Aug 03, 2021 4:27 AM
kyeo in anomaland
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"Yes; you can read the rules on the network first to save time but they'll explain anything specific to the group when you show up. And the page with the time and place will say if you need to bring anything but you almost certainly won't. It's not like scoopball or wheelybucket where you have to wear special gear, and someone else will have a ball and checkpoint markers already."

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"What are scoopball and wheelybucket?"

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"In scoopball everyone's got a stick with a scoop on the end and they use it to throw and catch the ball; wheelybucket can be played a bunch of different ways but the important thing is that there's a smooth curved concrete basin that people travel around at high speed using some form of wheels attached to them."

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"Attached to you?"

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"There are shoes with built-in wheels, and boards with wheels on the bottom that one can stand on, and sticks with wheels on the bottom and handgrips on the top that one can combine with the shoes, or one can use a scooter or a bicycle. And one generally also needs to wear a lot of padding, for wheelybucket; it's easy to get injured when you're doing a maneuver right at the edge of what you're good at."

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"I see."

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They shrug. "I've never tried it myself but some people love it. Anyway, pileup is fun."

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"I'll look into pileup."

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"Awesome. There was something else I wanted to mention, what was it--oh, right, have you thought any more about taking the secret tests?"

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"...isn't the idea that they will be administered without my expecting them?"

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"You won't know at the time, but you still need to state that you want them if you want them; some people hate the whole concept--because they're scared of what they'll find out, usually--and never take any."

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"What will they find out?"

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"That they did badly?--wait, you probably had so many things to look up you didn't actually have time to look up what the secret tests are testing. They test your tendency to be honest and compassionate and make the right decisions even when it's tempting to make the wrong ones. That's not a spoiler or anything, that's what everyone hears growing up here."

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"...what's the purpose of these tests?"

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"It's an important thing to know about yourself and lots of people don't get any good opportunities to find out otherwise. Also it's one of the things people can improve at a lot over the course of their life, so it's good to have a system for re-checking every fifteen years or so. Most people keep their scores private and nobody's going to ask you how well you did unless you run for election at a high level."

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"Why is this important to know?"

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Tazz has to think about this one for a minute! "It's because--well, you've got to know who are, right? You've got to know whether you can live up to your own values when you think nobody's looking. Does your society have a different way of helping people find that out?"

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"I think we have - somewhat more, uh, looking."

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"I'm not sure what you mean by that."

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"Fewer situations where no one is looking."

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"Wouldn't that make you want secret tests more, because it would be harder to get that information about yourself any other way?"

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"It makes the information less important."

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"If you don't care you don't care, I suppose, but to me--to nearly everyone here--wanting to know what sort of person you are is like wanting to know what the stars are made of, or why animals exist, or something, but even more important than that. Not knowing would itch."

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"I don't think that's typical on Ibyabek."

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"Huh! I wouldn't be surprised if that was an innate difference, we have philosophers from the dawn of writing talking about how self-knowledge is the cornerstone of excellence and more precious than rubies."

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