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Raison D'etre.

Early last year, after about a year of working for Bohemia Interactive on VBS2, mainly travelling around on airplanes running training courses for military simulations folks, I finally embarked on a project that had been buzzing around in my head for over twenty years.

I'm fairly sure it was the catalyst of working in the simulations field that helped me realize that the time had actually come, and I actually could pull it off, but it had been a long road. When I wrote my first novel, which I started when I was nineteen (it shows its age!), I needed five years of research, which included joining the army and becoming an infantryman, before I could say I had the needed spark to finish it. The relative quality of these projects notwithstanding, no-one can ever say I don't take my research seriously.

The spark for this one came in the form of the Simulation Hypothesis.

I've heard it called a number of things. Theory, argument, hypothesis. It's an old idea, and the Matrix got a good deal of mileage out of it. As a narrative device, you can see it in works like The Truman Show and Dark City, among many others (Source Code and eXistenZ come to mind).

My favourite exploration of it is Nick Bostrom's. Do yourself a favour and read it, if you get the chance (or haven't already). He assigns three propositions equal weight.

武王 - 무왕 - King Mu

On The Very First EFL Teacher Blog Ever

Some folks are saying that this town's been headed downhill since the Iri Train Station Explosion. But it's really never been like it was since ol' Mu left. King Mu dubbed the city to eventually be named Iksan the capital of the Baekje Kingdom way back in '41. 641. And he's still all over the place around here.

King Mu (For the serious student of Hanja [Chinese character] root words, Fierce King, but for the casual Korean learner, Radish King) and his son King Uija (Chair King) were the last of a 30 king Baekje dynasty that stretched during the Korean "Three Kingdoms Period" straight outta the B.C.s until the dynasty's defeat by the eventual peninsula-unifying Silla Kingdom in 660. I always thought that not being the last of an ancient line of kings would be sort of like playing hot potato. King Mu won. His son Chair, despite many early military victories (all while finding time for his true passions, crocheting and "living a life of lavish luxury" i.e. orgies), lost. There's not too much Uija laying around, but I'll give some examples of the legacies of Mu which tie together much of my aimless wandering round these parts.

First off, a lot of the temples scattered around this city are partial originals from the Baekje Period.

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