The Meaning of Nothing

This one may be a little “screwy”, but its premise is the value of the concept of Nothing.  It may seem like a nihilistic stance to go around stating, and/or proclaiming that one believes in Nothing.  That Life has no meaning because of what ever reason.  That one will die someday, that everything turns to “dust”.  Somehow this seems like a shortsighted position to take.  That stance, I feel is just a cursory understanding of what Nihilism can entail.  To truly delve into such Nihilistic thoughts via either rationalism, or emotionalism (however one proceeds about it).

Is to eventually come to a conclusion that all is truly worthless….except what I give meaning to.  By giving meaning to the stance of Nihilism, one essentially become a self-contradiction.  They apply meaning to a value that destroys all meanings.  How can one accept this?  It is through a route that Nothing may be in fact what is true Reality.  Just think about it for second, or awhile.  If one erases, and demote all concepts that they had inherited from their predecessors through schooling, or soaking up of information.

One would literally be aware of Nothing (ignorance), including the concept of Nothing (a blank slate).  It has no meaning, but oddly if one is somehow still aware of Nothing.  They have a new concept of which to be aware of.  That there’s Nothing to be aware of (catch the double meaning?).  Thus one starts to drift away from the state of Nothingness, and into Meaningfulness.  That Nothing is somehow meaningful.  That it serves as the base state from which all meaning is derived.  Is it ineffable, somewhat, for a cursory approach implies that nothing is known.

And yet, consider for a moment Socrates maxims of, “Know Thyself.” &  “I Know Nothing”, and all the religious/doctrinal traditions of invalidating the Ego/Self.  That the awareness you are aware of is just an illusion, and not the true nature of Reality.  Oddly one then arrives at the bottom of the metaphorical well.  That I am “Nothing”, but now adding in the phrase of God’s reply to Moses in Exodus 3:14, “I AM WHO I AM”.  That one is literally whoever they say, or realize they are.  That a philosopher’s Authenticity is one being faithful to oneself.  Thus Ego/Self destruction is a violation of one’s own significance.  That to invalidate one’s own worth in the pursuit of spirituality is really a violation of one’s own faith towards oneself.

Now we fall upon the notion of Religion/Spirituality, and that is to be oneself.  Not conform to some odd doctrine, but to truly express one’s own individuality.  To be of faith to oneself.  Maybe egocentric, but again believing in Nihilism annihilates all meaning.  Therefore it only has meaning if one accepts its application to oneself.  Nihilism is a tool that clears the plane.  To allow one to create new foundations for oneself, and to realize just who they’re meant to be.

Finally, to draw this back to game design (at least a little), Decayed Laurels is about these notions.  That what Nietzsche uttered may have some veracity;

“Companions the creator seeks, not corpses, not herds and believers. Fellow creators the creator seeks — those who write new values on new tablets. Companions the creator seeks, and fellow harvesters; for everything about him is ripe for the harvest.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Decayed Laurels is about what happens when one embraces, or strives for that Transcendent Nature.  Do they maintain their morality?  Their sense of Self?  Does one do whatever they wish being that they are a “god” (or God….)?  In essence will they hold themselves accountable?  If not they’ve “rotted”, and thus have a Decayed Laurel…a rotten victory.

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Symbols, Language Games, and Alchemy

To revisit the prior posted ideas in regards to the Alchemy system.  Of a system based upon the interpretation of symbols, and the application of derived meanings in that context.  I’ve been thinking quite heavily upon the notions of “postmodernism”, and the idea of a self-created “world”.  As a hobbyist game designer, putting effort into fictional worlds, and trying to create a believable atmosphere for players is interesting if viewed from this light.

The light is the notion that all symbols, all meanings, and everything in the world we take for granted is a construct.  A tool that has been created via another person’s effort in an attempt to find, and create meaning for themselves.  A language is conditioned, and taught into a child during their youth.  And if they’re lucky they may know more than one tongue.  Regardless of how many languages they learn, and some languages may not be even considered “normal languages” (think Math, Chemistry, Physics, Philosophical…etc notations) where to be fluent in said language opens up a new world of thoughts.

In that context, it is easy to recognize that by adopting tongues that are different from one’s standard fare.  One may realize that Reality isn’t quite as concrete as it is generally understood as.  For instance, consider a carpenter (or any craftworker) building an object.  Generally it is taken as an article of faith that the arithmetic and geometry one knows is sufficient to build the object.  And yet think of the rule of thumb, “Measure twice, cut once”.  This could imply that the world in which we are cognizant of is only a mental model.  A sort of, if my mind’s model was complete, and 100% accurate.  I would only need to measure once, and cut once.  For the communications between the realms of mind, and body would be 1:1.  There wouldn’t be a need to re-correlate information between the two.

Now we get into the point of the mind’s limitations.  Can it ever be fully aware of Reality?  To be omniscient?  I would say no, or at least not at all times.  For the status of omniscience would imply that all events are known, and how could an active agent still be active if the actions they were going to take is already known?  They wouldn’t be, such knowledge of what they’ve done via what they’re going to do would imply that said action has already happened.  As in its history.

Thus we are restricted to mental models that are always incomplete at some level, but the joy comes in when one knows this.  That they can invest energy in learning a new language to get a different perspective upon the world.  To change, and update their mental model.  Leading once again into the Alchemy game design.  If one is presented with an option that whatever they interpret the symbol as.  It leads to an ability to create “magic”.

How does one react?  That some little squiggle on a piece of paper is the symbol for “fire”, and by reflecting upon said symbol I can create “fire”?  How is this any different from the symbols above?  Squiggles that are construed as English, but if read and thought upon generate something “different”.  Ex;  Cookbooks, they follow an “esoteric” formula to make a product.  To those who aren’t kitchen literate it is complete gibberish, but to the those in the “know”, it’s not.

A Unique Cipher? (A Derivation from the Morality Cube)

So one of the systems that has been incorporated into the project of Decayed Laurels is the morality system.  Instead of a binary axis system like Dungeons & Dragons with its notions of good vs. evil, and law vs. chaos.  I had concocted a trinary axis system which I shall detail publicly at a later date.  Anyways, onto the theme of this post.  This post is about a derivation of thought from the Morality Cube.  It is a potential cipher that I created out of boredom, and too much spare time.  I’ll illustrate the rules/methodology as follows;

Rules:

1. Each #value is its own discrete cube in 3d (or n-space).
2. Start at #value to be the origin.
  Ex; 0
3. Implement a growth seed, a #value that is not the same as origin value.
  Ex; 1
4. Growth seed value is added directly to origin value, and moved along an axis.
  Ex;     +Z     +Y
             1    1
               1  0  1     +X
                  1    1
5. The next level is generated by summing (...or multiplying….use some function) 
the adjacent 90 degree values.
  Ex;     +Z     +Y
             4    4
               1  1
             4 1  0  1  4 +X
                  1  1
                  4     4
6. The Diagonal Pocket values are generated by another function 
(summing, multiplication, division….etc). Worked upon the adjacent three 
values of the higher level.
  Ex;       +Z   +Y
               4  3  4
               3  1  1  3
               4  1  0  1  4 +X
                  3  1  1  3
                     4  3  4
7. The next area that needs filling is neither axis, nor Diagonal Pocket. 
Thus a Shift #value is needed. This value may be used for each subsequent level, or 
changed.
  Ex; Shift of 1.
                   +Y                                    +Z
                 5  4  5                               5  4  5
              5  3  1  3  5                         5  3  1  3  5
              4  1  0  1  4   +X                    4  1  0  1  4   +X
              5  3  1  3  5                         5  3  1  3  5
                 5  4  5                               5  4  5
8. Repeat steps 5 – 8 as desired to generate Scale. 
Scale is the overall size of the cipher pattern, and is determined 
by the number of axis levels modified by some function 
(sum of levels along one axis: mono direction: excluding Origin).
9. Thus a possible final cipher pattern could be.
  Ex;
                    +Y
                18  16  18
             5   5   4   5   5
        18   5   3   1   3   5   18
        16   4   1   0   1   4   16   +X
        18   5   3   1   3   5   18
             5   5   4   5   5
                18  16  18

                    +Z
                18  16  18
             5   5   4   5   5
        18   5   3   1   3   5   18
        16   4   1   0   1   4   16   +X
        18   5   3   1   3   5   18
             5   5   4   5   5
                18  16  18
10. Generate/Record Key that was used to create this pattern.
  Ex; 3d, 0, 1, Sum-90, 3Division-4, Shift 1, 3Division-4, Sum-90, Shift 2, Scale 3.
11. Encode Alphabets upon values.
  Ex;
                    +Y
                13   D   X
             R   5   B   K   V
         G   H   I   A   U   5   Z
         J   E   S   A   B   D   N   +X
         F   Q   P   G   O   5   O
             5   R   Y   S   T
                13   C   E

                    +Z
                 X   M   W
             Y   5   4   5   T
         I   5   L   1   Z   5   K
         J   E   S   A   B   D   N   +X
         L   5   W   H   N   P   J
             Q   5   4   V   U
                 M   C   F
12. Compose message using sequence Value, and Axes.
  Ex;
      Hello Brother.
5+Y-X, 13-Y+X, 3+Z-X, 13-Z-X, 13-Y+X – 1+X, 5-Y-X, 3-Y+X, 5+Z+X, 1-Z, 4-X, 5+Y-X.

In order to work, each party must use the same Generative Key to create pattern, and
the subsequent cipher of alphabets. The shared values in domains (X, Y, Z) 
ensure that there is “ambiguity”, and ideally should not contain the same letters 
in the same value. Eg; an H in multiple 5's in the 5+Y-X area (of which there are 
three 5's).

Ideas: Use multiple patterns to create message; have patterns “interface” where one
modifies the other to create the message. Subsets of patterns.

Quick Subset Ex; Origin Is B, but the pattern starts at 1. Send a “primer” 
to notify which pattern is used where.
  01110-0001101
  Quick Modify Ex;

                    +Y
                12   8  12
            10  15  12  15   10
        12  15   9   3   9   15  12
         8  12   3   1   3   12   8   +X
        12  15   9   3   9   15  12
            10  15  12  15   10
                12   8  12
Generation: 3d,1,2,Sum-90,3Div-4, Shift 3, 6Div-Sum-90, 3Div-3, Shift 4, Scale 3

                    +Z
                12   8  12
            10  15  12  15  10
        12  15   9   3   9  15  12
         8  12   3   1   3  12   8   +X
        12  15   9   3   9  15  12
            10  15  12  15  10
                12   8  12

Thus set up 1-0 to yield the message. (In this case 1-0 means subtract pattern 0 
from 1, but the same notation could mean whatever function upon party agreement).

                    +Z
                12   8  12
            10  15  12  15  10
        12  15   9   3   9  15  12
(1)     8   12   3   1   3  12   8   +X
        12  15   9   3   9  15  12
            10  15  12  15  10
                12   8  12

                    +Z
                13  12  13
             5   5   4   5   5
        13   5   3   1   3   5   13
(0)     12   4   1   0   1   4   12   +X
        13   5   3   1   3   5   13
             5   5   4   5   5
                13  12  13

                    +Z
                -1  -4  -1
             5  10   8  10   5
        -1  10   6   2   6  10  -1
(R)     -4   8   2   1   2   8  -4   +X
        -1  10   6   2   6  10  -1
             5  10   8  10   5
                -1  -4  -1

Thus R would be set up to have the alphabet encoding.

Rot of Ages

So its been two years since my last post, and this blog has been feeling some neglect.  Having realized that, I’d like to present a teaser for what has been my main project the past couple of years.Poster.jpg

Now that that’s out of the way, I will add that instead of restricting myself to game design, and solely game design.  I will now be adding, and posting other thoughts that I’ve been entertaining throughout time.  In an effort to properly develop this blog more instead of just leaving it to decay (possible puns).  This is where it gets into the “Designs” part of the blog.  Such thoughts may include musings on philosophy, game theory, math, 3d modeling, drawing, and other general wonkiness that ensures due to crossing my mental radar.  In essence I’m aiming on this blog becoming a public version of my “collected works”.