Ten years later...

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Ten years later...

Postby uc pseudonym » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:27 am

This past week marked the tenth anniversary of when I joined CAA. I've never done a questions thread, but I thought this was an opportune moment. Probably would have been better to do this back when there were more people here who knew who I was, but I'll give it a try.

So here's the deal: I will answer any and every question asked me in this thread. No promises about the quality or veracity of the answers.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby Mr. Hat'n'Clogs » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:42 am

What works, in any medium, do you consider instrumental in shaping you into who you are today? This doesn't have to mean that it had some profound impact on how you view the world, for instance, Naruto would be one of my answers because it introduced me to this whole anime thing and because of it I'm incredibly excited to watch Uchoten Kazoku this summer, which is some weird comedy thing from the writer of The Tatami Galaxy and about as far away from Naruto as you can get.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby ClosetOtaku » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:49 am

Describe as best you can how CAA has changed since you joined and, if instead you discovered CAA today, do you think you would join?
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby bigsleepj » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:04 am

Tastes change. Sometimes one's favourite show becomes an old shame. Do you have any old favourite animes that you would like to edit out of your brain?

Would you work outside of the US (again) at any point in the near future?
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby ClaecElric4God » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:03 pm

Congratulations on surviving CAA this long! You are truly amazing. Also, I really appreciate the effort you've put into making CAA such a great place. Thank you.

Questions! I'm a bit hesitant to go crazy, cause you're one of those "mature, respectable" members. So I'll do my best to restrain myself.
1. What 24-hour period of time do you think was the hardest (as far as physical labor) in your entire life?
2. Why did you join CAA?
3. How many people on CAA do you know in real life (just numbers, not asking for names)?
4. Are you a phantom?
5. Which of these words do you prefer: phantom, ghost, specter, apparition, wraith?
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? -Micah 6:8 KJV
They have shewed thee, O teen, what is good; and what doth the world require of thee, but to fit in, be wealthy, have good looks, and be rebellious? -Peer Pressure 1:1
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ClaecElric4God in regards to Wolfsong - You're the coolness scraped off the top of this morning's ice cream, after being pulled out of a beautiful summer day!
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby uc pseudonym » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:45 am

Mr.Hat'n'Clogs wrote:What works, in any medium, do you consider instrumental in shaping you into who you are today? This doesn't have to mean that it had some profound impact on how you view the world, for instance, Naruto would be one of my answers because it introduced me to this whole anime thing and because of it I'm incredibly excited to watch Uchoten Kazoku this summer, which is some weird comedy thing from the writer of The Tatami Galaxy and about as far away from Naruto as you can get.

Hmm. I'd spend too much time on this if I tried to give you a thorough, ordered list, so here's some stream of consciousness:

Dragonball introduced me to anime and I was struck by how it threw itself entirely into world-shaking plots and superhuman characters. The Brothers Karamazov blew me away in how it rejected many narrative conventions and fully followed the author's vision. "Death of a Salesman" made an enormous difference in how I think about quality, in that it was one of the first works that I thought was masterful instead of just over-analyzed. Those are the ones that immediately occur to me.

ClosetOtaku wrote:Describe as best you can how CAA has changed since you joined and, if instead you discovered CAA today, do you think you would join?

You've been here nearly as long as I have, so I'm not sure what I can offer you here. Obviously it's gotten bigger and changed along with the anime community due to the introduction of so many more anime/manga, but I don't think you're asking about that. From other conversations, I suspect I'm in the minority here, but in my opinion there are several major changes:
- CAA has broadened. It began as a community of people who occupied a fairly narrow slice of Christianity and underwent changes as it engaged real diversity of worldviews (within Christianity, with some welcome exceptions).
- CAA has seasoned. Once the membership was relatively naive and sheltered, but also relatively welcoming and forgiving of things like internet faux pas. I'm not sure how much of this can just be attributed to the changing of the overall internet and aging of the core membership.
- CAA has darkened. It used to be colored white.
- CAA has (somewhat) balkanized. Large groups inevitably have subgroups, but I see larger than usual separation when you consider areas like Goof Off and the Prayer Forum.

Quite aside from any question of CAA's nature, I wouldn't join it today. I'm in a different stage (perhaps mode) of life. I choose to use my free time differently and novelty of the internet/forums has worn off. There are many forums that could have taken CAA's place had I encountered them at the proper time and I'd be giving a comparable answer on one of them instead of here.

bigsleepj wrote:Tastes change. Sometimes one's favourite show becomes an old shame. Do you have any old favourite animes that you would like to edit out of your brain?

Would you work outside of the US (again) at any point in the near future?

I can't think of anything I considered a favorite that I can't enjoy in some other way now (for example I'm honestly enjoying seeing how bad Bleach can become), so I'll have to give an approximate answer. If my only option was editing out things, I wouldn't choose any series, since even bad material can be useful, but I wish I could get back the time I spent reading Gantz, Air Gear, and Samurai Deeper Kyo.

As for working internationally, it's fairly likely that I will, given my organizational affiliations. I think there's value in being in other countries for somewhat extended periods (as in a year or more), so if I can find meaningful work that leads me various places I'll take it.

ClaecElric4God wrote:Congratulations on surviving CAA this long! You are truly amazing. Also, I really appreciate the effort you've put into making CAA such a great place. Thank you.

Questions! I'm a bit hesitant to go crazy, cause you're one of those "mature, respectable" members. So I'll do my best to restrain myself.

1. What 24-hour period of time do you think was the hardest (as far as physical labor) in your entire life?
Interesting question. I think my answer will value duration over intensity because you specified 24 hours. During my first year in Tanzania, there was a 24 hour period where I biked a total of 20 miles, walked eight, was physically battered on a long ride in a tiny bus over terrible roads, moved a bunch of heavy equipment by myself, helped some guys push a stubborn cow, and got no sleep whatsoever.

2. Why did you join CAA?
Hookers and blow.

3. How many people on CAA do you know in real life (just numbers, not asking for names)?
If you mean people I knew before they joined CAA, four. Due to CAA I've taken two trips, which led to meeting three members of the California group (Mithrandir et al), and four members of the Southeast Asian group.

4. Are you a phantom?
No... you've been the phantom all along! (smash cut to credits)

5. Which of these words do you prefer: phantom, ghost, specter, apparition, wraith?
Each is most appropriate for different circumstances, but if you just want a superficial cool factor, "wraith" is the quickest way there in my opinion.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby Zarn Ishtare » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:33 am

We've come along way from me making amish jokes at you, haven't we? You in missions and else, and me with five years in the Corps...so, I'm going to ask you two questions.


1. When is your Angel story coming back? I loved it back then, I'd love to see it again.

2. What are you doing these days? I don't keep up much outside of writing in a mostly unread poetry topic in the Writing forum, so you'll have to spin me up on the new stuff.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby GeneD » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:22 am

Favourite fiction and nonfiction book, or as close as you can get to a favourite.

Barring outside circumstances that would prevent this, do you see yourself sticking around for another ten years?

Why did you ditch the Sephiroth avatar and what's the meaning behind the black square, if any?
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby Sheenar » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:58 pm

Hi! Good to see you online. I'm not nearly as active here as I used to be, but I check in now and then.

How have you been? What are you doing nowadays?

Did you finish your novel?
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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Re: Ten years later...

Postby uc pseudonym » Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:43 am

Zarn Ishtare wrote:We've come along way from me making amish jokes at you, haven't we? You in missions and else, and me with five years in the Corps...so, I'm going to ask you two questions.

1. When is your Angel story coming back? I loved it back then, I'd love to see it again.

2. What are you doing these days? I don't keep up much outside of writing in a mostly unread poetry topic in the Writing forum, so you'll have to spin me up on the new stuff.

1. Possibly never. These days I mostly write things for at least theoretical publication, and I am entirely disillusioned with the Christian publishing industry. I'm glad you're interested in what I might write, but that doesn't seem to be what the submarket wants.

2. Doing in what sense? My work is in capacity-building development, which means a lot of job training and infrastructure consulting in impoverished areas. If you mean writing, that's another story, but I won't get into that unless you're interested.

GeneD wrote:Favourite fiction and nonfiction book, or as close as you can get to a favourite.

Barring outside circumstances that would prevent this, do you see yourself sticking around for another ten years?

Why did you ditch the Sephiroth avatar and what's the meaning behind the black square, if any?

I'm more or less opposed to the idea of single favorites, since different works do different things. But to list some that are among my favorites, Silence by Shusaku Endo and Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.

I honestly don't know. Too many unpredictable variables.

My original avatar was selected before I even knew who Sephiroth was, it was just one of the only images I had on hand that I liked. I kept it for the sake of consistency, but eventually decided I didn't want to be in the group of "people with Sephiroth avatars" - which I assume you will admit is not the most august company. The black square represents my commitment to take revenge on the brigands who murdered my true love.

Sheenar wrote:Hi! Good to see you online. I'm not nearly as active here as I used to be, but I check in now and then.

How have you been? What are you doing nowadays?

Did you finish your novel?

I'm in Tanzania doing the kind of work I described earlier in this post. I'm part of a development organization that seeks to provide skilled workers in areas where developing countries lack expertise, but in temporary training-focused positions so as to increase the country's capacity instead of taking jobs from local workers. That means I travel every few years to assist in a new project (mostly health-related Tanzanian-run organizations).

Which novel do you mean? Regardless, the answer is yes. I've been writing quite a bit.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby rocklobster » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:33 am

1. Favorite authors?
2. Favorite biblical figure besides Jesus?
3. Does the UC mean Uncreative?
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby Kaori » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:26 pm

I know that this question can be obnoxious at times, so if you'd prefer, feel free to not answer make up an outrageous lie, I guess, since you guaranteed an answer to every question.

What do you plan to do next after your contract in Tanzania is finished?

EDIT: Also, how has living abroad changed you culturally?
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby Furen » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:57 am

Three things you enjoy? (No specific order)
And this I pray, that your love would abound still, more and more with real knowledge and all discernment. Be prepared to preach the gospel at a moment's notice. Do you know the gospel well enough to do so yourself? Be ready.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby uc pseudonym » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:42 am

rocklobster wrote:1. Favorite authors?
2. Favorite biblical figure besides Jesus?
3. Does the UC mean Uncreative?

1) For nonfiction I'll look at anything by Jared Diamond or Dan Ariely. I really enjoy Brandon Sanderson's control of plot and Aliette de Bodard does many things well.

2) Not sure. For now I'll say Samuel, for embodying the ideal of speaking truth to corrupt power.

3) Yes. When I joined CAA there was a character limit, so I arbitrarily abbreviated my usual name.

Kaori wrote:I know that this question can be obnoxious at times, depending on the circumstances, so feel free to not answer it if you'd prefer not to.

What do you plan to do next after your contract in Tanzania is finished?

EDIT: Also, how has living abroad changed you culturally?

I hope to keep finding good development work, but positions I enjoy are less common than I'd like. If I need to wait for new contracts I may spend an intervening year or two teaching English in South Korea. Slightly longer term there's a position teaching at a university that sounds almost ideal, but I need more work experience to be eligible.

I'll take your offer of passing on the second question, actually.

Furen wrote:Three things you enjoy? (No specific order)


Okay:
1) Doctors who are also ninjas.
2) Scenes you can reread and understand completely differently.
3) Tim Minchin.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby GeneD » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:04 am

If you could have any superpower what would you want?

If you could grant any superpower what would you give and to whom?
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby shooraijin » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:08 am

Kudos to another aged co-mod. :)
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby uc pseudonym » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:37 am

Nice to see you too, shooraijin.

GeneD wrote:If you could have any superpower what would you want?

If you could grant any superpower what would you give and to whom?

Mind-reading and teleportation have both occurred to me at times (and I'm assuming Batman's power of "being rich" is off the table). However, I think if I was actually choosing for my real life, I'd go with invincibility, assuming that includes immunity to illness and health problems - you assume Superman can't get diabetes, anyway. Good health is more useful than flashy powers.

The second question is one I haven't really considered. I could give my sister a useful power to gain access to it through her, or go for something more altruistic. I'd be tempted to give politicians that kind of empathic sense that makes you feel other people's emotions, but if I only have one instance of the power to give I'd have to carefully target the person who would do the most good, probably a dictator.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby rocklobster » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:32 am

Has CAA changed for the better or the worse? Why?
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby uc pseudonym » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:35 am

Either, depending on who you are. I don't think there's any absolute standard of "forum quality" so you can only consider how it changes compared to individual's preferences. The question of the debate rule is a good example: everyone values both community and open discussion, but people who value community more would have considered the allowance of debate to be a change for the worse, while the opposite position would have considered it a change for the better. Both could be right or wrong to varying degrees, but they can't both get what they want simultaneously.

That might seem like a cop-out, but I honestly don't have a strong feeling on the matter. My thoughts about CAA have more to do with how my position in life has changed than the forum itself.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby rocklobster » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:22 pm

Who are your favorite musicians?
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby uc pseudonym » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:30 am

Actually, I'm not that interested in music, so the only musicians I like are ones that have something else going for them. That started off with Weird Al, naturally. Steve Taylor was an incredible satirist when you consider he was involved in Christian music in the 80s. These days the only artist I'm following is Tim Minchin.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby Vilo159 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:22 pm

Hello UC. I don't know you personally, but I've seen your contributions here and I greatly appreciate them.

What advice would your give to some of us newer/younger members? It can range from advice specifically about this forum to life lessons to whatever.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby uc pseudonym » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:29 am

Thank you. I'll try to give a serious answer, though that will make this thread somewhat heavier than I'd intended.

For CAA or forums in general, my advice would be to find a balance between spending and conserving your time. Is it really worth getting into an argument with someone about theology/politics? Probably not, as in most cases people want to proselytize, not listen. But at the same time, don't be afraid to spend an hour arguing about whether or not Superman flies by producing antigravitons if that's what entertains you - you might be surprised how trivial discussions can lead to real relationships. I've probably fallen too far on the former side, posting less frequently these days because I'm cynical about communication. If I'd been that way from the beginning I'd have missed out on some meaningful friendships.

For life lessons, my main suggestion is that you should think about career earlier than you'd think. Don't go into college because it's the expected thing to do, without any kind of objective. "Follow your dreams" is not good advice unless your dreams involve being a nurse or engineer. I see too many of my peers with a degree that does them little good and college debt that will be with them for years. Your profile says you're young, so it may seem early to think about this sort of thing. But in my observation, too many people think they can decide these things later and end up defaulting into whatever job they can get at the time, which leads them to spend the majority of their lives doing work they find tolerable or mildly interesting at best. I decided to check myself on this, and according to a recent Gallup poll, 71% of Americans dislike their jobs. For most people, their job consumes the majority of their waking hours, so it's too important to leave to chance.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby goldenspines » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:40 am

As simply an observation, it's curious to see how different members view you depending on when they met/heard legendary stories about you in your ten years being here on CAA.

Me being no exception, obviously. But onto some questions.

- What is your favorite snack food (or dessert if you don't eat snacks much)?

- With you being a bit of a phantom drifting around CAA now, I think the mystery of how you ever got to 15,000+ posts still remains, well, mysterious. But, in all those posts, do you have one post or thread that you remember fondly?

- If you could only have one title for all the stories you ever have written or will write in the future, what would it be?

- Dogs, cats, or goats?

- Favorite video game?

- Weapon of choice when fighting a gentleman's duel?


That's all I have for now. It's always nice to hear from you, though, UC.
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Re: Ten years later...

Postby uc pseudonym » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:31 am

Currently I don't check CAA every day, but I will see your questions eventually...

goldenspines wrote:As simply an observation, it's curious to see how different members view you depending on when they met/heard legendary stories about you in your ten years being here on CAA.

Me being no exception, obviously. But onto some questions.

- What is your favorite snack food (or dessert if you don't eat snacks much)?

I mostly snack on raw things, which don't feel like snack food, so I'm going to say dried mangoes.

- With you being a bit of a phantom drifting around CAA now, I think the mystery of how you ever got to 15,000+ posts still remains, well, mysterious. But, in all those posts, do you have one post or thread that you remember fondly?

When someone posted a blatantly political thread and everyone spammed it with nonsense until the mods arrived. Thanks for validating my trust, CAA.

- If you could only have one title for all the stories you ever have written or will write in the future, what would it be?

The Adventure Chronicles of the Dragon Sword Quest of Crowns: Epistemological Underpinnings of Transcendence, Part VII: Revenge of the Thing - A Novel

- Dogs, cats, or goats?

Goats. I'm not much of a pet person, so goats are the most functional and least work. If I had to have a pet, I'd take a cat with the personality of a dog and the self-reliance of a goat.

- Favorite video game?

Not sure; I don't tend to pick favorites. I'm tempted to say Planescape Torment for writing quality, but the gameplay suffers from the usual problems of old wRPGs. For nostalgia and total number of plays, probably Super Mario RPG. I could feel like I should list a game that does everything well (like Chrono Trigger) but nothing is really standing out for me.

- Weapon of choice when fighting a gentleman's duel?

The glove you use to slap people and start duels. At the beginning of the duel I'd slap the other guy with it, thus initiating a second, nested duel. Recursive duels all the way down.
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