Self correction

Self correction is perhaps the greatest of all abilities. The ability to correct one’s own thinking, emotions and actions, to correct one’s own path or one’s own goals to whatever one wishes. This ability relies on not having to defend oneself or any methodology.

To the degree one is defending self, one is glued to one’s own past and self correction suffers. To the degree one is defending a methodology, one is less able to self correct in that area.

An example pops to mind; the Scientology upper levels (the OT levels). As a person progresses up the “Bridge to Total Freedom”, he may get gains. These gains may lead him to defend Scientology. And to that exact degree he will shut himself off from self correction. He may feel “on top of the world”, making him ignore signs of own inabilities, failures, even depression. He feels that “nothing can hurt him”, making him cover up his emotions where he is in fact hurt by another. He may feel obliged to be rational, leading to blind spots of own irrationality.

But Scientology is just a one of a million examples. Every religion and every methodology injects this liability in its adherents. We see this in science where scientists cling to a theory. Energy, effort and IQ is spent defending that theory rather than seeking refinements or even better theories. We see this in marriages where a man is eager to defend his ways rather than improve them. Politicians are perhaps the worst of breed.

Defense weakens the ability to self correct. Loosing one’s need to defend can open up new areas to self correction.


Had a meeting today with an interesting person. We talked business, life and philosophy. He presented an angle to “Fuck it” that changed my view on letting go – a view that is more direct, active and productive. Play is more positive. While “Fuck it” has great merit, Play is easier to adopt.

You can tell a person to “let go” of the negative emotions he creates. He can perhaps do that. Or perhaps he will struggle to figure out how. You can guide him, coach him, train him to just “give a fuck” and “chillax”. But it may take a while with some serious guidance.

Telling him to play more in life is easier to grasp, easier to do. Play is doing fun stuff that is unserious and not demand results or consequences. Ask the person what “play” is to him. Then encourage him to do more of that in his life. Voilá.


Midnight Magic

In 1987, we made radio history in Norway with the show “Midnight Magic“. It was the first role-playing program on the air and the only program that had a thriving black marked for recordings where certain programs were sold for as much as NOK 400 (USD 100 today). Stein Halvorsen and I had great fun running the program for 3 years.

The format was simple and effective: Each program had a certain theme and a specific goal to reach within a 10-minute play. An introduction was played at the start of the program to give the listeners the background to the evening show. This could range from rescuing a fair maiden from the clutches of an evil dragon to disarming a nuclear warhead before the city was blown to dust. Four players were picked out of the 100 or so calling in to participate. Each player got to pick a few items to help them on the quest. And then the adventure begun.

One of us (me or Stein) was the Game Master telling the participant what he or she saw while the other played each encounter along the way. They could meet the troll under the bridge, the goblin in the woods, the pireate on the ship, the alien in the hangar, etc. Spontaneous acting on the air.

Having released the complete Amar RPG, I thought my next project would be releasing all the recovered Midnight Magic recordings. But alas, SAJ has kept the Midnight Magic site going and I could sit back and relax, write this blog post and simply point to the great Midnight Magic archive.

Ah, the memories :-)

The cover of the original Mega Role-Playing System (Fantasy Edition) released in the UK by Bent Brakas an me the same year as Midnight Magic started airing).

The cover of the original Mega Role-Playing System (Fantasy Edition) released in the UK by Bent Brakas an me the same year as Midnight Magic started airing.

Amar Role-Playing Game: Complete system online at

Some have wondered what I have been up to the past few weeks. The answer is seen over at

It has been a massive undertaking to get the whole of the Amar RPG online – rule system, information on the Kingdom of Amar, world mythology and more.


The whole system is now Open Source and put on a wiki so that anyone can pitch in to improve or add to the system or the world.

We welcome anyone to contribute new skills, spells, potions, rituals, magical items or any other neat and worthwhile additions.

And we welcome every nitpicking language enthusiast to correct errors in the text.

There is also a good collection of graphics included that any Game Master of any RPG system can freely use.

Go adventure!



It really is extreme. Extreme people with extreme skills, doing stuff people wouldn’t think possible.” Adrian was half proud, half nervous as he walked through the doors of the most mythical company in town – aptly called Xtreme. Unpretentious, an almost anonymous location. But inside, a nerd’s heaven.


The interview was nothing like he had imagined. And very far from any interview he had experienced before. He was to pitch right in on a project for a week. And then his team mates were to decide if they wanted to let him on board. He had to impress them, ha had to be extreme. “Impress people like Claes, Florian, Maria and Michael. Damn, I have to be on top of my game here, cuz those guys are freakin legends in the open source world.” But so was Adrian. He had run several projects that has gotten good traction on Github, and that was precisely why Florian had asked him to come and show off his awesome. But Adrian was never the bragging, arrogant type. Shy and humble, submerged in an intense interest for developing the next coolest thing – he so wanted to work with these guys.

Getting on board meant to actually own an equal piece of the company and share the responsibilities, decisions, salary, perks and work with everybody else at Xtreme. And it meant getting to work with the top notch developers in the world, doing stuff that really matters. No wonder Adrian was tense.

But the week went surprisingly well. His team mates were including and helpful and he got plenty of opportunity to show his skill set. He worked on a technically challenging and interesting project that would prove extremely valuable for a customer building rescue helicopters.

He got to see the organization up close. Or rather, the lack thereof. Without any executives or hierarchy, the company was light, quick and ultra-dynamic. “But how do you make important decisions, like moving the company to new premises?” he had asked. “It’s like in this village called Endesh in North Tanzania“, Florian replied, “they get together and decide.” “All of them?” “Yeah all of them. All of us.

But don’t you need executives?” Adrian looked somewhat puzzled. “Why?” Florian inquired. “What would you need an executive for? Do you need to be told what to do? Or what not to do? Or do you need someone else to motivate you to do your best? Because if you need those things, we don’t need you.” Adrian got the drift and answered “Well, I sure haven’t needed any of that to get me this far. The bosses I’ve had have more often than not been in my way, deciding on stuff they really don’t know and without the hands-on knowledge required to make the right choices. All while they think they know best.” Florian smiled. “Then we’re on the same page here. There is no set process, formal way or exact procedure for what we do. We have the best guys in our field, we get shit done, learn, and get even more shit done. It’s a continual evolution.

Facts or inspiration

David wondered how he could best present the strategy to the board. Did they want pure facts or did they want inspiration?

While some of the board members were science types and driven by facts and figures, others were people-oriented and motivated by emotions.

If he were to be succinct and sum everything up as terse as possible, he knew of no better way than using a HyperList. If he were to relate the strategy with inspiration and emotion, the best way was to tell an old fashion story. He could sum everything up in half a page using a HyperList. Or he could write a short story a couple of pages long that took them on an inspirational journey. The story would describe how the company would be when the strategy was fulfilled using a fictional character to relay the points.

He decided to give them a choice by summing up the two forms in a simple HyperList:

    Pure facts = HyperList
        The most succinct presentation of data
    Inspiration = Short story
        Words painting pictures and inviting emotions

And then he wrote this story.

Code is up

… on Github.


Got around to putting my most useful programming projects up on You can now easily get the newst versions, repost bugs, read the source code and fork the code to make your own version.

The projects that are up so far are:

  • npcg – the random encounters and NPC generator for the AMAR RPG
  • hyperlist.vim – the VIM plugin to easily and effectively manage HyperListS
  • hypergraph – the tool to make graphical representations of HyperListS
  • mailfetch – collect mail from different imap accounts, filter and store locally
  • imaptools – Client-side tools for imap mail
  • pc41 – Facilitating serial/USB connection to an HP-41 calculator

The next project up will probably be my collection of HP-41 programs found on this site.

Update (2015-08-28): I have now put all my relevant HP-41 related programs up on my Github page. The pages and links on this site is now updated to point to my Github projects.