Monthly Archives: June 2009

Quick Hit: Elevator Psychology

An interesting article about primate behavior and how it affects us as we ride in elevators.

(Via Freakonomics blog)

Exuberant Imperfection and Transcendent Purpose

I learned about two new theories this week, both of which interested me.  One theory I have already applied to my life.  The other is highly unlikely to be anything more than a passing interest, something that I note, nod, and say “that’s interesting” about, like a man standing on the street with no pants.

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Prologue to the Story To Be Named Later, IV

The shouts and clanging mugs around him could not penetrate the grinding mind of Brusen.  The men around him, neighbors and workmates, were pleased by their actions and celebrating as if they’d won a victory.  Ale flowed as deeds were recounted, particularly choice blows re-enacted, and the students’ ignominious retreat rehashed.  Spirits high all around him, the stonelayer kept his fists at his side as his brow furrowed.  In his mind he could feel the blow crunching into the green-eyed wizardling, his rage and grief pouring onto the head of the one who had cursed him.  Brusen couldn’t understand how the man had gotten up and managed to avoid him thereafter, when the blow should have scrambled his brain and left him unconscious or dead.  In the confusion after the table was flipped, his quarry had already fled by the time he pushed past the men in his way.  After that, calls for drinks and cheers had stopped the momentum that had carried the group to the tavern in the first place.

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Prologue to the Story To Be Named Later, III

Derud laughed along with his fellow students, although he hadn’t understood the joke.  His reaction was automatic, a reflex born of a life where he never felt like he truly fit in.  Although he was the same age as his fellows, he didn’t have their experience with women, wasn’t privy to the gossip they heard, and couldn’t match their ability to spin a tale.  His modest upbringing didn’t help, as most of the better-born students looked askance at those who grew up with dirt on their hands.  He was sure that his presence was tolerated only because of his ability to study and help those who hadn’t, and his willingness to laugh at the most stale jest. 

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Prologue to the Story To Be Named Later, II

Brusen, thick-limbed and of middle years, sat heavily at the rough table.  His hands, battered and scarred from rough stone and years-old tavern brawls, gripped the heel of yesterday’s bread as his mind, slowly but inexorably, awakened to face another day.  The still air of the apartment was already hot in his throat, promising another brutal day of sun beating on him like Bas’ own foreman.  It had been a week since the sea breezes had refreshed the city of Goredock, let alone stirred the foul air of the Gutters, the district of laborers, beggars, and whores.  Sails hung limp in the harbor atop stranded ships and the tempers of the sailors and cityborn alike were shortening by the day.

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Prologue to the Story To Be Named Later, I

Elder Patrician Merrus, head of the Circle of Magi of the Dreaming Tower, sighed and pressed the fingers of his right hand against the short grey hairs at his temple.  This man, who could engulf an entire village in fiery ruin, summon and bind the Demonlords of the Void, or raise a tower of stone from bare dirt at a gesture, could do nothing to quell the rising rage of pain in his own head.  He briefly considered turning to Nicoreus for succor, but allowed the notion to disappear.  As the first Elder Patrician in a century to head a Trial of Expulsion, Merrus could not afford to appear weak.  Even if the trial itself was threatening to turn into sham, as Elder Patrician he had the dignity of the last Arcane Academy to maintain. Read the rest of this entry

The Future of Twitter

For a couple of months I’ve been watching the explosion of Twitter-related news and trying to figure out what it means for the future of Twitter.  I don’t use it, I never will, and I find most of the celebutards using it as idiotic as the people who follow them.  I was pretty convinced that Twitter would fail soon, since it was getting used and commented on old people who clearly don’t understand the new technology (Peter King of SI and the two or more people it took to teach him how to use it spring to mind).  This would make the first adopters grimace in distaste and move on to the next hot thing, with King Celebutard Ashton Kutcher leading the way.  Soon after, Twitter would die and I would never have to hear the word “tweet” used without baby birds being involved.  Now, I am not so sure.

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