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The New Whirling School

An incredibly detailed examination of a work of fiction

What is the New Whirling School?

The award-winning video game "The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind" was released in May, 2002 by Bethesda Game Studios. A critical and financial success, Morrowind is still considered to be one of the best role playing games ever created, and garnered over 60 awards, including Game of the Year.

Part of Morrowind's appeal was its carefully crafted and detailed universe, much of which was explained to players by over 300 in-game books. Of particular interest to players was a series of books called "The 36 Lessons of Vivec." This strange collection of short stories, written in a style reminiscent of ancient Chinese fiction, is infamous among Morrowind fans as seeming prohibitively abstruse, confusing, and strange. But many fans who attempt to discern meaning in this strange tale discover an internal logic and consistency which clearly hints at a deeply personal and spiritual message.

The New Whirling School is my attempt at creating a compilation of commentaries on this mysterious book. It's a considerable undertaking. The author, Michael Kirkbride, is well known for his eclectic writing style. And having pulled from so many real-world sources, it's quite difficult to determine the meaning hidden behind the prose. Additional difficulty is added by the Elder Scrolls fan community's love of (to quote from the 36 Lessons) "inferring significance in things devoid of detail." So not only must I uncover the author's hidden messages, but I also explore nearly every line in the book and present as many reasonable interpretations as possible, even (or especially) when they conflict.

Why bother?

The 36 Lessons of Vivec is a vitally important document in a critically acclaimed piece of entertainment. It serves as the primary source of information on the structure of the Elder Scrolls universe itself, in both the physical and metaphysical sense. And that's not even mentioning the most obvious mystery of the piece: "who killed Indoril Nerevar?"

But it's also a source of hope and comfort to many Elder Scrolls fans across the globe. I've received a surprising amount of fan mail from readers who have been helped through some very rough times by the 36 Lessons and the New Whirling School. And it's easy to find motivation when your work seems to actually make a difference.

How do I start?

I've written an introduction in the New Whirling School's website that should help ease you into the text, assuming you've never played the game. Afterwards, I'd recommend simply reading each of the Lessons and ignoring the annotations. Get an overview, and then plunge into the details. The annotations are where the real exploration starts, since I'm including links to thousands of external sources that range from theoretical physics to Western hermeticism. The New Whirling School can serve as a launching point to a fantastic and spiritual exploration of science, philosophy, religion, and biology. Allow yourself to become immersed.

If you've got the right flavor of mind, you might find this mystical and fantastic story as rewarding as I have.
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Chris Nelson

More about me than you may ever wish to know

The Biography

In New Orleans, when I was young, I naively chased the dream of becoming a professional pen & paper role-playing game designer until Steve Jackson told me that the best way to quickly go broke was to design games. Being either too practically minded or too obsessed with possessions I decided a career change was in order.

At that point the only thing I was good enough at to get paid for was web design. My fellow gamer friends and I had established a Deadlands fan-site called "The Sixth Bullet." The website featured some (badly written) JavaScript image rollovers, but they were good enough to land me my first job as a web designer.

It wasn't until the IT crash in the late '90's that I decided that New Orleans wasn't going to sustain my career, so I moved to Atlanta, got married and went back to school for the college degree my resume desperately needed.

It was in college that I learned a very important lesson that separates me from the millions of other system administrators and IT generalists in the industry: methodology is critical. It's not enough to be able to solve a problem. What's needed is an approach that finds the solution and then includes extra steps to ensure that the root cause of the problem is discovered and addressed. This ensures that the problem will not re-appear, but it must be done with care and determination: a precision operation that effects the minimum number of systems without detriment.

After working in the GameStop IT department for a while, I transitioned back into web development and went to work for an agency, EY Studios. While there, I earned my Magento 1 and Magento 2 front-end certifications, and discovered a real talent for truly listening to our clients and finding solutions that went to the root of their issue.

My Magento certifications and extensive experience made me quite desirable in the web development marketplace, so in 2017 I left EY Studios to work for The RTA Store, a ready-to-assemble cabinetry company with a heavy emphasis on online sales and a fantastic corporate culture. As their lead web developer, I coordinate a group oflocal and overseas development teams in a completely 100% remote development department.

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Look at this website.

It's perfect. The background is "bone." The font is something called "Silian Rail."

Raised lettering, with fully HTML5 compliant code. DIV-ordering. CSS-driven, table-less layout.

And just look at the tasteful thickness of the margins.

Oh my God, it even has a watermark.

cell: (777) 555-1008
© 2022 Chris Nelson