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last updated aug 2021

Morality emerges from power retroactively justifying itself–power 'creates its own logic' by changing the world and considers itself good by default.

The social construct presents itself to young people as a dead and rotting thing–there is no society any longer

Post-hoc rationalization || retroactive justification is a very common logical error in analysis. Leads to fabrication of false, shaky ideas. Assumes all ends were considered by those with means. Like I said before, morality is a post hoc rationalization of power.

Market mysticism–investors are modern alchemic rubes. They believe that by engendering certain qualities (reading a lot, meditating, having x number of goals) they can purify themselves and create Capital from nothing

Is anything external shown in the psychedelic experience? Even possibly?

Do systems really exist in the world, or are they just simulations? Is the language of nodes and connections fabricated?

the man taken by CEO GRINDSET aims at perpetual disruption and it believes that the power of his big brain can move the earth. Steve Jobs was retroactively made a prophet, and his death was the martyrdom that unleashed Silicon Valley on us all.

Theranos' product was impossible, but they believed that belief and GRIND would disrupt the fabric itself. In service of a new convenience or a profitable venture that ultimately squanders resources and enriches no one.

A "plugged in" person is an emotion-generating functioning. They take in an input stream not knowing why (everyone who uses Twitter wants to quit) and output consistent, marketable engagement in the form of high-intensity emotion. This came to me in a dream.

"Conservative mindset:" apprehends 'classical' culture purely as something petrified or taught. They can only re-present or imitate classical culture, and then only on the level of spectacle. They don't really like it (or they don't engage with it enough to know)–they only see that they should like it. This is why I own the Iliad and the Bible.

What allows politics to become culture? The simultaneous moralization of politics and of culture? Everything ends up getting run through the same moral framework (which is occult at least to those who apply it).

Morality is inappropriate in most situations. The liberal empowers the conservative by associating e.g. science with Goodness. Morality allows room to maneuver that the material reality of illnesses and vaccines does not. Reactionaries would still do what they do, of course, but without the blessing of God. Fewer conspiracists; amoral/scientific truths are weakly held by design.

Games have been neglected as a form of art because their themes aren't necessarily petrified in the work itself–a book's themes are necessarily in the text. It's fair to argue that experience necessarily colours analysis of books or movies, but even on a surface level games change a little bit every time you play them, and this is very different from any previous form of art [live performance is the closest 'medium' I can think of, but even then the underlying work is distinct from the performance itself, and they can be criticized separately (e.g. Shakespeare)]

If you take Dark Souls apart on a purely mechanical level and try to 'improve' it you get Dark Souls 3. It's arguably a better game in the sense of an entertaining toy but it doesn't add up to a better work of art.

Is love-as-praxis escapist? I do not think love is a radical act–that would reduce radicalism to an appearance. In my world where I am bloodless and disenfranchised, love feels like the only way to maintain any hope of change–even if I can make no claim to that change. The only faith that is possible is faith in others.

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Collapse complexity or face the nausea: Nothing matters or almost everything matters. Hope is just seeing meaning overflowing from all things, doesn't have to be "good" meaning–commodities and loved ones are both meaningful.

There are meaningless actions and things, because meaning is an imposition of the spirit on the world. Dying of cancer is meaningless–there is no "explanation" that makes it feel less like a black hole.

Meaning has a social character, but meaning becomes subjective in its interaction with individuals.

It is like a Higgs boson–a little thing that attaches to objects and gives them mass. I would conjecture that a pure idea cannot be meaningful. Meaning arises in praxis, not theory.

There is no future, so THE GRID sells warped hyper-realized nostalgia-commodities. It doesn't matter if you were there; the object has swallowed and digested and re-presented the experience (Bugsnax-like). Owning it is-was being there. This warps into the fabric of consumption events (limited editions) and we get The Szechuan Sauce Event. But "if this system cannot get you fake nostalgic sauce from a cartoon then it has no efficacy"

Themes in video games use the term the same way a 'themed birthday party' would, rather than the way a literary critic would. We have themes of cutting a guy with a sword, rather than, for example, existential despair. It's probably a limitation of the medium, but some games (DS) are able to use the action of cutting a guy with a sword to explore existential despair.

The way we think about game narratives is too narrow–they are considered a separate component of the game's 'system of systems'.

In Rain World, I saw the narrative as my reflection on my own journey. A narrative emerged from my engagement with the systems (& level design & so on). Rain World's story was my story of playing Rain World. RW is an amazing example insofar as it does this organically, but I wonder if all games have this to some extent.

Chess does not have a story. Tetris does not have a story. But there are stories of chess games and players. There are stories of Tetris games. These are qualities that don't exist with novels or movies; a story about reading the Naked Lunch is not a part of the Naked Lunch, while the progression and craft of a TGM3 player is part of Tetris.

That is, the experience of a TGM3 player is one that is co-authored by developer and player. There was an intent in the design of TGM3 that shapes the experience, but the particulars of the player's experience is singular and authored by the player in their relationship with the game.

Older forms of art have interpretations which are shaped by the particular relationship between reader and text, but these are not "the text". Games change in (small) qualitative ways depending on the player–this is a playstyle.

A player does not experience the story as a spectator of it, but as a participant; to engage with Rain World is to become entangled with it.

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