Dice

The dice told me to write about the dice, so here we go.

Isn’t this a self-aware piece of writing I am about to do.

Some of you may be aware that I am a diceman, others may have some insight into what this means, and a select few may have emotionally crushed by the roll of the dice.

At least those of you who have played and lost at the game of craps.

In essence, being a diceman is about striving to see other options in everyday decisions. Instead of doing what “one” feels is natural (based upon your own form of logic or internal thinking) I instead think “what else” and ask myself this 5 times. That gives me 6 options and i then roll a dice to see which of those options i carry out.

So here is the thing. Most of the time the things i do as a result of this option are negative. Take a simple everyday decision, such as “I need to go to the bathroom”, the average sane person would do just that, your body is telling you of the urgency of emptying your bladder and you do that at the nearest convenient and socially acceptable location (In Australia this includes the left rear tyre of your car, legally speaking). The diceperson on the other hand might do one of the following… 1. Go to the toilet 2. Drink 5 coffee’s and see how long they can last 3. Only allow myself to use the bathroom if i can do so by knocking on stranger’s doors until someone lets me use theirs 4. Have a nap instead of peeing 5. Only pee on the condition that i can plank continuously for 90 seconds 6. Pee in a jar and throw it at someone. You may notice that only 1 in 6 of these options is positive (maybe 2) because it really isn’t easy thinking of positive other options apart from the natural thing you want to do.

BUT here is the thing, this system also applies to things like goal setting, or behaviour, or where to go on holiday. The overarching theme is to push your comfort zones, so eventually you don’t need the dice to do crazy new and interesting experiences.

The other important aspect of being a diceman (or being human, as this is perhaps my own ideology speaking here) is accepting that all experiences are inherently positive even if logically they are negative. Drinking 5 coffee’s instead of going for a piss leads to, at the very least, a lesson in not abusing your bladder, and even improved work efficiency (its really hard to not want to get everything done immediately when your full of coffee).

Instead of going to your favourite restaurant and ordering your favourite food, walk 20 minutes in a random direction and find the nearest eatery, it could become your new favourite.

Anyway, so here was some insight into the current Ed’s way of thinking

Peace.

 

Edward Leeming 27/11/2017

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Unfiltered content.

I spent 15 minutes holding a cup of tea and unaware of my surrounding, i think i may of passed out whilst awake.

Did you know that if a hummingbird was the size of an elephant its wing beats would create sonic bursts capable of cracking or destroying most buildings.

Well you shouldn’t because i just made that up.

I sit here, after having consumed several ciders and having worked for literally more then half the day, unable to conceive of any good (new) story ideas, and being too lazy/lacking in functioning brain capacity to improve upon or continue writing one of my existing posts.

Here is an idea.

I would like to settle an argument. Any argument. Post a comment or send me an email with any subject and i will form some sort of opinion one way or the other, depending on a dice roll, and i will post the results on the website!

Tired, thats all folks

Edward Leeming 27/11/2017

Trial and Error

The first:

I arrived at the hub, to my left there is a flask of red liquid, to my right a plank with a nail sticking out of it. I take both just to be careful. Directly ahead there is a passage, lit by torches, the light flickers down the passageway menacingly. I do not know why i am here, and have no memory of why or for what purpose i am in this dark dank dungeon. I remember my name, its Brandon. I’m sure I live in Los Angeles, though I can’t imagine how that helps me where i am right now.

I walk down the passage way, the torches are only at the entrance and the corridor gets darker. I try to squint into the darkness to see what is coming, but all i see is nothingness. I slow my pace, trying to feel my way forward by running my arm along the wall next to me. Easing forward, easing, the darkened air stifles and makes it difficult to breath. A pungent smell makes the whole place smell, almost like someone let rip and walked away, reminds me of … a father?

Suddenly, i snag my foot and trip. I expected to hit solid ground, but i didn’t. The sensation of falling, rushing winds surrounds me.

The second:

I arrived at the hub, to my left there is a backpack and to my right there is a dagger sitting on a wooden table. Some loose coins are scattered on the table in a random way, as if someone dropped a bag filled with them. The surrounding area is lit by torches and there is a single passageway leading away. I grab the backpack, tuck the dagger into my belt and collect up the coins, who knows if it will be useful. I wish i could remember why I was here, and who I was. For some reason the name Braden pops to mind, though i do not know if it was my name or someone i knew. The image of a bear walking on grass, with a red star comes to mind, perhaps it was something important.

Before I venture into that passage, I decide I should probably take a torch, the light might be useful and I wouldn’t want to get lost. Taking a slow pace, the backpack is weighing me down a bit, I start to walk down the passageway. On further inspection the walls are covered in a scratches. Some of them spell out words, but most of it is inane and random words or symbols. One such message reads “don’t forget to tune in!”.

As the passage opens up the light from my torch throws shadows onto various pillars and landmarks. It seems that this place is man-made, but everything seems jumbled up, many cobblestones and wall pieces seem to be made from different rocks.

There is a skull shaped mark right in-front of a large hole in the floor. Perhaps this is a warning so people do not fall down the hole? Getting on my hands and knees i peep down the hole, it looks bottomless, i wouldn’t want to find out in any case.

I skirt around the hole in the ground and continue down the passageway. After some time it splits into two directions, and leading down and one leading up. There is an arrow on the floor pointing to the lower passage, but also a foul smell seems to waft from down there. Thinking about the previous marking to warn me of the hole in the ground, I trust the arrow and start heading down the passage.

The floors is wet down here, though i am not sure if it is water or something else. The light from my torch is burning low and its getting hard to see. The gaseous smell seems to be getting stronger. While i still have some light i take off my backpack and see if there is something to keep the torch going. Luckily there is some dry cloth and a flint. I use these tools and the almost spent torch to craft a new torch. As i take off the old oil soaked cloth from the old torch, it drops to the floor. Within seconds the liquid at my feets ignites… it must be petrol or oil on the floor! As the fire licks my feet i run up the slope and back to safety, panicking i can think and the fire surrounds me… in my last moments the image of a child laughing fills my head, is this my life flashing before my eyes?

The third:

I arrived at the hub, to the left there is a wooden table, with some tools and such on it, and to my right there is an backpack with the word “Last” written on it. Ahead of me there is a passageway wreathed in torchlight. I cannot remember why or who i am, but i feel a sense of familiarity in my surrounds, did i choose to come here?

I feel a sense of adventure, as if something down this passageway calls to me, beckoning to progress and reach some new frontier. As i go to start off down the passage a light surrounds me, and quite suddenly the dark dungeon no longer seems dark, as if it suddenly became daylight, even though i am clearly underground. With a vigorous skip at my good fortune I briskly walk down the passageway, it slopes every slightly down further onto greater adventure. As the corridor opens up, its apparent that the area i am in is designed with some purpose in mind, is this some sort of trial?

As i walk, i easily avoid the gaping pit that opened up in the corridor, even without the warning it would be quite stupid to fall down that. Continuing on, i came across a split in the road, one path leads upwards and one slopes down further into the ground. It seems to me that if i want to get out of here, the best way would be up, despite the arrow on the ground pointing the way down, something doesn’t seem right about it.

I set a pace and walk up the sloped path. The surrounds brighten up a bit more, and I start seeing signs of this area being inhabited. There are bones and the remains of a campfire nearby, and there is a sword propped up against the wall. I take it, what adventurer doesn’t dream of having a sword!

There are three exits from where the campfire is. Above each exit there is a single word. One reads “Flight”, one reads “Silence” and the other reads “Hazard”. Weighing up the options (the one reading hazard just seems like it should be avoided” I take the exit that reads “Silence”.

The second i walk into the exit, all the noise stops. Eerily, i can’t even hear the sounds of my breathing. Panicked, I go to go back to the campfire, but something compels me to stop. I can’t go back.

I decide to continue on, the lack of sound from my footsteps is unsettling. At least I still have the sword, and i feel like the tools i got at the beginning must be useful soon. I feel powerful holding the sword, like nothing can stop me, i gleam into the blade and my heart races.

Suddenly something grabs my ankle… it had the advantage! I go to swing the sword to whatever grabbed me but hit the floor instead. The thing that had my ankle now has my throat, and my silent scream fills my lungs as the last of my breath falls away…..

 

…… “I can’t believe he didn’t even get past the first dungeon…”

…”we even gave him buffs for his last run…”

…”what a novice, this is why people shouldn’t start playing augmented games at his age…”

END

 

Edward Leeming 23/11/2017

<P.S sorry for missing a day of content, here is a longer one to read!>

Monitorization

Yes i am aware the title isnt a word.

In a previous blog post i discussed how the degenerative nature of language has hastened with the arrival of improved technology (for more follow the ling -> On language). I also referenced this somewhat to the ideas portraying in George Orwell’s book 1984.

Another major component of this book was that its citizens were monitored (or attempted to be) 24 hours a day. This was to gleen insight into what people were thinking, and to prevent “thought crimes”.

It was an somewhat ideal representation of Jeremy Bentham’s “Panopticon”. A panopticon was a theoretical structure (easier to state it as a prison) where all the occupants of the structure were placed under hypothetical 24 hours surveillance, say a glass walled dome, with a tower in the middle able to view into every cell. The occupants of the cells could not see if the guard was watching them as the guard was behind a one way mirror with 360 degree sight. The idea being, that having been told and by all accounts think they are being watched, their social interactions and behaviors would be altered.

In todays modern world, this idea is pretty realized. The only difference is, it isnt overtly communicated. Theoretically, every time you browse the internet, your actions are watched (at least potentially by some bot or another), every time you walk the street you are potentially on camera. The explosion of social media and the sheer magnitude of data they collect is mind boggling. Does the fact that we are continually monitored in some way influence our decision making process? Whenever a website notices a trend in your viewing habits and chooses to advertise a certain product, does this influence your buying habits? Where Orwell envisioned the monitoring of Oceania’s citizens as a means of maintaining order, today’s monitoring of our citizens could be said to be about creating spending habits.

To monetize our viewing habits and life choices.

Is it so wrong from what 1984 envisioned?

And what is the solution for your everyday citizen? Is it even a problem?

 

Edward Leeming 20/11/2017

Poetry?

Generic romantic one.

High on the summit

The garden is all moonlight

the moon is golden

more precious in the contact

of your lips in the shadow

 

Hunger pangs.

Hungry

Without effort

after awhile

stop pretending

ate a parsnip

 

Mortality.

Pain, punishment

The journey to  the coffin

Paved with intention

It is all inside

 

<Note: I have absolutely no experience or informational knowledge about poetry, and this was written with no structure in mind, the dice said “Try poetry!”>

Edward Leeming 20/11/2017

 

Test.

The day of my test was coming up.

There were preparations to be made, exercises i was meant to do. I was meant to wear formal attire, or at least an appropriately elegant gown. I remember seeing all the glamorous women walking in succession during last years test day, and dreading when it would be my turn.

There would be no gowns or frocks for me. It was something outside my caregivers means to provide.

In this world there are two classifications of peoples. This is determined by a test given all citizens aged 17 on the first day of spring each year. Those two classifications were producers and takers.

My caregiver (he preferred to be called dad) was a taker. He raised me with what resources he could muster, and i love him for it, but the thing with takers is they don’t get much but the basics. They do not provide what society needs and is not rewarded like a producer is.

If i pass the test i want to make sure that his life improves, and he gets treated fairly. I will not forget the sacrifices he made to keep me alive, it being so rare for children in this day and age to make it past 5 years of age, unless you live in the upper rings of society.

The worst part was i had no control over the outcome of the test. It is a fertilisation test.

It was around 2250 A.D that natural fertilisation suddenly stopped working. The real cause was never quite determined or told to the general public, but in school we are told it was by a disease or chemical warfare. Over decades following this time artificial insemination became the only way to conceive, but as time went on the odds of this being successful became less and less. For a time there was a large bank of frozen sperm that was used to continue to keep the population afloat, but this eventually ran dry, supposedly running out around the beginning of the 23rd century.

World population has considerably dropped since those then, it was estimated that there was over twelve billion people on the planet in 2250, now that number is closer to one billion. There is no real way of getting an actual figure for this unless you worked in the department of births and deaths. All the online databases made available to the public only get back five to ten years, or contains useless videos or non-historical rubbish.

There is some information given to each child on their 17 birthday in preparation for their test day. If you are fertile (we are told the odds are 1 in 10,000) then you are whisked away to the upper echelons of society, the only work you need to do it to provide your seed on a daily basis, not exactly a difficult task, but one which grants you the title of “producer”. If you are infertile then you are put to work in the mines or some manual labor job until you died.

The reduction in fertility only affected the males, which lends to the argument that it was a man-made disease that causes it originally. Women are able to conceive and occupy most of the middle to upper classes of society, as long as they are willing to carry children to term they maintain a relatively safe and happy lifestyle. Many children born in such a way are unwanted by either parents, especially boys as they are so unlikely to be producers, so most children are sent to be looked after by takers until there test day, with the larger proportion of children dying at an early age of measles or pertussis.

 

<Story idea, was thinking of either exploring the cause of the infertility (maybe making it a government thing) or potentially making it more focused on the individual characters struggles to survive> Any thoughts?

Edward Leeming 19/11/2017

 

A continuation of what i done wrote yesterday.

I watched the procession of soldiers proceeding my father’s lawyer. There can only be two reasons this letch has come to see me, either the old man intends to re-marry to expand some chunk of his assets, or he finally succumbed to one of the various death threats he receives on a regular basis. If its the latter, its about time, the old man had already pushed his age well past a normal humans lifetime.

Either way, i have no intention of involving myself, it was hard enough making a living in this conflicted realm with the last name of Nicholson. I can usually hide it from the average folk long enough to acquire lodging and food, but the second i try to prentice myself onto someone of power they see right my shallow disguises. Without the means to learn how to control my talent, i can only perform minor illusions or smaller spells that amount to little.

With the amount of manpower they have it would take a matter of seconds to smash open this old shacks door and rip me from its insides. I have no intention of damaging this property, its been my place of lodging for several months now and i do not wish ill towards its legal owner. The owner even let me practice my spells, which resulted in only minor injury to myself and damage to a nearby fence. I decided to get it over with and would meet the lawyer before he could knock on my door.

Hopefully my interactions with this scum of a pawn of my father will be short-lived and brief.

As i walked towards him, the man loosed his cloak and donned the smile of a soulless puppet. Without a greeting he handed me a binder with a dimly humming scroll folded inside it. I opened it up and it the scroll began speaking the following…

“Brant Nicholson, CEO of NIc-Corp passed away during a banquet with his closest board members, of purposes and devices unknown. It is requested that his son, Stan Nicholson, take upon his noble mantle the burdens of leadership, and take Nic-Corp into a profitable future”

These is a little note tacked onto the side, in what looks like my fathers writing, going by the fact it is barely legible

“Son, forget about the whole magic thing and get yourself a real job”

He clearly had time to push that old argument onto me again before kicking the bucket.

Attached to all this was a contract, the only thing slightly magical allowed in my family. I am not an expert on contract magic but i know not to sign up until i completely understand the entirely of the spell, some of the strongest and most powerful in the world have lost everything to a cunningly written contract. I would need to get a neutral third party to look it over with me as well, perhaps even someone i trusted (only one or two people come to mind)

 

… (may continue writing this one tomorrow!)

Edward Leeming 18/11/2017

For the first part of this story idea, see link below

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