Thought-Controlled Universe

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andwereallwevegot:

Observation: The thing that I miss most when I get a book in digital but not physical format isn’t the look or the feel or even the smell. It’s the ability to flip through in a quick and intuitive way when I’m looking for a particular page or section.

We don’t generally think of books this way, because culturally we associate them with gaining new knowledge rather than referring to knowledge we already have. But in comparison to (our current forms of) electronic storage, books are very very good at letting you see their entire contents in rapid succession.

One of the things my cbr reader does is give you the option of opening a thumbnail gallery, so you can scroll through and pick a page. Which is absolutely the right idea, but not executed efficiently- the thumbnails are dynamically generated when you ask for them, so loading them for a big file takes all day (and therefore doesn’t help). If the thumbnails were generated and saved when the archive was created or modified, that would be a good solution for comics, where different story moments are portrayed as radically different-looking pages.

For text-only books… you could actually do something similar, I think, but you’d have to change the details to work with the format. A gallery of page thumbnails that represent whole pages in sharply reduced resolution wouldn’t work- if you reduce the resolution enough to show several pages in the space of one, you’ve reduced the text too much to be anything but illegible pixel groupings. Instead you’d want a gallery of page thumbnails that represent part of a page in full or only slightly reduced resolution- a set of all the top right quadrants of pages at 50% zoom, for instance, could show you 16 thumbnails in the size of one page, each in a form you can still read. (Ideally you’d want the option to choose which part of a page you look at when skimming, as well, so that if you can’t spot the thing you’re hunting on any top right quadrant you can switch to skimming bottom right quadrants, or top left ones, or bottom left ones…)

Observation: The thing that I miss most when I get a book in digital but not physical format isn’t the look or the feel or even the smell. It’s the ability to flip through in a quick and intuitive way when I’m looking for a particular page or section.

We don’t generally think of books this way, because culturally we associate them with gaining new knowledge rather than referring to knowledge we already have. But in comparison to (our current forms of) electronic storage, books are very very good at letting you see their entire contents in rapid succession.

It took me a while to piece this together, but when it hit me it was so sudden and so surprising that I had to share. I’m only on the second episode of season two, so please don’t spoil anything! ^^;

The undead phenomenon in In The Flesh is widespread but not contagious. Partially Deceased Syndrome only affects people who died in 2009; anyone who died during or after the Rising stayed dead.

So that means all PDS sufferers died before the Rising. There was a secondary death toll caused by untreated PDS sufferers killing the living and vice versa, but the people who died in those incidents didn’t rise.

No one currently undead was killed in zombie-related violence.

The setting of the series- Roarton village- is a sleepy little town in the back end of nowhere. We don’t know much about life there before the Rising, but it’s hardly the sort of place that has regular gang violence. There isn’t even any traffic- practically no one drives unless they’re going well out of their usual way, and there’s an easily accessible train station for that. Aside from the Rising-dependent events that provide the basis for the show’s plot, I’d say Roarton is an extremely safe place to live.

But there are at least three PDS students at Jem Walker’s high school.

What the heck killed those kids?

IT’S COMING

Mako, how many senpais do you have?

Why is there a skating rink like this?

Why is there a skating rink like this?

A) Has anybody made an Uncle Kunzite “I WANT YOU” recruitment poster based on this bit?
B) These two are gonna be super pissed when they have to go through registration for the Olympics again, and then find out their new country of origin isn’t even officially acknowledged…
C) Actually that could’ve been a fairly interesting plot hook back when we didn’t know who the Princess was or where she came from: let’s go to the Olympics and see if Luna recognizes anyone.

A) Has anybody made an Uncle Kunzite “I WANT YOU” recruitment poster based on this bit?

B) These two are gonna be super pissed when they have to go through registration for the Olympics again, and then find out their new country of origin isn’t even officially acknowledged…

C) Actually that could’ve been a fairly interesting plot hook back when we didn’t know who the Princess was or where she came from: let’s go to the Olympics and see if Luna recognizes anyone.

Usagi and Minako are watching skating on TV, and Luna and Artemis suddenly mention that figure skating was a big thing in Moon Kingdom culture. We promptly cut to Kunzite announcing that he’s going to use that to attract and identify Sailor Moon.

Given the canon explanation for why none of these people are a hundred percent sure what they’re doing on their best day, this is actually pretty believable. One of them has an experience that recalls a memory, and when it arrives, the Silver Crystal’s ongoing system-restore process copies that packet and uses the keywords to do a quick-and-dirty targeted restore on everyone else’s memories of that topic. Boom, collective mnesia.

I wonder if that’s ever happened to them before. Like, Usagi starts talking about the cherry in her sundae, and then suddenly Luna remembers how the Moon Kingdom got cherries shipped over from Earth because the trees wouldn’t grow there, and the next day Jadeite is giving out free samples of energy-draining cherry desserts at the supermarket and Sailor Moon has to beat up a cherry youma.

But now that she’s starting to like figure skating, I wonder if she’s finally aware of what a real princess should be like.

Girls, you need to get Artemis a dictionary.

Then, when he says shit like this, you’ll have a nice convenient blunt object handy. >_>

Huh. Apparently immediately after the ski trip episode, Sailor Moon has… a figure skating episode.

That feels weird to me. The structure of the conflict in each episode is usually pretty consistent, but the central themes have always been really varied, so seeing two winter sports ones in a row is jarring.

If you like urban fantasy stories, complex female characters, interesting family dynamics, snappy narration, lots of mysteries, and/or crazy superpowers, I still recommend you check out Corresspondence from the Goddess, a serial fiction on Tumblr by my friend mrnelson007. He’s been updating it once a week without fail for almost two years now.

As a longtime reader, I can tell you that there’s never been a better time to try this story. Not only has the author added a convenient index page to help you get started, but nearly two years of weekly updates means it’s almost time for entry #100, and I assure you shit is getting very real. From my reaction to the latest update, in an IM conversation with the author:

Superhero comics have a long tradition of hella expository dialogue. Partly they get it from being among the first commercial comics and thus coming from writers who weren’t sure yet what their artists were capable of- but partly they get it from science fiction, and from wanting the reader to be informed enough to guess what happens next despite the fantastic story elements. If the reader knows what the hero can do and what they can’t, they’re better equipped to connect with the story- they can form ideas about what the characters should be doing, and that lets the writer reward them for being right or shock them with a surprise reveal.
Not so with villains- or indeed with anyone who isn’t the subject of the audience’s emotional connection to the story. Nobody goes through life with a third person omniscient narrator, and very few people talk to their opponents when they’ve just won a fight, let alone during one. Letting the reader know what’s going on is fine, but describing everything in detail, whether the protagonist knows about it or not, ruins your ability to do “oh shit” effectively- and in a story where your protagonist can already do things beyond any mortal man, “oh shit” is a powerful and necessary tool.
The ending of this segment is a brilliant example of how “oh shit” should be done, particularly in an action scene. We only know what Lydia knows- and in this moment, what Lydia knows more than anything is that she’s badly uninformed. That, more than the specifics of the surprise, is what makes me want the next installment NOW… and that is exactly what you were going for.

  • Fred: Hey Ron. Knock, knock.
  • Ron: Who's there?
  • George: Yuno.
  • Ron: Yuno who?
  • Fred & George: DON'T CALL HIM THAT! Fear of the name leads to fear of the thing itself!
  • ...
  • Ron: Hey Perce, listen to this. Knock, knock.
  • Percy: Who's there?
  • Ron: Yuno.
  • Percy: What? Come off it, Ron. No I don't. Who's there?
  • Ron: /facepalm

If you want to write a story about how Superman’s vast powers and alien origins make him someone normal people should be afraid of, I’m not going to tell you to stop. All I want you to do is acknowledge the character whose long history and core concept made your story possible. Usually in comics, stories have their own unique identifiers, but are also marketed under the name of the protagonist, or at least the character who served as the primary inspiration. So you can even keep the title you already have- just put “Lex Luthor: ” in front.

GoFundMe: Alexis' journey to Pratt by Alexis Turner

I don’t remember where I got this link anymore, but: this girl is really talented, clearly willing to work hard, and has already put together over 80% of the initial investment she needs to follow her dream and make a life for herself doing what she loves. It would be really nice to know that people like you are willing to help provide the last push she needs to make that happen.

If you have as little as five dollars to spare, I’d like you to consider donating. Donors of $50 or above have the option to commission a piece of artwork and receive the finished product in the mail- but for Alexis, every penny counts.