Dear Insane Children,
(Livestream tomorrow – scroll down for details)
Yesterday I wrote a blurb on Instagram regarding Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery to incorporate breakage and repair as part of the history of an object. This topic sprang to mind as I reviewed the latest batch of enemy illustrations from Joey.
This concept also intersects with a the idea of Antifragile as presented in the book of the same name by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
As Taleb describes it…
“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better”.
The phenomenon is well studied in medicine, where for example Wolff’s law describes how bones grow stronger due to external load. Hormesis is an example of mild antifragility, where the stressor is a poisonous substance and the antifragile becomes better overall from a small dose of the stressor. This is different from robustness or resilience in that the antifragile system improves with, not withstands, stressors, where the stressors are neither too large or small. The larger point, according to Taleb, is that depriving systems of vital stressors is not necessarily a good thing and can be downright harmful.”
In my view there’s a lot of overlap between the ideas described here and an approach to the origin of and treatment of PTSD.
Severe traumatic shock often arises from fragility. Like a vase dropped from a shelf, we break when subjected to unexpected and violent changes in our environment or existence.
Critically, our brains engage two different systems depending on whether or not we anticipate an event. Knowing we’ll face a severe storm aboard a boat is cognitively different than being caught out unexpectedly. One is something to prepare for and fight through and uses the problem solving part of our brains. The other is something we simply try to survive and engages the more instinctual fight-or-flight mechanisms. One feels like a challenge to overcome. The other feels terrifying.
The aftermath of a storm or confrontation with chaos in our lives can be devastating and long lasting. And there’s no shortcut to minimizing or avoiding the pain we experience emotionally, physically, and psychologically. But there is a way of shifting your perspective to make the experience more productive…
Instead of asking “why” a thing happened… look at the shattered bits and pieces which remain and accept them for what’s left to work with. Over time those pieces need to be adapted into a new and functioning whole. Like using a bed-sheet for a sail … or insect legs for arms.
We should expect and anticipate a life filled with chaos and ultimately ending in death. We need not be blindsided by the unexpected. People will fail us, relationships will crash and burn, we’ll fall ill, the dog will vomit on the bed, and there will be hair in your salad. The path through this with dignity and acceptance has been captured in many philosophies such as stoicism.
Arm yourself with the tools (and insect arms) for the coming chaos. Better now than when it’s too late. And when the storm has passed, pick up the pieces, glue them back together, and keep going.
Omri sent along an update to his Alice in the Asylum image. He’s looking for feedback from YOU so please be sure to leave your SUGGESTIONS and QUESTIONS in the comments below!
Alex has entered the arena! He’s sent along an idea for an enemy character he calls a “Scraper” and says…
The idea being they are Alice’s twisted imaginings of straight jacket bound asylum patients, bandaged, strapped and blind, limping through the dark halls.
Before they are moving, the Scrapers would be bound in their straight jackets. Secured but struggling, gasping and moaning tortured gurgles and strangled breaths.
When alerted or engaged, rusted, massive scalpel blades protrude or explode from their limbs, destroying their restraints and enabling them limited, but steady movement.
The blades would scrape along the tiles and marble of the ground, making a tell-tale, disjointed screeching sound.
In darkness you could just see the sparks flicker from the blades to give off their location.
I imagine they’d be at a point in the game where Alice is defenseless.
Lots more art, design, and story stuff to discuss. And for that, tomorrow we have a…
Hit THIS LINK to set a reminder over on YouTube. We’re doing our usual time:
09:00AM Hong Kong Time, Thursday morning (11-10-18)
Tomorrow I’ve got special prizes lined up…
If you want to know what this Moving Ears Rabbit Hat is all about and watch a video of a Chinese girl giving a Level-1000-Cuteness example of them in use head over to Mysterious and check it out!
Chaos Coin & Necklace Update
Chaos Coins are arriving with Patrons around the world. If you’ve not yet received yours – don’t sweat it. Should be there soon!
If, by the 15th of October, you still don’t see your coin then PM us. Not sooner!
If you are waiting on a Chaos Necklace please note there was a delay in getting replacements to our shipping partner resulting from the recent Chinese Golden Week Holiday. Replacements should arrive in Shenzhen this week and will ship out soon. Expect delivery in ~20 days.
That’s it for today… See you all on the livestream tomorrow!
From Shanghai with Rabbit Ears,