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Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:04 pm
by G. E. Lee
Gary Cuba wrote:Thanks for listening! I'm pleased that this tiny piece sparked some interesting discussion and speculation.

One comment (by Mr/Ms Lee, as I recall) remarked that this seemed to reflect a typical Lovecraftian theme, and that's probably not too far off the mark from my intention. Or, alternately, the story was a tribute to some of the old 1950's "EC Comics" themes that I remember so well. I wrote this intentionally in a somewhat old-fashioned, "pedantic" style reminiscent of the "old stuff." Two old guys, one a withdrawn, effete aesthete, the other a stuffy ivory-tower professorial sort--but both of them a bit "far off the peak" of the bell curve, self-absorbed in their own inner worlds and fully committed to them.

I can only say that I've suffered recurring nightmares for most of my life about this story's theme: that at any moment, I will find out that the entire basis of reality, everything that I hold dear to my heart, will in an instant be shown to be false--and to find out that I'm the supreme, universal sap.

Well, it _is_ a ridiculous notion, after all, something only fit for nightmares.

Gary
Glad to see I'm not imagining things. :)
I did enjoy the story. Looking back at my original post, I guess that's not obvious. The comparison to HPL was meant as a compliment, as I'm a big fan.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:11 pm
by bolddeceiver
See, I see a possible other view to take, though possibly an identical one. All the commentary assumes the story takes place in "our world." Couldn't it just as easily take place in a simulation being run in our world?

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:26 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Oo!

The sun has exploded and the two characters are the only humans who were saved by benevolent (but grossly underfunded) alien scientists. The aliens built them a simulation of Earth to live in, planning to break the bad news gradually, but the old man stumbled upon evidence of the alien's trickery. The narrator, in his misguided zeal, kills the only other human in existence to save a world that no longer exists!

The irony!! :shock:

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:08 pm
by anadrea
XKCD made me think of this story today:

Image

Hehe... :)

Re: Drabblecast 45- The Fine Point by Gary Cuba

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:15 pm
by Unblinking
Loved it! I've had many recurring thoughts over the years about whether the world is simulated in some form or another. I'm not sure they're actually fears, but definitely many thoughts. So I felt like this tapped right into my brain and extracted those thoughts and made a story. Usually when I consider it, I'm thinking of one of a couple things:
1. I somehow find it continually amazing all the processing that is presumably being spent to calculate complicated motion even when no one is watching. I usually think of this when I see a waterfall which have often been constantly in motion for thousands of years at least.
2. I also find it interesting to ponder all the useless detail there is in the world, like the reflecttions of water on a running fountain, or the patterns of dirt in a footprint, etc... What's the point of all that detail? This story hit on that by telling me that the details are repeated somewhere else, saving time.
3. I somehow find it amazing that the interior of objects exist even when they are not exposed. When I dig a hole in the ground I half expect to find that the "ground" was just an infinitesimally thin skin over emptiness, and it seems odd to find all that dirt crammed under the skin.

That being said, I think I'd flip if I made the realization that the world is fake. I don't think I'd kill anyone though. I'd probably just pick at it like a scab, trying to find the boundaries, and see what lies beneath.

Re: Drabblecast 45- The Fine Point by Gary Cuba

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 6:10 pm
by strawman
Unblinking wrote:Loved it! I've had many recurring thoughts over the years about whether the world is simulated in some form or another. I'm not sure they're actually fears, but definitely many thoughts. So I felt like this tapped right into my brain and extracted those thoughts and made a story. Usually when I consider it, I'm thinking of one of a couple things:
1. I somehow find it continually amazing all the processing that is presumably being spent to calculate complicated motion even when no one is watching. I usually think of this when I see a waterfall which have often been constantly in motion for thousands of years at least.
2. I also find it interesting to ponder all the useless detail there is in the world, like the reflecttions of water on a running fountain, or the patterns of dirt in a footprint, etc... What's the point of all that detail? This story hit on that by telling me that the details are repeated somewhere else, saving time.
3. I somehow find it amazing that the interior of objects exist even when they are not exposed. When I dig a hole in the ground I half expect to find that the "ground" was just an infinitesimally thin skin over emptiness, and it seems odd to find all that dirt crammed under the skin.

That being said, I think I'd flip if I made the realization that the world is fake. I don't think I'd kill anyone though. I'd probably just pick at it like a scab, trying to find the boundaries, and see what lies beneath.

Granted that 1-3 are rather odd although fundamental, I wonder if they might represent infant perceptions. That may be why kids are always picking and peeling and trying to get inside things. I never thought of taking advantage of this, but it occurs to me that if Mr. Tweedy has a problem with his daughter peeling the wallpaper, he might exclaim, "O thank God we caught that in time. You almost unraveled the world!"

Of course, there are other risks to consider then, one of which would be the permanent grafting of the unraveling idea into her developing psyche. But where's the harm in that?

Re: Drabblecast 45- The Fine Point by Gary Cuba

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 6:21 pm
by tbaker2500
Unblinking wrote:2. I also find it interesting to ponder all the useless detail there is in the world, like the reflecttions of water on a running fountain, or the patterns of dirt in a footprint, etc... What's the point of all that detail?
The footprints are there for Mantracker, obviously! If you haven't seen this wonderful Canadian TV show, you should.

Re: Drabblecast 45- The Fine Point by Gary Cuba

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 3:00 pm
by Unblinking
strawman wrote: Granted that 1-3 are rather odd although fundamental, I wonder if they might represent infant perceptions. That may be why kids are always picking and peeling and trying to get inside things. I never thought of taking advantage of this, but it occurs to me that if Mr. Tweedy has a problem with his daughter peeling the wallpaper, he might exclaim, "O thank God we caught that in time. You almost unraveled the world!"

Of course, there are other risks to consider then, one of which would be the permanent grafting of the unraveling idea into her developing psyche. But where's the harm in that?
You should try it, and report back how it works! :)

It's possible that they are infant perceptions to some degree. If I remember correctly the few scraps of infant psychology I've come across, "object permanence" is a concept a very very young child cannot grasp. That's why peekaboo is such a compelling game for them, when your face is not in sight then it DOES NOT EXIST!! And when your hands move away to reveal your face again, the face is created from nothing--what marvelous magic!

Speaking for myself personally, though, I don't think these are leftover infant perceptions, but something I picked up from playing innumerable hours of video games as a child. Occasionally you might come across a game glitch where your player character somehow falls through a crack in the world and falls and falls and falls as the world dwindles above. Sometimes the game realizes its error and puts you back on the map, sometimes it just leaves you stranded out in nowhereland. That's because in those games the ground is generally not the surface of a solid object, it is just a boundary meant to appear like the surface of an object. You're not meant to slip through, but if somehow you do, then there's nothing beneath to catch you.

Somehow, the earth's surface being a paper thin boundary over nothingness makes more sense to me than imagining all that space filled up with dirt and rocks and stuff. :P

Re: Drabblecast 45- The Fine Point by Gary Cuba

Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:18 am
by strawman
On planets with children who behaved, the insides are made of chocolate and nuts. It's just us that got the lumps of coal.

Re: Drabblecast 045 - The Fine Point

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:37 pm
by sandrilde
I'm on my third attempt to listen to this and get something out of it but still failing.

Ending made no sense - if you discovered something amazing and weird about reality, you'd be excited and want to study it, not murder your old friend who discovered it.

And the basic idea behind the story didn't do that much for me. I think much more COULD be done with it but not too impressed.

Maybe listening to 45 DC in 2 days is warping my brain. It's possible.

Re: Drabblecast 045 - The Fine Point

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:37 pm
by tbaker2500
sandrilde wrote:I'm on my third attempt to listen to this and get something out of it but still failing.

Ending made no sense - if you discovered something amazing and weird about reality, you'd be excited and want to study it, not murder your old friend who discovered it.

And the basic idea behind the story didn't do that much for me. I think much more COULD be done with it but not too impressed.

Maybe listening to 45 DC in 2 days is warping my brain. It's possible.
I'd say your brain was already warped if you've consumed that much.

I agree with your viewpoint. However, there is the viewpoint of somebody so scared of the universe being "wrong" that you want to hide it at all costs, out of denial. I'm not that person, but I've know people who could fall into that camp.

Of course it's been two years since I've heard this ep, so I may be wrong.

Re: Drabblecast 045 - The Fine Point

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:18 pm
by normsherman
I've been re- listening to some of these early ones myself. Try to remember that in these early days authors were submitting their work to my own personal Hotmail address for consideration, for either no pay or half a .cent a word a little later. I was publishing this stuff from my macbook in my living room to probably less than a thousand people.
By that light, it's actually kind of amazing (IMO) that we had work this strong submitted.
It's this experience that taught me that every day people (as opposed to just big name established authors) could occasionally write true gems of fiction, and therefore we should always keep open submissions rather than relying on just on headhunting or reprints.
So while some of these may be hit or miss, remember that they all still served a larger purpose and kept us going.

Re: Drabblecast 045 - The Fine Point

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:36 pm
by sandrilde
Yes - overall I'm pretty thrilled with how solid some of these early eps are - very cool that you built it up so quickly. Sorry to spam the story boards but it's fun and helps me track what I've listened to :)


As for what we like and don't like - sometime I hate things that win hugos and nebulas. Sometimes I love things no one pays attention to. So I'm very aware that my opinions are not the gold standard -