Wednesday, November 16, 2016

TWIC:firewood, rpgs, shenzhen, Nano

Stacking firewood. At home in Canada, I had to mow the lawn. As a young adult, I put some effort into playing with how I did so. One thing I did was go to the two tree in the front yard and cut around them in steadily expanding circles. The direction of the cutting or the impression of the wheels lasted for a while so I made the lawn into a sort of artwork. I've always enjoyed chopping firewood; now I want to stack it, too.
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World design in RPGs requires careful thought and planning. Gord Sellar demonstrates.
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This article on Shenzhen only touches the surface of how and why that Chinese city is a hub of innovation. I don't consider myself an electronics or business creative, but I do find such people and places interesting.
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Hopkins in Westworld: Via Kottke.

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The disciplined imagination of futurists. I recently taught a high school class the usages of various future tense forms. I pointed out that the Surprises Aplenty of 2000 probably thought he would use big, clunky cameras and use expensive film forever. He definitely thought he'd live in Canada by now. I then asked the students to imagine 2026. I gave examples and some were mundane. I would own a house. I would have published a few books... I also wrote "I will record my dreams in HD". The students then tried their hands at logic and prediction.  I put more time into my planning for the class than they did in responding and this was only a short exercise so the most Sci-Fi response was 'visit the Moon'.
Anyway, Sci-Am has an article about futurists and their imagination.
Futurists are trained to imagine distant realities that to others seem implausible, or even impossible, today: technologies that don’t exist yet, dramatic changes to social norms or laws, detailed scenarios such as the strange pandemic most likely to infect us in the year 2031, or new forms of government that may unfold when space colonization becomes commonplace. Even if such possible futures can be interesting to consider, most lay people view them as little more than an intellectual curiosity. What is the practical purpose in contemplating a world thousands of tomorrows away, a world that may never actually come to pass, when there are so many pressing concerns right now?
At the link is a 50 minute video where the futurists discuss such issues. After NanoWrimo, I will watch it (ah, planning for the future).
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Speaking of NaNoWriMo. I am one full day behind in my word count but should be able to catchup today (Nov 12). I want to get ahead, but we will see. LATER on Nov 12: I am now caught up.  I have been writing chronologically but had hit a slow spot. I jumped all the way to the end and am now working on the big set piece battle.

Two things that alwasy happen during Nano are:
I always get entangled with the numbers and am busy writing down the number of words I've written, doing the subtraction to see what the most recent period had produced and sometimes it really takes away from the story. This time, it drove to stop nickel-and-diming my sentences and move to a part of the story I am excited about.

I also find myself needing to know a lot of minor details.  Let's see, there are the six tabs of this Nanowrimo entry plus one from the previous year, thee or four map taps and Wikipedia tabs for kings or emporers of England, Austria and the Holy Roman Empire. Also details on Chinese and Korean royalty and nobility. Two tabs about the Vatican, several on subjects relating to the Silk Road. Oh, and a calendar for the year 1831. I had recently closed tabs on names for Russian warships circa 1830 and Astrakhan, a Russian city between major Silk Road cities and Italy.
November 13: that strategy of jumping to a more interesting part is really working. I did my minimum and added a hundred words to the bank and I expect no difficulty in doing the same tomorrow.
I opened a new window to find some good Italian names. My story has characters from all over Europe and the Commonwealth, plus Eastern and western China and Burma (I don't think that is a Commonwealth country). If my story is any good, it will be described as an incredible display of ambition to fit so many divers elements into a rookie novel. More likely such reviews will detail the problems with such ambition.

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