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Posts posted by .H.

  1. 5 hours ago, One-Winged Balrog said:

    Trying to find meaninglessness in a meaningful world?

    Bakker explicitly said this is the case, yes (way back in 2005 actually).  (My bolding to highlight the quote, but include the context too.)


    That was where the original idea for the ‘Kellhus meme’ came from – I think. The next step in his evolution came with my readings of Theodor Adorno. The dominant tradition in mainstream literature is to depict protagonists stranded in a potentially meaningless world trying to find some kind of compensatory meaning – usually through some conception of ‘love.’ You’ve literally seen this pattern countless times. Kellhus offered me an opportunity to turn this model on its head. What makes fantasy distinct is that the worlds depicted tend to be indisputably meaningful – in a sense that’s what makes them fantastic! I thought to myself, what would a story of a protagonist stranded in a meaningful world struggling to hold onto meaninglessness look like?

    Thus the ‘Prince of Nothing’ was born. Now he’s spreading, reproducing…


  2. 4 hours ago, One-Winged Balrog said:

    Bakker is closer to 40K than appears at first glance, being a huge pile of inconsistent philosophy

    In what sense?  Granted, I am biased by my general Hegelianism, but given Bakker's Derridian roots, I think the inconsistency of Earwan metaphysics is very deliberate.  And, at this point, I am generally convicted that we ought to be rejecting Dualistic or Monistic thinking about it all, instead trying to think Dialectically, when and where ever possible.  Not that this is going to "solve" things, but, in a Hegelian Absolute Knowing sense, at lease move us closer to what is more likely to be the case.

  3. 1 minute ago, DMC said:

    Lowered expectations are always a sound strategy for precisely this reason!

    Besides the Yankees, I am a Knicks, Jets and Islander's fan, so, rock bottom expectations are not foreign to me! B)

    It's just nice to sometimes like one team that isn't always leaving me bereft of hope.

  4. 2 minutes ago, DMC said:

    I think he genuinely wants to be one of those Yankees, but he's not going to take a pay cut for it.

    Maybe, I guess I am just being pessimistic in order to not get my hopes up on what seems to me to have a good chance to end in disappointment.

  5. 7 minutes ago, DMC said:

    I certainly agree the Yanks aren't giving him $350 million, but I'm still not sure anyone else will offer him that much either.

    Yeah, I am not at all sure on $350 million, but my thinking would be that if no one makes that sort of insane offer, is he going to take a "low" (not at all low) offer from the Yankees?  My guess is no, absent some wildly massive dollar signs (which, like you say, isn't going to come from the Yankees), money being "equal," he'll sign with a west coast team, is my guess.  Even if the money is just close, I think he'll go to the west coast.  Or, at least, this is the possibility I am preparing myself for.

  6. 4 hours ago, grozeng said:

    He'll get $350M from the Angels.  I really hope the Yanks re-sign him, but I am not hopeful.

    I've pretty much resigned myself to this as being a fact, that he will go to a west coast team, until proven otherwise.  I'm not going to get my hopes up that he stays in NY, although I'd really like him to.

  7. 11 hours ago, Nictarion said:

    Old is the key word here. And that’s on Lou. He’s the one that brought in guys like Chara, Greene, Parise, and Palmieri. Bringing back his own former players after they were over the hill was another go-to Lou move in NJ. 

    Personally, I think firing Trotz was a terrible decision. He’s one of the best coaches in the league. I wish the Devils would move on from Ruff, and hire Trotz. But he’ll probably end up in Philly now, which would suck. 

    Indeed, can't help but agree.  As an Islander fan, we know better than the expect anything besides the worst.

  8. 39 minutes ago, Nictarion said:

    I see Lou Lamoriello is back to his old ways. He used to fire coaches on a whim in NJ. He fired Claude Julien one year heading into the playoffs while the Devils were in 1st place. 

    Yeah, I don't quite get it.  My only guess would that they did not like they way Trotz was coaching the younger players, notably Wahlstrom and Bellows this year, although probably others too.  The team played horribly, old and flat-footed, for most of the year.  They are going to need to younger kids to come up and play, but I guess Lou thinks they can't really do that if Trotz is benching them for entire games, or stretches of them, for mistakes.  Granted, I am no coach and I have no idea if Trotz was doing "the right thing" (frankly, he probably was correct) but it is the only thing I can think of for why they would be cutting ties right now, because they likely will sign exactly zero known quantities as free agents (like usual).

  9. 12 hours ago, HokieStone said:

    with having to plan logistics and things like that.

    Obviously not WWII focused, but if the logistics part interests you, Volko Rhunke's Levy & Campaign series might be something to look at.  I actually just picked up Nevsky: Teutons and Rus in Collision 1240-1242 but haven't gotten to play it yet.  They are working on several more installments, the next of which is Almoravid: Reconquista and Riposte in Spain, 1085-1086, and then Inferno: Guelphs and Ghibellines Vie for Tuscany, 1259-1261.

    I think they have mentioned though that there are something like 20 more in development for the series (the next one might be Plantagenet: Cousins' War for England, 1459 - 1485).  But I think they are all set during the Medieval period.  I have heard though, that once you get used to the system, what ends up happening is actually few battles, since those are risky and a more chess-like (perhaps) game where you are trying to line up your supplies and force your opponent to make risky attacks.

  10. 19 minutes ago, broken one said:

    So it seems I should have waited a moment, dammit :p

    Yeah, kind of does seem that way.  Perhaps you can find someone who wants locally who wants one over the other and trade?  Seems like a longshot though probably.

    I haven't gotten too many new exciting games lately myself, but I did stumble upon a new in shrink copy of the well out of print El Grande Big Box at a LGS when we were on a trip to Houston a couple weeks ago.  It wasn't cheap, but below what it would cost online, so I picked it up.  It's a very neat, classic game although we have only gotten to play it at two so far, but I was glad to add it to my collection.

  11. 2 hours ago, broken one said:

    Driven by the movie hype I purchased Dune - the classical one, for max. 6 players. Each faction (House Atreides, House Harkonnen, Emperor, Fremen, Spacing Guild and Bene Gesserit) has different features and special skills and demands different strategy. When you get through rule book and gain some experience the game is really pleasant and satisfyng. Cons are obscure and complex rules (I had to search for clarification on forums several times) and the fact that for the game to be fully enjoyable you have to gather 6 players. 5 players game is OK, 4 will do, 3 and 2 does not make much sense as randomness (which determines order of making moves in each round) becomes important factor. 

    As far as I know the game has just been rebranded (has new "skin" from the new movie) and a bit changed and soon will be (or already is) available, so maybe I should have waited a moment.

    From what I understand, the new "reskin" is also very much a reworking to make it play better at 3-4 players.

    I got Dune Imperium though, myself, since we usually play at 2.  The Direwolf Digital App makes the "simulated" third player very easy to enact for the two player games.  I haven't gotten to play it at three actual humans though, yet.  Waiting on the Rise of Ix expansion now though, since I preordered it a while back for a sale price.

  12. 2 hours ago, Arakan said:

    The 2nd Apocalypse is magnum opus territory and sometimes I wish he would start writing it now, with almost 50 and all the knowledge, wisdom and experience one accumulates with age.

    Sure, I mean, it's not perfect.  But I am not terribly upset with what we got.  I still think it is more interesting to me than most fiction I come across.  Still, I'm fairly sure even Bakker himself would say he wishes some parts came out better.

    That's part of what makes the follow up series potentially interesting in their own way, since he admitted he would be treading something like new territory.  I get that there is plenty of reason for pessimism, but I do think he is writing and I think he's just had a rough Pandemic-time lately.  We can only wait and see though.

  13. 4 minutes ago, Arakan said:

    It is over-analyzing and the text simply doesn’t justify it.

    Probably, but personally, if I can't over-analyze something, honestly I don't find it interesting enough to give much attention.  A totally straight-forward, unambiguous, and clear thing seems like the least interesting thing I can think of.  Which, of course, is why I read far more Continental philosophy than physics books (or even fiction).  In the end, I am not exactly sure if I care too much if something is there in the phenomenological sense or the noumenal sense, interesting ideas are interesting.  If there was an Absolute/Objective manner of reading/writing, there would only be one book worth reading (the one which the Correct View).  Maybe it's just that I personally lack a rigorous theory of justification, or again, maybe some personal defect or psychosis, if you like.

    14 minutes ago, Arakan said:

    Good books, PON even outstanding in parts, but not more.

    I mean, I agree, but I guess some might think I have a different view than this?  So be it, but it's never been the case.  I do find them more interesting than most fiction I try though, still.  (But again, I don't read much fiction now, as I find few that appeal to me (no, not an Objective value statement, just personal preference)).

    17 minutes ago, Arakan said:

    And if we’re speaking about philosophical aspects, I am constantly missing the most important name of all when it comes to Earwa: Mister Schopenhauer. 

    I think it is likely that Bakker read Schopenhauer, but I haven't as much as I should, probably because I tend to find Idealism a bit more interesting, personally.  One of these days, just wish I actually knew German.

  14. 2 hours ago, sologdin said:

    it does seem familiar, yes--we can be hegelian about it, or it could be a germanic preference for faustian metaphors drawn from goethe--two souls war within my breast, &c..  he's coming out of husserlian phenomenology.  some essays here.  husserl kinda loathed hegel, but that's not to say that he wasn't influenced by some of hegel's more enduring ideas.

    Yeah, I mean, I personally just find Hegel interesting.  But there are some lines one can draw back to Bakker, from the Husserl to Heidegger line (who both "fought" Hegel in some sense), to Derrida (the 3rd opening quote is from Hegel in Of Grammatology) and Foucault (with the famous line: "A large part of my indebtedness is to Jean Hyppolite. I know that, for many, his work is associated with that of Hegel, and that our age, whether through logic or epistemology, whether though Marx or through Nietzsche, is attempting to flee Hegel....But truly to escape Hegel involves an exact appreciation of the price we have to pay to detach ourselves from him. It assumes that we are aware of the extent to which Hegel, insidiously perhaps, is close to us; it implies a knowledge, in that which permits us to think against Hegel, of that which remains Hegelian. We have to determine the extent to which our anti-Hegelianism is possibly one of his tricks directed against us, at the end of which he stands, motionless, waiting for us.")

    Coincidentally (i.e. not at all, to me) Heidegger, Derrida and Foucault are all named by Bakker as influences.  In my head-canon though, Hegel is the unnamable influence, too large to be spoken explicitly.  Surely though, as always, this says more about me than it does about tSA, Bakker, Hegel, or hermeneutics most probably.

  15. 46 minutes ago, sologdin said:

    less derrida than iser or bakhtin.

    Ah, ok, was not familiar (I'm still looking more into Hegel than anything else, personally), but a quick look seems to clear up what you seem to have been getting at.  I think I'd generally agree, even though it is still odd, to me, that these things seem to really bother people where it didn't bother me at all.  But, I already knew I am an odd person, so I'm sure this says more about me than anything else.

    "Funny" enough, Iser's wiki has this line: "However, these gaps cannot be filled arbitrarily, but through interpretive limits given in the text by an author. Iser finds this experience to be the breakdown of the subject-object division, in that "text and reader no longer confront each other as object and subject, but instead the 'division' takes place within the reader himself".  Rings a bit familiar...

  16. The first thing that came of mind would be Eclipse: Second Dawn of the Galaxy, since it can play from 2-6 players.  I don't think it is super complicated, but it definitely has more rules than Catan, so it likely fails your simplicity requirement to some degree.

    You could also try Space Base, but I think you need some expansions to bring it up to 6-7 players.  But it is a card game, so I'm sure some of the MTG "knowledge" would likely help there.

    EDIT: And here I rec'd two Sci-Fi games despite you obviously liking Fantasy.  Maybe Clank!, which, I think, with the Adventuring Party expansion supports 5-6 players.

  17. 21 minutes ago, IFR said:

    But I suppose I'll leave it at that. It seems there is not an explanation of this event forthcoming, and we are instead left to our inferences. And while I'm not wild about this, it certainly doesn't ruin the books for me.

    I think you are going to be disappointed in any and all reification of the "event."  But that way well be the entire point, in an of itself, an Event in the Badiou sense, being a radical rupture, not something continuous with things before and after.  I wouldn't worry about "literalist" takes (which are, in themselves a joke, to me), just keep your interpretation in mind and go on to the next series if it interests you.

    On 5/31/2021 at 8:14 AM, IFR said:

    2) When Kellhus is conversing with his father, Kellhus states that Moenghus is operating on incomplete information and that if the Dunyain knew what Kellhus knew, they would join the Consult. What is the source of Kellhus' stance? Is it the fact that while Moenghus would doubtless be aware of the non-Psukhe magic stated to have a mark of damnation, he would not have the understanding of its meaning which accompanies witnessing it (the darkness that comes of an otherworldly origin)?

    Kellhus is Dunyain too.  Debatably more so than Moe.  But, Moe states not that the Outside or the gods are not real, but that the Outside is merely a reflection of the Inside and that nothing (in his estimation) violates the Principle of Before and After.  It's not a question of existence, it's a question of meaning, that is, does the Outside matter?  Moe draws Kellhus to him through the contrivance of the Thousand-fold Thought, so he really doubts anything matters aside the practical (Principle of Before and After and so just the Inside, no Outside).

    On 5/31/2021 at 8:14 AM, IFR said:

    Or is it something to do with Kellhus' revelation during the Circumfix?

    Yes, it does have to do with that, in my opinion, but you'd likely be "better off" reading the next series before tackling that question, again, in my opinion.

  18. 1 hour ago, DaveSumm said:

    I hate that rule book, and most Uwe Rosenberg ones actually. I can’t put my finger on why but they’re so unintuitive for me. What helped me was finding a player aid online that’s literally just the action spaces but written in English instead of symbols. Not sure why they didn’t just include that, the rules speak in generalities about which section you’re in and it comes across as weirdly vague. 

    The Norwegians expansion is really good, tidies things up a bit, adds some more tiles (cos the bae game is really short on those...) and adds a column of actions that you can only use with your final Viking of a turn.

    Yeah, I guess we can chalk this one up to sub-par rule book plus my sub-par rule reading ability.  But the rule book did seem oddly vague and casual to me.  But even the Obsession rule book that is pretty decent, I just flat out missed things.  Or the fairly simple Rise of Tribes rulebook where I horribly misread and jammed two unrelated sentences together in my mind, making the game super unbalanced by turn order, haha.  So I am generally inclined to blame myself for rules understandings.  Also very much a reason why Sidereal Confluence has been opened but not played, because I can't quite pin down the rules well enough to teach it for sure (and I don't have 4 players ready for the dive at the moment anyway) even to just try a test game, although that would be a lot of bookkeeping to try to 4-player solo it.

    But I do have the Norwegian expansion on my wishlist already, seems it is between prints at the moment.  Also there is another expansion coming soon too, The Danes, due out late Q3 or Q4 apparently.  I'll be looking for both, no doubt.

  19. On 4/30/2021 at 10:36 PM, RedEyedGhost said:

    Those are two of my top ten or twenty games.  Both also have excellent solo modes, if that's your thing.

    Free time is always a challenge, but I might try it at some point.  Mostly things are two player, with my wife and I.  We actually got a game of A Feast For Odin last night.  I'm terrible at reading rule books, so I made some mistakes right off the bat, so we did one turn then went back and redid that first turn after watching a "how to play video."  We both really liked the game, looking forward to trying it again.  Not sure how, but I won, making a couple Longships and pillaging/plundering my way to more points somehow.

    On 4/30/2021 at 10:36 PM, RedEyedGhost said:

    That's one looks great, and I want to get it to the table very soon after my groups start meeting in person again.

    I had done some research on BGG about it, it seemed good and my wife seeming to be interested so I got it.  I have to admit, it's even better than it seemed in the reading/watching.  We did get the Upstairs, Downstairs expansion, which does add some neat stuff but is by no means essential (if you are on a budget).  But it is nice to have, as it does open the game up some.

    For anyone who might be interested in buying it right now, it is being reprinted so there should be plenty of copies available on or around August, I'd definitely recommend checking it out then.  I'll be picking up the smaller expansions I didn't get already, along with a small box the designer is putting together at a discount rate with some minor error corrections to some cards/tiles from the older printings of the game at that time.

    If you do play it, I'd recommend the shorter number of rounds when you first start, just to get the feel for it.  But (and this won't make sense until you get into the box) I'd recommend the Charles Dickens variant of a constantly refreshing builders market and the Jane Austin variant of a closed courtship.  Dickens is probably more "necessary" for us at 2-player, but Austin makes the Courtship a little more interesting (but also a bit more luck based) since you won't know it's theme until it happens.

  20. I actually just got Star Wars Rebellion at the beginning of this month, but have no had the time to learn/play it yet.  I also got A Feast for Odin and Gaia Project at the same time, but again, no time to play any of them.  I've been working on 3D printing some inserts for them and Scythe lately though.

    Our go to game lately has been Obsession or, if we don't have as much time, Five Tribes.

  21. If only...but going to 7 games versus Phily took too much out of them, I think.  They played tired and Tampa was astronomically faster/better in every way last night.  I don't know that they ever really catch back up.  I was really hoping maybe the Islanders could catch them a little rusty and steal the series in 6.  After that showing though, they will need be lucky to get to game 6.

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