Yet Another Graphomaniacs Compendium
Thursday, January 31, 2002

Get your fresh, juicy Googlewhacks here!


How long this is going to be a Googlewhack I don't know; but it's my 15 nanoseconds of web fame!

..and heres another Explosive Petroleum kipper philosophy. Detonating introspective fish. Always great with inflammable chips.

posted by John Connors at
Thursday, January 31, 2002

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Monday, January 14, 2002

Fun with a PQ torus.


Yes, you *can* have fun with a PQ torus. Even if you don't understand a word of what's on this page, you can always download the zip and unzip it and have a play, its one of the more striking demos around. I'm jealous. I'd love to have time to hack that..

posted by John Connors at
Monday, January 14, 2002

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Driving.


Driving scenes: driving is a time when you are alone with your emotions, with no choice but to think. It is a great time to get your character to reflect and talk about their thoughts and feelings without having to do difficult awkard things like plot development or atmospheric description, or much of anything except plug your readers into an interminable interior dialogue..Mr. Alexi Sayle, are you listening?

posted by John Connors at
Monday, January 14, 2002

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Sunday, January 13, 2002

Wizards.


Wizards, it seems are somewhat in the news recently, and I've had some good news. A Wizard of Earthsea is going to be made into a mini series for the SciFi channel,
so it will make it onto the small screen, if not the big screen, as it probably deserves to. I think Ian McKellen would make an excellent Sparrowhawk if the third book - The Farthest Shore, was ever filmed. Just as CS Lewis's Narnia books (no wizards in there, only a rather nasty witch) were a Christian allegory, the Earthsea books were a Taoist allegory. I did not realise it at the time, as I was not exposed to Taoism until I was in my twenties, but they gave me a much more realistic moral compass than the one that was pushed on me in a convent shcool with rather strict ideas about what kids should be educated about. Sometimes, knowing an alternative exists is what is necessary to keep you sane. Natural law and Original Sin did not sound realistic doctrines to me: about as realistic as expecting girls who knew nothing of contraception not to become pregnant when they became young women, as so many invariably did.


The books brought two concepts to me that seemed to be ignored by the well meaning nuns who would have been my guides to life: one, that good and evil are not easily distinguished absolutes. Second, that evil and death and darkness are not powers in themselves, but a lack of power, a lack of light, of life, or love, and one could not exist without the other. Resonalce harmonizes sound. When all in the world know beauty to be beautiful, then ugliness exists. It was the moral equivalent of the artists form and ground, or the mathematcians true and false.



It came to me that a recognition of your own capacity for selfishness, violence and greed is just as important as meaning well, that meaning well in your actions was not enough. Sometimes it was safer not to act, or not to talk rather than attempt to do the right thing. Ironically the nuns themselves were living examples of this: they put great effort into educating the deaf, and made huge efforts at a time when the education of the deaf was seen mostly as a lost cause. However, they banned sign language and used entrely oral means to educate their pupils, which was slow, labor - intensive, and above all, opressive.



Those who know do not talk, those who talk do not know. As a rule of thumb it seems to be true. So I will shut up.



posted by John Connors at
Sunday, January 13, 2002

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Friday, January 11, 2002

The Bill Gates Song


Every bug is scared,

every bug is great.

If a bug gets eliminated,

Bill gets quite irate.


with apologies to Monty Python.

posted by John Connors at
Friday, January 11, 2002

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Turning round corners


You'd think turning round corners would be a simple thing, no? I've been playing with this for the last x days, making my pededstrians turn the corner. If you turn too quickly it looks stupid, like something
flicking round: human beings don't do that, they take time to turn. So you say "turn n degrees per frame of game time". This turns out to be too slow to turn a 90 degree turn and stay on the pavement. So you say "turn 15 degrees per frame", and you go round that pavement jim bob dandy, but you take still forever to do a 180 degree turn at the end of it and loop out into the road.


The solution is simple, of course. You divide the number of degrees you need to turn by the number of frames you want to take to do the whole turn, and use that as your turning rate. For some reason that seemed complicated. It isn't. I'm full of complexes about AI.


The other sense in which corners can be turned is the metaphorical one. I wonder about this. If it is possible for a computer to manipulate metaphors which have meaning in the context of a game. A metaphor is just a set of symbols associated with another set of symbols, so a list of symbols and associations ought to do the trick, right? Sigh..another intriging avenue which I cannot explore due to lack of time.

posted by John Connors at
Friday, January 11, 2002

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Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Long Lost Historical Document Surfaces


Since the Google USENET archive came online, embarssments long forgotten have come back to life. I thought I'd get mine out of the way: this is my earliest USENET post. A peice of history. Possibly.


Google is still the best search engine out there. It kicks 'nads. It also has a somewhat interesing page that isn't easy to find from the main interface such as the zeitgeist. Make of it what you will.

posted by John Connors at
Tuesday, January 08, 2002

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Sunday, January 06, 2002

A long lost Blues Conversation



If Van Gough had painted a Brussels sprout, would it cost more than the city?


That depends on how he painted them. The worse, the better. Ask the Japanese executive market.


Stuck. I'm going down to listen to the band.


Oh, my legs are having bad circulation problems. They don't want to circulate.


Not bad.


Good, then.


Pissed, again .


You should give up drinking so much orange juice, then.


Doesn't this pall as a lifestyle ?


I don't know, I'll look in Habitat, they will tell me.


The more pissed you get, the more obscure your jokes become.


Have you heard the one about.


Some inchoerent drinking time passes.


I'm being crude and shall consider myself told off .


No, but my mind's wandering.


Stumbling about in the Negev desert.


No, more like a profiterole, floundering in a knickerbocker glory.


Some sight! Mondrian would have killed for the colours, Pollock for the mess and Warhol for the iconongraphy!


A mere trifle. a sherry trifle.


A Shelly trifle.


Spare me.


Is it that obvious?


What, that I'm spare or being spared?


Your brain is going in some odd directions.


Brussels. No, a symbolist expression, or was it.


Brussels as in sprout.


Fade out...




posted by John Connors at
Sunday, January 06, 2002

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Purple Pose.



From a notebook : 10.12.91



Ignance Retz slumped over his congealed cappucino. The thing was taking hours to drink. He caught sight of his reflection in the mirror behind the window, and noted his own ghastly visage still staring back at him with quiet despair. Where have I been, he wondered. The answer rose torpidly to the forefront of his conciousness, like a bubble of methane forcing its way through thick and fetid ichor.


London.


Oh, God, Allah, Kdapt and Finagle. London and the pits, no not the pits. I kept myself alive there. Remember Jan Craputino the inept boatsman? Oh, hell, keeping your head above water. That's all they could do for themselves, all they had in common. Craputino lived twenty - two hours a day in the shadow and aftermath of the disaster that constituted the other two. Ignance had not known disaster until two years ago.


"I am destroyed", he muttered to himself. Yet within him a small spirit stirred, looked around, and vomitted. Why listen to this crap? Why think this way? What way? He sighed, deaf to the demands of reality


posted by John Connors at
Sunday, January 06, 2002

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The name of Pilate.


Speaking of names, here's a name for you: the Caudine Forks. It's the place where Pontius Pilate's ancestor defeated the Roman Army in 321 BC. As you might have guessed, I am reading Pilate by Anne Wroe. It has some sumptuous sentences, such as "A whole fantastical story was originally wrapped around this prayer. Most of it has since become part of the silt and sand at the bottom of the Bay of Biscay, or perhaps has been cut out of fish on the kitchen slab, as rings and jewels were cut out of cod in the fables of old Europe.". I'll never see a fishfinger in the same light again.

posted by John Connors at
Sunday, January 06, 2002

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Tuesday, January 01, 2002

Names, Nom.


Names, names, names. It's all in the names. If you can achieve poetry in the names then you are (almost) halfway there. Tolkien
knew his names, so did Cordwainer Smith: Rohan, Gondor, Rivendell; C'Mell, Lord Jestocost, Comissoner Teadrinker. They all have roots
elsewhere that make them resonate, in Northern mythology and Chinese literature. It helps to have a tradition to draw upon.

posted by John Connors at
Tuesday, January 01, 2002

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The Journal



A miscellany of topics that intersest me: deaf culture, game design, politics as soap opera, the cyborg condition and the experience of learning to hear again. Other topics presented are speculative fiction and imaginary cities. There are appearences of snippets of work in progress, public rants, pointless posts and Mish the Mouse.




The Writer

A lower middle class cyborg living an innocous life in a suburban village near Newcastle On Tyne, in the United Kingdom. Mostly autobiographical and creative notes posts and musings on the topic du jour.


Archives

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Links

Videogame Theory

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Computing for Poets

The Langauge Construction Kit

Lemonodor: mostly Lisp

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Christopher Jam

Shrydars Blog

Linux Game Development Centre

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The Rise and Fall of My First Novel

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