Archive for January, 2010

fear of the future

“All fear is, in essence, fear of the future. We are afraid of the things that have not yet happened, but which if they did might bring us pain, suffering or some other discomfort – or stand in the way of some future contentment. And we are afraid that circumstances that are already causing us displeasure may continue in the future. “


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do you have mimetic desires?

green eye


Fashion, trends and fads all owe something to our natural instincts to want what other want or have. At a basic level this instinct is probably something of a survival and learning mechanism. Today, it is hugely important in economics, market movements, popular culture or the polarization of sales (the dip vs the long tail).

René Girard

Far from being autonomous, our desire for a certain object is always provoked by the desire of another person — the model — for this same object. This means that the relationship between the subject and the object is not direct: there is always a triangular relationship of subject, model, and object.”

Everyone holds firmly to the illusion of the authenticity of one’s own desires

Peter Thiel of PayPal & Facebook;

“Thiel’s philosophical mentor is one René Girard of Stanford University, proponent of a theory of human behaviour called mimetic desire. Girard reckons that people are essentially sheep-like and will copy one another without much reflection. The theory would also seem to be proved correct in the case of Thiel’s virtual worlds: the desired object is irrelevant; all you need to know is that human beings will tend to move in flocks. Hence financial bubbles. Hence the enormous popularity of Facebook.”

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adventure game advice that is good for most games

Player’s Bill of Rights by Graham Nelson;

  • Not to be killed without warning
  • Not to be given horribly unclear clues
  • To be able to win without the experience of past lives
  • To be able to win without the knowledge of future events
  • Not to have the game closed off without warning
  • Not to need to do unlikely things
  • Not to need to do boring things for the sake of it
  • Not to have to type exactly the right verb
  • To be allowed reasonable synonyms
  • To have a decent parser
  • To have reasonable freedom of action
  • Not to depend too much on luck
  • To be able to understand a problem once it is solved
  • Not to be given too many red herrings
  • To have a good reason why something is impossible
  • Not to be too American
  • To know how the game is getting on (indication of progress)

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