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Topics - droqen

Close reading / The Hacking of the American Mind
August 12, 2022, 12:37:04 PM
re: Robert H. Lustig's
"The Hacking of the American Mind"
Close reading / The Best Interface Is No Interface
August 12, 2022, 12:35:51 PM
re golden krishna's
"the best interface is no interface "

*i took one picture which i don't have the time to transcribe right now. read while sick and not taking notes.
Goddamn it I wasn't going to write a post about this but I actually have some thoughts I wanna record so here I go

Close reading / Mutual Aid
August 05, 2022, 03:02:28 PM
Regarding Dean Spade's
"Mutual Aid"

I'm like five pages in and I can already tell what a wild ride this is going to be. Great reading alongside The Dispossessed.
Primordial soup / Digital Papers
August 03, 2022, 07:26:53 PM
archiving my emails will never feel as good as shuffling around papers.
Primordial soup / Gaming as secular activity
August 02, 2022, 07:16:38 AM
Quote> You don't consider gaming a hobby?

> I see it as a secular activity that has little application elsewhere. The skills or connections you build end when you turn off the console. I'm looking for something more concrete.

> I disagree. If you played starcraft, you would learn coordination, resource management, time management, multitasking. If you played RPGs, it would teach you new words that you wouldn't otherwise see. But yeah judge them all you want. "Secular."

This is an interesting exchange. I feel lately like I can tell the difference between a thing I'm consuming for pleasure and a thing that helps me to grow. Why do I engage in an activity, or with a work? I'm really enjoying reading The Dispossessed right now, but certainly some of my interaction with it is 'unnecessary' in the way that grinding in an RPG is secular, is a thing that ends when you turn off the console.

I wonder how responsible decades of processing/analyzing gameplay is for making me a system nihilist.
Close reading / Web of Make Believe
August 01, 2022, 10:57:17 PM
Regarding Brian Knappenberger's (and others')
"Web of Make Believe"
Close reading / Bored And Brilliant
August 01, 2022, 11:20:07 AM
Regarding Manoush Zomorodi's
"Bored And Brilliant"
I was playing a friend's (we'll call my friend "M") tabletop roleplaying game in which our characters are (mechanically) comprised of key words or phrases produced during character creation, which as players we get bonuses for displaying through our actions. That's not a great description, so I'll give some examples.

My character grew up in the "Science Bulkhead" of a space vessel, and so had the key word or phrase "Science Bulkhead." This type of system can be seen in many other games, for example FATE has aspects and tags, and to my knowledge Lancer has something similar, where each additional feature of your mech that you bring into a description gives you some type of accumulating +1 bonus.

I've always thought about this as kind of silly, like as a player you're narratively coming up with contrived ways to weave these keywords etc. into your descriptions of things in order to harvest that sweet sweet mechanical bonus. Some of the only examples I've really enjoyed are in Burning Wheel, where you give your character three Instincts that if you can trigger to get into trouble (the example given in the book is "I draw my sword at the first sign of danger", so if you draw your sword at an inappropriate time when perhaps the danger is social in nature rather than violent) you are rewarded with a bit of meta-currency. (The meta-currency might actually be called fate, which is funny in this context).

Anyway, back to M's game.

My friend "J" was playing with us, and J's character had the key word or phrase, "Dreamless." Now, when J gave their character this word, it was with the intent to figure it out as we went along. I didn't realize until we did our post-game debrief that it was an interesting challenge, which was a nice way to recontextualize my stodgy "oh boo this is a contrived narrative." The whole narrative is something we're inventing! So, ever since that game I've been thinking about how much of roleplaying can be contextualized as inventing creative limitations for the self, to challenge one's own, and each other's, ability to... well, roleplay. To tell a collaborative story.

Of course lately I have loved looking at everything through the lens of "Trying something impossible, failing, and appreciating what comes of failure," so you can see that this biases me towards a perspective like this!

My takeaway: When inventing a character for a roleplaying game, of course play something I think I can do, but sprinkle in some beautiful challenges for myself and for the others at the table. Can we together tell a story that contains a character who is dreamless?

It should go without saying that I am also thinking about this in the context of my artistic practice, if you'd allow me to refer to it as such.

Introduce an aspirational idea like "Dreamless" and work towards it.

Promise to resolve an idea that seems impossible right now -- don't try to deal with it right away, because if you can, you haven't chosen an idea impossible enough... and if you can't (and you shouldn't!), you'll only frustrate yourself. Wait for the moment to reveal itself.
Close reading / Sousou no Frieren
July 27, 2022, 01:49:37 PM
Regarding Kanehito Yamada and illustrated by Tsukasa Abe's
"Sousou no Frieren"

Close reading / The Dispossessed
July 25, 2022, 04:38:51 PM
Regarding Ursula K. Le Guin's
"The Disposessed"

This goes beyond being a youtube video that I want to show to someone because it's neat. It evoked a strong emotion, as I struggled to follow along.
Ego and Emotion / Immortal
July 24, 2022, 12:00:43 PM
Primordial soup / Making Gardens
July 23, 2022, 03:24:51 PM
Some of my favourite places in the world have been literal gardens.

Other times I have enjoyed sites of activity -- I love walking around the city. Archaeological dig sites, project sites... These places that I can see and explore, even if I am not part of them. Haven & Hearth. I feel like there are plenty of words that capture these "explorable places that someone tends" -- museum, gallery, home -- but "garden" may be the most beautiful.

I spent some time making oubliettes, but the word feels ready to be retired and left behind. The emotional range it suggests is so very limited. I think Zeigfreid's The Valley is a garden. Perhaps Tic-Tac-Crow is one too.

Gardens are not gardening games, nor are they open-world games. They have more in common with my playables than those other genres. Gardens are not about player expression or agency... The play is in exploring. I want to make open-source gardens so that if someone wants to express themselves or change the world, they are empowered to do so using real tools. Gardens cannot be venues designed to fractally contain the experience of self-expression. They are the end result.

In some ways, gardens might be walking simulators. But I think they're different.
Serious Projects / grapevine
July 22, 2022, 09:07:13 AM
I want a browser extension that blocks all forms of algorithmic discovery so that when I discover things it is because I heard about it "on the grapevine" rather than enabling the sort of interconnected eternal click-click-click that the hyperlink-enabled web has created and which infinitely-scrolling websites such as Twitter and Facebook (i.e. most or all social media) have leaned harder into.
Close reading / Blink
July 17, 2022, 03:10:46 PM
regarding malcolm gladwell's "blink"
Serious Projects / New Patreon 2022
July 16, 2022, 11:36:27 PM
work in progress-

i want art to be free. [link]

​I thought to myself, why should I spend a moment of my life struggling to make art that sells when there are much better ways to waste my life? I'm going to do as much connecting with my friends and family that I can, as well as noticing the very beautiful world around me, but I'm also going to make stuff that's joyful and fulfilling to make, and then share it with, y'know, whoever.

​If you're here you probably found some of it worthwhile. Cool. I have no special perks to offer you here except more art, for the rest of my life, or at least for as long as I want to keep making it.


Tenets / i want art to be free.
July 16, 2022, 10:52:52 PM
The first console I ever owned was the Nintendo GameCube. It was an interactive museum that lived in our basement, and all we had to do was buy the games as they came out. Majora's Mask and Beyond Good & Evil were incredible adventures. Animal Crossing was a fucking revelation. Great games couldn't come out fast enough. I wanted to be a part of this world.

I never opened a childhood lemonade stand, but when I was in grade 5, I made this game called Ghost Hunter in Game Maker and I had thoughts of finishing it and selling it on floppy disks to my friends. (I recreated Ghost Hunter to the best of my memory in Godot. It's not good, but if you want a hit of 2001-era Game Maker nostalgia, you can dig it up on my itch page.) Even back then, it was about money. I didn't want the money, I wanted what it represented: legitimacy.

In 2010, Newgrounds sponsored ​Fishbane. They gave me a thousand dollars, and I got the front page treatment and everything. It blew my mind. I kept making games and people kept noticing them. In 2013, Starseed Pilgrim was nominated for a couple IGF awards, I released it on Steam, I made a HUNDRED thousand dollars, and it felt like I got the front page treatment a hundred times over, too. Everybody wanted to talk about me and my game. I got what I had always wanted: LEGITIMACY.
Close reading / Bird by Bird
July 12, 2022, 11:56:54 AM
Regarding Anne Lamott's
"Bird by Bird"

Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Whisk 1 egg
Add 1/2 cup chicken stock (preferably made with Chinese Knorr powder-- it's different)
Steam for 15 (?) minutes.

* How long to steam for? Is 15 too much, too little? I think it might be too much
* Remember to cook in our small glass cups, not the small glass bowls. It turns out better; I think the smaller mouth means it catches less water and gets less watered-down.

Add seasonings. Usually: a bit of soy sauce, a bit of sesame oil, a sprinkling of roasted sesame seeds