)

What can we learn from this phenomena...?

Techmology and Scientism / 17, the "most random" number.
« on: June 27, 2012, 08:02:44 am »
Very interesting. I remember 17 being called out in Illuminatus! as having a connection to the 5/23 current. Does anyone remember where that is? I guess I can text-search it.

Techmology and Scientism / Advertising Disguised as Science
« on: June 13, 2012, 09:16:24 pm »
I swear to Eris this has nothing to do with that other thread.

Very interesting tho, as it exposes how the structure of a system can lead to claiming to work towards one goal while driven by other motivations (please do't make me repeat the first line of this post).

High Weirdness / Some Weird Shit I've Run Into Recently
« on: May 13, 2012, 12:16:40 pm »

The Zuni Enigma
The Zunis of New Mexico are different from other Native Americans in many ways. In an impressive, very detailed paper in the NEARA Journal, N.Y. Davis summarizes her investigation of these anomalies as follows:

"...evidence suggesting Asian admixture is found in Zuni biology, lexicon, religion, social organization, and oral traditions of migration. Possible cultural and language links of Zuni to California, the social disruption at the end of the Heian period of the 12th century in Japan, the size of Japanese ships at the time of proposed migration, the cluster of significant changes in the late 13th century in Zuni, all lend further credibility to a relatively late prehistoric contact."

More @ the link
Published: June 25, 1985

A DISPUTE between the Brazilian Navy and an American marine archeologist has led Brazil to bar the diver from entering the country and to place a ban on all underwater exploration.

The dispute involves Robert Marx, a Florida author and treasure hunter, who asserts that the Brazilian Navy dumped a thick layer of silt on the remains of a Roman vessel that he discovered inside Rio de Janeiro's bay.

The reason he gave for the Navy's action was that proof of a Roman presence would require Brazil to rewrite its recorded history, which has the Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral discovering the country in 1500.


This is bad ass:

Black Hole Caught Red-Handed in a Stellar Homicide [hd video @ the link]

NASA image release May 2, 2012

This computer-simulated image shows gas from a tidally shredded star falling into a black hole. Some of the gas also is being ejected at high speeds into space. Astronomers observed a flare in ultraviolet and optical light from the gas falling into the black hole and glowing helium from the stars's helium-rich gas expelled from the system.

Credit: NASA; S. Gezari, The Johns Hopkins University; and J. Guillochon, University of California, Santa Cruz

To read more go to:

[Image from video below]

Techmology and Scientism / Sharks with... [do I have to?]
« on: May 02, 2012, 08:06:39 pm »
HOLY TITS ON A TESLA COIL... they went and actually did it.

Apple Talk / Secret Photos of Dok Howl's Washroom
« on: April 25, 2012, 08:47:46 pm »

Techmology and Scientism / Strife in your SpaceTimes
« on: April 25, 2012, 05:27:14 am »
I seriously had to read this three times.

Quantum Experiment Shows Effect Before Cause

Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday April 24, @04:32PM
from the enjoy-the-headache dept.

Quote from: 'steveb3210 writes'
"Physicists have demonstrated that making a decision about whether or not to entangle two photons can be made after you've already measured the states of the photons."

Here's the article's description of the experiment:

'Two independent sources (labeled I and II) produce pairs of photons such that their polarization states are entangled.

One photon from I goes to Alice, while one photon from II is sent to Bob.

The second photon from each source goes to Victor.

Alice and Bob independently perform polarization measurements; no communication passes between them during the experiment—they set the orientation of their polarization filters without knowing what the other is doing.

At some time after Alice and Bob perform their measurements, Victor makes a choice (the "delayed choice" in the name). He either allows his two photons from I and II to travel on without doing anything, or he combines them so that their polarization states are entangled.

A final measurement determines the polarization state of those two photons.

 ... Ma et al. found to a high degree of confidence that when Victor selected entanglement, Alice and Bob found correlated photon polarizations. This didn't happen when Victor left the photons alone.'

Techmology and Scientism / Explosions over California...
« on: April 24, 2012, 08:52:48 am »
...turn out to be an asteroid the size of "a minivan" exploding at 33,500 MpH over the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Techmology and Scientism / Biblical Archeology
« on: April 14, 2012, 04:13:40 am »
This Just In!

(Really old and well established) Samaritan temple edited out of the pre-bible texts once the Assyrians invaded and the religious power shifted to Jerusalem:

Research Reveals Ancient Struggle over Holy Land Supremacy

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