Superluminary, Episode 36 Outside of Time

Posted January 18, 2017 By John C Wright

Superluminary, Episode 36 OUTSIDE OF TIME is posted on Patreon:

Episode 36 Outside of Time

In this exciting episode, a duel of spacewarps and timewarps unfolds in a single frozen moment of life and death.

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Quote: Higher and More Complete

Posted January 18, 2017 By John C Wright

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What Are the Odds?

Posted January 18, 2017 By John C Wright

A very great deal of confusion among educated men is caused by the sloppy locution in the English language which allows us to say chance “caused” something.

Indeed, at times I believe the whole of the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is merely a confusion of words.

Chance is the word we use when we know the boundaries of an outcome but not the specifics. Some variables are known (the coin is balanced and has only two sides) and some are unknown (I flip the coin in the air, but I do not tell you either the starting position of the coin nor whether the number of turns is even or odd).

Because of the unknowns, you can only narrow down the possible outcomes to two: heads or tails.

Please note that the coin does not turn into a spherical cloud having whose position and momentum cannot be certainly known, and this spherical object, which has both head and tail facing each direction, suddenly when it lands collapses into a silver disk, and the act of looking at the one side, say, heads, is rapidly communicated by spooky action at a distance to the other side and collapses its hitherto indeterminate features into the opposite face, say, tails.

Please note also, however, that we reject the coin-spherical-cloud theory only because if I tell you the initial condition of the coin and the number of turns, odd or even, you can deduce the outcome of the coin toss with deterministic accuracy.

A Quantum-Mechanics type formula describing the probability cloud formed by a spinning coin (heads or tails) which has no determinate orientation until it is observed would fit the observed data perfectly, because the cloud theory is a theory about the condition of the coin when we are not observing it.
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Three Days Remain

Posted January 17, 2017 By John C Wright

Watch this space for an announcement. Something soon shall be born, and where and how it shall grow is in heavenly hands, not ours.

But the time has come when deeds must be done, and before those deeds, thoughts must be understood, and before understanding comes that courage of the mind we call curiosity.

What is wrong with the world? Where was the misstep that took us into this dead end, called the Culture of Death? Who douses the lamps of civilization?
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Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson on Sale Now

Posted January 16, 2017 By John C Wright

COMING OUT OF A DARK AGE

Appendix N: A Literary History of Dungeons & Dragons is now available on Kindle. 

Introduction by John C. Wright!

Jeffro Johnson is relatively new on the scene, but has already garnered three Hugo finalist nominations for his work. He set himself the task of reviewing each and every book listed in Appendix N, the suggested reading, of Gary Gygax appearing in older editions of the rules for Dungeons and Dragons.

The result was a surprisingly trenchant insights not only into the world of gaming and the changes (some might say the decay) since then, but also into what muggles call the real world.

I myself found the articles on which this book was based fascinating, because to me Appendix N books formed the backbone of the science fiction and fantasy reading all readers of my generation knew and loved. To the younger generation,  these are forgotten classics waiting for rediscovery.

Mr. Johnson once paid me one of the finest compliments my work has ever received: he said a book of mine was worthy of inclusion into Appendix N. For that reason alone I welcome the publication of Mr. Johnson’s collected reviews and reflections, and I welcome the renewed interest in the classics of yore this book by rights should provoke.

I would also like my readers to see and admire this cover art.

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A Comment on Ayn Rand and Evil Socrates

Posted January 14, 2017 By John C Wright

My confirmed habit in my writing my evil doers usually have an evil philosophy which motivates them, and usually I give them the floor to make a speech about it.

One author who is particularly good at portraying Evil Socrates, and this is an author whose real talent as an author is overlooked both by her detractors and her idolaters (neither of whom sees her in a true light, but for opposite reasons) is Ayn Rand. Her characterization of men like Ellsworth Toohey or Robert Stadler is crisp, concise, and perfect.

Now, there are those who say these villains are cardboard, two dimensional, and unrealistic: but I have met too many Tooheys and Stadlers in real life, or read their words, men who talked and thought just like them. Keynes the fake economist is one; so is Peter Singer, fake ethicist; so is Noam Chomsky, who practices the same “White Blackmail” Rand frequently describes, where a victim is held hostage not for his flaws, but for his virtues. If America were half the evil things Chomsky claimed we were, none of us would care a tuppence whether the claims were true.

Evil Socrates is actually one of my favorite villains, up there with Magneto or Milton’s Lucifer.

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Socratic Irony

Posted January 14, 2017 By John C Wright

A dialogue:

JCW: Do you or do you not think Socrates knew the answers to the questions he posed?

SJ: You know, that’s a surprisingly good question.

JCW: (Says nothing, but puffs out his chest a bit, sticking his thumbs in both lapels, rocking back and forth slightly on the balls of his feet, and trying to look nonchalant and failing.)

SJ: In the little time I had in university that was dedicated to the classics (I focused more on English literature than classical philosophy), my professors seemed as best I can recall to operate on the assumption that Socrates did know what those he questioned were going to answer, and so I have always tended to assume the same.

But I don’t think we ever actually examined that assumption itself and I am now realizing that it was only an assumption. (Another hangover from too many legal dramas, perhaps; we assume that a philosopher, like a lawyer, is trying to prove a case, and thus never asks a question in public where he isn’t already certain of the answer.)

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Hope in Secondary Worlds

Posted January 14, 2017 By John C Wright

A reader’s question had me pondering the difference between the secondary worlds invented by Christians, such as Narnia and Middle Earth, and those invented by heathens, such as Earthsea, or The Dying Earth.

I am beginning to believe the difference between the two worlds we make are profounder than what it first seems, and this is because the difference in the worldview is profound.

In the Christian worldview, no final victory here in his world is possible, but that final victory when the world is remade is inevitable. Hence, in Middle Earth, the men of the west struggle onward without any glimmer of hope. The hopelessness of the quest is emphasized in many places (including in the true meaning of Strider’s true name). In Narnia, nothing done by Tirion can halt the Last Battle or the final downfall of night. In both cases, the protagonists are humble: schoolchildren or hobbits.  Read the remainder of this entry »

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Adventurer Conqueror King for UMDF

Posted January 13, 2017 By John C Wright

This is an announcement from one of my editors (Vox Day) concerning a game system designed by another of my editors (Alexander Macris). Both of them are nice guys. And this is for charity (the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation).

This is an excellent deal for role-playing gamers from Autarch. I have Domains at War and backed the Sinister Stone Kickstarter, and it’s all extremely well done. I’m not much of an RPG guy, but I know good game design when I see it, and Alex is very good.

We are pleased to announce that our friends at Bundle of Holding, driving their enemies before them and hearing the lamentations of their spouses and Significant Others, have launched the Adventurer Conqueror King System Bundle, featuring the Adventurer Conqueror King System. The offer is available here:

This discounted offer brings you almost the entire Adventurer Conqueror King System product line as DRM-free .PDF ebooks. For just US$9.95 you get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $40):

  •     Adventurer Conqueror King System (retail price $10): The complete corebook with comprehensive, integrated support for play across all levels of a campaign. (Previously presented in the November 2013 Old School Revival offer.)
  •     ACKS Player’s Companion (retail $10): Add 19 new ACKS character classes, and get under the hood to create your own classes.
  •     Domains at War: Campaigns (retail $7.50): Chart your heroes’ rise to power with these rules for comprehensive military actions among kingdoms.
  •     The Sinister Stone of Sakkara (retail $10): This ideal introductory adventure highlights everything ACKS brings to your gaming table.
  •     Auran Empire Primer (retail $2.50): An introduction to the official ACKS campaign setting, a not-yet-fallen empire in late Antiquity ripe for conquest.

And if you pay more than the threshold price, you’ll level up and also get our entire Bonus Collection with seven more titles (retail value $55):

  •     Dwimmermount (ACKS version, retail $10): Autarch’s colossal 400-page science-fantasy megadungeon and campaign setting. Includes the Dungeon Tracker (retail $10), Map Book (retail $7.50), and Illustration Book (retail $5). (We presented the Labyrinth Lord version of Dwimmermount in the November 2015 OSR +4. The supplements are new to this offer and work with both versions.)
  •     Domains at War: Battles and Troops and Terrain (retail $7.50 each): Conduct the landmark conflicts from your Campaigns actions as easily as you run character combats.
  •     Lairs & Encounters (retail $10): More than 165 ready-to-play monster lairs, plus rules for creating and advancing monsters fit to challenge a kingdom.

And Help Pay For a Cure Disease Spell

Ten percent of your payment (after payment gateway fees) goes to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. The UMDF is a charity near and dear to lead designer Alexander Macris (that’s me!) My wife, Amy, was the first player to run a bladedancer in the Auran Empire. She is now so sick with mitochondrial disease that she can’t even play tabletop RPGs with us at all. Her illness has no cure and only limited treatments; the UMDF is trying to change that for her and countless other sufferers around the world.

Click here to get your Bundle of Holding now.

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Superluminary, Episode 35 The Great Void

Posted January 12, 2017 By John C Wright

Superluminary, Episode 35 THE GREAT VOID is posted on Patreon:

Episode 35 The Great Void

In this exciting episode, as the World Armada hangs in the great void between the arms of the galaxy, an unexpected enemy strikes at the throne.

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