Author: dustinfreeman

  • 1px VR

    I have always had slightly dry eyes. This has made wearing contacts difficult. During the pandemic, I gradually became inexcusably annoyed at having to choose foggy glasses or blurry vision when wearing a mask in public. Independently, it occurred to me in The Year of Isolation that this would be an ideal time for some…

  • Books Read 2020

    This year was a year of very long books, often on walks, or drives. In a first, the best piece of literature I “read” was the narrative game Disco Elysium. In extreme contrast, I loved the long, ancient tomes Herodotus’ Histories, and Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron; both great reminders of the universality of humans barely…

  • Species-Wide Imposter Syndrome

    Have you ever had that moment where you’re walking from one meeting to another and something clumsy happens – like you trip over a chair corner, you realize your shirt is undone, or you sneeze inelegantly. And then the entire facade of civilization comes crashing down. We’re barely different from the apes messing around hanging…

  • Books Read 2019

    My favorite book this year is either Voyager in Night by C.J. Cherryh, or Teckla by Steven Brust. The former is about an interaction with a computer consciousness as it’s falling apart, the latter is about a socialist uprising in a fantasy world, in the context of negotiating differences in romantic relationships. Both are wonderful.…

  • GPT-2 and Culture Ship Names

    Brief Personal Update: I accepted a new job and moved to Manhattan – more on that later. Critically, I signed a lease on an apartment after 3 years of cybernomadism. I intend to live here for a while, but I want it to feel like a spaceship on the move. Thus, it needs a proper…

  • Upcoming Topics in Computing (that I’m interested in)

    I have spent a lot of time in academia, and the last four years at commercial startups, including running a few myself. This gives me a special vantage point on upcoming computing areas – I want to jump over what’s interesting now to what will be interesting in 5 years. My current job hunt has…

  • The Aluminum Cat Documentary Released Now!

    When you make an interactive show, it’s hard for the audience to tell just *how* interactive it is. This is part of the rare magic of any participatory theatre; even Keith Johnstone said don’t bother trying to convince your audience that a show is improvised, because they’ll never believe you. So we at Escape Character…

  • Taekwondo does not support Double-Jumping

    I started Taekwondo in November 2018. I’ve wanted to try a martial art for years, but it’s been one of those hobbies in the backlog that required a chance encounter to nucleate. I used to do more cardio and cognitive intensive physical activities: gymnastics, figure skating and parkour (amateurishly), but the last few years have…

  • Player Character Bios in Participatory Media

    Originally published in Escape Character’s Newsletter. Question: What’s the best way to hack someone who’s never LARP’d[1] before to get into character? Our goal here is to have the player buy into the stakes of the show before they cross the threshold [2] into the space of the show. In Escape Character’s projects where the…

  • Novel FTL Flavour Profiles

    Ways faster-than-light travel could be fun, while also trying to solve Fermi Paradox. 1. It’s actually hard to go slow. I’m going to call this a Tachyon Drive approach. Once you spin up a tachyon drive, you actually go infinitely fast, and it takes precision and energy to slow the heck down. Most of the…