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Messages - chaotic neutral observer

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Apple Talk / Re: Edicts
« on: May 09, 2021, 04:34:07 pm »
#1: The Principle of Symmetry.

Any horrible truth I discover about humanity in general applies to me too.  If civilization is a thin veneer, and people are barely domesticated barbarians, then I'm no exception.  If humans are gullible sheeple, then I am one as well.

We're all the same.

Apple Talk / Re: Edicts
« on: May 09, 2021, 04:28:07 pm »
#1: Magic is Real.

Magic is real and beautiful and horrible and spectacular and mundane and difficult and ON SALE AT DEPARTMENT STORES WORLDWIDE.

They probably taught you some basic magic in school, but didn't make a big deal out of it.  Most of the time, it fades into the background.  You see, usually you'll just be paying someone else to do magic for you, often by buying some trinket that has it built-in.

If you want to actually practice magic, expect it to take at least two years of hard study, four if you do it at one of the major academies, and possibly decades if you want to delve deep into the mysteries.  There will almost always be math involved.

There's a lot of fake magic out there, but there's a simple way to identify the real thing:

It's obvious when Real Magic fails.
When fake magic fails, nothing happens.  But, that's pretty much the same as when the fake magic "works".

True, when Real Magic fails, sometimes nothing happens...but the potential exists for it to blow up in your face.  If your magic doesn't backfire from time-to-time, the chances are good you're not doing anything at all.

Mispronouncing a word in the Lord's Prayer causes you to grow mushrooms out of your eyeballs?  Real Magic.
Using the wrong syntax to command the demon living in your computer makes it delete all your files?  Real Magic.
Sticking the wrong crystal up your butt causes you to puke rainbows?  Real Magic.

You know what they call alternative medicine that works?  "Medicine."
You know what they call magic that works?  "Technology".

Apple Talk / Re: Edicts
« on: May 09, 2021, 04:12:02 pm »
#1: Science is Destruction.

Science is not a fountain of knowledge and enlightenment, that improves humanity's condition.  That might be its ostensible objective, and even an occasional side-effect, but that's not what it is.

The fundamental basis of science is that the sole test of any hypothesis is experiment.  But experimentation does not tell you when something is true, only when it is false. It lets you construct models, but the models are not true; they are a set of refined guesses that aren't proven false yet.  Science's function is to strip away the errors and lies from the vast volume of human ideas, while sometimes adding new ones.  What we're left with, is something that looks like knowledge and enlightenment....but that's not science.  That's science's leftovers.

Science isn't the steak.  Science is the cleaver.

Apple Talk / Edicts
« on: May 09, 2021, 03:57:56 pm »
#1: Faith is Sin.

Unwavering belief in the rightness of one's thoughts and actions is a fundamental evil, since it admits no possibility of error.  Even if the root of the belief is benevolent, or benign, you cannot have faith without closing your eyes.  And once your eyes are closed, you are ready to trample over anything and everything.

All of my beliefs are false.
Some of my beliefs are correct to within a decimal place or so, but limited by my senses and mental capacity.
Some of my beliefs are models; I know them to be false, but they're good enough for practical purposes.
Some of my beliefs are generally reasonable, but flawed in ways that I'm unaware of.
Some of my beliefs are honkier than gooseshit.  I'd like to think that I'll correct these when I become aware of them, but this doesn't happen as often as it should.

Me:  "I did the math, you can fit 22 average cows into the bomb bay of a B52."

Dan:  "We can't present this to the board."

Me:  "Why the hell not?"

Dan:  "There's no actual money in it."

I think more analysis is needed before dismissing this as unprofitable.  A full outfitted Smart Cow costs, what, $3000?  But how much bomb can you get for a measly $3k?  That would barely get you a 50-gallon plastic drum filled with black powder. In terms of shock-and-awe-to-cost ratio, I think the cow comes out ahead.  It also meshes nicely with the Air Force's fetish for multirole systems.  It's a bomb!  It's a lawnmower!  It's what's for supper!

You might need more "value added" beyond the laser pointer and the webcam, though.  Maybe equip the cow with a drone launcher.  Wasn't teaching the drones to identify livestock part of an earlier project?  They could be configured to attack everything non-cow.  The sight of a uniformed cow grazing placidly amidst a swarm of hot death wouldn't be good for enemy morale.

First, it tells your opponent that you're not playing with a full deck of cards and should not be trifled with.
I've heard a theory that Reagan successfully employed that tactic against the Soviets during the Cold War, although it wasn't intentional on his part.

Bring and Brag / Re: Favorite Sentences Megathread
« on: May 03, 2021, 03:50:12 am »
Maybe the real money down the drain was the friends we made along the way.

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Curbside Pickup Only
« on: April 30, 2021, 03:14:09 pm »
Is blaming Trudeau ever really wrong?
It's one of the luxuries of a governmental system that is essentially a term dictatorship.  It makes it easy to blame everything on one person.

I'm also still waiting for a vaccination, if it makes you feel any better. Of course the government's attitude to anyone under 60 is that we should fuck off and die, so I'm not too surprised at this being the case. Denying us the ability to get vaccinated, while making snide remarks and hectoring us to go and get vaccinated when it's finally available is entirely in keeping with their approach to...well, everything.

Yikes.  Our government at least pretends to care, they're just disorganized and condescending.

Are your people trying to improve initial coverage by increasing the inter-dose interval from three weeks to four months, or is that just us?

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Curbside Pickup Only
« on: April 29, 2021, 04:26:11 pm »
Sometimes I think to myself, that somewhere out there is is an epidemiologist--possibly several of them--who has spent the last year in a state of ecstasy because of the vast quantity of data they now have available.
And I'm okay with this, because that's how I would feel, too.

I became eligible for vaccination yesterday, but my appointment is still two weeks out.  Canada is still having vaccine supply issues.  Meanwhile, south of the border, the Americans seem to be handing them out like candy (cross-border Canadian truckers apparently can get vaccinated in North Dakota, now).

The time for finger pointing has come!  Quick! Someone tell me who I'm supposed to blame for this!  I don't want to think for myself!  Can I blame Trudeau?  I don't like Trudeau!

RPG Ghetto / Re: New campaign world notes
« on: April 19, 2021, 04:52:37 pm »
I have a hankering to drop a Western plot into this.  I mean, it will be suitably dressed up to be D&D, but still a Western plot.   Not sure at what point in the campaign this will take place.


I am open to suggestions on this one.

Seven Samurai.  (Yes, it's a western.  You can pretend I said "The Magnificent Seven", if you prefer).

Your ancient vampires already raid villages periodically, so let's say one of the more remote villages gets advance warning, and desperately tries to recruit the party to defend them.

If this happens in winter, the villagers won't be able to "just run away" without starving/freezing/getting picked off one-by-one.

Discordian Recipes / Re: the fuck is briping?
« on: April 13, 2021, 08:50:11 pm »
This will be a big hit with the hipster crowd.

Some tropical birds display ostentatious plumage, and perform intricate courtship rituals, as a way of demonstrating to potential mates that they have lots of free energy.  The more ridiculous the display, the better.

Hipsters are the tropical birds of the primate kingdom.

Discordian Recipes / Re: the fuck is briping?
« on: April 13, 2021, 05:00:14 pm »
I love the idea of brewing a single mouthful of coffee at a time. And you have to drink it through a straw, so there's a great chance you're going to burn your mouth on that first sip.
Ah, but the beauty of this is that it comes with a thermometer.

So all you have to do is watch the temperature until it reaches optimum (while your friend, who brought a thermos, is already halfway through their cup, and trying not to laugh).

RPG Ghetto / Re: New campaign world notes
« on: March 31, 2021, 05:42:04 pm »
The night of the abdication, Pitt vanishes, never to be seen again.

... any ruler removed or resigned from office were taken as "Renshaws" or food ...
 They each have at least one "Renshaw" who does not age during their service, and who are in some way "marked" by their service, becoming powerful monsters in their own right. 

Hmm. I wonder if a hideously transfigured undead emperor is going to show up and ruin someone's day.  :)

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Curbside Pickup Only
« on: March 30, 2021, 03:32:44 am »
Yesterday morning, the weather service issued a warning.  By mid-afternoon, the temperature was +18 C, the few patches of remaining snow were shrinking, and the neighbour's kids were playing in their backyard.

Somewhat unusual weather, but not the reason for the alert.

This morning, the wind started to blow.  Hard.  There was rain, then snow, then more snow.  Now, the worst of the storm has passed, the wind has slowed to 40 km/h, it's -9 C and falling, the world has turned white again, and I'm regarding a tray full of eight-day-old tomato seedlings, wondering if maybe I should have waited another week before starting them.

Some parts of the world are ill-suited for human habitation.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: ITT: Confess your WOO!
« on: March 29, 2021, 11:14:35 pm »
Does belief in the efficient market hypothesis qualify as woo?

Proxy wars are much more fun cos they're a lot less effort, right?
Nah.  Direct engagement is way more fun than watching youtube videos, and I find it's usually worth the effort.  But if you don't feel like refining your ideas in pitched battle, that's up to you; cno-brand discordianism isn't for everyone.

cno-brand discordianism may cause confusion, self-doubt, blind screaming paranoia, and mild skin rash.  Do not use together with placebo.  cno-brand discordianism may have been contaminated with nuts.  Ask your Doktor if cno-brand discordianism is right for you.

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