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Friday Fun Thread for October 28, 2022

Be advised; this thread is not for serious in depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.

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There's some number of "revisionist" fictional works that take a well-known story and portray it from the the villain's side. Ie. Wicked is Wizard of Oz from the side of the Wicked Witch of the West, Twisted does the same to Aladdin from the point of view of Ja'far, The Last Ringbearer is LotR from the side of Mordor etc.

What other stories you can think of where you could actually do this relatively easily? I've seen Incredibles from the point of view of Syndrome mentioned as a potential example (I mean, when you think of it, "When everyone is super then no-one will be" does not sound that villanous by itself), but here's one suggestion: Full Throttle, the classic 1995 Lucasarts adventure game, I suspect many here have played it. It's almost 20 years old so I probably won't be spoiling anything:

For the last decade, Adrian Ripburger has been looking at US becoming a Mad Max society, an unsafe hell where the highways and open stretches of land are ruled by criminal biker gangs. At the centre of it all is Corley Motors, a company that seems intent in not only producing the powerful bikes the biker gangs use but whose "former biker" boss, Malcolm Corley, even relishes in maintaining hostile biker culture of destruction (demolition derby). Ripburger has resolved to change this from inside, almost succeeding in making Corley Motors a normal company producing minivans and other family-friendly vehicles, as a part of a general transformation to a more peaceful society, but is thwarted by Old Man Corley's illegitimate daughter, who is openly in cahoots with one of the premier violent biker gangs, particularly their leader - a man whose idea of a good way to get some information is bashing a barman's head on the bar desk by yanking his nose ring...

The only thing at this point you really need to change is who farmes who for Old Man Corley's murder, and there you go.

Not quite what you're asking about, but Stephen King's N. allows for an extremely fitting alternative explanation where the protective circles are actually summoning circles. Imagine that you're Cthulhu and you can send some mortals nightmare visions trying to get them to summon you: obviously you should convince them that what you want them to do prevents you from being summoned.

Not exactly on point, as it's another example of an actual "revisionist" work, but it's one of my favorites.

The Vampire Tape by Fred Saberhagen is a retelling of Bram Stoker's Dracula from the Count's perspective. One of the constraints on the tale is that Jonathan Harker is an honest narrator in his letters from Stoker's book; it's just that he misinterprets what he sees, jumps to incorrect conclusions, and otherwise presents the Count in a bad faith light...at least, according to Dracula himself. Reading between the lines, Dracula is not nearly so innocent as he protests, but also not the monster that the "courageous...though rather dull" Harker and the "imbecile" Van Helsing describe.

“The vision of Van Helsing as a vampire is one before which my imagination balks; this is doubtless only a shortcoming on my part; he may have been well fitted for the role, since as we have seen he had already the power, by means of speech, to cast his victims into a stupor.”

Biff, a story of a family plagued by time travelers.

More seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if Marvel gave Thanos a PoV movie.

I've always felt that the vice principal from The Breakfast Club would make for a good flawed protagonist. I would also snap if I had to deal with juvenile delinquents who look like they've been held back a year like ten times.

Do you ever get that weird feeling, where you see a perfect opportunity for something you don't like to be done perfectly? Or like, for a group of people you don't like to make their point? Like, when I read a news story about Chinese camps for Muslim prisoners, or the Rohingya, I'm like "Where the fuck is ISIS on this one?"

That's the feeling I got watching The Mask of Zorro; the original silent starring Fairbanks Sr.. My local symphony did a showing of it with a new original score. It was amazing, but the whole time I'm thinking, when we're stuck with constant social justice reboots and capeshit how have we not gotten a lefty Zorro reboot? Zorro is Mexican Social Justice Batman! He is literally, in the original, Batman* but Hispanic and fighting for the rights of oppressed indigenous laborers. A villain comments to another villain that if you're looking for Zorro, just beat up a native and Zorro will show up. Then that exact sequence of events happens, because it's a 1920 silent film and the plot is pretty simple: he beats up an Indian who is minding his own business, and Zorro shows up and slices a Z into his ass and tells him to never touch another native again. The original film is so modern in its combination of violence, social justice, and wry comedy.

So rather than rewrite an existing superhero, why haven't the kind of people who are always talking about how we need more Latinx superheroes given a reboot to this? While Zorro is typically portrayed as a white Spanish nobleman, it doesn't feel like a betrayal of the character, or even much of a change most would notice, to make him Mestizo. It's so weird to me that it hasn't been done.

*He's also, canonically, Batman's spiritual godfather: the 1920 Fairbainks Mask of Zorro is the film that Bruce Wayne's parents went to see the night they were attacked.

Disney appears to be making a Zorro series with Wilmer Valderrama.

Wow, that can't be real. Dudes gotta be like 50 by now right?

I dunno, how old is Zorro supposed to be?

Well in the first he just got back from Spain, and it's implied the trip was gentlemanly education and cultural enrichment (and learning fencing) rather than business, now his dad wants him to get married asap. So depending on culture somewhere between 20 and 32? Much older is a stretch.

The one I want to see is a modern film series featuring the Scarlet Pimpernel (he's the inspiration for all these masked dual identity superheroes).

Scarlet Pimpernel

This sounds like something people see a dermatologist about.

Absolutely! I am glad I'm not a gambler, because I would have lost my ass betting on the likelihood of a woke Zorro movie coming out in the last decade. I wouldn't have even minded it that much, because like you say, it fits. And it's not like Zorro is too ridiculous a concept next to marvel movies about magic robot suits and talking animals from outer space.

On the side, I get the impression Batman fans (aside from those like me who want to watch the world burn) want to forget Zorro exists. That's why Nolan changed the movie to an opera and why the latest one doesn't show the movie. Because it raises the question - wasn't Zorro's disguise good enough? Why did Bats also have to roll in aspects of a flying rodent? I know I know, his mother or father's ghost threw one at him and insisted on it, but now we're drifting closer to "traumatic experience destroys young man's mind" than "super cool vigilante uses fear to clean up crime". And while I think that's a way more interesting concept, it is definitely one which exceeds the grasp of most writers. Even the ones who don't fuck it up entirely usually just do something dull with it.

I'm looking for ways to write code either

a) by voice or

b) on my phone or

c) both.

Ideally with builtin git support.

Any ideas?

Use talon. Talonvoice.com. It's specifically written for voice coding and the cursorless system on top is even better. It's fully customizable, and can even incorporate eye tracking and customs sounds mapped to actions to prevent vocal strain. Best of all it's free.

I started using it years ago to help with carpal tunnel and I still use it today after being fully recovered because it's so damn good.

I'm happy to walk you through the setup on a voice call if you need any help just dm me.

Use gitpod - I'd imagine you can use your phone to launch a workspace and then the native keyboard input should work. Haven't tried on a phone but it works on iPad. It's integrated with GitHub, so this should fulfill all of your requirements.

writing code by voice sounds pretty miserable. What's the reason for not being able to use a keyboard? might help narrow down the options.

No real excuse, I just want to try it. Maybe I want to feel like giving orders to the machine instead of like servicing it?

Have you looked into replit?

Not so far. At a glance I guess it's a solution for b)?

I'm just going to put here a youtube channel that brings me so much joy with his game reviews, including my favorite wizardry 8. This perfect blend of humor feels better than any drug I can acquire and probably a reminder to myself that I'm not that far from 4chan that I think I am.

Sseth is the type of internet humor that has been slowly going extinct imho. Beautifully paced, effortlessly cynical, and perfectly constructed. I've found him just last week and have been on a bit of a binge. Very fun. Glad the algorithm pushed him into my face.

I think I happened about that channel about a year ago, and it's been a pleasure.

It Liiiiiives

Mini split commission and testing went great. HVAC guy confirmed I'd done the flaring and such right, and that the general install looked professional. He tried to undercharge (only $150 for hours of work), so it felt good to throw a bunch of extra cash at him. With luck the utility rebate will cover the entire cost of the unit+commissioning. Strongly recommend the DIY+HVAC-guy route.

It's incredibly quiet and can switch between hot and chilled air in minutes. Hopefully I've sized it reasonably well for the space, erring on undersizing due to the mild local climate, limited turndown ratio, and my backup wood heat. Am interested in getting some measuring gear to test the practical efficiency this winter. Working pressures in heating mode are ridiculous for r410a, but the rebate was use it or lose it, and I didn't have time to wait for propane/butane refrigerant to reach the budget market.

For my location this is an ideal setup. More on that plus plenty of energy policy culture war in a future post. Which may be delayed by the whole "potentially losing my entire C:\ drive" business.

My sister has radiant heat for in the winter and mini splits for the summer. She loves that in the fall, she can use her mini splits to heat her house on the days it’s needed, and wait to fire the boiler up until winter has fully arrived.

Yes! I used to spend a lot of time with my fire burning and the windows open in october, which was a lot of wasted effort cutting and hauling the damn stuff. And getting below freezing is a cold snap here, so with any luck fires are going to be a few-weeks-a-year thing now.

Been focused entirely on winter heating for the post, I hadn't even considered the value of "three season" use for cooling and shoulder season work.

I bought Alan Moore's new book of short stories and so far I'm not that into it. It's rare for me to not like anything Moorish. But I bought another book Sharing a House with the Never-Ending Man by Steven Alpert and I like it a lot. Alpert is the highest ranking non-Japanese guy at Studio Ghibli and he's got lots of interesting stories about Japanese business culture and stuff. Did you know that most non-Japanese men speak Japanese like a woman? According to the book it's because most Japanese language teachers are women.

Also, here's the rationalist steam group, if you're interested:

https://steamcommunity.com/groups/astralcodexten

Did you know that most non-Japanese men speak Japanese like a woman? According to the book it's because most Japanese language teachers are women.

This does not line up with my experience at all, unless the meaning here is just "more like Japanese women speak than like Japanese men speak". I believe most Japanese language programs start out teaching a polite, gender-neutral form of Japanese, later moving on to other forms as the student becomes more and more fluent. This has the effect of causing non-native speakers to "default" to this particular form since, being the form they learned first, it is the form they are usually the most comfortable with. Japanese women tend to use this form more often than Japanese men and thus non-Japanese men speak Japanese like women in this sense, and I could see an argument that this form being the default starting form is a result of most Japanese language teachers being women. However, there are also many grammatical constructs and vocabulary that are nearly exclusively used by (EDIT: men or women) one gender or the other. You won't typically see non-Japanese men using the ones used by Japanese women unless they are intentionally trying to sound like a woman.

Interesting...

While I can't actually speak/read/understand Japanese having only studied for a dozen hours, to make things clear for others, an example that stands out to me (with nearly zero comprehension) is the issue that "Watashi wa [name]" is one of the first sentences most learn in Japanese, it's for introducing yourself, it's "I am [name]", so lot's of guys stick with "Watashi"=Personal pronoun, but it's fairly gendered and situational. Good table just above the linked section as to usage percentage in context, with explanations below.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_pronouns#List_of_Japanese_personal_pronouns

If anyone wants to join the Motte server for the social deduction game Blood on the Clocktower, we are starting in 2 hours! It’s async text so not a huge commitment if you’re new.

https://discord.gg/Ynt6Da35

Welp, for the first time in over a decade of using them, I've finally had an encrypted system drive just suddenly decide not to boot.

Probably windows update silently adding a partition that breaks pre-boot auth, which is really frustrating.

So it's going to be a Fun weekend reinstalling on my new nvme and seeing what can be recovered from the old drive. Got sloppy about backing up my program files, so if I can't mount it as a non-system drive with pre-boot auth disabled, at least it solves my "too many tabs" problem.

Edit: praise whatever god handles this stuff, the backup header worked.

Modern art ist so great that even museums don't manage to hang it up correctly. And we cannot do anything about it, because it might damage the picture.

Surely the solution could just be some sort of camera-obscura thing where you see a capture of it flipped right-side-up?

Okay, I'm just going to say it:

SURELY they could just make a new one that is identical to the original in all important respects. Just use period-correct tape, I guess.

Unless the 'message' and 'meaning' of the work are tied up in the knowledge that it was a particular artist who made it, or the exact materials that were used, then making a new one in the exact same configuration should be precisely as meaningful to the viewer as the original.

Although the fact that it is now known as "that work of art that was hung upside down and now can't be hung correctly" probably adds to its mystique, which might be the point.

Unless the 'message' and 'meaning' of the work are tied up in the knowledge that it was a particular artist who made it, or the exact materials that were used, then making a new one in the exact same configuration should be precisely as meaningful to the viewer as the original.

You... don't accept the premise of "the original" in the first place, do you?

The original is the one the artist made with his own hands.

But either the original has some special meaning to it that a reproduction wouldn't, or they can make a copy and it will be just as meaningful.

I'm questioning that "the original" is of any special value in this instance.

The special meaning of the original is that it's the original. Being made by the artist's own hands is the point. This isn't a new development in art.

But in this case, there's really nothing about the original that can only be captured by that particular artist's unique talents.

It's colored tape, arranged in a particular layout.

The process the artist used is EASILY reproducible.

Why would people's feelings about the work change whether the original artist's hands were involved or not?

The ship of Theseus is an age old philosophical argument. Convincing reproductions that pass professional scrutiny get treated like the original until the deception has been discovered, but nobody who saw the forgery instead of the original feels different from how they'd have felt seeing the original. If it protects the work and gives the audience the chance to see the work as it was meant to be seen, what is the issue? I think what it comes down to is do you want to actually see a Mondrian, or is it more important to you to tell people you have seen a Mondrian?

The ship of THeseus is a far cry from just building another ship and calling it the ship of Theseus.

And I would say recreating that Mondrian is a far cry new dawn from making another piece of art and calling it that Mondrian.

I've lost you here.

It would be acceptable, in case the artwork was damaged, to reglue the strips in place. It's called restoration. Making another one wouldn't be the original, it's what they call a "reproduction" and you can't hang that up in a museum as an original.

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Bummer. The ‘correct’ orientation seems noticeably more appealing to me, the vibe from looking up and left rather than down is better somehow.

The way the picture is currently hung shows the multicoloured lines thickening at the bottom, suggesting an extremely simplified version of a skyline. However, when curator Susanne Meyer-Büser started researching the museum’s new show on the Dutch avant garde artist earlier this year, she realised the picture should be the other way around.

“The thickening of the grid should be at the top, like a dark sky,” said Meyer-Büser. “Once I pointed it out to the other curators, we realised it was very obvious. I am 100% certain the picture is the wrong way around.”

This just reads like a priest conferring with other priests, trying to regain the confidence of their flock, when a prophecy turned out wrong, and they decided a new interpretation is the "correct" one.

A photograph of Mondrian’s studio, taken a few days after the artist’s death and published in American lifestyle magazine Town and Country in June 1944, also shows the same picture sitting on an easel the other way up.

Seems plausible that it really is upside down.

I'm not commenting on the plausibility of the new explanation. I'm commenting on how they switched from "Obviously the thickening lines represent X" to "Obviously the thickening lines represent Y" without missing a beat. And I'm sure if a 3rd photograph emerged with the work on it's 3rd side, they'd come up with another explanation about how "Obviously the thickening lines represent Z". As opposed to maybe the "artist" just preferred running his tape in a consistent direction at a low angle where he doesn't have to reach while he was working on it.

Because it's all a barely recognizable mess that could mean anything. It doesn't "obviously" represent any specific thing. And it cracks me up that they act like it does. They might as well be commenting on the obviously correct interpretations of a schizophrenics scat smeared wall art.

They might as well be commenting on the obviously correct interpretations of a schizophrenics scat smeared wall art.

And they would, if it were high status enough.

Well, my adlib tracker is almost complete. I should really put in some QOL stuff, but you can modify the properties of all 9 adlib channels, play notes on all of them, save your work, load your work, and then export it to a pretty simple adlib player format I cooked up. So while I wrap up those QOL features I want it to have before I start making game music, I've been having a good think about the style of RPG I want to make.

While my heart will always yearn to make a first person dungeon crawl, I have a 16x16 EGA sprite editor made, so I guess I'll just stick with a top down perspective on tiled sprites. There are a range of combat models I could go for here. Ultima 1 had a painfully simple combat model where every tick in the overworld, you were attacked, and could attack. Then you go up to the Gold Box Games which had a full tactical combat system. I think I may start with the Ultima super simple system, with a mind towards expanding it towards the Gold Box system, and see where I end up.

For the world model, when it comes to games that are exclusively top down, it always rubbed me the wrong way when the overworld had a different scale than dungeons or towns. Especially when it was the same sprites, at the same size, in all contexts. So I'm thinking everything will be a uniform scale, with multiple layers of underworld you need to explore beneath all the cities and towns.

I'm not sure how much I would expect anyone to manually map out what is likely to be a rather wide and complicated underworld, so perhaps a capacity to make your own sign posts would be fun. Or maybe an alternate tile set which lets you highlight a preferred path you've figured out.

I still have zero clue what I want the story of this game to be. I suppose when in doubt "Save the princess" isn't a bad model. Can't hurt to try to tell a classic story inside the constraints of a 1980's style CRPG.

At some point I'll probably share all the assembly, and the development environment I've homebrewed to export my Visual Studio Code breakpoints to DOSBOX. Just doesn't feel mature enough at this point though.

Is there any method yet by which we can replicate RES's feature of being able to hide comments that we've read before? I really like TheMotte, but nearly every day I find myself thinking, "I'd like to go read TheMotte," then thinking, "Man, that would be such a time suck now that I can't have previously-read comments hidden." In particular, the main culture war thread is basically impossible without this feature.

Yeah it can be pretty tough scrolling back through older comments. I often don't even look at new top-level comments until they've been out for 8-12 hours for this reason.

What books are people reading? I'm still working through Anne Rice's vampire novels. They're surprisingly good.

Chester Himes’ Harlem Detective series. Really enjoying it, particularly the grim bits of humor, like a dead body’s head banging around after sliding out of a coffin while a hearse is being used in a car chase. Currently working on ‘All Shot Up’, which is the fifth of nine books in the series.

A couple (?) film adaptations have been attempted. There was a blacksploitation version of ‘Cotton Comes to Harlem’ and Bill Duke of ‘Predator’ and ‘Commando’ fame directed an adaptation of ‘A Rage in Harlem’. I found the former a bit hokey and the latter a bit tame.

I have been reading Poirot investigates: there all short stories by Agatha Christie, just short enough that I can make it through one during my

Lunch break at work.

I grabbed a hardbound copy of the complete works of HP Lovecraft, due to my paranoia about them being memory holed. Been slowly working through that. Like, extremely slowly. I believe the stories are arranged in the order they were written in, which means I'm frontloading a lot of the stuff that's almost proto-Lovecraft. Before he quite found his niche, although you can see him zeroing in on it.

Edit: I forgot, I also finished The Witcher series. Well, at least the first 7 books, and not the 8th side story novel. It was ok I guess. A whole lot of teasing for a fairly lame "subvert expectations" non-payoff. I can understand why the videogames largely threw out that ending, and went on to be way more popular than the books. I should probably play them now.

I feel like of all the guys I would put as Genre Founders, Lovecraft was the weakest writer. If you took all his stuff that really met the formal "Lovecraftian" definition, it would be a much shorter book, a hundred or so pages. And even the classics like Call of Cthulhu, you'd slap your DM in a rp game if his climax of the old god's emergence was "He gets hit with a steamship accidentally and that stops him roflmao."

Like, comparing to contemporaries, Doyle's full Sherlock Holmes stories are 1200 pages, and they all pretty much meet the "Brilliant Detective Fiction" genre. Lord of the Rings is 1500 pages, it's the definition of the "High Fantasy" genre. Lovecraft's complete works amount to 1600 pages, but the vast majority of them either aren't or would barely be "Lovecraftian" if it weren't written by Lovecraft.

It's sort of interesting how brilliant the ideas that underly Cosmic Horror are, that so few written pieces create such a strong impression on so many readers.

Part of this is that "Genre Founders" is one of the strongest possible selection effects. Weird and pulp fiction entered the modern canon through intermediaries in the 60s and 70s, so there's an additional filter when compared to something like detective fiction.

A month or two ago I was reading Michael Moorcock's collection of early Elric stories, specifically this volume. It's unapologetically schlocky, sword and sorcery married with "all the angst that's fit to print," and its influence seeped into the entire genre. Moorcock includes a variety of author's commentary between stories. Lovecraft is specifically cited as a non-influence! But it was immersion in this pulp culture that influenced his generation so heavily. The man was running an Edgar Rice Burroughs fanzine as a teenager in 1954; before ever getting published, he was reading Howard and Lieber along with French existentialists and Beats.

We went to Paris every chance we had. At George Whitman's Paris bookstore I would busk with my guitar, seated on a chair outside the shop (George didn't mind since he knew all the money went back to him), and then as soon as I had enough, buy a couple of paperbacks for the rest of the day. It was there, in the shadow of Notre Dame, that I read my first true SF story, Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination, and wondered what I'd been missing.

...

My friends--Ballard, Bayley and Aldiss especially--believed much as I did. Quite a bit of our late-1950s and early 1960s conversation envisioned a magazine which would combine the values of the best SF and the best contemporary literature as well as features about what was happening in the arts and sciences.

...

The last kind of fiction I imagined myself writing was what Leiber had christened both heroic fantasy and sword-and-sorcery but which I had, it appeared, already termed epic fantasy. By some strange twist of fate I was telling tales that had more in common with the nineteeth century than the twentieth in order to help support an avant-garde movement which looked forward to the twenty-first.

Though Tolkien had been published, he was still relatively obscure, and his kind of fantasy fiction was never published in the mainstream (Tolkien's primarily academic publisher, George Allen and Unwin, was better known as Jung's). Hard as it is to believe now, The Lord of the Rings was considered as some kind of post-nuclear allegory, too risky to chance in a paperback editioon (which Tolkien, anyway, regarded as a bit vulgar). Both Burroughs and Howards were throughoughly out of fashion in the United States (though not so much in Britain), and there was no longer any kind of market for supernatural adventure fiction. The eagerness with which the public embraced the fantasts when they were finally released, an uncaged flock, upon the world, is a good lesson for publishers and for politicians.

...

We've come a long way since 1957, when it was still possible to order the set of The Lord of the Rings and wait a week before receiving the first editions at, as I recall, a guinea apiece. Tolkien's phenomenal story was still considered as much an expensive rarity as Arkham House Lovecrafts, luxuriously illustrated limited editions of Dunsany or the Gnome Press editions of the Conan books. Ironically, none was as widely published as [Poul] Andersons's second novel, The Broken Sword...

The fantasy canon was an expensive prospect, even if you could find the book in print. Weird Tales of the magazine's golden age were, however, still relatively cheap in the second-hand bookstores, especially those which specialized in giving you half price on any title you brought back in good condition... Weird Tales, which had published almost every major fantasist including Lovecraft, Howard and Bradbury, inspired [prominent fantasy magazine editor E. J.] Carnell.

There's a lot more in this essay about Moorcock's attempts to conflate SF and literary fiction, but I think the point about Lovecraft et al. is clear. What we label, today, as "Lovecraftian" is a distillation of his work--the elements which most captured the minds of this particular generation of New Wave freelancers.


The other factor is that atmosphere is its own axis, nearly orthogonal to both technical skill and to underlying ideas. But the first part of this has ballooned enough; I suppose I'll argue about the differences between Harry Potter and Earthsea another time.

I read that one nearly a year ago and yeah, Elric as a character is...a bit much. Adolescent is the word I would use. Not that I didn't enjoy the stories.

I'd agree that there's something about Lovecraft. His prose can get pretty purple, his plots aren't particularly inventive, and his ideas, when stated bluntly, don't seem terribly sophisticated or compelling (There is no higher power and the universe is pointlessly cruel and chaotic? Shocking twist). And yet, he makes an impression. He casts a longer shadow than many other "better" writers. Maybe it's just sheer conviction. He really feels dread when contemplating a universe stripped of divine purpose and he's able to communicate that dread to the reader? I dunno.

There is a certain authenticity to Lovecraft. Everything I've read about the man paints him as an odd character himself, with poor relationships, unsuccessful in most endeavors, and with a somewhat fragile temperament. Extremely passive and neurotic, which his contemporaries put on how much he was raised exclusively by women. These attributes come through in his writing, in a way his imitators cannot match.

You can mimic his style, even improve on it. You cannot mimic his pathos.

I’m a sucker for world building.

Proud of myself for not buying cheap Miskatonic University swag off Etsy.

I actually like Lovecraft's Dreamland stories more than his cosmic horror ones.

I find Lovecraft to be the paragon of a lazy writer. His whole œuvre can be described in one word: >!undescribable!<

I cannot unsee it, and I find it ridiculous.

I'm still not entirely sure what Non-Euclidean geometries are supposed to look like tbh, other than a sign that creepy shit is about to go down.

I always took his references to non-euclidean geometry to be referencing 4th dimensional structures. But I think I was pre-primed for this interpretation after being exposed to Flatland in school, and a short story from Science Fiction Age.

Funnily enough, over the long years many of the stories I read in Science Fiction Age left a strong impression on me. Strong, but without detail. I read these pages when I was 13-15, and I'm nearly 40 now. I didn't even remember the name of the magazine. I eventually cobbled together what few concrete details I could, and a few of the story titles I was pretty sure I remembered correctly and some google-fuu later, found it.

At first I only discovered that my favorite author in it's pages, Adam-Troy Castro, eventually published his silly short stories about the incompetent criminal masterminds Vossoff and Nimmitz into a book. Which I promptly purchased on ebay. But then I eventually found PDFs of every issue on archive.org, because of course they have it.

So it's with certainty I can now tell you, that short story in the Cthulhu mythos, my first exposure to it actually, was Out of Space, Out of Time in Vol 6, Issue 6 in 1998. I think I'll actually read it now for old times sake.

Edit: I read it again, and it wasn't half bad. Not as good as I remember it, not as catastrophically awful as some things I liked as a kid. A solid yeoman's effort to build on the Cthulhu mythos.

Play some hyperrogue, and maybe read the blog posts about it.

You will have to make a decent start on understanding hyperbolic geometry if you want to rescue the princess (~10% of the way through the game). I haven't got much farther than that, myself.

I second this, also Hyperbolica. While Hyperbolica is a fairly simple and short adventure game and wouldn't be interesting without its gimmick, its gimmick is that it takes place in a 3d hyperbolic world (and one area in spherical geometry). Not some top down tessellation like Hyperrogue, but with an actual first person perspective walking around in hyperbolic space. While Hyperrogue is a much more interesting (and challenging) game as far as the gameplay is concerned and probably requires more technical understanding of the properties of hyperbolic geometry to solve its puzzles, I think Hyperbolica does a better job of actually getting someone to experience hyperbolic (and spherical) geometry, rather than just having an abstract understanding of its properties.

If it's the one I'm thinking of, I might have seen the dev videos for that a few years ago. Will check it out!

Look at a globe. Seriously. The surface of a sphere is one of the classic examples of non-Euclidean geometry, a geometry where Euclid's 5th postulate doesn't hold. The exact description of the 5th postulate is a bit arcane (look it up on Wikipedia if you care), but it turns out to be equivalent to saying that all triangles must have corner angles that sum to 180 degrees. On the globe, if you choose a triangle with these corners: the north pole, 0 degrees E on the equator, 90 degrees W on the equator, that triangle will have all its corner angles 90 degrees, for a total of 270 degrees.

I was disappointed that, according to the recent Nick Cage movie by the same name The Colour Out Of Space

“—a frightful messenger from unformed realms of infinity beyond all Nature as we know it; from realms whose mere existence stuns the brain and numbs us with the black extra-cosmic gulfs it throws open before our frenzied eyes.”

is hot pink. Might be a better description of Nick Cage TBH.

If the film was in 3D they could have done different colours in each eye which would have at least been an impossible colour effect, or rapid strobing of colours in the 2D movie. Though the tyrannical suppression of strobing effects by epileptics wouldn't allow that. Neither would have saved that movie from sucking.

In fairness, there was a little thought out into the choice. Additive magenta is a genuine non-spectral color that does not actually exist in nature and cannot normally be perceived in objects, but can easily be created in projection.

You can find magenta flowers, and it's not on the spectrum but you can get it as a mix of spectral colors. Still better than most alternatives, I'd agree.

I wonder if they could have pulled off using a chimerical color instead, only showing the "impossible" color in brief scenes always subsequent to a scene colored+lit to act as a corresponding fatigue template.

A premonition of printer inks must have come to Lovecraft in a dream...

Ooh I’ve got the same thing. I pick it up and put it down every now and then, definitely struggle to stick with it sadly.

Currently plodding through Couliano's "Eros and Magic in the Renaissance". I had to buy an actual physical book which turned out to be print on demand. Great content, but the writing and/or translation makes it a struggle. Full of the sort of history fancruft I love; e.g. the Cathars were vegetarians but ate fish because they believed them to be generated spontaneously and non-sexually by water. Next time I meet someone who is vegetarian but eats fish, I will nod knowingly and say "Ah, you must be a Cathar." The content about Gnosticism is particularly interesting, and I'm better understanding the comparisons of Transhumanism with Gnosticism.

Interesting link on Gnosticism! Idk, I consider myself a transhumanist but I don’t reject the body like the Gnostics. I will admit many do though, the Soylent hit was savage hah.