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Topics - Pergamos

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1
Aneristic Illusions / Universal Basic Income
« on: December 09, 2017, 07:54:12 pm »
I mentioned this in the "we're all fucked" thread but I felt like it deserved one of it's own.  Just in case anyone is not familiar with the idea it is "give everyone money"  how much varies from being fixed by some revenue source, like the Alaska Dividend fund, to being enough to meet very basic needs to being enough for a person to have a reasonably decent life on.  The knee jerk reaction to it, from those opposed, is that it rewards laziness and discourages productivity.  This is not true, the current welfare system in most places that have one does actually do this, since you will be removed from benefit rolls if you get a job, basic income is for everyone, without any sort of qualifying criteria.  This means it ends up costing a fair amount less than welfare, per person helped, because there is not the added overhead expense of verifying eligibility and ensuring that eligibility has not evaporated.  Canada and the US have both done studies offering UBI in fairly small communities and the results have been quite positive but the programs were not adopted more widely.

It is definitely something I am sympathetic to, it seems, to me, to be a far better solution to the problems that welfare attempts to address than any current welfare system while still being basically the same concept.  I remain unsure whether or not I support it however for the reason I am about to get into.

A UBI requires a coordinating committee of some sort which disperses the payments.  If the program achieves it purpose of allowing everyone to survive without requiring verification of unemployment the need to have jobs which people can support themselves on goes away.  People will still work due to wanting additional income, or because they will be doing something that they want to do, but the current (inneficient and cruel, but still powerful) infrastructure that makes sure that pretty much anyone can at least have an awful job will wither as it will no longer be needed.  This puts a huge amount of power in the hands of the coordinating committee.  If requirements for eligibility are added later, after a UBI has become a part of the structure of society, they will strike those who are disqualified much harder than they would currently, where crappy jobs are at least an option.  If the number of people forced to find work in order to survive is reduced to a small enough number the jobs that took advantage of that desperate pool evaporate, and that small number are left, devoid of the assistance that everyone else can now assume, and without recourse.  The temptation to use a tool that powerful is not something I can see politicians resisting.  I don't know what criteria would first be accepted as a reason to cut someone off of UBI, but whatever it is, it would be essentially a sentence of exile from the economy. 

My other concern about a UBI is that it is a universal subsidization of consumption.  If everyone on the planet were to consume at the level of your average middle class American we would go extinct in fairly short order.  Unless this subsidization is either limited, in ways that can only be unfair, or is accompanied by serious changes in lifestyle and consumption patterns it could greatly accelerate the widespread environmental unpleasantry that is already occuring.

2
Literate Chaotic / A wino on a bus
« on: December 01, 2016, 04:35:11 am »
In a town surrounded by desert.  Oranges feature prominently.

http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/the-horror-on-the-33/

3
RPG Ghetto / My latest campaign
« on: November 23, 2016, 04:53:06 am »
So I have pulled together a GURPS campaign here.  Unlike the previous one unfortunately none of the players are posters here.

The setting is the Caribbean in 1660.  The party consists of Queequeeg (directly based on the one in Moby Dick) the Tahitian harpoonist, Olaf Gustavson a Swedish entrepreneur, Finn, a pirate, and Herbert Wilcox a British soldier from the great war, who was the subject of an experiment with magical time travel that did not go as planned.

Olaf had chartered a whaling vessel which had quite a successful outing and was now pulling into the Windward Isles, on course for Martinique when it was attacked by pirates.  The pirates took the vessel as well as the wealth of spermwhale oil, ivory, and opium that the ship contained.  They put those who did not wish to join their crew into longboats and sent them out, the one containing the party (minus Herbert) also held the captain of the whaling vessel, a Frenchman named Jean-Jaques De Molay.  Upon finding land they spotted a fishing party of Caribs on the beach with spears.  In a burst of smoke and light Herbert Wilcox appeared in between the fishing party and the castaways.  The Caribs readied their spears and advanced, Queequeeg and Finn readied weapons as well.  Herbert attempted to surrender.  Finn shot a Carib, the Carib's greivously wounded Queequeeg and attacked Herbert.  Herbert used his advanced weaponry to drive the Caribs back, although Finn also sustained serious damage.  The Caribs surrendered and were allowed to leave, Finn tailed them stealthily and discovered that they cooked and ate the bodies of their fallen comrades.

The party left the beach to head south, around a rocky area of the island, finding another beach they rested, with Finn on lookout.  Finn was approached by an old native fellow, dressed differently than the Caribs.  He approached, then did some chanting before speaking to Finn in perfect English.  He tended to Finn's wounds, allowing him to recover completely in a rather miraculous manner, and attended to Queequeeg as well.  The aprty accompanied him to his village, whih was a remnant of it's former self and inhabited only by a few old people.  They also brought Captain De Molay and Olaf up to let them rest in one of the huts.  They spoke with the man, who spoke perfect Polynesian when adressing Queequeeg, and learned that his tribe had been destroyed by the Caribs, who now left them alone as they were too old and tough to make good meat.  Finn and Herbert left that night to scout out the Carib village.  Along the way they shot a jaguar and avoided interaction with a Carib hunting party.  Arriving at the village Finn snuck into the hut of the chief and shot him in the chest, the chief died without waking but Finn attempted to steal one of his wives for his own and her scream awoke the village.  The two managed to make it out without being apprehended however.  The next day they returned, checking the beach first and finding that wwhere Herbert had arrived had been fused into glass.  They went to the village and discovered the dozen best warriors contending for who would be the new chief.  Queequeeg roared a challenge to them and they advanced.  Herbert used a grenade, which made them fairly easy pickings after that, the party did not sustain any major injuries.  The rest of the village fled into the jungle.

The party is on the island of Petite Martinique in the windward isles. 

4
Discordian Recipes / An experiment with candy
« on: July 06, 2016, 08:09:07 am »
So I picked a bunch of prickly pears, they are difficult to eat (spines, and lots of seeds) so I decided to make something from them.  Here's my steps, it tastes delicious, not sure if the consistency is right or not yet.

Remove prickles from pears, cut in half lengthwise and soak in cold water overnight.
Cut fruit into 1" pieces, put fruit and water in a pot, water should just cover fruit.
add juice of 3 oranges
Bring to boiling, mash fruit with a potato masher
Strain through cloth, dispose of fruit matter
combine with sugar, at a 1 to 1 ratio.  I had 15 cups of juice so I added 15 cups of sugar, half was regular half was powdered  (I ran out of regular sugar)
bring syrup to boil, boil for 10 minutes

At this point I put the syrup into pyrex in the oven, which was preheated to 350, left it for 10 minutes and then turned the oven off.  I left it there until my girlfriend came home.  The hope was that it would gell, it did not.  I was gone for 5 hours, she put the pyrex in the fridge when she got home, this step can probably, ad should probably, be eliminated

Bring syrup to boil, add 2 packages liquid pectin. 
Heat to soft ball stage,  this should be 235 degrees, this is not what my thermometer read, but I do not trust it.
pour back into pyrex and let cool until comfortable to touch
Refridgerate over night.

I am in the midst of this last stage, as far as I can tell the texture is like a soft caramel.  I plan on cutting it into cubes and wrappig them in wax paper.  The taste is remarkable

5
Literate Chaotic / Nice little piece of sci fi
« on: May 06, 2016, 09:17:24 am »
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/51823

The protaganist has a very discordian view of life.

6
Literate Chaotic / A Cinderella script.
« on: March 11, 2016, 08:53:48 am »


Scene One (entry)
   Storyteller
Storyteller: Welcome to Valley of the Moon, tonight's entertainment will be Cinderella, but it may not be the Cinderella you are used to.  There are no talking mice, and the faerie godmother, well you'll see.  The story begins with two people who loved each other very much.  They had a little daughter who and as the girl grew, more beautiful every day, her mother grew weaker and more sickly.  The little girl, whose name I am afraid I don't remember, was just starting to grow into a woman when her mother died.  As she was dying she asked to be buried by the house, so she could be near her family always.  She was buried near the house but the ground was barely grown back with grass before her widower had found a new wife, who had two daughters of her own.  If everyone will follow me please.

Scene Two (Cinderella's home)
   Father, Cinderella, Fiona, Brittney, Kacey, storyteller
Father: Dear, this is Fiona, she will be your new mother, and her daughters will be your sisters. 
   Fiona embraces Cinderella, Brittney and Kacey curtsey
Fiona: It's so good to finally meet you, such a lovely child. 
   Brittney pinches Cinderella, Cinderella shouts
Brittney: It was her (points at Kacey)
Kacey: It was not
Father: Oh I can see you three will get along wonderfully.
Storyteller: Her new sisters were bullies and her Fiona always took their side.  Her father was away often, and even when he was home he usually took the side of his new wife and her children.
Scene Three (Dining room)
   Fiona, Cinderella, Brittney, Kacey, Storyteller
Brittney: Is the stupid goose to sit in the parlor with us?
Fiona: She who would eat bread must earn it, out with the kitchen wench
   Kacey dumps Cinderella's bowl in the fireplace, Cinderella goes to start sifting her food from the ashes, Brittney and Kacey laugh.
Kacey: That's the right place for a cindersoot like you. 
Brittney: She's a regular cinder fella.
Storyteller: They called her cinder fella so much it just became Cinderella, and even her father took to calling her by it.  They took all of her nice clothes for themselves, leaving her with only rags. Not much later her father was going to the fair.

Scene Three (outside the house)
   Father, Brittney, Kacey, Cinderella, Storyteller
Father:  I'll be back this evening, what presents would my girls like me to bring home for them?
Brittney: I want a beautiful dress, the prettiest one at the fair.
Kacey: I want a necklace of pearls to go around my neck.
Father: and you Cinderella, what would you like?
Cinderella: Father break off for me the first branch that knocks against your hat on the way home
Father:  Of course.  I will see the three of you tonight, behave yourselves while I am gone
   Kacey and Brittney smirk, Father leaves
Storyteller: The man brought what he had been asked, a dress for Brittney, a necklace for Kacey, and for Cinderella the branch of a hazel tree that had knocked against his hat.  She went and planted the branch on her mother's grave and before long it had grown into a hazel tree.  Each day Cinderella would lay by the tree and weep, and a little white bird would come, and if she wished for something the bird would give it to her.

Scene Four (Cinderella's home)
   Cinderella, Storyteller, Fiona, Kacey, Brittney
Storyteller: The king of the land where this all happened had a son who he wished to have marry but who was very picky and who had not been satisfied with any young lady that he had met. So the king declared that there would be a grand ball and that every marriageable young woman in the land was invited, and that the party would last for three days and three nights.  Brittney and Kacey were terribly excited.
Brittney: Oh Cinderella, come and comb my hair, I'm going to the ball at the king's palace.
Kacey: Yes, come and shine my shoes and lace them up, I want the prince to notice me.
   Cinderella starts working on Kacey's shoes
Cinderella: I would like to go to the ball.
Brittney: You go to the ball?  All covered in ash and soot?
Kacey: You have no clothes or shoes, and you want to dance!
Cinderella: (to Fiona) Can't I please go?  It's all I'll ever ask of you.
   Fiona dumps a bowl full of beans in the ashes
Fiona: If you can sort out all of those beans in two hours I'll let you come.  Come girls, we must get dressed
   Fiona and step sisters leave
Cinderella: You tame pigeons, turtle doves, and all the birds beneath the sky, come and help me to pick
   Birds enter and sort the beans out of the ashes, Cinderella takes beans, Fiona enters, Cinderella offers beans
Fiona: No Cinderella, you have no pretty dress and you cannot dance, you would only be laughed at.  And we would be ashamed. 
   Cinderella leaves, crying

Scene Five (The tree)
   Cinderella, Birds, Storyteller
Cinderella: Shiver and quiver my little tree, silver and gold cast down on me
   Birds dress cinderella in beautiful gown
Cinderella: Now to get to the ball.
Storyteller:  And so we shall, right this way

Scene Six (The ball)
   Storyteller, Cinderella, Prince, Fiona, Brittney, Kacey, Revellers, Father
   Cinderella is not in scene yet, the Prince is dancing with different people, this can include the audience.
Brittney: The only reason he hasn't danced with me yet is because you keep getting in the way when he looks over here.
   Cinderella enters, all eyes go to her
Kacey:  Ooh, look at that dress, I want one like that.
Storyteller: The dress was so lovely, and the girls so unused to seeing their step sister clean and well dressed that they did not recognize her.
   Prince approaches Cinderella
Prince: May I have this dance?
Cinderella: You may
   Reveller approaches
Reveller: (To Cinderella)  May I have this dance?
Prince: (Holding Cinderella's hand tightly) This is my partner.
Storyteller: They danced until evening, with the prince dancing with no one else, and letting no one else dance with her. 
Cinderella: It is growing late and I am tired, I must get home.
Prince: I will go with you and bear you company.
   Prince and Cinderella walk, she gets a little ways ahead and runs off and hides in pigeon coop, Prince stands there for a bit, father enters.
Prince: I was walking with a lovely woman but she's run off and hid in the pigeon coop there.
   Father goes and smashes pigeon coop
Father:  If a girl hid in here she's gone now.
Storyteller: When the man returned home Cinderella was back in her rags in the soot, she had hidden the lovely dress beneath the tree after running off before he could smash up the (whatever)  The next day of the festival her sisters and step mother again refused her permission to come to the ball, and again she went to the tree, and was given an even more beautiful gown.  This way to the next day of festivities.

Scene Seven (The Ball)
   Storyteller, Fiona, Brittney, Kacey, Revellers, Prince, Cinderella, Father
Brittney: Darn it, she's back, now we'll never get to dance with the prince.
Kacey: I don't care if I dance with the prince, I just want to know who her tailor is.
   Cinderella and Prince dance
Storyteller:  Once again the Prince would dance with no other lady, and would permit no other man to dance with her.  They danced all day until evening.
Cinderella: I've had a lovely day, but I must get home.
   Cinderella starts to walk away, prince follows, Cinderella runs and climbs tree, Father comes along.
Prince: The unknown maiden has escaped me again,  I believe she is hiding in the pear tree
   Father chops down tree
Father: I am afraid she has escaped you again your highness.
Prince:  I'm going to need your help with something before the end of the day tomorrow.
Father: Anything my liege.
Storyteller: Again Cinderella had slipped away, and again she was in the soot and ashes when her family returned home.  And once more she came to the festival the next day in an even more beautiful dress that the birds gave to her.

Scene Eight (The Ball)
   Fiona, Kacey, Brittney, Rvellers, Prince, Cinderella, Storyteller
Fiona: Her dress is even better than before, don't bother girls, see if you can get the eye of one of the lords that is attending.
   Cinderella and Prince dance
Storyteller: Once again the two danced all day, but this time when Cinderella went to leave the Prince had the steps coated with pitch
   Cinderella loses her shoe on the steps but keeps running off, Prince holds it up.
Prince: No one shall be my wife but she whose foot this golden slipper fits.
Storyteller: And so he travelled about the land, trying the shoe on the feet of various ladies, until he arrived at the home of Cinderella and her family.

Scene Nine (Cinderella's home)
   Cinderella, Fiona, Brittney, Kacey, Prince, Birds
   Prince knocks on the door. Fiona answers
Prince: Hello madame, I am seeking the one whose foot will fit within this slipper, are there any maidens in the house?
Fiona: Certainly, my two daughters are here.  Let me see the slipper, I will let my eldest daughter Brittney try it on.
   Fiona takes the shoe, going inside the house to take it to Brittney, Brittney tries it on, it almost fits.
Fiona: We'll take care of that, it's just your toe that won't fit.
   Fiona takes a large knife, chops off Brittney's toe
Brittney: Oww!
Fiona:  Hush dear, you'll be a princess soon, you'll never need to walk again.
   Fiona walks out to the prince, holding up her foot with the shoe on it, he takes her to leave, the birds call out
Birds: Turn and peep turn and peep, there's blood within the shoe, the shoe is too small for her, the true bride waits for you.
   Prince looks down
Prince: The birds speak truly, you are not my bride.
   Prince and Brittney go back to the house, Prince knocks
Prince: This is not the one that is to be my wife.  Are there any other maidens here?
Fiona: There is my younger daughter, Kacey, just a moment
   Fiona takes the shoe to Kacey, Kacey tries to put it on, it doesn't fit
Fiona: It's your heel, here cut a bit off, when you are queen you won't need to go on foot.
Kacey: I suppose it's worth it.
   Kacey chops off a piece of her foot and fits it in the shoe, then goes back to the prince, they head off
Birds: Turn and peep turn and peep, there's blood within the shoe, the shoe is too small for her, the true bride waits for you.
   Prince looks down
Prince: The birds speak truly, you are not my bride.
   The Prince and Kacey return, Prince knocks, Father answers this time
Prince: This is not my bride either, have you no other daughter?
Father: No, there is only the kitchen wench, Cinderella, that my late wife left behind. 
Prince: Well send her up.
Fiona: Oh no, she is much too dirty and ugly, she cannot show herself.
Prince: I insist, send her up.
Storyteller: Cinderella washed her hands and face before she came to the Prince.
   Cinderella comes out, the prince hands her the shoe, She puts it on.
Prince: This is the true bride!  Come and marry me!
   Cinderella and Prince head off.
Birds: Turn and peep, turn and peep, no blood is in the shoe, the shoe is not too small for her, the true bride rides with you.
   Birds come and dress cinderella in gown
Storyteller:  The two were soon wed, and the party was even more grand than the one where they had met.  Cinderella even invited her step mother and step sisters, although they did very little dancing.  In fact they had a bit of a mishap at the ball.

Scene Ten (The Ball)
   Everyone
   Birds attack the step sisters who run off holding their faces.
Kacey: That horrid beast! It pecked out my eyes!
Brittney: Mine too! I am blind!
Storyteller:  (Closing spiel)

7
Discordian Recipes / Grog
« on: March 11, 2016, 07:53:23 am »
Measurements are a bit rough, but grog should be rough.

Heat 12 oz water to a boil
combine with 2-3 tablespoons molases
add 2 oz rum (kraken dark works well)
Salt to taste.

8
Apple Talk / Disco Cthulhu
« on: March 06, 2016, 02:41:05 am »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RHFFeQ2tu4

The music is not really anything special, but the animation...

9
RPG Ghetto / Outline of a campaign
« on: December 06, 2015, 02:08:58 am »
So I am going to run a GURPS campaign, still quite a ways away, but I am going to use this thread as a way to organize some of my thoughts and put stuff that is general player knowledge up.

The campaign multiverse is a modified form of the standard GURPS infinite worlds setting, there are two primary cross dimensional organizations that are reasonably friendly with one another and act as protaganists and there are a few others that are generally antagonistic to them.  Player characters can either be from one of the two protaganist organizations or they can be people from one of the many planes those organizations visit who has been recruited, swept up, or brought along by accident.

The protaganist organizations are infinity unlimited, a company that has discovered cross dimensional travel using technological means who now works with  department of the UN to try to keep order, of a sort, across the multiverse, and the invisible college, a hidden college of magic that teaches a wide variety of traditions and is able to travel through the dimensions. The two factions are quite aware of one another and do not always work to the same ends but are both generally benevolent.  The antagonists that both are aware of include the Reich, Nazis who have mastered planar travel, the cabal, a rather more diverse and somewhat more sinister group of mages than the invisible college, and the swagmen, dimension jumping con artists and swindlers who use their ability to change planes purely for their own betterment.

The commonly known worlds, at least among planar travellers include the following.

Homeline, also known as Canada, this is the base of operations for infinity unlimited and as far as they are aware the only plane on which projector technology works.  It is called Canada by those from other dimensions because the Infinity Patrol's base is in Alberta and that is usually the only part they see.  It is a no mana plane, TL is early 9/ late 8.  The world is very similar to the one we are familiar with, up until the development of cross planar travel, that was a couple decades ago at this point and is something pretty much everyone is aware of, but most people have not taken part in.

Assiah, sometimes called Venice, the home plane of the invisible college.  This world is in the enlightenment era, similar to our familiar world it includes a race of sentient fish men, who live in relative peace with humans.  Physics are different here and technology above TL 4 does not function, this means that the conveyors that Infinity Unlimited use cannot get out if they have gone in.  The Invisible College is headquartered in Venice, thus the name.  The world is low mana, with the college occupying a pocket of normal mana.

Reich, Germany, or Deutschland is the world of the Nazis, they were victorious in the second world war and moved on to consolidate their wins and discover cross dimensional travel.  Their methods are not as refined as infinity's and is not something most citizens, or the fuhrer, are aware exist.  The world is roughly the same TL as home line, extermination camps are not commonly seen, since their work is mostly done, but a few still exist.  No Mana

Zebu, A world in what seems to be an endless mideval era.  Technology does function here, although sometimes unreliably.  It bears very little resemblance to the world we are familiar with, with different geography, languages, and so forth.  The fantasy races people are familiar with are here, elves, dwarves, orks and so forth, as well as the strange magical race known as glurons.  Normal mana, the world is considered a barbaric backwater by both infinity unlimited and the invisible college, but things keep happening there with potential consequences beyond the borders of the world.  TL 3

Redemption,  A world that at first look seems to closely resemble ours in 1884, however there are an awful lot of strange things going on.  Schools of ritual magic wield real power, including the traditions of America's native tribes and physics seems to be subtly different in ways  that allow ideas that turned out to be wrong in our world to work after all.  Early TL 6 Normal mana but with quirks to the magic system.

These worlds all have a certain gravity, random errors that throw travellers to a random plane seem to end up on one of them more often than other places and they also seem to have a higher proportion than most of travellers born there of planar travellers.  The knowledge archives in Infinity's research department and in the library of the invisible college include many more worlds which have been explored and categorized, but these are the ones that most who have travelled between planes are aware of without further research.

10
Aneristic Illusions / Turkey shoots down Russian Jet
« on: November 25, 2015, 04:26:34 am »
http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/24/middleeast/warplane-crashes-near-syria-turkey-border/

Not only did they shoot don the jet, they shot the pilot out of the sky. I don't think Russia wants war with NATO over this, but still, not good news.

11
Aneristic Illusions / California, the best and worst of us
« on: March 27, 2015, 07:18:00 pm »
Best because apparently anything can be put to the vote, worst because this is what they are putting to the vote.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/23/california-anti-gay-bill_n_6927464.html

13
Apple Talk / underwater snow
« on: March 15, 2014, 10:51:38 pm »

14
Aneristic Illusions / Drug Control
« on: March 08, 2014, 08:45:32 pm »
No not that kind.  One of the scarier problems that we are facing is the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria.  Tuberculosis and other deadly diseases are developing increasing levels of antibiotic resistance.  Evidence suggests that this resistance has existed, as a small portion of bacteria populations, for hundreds of years but it is only becoming widespread due to widespread use of antibiotics.  Why are antibiotics allowed to be used when there is no evidence of bacterial infection?  Why are they allowed to be used in factory farming?  Every use of antibiotics makes it that much more likely that they will not work the next time they are used.

15
Apple Talk / Someone tell me this is a troll
« on: January 22, 2014, 02:47:53 am »
http://www.paulmacrae.com/?p=239#more-239

This guy wrote a book explaining how climate change is indeed happening, and is indeed caused by humans, and that it is a good thing that is going to turn the world into a paradise. 

Is this conservatives finally realizing that they an't simply deny the science and deciding to spin it?

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