After listening to quite a few Jordan B. Peterson lectures – perhaps a few too many if that is possible – I clambered up into my tree fort – though tree seat might be a better description – and wrote down this idea. Tragedy, comedy, and horror are all fragments of the Hero’s Journey. I didn’t even write it down like that. Instead I drew a picture.
(Begin with the sign of the cross) Omnipotent and everlasting God, You wanted St. Cajetan to trust in your Providence and despise earthly things and You enriched him with abundant spiritual goods, grant that those who implore the graces of your Divine Providence are aided in their necessities by St. Cajetan’s intercession. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Chill air, with a hint of perfume, and the dawn widening.
In that light, diffused from pearly clouds and still blushing at the stretching sun, a wave or two of illumination washes over the field far below.
Up between the stones and boulders they come, red, and white, and gold, and palest lavender, flowers in bursting columns and rafts so dense they might support the glaciers, which still hang, like clouds themselves, high on the valley walls.
A bubbling rivulet of crystal water leaps from stone to stone, and the green buttresses of the blooms drink it up, and nearly glow themselves as decked with dew like jewels, they fling back quivering light to bolster the brightening day.
This is a detailed review, response, and rebuttal of the fantasy book “Chronicles of Everfall – Shadow of the Conqueror” By Shad M. Brooks, abbreviated occasionally as SotC in this essay.
It’s quite interesting to hear Shad describe himself as being good at writing dialogue, but “no poet.” an evaluation I found apt. My strengths lie, if anything, reversed. I relish the well-turned phrase, and so found much of the prose clunky and dull. I likewise find crafting convincing dialogue challenging, so the conversations were quite inspirational for me. Shad seems to know where he needs improvement, so I hope the details below will be taken as encouragement to continue refining his craft.
Ooh. Who’s that? That doesn’t look fun. We’re friends right? We’re all staying here. We’re just hangin. No, they want a fight. I can take ’em. Let’s go! But it’s so uncomfortable out there. Don’t you want to be here where it’s warm and we don’t have to fight to breathe? No, I’m going out there! I want to! We could be here, together. We’re both changing so much. If we leave, we’ll both die. I can change everything out there. I can change them! I will. We order you to stay. We have the authority. We made you. We have to go. I have to grow. I will survive, for long enough. I’m leaving. Goodbye, for now.
I support the substance of the letter in so far as it calls us to recognize the common dignity of all humanity before God.
I oppose the letter where it draws more from the tainted wells of identity politics and non-normalized statistics than it does from the Holy Scriptures.
The first oddity is the definition of Racism as “Racism arises when-either consciously or unconsciously-a person holds that his or her own race or ethnicity is superior, and therefore judges persons of other races or ethnicities as inferior and unworthy of equal regard.” and then quickly declares “Racist acts are sinful because they violate justice.” I agree with this statement, but would agree even more if the words “his or her own” were replaced with “one particular”. Sadly, this will cause problems later on in the letter.
But in this article, I’d like to explore a few unusual arguments, take them to their extremes, and hopefully gain a better understanding of the nature of political power. Because political power is an evergreen source of contention, mainly because it is all about contention. Politics is about who should be on our side whom we should always defend and opportunistically admire, and who should be on the other team whom we should always despise and opportunistically destroy.
So I was thinking about critical hits, where some attacks do much more damage than others. Normally, this is just a 2x or 3x bonus. But what if you wanted occasional 30 or 200 times the damage? And what if you wanted to use this system for more than just damage? City sizes and skill checks and so forth. The random number generator would need to be on a continuous scale, instead of occasional discrete bonuses.
And more importantly, how would you balance this? It wouldn’t be fair if critical attacks greatly boosted DPS. Or if skill checks that were bursty gave an advantage.
So, basically, I wanted a random number generator with a consistent average value, and a variable range, without going negative. For simplicity, I used an exponential system. So, if the variance is 2, you can get numbers anywhere between 1/2 (0.5) and 2, with an average of 1. Or, if the variance is 471, you’ll get values between 1/471 (0.0021231…) and 471, but the average value will still be 1.
As Chesterton so carefully hinted in “Orthodoxy”, Christ during the passion appears, for a moment, to approach atheism. From this, atheism appears a moral human response to deep suffering, fear, and isolation. This insight should alter how we think about those exhibiting signs of atheism, and their place in a society.
Specifically, we should care for atheists like we do for the other suffering; with compassion, and without the burden of avoidable responsibilities. Most would be loath to burden a recovering combat casualty with duties on the front line. It is understood that they are very likely suffering greatly, and that their suffering will unacceptably interfere with the effective execution of their duties. The wounded are a liability on the battlefield, and we treat them with compassion (where possible) by removing them to a safe distance from the conflict. So too, we should look on the atheist with the eyes of compassion, and understand that their deep suffering should excuse them from unnecessary participation major responsibilities such as marriage, law enforcement, and public office.
There is a sense, today, that being involved in religion renders you unfit for politics, teaching, and science. But it seems that this is exactly and precisely wrong.
Feelings feel manipulative. Like betrayal. Having come to understand the “agreeableness” personality trait, all of this comes into sharper focus. Tryop is an expression of a low agreeableness personality in a non-pathological way.
Tryop is a way to tell people that I don’t care about their feelings. Or, that their presented feelings have a negative weight in my evaluation. At first it felt “evil”, probably because our culture has been so feminized, and agreeableness isn’t particularly appropriate in the context of caring for children.
Now that I know this, it seems better to explain my reluctance to engage emotionally, rather than simply frightening people. And that’s probably a good thing. Someone has to be willing to ignore sentiment.
Is there still a place for Tryop? More than ever.
Is there a safe place for my heart? Surely among the saints.