So shallow, it’s deep.
Like a mirror.
I want to say I miss writing, but I can’t.
I haven’t actually stopped writing this time.
The past one and a half years this blog has been up, there have been several occasions where I’ve had to stop writing for whatever reason, and every time I come back I worry that I’ve forgotten how to write. I’d look over some of my old entries, some of my favorites, and then some others I’d spent a lot of energy writing yet the final product produced was not one I particularly enjoyed reading. How am I going to not going to make a fool of myself, What kind of image was I generally painting before and how do I get back to that? There’d always be a couple of hiccups, but the rhythm came back eventually. Perhaps the melody changed a bit each time, but that’s inevitable. Preferable even; I’ve hoped to keep this blog away from the textbook-style problem-solution posts some single-topic blogs usually turn into.
This time the rhythm never went away. A rest was planned, but an interlude happened instead.
This “chain of short stories” style that I’ve tried out in Intermissions is a good format. It allows directness in the immediate without directness in the whole, indirectness in the whole without indirectness in the immediate. There are certain things which can be said in this style that cannot be said, or are conveyed much less effectively, in writing where everything is made explicit first and then things are brought up from ground zero. By “cannot”, I mean more that they “should not”, in the same sense that you should not be asking someone to go out to buy you pizza or snow bubble. These things simply are not the same if you are not there to experience it as they happen. Can you still have them in the other fashion? No one says you cannot have warm soda. But I will not produce it anymore, now that I have seen how to keep it cold. In a world of hyper accurate data and more colorful than life pictures, it requires some strength of imagination to see how delivering it differently changes the “actual content”. In this analogy, I will only produce photographs of certain things in black and white.
It also allows me to be personal without being personal. As much as I value removing the “me” off the stage so I can direct the spotlight onto the idea, every so often I’d stop the show and have something where I simply rant without nearly as much discretion or finesse. These are fine, and perhaps necessary: anger is good so long as its execution is attempted coherently and cohesively. But I have more things in my head, and want to convey more things, than simply pure anger or pure thought. Mysticism too has a place and some of its points should be developed more fully: anger already makes cameos with sarcasm and thoughts appear with tangential questions, magic too should also have more than a simple poetic arrangement of words here or there. Ironically, they appear to be much cleaner posts. Keeping a pure-thought post is very difficult, and pure-anger is always going to be dirty, but a pure-magic can easily be kept clean by directing whatever kind of energy I have at the moment to a different section of the post. If there is a switch of energy type, I work the other sections and come back later.
When I realized I don’t aim to be a “content creator” or someone who must create novel things at a nitpick rate, it really doesn’t feel like I’ve stopped at all.
Just a little change in course, the boat never set down anchor.
The main justification for the planned hiatus was the Engineer in Training, or Fundamentals of Engineering exam. That exam occurred yesterday, so the reason no longer exists. It will not exist again in the future even if I have to retake it, unless they dramatically change its format – its format is the most important thing.
The FE/EIT was different from what I had expected. My only knowledge of it came from my dad and my uncles, who took it thirty or so years ago. Of course I had the little bulletpoints data from various sources including the NCEES itself, but they are the colorings to the main structure, which I build from listening to the experience of others. I was told that the first half was multiple choice and the second half was long answer, so I prepared for that. When I found out that both halves were now multiple choice, I still prepared to show every single step. When I found out the second half was 60 questions and not 10 or fewer, and the first half was 120 questions, I pressurized my prior understanding of the evidence and deduced it would be an extremely hard exam.
But it wasn’t. And this can be said regardless of whether I end up passing or not, because the structure is different.
Some preliminary numbers. These reflect only my experience of the April 2013 FE Exam in “Other Disciplines”. Re-note that I expected a very different exam going into the test, and did not realize it was different from what I expected until I completed my first pass on the first half. Absorbing this knowledge will probably have effects on how you think of the test and thus also how you approach studying it. Though I did not study all too much in the end, I did drop many things in the anticipation of needing to be completely thorough (my default understanding of any test is that I have to ace not relative to my peers, but relative to the test). Mental state is important.
This discussion does not violate the NCEES Candidate agreement. No “disclosing of exam questions, problems, or answers” occurs.
AM: 4 hours, 120 questions – avg 2 min/question
Total time to complete: 4 hours
First pass: ~3 hours, 23/120 skipped (19.2%) – avg 1.8 min/question completed
Final pass: 4 hours, 0 skipped – avg 2.6 min/qC
Other: 10/23 were on one topic.
PM: 4 hours, 60 questions – avg 4 min/question
Total time to complete: 3 hours 45 minutes
First pass: ~90 minutes, 18/60 skipped (30%) – avg 2.1 min/qC
Second pass: +~110 minutes, 6/60 skipped (10%) – avg 9.2 min/qC
Final pass: +~45 minutes, 0 skipped – avg 7.5 min/qC
The FE exam has no truly complex problems.
All of the questions are written in such a way so that you either know it or you don’t. Ignoring reading errors or something procedural, it is technically possible to do every problem with no pauses for “Hmm, what do I do next?”. The average for first pass of all completed problems would probably be closer to about 1.2 for both the first and second halves, if you omitted pondering over the questions that weren’t done on the first pass. There were a handful of problems which took a couple of minutes for simply executing the math, but the conceptual setup was two or fewer steps for every single problem. Every problem that was doable was hit-and-go: read, understand, scan possible answers for an obvious choice, if not then execute and plug in calculator. On the first passes, I did not use the supplied reference manual. Some things on there were trivia questions, trivia both as “superfluous” and as “fundamental”. After a year or so with engineering courses that take an hour or three per homework problem, this was very different.
The second pass was when the reference manual came in. For all the problems requiring knowledge you don’t have or can’t bring up on the spot, it is in the manual (except for those trivia questions). If the first pass was about memory and recall, the second pass was about searching quickly. Though the answers are basically in the reference manual for every problem, the problem is whether or not you can find the information in time. The reference manual is 264 pages with a noninsignificant density of equations and words on each page. It is not exactly an answer key; you must be able to disseminate effectively with your time. This applies also to the problems themselves: are you understanding what the problem is asking? This was my trouble with the economics problems, which were the 10/23 I skipped on the first pass of the first half.
But they were all doable in the end. In a sense, all problems were hit-and-go. I hit all the problems. I just didn’t, on some of them, go very quickly after hitting because I didn’t understand what was going on. Understanding what is going on is also a skill, and I think it is something underrated in this “information-driven world”. The way the exam is set up, it was very clear that the “Other Disciplines” or “General” engineer really didn’t need to study completely in depth what toxicology or biology topics there were. Don’t remember the formula for sonic booms, or never even learned about concrete? That’s fine. There’s a book here. Can you find what you need, and can you understand what it says in the standardized way we have written it in?I think it is the essence of thinking and learning. Learning always will require “regurgitation” of some manner, otherwise it’d be creation. But there is a difference between linear storage and reproduction and its nonlinear “counterpart”. For the former, both the source and the receiver are obvious, and no mental motion or agility is necessary. For the latter, you don’t know where you’re going to find the information you need; finding the source is part of the work.
NCEES could not allow simply open book everything due to the existence of telecommunications, but a 264 page handbook is pretty close to that.
At least in structure, I think the FE/EIT is a respectable test.
It’s been a while since I’ve made a non-magical-style post. According to dating, “Journey” was posted on 1/14, so exactly three months. I believe most of the occurrences were covered one way or another inside sections of the Intermissions, so I’ll go over just a list of things that have occurred that I’ve not posted about due to a desire to keep a fluency.
- New Year’s Resolution has not been dropped, though liberties have been taken. Jan-Feb had two books: Hagakure, which fit the age requirement, and Antifragile, which fit the length requirement. They were both influential books, though perhaps not as influential as they would be had I written my thoughts on them. I plan on rereading Antifragile eventually, as it has a wealth of various ideas I did not fully absorb on this first pass. My memory of the book is centered around the chapter “Via Negativa”, which is very similar to my not so concise “All else is halation” (they are both what they sound like). Hagakure I am currently rereading and collecting the best quotes. At the very least my quotes list will be modified with a couple of entries from Hagakure, but I may also make a post on what I found were the best quotes, or even do an Art of War additional commentary style along with it. Current reading for March-April was not decided on until last week or so; George Fitzhugh’s “Sociology for the South: The Failure of Free Society”. Will probably spill over into May.
- I have not been reading any Manosphere posts, and will remove them from the blogroll sometime in the near future. Some exceptions of course, being those that have very intelligent writers and can be used to train the mind with “game” or “pick up artistry” simply happening to be the training ground. While I continue to respect their viewpoint and will read the world with a more conscious eye towards women, I do not think the direction is very respectable. For the more respectable ones there is a lack of direction, for the less respectable ones they are creating misdirections. There is a site called “Return of Kings”, about picking up women. Is that what it means to be a king? How much you can market yourself to women? I do not think so.
- No more videogames. Ever since I posted the quote about videogames from Muv-Luv Unlimited here, I’ve basically stopped. I want to play with friends, but I have no friends to play with who understand games in the same fashion (which is necessary). However, this has also led me to realize that I’ve always had something to play that trains my mind at speed and precise [analog] positioning. Now with no more video games, I have been searching for something to fill the gap. The potential solution at the moment is music. I have obtained an old electronic piano, and am looking at obtaining an electric violin.
- Sleep has been getting lighter and shorter. This is partially due to the hotter temperatures and the fact that my room is situated above the AC unit of the apartment below, but also due to other untraced reasons.
- I’m going to continue linking back to previous important entries. This one will have links in time, just lazy at the moment. The intermissions will not be retroactively edited in this manner, though future magic-style posts will probably have them, at least in certain sections.
- I am not quitting cycling. I like going fast.
- However, I am “quitting” engineering. Though completely shitty classes, uncaring professors, and a complete disconnect between the stories I hear from the older generation to what I see and experience with applying for jobs and internships, civilization has managed to break my dream of expanding to space. It is fairly clear to me there is no place for anyone in this world. It is all too easy now to see that the world does not actually “need” more engineers. If you need someone, you do not make them crawl and beg. In retrospect it’s obvious. Silicon Valley needs more science majors? Sure they do, and they’ll continue importing them from India. Does this make me bitchy? As much as I love the Glengarry Glen Ross speech from Alec Baldwin, that existed in a context of a different world. There is no “other context” in this world anymore, not as far as I can see. If anything the foreground and background have switched places: now the wife you used to go home to is doing PR, and the man who worked cutthroat is doing everything behind the scenes. There is nothing left. If you truly need no one else, can forge your own existence from nothing to something, and hold everything off for all time… good for you. I cannot. Does this make me weak? I’d like to think that, in the context of the rest of my personality, it makes me human.
I discovered this man yesterday. He has my greatest respect for any political leader of all time.
I will probably not be posting any particular thoughts on him in the future, as I will be busy for -hopefully- a long while simply reading and learning (though I may have some posts with just quotes from him). He is an honest leader of a sort I have not seen at the stakes level that he plays at, and his communication skills and patience appear infinite. This is clear in interviews of him when he was 40, and it is still clear in interviews of him today at almost 90. To say things so consistently over so many decades is phenomenal; we have politicians today claiming to change fundamental beliefs every election cycle, asking the people, “Don’t you change your mind too? Is it so unreasonable?” But all which fits in the bounds of reason is not identical to all which fits within the bounds of strength. What is reasonable to the people in simply avoiding death is significantly broader than what is reasonable to a leader attempting to build a nation. The leader has much fewer choices, and he must make the right one.
Most people look to retire at 50 or 60, and are fine with being senile by 70. Here is a man who is 90 and more articulate than many who are 20.
Others have said his words, but few have both said his words and achieved what he has achieved. Dictator? Let us assume this is true. Would you rather have choice and corruption, or very little choice and very little corruption? The fact that one is able to think about such matters means that the large things are already being taken care of. Not “been taken care of”, “are being taken care of”. In one interview, not one of the below because there are too many (or alternatively, I lack the skill to sort which ones are absolutely better), his analysis of young people in Singapore today is that they believe “we have arrived”. That everything can simply now go on autopilot. But that is not true, and never is true. Simply because a riot of a certain kind was taken care of, does not mean that all riots of the same kind will no longer appear in the future, like some law of nature. We cannot write such laws. We write textbooks, and with education we have confused them with laws of nature, but we cannot write new laws of nature. There must always be a captain at the helm to give order to the rest.
We do not know when we may hit times and circumstances of need. Unknown unknowns exist, and they must be responded to effectively. We did not design reality, we do not design reality, we cannot design reality, no matter how much Sapir-Whorf is whacked over your head in all its politically correct forms. When the crisis has passed, the important questions about leaders are not, “Do I still have my Bill of Rights” or “Do I have a free liberal democratic society”. This is an ideological question, not a real question. Neither correct nor incorrect, because it is first misguided.
The important questions are, did we survive? Did we do well? Are we in a better position than before? Do we believe?
This man has successfully done all of these things for his people.
I allow my grandchildren to speak back to me. But from time to time, when they are out of bounds, I put them down. And when you make that statement without any evidence, I have to put it to you, get to the bottom of it, and you interviewed not 100 but 40, and [only] a few of them said “Oh, I’d rather not say” and therefore you assume that they were [all] “afraid”. How are they afraid, “because we terrify them”. Isn’t it your job to say there’s nothing to be afraid?
Why am I so strong against the media? Because they try to put us down, they twisted everything I said, that I was a communist, when they knew I wasn’t. So I told them in 1959, during the election campaign, as they were gunning for me, “When I win, I will show you how you have to behave yourself.”
You believe for a moment that my son, 53 years old, 54 coming onto, hasn’t a mind of his own? He needs me to whisper in his ear, how to answer, how to plan the future? [...] This is not a joke. We are not running this for ourselves. If we were, Singapore wouldn’t be what it is. And let me tell you this… If what you say is reflective of your generation, then I am a bit sad. But the generation that grew up with me – those over 55 are still 35% of the electorate. Those over 40 are 25%; they are 60%. I think you take a poll of that generation, and see whether they think I should step down.
“There’s an impression that the PAP is arrogant, or even bullying.”
“If I am arrogant, would I be talking to you?”
“It is said about you that you are increasingly aware of mortality.”
“Well I’ve been so for some time. At 88, how long more have i got?”
“But you’re not a religious man.”
“No, but that doesn’t stop me from contemplating… the ultimate.”
“And what do you think when you’re contemplating?”
“…Has the life I lived been worthwhile? Have I made the world around me or those who depended on my decisions, given them a better life? Am I happy with my family? And I think on most of them I give myself… a B+. That’s enough.”
“You’ve also said once that you do not judge a man before the coffin closes because he might do something foolish.”
“[laughs] That’s right. So I’ve got to be very careful.”
- Lee Kuan Yew
“To stand atop other people… is to bear a great many responsibilities, and hand down a great many decisions. As a result, governments and organizations have different beliefs and ideals depending on their positions. People are no different. When one wishes to do something, there are inevitably some who see it as good and others who see it as evil. However, if you are able to place yourself in different positions, then all of them will appear to be right.
And… although it is sad, there may not always be a path which satisfies each and every one of their wishes… No matter what you rely on at those times, or what path you show to those below you… If you hesitate at those times… then you must have the courage to stand still and look back at how you arrived there.
And… you must never hesitate to stain your own hands with blood. Those who show others the way must not avert their eyes from the weight of responsibility.”
- Yuuhi Koubuin, Muv-Luv Alternative
but rather, “I’m lonely”.
I chose a desk.
It was an obvious choice; my left-handed friend had taken an aisle seat so I’d take the second one to his right. Intelligence osmosis has never worked before, but perhaps this time at 8AM it would for the first time, maybe the stars were aligned in a manner I had not predicted, or perhaps it was just to ensure that at least one of the people sitting in my immediate vicinity would not disturb me during the test. But any reason that existed was not discovered for it was not necessary. Why sit next to friends? We’re not going to cheat, share materials, talk, leave at the same time, or derive any other particular benefit. And? There is no problem with failing to have a reason. Why question it to begin with? It’s a given. One does not question the givens. It would be like questioning procreation.
There was no particular goal for this test, which was the final for this class. It was supposed to be cumulative yet a focus on everything since the second midterm, meaning it would be at least 50% weighted on the last two chapters – and two thirds of the second chapter was taught to us on the last hour in the last day of class, 42 hours ago. Or perhaps the word should be not “taught” but “mentioned”, because all the not “professor” but…. well, I don’t know a respectable replacement, did was put 50 pages of PDFs online, in a scattershot attempt to cover all the material which was dictated in the original description of the course. But back to the math: assuming equal weight between both of the last two chapters, that would be 2/3*1/2*4/10 of the final’s material only “mentioned”: 13.3% of your course grade. Then again, syllabi always talk about how students will be “proficient” by the end of the course, so perhaps we shouldn’t have been taking it so seriously to begin with? That one other “professor” did tell us one third, or was it two thirds, of all that we learn in university will be obsolete within seven years.
The man on the internet was right, universities are hedge funds.
The plan was to retake this course in the summer. For engineers, the [narrative of the] stairway to heaven requires an internship in or before the summer after the third year. [narrative] may not be the best word for it, because it seems like nobody really believes it, at least there are judges who truly believe in the Constitution and the justice of law. When I ask those who have already been in the field, the professionals, they refuse to tell me what the response rate is. Just keep applying to everything you can, they say, if there’s a minute of your waking life where you aren’t studying or performing functions to keep your body above minimal functionality you should be applying, they imply. Friends in other majors get a response rate of about 1/8. All those I know in my major get a response rate of about 0/8, unless it was a fully automated system where there was not even a pretense that there was more than a computer searching for buzzwords. Perhaps I should get a sex change operation, because it’s interesting how girl here or girl there gets a job in europe with some international corporation. No, I should stop being facetious. It is not at all interesting. So since even that works against me, But you can’t say that because your evidence is only anecdotal they say, Yes, but I’m correct; may as well retake and truly learn, because that’s what companies look for in the resume. Five more kilos, thank you for your business.
Waking up that morning was only so it was impossible for any to write up my grade as an Incomplete and force a retake of the final by this same “professor”. I refused to do the last homework, which was due 15 hours beforehand, inside finals week. The system as it is already had no dead week for review time, I intended to make as much as I could out of my time as was reasonably expected. Conceptual review of the entire course, with the main problem types for each chapter. Discussed with friends the new material and how to mentally approach each, even though I had no actual practice on the execution.
The professor passed out the tests, I looked at the distribution of problems.
We were wrong: 2/3*1/1*4/10
I don’t remember how it came to be.
I had come to this town with nothing, and started from the bottom. Became familiar to the locals and built true wealth, perhaps sweat and emotions were never too far away, but bread is not sweet if you are not hungry. Why did I come here? Perhaps there was a reason, and as with all important reasons, I would remember it again. It felt like that time was coming. This was a story, after all. But someone who I had known from before, a veritable brother considering only birthplace, appeared. And he took it all.
And by the time my doubt had caught up with reality, it was a party, my party in fact. All the locals had thrown one for me, because I was going away, and that’s what you do for friends, right? Except no one was talking to me, and I was sitting alone next to the wooden wall of a hall I’d helped build. Everyone else was further down, towards the stalls. It looked like a traditional festival if you warmed your eyes a bit, which wasn’t difficult at all considering the weather was perfect. I had seen something like this coming, a little. Of course I had at least this much respect among the people.
But even I didn’t know I was going away. Where was I going? The time hadn’t come yet. It was too early.
The “man of honor” was perhaps the best dressed, because no one knew better than him where I was going. He walked towards me, across the open field of saturated greens and wine blues, a straight line. No one from the lights in the distance noticed. He sat down next to me, the dirt ground not suiting his suit, between me and the setting sun.
“If there was one thing I wish I could’ve done differently…”
“If there was one thing I wish I could’ve done differently–”
He got up, looked to his right. Breathed in, then out.
“Okay, nevermind. …Goodbye.”
“Oh, so you actually only wanted to talk. Fuck you, then. Run away.”
But I was the one running away, from taking back justice with my hands.
Sometimes I ignore you so I feel in control
Cause really, I adore you, and I can’t leave you alone
Fed up with the fantasies, they cover what is wrong
Come on, baby, let’s just, get drunk, forget we don’t get on
You like my dad, you get on well
I send my best, regards from hell
It almost feels like a joke to play out the part
When you are not the starring role in someone else’s heart
You know I’d rather walk alone, than play a supporting role
If I can’t get the starring role
- lyrics from Starring Role
“Proof is unnecessary! It’s a Devil’s Proof. It’s impossible to find a hidden door and therefore impossible to disprove that it exists! Therefore, no one can deny the possibility that Kinzo escaped from this study through a hidden door!”
“I will not allow a hidden door to exist in this ROOM.”
“Wh, why can someone like you, who is neither the owner of the study nor the Game Master… use the red truth…?! And what was that?! What do you mean you ‘will not allow’ hidden doors to exist?!”
“In this world, there are no other gods except our god, and no hidden doors EXIST. They must not EXIST, we won’t let them EXIST. It is blasphemy against our GOD.”
“Enough pride in you to shock a witch. Hah, it’s a pleasure greater than shock!”
“As I thought, you’re no different from any witch after ALL. I’m DISAPPOINTED.”
“It’s possible that, after slipping out the door, Kinzo noticed the trick with the receipt and correctly returned it to its original place.”
“Denial of that with the red has already been FINISHED. After 23:00, the door to the study was not opened even ONCE.”
“Kinzo might have been a marvelous magician and an inventor, right?! He might have invented a drug that turns his body into mist and slipped out through the keyhole!”
“No such drug EXISTS. It must not EXIST.”
“Or maybe he invented a teleport device, right?! That possibility is impossible to deny because of the Devil’s Proof!”
“Such a machine does not EXIST. I will not allow it to EXIST.”
“Oh, so you can examine every drug in the world? You can deny the existence of unknown scientific devices?! There’s no way you can, it’s a Devil’s Proof! You cannot deny that they might exist!”
“I will REPEAT. By the name of god, I will not let such a drug or machine EXIST. I will not allow them to exist for all ETERNITY.”
“The future, too?! Oho, so you think you can deny something into the future of the human race?!”
“The progression of humanity, as well as techniques and knowledge that might be obtainable in the future, are decided upon by our GOD. And the denial of their existence has been proclaimed for ETERNITY. Therefore, I will not allow such a technique to exist for all ETERNITY. It is not PERMITTED.”
“Is that ALL? There was no need for me to come HERE. I’m DISAPPOINTED.”
“I’m not done yet. I was just testing a few moves just now. I was only trying to measure your abilities… The time for playing is over. Here I go. In that case, I shall acknowledge that Kinzo did not enter or leave the study. Why don’t I accept your closed room?”
“Natushi claims to have ‘talked with Kinzo in the study’, but she never said that she spoke with him face to face. Therefore, if Kinzo was in a location other than the study, there is no contradiction as long as they held a conversation.”
“Natsuhi used the internal phone line in this study to speak with Kinzo, who was in another place! There’s nothing strange about Kinzo, who hates the relatives, predicting that they would enter his study and leaving to go elsewhere. He might have gone to the hidden mansion, Kuwadorian! I’ve got more, so get ready. There’s a chance that the Kinzo Natsuhi mentioned does not refer to the person himself! The Kinzo Natsuhi spoke of might have been another name for this room, right? Kinzo had taken refuge in Kuwadorian and was impossible to contact. Perhaps Natsuhi called this room ‘Father’, and by contemplating inside of it, she felt as though she had received some sort of revelation from Kinzo!”
“…Interesting. Is that ALL?”
“You don’t call it a full course dinner if you stop at the soups and hors d’oeuvres! I’ll hit you with the main dish and the dessert at once, so watch your stomach explode and die! Even if, as you say, this is a closed room and impossible to escape from, you can’t deny the possibility that he is still hiding in this room. I’m not talking about a hidden door! He might be under the bed or above the ceiling! He might be hiding in a truly unobtrusive blind spot that only demons could know of, right?! Or, it might be that Natsuhi, who was ordered to speak specially on Kinzo’s behalf, considered herself both his representative and another Kinzo! In other words, it’s possible that Natsuhi was also Kinzo! I’ve got plenty more! At 23:00 last night, Kinzo escaped out the window! Natsuhi watched him go, then locked the window! This doesn’t lead to any problems. In fact, it might be the most beautiful blue truth yet! How’s that?! Dlanor A. Knox?! Hyahahahahahah! There are many ways to escape from this closed room!”
“All that remains… is this one WEDGE. It was about Kinzo hiding somewhere in this room, CORRECT? …Allow me to ASK. Just where in this study is Kinzo HIDING?”
“Heheh… well then… Maybe he’s under the bed?!”
“A check of that place has been FINISHED.”
“Maybe he’s in the bathtub!”
“A check of that place has been FINISHED.”
“Inside the closet! Under the desk! Behind the curtains!”
“A check of that place has been FINISHED. Check FINISHED. Check FINISHED.”
“Behind the bookshelf, behind the closet, under the carpet, under the floor, above the ceiling, behind the wallpaper, inside the sofa, inside the chair, inside the bed, inside the blankets, inside the walls, inside a rock, inside a stone, inside the room!”
CheckFINISHED checkFINISHED checkFINISHED
<Die The Death>!
<Sentence To Death>!
<Great Equalizer Is The Death>!
“[...] golem chess, the asura thing with golems that isn’t chess, keg brawl, there’s even a stupid jumping minigame that’s everywhere.”
“But that’s variety. You’re never going to run out of things to do.”
“What’s the most important thing for a game?”
“To have fun.”
“Can we agree that “to have fun” for the players is equivalent to “making the players want to play the game” for the developers?”
“Is having more things to do sufficient to make people want to play a game?”
I discovered that I had been intuitively using the less-is-more idea as an aid in decision making (contrary to the method of putting a series of pros and cons side by side on a computer screen). For instance, if you have more than one reason to do something (choose a doctor or veterinarian, hire a gardener or an employee, marry a person, go on a trip), just don’t do it. It does not mean that one reason is better than two, just that by invoking more than one reason you are trying to convince yourself to do something. Obvious decisions (robust to error) require no more than a single reason. Likewise the French army had a heuristic to reject excuses for absenteeism for more than one reason, like death of grandmother, cold virus, and being bitten by a boar. If someone attacks a book or idea by using more than one argument, you know that it is not real: nobody says “he is a criminal, he has killed many people, and he also has bad table manners and bad breath and is a very poor driver.”
The air shone brightly, and the piece Erika had guided there showed its form… That form resembled a clergy member perfectly suited for confronting an evil witch…
“Pleased to meet you. Dlanor A. Knox is my NAME.” Even though this space was like a bomb just waiting to go off, she introduced herself in a neat and frank manner. …Her out-of-place appearance, completely different from those of demons and witches, felt blatantly odd and had a kind of severity to it.
“…This is the first time I’ve met you, but I’ve heard all the rumors. Therefore, this truly doesn’t feel like a first meeting.”
“The same goes for me, <Miss> Beatrice. The detailed materials about you in Eiserne Jungfrau are summarized in 600 PAGES. I always read those, so this doesn’t feel like a first meeting to me EITHER.”
“The secretary of hell could summarize those 600 pages into 6 letters.”
“Allow me to ASK.”
“That’s a good SUMMARY. When I get back, out of respect to you, I will summarize the materials related to you with only two more letters than that, a total of eight LETTERS.”
“<E x e c u t e d>.”
- Dlanor A. Knox, Beatrice, Erika Furudo, from Umineko no Naku Koro Ni: Chiru
“There is nothing that is not healed with TIME. And there is no truth that cannot be reached if you spend enough time SEARCHING. …However, all trials have a limited time in which the truth must be DECIDED. Therefore, a truth that cannot be reached within that limited time cannot become TRUTH.”
In other words, once a certain limited time has passed, the truth inside it is sealed for some period of time where it has absolute authority. Though note, often, this “period of time” only needs to extend past the attention span of all involved. It matters not if the truth can be changed in the future, if that which the truth governs has changed irrevocably due to the truth at that time. And it usually does, due to the function of time called entropy. Or perhaps time is entropy.
This is why decisions must be swift, why vigilance and discipline are important, or, why opportunities and time wait for no one.
What exists is not truth at t=∞, what exists as “truth exists at t=∞” is a kind of passive faith. The discovery of this is simple; by what means do you see that truth exists there? Do you have a time machine? Or is it merely an interpolation, because truths get overwritten in time? If simpler explanations truly are preferred, then the theory should not be that truth exists at t=∞, but that truth is the story of the present time.
That being said, it is not that truth at t=∞ does not exist. Again, there is no way to show what happens at eternity, nor, as has just been shown, what happens as t goes beyond the present time. If it does exist, it is a truth of great power, one which exists by definition on the level of prophecy. Pursuing this truth often has the cost of forgoing all the truths inbetween, which you may or may not choose to do, depending on which side of the scale you want to fall upon. Or perhaps more visibly, which scale you are choosing to model reality with, but reality only has one scale – are you modelling with the right one? So even those who seek truth at t=∞ must use models with truth at t=n, and improve it at t=n-1. So which truth is more important after all?
It may be important to be mindful of the time attribute of all beliefs/truths you hold, to note that they are true because they are true now, or because they are true always. Please ignore significance when evaluating this, it is a clouding factor and not a clarifying one. Comparing the sizes of objects does not require the input of their colors.
If truth at t=∞ does exist, we would only be able to comprehend it by the same model we do now: if something is called truth it must be similar in attributes to all other truths, so it must fit under the same definition – it must be created, have won out over all other truths inside a certain timeframe, and at t=n must not be subject to doubt or change due to the forces of entropy.
At t=n, around t=n, but perhaps not much further beyond in either direction. Any truth can always be attacked from the past by the revelations of shifting sands, and from the future, by any new rulings. It only matters that it holds at t=n because, again, entropy also works in the other direction.
Ergo, again, their creations must be swift and decisive.
The approach in the creation of a truth at t=∞, however, has always been to expand linearly from a point that has already been captured. An argument or a case has been won somewhere, therefore we must use it again, and build on top of it! With all due respect to the ancients and correctly acknowledging the shoulders of giants, they take no actual function in gaining the ground at t=n. Gaining ground at t=n is not the same as using previously gained ground from a previous t=n. This is an important distinction. Ideas are more similar to food than stones: they rot quickly regardless, and attempting to extend the expiration date of something cooked a long time ago does not make it more desirable at t=n. Of course, any truth which holds for more t is stronger. But reviving the dying, who have already mostly fallen due to law of exponential decay, is not a solution with a high probability of succeeding. Or perhaps we can simply go with “inelegant”, as “beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all you know on this earth and all you need to know”.
To build truth at t=∞, it would require at least an iteration of itself at t=n, and thus, following all the same rules for truth-building at t=n: timing, discretion, focus, charisma, et cetera. The only difference is how much entropy enters the system. There appear two ways to counter entropy. One is to solve it: the creation of a truth so powerful, it overcomes the Second Law itself. A truth that brings t=n=∞, ending the World. We will assume this is not possible. Two is to stave it: entropy can only begin its natural process at a certain speed and only after the creation. If truth is created again and again, it never truly disintegrates.
In other words, t=n would not be one point in time. t=n is the time of creation: it would happen more than once. While its domain is potentially infinite, it is not uncountable. By its nature there must be local maximums, high enough to rise above the noise to become signal, but not so frequent that the signal itself cannot be perceived. A t=∞ truth is a t=n truth that must happen once… then again… and again… again… and again… each time strong, then silent, strong, silent, strong, until the end of time.