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Creating superpowers through “Yes, And” January 12th, 2016 Okay, so I’ve never actually done improv. But one of the basic principles is that you’re never supposed to deny and offer made by your partner. If your partner says “I just bought a pet zebra”, you don’t say, “No, you didn’t buy a zebra” because that leaves the scene with nowhere to go. Instead, ...

A Critical Review of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality March 25th, 2015 This is a critical review of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky. If you haven’t read it, be warned that this review contains major spoilers. I don’t mean “critical” with overtones of “faultfinder” or “censurer”. I mean “critical” as in “a judgement of the merits and faults”. If you really, really ...

The Metropolitan Man: Post Mortem February 27th, 2015 About a year ago I wrote a novel-length fanfic about Superman called The Metropolitan Man. This blog post will make absolutely no sense to you unless you’ve read that first, and, as per the title of this blog, is probably something that you will find boring. At any rate, since this is currently my longest (completed) ...

(The Lack of) Methodological Problems in High-Rise Syndrome Cat Studies February 27th, 2015 There’s a popular fact that gets thrown around a lot: cats can survive falling from great heights, and actually survive more often when dropped from a greater height (above seven stories). There’s also a popular rebuttal to this: the study which came to this conclusion was only looking at cats that came into the emergency room, ...

Pre-writing for National Novel Writing Month 2014, Part 3 September 28th, 2014 Note: I plan on publishing this as it’s written through fictionpress.com or some other platform, so if you want to be surprised, this is your cue to leave. Characterization I have occasional problems with keeping characterization consistent, especially if I don’t start with a clear idea in my head about who they are. This is an attempt to ...

Pre-writing for National Novel Writing Month 2014, Part 2 September 26th, 2014 Note: I plan on publishing this as it’s written through fictionpress.com or some other platform, so if you want to be surprised, this is your cue to leave. Magic I love magic, mostly because I love things that break the universe in various ways. Magic is a fairly difficult thing to get right though. Sanderson’s first law of ...

Pre-writing for National Novel Writing Month 2014, Part 1 September 09th, 2014 I’ve done National Novel Writing Month for the past few years, which results in a lot of writing but not much that’s usable. I’m totally fine with that, since writing is a muscle that you have to build up over time, and this coming November I plan to take the challenge again. In the hopes ...

Charting Advantage and Disadvantage in D&D 5th Edition July 16th, 2014 There are a lot of things that I really like about 5th edition, and one of those things is advantage and disadvantage. In D&D, the primary conflict resolution mechanic is the rolling of a twenty-sided die. Roll the d20, and see if you hit some target number. Modifiers to that roll (and to the target ...

Odds of surviving unconsciousness in D&D 5th Edition July 04th, 2014 So the new edition of D&D came out today, or at least the Basic Rules, which is more than enough to begin actually playing. When you get hit for enough damage to knock you down to 0 hp, you need to make death saving throws. If you roll a 20, you are back to 1hp If you ...

State of My Various Writing Projects, Pt. 2 May 21st, 2014 That this subject needs a part two is surely proof something – either self-doubt or my inability to stay engaged with something for very long. Here are the other things sitting in my various Google Docs folders: The Time Detectives I love time travel. It’s one of my favorite fictional concepts. The elevator pitch is that in ...

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