Friday, June 26, 2015

The Trial

I had no idea this existed, and then I tripped over it on TCM one night. It's Orson Welles' interpretation of Franz Kafka's The Trial, starring Anthony Perkins. I had really enjoyed the haunting quality of the book, so I was quite intrigued to know how Welles would handle it as a film. First: it's gorgeous! The locations and cinematography do a beautiful job of capturing the dreamlike weirdness of the book. Second: Anthony Perkins can act! I only really remembered him from Psycho, and, well, playing a creepy guy always seems to me to be an easier challenge than playing a real person.

The film does have weaknesses. It is quite slavish to the book, probably to its peril. In trying to cram everything in, everyone talks very fast. In the book, we get to hear Joseph K.'s inner monologue to help give us context. In the film, we don't get that, so when we meet the woman dragging the trunk, we aren't given a chance to understand just how strange it is. The whole thing becomes a kind of fast-motion fun house, which is visually engaging, but not as emotionally engaging as it might be.

The part I found most surprising was the ending (spoilers ahead). As slavish as he was, Welles found it necessary to change Kafka's ending! For me, the message of the book was that just by being born into society, one is instantly judged, instantly on trial, instantly doomed. And this fact means that no human being can ever truly have dignity. Kafka's ending drives this point home. But Welles apparently concluded that Joseph K. was surely Jewish, and to create a film that featured a Jew pitilessly humiliated and murdered by the government was in bad taste, so he made a minor change that did not let Joseph K. survive, but let him at least go down fighting. It's a peculiar, almost cartoonish ending, that personally, I thought cheapened the whole thing. Even Welles admitted that he wasn't happy with this solution, but it was the best he could think of to solve his problem. And I suspect this gives us an interesting view into Welles' character. He was definitely a man to whom dignity was central. I suspect that the The Trial was interesting to him since it is a story about man's battle for dignity. But I don't think I buy his story about not wanting to offend the Jews -- WWII was over about 20 years before this film, and when did Welles care about offending anyone? I think that Welles himself could not accept the idea of a man's battle for dignity shown to be impossible and futile, and so he pulled a Kobayashi Maru, at Kafka's expense, and at the expense of the integrity of the film, of the integrity of Welles himself. I believe this captures the essence of the tragic path of Welles' life and career: protecting one's dignity at the expense of one's integrity. One could easily argue this is also the theme of Citizen Kane, and The Third Man -- possibly of all of Welles' work. He once said The Trial was his greatest film. If dignity over integrity is the great theme of his life, then what greater art could he create than actually compromising his own integrity for the sake of not just his own dignity, but the dignity of the everyman?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

This Jules Verne classic is one of those books that everyone knows about, but that I suspect very few have actually read. I've often seen interpretations of it, such as the famous Disney movie, but reading it was another matter entirely. Well, technically, it was read to me, and by Harlan Ellison, no less! He was a great reader, mainly because of his enthusiasm - you could tell he LOVED this book, that it had great personal meaning to him. He read it so naturally that Victorian turns of phrase seemed perfectly normal.

I can only imagine what it was like to read this book when it was new. The details of the Nautilus must have been astonishing, a revelation, in a time when electric light was just an experimental idea. So much is in here (spoilers) submarine science, the aqualung, giant squid, Atlantis, the Arabian Tunnel, icebergs, maelstroms, extinction of the whales, and much more. but what fascinated me most is the mysterious Captain Nemo. Where did he come from? What is his strange language? Why did his crew follow him? What happened, exactly, to make him hate humanity? Films portray him as a villain - he is not that way here. I also wonder how Ned Land could have possibly passed the time - that is not mentioned. Anyway, it's all made me eager to read more Verne... Perhaps I will!

Inside Out

Wow... I sure liked this! I'm pretty sure, in fact, that this is my favorite Pixar movie! I always like thinking about the interior of the mind, and this is the most creative visualization of the functioning of the mind I've seen yet! Emotions, imagination, dreams, imaginary friends, brain development, all of it accounted for in a fun, understandable way! This must have been an incredibly challenging project to get right. When I first heard about the film, my heart fell, because it shares a lot in common with my great unfinished game Ordinary, which is a puzzle game based on six emotions (fear, love, joy, sadness, anger, and confidence) used to drive a choose your own adventure romance story (also the first Schell Games patent!). But watching Inside Out, it's a different enough concept that I have no worries about overlap.

Really, I liked everything about this -- the concept, the writing, the voice acting (best acting Amy Poehler's ever done, I think!), even the weird rendering shader that makes the emotions look kind of like muppets. Unlike Tomorrowland, it had a solid grasp on the hero's journey, and also made the most of Pixar's famous rule-based storytelling... (I *love* rule-based storytelling... so many delicious rules...) I'm so glad they made this! You go, Pixar!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Comedy from the Second City

Got this as a birthday present from my brother (thanks, Ben!) -- it's pretty interesting to listen to. A snapshot of intellectual comedy from 1961. Unfortunately, I think you kind of had to be there to appreciate it. It kind of felt like the sort of laughter that you get when people are amazed that someone smart is making a joke, as if the idea of intelligent humor had never occurred to them, and they are delighted to find it... in other words, the kind of laughing you do to sound smart. There is an extended sketch about people at an intellectual book club, for example, and a song about how Shakespeare's wife must have suffered... that kind of thing. There are some "old standard" jokes on here -- but the audience tends to ignore those. I only got one really solid laugh out of it -- a silly bit where Alan Arkin sings the works of William Blake as if they were cowboy songs. It was brief, but sharp and funny. Severn Darden is on here too -- I grew up fascinated with his solo album, with its Oedipus sketch. I can't say he was quite that funny on here, but he was definitely the one who taught me that intellectuals could be funny, and I was glad to know it! I remember being in junior high, and being really disappointed with his appearance in Saturday the 14th, as it was very lowbrow. Sounds like I would have been a perfect fit for that 1961 audience!

Monday, June 22, 2015


I LOVE the Toroflux! I saw it at a juggling convention last year, and had to get one. It is my favorite desk toy. When still, it appears to be a small set of wire rings. Pick it up, and it snaps into a sort of strange torus. Put it on your arm and it flows around your body like something from the future. I hope it wins awards – it certainly deserves them! When this book talks about surrounding yourself with things that create a spark of joy when you hold them, the Toroflux definitely fits the bill. I also can’t help but see the connection between the construction of the Toroflux and the way 8-Track Tapes work. I also keep thinking this is just the beginning – that much more could be done with this simple idea.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Mova Globe

I love things that seem magical, and yow, the Mova Globe is one of those things (video with minor spoilers here). At first glance it is an innocuous rotating globe, that one imagines is powered by a battery. But the closer you look, the stranger it gets. It isn’t supported in any kind of central way, and there is no visible motor. Stranger still, it has no batteries. It simply rotates of its own accord. I like keeping it on my desk as a conversation piece. Most people don’t even notice it. But for those who do, I’m fascinated to watch their minds try to comprehend it. More than half seem to come to a conclusion that it is a clever perpetual motion machine: “I guess the inside is tilted so it is forever rolling downhill…?” which shows that most people don’t spend much time thinking about physics, I think. After studying the manual, I think I *mostly* understand how it works, although it’s interaction with the earth’s magnetic field is still somewhat mysterious to me. The manual reads like something included with Happy Fun Ball. “If globe emits a waxy substance, seal and return to the factory IMMEDIATELY” – “If Earth’s magnetic field undergoes significant change, globe may cease rotating, or change direction of rotation.” But that’s cool – I like a little mystery in my life. 

Postscript courtesy of Shawn Patton: The inventor explains all!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Wide Lens: What Successful Innovators See That Others Miss

This business book, by Ron Adner, is a quick, skimmable read with a very valid point: innovations don’t happen in a vacuum. They are part of an ecosystem, and if the ecosystem isn’t ready to change, the innovation can’t possibly succeed. A key example would be Apple’s iPod. It was far from the first MP3 player, but it was the first to succeed, because it was the first to bring a complete business ecosystem into existence that involved the artists, the music publishers, electronics retail, and digital distribution. The book is full of examples of both successes and failures, ranging from electric cars to digital projection to breathable insulin, and many others. “Minimum Viable Product” has been a Silicon Valley buzzword for about a decade now – this book introduces a similarly useful concept, the “Minimum Viable Ecosystem.” This has tremendous relevance for a number of things I’m working on: educational games, virtual reality, interactive museums, and more. I’m very glad to have read it, for it has helped me realize that focusing on one’s invention alone is unlikely to lead to success – one must take a wider view, and think about everything that invention touches.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing

This is a very interesting book by professional organizer, Marie Kondo. Organization is always interesting to me, and I've read a lot of books like this. This one made a much bigger impression on me than the others, though. I've never read a book so anti-possession in my life. Marie's fundamental argument is that if an object does not bring you a "spark of joy" when you hold it and look at it, you should get rid of it, the goal being to only have objects in your house that bring you joy. This is a real challenge for me. I LOVE objects. I love objects that are magical, I love collections of objects, I love objects that might come in handy. As Edison said, "To invent, you need a good imagination, and a pile of junk." I love those moments when some weird object is needed, and I can go dig in a drawer or closet and produce it. As a result, I have a lot of junk. Examples of things I have that I probably shouldn't:
  • Nine different game consoles
  • Two large boxes of old cables
  • Hundreds of DVD boxes (the dvds are stored in compact albums)
  • Hundreds of unread books
  • Old juggling props I'll likely never use again
  • Dozens of board games I'll probably never play
One thing Marie hints at is that people who live in the present need very few objects. Those of us who live in the past (I remember when this was useful) or the future (I can imagine myself enjoying this one day) tend to accumulate a lot of junk. For the truth is that just because you enjoyed something in the past doesn't mean you can enjoy it now, or ever again. The moment someone gave you that pretty bowl was nice, and you can imagine that one day you'll make a place for it, and keep flowers in it, but those are past and future. Right now, it is in a box in a closet, and there it will likely stay. I can't help but seen the connection between zazen (living in the present) and the philosophies of this book (appropriately, I bought this book on the kindle). Books are the toughest one for me. Marie argues that when you get a book, if you haven't read it within a month, you will likely never read it, and I have to agree, that is often true. My bedside has about fifteen books that I began, but stalled out, and I keep telling myself I'll get back to... but probably I never will. This blog has been a help -- I feel better about getting rid of unread books if I speed-read them, and make some notes. But even that is a lot of work. I'm sorely tempted to start clearing house when I get home. Marie's method is very clear -- you must hold each object in your hands, and ask if it sparks joy. I wonder how it will go? Zazen really changes things. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

201 Group Games

This book is just what it sounds like. Rules for 201 group party games are stated in simple paragraphs. Here are some of my favorites.
Toothpicks: Scatter a box of toothpicks on the floor and see who can pick up the most toothpicks in a given time. After all the excitement, count the picks and reward the winner. (excitement?) 
Picking Noses: This game is for married couples. Have four women sit down, cover them with a sheet, cut holes in the sheet for their noses to come through. The husbands are then brought out one by one and each picks (locates) his wife's nose. When he thinks he has located it, he kisses the tip of it. After all have finished, the women are uncovered. Roles are then reversed and each woman picks her husband's nose. I want to write a one act play about that one. 
Chicken Yard Fight: Draw a circle on the ground. Have two players stand inside it each holding his ankles. At a given signal, each player tries to push the other from the circle or make him lose his balance. The first player to release his ankles, leave the circle, or fall, is the loser. This game expresses the essence of "game" better than anything I know. Balance, the magic circle, Bernard Suits, it's all there in those four sentences.
The Winker: Arrange enough chairs in a circle to seat all of teh girls in teh group. Leave one chair empty. A boy stands behind every chair with hands at his side. The boy behind the empty chair is the "winker." he must find a girl to fill his chair. To do so, he winks at a girl and she must slip away before the boy behind her puts his hand on her shoulder. Should she escape, her boy becomes the "winker" and must fill his chair. That game has some deep commentary about the human condition. It think the nose picking play just got three acts, with this as the inciting incident. It's like an erotic version of musical chairs. 
There are enough bible references in the book to make clear this was primarily designed for church groups -- and there are some weirdly old-fashioned sexist ideas (the winker is just the beginning), but it is a nice, concisely stated collection of party games.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Games from long ago

This simple book has some great descriptions of early American games. I think I bought it at Old Economy Village. It has gorgeous color illustrations throughout. Games I'd never heard of:
The Cudgel Game: The game was a favorite among boys in the late 1800s. Instead of real cudgels, the two blindfolded players are given rolled-up newspapers. They lie on their stomach, head to head, holding each other by the left hand. One player calls out "Are your ready?" When the other player replies "yes," the first player ties to swat him or her with the newspaper.  
Corn Husking: After the harvest, everyone gathered to husk corn for winter storage. The young man who found a red ear of corn was allowed to kiss the young woman sitting closest to him. Some men cheated by bringing red corn to the bee in their pockets. Not all girls were happy when a young man produced an ear of corn! 
Dumb Crambo: In short, the game of Password, with a way cooler name.
 It is a short book, easily read and understood by children, but with surprises for any game enthusiast. I totally want to play the cudgel game.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Play Unsafe

This is a cute little book by Graham Walmsley. In short, it is a collection of tips for bringing the improvisational acting techniques of Keith Johnstone's Impro into tabletop roleplaying. The spirit of the book is very much that by embracing interaction and improvisation, you will create a much better play experience than by rigidly sticking with a plan. The book is light, friendly, and fun, and offers a thoughtful perspective for designers of all sorts.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Wreck-it Ralph

I saw this when it first came out in the theater, but we just watched it again at home. I was struck by how different it was at home. So many of the scenes are large and full of tiny detail that was hard to make out on the small screen. It was really a movie made to immerse. I really liked all the classic videogame jokes, that was certainly fun, but what I liked most of all was the depth of the story rules. I always enjoy fantasy worlds that are based on deep rules, and this movie has so many, so interestingly intertwined. Let me see if I can enumerate them...
  1. Game characters should abide by their programming.
  2. Game characters are free to move about after the arcade is closed.
  3. If a character dies outside their game, they die permanently. 
  4. Some characters can suffer from "glitches."
  5. Characters with glitches cannot ever leave their game.
  6. Bugs in Hero's Duty are drawn to the beacon.
  7. It is possible to access and manipulate game code.
...and on and on. I think if I worked at it, I would probably find about 25 or so of these. It makes sense that a story about game characters would be rife with rules. 

What I didn't like: so many characters were mean, angry, and rude. Ironically, the least angry character was Q*Bert. I don't think it was necessary to have absolutely every character be so angry and mean so much of the time... it was kind of off-putting. 

Anyway -- it certainly made me pine for the old arcade days, and I really was pleased to see such a solid and surprising rule-based storyline. I very much believe that if you want your story to seem real, it must be real to you. It certainly was real to the writers!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Less Than Art

My brother introduced me to Ookla the Mok... How did I not find these albums before? The songs are fun, a lot of rock tributes to 70's childhood, and other weird things. My most favorite is View-Master (amazingly not on youtube! All I could find were lyrics) followed by a song about the lack of restrooms on the Starship Enterprise, followed by a song about Aquaman. Yeah, so, like that. Given that their lyrics are so fun and clever, though, I do wish that they were more audible. Oh also... the cover! Genius!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Useful advice about the right way to think about zazen practice. I've found books that that were very much about the practical aspects of zazen (how to sit, how to breathe, etc.) and others that were about the philosophical nature of zen, but this is the first one I've found that was about how one should think about one's practice. And it seems very important, because there seem to be many ways to think about your practice that can actually defeat the purpose of it. Side note: The audio quality of this CD set was surprisingly bad, like it was recorded on a cheap tape recorder. Maybe it was? Anyway, that doesn't matter much, because the advice was clear and useful.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology: The Exhibition

I had reason to be hanging around the National Geographic Museum in DC today, so I thought I would check this out. It's pretty cool! It is reminiscent of the James Bond Exhibit at the Spy Museum. Lots of artifacts from the movies, mixed in with various archaeological artifacts. Interestingly, it features a portable tablet with headphones that is somewhat essential to the exhibit. You enter numbers into it based on where you are in the exhibit, and it plays sound bites or short videos related to what you are looking at. There are several looping video clips on big screens in the exhibit, but they have no sound unless you enter their code, and then you hear synchronized sound in the headphones. The headphones are a clever construction that allow you to easily hear what people around you are saying, so you can easily have a conversation with them on. Few people did, though. Everyone's demeanor was as if they were walking through a tomb... and it looked like a tomb, so maybe that's okay? I am uncertain how I feel about the weird mix of things in this exhibit. "Making of the movie" displays are mixed in with real archaeology are mixed in with explanations of the inspiration for the fake things in the movie. Overall, it is a clever way to bring a relatively static installation to life. I did find myself wishing that the audio clips weren't so dry, or at least a little shorter. Maybe I wanted it to be more of a story? I'm not sure. Anyway, it's worth checking out just to see something a little different in museum design. Also: Crystal skull beer mugs in the gift shop.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Artificial Life Possibilities: A Star Trek Perspective

This book has been lurking around my house for almost ten years now, I thought I better read it so I could get it out of here. By all rights, it should be terrible... an abomination. A Star Trek book about artificial life posing as a textbook? Come on. But... it's really not too bad. I thought it was going be a book about coding up a-life algorithms, but it isn't. It's more of a pop science book, using the many instances of AI in Star Trek as jumping off points to give high level explanations about things as diverse as cellular automata, vision systems, Markov chains, formal logic, fuzzy logic, basically all the stuff that a computer science undergrad trying to study AI is going to bump into. This book is ideal for a smart high school student who is into Star Trek and curious about AI. It's light, fun, and clever, has some good references, and it really knows its Star Trek. It would have done much better, I suspect, if it wasn't packaged like a textbook. Kudos to you, Penny Baillie-de Byl!


Gah! Such complicated feels about this movie! Let me see if I can try to unravel it all. (Spoilers ahead.) Tomorrowland made me feel...

Delight. Some of the scenes of "Utopia Tomorrowland" are EXACTLY out of dreams I have had. I believe in my dream diary somewhere I have sketches of the view of the anti-grav swimming pools as seen from inside a glass tube habitrail/monorail system. The main difference being that my tubes also went underwater. Maybe I should say this made me feel creeped out at how identical it was to my dreams, but really, I was too overwhelmed with delight. 

Pain. Oh, good lord, those early scenes where young Frank Walker is having his inventions derided because they (a) don't work and (b) are more fun than practical are all things that actually happened to me when I was his age, almost word for word. 

Validation. Yes, yes, yes! This is EXACTLY how I see the world! Making things better for everyone is the reason we are here! Why can't everyone understand that? This belief is the reason I do this, and this, and why I made this, and this, and this, and well, just about everything! 

Boredom. I think the biggest flaw of the film is that it spends a lot of time being mysterious and vague about what is actually happening. As a result, it was hard to emotionally care about the action. Sure, if the robots destroy the little girl, that would be bad... but, uh, what are the larger consequences? As viewers, we have no idea. I could feel this boredom from the whole audience. We all wanted to care, and we all cared in theory... but I don't think anyone was feeling edge-of-their-seat thrills due to so much vagueness. 

Sorrow. Athena's sacrifice was hard for me to take. Not only does she look a great deal like my fifth-grade first crush, but her attitude and mission were that of Peggy Van Pelt, who carried the culture of Imagineering in her own two hands for years until she, too, had to leave us unexpectedly. 

Hope. Okay, sure. There's a lot this movie does wrong in terms of entertaining an audience. But if I had seen this when I was twelve -- it could easily have made an major difference in my life. It may not be a box office blockbuster, but if it affects just a few dozen of the right young people the right way, it may have a legacy that is well worth the trouble it took to make this film. 

And there is so much more... the scene at the end with the kids looked to be taken straight from The Blue Bird, which implies a lot... the amazing Eiffel Tower scene, which I should have loved, but left me flat... George Clooney not having any real chemistry with the rest of the cast because, well, he is George Clooney.... though for the life of me, I have no suggestions for a better choice... all the connections to The Rational Optimist, the book that has given me more hope than any other for the fate of the human race, but I don't talk about it much, because I am pretty sure that our unrealistic pessimism is the engine that causes humanity to continuously improve.... God, this is all so complicated... this movie puts its finger on the center of a web of incredibly complex, unspoken, important ideas, but it does so clumsily... I really wish this film was better... but I'm not sure I see how to make it better. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, but so, of course, is the road to Utopia. Thanks, Brad Bird and friends, for getting us one step closer.

Postscript: I’ve continued to think about this movie a lot. At first I wasn’t sure why. But as time went on it became clear to me. This isn’t just a movie to me, it is my religion, and when your religion is portrayed on screen, you want it to be done right. Here’s a brief stab at the tenets of said religion:
  1. The universe wants us to help each other.
  2. The human race is on a journey that is taking us ever closer to utopia.
  3. We must work hard and use what gifts we have to make the world a wonderful place.
And what is fascinating about Tomorrowland is that it does an okay job of expressing these notions, and pointing out the fact that only a minority of us hold these beliefs – many more seem willing to (eager to?) wallow in misery that things aren’t easy, simple, or perfect. One of the most influential books I have ever read is The Rational Optimist, which, in glorious detail, outlines the fact that life for the human race has continuously improved for thousands of years, and explains why this trend is likely to continue. I agree with this, but the curious part is this: It may actually be irresponsible to proselytize this viewpoint too strongly or widely, for pessimism and worry about the future drives us to make it better. If everyone believes that everything is going to be fine, it may well be that we let things get worse and worse. The issue is probably moot, though, since in all ages and times it is part of human nature to generally believe that things are going to hell, and it seems unlikely that any about of zealous cheerleading about the power of human creativity is going to change that. The more I think about it, the more I start to think that a world comprised of 85% pessimists and 15% optimists might be the best thing, after all.

But that makes it sound like pessimism and optimism are static, when we know perfectly well they are dynamic: they change with age. Young people are naturally optimistic, old people are naturally pessimistic. And this is the story of Tomorrowland. A young boy who was once optimistic has been ground down into a cranky old pessimist by a cold, hard world. He meets a young girl who is an optimist, and he regains hope. It sounds like a reasonable story, so why is it such a mess? I have some new insights on that after thinking about it for a while.

1) The film fails to follow the Hero’s Journey. I’m not saying every movie should follow the hero’s journey, but when you are telling a story about an underdog saving the world, you should at least consider it. Several important elements of the journey are missing. “The call” is obviously there. But where is “the refusal”? Where is the “point of no return”? What part of the story is “the cave” exactly? Looking at the movie through this lens, these important scenes feel vague and mushy, not crisp and clear, and that vagueness does little to draw us into the story. Also confusing is the fact that the film is trying to relate two parallel stories, which leads to the next question…

2) Who is the protagonist? At first, it seems obvious that Casey is the protagonist. But is she? She behaves in no way like a hero, and undergoes no changes in the story. She is a frustrated optimist in the beginning, middle, and end of the story. She supposedly can “fix anything”, but she is given no opportunity to do so at any point during the story. She is used more as a “key” than anything else. So – it could be George Clooney? There is an argument for this, since he is the one who undergoes the transformation. Looking at the lens of the Hero’s Journey again, he fits the bill a little better… But not a lot better. A colleague of mine suggested that Athena  is really the protagonist – which I think might actually be true! She’s the only one who actually knows what is going on, she takes the most risks, and makes the greatest sacrifice. But we never get to see things from her point of view. Which leads us to possibly the greatest problem with the movie…

3) No one knows what is going on. Not our “heroes”, and not the audience. The film spends so much time trying to keep us in the dark, that we can’t really get attached to the plot or the characters. Villains appear – they are obstacles to our heroes… but obstacles to what exactly? What is their motivation? What are the consequences if the villains win? We don’t know, and so how can we care?

Anyway, sighs and sadness. I am writing this on a return flight from Walt Disney World. I felt sure that I would pick up an enamel Tomorrowland pin while I was there. Unfortunately, the film seems to have made so little impact that Disney didn’t even bother to make or sell them. In some ways, the whole Tomorrowland experience feels like validation of the film’s warning – that most people would prefer to let the world go to ruin. But at the same time, I can’t help but notice the meta-theming: if this movie was inspiring to everyone, it wouldn’t be a call to the select few who actually want to improve things. I can’t help but think that somehow, quietly, this film will end up being a signifier that those of my religion will use to find one another. That's why the pins aren't available to everyone at Disney World. After all – for reasons I have never understood, sloppy storytelling is a shared feature of all sacred texts.