Posted 1 day ago

WEIR NET

I was reading a thread on one of the GOT forums, which talks about how all the Stark Children are wargs and much like their direwolves, are the first of their kind south of the wall in many generations.. but the stone wolves in the crypts of winterfell suggest that direwolves and wargs were once integral to the power of the old Kings of Winter.

The thrust of the post was that the reemergence of magic is a cause rather than a result of the rebirth of dragons, as the dire wolves represent an independent opposing force to the dragons… the old powers are reawakening and marshaling their forces.   The whole series is building up to an epic clash between Ice and Fire (hence the title).

It makes me wonder what other sleeping giants are stirring…

Clearly the weirwoods are a kind of supernatural technology of the Children of the Forest, that have come to be venerated by the first men who have some cultural recognition of their significance, despite their “wooden” personalities.  

I think GRRM’s working toward a Cthulhu like theology where the gods of men turn out to be mortal beings who are merely beyond human comprehension.   we’ve seen glimpses of the weir-net, the hive mind controlled by green seers, but  as we have learned, Bloodraven is the last before Bran, yet the caves of the children are filled  weirwood thrones, a veritable supercomputer waiting for someone to turn the power back on.

To me the most “magical” thing in the series so far is the black gate of the night fort.  Its a door, an inanimate object, and yet it talks and changes its facial geometry to allow Sam and Gilly passage… thats not just “the rustle of leaves” indicating some remote awareness.   That suggests an active, physical presence.    What if the weirwoods also have the ability to actually came alive, their faces able to move and speak; to interact rather than simply observe…

What would it take?  Will the magic flow freely once the wall comes down?  (The horn that wakes the sleepers = The horn of Joramun)   Is a little Blood Sacrifice necessary to open a channel?   Why is it that the North remembers, but they don’t in the land of the 7 where the weirwood groves have all been cut down.

Posted 1 week ago

The Dorne Identity – George R.R. Martin’s DARKSTAR

asoiafuniversity:

criticalimmunity:

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A lot of people hate this dude.

If he ever would don the White it would probably be mirrored in the White Book. For this level of infamy Darkstar is the initial first appearance  subject from a book, following the footsteps of comic book inductee David Lapham’s Defiant Mongrel. For myself, the first word that popped into my head was EXTREME, which should never be confused with just “extreme”. Let me explain. By A Feast for Crows (this would be where common sense tells you whether you should read on — there is also a single line pertaining to A Dance with Dragons) sure, George R.R. Martin has had some crazy shit occur in his Song of Ice and Fire series, but the tune was still pretty straight. Weird was going on but by in large they were happening to normal people who could have walked out of a Katherine Mansfield collection. The people who dared do fantastic deeds in a series of fantasy novels had the decency to be… weird. We’ve met several characters that would be deemed reprehensible by the majority of upstanding folk, but I think we’ve been exposed to habitual daughter(s) fucker and infant killers who didn’t turn off people as immediately as one Ser Gerold Dayne.

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Posted 1 month ago

What a racket

So I probably sound like a broken record; but college really is a complete waste of time and money.  It takes so long to find a job that by the time you get an interview for anything related to your degree you literally can’t remember a single thing you learned so the HR person  thinks your an idiot and just asks you to describe your flaws and give them reasons to hire somebody else.  

I only bring this up because ski season is over so I need to look for another part time job, and curiosity made me check to see if there were any full time positions available… nothing much, just the same crap I applied for two or three years ago, only I realize I’m actually less qualified than I was when I didn’t get hired last time around.  

I suppose its a good thing to check the classifieds every once and a while because it just reminded me how fed up I am with pretending like I give a shit, and just gives me that little boost I need to keep finding ways not join the workforce and become a productive member of society.

Posted 1 month ago

I like Chief Wahoo

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Does that make me a bad person?  

Apparently you are not alowed to have positive associations with iconography that has been deemed shameful by the thought police.

I am not so easily outraged, and I guess that makes me racist. 

My question for you is have you eaten your cocoa puffs today?

I hope you have because anyone who likes count chocula is also a racist.

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Cartoons are evil,  they turn children into racists.     

We should all move to amish country and churn butter.

Posted 2 months ago

Let’s talk about Game of Thrones Part 1: Byzantine Constantinople

goingmedieval:

You will be hugely unsurprised to learn that medieval historians love A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones.  Like really really love it.  This is because a) medieval historians are already enormous geeks, and so are free to get their geek on harder whenever they so choose; b) ASOIAF rules, obviously; and c) There are a tonne of references to medieval history throughout the books that allow us to feel like we’re in a little clique that gets it the most.  As a result of all these overlaps there are going to be a million posts on this subject over time, but today we’re going to talk about the links between Constantinople and ASOIAF.

In the early medieval period Constantinople was the most affluent and secure city in Europe, because, among other reasons its taxation and governmental administrative systems survived in-tact whereas the Empire had largely collapsed in the West. 

Constantinople, this rich and cosmopolitan city, I would argue is also the model for King’s Landing.  

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Posted 3 months ago

New Years Resolution

Time for my obligatory new years post… I actually look forward to this post all year; its one of the main reasons I haven’t deactivated my account yet.   Nobody follows me, and I follow very few people except for a few architecture and design blogs.  I’ve come to think of my tumblr as one big long new years resolution. I am constantly evaluating and assessing myself and keeping score, so to speak.  

As I move into my thirties; thats one thing I’d like to do less of.  Once upon a time, I posted some creative stuff, but in recent years my posts have become more self absorbed and more self reflective; some stuff I take down because I decide its a little too mopey and not what I want to be putting out for public consumption.

My resolution last year was to be less cynical.   I’ve certainly become more self aware, and more apt to catch myself talking trash, but old habits die hard.   I need to make peace with my limitations, be more grateful for all the things I do have and worry less about the lack of achievement in my life.

In spite of my long term failures and short term setbacks (discussed in recent posts) I do feel a sense of accomplishment.  I have made a lot of progress this year; though as of yet I have little to show for it.    

Mostly I feel like this past year was spent acquiring the tools I need, taking control of my environment, and positioning myself for future success.   I’m in Prophase… I haven’t begun the process of cell division yet, but my centromeres are at the equator and the spindles are at the poles..   Last year I didn’t have spindles and my chromosomes were floating freely through the nucleus.

My resolution this year is to put my full effort into whatever I do.   A lot of the negativity you read on this blog is because I feel like I’ve pissed my life away with mediocrity and half measures.   to that end, my goal is to do less, take on less, and be more present and joyful in the tasks I accomplish..

This raises a fresh issue, I can no longer continue to move forward  on all fronts.  

I can’t continue in perpetuity to “build a website” while calling myself a planning consultant… the website needs to be up and running, and I need to put all my effort into marketing myself and drumming up business.    

I can’t continue to piss away my time playing fantasy developer, dreaming up ambitious real estate ventures that I lack the means to finance.   I need to put something on paper and get it before a decision maker, take on limited partners, or go out on my own and take the plunge on smaller rehab project.

Nor can I continue to retake science classes, trying to keep the dream of medical school alive, just in case I want to switch careers.   I need to focus my full attention on that goal, demonstrate my intellectual capabilities, or give it up.   

Finally I have to stop pretending.  I can’t keep showing up to auditions with my lines half memorized and give a half hearted effort because I didn’t want my hobby to interfere with my other obligations.   I can’t keep volunteering as a crew member and putting in face time in the hopes that someone will remember me and give me a call when they have a paying job.    I either need to act or give up the ghost.  I need to stop volunteering on other peoples projects, and put that time into making my own a reality. 

None of this will be easy.  Your twenties are supposed to be about figuring out what you want to do; but I honestly have no idea.   The only thing I know is I can’t afford to pussy foot around hoping something good will fall in my lap so that I dont’ have to decide.   My life is half over, I have to pick a direction; stick with it, and be happy with that choice; or else I am doomed to failure.

Posted 3 months ago

"Human Rights!"

So I had to put up with a disagreeable co-worker this weekend.  

Nothing too dramatic, she was literally just disagreeable;  no matter what subject we tried to discuss, no matter what rhetorical olive branches I offered to seek common ground, the conversation just kept devolving  into righteous indignation on her part.  What made it funny is that her arguments were nothing more than a string of loosely related liberal talking points punctuated by the catch all: “Human Rights!”  

Is North Korea a threat to America:  Human Rights!

What did Nelson Mandela really accomplish: Human Rights!

What about the rising income gap in the developing world: Human Rights!… and something about “Africa is not a country, you know” (I do)

Now if you know me, you know I like to argue.   I don’t really care if you’re liberal or conservative, I’ll find a way to play devils advocate.. its really just a conversational style I have that sometimes rubs people the wrong way… but I take pride in being pragmatic and dialectical in my thinking (looking at both sides of the issue).    If I have any biases, I tend towards moral relativism; which means I tend to write off individual suffering; poverty, hunger, in the context of long term geopolitical and economic changes.

In reference to the arguments I was having with this co-worker, I was really just trying to explore some of these issues on a deeper level, but I guess I’m just insensitive for not being satisfied by the superficial analysis that white Americans are evil imperialists.

Of course I’ve been on the other side too.  Its hard to make coherent arguments under pressure, especially when talking about complicated issues… This is something evangelical christians and conservative talk show hosts live to exploit,  and I know how uncomfortable it is to be caught off guard when someone starts challenging your beliefs.

I think a good conversation has to have a balance; a give and take so that one person doesn’t feel like their power is being challenged.  

 When talking about sensitive topics, or with someone who has an opposing viewpoint, its also important to keep in mind that you probably aren’t going to change anyones point of view.   That should never be a goal of conversation, because then its just about manipulation and logical traps and not really about getting to know someone.

  But you also have to be open and not get defensive if you are on the recieving end.  If I question someones ideas, its with genuine curiosity, not because I’m trying to expose chinks in their armor.  Most people can tell when someone is being sincere or not. Just be willing to let the conversation happen organically.  Its okay to disagree.

Posted 3 months ago

Busted Kindle

A few years back I got a hand me down for christmas, and its been one of the more useful gifts I’ve had over the years.   My sister won a kindle e-reader as a door prize at work, and then passed it on to me when she upgraded to the kindle-fire.    

I really liked it, I found it was much easier to read than a traditional book because I didn’t lose my place as readily, and I liked the idea that I could carry a whole library around in my coat pocket.

I’ll admit, it was mostly an affectation.  I downloaded a whole bunch of classics because they were free and then never got around to reading them.      I mostly used the kindle for borrowing library books, like the Game of Thrones series, or other popular titles; or I would upload pdfs of my audition sides so I could learn my lines without having to print out a bunch of pages.

It was a useful device, it didn’t fundamentally change my life, I didn’t become a quasi intellectual bibliophile because of it, but I liked having it on my desk when I needed it. 

I tricked myself into thinking it was more durable than it was.  I’d dropped it on the ground, thrown it  carelessly in my backpack, fallen asleep on it dozens of times, I might even have stepped on it once or twice; but all it took was the slightest pressure from my thumb to crack the screen, and now my favorite toy is broken.

This happened once before, I told Amazon of my plight and they quickly shipped a replacement, no questions asked.    Unfortunately the kindle is out of warranty now; my only choice is to buy a new one. 

I can’t really complain.   I got the old one for free, I’ve gotten three good years out of it; but I find something unsettling about having to upgrade every few years just to maintain access to my “cloud”, the virtual library of books I’ve collected.   

Moreover, I don’t really like the new models.   They are purported to be technologically superior, but I find the touchscreens to be less tactile and less analog then their predecessors.    I like buttons.  Buttons give me the illusion of durability, with a touchscreen I’m afraid I’ll push too hard and break it.   And then I’ll have to upgrade again.

Posted 4 months ago

Rheagar is Varys!

After his double was killed on the Trident, Rheagar cut his junk and shaved his head and now sneaks about the red keep on padded feet waiting for his chance to restore the Targs…

No, I don’t really believe that.  Its just been a while since I posted any crackpot GOT theories.

Posted 4 months ago

Tired of Losing

Well I ended up with a C in Ochem.   I’ve done better, I’ve done worse.     But that pretty much kills whatever hope I had of getting into a Physicians Assistant or similar graduate healthcare program.

I suppose its just as well because that just involved more debt, more years, and scant hope of a job at the end of it.   Still, scant hope is better than none, and that whole plan was contingent upon me demonstrating an improved aptitude/work ethic/maturity by taking hard science courses and doing well in them..

Of course this shouldn’t come as a surprise because its not like I blew off the classes the first time around, I just worked my ass off and didn’t do as well as everybody else. The only difference is 10 years ago I embarrassed myself while taking a full academic load at a research university, this time I embarrassed myself taking one class at a community college.

So my “hard science” GPA is too low to be considered for healthcare careers, but I haven’t had any luck finding “soft science” job either, because apparently those don’t exist.  I get told I’m not a good fit for non-profit jobs because I’m too conservative, and I’m too liberal for the private sector as well.

Basically everything thats left pays minimum wage, and if you want to make more you have to “pay your dues” “get an education” and “earn it”… I’ve done all that but I’m not allowed to have a sense of entitlement….

How the fuck am I supposed to support myself?  am I supposed to just passively accept my lot in life and keep mopping floors?   If I did then people would tell me I’m unhireable because I lack ambition.

If I complain about the economy people tell me its cause I voted for the wrong guy.

If I say I’m unhappy, people tell me I need religion.

There is no way to win,  life is a constant a struggle to stay alive without retreating further into debt and servitude.  

This is why the Mega Millions jackpot is north of 500 million.  People need hope and there isn’t a whole hell of a lot outside of the lottery.