Have You Considered?

That yes, they are games, but they have damn all to do with role playing. You can role play in one, but that’s not really what they’re for. What they are for is achieving goals, the role playing is just something you can do but don’t really have to. Your play can be entirely mechanistic, emoting is entirely something else.

My experience in this matter goes back to 1976, when my prestidigitator (now a word) character found himself faced with a dragon. Knowing I was out matched I backed off. The greatly amused dragon let him go, knowing full well that a 1st level MU was just no challenge. (Then there was the fact the DM playing the dragon was greatly amused.) A bit later I talked a balrog into almost killing the dragon for me (I lied outrageously), which lead to my PC getting tons of loot and 8 7th level dwarven henchmen (different mechanics concerning henchmen back in those days).

My experience was, it matters more how you handle a situation than what you can handle. And that your goal is really to amuse the guide.

Years later I read about an encounter in the adventure Necropolis for Mythus. (Spoiler) The encounter involved a demon driven insane by long incarceration by the big bad in a room in a crypt. Said demon really had no trouble taking care of the party, but he was more interested in using them to stymie his foe. So he told them how they could escape, and what they needed to do to defeat the villain Rahotep. Note that they could escape his room, he just couldn’t.

From these two incidents I learned that you can handle matters differently, and that how you handle things can profit you. You have more tools than just your weapons, and more alternatives than just mindless violence. And I first learned this when I was 20, an age when boys are nitwits by and large. To put this simply, this is why I much prefer to treat them as guides to adventure, because that’s really what they are. Adventure Guides is what I’d rather call them, for in my experience treating them as such works a lot better than insisting on them as games.

So use your initiative and be flexible. You’re there to have fun, not to slavishly follow some thoughtless regulations.

Unrelated

I’m getting close to 3,000 subscribers to this blog. But seeing as they are excessively shy they haven’t told me why. What the heck am I doing right?

When Greed is a Cardinal Sin.

Insulin is the difference between life and death for people with type-1 Diabetes. They say they are tired of watching the cost of the drug continue to increase in the United States.

Source: When diabetics can’t afford insulin, they turn to the black market. This Michigan woman helps them do it

There are various reasons why some people have type one diabetes. For the most part it’s because they just can’t produce insulin themselves, so they need to inject it. And seeing as they need to remember when to do it, and they need to do it in unusual amounts, leads to complications.

And after considering the problems the diabetic has keeping track of all he has to, now start considering what he needs to pay for the insulin, the syringes, and the tools he needs to keep track of. Andfor  we make matters worse when we treat insulin as a luxury item.

That’s what it comes down to. There are parties who apparently think that all persons with type one are fabulously wealthy and can afford outrageous prices for what they need to survive. Or, if they can’t afford it, deserve to die. I have to ask, when did becoming insulin dependent become a death penalty offense? I say we stop the shit and make insulin free to all who need it. I mean, corpses can’t contribute to society, at least not for very long. Call it an investment in people, and give those who manufacture and distribute insulin a break on their taxes. For every ounce of insulin donated to the diabetic community the donor gets a tax reduction and positive feedback. A special discount on necessary items maybe.

There is a reason why greed is considered a deadly sin, and I say it’s about time we cut it out.

‘Bout Time

The training is part of countywide effort to transform how the justice system responds to those with mental illness

Source: County to fund de-escalation, mental health crisis training for officers – The San Diego Union-Tribune

This is really nothing new, San Diego has long had what is know as the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT), but they are not always available, and are often overwhelmed. What our DA is proposing sounds to me like the city will be applying the training given to those on the PERT team to all officers, and even when medical personnel aren’t available at least the cops will know who to call when faced with a mental health crisis.

Of course it means spending money, but better I say to spend a little on prevention to a lot on cleaning up after a death or major injury.

So a thumb’s up to DA Summer Stephens and I hope this means a safer world for those in crisis and the officers called on to handle them.

An Experiment

This I need

It’s a link to a smart watch I need to have to keep track of my heart. You know, heart rate and like that. I probably could afford it come June, but what with some 2k+ subscribers I thought I’d ask for your assistance.

What We Think We Think

Source: Postmodernism – Wikipedia,

The essay I linked to above goes into what the author understands about postmodernism to some detail, but as I understand it what it comes down to is, we can’t really understand it.

Not in its entirety. Not to any totality. For we are a limited animal that really can’t handle all that much stuff, not to any real great degree. And to make matters even worse, we can’t really understand what others understand. Not really, for our ability to communicate is flawed and there is really no way for us to truly inform each other. Your Christianity is not my Christianity, for what you learned, what you know, what you understand cannot be what I know, learned, or understand. You get right down to it your version of Christianity can have but one member, and that is you. Unless, that is, there is an omniscient God, in which case He would constitute the second member of your religion is so much as he can understand how you understand.

As I understand it, postmodernism says that we can’t really know. Not completely. Our understanding, our knowledge is provisional, and depends a great deal on what we can know and on how we can know it. That said, it is possible to take things too far, for there are those who say that we can not know anything, and that what we think we know is wrong. If that’s your case, I don’t think it means what you think it means.

Our knowledge is imperfect. So far as that is true we are wrong. But what we know and how we know it can be tested. It can be verified. Years ago I read the account of a naturalist who did a study of a mated pair of ravens in New England. After one year of study he had came to certain conclusions about them and thought his work was done. But then he continued the study for another year. After the second year of study he came to another conclusion, that his first conclusion was wrong. You get right down to it, the most important word in a scientist’s vocabulary is, “Oops.” This naturalist found himself saying “oops”, for he had been in error. And the lesson I learned is that you can never conclude a study, for as long as you do a study you will learn where, when, and just how you are wrong. As somebody once observed about subjects in a biology experiment, once set up and running the organism will do what it damn well feels like. You get right down to it, regardless of the field of science everything is probabilistic and nothing can ever truly be deterministic. You want simplicity you’ve got to dig deep.

That is how I understand matters and it should give you some idea of where I’m coming from when I write about matters. I can’t rea lly know how I know things, and I rather doubt anybody can. At the best I can do no better than to let you know what I’m thinking, and to give you some idea of how I came to that conclusion. Though I must ask that you remember that there will be times when I will find myself saying “oops” and correcting my errors when I become aware of them. Then correcting my corrections when I learn that they are wrong. For we are a flawed animal and perfection can never be a part of us.

I Could Use This

Source: FOLDING ELECTRIC TRICYCLE SCOOTER

What with delivery and tax I’m thinking about $250 should pay for it, and living as I do in a place with really smurf all in the way of public transit, it would make my life a lot easier. So I’m going to see about setting up an account with these people and putting a trike on a wish list.

Or, you can go ahead and donate via the button below.

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The Rotters

Bon appétit!

Source: Scientists Just Discovered Plastic-Eating Bacteria That Can Break Down PET

Supposedly nothing eats plastic, but apparently we have found a bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis, that does.  Now has far as I know there are bacteria that digest hydrocarbons, and that includes plastics. However the old plastic eating bacteria were anaerobic. That is, unable to handle an oxygenated environment. I. sakaiensis is an aerobic bacterium, one evolved to handle oxygen as part of the course of business. And the thing to remember about bacteria is that they are rather profligate when it comes to sharing their genetics.

What is going on here is known as “lateral transfer”, and it means that a species of bacterium with the genes for a trait will pass it on to other types of bacteria, and those genes will be expressed. That is what appears to have happened here, with an anaerobic bacterium transferring the gene for digesting plastics to a population of I. sakaiensis, who in turn have started eating plastic successfully.

Then we find out about this, and thinking it a solution to our problem started encouraging this behavior and giving Ideonella sakaiensis the opportunity to prosper and spread. The organism is already in the wild, just really hasn’t had a good chance to spread beyond where it is most often found. But keep in mind that just as they got the ability from an anaerobic bacterium, so they could pass it on to other aerobic bacteria, and they in tun could “infect” our supply of bottles and shirts meaning that your boxers and socks could start to rot much as cotton and wool clothing does.

And won’t that be embarrassing?

Now consider Trisha, a young lady of about 20 at the local beach for socializing and displaying her form in a one piece suit. Then a six year old girl announces to everyone in hearing range that Trisha is “flashing”. That is, there are now holes in her swimsuit, a couple of them in just the wrong places. Made aware of this some people, boys for the most part, make rude comments, while others, adults for the most part, check out what they are wearing and discover that they too are now on display.

Oh the consternation. Oh the dithering and running around. Oh the sun burn in sensitive places and the run on clothing made of natural fibers.

Now for the young children finding themselves au natural is just a lark. Though you can expect their parents and the other adults will get rather protective. With the older folks a lot would get embarrassed, but not all. You can also expect there to be a run on cotton, linen, and hemp at the lower end, with the better off switching to silk. And expect laundry detergents of variable efficacy to appear on the market.

And keep in mind just how much plastic we use in our lives. Basins and tubs, cutlery, intravenous lines. tons of stuff. How do we replace them? We’ll likely come up with treatments to sort of hinder the rotting, but that will add to the cost of plastics, making a polyethylene shirt something of a luxury item. Clothing factories sending out packages of sludge that were once button down shirts. And suits etc made of specially treated plastics that require expensive care. You may have to pay thousands for a polyester double knit. And then you have glass jars and bottles making a return, with all the problems that come with them. Medical supplies will just have to become reusable, and plastic tubing a prize to be treasured.

Life is adaptable, which means we have to be adaptable too.

Well, Hello

I’m getting subscribers. Boy am I getting subscribers. Some 576 of ’em, and that because they saw something here that encouraged them to subscribe. I have no idea what exactly because they don’t write.

So I guess I’ll just have to write.