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World of Keiko 2018-01-15

llo! It has been another week. I would be lying if I said a lot has occurred over the last week. Things have been pretty relaxed here. No drama. No fuss. It has been a lot of the same overall. To be honest, I am cool with that. I know a lot of people that prefer the drama and the chaos, which just seems strange to me. Perhaps I am a bit weird that way. For me, chaos has to be meaningful rather than for chaos’ sake. Such is my main issue with a lot of new sources. (Time for a rant…)
It is not uncommon for news sources to make a mountain out of a molehill for the sake of ratings and clicks. A good example is the use of social networking posts from public figures, including the now Voldemort-esque Donald Trump, because it will get lots of traffic. This makes use of a sizable popularity to criticise such individuals in order to send traffic to their platform. Traffic means money as a lot of these sources get money from clicks and from sponsors seeing high levels of traffics visiting said platform as it is cost effective for promoting their product. It is not wrong to want to earn an income. Pushing nonsense, whatever that nonsense happens to be, shouldn’t be considered journalism. (Rant ended.)

I ended up giving up on trying to read that book on the Dramatica writing system around the halfway mark. The book was available free of charge and is used in part, to promote Dramatica outlining software. I tried, I seriously did. I had numerous issues with the book. The biggest one is trying to rename existing words. To me, this seemed more of a money grab and didn’t offer anything new. I have seen this a few times over the years and it irritates me.
To release a product that offers merely a renaming of existing terminology and methodology seems predatory. Writers tend to be seekers. Many want to hone their craft in order to become better storytellers. That being said, consumers should be mindful to research a product beforehand so that they don’t waste money or buy into crap ideas.
The book that I have moved onto is Beginnings, Middles and Ends by Nancy Kress. It is one of the books that keeps being recommended online, along with several others by the same author. The synopsis and the book preview that I looked at ahead of the purchase were no-nonsense. Here’s hoping that it is worth the purchase. (I am hopeful but I have been burnt before.)
Author Level Up released a video last year that gives a quick overview of ten outlining methods. It is a great launch point for looking into other ways to outline your story. You might find a method in there that is interesting enough to research further. I highly recommend you guys give it a watch.

I’ve begun the time-consuming task of plotting a book using yWriter5. It isn’t time-consuming because of the software but due to the fact that I have to build it from scratch. Some of the ideas that I have considered using for the story previously just don’t fit and I now have to rebuild it from the ground up. Two out of fifteen chapters have been plotted so far, with the goal of finishing the plot outline within the next five days. (I have a self-imposed seven-day deadline.) So far so good. I’ll let you know how it pans out.

What have I been listening to over the past week?

  • Bye Bye Bluebird (album) by Barefoot McCoy [2017] [Jamendo] [Country]
  • Fangs (album) by Great White Buffalo [2015] [Jamendo] [Indie Rock]
  • Nest [album] by The Grus [2015] [Jamndo] [Trip Hop]
  • Nordic Heart {EP] by Maze [2015] [Jamendo] [Rockabilly]
  • The Rock and the Hard Place [EP] by McKinney Griffin [2015] [Noisetrade] [Pop]

That is it for this week. A big thank-you for the support of readers both old and new. I appreciate it and will be posting a lot more from next week on as I will be busy with outlining this week. I leave you guys with the following clip by Danish indie rock group Mew:



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Video of the Week #023

It is that time of the week again where I post a video. This time around, I’ve decided to post a thought-provoking video on the nature of radicalization by Nick, also known as Wizard of Cause. Given that doesn’t currently allow easy embedding of videos, I have decided to provide a link to the video below as well as one Nick’s vidme channel.

You can find Nick’s channel here.

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Video of the Week #022

This week, I’ll be sharing something slightly different from usual. Shadiversity released an interesting video comparing the defensive capabilities of leather and padded armour earlier this month that did a great job of challenging how I perceive armour. Writers, role players and people curious about armour will likely find this of some interest as well.

You can find Shadiversity’s channel here.

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Video of the Week #021

This week, I am sharing a “what if?” video by AlternateHistoryHub. AlternateHistoryHub has been producing these thought-provoking videos for years. This makes them an interesting source for history discussions as well as for writers looking for creative prompts. They also release the occasional video on pop culture as well.
For this week’s video, AlternateHistoryHub considers the possibility of what might have happened if JFK had not been assassinated. JFK’s assassination has been the source of numerous conspiracy theories and other conjecture throughout the years. The consideration of what life would have been like had he lived has also led to shows such as Red Dwarf throwing their two cents in.

I have some more activities for you this week.

  • What do you think the world would look like right now had JFK lived? Write at least a paragraph citing policies that he was attached to. Compare these with the policies implemented by LBJ.
  •  Write an alternate timeline wherein Ronald Reagan doesn’t survive the assassination attack during the 80’s.
  • Write an alternate timeline where Barry Goldwater is elected.

You can find the AlternateHistoryHub channel here.

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Video of the Week #020

The video for this week returns to the subject of language. Human beings communicate in a variety of ways. This is not just spoken methods but written, drawn and expressed in the likes of rope tying. Languages also vary in the concepts being conveyed as well. In the case of the Hopi, we see how different the concept of time is addressed.

I have decided to give you some activities again this week in order to demonstrate the concept of time. This is in the form of questions.

  • What is time?
  • What methods do you use to track time?
  • How does the passage of time affect how you perceive and interact with the world?
  • Consider how time is conveyed in any of the languages that you are familiar with. How do they compare to the few examples given in the Hopi consideration of time?
  • Grab an ice-cube from the freezer and place it in a clear receptacle. Observe and time the process using the method of your choice, documenting factors such as temperature, humidity and wind chill factor. Be mindful of how you felt at different points: 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 melt. How long did it take to completely melt? How did you feel at the various stages of the melting process? Was there a point where it felt like it was dragging out significantly longer than you would like? What other emotions did you feel about the process? Now explain it in 200 words, being sure to indicate your state of mind going into the experiment. Now repeat this experiment under three more different conditions: A strong taste in your mouth, Mozart playing in the background, play footage of a sport that you enjoy in sight. Compare the four conditions.

You can find the NativLang channel here.

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Video of the Week #019

A bit happened since the last post. Life has taken odd twists and turns. I decided to do a bit more study on top of my French lessons and occasional research online. I started a course on Storytelling by Pixar over at Khan Academy which has turned out to be pretty good so far. I’ll likely review this before the end of next week in order to share what I thought of the materials.
Lifelong learning of a wide range of areas is important as it builds upon what you’ve already learnt over the span of one’s lifetime. It can also have knock-on effects as well for creativity and innovation, allowing us to draw from different fields in order to develop an idea, solve a specific problem and meet specific objectives. If you are currently learning something, feel free to share in the comments section.

This week, I am posting an explanation of Bayesian Thinking by Julia Galef. Bayesian thinking is a way to weigh the evidence for a conclusion. It is by no means the only method for considering premises, as we have the language of Logic. Logic is an interesting subject in of itself and I might share some videos on the subject in the near future.
Back to Bayesian thinking, note that the formula that Julia Galef discusses considers two pieces of data which are given mathematical value. This limits the use of this form of Bayesian logic to a certain degree as there are often situations where you have more than two pieces of information to consider. The formula is pretty simple overall and I highly recommend that folks consider learning more about the method.


Below is a list of activities to help folks think about Bayesian logic and evaluating evidence in general. I have decided to add these

  • What method or methods do you use for evaluating the weight of evidence for specific conclusions? If you use more than one method, how do you determine which method to use?
  • In your opinion, what are the merits and flaws of this method?
  • Consider situations where you can apply the Bayesian thinking method in your own life.
  • Which areas where Bayesian thinking is better left out of decision-making.

You can find Julia’s channel here.

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Video of the Week #018

This week’s post will be a bit different than normal as it relates to part of my personal worldview. I have decided to begin by giving a bit of background and a teensy explanation of some of my “beliefs”. I hope that folks do not mind. If any of you want clarification about certain things, feel free to drop me a line via PM or by leaving a message in the comments section. Please note ahead of time, that I am focusing on ideologies rather than people.

As some of you already know, I am an Atheist that used to be a Christian. For many, their faith or lack of faith is a strong part of what motivates their actions. I am not unusual in this regard and I don’t consider myself special. However, I do find the notion of holding to a belief that doesn’t hold up to evidence and logic as not being exactly helpful in dealing with the root causes of the numerous problems of the world. As some of you are aware, religion is sometimes the cause of strife in certain regions of the world. We’ve also seen acts of terrorism, abuse of human beings and animal abuse as a result of certain scripture throughout the spectrum of different belief systems.
When I was still a Christian in an evangelical church, I recall meeting people from other denominations and the topic of evolution sometimes came up. For many theists, evolution is an assault of sorts upon their faith as many believe that their scripture offers a blow-by-blow account of the origins and rules of the universe. I recall a few religious publications, including Creation Ex Nihilo, being marketed to Christians, as well as numerous short films making various claims about the history and science of evolution.
It feels very strange looking back at that time. I remember perusing the pages of an issue of Creation Ex Nihilo at the local Christian bookstore and I remember watching at least one of the video “documentaries” on the subject of Charles Darwin. Looking back, it was an exercise in confirmation bias as I never really read outside of the filter of material made by religious people that genuinely believed that what they asserted was true but it really didn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny.
As soon as I started reading outside of the materials offered by people whose religious bias led to some of these conclusions, I began to realise that many of these assertions were false as they didn’t line up with what the field of science was saying, nor was it reflective of history. It was a case of, “Science says that we came from monkeys but why are there still monkeys?!!!” when science says that the process is a lot more complex than that somewhat shoddy attempt at a rebuttal.
Over time, we’ve seen arguments asserting that the easily debunked dating methods should be pushed as some sort of rebuttal to evolution in science classes. We have also seen some Christian science teachers stand up and shake their heads, saying, “No, we don’t find this material to be anything other than a tool for indoctrination.” Many of us are at least aware of the Texas School Board debacle a decade or so ago, wherein a man championed for specific Christian and Creationist-friendly content to be added to school science textbooks. Whilst many of these people deeply believe what they say, it doesn’t make what they say right or appropriate to be taught as science if it doesn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny. This doesn’t mean that an individual or group is “silenced” or “discriminated against”. If such statements can be easily debunked, then why allow it to be added? If folks want it to be taught, then teach it in a different class on the history of the evolution of scientific thought rather than actually teaching it as fact?
We’ve also seen the resurgence of “flat-Earthers” and “Young Earth Creationists“, an example being Magic Johnson that recently “came out” as a flat-Earther. Many of these folks receive a certain amount of ridicule for making crappy arguments. Laws are now being made to protect certain religious beliefs from criticism as well. The world has always been a bit topsy-turvy but to me, no ideology, religious or otherwise, should be “protected” from criticism especially when many make big claims about reality and lead to laws that can potentially lead to people getting harmed. These laws often show preferential treatment to specific groups as well, which seems like an odd choice given that in the same breath many say that they are pushing for a just and equal society.

I could waffle on and rant about this stuff for ages. However, I have to sum up how this ties in with the video of the week. Claims about truth and reality usually stem from deeply-held beliefs. Many of us listen to other people for our information but never wonder where the idea came from in the first place. If there is evidence to suggest that something is false, then it is fair to say that we should change our opinion according to the available information. We should also admit when we do not know something rather than fill in the gaps with something else. It is a move towards an open and honest life.
And yet, change isn’t easy. We have to deal with a lot of baggage and habits developed over time. If it is related to an ideology, we also have to negotiate what is and is not true or useful from that ideology. We have to admit that not all ideas and concepts need to be cast aside if they have value and are backed up by evidence. There will also have to be a point where you reject enough of an ideology to no longer consider themselves a worshipper or practitioner.
Accept the good ideas and reject the bad ones. And this is quite true of the concept of “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This idea has value and is closer to the egalitarian mindset. It is a simple concept that rejects the notion of favouritism in how we treat each other. This also means that a person should be honest with others if they do not wish to be lied to, having their worldview be based on evidence and truth rather than misrepresentation and lies. And therein lies the reason for sharing the following video.

This week’s video relates to the many myths surrounding Charles Darwin. Quite a few people that push many of the myths mentioned in this week’s video do not realise that they are myths. It is by no means exhaustive but I do think that it covers a LOT of the big claims made by those that do not believe in the easily-observable process known as evolution. It delivers the list with citations to sources as well so that folks can read the material for themselves for the sake of verification.

You can find the TodayIFoundOut channel here.