Storytime with Jonathan Blow

, on July 23, 2016

Very good culmination and summation of the important points Blow has brought up over the years regarding games.

Some conceptual thoughts:

One major human behavior is having a question, being driven to find an answer, looking for an answer, finding one, and using this new information to understand a system. Often times we idolize the grand journey that an individual may take to answer one question over the course of a life. In reality this pattern occurs thousands of times a day and is super important for our survival; it’s called curiosity, and it should be celebrated.

Our brains exist to create patterns out of reality. When we are able to accurately predict and act upon those patterns, that represents mastery of a particular system, which we find incredibly rewarding. Games do exactly that; they set up fully functioning, logically rigorous, pleasingly constrained systems, that tantalize us with the possibility of knowing all that there is to know (most games even present clear steps how to reach that point); something we never get from reality. This is one reason I believe in time the majority of people will find games more satisfying than the original. Bonus points when we can look back and see our progression from ignorance to mastery.

In life it is normal to not fully understand systems, to stumble. In current times entertainment is generally expected to be a respite from normal life, and from stumbling. One could define “entertainment” as content that purposefully presents familiar and limited systems.

A joke is an intellectual surprise.

All art is a means of communication from the creator to a receiver. Games certainly are interesting in that they  have to build fully functioning and literally inhabitable worlds from nothing, though I wouldn’t call them unique in that regard. All creators may think they start with a blank slate, but none exist in a vacuum.


None of the above

, on March 9, 2013

Let’s Save Great Ideas from the Ideas Industry by Umair Haque.

Are the best things in life the most trying? Are they nouns, adjectives, or verbs; real or imaginary; finite or infinite? Can they be conveyed? How much could you possibly change the world in 82 years? What about yourself? Are there shortcuts? Do books and stories and histories and parents and quotes count? How much elation can we obtain without suffering? How long can you hold your breath? Can an opinion be correct? Should we ask questions? Is thinking good? Is it necessary? Does it make you happy? Are you a commodity? How much do you wish to perceive? Depth or breadth? How do you quantify your life? How would you describe yourself? What is the answer? What is the cost? How are your decisions made? Are you alone? Have you begun your journey?

(more…)


How a Mechanical Watch Works

, , on January 27, 2013

Time is such an amazing, reflective concept.

History of timekeeping devices.

History of navigation.

History of longitude.


Be Thyself

, , on December 5, 2012

It will be a marvellous thing—the true personality of man—when we see it.  It will grow naturally and simply, flowerlike, or as a tree grows.  It will not be at discord.  It will never argue or dispute.  It will not prove things.  It will know everything.  And yet it will not busy itself about knowledge.  It will have wisdom.  Its value will not be measured by material things.  It will have nothing.  And yet it will have everything, and whatever one takes from it, it will still have, so rich will it be.  It will not be always meddling with others, or asking them to be like itself.  It will love them because they will be different.  And yet while it will not meddle with others, it will help all, as a beautiful thing helps us, by being what it is.

The Soul of Man by Oscar Wilde.

Manna by Marshal Brain.


Nietzsche

, on March 24, 2012

Nick on Yeah, OK, But Still explains the essence of Nietzsche and Thus Spoke Zarathustra beautifully.

As the author mentions, what is unique (and consistent) about Nietzsche’s process is that it has no singular end or method. Any strategy by which the individual succeeds is correct, although all require struggle. We must live with the values of others, confront them, and forge new ones. Values are earned. And after all this, the stages are always just a matter of perspective; it is not reality that must change, but oneself.

[via another article on Yeah, OK, But Still]


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