vaecrius: a crude scrawl of a grinning, blazing yellow sun. (hier kommt die sonne)
We Don't Go There At Night
Rules & Guidelines:
  1. The story text should be the only text in your comic.
  2. Use the text any way you like.
  3. Your comic can be as long or as short as you choose, in any medium, on any subject.
  4. Your comic must be spooky.


The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling by Ted Chiang
We don’t normally think of it as such, but writing is a technology, which means that a literate person is someone whose thought processes are technologically mediated. We became cognitive cyborgs as soon as we became fluent readers, and the consequences of that were profound.
A thing that needs to be read. Fiction, if I recall.



Eating indigenously changes diets and lives of Native Americans
History and health came together one dark November evening for Marty Reinhardt at Northern Michigan University.

Reinhardt, a professor in the Native American Studies program, was helping to serve up fry bread, Indian tacos and other offerings at the annual First Nations Food Taster, a fund-raising event for the Native American Student Association, when he had an epiphany: “Would my ancestors even recognize this as food?”

Much has changed between Reinhardt and his ancestors. Indians have long since been removed to reservations, and diets based on seasonal hunting, fishing, gathering and gardening have been replaced by government-supplied commodity foods. Indians have suffered a crisis in diet-related obesity and health issues.

These disparate threads converged that evening in the Lake Superior port city of Marquette, Mich., as Reinhardt, of Anishinaabe Ojibway heritage, turned his question inside out, “I wondered if I could eat what my ancestors ate.”

The spark of curiosity soon evolved into a formal, university-sanctioned research study, the Decolonizing Diet Project — a year-long challenge to eat only foods that were in the Great Lakes region before 1602. The initial food challenge ended in March but the research into indigenous diet continues.
I remember during one of those days on campus in September where various clubs had their stands and one of them was the First Nations Law club and they were giving out free fry bread. I remember quietly politely accepting, but being less than impressed in the end and wondering what had been lost. The memory of that flavour is vivid, as is my post-dinner memory of my mother's very Chinese, very good cooking, and it is that contrast that makes me pay so much greater attention to this article.
vaecrius: A little yellow ant in the grass on a sunny day. (yellow ant)
And [personal profile] helarxe breaks his long silence with of all things.

Incidentally, on notes of such monstrosities, while I've spent the week demanding in vain a proof of the apostolic succession, whatever line of thinking got an outspoken adherent to this kind of insight from someone who is not immediately in that situation himself is to be presumed not to be all that egregiously founded on falsehood.

Incidentally, on what to be when grown up.


While contemplating the theology of the Passion versus the assumptions of patriarchal privilege, an idea for a horrible, equally possibly blasphemous and important depiction occurred to me. Here is some discussion about that. The real discussion is actually in the comments and the article itself can be skipped if you read those.
(Ultimately the idea was decided against, as there was no way to ensure a non-prurient motive)


"Taking this into account, the authors revise the family tree of jawed vertebrates, showing that there is a serious possibility that the modern bony visage originated with E. primordialis’s ancestors. This would mean that humans look more like the last common ancestor of living jawed vertebrates than we thought, and that sharks are less primitive than palaeontologists assumed, having done away with their bones as an adaptation."


That's some strong pale fire right there. tl;dr Jane Chance gives the L.R. the same sort of postmodern, use-the-book-it-shouldn't-use-you-who-is-the-master, death-of-the-author "analysis" that I was taught in high school and undergrad. I bought into that sort of stuff hook line and sinker back then, managed to get As without reading more than 1/4 of any of the books (if even that).

For entertainment's sake, a more liberal (mostly in the sense of "liberally applied") evisceration here (although this writer misses the whole problem with the other book).


Stop the presses, I'm getting off.


All that the malice and atheism of the Dragon, the cruelty and rapacity of the Beast, and the fraud and deceit of the false Prophet can generate, or accomplish, swell the the list. No personal or national interest of man has been uninvaded; no impious sentiment or action has been spared...Shall we, my brethren, become partakers of these sins? Shall we introduce them into our government, our schools, our families? Shall our sons become the disciples of Voltaire, and the dragoons of Marat; or our daughters, the concubines of the Illuminati?


In a word, yes.
vaecrius: A little yellow ant in the grass on a sunny day. (yellow ant)
In those days America had no king, and everyone did as they saw fit.



Boomhauer - Dust in the Wind


'A legislature is thwarted when a judge refuses to apply its handiwork to an unforeseen situation that is encompassed by the statute’s aim but is not a good fit with its text. Ignoring the limitations of foresight, and also the fact that a statute is a collective product that often leaves many questions of interpretation to be answered by the courts because the legislators cannot agree on the answers, the textual originalist demands that the legislature think through myriad hypothetical scenarios and provide for all of them explicitly rather than rely on courts to be sensible. In this way, textualism hobbles legislation—and thereby tilts toward “small government” and away from “big government,” which in modern America is a conservative preference.'


10 Myths About Science Fiction And Why They Matter
This isn't just about science fiction. Not even in the broad sense.
(See also this, this and this)


And the quote of the day.
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
Before everything else, if you read nothing else in this post, take a mental health break. It will break your mental health in all the best ways.


Riotous Eater of Flesh

A carnivorous tribal warrior-race from ______, a sweltering, ecologically volatile forest/ocean planet revolving around a yellow giant deep in the Orion Arm. Naturally resistant to damage and poisons, they have no claws or venoms of their own but rely entirely on things fashioned from available materials or forcibly extracted from other beings. Most of their brain matter is optimized towards problems of food, weapons and territorial displays, with a small non-reproductive caste dedicated to inquiries not directly related thereto. Capable of some limited hivemind-swarming, partially coordinated through their otherwise primitive displays.

Their homeworld rotates on an unusal axial tilt that is just enough to create significant climate differences on the surface while preventing any part of it from being permanently frozen over the year; it is speculated that their natural aggressiveness created a need to rapidly spread out across their world and adapt to its numerous varied climates and sources of nutrients. Their legends say that the planet has been subject to several mass extinctions in the past, apparently the last one perpetuated by these creatures themselves.


...


The reverse furry's face would lack the muscles and coordination necessary to form human expressions, and its eyes would have almost no visible whites.


...


Two dichotomies have been on my mind about what realities exist for us:
  • Transcendental, Institutional Real, Arbitrary

  • Personal, Impersonal

By transcendental real I mean like a rock: no matter what you say, it - or at least the underlying matter constituting it - is still there. (And if what you say is "You with the jackhammer, break this rock and clear our path", the resulting multitude of rocks and dust remains.) There is underneath the surface perception that, if known, becomes a connection to a greater world beyond our subjective interpretation.

By institutional arbitrary I mean the fact that we would call a certain composition a rock and not a pebble, gravel, lava or dust.

Generally, to say it without making an authorial value judgment, people will prefer the personal over the impersonal.

I would rather not imagine a society of people who would categorically value the institutional arbitrary over the transcendental real, rather than valuing the latter as the important one and the former as a necessary evil to be tolerated. A predominantly urbanized, industrialized subculture with an economy where the biggest commodity is information can get very close to such a thing.

The world of the rationalist is transcendental real and impersonal. The personal is relegated to a separate universe, a multitude of isolated wills that observe and act upon a mechanical, passive it that constitutes our (however grudgingly) shared environment.

The world of the ancients, with their gods and ancestors and karma and appeasements, is personal and institutional arbitrary: it's all about who you know, and the what eventually follows.

The core of Christian belief, immediately beneath the Resurrection, is of a transcendental [let's keep "transcendental" here for what follows] personal Reality that is the only true and self-sufficient one over all the others.

Following a childish, Manichean logic, h Hell would then be on the opposite corner: institutional arbitrary and impersonal, a fungible anonymity in which love is literally nonsensical (not merely dismissed as irrational for being against self-interest) in which everything is dictated by arbitrary merely institutional, unaccountable systems of deeming and pretence that are real only in the injustice and suffering they create. A modern, comprehensive bureaucratic state is often invoked as an example, though there are less immediately brutal implementations.

A frequent apparent contradiction, that God made "the world" good but "the world" is also a sordid mess ruled by Satan for the malefit of all, is resolved when the references are understood to mean two distinct worlds on opposite corners of this simple grid.

Following a more traditional distinction, t The remaining two corners aren't that lovely either.



Anyway, here's a thing about how guns work:



[2015-11-11: Made some long-overdue changes to the terminology names. (Short words beat long ones.) Mostly motivated by Fr. Stephen going along similar lines.]
vaecrius: A stylized navy blue anarchy sign juxtaposed with a pixellated chaos symbol made to resemble a snowflake. (anarchy and chaos)
I take back certain things I may have said about Ground Branch a while back. actually coming along quite nicely given what is trying to be done.

On panopticons and when terrorists win.

Here, have some more imaginary evil.

...


Dumped by phone call. Asked if I still wanted to go visit her friend with her as we originally planned. Struck me as less than ideally unawkward.

Over the year I'd thought of her as a lifeline, or more aptly a possible final straw that would tip the balance.

Timed something wrong and was not listening to loud music through earbuds while Joel Osteen was on in the other room. He spoke of Zacchaeus, and I was reminded, and became at peace.

Then I called.

She wasn't angry at me. There wasn't hate in her voice. I could have kissed her for that alone, but obviously this was not the time for various reasons.

There was an Interruption, and now I'm posting this pending her return call if she makes it. If not, then some other day.


And now I wonder whether this would get me working on NML again by the end of tonight.
vaecrius: A stylized navy blue anarchy sign juxtaposed with a pixellated chaos symbol made to resemble a snowflake. (anarchy and chaos)
First of all, dinosaurs. holy shit dinosaurs.

Kinda dovetails (npi) with a thought from last week I've been wondering what to do with: one of the beautiful things about evolutionary theory that was so wastefully lost on 20th-century thought is that there are no "proto" features except in retrospect: every single intermediary stage in the development history of a species was its own kind, its members no more or less capable in their context than those of its successors.

Even if the successor looks remarkably like an HD remake of a videogame.

Even if the successor is the answer to the question of the predecessor.


"The male spent a most of their brief stay in the jar aggressively standing over his partner, as above. The pair would would periodically mate, but mostly they just sat, platonically, in this position."


And now a mental health break:



And Nintendo, when asked, reported he only made love to his wife once. "Once! Silly impotent casual!" the black-clad rivals jeered, "and what did she tell you in the morning after that?" "'Don't stop.'"
vaecrius: The blocky spiral motif based on the golden ratio that I use for various ID icons, ending with a red centre. (g)
If there were a social group in the world that was the recognized target of the word "motherfucker", then we could expect to see more broad discussion of it as it would reflect broader processes of discrimination.


Meanwhile I've just gone back to Andrew Sullivan earlier. Two posts are changing my mind about this whole NSA spying thing, which confirm nagging concerns at the back of my mind about the initial stance I normally ought to take.

First, an off-point anecdote. This still makes the program very dangerous, not because it causes the gubmint to know everything, but because it risks instilling the false impression on its agents that it does, and the licence to pull all sorts of harmful, obtuse and disingenuous bullshit that implies.

That said.
I, like Simon, am actually impressed by the government’s efficacy in exploring these electronic trails and patterns. I thought that was largely being done by Facebook, Google or the Obama campaign. I never thought the feds would be that competent.

And when we stumble onto a government program that is clearly legal under the Patriot Act, when not a single case of abuse can be specifically found, when it only looks for patterns and algorithms, and would have to go to a court to do any more, are you not more relieved than creeped out? Wouldn’t you prefer that this stuff be found and isolated from two steps removed? Doesn’t this new Big Data actually increase privacy compared with the pre-FISA era wire-tapping? Not for the first time, Daniel Ellsberg is wrong. It’s not that Obama is not Nixon; it is that the new program is inherently different from previous ones, because of the new nature of the technology.


This is all on the heels of my wondering whether to give up on Tumblr because it's so geared towards fostering a habit of shallow reading and echo-chamber outrage.
vaecrius: A little yellow ant in the grass on a sunny day. (yellow ant)
I've always wondered about that smell!

It's a fascinating simulation though I'm still convinced the land-crawlers look exactly like my mental image of the things crawling out of Abhoth in "The Seven Geases":





Some followup thoughts to these musings follow.

Better that the post be cut, than the tradition of cutting it. )
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
I hope one day you will
forgive me.



The Swarm is a vast, complex, self-correcting set of algorithms executed over the network that takes everyone's opinion on something and crunches it all together into a (usually, hopefully) unified whole that represents the democratic voice.

When people consult the Swarm, they access the network and enter 2 or more questions, each question written by one of the parties immediately involved in the discussion and the order of which is shuffled and the sequences randomly distributed among the viewers. All cameras watching the persons involved relay the last few minutes of footage along with the question, or if the parties are communicating over the network, the last 3000 words of the discussion. A 15-minute break is called and everyone available is expected to comment anonymously to the Swarm; if enough commenters request more time, more time is granted, but still giving a preliminary first-impression opinion is considered "polite" (as far as that concept may apply to faceless network commenting). It is also safe, as requests for more time are seldom granted, or more accurately seldom ultimately requested.

Anyone with the hardware to run it can install a new Swarm. Many specialized communities have a Swarm that only takes information from people in that group, or from that group plus whatever it could mine from other similar groups. Some people can even install an ad hoc Swarm to settle a discussion between 2 people, but the result is usually less than satisfactory (or comprehensible).

Some corporate lobbyists have been trying to get a clampdown on "free" Swarms for years, insisting that such practices be regulated to approved professional providers such as their client entertainment and security firms, but the vast proliferation of Swarms both general and specialized has been such a useful data collection source for marketing and government surveillance that these efforts are generally allowed to be crushed by grassroots opposition (many of whom express their grievances through the lobbying firms' own Swarms).

(Who programs the Swarm? Best not to think too hard on that.)


In other news, the following thought just went through my mind while checking the dominant spelling of a word: "Google was quite happy to give me those results." (emphasis on "those")


In further news, a depressingly conservative futurism, in all senses of both words. )

Still nothing motivating a dramatic, fundamental change, while yet even this cannot possibly last forever.
I may revisit this later on.
vaecrius: a crude scrawl of a grinning, blazing yellow sun. (hier kommt die sonne)
Eating In-Vitro: Meat, the Expectations
The Next Nature Lab is currently developing new visions on the production methods, designs and eating habits that might emerge around in-vitro meat. These speculative* designs vary from knitted meat, protein powder fondue and luxurious meat fruit, to kitchen based bio-reactors and colorful magic meatballs for the kids.
*(except the "actually eating" sense, I'm afraid.)
vaecrius: a crude scrawl of a grinning, blazing yellow sun. (hier kommt die sonne)
A beautiful post about that which makes life worth living.
It certainly wasn’t a textbook example of how a dissection class should go. And even though I’m still improving as a teacher, there are ways in which this class if never going to look like the focused, guided classes I remember from high school and college. And if it ever does, I’ll be doing my kids a disservice.

So why am I ripping animals apart with the help of children as young as five? What could they be getting out of it?
The actual money quote isn't this at all, but rather the five enumerated points towards the bottom. But they should be appreciated in context, and the more people who do, the better a place this world may become.

That said, here's an alchemy kit.
vaecrius: A stylized navy blue anarchy sign juxtaposed with a pixellated chaos symbol made to resemble a snowflake. (anarchy and chaos)
Mental health break: here's a picture of Pocahontas as Captain America.


And a gentle reminder.

(I remember when I was your age. We had internet, but it had to be fed through these lines - they were like the cable we have now, but a much thinner, more primitive wire that originally could only transmit a few electrical pulses at a time. They were so narrow you couldn't call on one machine and browse the internet on another - you could only pick one thing you wanted to do. Back then, when you were browsing the web, you could pick up the phone and hear the internet flowing through it...)

Related. If the right to decentralized, accessible telecommunications technology should replace the Second Amendment tomorrow, and were then pursued with the same fervour, only good will result (for the next 19 years anyway).

And one more from that blog, tl;dr Mario was the original Congratulations, You Have Died.
vaecrius: The infamous cartoon of Darwin's head on a chimp's body, superimposed with a MSPainted Nazi armband. (are you a monkey)
http://www.salon.com/2013/01/29/arkansas_town_enacts_martial_law/
“If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, and check for your ID,” police chief Todd Stovall told a December town hall meeting. As if to render the implementation of a visible police state more palatable, Stovall assured residents that police stops would not be based on any profiling: “We’re going to do it to everybody,” he said.

Stovall also told residents he had not consulted an attorney before instituting the plan.


And where are the private citizens with all the guns to protect The People from Tyranny?

right here.


EDIT: And possibly here.
[A] citizen uprising at any point in the foreseeable future would probably not involve like-minded constitutionalists taking up arms to defend democracy and liberty. It would more likely be a matter of one aggrieved social group attacking another. And for the most criminal and vicious members of society, the rationale of "protecting" their own rights would be a convenient justification for straight-up looting, robbery, and bloodshed.
I'm reminded how around these parts it's not entirely uncommon to be in a public place when someone comes in, pulls out a gun and starts shooting. Far from pulling out our own piece and stopping them, the best thing to do is stay out of the way, get a good look at the guy and where he's going afterwards, and call the cops - lest any direct intervention be perceived as taking sides in a gang war you actually know nothing about and neither side of which has any worthy cause whatsoever.
vaecrius: The blocky spiral motif based on the golden ratio that I use for various ID icons, ending with a red centre. (Default)
The power of Christ compelled him.


beside a stream there was a dwelling. Blackened by time and rain, the hut was piled up on all sides with taiga rubbish—bark, poles, planks. If it hadn’t been for a window the size of my backpack pocket, it would have been hard to believe that people lived there. But they did, no doubt about it…. Our arrival had been noticed, as we could see.

The low door creaked, and the figure of a very old man emerged into the light of day, straight out of a fairy tale. Barefoot. Wearing a patched and repatched shirt made of sacking. He wore trousers of the same material, also in patches, and had an uncombed beard. His hair was disheveled. He looked frightened and was very attentive…. We had to say something, so I began: 'Greetings, grandfather! We’ve come to visit!'

The old man did not reply immediately... . Finally, we heard a soft, uncertain voice: 'Well, since you have traveled this far, you might as well come in.'



Also, hell o. aka the best thing ever

(really the entire blog is certainly not unworth your while.)
vaecrius: The infamous cartoon of Darwin's head on a chimp's body, superimposed with a MSPainted Nazi armband. (are you a monkey)
Second picture
(which is doubly ironic given this)

EDIT: And that same gun in video

EDIT2: But let it never be said that I do not like any new FPS:

(adding the "games" tag b/c of this - it's almost enough to make me consider getting a console)
vaecrius: The infamous cartoon of Darwin's head on a chimp's body, superimposed with a MSPainted Nazi armband. (are you a monkey)
I am compelled to say something about corporate “personhood.” While I recognize that this doctrine is firmly entrenched in the law, see Bellotti, 435 U.S. at 780 n. 15, 98 S. Ct. at 1418 n. 15; but see 435 U.S. at 822, 98 S. Ct. at 1439-40 (Rehnquist, J., dissenting), I find the entire concept offensive. Corporations are artificial creatures of law. As such, they should enjoy only those powers—not constitutional rights, but legislatively-conferred powers—that are concomitant with their legitimate function, that being limited-liability investment vehicles for business. Corporations are not persons. Human beings are persons, and it is an affront to the inviolable dignity of our species that courts have created a legal fiction which forces people—human beings—to share fundamental, natural rights with soulless creations of government. Worse still, while corporations and human beings share many of the same rights under the law, they clearly are not bound equally to the same codes of good conduct, decency, and morality, and they are not held equally accountable for their sins. Indeed, it is truly ironic that the death penalty and hell are reserved only to natural persons.
Western Tradition Partnership vs. Montana, 2011 MT 328 (MT 2011)
Justice James C. Nelson, dissenting at paragraph 132
vaecrius: A stylized navy blue anarchy sign juxtaposed with a pixellated chaos symbol made to resemble a snowflake. (anarchy and chaos)
First, to soften you up for the link that follows, proof that there is a God.

First the parted stream of ants, now the River of Fire.

In which someone finally explains a non-retributive model of Hell to me in a way that doesn't feel like a copout. Incidentally, it occurs to me that it is precisely the stakes posed by Pascal's Wager that I am far less inclined to believe in God than I am to believe in, say, electrons. (Actually I've often gone by the reverse Pascal: if such a God really did exist and I am damned, I'm happy to let my one lasting achievement be the eternal defiance of such a manifestly evil tyrant.)

tl;dr (and it really quite tl): I was brought up with the idea that God made Hell to punish God's creation for disobeying God's rules and that God had to kill Jesus/himself as a proxy to save us from Hell because our disobedience was so horrible that someone had to be killed to satisfy the blood debt; I thought this was either bonkers or barbaric (a Christian might use "pagan" here) and am happy to learn that there's an entire tradition of Christianity that feels similarly and has a coherent alternative.

See also: http://glory2godforallthings.com/2009/06/16/more-on-the-justice-of-god/ and comments thereon


Also: Curiously, wonderfully optimistic quote of the last week:
If we, the faithful, who are sinners, who are unworthy and who with our frequently ungodly lives give reason to people to criticize and fight Christianity for two millenia have not yet managed to destroy it, then I am confident that no outsider really stands a chance.


...

Even though we drink nothing but tainted milk powder, we still must kill all the Japanese.
Even though we consume gutter oil everywhere, we still must brandish our knives and slay the dwarf pirates.
Even though all we eat is meat laced with clenbuterol, we still must send troops to destroy [those who inhabit] the Eastern Sea.
Even though every day we are "represented", but we still must regain the Diaoyu Islands.
Even though in our old age there's no one to take care of us, we still must occupy Mt. Fuji.
Even though are old homes are forcibly demolished, we still must capture Ai Fukuhara alive.


...

And speaking of pirates, here's a small but hopefully important and lasting victory against corporate raider scum.
[42] Mason says TELUS is participating in a smear campaign. It does not matter whether Mason’s primary purpose is to exit profitably from its arbitrage plan. Shareholders invest with a view to a profit and it matters not how Mason intends to profit.

...

[109] Mason argues that the problem of empty voting is irrelevant. The question of conversion ratios is a legitimate issue that affects all Common Shareholders and is something that should be discussed. Mason’s interest is aligned with the interests of the other Common Shareholders, in that both Mason and the Common Shareholders have an interest in being compensated for the historical premium paid for Common Shares. Mason further argues that s. 167(2) leaves no room for the court to look behind a shareholder’s voting interest in shares into their true economic interests or purposes.

[110] I cannot agree with Mason’s submissions on either point. While the issue of conversion ratios is indeed a matter of legitimate concern to all Common Shareholders, it is of overriding concern only to Mason. Only Mason stands to profit if the price differential between Common Shares and Voting Shares increases. And only Mason is indifferent to the overall value of TELUS itself.

[111] The fact that Mason shares some interest with other Common Shareholders does not mean that its interests align with those Shareholders in a broader sense.

[112] Nor does s. 167 oust the power of the court to consider the reasons underlying a requisition. Section 167(7)(d) specifically contemplates an investigation into the motivations behind a requisition. And s. 186 gives the court broad discretion to make orders relating to the calling, holding and conducting of meetings “for any ... reason the court considers appropriate.”

[113] That said, in light of my findings regarding the validity of the Requisition, it is unnecessary to consider whether the Court ought to exercise its jurisdiction in this case.
Appeal to be heard in a couple weeks. In barbaric South Nation terms, let's hope the appeal result is more Roe and less Kelo.
vaecrius: The blocky spiral motif based on the golden ratio that I use for various ID icons, ending with a red centre. (Default)
First, a pioneering ethnological work on the savage tribes of darkest Austria. (which Sara linked on Facebook after I linked this)

A must-watch for many people who may want to do something entertaining, of any sort whatsoever.

The Gospel According to [insert media-boosted evil monster of the day here]. Relatedly, I have never come so close to converting to a form of Catholicism in my life.

This provies the responses from the various devils hovering about my shoulders below.
The Angel of Penitence: This is an affront to the way our society works and surely it is or should be, or could effectively be argued to be, illegal.
I'm-Just-Being-Realistic: This will not last the year.
The Tiny Blasphemous Monster That Dares Defy Despair: Awesome.

A thing about avoiding things like this. (via [personal profile] steorra)
Warning: Comments worth reading (except for the repeated links to the xkcd comic). Possibly TVTropes-level. Even the idiot comments, at least to the extent of making you wonder just where these guys come from and thanking your relevant deity that you weren't raised in a strictly English-monoglot home.
(srsly what is with the haters? this isn't even a woman writing about sexism in gaming... but then it is about computers and trying to challenge the privilege of computer geeks.)
My own ideal: UTF-16-tolerant, 1kB "Full Name" field; UTF-16-tolerant, 1kB "Short Name" field specifically allowing aliases and asking the user to keep it under 3-4 syllables; bigass UTF-16-tolerant "Notes" field to explain any pronunciation issues (using IPA if at all possible) or miscellaneous pointers (e.g., what component should be used as a surname) that would not be obvious to an English-speaking Canadian; randomly generated unique alphanumeric user number that the user may opt to change, subject to availability, if the randomizer comes up with something offensive like 666-1488-f00K or whatnot. All but the user number may be changed at any time, and the user number may be changed by an administrator on reasonable request.

And now, the only link worth clicking on in this post.

I know this

if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

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