Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Criterion Collection

you've got to shine, to thine own self be true,

I leave this for those who will come afterwards. 

If you want to understand believability, this is the journey you have to take.

1. 300

they can't tell you what to do when you've gone guru


  1. Crap. I had a long and extremely witty and seminal post here, using words like discomfit, and then it broke and now it's gone.

    I'll sum it up really quickly: I think the Rorschach and Walter White articles are my favorites of yours and have been really helpful for me to understand instinctual issues I didn't know I had.

    Do you have an approach/method you try and use when tackling things? I have been trying to refine my toolset for being able to think critically, and other than getting "Critical Thinking 101" books from the library or enrolling in A Social Science at a university (and getting Ds on all the term papers) I'm not sure what I should do.

    1. >and getting Ds on all the term papers

      Can't help you on that one. The criteria I use are not the criteria that most universities use; they tend to go more for metaphors and prose and all that jazz, whereas I look at things in an incredibly direct manner.

      Here's a breakdown of my concept:

      In a work of fiction, what's different than reality? What things were changed "for the sake of the story"? In 300, if you know anything about the real Peloponnesian War, it's obvious that a lot of things have been changed. Figure out WHAT'S been changed, and then after that, speculate as to WHY it's been changed.

      The "why" usually involves people's real-life values, even if they don't want to admit it. It's not just a matter of how people look at fiction, but also how people look at real life. The kind of person who roots for Rorschach isn't doing so for abstract reasons - they're doing so because they earnestly believe that criminals are evil and deserve death. People's ideas about society and culture and sexuality and power all influence the characters they support in fiction, even if they want to pretend that they don't.

      I think a lot of people are used to "not thinking" about those kinds of things. People react poorly to the idea that fiction affects who you are as a person, and people also tend to make excuses for fiction because it's "supposed to be fun". And people do that because they want to enjoy themselves and experience thrills and emotional rollercoasters, and "pointing out that they're essentially supporting fascism" or whatever kind of kills the buzz. They don't want that. They want to have fun.

      So to sum up: Take fiction seriously, as though it was real, even though it's not. Accept that people's views and ideologies affect who they think of as a "good guy" and a "bad guy", even if they think they're just being "normal". And do whatever you can to learn about the world around you, because reality is the base for understanding fiction.

  2. Hey ExpBelieve, it's been a long time. Glad to see you blogging still :) I miss your tweets and would love to see you return to Twitter one day. - Across the Aether (now @TheAetherAcross)

    1. Hey AtA (or tAA), thanks for visiting my webzone. Unfortunately, I have no plans to return to Twitter, because 144 characters really just isn't enough to do anything meaningful and it's an easy format for people to misunderstand things. If you miss the Great Taste Of ExpBelieve Content (tm) please feel free to mumble "games are garbage" to yourself at the bottom of your lungs.

    2. I would never have read any of your stuff if you weren't on Twitter, though.

    3. Attn Kavak, please don't slander me re: Top Secret. Top Secret is a great game and I had a relatively good run with it. It's a good realistic game designed for grounded problem-solving and scenarios, not level-ups and dungeon crawls.