## Wednesday, December 6, 2017

### Alternative to the d20 System

Early D&D used to be a mishmash of various different rules. Roll this die for this, that die for that, look on a table for this other thing. Thieves rolled a percentile die (two d10s with one treated as the "tens" place) and compared to a table on thieves skills; fighters rolled a d20 and looked up their result on a table organized by their level and the targets AC; later fighters rolled a d20 and compared THAC0 and AC to the result; some traps you rolled a d6 and found it on a 1, some doors you rolled a d8 and forced it open on a 1, some checks you rolled a d20 and tried to get under your ability score like STR.

It was kind of a crazy, scattered mess.

## Tuesday, December 5, 2017

### Advanced Berenst#in Bears Theory - Complex Euclidean Space

I wrote a blog post several years ago about the Berenst#in Bears that, somehow, against all odds, managed to get picked up on the internet.  It's been posted on Reddit and other outlets several times, and accounts for about 95% of all traffic to my blog.

The post is of course intended to be silly, but part of the silliness is that hidden inside this ridiculous proposition of universes merging over children book names is a very mathematically complicated thesis about the nature of space and time.

I don't think I did a very good job explaining what that thesis is, because I often see my blog being referenced as claiming either time travel, the many-worlds hypothesis, or something else about quantum mechanics are responsible for us finding ourselves in this piteous state of being in the wrong universe with the wrong cartoon bears.

In this post, my goal is to outline what exactly it is that I was "claiming," so that if the story gets picked up again (unlikely now that more major outlets have picked it up), maybe people can actually at least summarize what I'm saying correctly.

TL;DR the theory is about changing the geometry of spacetime by allowing all four dimensions to be general complex numbers.

## Saturday, November 4, 2017

### A Rule for Shields from Descending Armor Class, Applied to Ascending Armor Class

I've been playing 'D&D 'ever since I was a young boy and found my dad's Dungeon Master's Guide on his bookshelf (the original, by Gygax).  I was still too young to understand a lot of it (Gygax opens with a discussion of uniform vs binomial probability distributions...), but I spent hours of days flipping through the pages, looking at the pictures and reading the descriptions of a fantastic world.  It inspired me to make my own games about exploring through planned dungeons with friends and having them use ability scores to get through.

By the time I was old enough to try to really figure out the rules, version 3.0 was out, which made a lot of changes.  One of the biggest was replacing the original Descending AC and THAC0 system with the slightly more intuitive Ascending AC system.  This system always just made sense to me, whereas DAC and THAC0 always seemed weird and complicated.  I never understood how DAC worked, and never really saw a good explanation of it, and so just never used it.  It was only recently, when getting into old school tabletop RPGs, that I decided to look up an explanation of how DAC and THAC0 used to work.

## Wednesday, October 25, 2017

### test

test for commenting

Update: I think I figured it out.  Comments should work better now.

From my phone I can comment.  From my computer, I'm only able to  comment if I use a separate page for  comments.

## Sunday, September 24, 2017

### The Baker and the Beast

I have an idea for a movie.  It's a moving tale of passion and vocation.  I've pitched it to my wife and a few friends, and all agree, it's pretty brilliant.

Since it infringes on all kinds of Disney copyright, and since the premise is kind of ridiculous, it will never actually be made into a movie.  So I figured I'd just pitch it here.

The genesis.

So, I hate pop music.

## Monday, September 18, 2017

### Replies not working

I just want to apologize to people who have commented and I haven't replied.  For some reason, Blogger is eating my reply comments, so that after I hit "submit" the reply doesn't get saved to the server.

A similar problem also happens to people trying to comment on older posts with lots of comments.  I can't complain about Blogger, it being free and all, but I will need to look into my server situation and perhaps go with a different hosting platform.

UPDATE: I think the problem is my computer's browser (safari).  I tried updating all of my computer's software, but it still doesn't work very well with Blogger.  I have tried responding to some comments three or four times now, and this is really frustrating.

## Sunday, September 17, 2017

### I am a monotheist about Zeus

Growing up in the time I did, I have had plenty of chances to hear atheists -- on talk shows, PBS documentaries, classrooms, debates, YouTube videos, internet forums -- present their arguments, and I've heard almost all of them by now.  There are especially some arguments that get brought up rather frequently, and then keep getting repeated for years later.

There's one in particular I want to address, the "One God Further" argument.  I believe the argument originates with Richard Dawkins, but I have certainly heard Christopher Hitchens and others make similar arguments on stage.  This argument is that we are all atheists about most of the gods anyone has ever claimed to believe in.  I'm an atheist about Zeus, Hercules, Mithras, Minerva or any of these other figures.  Dawkins simply goes one god further than I do.

And so, to clarify this issue once and for all, let me just resolutely state that I am not an atheist about Zeus.

I'm really not.

I am a monotheist about Zeus.

My issue with Zeus isn't that he's clearly ridiculous and there's no evidence for him.  I mean, yeah, Zeus is pretty ridiculous and there's no evidence for him.  But that isn't really my objection to Zeus worship.

My objection to Zeus worship is that Zeus isn't the kind of thing that should be rightly called a god, or the kind of thing that should be worshipped.