Story idea: The legendary monster hunter

A legendary monster hunter arrives from another world.

In zir own world, people are generally good to each other, but they can be transformed into monsters by curses. Some monsters are huge and grotesque, but others look a lot like humans. When people turn into monsters, monster hunters have to stop them – sometimes by killing the monsters, but usually by ending the curses that caused the problem in the first place.

When the legendary monster hunter appears in our world, ze is shocked by how often people hurt each other here. But ze quickly comes to a conclusion: our soldiers, our tyrants, our child abusers, are not human. Instead, they are human-like monsters who have been transformed by curses. So ze starts doing the work of stopping them – sometimes by killing the monsters, but usually by ending the curses that caused the problem in the first place.


This is basically a fantastical version of my [...]

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I'm back, and with new treasures!

The story of the last three years isn't very interesting. My hand problems got better, but then they came back again. Then they got better again, then they came back again, and so on. They're still not entirely recovered, and I'm still trying to see different doctors to figure out what the real issue is. It's no fun.


Since last June, I have had working speech-recognition software. I can now do most of my work by voice, even computer programming. I've been making a bunch of interesting things this way, I just haven't shared them on this website yet.

That's because this website was hard for me to use.


I started redesigning this website in 2013, and now it's finally, finally finished. All of the old posts are still here, but I rebuilt everything else from scratch. There are so many improvements that I can't possibly list them all. Here are some of the big [...]

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Game theory, contracts, altruism

In my story Capitalism Sat, “Mathematics” says a few things about game theory that I've worked on myself. I'll discuss them here. Knowing some game theory helps, but you might be able to understand without any prior background.

The classic paradox from game theory is the Prisoner's Dilemma, or the more general tragedy of the commons – a situation where players can either cooperate or betray each other, and benefit from betraying, but are better off if everyone cooperates instead of everyone betraying. There are a lot of attempts to “solve” the Prisoner's Dilemma – that is, to find a reason why purely self-interested players should cooperate. Superrationality is one of them, but it only works for a limited set of situations. A more effective solution would be [...]

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In the world of the game Dungeons and Dragons, people are grouped into nine “alignments”. Each person is Good or Evil (or Neutral), and also Lawful or Chaotic (or Neutral). What do those mean? There are as many interpretations as there are D&D players. This post describes mine.

First, what are Law and Chaos? In D&D, these are called the “ethical axis”. The story goes that lawful people are honest, honorable, respect authority, and value order above freedom. But which honor, which authority, and which order? And why [...]

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A sexual board game!

I'm finally ready to distribute the sexual board game that I mentioned. I've been sitting on the complete design for a few months, I just hadn't gotten around to making a web presence for it.

Given the “losing at games” part of my sexuality, I've often been disappointed that there aren't more sexual board games out there. Non-yucky ones, anyway. I've seen ads for a couple commercial ones, but they are yucky. They repeat gender stereotypes, and they portray sex as dirty, bad, or mischievous – especially BDSM and other kinds of creative sex. I don't want to think “tee hee, I'm violating taboos!” when I do sex things; I want the taboos to be completely irrelevant. (Some people especially enjoy violating taboos, and that's okay, but I don't feel that way myself.)

I didn't expect to design a game like this for myself, but I had the idea for this one while talking to a friend last spring. Since I had the skills I needed, I went for it!

Without further ado, here's the main page for the game, Hexy Bondage.


– Eli

An Illustrated Guide to the Biscuits

I'm continuously updating the process for making my biscuits. A few batches ago, I took photos!

Me holding two one-pound bags of beans over a counter; a metal pot is in the background.

I start with these one-pound bags of beans (two cups dry). For this batch I used two bags, but now I usually use three. I put the beans in the pot, then fill it with water to about three times the depth of [...]

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I was overheated and unproductive, but now I'm not

So, I said I wanted to post an awesome thing every week. That didn't happen. Instead, I got overheated.

I don't handle heat well. If it's above about 72°F (23°C), I stop being able to focus, I become very lethargic, and I get sleepy more easily, but I don't feel rested after sleeping. If it cools down again, I get better fairly quickly. I'd say it takes about 20 minutes to change my mental state, in either direction – although it's hard to measure.

Our house is normally cooled by a heat pump water heater. The one we had was broken. Then we replaced it. But I missed about a month's worth of work between when the heat started and when it cooled off.

Now I'm better, mostly. I've been working on a Javascript game project for the last week, although I don't have anything I can show to people yet.1

I'm still tired, though. When I go for a month without being excited about anything, it takes a while to get excited again. I'm not even impatient to finish VC, although I'm sure that feeling will come back before long.

I'll try to do the “post an awesome thing each week” thing again. To start with, I've done more experiments with biscuits that I should tell you about. Stay tuned.

– Eli

  1. I'm partially doing it as a prototype for part of Lasercake. So I'm working hard to make it robust internally, rather than making showy things. back

The carrying contraption

I used to carry my stuff – about eight pounds (3.6 kg) of it – like this:

A picture of me carrying a laptop case with a single shoulder strap over my right shoulder, with the case at my left side.

Or rather, it looked like that, except that the case was puffed up more from all the stuff in it. I did that for about four years. Then on March 1, 2013, I started having some pain in my chest. The pain got worse the more I [...]

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I made biscuits!

Following my last experiments, I've been trying to put my bean/oil/eggshell mush into a more convenient form. I'm now eating this stuff for all my meals except breakfast each day.

At first, I tried baking using just the bean powder. The results were too crumbly to be practical, so I added wheat flour. A family member suggested that, instead of dehydrating the cooked beans and then re-baking them, I could just mash the cooked beans in with the other ingredients before baking them. That also saves the trouble of grinding them. I tried it and got this:

A cooling rack with about 16 lumpy biscuits on it

(The colors are a bit off in that photo; the one on the far right is the closest to their actual color.)

These were pretty good - they're crunchy and a bit hard to chew, but [...]

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The Food Experiments

Inspired by Rob Rhinehart's “Soylent” project, I've been changing my diet. I'm trying to improve three aspects: Nutrition, portability, and price.

I've always had problems with eating. I don't like eating food, so I often don't eat enough of it. And I'm extremely sensitive to taste, so most foods are overwhelmingly strong and I can't eat them. Between those two things, I don't try new foods very often.

Previously, the main parts of my diet were rice, cheese, apple juice, and a multivitamin. For such a limited diet, that's not bad. But it's not great either. I think I was [...]

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