GmailSimon Sane <>

A Brief History of Plorg [part 1]

SUZZZZZY <>29 August 2015 at 15:18
To: Sy Marlinspike <>

Inline images 1

Wednesday, 18 December 2013:

Simon Sane - 02:39 the kid-friendly web application platform / dating site

Ben - 02:39
"kid-friendly dating site" could go in a variety of directions.
Not all of them good.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013:

Ben - 18:58
Lewis, what do you think of Simon's current plan?

Lewis - 18:59
what is plan?

Ben - 18:59
Remember the fake text adventure?
And the picture typewriter?
This is that project. It's a website for buying and selling human souls.
" Do YOU know what we're doing?"

Lewis - 19:02
once more, with context

Ben - 19:02
I don't think there's more context than that.

Lewis - 19:03
i don't remember the fake text adventure or the picture typewriter
help me out
also, synod: please become facebook fans of requestcast, if you are fans of requestcast, and on facebook

Ben - 19:04
He has all those excerpts from text adventure transcripts.
And has been talking about making a fake text adventure / CAPTCHA sort of thing from them.
He's been talking about that for months.

Lewis - 19:05
is that part of the infodumping he has been doing?

Ben - 19:05
The current iteration of this is a website where people can type things in to authenticate themselves as having souls, in order to be eligible to sell their souls online.

Lewis - 19:06
iteration doesn't mean what you think it does
if that sentence makes sense

Ben - 19:07
See, when you type things in, you get responses culled from text adventures.

Lewis - 19:07

Ben - 19:07
He was trying to get me to come up with a tagline for, but it wasn't possible.
The problem is that the tagline needed to just be an informative description of what the site does, but without giving any information.

Lewis - 19:09 The Soul Confirmation You'll Need

Ben - 19:09
He doesn't want souls to be mentioned anywhere on the site.

Vincent Watkins - 19:10
Or buying or sellijg

Lewis - 19:10 Confirmation now, Benefits to come!
also, those are stupid desiderata
it would be like asking someone to come up with a coke commercial that only ever mentioned shoes

Ben - 19:11
I suggested "Plorg: Our Second Try."
Suggesting that there was an earlier, failed version of the service.

Simon Sane - 19:11
are you guys talking about PLORG?

Lewis - 19:11

Ben - 19:11
Yes!, your home on cyberspace... of the soul!

Lewis - 19:12 keep plorging away a cross between a poodle and a lorg.
this is a rival service simon
that's why it is a dot com

Simon Sane - 19:13
that doesn't even rhyme!

Ben - 19:14 Proudly unaffiliated with

Lewis - 19:14 Pulling the Plorg out from under you.

Simon Sane - 19:14
ben you forgot to mention the latest twist to the business model

Ben - 19:15
What is it?
Oh, the part where it's B2B?

Simon Sane - 19:15
also, kid-friendly!
i think the best tagline we've come up with so far is PLORG: Kid-Friendly Authentication

Lewis - 19:15
its a bed and breakfast?

Ben - 19:15
"Who would put a mad scientist in charge of their PLORG?"

Simon Sane - 19:16
that was for the other one! this doesn't have a scientist, just a demon girl who looks like kate from adventure kids

Ben - 19:16
"Happy new year, from your pals at PLORG!"

Simon Sane - 19:18
also i thought up a more advanced excuse for text adventure bullshit, which is that in order to test that you have a soul, it tries to unravel a little bit of it and then ask you to talk about how you feel, the same way some sites deduct a small amount of money from your bank account and ask you to confirm the figures

Lewis - 19:19
PLORG: Quicker than you expected, Better than you dreamed.

Simon Sane - 19:19
ben came up with a lot of things in that vein, but i rejected them all for sounding too buzzwordy

Ben - 19:19
Plorg: Because you deserve the best tools money (or anything else) can buy.

Lewis - 19:20
Plorg: fuck you simon, stop making up inconsistent restrictions on taglines

Simon Sane - 19:20
plorg's marketing strategy is to be legitimately straightforward and no-frills to the point that they're boldly assuming you know what they do rather than explaining it

Ben - 19:20
Plorg: You know what we do.

Simon Sane - 19:20
like google or whatever

Lewis - 19:21
PLORG: Now Available on the Web

Simon Sane - 19:21
yeah, but see, google is confident enough in their frequently idiotic products that they don't even give them taglines, they just give them stupid names and shove them in your face

Ben - 19:21
Plorg: Finally, a "Web" Site For Us!

Simon Sane - 19:22
[no tagline]

Ben - 19:22
Plorg: A new product from Plorgocorp.

Lewis - 19:22
Plorg: From the people who brought you google

Ben - 19:22

Simon Sane - 19:23
once, in a grocery store, a free sample guy said "it's toaster strudel, from the people who brought you toaster sandwich!"
and my mother said haughtily "WELL, they didn't bring it to ME!"

Ben - 19:24
Plorg: Remember Google? Recapture those feelings again.

Lewis - 19:24
Plorg: Recapture that Remarkable Flavor

Ben - 19:25
"What's YOUR PlorgIQ?"

Lewis - 19:26
Plorg: Applorg yourself!

Ben - 19:28
You could do a doge meme sort of thing.
such website
very captcha

Lewis - 19:28
I can haz PLORG?

Ben - 19:31
Wait, I've got it. We're better than this.

Lewis - 19:33 Are you a Lion, or a Lamb? The Plorgmaker Reach for the stars!

Ben - 19:34
"Something from everyone"

Lewis - 19:34 Pleased to Plorg your Acquaintance

Simon Sane - 19:35
i'm currently thinking the way plorg will work is that it'll confront you with a big text box, prompt you to type stuff in a manner similar to a Smoke submind, but things like "Tell me a story in your own words", or "What's going through your mind right now?" or "What's something you have trouble talking about?" and when it has enough data to make a decision, the next time you hit enter it'll forward you to the success or failure page based on some arcane textual analysis algorithm or just randomly or based on your IP or whatever

Lewis - 19:36
you know people alredy programmed, like, eliza, right? Straight from the Source

Simon Sane - 19:37
yeah, it makes no attempt to pretend it's a person, the point is that it'll use prompts with long responses and no machine-verifiable right answers
and then during them it'll start misinterpreting your story as text adventure commands

Lewis - 19:39 A Gaurantee You Can Trust Authorized Users Only

Simon Sane - 19:43
the failed authentication in the demo on will just have a page that says AUTHENTICATION FAILED with the demon girl mascot sticking her tongue out and giving a thumbs-down, below which it'll have a small link that says "what went wrong?" or somesuch which takes you to a generic page that lists a variety of possible reasons, including weird things like "plorg suspects the user is being coerced" and "the user has already made a successful transaction"
the success page will say TRANSACTION SUCCESSFUL
up until that point, the fact that there's a transaction hypothetically taking place will not be mentioned
at some points while you're typing, it'll autosuggest completions of your sentences, but in weird ways that change with every letter you type, even if you're typing what it suggests

Lewis - 19:45 What did you expect? what you've come to expect excellence made easy

Simon Sane - 19:47
if you continue to type whatever it suggests even as it changes letter by letter, the result will be gibberish, but it will be gibberish that's 95% identical to real—

Lewis - 19:47 the cadillac of authentication; infuriating, and you will likely give up at least simon will be entertained like adventure house, but way worse

Vincent Watkins - 19:49 hi, Ben and Ashley

Lewis - 19:49 what ever happened to bite size?

Simon Sane - 19:49
hold on, my brother (my actual brother) is on the phone about this DNA stuff

Vincent Watkins - 19:50
We don't really need to hold on

Simon Sane - 19:50

Lewis - 19:54
why is there no youtube video of adelberg junior saying "I'm-a the mermaid queen"

Simon Sane - 20:06
there, that's all cleared up

Lewis - 20:07
why is there no youtube video of adelberg junior saying "I'm-a the mermaid queen"

Simon Sane - 20:08
you know, it's odd, when i imagine plorg being completely ignored aside from the people in the synod and like three visitors per year from some old reddit comment following a brief flap from a homestuck ad or whatever, my immediate reaction is to be relieved
which kind of implies that i want the project to fail

Lewis - 20:08
that explains many elements of the design scheme
for the project

Simon Sane - 20:09
yeah, i wonder how much of a contributing factor that is

Ashley Sgromo - 20:09
i don't know, from that it would follow that no one ever gets to see your face or know your real name
i GUESS they're probably different phenomena though

Simon Sane - 20:11
i think i'm mainly afraid of success because failure means the project is over and success means it's not

Lewis - 20:15
maybe pick projects that can succeed and terminate?
like, plan a 100 strip comic

Simon Sane - 20:17
the trouble is that entangling yourself with the rest of the world is part of the almost part of the definition of success, if i made something that didn't stick to anything in a way that could be built upon, i don't think i would feel it was successful
-part of the
i'll just have to keep an eye out for this

Ben - 20:59   

Vincent Watkins - 21:17
Your projects often seem doomed to failure, but it's a specific sort of failure, where there's a readymade excuse that people are too stupid or impatient to do what you want them to do. It's not just like trying be funny and nobody laughing, or telling a love story that isn't moving. The failure there clearly falls back on you. If you make a game people don't even play, or a comic they won't even read, then there's some amount of blame to place on them for failing to engage the work properly.
But I don't know that success depends on the audience always. With a game, it seems like you need a player, but a great work of art seems an accomplishment even if no one cares. But I guess that kind of thinking is what drives to write unreadable books and then sit on them or delete them, which doesn't seem particularly admirable. When I think about the works I admire though, and how proud I would be to have done something like that, it has nothing to do with anyone else's appreciation of the work.
(Synod drinking rule 2: take a drink whenever Vince mentions one of his "books.")


Thursday, 19 December 2013:

Lewis - 08:02
this is the dawning

Vincent Watkins - 08:02

Lewis - 08:02
of the age
of synodquarious organic authentication

Scribbit - 08:03 is man's best friend

Lewis - 08:03 safer authentication

Scribbit - 08:03
But its a longframe .gif that changes friend to fiend
Simon Sane - 11:21
why doesn't \r\n(\[[^]\r\n]*\][^:]) match "[pause]" on its own line...  
oh, i need to escape that first ]
no, still not matching...
ah, i wasn't in regular expression mode

Ben - 11:24
That's one theory.

Simon Sane - 11:28
there, now i can replace \r\n\[PlorgNa\]: \[([^\r\n\]]*\])([^\r\n]*)\]\r\n with \r\n\1: /me\2

Simon Sane - 11:37
wow, i really don't use curly braces very often
here's a clever one i just did
(\r\n\*.*)\r\n([^—\*]*)(\r\n(—|\^\^\^)) —> \1\r\n\2\1
it changes this:
* [UserA]'s_family internet silly_spider_monkey_fiasco [UserA]'s_sister skeleton1

[UserOT]: who's this?

to this:
* [UserA]'s_family internet silly_spider_monkey_fiasco [UserA]'s_sister skeleton1

[UserOT]: who's this?

* [UserA]'s_family internet silly_spider_monkey_fiasco [UserA]'s_sister skeleton1

Ben - 11:46
I don't understand what eitherr of those are.

Simon Sane - 11:47
i have bits of the same conversation stuck together with — separators instead of repeating the tags for each one, but i'm changing it so it repeats the tags instead
because Plorg doesn't really care if a chunk of conversation happens some time after another one

* wizard_of_oz rubik's_cube [User1] faux_lie skeleton1

[UserA]: /me has a rubik's cube
[UserL]: you know, the problem with rubik's cube solution guides is that the first two steps are always "well, you gotta figure this one out on your own, good luck!"
[PlorgF]: the one i used just had a formula you concoct that makes you instantly smarter
[UserL]: that's what i want
[UserL]: where is it
[UserL]: i don't need any useless visual guides, i just need some hard formulas...
[PlorgF]: as soon as i drank it, i put my finger to my temple and said "the sum of the squares of any two sides of an icosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side!"
[PlorgF]: and then lightning fired out of my forehead, destroying the cube
[PlorgF]: see, there is no actual "solution" to the rubik's cube except to destroy it
[UserL]: it's like the gordian knot

[User1]: there, that's as close as you can get it. [hands the cube back to [UserL]]
[UserL]: this corner is still messed up
[User1]: that cube is unsolvable. it has the wrong edge flip parity and corner twist number.
[UserL]: i can't tell if you're lying.
what it does is replace the "—" with the most recent line beginning with an asterisk

Ben - 11:49
Why is Plorg using your chatlogs now?

Simon Sane - 11:49
because why not!

Ben - 11:50
I thought this was going to be a text adventure.

Simon Sane - 11:50
it will be that also! in fact, i've already got a few ideas as to how to link them together

Ben - 11:51
You know how Grant has that thing where he insists his shifting projects are really just the same thing?

Simon Sane - 11:51

Ben - 11:51
Is that what you're doing?

Simon Sane - 11:52
no, this isn't a shifting project, it's a snowballing project
the text adventure crap is still all in here

Vincent Watkins - 11:52
I see the end result of this process being a game that only Jack can play, that is played by being Jack and doing anything Jack does.
(When you get rich and famous, remember how all your friends supported your artistic endeavors)

Simon Sane - 11:53
"snowballing" sounds worse than shifting in terms of getting it done, but this is different from the usual "biting off more than you can chew" issue in that it's picking up pre-existing material
which, it's important to note, is what makes PPC the only project i work on which actually gets published, so i take it as a good sign

Ben - 11:55
What if you made it a wiki?

Vincent Watkins - 11:56
I think it is important, in that regard, that PCP existed in some form before gradually accumulating several universes of ideas

Simon Sane - 11:57
that's true, that's true...

Vincent Watkins - 11:58
Though I don't know that's relevant because it helped you arrive at the finished product, or whether it just makes it easier for us to get engaged with what you're doing if we can see a working part of it.
But I'd imagine that it would help incline you to see things through
both in itself, and BECAUSE it would get every else more engaged
Except Lewis, who will still say you should be making more Adventure House

Simon Sane - 13:24
it looks like there's 18000 lines of dialog, which is in the same ballpark as the 43000 text adventure responses

Simon Sane - 23:09
remember that book or whatever where some kid wishes it would be christmas every day, and then we see the terrible consequences of that?

Vincent Watkins - 23:10
It happened on Fairly Odd Parents

Ben - 23:11
I remember one where a kid says he doesn't like milk, and he gets shown how horrible life would be without the many milk-containing products he enjoys.
I'm not sure, but I suspect it may have been written by someone with a pro-milk agenda.

Simon Sane - 23:12
what's the deal with fairly odd parents, i've never seen it
the kid's parents are magical fairies? but he also has a babysitter?

Vincent Watkins - 23:12
No, he just has fairy godparents

Simon Sane - 23:12
this is the version for springs instead of milk

Vincent Watkins - 23:13
And nominally unlimited wishes
But the wishes always backfire, and there are rules

Simon Sane - 23:13
so, he has regular parents as well?

Vincent Watkins - 23:13

Simon Sane - 23:15
there's a number of lines from this short that i say sometimes, mainly in my head
"i own your ass, fat boy! get back here!"

Ben - 23:15
"Where does Coily fit into God's plan for us?"

Vincent Watkins - 23:16
In one episode, Timmy brings a bunch of superheroes into the world to solve some problem he inadvertently created. When they do, he then has them clean his room, and say something like, "Thanks for using your powers to clean my room instead of ending world hunger."

Simon Sane - 23:17
an alan moore solution to a gumby problem!
or something like that, i'm not sure how the OTI jargon works here
"shouldn't this be over?"
"helps if you're stupid!"

Ben - 23:21
"Stop! Don't say it! Don't ever wish anything like that as long as you live!"

Simon Sane - 23:22
really though, the disheveled bumbling man with the bad hair who rambles on about springs for eight minutes is basically me...

Ben - 23:22
Is Sathariel Coily?

Simon Sane - 23:22
no, not really

Ben - 23:22
Am I the phone?

Simon Sane - 23:22
you are not the phone

Ben - 23:23
The golf club?

Simon Sane - 23:23
my stapler is scott farkus
if that's even the right name, which it probably isn't

Ben changed the topic to You Are Not The Phone - 23:23

Simon Sane - 23:23
that's what sarah's stepfather said
then the phone turned into a tiny man, and the man inflated

Simon Sane
they had an editing style i liked, where they essentially just showed the prank itself and then cut to the next one rather than hanging around to try and capture people's consternation in response to it
because really it's the premise that's funny, with pranks, people always react predictably even if it's the reaction intended   this is an hour and a half, so i might have to actually recommend it on the podcast at some point

Matt Smith
what's the first podcast topic
vincent you broke hangouts!!!!!I have to shower anyway, bbl

Simon Sane
we're not doing topics, instead everybody picks something to recommend and recommends it, and you can only be on an episode if you did something recommended in the last episode
AND have something new to recommend

Vincent Watkins
I guess I'm primarily interested in the reactions people have to pranks, but it's true that some pranks aren't going to have interesting reactions.  Like in Jackass, when the guy sticks a toy car up his ass for the specific purpose of going to a proctologist and having the proctologist discover the car and then have a conversation about it, it wouldn't make sense to go through all that and then stop the scene as soon as the X-ray develops.  But if your prank is essentially that something big and noisy happens in a public place, the reactions are probably less interesting.  Though, they still seem like the point of the prank.

Simon Sane
yeah, and certainly the most classic prank calls i can think of are those ones moe from the simpsons is based on, which are very reaction-centric
but arguably it's the prank-ee doing the heavy lifting there which is pretty hard to get to happen, it's just a matter of calling the right person, basically i guess that's part of the thinking behind though, in part it's an automated prank, so it can handle a high volume of people and if one of them turns out to be interesting or funny i can take the wheel and have the computer be the copilot but it's a soup of premises currently, not all of them work with that one


Saturday, 22 February 2014:

Simon Sane - 06:25
yeah, thinking about it, santa is QUITE odin-like
he's this ancient father figure, but at the same time he's all into magic and sneaking around
there's an excessive number of him, he sees and knows everything...
his diet consists entirely of milk and cookies

Ben - 06:30
He's known for having a beard and one to two eyes.

Simon Sane - 06:30
have you seen the invader zim christmas special?

Ben - 06:31

Simon Sane - 06:32
it's a good episode

Ben - 06:32
I'll watch it later.

Simon Sane - 06:57
that google suggest box raises a good question, actually
IS santa an elf?

Ben - 06:57
He's pretty high-profile.

Simon Sane - 06:57
is god an elf?

Ben - 06:58
What if God was one of elves?

Simon Sane - 06:58
i misread that as "what if god was raised by elves?"
you might say "no, that's ridiculous", but how do you explain...

speechless, eh?
for some reason i feel like starting work on plorg today

Ben - 07:02

Simon Sane - 07:02
step 1: open a new notepad document and type <html><head></head><body></body></html>
i can't remember how to center a <div> on the page

Ben - 07:05

Simon Sane - 07:08
now, this is just a prototype, it doesn't have all the features that i hope to include...

Ben - 07:09
I like the colors and the title.
I don't see the official logo anywhere... will that be in the final version?

Simon Sane - 07:14
probably not
hmm, it seems javascript is case sensitive
good to know
here's version 2
now you can type letters and letters will appear, by magic
but only A B and C

Ben - 07:23
It works.

Simon Sane - 07:30
hmm, what's the escape character for quotation marks

Simon Sane - 07:58
now it makes pictures instead of letters
you can only use a-z, space, and enter though
i'd program more, but i still don't know the javascript escape character for quotation marks

Simon Sane - 08:17
i'll just wait till ashley's around, she's going to be the only one who's actually helpful with this

Simon Sane - 08:37
i need to draw up some sort of roadmap, though...
the practical way to get from here to something that does something interesting is probably to add functionality in small steps just to make sure they work, both in terms of programming and in terms of design, and occasionally throwing out a set of functions or whatever and replacing it with a more complicated but more efficient and expandable module
and at some point making a visual interface to some aspects of the workings so they can be adjusted without having to poke through the code
first thing is to get the basic interface under control so it doesn't do stupid things if you hit ? or backspace or type a long line of AAAAAAAAAAAA that goes off the screen
you know who i should try to get on board with this, is saxxon pike
i was thinking just now that there's essentially two basic modules to plorg, one is the game with the colored shapes and bleeps and bloops and whatever that the user is presented with, and the other is the behind the scenes bit that basically doesn't know or care about how the "game" part works or what the user is actually seeing, and just thinks in terms of what they've typed and what it wants them to type and gives the game module instructions like "cue them to type a noun" or "condition them to expect stimulus 48 after stimulus 20"
and this is basically based on the workings of saxxon pike's obsessively perfect ZZT clone Lyon
albeit the line is a bit fuzzier here

Lewis - 08:55
add text-wrap so that when you hit like, 80 characters, you start a new line

Simon Sane - 08:56
yeah, i noted that under getting the basic interface under control
it's not actually going to be a picture typewriter in the slightest, this was basically just to test typing letters and pictures doing things

Lewis - 08:57
oh, sorry, missed that line

Simon Sane - 08:59
i think probably the easiest "game" interface to aim for is a grid-based thing where, like, pressing "B" makes the things in the eight squares surrounding a balloon rotate around the balloon 180 degrees
and likewise for the other letters
and the object is to get some special object from the start to the finish or somesuch
but this lacks versatility
you can make a level where they have to type "eggplant" to get all the stars in a line, or a level you can win by typing "lettuce" or "broccoli", but it's not really feasible to make a level that just requires the user to type some sort of vegetable without specifying any in particular
on the other hand, since the operations are completely reversible, it's quite easy for the computer to generate levels that require you to type arbitrarily long specific sequences, since all it has to do is take the end state and work backwards
on the other hand, if you start with an interface module that has no internal logic whatsoever, it has maximum versatility but won't be a very good game
the game module's job is basically to present stimuli in such a way that certain patterns are brought to the user's conscious attention, others are hidden from it while still be unconsciously salient, and others are obfuscated entirely
and, i suppose, to effectively trigger the pre-existing conditioning the user starts with, like their positive reaction to pictures of cats and their negative reaction to loud buzzing noises
you have to start somewhere

Scribbit - 09:16
How goes it

Simon Sane - 09:16
fine, fine

Scribbit - 09:17
I can use a telephone

Vincent Watkins - 09:17
To do what?

Simon Sane - 09:17
that's not how you use a telephone, stephanie! get that telephone off your head

Scribbit - 09:18
Read synod

Simon Sane - 09:18
i thought of you yesterday, because i had a really long, really loud A&P that sounded in part like blood rushing in my ears
maybe the longest one i've ever had
the noise came and went, i think probably with the phase of the breath, but i wasn't paying attention to the breath, just to the noise and the voices

Scribbit - 09:20
The voices!?

Simon Sane - 09:20
they were schizophrenia style "hearing voices" voices, but i was on the edge of sleep, so it's not too concerning

Scribbit - 09:20

Simon Sane - 09:21
i could only understand what they were saying when the noise was in the quiet phase, but by and large they gave a similar impression to what you would hear if someone was watching TV in the next room and changing channels now and then

Scribbit - 09:21
Oh I get that

Simon Sane - 09:21
i do remember the first one said "You're almost a real american hero!"

Scribbit - 09:22
I can't ever distinguish a word out if it though

Simon Sane - 09:22

Scribbit - 09:23
I had a dream my high school computer teacher was giving me a hard time for not making a lot of money

Simon Sane - 09:23
i could hear them pretty distinctly when the noise was quiet, but they didn't seem to be saying anything significant or relevant

Scribbit - 09:24
Ok, then that's nit what I have. The muffled tv voice U get is that of a male news anchor

Simon Sane - 09:24
come to think of it, this style of speech is one of the things i want to be able to get people to type with plorg

Scribbit - 09:24
I not u

Simon Sane - 09:25
because it's about as coherent as might be plausibly generated by someone typing in a stream of consciousness style and not putting any effort into making sense for more than a phrase or two

Scribbit - 09:26
Insane rambling + reference to stargate

Simon Sane - 09:26
the first voice had a male news anchor sort of sound, actually
and the first time i took a bunch of mirtazapine on a lark, as i passed out i heard what i wrote down as sounding like "a man's voice over a radio"
to my recollection it was a similar sort of voice
but the second or third voice was female, i remember she said something about me being a nerd
on the whole though they didn't seem particularly focused on me

Scribbit - 10:08
Ok I'm going to try and use plorg v3 with my tablet
Well that didn't work
There's no way to manually pull up the keyboard

Simon Sane - 10:10
here, i'll put a text box on
well, i would if i could remember the html for a form field

Scribbit - 10:11

Simon Sane - 10:11
here we go
<input type="text" size="50" name="description"></input>
there, reload

Scribbit - 10:17
I can type in the box but I get no pictures
But I ain't got no hands George!! No hands!

Simon Sane - 10:32
well, i don't nknow what to tell you
how about this one?

Scribbit - 10:34
Id have to download a new keyboard for android

Simon Sane - 10:37
oh, you know what, android browser probably just won't do javascript at all
no, some of it is working
but you're right, no pictures appear
i put the text box back where you can see it and click on it
but for instance, every time you hit a key, it changes the focus to an input box which is hiding off the top of the screen
that's javascript, and it still works
so i don't know!

Scribbit - 10:41
I'm using chrome on android

Simon Sane - 10:41
it doesn't really matter though, i'm not going to try to make this playable on a phone
yeah, likewise
works fine in regular chrome

Scribbit - 10:42
Yeah no dice in firefox
I'd reckon it has to do with the way android handles keyboard input
From a. Virtual keyboard

Simon Sane - 10:42
yeah, probably
i'm using OnKeyDown, and there may be no keydown or keyup from a tablet keyboard, only keypress

Scribbit - 10:44
That's probably it. A forum where a guy looking for a way to play the web version of stone soup gets suggested "the hacker's keyboard" app
Nah this thimg don't work no good

Simon Sane - 11:00
for those of you with REAL computers, here's the latest version
i'm moving to the signal flag alphabet for easier fun
it lags quite a bit when you've got a lot of letters on it, and i'm not sure why
wordwrap is fixed though
the lag seems to be exponential in the amount of time you're typing before it catches up
i have no idea why


Ben - 11:41
Bug report for Plorg 5: Pressing a number displays the previous image again.

Simon Sane - 11:42
which was a sort of a slutty mad max thing, but not in a way that implied it was actually post-apocalyptic
yeah, it's still just a-z, space, and enter
also this music was playing, though nothing was playing in real life
there were a lot of people staring at me as it went along, more and more, partially because of the odd conveyance, but mainly because of who i was, apparently, and when the thing came to a stop and opened up, there was a hushed crowd gathered around, as though my return was foretold or something, i don't know
i guess not that specifically, since they seemed somewhat flabbergasted as well
but it's not like they thought i was dead
anyway, i felt i had to say something dramatic, so i said "Great Scott! I've gone too far into the future!!!"
then i woke up! the end
and no one was killed or even injured...

Ben - 11:49
Because it was just a dream!

Simon Sane - 11:57
if (event.keyCode == 13) {
var xyz=document.createElement("br");
var lead=document.createElement("img");
var xyz=document.createElement("br");
you know, you would think this "break" command would only execute if the keyCode equalled 13
that is to say, if the enter key was the key pressed
but no! it breaks at that point in the code regardless

Ben - 11:59
Are you sure it's the break; that's doing it?

Simon Sane - 11:59
yeah, i take it out, it works, i put it in, it doesn't work
easy enough to work around, but what the hell?
version 006
lag problems fixed by using different methods, kerning and leading added, pressing keys that aren't supported now results in excess kerning instead of excess letters

Simon Sane - 12:41
there, now it doesn't do the excess kerning

Ben - 12:47
Are you looking for feature requests at this point?

Simon Sane - 12:48
not particularly, i mean, i know where it's going, sort of, but i'mn not averse to them

Ben - 12:49
Because my user experience would be greatly improved if the allowable whitespace characters included tabs.

Simon Sane - 12:49
what would you want them to do?
like, be five spaces?

Ben - 12:51
Yeah, because having it align to the nearest tab position is much more trouble than it's worth in HTML/CSS. More plorg, less org.
The game that plays along with you!

Vincent Watkins - 13:06
You should invent/incite a rivalry with

Lewis - 13:11

Vincent Watkins - 13:11
It doesn't exist, as far as my phone can tell

Ben - 13:21

Scribbit - 13:43
what code are you using to make wordwrap work?
I'm on a laptop now
I guess you're probably asleep
and given that it's saturday, vincent is gonna have a horde of children clutching and crawling and jumping all over you

Scribbit - 14:31
children operate via pheromones, right?

Simon Sane - 14:34
that's ants

Scribbit - 14:34
ants,babies, it doesn't matter I'm fucking rayman
that doesn't work so well
on plorg
the picture typewriter!

Simon Sane - 14:35

i implemented it by taking all the stuff out of a <div> tag

Scribbit - 14:36

Simon Sane - 14:36
so, yes and no

Scribbit - 14:36

Simon Sane - 14:37
yeah, the rayman meme only works with two things that are on an indefinitely extensible continuum

Vincent Watkins - 14:37
What does "work" mean in that context?

Simon Sane - 14:38
like, you could say "2 ants, 200 ants, it doesn't matter, i'm fucking rayman"
the implication is that it doesn't matter how many ants there are, that no amount of ants will make a difference

Ben - 14:39
Ants, humans, post-singularity superintelligences...

Simon Sane - 14:39

that still doesn't work, because it's not intuitively extensible

Simon Sane
[5000 million animated gifs]

Ben Heaton
So, to recap: That's an example of what you're not using on
Instead, it'll be Javascript triangles?

Simon Sane
i just had a thought, regarding color choices and such for plorg
rather than making— actually, i'm not going to bother to type it out, i'll do a video call

Simon Sane
ultimately i don't think the synesthesia stuff is going to find any use with plorg


Saturday, 8 March 2014:

Simon Sane - 14:39
who was it who was telling me about how everyone gets several pairs of kidneys that then turn into other organs
ovaries or whatnot

Ben - 14:39
I was.
I flagged that as suspect, though.
The person who told me about it was pretty drunk at the time, and also is gullible.

Simon Sane - 14:41

reading this julian jaynes book, i'm increasingly thinking there might be some merit to the idea that there's a second consciousness in my head
or an extra half of one or something
the way organisms evolve new organs and structures and such, whether in the brain or in the body, is all about making copies of things, changing one or both of the copies to be different, and then putting them together in some weird way

Simon Sane - 14:51

Nguyễn is the most common Vietnamese family name. Outside of Vietnam, the surname is commonly rendered without diacritics as Nguyen. Vietnamese pronunciation is northern [ŋʷǐˀən] ( listen) and southern [ŋʷĩəŋ] ( listen); in English it is commonly /ˈwɪn/ "win".[1]
By some estimates, forty percent of Vietnamese people have this surname.[2][3][4]
how on earth do you misspell "win" "nguyen"

Ben - 14:53
It isn't a misspelling.

Simon Sane - 14:53
tell it to the judge!

barry bletunick - 14:53

Simon Sane - 14:55

barry bletunick - 14:55
at one point i was working on 3 games at the same time

Simon Sane - 14:55
is that inspired by grim and billy

i oinly work on plorg
the picture typewriter with no pictures

barry bletunick - 14:58
i don't think i do

Simon Sane - 14:58

this isn't what plorg looks like
well, it might be
i don't know what it looks like

Ben - 14:59
Plorg looks like that, but without the images.

Simon Sane - 14:59
do triangles count as pictures? no, right, because, the y're in unicode?

Ben - 14:59
Plus triangles.

Simon Sane - 15:00

Scribbit - 15:00
hm, maybe this lightbox for gimp is just trickier than I realized

Ben - 15:00
It's basically a captcha, but for children.

Simon Sane - 15:00

Scribbit - 15:00
I have no idea how it's doing this color export, but when drawing the frames it has the color layers over the lines, but then when exported it re-arranges it to be proper

Simon Sane - 15:00
it's probably not a captcha
but it will be for children
it will have no words, either
no words or pictures
it will have sound effects, though, but just little generic ones like "ding" or "beep" or "zzt"

Scribbit - 15:03

Ben - 15:03

Simon Sane - 15:03

yeah, those kind
the sounds will be less abstract than the visuals
and the movement of things will be less abstract than their static forms, which will probably just be like, flat colored triangles, maybe with borders
at most probably simple 3D shapes like rods and spheres and cones and tubes and discs
slats and hoops and twinks and chips

Ben - 15:06
Sharps and flats.

Simon Sane - 15:07
those aren't shapes ben

Ben - 15:07
The development of Gumby stemmed from the philosophy that Art used in his film, Gumbasia—the idea that everything in life is based on geometric forms. Gumby and Pokey arose from that idea. They are combinations of simple forms. They are rectangles and spheres.

Scribbit - 15:12
wow, this much simpler animation oriented plugin for gimp is unsurprisingly much better suited for animation than GAP(gimp animation plugin)
it's still un-intuitive and has MASSIVE ERRORS if the layers are named incorrectly though
also, it only exports as .tif
which is fucking annoying
.tif is like the worst goddamn image format ever

Simon Sane - 15:13
lem chaney jr: man, nothing annoys me.. well, more things annoy me than people mistaking stop motion animation for claymation
Geometric Solid: but it's practically the same thing
Geometric Solid: only one is patented by will vinton
lem chaney jr: it is not! claymation is a trademark of the wil ye s
lem chaney jr: and his creations are all literally disgusting...
Geometric Solid: remember rex and herb?
Geometric Solid: the dinosaurs who hosted the claymation christmas special?
lem chaney jr: no, thankfully
Geometric Solid: rex was a well-spoken but stuffy t-rex
Geometric Solid: herb was a jovial...... other dinosaur....
Geometric Solid: who was constantly eating and being unprofessional
Geometric Solid: at the end, rex ate herb, and then belched out his bones to spell MERRY CHRISTMAS

Ben - 15:14
"We put a little bump of wisdom on his head to give him the bump of wisdom that the Buddhists have. The only difference is that they have it over the center of their head, and Gumby’s is over to the side."

Simon Sane - 15:14

Scribbit - 15:14
what's the best way to batch convert .tif to .png? Irfanview???

Simon Sane - 15:15
here's the bit where the bump of wisdom attempts to murder prickle

barry bletunick - 15:22
i was thinking of making a simple to the core dating game in twine.. something creepy
using nothing but public domain images
but i dunno, i've got too many projects
i've got 3 zzt files i'm working on pseudosimultaneously
and some klik n play/tgf/mmf2.5 stuff
man, i'm glad i didn't get into gamemaker
those licenses are EXPENSIVE
and they don't have a flash exporter

Simon Sane - 15:24

plorg will be dhtml

barry bletunick - 15:24
by the by matt, have you heard from your older siblings?
i think i have that gold-plated one on steam, which i can use now. one of the games makes me turn off my other monitors or just shows a black screen

Simon Sane - 15:34
 Another fragment describes the true beginning of personal responsibility, where he warns his fellow Athenians not to blame the gods for their misfortunes, but themselves. How contrary to the mind of the Iliad! And then adds,

    Each one of you walks with the steps of a fox; the noos of all of you is chaunos [porous, spongy, or loose-grained as in wood]: for you look to a man's tongue and rapidly shifting speech, and never to the deed he does. (Fragment 10).

Not Achilles nor artful Odysseus nor even foolish Perses (or his brother) could have 'understood' this admonition. Consciousness and morality are a single development. For without gods, morality based on a consciousness of the consequences of action must tell men what to do. The dike or justice of the Works and Days is developed even further in Solon. It is now moral right that must be fitted together with might in government (Fragment 36) and which is the basis of law and lawful action.

Sometimes attributed to Solon are certain other injunctions, such as his exhortation to "moderation in all things." But more germane to the present topic is the famous "Know thyself," which is often ascribed to him but may have come from one of his contemporaries. This again was something inconceivable to the Homeric heroes. How can one know oneself? By initiating by oneself memories of one's actions and feelings and looking at them together with an analog 'I', conceptualizing them, sorting them out into characteristics, and narratizing so as to know what one is likely to do. One must 'see' 'oneself' as in an imaginary 'space,' indeed what we were calling autoscopic illusions back in an early chapter.
With Solon, partly because he was the political leader of his time, the operator of consciousness is firmly established in Greece. He has a mind-space called a noos in which an analog of himself can narratize out what is dike or right for his people to do. Once established, once a man can 'know himself,' as Solon advised, can place 'times' together in the side-by-sideness of mind-space, can 'see' into himself and his world with the 'eye' of his noos, the divine voices are unnecessary, at least to everyday life. They have been pushed aside into special places called temples or special persons called oracles. And that the new unitary nous (as it came to be spelled), absorbing the functions of the other hypostases, was successful is attested by all the literature that followed, as well as the reorganization of behavior and society.

But we are somewhat ahead of our story. For there is another development in this important sixth century B.C. , and one which is a huge complication for the future. It is an old term, psyche, used in an unpredictably new way. In time it comes to parallel and then to become interchangeable with nous, while at the same time it engenders that consciousness of consciousness which was held up as false at the beginning of Book I. Moreover, I shall suggest that this new concept is an almost artifactual result of a meeting between Greek and Egyptian cultures.

i don't see where watkins gets off saying this isn't interesting, it's maybe the most interesting book i've ever read

Scribbit - 15:40
it doesn't seem provable

Simon Sane - 15:53
it is provable! all we have to do is clone us up some neandrathals or ancient greeks or whatever
which we COULD do already, but they won't because of "ethics"

Scribbit - 15:53
and then force them to live in a simulated wilderness
we have feral children, they're kind of like neanderthals

Simon Sane - 15:54
nah, that's not necessary, i think jaynes is wrong about consciousness being primarily cultural, it's got to be genetic

Scribbit - 15:54
jack masters: eugenics king for a new centry

Ben - 15:54
That's kind of his whole thing!

Scribbit - 15:54
poor spellers will be the first to go!!!
when does jaynes say consciousness actually appeared though?

Simon Sane - 15:56
different times different places

Ben - 15:56
Another time, another... place.

Simon Sane - 15:56
like, the inca were pre-conscious, which is why they were super easy to conquer

Scribbit - 15:57
no wheels
no beasts of burden!
plenty of gold though

Simon Sane - 15:58
they essentially didn't grasp treachery, they just did what the gods commanded all day

Ben - 15:58
But gods are treacherous.

Simon Sane - 15:58
you could literally stand behind a statue of a god and tell them to do the macarana and they would, it says here

Ben - 15:58
Like the Ilwrath.

Scribbit - 15:59
I'd have to see some pretty compelling evidence to believe that...
link me to julian jayne's youtube account

Simon Sane - 16:00

he has pretty compelling evidence, but it's a ton of small to medium-sized things rather than one big thing
that's why he wrote a book instead of a paper
well, i assume that's why
maybe he just wanted to be popular, but if so he should've titled his book BRAIN SHARK TORNADO and had crazy picture of the earth crossed with an eyeball or something on the cover
instead of titling it "thing that's literally longer than this sentence making fun of how long it is" and a picture of nothing
for all his "brains" and "consciousness", julian jaynes wasn't much of a salesman
he seemed to naively think people would listen to well-reasoned, eloquently expressed arguments, fool that he was!
he need more sstreet smart s s
he tried to make his groundbreaking ideas palatable by presenting them in a scholarly framework, but that's no good! these days you have to offend people in order to get their attention

Scribbit - 16:19
no ebook available, are you transcribing those passages by hand?
ok, amazon had it but google play didn't

Simon Sane - 16:24
i'm copying them from kindle cloud reader using a cheaty javascript bookmarklet
there you go
you have to click it as soon as you open a book, and then when you highlight passages you'll get a copy button
in addition to the two usual, useless buttons

Scribbit - 16:25

Simon Sane - 16:39

there, bam
you're welcome, julian jaynes

Simon Sane - 16:47
you know who i'd probably like a lot better than a perfect copy of myself?
a copy of myself with no sense of humor
but would he like me?

not being wacky or sarcastic or whimsical or kooky is very hard for me to do

Ben - 17:22
It's tricky.

Simon Sane - 17:22
even that list itself got a little longer than it would've if i'd been keeping the impulse in check properly
it's even harder to avoid being amused by things
the thing about amusement is that being amusing makes you a performer and being amused makes you an audience and neither role really grounds you into reality like a character into a story

Ben - 17:26
Not laughing or joking was a good podcast request.

Simon Sane - 17:26
and without that grounding, it's hard to really care about what you do with your life
or even pay attention to it

Scribbit - 17:28

Simon Sane - 17:28
that's an azumanga daioh reference

Scribbit - 17:29

Simon Sane - 17:30
it's a decent joke, actually, although you probably didn't intend it to be, because it's exactly that sort of free-associative interaction that makes us unempathazable to ourselves

Ben - 17:31
Are we empathizable to others?

Simon Sane - 17:32
i think it hurts that too, but i don't think it's as big a problem
the only judgement i really care about is my own
actually it's not just amusement which has the problem, it's entertainment in general
though not all to an equal degree or anything
i've attempted to be completely serious for a day or two on more than one occasion and quickly failed, but i don't remember why, specifically
i'm guessing it comes down to a failure of attention

Simon Sane - 17:41
and it'd be easy to point the finger at cross-contextual thinking there, which is often involved in humor, but the real problem is just seeing somebody say something and having an impulse to say something related to that thing without regard to the larger context of the conversation

Simon Sane - 17:46
there's a line from a cat and girl strip about ironic t-shirts which often runs through my head, "These images don't carry on a dialogue with the world."


Monday, 10 March 2014:

Simon Sane - 13:26
صاحب الصنعتين كذاب ("The one who knows two trades is a liar")
萬事通 ("He, who knows Ten Thousand Things")
周身刀,無張利 ("Equipped with knives all over, yet none is sharp")
Maître Jacques (literally "Master Jack")
Katica za sve ("Kate for everything")
Hansdampf in allen Gassen (literally: "Jack Steam in every alley", with "Hans Dampf" being a personal name)
Barbė šimtadarbė ("Barbie with hundred professions")
Мастер на все руки ("Master in all hands")
there, that's five days of RSS feeds

here's my current plorg dilemma: let's say you've got a shape, a blue delta, and you want different keys to make it move in different directions
should they move it relative to the observer, or to the shape itself?
that is to say, should there be a key that makes it go forward and a key that makes it turn clockwise, or a key that makes it go up and a key that makes it go right?
at first glance, the former seems preferable (*Pref*·er·a·ble), because clockwise/counterclockwise control schemes are confusing, especially with dyslexia
but if you want to have a "match objects of the same type" mechanic, it's very difficult to do that if the objects of the same type never move relative to one another
additionally, while it can be hard to remember counter/clockwise control schemes for symmetrical objects like deltas, if you make them somewhat asymmetrical, it gets a lot easier
and in fact, with asymmetrical objects, like the letter F, you can have chiral versions of them with opposite control schemes, which i expect would lead to dyslexic players actually performing better
(than non-dyslexic ones)
is that desirable? i myself am dyslexic, but is that important?
Finnish scientists have found that a rare dyslexia-linked genetic variant of the ROBO1 gene decreases normal crossing of auditory pathways in the human brain. The weaker the expression of the gene is, the more abnormal is the midline crossing.
Deaths from abdominal aortic aneurysm
Members of the American Philosophical Society
Stateless people
People with Dyslexia
guess who this is! (some categories omitted)
all the great minds of history had dyslexia, according to wikipedia... leonardo da vinci, galleleo, nikola tesla, alexander graham bell, steve jobs... uh... jules verne, steven speilberg... anderson cooper... picasso, mike gravel, anthony hopkins, lewis caroll, henry winkler... alison goldfrapp...

Scribbit - 14:15
so go with the counterclockwise one, if it makes matching up shapes more feasible
is matching shapes a big part of plorg?

Simon Sane - 14:15
i don't know yet
there needs to be at least one basic mechanic, and ideally more than one, which makes thing happen that give the player the sense of having done something well or correctly
additionally, they need to have some kind of practical in-game result which implies further complexity of gameplay
like, match three of the same shape and they disappear (good) and you get a new shape you haven't seen before (implies there's more to learn about the game) 


oh, to continue what i was saying about plorg
i'm increasingly thinking it might be a good idea to have the underlying game state be internally represented in the form of a graph rather than a space
or some sort of cheaty combination of the two

Ben Heaton
I like graphs better.

Simon Sane - 19:18
the canvas IS a space, is the thing
the space inside people's minds is closer to being a cheaty combination

barry bletunick - 19:46

Simon Sane
rewatching this, more of my aesthetics are rooted in Solarian II than i realized
game-design-wise and more broadly


Friday, 14 March 2014:

Simon Sane - 20:21
ashley, do you know much about HTML5

Ashley Sgromo - 20:21
Not really, what in particular

Simon Sane - 20:21
the <cavas> tag

Ashley Sgromo - 20:22
Do you need to make the picture PARALLAX

Simon Sane - 20:22
i guess it doesn't really matter, the vast bulk of the plorg programming will thankfully be interface independent
just loops and arrays and other internal things
i don't thiiiiiiink there will be parallax, but maybe
but probably not, little shapes will probably be in front of big shapes
and i'm currently leaning toward no scrolling

INUYASHA92444038: remember lee harvey oswald?
INUYASHA92444038: he had intelligence fingerprints all over him
lem chaney jr: if you ran him under a black light, the words INTELLIGENCE and J'ACCUSE would pop up all over him
lem chaney jr: also endless semen stains, but that goes without saying, really
URG, alright, it's time to write some code
ashley, why is it that when you alt+tab, programs with dialog boxes open are not in the alt+tab list? why? what would have made anyone think that was a good idea?

Ashley Sgromo - 20:47
It's probably not an idea but a bug that can't be fixed due to conflicts with window IDs or whatever

Simon Sane - 20:48
the taskbar still displays them!!

Ashley Sgromo - 20:49
Windows is an endless patchwork of nonsense

Simon Sane - 20:51
that's a good summary
rightclick on the canvas and pick view image, then look at the URL

Ashley Sgromo - 20:53
I'll have to go use the computer...

Simon Sane - 20:55
it's got a lot of AAAAAAAA
that doesn't explain why amazon has all those urls with ZZZZZZZ though

Ashley Sgromo - 20:58
Alt+tab doesn't restore windows or list minimized windows at all, does it
There's your distinction

Simon Sane - 20:59
no, it does
on windows 7 at least

Ashley Sgromo - 20:59

Simon Sane - 21:09
hmm, opera dropped APNG support
now it's just firefox
there, now the canvas fills the window
and doesn't make a scrolly bar or anything

how do you make a variable global in javascript
oh, i just wasn't using enough semicolons probably

Ashley Sgromo - 22:34
Declare it outside the function first

Simon Sane - 22:34
no, it's still not working

Ashley Sgromo - 22:34
Yeah, those are important...
You can attach it to the window object. Call it window.eggs
I guess

Simon Sane - 22:36
if you press A, a green dot appears at 55,666
but it's supposed to be a line from 1,100 to 55,666
specifically it's a line from 1,greenPositionX to 55,666
and greenPositionX is declared as 100 outside the function
if you declare it within the function, it works

Ashley Sgromo - 22:39
Hmm, I don't know. Good night

Simon Sane - 22:39

Simon Sane - 23:03
ok, i got it to work, the issue was redeclaring variables

Saturday, 15 March 2014:

Simon Sane - 15:37
i'm thinking of starting a second hangout just for plorg

Ben - 15:38
Sounds reasonable.
Is this a secret, or can it be mentioned to Matt?
He and I are audiotalking right now.

Simon Sane - 15:38
not so much secret as a place with no bullshit and no off-topic discussion, so most of the people in the synod wouldn't really have much to say there anyway
it'd just be you, me, possibly ashley, and (and this is the reason it comes up) a girl from the twin cities meditation community named michelle
who gave me a ride out to the retreat center there, and who has an occupation that sounds fictional but would actually be pretty useful to the project, i think
she's an ontologist

Ben - 15:41

Simon Sane - 15:41

Ben - 15:41
Yeah, I remember her.

Simon Sane - 15:42
ontology is actually the bit i'm struggling with right now
although in some ways, adding her to the project would be going even further into crazytown, because plorg's ontology forms the foundation for genetic algorithms, and the way michelle solve ontological problems is WITH genetic algorithms
well, i'm not sure that's true, actually, but it's something in that neighborhood
the computer does the work

Ben - 15:45
Do you really need heavy-duty ontology solutions?

Simon Sane - 15:45
it's a matter of finding the physical model with the empirical best fit to a partially-unknown real world machine or building and simultaneously to a poorly labeled sketch
i don't know
she's an extremely helpfully-inclined person, though, like ashley, so i don't feel there's any danger in adding her to the project

Ben - 15:47

Simon Sane - 15:47
at worst, all we'd learn is "no, this isn't really an ontology problem", which would still be a step forward
here's the thing, though

Ben - 15:48
I take it adding her to Synod itself would be a bad move.

Simon Sane - 15:48
michelle isn't evil, so the new hangout would have to be evil-free as well as bullshit-free

Ben - 15:49
Well, I should be able to be at least as non-evil as you in it.

Simon Sane - 15:50
i'm not sure she's up for chatting at all, this may be a premature discussion, but there you go
i'd kind of like to have an evil-free plorg discussion chat regardless, though, just to see if collapsing the design space in that way is illuminating or productive
i have a feeling it would be

Ben - 15:53
One thing I've been thinking is that it would be useful to have a document written up outlining the goals and what's known about the design. Something other than a bunch of chatlogs and recollections of video chats.
This would fall into the "work for you" category.

Simon Sane - 15:53
yeah, it sort of surprises me that i haven't drawn something up in ms paint yet with a bunch of lines connecting vaguely labeled boxes
i used to do that with things before they got anywhere near this big
i think part of what changed that behavior was that meditation retreat, actually
not having the opportunity to write anything down or draw anything out, i was forced to think in proofs and universal or generalizable solutions, and i really liked the results

Ben - 15:55
It limits conveying the ideas to others somewhat.

Simon Sane - 15:55
but that doesn't extend to communication with a team

Ben - 15:56
I'm going to be heading out for a party in a little while.

Simon Sane - 15:57
actually, i'd like to see the project outline YOU would sketch out, both to see what i've failed to communicate and to see how you would structure it

Ben - 15:57
Yeah, that's a good idea.
I won't be able to do that until late tonight at the earliest.

Simon Sane - 15:58

Sunday, 16 March 2014:

Simon Sane - 02:35
hmm, reading michelle's last email, i'm remembering how... she is, i don't really know the word for it
My meditation practice has continued with many ups and downs.  The retreat last February was the start of about six months of trying to bring more kindness into my meditation and daily life.  It has had wonderful results.  Over the Summer I started looking for places to train more deeply and started a six month mostly self-directed foray into deepening concentration.  It was going well until in October I made the choice to look specifically for a place to train as a monastic to deepen practice.  That, as you may imagine, turned my world pretty catawampus and although I've learned a lot in the six month course of meditation, not much progress in concentration was made.
she also linked to a PDF of a meditation book she's hopes to read some of before her next retreat
you may wonder how it is that i'm even still conversing with her
here's a diagram from the book:

buddhism has an unexpected edge to it sometimes where you're expecting a poem or a story or an admonition and instead you get a chart
and then as you peruse the chart, you're trying to pattern-match schizophrenia or numerology or something, but instead it's just this bland, oddly scientific-looking thing, and doesn't mention satan or jesus or rock and roll or sex or anything particularly striking, and instead it's just full of prepositions and words which are related in practical ways
a lot of their charts are still patently nonsense, but even then, they're nonsense which was taken totally literally and written out without any qualms about it being empirically tested

Ben - 02:48
That chart doesn't really mean anything to me.
That may be because I'm pretty exhausted right now, but I doubt that's most of it.

Simon Sane - 02:49

well, compare something like this, for instance
even if the alleged 17-moment cognitive process breakdown is total nonsense, it's nonsense which has a peculiarly non-nonsensical structure

more like this kind of thing
some of the buddhist terminology, like "karma", seems out of place in a diagram of a cognitive process
but to be fair, modern technical vocabulary is equally ridiculous
with its foxes made of fire and putting things on clouds and whatever

Ben - 02:55

Simon Sane - 02:58
you can tell that's a fake chart because it's symmetrical and it's not got enough prepositions

Ben - 02:58
And because it was on a bathroom wall.

Simon Sane - 02:58

here's a zoomed out version of that other one
you wouldn't really have to change much to make this a figure in a neurology paper, just little things like labeling the ends of the timeline 'rebirth' and 'death'
After the eye-door cognitive process, bhavanga arises and ceases successively one after another until the mind-door cognitive process arises, in order to apprehend this visible object more clearly. It is a fix law that bhavangas must arise after each cognitive process. How many moments of bhavanga citta arise and pass away in between two cognitive processes, depends on the stage of your mind development. The shorter it is the better. It shows the alertness of your mind.

Ben - 03:03
I'm about to go to bed.

Simon Sane - 03:03

Ben - 03:03
Good night!
We should talk more about plorg tomorrow, and specifically I should write up a description of it.

Simon Sane - 03:04

Sunday, 16 March 2014:

Simon Sane - 13:15
ben did you write up a pplorg yet

Ben - 13:18

Sunday, 16 March 2014:

Simon Sane - 18:14
how about now

Ben - 18:21
No, but check back in fifteen minutes.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014:

Ben - 02:06
Did you talk to Melissa?
I mean, Michelle.
The ontologist.

Simon Sane - 02:11
nooo, i haven't yet... i don't know if it's wise, really, i'm ambivalent

Ben - 02:11
Oh, that reminds me.
Is Plorg an evil project?
I'm not sure what it takes to make a project evil.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014:

Simon Sane - 06:49
it really depends on the specifics of the implementation, i think
i could easily imagine it being effective enough at teaching people mindfulness or vocabulary or something to unintentionally offset the harm it did on purpose
or, conversely, accidentally do something evil that overshadowed the products of my best intentions
it's an evil project not in its aims, which are nebulous and ambivalent, but in its hubris
finding the sorcerer's hat and thinking "somebody's going to use it sooner or later, better that it be me"

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