In the actual game of Magic, white cards are angels and knights and clerics and loyal steeds, healing spells and protective auras and laws that bind all parties equally, and anthems that strengthen all of your allies at once. mono-red is not necessarily less complex than a person who’s e.g. Blue believes that the best results will be achieved if you think carefully and let reason and logic carry the day, while red believes that it’s too easy to waste time and talk yourself in circles, and that you should instead follow your heart and listen to your gut. What predictions does that allow us to make, about other traits they might have or how they’ll respond to various situations or stimuli?”. Green is the color of evolution and thriving, and believes in balance and evolved order, wanting to preserve the existing status quo. Below are the five colors of Magic: white, blue, black, red, and green. The claim isn’t that a person who exhibits one aspect of redness will definitely exhibit all of the others, it’s that the bucket “red” is robust and trope-y and resonant enough that one red trait is decent circumstantial evidence of the existence of others. A black one is going to want to take action — to regain locus of control. It’s all about perspective, and interpretation, and inference, and connotation. Hufflepuff House from Harry Potter is a green/white institution, and Akela from The Jungle Book is a green/white archetype. In addition to serving as a foil for its enemies, each color can also serve as a bridge connecting its two allies. Victory for a blue agent feels like clarity, revelation, actualization, conclusion — a final puzzle piece clicking into place, or the last note of a perfect symphonic performance. White and blue both agree that structure is important — white because it reduces the risk of conflict, and blue because it makes possible deep investigation and long-term or delicate optimization. A world without blue is a world without curiosity, without investigation, without the nitpicking desire to get every cog into just the right place. I wrote thirty pages over the next two days, not to mention cleaning up a bunch of loose and random characterization. Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek is an excellent example of a white/blue archetype, as is the political persona of Hillary Clinton. Defeat, on the other hand, feels like aging or imprisonment — like scrabbling against an unscalable wall behind which your dreams are turning to ash and trickling away, leaving you with nothing. What would a good person do? A green/white agent asks the question what’s fair and good? Is there any chance we ll see some new lace cards soon? Victory for a white agent feels like brightness, purity, exaltation — a clean breeze sweeping across a high plain under a bright sun. Some slightly cheesy and horoscope-y examples below (note that the cheesiness is because I’m trying to describe a general archetype, rather than pulling from specific subsets of each color as I would with a real, narrow example): Hopefully it’s easy to see how slight tweaks to make one color more prominent or another less crucial can result in a lot of different “flavors.” Another important point is that, since each color is a large bucket and people are small and specific, a person who’s e.g. I was surprised to discover that, while I had an immediate stereotype about my second- and third-most important characters (red and white/blue/black, respectively) I had no idea what colors my main character was. Blue sees red as impulsive and rash; red sees blue as repressed and unfeeling and unwilling to act. A green agent, when presented with a decision or quandary, asks how are these things usually done? Other fictional examples of white/black include the character Rorschach from Watchmen (who would probably also get along with the Punisher) and Magneto from X-Men. Both the Borg from Star Trek and the zombies of The Walking Dead are black/green antagonists. I’m feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled. Green characters are slightly harder to find in the role of the protagonist, but often crop up around the edges of a story. On the gentler side of things, Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender is firmly red/green and is often torn between his innate red playfulness and the gravity and responsibility required of his green role and destiny. Genetic engineering is maybe the central case of “see what’s there, so that you can rearrange it to make it better.” And Focusing lies directly between Tarski and Gendlin, as people engage curiously and openly with what they already know and feel beneath the surface. In the 2016 presidential race, Bernie Sanders was attempting to position himself as the red/white candidate in contrast to Clinton’s blue/white and Trump’s red/black, and there are strong red/white motivations in the people who continue to support his platform and push back against the current political status quo. A white/blue agent asks the question how do we know what’s right and good? Green and blue disagree on questions of determinism and free will. Turn 1: Play plains, Turn 2: play plains, play ace. A black agent, when presented with a decision or quandary, asks what course of action will leave me best off, where “best off” includes having power, influence, safety, and wealth, as well as having moved closer to one’s goals. And a green one is going to be looking for ways to let go of the pain. What swath of person-territory do I want to try gaining next? “Dunno. It just means that the red person drew most of their traits from that one bucket, whereas the multicolored person drew fewer traits from each of more buckets. It’s feeling alive. Niveous Wisps (also tapsit) 2. Other words associated with white: authority, compassion, community, contribution, fairness, happiness, honesty, justice, kindness, leadership, peace, religion, responsibility, security, service, trustworthiness, altruism, cleanliness, commitment, consistency, duty, conviction, courtesy, dedication, discipline, endurance, gratitude, honor, integrity, patience, poise, respect, teamwork, tradition, unity, valor, honor, formality, generosity, protectiveness, asceticism, authoritarianism, morality, fanaticism, intolerance, ~Extraversion+Agreeableness++Conscientiousness– Neuroticism– — Openness. This is where I get the greatest benefit from the color wheel, myself — in interpreting how and why people have the reactions they have to various stimuli, and in predicting what they’ll do next. Cloudchaser Kestrel 3. In the first Star Wars film, Han Solo was a sympathetic black character, whereas in Game of Thrones Cersei Lannister is a black villain. Turn 3: Play plains, swing with ace, after blockers are declared use tactical on ace, play ace. Other words associated with red: authenticity, adventure, beauty, boldness, friendship, fun, humor, loyalty, candor, courage, creation, drive, empathy, enthusiasm, ferocity, independence, individuality, irreverence, joy, originality, passion, purpose, sensitive, spontaneous, trusting, dramatic, flexible, forthright, casual, stubborn, angry, blunt, careless, reckless, destructive, fickle, flamboyant, impulsive, performative, poetic, +Extraversion+Agreeableness– — Conscientiousness+Neuroticism++Openness. In Magic, red cards are goblins and pyromancers and dragons, Lightning Bolts that burn the opponent, illusions that taunt and enrage their allies, spells that grant speed and haste and fragile power, desperate gambles that put everything on the line, and chaotic effects that upset the whole battlefield. Circe from The Odyssey is black/green, as are the eponymous Shrek and Frankenstein’s Monster. By tentatively assigning things a color label (whether that thing be a whole person or a particular endeavor or even just a specific sentence), you can boot up a set of associations that allow you to prioritize your search-and-predict algorithms. They both agree on community — that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts, and that there are things larger than oneself that are worth sacrificing for.
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