Reload. There is a nicer bird, a melodic one, it means you are travelling well. You will also hear the scolding sparrow, the snide crow and the dogs of war which all mean you are romping around like a fool, with your Settlers running amok and your Warriors stumbling about ineptly.

Sometimes it can pay off to send a Settler on a long unescorted walk early on in the game. You might have just won the Settler and want to keep your Scout questing for new bounty. Sometimes you can land a city tidily, just where you want it, perfect settling pattern. Sometimes your Settler steps forward to stand face to face with a bear; doomed. The bird mocks. Reloading a saved game will silence the critique. One of the divine luxuries of single player Civilisation.

Of course this game is addictive. Sometimes you can step outside after an epic of global micro-management and the birds outside will haunt you with a spookily familiar diatribe about your performance. Magpies can call melodic encouragement, the sparrows, crows and dogs each adding their warning colours to the soundscape. But for this game there is no reload, and so we must face our bears.

A flock of birds live outside my window in a tree. While most sing melodies, one is a mocking bird. But killing this bird is easy, if done so with an explanation. No gun, no slingshot, and no amount of sheer will power will defeat this foe. Instead, you need to use the left hemisphere of your brain.

This bird will wake you up in the morning before your alarm goes off. It will torture your sleeping habits, your patience, and your sanity. You must see a pattern in random numbers. You must simplify information overload. No, not really. You must create an explanation for why a mocking bird would crow so hoarsely. You will feel better after doing so. Interpreting what that bird is doing, is the trick to this game.

The bird is seeking a mate. He is trying to be flamboyant in his calls of attraction. He must be as loud as he possibly can be. Why else would a bird shriek in never ending chirp... chirp... chirps... With this explanation I can now sleep soundly again. I know that he has to shriek, and I know now that I am not enduring, but rather capable of accepting an explanation.

Your loved one dies. Just as an army officer would come to your doorstep offering an explanation of how your family member died in combat, so would you explain to a friend how you broke your leg while going up the stairs. When your friend first sees the cast, they immediately ask, "How did you break it?"

Think about it! If someone offers you an explanation for something that irritates you or upsets you, aren't you more likely to accept that explanation and the pain eases? It is not that we actually come to an acceptance of the irritation. No, instead I am proposing that it is human nature to accept interpretations. This is the one time to allow for our inductive natures to perform their duties.

If I was skeptic of the bird's reasons, it would still irritate me. It would still be alive, and I would probably take coarse action as to actually kill the mocking bird. Consequences could follow. I could misfire and hit something or someone else. Maybe the bird dies, and as a reaction the environmentalists uproar. I prefer the conviction that the plague is cured. Not because there is evidence of an actual cure. No, there is just now no evidence of cancer cells still existing.

Some say ignorance is bliss. No! I will find meaning in re-organizing 100,000 random words.



Confront it with a mirror;
let it mock itself to death

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