The Exigent Duality
Same Problem - 17:36 CST, 1/15/20 (Sniper)
I've been on such a "Xybots" Lynx kick that I decided to look up Ed Logg on YouTube. Sure enough, here he is talking "Gauntlet" in 2012. I'm only ten minutes in, and it's already a great presentation.

One thing which jumped out at me-- I'm paraphrasing: "It was really tough on arcade games at that time, because the hardware kept getting more and more expensive, yet there was huge resistance to fifty cents per play. Hmmm, we wondered how to solve that."

Sound familiar? History really does repeat itself. The solution:

"And then came 'Gauntlet'... because it was four player, I could get a whopping dollar out of the machine for just a few minutes of play." The industry today has gone with "microtransactions" and "games as a service", in an attempt to solve the identical problem. But I wonder if there is some other, parallel solution to what Ed Logg came up with during his day?
Video Game Ideals - 17:19 CST, 1/14/20 (Sniper)
My brother has been studying idealism, and one of the concepts he's derived is that of the "value", which is an aspiration, a goal, or a desire which fulfills some want. For example, a want might be hunger, a value might be to eat, and the making of a sandwich would be a fulfillment of that value.

One of the things he and I recently explored in conversation involved the identification of the absolute, for a given value. For example, "body building" might be a value, and one could identify the exact, absolute attributes which would define the theoretically perfect body build: maybe it would be a combination of the perfect, sculpted shape for each muscle group, combined with the attitudes and mentality of the body builder.

The extent to which a person fulfills their potential as an individual human being is the extent towards which they get as close as possible towards chosen values. It doesn't make sense for someone who is crippled and in a wheel chair to pursue the value of body building, because not only do they have no chance of coming close to the ideal, but it has the opportunity cost of taking them away from other values, in which they perhaps could approach the absolute.

It reminds me of a "Strengths Finder" book and corresponding test they handed out at work. The concept is to identify your natural strengths and develop those, versus wasting time on things you'll never be very good at. The test told me to focus on excelling and maximizing my potential in analytics and intellectualism, instead of obsessing over and wasting time and money on dancing, for instance-- which made and makes sense considering my figurative "two left feet".

This relates to video games, and how to evaluate them properly.

Movies are excellent at telling short stories in a dramatic way, using moving imagery. Paintings are excellent at putting immense amounts of thought-provoking concepts into dense, still imagery. Novels are excellent at telling long stories, which require a lot of discourse to fully develop characters and ideas. Each of those media are well suited to pursuing their respective absolute forms.

Video games, by contrast, are a hopelessly watered down amalgamation of all of the above. Logically, they can never approach the absolute movie standard without actually becoming a movie; they can never approach the standard of a painting without becoming one; and, likewise, they can never achieve the depth of character of a novel, without becoming a novel.

Thus, it makes no sense for a video game creator to try to make a game like a movie, a painting, or a novel. It would be like me spending my entire two left-footed existence painfully and hopelessly trying to become a terrible professional dancer, versus an excellent professional software developer. The video game maker is wasting his time; if he wants to make a film, then go make a film!

The absolute in video games comes from the four-pronged combination of elements which conspire to make the medium unique. These prongs are: logically nuanced gameplay (think "Chess"), inspiring and evocative art work, catchy and memorable computer-generated music, and the pushing of the target hardware to its absolute limit.

The extent towards which a game pursues the ultimate in this four-pronged value is the extent towards which it is objectively a good game. And the extent which it deviates by trying to hopelessly impersonate some other medium is the extent to which it destroys itself by lost opportunity cost.
Misnomer - 16:34 CST, 1/14/20 (Sniper)
"Liberalism" has always meant "tending towards freedom". For example, a "liberalization" of an economy means things like free trade and laissez-faire markets; politically, it means things like universal suffrage; and socially, it means the loosening up of social norms and mores.

Radical forces which push for a change from the status quo towards more freedom are thus and traditionally called "liberals". These groups are counter-balanced by "conservatives"-- people who want to keep the existing, rigid social, political, and economic order in place.

Let's look at a concrete example. In my readings of Russian authors like Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Leo Tolstoy, the Decembrists are referred to as "liberals". Their primary causes included the granting of freedom to the serfs, and the drafting of a government constitution to place limitations on that institution-- so, more freedom.

By contrast, their opponents-- "the conservatives"-- saw dangers in the sudden elimination of serfdom, and a tossing out of the existing social and political traditions, which had developed over many centuries-- so, less freedom.

Fast forward to America today, and people still call contemporary leftists "liberals"-- but they're not; they are conservatives.

Modern Democrats want to implement a State-enforced theocracy, with the abolition of free speech, and the Cultural Marxist hierarchy codified into law, to go along with the gradual abolition of private property. You're either with them, or are a blasphemer-- for example, a "climate denier". Many of them even worship their heroes: my kid's old school, which had management consisting completely of social justice warriors, had a Kim-style portrait of Obama high up, over the door.

The trend is unmistakably towards "less freedom", with a pronounced emphasis on an unbending, almost Muslim-theocracy like social hierarchy-- with swift, unrelenting, and brutal punishment for those who step out of order.

Whereas and by contrast, today's Republicans are the actual "liberals", as the party has a strong libertarian streak in it as compared to decades past. While they are "playing ball" with Trump regarding things like his tariffs in the interest of being unified, at the state level they are fighting tooth-and-nail for gun ownership and a general decentralization of power-- more freedom.
Governing Bodies Suck - 08:21 CST, 1/10/20 (Sniper)
I've written about the state of the NFL rule book many times before so I don't want to beat a dead horse-- but this article is too much.

For years or even decades, the NFL has operated in a mode of knee-jerk hyper-reactionism, making major, sweeping rule changes in an attempt to keep everyone happy, or to address what were nothing more than ephemeral fads.

A few players get hurt on kickoffs? Let's eliminate the entire play by moving the kickoff line forward, so every single one goes out the endzone! In video game design, that's called "broken"-- what's the purpose of even having that kickoff mechanic?

NFL activists think there are "too many blown calls"? How about we start stopping the game every time a coach gets mad, so the referee can examine fifty seven replay angles to identify if a player's nose hair touches the ground.

SJWs and leftists who don't even watch the game suddenly-- after almost one hundred years of the sport-- yell about how "unsafe" it is? Rather than sticking with tradition, NFL introduces fifty bazillion new rules related to blocking, tackling, and so forth.

New Orleans fans act like two year olds, responding to a missed pass interference call? Let's start a precedent where refereeing decisions can be "reviewed" too! So next year, will someone lose a game on a holding call, or an intentional grounding call, or a block in the back? You see where this is heading!

There are so many rules now that players can't even execute a play without breaking at least one of them-- and referees can't possibly keep up with enforcing them all, leading to all of the "mistakes" the article laments. The article says that the refereeing department is so big that it's now over 400 people!

What got us here: way too many rules, way too much bloat. Solution? Simplify the rules, which will allow for a reduction in the refereeing department head count, and make ref jobs easier; eliminate the "review" system to reduce scrutiny, it was a bad idea from day one; shift values to tradition and continuity, not hyper-reactionism.

What the article proposes? Hiring more people for the refereeing department, and doing a re-org! Nothing like re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
Commodity - 08:10 CST, 1/09/20 (Sniper)
Hah, hilarious: one branch of the State is using drones, probably to look for a stolen nuclear warhead, and another branch of the same State apparatus is using these "mysterious" drones to push more regulations on the public.

In other news, I saw that Sony's new slogan is something like "when everyone plays, everybody wins!" Well, maybe that's true for their shareholders, but any time there is a system shift, there are winners and losers. For me, the more people who have entered the hobby, the less I like the games which are produced.

Which leads me to the fact that I just can't get excited for these new video game systems. I've had my "RTX" video card for sixteen months and the only game I've played with ray tracing that was any good was 1997's "Quake 2", for Pete's sake. The new consoles are just as boring: board room and focus group-approved toasters which can make the same dudebro military shooters and walking sim toast in three minutes instead of five.

On a positive note, I finally bought myself an Atari Lynx, after thirty years of wanting one. It's having some kind of LCD issue, but once that's resolved I'll do a thorough blog post, with pictures.
Closed Doors - 07:58 CST, 1/07/20 (Sniper)
A couple of things: our Dear Iranian General was apparently in Baghdad negotiating peace with the Saudis-- not masterminding some plot to obliterate the United States. That explains why he was traveling out in the open, not making any effort to conceal his identity, drive around in an armored car, and so forth. He was sixty two years old, and had been around forever: what catalyst prompted his sudden assassination?

Photos of Epstein's cell were released. The top bunk was filled with his meds-- couldn't he overdose on those??-- which means he couldn't have rolled off the top bunk, like I'd speculated. The floor was filled with about fifty six bed sheets-- why would he have been given so much bedding?? There was an electrical cord in the cell-- why?? The guards were fifteen feet away, and security footage shows they never checked on him-- I thought the security cameras weren't working?? Also notice they didn't release a photo of the cell with the body still in it, which would have illustrated the physics supposedly involved.

Pretty much every current-day even smells to high heaven. There is a lot going on behind the scenes which we don't know, and I think it goes to the absolute top of this country's political power structure. And don't forget the "missing nuke" thing I wrote about in my previous post!
Lost Nuke Blackmail? - 19:33 CST, 1/03/20 (Sniper)
There's no smoking gun, but there's enough circumstantial evidence to put together a picture.

The most interesting part: are the sudden Iranian assassinations related?
Atari - 18:42 CST, 1/02/20 (Sniper)
I've been wanting one for, oh, about a thirty years-- and I've finally bit the bullet: a brand new "Lynx II", in box with all paperwork, along with an AC adapter, official carrying case, and copy of "Joust".

One of the fun parts with this system will be collecting everything "complete-in-box": indeed, such is the case for the adapter, case, and game I've already bought. Heck, the copy of "Joust" is still shrink-wrapped!

Once everything comes in, I'll do a full blog post with my impressions. I'll also set it alongside my Game Gear for a screen comparison.
Pay Way More for Way Less - 12:22 CST, 12/31/19 (Sniper)
Hah, I didn't even know this was a thing. Where are all of those protestors who forced Ford to shitcan the front wheel drive Mustang back in the early 90s? The "Probe" was an abomination for sure, but this E Mach thing is ten times worse!

I noticed that the Wikipedia article doesn't list the curb weight. I wonder why? I ran a search, and I'm seeing the all-wheel drive variant listed at 5000 lbs! Have fun plowing off the road in this thing-- understeer city, baby.

It'll be a magnified version of way back when Top Gear drove the original Lotus Elise against its bastardized electric cousin, the Tesla Roadster-- turns out strapping hundreds of pounds of batteries to a car ruins it. Imagine that!

On top of that, it's $45k, and only does 0-60 in seven seconds. If you want the 0-60 in six seconds version, it's a $60k car. My present-day $8700 350z does it in 5.5 seconds, and at 3300 lbs it can also carve clover leafs at 70 mph-- and feel good doing it, because the weight distribution is exactly 50/50 under load. It also sounds amazing, and looks gorgeous. And it's also a six speed manual transmission!

Comparing this E Crap to its V8-powered brother then, apples-to-apples: the Ford Mustang GT does 0-60 in in 4.3 seconds. I just priced one on Ford's web site, and it's only $36k brand new. Plus, it can be had with a manual transmission! And it can be "recharged" to 100% in two minutes at any gas station. Curb weight? 3700 lbs.
Hierarchy - 09:14 CST, 12/31/19 (Sniper)
My appreciation of "Vee's" commentary has been growing over time-- he hits the hammer on the head more often than not. Here he is discussing how blacks and Muslims attacking Jews in New York City is short-circuiting Leftists brains, because it doesn't fit cleanly into their "Oppression Olympics" chart.

Incidentally, that's a good chart. I mildly disagree with some of the ordering-- "trans" people are on top, with women second, blacks third, while Asians are way down (think of how universities openly discriminate against them, as the chart even acknowledges)-- but the notion is spot-on.

The quote from that woman he shows is particularly hilarious. She finds the issue "massively complicated"-- cognitive dissonance says "hello"-- then reverts back to her NPC programming because she's feeling uncomfortable: "We need to re-unite against the common enemy, which is evil whitey!"
The Long Emergency - 21:01 CST, 12/30/19 (Sniper)
With the apparent pity party pseudo-retirement of John Xenakis, James Howard Kunstler has emerged in my view as the voice with the "most likely to occur" predictions. Here are his for 2020.

Not a lot to disagree with, it all seems pretty plausible to me. But a civil war in Mexico? I was planning to go there next year!
Gutter - 20:36 CST, 12/30/19 (Sniper)
Even by modern game journalism or IGN standards, the opening two paragraphs here are some of the cringiest prose I've ever read. Note to author: you're a grown adult!

Not to mention everything mentioned therein was not only hopelessly derivative and riffing off of decades old themes and material, but was obnoxiously woke as hell. "Goody, new 'Star Wars' movies!"

I will say that I did have a physiological reaction to "Breath of the Wild", so there is that-- I think I started snoring after it put me to sleep!
Death of the Automobile - 15:41 CST, 12/30/19 (Sniper)
Eric Peters frequently says that the pinnacle of car design was from the late 90s to the late 20-noughts, and I totally agree with that. Here, he points out how the still-sells-like-hotcakes Chrysler rear-wheel drive designs are over a decade old, and will soon be killed off permanently without ever having gotten successors.

While I've never been a big fan of American muscle and pony cars, my equivalent is the Nissan 370z. When it came out in 2009, I thought to myself, "and progress dictates that the next one will be a V8, perhaps a 'Nissan 420z'!", as I gleefully rubbed my hands together.

Here I am over a decade later, and not only has such a car not emerged, but quite literally never will. History will document that the 370z was the pinnacle of the affordable sports car: the end of the road, for all time.

The same goes for wifey's car: the next WRX will probably be a Tesla for all intents and purposes; electric motors, OTA software updates, and an automatic transmission. Not to mention, new Subarus have inward-facing cameras that spy on the car's own driver!
Favorites on Switch - 11:44 CST, 12/29/19 (Sniper)
The Switch has been getting so many collections and ports that I've been trying to see how much of my top games of all time list I can play on it. Below is a list of the original game, the new version, and its "how much do I like it by comparison" score.

All of the scores suffer at least one rank due to one or both of inadequate CRT filters and the Switch's infamous input latency problems. Aside from those issues, there are also subjective factors such as how well the Switch's various controllers "feel".

In a nutshell, the Genesis is very well supported via the "Sega Genesis Classics" collection, but the 3DO and Saturn have no representation at all. Maybe I'll revisit this post at some future date as the platform's library continues to expand.

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis) - Via "Sega Genesis Classics"(B+)
  2. Super Street Fighter II Turbo (3DO) - "Super" via Capcom Collection (B)
  3. Star Control II (3DO) - Nothing (F)
  4. Guardian War (Saturn) - Nothing (F)
  5. Dragon Force (Saturn) - Nothing (F)
  6. Ys Book I & II (PC Engine) - Nothing (F)
  7. Gex (3DO) - Nothing (F)
  8. Phantasy Star II (Genesis) - Via "Sega Genesis Classics" (B+)
  9. Toejam & Earl (Genesis) - Via "Sega Genesis Classics" (B+)
  10. Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis) - Via "Sega Genesis Classics" (B+)
  11. Sword of Vermillion (Genesis) - Via "Sega Genesis Classics" (B+)
  12. Road Rash (3DO) - Nothing (F)
  13. Minecraft (PC) - Minecraft (A)
  14. One Must Fall: 2097 (PC) - Nothing (F)
  15. Wolfenstein 3d - Nothing (F)
  16. Doom (PC) - Doom (A-)
  17. Shinobi III (Genesis) - Via "Sega Genesis Classics" (B+)
  18. Samurai Shodown (3DO) - Via "ACA Neo Geo" release (A-)
  19. Garo Densetsu Special - Via "ACA Neo Geo" release (B+)
  20. Megazeux (PC) - Nothing (F)
  21. Shining the Holy Ark - Nothing (F)
  22. Street Fighter Alpha 2 (Saturn) - Via Capcom Collection (B+)
  23. Ape Escape (PSX) - Nothing (F)
  24. Lucienne's Quest (3DO) - Nothing (F)
  25. AD&D Slayer (3DO) - Nothing (F)

It's also worth noting that the Switch has a growing-- albeit still pretty limited-- list of games which I think stand up to the classics:

  • Chess Ultra - High production values and selectable piece sets, like the old "Chessmaster" DOS games
  • Civilization VI - As good as any game in the series. Tons of mechanics via the DLC too
  • Fuze - Stands right up in the GCS pantheon with STOS or Megazeux
  • Sonic Mania - Probably superior drop-in replacement for "Sonic 3 & Knuckles"
  • Virtua Racing - It's technically a port but feels like a whole new game in 16:9, 1080p, and with unlimited draw distance
Freshly Cleaned - 13:24 CST, 12/26/19 (Sniper)
Woke up this morning to a non-functional "s" key on my Chinese knock-off blue switch mechanical keyboard.

Completely disassembled it down to the PCB, scrubbed everything down, soaked the keys for an hour, verified the mechanical functionality of the "s" switch, went and plugged just the PCB and switches into my PC merely to test while waiting for the rest of it to dry, and... "s" switch still not triggering an "s" in my text editor.

Bloody hell.

It then dawned on me to inspect the USB connector itself. Lo and behold it looked like a dirty Mega Drive cartridge. Flattened a "Q-Tip" with a pair of pliers, dipped it in some rubbing alcohol, cleaned the USB contacts, plugged it back into my PC, and... viola, "s" works. Went through all of that other cleaning and disassembly for nothing!

At least the keyboard looks absolutely brand new, all put together again. I think some water may have dripped onto the board because I'm getting some occasional shorting-- but it'll dry out.

In other news, this is absolutely child abuse. And people ask me why I would fake the deaths of my children and move into the wilderness before I'd sent them to an actual school.

People tend to think "men" when they read "pedophile", but this black woman with the "Coors Lite"-commercial hair-do and her grossly obese nose-ringed contemporary getting their jollies in front of a room of the most vulnerable people in society is disgusting. They should be arrested and locked up.

In yet other news, here is another affirmation of Eric Peters's anti-electric car perspectives: when rubber meets the road and something absolutely has to get done-- police work, in this case-- electric cars simply aren't good enough. They aren't feasible for the cops, or for the ordinary person either.

Finally, isn't it interesting how all of the terrible ideas, like so-called "hate speech" rules, are being tried in universities first, before they get unleashed on the populace as a whole? I'm sure this kind of tracking is coming to American cities, on a large scale, sooner rather than later.
A Thing - 07:45 CST, 12/25/19 (Sniper)
I haven't seen and wouldn't even conceive of going to see the film, but I still found this synopsis of the latest "Star Wars" movie to be hilarious; sounds like some incredible writing!
Call of Duty - 06:24 CST, 12/25/19 (Sniper)
Having never played the series before, I got the latest one bundled with Duncan's new video card. I started the single player mode last night, and it's about the dumbest thing I've ever played.

First, I can't believe this is still a thing-- yet here we are.

Second, every single lead character so far is a strong powerful womyn bossing around square jawed cis-gendered white males-- then in the one scene where they needed one of the strong womyn to get bossed, they went further up the victimhood credit totem pole and used a black strong womyn.

Third, the antagonist is Russia-- Wolf Blitzer would be pleased. I read ahead, and apparently the game references the (faked) Douma chemical attacks as if they actually really happened... so on top of being woke, it's official State propaganda too.

Fourth, the game was 150 gigabytes to download-- and then when I launched the game and signed my soul away to a 28 page EULA, the game itself had to download a bunch of additional data. Give me a break.

Fifth and to ice it, the graphics are rubbish. "Digital Foundry" gushed over this game's technology, and I'm just not seeing it-- "Shenmue III" was a much better looking game.

I'll jump into the multiplayer to see if it's any good, but right now this is looking like a dismal game.
Tax Cattle - 10:28 CST, 12/22/19 (Sniper)
Here is Peter Schiff explaining the "repo" market in just a minute or two.

Regarding his questions as to why Republicans are so behind Trump, in spite of The Donald in substance being a Democrat-- the latter being a point I've mentioned many times on this blog: all eyes are on the culture war-oriented power struggle. Those concerns, right now, top the economic issues.

Even I "support" Trump, despite being diametrically opposed to him on fiscal and monetary policy, for the sole reason that he's the only person standing between the average Joe and the Cultural Marxist neo-Communist nutjobs who will turn this country into Venezuela if they obtain full power.

In other news, you know how Eric Peters is always saying that the true purpose behind electric cars is to limit people's mobility, and how once those electric cars serve their short-run purpose, some excuse will be made up as to why even those aren't good enough? Here you go, Eric! From the article, bold emphasis is mine:

"They say even fully electric cars won’t solve the problem completely - and urge the government to help people walk and cycle to benefit their health and the environment."

I love the euphmestic language: "help people walk and cycle". Like they need Ed Miliband's or Occasional Cortex's "help" balancing on their "Diamondback" or pushing the pedals, hah! What that language means translated is, being forced to "walk and cycle" with a bayonet shoved into the lower part of the back.

Also don't forget: England is the country with well North of six hundred thousand State-run cameras, already monitoring the public's every move. Eliminating cars is a natural evolution.

Remember: any "freedom" you perceive in a Statist society is fake. Rather, it's the State "tax farm" constantly adjusting the minimal cattle rope length to maximize the State's own tax "revenue".

Letting people pick their own jobs is more productive and so more taxes-- so they let you do it. Letting people drive a car is more productive, so they let you do it. But tomorrow, they may decide that it is more productive to disallow those things, and so they will put a stop to it. In other words, they don't allow or disallow things because they think you have "rights".
Systems - 09:57 CST, 12/21/19 (Sniper)
This is a really cool insider's-style article about all of the logistics and equipment work NFL teams go through just to prepare for each single game. What a production! I also thought the security-related details were interesting: the Detroit Lions monitor their shoulder pads better than the State monitored Epstein's cell.

In other news, Al Green has said that if Trump isn't removed from office this time, they'll just keep impeaching him over and over. Now Adam Schiff predictably says Mike Pence is next. If Trump gets removed from office (remember: with zero evidence), it will be the end of the executive branch forever, because the legislative branches will just keep removing the opposing party's guy.
Altair - 11:14 CST, 12/20/19 (Sniper)
I had a lot of fun reading this-- hearing people's computing stories from those days is one of my favorite things. By comparison, I got my start way later. Major props to the people who went before me.
Missing Piece - 08:20 CST, 12/19/19 (Sniper)
In my life time, Vikings have been blessed with a constant stream of superb running backs, from Darrin Nelson to Herschel Walker to Robert Smith to Michael Bennett to Adrian Peterson, and to Dalvin Cook today. They've even always had good reserve backs-- who can forget guys like Leroy Hoard, or today's Alexander Mattison?

The same has been true of wide receivers, from Ahmad Rashad to Anthony Carter to all of the amazing Cris Carter-Jake Reed years, then the Cris Carter-Randy Moss years, to Sidney Rice to Percy Harvin to Adam Theilen and Stefon Diggs. They also have a history of hall of fame linemen, and a whole host of superb defensive backs, linebackers, and even tight ends.

Indeed, in the Super Bowl era, Vikings have the sixth best win-loss record in the history of the NFL. You don't accomplish that without having some great players.

But at quarterback? It's another story.
Blue - 17:18 CST, 12/16/19 (Sniper)
Hah, my 350z has a higher top speed than Porsche's new electric car-- 167 mph for my car (with the 155 mph limit disabled via an ECU flash) versus 160 mph for the Porsche. The Porsche costs $185,000, whereas my car is worth $8700 in cash according to Kelley Blue Book. 21 times the cost gets you a slower car!

That, and my car is five times better looking and one thousand times better sounding. And I can take it from 0% "charge" to 100% in about two minutes flat, at gas stations which are about every block. But who's judging.

In other news, I almost fell out of my chair with this one: if you want to totally corner and baffle a contemporary Leftist, just ask them "what is a woman". Hilarious! If your ideology is sent into a total tail spin by someone asking you what color the sky is, then maybe you've got some thunkin' to do.
Goldilocks Budget - 07:55 CST, 12/14/19 (Sniper)
It's interesting to see people "catching up" to me: "where are all of the mind blowing experiences which couldn't have been done on earlier hardware?"

The only example I can even think of is the new "Microsoft Flight Simulator", where the game has the entire world modelled, thanks to "Bing Maps"-- not only did we not have "Bing Maps" in the 80s or 90s, but the processing power to parse that data just wasn't there. This is the kind of thing the hobby needs a lot more of.

Unfortunately, I don't see it happening.

There is a dichotomous split right now between "triple-A" and everyone else. To make a polished game which pushes today's hardware even just in the graphical sense costs hundreds of millions of dollars. With that kind of budget, the only game that can realistically be made is the kind of mass-market, Hollywood-movie style walking simulator-- because those sell!

In triple-A, the budgets are too big, and so they can't innovate.

Then there are the non-triple-A people: the bedroom pixel art "indie" hipsters, and the mid-range guys, like Yu Suzuki with "Shenmue III", or the people behind "The Outer Worlds", or the guys who made "MechWarrior 5". And in those cases, the budgets aren't big enough to push new boundaries! By the time they've created their crazy high resolution models and textures, and put together all of the levels in "UnrealEd" or "Unity", their entire ten or twenty million dollar budget is gone.

In non-triple-A, the budgets are too small, and so they can't innovate.

"But like Goldilocks, couldn't a game come along with just the right budget?" I don't think so, because of the way games are intrinsically financed; "Kickstarter" is only going to get you to the "mid-range" at best-- then as soon as you move to "corporate board room", publicly-traded company territory, you've burst into "triple-A" territory.

In other words, this "split" happened naturally and organically due to physical realities-- not randomly. And I don't see at the moment how those "physical realities" are not basic constants, versus things which will change over time.
Busted - 18:12 CST, 12/13/19 (Sniper)
If this were a video game, I'd say that Lamar Jackson has "solved" gridiron: he's broken the game! The run-pass option with him involved is basically unstoppable.

The only success I've seen against that offense is to bring constant pressure from linebackers, and have the linemen all play a "contain" game. In those situations when it's executed properly, Lamar will dance around a little, run to one side, then the other, then go down.

Of course, the problem is that he's also an adept passer even under extreme duress. But the above scheme at least gives you a chance.
New Xbox - 07:48 CST, 12/13/19 (Sniper)
First we had the "DirectX Box", and that was an ok moniker. Then we had the "Xbox 360", which was kind of a cool name. This was followed by the dreadful and confusing "Xbox One". But now, the best title of the bunch: the "Xbox Series X"! I even like the looks of it.

Trouble is, with "Play Anywhere" and "Unified Windows Platform", I'm not sure why someone wouldn't just save up a few extra bucks and build a gaming PC, which can be used for purposes other than just games. On the flip side, if the backwards compatibility is good, it will be the "ultimate" hardware rendition of that entire platform's history.

From the same event, not a single game here which looks interesting, other than perhaps the new "Dark Alliance" title-- not a lot of risk taking to say the least, and the "this would be cool to a twelve year old" Hollywood movie-style trailers don't help.
Major Props - 18:54 CST, 12/12/19 (Sniper)
Someone really needs to make a brand new series of "Peter Schiff was right" videos, because every day his predictions are becoming more and more prescient-- again! Take this insanity: it's so crazy that Schiff low-balled his own guesses!

Even I'd given up on Peter for a period: "maybe he really is just a broken clock". But boy has he proven me wrong!
MechWarrior 5 - 16:11 CST, 12/12/19 (Sniper)
Not quite what I'd been hoping for.

The positives: They absolutely nailed the combat physics and the sim-heavy control scheme, while the flexibility in loadouts runs so contrary to modern day "water it down" sensibilities that it made me smile. I also appreciate what they're trying to do in making the campaign open-ended: as in 90s games like "X-COM: UFO Defense", you can totally screw yourself in "MechWarrior 5", which I love. The game seems like it's built with "infinite replayability" and starting over in mind.

The negatives: No "RTX" features yet. Beyond that, the game is a total mess graphically: dithered and banded lighting, totally messed up "level of detail" functionality, and the worst temporal anti-aliasing I've ever seen. Thankfully, people on Reddit have been hacking the .ini file to good effect. The "game around the game" also feels only half-finished: the campaign has some bizarre balancing, there is a huge hangar to walk around in but nothing in it, and so forth.

All-in-all, it kind of feels like an "early access" game in its first release. I know they are selling it for 50 USD and not the usual triple-A 60, but still...

This is one of those games that's going to get a lot better with patches; it'll be a totally different game in six months.
Makes Sense - 19:48 CST, 12/09/19 (Sniper)
I was wondering why so many games have recently had the "Epic Games Store Exclusive" label on them-- including "Shenmue III", which I'm part-way through, and "MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries", which I'll start tomorrow. So I took a look at their "about" page, and the math is pretty clear.

If you use Unreal Engine for your game and publish on Steam, you lose thirty percent to Valve, and another five percent to license the engine. Publish on their store, and you only pay twelve percent, while you get the engine for free. Their FAQ also says that they offer some form of financial support both for development and marketing, if you exclusively publish with them.

Not counting tax confiscation and the usual fixed and variable costs of doing business, if you sell one hundred thousand copies of a game for fifty dollars a piece, publishing on Epic's store instead of Steam nets you an additional 1.15 million USD in profit. And that's not even counting their marketing muscle.
Lookers - 19:04 CST, 12/08/19 (Sniper)
I don't even know what it is, but why don't they make cars which look like this anymore? What a beaut! It's like a five times better looking version of wifey's car.

They are still making the computer equivalents though! I'd love to pre-order one of these, but I've no clue if they'll ship it to the 'States.
Zimmerman Speaks - 08:14 CST, 12/08/19 (Sniper)
This was one of the most satisfying things I've read in some time-- good for him!

I followed the trial extensively when it was going on, and based on the evidence presented couldn't even comprehend how it got to a trial in the first place. Now I know!

On this very topic, I once got into a big debate with an instructor for-- of all things!-- a "conceal and carry" permit class, for which I very nearly walked out because he was abusing his captive audience to spew racial nonsense, almost like a college professor. I had an entire room of people against me-- and they were all wrong. Never place stock in majority opinions just because they are majority.

This is also why I laugh at idiots like those "BLM" morons or Colin Kaeperdick-- their whole world view was built around this sham, along with the make-believe Michael Brown "Hands up don't shoot" story.
Eating Eagle - 16:32 CST, 12/07/19 (Sniper)
In my fifteen-odd years of following Lazio, I've seen many huge matches, including precious hardware-clutching cup triumphs such as the "Lulic Derby" of several years ago. But I think today's win over Juventus was the best Lazio performance I've ever seen.

When Radu got sucked forward into midfield and Ronaldo tapped in at the far post, the Lazio team of even just six months ago would have collapsed. Instead, they came from behind to beat the eight-times defending champions.

But what made it so impressive wasn't solely the result-- indeed, we beat them in the league just a few years ago thanks to Jordan Lukaku's left leg-- but the fact that we smashed them.

By the end of the game, it was Juventus who had collapsed-- heads-down, kicking at the dirt, and shouting recriminations at each other: indeed, Bonucci and Cuadrado were nearly at fisticuffs when the latter was deservedly sent off for being the last man on a desperate lunge to stop a Lazio counter-- one of countless times we completely undid them at the back.

Even an uncharacteristically poor Ciro Immobile penalty, double-saved by the-only-reason-it-wasn't-a-route Szczesny in goal, wasn't enough to stop the Lazio steamroller. By the time late-substitute Caicedo put the final sucker punch into the Old Lady's soft underbelly, I wasn't even surprised based on how the game had gone to that point.

Losing-my-voice-excited, yes. Surprised, no.

So now Lazio sit with the second best attack, and joint second-best defense in Serie A, with a table-topping +21 goal difference-- and only five points off Inter in first place. Third Scudetto in sight? I doubt it; Mauro Zarate and Hernanes, on different seasons, have seen us to these heights at this time of the year, only for us to not be able to keep up the pace down the stretch. This organization just doesn't have the financial resources to provide the depth needed to win the league.

But the most important thing: this team, which I recently called my least favorite of the Lotito era due to their ridiculous levels of mental fragility? They've grown right before my eyes, and proven me dead wrong.
Going Strong - 09:30 CST, 12/07/19 (Sniper)
I don't know if this is the first time, but seeing Eric Peters picked up by Zero Hedge is kind of neat.

And this article's last paragraph made me laugh. He didn't even mention games either: in that community, PCs-- and I'm talking mid-or-full tower chassis setups, like from the 90s-- are ubiquitous.

Gaming PCs are fun to build, have phenomenal performance, are easy to maintain plus keep clean, and adjusted for inflation are cheaper to build than they've ever been.

For someone like me, the computing formula was perfected back with the 386SX I built with my dad in the very late 1980s-- everything else, iPad especially, was a gargantuan step backwards in almost every regard: slower, more cumbersome to use, and missing 95% of the software functionality.
Infrequent but Great - 19:02 CST, 12/06/19 (Sniper)
Paul Joseph Watson doesn't post videos as often as some of his contemporaries, but they're real quality when he does.

Regarding the first one, regular readers will recall me writing many times over the past several years about just how stagnant modern culture is; whether it's television, music, cinema, or video games, the same concepts are rehashed endlessly. About the "arrested emotional development" concerns, just peruse IGN and look at the bio pictures and Twitter feeds of their staff-- or check out the fact that the average player of the "Pokemon" video games is now over thirty.

I've seen the "70% of adults celebrating Halloween" thing first-hand, with grown adults entering and leaving various houses in my neighborhood on that day, dressed as fairies and tigers. Just like treating animals like humans, I think that's as much a manifestation of not having children as anything else.

As for the second video, wifey and I were just talking about how difficult it is to have basic, rational conversations with most people today: not only do they adopt bizarre opinions which are clearly manifestations of their retarded emotional development, but those views are unshakeable, no matter how fact-driven or logical you try to be in conversations with them. Then they try to ex post facto wrap their views in pseudo-intellectualism, to make themselves feel validated.

This "Laura" person with the rainbow flag is a perfect case in point: "Well, why did they need to shoot him?" Gee, I don't know, maybe it was because he was running around knifing people with a bomb vest strapped to his torso? Then comes the aforementioned faux and pseudo-intellectualism: "I don't like State-sponsored violence." How enlightened sounding of you!
Transparent - 08:22 CST, 12/06/19 (Sniper)
When people have their projection pointed out to them, they often get angry and defensive. Case in point. After all, she and her colleagues have spent the past several years bashing that "Republicans are hateful deplorables" straw man. At some point, you become the thing you claim to abhor.

In other news, I laughed at this: why is it wrong to point out that someone has blue eyes, blond hair, or dark skin? Hah! It's a good point too: anyone who has watched Lamar Jackson-- the most exciting player I've seen in the NFL in ages-- execute the "RPO" will see that the ball is pretty camouflaged; both he and Mark Ingram have similarly-toned arms. One of the comments points out that MLB pitchers are not allowed to wear white gloves-- same principle.

And how in the world does this guy get anywhere near major film franchises? He single-handedly destroyed my once-beloved "Star Trek", which I consider to be a totally dead franchise, I've heard from fans that he's demolished "Star Wars", and now he's shoe-horning "wokeness" into his films to appease SJWs.
Factor Convergence - 08:39 CST, 12/05/19 (Sniper)
Processed foods combined with the rise of hedonistic, post-modernistic cultural values means that people gorge themselves with food to absurd points of obesity.

Overbearing parenting raised an entire generation of "snowflakes", who can't cope like adults with differing opinions, or basic stressors and sources of anxiety.

Women are hardcoded to compete with other women for men's resources, in a race to beat their child-bearing biological clocks before they lose their looks and, thus, their sexual market value. That's why, once women were allowed to vote, the State became a trillions-dollar wealth transfer apparatus from men to women: men are net positive on taxes, women are net negative.

But now on top of that biological drive to compete with other women for free stuff from men, the women are obese snowflakes: the simple sight of a fit, active, and healthy woman who genuinely likes her body and enjoys showing it off is a cause of child-like temper tantrums and meltdowns.

This morphed into the normalization of obesity: there are merely "different body sizes", and you can be "healthy at any size!" For the record, the number of serious and even fatal health issues that come from obesity is staggering. It also led to one of the boring contemporary ad hominems: showing fit women is sexism!

Except: notice how this article was written by man. What's wrong with him? A healthy man should like this kind of advertisement.

Well, men are hardcoded to have the urge to "white knight" for women. His obese feminist "Tumblr" friends are upset? Brrr brrr baaah! Here comes the author, Sir Virtue Signal, riding in to the rescue!

Also, even when normalized by age, testosterone levels in men are down forty percent since 1980, and are continuing to drop by one percent per year. This has led to not just increased gender dysphoria among males, but also them blathering on about "sexism", like the Millennial women.
Post-Peak - 15:20 CST, 12/03/19 (Sniper)
I just realized I haven't been writing here much! It reminds me of that John Cleese quote, where he said you have about ten years of peak creativity, then you start to run out of new things. I've been "blogging" since 1996-- I don't have much to say that I haven't already said.

Almost everyone at my workplace is full-on Leftist, so they cheerlead Google censoring "misinformation"-- meanwhile, I found out today that a search engine "algorithm change" crushed the company's "organic" results-- which is a direct side effect of Google continuing their ramped up efforts to meddle in the 2020 election cycle. Hoisted on their own petards, for sure!

Most people today are incapable of critical thinking; they make assumptions that the kind of totally closed source, proprietary web site which Richard Stallman has been warning about for decades, like Google, is some kind of reliable and indifferent "infrastructure". But I could have told them aeons ago that building an entire business model based on a web site which the owner can arbitrarily change or even take down on a total whim is a supremely short-sighted idea-- and here we are.

In other news, my friend from Mexico stayed with us as planned for the latter half of last week. I hadn't had that much fun hanging out with a friend since high school-- so we're talking over twenty years! Beyond him being such a great person specifically, it also reinforced my view of Americans as assholes: I almost always get along better with foreigners, especially ones from Latin America or India.

Duncan and I are going to dive into some serious Spanish learning next year. It's nice having a native-speaking friend I can just chat with at any time to practice, I think it'll really speed up my learning curve!
Gobble - 08:16 CST, 11/28/19 (Sniper)
You know how both the so-called "Green New Deal" and the UN's "2030 Agenda" are roughly ten percent weather-related, and ninety percent "social justice goals"-focused? That's how you know right off that stuff like Leftists trying to ban "Thanksgiving" because of "the climate" has nothing to do with "the climate" at all: it's social engineering, pure and simple, with the "climate change" thing serving as the mere pretense.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, can't wait to carve into the giant turkey with Mrs. Sniper's family and the kids today! Our relatives up North used our coop to grow several turkeys for "4H" this year-- albeit we're not eating one of those, they are on other people's dinner tables.

We're also having a long-time great friend from Mexico up visiting for the first time, and he'll be staying with us for a few days. Being a fellow lover of food, he made sure to come on Thanksgiving day.
Lethal Force - 17:01 CST, 11/27/19 (Sniper)
Went shooting yesterday and along with my .357 magnum, handled a rifle and shotgun for the first time each.

The shotgun was a twelve-gauge pump action, and I have never felt such power in my life. It was like firing a cannon off of my shoulder! It was blasting enormous holes right through the target, to the point where the paper essentially disintegrated in short order. Incredible!

The rifle was a laser-sighted AR-15. With zero practice I was immediately "headshotting" the target practically through the same bullet hole, over and over, from 40+ yards away. Now I understand why the military uses them: you could hand one to a child for Pete's sake-- they are dummy proof and so easy to handle!

All of this really broadened my understanding of guns in general. I really want to get one of those AR-15s, or some similar kind of rifle.
Klomp Klomp - 11:56 CST, 11/27/19 (Sniper)
Turn on your ad blocker so as to not inadvertently give these IGN creatures any ad revenue, then check out this intro for "MechWarrior 5".

The propaganda is funny: "humanity expanded into space thanks to the wise government"-- but then, "greed!" took over, and "mercenary battlefields" sprawled up, leading to "chaos". Hah! Not to mention, the background music and even the narrator are totally "focus group-tested" to not offend the aesthetic sensibilities of the Dudebros, Chads, and Cucks. Safe and boring!

Compare it to the "MechWarrior 2" intro and cinematics, which are memorable, have cool music, and are basically apolitical. There's a "story", but they don't browbeat you with it, and instead focus on the cool mech technology.

Hopefully the game itself will wind up being good though; these pre-rendered video game cinematics are all outsourced to third party sweat shops by the actual development teams anyway. The title has a fantastic ray-tracing implementation, which I'm really looking forward to experiencing.
Left Turn - 08:55 CST, 11/24/19 (Sniper)
Hah, Communist Manifesto much? At first I thought this was a parody!

Of course, it's-- and only-- the "25-34 year old demographic" which supports it: not the generations before them, and not even the one after. I guess the "millenials" thing exists in England as well, lucky them. It's going to be a scary world when that lot is in their 50s and 60s, and running major institutions.

But for now, it'll be Corbyn down in flames.
Model - 19:47 CST, 11/22/19 (Sniper)
Out of the blue, Duncan walked up to me the other day and said, "Papa, look! A wormhole!"

Firsts - 19:36 CST, 11/22/19 (Sniper)
The stuff you can find on YouTube... what I wouldn't give to have been here! It's incredible to me that someone with a camcorder has preserved this footage digitally.

I've always maintained that I was born exactly ten years too late. I looked up the exact date of that event, and it was in July-- so I was only four years old at the time. Fourteen, and we're talking: I probably could have talked my metal head uncle into going and taking me with, provided his age was adjusted with mine.

I also totally missed the microcomputer era of the late-70s and early-80s. I did use my grandfather's various PC XTs and ATs in the 80s, plus my dad and I built a 386SX kit in 1989, so there was that. But I missed the "Speccy / C64"-style computers almost completely, until I bought an Atari ST just a couple of years ago.

On the flip-side, I was one of probably the first thousand people, or even less, to ever play a first-person shooter over the actual internet-- so, excluding "Doom" or "Duke3d" dial-up pools. I was playing "QTest" like an hour after it popped up on their FTP server. To think if you made a chronological list of people to land a "frag" online, my name would be there right at the top of hundreds of millions of individuals is pretty sweet.

I also surfed the web with the original Windows port of "Mosaic", back when that was the web browser-- as in, the only one. So I've been around the internet pretty much since the very beginning. And I also taught myself HTML shortly thereafter, so I was a first-generation "script kiddie".
Similar - 17:13 CST, 11/19/19 (Sniper)
In terms of raw computational power, the Xbox 360 splits the difference between the Switch docked and undocked. Take a look at this "Halo Reach" 360 footage-- from the quality of the assets and textures to the overall resolution, it looks exactly like a Switch game.
I'll Buy His Ticket - 15:56 CST, 11/17/19 (Sniper)
I saw an advert today on television where global regime change, banker and corpotocracy cartel establishment progagandist shill Steven Colbert apparently visited New Zealand's (female...) Prime Minister: "Can I come live here??", he asks with a smirk. Hah hah, funny comedian that guy!

Meanwhile peaceful parenting, pacifist non-aggression principle "treat everyone as an individual" Steven Molyneux visited that same country earlier this year; he had his venue shut down due to bomb threats, with a mob of violent Leftist agitators trying to flip over and start fire to a bus of innocent people who had come to hear him speak.

There couldn't be a stronger case for secession than this contrast: pack your bags, Colbert.
Clever - 07:23 CST, 11/17/19 (Sniper)
Interesting hypothesis here, which says that Trump does things indirectly-- like taking a pill for its side effects only.

For example: ending the Middle East wars proved impossible directly-- so instead, just declare on Twitter that the oil reserves are all secured. Hah!
Population Control - 06:31 CST, 11/16/19 (Sniper)
Not very many people know that the current "climate change" alarmism is rooted in the same kind of eugenics programs the German Nazi party employed during the World War II period.

Think that's far-fetched? Hearken back to my post earlier this year about the UN's "2030 Agenda". It's all right out in the open.
The Real Victim - 15:32 CST, 11/15/19 (Sniper)
In the wake of the Stallman-related drama, there is yet more "cancel culture" SJW Linux-infestation occurring, this time regarding a guy who offered to sit down and have a coffee chat with someone who was upset with him for asking people to be calm.

Not kidding.

In response to his proposing an adult conversation, the person-- someone named "Kim Crayton"-- became completely unhinged, repeatedly telling him to go fuck himself.

I looked up this charming lady's Twitter feed, and she's quite literally a Marxist/Communist political agitator masquerading as some kind of techie. Her self-described job title is "CEO"-- "Chief Encouragement Officer" (lol)-- and she gives speeches on "Underrepresented and Marginalized in Tech". Oh boy.

I also found her Github page, and she's made zero commits in the entirety of 2019. Her repos are along the lines of "I did five minutes of a Coursera class on JavaScript five years ago." Basically all she does is go to conferences and give talks about "issues of diversity and inclusion in technology as a Community Engineer." That's like calling a garbage man a "sanitation engineer."

Less than 1% of programmers are black, and only 17% of programmers are women. Based on her toddler behavior and those statistics, I immediately assumed she was a total phony and rabble-rouser. But, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and did my digging... only to find I was correct. My intuition is usually spot-on, and so it proved again.

I wrote previously about the so-called "codes of conduct" at tech conferences these days, and here is a perfect example of someone losing their conference credentials and professional reputation for no good reason, while the nutjob issuing the F-bomb tirades is A-OK.

It's also yet another example of my "invasion of the hobby snatchers" post, where someone who isn't even interested in the area has infiltrated their way in for the express purpose of "social engineering" the group in accordance with their world view, from the inside-out.
What About... - 08:06 CST, 11/15/19 (Sniper)
It's easy-- and justified!-- to complain about "implied consent" to having your blood drawn, just because you obtained a driver's license. But what about "implied consent" to taxation, because you're breathing?

The reality is, no one "consents" to these things-- they just take the path of least resistance, and go along with it, which is better than getting shot.
Round One - 07:50 CST, 11/15/19 (Sniper)
Maybe cracking someone with a helmet is too far, but I enjoyed watching this-- it was like a hockey match! Gridiron needs more fights. They're all practically wearing full-on body armor anyway.

The pearl clutching from some of the players is kind of ridiculous. At least the announcers seemed to get into it: notice how they were local commentators. Everything is better local.
Small Trucks - 08:03 CST, 11/13/19 (Sniper)
Couldn't agree more with this. My father-in-law recently bought a current-generation Ford F-150, and its bed is smaller than that of the 2002 Ford Ranger he was replacing-- as is the engine, incidentally, which went from a V6 to a 4-cylinder.

Instead of being practical at doing what trucks do well, it has a huge cabin, where the passengers are sitting what feels like feet away from one another-- pointless waste of sheet metal, especially when it carves into the bed so much.

In other news, not only can Google have your fingerprint, your pulse, blood pressure, every single conversation you've ever had with anyone over the internet, cameras and microphones in your house always recording away, and just about everything else, they can now be your bank.

And people complain about Comcast.
Circus World - 15:54 CST, 11/12/19 (Sniper)
I watch a lot of evil American cop videos, and they are legion-- but this one is so incredible, it's straight out of "Idiocracy"!

"You are being detained." "Why?" "Because you're eating a sandwich." "What??" "That's against the law. Are you resisting arrest?" "No, I'm just eating!"
The J Word - 11:15 CST, 11/10/19 (Sniper)
Excellent interview here by Tom Woods, talking about Epstein.

I mentioned the dreaded "J word" here, and I simply have to bring it up again after listening to this interview: other than J. Edgar Hoover, every single person the guest mentioned throughout the entire video had names like "Cohen" and "Rothstein" and "Rosenthal", and involved the CIA and "Israeli Intelligence" teaming up with the mafia.

Which leads me to the next topic which has been on my mind.

When you ask a Conservative, "give me an example of a government controlling an entire landmass under a grip of total evil", they reply with real world examples: Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, East Germany, Mao's China, North Korea, and on and on the list goes. The above Epstein-related discourse is a prime example of just such real-life government corruption.

When you ask a Liberal, "give me an example of a corporation controlling an entire landmass under a grip of total evil", they write works of fiction, where they suspend the laws of human nature and social organization and contrive bizarro hypothetical fantasy scenarios, providing no plausible explanation to how this fictitious state of affairs even emerged in the first place.

The reason I bring this up now is that I've been trying to enjoy "The Outer Worlds", for which I posted my review yesterday-- and it's been uphill sledding. I found a picture of some of the development team, and let's just say there is more than enough blubber and red hair dye to go around. It's a great example of my "Invasion of the Hobby Snatchers" post, incidentally.

Nominally, "The Outer Worlds" is the exact kind of game I like best: a Western CRPG with stealth elements and fun dungeon crawling. But when the game's entire world and story continually plays out like an anti-West North Korean propaganda film... well, let's just say it's a lot to overlook. If any title needed a "new coat of paint" or a re-theming on top of its core design, it's this one.
Revenue Streams - 07:31 CST, 11/09/19 (Sniper)
Lots of people complain about "microtransactions" in games, but what they hardly ever seem to realize is that those are a hedging strategy against inflation.

The MSRP of games hasn't risen in over a decade. Meanwhile, the cost of putting together a government-compliant development team, complete with health care and following all labor plus hiring laws, has greatly increased.
A Good Thing - 06:48 CST, 11/09/19 (Sniper)
I remember Peter Schiff saying some years ago, "the end goal of markets isn't to have competition-- it's to have low prices and high quality." I thought of that quote when I read this article.

At the bug-out house, Walmart has been an amazing addition to the community there; they have stuff that no other store has, and for cheap-- not to mention, you can order extra obscure items and have them shipped right to the store.

Essentially everyone does their shopping there, because it's a great store, which led to it being "the only game in town". The person who wrote the article has the cause-and-effect totally backwards! And it will only maintain that "dominance" so long as it continues doing what it has been.
Gridiron Safe Space Crybabies - 07:53 CST, 11/07/19 (Sniper)
Read this 2017 post of mine, then head to this ESPN piece. See the connection?

To add to the hyper-reaction emotions-based rule making examples in my post is the more recent instance of New Orleans fans practically rioting because of one bad call in the playoffs, which led to-- you guessed it-- more rules and stoppages!

The solution is to pare back the rule book to the absolute minimum, and just let the athletes play. Then don't act like a two year old throwing toys out of the pram when your team loses.

Instead, the "solution" will be to add more rules, to countermand the flaws in the previous rules. The article says that the "refereeing bureaucracy" will "expand".

There are also lots of funny quotes in the article: the replay system is "highly cultivated" was one in particular. Also, a statement that these issues happen "in every sport"-- in football, controversy exploded only after the sport took the "replay" aspect from the NFL!
Wrong Job - 15:11 CST, 11/05/19 (Sniper)
There are honest people working at the news networks: what this anchor wouldn't have given to have had her "blow the top off" report aired! She should leave and get a job for an alternative news platform, where she can simply tell the truth.

Jews have a bad reputation for a reason. Epstein? Jewish. Dershowitz, Epstein's attorney who pressured the network into canning the report? Jewish. Goldston, the President of ABC news who surely played a central role in canning said report? Jewish.

In other news and for those who have read "Anna Karenina", remember the passage late on where Levin has to cut a check for liveries, and reflects how that one cost was something like eight peasant's productivity for an entire year? Then the next check he cuts "goes down easier", by the third time he doesn't even think about it? And then... he winds up in debt, with an empty bank account.

As I read it, that discourse reminded me of the national debt: a life-time six-figure earner like me pays about a million Fed bucks in taxes over his entire life. Meanwhile, the State will enact some program which is 46 billion Fed bucks per year! But no one even questions it-- it's Levin, writing his sixth and seventh totally unsustainable checks.

I'd be curious to see what the government would actually be if it were backed only by real productivity, and not magic unicorn fairy dust monopoly board game money-- there'd be nothing left after the hacksaw job! It'd be glorious.
Interesting - 06:55 CST, 11/03/19 (Sniper)
Interesting hypothesis here; it does seem probable that there is an ulterior explanation, in part or in full, for California moving back to the 18th century. It's easier to blame "fire" than a systemic design limitation of wind turbines.
The Left - 20:46 CST, 11/02/19 (Sniper)
You can tell just by looking at him that he's either a smarmy Communist, or your average Minnesota United supporter.

One thing is certain: it's the face of a person who would crack someone with a blunt object from behind. Have fun in prison! About time there are repercussions for these "Antifa" morons.
Dumb Argument - 17:21 CST, 11/02/19 (Sniper)
I just read someone defend copyright with, "is piracy depriving someone of their property, or is it depriving a seller of their power?"

It's the former; if someone puts their Honda Accord on sale, and then I also put mine on sale, I'm "depriving them of their power" by lowering the resale value of their car. Clearly, me deciding to sell my Honda Accord is not piracy.
Deep State - 15:26 CST, 10/31/19 (Sniper)
Nearly a year ago I wrote in disbelief about the use of these so-called "self-driving" cars. Turns out, Steve Wozniak agrees with me, even citing some of the exact same apprehensions and facts.

In other news, Epstein did not commit suicide, but was murdered. Anyone with half a brain already knew that, but now it's confirmed via evidence. Add this to Schiff's no-evidence secret back room "impeachment investigation", and it's obvious some seismic stuff is underfoot.
Wrong Priorities - 08:15 CST, 10/31/19 (Sniper)
Who would have known that the bizarro model of sending children on to stinking dirty multi-ton diesel buses at six thirty in the morning where they can be mass-indoctrinated in concrete prison-style complexes is not conducive to kids actually learning things.

But, mommy and daddy need to have their four thousand square foot mansion in the suburbs; no time for one of them to stay home and raise the kids. Or in the case of black kids, seventy two percent of them grow up without fathers, which carries over to their behavior and ability to focus in school.

And why the focus on raising scores of the least book smart kids? A better strategy would be to steer them towards the trades; they can make six-figure income doing that, and not be shoe-horned into things they'll be bad at and get frustrated with. Meanwhile in school, emphasize making the highest achievers as brilliant as possible-- "a rising tide..."
Grooming - 10:51 CST, 10/26/19 (Sniper)
My local, regular grocery store has been virtue signaling for the past couple of years, first installing general-purpose, vertical windmill-powered electric car-charging slots-- in the spots very closest to the store entrance incidentally; sorry disabled people-- followed more recently by an entire row of Tesla-specific chargers.

The store's customer base is at least fifty percent EBT-card toting, inner city blacks-- while every time I see a Musk-Mobile depart from a charger, it's some upper-class looking white yuppie, or an Indian doctor. I doubt they even go into the actual store.

In any event, I actively avoid that area as I drive into or out of the parking lot; there are dozens of videos of Teslas spontaneously catching fire, speeding up and smashing into parked cars, or actually running over pedestrians. I don't feel safe around those things, and neither should you. Check this out!

But, Tesla are given a free pass, because they serve a useful "social conditioning" purpose, favorable to the globalist's ability to retain power and control-- sort of like the advertising I mentioned here.
Fuze Inventions - 19:22 CST, 10/25/19 (Sniper)
Random dungeon generators, MML parsers which produce better-than-Famicom chip music, fancy font libraries, polygonal terrain generators, and just about everything else imaginable. And this is with what's essentially a primitive, "early access" version of the product.

The best part is that unlike something akin to "Dreams", or making weird stuff with redstone in "Minecraft", Fuze is totally code-based-- which means the things made in it are maintainable, extensible, and easily shareable.
Insanity - 15:56 CST, 10/25/19 (Sniper)
The hardcore Minnesota United fans are a rowdy pack of collectivistic Leninist-Marxist sexual hedonists, with their Antifa masks, militant rainbow banners, and "punch a Republican" "Iron Front" flags. Meanwhile, the hardcore Lazio supporters are a rowdy pack of collectivistic Mussolini and Nazi-sympathisers, who march down the city streets of competing clubs giving the "Roman salute".

Fun lots, they are.

During Vikings games, eleven minutes of action gets you subjected to thirty five minutes' worth of seventy-odd commercials, conditioning the public to the globalist banker agenda of third-world immigration, Afro-centric black culture worship, emasculated white males, interracial marriage, and enough overall cultural degeneracy to make the denizens of Sodom or Gomorrah blush.

Good stuff.

Makes a man think there are better things to do than watch sports.
Amazing - 18:54 CST, 10/23/19 (Sniper)
Last night and on a whim, I decided to play the original "Street Fighter II" for the first time, and was unexpectedly greeted by this art when I'd beaten it. I haven't laughed that hard in absolutely ages; it's "Zodiac Killer Ken and his inflatable blow-up doll"!

I've always thought that some of the pre-Super SFII artwork is shocking-- just take a look at Blanka's losing character portrait. But this is so bad that I can scarcely believe the game shipped with it. It's almost like it was an eleventh-hour prank pulled by one of the developers!

You can tell they didn't know what to do with Bison yet: his character portrait looks like the Jenkins devil!

One of the things I liked and wish they'd stuck with was the palm tree in the foreground of Sagat's stage. I get that it's a little wide and obstructs the view a bit too much, but it really adds some much-needed sense of depth to the board. I also prefer the colorization of Vega's stage-- the lights beneath the stage really pop with the yellow theming.

One funny part is that you can tell the engine wasn't quite done yet. Ryu walked up to me and combo'd quite literally eight crouching short kicks into a dizzy!

Unrelated bonus joke: why do sumo wrestlers shave their legs? Answer: so they don't get confused with feminists.
Risky Strategy - 15:12 CST, 10/23/19 (Sniper)
Someone asked recently, "what's the future viability of Fuze on Switch?" Which got me thinking, "what's the future viability of the Switch in general?"

Right now, it's not too difficult to just add dynamic resolution scaling and lower resolution textures to a game designed for the 1.3 teraflops PlayStation 4, and get it running on the 380-or-so gigaflops Switch, at 30 fps. But I can't fathom approximating even today's "Metro Exodus" as it runs on my RTX 2080, on Switch-- much less actual "next generation" games, which will be targeting hardware ray tracing and 12 teraflops as a minimum target.

Compounding the problem is the presence of the Switch Lite, which-- being handheld-only-- is limited to about 150 gigaflops. That's a gap of 80 times in terms of power, between the minimum PlayStation 5 and Switch baselines! There's no amount of resolution scaling which will bridge that chasm-- not to mention the Switch will no longer support the same minimum hardware features as its competitors, as it does presently.

The Switch's installed base is already huge, so I don't think it's going to become a third-party wasteland like the Wii U was. But I think the library will shift to lower-budget mid-tier games made specifically for the platform, versus it continuing to get ports of actual mainstream titles. I could see this result in a flattening out of sales growth, because the value of the Switch as providing mainstream experiences will be seriously compromised.

Of course, we don't know what the rumored "Switch Pro" will be.

My current theory is that it will be a TV-only version of the hardware, but with tech specs intended to catch it up to current platforms by providing a solid 1080p experience, with much less dynamic resolution stuff going on-- not be some kind of PlayStation 5 competitor. On that note, I'm skeptical they can even really go PlayStation 4 Pro-levels (4.2 teraflops), because it'll be difficult for the Switch Lite to run those same games with an even close to equivalent experience.

I'd been thinking that Nintendo could incrementally add cores and increase clocks to gradually and smoothly shuffle people along to newer Switch hardware. After all, that's one of the beautiful things about having gone with ARM.

But the more I think about it, and with the complete strategy divergence of the Switch Lite, the more I think they will need to make a complete "break" via a "Switch 2", which would drastically update the handheld baseline as well as the on-TV format. In other words, the dock-less "Switch Lite" may buy them some temporary sales and praise, but could wind up being a real messy "ball-and-chain" scenario for them down the road.
Dimwit - 14:54 CST, 10/23/19 (Sniper)
I mentioned to someone in passing today that I like to eat meat. He replied with, "Well we can't have twelve billion people carving up cows, but once in awhile it's ok."

For someone who can't even get the number of people on Earth correct, I highly doubt this sanctimonious jackass has any even remote freaking clue how to back his assertion with actual math. But nonetheless, he deems that I still need his permission to eat a cheeseburger, in my own home.

Well guess what, retard: I buy my beef in cash, from friends, who feed their cows with hay mowed from their own fields. Oh, and did I mention that we're all heavily armed? Have fun trying to stop us, and the millions like us.
Fuzion - 21:11 CST, 10/21/19 (Sniper)
Making great progress on my "Fuze" game; I don't want to give away what it is yet, but I started by writing the engine without any graphics, instrumented instead with prints of all of the key variables. I tweaked the heck out of its parameters, even adding "joy-con" rumble support to the movements.

Once I got all of that working, I drew the player sprite frames. Then tonight, I wired the player animation and frame rendering to the underlying engine, which was already written. That kind of disconnected, "walk before you run" approach really helped me break the larger problem into smaller, more manageable ones.

My next step is designing stage tiles, creating an actual level out of them, then getting the stage and collision detection working around the now totally functional player. After that, it will be designing an actual game using what will have essentially been a tech demo to that point.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: I wrote my own music-playing code, adapted from one of the built-in tutorials, and programmed four songs into my project, which I composed using this cool online sequencer. Some other people in the community are working on full-blown MML parsers, so I may swap to one of their "libraries" at some point. Kind of reminds me of the Genesis "sound driver" days!
Schism from Nature - 08:37 CST, 10/21/19 (Sniper)
Charles Hugh Smith is really on to something here; if modern-day society was purposefully designed, it couldn't be made to breed less happiness.

Take my job: I make existing, perfectly-functional computer systems .0001% better, increasing shareholder returns by an immeasurably small fraction of a fraction of a percent. Talk about fulfilling! What's bizarre is that I get paid good money to do it-- so good, that it's tough to stop, especially with the cost of living these days!

It's what Charles Hugh Smith calls "the landfill economy". The fact that I make more than 100k USD in what I do shows how far into diminishing returns territory the current system is.

In a way, this festering disconnect was already starting in the 19th century, at least for a certain class-- remember that poignant passage from "Anna Karenina", where Levin is working with the scythe, with the peasants? Now it's on steroids: everyone is Levin.

My mom had a parallel story from today; she was in Mexico a few years ago, and she saw all of the "peasants" walking back in a huge group from fourteen hour jobs in the "hospitality" business. She'd never seen such an authentically happy group! Meanwhile, the wealthy tourists were stressed out and grumpy.

We had an IT conference recently in a musty, almost horse-smelling building. I was so relaxed! Meanwhile, people around me were complaining about "the smell".
Surrounded by Cripples - 08:26 CST, 10/21/19 (Sniper)
The car industry is driving into the ditch in a way I never could have guessed even just a few years ago!

So many cars have "ASS" now, that I'm already half-way through the intersection and in second gear by the time I hear their engines fully crank up. It's hilarious! Now car manufacturers are starting to build "features" which will shut off people's cars altogether, or even call the police, if it "decides" it doesn't like their driving somehow!

Then you get stuff like this, where "cars" are essentially iPhones; chips fail, behavior randomly changes due to "OTA" updates, web services go down and people can't unlock their doors, and so forth. Imagine once the batteries on these things start failing en masse.

If I do need to replace the Z down the road, I think I'll try to find a refurbished car from the 1970s or so, with no electronics, a carburetor, and so on. That is, if the State hasn't made owning or driving one a gun-point enforced crime by that point.
Power - 11:32 CST, 10/19/19 (Sniper)
There's nothing my PC can't do. Part of that is because of DLSS, but even without that feature my 3600X-RTX 2080 duo doesn't come close to breaking a sweat at resolutions like 1440p with ray tracing enabled, at a locked 60 fps.

The reason I bring this up is because very nearly that level of performance is going to hit the masses just a bit over a year from now. People are going to love it.
Genetic Deviation - 06:21 CST, 10/17/19 (Sniper)
This week, wifey issued Duncan his first-ever standardized tests, in reading and math. He's six, and would have just started the first grade in a conventional school. Results: fifth grade level, in both exams.

They have a chart showing his percentile, for his age. It's so deep into the ninety-ninth percentile that their graphing tool can't even visually represent the precision.

Wifey and I are both in the 120s in terms of IQ; I took a "Mensa" practice exam once, and it told me that I should try for the real thing. But how did we produce Duncan? He's bogglingly beyond either of us at the equivalent age. And it's not just environment.
1984 - 16:37 CST, 10/16/19 (Sniper)
Obviously this was a "false flag" threat, with the corresponding newspaper op-ed all ready to go, probably even written and finished the night before. It's so phony baloney that it's clear they're not even trying anymore.
Fallacious - 09:25 CST, 10/16/19 (Sniper)
Molyneux's story at the 6:25 mark of this video explains what's going on with today's Democrats. There are millions of people in the United States today who still believe the Michael Brown "hands up, don't shoot" narrative, for Pete's sake.

Steven Crowder did that "CNN is fake news, change my mind" event recently, where a lady was point-blank, to Crowder's face believing that Trump "colluded with Russia", right after admitting in the same conversation that there was no evidence.

It's Scott Adams' "two movies" deal. Makes it difficult to have rational conversations.

About the so-called "deep fakes" concept, I know that there are algorithms which can detect if an image has been altered since its creation. Perhaps there is a similar thing for videos. I think we'll get to a point where all videos and images will be accompanied by an equivalent to SHA or MD5 checksums, proving that the content is authentic.
Uphill - 09:20 CST, 10/15/19 (Sniper)
Juxtapose this, this, and this together. Then consider: Google essentially runs the entire web, CNN is continuously blaring on televisions around the country, and Wikipedia is taken as gospel by hundreds of millions of people.
News Array - 08:59 CST, 10/12/19 (Sniper)
White men, cucking as usual. It's like that recent Scott Adams strip. There was also a "meme" I once saw, but can't find now, which juxtaposed "1919 - white men give women the right to vote", with a 2019 clip of a female feminist declaring "no more white men!"

In other news, here is a follow-up to my previous post. Most people I talk to have no clue what fractional reserve banking even is, much less how "money" is created. But encouragingly, people almost universally ask me to teach them how the system works, and find it very interesting.

In yet other news, years ago I wrote a blog post about "education and marginal utility". It's really stood up well I think, and is my final word on the topic. Read or skim it, then take a peek at this; as a society, we've done the opposite of my suggestion, and the outcome backs my hypothesis.

On a completely unrelated note, my wife's 2014 WRX takes this concept to whole new levels: not only do you not need to take your eyes off the road, but the controls are winter glove friendly: take a look at the chunky silver A/V knobs beneath the center vents, and the giant four-way flashers button.

And speaking of winter gloves, there is snow on the roof of my garage right now. Winter is my favorite season, and the same is true for Duncan. If the roads get dry enough, I think I'll bundle up and hop on the inline skates, while D can grab his bike: I've been using my skates between one and two hours per day-- I'm hooked.
Fake - 07:56 CST, 10/11/19 (Sniper)
I've noticed this same trend in my workplace; in security-related meetings or when conversation turns to "intellectual property theft", it's always "Russia" who are used as an example, despite the Russian economy being barely larger than Australia's or Mexico's.

One day, the "human resources" department released an infographic breaking down the employee base. To my total shock, twenty percent of the people working for my employer were based in China. Probably in plants, but I'm not certain.

Personally, I'm sick of the Chinese. At one point their central bank owned like twenty percent of their stock market; they've printed trillions of yuan building empty ghost cities; they're using their monopoly money to buy up football clubs like Inter Milan, which now has Chinese characters all over the San Siro.

As an American maybe I shouldn't be throwing stones from my glass house-- but China is the biggest bubble country ever.
In a Bottle - 17:06 CST, 10/09/19 (Sniper)
"We're not going to restart QE-- we're just going to expand our balance sheet by buying Treasuries!" Hah.

Most of the time with crazy people, you can just walk away from them. But with politicians and central bankers, there is no escape! You can't tell them, "I'm minding my own business-- leave me the hell alone."

In other news, H and I spent an hour outside weaving back and forth on our inline skates. And it worked: we're now able to turn and stop!
Balance - 17:04 CST, 10/07/19 (Sniper)
Only my second time on roller blades, and I'm already over the "constant struggle versus having fun" hump. Now I just need to learn how to stop without diving onto the nearest grassy patch!
Identical - 13:09 CST, 10/05/19 (Sniper)
Steven Crowder's talent at voice impersonations is phenomenal. Pieces like this really show off the convergence of his skills not only in that regard, but also in writing and acting. As a refresher, compare Crowder's voice in the parody to that in the original-- wifey and I were positively dying with laughter at how good he is!

His most recent show has some great examples of his President Trump voice, check out the 9:14 and 18:50 marks to hear those.
Off Kilter - 17:18 CST, 10/04/19 (Sniper)
Oof, Shenmue III looking totally off to me. The most closely-aligned quote from the comments: "its so odd looking... like those weird nintendo fan remakes in the unreal 3 engine". Indeed.

I think it has to do with the environment art being so generic; it's not stylized at all, so it's almost like a dump of assets from a 3d models demo disc or something. It looks very discordant with the highly stylized character designs.

The other problem is that the game's rendering is so obviously Unreal engine that it creates a certain mental expectation to what kind of game it is, only for the HUD and Shenmue-style movement to feel jarring and bolted on.

At least, they nailed the voice acting.
Surveillance Society - 08:09 CST, 10/04/19 (Sniper)
The government is doing mass license plate scanning, as are private companies like McDonalds. Just because something is possible doesn't mean it's a good idea...

The good part is that people will eventually rebel against this stuff-- hopefully in a peaceful way. Those will be suppressed for awhile, like this Democrat saying that people who "make fun of politicians" should be thrown in jail.

But in the medium-term, rebellions often work because the State enforcers can't keep their morale up.
Perfect - 08:03 CST, 10/03/19 (Sniper)
The shot at Cousins in this is absolutely hilarious. I also found this to be pretty funny.
Even Worse - 18:48 CST, 10/02/19 (Sniper)
I've long know that these tech companies are evil, and I have had as little to do with them as possible for years running, but the revelations in this article caught even me off guard. How about Eric Schmidt sitting on a Federal government board, selling himself his own technology with tax payer money?

The quote which really got me was Twitter's response to the discovery that the head of their Middle East division is a psy-ops agent with the British military, bold emphasis is mine: "we actively encourage all our employees to pursue external interests." Hah!

Amazon is also drafting legislation-- it's like a new branch of Congress!
New Connection - 19:33 CST, 10/01/19 (Sniper)
I've written about "global warming" before, but this is probably the best collection of totally conclusive charts and graphs I've yet seen.

In other news and after hours of tech support over the past two days, I've finally got the whole house, server included, cut over to the new fiber connection running to my house.

It sure is fast: 950 Mbps down, 890 Mbps up! Now I'm just crossing fingers that the reliability matches the bandwidth.
New Flight Simulator - 13:08 CST, 9/30/19 (Sniper)
Regular readers know I rail on-- and for good reason-- about the lack of ambition in today's games. But this is one of those stunning aberrations. I can't wait to get my hands on this thing.
Lacking Mental Stability? - 08:58 CST, 9/29/19 (Sniper)
I normally don't bother with these "Leftist tech elites praising dystopian futures while blindly trusting tech companies despite mountains of evidence to the contrary" articles, but this one is so bizarre that I can't help but link to it. Enjoy!

In other news, I had the Switch port of Dragon Quest XI reserved for like six months, only for UPS to botch the package deliver-- Friday turned into Saturday, which has now turned into Tuesday. Grrrr.

Finally, Lazio completely dismantling Genoa at the moment. Such a fragile team: when the "big four" of Sergej, Alberto, Immobile, and Correa are all playing together the performances are great-- but as soon as even one of them is absent, the team disintegrates.
Naughty or Nice? - 05:53 CST, 9/28/19 (Sniper)
Duncan and I finished our first application in Fuze, on Switch. The application opens up like this-- observe the "chip" song which we programmed. From there, you can input and view your data, flipping between months using the "L" and "R" buttons.

The premise is that we wanted a fun way to track Duncan's "strikes" each day; if he achieves a certain average over a minimum time period, he gets his new Ryzen, Windows 10 gaming PC.

It doesn't handle the correct number of days per month, or leap years, or anything like that-- it would take tens of thousands of lines to reproduce the entire equivalent of .Net's "System.DateTime" implementation. Our simpler approach meets our needs.

Light - 05:04 CST, 9/28/19 (Sniper)
There may be some downtime with the server on Monday. For the first time in fourteen years, I'm changing ISPs; we're at the point where companies are now running Gigabit-level bandwidth to people's houses.

Not only that, but it nearly cuts my existing bill in half due to a running promotion.

I vividly remember the 9600 baud dial-up days, so this is a strange state of affairs.
The Dark Crystal - 21:01 CST, 9/27/19 (Sniper)
Just a bit ago, Henrietta and I watched the classic Jim Henson film "The Dark Crystal". Imagine the most twisted "Star Trek" episode you can picture, done using puppets.

It's set on an Earth-like exoplanet. The life forms are vaguely like those on Earth, but the entire evolutionary tree is different, making everything extremely unsettling.

One of my favorite parts about it is that the film doesn't overexplain things; lots of gaps are left for the viewer's imagination to fill in.

I don't think the human race is capable of producing something like this movie anymore. I've heard that the Netflix series does a good job mimicking the original film, but that's not the same, nor is it the equivalent technological achievement.

This makes me want to look up more classic films for H and I to watch together. I think I'm going to show her "Blade Runner" one of these coming nights.
Rules for Radicals - 15:35 CST, 9/27/19 (Sniper)
2016: Hitlary pays Russian sources for dirt on her political opponent through Fusion GPS in an attempt to steal an election. Democrats perform a two-plus year witch hunt falsely accusing Trump of trying to steal an election using Russian sources.

2019: Video surfaces of then-Vice President Joe Biden bragging about how he used mafia-style shakedown tactics on the Ukrainian Prime Minister to get the prosecutor of his shady son fired. Democrats falsely accuse Trump of trying to use mafia-style tactics to shake down the Ukrainian Prime Minister.

Incidentally, I'll be attending Trump's upcoming rally in Minneapolis. It will be fun to hear his remarks about this topic, told in his usual trademark style.

He's not a Libertarian, but he has good instincts and is receptive to new information. And after all the shit this guy has gone through, it's impossible not to like him.
Fools - 08:25 CST, 9/26/19 (Sniper)
Hah, ran across this chart; currently, carbon dioxide consists of .038% of Earth's atmosphere-- and man's contribution in the entirety of his time on the planet is 14%, of that .038%.

At its peak, carbon dioxide was almost 9% of the atmosphere: that's 237 times the present level-- and no Venus-style run-away "greenhouse effect" took place, as evidenced by the fact that we're here now.

Bozo O'Rourke, Commie Bernie and his motley pals tell us that if we obliterate the world's economy and plunge the very least fortunate of us into desperate, crushing poverty, the black line on that graph will basically only go up one fifty-fifth of a pixel, versus one fiftieth.

Meanwhile they had tens of thousands of hysterical kids engaging in truancy from school, over... nothing.

And all of this is assuming that carbon dioxide isn't a trailing indicator of temperature levels, caused by variations in the sun's activity. It's also not taking into account the role of water vapor: even the "one fiftieth of a pixel" estimations assume that water vapor is a multiplier-- which is unconfirmed.
Mediocre at Everything - 11:45 CST, 9/25/19 (Sniper)
Excellent "Switch Lite" review here by Richard Leadbetter. It's humorous how the consensus now seems to be that a focus on just one or the other-- handheld-only, in this case-- makes such a superior product, considering that I had that inclination up front; better to specialize than to be a master-of-none.

Perhaps the "Switch Pro" is going to be a console-only rendition, trading the costs of screen and "joy-cons" for 1440p-capable graphics hardware and HDR? Considering that Switch games on the current hardware hardly ever even meet the target LCD's native resolution, especially in handheld mode, a console-only version which can draw game frames which don't look like rubbish would be great.

Which leads me to one area of concern for the "Lite": I played some games-- most notably "Xenoblade Chronicles 2" and "Fire Emblem: Three Houses"-- virtually exclusively on my TV, because they ran at Nintendo 64-era resolutions in portable mode, minus the art assets intended to be viewed at those resolutions. This meant there were two fidelities: decent, and terrible. With the "Lite", only "terrible" is available-- which in essence means the entire system's library needs to be re-evaluated on the graphical front.

Henrietta's special edition "Pokemon" unit arrives in November, so I'll soon find out how big of a deal this worry is.
Root Analysis - 08:13 CST, 9/24/19 (Sniper)
I dug into the most recent hoopla regarding Stallman here. But this analysis takes it one step further, following through on all of the "accusations" of "intellectual malfeasance".

I put "accusations" in quotes and use the term "intellectual malfeasance" because Richard Stallman never actually hurt anyone: he wrote words, on his personal web site. That was his "crime".

As someone who was recently threatened over "words on his personal web site", I'm sympathetic at how hysterical the Millennial Mob is these days.
Crooked Arrows - 19:58 CST, 9/23/19 (Sniper)
I really liked this interview with Molyneux, and particularly enjoyed the interviewer, a fellow named "Harminder Singh"; he disagreed with Molyneux on certain points, but stayed calm and focused strictly on ideas, versus ad hominems and silly cheap shots.

One thing which struck me was that this Mr. Singh seemed to agree with Molyneux ideologically in general, but appeared ready to throw all of his principles overboard as soon as a personal sensitivity was brought up: in this case, the cost of housing in Hong Kong. "Perhaps Singapore, where eighty percent of housing is controlled by the State, is the correct model?"

Those who are proponents of the free market are speaking for one hundred percent of people: in all human hearts, everyone agrees that they should not be coerced-- and thus should no one, derived from the principle of universalization. It's one hundred percent accepted common sense-- it's stating the obvious! The only reason anyone has ever argued against it, is because they personally want something they can't have right at that moment. And they are willing to be complete and absolute hypocrites to get whatever "it" is for them: willing to lie, steal, cheat, and pillage if necessary, while decrying anyone who would dare do the same to them!

Freedom-- people voluntarily exchanging goods and services-- maximizes the most utility for the most people, most of the time. But that's totally different than everyone getting what they want, whenever they want it! In the case of Mr. Singh, maybe young people should find someplace else to live, other than the expensive main city? So what if rents are high for ten or fifteen or twenty years: things always reach equilibrium and markets will always clear, as long as the State doesn't interfere. If there is demand for lower-cost housing, it will be built, if not now then later! He needs to learn patience.

The irony in all of this is that a popular ad hominem thrown at free market proponents is "utopian". But it's the critics and Statists who are "utopians"! The second they reach any kind of discomfort, they are willing to start swinging around the nearest rifle! By contrast, no freedom advocate claims that all things will be perfect all of the time-- only that people left to maximize their own utility is the optimal way to achieve general, aggregate social utility.
Keen Observer - 13:58 CST, 9/23/19 (Sniper)
I'm not the only one who gets it; check out Scott Adams in this one!
The Weather - 07:51 CST, 9/23/19 (Sniper)
Want yet another dead give-away that the "global warming" hoax is just another form of Cultural Marxist-inspired social engineering? Notice how they guilt trip white people into not having kids, while not saying a peep about Africans or Muslims.

White culture birth rates at large aren't even at replacement levels. Whereas projections show sub-saharan African populations essentially taking over the world by 2030.

Even in my own family, between my wife's side and mine the five of us have only produced two grandchildren, both of which are mine-- not even close to replacement level.

To reinforce the true motivations of the "movement", Comrade Bernie says that if he became President of the USSA, he'd sign an executive order to carte blanche let all of those Africans and South Americans come into the country, unimpeded. Of course, that's to create a permanent voting bloc.
DMA - 19:06 CST, 9/19/19 (Sniper)
I wonder if this is one of the things modern game creators are getting wrong: they're trying to design a game first, then figure out the technology bit later-- and that's a big part of why the creativity is so low, and why they get hung up on pre-existing genres?

Whereas Mike Dailly says it used to be, "cool, I wrote this weird engine, now what can I do to make it like a game?" Seems like that inherently lead to more design inventiveness. It's also fun to listen to him talk about the PC Engine, and how it was multiple times faster than anything he'd programmed for prior.
Science? - 07:40 CST, 9/19/19 (Sniper)
I've long held the impression that the "global warming" nonsense had whiffs of a cult-like movement. "Climate denier!" But just check out the 3:51 mark of this video-- it's a confessional booth!
The Strange Case of Dr. Stallman - 15:02 CST, 9/18/19 (Sniper)
I may not like his politics, but long-time readers will know how much I admire Richard Stallman's contributions to personal computing. I frequently advocate for "libre" software, and sit here transcribing this very post into GNU Emacs, running on the GNU operating system.

When I read that he "defended Epstein" and consequently caused a virtual earthquake by resigning from both MIT and the Free Software Foundation, I figured I owed it to him to see if the accusation was true.

After a little digging, I unearthed the email chain in question. Below, I've reproduced the relevant part of the conversation verbatim, bold emphasis is mine:

Stallman: "We can only listen to what is said to us.

All I know she said about Minsky is that Epstein directed her to have sex with Minsky. That does not say whether Minsky knew that she was coerced. It does not report what each said and did during their sexual encounter. We can imagine various scenarios.

We know that Giuffre was being coerced into sex-- by Epstein. She was being harmed. But the details do affect whether, and to what extent, Minsky was responsible for that."

And that's it!

Quite literally all he said was, "Hey guys, let's not throw Marvin and his legacy under the bus quite yet, until we know more details." But because this is crazy-eccentric Richard Stallman, he made zero efforts to sugar coat or offer disclaimers.

It didn't help that in the same thread he went on to to engage in abstract philosophy. Only Stallman would think this was the ideal time and place:

Stallman: "I think it is morally absurd to define 'rape' in a way that depends on minor details such as which country it was in or whether the victim was 18 years old or 17.

I think the existence of a dispute about that supports my point that the term 'sexual assault' is slippery, so we ought to use more concrete terms when accusing anyone."


At least someone did come to his defense in the email chain. But it evidently wasn't enough:

Redacted: "No on in this thread has accused Giuffre of lying. Rather, the discussion has been of whether Giuffre actually accused Minsky of sexual assault or not. I will not step into that discussion, but will instead ask the following meta question: 'If someone in csail says in this discussion group that Minsky was accused of sexual assault, a very serious accusation, and someone else in csail thinks that he was not, should the latter person refrain from saying so in this same discussion group out of concern that the conversation will leak and be misconstrued by the press?

The 's' in CSAIL stands for 'science'. The job of scientists is to evaluate evidence and seek truth. We have a social responsibility to do that as well. I hope that we scientists will never evade our social responsibility to seek and defend the truth out of fear that the press will misconstrue our search.