[CONTEST] Build a Gingerbread House!

Discussion in 'Empire Events' started by MoreMoople, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. I had been looking for a new project to do so I could avoid doing other projects..... :D
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  2. Cool Shell and I should be in she is off this week ill let you know Moople!
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  3. Yeah I'll definitely need some assistance when it comes time for me to submit this thing. :p I have no clue what I'm doing.
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  4. Are custom heads OK to use or disqualifying?
  5. Considering they're able to be used on EMC (see +deco on 8 and Utopia, for example) I would think yes, but I'm no official authority so someone please correct me if I'm wrong
  6. They are fine.
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  7. I do have one question:

    Is this contest
    1) a contest to build a gingerbread house, which thus will be judged based on how good of a gingerbread house it is, or is this
    2) a build contest with the 'theme' gingerbread house, and thus a contest where the builds are judged based on what they aesthetically look like in general, and on how well it communicates what the phrase generally means to the contestant. (e.g. time with family, desert, cartoons, etc.)
    To me the objective, and this further explanation, can read as both:
    To use an idea that I am not planning to use as an example: You could make an up-scaled build of two children making a gingerbread house, including the house, but having it unfinished and generally not very good-looking in isolation, because, well, two children are making it. This build would also communicate the idea that a gingerbread house is something that reminds of family or childhood.
    If this is contest 1, a build based on this idea would not meet the requirements, and thus be either disqualified or really lowly graded, but if it is 2 (which I hope) this would be a perfectly fine entry, and would be judged based on how good of a build the entire thing is.

    Because I feel like it might be that it has not yet been decided which one of these two it is (because the question did not occur to anyone) I would also like to explain why I think there is a 'correct' answer here:
    You see, 1 would have the problem that what to one person "feels" like a gingerbread house may not to me, or someone else, "feel" like a gingerbread house. I, personally, have never encountered a gingerbread house or anything similar in real life, and only know the concept from North-American cartoons, so I immediately got the idea to make something realistic (if a bit old,) with a really simple colour palate, only using five different blocks, to match the style of those animations, additionally making it very Christmas-y, since that inevitably is the subject matter of those cartoons. Reading up on the concept, though, I found out that it is a desert or generally something some people actually make out of foodstuffs, something that I thought was only a joke of those cartoons.
    (I should add that the phrase "Gingerbread house" literally translates to Dutch "Huis van Peperkoek," which semantically means the exact same thing as the English, both originally referred to a desert, though the Dutch one doesn't have the cultural history of making that desert as a basis of that, which is probably why I read it differently.)
    Ultimately, of course, language is defined by how we use it, and thus: none of these readings is more correct than another without prescribing people their langue: it's all just the meaning we give to random sounds/letters/pixels, there is no inherently correct answer. And though this might be a drastic case, others might be a lot smaller, and more subtle, making it impossible to judge if someone “correctly” made something that looks or feels like a gingerbread house. The only thing that can be judged is how well the contestants idea of what it is lines up with the idea of the judge.
    Because of that, contest 1, where the builds are judged based on how good a depiction they are of a gingerbread house, or how well they incorporate the principal of it, is inherently problematic. That is probably also why all professional contests that I have seen and participated in had themes, a phase, where the contestants make something based on what that phrase means to thém, and the builds a judged based on general aesthetics and how well they communicate that personal meaning. This would be case 2 in my original question.

    I’m sorry for the long read, but I hope that this is a meaningful contribution.
    I know people have the tendency to read posts like this by me as ill-intended. The only reason I write this now is because I feel like this is a problem that would otherwise come up later, and have people be very angry when the time-consuming entries are judged differently because someone read something differently from someone else, and would have done something differently if they understood it the way someone else understood it. I also just generally think that contest 2 leads to more interesting submissions and a more interesting time working on them, but that is mostly personal
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  8. This one. :)
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  9. We don't make them much here in New Zealand. Our Christmas is in summer so lots of traditions are changed/adapted. I've only ever made and eaten one gingerbread house.

    But online you can see many examples. Some people make them out of a soft, spongey gingerbread, some out of the harder cookie style gingerbread and there are many shapes and sizes and colour schemes. There have been gingerbread versions of famous buildings too.
  10. That is completely missing the point of what I was trying to say. I know this is something of a tangent, but it’s so far off that I cannot help but explain what I was getting at once more.
    So, again, why '1' doesn't make sense:

    It doesn't have to be a gingerbread house. My point would be the exact same if this was a '1' contest "make a chair." In the original post I have one example of how it could go wrong in a dramatic fashion, but I did not explain why or what exactly, for that we need to go into postmodern linguistic pragmatic theory, for which I first need to explain some Kantian metaphysics. I know that that sounds like a lot of big words, but I'll try to make this as simple as possible, which, yes, means I lose some academic rigour and preciseness, or just generally being correct.
    Let me explain: the problem with making a chair:

    A < chair, > the idea of a chair, the concept of a chair, doesn't exist. A "chair" does, of course. A "chair," as in the word, is, according to Merriam Webster "a seat typically having four legs and a back for one person," but that isn't a < chair, > as a definition is simply a linguistic description of how the word is generally used, not a fundamental part of the idea behind the word. Moreover: that definition isn’t correct either. Even though a definition can only be a description of langue, and thus is inherently problematic for the question, it cannot be perfect because everyone’s idiolectic definition is different.
    Let me explain all this with a lot more words. First, Kantian metaphysics:

    What is a < chair? > I just said it is an idea that doesn’t exist, which is true, but we need to get deeper than that.
    If you look at the chair you’re presumably currently sitting on, what is happening? Well: You have certain senses which get imputes from it, which then, in your mind, is transformed into the experience of that chair. But why are the visual experiences behind that part of the floor, or the wall, and not of the chair itself. Thinking from experience, there might be a rationalisation for this, but, from an abstractly physical perspective, there is none. There is no way to exactly determine which atoms are a part of your experience of the chair, and which are not. In general: there is no way to exactly know which parts of experience are a part and are not a part of a given thing. A thing, then, does not exist. The thing-in-itself, the idea of objects being separate from each other, only exists in your mind, it is not a feature of the world. Philosopher David Hume was the first to point this out, though the knowledge needed to actually proof it in a meaningful way wasn’t found until two hundred years later.

    But that’s just your experience of a given chair. A < chair > is the ‘essence’ of that experience. It is the concept you use to make sense of those experiences, and group them into one idea, one thing, meaningfully district from another thing, like < table. >
    Because < chair > is the essence you give to a given experience of a chair, it is something that is personal. My < chair > differs from your < chair. > My idea of what a chair is fundamentally different from yours, and cannot be anything else than that.


    One and Three Chairs, Joseph Kosuth. (National Museum of Modern Art, Paris)

    Let's imagine being confronted with this is the physical world: Which one of these is the most accurate depiction of a < chair? > Is it the image of a chair, is it a specific chair, or is it a definition of “chair”? It's a difficult question, because none of them are perfect.
    The physical chair might be referred to with the word “chair,” but it isn't a perfect < chair. > By being physical it omits the potentiality of being it has if it were to just be < chair, > for being physical means being defined in all ways, and a < chair > can be a lot of things, not just one. By choosing to be one thing, that is, to exist, the physical chair loses some of its < chair- > ness in order to become physical.
    The depiction is far from perfect either: Though, by not being directly physical, it can omit being defined in certain ways. Though physical chair is clearly made out of wood, the one depicted on the image could be made out of wood, metal, or plastic. However, it still clearly is a folding chair. A < chair > has the potentiality to be or not be folding chair.
    The word might come closest. For the individual speaking, a word, after all, is a perfect depiction of the idea. The word “chair” to an individual means the exactly the same thing as < chair. > However, that is not true for the word in use. A “chair” only perfectly depicts a < chair > if you’re talking to yourself. The explanation of this leads me to the second part: Wittgenstein.

    “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”
    ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

    That’s a pretty famous quote. Most of the time it’s used, though, it is not used with the meaning it has in the original text, which is the way I intent to use it.

    You see: langue isn’t perfect. It is one of the best tools we have to communicate, but it cannot communicate perfectly. We all know this, but I want to make one observation that is fundamental to modern understanding of langue:
    A “chair” is a < chair > to the individual speaking, however, as < chair > is personal, “chair” in general langue, cannot mean < chair > to everyone.
    Thus a dictionary definition of “chair” describes the word in a way that most people agree is a depiction of < chair. > The definition of a word, then, is just as much a depiction of < chair > as an image, or, indeed, a physical object is.
    When you use the word “chair,” then, you evoke < chair > to the person you’re speaking to, whatever < chair > is to thém is what they think you mean.
    When you describe a chair, or your < chair, > you are making a depiction of it, which, is, again, inherently flawed.
    This is what Wittgenstein’s quote refers to. Trapped within the limits of langue, you cannot express anything exactly. You cannot express < chair > you can only say “chair” and hope that the person you’re speaking to has a similar < chair > as your < chair. > You cannot speak of < chair, > therefore you should be silent about < chair. >

    Coming back to my original point: this is why completion 1 does not make sense: Every competition will be competition 2. You are using “chair” and are then asking people to give a depiction of < chair > “in general.” This is, linguistically, philosophically, impossible. If you are using a word, you can only expect people to give back their idea that corresponds with that word, not yours, or in general.
    competition 1, is, knowing this philosophy of langue, not just nonsensical, it is impossible. What you are asking me to do by looking up a definition, or images, is just adding another layer. Now, you are not asking me to make my < chair, > but instead, you are asking me what the word “chair” in general refers to, which, inevitably, is my idea of that. In other words, you are asking me to make < generally “chair.” >
    This is what competition 1 is doing: you are not asking for < chair, > even though the “chair” usually refers to < chair, > therefore contestants will look up generally “chair” and make < generally “chair,” > which is still just someone’s individual meaning of a concept, just with an additional layer or philosophical complexity. You are aksing someone to make a depiction of someone's individual idea of the general defintion of a word.
    This is extra annoying because you don’t have to: When making something visual, you are no longer trapped in the limits of langue. You are able to express < chair, > without having to use “chair,” which, for me, is the reason I make stuff to begin with. If visualisation is just another form of communication, one different from langue, why, are you asking us to remain trapped within the limits of langue, when we would otherwise be free of it?

    I know you might say that this is overthinking things. To that I have two things to say:
    1: All professional build competitions are a version of competition 2. All competition leaders I have talked to (which, admittedly, is only two) explained this as the reason, directly or indirectly.
    2: Though I am aware that this is not taught in the US, in the Netherlands: this is a part of “philosophy of langue,” which is taught in fourth years (age 15-16) philosophy class of high-school. This is pretty general, straightforward, and generally uncontroversial philosophy of langue. For me, this feels like baby talk.
  11. The clarification question was perfectly acceptable as an inquiry and Moople has clarified the answer, as requested.
    Please let's get this thread back on topic.
  12. Just FYI as the title says it’s a gingerbread house building contest not a gingerbread chair contest.
  13. It is building gingerbread houses in minecraft, I think the intention was for it to be fun and light-hearted. Of course you can think about anything as philosophically as you choose but that doesn't mean other people are required to.




  14. Honestly, I was trying to be helpful. I don't need a lecture. (I have studied philosophy at university and I have many letters after my name, but that's irrelevant, when I'm on EMC it is for fun and that is all.)

    Anyway, back to collecting heads for my gingerbread house :p
  15. Did anyone read that all?

    Anyway, Im struggling to fit all the build in...
  16. I warned you guys. Give up now.

  17. I was just about to start, guess I dont have to now... -.-
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  18. LindenNZ, MoreMoople and wafflecoffee like this.
  19. Friendly reminder that this is the last week to turn in your builds! Get them in by next Thursday! :D
  20. Finished and submitted! Thanks for the fun build challenge 😄
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