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Last Week
Bar Harbor
During the weekend of the Great LJ/Panix outages, I was actually too busy to be on-line much. and this coming weekend is Arisia, so if I don't post about last week now, I'll likely *never* get around to it...

Saturday last I Went out with kestrell, primarily to see The Merchant of Venice. Given that they were doing "The Tragedy of shylock" version, I thought it was... OK. I have fundamental problems with that approach, though. Shakespeare doesn't work well if you make the Bad Guy at all sympathetic. I mean, you can *do* it, but it always comes out feeling wrong. The first production of Twelfth Night I ever saw made that mistake, and it ruined me on the play for years afterwards. On the plus side, the costumes were gorgeous, and to my not-very-trained-eye looked authentic. The sets were also sumptuous. The final bits of silliness with the lovers were actually allowed to *be* silly, and came off well. Recommended for SCA costume mavens, and for Shakespeare-geeks who like having things to grouse about. You can see Kes' review also.

Sunday afternoon was spent at the History Symposium, where I gave a talk on The Matter of France. It went OK, but not great. I had notes that, in hindsight, seem like they would have fit comfortably in 2.5 hours, but got compressed down to an hour-and-change. I was rushing/skimming quite a lot by the end. Also, I need a more linear layout for next time. I apparently now *think* in hypertext, and I certainly take my notes that way. But the lecture format really needs linearity.

In the evening was Storytellers, which was actually mostly populated by "leftover Cooks" (meaning no offense by the phrase, it just struck me as a funny one). There was actually a lot more storytelling than I expected there would be, given the small number of storytellers, though it did turn into a more general gab-fest near the end of the evening. Among the story themes were Masques, Monkeys, and Spanish Spitting. Also, in the course of the evening, it was established that rufinia actually *does* have a pony, only it happens to be invisible.

During the week at work, I've been doing small amounts of bug-fixing, and large amounts of meetings and email design discussions about Irrational's next few projects (probably BioShock and a Freedom Force expansion pack). The creative ferment is bubbling nicely. On the down side, Robb has designed a new villain whom he intends to kill off my beloved Mister Mechanical! I still have time to talk him out of it, though. And heck, this is a comic-book universe; death is nohow permanent.

During commutes and bedtime reading, now that the Matter of France is (for the time being) out of the way, I've been reading (and re-reading) a bunch of stuff by Fredric Brown. I'm on a panel about him at Arisia, at 9:00 tonight, so I thought it good to do some reminder research. More details (and possibly reviews) in the post-con wrap-up.

Evenings, I'm still being addicted to Neverwinter Nights. I was right about the Bad Guy (although he was only the Bad Guy for Chapter One), which was satisfying. It was a little distressing to get near the end of Chapter One and discover that he was part of the Big Important Ritual, and that I didn't have any dialog options like "Don't trust him! He's Eeeeeevil!" But the game continues to have the classic RPG formula of doling out cookies just irregularly enough for maximal behavior reinforcement, so I keep playing :-)

Mid-way through Chapter Two, I've run into an unfortunate situation which may eventually force me to break character. My character is a D&D3.5 version of one that I've been playing on and off since college: an amoral assassin named Swift who is extremely skilled at Not Being Seen, and VERY paranoid about magic users. There is a fairly major subquest that involves stabbing oneself in the heart with a ceremonial dagger, in order to access "the realm between life and death". Now, as a *player*, I have no doubt that this operation is perfectly safe, and will cause no lasting harm. Swift, on the other hand, would *never* let his paranoia about "weird magic shit" down long enough to do such an act. For the time being, I am doing other sub-quests, in hopes that I can avoid having to proceed further along this one.

Last night, I got packed for Arisia. It went pretty quickly. kestrell took much longer. Of course, I just tossed in a few t-shirts (plus piles of books for panels), whereas she was making complicated decisions about how much skin she should show. Of course herooftheage and I were no help there, as we both said "all of it!" :-)

Now for a few more hours of work, and then off to the con! Hope to see many of you there!

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I think everyone thinks non-linearly/spatially as a natural state; it's learning to think in straight lines which is the difficult skillset. Many people can't do it at all.

I think that the known term for Vorkosigan fans of "unpack" basically means "render your thought less linear because you made it too precise." The happy medium is somewhere between a short line and a cloud of thoughts or parenthetical expressions.

Re: Thinking in HTML

I think everyone thinks non-linearly/spatially as a natural state; it's learning to think in straight lines which is the difficult skillset.

Interesting. While I'm not certain that you're right, it would help to explain the explosive growth of the Web...

I particularly wanted you to see my post on dreams of games, as you are the only person I know is working in the gaming field. Is it even doable?


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