"The function of words, then, is to be sensible marks of ideas." ~ John Locke

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Sensible Marks of Ideas

Tuesday, 16th Sep. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

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Monday, 15th Sep. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Sun, 16:32: In Real, I put on Music for Airports and it's like I'm in a Zen temple, not a supermarket.

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Sunday, 14th Sep. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Sat, 12:45: My touch-typing has a way to go: when I was playing LOTRO and my wife switched the light off, I was still "OHSHITOHSHIT where's the W key?"

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Friday, 12th Sep. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

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Friday, 5th Sep. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Thu, 17:22: I've realised it's quicker to type with one index finger than two thumbs.
  • Thu, 17:22: RT @QuantumPirate: Freelance Englishman for hire. • Tutting • Unnecessary apologising • Weather chat • Sensible queuing Please RT, but onl…

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Thursday, 4th Sep. 2014


12.13 pm - My tweets

  • Wed, 16:46: Assume people will try to do the right thing; don't expect them to try too hard.

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Monday, 1st Sep. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Sun, 14:39: Repairing old cassettes is very nostalgic. Wait, no - it just makes me glad I don't normally have to fiddle with the damned things any more.
  • Sun, 15:00: RT @TheQuinnspiracy: If video games have taught me anything, it's that if you encounter enemies then you're going the right way.

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Saturday, 30th Aug. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Fri, 13:18: The past is a foreign country, with no Internet.
  • Fri, 13:19: RT @qikipedia: The Yuki people used a base 8 system instead of base 10 because they counted not with their fingers, but with the spaces bet…

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Wednesday, 27th Aug. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Tue, 14:13: Fanatics often believe that if they die fighting for their beliefs, they will enter Heaven. Someone could help them test this hypothesis.
  • Tue, 15:06: The phantasmosphere is a necessary buffer between the way the world is and the way we evolved to think about it.

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Monday, 25th Aug. 2014


6.42 pm - Gaming Ithaka

[Note: This is an assignment for Jay Clayton's MOOC, Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative.]

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.

These lines from Cavafy's "Ithaka" sum up what I am trying to do with this game (though it also has an obvious debt to Joyce's Ulysses). The lusory (in-game) goal is to reach "Penelope" (actually the other player) by finding your way to "Ithaca" (actually the place where she is physically located), but the aim of playing the game itself is to enjoy wandering round a city and seeing it in a different light. I thus decided to make it an alternate reality game rather than a PC game, and to use SMS as the most convenient technology (though if I ever get my hands on Google Glass, I'd love to do a version for that!).

The two players take the roles of Odysseus and Penelope. Penelope sits anywhere in the city she likes; this is Ithaca. Odysseus starts at an arbitrary location and waits for Penelope's text message which tells him where to go (could be an address, coordinates or, for a bit more challenge, an image). When he arrives, he texts her requesting a clue, which will be a place or event in the Odyssey. Odysseus has to relate where he is to the clue. For example, the city walls would be the walls of Troy, a bar called One Eyed Jack would relate to Polyphemus the Cyclops, the opera house might be the rocks of the sirens, and so on. The clues could be straightforward and literal ("How does this place relate to Circe's island?") more riddling ("Where are the Laistrygonians?") or vague ("Where are you in the Odyssey?") depending on how well the player knows the myth. The game ends, of course, when Odysseus arrives in Ithaca.

The game could be played as a way of introducing a guest to your home-town, as a race against time, as a competition between multiple Odysseuses, or as a form of teasing on a first date, and it could, of course, be adapted to other epic quests.

Screenshot_2014-08-25-12-02-41

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12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Sun, 19:28: The means of communication determine the method of organisation.

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Wednesday, 20th Aug. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Tue, 14:26: To those who tell me to act my age, I say: That is so unFAIR! I HATE you!!!

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Tuesday, 19th Aug. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Mon, 22:17: I still find it scary when I try to unlock my phone and it says COULDN'T FIND A FACE.

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Sunday, 17th Aug. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Sat, 20:39: Another confusing toilet sign: THIS DISABLED TOILET HAS RADAR LOCK. Isn't that what missiles have?

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Saturday, 16th Aug. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Sat, 01:53: Watching Steppenwolf performing Born to be Wild - great song, terrible trousers.

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Thursday, 14th Aug. 2014


5.01 pm -

Happy birthday alsoname!

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12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Wed, 13:34: Sign in toilets: CAUTION VERY HOT WATER. Why? I'm washing my hands not making tea.

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Sunday, 10th Aug. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Sat, 23:30: Prosecco is good for cooking. I don't mean you put it in the food; I mean you drink it while you're cooking.

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Saturday, 2nd Aug. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Sat, 01:03: Just found out that an early meaning of "zone" was "girdle".

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Thursday, 31st Jul. 2014


12.00 pm - My tweets

  • Wed, 22:35: England - you pray for years for a sunny summer, then you get one and it gives you hay fever.

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