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I'll be off to Chicago tomorrow, courtesy of taxi and Megabus.

My online lives are closing. There's been rather sharp separation: close friends from college and San Francisco in e-mail; other college people on Gale; various mailing lists and newsgroups; IU on LJ; Michelle over on blogspot; never shall they meet. Well, except for Usenet/LJ bleeding. But shakal's a (silent) person from Caltech on LJ, and now fanw of my close circle and I have exchanged names. And I find she's been on LJ since 2004, ahem.

I've read all of the Chobits manga, courtesy of the public library. What I've realized is that it's affected me in a way that most manga and anime hasn't, and that the ending is really frustrating (that, alas, isn't uncommon.) There are works which change how you see the world, or how you think the world should be, or how you think *you* should be: Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Ayn Rand (not for me, but for many), Lois Bujold, Vernor Vinge. The mindbending quality of Adams and Pratchett is what I now think they have in common, you put their books down with a different mode of thinking. I think Hitchhiker had more of that than Dirk Gently, and Discworld more than Bromeliad, thus the relative popularities.

Hikaru no Go got me playing Go again for a while, and Scrapped Princess infected my imagination and gave me a userpic, but most other anime/manga I can think of seems like it's been an aesthetic or narrative drug. I watch, I enjoy (or not), I see how it comes out, and that's that. Chobits gave me another way of seeing future human-robot relationships and development, and a fairly plausible one. Big win. It also ends with our being told that even the most robots don't feel emotions -- told this by a robot who shut down of pain from grief and unrequited love. What? There's more to say on this, but I won't for now. It'd be most fun with people who'd read the thing, anyway.

I went to Gen Con Friday. Played Puerto Rico, and a Castle Falkenstein RPG, and went out to dinner with anime people. I can understand unforth's just wanting to walk around and steep in geek culture, but I'm glad I got to play a Falk game.

I've now bought Puerto Rico, "better than Settlers" and the most popular game at thinkgamegeek.com, as well as Citadels (from a defunct gaming group) and Bohnanza (known from Caltech friends). Coming soon to a Guild meeting near you! Well, not too soon.



Damien Sullivan

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July 2018


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