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Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in Newts and Bolts' LiveJournal:

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005
12:23 am
[johnnybadhair]
Wednesday, December 7th, 2005
4:18 pm
[tom_o_bedlam]
The Shape of His Head
Hypertime
Somehow I started reading a Barbelith thread about the Identity Crisis mega-event which is happening in DC Comics, or just finished, or whatever, and it was mentioned that the editors have declared that hypertime is no longer a part of the DC Universe. At which I said, "Ha! You fools! The genie cannot be put back in the bottle!" Because, obviously, once you've decided that continuity in the comics universe is only a local property, not a global one*, you can happily ignore whatever the editors say about whether they're using hypertime or not.

December is my traditional time for personal re-evaluation, particularly of things magical. I think this time I'm going to use the relevant ideas of hypertime for this re-evaluation, including:

1) Major events cause tributaries in the timeline. These tributaries may later come back to affect the main timeline. These effects could be ghosts of possible worlds, or the effects may be extreme, like when one version of the Flash is replaced by another. APPLICATION: What can I learn from what might have been? For example, I had a brother with Down's syndrome who died when he was little. If he had lived, he would now be a 25-year-old man with Down's. My parents might still be together, I might never have left Los Angeles, I might resent that.

2) Consistency still exists--but it's local. If I decide that my magic is based on the principles of Weird Science, it stays Weird Science. That doesn't mean I can't be an animist, but I'll have to be a consistent animist while doing so.

Which brings me to...

Animism
The idea of starting to talk to everything--animals, plants, inanimate objects, abstract ideas--is really resonating with me for some reason. Echoes of this Tommy's hmajjykk powerz, finally surfacing after incubation? I know nothing about this, but I'm planning on talking to 'myself' a lot more and seeing what happens. (Side note: I swear, once the city of Portland told me a joke, complete with set-up and punchline. I occasionally kick myself for not writing it down.)

And finally, Tommy's magic satchel reminds me of the question of...

Kit
I'm planning on having a custom bag designed. It will include some gimmicks for doing close-up magic (the sleight of hand kind). Thinking about it is making me wonder about what objects would be good to carry for maximum improvisation potential. Eg., I found a tiny velvet-ish bag which I immediately declared to be a reuseable mojo, to be filled with found objects applicable to the situation at hand. And for whatever reason, I have been totally into the idea of making little charm bracelet kinda thingies, with a very specific purpose for each one. (My favorite idea is one which is for bus karma, thanked whenever one has good public transit luck, scolded when one misses the bus by seconds.) Additionally, I want to blur the lines between the sleight of hand I'll be learning and actual divination, which gets me thinking about doing actual divination with cards, or coin tricks as part of the I Ching... Maybe I just want to have toys again. Got any good toys?



* - The idea of local properties vs. global properties is one I've stolen from topology. The best example is a surface. A surface is a space which, when you take a little piece of it, it looks like it might be a plane, with all the properties of shapes and stuff you would expect. But on the grand scheme of things, maybe the entire space is a flat plane, or a sphere, or a donut, or whatever--but someone living on the surface of the donut looks around and says, "Huh, I guess I live on a flat plane." I tell you all of this because the footnoted phrase is the geekiest thing I have ever said in my entire life.

[EDIT - Hey Colin--I forgot you mentioned Revisions in your theories of superheroes... got anything more with that?]
Wednesday, May 25th, 2005
4:49 pm
[tom_o_bedlam]
Wednesday, May 11th, 2005
12:14 am
[tom_o_bedlam]
Caterpillars and Butterflies
I've been wanting to come up with some techniques to boost my math ability for a while now, and nothing came to mind. Recently it occurred to me that the process of thinking really hard, then resting, then working and finding a quick 'A-ha!' seemed very similar to the process of a caterpillar stuffing its face on leaves, going into the chrysalis stage, and working its way out, radically transformed and beautiful. Also, I would like to head into systems science, and there's that butterfly effect resonance.

I have always been about the well-defined, simple, easily evaluated effect, and I've never really worked with an entity before. (Excluding cities—I swear that not only have I communicated with my home cities, but that Portland has told me jokes, with set-up, build, and punchline.) I'm not sure where to begin. Any ideas?
Wednesday, April 27th, 2005
3:04 pm
[tom_o_bedlam]
Assimilating systems
So here's a question/pondering for ya: How do you go about learning a new system that you'd like to incorporate into your magic/life? Some things bleed in by constant exposure; and presumably that's how magicos used to do everything, because there was your culture and that was it. But if I've decided that I want to learn about the runes, or the tarot, or the I Ching, or whathaveyou, what's the way to go about it? Assemble everything into a narrative and learn one new 'episode' a week? Fractal your way down like learning a language, getting a global picture and adding details? Depends? On what?

I feel like the tarot is just too much for me to take in. I would like to learn about runes (it's an alphabet!) or I Ching (it's in binary!), but I only managed to sustain my last attempt at runes up until about raidho. A 'morning pages' approach maybe...
Sunday, February 20th, 2005
5:51 pm
[tom_o_bedlam]
Magic -> Math
I have been percolating a post on using math for magic for weeks, but in the meantime, here's a post on using magic for math:

I do my best work if I work really hard on a problem for a relatively short time—like, an honest try's worth amount of time, but not to the point of weepy frustration. However, I have found that: (1) while I am working, it is nearly impossible for me to give up and let my subconscious have a go at it because I am 'so close' to understanding (almost always a lie), and (2) if I do remember to change problems or take breaks often enough, I find it difficult to tell when I have done enough conscious work to have successfully delivered the problem to the math elves living in my head.

Any suggestions on the appropriate behavior modification?
Thursday, February 10th, 2005
11:46 pm
[tom_o_bedlam]
Project: Arachnid
So, I kept meaning to start off with a description of math and magic, but I don't have what I want to talk about down yet, so in the meantime, as per Colin's request...

Some of you have heard this before, but about three years ago, I went through some serious personality rewrites and upgrades. (Interested readers can check out perfecttommy for more of the details.) A year ago or so, I took stock: I had found my intellectual calling in mathematics, my self-esteem had jumped by an order of magnitude or two, and my experiences in speech & debate had made me more socially ept. But my physical health, while better than it had been in years, was nowhere near superheroic levels. As my then-girlfriend put it, I had brains, and wanted brawn. Project: Arachnid was originally named that because I wanted to be capable of dressing up as Spider-Man for Halloween by 2005. I.e., I needed Tobey Maguire's abs.

I tried being a gym bunny, but I didn't find it enjoyable enough to keep it up. Lift thing, put down thing. There was too much 'should' in going to the gym, and it was a big scheduling hassle for me. I concluded that I needed activities that would be effective, but would be interesting and maybe build some skills. Also, it is paramount that I be able to look cool.

Eventually, I realized that the obvious choice for exercise which would build muscle, but more importantly would build agility and flexibility and grace and such was capoeira, which had intrigued me for years. Once I figured that out, it was obvious that the real goal was to acquire whatever skills I could to become as humanly close to having spider-powers as possible. (Though maybe not to Alain Robert's level.) Rockclimbing became an obvious choice, followed by a desire to learn some parkour (best described by videos, do some searches), which implies taking up at least a little bit of running.

Goals: First and foremost, I want to get in shape, because I am pushing 30 and I figure that at my age one is perfectly able to be in amazing shape, but you no longer get it for free like you do in your 20s. Besides, I need more oxygen in my brain if I'm to think abstractly for a living. I also want to have impressive and unusual skills, dammit—'World's Most Dangerous Mathematician' has a nice ring to it. Finally (and specifically dealing with parkour), I have a magical theory that by engaging with a city in an unusual way, even if it's just by walking over park benches and swinging under railings, you are stepping very slightly out of the typical citygoer's world; I want to see if this improves my communication with cities, both in a divinatory and enchantment sense. Move over, Jack Hawksmoor.
9:16 pm
[von_doom]
Tommy, this is just a place-holder, really, so's I don't forget to tug on your coat. Can you discuss Project: Arachnid a little bit, in general or in specifics? Are you in touch with Velvet Vandal at all? Because I think he does something similar...
Friday, January 28th, 2005
11:38 am
[charmingmonstrs]
Healing suggestions
Well, somebody's got to start posting in this community....

A few months back, I sustained a nasty knee injury, which is healing at a slower-than-normal rate. I've not done a lot of work with healing in the past, and so I haven't really attempted to deal with the injury using magic at all, but I think it's about time I gave it a shot. However, not having done healing work before, I have no idea where to get started. Any suggestions?
Tuesday, January 18th, 2005
5:58 pm
[tom_o_bedlam]
Whirbpbp. Whirrrrbpbp. WhirrbpbrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!
"Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."

This is a community for people who like to reach into the computers in their brains and start monkeying around with the wiring. This is a community for people who believe in things that have no objective validity, except the objective validity to bite you on the ass. This is a community for chatting with friends and friends-of-friends about spooky mojo, for assisting one another as our expertise permits, and for keeping up with one anothers' projects as they arise.

And, of course,

YOU MUST BE THIS INLIGHTENED TO RIDE TTHIS MINDFUCK!11!11!!!!------------------->
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