No Touch and Double No Touch Binary Options - Binary365

Coming Out and Having Secrets

Hey, it's some weirdo again. Bored on a gloomy day, thought I'd write down some thoughts.
I see a lot of my fellow sissy weirdos having a lot of serious struggles with whether to come out, whether to live full time, and what kinds of secrets to have. It can be a very painful thing to struggle with, and for a lot of people it's what leads a harmless kink into some serious depression and anxiety. So I just wanted to share a bit about what I've learned along the way in the hopes that it could be beneficial to someone reading.
Now just to start with, I have very little judgement and I don't aspire to be a bummer. The last thing I want to do is make you overthink your love of sucking cock, your desire to have your sensitive little sissy nips played with while you're in a pink tutu, or make you feel bad about your secret panty collection. This should be fun, and you should have fun! I don't think sex is inherently something to be ashamed of, nor do I think eschewing normal gender roles is inherently problematic. So don't worry, sweet little sluts, I have you. That said, we do get a little serious towards the end.
I feel like I need to give a disclosure here: I live my life as a cis man, but experience some gender dysphoria and have been having sissy experiences for something like a decade. I'm not a mental health professional, and if you're struggling with serious depression, go find one instead of reading reddit threads. That said, if you want someone to relate to, some of my experiences might help.

Definition of Sissy
So though a million people have done this in the past, I wanted to start by defining what a sissy is. The fact is that nobody can really make a definition that works for everyone as there is no true authority on the matter. But from reading what others have interpreted and from my own personal life experience, I think that a sissy is a person born male who gets sexual gratification out of the idea of being forced/ coerced/ or seduced into acting feminine, dressing feminine, or taking on a feminine role in sex. This is meant to stand in contrast to a trans woman, who is a person assigned male at birth but who identifies distinctly as female. Trans women can certainly still enjoy sissy play, but not all sissies are trans. What's probably the most important thing to take from this definition of sissy is that it sort of has some inherent discord to the definition: "sissy" describes a person who should have had the OPPORTUNITY to be male and masculine, but who instead chooses or is forced to portray a feminine role. The very existence of sissies is thus in a state of inherent disharmony, a disharmony echoed in most sissy porn that frequently expresses coercion or plays off the idea of being degraded to a point of sexual submission. In essence, it's about being one thing AND another, at the same time.
It's no surprise then that the idea of secrets and imbalance are an inherent part of the ideology. You are effectively living your life as one thing and another, so it's normal that people confront this idea of secrets and what to be open with.

The Value of Secrets
In short, everyone has secrets, and secrets can be a fun thing. We all like to act like we're open books, but the fact of the matter is that everyone you know has something they don't share with the world. More of us than not have unique sexual interests or have had unique sexual experiences, and even outside of sex, we all have things we don't want the world to know about. You shouldn't feel like a freak if you have a fun obsession with sexy sissy stuff. If you day dream about having a mouth full of cum all the time, you shouldn't feel bad about that. Gargle away.
Secrets in this case are not inherently a bad thing. By their very nature they express a certain vulnerability: they represent something that you know that you wouldn't want the world to know about, and that can make you feel like there's a moralistic imperative to have less of them. Basically you're afraid of your secret leaking to the world, so you think to yourself that your secret is inherently bad. But it isn't! The way I always think about it is this: does your mom need to know what your favorite sex position is? Does your boss need to know when your first hand job was? These are fundamental experiences we all have that don't need to carry a moral weight to them, but that also don't need to be shared in the world. Your personal fetishes can be the same.
And there are, from my personal experience, some benefits to having secrets. I spent a long time in my 20s being pretty closeted about my sexual endeavors. I'd meet up with guys from craigslist and suck their cocks, I would dress in my girlfriends clothes and have two guys over to double end me, I snuck off to gay sex parties where i'd suck cock and get fucked by strangers, and the world didn't know about it. As much as I did feel some vulnerability that my secrets might be exposed, I also felt an ongoing sense of confidence. When you have secrets like that, certain things in the world can't touch you. insults that people might make about you or assumptions about you just roll off your back: you know that they don't know the real you, so how could their opinion about you really matter? Only you know the real you. They just see what you want them to see. their judgments mean nothing. Additionally, going through some of the real scary and intense sort of stuff--having gay sex in a public restroom or glory hole, or going to a strangers house to fuck--can sort of turn down the volume on other things in life. Stuff that used to be scary simply isn't anymore because you've dealt with some REAL scary shit, and survived.
Even when your secret is that you love taking it in the ass and guzzling piss and cum, it can be empowering to simply have something for YOURSELF. something that you do, because you want to do it, and you aren't afraid of the world's repercussions.

The Cost of Secrets
All of that said, there are certainly costs to being a secretive person, and some of those costs can be pretty serious and a real bummer. Some of them can have a drastic effect on your mental health.
The first thing to confront for sissies of course is whether or not you're expressing internal homophobia or misogyny. Feeling closeted can be an awful feeling. Watching people be out and proud about being gay or being trans and you yourself having impulses that you don't share can make you see yourself as a coward, or a liar, or a fake. You can feel like you're hurting people who are out, or hiding from people who scare you.
There's a lot of nuance in the sissy world about this kind of thing so I won't go at it at length, but I would encourage everyone to try to step away from those classic "is being a sissy gay" or "am i gay if i just wanna suck cock" kind of arguments. These sort of things still put the term "gay" as being this awful, OTHER thing that you don't want to be. It's inherently qualifying gay as being a worst case scenario, something to avoid, something to be afraid of. So i would encourage you to have less fear of it as a sexual identity. maybe you are bisexual, or queer, or curious, or whatever. It doesn't matter. What matters is how you feel about it. If, to you, having a preference to suck cock isn't any different than a slight preference for doggy style, then sure, maybe you don't have an obligation to come out as gay or bi or whatever. Looking at some cock here and there isn't a big deal. But if for you it's causing you to feel ashamed, then consider coming out as queer or bisexual. That's what i did! eventually i started feeling awful about being closeted in a world full of hate and homophobia, so i came out. For me, it was a good decision that ended up having a remarkably small effect on my life, and it separated a lot of the mental baggage i had. I still had my secrets, nobody knew exactly WHAT i was doing with guys, but knowing that the world had an idea made me a lot less afraid to be exposed to the world, a lot less ashamed of who i was as a person. So, to summarize, it's a personal decision, but consider non-binary options. You can identify however you want, to whoever you want. Shades of gray are not only permitted, but inevitable.
(quick note: there's nothing cowardly or shameful about not coming out if you're in a scary situation. if you live with your parents and your dad is an awful homophobe, you don't have to feel an obligation to come out that said, you should start the wheels on doing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you can to get out of that situation, at your own pace. get a job, save money, make a plan to move out and gain your own independence so you can start being yourself.)
The next risk of being secretive concerns your partners. Many of you are in straight relationships and you might feel like you've got past the point of no return: if you were going to tell your partner that you sometimes suck cock or that you want to wear her clothes or that you look at weird sissy hypno porn, you feel like you should have done it by now. maybe you feel like she won't love you or respect you anymore.
This obviously is going to be very different from relationship to relationship. But I would strongly recommend that you open up to people you're in relationships with, and try to do it early. The longer you're with a person the higher the odds are that they'll somehow find out what you've been up to, and if they find out that you have a whole sexual identity that they weren't aware of when they've been with you for years, this can be a very painful and traumatizing process. It isn't that the things you enjoy are inherently BAD, it's simply that you've shown that you don't trust this person to know the whole you, or to be welcomed in. and that can put a serious dent in a relationship. You certainly don't need to tell your partner every time you jerk off or show them what porn you like (unless you do that in a fun, kinky way). but if it's going to be an increasingly big part of your life, consider opening up to them about your interests. In the end, you deserve to be loved and appreciated for who you really are.
\**incoming, important part****
Which leads into the biggest problem with secrets. Secrets are fun at first; as stated above, you get a thrill out of having these secret parts to you, these things that make you unique and special. you feel excited, horny, thrilled, and you have a good time. But there is a consequence to this, and that is that you'll begin to subconsciously feel that the people in your life don't know the REAL you. You'll come to believe that your friends, family, and partners only love the version of you that you PROJECT into the world, that they only love you because of who you fake you are. And when you're in a dark place in your life and you're trying to convince yourself that you are a good person, a person who's life has meaning and value... then a loved one looking you in your eyes and telling you they love you and think you're a good person will begin to feel hollow. You won't be able to take comfort in it, because you'll know that they don't actually know the REAL you. and you'll resent that part of yourself, and the people who don't know the real you, and you'll convince yourself that if they DID know the real you, they would hate you.
If it isn't clear, I'm talking a bit from experience here.
But fear not, there is a way out. I was a man full of secrets and lies, and eventually i realized that to really enjoy my life the way i wanted to i'd have to just be honest. I worked with my partner to open up about who i am and open up our relationship so that i could get what i needed, i gave my friends loose details about me being into weird kinky stuff (and didn't go into more detail than that) and came out as bisexual. And now, when my partner says she loves me, i can believe it. I know she knows the real me. And I have to tell you, my fellow perverts, having someone know the real you, know your deepest darkest feelings and secrets, and still LOVE you is just... the best feeling there is. Whether it's your partner or your friends or your family, it's a very uplifting feeling.
So it takes work to communicate these things. You'll need to go out of your comfort zone. you'll hurt feelings, you'll have a hard time communicating, you'll stumble, you'll have moments of remorse. But if you get to the end of that road, you'll be happier and more free than you thought you could be.

Whether to go Full Time
Ok again, have to say that I'm not a therapist and i'm not a trans person, so take anything I say here with a grain of salt. But I know that lots and lots of you fine sissies are struggling with whether to go from fantasy to reality and transition. The first and most important thing here is that there isn't anything inherently wrong with being trans! So don't consider it a worst case scenario or anything that you should look at with dread. lots of people transition and live much happier lives, so if that's the path for you, enjoy yourself.
That said! As I stated above, there's this inherent idea of being a "sissy" that means that you know that you're a man but believe you should act like or be treated like a woman. So a lot of the porn that goes along with sissy stuff tends to deliver this tempting, taunting message that you should finally take the plunge, take the leap, give in to your true desires, and transition.
I guess I'd just say that you should jerk off and then think about it, if i'm being straight with you. We all get pretty ... intense, when we're in the heat of a sexual moment. when i'm horny and desperate you can feed me your ass and piss and spit in my face and i'll beg you desperately for more. I've done some shit. And for me personally, it does make me want to fall headlong into sissy play. I want to shave every inch of me, convert my body, throw away all my boxer shorts and be the sissy cock sucker cum dump i was meant to be.
But i guess just keep in mind that real life is, in fact, real life. you can't actually look at the life of a cock sucking sissy as a simple ALTERNATIVE to your hum drum life because the fact is that sissies also need to do things like pay rent, have jobs, see their families on the holidays, raise their kids, see that guy from high school at the mall... all the stuff we have to do every day. The fact is there just aren't all these rich guys who want to pay you to dress pretty and be their slut, and the people who do get close to that, just get a few years out of it before they age out.
So just jerk off. get it all out of your head, then go back and ask yourself how transitioning would effect your life goals, your relationships with people, and everything else you have going on. if it meets your goals, then go talk to a therapist and see if it's a good idea! If not, maybe you should just chill out and enjoy that you have this ever tempting fetish that you can enjoy for the rest of your days.

In the End, Open Your Mind
So that's pretty much it. I'd just want to end on this: a lot of sissies feel anxiety about their personal identity because they're trying to force that identity into boxes other people have defined. Whether you're gay or straight, whether you're a male or female, whether you're full time or part time, passable or not, a slave or a pillow princess, a cum addict or just a fantasizer.... these are all just toys for you to play with. none of them have to define you. none of them have to hurt you. you can use them to build up the identity and routine that gives you a sense of sexual satisfaction while preserving your greater life goals. so have fun with it, and relax. the world is your playground.


note: if you liked reading this, i've written about lots of other sissy stuff on reddit. just click on my page and you'll see more, i think, i dunno i don't really know reddit. also, i love talking about sex and sexuality, so feel free to dm me with any questions if you don't like to comment directly.
submitted by Sp00kyAshl3y to Sissy [link] [comments]

The Challenges of Designing a Modern Skill, Part 3

Okay, Wendy’s or Walgreens or whoever, I don’t care who you are, you’re listening to the rest.

Introduction to Part 3

Welcome back one last time to “The Challenges of Designing a Modern Skill,” a series where we discuss all aspects of skill design and development. In Part 1, we talked about OSRS’s history with skills, and started the lengthy conversation on Skill Design Philosophy, including the concepts of Core, Expansion, and Integration. This latter topic consumed the entirety of Part 2 as well, which covered Rewards and Motivations, Progression, Buyables, as well as Unconstructive Arguments.
Which brings us to today, the final part of our discussion. In this Part 3, we’ll finish up Section 3 – Skill Design Philosophy, then move on to chat about the design and blog process. One last time, this discussion was intended to be a single post, but its length outgrew the post character limit twice. Therefore, it may be important to look at the previous two parts for clarity and context with certain terms. The final product, in its purest, aesthetic, and unbroken form, can be found here.

3-C – Skill Design Philosophy, Continued

3-12 - Balancing

What follows from the discussion about XP and costs, of course, is balancing: the bane of every developer. A company like Riot knows better than anyone that having too many factors to account for makes good balance impossible. Balancing new ideas appropriately is extremely challenging and requires a great respect for current content as discussed in Section 3-5 – Integration. Thankfully, in OSRS we only have three major balancing factors: Profit, XP Rate, and Intensity, and two minor factors: Risk and Leniency. These metrics must amount to some sense of balance (besides Leniency, which as we’ll see is the definition of anti-balance) in order for a piece of content to feel like it’s not breaking the system or rendering all your previous efforts meaningless. It’s also worthy to note that there is usually a skill-specific limit to the numerical values of these metrics. For example, Runecrafting will never receive a training method that grants 200k xp/hr, while for Construction that’s easily on the lower end of the scale.
A basic model works better than words to describe these factors, and therefore, being the phenomenal artist that I am, I have constructed one, which I’ve dubbed “The Guthix Scale.” But I’ll be cruel and use words anyway.
  • Profit: how much you gain from a task, or how much you lose. Gain or loss can include resources, cosmetics, specialized currencies, good old gold pieces, or anything on that line.
  • XP Rate: how fast you gain XP.
  • Intensity: how much effort (click intensity), attention (reaction intensity), and thought (planning intensity) you need to put into the activity to perform it well.
  • Risk: how likely is the loss of your revenue and/or resource investment into the activity. Note that one must be careful with risk, as players are very good at abusing systems intended to encourage higher risk levels to minimize how much they’re actually risking.
  • Leniency: a measure for how imbalanced a piece of content can be before the public and/or Jagex nerfs it. Leniency serves as a simple modulator to help comprehend when the model breaks or bends in unnatural ways, and is usually determined by how enjoyable and abusable an activity is, such that players don’t want to cause an outrage over it. For example, Slayer has a high level of Leniency; people don’t mind that some Slayer tasks grant amazing XP Rates, great Profits, have middling Intensity, and low Risk. On the other hand, Runecrafting has low levels of Leniency; despite low Risk, many Runecrafting activities demand high Intensity for poor XP Rates and middling Profits.
In the end, don’t worry about applying specific numbers during the conceptual phase of your skill design. However, when describing an activity to your reader, it’s always useful if you give approximations, such as “high intensity” or “low risk,” so that they get an idea of the activity’s design goals as well as to guide the actual development of that activity. Don’t comment on the activity’s Leniency though, as that would be pretty pretentious and isn’t for you to determine anyway.

3-13 - Skill Bloat

What do the arts of weaving, tanning, sowing, spinning, pottery, glassmaking, jewellery, engraving, carving, chiselling, carpentry, and even painting have in common? In real life, there’s only so much crossover between these arts, but in Runescape they’re all simply Crafting.
The distinction between what deserves to be its own skill or instead tagged along to a current skill is often arbitrary; this is the great challenge of skill bloat. The fundamental question for many skill concepts is: does this skill have enough depth to stand on its own? The developers of 2006 felt that there was sufficient depth in Construction to make it something separate from Crafting, even if the latter could have covered the former. While there’s often no clean cut between these skills (why does making birdhouses use Crafting instead of Construction?), it is easy to see that Construction has found its own solid niche that would’ve been much too big to act as yet another Expansion of Crafting.
On the other hand, a skill with extremely limited scope and value perhaps should be thrown under the umbrella of a larger skill. Take Firemaking: it’s often asked why it deserves to be its own skill given how limited its uses are. This is one of those ideas that probably should have just been thrown under Crafting or even Woodcutting. But again, the developers who made early Runescape did not battle with the same ideas as the modern player; they simply felt like Firemaking was a good idea for a skill. Similarly, the number of topics that the Magic skill covers is so often broken down in other games, like Morrowind’s separation between Illusion, Conjuration, Alteration, Destruction, Mysticism, Restoration, Enchant, Alchemy (closer to Herblore), and Unarmored (closer to Strength and Defense). Why does Runescape not break Magic into more skills? The answer is simple: Magic was created with a much more limited scope in Runescape, and there has not been enough content in any specific magical category to justify another skill being born. But perhaps your skill concept seeks to address this; maybe your Enchantment skill takes the enchanting aspects of Magic away, expands the idea to include current imbues and newer content, and fully fleshes the idea out such that the Magic skill alone cannot contain it. Somewhat ironically, Magic used to be separated into Good and Evil Magic skills in Runescape Classic, but that is another topic.
So instead of arguments about what could be thrown under another skill’s umbrella, perhaps we should be asking: is there enough substance to this skill concept for it to stand on its own, outside of its current skill categorization? Of course, this leads to a whole other debate about how much content is enough for a skill idea to deserve individuality, but that would get too deep into specifics and is outside the scope of this discussion.

3-14 - Skill Endgame

Runescape has always been a sandbox MMO, but the original Runescape experience was built more or less with a specific endgame in mind: killing players and monsters. Take the Runescape Classic of 2001: you had all your regular combat skills, but even every other skill had an endgame whose goal was helping combat out. Fishing, Firemaking, and Cooking would provide necessary healing. Smithing and Crafting, along with their associated Gathering skill partners, served to gear you up. Combat was the simple endgame and most mechanics existed to serve that end.
However, since those first days, the changing endgame goals of players have promoted a vast expansion of the endgame goals of new content. For example, hitting a 99 in any non-combat skill is an endgame goal in itself for many players, completely separate from that skill’s combat relationship (if any). These goals have increased to aspects like cosmetic collections, pets, maxed stats, all quests completed, all diaries completed, all music tracks unlocked, a wealthy bank, the collection log, boss killcounts, and more. Whereas skills used to have a distinct part of a system that ultimately served combat, we now have a vast variety of endgame goals that a skill can be directed towards. You can even see a growth in this perspective as new skills were released up to 2007: Thieving mainly nets you valuable (or once valuable) items which have extremely flexible uses, and Construction has a strong emphasis on cosmetics for your POH.
So when designing your new skill, contemplate what the endgame of your skill looks like. For example, if you are proposing a Gathering skill, what is the Production skill tie-in, and what is the endgame goal of that Production skill? Maybe your new skill Spelunking has an endgame in gathering rare collectibles that can be shown off in your POH. Maybe your new skill Necromancy functions like a Support skill, giving you followers that help speed along resource gathering, and letting you move faster to the endgame goal of the respective Production skill. Whatever it is, a proper, clear, and unified view of an endgame goal helps a skill feel like it serves a distinct and valuable purpose. Note that this could mean that you require multiple skills to be released simultaneously for each to feed into each other and form an appropriate endgame. In that case, go for it – don’t make it a repeat of RS3’s Divination, a Gathering skill left hanging without the appropriate Production skill partner of Invention for over 2 years.
A good example of a skill with a direct endgame is… most of them. Combat is a well-accepted endgame, and traditionally, most skills are intended to lend a hand in combat whether by supplies or gear. A skill with a poor endgame would be Hunter: Hunter is so scattered in its ultimate endgame goals, trying to touch on small aspects of everything like combat gear, weight reduction, production, niche skilling tools, and food. There’s a very poor sense of identity to Hunter’s endgame, and it doesn’t help that very few of these rewards are actually viable or interesting in the current day. Similarly, while Slayer has a strong endgame goal it is terrible in its methodology, overshadowing other Production skills in their explicit purpose. A better design for Slayer’s endgame would have been to treat it as a secondary Gathering skill, to work almost like a catalyst for other Gathering-Production skill relationships. In this mindset, Slayer is where you gather valuable monster drops, combine it with traditional Gathering resources like ores from Mining, then use a Production skill like Smithing to meld them into the powerful gear that is present today. This would have kept other Gathering and Production skills at the forefront of their specialities, in contrast to today’s situation where Slayer will give fully assembled gear that’s better than anything you could receive from the appropriate skills (barring a few items that need a Production skill to piece together).

3-15 - Alternate Goals

From a game design perspective, skills are so far reaching that it can be tempting to use them to shift major game mechanics to a more favourable position. Construction is an example of this idea in action: Construction was very intentionally designed to be a massive gold sink to help a hyperinflating economy. Everything about it takes gold out of the game, whether through using a sawmill, buying expensive supplies from stores, adding rooms, or a shameless piece of furniture costing 100m that is skinned as, well, 100m on a shameless piece of furniture.
If you’re clever about it, skills are a legitimately good opportunity for such change. Sure, the gold sink is definitely a controversial feature of Construction, but for the most part it’s organic and makes sense; fancy houses and fancy cosmetics are justifiably expensive. It is notable that the controversy over Construction’s gold sink mechanism is probably levied more against the cost of training, rather than the cost of all its wonderful aesthetics. Perhaps that should have been better accounted for in its design phase, but now it is quite set in stone.
To emphasize that previous point: making large scale changes to the game through a new skill can work, but it must feel organic and secondary to the skill’s main purpose. Some people really disliked Warding because they felt it tried too hard to fix real, underlying game issues with mechanics that didn’t thematically fit or were overshadowing the skill’s Core. While this may or may not be true, if your new skill can improve the game’s integrity without sacrificing its own identity, you could avoid this argument entirely. If your skill Regency has a Core of managing global politics, but also happens to serve as a resource sink to help your failing citizens, then you’ve created a strong Core design while simultaneously improving the profitability of Gathering skills.

3-16 - The Combat No-Touch Rule

So, let’s take a moment to examine the great benefits and rationale of RS2’s Evolution of Combat:
This space has been reserved for unintelligible squabbling.
With that over, it’s obvious that the OSRS playerbase is not a big fan of making major changes to the combat system. If there’s anything that defines the OSRS experience, it has to be the janky and abusable combat system that we love. So, in the past 7 years of OSRS, how many times have you heard someone pitch a new combat skill? Practically no one ever has; a new combat skill, no matter how miniscule, would feel obtrusive to most players, and likely would not even receive 25% of votes in a poll. This goes right back to Section 3-5 – Integration, and the importance of preserving the fundamentals of OSRS’s design.
I know that my intention with this discussion was to be as definitive about skill design as possible, and in that spirit I should be delving into the design philosophy specifically behind combat skills, but I simply don’t see the benefit of me trying, and the conversation really doesn’t interest me that much. It goes without saying that as expansive as this discussion is, it does not cover every facet of skill design, which is a limitation both of my capabilities and desire to do so.

3-17 - Aesthetics

I don’t do aesthetics well. I like them, I want them, but I do not understand them; there are others much better equipped to discuss this topic than I. Nonetheless, here we go.
Since the dawn of OSRS, debates over art style and aesthetics have raged across Gielinor. After all, the OSRS Team is filled with modern day artists while OSRS is an ancient game. What were they supposed to do? Keep making dated graphics? Make content with a modernized and easily digestible style? Something in-between?
While many players shouted for more dated graphics, they were approached by an interesting predicament: which dated graphics did they want? We had a great selection present right from the start of OSRS: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. People hungry for nostalgia chose the era that they grew up in, leading to frequent requests for older models like the dragon or imp, most of which were denied by Jagex (except the old Mining rock models). But which era was OSRS supposed to follow?
Jagex elected to carve their own path, but not without heavy criticism especially closer to OSRS’s conception. However, they adapted to player requests and have since gone back and fixed many of the blatant early offenders (like the Kingdom of Kourend) and adopted a more consistent flavour, one that generally respects the art style of 2007. Even though it doesn’t always hit the mark, one has to appreciate the OSRS artists for making their best attempt and listening to feedback, and here’s to hoping that their art style examination mentioned in June 2020’s Gazette bears fruit.
But what exactly is the old school art style? There are simple systems by which most players judge it in OSRS, usually by asking questions like, “Would you believe if this existed in 2007?” More informed artists will start pointing out distinct features that permeated most content from back in the day, such as low quality textures, low poly models, low FPS animations, a “low fantasy” or grounded profile that appeals somewhat to realism, reducing cartoonish exaggerations, and keeping within the lore. Compiled with this, music and sound design help that art style come to life; it can be very hard on immersion when these don’t fit. An AGS would sound jarring if its special attack sounded like a weak dagger stab, and having to endure Country Jig while roaming Hosidius suddenly sweeps you off into a different universe.
But coming back to skill design, the art, models, and sound design tend to be some of the last features, mostly because the design phase doesn’t demand such a complete picture of a skill. However, simple concept art and models can vastly improve how a skill concept is communicated and comfort players who are concerned about maintaining that “old school feel.” This will be touched on again later in this discussion under Section 5-2 – Presentation and Beta Testing.

3-18 - Afterword

Now we’ve set down the modern standards for a new skill, but the statements that started this section bear repeating: the formula we’ve established does not automatically make a good or interesting skill, as hard as we might have tried. Once again, harken back to the First Great Irony: that we are trying to inject the modern interpretation of what defines a skill upon a game that was not necessarily built to contain it. Therefore, one could just as easily deny each of the components described above, as popular or unpopular as the act might be, and their opinion could be equally valid and all this effort meaningless. Don’t take these guidelines with such stringency as to disregard all other views.

5-0 - The OSRS Team and the Design Process

If you’ve followed me all the way here, you’re likely A) exhausted and fed up of any conversation concerning new skills, or B) excited, because you’ve just struck an incredible skill idea (or perhaps one that’s always hung around your head) that happens to tick off all the above checkboxes. But unfortunately for you B types, it’s about to get pretty grim, because we’re going to go through every aspect of skill design that’s exterior to the game itself. We’ll be touching on larger topics like democracy, presentation, player mindsets, effort, and resource consumption. It’ll induce a fantastic bout of depression, so don’t get left behind.

5-1 - Designing a Skill

Thus far, Jagex has offered three potential skills to OSRS, each of which has been denied. This gives us the advantage of understanding how the skill design process works behind the scenes and lets us examine some of the issues Jagex has faced with presenting a skill to the players.
The first problem is the “one strike and you’re out” phenomenon. Simply put, players don’t like applying much effort into reading and learning. They’ll look at a developer blog highlighting a new skill idea, and if you’re lucky they’ll even read the whole thing, but how about the second developer blog? The third? Fourth? Even I find it hard to get that far. In general, people don’t like long detail-heavy essays or blogs, which is why I can invoke the ancient proverb “Ban Emily” into this post and it’ll go (almost) completely unnoticed. No matter how many improvements you make between developer blogs, you will quickly lose players with each new iteration. Similarly, developer blogs don’t have the time to talk about skill design philosophy or meta-analyse their ideas – players would get lost far too fast. This is the Second Great Irony of skill design: the more iterations you have of a lengthy idea, the less players will keep up with you.
This was particularly prominent with Warding: Battle Wards were offered in an early developer blog but were quickly cut when Jagex realized how bad the idea was. Yet people would still cite Battle Wards as the reason they voted against Warding, despite the idea having been dropped several blogs before. Similarly, people would often comment that they hated that Warding was being polled multiple times; it felt to them like Jagex was trying to brute-force it into the game. But Warding was only ever polled once, and only after the fourth developer blog - the confusion was drawn from how many times the skill was reiterated and from the length of the public design process. Sure, there are people for whom this runs the opposite way; they keep a close eye on updates and judge a piece of content on the merits of the latest iteration, but this is much less common. You could argue that one should simply disregard the ignorant people as blind comments don't contribute to the overall discussion, but you should remember that these players are also the ones voting for the respective piece of content. You could also suggest re-educating them, which is exactly what Jagex attempts with each developer blog, and still people won’t get the memo. And when it comes to the players themselves, can the playerbase really be relied on to re-educate itself?
Overall, the Second Great irony really hurts the development process and is practically an unavoidable issue. What’s the alternative? To remove the developer-player interface that leads to valuable reiterations, or does you simply have to get the skill perfect in the first developer blog?
It’s not an optimal idea, but it could help: have a small team of “delegates” – larger names that players can trust, or player influencers – come in to review a new, unannounced skill idea under NDA. If they like it, chances are that other players will too. If they don’t, reiterate or toss out the skill before it’s public. That way, you’ve had a board of experienced players who are willing to share their opinions to the public helping to determine the meat and potatoes of the skill before it is introduced to the casual eye. Now, a more polished and well-accepted product can be presented on the first run of selling a skill to the public, resulting in less reiterations being required, and demanding less effort from the average player to be fully informed over the skill’s final design.

5-2 - Presentation and Beta Testing

So you’ve got a great idea, but how are you going to sell it to the public? Looking at how the OSRS Team has handled it throughout the years, there’s a very obvious learning curve occurring. Artisan had almost nothing but text blogs being thrown to the players, Sailing started introducing some concept art and even a trailer with terrible audio recording, and Warding had concept art, in game models, gifs, and a much fancier trailer with in-game animations. A picture or video is worth a thousand words, and often the only words that players will take out of a developer blog.
You might say that presentation is everything, and that would be more true in OSRS than most games. Most activities in OSRS are extremely basic, involve minimal thought, and are incredibly grindy. Take Fishing: you click every 20 seconds on a fishing spot that is randomly placed along a section of water, get rid of your fish, then keep clicking those fishing spots. Boiling it down further, you click several arbitrary parts of your computer screen every 20 seconds. It’s hardly considered engaging, so why do some people enjoy it? Simply put: presentation. You’re given a peaceful riverside environment to chill in, you’re collecting a bunch of pixels shaped like fish, and a number tracking your xp keeps ticking up and telling you that it matters.
Now imagine coming to the players with a radical new skill idea: Mining. You describe that Mining is where you gather ores that will feed into Smithing and help create gear for players to use. The audience ponders momentarily, but they’re not quite sure it feels right and ask for a demonstration. You show them some gameplay, but your development resources were thin and instead of rocks, you put trees as placeholders. Instead of ores in your inventory, you put logs as placeholders. Instead of a pickaxe, your character is swinging a woodcutting axe as a placeholder. Sure, the mechanics might act like mining instead of woodcutting, but how well is the skill going to sell if you haven’t presented it correctly or respected it contextually?
Again, presentation is everything. Players need to be able to see the task they are to perform, see the tools they’ll use, and see the expected outcomes; otherwise, whatever you’re trying to sell will feel bland and unoriginal. And this leads to the next level of skill presentation that has yet to be employed: Beta Worlds.
Part of getting the feel of an activity is not just watching, it but acting it out as well - you’ll never understand the thrill of skydiving unless you’ve actually been skydiving. Beta Worlds are that chance for players to act out a concept without risking the real game’s health. A successful Beta can inspire confidence in players that the skill has a solid Core and interesting Expansions, while a failed Beta will make them glad that they got to try it and be fully informed before putting the skill to a poll (although that might be a little too optimistic for rage culture). Unfortunately, Betas are not without major disadvantages, the most prominent of which we shall investigate next.

5-3 - Development Effort

If you thought that the previous section on Skill Design Philosophy was lengthy and exhausting, imagine having to know all that information and then put it into practice. Mentally designing a skill in your head can be fun, but putting all that down on paper and making it actually work together, feel fully fleshed out, and following all the modern standards that players expect is extremely heavy work, especially when it’s not guaranteed to pay off in the polls like Quest or Slayer content. That’s not even taking into account the potentially immense cost of developing a new skill should it pass a poll.
Whenever people complain that Jagex is wasting their resources trying to make that specific skill work, Jagex has been very explicit about the costs to pull together a design blog being pretty minimal. Looking at the previous blogs, Jagex is probably telling the truth. It’s all just a bunch of words, a couple art sketches, and maybe a basic in-game model or gif. Not to downplay the time it takes to write well, design good models, or generate concept art, but it’s nothing like the scale of resources that some players make it out to be. Of course, if a Beta was attempted as suggested last section, this conversation would take a completely new turn, and the level of risk to invested resources would exponentially increase. But this conversation calls to mind an important question: how much effort and resources do skills require to feel complete?
Once upon a time, you could release a skill which was more or less unfinished. Take Slayer: it was released in 2005 with a pretty barebones structure. The fundamentals were all there, but the endgame was essentially a couple cool best-in-slot weapons and that was it. Since then, OSRS has updated the skill to include a huge Reward Shop system, feature 50% more monsters to slay, and to become an extremely competitive money-maker. Skills naturally undergo development over time, but it so often comes up during the designing of an OSRS skill that it "doesn't have enough to justify its existence." This was touched on deeply in Section 3-13 – Skill Bloat, but deserves reiterating here. While people recognize that skills continually evolve, the modern standard expects a new skill, upon release, to be fully preassembled before purchase. Whereas once you could get away with releasing just a skill's Core and working on Expansions down the line, that is no longer the case. But perhaps a skill might stand a better chance now than it did last year, given that the OSRS Team has doubled in number since that time.
However, judging from the skill design phases that have previously been attempted (as we’ve yet to see a skill development phase), the heaviest cost has been paid in developer mentality and motivational loss. When a developer is passionate about an idea, they spend their every waking hour pouring their mind into how that idea is going to function, especially while they’re not at work. And then they’re obligated to take player feedback and adapt their ideas, sometimes starting from scratch, particularly over something as controversial as a skill. Even if they have tough enough skin to take the heavy criticism that comes with skill design, having to write and rewrite repeatedly over the same idea to make it “perfect” is mentally exhausting. Eventually, their motivation drains as their labour bears little fruit with the audience, and they simply want to push it to the poll and be done with it. Even once all their cards are down, there’s still no guarantee that their efforts will be rewarded, even less so when it comes to skills.
With such a high mental cost with a low rate of success, you have to ask, “Was it worth it?” And that’s why new skill proposals are far and few between. A new skill used to be exciting for the development team in the actual days of 2007, as they had the developmental freedom to do whatever they wanted, but in the modern day that is not so much the case.

5-4 - The Problems of Democracy

Ever since the conceptualization of democracy in the real world, people have been very aware of its disadvantages. And while I don’t have the talent, knowledge, or time to discuss every one of these factors, there are a few that are very relevant when it comes to the OSRS Team and the polling process.
But first we should recognize the OSRS Team’s relationship with the players. More and more, the Team acts like a government to its citizens, the players, and although this situation was intentionally instated with OSRS’s release, it’s even more prominent now. The Team decides the type of content that gets to go into a poll, and the players get their input over whether that particular piece makes it in. Similarly, players make suggestions to the Team that, in many cases, the Team hadn’t thought of themselves. This synergy is phenomenal and almost unheard of among video games, but the polling system changes the mechanics of this relationship.
Polls were introduced to the burned and scarred population of players at OSRS’s release in 2013. Many of these players had just freshly come off RS2 after a series of disastrous updates or had quit long before from other controversies. The Squeal of Fortune, the Evolution of Combat, even the original Wilderness Removal had forced numerous players out and murdered their trust in Jagex. To try and get players to recommit to Runescape, Jagex offered OSRS a polling system by which the players would determine what went into the game, where the players got to hold all the cards. They also asked the players what threshold should be required for polled items to pass, and among the odd 50% or 55% being shouted out, the vast majority of players wanted 70%, 75%, 80%, or even 85%. There was a massive population in favour of a conservative game that would mostly remain untouched, and therefore kept pure from the corruption RS2 had previously endured.
Right from the start, players started noticing holes in this system. After all, the OSRS Team was still the sole decider of what would actually be polled in the first place. Long-requested changes took forever to be polled (if ever polled at all) if the OSRS Team didn’t want to deal with that particular problem or didn’t like that idea. Similarly, the Team essentially had desk jobs with a noose kept around their neck – they could perform almost nothing without the players, their slave masters, seeing, criticizing, and tearing out every inch of developmental or visionary freedom they had. Ever hear about the controversy of Erin the duck? Take a look at the wiki or do a search through the subreddit history. It’s pretty fantastic, and a good window into the minds of the early OSRS playerbase.
But as the years have gone on, the perspective of the players has shifted. There is now a much healthier and more trusting relationship between them and the Team, much more flexibility in what the players allow the Team to handle, and a much greater tolerance and even love of change.
But the challenges of democracy haven’t just fallen away. Everyone having the right to vote is a fundamental tenet of the democratic system, but unfortunately that also means that everyone has the right to vote. For OSRS, that means that every member, whether it’s their first day in game, their ten thousandth hour played, those who have no idea about what the poll’s about, those who haven’t read a single quest (the worst group), those who RWT and bot, those who scam and lure, and every professional armchair developer like myself get to vote. In short, no one will ever be perfectly informed on every aspect of the game, or at least know when to skip when they should. Similarly, people will almost never vote in favour of making their game harder, even at the cost of game integrity, or at least not enough people would vote in such a fashion to reach a 75% majority.
These issues are well recognized. The adoption of the controversial “integrity updates” was Jagex’s solution to these problems. In this way, Jagex has become even more like a government to the players. The average citizen of a democratic country cannot and will not make major decisions that favour everyone around themselves if it comes at a personal cost. Rather, that’s one of the major roles of a government: to make decisions for changes for the common good that an individual can’t or won’t make on their own. No one’s going to willingly hand over cash to help repave a road on the opposite side of the city – that’s why taxes are a necessary evil. It’s easy to see that the players don’t always know what’s best for their game and sometimes need to rely on that parent to decide for them, even if it results in some personal loss.
But players still generally like the polls, and Jagex still appears to respect them for the most part. Being the government of the game, Jagex could very well choose to ignore them, but would risk the loss of their citizens to other lands. And there are some very strong reasons to keep them: the players still like having at least one hand on the wheel when it comes to new content or ideas. Also, it acts as a nice veto card should Jagex try to push RS3’s abusive tactics on OSRS and therefore prevent such potential damage.
But now we come to the topic of today: the introduction of a new skill. Essentially, a new skill must pass a poll in order to enter the game. While it’s easy to say, “If a skill idea is good enough, it’ll pass the threshold,” that’s not entirely true. The only skill that could really pass the 75% mark is not necessarily a well-designed skill, but rather a crowd-pleasing skill. While the two aren’t mutually exclusive, the latter is far easier to make than the former. Take Dungeoneering: if you were to poll it today as an exact replica of RS2’s version, it would likely be the highest scoring skill yet, perhaps even passing, despite every criticism that’s been previously emphasized describing why it has no respect for the current definition of “skill.” Furthermore, a crowd-pleasing skill can easily fall prey to deindividualization of vision and result in a bland “studio skill” (in the same vein as a “studio film”), one that feels manufactured by a board of soulless machines rather than a director’s unique creation. This draws straight back to the afore-mentioned issues with democracy: that people A) don’t always understand what they’re voting for or against, and B) people will never vote for something that makes their game tougher or results in no benefit to oneself. Again, these were not issues in the old days of RS2, but are the problems we face with our modern standards and decision making systems.
The reality that must be faced is that the polling system is not an engine of creation nor is it a means of constructive feedback – it’s a system of judgement, binary and oversimplified in its methodology. It’s easy to interact with and requires no more than 10 seconds of a player’s time, a mere mindless moment, to decide the fate of an idea made by an individual or team, regardless of their deep or shallow knowledge of game mechanics, strong or weak vision of design philosophy, great or terrible understanding of the game’s history, and their awareness of blindness towards the modern community. It’s a system which disproportionately boils down the quality of discussion that is necessitated by a skill, which gives it the same significance as the question “Should we allow players to recolour the Rocky pet by feeding it berries?” with the only available answers being a dualistic “This idea is perfect and should be implemented exactly as outlined” or “This idea is terrible and should never be spoken of again.”
So what do you do? Let Jagex throw in whatever they want? Reduce the threshold, or reduce it just for skills? Make a poll that lists a bunch of skills and forces the players to choose one of them to enter the game? Simply poll the question, “Should we have a new skill?” then let Jagex decide what it is? Put more options on the scale of “yes” to “no” and weigh each appropriately? All these options sound distasteful because there are obvious weaknesses to each. But that is the Third Great Irony we face: an immense desire for a new skill, but no realistic means to ever get one.

6-0 - Conclusion

I can only imagine that if you’ve truly read everything up to this point, it’s taken you through quite the rollercoaster. We’ve walked through the history of OSRS skill attempts, unconstructive arguments, various aspects of modern skill design philosophy, and the OSRS Team and skill design process. When you take it all together, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the thought that needs to go into a modern skill and all the issues that might prevent its success. Complexity, naming conventions, categorizations, integration, rewards and motivations, bankstanding and buyables, the difficulties of skill bloat, balancing, and skill endgames, aesthetics, the design process, public presentation, development effort, democracy and polling - these are the challenges of designing and introducing modern skills. To have to cope with it all is draining and maybe even impossible, and therefore it begs the question: is trying to get a new skill even worth it?
Maybe.
Thanks for reading.
Tl;dr: Designing a modern skill requires acknowledging the vast history of Runescape, understanding why players make certain criticisms and what exactly they’re saying in terms of game mechanics, before finally developing solutions. Only then can you subject your ideas to a polling system that is built to oversimplify them.
submitted by ScreteMonge to 2007scape [link] [comments]

Choose Your Own Adventure - Part 2

Part 1

What if it wasn’t about anything related to the text? What if it was similar to the riddles that brought me to those pages? What if the mystery behind them was related to their page numbers, or hell the page numbers in general?
Once at home I went to work. I told myself once more that I needed to get the full picture. So I went to write down all the page numbers in the book, one after another.
When I was done, I took a step back and stared at the result. Yet, there was nothing that stood out to me right away. I haphazardly picked one of the secret pages. Page 427 was in front of page 811. Then I continued.
811, 812, 813, 814, 815, 816, 817, 818, 818, 820, 821, and right after was yet another secret page.
This one was page 528.
And after that, the regular page numbers continued.
822, 823, 824, 825, 826, 827, 828, 829, 830, 831, 832, 833, 834, 835, 836, 837, 838, 839, 840, 841, 842, 843, followed by another one, page 143.
This list of ongoing numbers made me suddenly wonder. My thoughts drifted right back to what had gotten me to do this, the secret pages.
What if they weren’t placed randomly?
Yet, as I checked their distribution, it felt almost too random. I checked the number of regular pages before and after, put them in sequence, but there was no correlation.
Then I got another idea. I added up all the pages before and after, but this also made no sense. Half the results were too big and exceeded the total number of pages in the book, by far.
Then, starting at number 111 to 137, which I’d just added together, I got yet another idea. What if I only added together their last digits?
The result I came up with was 648. Which was exactly the secret page that followed afterward!
My eyes grew wide. I’d had it, hadn’t I? The hint I’d been looking for! I was going livid.
Right away I went to the next one and calculated all the preceding numbers, only to come up with an entirely different result than the page number of the secret page following. Cursing I got up.
It had been another goddamn coincidence. I laughed, but this time in abject misery, mocking my stupidity. How’d it be so damned easy, you idiot? There was no way. None of this was easy. None of it!
But as I stared at the result I’d come up with just now, I noticed something. The result of my calculation was 702. The page number was 351. Wait. Wait. Wait. That’s half of 702! Maybe it really was nothing but a coincidence and I was just grasping at straws, but what else was I to do?
The next result I came up with was 176. If I multiplied it by three, it gave me the page number of the secret page that followed it, 528. The number 715, divided by 5, gave me the page number 143 that followed it.
I continued adding, dividing, and multiplying and it all checked out. All the page numbers of the secret pages resulted from calculations of the last two digits of their preceding pages.
What does it mean though? Does it even mean anything? The exhilaration I’d felt ebbed away, and I sat there, staring at all my calculations wondering if there was any meaning to it. Yet, there had to be, right? This couldn’t have been designed as yet another red herring. This was too damned complex. No, there had to be a reason for this.
What if there was an order? If I went through all the calculations I quickly noticed that the result was never divided by the same number. The highest number that a result was divided by was 26, the highest a result was multiplied by was 27. It was exactly 53 different calculations.
With that, I started ordering them, one by one, starting backward from the highest division, to the highest multiplication. Then I put the topic of each page behind the numbers in the resulting list.
I’d hoped for something. I’d hoped to find it starting with the page about the universe, followed by constellations and stars up to the evolution of apes, plants, and other animals. Yet, it was all mixed-up nonsense. There was no order to it at all! Even when I ordered them in other ways, trying to find any sort of correlation, it was always the same. Nothing, but nonsense.
My hands started shaking as anger flooded through me. I crumbled up the stupid, ordered lists and threw them across the room. Then I cursed in sheer and utter rage. This was freaking stupid. This was insane! This was nothing at all, just pure fucking nonsense. I picked up a random object on my table and hurled it against the wall where it shattered into pieces. Then I threw aside a chair I found standing in my way and kicked over the small couch table, creating general chaos in my living room.
I was stopped from going any further when my neighbors banged against the wall, screaming to knock it off and threatening to call the cops.
That made me stop. The anger went away. I stared in shock at my living room. What the hell was happening to me? Why’d I done that? Why’d I destroyed my things at 1 am in the freaking morning?
Then I slowly smoothed out the lists I’d created and put them on one of the few free spots remaining on my living room wall. Who knows, I might need it later.
I laughed as I looked from them to the rest of the wall which was now entirely covered. Even worse were the stacks of notes that had accumulated in front of them. I was proud all right, but I also knew that this thing was absolutely insane.
Once more, I couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing.
Shaking my head, I turned around and made my way to the bedroom. Yet, as my fingers rested on the light switch, I turned around one last time. I stared at the mad lines, the mad paths who were connecting here and there. There was nothing but lines upon lines. Here and there, if I looked hard and long enough, I could almost make out shapes.
I froze. What if it was a visual puzzle? What if there was a hint hidden in the shapes of the paths?
For days I sat down, drew points and lines and connections, warping them into surreal shapes. This was crazy, wasn’t it? How’d it be visual? There’s probably not a damn thing to be got from this. This was stupid. Yet, I couldn’t stop. Each day, I spent my entire afternoon, my evening, and even half the night, drawing. And eventually, it all came to nothing. There was nothing but mad lines and not a clear shape in sight.
I didn’t give up though, wasn’t discouraged. I was beyond that, far beyond that. What if there was something else? Maybe there was a hidden code between these pages?
When I was at work, I’d completely forgotten about my former vow not to talk about the book or do anything related to it. Instead, I read up on cryptography. Going through article after article. I read up on Caesar Code and Binary Code, on the Polybius Cipher and Hex Code. I went mad with it. Before long I spent more time reading up on things than doing any of my work. Eventually, I even brought pages filled with numbers with me, cross-checking them for hits of any and all codes.
I heard co-workers whispering behind my back, asking me what I was doing and I told them, I just hadn’t closed the weird articles after break time.
They knew it wasn’t the truth. They’d heard me mumble, saw the little notebook I was writing in, noticed the endless lists of numbers I brought with me each day.
My superior eventually came up to me. He asked me what I was doing with all those weird pages. I told him it was nothing but a little puzzle.
“Well, Todd,” he started in a condescending voice. “You’re not here to do any of those ‘little puzzles’, you’re here to do your damn job. Where are the calculations for this month? I’ve been waiting for them all day.”
“Oh, I guess, I’m almost done with them, I just need another hour or-“
My voice trailed off when he picked up one of the pages I’d been looking at mere minutes ago. Suddenly, when I saw him holding it, I felt nervous.
“What even is this? It’s just random numbers.”
He saw my face, saw the way my eyes grew wide when he’d picked it up. The hint of a smile washed over his face as he crumbled it up.
He opened his mouth for another remark, but before he could I jumped up from my chair and ripped the page from his hand. He cringed back a step in shock at my reaction.
“The hell’s wrong with you?” he screamed at me, but I didn’t listen. Instead, I carefully smoothed out the paper and made sure he hadn’t torn it apart.
By now half the office had gotten up to watch the weird exchange. Only now did I realize what I’d done and how everyone was staring at me.
Suddenly I felt very watched and almost sunk back into my chair.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to,” I mumbled but broke up under the pressure of all those eyes.
“Get back to work and finish those damned calculations! If I see you tinkering with any of this shit again, you can clean out your desk!”
With that, he stormed off. I heard people whispering all around me, some laughing, others speaking in a more reserved tone.
Yep, I thought, it’s official. I’m the office nutjob.
Right away, I forced myself to close all the Wikipedia articles I had still open and put away all my notes. And then, grudgingly, annoyed and half-mad at the distraction it represented, I went back to work. Somehow though, it felt meaningless, calculating all these stupid orders and filling out this customer database. What the hell was I even doing? What if it really was a code? What if it was actually a mixture, a double-code? My mind went wild with ideas. Five minutes later, I found myself holding one of my notes again. I couldn’t even remember taking it out.
Pushing it back, cursing, and not a little afraid, I forced myself to work calculations until the day was over. At the moment my shift ended, I jumped off my chair and rushed for the door. People stared at me, looked after me, their faces a mixture of amusement and worry.
I didn’t care. I had work to do. The important kind of work!
I’d just tried to find another connection between the page numbers of the secret pages when my doorbell rang. I ignored it, but it just kept ringing. When it finally stopped, I sighed in relief. Just leave me alone, I cursed, I’ve got work to do.
Then, mere moments later, my phone vibrated on the other end of the room. Dammit, I’d forgotten to mute it again. I waited for it to stop, but it started up right away. Cursing I went over to see who it was and noticed the name instantly.
It was my friend Andrew. Annoyed, I answered it.
“Yo, Todd, you home?” I heard his voice from the phone next to my ear and more distant, muffled from the front door.
My first reaction was one of annoyance. Then I pushed the thought away. What the hell was wrong with me? This was Andrew. He was my best friend, the only one of our old group who still lived in the same city. Right away, I thought about how long I’d last seen him. Surprised I realized that it must’ve been weeks. One glance at the mad mess in my living room told me why.
“Yeah, sure hold on,” I said over the phone and made my way to the front door.
Andrew smiled at me brightly and held up to six-packs.
“Haven’t seen you in forever, how about we have a few! I got quite the story for you, my man!”
I smiled at him. “Sure, come on in.”
We made our way inside and Andrew had barely set foot into my living room when he stopped. His eyes grew wide as he stared at the wall and the stacks of paper all over the place.
“Holy shit man. I was wondering why I haven’t heard from you. The hell’s all that? You working on some sort of project?”
“Kind of,” I mumbled a little embarrassed.
I quickly picked up the papers on the couch and put them aside to make room for him to sit.
“Sorry about the mess.”
“Nah man, it’s all right. So, the thing I was about to tell you, you remember Thomas, right?”
Thomas, I thought. Did I know a Thomas? Then I remembered him. Of course, I remembered him, he’d been part of our group. I rubbed my temples for a second before I nodded.
“He’s getting married and you won’t believe who the lucky girl is!”
With that, Andrew told me the entire story of how our friend Thomas had been dating Susan, Andrew’s cousin for the past three months, and the two of them had decided to get married. I listened, nodded here and there, even laughed a few times absentmindedly, but my eyes wandered to my notes again and again.
For a moment I spaced out entirely, thinking about an idea that had popped into my mind just before he’d arrived. What if there was something about number sequences? I must’ve sat there for an entire minute, simply holding my beer and staring off at nothing when Andrew waved his hand in front of my face.
“Yo, dude, you listening?”
“What? Oh, sorry, no, I think I spaced out for a moment.”
“All right, man, I got to ask, what’s all this? What sort of crazy thing are you working on? Haven’t seen you this into something in years.”
I smiled at him awkwardly and then sighed and pointed at the book.
“It’s one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books,” I started.
With that, the flood gates broke open, and I told him all about it.
He listened, at first curiously, but after a while, his face changed. There was visible concern, as I rambled on about secret pages, strange objects, and cryptography.
“Todd, hold on, hold on, what the hell are you even talking about?”
I stared at him.
“The book. You know those secret pages must’ve some sort of meaning. At first, I thought there was a simple order to them, but it was too chaotic. If you add up all their page numbers though, you get 20670, and if you divided this up by-“
“All right, man, stop,” he cut me off. “So you’re adding up all those numbers, I get that, but for what?”
I began explaining again, I tried, but he couldn’t follow me.
“Yeah, I don’t get it, man. Just, what the fuck?”
“All right, look,” I said and walked over to the wall covered in lines and numbers and started once more.
I told him about the different adventure paths, the references, the secret pages, and when and how they appeared.
His face was blank as I rambled on and on and on.
“Yo, dude, you might want to take a bit of a break, this sounds, well, a bit crazy.”
For a moment I was quiet, then a short, nervous laugh escaped me.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
He stepped up next to me, staring at the wall.
“Shit man, you did all this? Just for a damned book?”
Before I could answer, he reached out and was about to take one of the pages off the wall. My hand shot forward instinctively, batting his aside.
“Don’t touch it!” I called out before I realized what I’d done.
Andrew stumbled back a few steps, shocked. “Shit man, sorry, I didn’t mean to-“
And then it happened. I didn’t even listen to his words anymore as he bumped against some of the stacks of notes I’d placed neatly in front of the wall. They toppled over one another, the pages scattering all over the floor and intermixing.
My eyes grew wide. Oh god, no, freaking god no. Anger rose in me. It had taken me so goddamn long to sort them all out, to order them. There was a freaking method to it all and now he’d destroyed it. He’d destroyed the work of entire fucking days!
“What the fuck are you doing?” I screamed at him.
He cringed back, only now realizing what had happened.
“Hey, didn’t mean to,” he said and began picking up random pages.
I ripped them from his hand and pushed him back. “No, don’t fucking touch them. Those two don’t belong together you idiot! Are you freaking insane?!”
With an empty face, he watched as I gathered up some of the pages, stared at them, and began sorting them as best as I could.
“You know, Todd, that’s what I should ask you.”
“What the hell do you mean?” I snapped at him. “You destroyed the work of days! Days! This is-“
“This is what, man?” he cut me off once more. “It’s nonsense. It’s a freaking children’s book, nothing else.”
That did the trick. I got up and stepped up right in front of him.
“Nonsense? You’ve got no FUCKING idea, how far I’ve come! You’ve got no clue what’ve done already! And here you are telling me this is NONSENSE?”
His face had grown hard. For a second he was about to say something, but then he simply shook his head and laughed. Without another word, he picked up his things, the beer, and left.
If he said any words in parting, I didn’t hear them. I was already busy re-ordering my notes.
It was hours later, when I was done sorting them all out, that I realized what I’d done and how I’d acted.
For the first time, I grew truly scared.
That hadn’t been normal. That wasn’t me. Why’d I gone crazy like this?
I took first one step back from the wall, then another before I went to pick up my phone. When I tried to call Andrew, he didn’t pick up. Instead, the call went straight to voice mail. Then I saw how late it was, long past three in the morning.
I wrote him a quick message, apologized for my behavior, and told him he was right. I should take a break from this entire thing.
That’s what I did right away. I picked up my laptop, made my way to the bedroom, and this time I turned off the light without looking over my shoulder.
I lay down on my bed and started browsing YouTube and told myself to just enjoy it and take a break.
Yet, even as I watched video after video, the little voice in the back of my head spoke up again. It told me I should go on, told me to go back to the living room.
You almost had it, Todd, you almost had it. Just one more hint and you’re done with it. Then you can let it go and you can-
“Shut up, goddamnit!” I screamed at myself to quiet the subconscious voice in the back of my head.
“I freaking know,” I said quieter. “God, I freaking know.”
I sat in bed, the video that was playing already forgotten. As video, after video played, I was on my phone, checking stars and numbers before I eventually drifted off to sleep.
The next morning I didn’t even get to make myself a coffee. I was mad, pissed off and I wanted to finally make progress. For a while, I tinkered about the various codes I’d read about. What if there was a code, but what but if it concerned the entire book and not just the secret pages? What if it was related to the adventure after all? Maybe you could scramble up page numbers and-
I stopped and rubbed my temples. Calm down, don’t go crazy. Calm down and take a step back. You don’t even know if there are any damned codes hidden in the book. You did well deciphering all the different adventure paths and the connections between them. You did well discovering all the secret pages. But what if there’s something you haven’t discovered yet?
That was the question that told me what I had to do. Something I hadn’t dared to do so far.
I had to go through the entire book.
I had to make my way through it not following the adventure, but going page by page and look out for anything new. There might be chapters I hadn’t discovered yet, hadn’t read yet.
With newfound energy and a new plan, I started right away.
My phone rang shortly after noon, but this time, I didn’t even bother with it. I just ignored it. After all, I had more important things to do.
This time I didn’t just write down chapters, choices, and connections. This time I wrote down every single thing that came up. I took note of every single object that was mentioned then added the page number, the corresponding path, and any reference I knew about it.
It was a momentous task. I spent the entire day doing it and barely made it through the first 130 pages.
The next day, Sunday, I didn’t even finish another hundred. The further I came, the more objects I noticed, the more combinations, and references. At times, I even had to go back, to cross-check things, and to change notes accordingly.
It was the most enduring task I’d ever attempted, concerning this damned book and probably my entire life.
It took me weeks. I finished stacks upon stacks of notes. I went to the office supply store multiple times a week buying stacks of papers I ended up filling by the day.
Work during this time was barely an afterthought. I was barely functioning at all. I was typing in numbers and names almost on autopilot. By now I didn’t even get stares anymore. I was entirely ignored, a shell of a man, a ghost that stumbled to his cubicle in the morning and rushed back home in the evening.
Days went by, then weeks, as I slaved away over the book’s many pages. Until one day, when I was finally done. I can’t even say how many weeks I’d been at it.
There were stacks of hundreds of papers, maybe even more. Notes, references, objects, names, words, anything basically.
I’d just created a table of how often each and every single object appeared and in which setting when I noticed a new hint. I stared at it with a giant grin on my face.
The Ruby Orb had been the very first object I’d added to the table.
It appeared in all paths:
  1. Fantasy - 31 times
  2. Space - 3 times
  3. Stone Age - 2 times
  4. Ocean and Pirates - 11 times
  5. Desert Ruins - 29 times
  6. Mountains - 17 times
  7. City-State - 7 times
  8. Ancient Rome - 5 times
  9. Jungle Tribes - 13 times
  10. Small Village - 19 times
  11. Underwater Civilization - 23 times
As I wrote those numbers down, there was something about them. Somehow I knew those numbers. I went over them, staring at them for a while before it hit me.
I cross-checked it online, and I was right. They were all prime numbers! Yes, I thought, I’d found something new!
I quickly rechecked another object, the Desert Orb, and realized it was the same here, too. This one’s appearances made up a simpler sequence. It only appeared once in the city-state, twice in fantasy, and finally 11 times in the desert ruins.
I couldn’t help but grin. I did it for another object, this one the Ebony Stick. It too appeared in all paths and its number was increased by two, starting at 4 and going up to 26.
That’s when I knew what I had to do. I had to go through all the objects, all the hundreds of objects in the damned book, and check how often they appeared. There was a correlation, another part of the puzzle. I was exhilarated, in a state of glee and unbound excitement.
These number sequences, maybe they were the key to figuring out what the secret pages meant, or maybe the page numbers in general. I started laughing. I could feel it, I was so damn close.
I slept when necessary, ate when necessary, right there on the living room floor. It was only once that I thought about work, only in passing, and the idea that I should go never even came to my mind.
My phone was at the other and of the room. I ignored it entirely during that time. It wasn’t important. This right here, that’s what was important.
I was done by the end of the week. It was long past midnight on Saturday when I’d finally deciphered the number sequences of all 311 objects in the book.
When I was done with my work, I looked at the tables of objects in a state of awe. I spread them out in front of me and marveled at the dozen or so pages. For a moment I was about to dive into them when I realized how tired I was.
For the first time since the beginning of the week, I picked up my phone. It was off, must’ve been for days. I connected it to the charger and turned it on. I was bombarded with a plethora of notifications. For almost a minute the damned thing started ringing and vibrating.
There were a few messages from Andrew, asking how I was doing and if I’d stopped with my damned obsession yet. I laughed and closed the chat.
I’d also received countless emails. Most of them were from work and only now did I remember that I hadn’t shown up for an entire week. They started normal enough, reminding me to call if I was sick, became reproachful after a day or two, and finally angry. The last one told me this was the last straw. I should come in on Monday for a talk and be prepared to clean out my desk.
It was strange how little I felt about it, how little it mattered in the grander scale of things. I almost laughed again as I threw the phone aside and laid down to catch some sleep.
When I woke up, I went right back to work. I tinkered with the number sequences, looked at each one of them, added them up, multiplied, and divided them.
It was the Crown of Ice that finally made me look up. When I added all its appearances together, I came to a total of 1000. This damned thing, I thought, it was by far the most common object in the damned book.
I started to read up on it in my notes. It was said in the Manuscript of the Seven Seas, that the Crown of Ice was found in the Crypt of the Dragon. The Crypt of the Dragon was located in the desert ruins.
I went back to it, page 1544, and read the part again. There were three choices. One sent me to leave without the crown and sent me back to a desert tribe. Destroying the crown ended in painful death while the third option was wearing it.
All right, wearing the crown opened a secret passage that sent me to the location of the Magic Water and from there back on my way through the desert.
Dammit, I thought I had something! I was about to go back to the list. Maybe the number thousand was another coincidence.
Then something made me look up. The crown appeared in the desert ruins a total of 53 times. I thought about it. The desert ruins one was by far the shortest path. How long was it in total again?
I stepped up to my living room wall and counted the chapters. When I followed them, there was only a single path that was longer than 50. It came to a total length of 78 chapters before it started from the beginning.
Chapter 53 described what you found if you opened a chest hidden in the Ancient Pyramid.
I read the entire chapter again. It was titled ‘The Treasure Chest.’ There was a total of 289 gold coins in the chest. When I went back to the list of objects, I noticed that the gold coin was mentioned a total of 289 times. The same was true for the sparkling diamonds. There were a total of 33 in the chest and the object itself came up 33 times in the book.
I almost laughed when I noticed that it was true for the third object in the chest as well.
I got an empty page and like a child, I wrote the words Chest, Pyramid, and Treasure in huge letters at the top of it before I went and added all the two dozen objects in the chest.
While I did it, I wondered if there was something like this for every other object in the book. What if every object’s number of appearances was mentioned somewhere in the book? Not just in this chest, but just somewhere.
And then, on a whim, I asked myself another question. What if certain objects didn’t? What if there were just a few or maybe just one whose number was mentioned nowhere? Maybe those were the important ones!
For the entirety of Sunday, I followed through with this idea. I calculated, I added objects to yet more lists, I followed through paths and loops, studied my notes, and slowly, the number of objects remaining got smaller and smaller.
Eventually, just as I’d hoped, there was a single object whose total number of appearances was mentioned nowhere. It was a small, red die. One that was mentioned here and there, only in passing when people played a game of dice in bars or the streets.
There had to be something to this damned thing, I knew it! After this entire week, no after all these entire months, I finally had something, I’d finally narrowed it all down to a single object.
A shiver went down my spine when I realized that this might be it. This might be the solution that I’d been searching for all this time!
I went back to my notes about the red die and all its appearances. Here a few kids were playing with it in the streets, there was someone holding it in their hand, and here it rolled onto the floor when a fight broke out.
Finally, I found what I’d been looking for. There was only a single instance in the entire book where you could interact with it. It was in a bar in space where you could join a futuristic game of dice.
When the game was done, you could pocket the red die.
The short chapter that followed it was mundane and almost unimportant. But when I read it, I noticed something else, not in the text, but the choices below. Weren’t they the same as in the chapter before?
I went back to the preceding page and reread it. Yes, the same two choices, sending you to the same two pages. Almost as if picking up the die didn’t matter at all. Making it appear as nothing but a red herring.
And I grinned. I grinned wider than I had ever before.
There had to be a hint here, no, there had to be a way of finishing this entire damn thing.
I wrote down the entire paragraph and went back to work, studying it. I checked everything that was mentioned in it: the page number, the chapter title, colors, words, anything I could think of. Until late in the morning hours, I pondered over this one, single paragraph.
I could barely keep my eyes open when I stumbled upon it. It was silly, but I exploded with joy and was suddenly wide awake again.
The number of words in each sentence was eight. The number of sentences was eight as well. There were eight sentences here, with eight words each. This was no coincidence. This was it, the total number of words was 64, the square number of eight. There was too much here for it to be a coincidence.
I rushed back to the buck, almost stumbled over my feet, and threw open page 64. Like a crazed, starved animal I poured over the words on the page, almost pressing my face against it. The chapters, there had to be something here, the solution had to be right in front of me.
Yet when I was done reading it, I was dumbfounded. The entire page comprised a single chapter, a chapter I knew damn well. And I realized that I knew the number 64 damn well, too.
I was at the beginning of the fantasy setting. I read once more that I was a young farmer, standing in front of a burned down far, the bodies of his dead parents next to him and that I was about to set out on a grand adventure.
For the next three hours, I analyzed every single word in the paragraph, every single one and I found as many hints as I could search for. I went back to the die paragraph and slowly I came to another conclusion and then another. The number of certain letters corresponded with the number of other objects in the space path. If you put certain letters from certain words together you ended up with yet another number. I followed every single one of them, but each one ended at another mundane position in the book. I slaved away over those as well, reached and analyzed them and I found more hints, more connections, more clues. And the longer and the more deeply I analyzed them, the more I could find, if only I wanted to. There was almost an endless number of nonsensical clues and hints if you wanted so. They were all leading me on, leading me around in a circle, on and on and on and on.
And I sat there, over the damned book, over hundreds, if not thousands of pages of notes. I sat in front of an entire wall covered in information and I laughed. For long, terrible minutes I couldn’t stop laughing.
This was all crazy. This was all entirely and utterly crazy.
And finally, it clicked. At this singular moment it finally and ultimately clicked.
There was no solution. The book had no solution. It finally made sense.
I’d slaved away for weeks, no for months, and all I’d done was to walk in circles, continue from one hint to another, only to be sent back to the beginning. The entire damned book was a loop, a loop of loops with secret loops that sent you to more secret loops.
And then, for the first time in months, I closed the book and put it away.
After that, I slowly went and took down all the mad pages from my wall, stacked up all the notes, and put them together in a box in an almost apathetic state.
I was done.
All of this had been utterly meaningless, a fundamental waste of time.
That night, I didn’t sleep. I lay in bed, contemplating a lot of things. My life, my work, the book, and why I’d been so taken by it. Yet, as with the book, there was no solution. There was nothing to it all.
The next day, with the book in my backpack, I made my way back to the store.
It felt as heavy as the world, an endless number of possibilities all resting on my back.
I knew I had to return it, I had to get rid of it before it might throw me into another crazy fit.
When I entered the store, the old man looked up.
“Can I help you with,” he started but broke up, a surprised look on his face.
“Well hello there, young man. Haven’t seen you in quite a while.”
I only nodded, took down my backpack, heaved out the book, and brought it to a rest in front of him.
“I’d like to return this.”
The old man probed me for a moment.
“We’ve got a no-money-back policy,” he said and pointed at a small, almost illegible sign behind himself.
“Yeah, that’s fine, I just want to get rid of it. I’m done with it.”
“So, you got your reward then?”
I couldn’t help but laugh a little. “Guess so.”
“What was it?” the old man asked curiously.
“It’s meaningless, there’s no end to it. It just goes on forever.”
“Oh,” he mouthed with an expression of surprise.
“You ever tried it yourself, old man?”
“Did once, when I was younger, but I got nowhere. Was too damned hard for me.”
“There’s one thing I’m wondering about. Who the hell wrote a thing like this? I mean, it’s freaking insane. How’d’you ever write something like this?”
“Well, to tell you the truth, there’s something I didn’t tell you when you first came in. I originally bought the book from a street merchant, half a century ago. He told me a few things, and I learned a few more over the years from other people.”
“Like what?”
“There’s nothing but rumors of course. The merchant told me it was written by the Devil himself. Then someone told me it was supposedly written by Machiavelli back in the day, to confuse a man who’d wronged him and drive him mad. There was also a guy who was convinced it was the work of aliens. The most plausible thing I heard is that there’s no single author, but that it was written over the course of centuries, with each new writer adding to it and extending it, making it better and ever more complicated.”
“Heh, sounds about-“ I started, but the old man raised a hand and pushed his head forward, towards me.
“There’s one more. Someone else told me it was written by no other than God himself as a big, giant joke about our earthly existence itself.”
I laughed, but it was a weak laugh. Nothing but a giant joke, that fit it damn well, didn’t it?
And as I stepped out of the store and stared at the city surrounding me, watching the urban bustle, I began thinking.
People were hurrying past me, on their way to work, cars and buses rushed down the streets. As I watched it all, this ever-repeating bustle of civilization, I realized that it was all another never-ending loop. On and on and on we all went, doing the same thing over and over and over again.
And as I walked on I started laughing. Maybe that was all right and maybe it didn’t matter. Who knows, maybe the book was true.
Maybe all of this, all of life, all of existence, just like the damned book, was nothing but God’s big, giant joke.
submitted by RehnWriter to TheCrypticCompendium [link] [comments]

Gridcoin 5.0.0.0-Mandatory "Fern" Release

https://github.com/gridcoin-community/Gridcoin-Research/releases/tag/5.0.0.0
Finally! After over ten months of development and testing, "Fern" has arrived! This is a whopper. 240 pull requests merged. Essentially a complete rewrite that was started with the scraper (the "neural net" rewrite) in "Denise" has now been completed. Practically the ENTIRE Gridcoin specific codebase resting on top of the vanilla Bitcoin/Peercoin/Blackcoin vanilla PoS code has been rewritten. This removes the team requirement at last (see below), although there are many other important improvements besides that.
Fern was a monumental undertaking. We had to encode all of the old rules active for the v10 block protocol in new code and ensure that the new code was 100% compatible. This had to be done in such a way as to clear out all of the old spaghetti and ring-fence it with tightly controlled class implementations. We then wrote an entirely new, simplified ruleset for research rewards and reengineered contracts (which includes beacon management, polls, and voting) using properly classed code. The fundamentals of Gridcoin with this release are now on a very sound and maintainable footing, and the developers believe the codebase as updated here will serve as the fundamental basis for Gridcoin's future roadmap.
We have been testing this for MONTHS on testnet in various stages. The v10 (legacy) compatibility code has been running on testnet continuously as it was developed to ensure compatibility with existing nodes. During the last few months, we have done two private testnet forks and then the full public testnet testing for v11 code (the new protocol which is what Fern implements). The developers have also been running non-staking "sentinel" nodes on mainnet with this code to verify that the consensus rules are problem-free for the legacy compatibility code on the broader mainnet. We believe this amount of testing is going to result in a smooth rollout.
Given the amount of changes in Fern, I am presenting TWO changelogs below. One is high level, which summarizes the most significant changes in the protocol. The second changelog is the detailed one in the usual format, and gives you an inkling of the size of this release.

Highlights

Protocol

Note that the protocol changes will not become active until we cross the hard-fork transition height to v11, which has been set at 2053000. Given current average block spacing, this should happen around October 4, about one month from now.
Note that to get all of the beacons in the network on the new protocol, we are requiring ALL beacons to be validated. A two week (14 day) grace period is provided by the code, starting at the time of the transition height, for people currently holding a beacon to validate the beacon and prevent it from expiring. That means that EVERY CRUNCHER must advertise and validate their beacon AFTER the v11 transition (around Oct 4th) and BEFORE October 18th (or more precisely, 14 days from the actual date of the v11 transition). If you do not advertise and validate your beacon by this time, your beacon will expire and you will stop earning research rewards until you advertise and validate a new beacon. This process has been made much easier by a brand new beacon "wizard" that helps manage beacon advertisements and renewals. Once a beacon has been validated and is a v11 protocol beacon, the normal 180 day expiration rules apply. Note, however, that the 180 day expiration on research rewards has been removed with the Fern update. This means that while your beacon might expire after 180 days, your earned research rewards will be retained and can be claimed by advertising a beacon with the same CPID and going through the validation process again. In other words, you do not lose any earned research rewards if you do not stake a block within 180 days and keep your beacon up-to-date.
The transition height is also when the team requirement will be relaxed for the network.

GUI

Besides the beacon wizard, there are a number of improvements to the GUI, including new UI transaction types (and icons) for staking the superblock, sidestake sends, beacon advertisement, voting, poll creation, and transactions with a message. The main screen has been revamped with a better summary section, and better status icons. Several changes under the hood have improved GUI performance. And finally, the diagnostics have been revamped.

Blockchain

The wallet sync speed has been DRASTICALLY improved. A decent machine with a good network connection should be able to sync the entire mainnet blockchain in less than 4 hours. A fast machine with a really fast network connection and a good SSD can do it in about 2.5 hours. One of our goals was to reduce or eliminate the reliance on snapshots for mainnet, and I think we have accomplished that goal with the new sync speed. We have also streamlined the in-memory structures for the blockchain which shaves some memory use.
There are so many goodies here it is hard to summarize them all.
I would like to thank all of the contributors to this release, but especially thank @cyrossignol, whose incredible contributions formed the backbone of this release. I would also like to pay special thanks to @barton2526, @caraka, and @Quezacoatl1, who tirelessly helped during the testing and polishing phase on testnet with testing and repeated builds for all architectures.
The developers are proud to present this release to the community and we believe this represents the starting point for a true renaissance for Gridcoin!

Summary Changelog

Accrual

Changed

Most significantly, nodes calculate research rewards directly from the magnitudes in EACH superblock between stakes instead of using a two- or three- point average based on a CPID's current magnitude and the magnitude for the CPID when it last staked. For those long-timers in the community, this has been referred to as "Superblock Windows," and was first done in proof-of-concept form by @denravonska.

Removed

Beacons

Added

Changed

Removed

Unaltered

As a reminder:

Superblocks

Added

Changed

Removed

Voting

Added

Changed

Removed

Detailed Changelog

[5.0.0.0] 2020-09-03, mandatory, "Fern"

Added

Changed

Removed

Fixed

submitted by jamescowens to gridcoin [link] [comments]

My Story. No tl;dr here. My hope is that you will read the whole thing

Friends,
I pray that this finds you well. You don't know me. For that matter, I don't know you either. What I do know is the love of the Messiah, and it is evident that you do as well. What a friend we have in Jesus then, who allows us to be fully known to each other through a similar calling, to minister and bring the gospel to those outside the gates - the rejected, marginalized, excommunicated and hurting - those who would be called an abomination by some who seek to claim God and Jesus for themselves, while ignoring the weightier matters of the Torah - justice, mercy, and trust.
I only recently became aware of you, and I am moved to reach out to you. In writing this brief overview of my story, I am hoping to generate a discussion and allyship, because I have seen and experienced firsthand the destructive nature of the "traditional" theology in the lives of LGBTQ believers, myself being one of them. I do not believe that I need to go into much detail about these things, since what has been made clear to me is clear to you as well.
I am a thirty something lesbian transwoman from Texas (read - I have that double gay). I was raised in a traditional southern baptist home, and I came to know Yeshua as my savior at the ripe old age of 5, while listening to Billy Graham on the TV. By that point in my life, I was already in the throes of being refined into the missional nature of God's calling on my life, even though it would take another 25 years for me to understand what that might look like, and three more after that for me to fully submit to it. I was just two years old when my parents separated, and 4 when they were divorced. At the time, and indeed into my twenties, I blamed myself for that, despite my mom’s courageous effort to the contrary. My dad disappeared out of my life, only making himself present when it was beneficial to him. He passed away in 2017, and I am pretty sure he didn't make it into the kingdom, but I remain hopeful that I am wrong about that. Being raised by a single mother, I knew early that the church, while caring for her and I, didn't condone their divorce. I have witnessed and shared in the shame and disgust that she struggled with until the day my dad passed. So when I fully came out, and began my transition, I experienced the typical "there was a disconnect in your childhood that gave you over to a propensity to sin" argument, and it hurt. It hurt to be told that being trans was a product of "sinful" parents, and that there was absolutely no way for me to be God fearing unless I abandoned the things which certain people considered to be sinful, and stopped acting contrary to nature. For reasons that would become known to me later, this didn't sit right.
A great many things have happened in my life, and my filters through which I view the world have been shaped through these experiences. My parents’ divorce was one of those. I didn't know how to quantify it at the time, but reflecting on my childhood there were indicators that I was trans. I used to pray to wake up a female as a young child. I always knew I was different, but I had no idea how to tell anyone that I felt like my body was incongruent with my mind, and how much it hurt to look in the mirror and know that I was different from other girls. Add to this that my mom and I were living in a community where I was the only white kid in my elementary school. It was a recipe for disaster already. My mom, in a valiant attempt to introduce me to positive male role models, unaware of my secret struggles, enrolled me in the boy scouts. I was about 10 years old when I was raped by my tent mate at boy scout camp. It would take another 20 something years for me to work through that alone and by the grace of God I have been able to overcome the damage caused by that and forgive my rapist.
Sometime around the age of 12, I came out for the first time to my mom. It was 1999, and I was beginning to understand that my mind and physical body were not in alignment with each other. I sat down with her one night and cried and told her the truth, that I felt like I wasn’t a boy, but a girl. I confessed to her that I knew this was sin, and would surely be sent to hell for it, and I just wanted to be normal. She did the best she could at the time, and consoled me, cried with me, and for the first time told me that she wasn't sure that my feelings were sinful. At the time, the best information and wisdom that we could seek were available at the church, and so that's where I went, especially since my struggle was with so-called sin. We were attending and active in the drama ministry at our church, I was active in my youth group, and on fire for the Lord. At a Wednesday youth service, I met with my youth pastor and confessed my truth. As you can imagine, I was bible thumped right back into the closet that I had just come out of. I won't mention his name, because I have yet to have the opportunity to communicate with him my forgiveness for his reaction, but I am eagerly awaiting the chance to do so.
In the years that followed, I attempted to do what most of us have done. I escaped into hyper-masculinity, and fervently tried to "pray the gay away". I started lifting weights, playing football, and every other masculine thing I could think of. I even joined FFA, tried my hardest to become an “all American man”, and adopted the racist, misogynistic, bigoted views of my new "friends". (Note- I wasn’t raised this way, nor does God condone this behavior. I was acting out of phobic views for myself. I ask for forgiveness from my family in Christ who have been directly or indirectly harmed by my actions and supposed views, and I have repented of these things.) During this time, I secretly explored my sexuality, and began walking away from God. Even though I never denied Him as my savior, I might as well have by the way living. I continued to struggle with what I termed at the time "cross-dressing" ( I don’t care for this term anymore, because it sexualizes and fetishizes trans people) since there wasn’t a better term for it. I indulged in the excess of life, without much regard for the kind of damage I was doing to my soul, and God's heart. As I progressed though my late teens and twenties, I abused both drugs and alcohol, often to the detriment to those around me, and to myself even though I didn't know it.
I was 21 when my first child, a daughter, was born out of wedlock. I was in a toxic relationship, and the pregnancy was purely unintentional on our behalf. Neither of us wanted a child at the time, however due only to God's grace we didn't abort her. (Note 2 – I fully support a woman’s right to choose, and I believe that the government should have no say in what we as humans do with our bodies.) I am so thankful for His intervention in this, since that was a viable option at the time, and could very well have been the outcome. We separated and decided that the best thing we could do was to raise her to understand how she came to be, and that it was much better for everyone if her mom and I weren't together.
I was working on a geotechnical research vessel in Mexico when I felt the call on my life to become a firefighter. So, at 23, I left the oilfield behind and began my journey to be obedient to this calling. I attended fire academy and EMT school (both are required to be a certified professional firefighter in Texas) and graduated with a 4.0 gpa at the top of my class. Please bear in mind that my secret struggle reared its ugly head in my life the ENTIRE time. I was able to keep it secret though, because since the first bible beating, I was determined to keep my struggles a secret. I carefully crafted this "all American man" image over years and was able to keep it up through cleverly contrived myths and lies, to everyone, including myself. In 2013 I met my now ex-wife and began dating her, and we were quickly in love, and married in 2014. This is where it gets interesting, and I believe the moment that God began actively working me and shaping me into the woman I am today.
Before we were married, and for the first time since I was 12, I confided in another human about my secret. To my surprise, she encouraged me to explore this side of myself. I actually remember praying that God would bring me a woman who would accept me for who I was, so when she did, I instantly (and wrongly, as I would later find out) believed that I was supposed to spend my life with her. Even though on the surface we were the average cis-heterosexual married couple, we were anything but behind closed doors. Shortly after we were married, we experienced two miscarriages back to back. I didn't know any better, but our relationship was toxic and destructive for both of us from the outset. In 2015, we attended a marriage retreat for firefighter couples, and it was there that she confessed to me that it was her desire to open up our marriage to a third party. Since she was so accepting of my secret, I felt like I needed to reciprocate, even though it made me angry and jealous on the inside. This same weekend, we got pregnant with our son, who was born premature in February of 2016. We stayed married, and tried our hardest to keep up appearances, even though we led a secret life. Both of us were so well versed in hiding ourselves by this point, it came almost naturally.
Fast forward to July 31, 2017. The date is burned in my mind because that is when everything changed. I was serving as a Driveoperator in the fire department(it was a full time career for me, not volunteer), and part of that role was to "ride-up" or take the place of the station lieutenant in their absence. It was a day like any other, I left for work about 4:30 am, and we had our usual fight that morning, which had become the norm. I arrived at work, tried to put it behind me, and began my duties that day as an acting LT. About noon, we were called to a house fire in a neighboring territory, on a 2nd alarm - a call for more resources. We arrived and quickly fell into our roles on the fireground. This story in and of itself would probably take me an hour to tell, so for the sake of being brief, I'll get to the moment where I came as close to death as I have ever come. About two hours into fighting the fire, I was in command of the crews operating on the 2nd floor of the house when the building collapsed around us. I was hit by a roof beam and knocked down the stairs, dislocating my shoulder and breaking my nose. This is where I must stop and proclaim the mercy of the living God. Had that beam hit me just a few inches to the right, I would not be here today. I am convinced in that moment God spared me, and my colleagues. Mercifully, I was the only one injured out of about 6 of us present when the collapse happened.
During my recovery, I attempted suicide three separate times, and became heavily addicted to marijuana and amphetamines. I have since been healed of these things, and I am happy to go into more detail about any specifics of my life with you at another time. I am only briefly touching on them here so that you can have an accurate understanding of the thick mire of death that God himself reached down and plucked me out of.
In order to tie all this together, it was during my recovery that God began leading me down the path that would eventually lead me to this story that I am writing to you today. I began to question the position of the church about people like me, since the "official" stance didn't include one critical point. It failed to consider those of us who were already believers. As I began to come out, and lead a double life, my ex and I drifted apart, separated, and divorced. I came out for the second time to my mom, but this time she was determined to see my through this journey, as I was determined to see it through myself, understanding that we are absolutely forgiven of our sins by the blood of the Messiah, and in executing the judgement common to all humanity against himself he wiped away the bill of charges against us, and we were separated from our old nature as far as the east is from the west. To put it frankly, this has been the most abandonment filled journey of my life. That scared me, since abandonment was probably one of my biggest fears, after being abandoned many times in my past. However, I discovered that the further I got from others; the closer God drew me to Him. How could this be, this amazing love, that in my "sin", a holy God, would draw closer to an unholy and dirty human? I know now that I was being prepared by him for my new mission.
While I am no longer a firefighteemt, I have maintained that God's calling on my life is to be a spiritual paramedic on the battlefield of society today, and specifically to others like myself, especially to the ones who have resigned themselves to the sex industry, since that’s the only place that actively validates them( at least on the surface). Finding you, and reading about others like me is, in my opinion, absolute confirmation of 1 Peter 2, where we are taught that never is a prophecy of scripture to be interpreted by an individual on their own, but that people moved by the Holy Spirit do the will of God. I am thankful that God has raised you up as allies.
I want to make it clear that I do not have the “theology” behind being trans all figured out. This is a journey, and it has taken me thirty plus years to arrive at this point. What I do know is that we as trans people are created by God to live a life worthy of His calling. I also know that we are at a deficit when it comes to discussion surrounding us, and right now, the loudest voices in the debate are those who would argue that anything outside of the proscribed gender binary cannot exist, and that we are making an active choice to decide what our gender is. No matter what your views are on the subject, the most important thing that you can do is trust someone who tells you that they don’t feel like they fit into this binary. We struggle with trusting even ourselves, so when we “come out” and we are met with being misgendered, either intentionally or otherwise, it is destructive. We as Christians know that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, so we should not do these things. I would encourage you to stand up for your trans siblings, and likewise for the trans community in general. You can trust that God will deliver a word that will settle the debate, just as He is doing for the rest of the community. My prayer is that we will all see the good fruits that come from simply acknowledging the struggles that trans/non-binary people deal with, and knowing that even though you may not have the answer, you have a concrete, solid foundation for how treat your fellow humans in the way Yeshua treated those who were considered unclean by society.
To my trans guys, gals, and non-binary pals, I want to offer you encouragement in your struggles, knowing that others like us throughout the world are struggling with the same fight, and you are not alone. The enemy tends to lie to us to make us feel like we are the only ones who are fighting this battle, and I hope to dismiss that lie. You aren’t alone, we exist, we are valid, and we are loved by God Most High for exactly who he created us to be. My prayer is that you will find alignment between your heart, body, soul, and mind, and that you will be at peace within yourselves.
I love you all with the love that flows from the Messiah,
Kaila
submitted by ADHDin4K to GayChristians [link] [comments]

How to generate (relative) secure paper wallets and spend them (Newbies)

How to generate (relative) secure paper walletsEveryone is invited to suggest improvements, make it easier, more robust, provide alternativers, comment on what they like or not, and also critizice it.
Also, this is a disclaimer: I'm new to all of this. First, I didn't buy a hardware wallet because they are not produce in my country and I couldnt' trust they are not tampered. So the other way was to generate it myself. (Not your keys not your money) I've instructed myself several weeks reading various ways of generating wallets (including Glacier). As of now, I think this is THE BEST METHOD for a non-technical person which is high security and low cost and not that much lenghty.
FAQs:Why I didn't use Coleman's BIP 39 mnemonic method? Basically, I dont know how to audit the code. As a downside, we will have to really write down accurately our keys having in mind that a mistype is fatal. Also, we should keep in mind that destruction of the key is fatal as well. The user has to secure the key from losing the keys, theft and destruction.
Lets start
You'll need:
Notes: We will be following https://www.swansontec.com/bitcoin-dice.html guidelines. We will be creating our own random key instead of downloading BitAddress javascript for safety reasons. Following this guideline lets you audit the code that will create the public address and bitcoin address. Its simple, short and you can always test the code by inputting a known private keys to tell if the bitcoin address generated is legit or not. This process is done offline, so your private key never touches the internet.
Steps
1. Download the bitcoin-bash-tools and dice2key scripts from Github, latest Ubuntu distribution, and LiLi, A software to install Ubuntu on our flash drive (easier than what is proposed on Swansontec)

2. Install the live environment in a CD or USB, and paste the tools we are going to use inside of it (they are going to be located in file://cdrom)

  • Open up LiLi and insert your flash drive.

  • Make sure you’ve selected the correct drive (click refresh if drive isn’t showing).
  • Choose “ISO/IMG/ZIP” and select the Ubuntu ISO file you’ve downloaded in the previous step.
  • Make sure only “Format the key in FAT32” is selected.
  • Click the lightning bolt to start the format and installation process
  • [https://99bitcoins.com/bitcoin-wallet/pape\](https://99bitcoins.com/bitcoin-wallet/pape)

    3. Open the Ubuntu environment in a offline computer that will never touch the internet again (there is some malware that infect the BIOS so doing it in your regular computer is not safe to my understanding)

    Restart your computer. Clicking F12 or F1 during the boot-up process will allow you to choose to run your operating system from your flash drive or CD. After the Ubuntu operating system loads you will choose the “try Ubuntu” option.
    4. Roll the dice 100 times and convert into a 32-byte hexadecimal number by using dice2key

    To generate a Bitcoin private key using normal, run the following command to convert the dice rolls into a 32-byte hexadecimal number:source dice2key (100 six-sided dice rolls)

    5. Run newBitcoinKey 0x + your private key and it will give you your: public address, bitcoin address and WIF.Save the Private Key and Bitcoin Address. Check several times that you handwritten it correctly. You can check by re entering the code in the console from your paper. (I recommend writing down the Private Key which is in HEX and not the WIF since this one is key sensitive and you can lose it, or write it wrong. Also, out of the private key you can get the WIF which will let you transfer your funds). If you lose your key, you lose your funds. Be careful.
    If auditing the code for this is not enough for you, you can also test the code by inputting a known private keys to tell if the bitcoin address generated is legit or not.
    I recommend you generate several keys and addresses as this process is not super easy to do. Remember that you should never reuse your paper wallets (meaning that you should empty all of the funds from this one adress if you are making a payment). As such, a couple of addresses come handy.
    At this point, there should be no way for information to leak out of the live CD environment. The live CD doesn't store anything on the hard disk, and there is no network connection. Everything that happens from now on will be lost when the computer is rebooted.
    Now, start the "Terminal" program, and type the following command:
    source ~/bitcoin.shThis will load the address-calculation script. Now, use the script to find the Bitcoin address for your private key:
    newBitcoinKey 0x(your dice digits)Replace the part that says "(your dice digits)" with 64 digits found by rolling your pair of hexadecimal dice 32 times. Be sure there is no space between the "0x" and your digits. When all is said and done, your terminal window should look like this:
    [email protected]:~$ source ~/[email protected]:~$ newBitcoinKey 0x8010b1bb119ad37d4b65a1022a314897b1b3614b345974332cb1b9582cf03536---secret exponent: 0x8010B1BB119AD37D4B65A1022A314897B1B3614B345974332CB1B9582CF03536public key: X: 09BA8621AEFD3B6BA4CA6D11A4746E8DF8D35D9B51B383338F627BA7FC732731 Y: 8C3A6EC6ACD33C36328B8FB4349B31671BCD3A192316EA4F6236EE1AE4A7D8C9compressed: WIF: L1WepftUBemj6H4XQovkiW1ARVjxMqaw4oj2kmkYqdG1xTnBcHfC bitcoin address: 1HV3WWx56qD6U5yWYZoLc7WbJPV3zAL6Hiuncompressed: WIF: 5JngqQmHagNTknnCshzVUysLMWAjT23FWs1TgNU5wyFH5SB3hrP bitcoin address: [email protected]:~$The script produces two public addresses from the same private key. The "compressed" address format produces smaller transaction sizes (which means lower transaction fees), but it's newer and not as well-supported as the original "uncompressed" format. Choose which format you like, and write down the "WIF" and "bitcoin address" on a piece of paper. The "WIF" is just the private key, converted to a slightly shorter format that Bitcoin wallet apps prefer.
    Double-check your paper, and reboot your computer. Aside from the copy on the piece of paper, the reboot should destroy all traces of the private key. Since the paper now holds the only copy of the private key, do not lose it, or you will lose the ability to spend any funds sent to the address!
    Conclusion
    With this method you are creating an airgapped environment that will never touch the internet. Also, we are checking that the code we use its not tampered. If this is followed strictly I see virtually no chances of your keys being hacked.
    How to spend your funds from a securely generated paper wallet.
    Almost all tutorials seen online, will let you import or sweep you private keys into the desktop wallet or mobile wallet which are hot wallets. In the meantime, you are exposed and all of your work to secure the cold storage is being thrown away. This method will let you sign the transaction offline (you will not expose your private key in an online system).
    You'll need:
    The source of this method is taken from CryptoGuide from Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9kf9LMnJpI&t=86s . Basically you can follow his video as it is foolproof. Please check that Electrum distribution is signed.
    The summarized steps are:
    Download Electrum on both devices and check its signed for safey.Disconnect your phone from the internet (flight mode= All connections off) and input your private key in ElectrumGenerate the transaction in your desktop and export it via QR (never leave unspent BTC or you will lose them)In your phone, open Electrum > Send > QR (this will import the transaction) and scan the desktop exported transactionSign the transaction in your phone.Export the signed transaction in QRLoad the signed transaction in the desktop Electrum and broadcast it to the network.Wait until 3 confirmations to connect your phone to the internet again.
    Ideas for improvement:
    So thats it. I hope someone can find this helpful or help in creating a better method. If you like, you can donate at 1Che7FG93vDsbes6NPBhYuz29wQoW7qFUH
    submitted by Heron-Express to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

    My Story. No tl;dr here, I hope that you read the whole thing.

    Friends,
    I pray that this finds you well. You don't know me. For that matter, I don't know you either. What I do know is the love of the Messiah, and it is evident that you do as well. What a friend we have in Jesus then, who allows us to be fully known to each other through a similar calling, to minister and bring the gospel to those outside the gates - the rejected, marginalized, excommunicated and hurting - those who would be called an abomination by some who seek to claim God and Jesus for themselves, while ignoring the weightier matters of the Torah - justice, mercy, and trust.
    I only recently became aware of you, and I am moved to reach out to you. In writing this brief overview of my story, I am hoping to generate a discussion and allyship, because I have seen and experienced firsthand the destructive nature of the "traditional" theology in the lives of LGBTQ believers, myself being one of them. I do not believe that I need to go into much detail about these things, since what has been made clear to me is clear to you as well.
    I am a thirty something lesbian transwoman from Texas (read - I have that double gay). I was raised in a traditional southern baptist home, and I came to know Yeshua as my savior at the ripe old age of 5, while listening to Billy Graham on the TV. By that point in my life, I was already in the throes of being refined into the missional nature of God's calling on my life, even though it would take another 25 years for me to understand what that might look like, and three more after that for me to fully submit to it. I was just two years old when my parents separated, and 4 when they were divorced. At the time, and indeed into my twenties, I blamed myself for that, despite my mom’s courageous effort to the contrary. My dad disappeared out of my life, only making himself present when it was beneficial to him. He passed away in 2017, and I am pretty sure he didn't make it into the kingdom, but I remain hopeful that I am wrong about that. Being raised by a single mother, I knew early that the church, while caring for her and I, didn't condone their divorce. I have witnessed and shared in the shame and disgust that she struggled with until the day my dad passed. So when I fully came out, and began my transition, I experienced the typical "there was a disconnect in your childhood that gave you over to a propensity to sin" argument, and it hurt. It hurt to be told that being trans was a product of "sinful" parents, and that there was absolutely no way for me to be God fearing unless I abandoned the things which certain people considered to be sinful, and stopped acting contrary to nature. For reasons that would become known to me later, this didn't sit right.
    A great many things have happened in my life, and my filters through which I view the world have been shaped through these experiences. My parents’ divorce was one of those. I didn't know how to quantify it at the time, but reflecting on my childhood there were indicators that I was trans. I used to pray to wake up a female as a young child. I always knew I was different, but I had no idea how to tell anyone that I felt like my body was incongruent with my mind, and how much it hurt to look in the mirror and know that I was different from other girls. Add to this that my mom and I were living in a community where I was the only white kid in my elementary school. It was a recipe for disaster already. My mom, in a valiant attempt to introduce me to positive male role models, unaware of my secret struggles, enrolled me in the boy scouts. I was about 10 years old when I was raped by my tent mate at boy scout camp. It would take another 20 something years for me to work through that alone and by the grace of God I have been able to overcome the damage caused by that and forgive my rapist.
    Sometime around the age of 12, I came out for the first time to my mom. It was 1999, and I was beginning to understand that my mind and physical body were not in alignment with each other. I sat down with her one night and cried and told her the truth, that I felt like I wasn’t a boy, but a girl. I confessed to her that I knew this was sin, and would surely be sent to hell for it, and I just wanted to be normal. She did the best she could at the time, and consoled me, cried with me, and for the first time told me that she wasn't sure that my feelings were sinful. At the time, the best information and wisdom that we could seek were available at the church, and so that's where I went, especially since my struggle was with so-called sin. We were attending and active in the drama ministry at our church, I was active in my youth group, and on fire for the Lord. At a Wednesday youth service, I met with my youth pastor and confessed my truth. As you can imagine, I was bible thumped right back into the closet that I had just come out of. I won't mention his name, because I have yet to have the opportunity to communicate with him my forgiveness for his reaction, but I am eagerly awaiting the chance to do so.
    In the years that followed, I attempted to do what most of us have done. I escaped into hyper-masculinity, and fervently tried to "pray the gay away". I started lifting weights, playing football, and every other masculine thing I could think of. I even joined FFA, tried my hardest to become an “all American man”, and adopted the racist, misogynistic, bigoted views of my new "friends". (Note- I wasn’t raised this way, nor does God condone this behavior. I was acting out of phobic views for myself. I ask for forgiveness from my family in Christ who have been directly or indirectly harmed by my actions and supposed views, and I have repented of these things.) During this time, I secretly explored my sexuality, and began walking away from God. Even though I never denied Him as my savior, I might as well have by the way living. I continued to struggle with what I termed at the time "cross-dressing" ( I don’t care for this term anymore, because it sexualizes and fetishizes trans people) since there wasn’t a better term for it. I indulged in the excess of life, without much regard for the kind of damage I was doing to my soul, and God's heart. As I progressed though my late teens and twenties, I abused both drugs and alcohol, often to the detriment to those around me, and to myself even though I didn't know it.
    I was 21 when my first child, a daughter, was born out of wedlock. I was in a toxic relationship, and the pregnancy was purely unintentional on our behalf. Neither of us wanted a child at the time, however due only to God's grace we didn't abort her. (Note 2 – I fully support a woman’s right to choose, and I believe that the government should have no say in what we as humans do with our bodies.) I am so thankful for His intervention in this, since that was a viable option at the time, and could very well have been the outcome. We separated and decided that the best thing we could do was to raise her to understand how she came to be, and that it was much better for everyone if her mom and I weren't together.
    I was working on a geotechnical research vessel in Mexico when I felt the call on my life to become a firefighter. So, at 23, I left the oilfield behind and began my journey to be obedient to this calling. I attended fire academy and EMT school (both are required to be a certified professional firefighter in Texas) and graduated with a 4.0 gpa at the top of my class. Please bear in mind that my secret struggle reared its ugly head in my life the ENTIRE time. I was able to keep it secret though, because since the first bible beating, I was determined to keep my struggles a secret. I carefully crafted this "all American man" image over years and was able to keep it up through cleverly contrived myths and lies, to everyone, including myself. In 2013 I met my now ex-wife and began dating her, and we were quickly in love, and married in 2014. This is where it gets interesting, and I believe the moment that God began actively working me and shaping me into the woman I am today.
    Before we were married, and for the first time since I was 12, I confided in another human about my secret. To my surprise, she encouraged me to explore this side of myself. I actually remember praying that God would bring me a woman who would accept me for who I was, so when she did, I instantly (and wrongly, as I would later find out) believed that I was supposed to spend my life with her. Even though on the surface we were the average cis-heterosexual married couple, we were anything but behind closed doors. Shortly after we were married, we experienced two miscarriages back to back. I didn't know any better, but our relationship was toxic and destructive for both of us from the outset. In 2015, we attended a marriage retreat for firefighter couples, and it was there that she confessed to me that it was her desire to open up our marriage to a third party. Since she was so accepting of my secret, I felt like I needed to reciprocate, even though it made me angry and jealous on the inside. This same weekend, we got pregnant with our son, who was born premature in February of 2016. We stayed married, and tried our hardest to keep up appearances, even though we led a secret life. Both of us were so well versed in hiding ourselves by this point, it came almost naturally.
    Fast forward to July 31, 2017. The date is burned in my mind because that is when everything changed. I was serving as a Driveoperator in the fire department(it was a full time career for me, not volunteer), and part of that role was to "ride-up" or take the place of the station lieutenant in their absence. It was a day like any other, I left for work about 4:30 am, and we had our usual fight that morning, which had become the norm. I arrived at work, tried to put it behind me, and began my duties that day as an acting LT. About noon, we were called to a house fire in a neighboring territory, on a 2nd alarm - a call for more resources. We arrived and quickly fell into our roles on the fireground. This story in and of itself would probably take me an hour to tell, so for the sake of being brief, I'll get to the moment where I came as close to death as I have ever come. About two hours into fighting the fire, I was in command of the crews operating on the 2nd floor of the house when the building collapsed around us. I was hit by a roof beam and knocked down the stairs, dislocating my shoulder and breaking my nose. This is where I must stop and proclaim the mercy of the living God. Had that beam hit me just a few inches to the right, I would not be here today. I am convinced in that moment God spared me, and my colleagues. Mercifully, I was the only one injured out of about 6 of us present when the collapse happened.
    During my recovery, I attempted suicide three separate times, and became heavily addicted to marijuana and amphetamines. I have since been healed of these things, and I am happy to go into more detail about any specifics of my life with you at another time. I am only briefly touching on them here so that you can have an accurate understanding of the thick mire of death that God himself reached down and plucked me out of.
    In order to tie all this together, it was during my recovery that God began leading me down the path that would eventually lead me to this story that I am writing to you today. I began to question the position of the church about people like me, since the "official" stance didn't include one critical point. It failed to consider those of us who were already believers. As I began to come out, and lead a double life, my ex and I drifted apart, separated, and divorced. I came out for the second time to my mom, but this time she was determined to see my through this journey, as I was determined to see it through myself, understanding that we are absolutely forgiven of our sins by the blood of the Messiah, and in executing the judgement common to all humanity against himself he wiped away the bill of charges against us, and we were separated from our old nature as far as the east is from the west. To put it frankly, this has been the most abandonment filled journey of my life. That scared me, since abandonment was probably one of my biggest fears, after being abandoned many times in my past. However, I discovered that the further I got from others; the closer God drew me to Him. How could this be, this amazing love, that in my "sin", a holy God, would draw closer to an unholy and dirty human? I know now that I was being prepared by him for my new mission.
    While I am no longer a firefighteemt, I have maintained that God's calling on my life is to be a spiritual paramedic on the battlefield of society today, and specifically to others like myself, especially to the ones who have resigned themselves to the sex industry, since that’s the only place that actively validates them( at least on the surface). Finding you, and reading about others like me is, in my opinion, absolute confirmation of 1 Peter 2, where we are taught that never is a prophecy of scripture to be interpreted by an individual on their own, but that people moved by the Holy Spirit do the will of God. I am thankful that God has raised you up as allies.
    I want to make it clear that I do not have the “theology” behind being trans all figured out. This is a journey, and it has taken me thirty plus years to arrive at this point. What I do know is that we as trans people are created by God to live a life worthy of His calling. I also know that we are at a deficit when it comes to discussion surrounding us, and right now, the loudest voices in the debate are those who would argue that anything outside of the proscribed gender binary cannot exist, and that we are making an active choice to decide what our gender is. No matter what your views are on the subject, the most important thing that you can do is trust someone who tells you that they don’t feel like they fit into this binary. We struggle with trusting even ourselves, so when we “come out” and we are met with being misgendered, either intentionally or otherwise, it is destructive. We as Christians know that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, so we should not do these things. I would encourage you to stand up for your trans siblings, and likewise for the trans community in general. You can trust that God will deliver a word that will settle the debate, just as He is doing for the rest of the community. My prayer is that we will all see the good fruits that come from simply acknowledging the struggles that trans/non-binary people deal with, and knowing that even though you may not have the answer, you have a concrete, solid foundation for how treat your fellow humans in the way Yeshua treated those who were considered unclean by society.
    To my trans guys, gals, and non-binary pals, I want to offer you encouragement in your struggles, knowing that others like us throughout the world are struggling with the same fight, and you are not alone. The enemy tends to lie to us to make us feel like we are the only ones who are fighting this battle, and I hope to dismiss that lie. You aren’t alone, we exist, we are valid, and we are loved by God Most High for exactly who he created us to be. My prayer is that you will find alignment between your heart, body, soul, and mind, and that you will be at peace within yourselves.
    I love you all with the love that flows from the Messiah,
    Kaila
    submitted by ADHDin4K to TransChristianity [link] [comments]

    Binary Options One Touch Strategy Bollinger Bands and Zig ... Guide ║ double touch binary option - YouTube Binary Options Trading System 2015 -100% FREE Binary Option Trading One Touch and No Touch Binary Options Strategy - Binary Options 101 The Double one touch binary option - Sarah Robbins and ... Binary options strategy one touch Divergence with ...

    Double one-touch binary options are preferred by many traders as they allow you to profit even if you arent able to accurately predict the prices direction of movement. They work in a similar fashion to one-touch binary options with one considerable difference – here you have two trigger levels, one above and one below the spot price, and hitting each one will render the option “in the ... Double One-Touch Option: A type of exotic option that gives an investor an agreed upon payout if the price of the underlying asset reaches or surpasses one of two predetermined barrier levels. An ... Double One Touch Binary Options. Double one touch as the name suggests is a binary option trading type in which trader sets two touch points. If the value of underlying asset hits either of the determined points investor will receive predetermined pay-off. This type of strategy is similar to the one touch binary options, except two trigger ... One-touch Double Barrier Binary Option Values. August 1996; Applied Financial Economics 6(4):343-346; DOI: 10.1080/096031096334141. Authors: Cho-Hoi Hui. 27.99; Hong Kong Monetary Authority ... A double one-touch or double no-touch option provides a payoff if the underlying spot either ever or never touches either the upper or lower Barrier levels. If neither barrier level is breached prior to expiration, the option expires worthless and the trader loses all the premium paid to the broker for setting up the trade. For example, if the current USD/EUR rate is 1.15, and the trader ... Trading Double One Touch Options. One type of trade you can place with binary options is called Double One Touch. With a Double One Touch trade, you select two trigger points. If your financial instrument touches either of the trigger points you choose during the expiration period, you win your trade. If neither trigger is touched, then you ... One-touch double barrier binary options are path-dependent options in which the existence and payment of the options depend on the movement of the underlying price through their option life. We discuss two types of one-touch double barrier binary options here: (1) up-and-down out binary option, and (2) American binary knock-out option. For the first type, the option vanishes if the underlying ... No touch binary option trading type is opposite of one touch trading type. Here a trader sets a target price that an underlying asset would not be able to reach within a defined expiration time. For example, if a trader invests in a currency market and trades EUR/USD. The spot price is $1.11139 and the no touch price is $1.11186. It’s a two minute... The valuation and applications of one-touch double barrier binary options that include features of knock-out, knock-in, European and American style are described. Using a conventional Black-Scholes option-pricing environment, analytical solutions of the options are derived. The relationships among different types of one-touch double barrier binary options are discussed. An investor having a ... Double One-Touch Binary Option Example. EUR/USD is currently trading at $1.30. A binary options brokerage is offering 200% payout for a double one-touch binary option that expires in 5 minutes which has an upper price barrier of $1.31 and a lower price barrier of $1.29. After tracking the price movement of EUR/USD for the past hour, the binary option trader believes that the underlying price ...

    [index] [20263] [5832] [2254] [27410] [25881] [10237] [6330] [20624] [17982] [12058]

    Binary Options One Touch Strategy Bollinger Bands and Zig ...

    Binary.com Simple Touch option Strategy Double your balance every 10 minutes - Duration: 2:28. Basheer 3,919 views. 2:28 . Touch No touch Strategy - Duration: 9:45. SUCCESS BINARY OPTIONS 4,081 ... In the double-one-touch and double-no-touch binary options, instead of there being just one predetermined level, there are two. In the case of a double-one-touch binary option the asset price must ... Hello everyone!:) My name is Anastasia, but it's too hard to pronounce, that's why you may call me just ANA. I'm a pro trader for more than 2 years already a... You Can Check Here: https://bit.ly/3hKP71y - The Double one touch binary option - Sarah Robbins and Ideas Altredo is not connected with any binary alternativ... Share your opinion, can help everyone to understand the 😘😘😘😘 strategy. Divergence Method of the trading. What 's divergence? In an up trend that will setup a... 💹 Binary Options One Touch Strategy Binary Trading with Bollinger Bands and CCI 💹 This is a trading system based on the bollinger bands and Zig Zag.But it ...

    http://arab-binary-option.terrochokin.tk