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Three unrelated thoughts [Jun. 19th, 2009|11:04 pm]
I was going to blog about philosophy, but I have sinusy things giving me a headache, and since philosophy makes me cranky anyway, I'm going to punt. I will simply note that starting with the assumption that the correct answer to any philosophical conundrum or paradox is "that is a stupid-ass question" is surprisingly productive.

Spent 13 hours at work today for a colleague's celebratory retirement colloquium. Tasty dinner, some interesting discussions, utterly failed to get anything accomplished working remotely during talks. See 'sinusy things', above.

Ran the 4e DnD one-shot again last weekend, for Greg & Jerry & Mel & Nick. Had a good time; took about how long I thought it would, given all new players. Definitely liked the improvements I made. (Stealth monsters make for lousy boss fights; much better now that I changed it.) I'm still liking my homebrew skill challenge system (just a series of linked skill checks, with suitable outcomes defined for total number of successes/failures), although I need to figure out what to do with really high rolls. By the numbers, you should just count success or failure and ignore degree of success, but it feels wrong not to reward somebody when they manage to roll a 30+. Maybe count it double? I should probably count horrible failures double, too, then. Must ponder.

[User Picture]From: dpolicar
2009-06-20 01:42 pm (UTC)
You could always let the player bank a high roll like that to use when it counts, and re-roll. Kind of like a karma point.

A great many classic philosophical conundra are in fact stupid-ass questions. Generally I find what's interesting about them is that the process of figuring out what makes them stupid-ass (or, more commonly, what makes them seem superficially compelling) tends to reveal something about the broken ways we think about the subject.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2009-06-20 03:52 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly! Even if it doesn't necessarily seem stupid-ass at first glance, starting with the assumption that it is and working out why that would be is productive.
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[User Picture]From: flwyd
2009-06-22 08:06 pm (UTC)
Typically, when a philosophical question has been chewed on long enough to determine it's in the set of non-stupid-ass, it gets spun into its own discipline. So the Bayesian prior of a philosophy question appearing stupid-ass is pretty high.
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[User Picture]From: goddessdster
2009-06-20 03:01 pm (UTC)
Actually, "that is a stupid-ass question" has helped me in many of my political debates as well. Another I like is, "you're wasting energy on the wrong argument," because sometimes people get defensive when they think I'm calling them stupid.

Having dated a philosophy major for 4 years, it is usually philosophical debates that give me headaches.
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[User Picture]From: dcseain
2009-06-22 05:37 am (UTC)
Hi there! So you know, i sent links to this, and your other two posts mentioning 4e DnD to members of the campaign i'm currently in. I'm sure our GM, voltbang would love to chat some with you about your thoughts. chelona, ryvex, ohio_geek, and two others whom i know not whether they're on LJ.

So if any of them swing by here to comment or message you, that's my fault.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2009-06-22 07:47 pm (UTC)
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