Nomic  is awfully abstract to wrap your head around if you haven't actually tried it. One option is to join one anyway and just see how it goes. Another is to look at Fluxx , a much simpler game that still lets you play around with having the rules change out from under you in the middle of the game. Fluxx starts with one Basic Rule ("Draw 1, Play 1") and no way to win (yet), and has four basic types of cards: Keepers. When you play them, they stay in front of you until some card says otherwise. ("Milk", "Cookies", "The Sun", "The Moon", "Television".) Actions. When you play them, you do what they say, then they get discarded. ("Steal a Keeper". "Take Another Turn." "Rules Reset".) Goals. When you play them, they become the way to win. ("Milk and Cookies": If you get those two Keepers in front of you - or if you already had them in front of you - then you win.) Any p


I've been playing Nomic for nearly thirty years now, mostly Agora Nomic which is coming up on its 30th birthday in a couple weeks, making it the second-oldest active one that I know of. (Unless you accept the old joke about Canada being a nomic.) Nomic was invented as a way to explore the Grandfather's Axe paradox as it applies to legal systems: if a legal system includes laws about how to amend the laws, and those laws are used, then is it the same system? What if every single law in the system has been changed at some point? (Agora has exactly one rule that has never been directly changed, though there are some attributes possessed by all rules that have been changed over time.) Nomic typically starts with a set of rules that are mostly stripped down to just that "how to amend the rules" core, with the "other stuff governed by the rules" stripped down to something intentionally boring ("roll a die, gain that many points, first one to 100 wins")

Post-hospital ramblings

I decided to start a new proper personal blog during a recent stay in the hospital, context here and here . This post covers some more details of past events during and shortly after that stay, before my memories have a chance to fade further than they already have. Within the first few days, I was identified as having "anxiety", which is not something that had really occurred to me before, except maybe in connection to specific short-term situations. I soon worked out that they meant my intermittent compulsion to fidget with my hands or feet in a certain way, for no conscious reason beyond an instinctive "I know it's going to bug me if I don't". Normally, it probably just happens without drawing notice, but when your entire day is reduced to laying on a gurney and getting a couple blood samples drawn, then such things can rise to the level of conscious concern. Once we understood each other on this front, then it was fine, as I had enough room to let those

Some self-referential music videos

 The Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star Appropriately, the first music video ever shown on MTV was a song about music videos. Dire Straits - Money for Nothing Another music video about music videos, also referencing the channel where it was first introduced.   U2 - Where the Streets Have No Name   The Joshua Tree was one of my first CDs, but I only recently discovered the self-referential nature of its music video: not just the band performing the song, but doing so live on a rooftop in downtown Los Angeles, including local news coverage of the event, and footage of the LAPD monitoring the situation and preparing to shut things down if the crowd got out of hand. Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence Another of my first CDs was Violator , and I watched this music video early on. Dave Gahan, wearing a kingly robe, walks through various otherwise uninhabited scenic locations, carrying a "throne" (deck chair) with him and eventually sitting down in it to take in the view. Steve Pe