Profile for Student of Trinity


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Locking in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #80
"If a pattern is aperiodic and non-random it has specified complexity." A letter 'i' written in a letter evidently counts as non-random, but "even an 'i' made by a person is random unless it actually conveys information." So, apparently: 'having specified complexity' is an exact synonym for 'conveying information'.

Is that your final answer?

[ Wednesday, January 09, 2008 10:14: Message edited by: Student of Trinity ]

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Name in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #2
A rich old game called 'Rebellion' died, and left Geneforge 4 a lot of money on the condition that it adopted the name.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Illia safehouse? in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #3
I think he means register. The answer is, Yes.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
G5 wishlist. in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #269
quote:
Originally written by Micawber:

Espresso — haemoglobin 2.0
FYS

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
G5 wishlist. in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #266
Yeah, thinking again, maybe even axe-wielding armored War Tralls are kind of a wrong step for the Geneforge world. Compare them to Rotghroths and Rotdhizons, by answering quickly: if you have to face a creepy tall acid-dripping ghoul, what other thing do you most not want it to be? Really fast, right? So Rotghroths have a Yikes! factor that really lets you know you're not in Kansas anymore. They always scare the bejeebers out of me.

They were still kind of outclassed by Gazers, so maybe they're better off in the fourth tier with Wingbolts and Kyshakks. But maybe it's just wrong to try to fill their shoes with plain big goons that chuck rocks. If there's something past Rotghroth, it should be seriously disturbing. So again I vote for the spiders from hell.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
GOOD GRAVY it's been a while. in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #74
You're right! Ha! And the signatures and user names have all been automatically updated, giving a pathetic illusion of life!

Which, now that I have refreshed my memory of what the RWG forum was really like, is just about right. So we're cool.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
GOOD GRAVY it's been a while. in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #72
Man, I kind of wish I hadn't clicked on that last link. The header is there, but no topics, no recent visitors, and the New Topic button doesn't work. It's cold.

Sic transit gloria fororum.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
300 in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #25
Well, but Count von Count is pretty awesome, and he generally celebrates spectacularly at quite low totals.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
G5 wishlist. in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #262
War Tralls throw rocks. We got Geneforges, we got Gazers with spooky death stares, we got Glaahks, we got Drakons. And the top tier battle creation chucks rocks.

They've gotta be seriously overhauled for G5. They need to be better, but even more, they need to be cooler. I see two options, both staying within the established Battle Creation style.

1) Show that the Clawbug is not just a freak intrusion from the Magic line, by replacing the Trall with some kind of super killer spider thing. Yes.

2) Keep the Trall, but let it wear armor and use weapons, both melee and thrown. This would be cool, and might make the Trall truly fearsome; but it has serious complications. It seems pretty clear from the previous 4 games that you can't make a full suit of made-to-measure steel plate armor by 'crackle-POOF!' out of thin air and personal essence. So any Tralls made by the PC would be naked at first. This means that either the engine would have to be substantially upgraded to allow creations to equip stuff; or the Trall would have to be an NPC-only creation; or there would have to be scripted opportunities to upgrade your Tralls with gear, sort of like the upgrades to Alwan and Greta in G3.

My vote would be to go with the spider-thing as the new top battle creation for PCs, but put armored axe-wielding War Tralls in the game as Shaper NPC creations.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Avernum , Geneforge or ? in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #20
There are no melee weapons other than swords and daggers in the Geneforge series. There are many different kinds of swords with different magical powers and so on, but there are no maces or spears, and there are no two-handed weapons. The whole medieval European arsenal thing is played down, in favor of exotic Shaper weaponry like spore batons and torrent gems. And there are a bunch of different ways you can enhance all your equipment, as well as artifacts that you can forge once you collect all their rare components. The bottom line is that there are still plenty of ways to pimp your character; they're just not the same old ways you've seen a million times before.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
World building poll in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #64
I agree that I would still feel myself to be right-handed after walking around the world, but would be perplexed at how everything else had inverted. But what disturbs me a bit is the following realization.

All my right-handed friends would have mysteriously turned into lefties while I was away; but my mysteriously inverted friends would all be insisting that I, and not they, had changed. I would retain my normal sense of right and left, I would know which hand I wrote with and which I didn't, and I would know I hadn't changed. And they would have exactly the same knowledge, that they hadn't changed. How can this paradox be resolved?

In a sense it simply can't. That's just how things are in a non-orientable world. There is no absolute chirality. And you have to re-think the concept of 'change', in a subtle way that probably no-one would have imagined without this kind of example.

As a further amusement along these lines: years ago I stumbled upon the following fun realization of a Klein bottle. Consider a circle of unit radius. Then consider the two dimensional space of pairs of points on the circle, labelled by separation distance and midpoint, as measured around the circle. So this 2-space is double periodic: pairs of the same separation, and midpoints 2 Pi apart, are the same. But any pair of separation 2 Pi is the same as the pair of separation 0, with midpoint half-way around the circle. So this 2-space of point pairs is a cylinder of unit radius and height 2 Pi, whose upper and lower bounding circles are identified, with an inversion. I believe this is a Klein bottle.

A similar situation occurs if you consider the 3-space of circles on a sphere. This is like a spherical shell whose inner and outer surfaces are identified inversely. I'm not sure what name this space has, though.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
World building poll in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #62
Is the Möbius strip intended to be a solid object with that shape, which people could for instance tunnel through? In that case, the tunnels would basically just be wormholes, since they would provide a shortcut to a place that you could also walk to on the surface.

Or is the Möbius strip the shape of space itself? In the latter case, it's only anything interesting if you identify the two sides of the strip. In other words, the world is flat, but periodic in the x direction (say), such that the points (L,y,z) and (0,-y,z) are identified. This is a topological question, though, or at least I think it is, and there is nothing special about the plane x = L.

Then, I think that circumnavigating the world should convert you into your mirror image.

And here is a ghastly puzzle: at which point in that continuous process would you change from being left-handed to right handed? Gah. I have an idea what the answer is, and I don't like it.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Hi in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #6
quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

Welcome to the Spiderweb Software message boards. Leave your sanity at the door.

That's our traditional greeting, don't ask how it was conceived because I don't know.


This greeting dates from the time before these boards had anything to do with shareware games — back when we were an online arachnaphobia support group. Brother Jeff was kind of our star member; he made so much progress, he eventually bought a tarantula as a pet. He got over his claustrophobia here, too, by actively imagining huge, open underground spaces, instead of stifling little ones. He was trying to develop a therapeutic simulation program about giant caves, but when we constructively commented that claustrophobia therapy didn't really need goblins, he took the point, and the rest is history.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
When bullying goes galactic.. in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #39
Well, actually this is a very interesting question even for professionals. The tendency of photons to show up in detectors as tiny blips of light is as much about detector physics as it is about light itself. But only a rather small subset of physicists understands detection physics much at all.

Particle theorists usually speak blithely about IN and OUT states of non-interacting particles, and know practically nothing about how real particles are detected. Particle experimentalists usually understand rather little about the quantum fields their machines monitor. As far as I can see, only a few of the best quantum optics theorists (which category happens to include most of the best quantum optics experimentalists) understand light detection at a level that is both fundamental and realistic.

Alas, I do not yet count myself in this happy group. But I'm getting there. On the other hand, I don't think anyone entirely understands light detection, since it is, after all, an example of quantum measurement.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Why is attempted murder illegal? in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #39
It was the case that launched a thousand quips.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
When bullying goes galactic.. in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #35
quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Salmon:

I keep all my photons in a bag.
No, those are your gluons.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
When bullying goes galactic.. in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #32
Yeah, every darn hundred years there's something new.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Bipolar in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #126
I guess I'm just old school on this one. God is God. Me, I'm lucky if I can make the coffee taste the way I want it in the morning. And to dust I shall return.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Why is attempted murder illegal? in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #34
Actually, someone who genuinely believed something crazy like that wouldn't be a troll at all. A troll, in message board speak, is someone who doesn't believe what they say, but is just trying to get a rise out of people. And the people who dutifully provide all that evidence and logic against the outrageous proposition, they have been successfully trolled.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Bipolar in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #115
How many scientists do you know? There are many in the world, and all though all tend to share some basic assumptions, the conclusions they draw from them vary widely.

As to this particular scientist: I am a materialist, in the sense that I am a substance monist. I believe that I am to my brain rather as a poem is to the ink in which it is written. I also believe that every atom and all of space persist from instant to instant at the whim of God; and all the patterns therein. God seems to have an inordinate fondness for partial differential equations. I'd like to know why.

I have had several experiences that seemed to me to agree more precisely with my theories God than I would expect if the theories weren't onto something. I have also had to revise my theories of God in the light of experience. Not all desperately heartfelt prayers, for instance, are granted.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Bipolar in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #110
I didn't see my post, or Stillness's comment on it, as implying anything about Christianity. I argued this point to cautious acceptance on an evangelical theology list once: Christian dogma is blind to the question of whether spirit inhabits the world like alcohol in wine, or like grammar in ink. Christianity neither presumes nor implies substance dualism.

Stillness seems to disagree with me, though, on the explanatory power of dualism. He sees the theory of a 'spiritual realm' as having something to say on occasions when materialism has nothing to offer but hopes for future understanding. I see it as the candidate with the least of all to say.

Perhaps the difference here is that I don't count just any set of words as really being 'something to say'. As a hypothetical ridiculous example, consider a theory which claims to explain so-called out-of-body experiences, but whose explanation consists literally and entirely of the syllables 'blah blah blah'. If proponents of this theory were to boast that they had ideas about a question on which science confessed ignorance, then their boast would be hollow.

The question I have, though, is whether substance dualism is really so much better than that ridiculous example. It's all very well to make statements about intangible spirits and souls, even statements that are much longer than 'blah blah blah'. But very little further detail can be given, in my experience, to flesh out (ha) what those statements mean. I am left with the impression that substance dualism is not really an explanation at all — not even a wrong one. It seems more to be a mere insistence on the right to utter certain formulaic syllables in response to certain questions.

In that sense, it's like 'blah blah blah', except marketed better. And this is why I consider it to be a declaration of disinterest in the question of how mind works, which is only masquerading as an answer.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Bipolar in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #105
The fire is normal consciousness, and it is astonishing how little smoke there is from this fire. When you think about what it must mean to have a zillion nerve cells form a mind, it is almost hard to believe that stark raving madness is as rare as it is.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Hardist Special Zones in Geneforge Series
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #4
You need to collect three pieces of a broken crystal, which will unlock the sealed door to IGU. They are scattered around various zones near the Geneforge. For more detail consult a walkthrough.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Why is attempted murder illegal? in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #26
Neither did I.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Bipolar in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #89
I'd like to play devil's advocate enough to extend a point I advanced a while back, and that seems as though it might be worth considering.

(Actually, I'm not sure who's advocate I'm being, since I'm afraid I haven't been reading this thread carefully enough to know whether I'm really supporting anyone else here. Concisely summarizing a long post is a hard intellectual task that no-one here is paid for, so no-one is obliged to do; but conversely, I'm not being paid to figure out long posts, so I don't read them. So maybe I'm nobody's advocate, just an unsolicited amicus curiae.)

There are a lot of psychological phenomena, alleged or well substantiated, to which some people refer in terms of simple dualistic theories of the mind. It may be best to draw for these people a distinction they do not draw for themselves, between the causes to which they ascribe the phenomena, and their discussions of the phenomena as such. In my experience, the dualistic theory can often be excised painlessly, leaving a perfectly sound and substantial account, partly in metaphorical language, of some fascinating psychological phenomenology.

It seems to me that people who seem to be espousing dualism often only think they are committed to it, when in fact they simply have not thought much about it. They have not thought much about it, because they are just not really interested in the mechanisms underlying mental phenomena. They are actually just as uninterested in spirit as a substance as they are in neurochemistry. And that's okay. Not everyone has to be interested in everything; and neurochemistry is perhaps one of the best things not to be interested in, because our current state of understanding of it is not enough to let us do very much.

And so perhaps one should simply overlook references to dualistic explanations, just as one should overlook the malapropisms of a second language speaker. Perhaps they indicate merely ignorance of a different subject, rather than obtuseness on the subject at hand. If I am aware of plausible or established naturalistic explanations for some strange experience, but the experience itself rather than its cause is the topic of discussion, I might better take spiritualistic descriptions as metaphors, rather than try to correct them as errors.

There's a point at which this seems to me to be not just courtesy, but accuracy. There are psychoses, for example, that do pretty much anything I would ask of a bona fide demon. It might be the critic of demonic terminology who was being naive in such a case, making too simplistic assumptions about what it must mean to call something a demon.

Of course, if someone's demonic picture of psychosis makes them believe that the condition is contagious by touch, this is a serious error. But even then: Is the point that there are no such things as demons, or just that demons are not transferable?

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00

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