Phaedrus' Street Crew
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About Urthman

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  1. It seemed to me that "bad ass beat" was some kind of normal rock song slowed way down until it seemed like something out of the red room?
  2. Sheriff is usually an elected position. In a larger town, you might have new deputies and staff turning over whenever there's a new sheriff elected, but it seems right that a small town like Twin Peaks might elect a new sheriff to replace the old one but all the deputies and staff would remain the same. Also completely unsurprising that the town would elect a younger new guy (especially the old sheriff's son -- although I'm kinda hoping it turns out to be his daughter) rather than one of the older deputies, and that's not even taking the quite plausible racism into account. So Hawk and Andy remaining deputies seemed completely and ordinarily plausible to me.
  3. The darkest timeline would be that Cooper seems to be his old self just like Leland often seemed to just be Leland, but actually he's spent the last 25 years murdering girls who look like Laura Palmer. But now that I think about it, the FBI agent who has spent 25 years hunting a serial killer without knowing that...dun dun dun...he himself was the killer all along sounds like a really hackneyed video game plot. Which maybe makes it perfect for Twin Peaks??
  4. Is this the most beautifully poignant sentence to ever appear on an Idle Thumbs podcast? I think it might be: "What if...What if...I was congratulated, and Chris was fucked?"
  5. I am irrationally irritated to discover that Chris's "packing cubes" are not actually cubes.
  6. ULTIMATE SPOILERS HERE - If you read this without playing the game, you cannot have the experience Jonathan Blow has said was the whole point of The Witness. What Blow says in interviews is that the driving idea behind The Witness was simply the desire for the player to have the experience of "Aha! Wow! Wait...how many of these have I missed?!" caused by unexpectedly seeing something that seemed confined to a 2D frame out in the 3D world. His original concept was an RPG where the player is learning runes from scrolls to cast spells and then, looking back down after climbing a mountain, sees a learnable spell rune in the shape of the path up the mountain. It seems to me that the rather modest and inoffensive point the game is making by adding all the readings and videos is simply, "Hey, I wonder if that feeling of surprise and seeing the world in a different way is related to any of the deeper thoughts various philosophers and theologians have had about enlightenment, mindfulness, and seeing the world?" And I'd say the game makes no real claims one way or another, so it's bizarre to me that people can actually get upset about it.
  7. It's fascinating to me that pretty much every single critical take on The Witness (other than "some of the puzzles are too hard/tedious/unfair") is some form of, "I thought X meant Y, but it didn't, and that disappointed me." And frequently stated something like this: "Jonathan Blow tricked me into thinking X meant Y, but it didn't, and that makes him a pretentious jerk who was making fun of me the whole time." The Witness is "just" a very beautiful, exquisitely-designed puzzle box with no real story or narrative. The way the whole thing is constructed, from the wordless sequences of the puzzles to the nifty stuff hidden in the environment is all so clever that the cleverness itself seems beautiful to me. But for a lot of people a beautiful first-person environment can't just be something pleasing to look at. It has to be telling a specific, explicit story. This is not just an expectation, but an active perception. People don't just expect a story, they see that there clearly is one--until Jonathan Blow cheats them by "revealing" that there actually isn't any story. But why is this? We don't demand that every statue and painting in a museum tell an explicit story. We don't feel cheated that DaVinci never reveals (and probably didn't know) what the Mona Lisa is thinking or smiling about. Why is this beautiful puzzle box disappointing because it doesn't have a story inside it? Why is it impossible for some people to even see the puzzle box without assuming the existence of a story? On the one hand, it has audiologs, which many games have used for story-telling. On the other hand, the audiologs are clearly just a bunch of readings from philosophers about the nature of perception and it seems pretty obvious after a while that they aren't adding up to any sort of narrative and are probably just a bunch of readings Jonathan Blow and his team thought were interesting. But is it really just a case of "This game looks similar to other games which did have stories in them"?
  8. You're definitely not the only one amused, although it was even funnier when you used it to "tune out" of the bit where you got off into old-manning about being annoyed by the BotW download.
  9. What I don't get about the X Box controllers is that you've got these real nice-feeling analog triggers but then they put shoulder buttons above the triggers so you have to choose between either awkwardly shifting your index fingers up and down between the triggers and shoulder buttons or leaving your index fingers on the shoulder buttons and pulling the triggers with your middle fingers. What kind of monsters shoot guns with their middle fingers?
  10. Nah, just play with mouse and keyboard and then you can always be looking around easily no matter how you're moving. You have so much greater situational awareness it feels like cheating. M+K Dark Souls = it's basically easy mode.
  11. Hey, just finished listening to the ad-free podcast of this episode. It was great, but I was wondering why there were only two endorsements at the end. Did Nick have to leave early or something?
  12. When my daughter was 4-years-old, I had to take her to the bathroom on an airplane. When we got in there, she protested, "This is the boys' room!" and pointed to a diagram showing a stick-figure person putting trash in the right place. Because, of course, the symbol for "person" is the same as the symbol for "boy" on the boys' room. That may have been the day I became a feminist. Or at least convinced that inclusive language matters.
  13. It will come as a surprise to nobody that the crazy Choose Your Own Adventure book that Jake imagined exists exactly as he described it. This beautiful and incredible website featuring animated visualizations of the structure of classic CYOA books describes the book Inside UFO 54-40 which is about the search for the mythical paradise planet called Ultima. The ending where you find Ultima is disconnected from the rest of the book; no pages lead to it. Quoting the website:
  14. Ohmygod. The Schwarzenegger BLOPS segment just about killed me. I am panting from laughing so hard.
  15. I would agree that the attempt to explain the premise of the show is both unnecessary and makes it sound less entertaining than it actually is.