The Outer Game

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Re: Solve et Coagule
Posted by Steve Devine on October 24, 1997 at 05:43:24:

In Reply to: Re: Solve et Coagule posted by Robert C. Cohen GM Game One on October 23, 1997 at 23:21:40:

I will be responding to Robert's response in an
"interleaved" fashion, and I'll snip things that
dont actually REQUIRE a response. I like this
format -- it has all the strengths of a
conversation AND a written work, so here goes:

> In some ways it feels to me like a free form
> flow around some very specific feelings and ideas.

That formal aspect was deliberate. I felt that it
reflected this game's corewave in a rigorous, yet
whimsical way. In some places it reads almost like poetry.

Yes, I like blending techno rant with free verse
about concepts that blow my mind away.

> What is a literal translation of
> "Solve et Coagule" into English? Is this the main
> idea being submitted or is it more to do with the
> philosophies which are (hee hee) doing the
> "solving and coaguling" [sic]

It means "melt and freeze", or "dissolve and
recrystallize". It is a Latin phrase from
medieval European science: Alchemy! It refers
to a process whereby something goes through a
temporary period of instability, only to
re-stabilize in a new and different form.
But _stable_ again, see?

> What exactly do you mean by transhuminist
> body engineering?

Once we can design and implement our own ideas
for body types and living structures, flesh
becomes art on a level that even Surpasses the
usual forms of bodywork -- muscle-building, yoga,
cosmetic surgery, tattooing, ritual scar-ification,
etc... It refers to such things as cybernetic
fusion (artificial body parts perhaps with
hitherto unknown functions), cosmetic genetic
engineering and just keeps going from there. Some
of the transhumanists believe we will record our
minds onto computerized media. I think this is
possibly an "unclean" application of technology,
very dangerous and corrosive to our cultural
concepts of individuality. Handle with extreme

> Who is VM Smith? All these questions are out of
> curiosity and interest.

VM Smith is Valentine Michael Smith, the
protagonist of the butt-kicking 60s sci-fi novel:
"Stranger in a Strange Land", by Robert Anson
Heinlein. The book WILL "deal roughly" with your
head. Smith is physically a human, but has been
raised by the Ancient Race of Mars, after the
colonists mysteriously vanished. The Martian
sexes are divided, not by space, as here on Earth
(me Tarzan over here, you Jane over there), but
by Time -- children (larval or "nymph" stage) are
female, and adults are male. The perspective
basically defines Martian Culture just as sure as
sexual longing and striving defines our own.

If you have any ideologies about politics,
religion, sex, economic exploitation, etc....
this book WILL nuke 'em. Hard. The part where
he describes the president of the US as a
henpecked senility case, and his wife as the
power behind the oval office who regularly
consults with an astrologer is horrifyingly
prophetic. Written in the mid 60s, now, people!

> The relation to the core wave is in the idea of
> things disovling and forming back and forth into
> each other?

Dead on! In fact, the sub-wave of my posting
seems to have gotten thru even though the
Latin may have been "overdoing it"....

> And the specific things at hand here are going
> beyond our physical bodies with physical
> engineering vs. utopian immortality in virtual
> reality? These things I'm the most curious about?

Sort of. There is a heartbeat wave of Natural
Transcendence. Natural in the Lao-Tzu-ian sense
of "uncontrived". Such as evolution. There is
also a Buzz-beat of Technical transcendence.
"Contrived", in the Taoist sense, but hopefully
avoiding the traps and pitfalls of "Pop" Taoism.
The innovations and evolutions through Art, as
it were.

Not so much a physical engineering versus mental
engineering dichotomy, but an "implicitly
engineered versus explicitly engineered" one.
With Mama Nature starring as the implicit engineer
and Daedalus/Archimedes/Apollo/Eli Whitney/Robert
Jarvik as all of the explicit engineers. Jarvik
made a heart out of metal and plastic that mounts
inside a person's chest and keeps them alive. Eli
Whitney MAINLY invented mass production: a set
of parts all made to a single standard instead of
"freely crafted". The technology of
interchangeable parts and mass production was, of
course, immediately applied to the weaponer's art....
I dont think the War of 1812 would have been the
same without him. When the British wrapped up
the French Problem for a while, they turned their
full naval and military might against the
rebelling colonies. They kicked "ungowa boo-tay"!
Burnt down huge sections of DC.
See: for
a capsule dose of Whitney.

> Would you like me to move the entire text of
> your post as is into an inner game move? It
> seems to me that the bulk of the text fits
> under our heading for "deeper" as it seems to
> me to contain "technical, academic, specialized
> or complicated language."

Dewd: Ah-dunno! (Bill & Ted accent)

What would that do? I dont think I have really
Gotten Down and excavated like I should have
before posting. What are the inner levels like?
I can just see me trying to relate: alchemy,
nanotechnology, Robert Heinlein, Ronald Reagan,
Taoism, Eli Whitney, Late Renaissance wafare,
and genetic engineering in a coherent way.

Aw heck, Robert: "In for a penny, in for a pound"!
Lets take it on In There and see what happens!

> What do you think? I'm a bit confused but totally
> intriqued.
> Oh and Steve thanks again for all your feedback
> and thoughts about the site. There is a lot of
> useful material to play with there.

Maybe the transfer to the inner posting would be
a good way to see how things get further
assembled. Duhhh, O-kay, let's do it, what the

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