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r_b_bergstromr_b_bergstrom 10 Apr 2021 07:22
in discussion Meta Forums / Per page discussions » Sub Neptune

Just thinking out loud: Recent observation suggests mini-neptunes are the most common planet-type in our galaxy. That means it would make sense for them to show up a lot on our random planetary system tool. So, if you were wondering, that's why I made a sub-neptune redirect page, and put an "rps_badplanet" tag on. Doubling their frequency in the tool is a slight nod towards increased realism.

by r_b_bergstromr_b_bergstrom, 10 Apr 2021 07:22

Had to read twice to figure out that there is a Batavia in Illinois … on first reading: "not far from Chicago"? - it's on the other side of the planet! Although come to think of it, there's probably one in Holland as well…

by The ColonelThe Colonel, 09 Apr 2021 13:32
The ColonelThe Colonel 23 Jan 2021 18:54
in discussion Meta Forums / Per page discussions » Tires

Had to clean up the formatting and add a bit of content to the initial entry. Ironically, as per the story usage suggestion, the tires are likely to outlive most of the other parts of the machine, but I've left that in anyway.

by The ColonelThe Colonel, 23 Jan 2021 18:54
r_b_bergstromr_b_bergstrom 22 Jan 2021 23:02
in discussion Meta Forums / Per page discussions » Ship

Thank you for adding the clarification.

by r_b_bergstromr_b_bergstrom, 22 Jan 2021 23:02

I'm now getting one of those "death of the author" things - similar to the possibly legendary moment where a professor of English argued over the meaning of a passage with its author.
"*long involved psychoanalysis of H.P's work*"
"No, actually I just hate n***…"

by The ColonelThe Colonel, 20 Jan 2021 10:57

…"nice". Wierdly I'd never heard of either of those pieces which, you are correct, give a very different impression. Also qualifies what you meant by surprise racist bits. Strange how what appears to be quite a complex situation can coincide with someone being a pretty straightforwrd dick.

by The ColonelThe Colonel, 20 Jan 2021 10:53

Here's a few direct citations from his own work that are pretty hard to argue as being anything other than horribly racist:

See Lovecraft's poem "On The Creation Of *N-WORD*" from 1912. As you can imagine, he did not use the euphemism "N-Word" in his poem, he used the actual offensive word, spelled it out and even made it the rhyme at the end of a line. In fact, the entire point of all eight lines of the poem are to insult and slander an entire race, and say they are less than human. Lovecraft was terribly racist. Full stop. Not just "a product of his time", but full-on repugnant, and it runs as a theme in all his work.

Or see Lovecraft's story "Polaris" from 1920. All through the tale it talks about horrible demons, and then reveals that the horrible demons are an existing race and culture of humans. Not as in "some some members of this race are possessed by monsters" or even "some members of this race are monsters", but literally "by the way the horrible demons I was talking about, today we know them by a different name, and that different name is the same as an existing ethno-cultural group because they are all monsters." It's some seriously messed-up bigotry, with no attempt to hide it.

I disagree STRONGLY by r_b_bergstromr_b_bergstrom, 20 Jan 2021 09:47

Any chance someone with a bit of knowledge on the subject could add to this page a short description of what is meant by "carries its own tender(s)"? We're told on the page that this is critical to defining whether a vessel is a ship or a boat, but not what that actually entails.

Carries its own tender? by r_b_bergstromr_b_bergstrom, 17 Jan 2021 02:13

Nuanced H.P.'s "racism" a bit - from what I can tell he was an actual xenophobe with a distinct fear of "corruption in the blood", and whilst he was probably roughly as racially conscious as normal for the 1920s (when racial determinism and separatism were still big and respectable), his main fear seems to be of miscegenation and corruption. Obviously it's still unpleasant by modern standards but it does make some of the shock-revelations in his work more understandable (and powerful) than they are for someone who just sees "he saw a fish man and went mad. Oh and the author was racist" which I see a lot of on teh interwebz. See, for example, the last Delapore from The Rats in the Walls - granted you'd never call a cat that these days, but the real horror is about the protagonist looking at the evil of his ancestors and assuming that it necessarily condemns him. It's the same reason Arthur Jermyn goes mad, whilst other protagonists go the other way and embrace "the monster that they must become".
In some ways, it is, actually, a racial determinist viewpoint, but not the way such things are usually depicted. A modern take might be more about overcoming what your ancestors were and determining your own destiny - although maybe things have moved on again from there.

by The ColonelThe Colonel, 14 Jan 2021 17:59

…in the end, after all, "not-voodoo" is probably no grosser a piece of cultural appropriation than the "crystal dragon Jesus" expies of Roman Christianity that pop up in every fantasy setting.

by The ColonelThe Colonel, 14 Jan 2021 17:09

Yeah. Drawing the line between sacred and secular mysticism is never as easy as in RPGs and pretty much every culture has a different opinion it. Part of the fun being that some traditions are a lot more forthright about their theurgy than others - classical Roman religion was downright transactional and many spiritualist religions approach their deities in a far more egalitarian way than the more theistic ones. And then there's the taxological arguments - are cunning-ways and pow-wow Christian theurgy or something else? Is Rosicrucianism theurgy or alchemy with a religious gloss? How does one classify the syncretic traditions like Vodou? Given our primary purpose of providing awareness of these things for writers and RPG creators, we are, to my mind in a different position from, say, a theology website. We've acknowledged that there are shades of opinion on this and I would say we've made a good faith effort (ahem) and there's not much else we can do given that there are people out there who can take offence at anything.

by The ColonelThe Colonel, 14 Jan 2021 17:01

I agree with your statement of 6 years ago.

The list that was first put on this page 12 years ago was a straight-up copy-and-paste from Wikipedia, because in the early days of arcanawiki, it seemed like a useful list for things I imagined we might make pages about. I suspect that there was a better context at Wikipedia at that time, and I just used too much brevity in my summary here. It's been more than a decade, though, so my memory could be wrong.

Regardless, that list no longer exists on Wikipedia, and the page it was taken from has been significantly edited and renamed multiple times in the past 12 years. The context and better explanation that I think was at the source is no longer there (and the fact it got edited away suggests that it's possible a majority of wiki editors didn't buy the explanation either).

I considered zapping the page, but in the end decided to expand the list out a bit tonight, and added a much better disclaimer, so it's hopefully less objectionable now. Hopefully.

I almost didn't make a page on this article, because it's kind of basic and doesn't really add much specific knowledge on the topics, and then I realized we don't actually have any pages on anything like the Drake Equation, Fermi's Paradox, or The Great Filter. How have we missed that? More for my giant to-do list, I guess.

Found this mentioned in passing on a you-tube video.

by The ColonelThe Colonel, 30 Nov 2020 19:59
The ColonelThe Colonel 29 Nov 2020 18:40
in discussion Meta Forums / Per page discussions » Book Code

Sorry - just got an "edit lock removed" when saving, without being warned that someone else had been working on it.

by The ColonelThe Colonel, 29 Nov 2020 18:40

Seemed worth taking a couple minutes to try and turn a single-sentence dead stub into more-or-less a barebones usable page. So I popped over to see what TV Tropes Wiki had to say about this, because I suspected that's why this page existed. I've tried to distill this down to the core of what the TV Tropes page is about, but most of their examples were not media I've ever consumed, so I may be missing the finer points.

by r_b_bergstromr_b_bergstrom, 16 Nov 2020 05:21
The ColonelThe Colonel 08 Nov 2020 02:10
in discussion Meta Forums / Per page discussions » Tempestarii

Am I right in thinking that the singular would be tempestarius?

by The ColonelThe Colonel, 08 Nov 2020 02:10
The ColonelThe Colonel 05 Nov 2020 15:03
in discussion Meta Forums / Per page discussions » Werewolf

Just looking at the change index is showing me "werewolves, Vikings" at them moment … starting to look like a rival for the zombie/ninja/pirate trichotomy. Unless we use werebears. Everything is worse with bears.

by The ColonelThe Colonel, 05 Nov 2020 15:03

I think the TV Tropes wiki used to just call it "IN SPACE!" and changed the name later. I suspect that's why a number of pages here at arcanawiki have links to just "In Space". More than were linked to "Recycled in Space". On the other hand, user error (mostly mine) could also be a reasonable explanation. Just to be safe, I made a redirect page so both versions direct here now.

I've never been able to get them to work properly … there's a page somewhere where I rage quite on one after repeated attempts.

by The ColonelThe Colonel, 20 Jul 2020 08:17
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