- can we explore games as allegories for the world we live in?
- can there be a critical theory of games?
Homer used two adjectives to describe aspects of the colour blue: kuaneos, to denote a dark shade of blue merging into black; and glaukos, to describe a sort of ‘blue-grey’, notably used in Athena’s epithet glaukopis, her ‘grey-gleaming eyes’. He describes the sky as big, starry, or of iron or bronze (because of its solid fixity). The tints of a rough sea range from ‘whitish’ (polios) and ‘blue-grey’ (glaukos) to deep blue and almost black (kuaneos, melas). The sea in its calm expanse is said to be ‘pansy-like’ (ioeides), ‘wine-like’ (oinops), or purple (porphureos). But whether sea or sky, it is never just ‘blue’. In fact, within the entirety of Ancient Greek literature you cannot find a single pure blue sea or sky.
Yellow, too, seems strangely absent from the Greek lexicon. The simple word xanthos covers the most various shades of yellow, from the shining blond hair of the gods, to amber, to the reddish blaze of fire. Chloros, since it’s related to chloe (grass), suggests the colour green but can also itself convey a vivid yellow, like honey.
The Ancient Greek experience of colour does not seem to match our own. In a well-known aphorism, Friedrich Nietzsche captures the strangeness of the Greek colour vocabulary:
How differently the Greeks must have viewed their natural world, since their eyes were blind to blue and green, and they would see instead of the former a deeper brown, and yellow instead of the latter (and for instance they also would use the same word for the colour of dark hair, that of the corn-flower, and that of the southern sea; and again, they would employ exactly the same word for the colour of the greenest plants and of the human skin, of honey and of the yellow resins: so that their greatest painters reproduced the world they lived in only in black, white, red, and yellow).
How is this possible? Did the Greeks really see the colours of the world differently from the way we do? read more:
spacetime coordinates: 19th-century England, Yorkshire > the Amazon and its tributaries > the Andes of Peru and Ecuador
” Pushing against its scientific reputation as downright boring, moss in particular served to create some botanical, aesthetic sense of a setting that allowed for illicit sexual encounters and for primal yearnings. The reasons for this strange dual identity of bryophytes as both mundane and as primal are relatively clear: realistically, moss provided a soft bed for sexual romps that had to take place outside of stuffy Victorian homes. Serving, perhaps predictably, as a slang term for pubic hair, moss was understood to be consistently moist and jewel-like, glittering like emerald colonies under light. (…) Although tropes of sexual encounters occurring in gardens and forests far predated the nineteenth century, both realistically and literarily, these hidden moss grottoes conjured up an image of something semi-religious, some secret refuge from the trials of urban — and overwhelming imperial tropical — life.”
spacetime coordinates: Chicago, 2055 > the cretaceous
A Sound of Thunder is a 2005 science fiction thriller film directed by Peter Hyams, and starring Edward Burns, Catherine McCormack and Ben Kingsley. It is a co-production film between the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
a classic example of “failed return” or “no return” cautionary tales is A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury published in 1952. on a personal level i love both the EC comic book adaptation with artwork by Al Williamson and the 2005 movie adaptation by Peter Hyams that was a box office flop and has receive mostly negative reviews by critics. the original story features one of the first instances of the butterfly effect, in particular as applied to time travel paradoxes and uncontrollable evolutionary/ political outcomes. this was way before it became a meteorologic mainstay of chaos theory after its use by Edward Lorenz to describe stormy ripple-like effects on nonlinear systems, seemingly very sensitive to minute initial conditions. the movie A Sound of Thunder features a time travel tourist agency from the year 2055. Time Safari Inc. is a chronocapitalist enterprise that organizes prehistoric retro-hunting expeditions to far-off epochs where dinosaurs roamed the earth. in order to do that, mankind is cheating on the big dinosaur mass extinction. long after humankind has killed most of the big game life on earth it tracks down other, more elusive and ferocious megafauna. the whole ‘hunting’ for the ultimate predator T-Rex (or an Allosaurus in the movie) turns out to be a very complex business. the paleo-poaching is based on hiding your acts under the cover of natural occurrences, trophy hunting pretending to be a mass extimction event. in order to fake the killing shot one must plan ahead every retro-killing move. practically Time Safari Inc. is cheating evolutionary history by trying to synchronize with ‘naturally’ occurring death events and extract entertainment value out of impossible inter-species encounters, normally separated by enormous gulfs of time. (…)
geohistory becomes a perfect crime scene – where the time traveling expedition has to erase all traces – all influence that might otherwise impact the future with definite catastrophic (especially anthropic future) results. as often, humans are kind of role-playing hide and seek with natural selection. in this bizarre and strange inversion of the anthropocenic stratigraphic proof – masquerades as natural force, where a devious human causality is trying to hide behind a pre-human mass extinction event. it is almost the same principle guiding the climate denialist that pretends to hide behind previous catastrophic climate fluctuations.as one might expect, it’s a chronoclysm waiting to happen. all the clients of Time Safari Inc. are prone to making mistakes, and not only do they leave marks (the absolute no 1 rule of time travel is non-intervention) but they also bring back something (the 2nd most important rule) basically invariably smuggling the prehuman past into the future. somehow a prehistoric dead butterfly makes it through the biofilter (a great example of what I would call New Wallace Lines) that is scanning every living reentry into the present, every possibility of warping the timelines. the alteration of the past produces a chronoclysm that manifests itself as a rhythmic, rapidly accelerating ‘time waves’ that transform the city and its denizens. more to the point in the Peter Hyams movie, the first divergence is a sudden appearance of teeming swarms of beetles and a gigantic strangler fig-like tree bursting through a Chicago high rise building, while the main characters Ryan and Rand make a narrow escape. it is by no means accidental that swarms and insect swarms in particular are associated with time waves. multiply proliferating and and highly distributed, swarms are chronoclysmic purveyors that help carry and suffer the radical effects of timeline distortion. there are reports of global increases in temperature and humidity and plant life seems to prosper, while this time warped climate change suddenly seems to be echoing sweltering hot pre-human conditions of long gone geological epochs and dead jungles. (…)
stefan tiron – Cosm/c Dr/ft & T3mporal D/vergence (2016)- EXIT THE PORTAL: The Strange Comeback to a Weird Earth