Decipher RPG Mirror Test #1

Decipher RPG – Mirror Pilot #1

This podcast is the first of three episodes of our pilot series for Decipher RPG where we play Mirror by Sandy Pug Games with Liam Ginty. Here is part 2!

After some particular fun with character creation, Emperor Colbert’s coronation is interrupted by a sudden attack. With RPG-Colbert still entranced in his ceremonial mask, his bodyguard Chris rushes him to safety, but… airships!

AXL A-X-L movie robot dog backdrop

A-X-L: dogs as technology, domestication, and unpleasant sticky materials

Doggo

Man’s best friend! And one of (many of?) our best technologies. The level to which we can handicap animals for aesthetics if we put our mind to it. Domesticated foxes.

Domestication

Domestication. Plants and animals. Bending chosen qualities to better human use.

Watermelon as of The Renaissance. Yay selective breeding! We win!

Warbot design

Implicit and explicit communication channels. Dog human body language-reading. Data connections and cloudy signal processing. Adaptation of dog body-design to robots. The small design effort required to get people to treat a robot animal like an animal.

Flamethrowers

The difference between industrial and military flamethrowers. An unpleasant, sticky material: napalm and napalm-like products!

Survey!

We have one of those. Pls help.

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Rampage: gorilla sign language, classic gaming, and the square cube law

Classic arcade gaming

Memories of the arcade and the Sega Game Gear. Introduction of Larry the Rat in the Atari Lynx port. How to pick from current social fears for your lazy game plot.

Zero-G research

Genetics research in spaaaaaace. CRISPR. Bremen Drop Tower.

Gorilla sign language

Koko the gorilla. Gorilla sign language. Credulity and confirmation bias. Impressive gorilla lexicons. Adventures in signing portmanteus. Yogurt aka “milkfruitcandy food.”

Animal fights

Comparing the gorilla to the grizzly bear. Relative animal size. Grizzly bears as killing machine. Gorilla conflict-avoidance techniques.

Scaling animals

The square-cube law! Relative scaling and the race between volume and surface area (volume always wins!). The creation of a bio antenna. The relatively low energy of radio waves.

Mutations, mutations, mutations

Gorilla turns into giant gorilla. Lizard turns into mega lizard. Wolf, though, turns into a wolf… with patagia and throwable quills! Possibly resembling the urticating hairs of a tarantula.

simpsons bolivian tree lizard clip

Links

How to Make an Elephant Explode with Science by Kurtzgesagt: YouTube
Zero-G Experiments on Earth: The Bremen Drop Tower by Tom Scott: YouTube
Scientists Successfully Teach Gorilla It Will Die Someday by The Onion: YouTube

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Extinction: space stealth, leaving Earth, and the evolution of consciousness

Spoiler alerts

Special conditions requiring primary and secondary warnings.

Robots

How to tell if you are a robot? New Study Finds Best Way To Determine If You Are Android Still Cutting Open Forearm To Reveal Circuitry Within. Self-delusion and mass self-delusion.

Earthvacuation

Earth is really well-tuned for our needs (or is it the other way around?), and humans should try to maintain this as a base of operations if at all possible.

Surviving outside of Earth

Key resources on Mars and elsewhere in the solar system (outside of Earth). Iron for bullets. Rocket fuel.

Stealth in space

There is no stealth in space. Trying to hide from Earth (on Mars). Difficulties in hiding propulsion, light-blocking, and infrared emission. Hiding “in” the sun.

Attacking Earth

Shock and awe vs the impossibility of stealth. Why a nuclear EMP attack might not be a great idea. Throw a rock at it.

Zap Brannigan style

Evolving consciousness

Evolved consciousness in Earth life. The possibility of consciousness emerging in “artificial” life. Attention Schema Theory. Central processing of separate signal enhancement.

Links

Real Quick: LSG Media
What is Consciousness? by Vsauce: YouTube

Aliens 1986 movie backdrop

Aliens: hyperlseep, how to terraform, and Blade Runner reconciliation w/ Josh from LSG media

Featuring guest co-host
Josh from LSG Media headshotJosh from LSG Media

Love

Love! For James Cameron and Aliens. And the great utilitarian design of the spaceship interiors. Great world-building.

Hypersleep

Cryosleep? Ice sublimation and mummified Sigourney Weaver. Hibernation. How to shove pine cones up your butt, chug some Nyquil, and turn into a bear. Cryogenic specimen preservations: sperm! DIY fecal plugs for hibernation.

Private space industry

The rise of private space industry. Going dystopian.

Planetary operations

Planet? Moon? The delineation between planets and moons and looking forward to the future when we get confused again. Demoting Pluto to planetoid. Terraforming Mars. Sad news on Martian CO2 supplies for atmosphere creation. Crater settlements and whether or not you need a roof. Atmospheric density limits for human comfort and thriving.

Xenomorphs

But are they really called Xenomorphs? The throwaway line in Aliens that spawned decades of confusion.

Send the robots

Always send the robots. Unless you are an evil corporation with shady goals. Milk robots…?

Blade Runner connection

Blade Runner and Aliens are the same universe. The separate lines of technological development that yielded replicants and Aliens’ “synthetics.” Blade Runner 2049’s anime prequel and how that informs the universe crossover.

Links

Aliens: iTunes | Amazon
Josh’s shows on LSG Media: Science Fiction Film Podcast | The X-Files Podcast
Josh’s escape room in Massachusetts: Mass Escape
Jurassic World, Jurassic Values by Mike Hill: YouTube

Wall-E movie backdrop

Wall-E: biodegradable plastics, waste management, and space cattle

Space settlement

The economics of leaving Earth. Settling the inner and outer solar system. The Expanse. Space cattle and other space resources (water, mineral).

Garbage – in spaaace!

Garbage in space aka space junk. Cleaning up space junk. Giant nets as a major cleanup strategy.

Garbage – on Eaaaarth!

Modern waste management. What to do with municipal solid waste. Leachate. The difference between dumps and landfills and the interesting energy-reclamation technology involved in cutting edge WTE facilities.

Plastic

Massive plastic appreciation. How plastics ushered in the modern world. A lament for wasteful use of “disposable” plastic products. Microplastics in the water. Biodegradable plastics. The discovery of plastic-eating bacteria. Speeding up nature to digest plastic now. The coming plague of plastic-eating bacteria.

“De-evolution”

This isn’t a thing! There’s no end point that is being retreated from – life just adapts to pressures, ongoing.

Handling failure

Revisiting our past failures. Combating cynicism by just kind of ignoring it.

Links

Wall-E: iTunes | Amazon
The Water Fountain You Pee In: YouTube

Ready Player One movie backdrop

Ready Player One: virtual reality haptics, digital economies, and optical trickery w/ Jolene Creighton

Featuring guest co-host
Jolene Creighton headshotJolene Creighton

Fandom

Identity according to interests. Fiction as personal and social mirror. Cultures and subcultures and super-niches.

The “Stacks”

Ad-hoc city large-scale construction. Kowloon Walled City.

Virtual Reality immersion technology

VR treadmills vs slippy-feet (Virtuix Omni). Looking silly. Scaling and translation from real-world input to virtual worlds. Manual and body haptics. Simulating moistness. Nard-stimulation for good and ill.

VR spatial awareness

Directional trickery in virtual reality. Tricking people into experiencing smaller real-world spaces as much larger in virtual reality. Saccade-driven Redirected Walking for VR.

Resolution of virtual worlds

Pixel densities and optical foci. Continuity of experience and detection of the difference between virtual and simulated worlds. Finding the clever “hacks” that will enable us to more deeply immerse ourselves in VR experiences.

Sharding

Virtual world scale and sharding vs mon-worlds.Virtu

Value systems

Real virtual economies and responsibility.

Links

Ready Player One iTunes | Amazon
Ready Player One (book) by Ernest Cline iTunes | Amazon
Saccade-driven Redirected Walking for VR YouTube
A Real Life Haptic Glove (Ready Player One Technology Today) by Smarter Every Day YouTube
The Infinadeck Omnidirectional Treadmill by Smarter Every Day YouTube
Kowloon Walled City interactive feature WSJ
The Brookhaven Experiment Steam

Man From Earth Holocene: hunter gatherer nostalgia and trading intestines for brains w/ Adrian Falcone

Featuring guest co-host
adrian falcone headshotAdrian Falcone

The Man From Earth

Our love for the original. Considering the sequel. People talking in a room.

Nostalgia

The coming-on of the bronze age. Grocking the rate of progress w/ Dominick Perry. “Free time” in hunter-gatherer societies. Nostalgia as a way to bridge from what was old and comfortable to what is new and scary.

Cro-magnon

Anatomically modern humans vs socially modern humans. The evolutionary advantage of controlled fire and beginning to cook food. Getting away from all-day mastication and looooooooong intestines in favor of the big brain on Brad.

Primitive Technology

Getting boy without modern technology. The earliest evidence for humans cooking with fire. Differentiating human-controlled fire from millennia ago from other sources (like iguanas, or wildfires).

Growing old

Life expectancies over time. Appreciation for antibiotics. Life expectancy vs lifespan. Evolving into a centauranarian.

Jesus

Less-than-generous portrayals of religious characters. Third-act surprises. Jesus vs the antichrist.

Resolutions

Resolutions?

Links

The Man From Earth: Holocene: iTunes | Amazon
Primitive Technology: YouTube
The Man From Earth: iTunes | Amazon | Decipher SciFi

Arnold Schwarzenegger Predator movie backdrop

Predator : preposterone, light manipulation, and Aliens vs Predator vs Blade Runner

Testosterone

Preposterous amounts of testosterone. Preposterone. Ahhnold and Carl Weathers. The muscles from Brussels in spaaaaace.

Invisibility

Picking a chunk of the electromagnetic spectrum to be invisible within.

  • Spatial light manipulation
  • Temporal light manipulation
  • Spectral light manipulation

Predator vision

Seeing in infrared! Interactions between optical camouflage and optical receivers. Why doesn’t all the life on Earth have heat vision? Heat-tracking evolution. Pit viper heat sensors. Human heat-tracking. Biology absorbing infrared. Seeing in greyscale. Wet clay camouflage and effectiveness over time. Mythbusting. Infrared-blocking materials.

Predator physiology

Aliens vs Predator for top monster. Ears…? Bleeding. The rainbow of different blood colors available on Earth. Green blood. Luminescent blood. Figuring out why only arthropods seems to have mandibles, and lamenting the lack of them in macro predators.

Shared Universe

Appreciating that Blade Runner is pretty much officially the same world as Predator now.

Self-destructing technology

Techno-scuttling. Destroying advanced technology to keep it out of enemy hands. Super-expanding polymers. Amazon delivery drone automatic “dispersal.”

Links

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Q&A #3: glacial surge, myth vs legend, and underground nukes

Episode: 150

A collection of responses to feedback and addenda from supporter Jeremy. Basically, a review of some things we missed in a few episodes and an expansion on others. 🙂

Volcano

Fault types review. Flood basalts as hot spot lava spam. The Deccan Traps. Vulcanism as a possible explanation for dinsoaur extinction (Wargames).

The Last Jedi

Progress in millitary tactics. The triumph of guerrilla tactics. Politeness in chess. Mt St Helens sound waves. High-energy events.

Black Mirror Season 4 Part 1 – Arkangel

Implantable devices. API development.

Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams

Lojban. Constructed languages. Esperanto.

Transformers the Last Knight

Unfavorable reviews. Myth vs legend vs fable as given to us by an actual folklorist. Colonialism and the lens of cultural study. Swole Jesus. Zeus’s promiscuity. Anti-intellectualism.

Stargate

“Gopher nukes.” Tactical nuclear yields. Nuclear testing and Godzilla.

Men in Black

Alcohol! Low-alcohol beverages in history instead of water. A History of the World in Six Glasses, again.

Lost in Space

Climate change and glacial surges.

Annihilation

The Color Out of Space – by HP Lovecraft: iTunes | Amazon

Tron

Programming languages, where to draw the line behind low and high level.

A Quiet Place

Sound localization without pitch. Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity.

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