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Elements Can Come Apart: | Sweathead Summer Camp (In Spaaaaace!)

Sweathead Summer Camp: Day 4

Strategist's Log - 1.29.21

Location: Flittle | -28.54, -151.96 (Sumadurey System)

Weather: Hella-Crisp

Atmospherics: -85.3 °F | 0.2 Rad | 1.9 Tox

B.L.U.F. – As strategists, our work begins by pulling reality apart. As human beings, we often view our emotions as reality. As space explorers, the reality is we often need to take what elements we can find and break them down into the elements we need.


Heya, friend. Pull up a seat. That's what I'm going to do.

Because I just figured out how to sit down in-game.


Yup. That there's the stuff. Especially after a long, productive space day of blowing up rocks.

Why the blasting of space rocks, you ask?

Because, as you can see, we're still here on Flittle AND we're now on Day 4 of Sweathead Summer Camp. And in both instances, we're learning why it's important to pull things apart.

As mentioned before (I think?), everyone hopping into No Man's Sky begins alone on a random planet. There's a lovely absence of fanfare to all this. You don't know who you are. Or why you're here. But there's work to do (like not dying) so you don't waste time getting started. And “getting started” means wrapping your head around elements, what's around you to use, and how those things can be broken down and/or combined into what keeps you moving forward.

For instance, by scanning around with my handy-dandy space scanner I see that many of the big rocks flitteling around the landscape are made of an element called pure ferrite. I can then use my handy-dandy space laser to mine these rocks.

Then, by using my starting refining tool (why I have all these tools? another mystery), I can turn pure ferrite into magnetized ferrite. But I can also break magnetized ferrite down into pure ferrite. And, pure ferrite, in turn, can be broken down further into ferrite dust.

The latter here's important because this dust can't be broken down further. It's a basic element used to create many of the basic things I need to advance my chosen direction in the game.

In parallel, Sweathead's wasted no time getting into how we start the strategy game.

That being, getting started in strategy means wrapping your head around the elements in play, what's around you to use, and how those things can be broken down and/or combined into what keeps you moving forward. Just like the above, learning how to pull things apart plays an ongoing and foundational role in moving forward in the right direction.

Unfortunately, participation in the Sweathead Summer Camp doesn't come with a handy-dandy space laser. At least, not in the membership tier I opted into.

So, interestingly, I think the following exercise was provided in order to create some grist to practice our pulling-aparting.

We're presented with 11 emotions: Mess, Hurt, Trash, Pain, Broke, Tears, Sad, Screams, Anger, Grief, Sorrow. And we're charged with providing an opposite emotion to pair with each. Point being, emotions aren't good or bad, even the bad emotions. They are just what they are. So, the ability to acknowledge them is helpful because then they can be re-framed.

Here's what I did with the list on my initial pass, doing my best to just write down the first thing that popped into my head:

Mess <-> Order

Hurt <-> Heal

Trash <->Fresh

Pain <-> Balm

Broke <-> Kept

Tears <-> Numb

Sad <-> Hope

Screams <-> Kisses

Anger <-> Acceptance

Grief <-> Contentment


Know what? Having to find an opposite for Sorrow at the end there stumped me up pretty good.

After a bit, I realized I didn't quite know enough of a difference between grief and sorrow to be able to answer. So I did myself some Googling...

This smidge of research completed, I decided to settle on grief being a "borderline-crippling sadness caused by/directed at the loss or absence of something specific." And sorrow as being "sadder than sad, but not as sad as grief, but also an emotional state [suggesting] a degree of resignation... which lends sorrow its peculiar air of dignity."

Having filled in my blank here, I made the revisions below*:

Mess <-> Order

Hurt <-> Heal

Trash <-> Fresh

Pain <-> Balm

Broke <-> Kept

Tears <-> Numb

Sad <-> Thrilled*

Screams <-> Kisses

Anger <-> Acceptance

Grief <-> Joy*

Sorrow <-> Hope*

I was happy enough with myself (low bar) that I almost missed the little lesson this exercise had nudged, even without my little definitional hiccup. And, unfortunately, here's where my parallel with Flittle breaks*:

Unlike pure ferrite, how can I pull apart an emotion by itself? Especially without a space laser?

But in pairing Mess with Order I've now got something to pull apart:

Mess <-interesting space we can now explore-> Order

Hurt <-interesting space we can now explore-> Heal

But perhaps, like pure ferrite, we can, in fact, pull an individual element apart.

To my surprise, we pulled Sorrow apart with just a bit of gentle exploration. In doing so, we uncovered additional elements (sadness, grief, etc) which we were able to then contrast against one another and feel good enough about to move forward and complete the exercise.

Being able to move forward. This is the point, yes? The pulling-aparting by itself is not why we’re here.

Thank the Flittle Gods this is so, btw, because pulling things apart tends to get messy. And it makes folks uncomfortable. And often it gives the impression that we’re undoing, undermining, or obfuscating what should be a good, simple process.

We must have a direction. With direction we must move forward. And to move forward you gotta grit your teeth and do the work to derive/refine/discover the raw elements required to do so.

Or, you know, space laser.


Did we just square it?**

*At least for now. I'll keep trying to square this. I'm stubborn like that.

**Hey! I think we squared it!

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