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RT @HereBeDragons3
Doing a bit of research ahead of the 1982 Retrofest at @computermuseum next weekend and found this benchmark table in PCW - what a fantastic breadth of machines were available by the end of 1982! (and don't forget to come - it'll be awesome and supports the wonderful museum too)

Son who "hates subtitles" is watching The Daily Life of the Immortal King, with English subs, and just drinking in these long sentences ๐Ÿง

At times, Fediverse gives the feeling of having arrived extremely early for the world's biggest tech party. It'd be really cool if this vibe just got stronger and stronger and various systems unified even more and it got seriously amazing. Then, sure, Microsoft can latch on or whatever but there could be some really amazing long-form memories built here by community efforts to take back what should have been more authentically focused in the first place.

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(Testing out some STTNG plot generation with random dictionary word pulls:) Picard hurts himself while helping out with some maintenance work. The doctor informs him that she is concerned about his vitals. He is told he must remain in bed resting. He falls into a dream in which he finds himself unhappy in utopia. He is finicky and impatient. Meanwhile, the crew come across some space wreckage. There is a strange radio signal coming from the wreckage that they cannot decipher. Picard wakes in a sweat and frantically tells the crew to break contact. It is determined that a god-like sentient being was measuring the Enterprise's technical ability while also infiltrating the ship. Now the being is known to be aboard, and has taken a strange form. The radio signal is deciphered as a humorous riddle which relates to Picard's dream.

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Spent the night setting up a static wiki for the KISS community.

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In the interim I've focused on complete, moment-to-moment slop, when possible. All improvised, all subjective in meaning. Why? I recognize art as a tool of the body and mind, and care 100x less about the product now. I recognize the product-focus as a kind of frantic, persona-development expression in many cases, which is meaningful in some ways but in others it's of course ridiculous and must be worked around more actively to avoid big problems in life. So what any given "audience" makes of anything I create is much less interesting and I understand it as very often the audience's expression of who they are. But the expression itself, on my part, is also more interesting and even urgent to me. This has been a new juxtaposition to work with, and I have kind of resigned myself to this awkward stage until I can find a different way to frame it which works better. Stumbles, sighs, and stone-kicks.

Back when I was trying out comics and webcomics as a hobby, I would get irritable and then angry after about a half hour of the rendering of my penciled drawings, which were created from a basic storyline. Everything was too intense, exacting, specified, demanding. I figured out that I would have to focus on complete improvisation from panel to panel, even giving up penciling, if I wanted to do long-form art. No more planning out my artwork. It was a lesson in letting my body and psychology manage the expression. This was weird news for my Instagram feed, and I started to get strange comments, like "why did you draw this, what does it mean," or "why is there planning being done in the same image where you draw things?" Even my favorite images were admittedly one-offs which I never knew if I could continue or even finish, and it was a very difficult situation to process.

The same is true of words. I used to reach for direct, concrete visual imagery when I was in a mood to express myself. But even the simplest words are so much more amazing in a lot of ways. Fast, effective, imaginative, whatever you want them to be. You can paint a world in a sentence, which I'm just now understanding. I find myself discovering that my words are slower to form than I'd like (I do not sub-vocalize, never have; I sub-visualize instead) and it's been fun to learn ways to be more efficient in expression. Learning shorthand actually helped a lot with this. I was able to journal efficiently in shorthand on an old Casio personal organizer, enough to get my day back on track, even in expressive terms. This is kind of a treasured memory since I had started to find my words, or a new form of expressing myself with words, along with a new grasp of the importance of doing so. A long way to go still.

Domark 3D provides a good example of how my art journey has changed. When it was on the market? Eh, it didn't look realistic enough for me, and seemed slow. I'd rather stick with 2D and vibrant, realistic illustrations with gradients and so on. But these days, I am kind of a Domark 3D fanboi even though it's decades old, because it massively restricts the vocabulary and you have to be broad with it, spell entire words and sentences with the simple objects, rather than rendering each shiny letter, so to speak. In the end, you can get across a more expansive message in a way, and feel very efficient in doing so. I think I also trust the viewer's (and my) imagination more. This is its own different type of expression.

Reflecting on my visual arts journey a bit today. I started out (like, from very young age) wanting a "realistic" rendering / representation style, but ended up here as a middle-aged person longing for a stylistic vocabulary instead. Wanting a more fluid language-based expression, in addition to the previously-fascinating metaphorical-concrete expression. It's a weird journey which still feels out of my reach in many ways, and I wish I had made more progress in this direction long before now. I can model and render objects well enough by hand, but turn into a simp when I see some flat, dead-simple cartoons sometimes. It's like another language I'm really wishing I knew how to speak ๐Ÿ˜Œโ€‹

OK, I figured out how to subdivide faces very easily. The context menu shortcut for Bforartists is a double-right-click in the mesh editor, which is kind of strange at first. But the manual is actually very good and I was able to find what I needed within seconds. I'll probably download the whole 120MB manual PDF and read over the fun parts.

I tried Bforartists, a Blender fork with a focus on getting away from keyboard shortcuts and more toward a friendly interface. First thought: My Blender muscle memory was all keyboard shortcuts, basically ๐Ÿ˜‚โ€‹ So I need to approach this from a different learning perspective. I thought they might keep the same shortcuts and then make the graphical UI more obvious, but that isn't really the case. Though it's nice to have straightforward access to lots of visual buttons and things, I do wonder how I subdivide a mesh without using a rounding-subdivision surface? Hm. Time to visit the docs too, maybe.

I tried some old third-party Doom wads today with Chocolate Doom. Got a different wad-related error with each one, as if they were shipped totally broken. Seems not right. Not sure what to do next.

The new Restricted to Ship documentary episode is out. It's been interesting to watch, hopefully the crew can leave China soon.

One last interesting thing about the response to these archetypes is that it seems to be helpful to respond in-metaphor. I.e. instead of reflecting "how can I fix this awful day," it's more like asking, "what would a battleaxe and some chainmail look like in this situation?" It's more fun, and when a solution or idea "clicks," it's oddly similar to the feeling of popping your neck or something like that.

As part of this research I created a file called "Archetype Definer" that I add interests to, every time new interests come up in my life in a recurring or stable sort of way. Getting at the low-level messaging layer of these interests has been helpful enough that this file is something I'm always hacking away on. The most amusing is probably anything dungeon-crawl related, which seems to parallel a general feeling of navigating a lot of annoying, unclear, and possibly gory details in the day to day.

The experiment turned out to be really helpful, even though I initially had a fear of losing the interest itself. When these interests come back, sometimes very powerfully, it's nice to speak to a lower messaging layer, so to speak, and fulfill the requests at that layer which can prevent a sort of feeling of stuck-ness in an interest from setting in. Overall the attention has been worth testing, and it's been a fun puzzle albeit very subjective in a lot of ways.

One of my little psychology / programming bridge-experiments over the last few years was testing subconscious programming archetypes of interest with conscious responses of different types. The most common (for me) match was that programming can be described as a direction to "get with the program," i.e. create an objective schedule and use it. The type of language is also helpful to know, e.g. BASIC interest corresponded to such life-chaos (so to speak) that a simple schedule would do. Pascal always seemed to indicate a need for a more elucidated schedule. Lisp was more about abstract scheduling for something akin to life design, rather than so much procedure.

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