Brian Rapp

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2014 was forever ago, and Gardner Dozois is no longer with us, but I just finished reading Nancy Kress' award-winning novella in his Year's Best anthology.  Yes, I would go.  The chance of six thousand lifetimes.

6/6 '20 1 Comment
Noooo! He will be missed.

I gave this book, "Is Data Human? The Metaphysics of Star Trek", to my friend Chris shortly before he died from complications of muscular dystrophy.  I don't know whether he had time to read it.

It ponders a lot of the philosophical conundrums inspired by Star Trek tech, such as androids and transporters.  Our friend Tom B. says that he's chill with the idea of being scanned, destroyed, and re-created as an identical copy.  But what if the process goes awry?  This happens to Commander Will Riker, who winds up with a "twin" eventually named Thomas.  Is the "duplicate" going to be just as sanguine about being destroyed to balance the equations?  What if it's unclear which copy is "excess"?

If you played Rock-Paper-Scissors with yourself to solve this problem, would you keep tying endlessly, or are you already different enough to make different choices?  If you're already different, are you really exact duplicates?

3/24 '20 1 Comment
this thread is the definitive exploration of the subject:
CM Adams 3/24 '20edited

My son and I went to see "No Exit" at the community college theatre. It's a three-person study of the thesis that "Hell is other people."

What would you do in such a room for all eternity?

2/8 '20 2 Comments
Probably waste time on Twitter.

(I am a poser, I haven't seen the play.)
I'm afraid that your cell phone has most likely been confiscated.

INEZ: Don't worry. I've a glass in my bag. It's gone! They must have taken it from me at the entrance.
Brian Rapp 2/9 '20

My trusty steed Ki-Rin-Tin-Tin was killed by a wand of death.
Then I managed to explode my bag of holding, my two primary weapons, and quite a lot of other useful things.
And Ki-Rin-Tin-Tin-Too was disintegrated by a black dragon!
So I limped onward, no longer a mounted knight but determined as ever.
"The guardian Angel of Lugh will not accept the name Cool Hand of Lugh."
I went to my reward with 3285282 points, happy just to have made it.

11/21 '19 5 Comments
O my stars, they are still iterating on the game
Thomas Boutell 11/22 '19
They are iterating both it and several wildly differing variants:
* nethack the original, v3.6.1 and counting.
* unnethack - kitchen sink of additions, harder than vanilla, very actively developed.
* Slash'em/Slash'em Extended/SlashThem - I play this one a lot, basically 3.4.3 with new roles, races, monsters, artifacts, longer dungeon, shorter Gehennom. Kinda hard. Playing as a Vampire wizard is super fun. Playing as a Doppleganger is OP AF. Dev seems stalled for most of these subvariants.
* dNethack - new and actively changing as we speak, new mechanics for almost everything, WAY harder monsters, new roles that are basically impossible to ascend, Elbereth replaced with a series of Wards and spirit bindings that convey an intrinsic but only if you don't break conduct...easily the most complicated and difficult of the current variants. You can play as an android or a convict or a time traveler from the future who doesn't know why he has all these crazy plasma weapons etc.
* FiqHack - mostly UI and QoL improvements...didn't do much for me.
* GruntHack - intended to be harder; can't say, never tried it.

I think that's the major ones? AceHack and NitroHack got folded into one or more of those...NetHack4 became FiqHack I think...NetHack Fourk might be active.

Still a great (set of) game(s).
Paul Lord 11/22 '19 has NetHack 3.6.2, using a very convenient interface so you don't have to download or install anything. But now I need to play a time traveller? Aw, man. appears to have many of the variants Paul listed.
Brian Rapp 11/23 '19edited
Hm, getting unstable connectivity to that variant site, it seems.
Brian Rapp 11/23 '19
OH MY STARS AND GARTERS I can watch random people play nethack this is so much better than playing nethack
Thomas Boutell 11/23 '19

There's nothing more dangerous than putting on your blessed greased +2 gray dragon scale mail in the morning and thinking that you're invulnerable.

11/6 '19 2 Comments
Bag End. I can't believe I'm still in Bag End.
Thomas Boutell 11/6 '19

I lost a level 24 wiz-elf-mal-cha to a cross-aligned artifact blast last week.

30 years on, the game still catches me being sloppy every. Time.
Paul Lord 11/6 '19

  CA Q


  CAF 0

OCT77770 OCT 77770




​​​​​​​  TC WHIMPER

10/16 '19 5 Comments
Eeek! I don't speak Ferret.
I think “POODOO” is Huttese.
Brian Rapp 10/17 '19
As in "Bantha Poodoo"?
Exactly. But this code predates Star Wars...
Brian Rapp 10/17 '19
Not with an HCF, but with a WHIMPER.
Thomas Boutell 10/17 '19

 I have 3 CD cases in my car, because apparently I like primitive physical media.  Apparently I also like peppy songs about death.  Not “death metal” or anything so raucous, just “la la la everyone dies”.  So, for your enjoyment and mine, here are Ferret’s music reviews:

Track 1:  Thirty-three presumed dead by drowning.  ***** Five stars, and the holotype example on this album.  It has a very peppy Caribbean beat, and then a shipload of people perish in a hurricane.  At least I assume they perish.  There’s no explanation for the omniscient third person narration, but that’s the most likely interpretation, I believe.

Track 2:  No human deaths, but dead windmills, at least. *

Track 3:  Thousands dead at Gallipoli, in this mournful memoir of war.  ****

Track 4:  No deaths, one possible statutory rape.  Zero stars, do not like.

Track 5:  Dead father, dead nobleman and henchmen, and peasant heads on pikes by morning.  ****

Track 6:  Just one dead deputy sheriff, with attending legal consequences.  ***

Track 7:  One dead knight, with grateful commentary by scavenging birds.  ***

Track 8:  Most of humanity extinguished when someone pushes the button.  Super peppy.  *****

Track 9:  No immediate deaths, just alcoholism.  * One star for amusing ad-lib.

Track 10:  No deaths, but some very unfortunate life choices.  *

Track 11:  No deaths.  Beans.  Do not want.

Track 12:  No deaths, but it’s about sleep, which is somewhat akin.  *

Track 13:  I have no idea what this song is about, or even what LANGUAGE it is supposed to be.  I once put this song on auto-repeat to see how long it would take for a child to figure out that it wasn’t ever going to end.  **

Track 14:  No deaths, just poor life choices and alcoholism.  No thanks.

Track 15:  Three dead brothers, and another one heading away to war.  Kinda peppy, but missing something.  ***

Track 16:  Death is only mentioned once, but tyrants who imprison people and then get their comeuppance is something to sing about.  I’m quite fond of this one.  ****

Track 17:  Probably lots of people dead in battle, but the protagonist is only MOSTLY dead.  His mortal wounds are healed by a witch when she has her way with him.  What’s not to like?  *****

Track 18:  No reported deaths, but this song is all about the fear of death, and losing one’s loved ones.  Be thankful for the time you have.  ****

Track 19:  Mocking the criminal ancestry of Australians.  Meh.

Track 20:  Very catchy, even though nobody dies.  ***

4/16 '19 8 Comments
***** Best review
Robert Bryan 4/17 '19
rone 4/18 '19
I enjoyed this, although I mostly failed at guessing the songs.
Thomas Boutell 4/27 '19
Only MOSTLY failed? Congratulations. They're mostly obscure folk songs. Care to guess?
Brian Rapp 4/27 '19
1. Edmund Fitzgerald
2. Killing me softly, tilting windmills
3. ... band played waltzing matilda
4. Excitable boy
5. Lawyers, Guns & Money
6. I shot the sheriff
7. These Eyes
9. Margaritaville
10. Mr. Bad Example
12. Spiderman, Cure
13. I palidrome I
14. Margaritaville
15. Sounds Irish
18. Cat's Cradle
19. Oh, wait, are these all Monty Python songs?
20. I feel I've missed something important.
Robert Bryan 4/27 '19
One correct! "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" ©1971.

And now I have to research all those other guesses.

1. Twenty-nine dead on the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. So close.
2. Nope, the song is actually about windmills, and mentions tilting.
4. It appears there is a death in "Excitable Boy", so that can't be it.
5. Father probably not dead in "Lawyers, Guns & Money", nor do I count any noblemen.
6. Who did shoot the deputy, anyway? Hm.
7. "These Eyes" by the Guess Who? I will definitely need some help finding the dead knight and the scavenging birds.
8. I do love me some "It's the End of the World as We Know It". That was playing in someone's car on my Spring Break 1988. *****
9. I wouldn't be surprised to learn of an ad-libbed "Margaritaville". Are you thinking of a particular one?
10. Mr. Bad Example does have some unfortunate life choices.
12. Wow, the Spiderman of "Lullaby" is not Friendly.
13. "I Palindrome I" seems to contain mostly English lyrics.
14. Nope, still not "Margaritaville". James Whitmore Jr.?
15. Not Irish. Canadian, with antecedents from elsewhere.
18. "Cat's in the Cradle" gets many stars. RIP Harry Chapin.
19. Monty Python?
20. Haven't we all.
Brian Rapp 4/27 '19
The birds are eating the eyes.
Robert Bryan 4/27 '19
He changes the refrain.
Maybe that's not an ad-lib, now that I think about it.
Robert Bryan 4/27 '19