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The Place Within That which is Not.
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Tyger's LiveJournal:

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Friday, March 8th, 2019
11:55 am
Random Thought of the Second
Humans, innately, aren't very good at being people. They have to be taught.
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
12:14 pm
Random Thought of the Second
If I owned a pet shop, I'd have a sign by the door saying "No Python".
Friday, June 21st, 2013
1:55 pm
Random Thought of the Second
If you mix an antibiotic with a probiotic, does it explode?
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
11:33 am
Random Quote of the Day:
The man who holds the life of another in his hands imperils himself.
Friday, December 21st, 2012
11:04 am
It's the end of the world as we know it... and I feel fine.
Friday, September 7th, 2012
3:19 pm
Random Thought of the Second
When we remember a deceased person’s birthday, we say they “would have been” such age. That annoys me. People don’t stop aging because they die. They just stop growing.
Friday, June 29th, 2012
11:50 pm
A Truth
When I was a child, I spent several summers at a school called Steppingstone, which is apparently for gifted children. I remember absolutely nothing about he curriculum, but recess was fun at least. I probably made more friends in that institution than in any other, and I wish I could have maintained contact with them afterwards as we all went to separate school districts and grew up apart.

I went over the years to two different locations, the latter of which was full of people I came to like, as well as many I didn't. People formed cliques even then, and there were roaming gangs of bullies in the playground who mostly got on peoples' nerves because everyone was the same size back then. I'm not sure why a school oriented toward gifted children could foment bullies, but such was the case.

In the former, however, I was more reserved. I had not yet devised my practical theory of friendship (to wit: approach a group who seems interesting and join in as if I was invited), so I spent much time idly observing the others in a dispassionate sort of way, as I am still inclined to do in social settings. There was, however, one person I got along with.

It was a girl. I seem to remember that she was blonde, but any other details have been erased with time, and at that age it's unlikely she had very unique features. She and I were the best of friends, despite sexist scorn from others who had learned from television that the opposite sex had cooties, and spent recesses merely walking and talking while the rest of the class engaged in whatever physical activity they could concoct with the playground equipment at hand. I remember sitting at a fence, watching leaves fall in the shade and insects crawl, while discussing what seemed at the time to be matters of deep philosophical import, though it may have been cartoons.

And then one day, while I was emerging out of the school building to find her, our recess times being staggered, she fell off the slide and broke her arm. I was terrified, because I had no knowledge of broken arms or what to do with them, because her agonised screams were heart-rending, and because I was bewildered by the unexpectedness of the entire situation. I was also conflicted, because I knew that my presence would be comforting to her, and yet I was rooted to the spot, unable to move, standing at the opposite end of the playground while the teachers tried to maintain order among the gawking children and soothe the girl at the same time until an ambulance arrived.

I was ashamed by my inability to help, but moreso by my inability to try. When she returned a week later with a cast, I avoided her out of mortification, unable to express my shame and also afraid of being blamed, of being called out for what I thought of as my responsibility for the situation. The summer came to an end without us speaking again, and she went away and we never saw each other again as far as I know.

I've seen many people in my life who were in need of help. Very seldom have I gone to help them. In the event, I've always created justifications, pointed out my inexperience with the problem and lack of obligation to get involved in the problems of a stranger. But each time I've also kicked myself for cowardice, hating my lack of resolve to go and at least try to remedy the situation somewhat by at least providing calming words. And each time I've resolved not to let it happen again. Never, so far, have I followed through on this resolution.

I wish I could remember her name.
Thursday, June 28th, 2012
1:06 am
Random Thought of the Second
When I read about someone drinking wine, in my mind I imagine the flavour of grape juice. Because to me that's what wine should taste like. I can't really understand why anyone would prefer the fermented stuff.
Friday, June 22nd, 2012
9:07 pm
Random Thought of the Second
This is the only definition of art I've ever found useful:

"Anything which has been, by at least one person on some occasion, referred to as art."
Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
8:02 pm
Random Thought of the Second
I have this conceptual problem with monogamy. I understand its purpose, and its usefulness in an ordered and stable society, but in practice I can't see how it's feasible. Every single person is special and interesting. How do you pick just one?
Monday, April 30th, 2012
7:05 pm
Random Thought of the Second
Is there any single trait which is demonstrably unique to the human species? I can't think of one.
Thursday, April 26th, 2012
6:39 pm
Random Quote of the Day
Secretary: I'd offer you some of my Administrative Professionals' Day cake, but we don't have any cutlery in the office.

Me: That sounds like a job for an administrative professional.
Monday, April 16th, 2012
10:06 pm
Random Quote of the Day
Is there a God of Forgiveness?

Not quite. I mean, there is a God, but she's more of a representative than a true Power. Forgiveness is a Power beyond the Gods.


Forgiveness is the strongest force in the universe. It has the power to resolve conflict, and conflict is what the universe is predicated on.
In fact, forgiveness is the only thing that can truly end conflict. It can change the very nature of the universe.
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
4:14 pm
Two quotes from Joseph Campbell:
"The psychological dangers through which earlier generations were guided by the symbols and spiritual exercises of their mythological and religious inheritance, we today (in so far as we are unbelievers, or, if believers, in so far as our inherited beliefs fail to represent the real problems of contemporary life) must face alone, or, at best, with only tentative, impromptu, and not often very effective guidance. This is our problem as modern, "enlightened" individuals, for whom all gods and devils have been rationalized out of existence."

"Woman, in the picture language of mythology, represents the totality of what can be known. The hero is the one who comes to know. As he progresses in the slow initiation which is life, the form of the goddess undergoes for him a series of transfigurations: she can never be greater than himself, though she can always promise more than he is yet capable of comprehending. She lures, she guides, she bids him burst his fetters. And if he can match her import, the two, the knower and the known, will be released from every limitation. Woman is the guide to the sublime acme of sensuous adventure. By deficient eyes she is reduced to inferior states; by the evil eye of ignorance she is spellbound to banality and ugliness. But she is redeemed by the eyes of understanding. The hero who can take her as she is, without undue commotion but with the kindness and assurance she requires, is potentially the king, the incarnate god, of her created world."

-- The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Friday, January 27th, 2012
5:17 pm
Random Thought of the Second
Why is everyone convinced that there's a major difference between men and women? In identical circumstances, they almost always do the same things.
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
6:58 pm
On Magic, Science and Terminology
I just read this article on magic systems by Brandon Sanderson. To sum up, Brandon states that settings in which a magic system is clearly defined can use magic as a solution to plot and a storytelling tool, because it's well understood by the audience how things are happening; whereas, those where magic is loosely defined should refrain from using magic in such a capacity, because the audience will feel cheated by what seems to be a deus ex machina. To further this point, he outlines a continuum of "hard" and "soft" magic which these two possibilities inhabit, along with a wide middle ground.

In reading this, I was struck by what seemed to me a terminological inconsistency. For me, magic is by definition not understood. Once it becomes clearly described, it's no longer truly magic. I know that such a definition is highly subjective, but it seems counterintuitive to me that a magic system be rigid, complex or wholly understood.

There is also a continuum of hardness for science fiction, and this is a term that is also very vaguely defined. Science fiction used to mean literature which took a scientific principle or theory as its precept and extrapolated its story from this. Now it refers to any setting which is futuristic, regardless of the level of science present.

After consideration, I have decided that Sanderson's scale and the SF scale are one and the same, under different nomenclatures. On the 'hard' end, you have pure science fiction, which, true to its original concept, relies wholly on known scientific principles yet speculates on the future (or alternate timeline) ramifications of these principles. Just a little softer than that, you have the addition of new rules which are self-consistent but not as yet proven to real-life science. Whether these rules are couched in a scientific or fantastical manner, and even if they are called magic, or channeling, or psionics, they are speculative, and serve the same purpose. And they are like scientific laws in that they present rules about what can and can't be done, acting as both enablers and limits to the options of the characters. In this way, they facilitate the plot. And at the softer end, you have pure fantasy, in which literally anything is possible and the author throws in whatever they feel necessary to accomplish the plot's intent.

Thus, science fiction and fantasy are indeed opposites on a single spectrum of speculative fiction, and can coexist, though one can also be entirely separate from the other.

Monday, January 23rd, 2012
9:24 pm
Random Thought of the Second
Situations have abounded in a recent period which serve to deliver to me the lesson that I should not spurn opportunity or wait until what I deem to be a more appropriate moment. I am doing my best to act on this information.
Friday, December 9th, 2011
12:59 pm
Apocalyptic dreams
Okay, to start with, there were zombies. I found myself in a shopping mall (isn't it always) where some humans had sought refuge. However, not all of the zombies were enemies. It seemed there was a small chance that a victim of zombification would retain their awareness, and these people coexisted with the living, although they kept their distance as they were contagious. The enemy dead, left alone for a time, would go into a sort of trance, although they could be wakened by loud noise or other obvious sign of human activity, so people lived nervous but reasonably healthy lives within the complex.Read more...Collapse )
Monday, November 21st, 2011
6:43 pm
Random Thought of the Second
I have begun playing Skyward Sword. I've been keeping my eyes peeled for references to the other games, and so far I've found myself thinking "my, that's familiar" every five minutes or so. The game developers clearly had that in mind, because there are references to every other game that I know, including, it seems, the use of every tool that Link has ever had.

I'm having a problem with muscle memory though. My first instinct when a bokoblin comes rushing at me is to swing wildly with the remote, and that just doesn't work in this game. My second instinct is to hide behind the shield, but that doesn't work either because they can damage it. I still have yet to get the hang of combat, but my guess is the best way to fight a new enemy is to circle them carefully and observe their pattern.

I'm trying to avoid using a guide this time. Since traditionally there aren't any unmissables in these games, it's not a huge worry, but I get the feeling I'll want to find any heart pieces as soon as possible in this one.
Thursday, November 17th, 2011
11:40 am
Excerpt: Hero's Task
Hero opened his eyes. The fit of vertigo having passed, he now felt exactly as before.

"Did it work," he asked.

"Oh yes," the wizard replied. "Perfectly. Which I will now prove. Unfortunately, this will require me to kill you. Sorry." And with that the man threw a blazing fireball at him.

Hero was consumed by pain and light, which each independently grew to unfathomable heights before suddenly vanishing.

He opened his eyes. He felt slightly tired, but otherwise healthy.

The wizard eyed him coolly. "Feeling all right, boy?" he asked.

"You just killed me," Hero accused.

"Did I already? Thank goodness. I wasn't looking forward to that."
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