every valley is a nature valley, dumbass.
September 28, 2020 1:21 PM   Subscribe

17776 is back. Now it's 20020. posted by theodolite (59 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
Is this why my tumblr bookmark started squealing?
posted by endotoxin at 1:30 PM on September 28, 2020

i bet having a fish is kinda nice you know

it’s over there doin its thing. you don’t have to do much, barely even have to think about it, but you always know it’s there

it’s what i imagine having a favorite baseball team would be like

Well I'm in love again.
posted by saturday_morning at 1:50 PM on September 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

Goddamn I love Jon Bois. The Tebow Chronicles is probably my favorite thing the internet has ever produced. And so I will wait impatiently for this epic to conclude.

From his retrospective on 17776:
Q. Why football? This is the second project where you've taken the sport and turned it into something recognizable but completely different; do you think it's more receptive to messing around than other sports? Or do you just like it the most?

A. I see a really clear parallel between America and football: both are beautiful, and both destroy people. This is a recent development in neither case: they are designed to create misery. They are both institutions that I want to love unconditionally, but can’t possibly.

I can only appreciate either if I retreat into fantasy, filter out what I hate about them, and present a distillation of what i love about them. If you distill American into the land itself, and if you distill football into the game itself, and you populate them with the people who make them both beautiful, you end up with a world I find pretty amazing.
posted by Mayor West at 2:12 PM on September 28, 2020 [12 favorites]

I just got to the video explaining the rules of "college football" and lololol JUICE WHAT HAVE YOU DONE
posted by yasaman at 2:12 PM on September 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

"What the fuck is a Nature’s Valley? It’s like yeah, every valley is a nature valley, dumbass."
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:15 PM on September 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

This is mad genius.
posted by triage_lazarus at 2:21 PM on September 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Diaz says that’s when he alerted restaurant employees, who dialed 911.

The police came pretty fast. One of them gave me a book about ants that was pretty cool. How they all work together to build their hills and stuff. Before I knew it, my fries were done so I went in and picked up my fries, and then I went home and my wife and me ate the fries that I got at the Cracker Barrel. They were really good. Some other places try to do all kinds of fancy things to their fries but Cracker Barrel just makes regular fries the way they ought to be made and my wife and me like ‘em a lot.
Genuinely love this bit of worldbuilding about just what the police do in a future where scarcity, death, etc. are no longer problems. Like obviously after almost 20,000 years, boredom is the real danger! I would watch the hell out of a "police" "procedural" that's about the police of 20020 going around making sure no one's fatally bored.

...and there's one of my Yuletide requests for the year sorted!
posted by yasaman at 2:35 PM on September 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

What a gift Jon has given us. I cannot wait.

Perhaps it's time to sit back, relax, and watch the supercut of the History of the Seattle Mariners. As a treat.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:59 PM on September 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

"...Well I'm in love again."
posted by saturday_morning

That's what Friday says, you know the song?
Friday: "I'm in love."

Hang on one shart moment! There's no way it can be/you don't look it, but Friday got old.
posted by k3ninho at 3:45 PM on September 28, 2020

right in time for blaseball's hiatus too
posted by joeyh at 4:01 PM on September 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

Between this, the surprise new Neil Cicierega Mouth album, the surprise new Ayreon album, and Spelunky 2 on PC; this is going to be quite the week for me.
posted by CrystalDave at 4:16 PM on September 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

I am obscenely excited about this. So happy it's serialized so I can keep looking forward to it even while reading it.

I also really love this essay about what made 17776 so good.
posted by babelfish at 4:38 PM on September 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

This is adapted from a remark that else someone made a few years ago about Randall Munroe, but: you know how the Macarthur foundation gives many of its genius grants to academics and well-known writers and other people who already have all the money they need to do the stuff they want to do? They should give $500,000 to Jon Bois instead and see what he does with it.
posted by sy at 5:45 PM on September 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

Everyone was talking about Jon Bois in my Blaseball discords, and now I know why. Booking some time to enjoy this later.
posted by 3j0hn at 5:49 PM on September 28, 2020


Heh. I had to check it out. The name is real.
posted by doctornemo at 6:11 PM on September 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

"listen this is a very confusing thing to just walk into in the middle of"
posted by doctornemo at 6:14 PM on September 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Everyone was talking about Jon Bois in my Blaseball discords, and now I know why.

This will doubtless be deeply relevant to Blaseball fandom.
posted by wotsac at 7:29 PM on September 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

The people cried out to their god to send them a sign. And that god got on the horn to Jon.
posted by wotsac at 7:52 PM on September 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

posted by sixswitch at 9:58 PM on September 28, 2020

Oh this is a good thing. Thank you.
posted by nat at 1:15 AM on September 29, 2020

Everyone was talking about Jon Bois in my Blaseball discords, and now I know why.

I made this meme awhile ago now I guess it's backwards.
posted by fleacircus at 2:18 AM on September 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

surprise new Neil Cicierega Mouth album

posted by Faint of Butt at 4:10 AM on September 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

posted by DoctorFedora at 6:12 AM on September 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

I love this. Also, you can see the building my office is in at the bottom of this image and it looks like part of it is on the field, or at least right on the sideline.

(I mean it’s not exactly my office because I work remotely from Seattle but it’s my company’s headquarters where I used to travel to meet with my co-workers, back in the 2010s when it was possible to meet people. Whenever I’m in Atlanta, I stay in a hotel near Georgia Tech and I walk across that bridge every day going to and from the office. I only really know one tiny strip of Atlanta, but it turns out that tiny strip will form part of the Georgia Tech football field 18,000 years from now, and that’s beautiful.)
posted by mbrubeck at 8:13 AM on September 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

I absolutely lost it at 11........... 111. Like crying-laughing. I'm so excited for this.

Can we do Fanfare threads for the "episodes"?!
posted by Ms. Saturn at 9:52 AM on September 29, 2020 [6 favorites]

Or maybe a single “full season” FanFare thread, if twelve separate threads is overkill?

(Or maybe this FPP thread will be sufficient.)
posted by mbrubeck at 5:21 PM on September 29, 2020

I am very in favor of FanFare posts for each episode
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:49 PM on September 29, 2020

New chapter is up. There's quite a lot about football stadium architecture, an innovative method of improving the game of basketball, and an exciting cliffhanger.
posted by theodolite at 1:05 PM on September 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

There is also a comment thread at SBNation now.
posted by mbrubeck at 1:19 PM on September 30, 2020

Was going to post FanFare threads for the first two chapters, but none of the available categories make much sense. TV (it has YT)? Books?
posted by axiom at 12:45 AM on October 1, 2020

Hmm, not sure what Fanfare categories we have, but 17776 was long listed for Hugo’s for both best Novella and best Graphic Story, according to Wikipedia.
posted by nat at 10:25 AM on October 1, 2020

People were broken in those times. In terms of purpose, and community, and everything else, they were fractured. A healthy society does not do this.

Well, yeah. Not so much. (I’m reading “this” as, well, gestures broadly).
posted by nat at 10:27 AM on October 1, 2020

yasaman, I loved the "cops responding to a report of boredom" item too!

can you imagine a married couple who can almost never leave their house? i’d lose it

I wonder when Bois started writing this and how much of it he modified during the pandemic.

no time but the present

Oh that got me.

i’m happy to apologize every time i do something like this, but know that i don’t plan to reflect on my actions or change my behavior in any way.

I have absolutely met this guy.

1. the sun
2. the earth
3. humankind’s appreciation of beauty
4. humankind’s desire for order
5. humankind’s avarice
6. humankind’s disunity

The fact that we haven't yet gone over item #6 is making me so keen with anticipation!

And I'm thinking about how Jon Bois and Allie Brosh both do these 21st-century multimedia artworks full of wonder and silliness and deep truths and strange abstractions. And we just got a new Brosh book and we're getting new Bois right now. And I'm grateful.
posted by brainwane at 7:13 AM on October 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

Chapter 4 is up, featuring pizza delivery, a very surprising catch (does it count as a catch???), and "this has happened before. the answer is we do nothing".
posted by brainwane at 2:42 PM on October 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

I want this to stop being about the football game and start being about the people who work at Pizza Barn. Pizza Barn is one of many pizza establishments.
posted by phooky at 2:58 PM on October 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

So, I've been reading the previous chapters on my phone, because they drop while I'm at work and I don't want to make it quite that clear that I'm not working by displaying odd GIFs and multi-colored text on my monitor. But I read today's chapter on my PC at home, and I think I'm going to have to resolve to do it that way from now on, because there are two GIFs in this thing that serve as jokes, and one made me snort whisky up into my nose.
posted by Ipsifendus at 4:45 PM on October 5, 2020

Carbonated broth

I do wonder, if this truck interception is legal, couldn't they just pass the balls to a fan to ship back to California? Maybe the intent is what matters.
posted by joeyh at 9:11 PM on October 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Well if the person at Pizza Barn is bored, they’d best call the police for some help. That’s what police do in 20020, right?
posted by nat at 1:55 AM on October 6, 2020

I think the police are more for, like, ennui. Regular point-source boredom can be handled directly, in this case by hanging up the phone.
posted by axiom at 10:54 PM on October 6, 2020 [3 favorites]

New chapter came up today. I feel bad for Chuck, who I noticed was born the same year I was. And I would have like to talk to the elderly Younger as he wandered around those same hills. Bois really is a gifted storyteller.
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:55 PM on October 7, 2020

Getting close to home. Friday's chapter is basically set in my backyard -- the "miserable scrap of land to try and comb through" at Nick's spot may as well be a sat view of me.
posted by joeyh at 3:57 PM on October 11, 2020


I was on the edge of my seat, gasping and cheering for that video.

BTW, Nick and Manny's desert run is more than 2 minutes faster than the current 5 mile world record. Insane speed. I can't imagine how they could ever win but I love the sheer commitment to just making an incredibly sweet play and throwing the existing game into chaos.
posted by Ms. Saturn at 9:19 AM on October 13, 2020

Yeah, the Chapter 7 ("Emory Gap, Tennessee") video had me on tenterhooks as well! What a play!!! And I loved Mike's loving advice.
posted by brainwane at 10:05 AM on October 13, 2020

I will never care about football as football but "likeable characters doing risky and difficult things that causes institutional kerfuffles" is always going to be a story type I love.

The worldbuilding still raises so many questions for me, generally in that I would not want to be forever preserved by nanobots. It would be cool if it ended with some sort of change or death being possible (other than waiting for the sun to go supernova, which I assume even nanobots couldn't save you from).
posted by emjaybee at 3:29 PM on October 13, 2020

Jon Bois just announced that the story will continue in 20021, with twelve additional chapters coming sometime in the first half of next year. This makes me so happy!
posted by mbrubeck at 9:09 PM on October 13, 2020

twitter comments pointing out that the time clock in the video seems wrong. In the video, the clock begins counting down as soon as Navarro leaves the field, but it should actually count down 10 seconds of grace time before it starts eating at his OBT.

Rulebook says:
Upon stepping or being forced out of bounds, a player has 10 seconds to return to the field of play. If they still have not returned, they begin spending their “out of bounds time,” or OBT.

A player accrues one second of OBT for every year they spend on the field. Hence, if a player has avoided spending any OBT after 30 years, they have 30 seconds of OBT saved. Combined with the 10-second grace period, this player would theoretically be able to spend 40 seconds out of bounds, although it will take them a great deal of time to accrue more OBT.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:13 AM on October 14, 2020

also that video was thrilling and I was incredibly disappointed to find that I was now caught up.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:13 AM on October 14, 2020

twitter comments pointing out that the time clock in the video seems wrong. In the video, the clock begins counting down as soon as Navarro leaves the field, but it should actually count down 10 seconds of grace time before it starts eating at his OBT. (vibratory manner of working)
And today Nick started lobbying for his ten seconds back!

Listen, I don’t hit you over the head with all the shit I know. I know all about chess, but I don’t spend all day going like oh, Nick, what’s a back rank mate? What’s a Réti’s mate? What’s a smothered mate?

                    It’s about to be you in a minute.
Nick and Manny are the best.
posted by rouftop at 3:42 PM on October 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

so counting up all the balls on the board, plus UAB's 17 and and the 9 the Nick and Manny have, that's a total of 103, leaving another 8 balls unaccounted for. Oh, one of which is probably the one that landed on the truck earlier, and hasn't been recovered yet, so that's 7.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:11 AM on October 17, 2020

Doing a little more scoreboard numerology:

In chapter six, Nine says:

Well, obviously Georgia Tech lost all their footballs. Of course, I didn’t know how many they had in the first place. Twenty-five? Four? No way I can know, just based on this.

But actually we can bound the number of balls GT has quite a bit more.

Looking at the scoreboard at the start, we can assume that every team tied in 14th has one ball (both reasonable and true). Assume everyone tied for 7th has 2, and so on. We end up seeing that MI State in 1st has at least 7 balls, and Georgia Tech had a minimum of 5.

Adding up al the minimums, we have a total of 69 balls (nice) accounted for, and 42 balls unaccounted for. Georgia Tech is in third, so that's 14 balls for the top three (otherwise we'd have a different order / a tie), which gives GT 19 balls. But one of those 42 is from Georgia dropping from minimum 2 to minimum 1 quite recently, and from the blips we're pretty sure that it's off the field on a truck or something. So we can pretty confidentally put the number of footballs possessed by Georgia Tech as being between 5 and 18, inclusive.

Doing out the whole math, assuming that the 1 football from Georgia is off the board for the moment, gives us:
13th place has 1-2 balls
8th place has 2-5 balls
5th place has 3-8 balls
4th place has 4-13 balls
3rd place has 5-18 balls
2nd place has 6-26 balls
1st place has 7-48 balls

I was surprised a little that 13th place might have two balls each. Naturally, I'd rank that as a low probability given that there's nobody out of alphabetical order after WSU, so either nobody has one ball or it just happened that the only teams with one ball line up alphabetically with either the end of teams tied for 13th or ahead of the teams with no balls. Seems pretty unlikely. But enough unaccounted for balls that it's possible, just by public information.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:58 AM on October 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

The DeVry/Troy basketball game shout-out in Chapter 10 made me happy!
posted by brainwane at 9:06 AM on October 22, 2020

And, as a UC Berkeley alumna, I got such a tickle out of The Play coming up! Oh gosh I remember the t-shirts with the diagram of the field with special characters for the musicians...
posted by brainwane at 9:33 AM on October 22, 2020

Also went to UCB and I had that t-shirt, brainwane!
posted by moonmilk at 10:28 AM on October 22, 2020

First off, I went to Stanford. Second, I grew up in Denver during the Elway era. So yeah, I’ve got some feels about The Play.

Separately though, how many more episodes do we get this year? There was a calendar thingy marking it at some point but I can’t find it anymore, and the main page only lists through episode 12, coming Friday.
posted by nat at 11:40 PM on October 22, 2020

Today’s chapter twelve will be the last chapter of 20020. Twelve more chapters are coming next year, in 20021.
posted by mbrubeck at 6:45 AM on October 23, 2020

"All that time, all those threads, weaving through something that must have been far too confusing to enjoy."

I think that's love.
Oh I just sobbed and sobbed at that part. And the Bunker Hill House, and Free Charles, and Mimi's last monologue about those who came before her.

And the Grimaldi variant of the Pagliacci joke is so fun!
posted by brainwane at 7:06 AM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

> Oh I just sobbed and sobbed at that part.

Me too. It's a deeply moving passage.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:48 PM on October 23, 2020

Until the last couple of chapters, I thought 20020 was fun but didn't quite have the emotional weight of 17776. Woof. Thanks 9, see you next year.
posted by theodolite at 12:48 PM on October 23, 2020

Forgot to mention here how much I guffawed at the chess variants!

I'm grateful for the first half and grateful to have more to look forward to next year, too. I'm thinking about how the constraints of the fields resonate in a particular way because of the constraints of living during the pandemic -- the players stay in the lines for an incredibly long time but also know that someday they'll leave. Mimi knows someday she'll get to visit those places that are so important to her -- or she can save her OBT and do it (like how we space out our trips, minding our risk budgets).
posted by brainwane at 9:04 AM on October 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

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