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Yep, for sure. I don't know if I truly "believe" in any of it but it's a fun "what if?" sort of thing. It's sort of an exercise in imagination and creativity, as well. I'm writing a roguelike with lore vaguely based on the idea of alternate planes/realms/etc, and while roguelikes aren't known for their heavy story it's still helped give me inspiration for coming up with the lore.
I was brought up as a Lutheran, going to private Lutheran schools for 12 years (Grade 1-12). At one point I was interested in being a pastor; I used to love reading the bible and learning about god and all that. I took all sorts of religious classes I didn't have to, I enjoyed it a lot.
And in 12th grade I took a "Christian Apologetics" class; that is, a class where they tried to teach us youngsters to defend our beliefs against people who would challenge them. It talked about archaeological and historical evidence for a while, but the core of the class ended up being "The bible says it's true and we believe the bible 100% so that's why it's true."
Of course, I thought that was a terrible argument, and I went online to do my own research so I could "properly" defend my faith using more historical and "scientific" evidence and other tangible things besides "The bible says it is true so it must be true".
And that's when I came to the realization that I was kind of in a bubble surrounded by people who never questioned the bible, and I began reading stuff online refuting basically every single thing I was ever taught about why we believe the bible is true. Didn't take long after that for me to realize there was no real reason for me to believe it other than the fact that it was what I was taught to believe. So I stopped.
There's not much more to it than that though, at this point I'm pretty much atheist I guess, though I like to have my own particular world view (vaguely related to shamanism-type stuff, but it's sort of a fun idea rather than a belief I shape myself based on). But it's interesting to see this "bubble" of my friends/family who are still Christian and how they seem unable to see it from my view, and unconditionally believe/preach stuff like Creationism and the like, that directly contradicts scientific knowledge/etc.
I had a coworker (a 60 year old guy, nonetheless) turn me onto a newish (Edit: Okay apparently not new, they've been around 14 years) folk rock band, Lumineers. I'd never heard of them before, but they're pretty good. I just started listening to their stuff so I don't have any particular songs to recommend.
Aside from that, a reddit post turned me onto a band called Mutemath. Not sure what it qualifies as, almost synth rock or something? Stare at the sun is pretty great, but I love everything I've heard so far.
Other than that, I'm still stuck in the classic rock era obsessed with kansas and boston and journey and styx. At least they've got those fun high notes to sing. Too bad I have zero confidence in my singing voice :(
Kind of boring, but I've been into Steely Dan a lot lately (as has my dad). Mostly the classics like Do It Again and Bodhisattva and Reelin' In The Years, while my dad's been obsessed with Rikki Don't Lose That Number (and has been trying to learn the keyboard/guitar parts).
A furry thing, a while back when I dipped into the fandom a bit. Can't say I really left, but it's not exactly something that is a way of life. Mostly just keep in touch with friends via irc anymore, as opposed to doing "furry things".
And my reddit name, flappity, was from when I joined a CS 1.5 clan made by a few friends. They went by names like Batty [Llama] and other oddball adjective-like words, and I came up with flappity when I joined them. After the clan dissipated, my name stayed for lack of anything better so that's what I use as my public name, until recently (which is more like 5-6 years ago) when I started using wolf sometimes.
Huh, apparently I'm approaching the mark, sort of. 826 days (827 on my first before I decided to go by this name instead). I've contributed almost nothing in that time, though. I pop in on occasion just to read some of the discussions here, and while I "know" a lot of the people here I don't really know them. I have no idea how it's been 800+ days since I signed up though, I figured it was less than half that.
Every time I come here, I always think "hey, maybe I should get in and contribute, this place is an awesome community" and then proceed to.. not. Not sure why, I guess I'm not much of a talker and more of someone who just likes to watch everybody else talk and learn about them that way.
I did some research when I was in the market for headphones and landed on the ATH-AD900x. I went for open-ear because they were supposed to have better soundstage, and I like being able to hear my surroundings as well. Listening to music and playing 3d games was almost a whole new experience when I got them. I could pick out instruments and sounds that I couldn't differentiate before, everything sounds so much nicer and it was completely worth the money. I grabbed a cheaper Xonar sound card as well, since supposedly theyre good for pairing with headphones for 3d positioning in games, and have a built in amp.
All in all, if I had to pick peripherals to spend the most money on, I'd probably put Headphones up top, then monitor, mouse, then keyboard. It made THAT much of a difference.
I used to run a MegaHAL IRC bot (actually I think a different incarnation is still around in, of all places, a major IRC channel for the Rock Band series) and it was absolutely hilarious (at first) to see the bizarre stuff it came up with. I liked to feed the bot with ONLY the conversation that was said in the channel, so it would be "relevant"... sort of. I did do some experiments with feeding it other things (articles about the games, as one example) but really the best was to start it blank and let it evolve itself. I ran 3-4 of them at once, so it was interesting to see how completely moronic one bot became while another regularly spouted reasonable (for a bot) conversation.
The latest incarnation uses a different Markov chain-based system, and works much much better. The originals would get very messed up with URLs and other strings of numbers/letters and would inevitably spout spammy nonsense after long enough. But it's been a really fun experiment to run a bunch of different "AI" bots and let them do their thing and see what happens.
Edit: Of course I didn't write these bots, they were just scripts for Eggdrop (or a standalone script in the case of WolfServ, the latest) but I wouldn't mind trying to figure out just how to do something like that. I'm not very deep into coding stuff yet; most of my coding experience comes from hacking up eggdrop scripts to make them do what I want, and then eventually writing TCL scripts from scratch one I figured out enough about how it works. And an EXTREMELY basic roguelike I started in python using the libtcod tutorial. But I've always been interested in trying to learn more about how such bots are constructed and how I might be able to do something like that myself.
I will always remember the music from King's Field: The Ancient City. It's honestly nothing mind blowing, but it gives the game just the perfect atmosphere and is just great. I mean, maybe I'm just remembering the fun I had trying to actually make it through that game when I listen to it, and maybe that's why I like it. But I do like it a lot.
I feel the same way. I go to reddit for my more specific/niche discussions (such as coin collecting, metal detecting, and so on) as well as the fact that it's fun to watch the gears of reddit's admin/mod/etc situation turn, especially lately.
I haven't really been checking out Hubski as much as I hoped to. I do enjoy the... longer duration of Hubski stuff, I suppose. There's a heck of a lot of discussion worth reading here, and I've only really checked it on occasion to read my feed/global feed; I haven't quite dug down very deep yet but I already like it.
And I don't have much of an opinion of Voat. It's got some interesting ideas as far as voting, but I haven't really been much into the topics that are more typical of that. Tons of it's about reddit (which I already see/read discussions about anyways on reddit itself), and the rest of it feels like a smaller reddit that's pretending to be more established than it really is, or something. That might not quite be the correct way to explain how I see it, but it's something along those lines. I know one of my earliest impressions of it was "reddit for people who aren't allowed in reddit". I know that's not really true, but the amount of reddit hate I saw made me feel that way.
And now yesterday I hear about commentum and snapzu, but again I have pretty much no opinion of them, other than that commentum left a good first impression and snapzu left a worse one.
Yeah.. here is an album of JWildfire fractal flame renders that I came up with one day. I haven't messed with it much lately, but they're unique in their own way. I suppose with some of those, you can sort of do the same sort of thing - they're not meant to be anything in particular but they still evoke feelings of their own and are open to interpretation. Some of these remind me of galaxies/star systems, towns (futuristic and not), etc.