Category Archives: The kairos made me do it

A template for a rejection letter

To whom it may concern,

I am honored that you have considered me for this award/nomination/appointment/coauthorship/[appropriate term here], and take great pride in being a name mentioned in the discussions surrounding this occasion. Truly, I am in great company.

However, I can not in good conscience accept this award/nomination/appointment/coauthorship/[appropriate term here]. The reasons for this ought to be obvious, as your efforts at due diligence should have indicated them in extensive detail. I wish you well in your search for a better suited candidate.

Sincerely,

Alive and/or kicking

She had died

This was a very confusing thought to have. She’d always imagined being dead as a great big nothing, the darkness to end all light, the absence to define all things. This whole business of surprised realization was not at all in the cards. And yet, here she was

Besides being when not expecting to be, she also found she was not what she expected to be. Rather than the comfortable but limited form that had been her from birth until death, she was larger somehow. More cosmic. More capable of bringing universes into being and ending them, as suited her whim. More ambiently omnipotent. That had definitely not been part of the skill set of her mortal coil

As she examined this greatly expanded capability of getting things done, she thought a phrase common to her generation:

I understand and accept these new terms and conditions

Wishing well

1. Give me the virtues and wisdom required to gracefully face the situations I will find myself in

2.

3.

Exodus from the blockchain

Economists were baffled. This was a commodity with no possibility of a market whatsoever. It was simply impossible for a market to exist – at any point in time, simply using it would confer greater value than exchanging it ever would. Trading it would always be a net loss, regardless of time, place or circumstance

This is not to say it was worthless. Far from it. It’s just that its utility is of such magnitude that no monetary boon, favor or extracurricular recompense could compete with simply putting it to immediate use. There were simply never any reason to exchange it, ever, much to the chagrin of those ideologically committed to letting market forces dictate distribution. One can not force a market into being when there are no conditions for it

If only, a noted ideologue lamented, there were some theory that could explain this strange anomaly, in such a way that we could understand its implications

Time pockets

It began as a simple exercise in efficiency. Providing historically active clothing for time travelers turned out to be a costly enterprise, especially given the many varieties of fabrics used over the ages, all treated in different ways so as to suit geography, fashion and socioeconomic status. When seen in the long view, it all seemed a bit much. Thus, the time travel consortiums gradually begun setting up small historically appropriate fashion business all across their respective slices of the time-space continuum. The leading thought being that if you can’t beat them, joining them for a marginal profit is preferable

Naturally, things did not go according to plan. Instead of being marginal footnotes in the history of fashion, obscure yet recognizable garments appropriate across most relevant ages, the enterprises turned out to be economic juggernauts utterly dominating their respective settings. In other circumstances, this might have been a win; in the context of stealthily studying the natural evolution of societies undisturbed over long periods of time, it was anything but

Fortunately, given time travel, it was only a matter of going back to the first time this idea was broached and discourage it. As the saying goes: better luck next timeline

A list of free podcast names

Symptoms of the algorithm

Fan art of the simulacrum

They said there would be cats

The blank spaces are talking to me

I preordered this podcast and all I got was an RSS feed

The sound of rain falling on rooftops during a non-stressful Sunday morning

When in doubt, ask Kate

This, my friends, is slightly too many spiders

Listeners are discursive anomalies

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but

We like unfinished adventure games, and play them for the lore

After reading the book, we are both more and less impressed than we thought we would be

The good news is, but the bad news has yet to come

Whatever it is, it bears repeating

Support us on patreon and we will get a better microphone

Just you wait until the next episode

For every bird, there is an equal and opposite bird

Your listicle is wrong, and here’s why

History ended in 1878, and we are living in the postapocalypse

I can’t believe the university let us use their studio

Snakes on an icosahedron

The moon landing wasn’t fake, but I question its ethical foundation

How to escape the podcast-industrial complex

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Civilization 4 mod Fall from Heaven 2, but never knew who to ask

The vague specificities of urban everyday life

More longer friend, did you ever actually see that sky?

Character classes from an unfinished adventure game

Store scout

Knows exactly what everything costs everywhere. Can make a shoestring budget last for days

Unfortunate telepath

Can read people’s minds, but does not care enough about others to do so

Porn connoisseur

Can instantly become friends with just about anyone. The details of the bonding process remain unknown

Fandom lore explicator

Can escalate any conflict to levels previously unthought of

Unwitting sagaciousness

Can give sage advice, but only on topics of which they know nothing; +3 lore

60s kid

Never lost touch with the far out realms of human experience; receives massive penalties to social interaction skill checks

90s kid

Remembers everything: -5 dexterity

Adventure game protagonist

Is constantly baffled by other people getting stuck in seemingly random situations

Visual novel protagonist

Seems to know everything about everyone despite having just met

Storekeeper

Can transform any item into local currency; is not allowed to run any kind of business whatsoever

Horoscope crafter

Can create a horoscope appropriate to any situation; refuses to get a driver’s license for ideological reasons

World’s fair expert

Has a nigh-encyclopedic knowledge about everything relating to world’s fairs; gains -10 morale during the Olympic Games

Store clerk

Will discuss the logistics of Death Star construction and maintenance at all possible moments

Youtube celebrity

Has an audience in the millions; not a single one of them lives nearby

Local single

Can instantly teleport to any area; +15 to locate people skill

Single mom

+500 endurance

App developer

The UI is turned off during gameplay; cannot save

Actually an alien

Clueless about pop cultural references; +30 morale in Canadian forests

Soccer fan

Enters states of hyper rage or euphoria seemingly at random

Bitcoin enthusiast

Cannot buy or sell items; -20 to barter

Delinquent youth

Have read every book in the library; can talk circles around adults, landing them into all sorts of trouble

Poet

Secretly never learnt the difference between blank verse and free verse; +5 lore

Librarian

In possession of unimaginable superpowers; have for their own inscrutable reasons chosen to use these to serve the public

Spawn from Beyond

Attends local high school; +25 relationship points with goths

Hermione

Protagonist from a famous series of fantasy novels; only available as an Easter egg

Hypermasculine sidekick

No one must know your secret shame

Wearer of white, pink and blue

The only character that can unlock the true ending

Cat whisperer

Cats gravitate towards you

Liking, commenting and subscribing – the next step

At some point in time, the stream had been about something. This much was evidenced in the paraphernalia – it made inexplicable references to eternal things, more often than not seemingly by virtue of once having been put there and then unceremoniously forgotten. The stream itself though, as it now stood, was an endless, self-referencing series of interactions between streamer and audience, where the subject matter seemed to be nothing but the stream itself. As such, there were no new viewers or long time firsters – indeed, either you were in it with evident alacrity or not at all. There were no entry points, possibly also no exit points. The rare accounts given by those who had managed to leave were disjointed and fragmented at best, common grammar seeming to be one of the first victims of the neverending, self-fulfilling stream of shared consciousness. In the absence of accessible data, it was thought best to treat it as a black box, whose internal mechanisms remain unknown, but whose effects are obvious for everyone to behold

An incomplete list of the different kinds of apocalypses there are

Apocalypse: a revelation regarding an impending catastrophic event, often heavily implicating the end of the world as we know it; the term is sometimes also used to connote these events

Anticipatory apocalypses: the end is nigh! Rejoice!

Antagonistic apocalypses: the end is nigh, and we shall fight it tooth and nail until it has been overcome and a new, better tomorrow (where everything returns to normal) can be secured

Resigned apocalypses: the end is nigh, and there isn’t really anything we can do about it

Designed apocalypses: the end is nigh, within budget and proceeding according to schedule

Selectively acknowledged apocalypses: it only becomes apocalyptic when it happens to affluent people

Understated apocalypses: the world ended in 1879, and no one really noticed

Zombie apocalypses: this might very well be the first time any of these people acknowledged your existence

Nuclear apocalypses: we built ever bigger bombs, and then used them. In retrospect, this might not have been the wisest, most virtuous course of action to have chosen

Postapocalypses: it happened, and we somehow remained

Postapocalyptic zoology: ordinary animals have mutated into unusually large and aggressive versions of themselves. It is unclear how the food chains of these massive animals are structured or maintained

Postapocalyptic warfare: war. War never changes

The aesthetic sensibilities of preapocalyptic postapocalyptic modern culture: its self-alienation has reached such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure of the first order

Post-Benjaminian aesthetic sensibilities of preapocalyptic postapocalyptic modern culture: we got self-annihilations we ain’t even got names for yet

Prophetic visions of the coming year

It will take a while to get used to this new, unfamiliar number on calendars and stationeries

You will be, ever so imperceptibly, older

Your friends have all started to have kids, and keeping track of them all is an exercise in forensic demography

More and more often, your attempts to communicate with youngsters run into the roadblock of not knowing their mediated frames of reference

Equally as often, your attempts to reference contemporary popular culture results in blank stares and discreet Wikipedia inquiries

The recent year 2009 happened ten years ago

Your list of things to do never actually gets any shorter; things are just removed from the top and added at the bottom

Failures accumulate while successes fade away

Those books will never get read. For most of them, that’s okay

Everything is embedded within layers and layers of history. Some of these layers are yours

No matter how much you did, you could have done more. Ironically, the key to getting things done is to let this thought go

Productivity is a myth that obfuscates the amount of energy we actually expend doing things

Even expensive pants tear

You are not missing out

No one actually remembers what it meant to party in 1999, so you are free to make up your own nostalgic throwbacks

We are, ever so gradually, becoming the Wise Ancients

2019 will be a glorious year to create your own ancient rituals

Hug every cat