DnD Scripting

One of the greatest sources of suspense, surprise, and mystery in DnD games comes from the sense that anything could happen.  For example, there is a convention that a roll of 20 could lead to extreme fortunate results (or unfortunate in the case of 1), which is a source of suspense, humor, and a lot of…
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What is a Good Amount of Bankruptcy?

In the US, there have been 728,833 chapter 7 bankruptcy filings (complete insolvency) and 333,626  filings in chapter 13 (repayment plan).  This averages at 1 bankruptcy per 301 people. In Israel, there are now reports of rising  bankruptcy filings (reported here in Hebrew). The numbers look, after the increase, small: 11,300 stay orders in 2013. This averages at 1…
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Promoting Moral Behavior or Moral Choices?

On most issues of law and morality, I am an instrumentalist, functionalist, and consequentialist: I think of laws as being either good or bad in relation to their outcomes rather than their meaning, adherence to moral principles, or consistency. But this view is not generally accepted, and many legal theorists adopt some mixed approach that…
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Arguing from Legacy and the Failure to Fail

epSos.de

I had an interesting conversation with a friend from Spain. I inquired about the Spanish perception of the monarch tradition, which — to me at least — symbolizes that people are psuedo-biologically different (the so-called bloodline of the monarch), an idea which is antithetical to a liberal society, which is mostly based on the ethos…
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A Linguistic Arms Race, Literally

Many complain that people use literally when they mean figuratively, and use that as evidence of the speaker’s alleged stupidity or inability to grasp the meaning of words that they are using. I think that a more sinister dynamic is at play, one that involves a “linguistic arms-race” of sorts, and like an actual arms-race,…
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Rapid Lecturing

My yardstick for effective public speaking is comedians. Most, I find, speak quite slowly, or at least enunciate very clearly, which makes sense since they want the audience to be able to pick up on all their hard-worked jokes. This is why I was a bit surprised when I read the suggestion here that rapid-lecturing…
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On the Quality of Modern Poetry

This experiment mixed  randomly assigned respondents with either a poem by a leading Israeli artist or a cheap imitation, written on the spot in a half-hearted attempt to imitate the original (the experimenters were influenced by an experiment that showed people having hard time distinguishing between cheap and expensive wines and would rate higher those that were labelled…
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Aisle Buddy

There is apparently an important gap in almost all of human languages: a term that would refer to the person that enters the supermarket at around the same time as you. You are then condemned to meet this person on each and every aisle, checking each other’s carts, reflecting on his or her’s life choices, and constructing mental stories…
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