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the real world has lossless compression

uncompressed real world infinite file size

damn there's something to that... the feeling of trying to calculate the file size of the real world, or anything real. just watching the number go up forever
Close reading / Invisible Cities
September 15, 2023, 12:19:14 PM
Regarding Italo Calvino's
"Invisible Cities"
Synapses / The Mirror of the Self
September 06, 2023, 12:38:59 PM
Both Christopher Alexander and Rick Rubin use this exact metaphor.

SYNAPSE ~ Process for identifying the feeling
(What is the feeling? The Mirror of the Self.)
1. In ~ The Nature of Order Book Two, Alexander wrote (paraphrasing):

The artist putting their feeling into the work:

The work generating feeling in me:

There is a subtle but critical error here: Alexander is contrasting a process (what the artist does) with a goal (what the art does). I agree, one thousand percent, with what he wrote... but how is the artist to move forward, knowing this? The two items are not immediately usefully comparable and I'd in fact argue that choosing to pursue a goal over a process is extremely detrimental.
(See ~ Atomic Habits - todo: link to more detailed/specific notes when I have them)

2. In ~ The Creative Act, Rubin wrote:

QuoteA point of view is different from having a point. . . . It's of no use to know [or portray] your point of view. . . . The true point is already made in the innocent act of perception and creation.

This presents a better angle towards a potential system or process for achieving Alexander's ESSENTIAL AND IMPORTANT feature of art, although it's by no means complete. (Maybe I could mine The Creative Act some more and find a good quote, but I don't really care to do so at the moment)

The artist puts their feeling into the work,
expressing, communicating, or portraying their felt feeling

The artist looks at the work and notices how they feel,
working to enhance their received feeling
(Alexander actually says this more or less directly in that chapter, but I'm highlighting how his big-picture summary fails and how we must summarize it differently -- through describing two processes: a good process and a bad process)
Reviews & reflections / Battle Brothers
August 31, 2023, 10:10:07 AM
I do get so drawn in to these grand simulation games, but I find it so frustrating to recognize how slow this process of mastery is -- and exacerbated by the somewhat artificial pacing of grinding out resources. Does that make sense? When my fellas die, it means I have to get new fellas, I have to gather more gold to get more done, and this allocation of resources and time is just not that enjoyable.

It's compelling to gain control over a system that has control over my time. OTOH it's more empowering to reject the system into which I've opted; I take control of my time back by quitting rather than by learning how to earn my time back from the clutches of the game.
When faced with any body of data, I...

1. decompose it into a 'good' ~SEMI-LATTICED ~LIST that captures the whole
-> and note further thoughts & elaborations as necessary

2. write a second list of second-order thoughts, compositions of the decomposed ideas into a collection of connections, new and old

3. write a third list of smaller versions of the above thoughts, reducing both the first and second list into a new minimized list which might be seen as 'concluding'

4. from this newly processed raw data, note how to move forward as a practical creature, as a finite being; these notes are about truth but truth, being inaccessible, does not help us move forward; if these notes are about a conversation, what might we talk about next? if these notes are about an idea, what might i think about next? if these notes are about a project which i am actively working on, what might i work on next? this step is absolutely key and critical.
Recipes, food / MEAL TODO: BREAKFAST
August 22, 2023, 04:33:34 PM
-Eggs Benedict
Close reading / Atomic Habits
August 19, 2023, 09:48:43 AM
Regarding James Clear's
"Atomic Habits"
Close reading / The Creative Act: A Way of Being
August 15, 2023, 04:35:38 PM
Regarding Rick Rubin's
"The Creative Act: A Way of Being"
daily 750 / Aug 12 - Wanting wanting
August 12, 2023, 09:05:16 AM

He was like that, you know? Mercurial.

He knew he was that way; he embraced it, chose to love himself despite the chaotic energy he brought to every interaction, despite the fact that nobody could count on him because he could not count on himself. When you are the way that you are, all you can do is love yourself until that changes, too. You'll learn to love whoever you become next.

"You'll learn to love whoever you become next," he said aloud, out loud, to himself, to nobody, to you. He thoughts about himself as if from a bird's eye view, from the third person, as if he were words on a page. Those words might last forever, he thought, but the he who left his imprint there would be long gone, never to exist again. He thought that this was not a bad thought.

He wanted to want to go out in the rain, but there was nothing drawing him out there except for the desire to desire, which was not and never would be enough. He satisfied himself by looking out into it, imagining what it might be like to be the poor sucker who actually went:


The poor sucker wore shoes ill-suited to the inclement weather. The rain had slowed to a drizzle but he avoided every deep puddle, to keep his already-damp socks dry. They were already damp because he did not avoid every shallow puddle, or every raindrop, and rain has such a tendency to get everywhere.

Clouds formed a thick and impenetrable sheet overhead, and the sun lit them all up from behind to the almost-bright grey of an overcast day. It was its own sort of time. The wet pavement gleamed dully but had no sun to reflect, it had no depth. The day was depthlessly bright. Light like rain got everywhere.

He, the poor sucker, found his way indoors, into a cafe or a mall or a bookstore or some other public indoor space, where the rain and bland light had soaked into every nook, bleeding it of its usual life. At night there could be a different sort of life, but it was not night, and so there was no night life, there was no day life, there was only the dead-eyed spiritless pall of a very, very cloudy day.


Imagining this, he felt a twinge of regret that he had only imagined rather than experienced this deeply cloudy day, this hopelessness-soaked sponge of a rainy day. He could have been that imaginary figure sucked dry of all warmth and passion! He could have been out there himself!

His desire to desire had become a genuine desire, he thought majestically. Now, when he went outside, or alternatively chose not to go outside regardless, he would know it was driven by truest wanting.

There was a pulling on his heart. A soft pulling. This is the form and shape of desire: an invisible string connected somewhere to your middle moving your soul in the direction of action. If you pause at this moment, as he was doing then, you too can see the ghost of your future forced into action, moving towards the source of your desire, the source of its animation. This phantom cannot look back at you, just as you cannot look back at yourself as you were a second ago. It, as you, is trapped hopelessly in its own present.

To want to want, he thought, was to see the phantom seeing a phantom, was to see the phantom, the future you, sitting and only seeing, as he was doing now, sitting and seeing.

Even if he wanted only to want to want, he wondered if it was inevitable that his predestined image would eventually get up and move in the direction of this wanted wanted wanting.


Imagine him sitting there, wanting to want to want to want, and so on.

Imagine several hundred thousand million future selves all sitting in one place, until a single one, that image furthest in the future, slowly stirring, moving. This leads to his second-furthest image noticing this movement, seeing it, knowing how he is fated to become him, that next self. These countless future selves -- once a single person -- become a smear in time, getting up one after the other, seeing further ahead, moving faster, leaping up and into action, not strolling or walking but running.

He could only imagine chasing after the furthest-off image, the opposite edge of the smear, the one of him with some hundred thousand million moments' headstart, and he examined the ghost of his future, the one he could see, sitting there in the same place as him, presumably waiting for the second ghost to start moving, who was presumably waiting for the third ghost to start, and so on. How many far-off ghosts had already started?

He ran into the rain.
Primordial soup / buoyancy
August 03, 2023, 11:53:39 AM
I was developing a simple buoyancy algorithm and it all just made sense, at some point; it was such a simple set of forces capable of producing such lifelike floating and bobbing.

In the foreword of Positive Disintegration, its author, Dabrowski, began describing the trajectory of the human psyche as affected by various factors: "This constellation of genetic features determines the type and extent of development possible. . . . genetic traits . . . a strong sense of needing to be oneself, . . . over-excitability. . ."

It was during this foreword that I began to loosely perceive a person's psyche, their state of mind, their life, their whole self, as a buoyant object.

Buoyancy seems like it should be complex, because it is so seemingly unpredictable, and yet this complex self-balancing system can also be so easily understood and thus simulated as two simple forces acting in opposition.

And even then these two forces can be made... not simpler, exactly, but more elemental? The metaphor of forces is easier for us to hold in mind, but is not easier for the universe, is unnatural. What is natural is every particle acting upon every particle all of the time in an infinite smooth field, the infinite complete graph...
Close reading / Book Three
July 26, 2023, 04:40:28 PM
the third book in a four book essay
Close reading / Ugly feelings (2nd read)
July 26, 2023, 09:43:39 AM
~ i read ugly feelings before
i want to read it again, now

Sianne Ngai's "Ugly Feelings"

daily 750 / July 25 - boat story
July 25, 2023, 07:36:33 PM
drowned city, boats, open waiting sea, something to do among the buildings, cluttered alleys

horrific slow death by suffocation, negligent security and management, freedom at sea, freedom at sea, escape

May-Jin was lost at sea, and hungry.


She wore white at sea. The tiny sailer she called home had its every indoor nook filled with equipment and supplies:


She wore white at sea. The sea air was too still today, and the sun


She wore white on days like this. The sea air was too still, and it was blue in every direction. Nothing but blinding blue. Her tiny sailer's makeshift motor hummed as it slowly propelled her away from nothing, toward nothing else. On days like this there was nothing to do but wait.


In the tiny cabin that was barely big enough for one person, there were tins of food, clothes, a flare gun, a dead cellphone, an empty cooler containing several glass bottles, and three books. And there was one person.

It was a Tuesday when May-Jin finally spotted the drowned towers. She knew this because she kept track: She had an old calendar and a few working pens in the tiny cabin that was barely big enough for one person. There were also several pens that had dried out. [Days of the week mean nothing, they are a curiosity, and that's all]


There would be a lot of time between spotting the towers and reaching them. On a calm day, it was nothing to get excited about -- May-Jin could not maintain excitement for so many hours, so she got ahead of it and got bored right away. [dislike line: show boredom, impatience, jadedness, but desire to be excited]

[What does May-Jin do for fun out here? Maybe she's a little crazy actually, lol]


Those great dead towers loomed all around her.

"Hellooo!" she called out, listening for any voice but hers among the echoes. There were a few hellos that sounded utterly unlike her. Echoes warped by the shape of these things, she knew. There wasn't much reason to bother.


[Take something away from them, or give them a new dream.]


she could lose her boat but then it would not be a boat game or a boat story, she could get a worse boat, she could have some possessions she cares about like the calendar (TOYS? MINIGAMES? CURIOS) (trading small entertainments with others -- like food in Haven & Hearth, but they last forever!),


Lee-len's cockpit was crammed full of utterly useless electronics. He had just disassembled a "laptop computer" [describe more arcane] and connected its screen up to a battery to cause it to light up brilliantly. What appeared dead could be brought to life.

He was headed back to the drowned city. This would be his sixth visit of the year. Each time, he stocked up on electronics and parts, along with food, clean water, a fresh set of clothes. There was what was necessary for survival, and then there was what was necessary for the mind.

This trip would mostly be for survival. A week ago there had been a storm, and he'd lost some supplies overboard, to the depths. So, the next visit would have to be out of schedule. Early.

[lost in mindset, go back to the physical]


[Take something away from them, or give them a new dream.]


he needs food, but he wants toys. there is a schedule, a rigidness. he avoids people, maybe?

mechanical idea: you leave a wake behind you, preventing others from following closely. people tend to cause each other problems when they get too close. maybe you can actually use this to knock people away to get past them??? experiment

daily 750 / July 25 - Gabe's notes on TWOB
July 25, 2023, 06:41:17 PM
panicking: how can these possibly be useful. too grand, too lofty. intoxicating. (this choice of words is beautiful.) architecture more limited than games.

intoxicating: the idea that complex decision making can be understood through discrete and useful lines.

patterns are spatial: bad, not as useful for whole game.

patterns are spatial: maybe apply this to space then.

if working on a game, should i spend a large amount of time internalizing a set of patterns specific to this game? each game has its own patterns. if switching between projects, it may take time to switch back into that project's language.

level design and environment art are the same thing in gabe's mind (makes sense)
Quote from: Ezra[re:] using platformer controller as a test case for building a video game sequence. @droqen what would your first stab at that look like, if you had to specify a sequence that would result in a platformer controller in, say, 7 steps
Dormant Projects / BITBANG talk
July 18, 2023, 11:30:42 PM

I'd like to give a talk at BITBANG
-Animators are cool
-A lot of animation is 3d, which is quite technical, it's a world I'm getting into
-I have a friend in Argentina (a few!)
-Practice giving talks
-I've been invited haha

To figure out:
-Does it make sense for me to do this?
-What should I talk about?
Active Projects / Messhead/GB Post-Mortem
July 18, 2023, 10:32:08 PM
A post-mortem about my time spent working @ a beautiful little indie studio of 10-12 people.

What did I learn?
Primordial soup / words fail
July 16, 2023, 11:35:57 AM
[transcribed from handwritten notes]

words fail.

any medium fails.

to love is to know and accept knowing.

to love any medium is to notice its flaws
 and not coddle its failures or to sweep
 them under the proverbial rug but to
 celebrate such ugly little things, to point
 them out & explore them in such love that
 only a true lover can do.

to love is to accept failure to the point
 of celebration.

to love is to try the impossible together,
 knowing the outcome, wanting it.

to love it[sic] to fail together.

as words fail us, so too do we fail them.

words fail;

we fail.

  games fail;

  players fail.