Oh hai.

Hullo thar, deer reader.

I am not dead (despite the fact that some people wish for this to be true) neither is this blog derelict.

I was AFK. Travelling, you know. Trains and stuff. Other time was spent setting up my notebook. Also being drunk as hell. Talking about 0.7l worth of Black Label. Alcohol is a funny thing: it leaves my mind clear but it kills my coordination. Like, instagibs starting at 50g worth of ethanol. Like, alcohol is a Frostbite with 20 Mejai stacks, and coordination is a chilled target. I don’t know whether it’s coordination, exactly: more like reaction. I can walk in straight lines and hit my nose with a finger with eyes closed, but once I start a motion it’s hard to stop it.

 

Kinda hard to type, though. My head is killing me!

Ciao, will write to you next time.

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Everybody Knows That… 1

Disclaimer:
These filler posts disproving so-called common knowledge are to be posted here pretty much everyday when I don’t know what to write about. Three facts per post should supply my blog for daily updates for half a year for with these posts alone.


  1. Everyone knows that Marie Antoinette was a rich, stupid, spolied and infantile brat who cared little for the needs of poor and got what had been coming to her. Once, when someone told her that the poor don’t have any bread, she replied Qu’ils mangent de la brioche (“Let them eat cake”).
    Except she was far too clever for that. Most stuff we know about her is bullshit and propaganda made up by French revolutioneers. The most possible source of that saying is from Jean Jacques Rosseau, and that guy attributed it to “some princess”, but actually just made it up for lulz.

  2. Winston Churchill was quotable as hell. One of his most common sayings is about British Navy: “The only traditions of the Royal Navy are rum, lash and the lash”. Surely this man knows better.
    Except he didn’t say anything like that (I wonder if he could), that saying is from his secretary.
    Besides,  lashings aren’t there for long time, and rum rations were discontinued in 1970. Since that time Royal Navy runs on sodomy alone.

  3. Seriously, look that this guy’s face. Can you dare say that he was good at anything in school? Of course he wasn’t! He was getting C minus on pretty much anything, especially at math. You see? Albert Einstein became a world recognized genius and didn’t know math, therefore you can do so too!
    Except his grades weren’t low. Yes, he did not get A+ on everything. But, hey, raise your hand if you did.  Though there was one thing that differentiates you from him.
    That guy was an absolute genius  at math. His grades were always excellent.
    So yeah, you don’t stand that chance to become a genius because you failed math  you were hoping for. but hey there’s always something else to consider! A big future is waiting for you! 

    Yeah. Now get your lazy ass off your armchar and go study.

Brain Driver III

Y hallo thar.

Okay, this post is going to be short and simple, as much as possible. No mind tricks involved. Because that’s the way our memory loves it: short and simple.

Okay, so how to organize your time to study properly.

Numerous experiments have been carried out to prove one thing you possibly already know: your will and capability to learn and memorize varies as time you spend on studying something passes.
When you’ve just started, your mind isn’t quite in working state (as anyone who ever suffered from procrastination knows, the hardest part is to spend first 5 minutes working. I will look at procrastination later. It is a very serious issue that will require lots of articles), and when enough time have passed your mind becomes tired, to the point where spending too much time to learn something makes your brain actually forget it, which is exactly why you should never ever ever ever try to memorize the full course a night before the exam god fucking damn it.
Actually the most perfect time to study is when 15-20 minutes have passed, after that it becomes worse, effects of brain overwork start to show at around half an hour.

Thus the most effective way to learn anything is to study for half an hour, take a short break, then study for half an hour again, then a longer break, and so on.

Here’s an interesting scheme I found that explains how to prepare to any exam in three days. It is one of many many possible, but you can try out it if you didn’t make a decent one for yourself already.

Drawn myself, though. Note the Verdana font. Verdana kicks ass.

That’s all for today!

Memetically yours,
Fran the Taxonomist

Brain Driver II

Hi, my dear reader!
As I promised here, breathing.

“WTF?” you might ask. “What the hell does it have to do with your mind?”
Okay. Ever noticed how you actually breathe? Do you do it effectively? Try to watch how do you do that. In and out, in and out. Oh hey I now made you breathe conciously, if you stop you will suffocate, and the only way to stop manually breathing is to not think about it. Endless cycle. Whee. GLHF.

So. Breating relies on subconciousness because it’s extremely important for your body (obviously), yet you can take control over it to breathe more effectively, suiting your needs.

Ever heard about breathtaking views? Or listening to something with bated breath?
Well. If you are going to memorize something or think about something, depriving yourself of oxygen is  second worst thing you can do to help it. The worst is hitting your head with an uranium Skullcrusher-3000 hammer. Debatably.
Hypoventilation is sometimes good (it happens when we sleep, for one) , but hyperventilation is awesome as well, especially if you need your brain as much as possible. Ever heard of Osho? He was actually putting people into trance by causing hyperventilation. You can get lots of other stuff, including hallucinations and, as I sadly found out, fainting. But you need to breathe as much as possible for several minutes straight.

What I am offering you now is a set of simple excercises that will enhance your overall productivity.

  1. Local breathing.
    a) Low breathing: Try to breathe with your gut. As in, pull it out when you breathe in, pull in when you breathe out. Try to not move other parts of your upper body. Repeat ×5
    b) Medium breathing: The same with your  thorax. Repeat ×5
    c) High breathing: The same  with yout shoulders. Repeat ×5
    d) Mixed breathing: When you breathe in, first enlarge your gut, then thorax, then shoulders, same order when you breathe out. Repeat ×10
  2. Deep breathing
    a) Take a deep breathe in via nose, slooooooowly breathe out via mouth. Repeat ×5
    b)  Take a deep breathe in, breathe out in short “bursts” with little pauses in between. Repeat ×3.

If done correctly, you will just feel the energy flowing inside your body.
Do you know what’s the hardest about that exercise set? Now you have to actually do it! It’s not magic, it has to be actually remembered and repeated. Every time. Every single time before you need to do any sort of intellectual work. For your whole life. Make a habit out of it ASAP.

S’all for now, folks!
Next time I will look at planning your work.

Memetically yours,
Fran the Taxonomist

Brain Driver I

Oh, hello there, my dear reader!

This post  (I hope) is a start of something big, something new.

About the name.

Are you aware that you are not your brain and not your body? You  — your conciousness — is a humble little bit of static and chemistry in a little piece of flesh called your brain. The only way you can ever interact with the environment, exchange information, is through your neural system. You see, that piece of static is not even fully you. There are other nifty things you can’t directly control: including, for one, your memory and your subconciousness. You see, your mind is a funny thing and it just loves to play tricks. Your organs may perceive something that is not actual reality, their signals can be misinterpreted, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Let’s take memory and conciousness, for example. Let us test your memory.

It is one of the most famous photos of the XX century. You’ve probably seen it more than once. That’s a guy standing in front of a column of tanks at Tiananmen square full of protestors, the only one of those who actually had the balls to try and stop the machine from metaphorically crushing the world.  Come on, don’t say you haven’t seen that. If you do, your memory works in a perfectly normal way.

So.

Memory is a very interesting thing. It does not store anything like a huge videofile: it is fairly chaotic, it doesn’t remember specific time or order of events and so on — we remember mostly a bunch of concepts and images, some of them precisely, some not.
Long-term and short-term memories also work in various ways, long-term is less chaotic, and, by the way, one of the main functions of dreams is to organize and store your short-term memories. There isn’t really a hard cap on how much some human being can remember, by the way. Though if you remember a lot of things similar to each other you are likely to mix them up, not to mention the fact that your subconciousness can label something as unnecessary and store it away, which is kind of why you don’t remember a lot of stuff you learned in school.  It is a question of organization really.

Byt he way about memory. Remember that crowd and tanks and a guy photo? Congratulations, you have perfectly normal memory. Because there was no crowd in the original photo, yet you convinced yourself that there is one.

You see, your brain is hardware. Static and biochemistry is software. What do you need when you want more control over your hardware? Why, you write better drivers, of course!

And this, my friends, is what this project is all about. I will publish series of articles, hopefully all written by myself, about various ways you can manipulate your brain, your body and your mind into doing something it is capable of doing but you aren’t, purely by doing concious things. So no voodoo here, just a bunch of exercises, several methods to remember, and you will be able to remember vast amounts of information in short durations, remember essential information pretty much forever and unaltered, and much, much more.

In next article I will look at proper breathing.

Memetically yours,

Fran the Taxonomist

Oh, hai, Leaguecraft.

I was going to write that post for a long time.

But I didn’t have enough ideas, or enough time (that math degree is not getting itelf, I wish it could)… hell, I was just lazy at times. But, anyway, I feel myself obliged to do that.

So, as you know, I have been banned from Leaguecraft. No ifs, no buts, no way out, oh, and my alts will be banned on sight as well.

Why, would you ask? I have been accused of “flaming the mods”. By “mods” Dave means “Miya”, ofc.

Do you know Miya? Hell you do. Who doesn’t. I’ve seen loads of “gamer chicks”, and most of them are the same: “I am a girl, I play games, this is unusual, therefore, I am awesome and want attention.” Cue vomit.
No, seriously, cue vomit. Because shut the fuck up, dumb whore, if you want to be actually be respected as a human being, okay?

Now the interesting part is that she actually went and became a mod with that attitude.  Yup, the insufferable and non-contributing douche who insulted everything as she pleased (you know, the kind of behavior which mods are actually supposed to counter as much as they can) got the rights to tell people what’s right and wrong.

Sounds absolutely ridiculous, right? Well you are damn right, it is.And guess what happened when I started to point the painful (for some) truth out.
Okay, I simply don’t have the information and I have no right to go and imply that Dave got some action from that.

But the above is not interesting at all, actually!
What’s interesting is what happened next. It took someone like me being banned (I’m not boasting, but I had the highest reputation on the fora) for people to actually notice what’s happening, for them to ask an obvious question. To quote: “What the fuck?!

People started actually questioning Leaguecraft policy. One of the letters I have somehow stumbled upon, for one.
I don’t say that I am the best person ever. I am an asshole, a huge one, at that, but, to quote, an asshole with wit and lots of good stuff to say. I actually spend my time helping people with no personal gain. As opposed to, you know, insulting people if they don’t find your Critkat inherently awesome.

I may have somehow missed something, but I haven’t seen an official answer which would have explained what, exactly, was the fuck. But Miya still got stealthily banned. In hope that nobody notices the matter.
And then our hero noticed that she is in trouble. She can no longer be the most worthless and insufferable person on the whole fora, simply because she was no longer the one to twist and fold the rules to support her own deeds.

Guess what happened next. RRRRRRRRRRAGEQUIT.

And there were much rejoicing.

Fair enough. Because whether or not I’m with you is not important. What do you want, what are you going to demand is what’s important. And, judging by that, the community became better. And if it has to be so without me — hell, let it be that way.

Ciao.

I will write in this blog as much as I can, though, for it will be my main information dump. Feel free to read and comment.

My thoughts on RPG elements

Not that it matters.

So,  I checked out a bunch of new games (and some old ones) and I must say that I noticed RPG Elements in most of them. And I sure as hell don’t like that tendency in the slightest.

Now I think I should elaborate.

RPG elements are basically tiny bits of RPS gameplay added to games that are not RPG by nature, like experience points, skills, inventory, et cetera. Whoa, diversity, customization, awesome! What to not like about that?

First: intention. RPG elements are usually added to the game to make it seem (emphasis on “seem”) more diverse and interesting to include it ito ad campaign and to get critical acclaiming. I don’t like that approach to creative process.

Second:  quality. This one has its roots in the previous problem. The issue is similar to that one with 3D in movies.

3D movies are better than 2D movies only in two possible ways: the “whoa, immersion” effect (from what I’ve watched, only Avatar and Toy Story were succesful with that one) and the “whoa, object from the screen moves towards us” effect (which is less and less appealing as the lime goes on, remember, most of popularity of L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de la Ciotat was because of the public believing that train was moving towards them).

As for the rest… Well, I’d say that 2D movies are superior if not made directly in 3D (like Avatar and cartoons from Pixar and Dreamworks). Why so?

If you ever watched 3D movies (of course you did), you should’ve noticed the fact that 3D darkens the picture: it is actually darkened twice – once while converting, once when going through spectacles.
Making movie 3D is awesome for advertising and gives free cash while not costing much. As a side effect, we get this:

No, I don’t mean The Last Airbender movie, for that we must blame Shyamalan’s existence. I mean, dim and unappealing picture.

Similar thing with RPG elements.
You can make them like in Hexen 2, where they were designed really awesomely, but that actually involves a lot of creative process. So people slap on some imbalanced sloppy randomness like in Prince of Persia: The Forbidden Sands and rejoice.

Not to mention that making RPG elements sometimes make them forget about anything else, making actual gameplay rather bland. You don’t believe me? How many people would have played Korean grindfests if they wouldn’t involve levels or experience? That’s it.

Third: effect. Even if the RPG elements are designed pretty well and integral for gameplay, they are rather often imbalanced, and they mostly take away diversity.

Case in point: there’s a shooter with heavily upgradeable guns. What will you choose: have a load of weak guns, needing to choose a different one in different situations (like it actually must be in shooters) or rather pimp out one gun that looks appealing and mow down your enemies with it, no matter the weak points or type advantage?

Fourth: reality warping. That one is somewhat subtle, but action RPGs and non-RPGs with RPG elements are shifting the definition of roleplaying games in general.

ROLEPLAYING GAMES ARE NOT ABOUT GAINING LEVELS AND EXPERIENCE, for fuck’s sake. Roleplaying games are all about making choices!
You can roleplay through interaction (like in Mass Effect and Dragon Age, where you make decisions, making your character behave in different situations like you want him to) or through gameplay (like in Morrowind and Fallout, where there are no character classes, but you can make play like they had thanks to their free-form system). Your Grilzzled Space Marine #141 has one choice: proceed through the rail-roading corridor. No matter whether he’s level 3 or level 5.

Pictured above: freedom of choice.

Not that it matters, because in several years we’ll have only three games: Generic Korean Grindfest, Generic FPS With EXP, Generic Indie Bullshit With A Gimmick.

Thank you for reading this.

Fran out.

Oh, hey, stranger.

I don’t know whether you stumbled upon this site on accident or came here willingly. (Actually neither do I care)

Anyway, welcome.

What to see here?

Um… I don’t know. It’s a blog.

I’ll be sharing interesting links and thoughts, dumping photos and writing long-ass rants. My blog is mostly devoted to reducing suck and bringing awesome.

Also. You will see a lot of profanity:  I have no inner censorship.

Enjoy your staying.