Pic of the day: GURPS basic set handbook. Choking full of rules and hints and possibilities. You may say it is to a GURPS roleplayer what the Bible is to a Christian. (Or should have been.)
GURPS, lojban etc
Today I had two competing pieces of literature tugging at my mind: The GURPS handbook, in big softcover, and a lojban primer of sorts, downloaded from the Internet. For new readers, GURPS is a Generic Universal Role-Playing System, while lojban is an artificial language designed to be culturally neutral. (Or at least more so than traditional languages ... it is sort of like a cross between a human language and a computer language.)
I think no one who knew me as a child would be surprised that I am reading up on GURPS and lojban. In fact, even without any explanation of what GURPS or lojban is, they would probably nod sagely: That would be Magnus Itland, yes.
As a matter of fact, I think that if you had told an 8 year old me, I would have liked the idea. Of course, I would also have found it funny, because "gurp" means belch in the local dialect, if I remember correctly. But lojban sounds pretty cool. Perhaps I would have thought it was the language of some aliens, though.
I was pretty much a child of the future for as far back as I can remember. I grew up in a rather backward province, where cars were scarce and our horse would pull the hay in a huge cart. But my mind was on the Moon and Mars and the gleaming spires of the future ... the future we failed to create, I now see. Perhaps new generations will take up the task. If we leave the world intact long enough.
Also, as I have mentioned a few times, I sort of invented the key elements in roleplaying games on my own, years before I even heard about RPGs. This is probably because traditional RPGs combine elements of normal child's play with elements of fairy tales or mythology. So it is almost unavoidable. But the idea of growing through overcoming monsters seems to be my own. I guess it has a deep symbolic meaning too. The real monsters are inside ourselves, you know. :)
And of course, when I was young I would try to make my own language. I suppose any true nerd would do that. In all fairness I had already learned just a little Esperanto when I was a kid. My grand-uncle, who I was named after, was quite active in the early Esperanto movement here in Norway, if I remember correctly. (He was dead before I was born, I think ... I only heard rumors about him. Supposedly a great guy, and very respectable.)
Of course, I did not actually read much today. At the workplace I am repeatedly asked to actually work, so it's hopeless to concentrate on my hobbies there. On the bus home, I fell asleep almost at once. And when I came home, I had the Net things to catch up on. And then I started to freeze all over and feel sick. Oh, and in between all this I played a bit The Sims and Daggerfall ... gotta grab the chance while the room is cold. The machine gets pretty hot, at least with The Sims.
And now a couple complimentary links. There is a fairly new Norwegian blog, a kind of web journal that is more a commentary than a diary. And it's by an old online friend and fellow thinker, a great example of why I trust the new generation. If you're quick, you may still find his compelling argument for why Norwegians should write English on the Net instead of our native language. Go read Bjørn Stærk's Threepwood '01.
And it is only fair to mention the guy who made me aware of Lojban in the first place. Like Mr Stærk, I only know this fellow from the Norwegian BBS network "Youthnet" (no relation to youth.net at all). Another bright young multi-talented genius, he also maintains one of those Norwegian Web sites in English. If you like the Chaos Node, you will probably like ARJ's homepage. Sadly it is not expanded daily like certain others.
Oh, and I feel a bit better now. Not shivering at all. Time to upload. Peace be with you, and with all the people!
Visit the Diary Farm for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.