The Exigent Duality
Two Tales - 15:48 CDT, 7/17/19 (Sniper)
Some video game systems-- the NES, the Genesis, the SNES, the PSX-- were legitimately "cool" and mainstream while active. Others-- the TurboGrafx-16, the 3DO, the Saturn-- were "systems for losers" back in the day, but like William Shakespeare became cool after their lives had ended.

The Nintendo 64 is one of those systems. I owned one at launch, and sold it less than six months in because there was absolutely nothing to play on it-- it was bar none the worst system I've ever owned in terms of release draughts. I brought it to Funco and traded in for a PSX-- in terms of my hobby, best move I've ever made.

To paint the juxtaposition, I recall my best friend at the time bringing over games like "Goldeneye" in 1998, and thinking "what the hell is this crap?" I actually ruined the system for him, because right after he showed me Turok, I fired up Unreal. He soon had me build him a PC, and he put his N64 into a box in the closet.

But take a look at this video from John over at Digital Foundry: turns out, the aforementioned "Turok" was actually a pretty cool game, and did some things technically better than even PC shooters of the era. And for some reason cartridge based systems themselves are just "cooler" these days to me than CD systems with their slow and flaky optical drives-- they've aged better somehow.

I started looking at N64s on eBay, and turns out that not only are the systems cheap, but the games are affordable as well.
Hypermedia - 17:01 CDT, 7/16/19 (Sniper)
There are a couple of real gems in the 1990 "hypertext" episode of "Computer Chronicles": first, this bit showing an example of proprietary, pre-HTTP markup-- the names of the tags are different, and backslashes are used instead of forward slashes, but it otherwise looks really similar!

The second is this prediction that the only thing holding hypertext back was the lack of a good broadcast mechanism-- he goes on to say that things like LANs and "low cost digital transmission facilities" would solve the issue, and then hypertext would "explode". That's almost astonishing prescience!
They Bought the Wrong System - 13:16 CDT, 7/15/19 (Sniper)
Back around the time I wrote this still-prescient piece I had people arguing with me, "But old games are broken!" I couldn't figure out what they meant, because out of the hundreds of old games I'd recently played, none of them were "broken".

Fast forward to these past couple of weeks, where I've been trying lots of NES games via Nintendo's "Switch Online" app, and lo and behold: almost every game I've tried has been garbage! For example, I've been trying to force my way through the heralded "StarTropics", and it was so frustratingly designed I finally just had to give up.

I've had the same experience with a lot of Atari ST games I've tried over the past couple of years: some of them run too fast, or too slow, or the controls don't work right, or they run at seven frames per second, or they simply have terrible designs, and so forth.

So it turns out those people sort of had a point, in the sense that they were just playing the wrong systems; outside of just a handful of games-- Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, River City Ransom-- the NES is the most overrated video game platform ever! I don't think the 80s computers-- Commodore 64, Atari ST, and Amiga to name a few-- have aged very well either.

To play some good old games, you need to pick up a Sega Genesis. I've played hundreds of games on it over the decades, some of which are on my favorite games list, and I can't think of even one that's on the same level of "bad" as the supposedly "good" NES games; just compare something like "Golden Axe" to "Double Dragon II", and you'll get what I mean.
On Repeat - 11:56 CDT, 7/15/19 (Sniper)
In 2019, you can go to Amazon's web site and see that anyone can write and publish a book. And everyone today recognizes that this situation is a good one! In fact, if you proposed to people, "How about we change things so that only the Catholic Church can publish books?", they'd look at you like you're daft, and quite rightfully so. But once upon a time, there were a lot of people who thought that the printing press was bad! "Blasphemers!", "Liars!".

To build on my previous post, we're at another printing press moment in time, except this time with CNN and MSNBC as the gatekeepers. And the same thing is going on: "Climate deniers!", "Conspiracy Theorists!". It's a huge threat to the existing power structures. But just like it was the first time around, soon all of this tech censorship will seem just as silly as the Pope being the only book publisher.
Trump Gets Another One Right - 07:57 CDT, 7/15/19 (Sniper)
I wish I could give this ten "thumbs up". The hilarious things the mainstream media are writing about it shows how unbelievably desperate they are. I wish I could have been there for the Jim "Fake News" Acosta portion, can't wait to see more of that!

And for the record, before you feel any sympathy for an obviously despondent, defeated Jim Acosta, go check out Mark's latest book-- it documents all of this stuff in gory detail, with hundreds of footnotes.

Also remember, it was the mainstream media which invented the term "fake news"-- in fact, I could probably go back through this blog and pinpoint the day, because I think I wrote about it. So it was them who started to discredit their competitors, and it was pure cosmic justice that the term got flipped around on them.
Golden Age of a Genre - 10:09 CDT, 7/14/19 (Sniper)
Holy smokes does this "Computer Chronicles" episode take me back!

I was an enormous flight sim kid, playing many of the earliest editions of "Microsoft Flight Simulator", along with pretty much all of the Dynamix titles, from "Red Baron" to "A-10: Tank Killer", to the later "Aces of the Pacific" and "Aces Over Europe" releases.

Interestingly, my 3DO sampler disc has a preview of the apparently then-planned port of "Red Baron"-- can you imagine how cool that would have been, rendered using the 3DO's "Cel Engine"? That port never having gotten completed is one of my biggest 3DO regrets, I'd still be playing that today had it come out.

Seeing a young Damon Slye was a real treat, he was one of my game design heroes as a kid. I had a friend who was a die hard MicroProse fan. I was never big on their games, but watching Bill Stealey-- a real Air Force pilot-- was pretty cool.

It's difficult to explain to people today just how ambitious video and computer games were back then. A 386 33 was only capable of 11.4 MIPS, yet programmers were making full-fledged flight simulators with hundreds of fully-recreated cities and airports, evolution simulators (Sim Earth), city simulators (Sim City), and so forth.

Today's CPUs are so powerful that they seemingly don't even publish or advertise MIPS numbers for them! And we get infinite re-releases of dudebro shooters, re-releases of annual sports franchies, and racing games little more advanced than "Gran Turismo" from 1998, running on the original PlayStation. Thank goodness Nvidia took a gamble on ray tracing, because it's about the only thing I can name since 2002 (shader model 1) that's actually some form of risk taking, versus the intense "quarterly numbers" conservatism which dominates tech (the entire world really) today.

One last note: the increasing prevalence of CD-ROM mentions in these episodes reminds me of the first single-speed drive my dad bought in the very early 90s. It had this cartridge kind of thing with a flip-top that you would eject-- you'd open it, put the disc in, close it, then insert that whole metal and plastic piece back into the drive. We had "Microsoft Bookshelf", which got a shout-out in this episode. We soon upgraded do a double-speed drive, and even by that time the modern-day tray mechanism was in use.
Dysfunction - 08:17 CDT, 7/14/19 (Sniper)
When I see some inane opinion or another online, I sometimes spend a couple of minutes looking up details about the person's handle. Today I saw someone say "Rayman Legends" is great! So I looked at their history on Reddit: they do LSD and shrooms, and practice screaming in their spare time.
Sigh - 12:51 CDT, 7/11/19 (Sniper)
Hah, what a joke.

I'm not even remotely "ashamed" to admit that I've been watching every single Lazio game for over a decade via "illegal" feeds-- in Minnesota, there is quite literally no other way for me to watch the games! Cut off those feeds, and Lazio can kiss goodbye to any more merchandise purchases, or plugs I give for the team via this blog and elsewhere. As for Europe, I've heard first hand from people-- and it's even discussed in this article-- that the "official" ways of watching the games are exorbitantly priced, to the point where it makes absolutely no sense to buy via those channels, than to subscribe to the "unofficial" sites.

There is precedent in other industries for this: for example, studies in the music industry found that "pirating" of music digitally actually increased album sales-- once people got a taste of the music, they wanted the higher quality version, and to support the bands. Ditto with software. In the case of football, how many people have gone on to pour thousands and thousands of dollars into foreign economies, because they went there to see their favorite team in person-- a team they only became fans of because "illegal" feeds brought that team into their lives?

Whenever I see "problems" like this-- graffiti, welfare fraud, software "piracy"-- I can always trace it back to root causes; central bank-oppressed people need an outlet for self-expression, the "welfare trap" cliff, or the absurd pricing of software, particularly in emerging markets. If Serie A is supposedly "losing" all of these millions of Euro on "piracy", then why don't they take some of that, throw up an internationally-available web site with streams of all the games, and charge a reasonable price? I'd subscribe in a heartbeat! The problem would go away, and they'd be making money off of it too.
Differentiation - 08:28 CDT, 7/11/19 (Sniper)
I completely get what Eric Peters is saying here, as I have similar impulses in almost all matters too. But in nearly my entire lifetime-- I was born in 1981-- the Corvette was America's sports car, whereas models like the Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger were what Peters is describing in the post: huge engine, poor handling but over-the-top brutishness, and so forth.

In making the Corvette mid-engined, that nearly forty year-old paradigm is simply being maintained: those pony car options are still out there en masse for Eric Peters. The only terrible thing will be if the C8 doesn't come with a manual transmission option. Even if I could afford one, I would never buy one as a result. But maybe I'm talking out both sides of my mouth: why not do the Euro-exotic all the way?

Which leads me to the conclusion that what the world is really missing is an affordable sports car that isn't slow. The Corvette used to sort of be that car, in base model trims-- but no longer. When brand new, the cheapest trim of my 2003 350z was quicker in the quarter mile than a Porsche 911 Carerra or Mustang GT, and got better skidpad numbers too than even the Porsche-- and it was available for under $30k! Where is that equivalent today?

Nissan still sells brand new 370z's, but the model has fallen hopelessly behind in terms of power. The modern-day equivalent would be a V8-powered Z car-- or something else-- with 400+ bhp. But due to the government, the only way to generate that power without going afoul of fleet-averaged "CAFE" mandates is with a turbo-- or twin turbo-- V6. Which means, forget being affordable.

A friend of mine at work recently bought a Kia Stinger-- totally different class of car, mind you-- and it has a twin turbo V6. MSRP was something like $50k! So I've essentially given up on any prospect of ever owning a car in a performance class above what I've already got, between my 350z and wifey's WRX. As for the ham-fisted, forced "emergence" of electric cars, they are quick, but handle like rubbish due to having hundreds of pounds of batteries strapped to them. Take a look at the Tesla Roadster handling, versus the Lotus Elise.
Switch Sort-Of Lite - 07:28 CDT, 7/10/19 (Sniper)
It's a little "Fisher-Price" looking, it's not as small as I would have wanted, and it still has a big bezel around the screen-- but it's here!

200 USD. Apparently there will also be a "Sword and Shield" Pokemon bundle, presumably with a specially-adorned unit as is so common with those kinds of things. Henrietta is already eyeing that up!

It will be nice having a second Switch in the house. We play split-screen coop quite a bit, and now we can just do local wireless.

Now I'm just waiting with bated breath for the Pro version... here's hoping for more teraflops and HDR support.
Bottom Barrel - 07:33 CDT, 7/09/19 (Sniper)
Hah, the current state of game journalism is hilarious! Check this out, bold emphasis is mine:

"Ever since its announcement in 2013, Dreams has always been an oddity in the games landscape. A wonderful oddity mind you, redefining creativity, reinventing the very definition of what games are and what players can do within them and oh, so ambitious – so ambitious in fact that when the early access release date was announced, it felt like a relief: Dreams was well and truly coming.


If you follow the link to the author's profile page, you'll find that she's a thot film industry reject, who "settled" on covering the games industry in... 2015! I suppose from her perspective, if you can even call it that since it's so narrow, "Dreams"-- which has precedent all the way back to "Cube" in 2001, if not even "UnrealEd" from 1998-- really is that novel.

But even setting that aside, the writing is so terrible that it sounds like it came out of a sixth grade girl's diary. The caliber isn't much better at places like "IGN" or "Gamespot" either.
Cars Are Dead - 07:21 CDT, 7/08/19 (Sniper)
What's happening to the car industry is sad; cool graphics, but I can't even tell which one is the "NSX".

The original NSX was my all-time favorite car as a kid-- even today, it's in my top five "coolest looking cars ever" list. The new one is just a cookie-cutter, carbon-copy of every other contemporary exotic and supercar: they all look basically the same, and focus on heavily computerized systems versus straight-up mechanical engineering paired with a manual transmission.

All of the romanticism is completely gone, replaced with corporate board room crap and Nurburgring times.
Another One Down - 14:08 CDT, 7/07/19 (Sniper)
After really enjoying father-daughter time watching the first two seasons of "Stranger Things" over the past couple of years, I thought to myself "there is no way season three is going to be even remotely watchable"-- and sure enough, it's been totally ruined. So much for that show!

Netflix is such a joke that the family canceled their subscription lately, which would have been unthinkable even twelve months ago. I was considering renewing it for a month for this occasion, so I've been saved some money.
No Reasoning Ability Required - 08:27 CDT, 7/07/19 (Sniper)
Anyone who thinks the US foreign policy is some kind of well thought out mechanism should read these two reports. The first one is nothing but a bunch of unsubstantiated claims labeled as "findings", with no foot notes, no statistics, no links to backing research... nothing!

"ISIS is reconstituting in Iraq and Syria." Ok, how many tanks do they have? How many men do they have? How much area? "Iran is entrenching itself in Syria." Same questions, what does "entrenching" even mean exactly? "Withdrawing from Syria will damage trust from US allies." Which allies are we talking? Israel? Someone else? What about allies with whom a US withdrawal will be viewed favorably? Why should we care in the first place?

The report then goes on to list a series of "objectives", which again are merely stated with no supporting arguments in their favor. Control one third of the Syrian territory... why one third and not one quarter? Or not three eights? And it must be the areas with "valuable hydrocarbon, water, and agricultural resources". Is that what this is about-- colonization to get resources? Another "objective" is to "withhold reconstruction aid" until the US can establish a "viable political process". Does it sound wise to withhold aid? What does a "viable" political process means? No terms are defined-- does "viable" mean the election only of a president who will do whatever the US says?

The line which really got me busting out laughing was this one, bold emphasis is mine: "The United States' objectives are sound but ambitious given limited resource levels. Stated objectives suffer from an ends-means mismatch." Oh yeah, totally sound!! And an "ends-means mismatch"? Hah! Who wrote that?? What a hilarious line!

If I were the US President, and I was handed this report by such intellectual luminaries as Chuck Schumer, and it had exactly these contents, there is no way I would heed any of this "advice". In fact, I'd probably drop it straight into the rubbish bin.

The second document in the article is nothing more than a list of Israel's national defense risks, which probably tells you all you need to know about the US involvement not just in Syria, but the Middle East in general. Specifically, right after 9/11 Iran was listed as one of the "seven countries" which needed to be "taken out", which is why they are being singled out for mention in these Syria-related reports: it's the attempted establishment of a bogeyman.
Done - 20:54 CDT, 7/05/19 (Sniper)
Probably two years after I started it, tonight I finally beat "Horizon Zero Dawn". Even though the Ubisoft-style open world games are among my least favorite genres, it's probably my favorite title within that category of game.

It's unfortunate about the story then. Reinforcing my hypothesis in that regard, they actually wrote a line of dialogue near the end of the game, which went something like "once Gaia loses control of the environment and its formation falls to chance, it will gradually crumble and collapse."

Of course, the environment was created in the first place "by chance", which makes the line nonsensical from the get-go. But in the second place, the quote is channeling Marx: "The planned economies will thrive while the capitalist ones will collapse."

In a world where every single Communist country has either collapsed or is presently imploding, and where the Capitalist countries are thriving, to have written such blather in the year 2017 exposes astonishing lack of awareness and cognitive dissonance.

So when you, the player, overrides Hades at the end of the game, you're actually stopping Capitalism. See the metaphor? It's like when you put the old golf club through the skull of "Andy Ryan"-- Ayn Rand-- in "BioShock".

And of course, Capitalism is then re-captured and stored by the utterly amoral "Morpheus" character to be unleashed in the sequel. I can't wait!

It all reminds me of Mark Dice's video this morning, where he talks about how SJWs are quite literally and deliberately taking over Hollywood. Add the video game industry to it. What makes it insidious is that the average meatsack just consumes this stuff, not even remotely aware of how it's conditioning their world view.

The last thing I'll say about "Horizon" is that in the probably two hundred and fifty names which were shown in the credits, I counted about eight women. However, the executive producer was one of them. She could have hired a team of women, for sure! But nope: when rubber met the road and she had a game to get created, she hired a bunch of men.

The cognitive dissonance for someone like that must be astonishing! "I'm a powerful womyn, I don't need no men! Oh, er, except when I want anything to get done." And, "women are just as strong and as good as men at absolutely anything! Oh, um, except engineering, programming, artwork..."

But of course, she'd blame it on "the system", which is the way these people always weasel out. "I couldn't hire women! Systemic oppression keeps them out of the industry, hurr durr", or "the Communist countries only collapsed because it wasn't real Socialism!" There's just no reasoning with these people.

And don't misunderstand me, I haven't got anything against women in general: there are lots of other fields where it'd be tough to find enough competent men, like nursing. On average, women = emphasizers, men = systematizers. That's why women are almost exclusively marketers, and engineers are almost exclusively men. And who the hell cares? But that torpedoes a hole right through the wall of the the "oppression!" world view.
Soviets - 14:29 CDT, 7/05/19 (Sniper)
This is clearly a show trial with a pre-determined outcome, as the three "damning" items stated by the judge are ridiculous.

He confronted defendants... as every reporter known to man has done, time immemorial. He filmed a video... um, ok. He violated reporting restrictions... which is factually false, as described in great detail by his defense attorney.

Of course, Tommy Robinson knew this would happen, and even said so after his initial release: "What they'll do is let me go for awhile, then re-arrest me, and send me back in. They're doing this to break me."
Not Just The Video Games - 21:16 CDT, 7/04/19 (Sniper)
The 80s and 90s had the perfect convergence of everything: technology so cutting edge that it was scarcely believable, but in a world which still had the anachronisms of the 1960s and 70s. Not just the trains themselves, but even the music in this "Computer Chronicles" segment gave me the chills. Another cool music snippet starts at the 18:54 mark.

Speaking of the old and the new, I've been working on my game in "Dreams" and made huge progress today, culminating in this. I'm working just as hard on the aesthetic as I am the mechanics: notice the limited resolution and scanlines, plus my choice in song for the area-- moody and hopefully shiver-inducing. I aimed for a surreal, cognitive-dissonance sensation with the giant sword-bearing mice too.
Broken - 10:30 CDT, 7/04/19 (Sniper)
Manjaro moved to MariaDB 10.4 yesterday, and now my feeds don't update. I went to the official TT-RSS forum, and... yeah. I don't really want to downgrade to 10.3, nor do I want to maintain a PostgreSQL installation just for one database.
Color Me Surprised - 07:50 CDT, 7/02/19 (Sniper)
"But we can't have private security who have to compete for business-- nope, only the government can provide security via a monopoly!" How did that "security" work out for this guy?

In other news, I laughed when I saw this. It was many years ago now, but long-time readers may remember the days when I chose that site, and was the first commenter on their article every morning for weeks-on-end, positively destroying their premises. The term hadn't been coined yet, but like every Leftist site, that one was hilariously "NPC-generated".
Then to Now - 20:15 CDT, 7/01/19 (Sniper)
I love to look up guests from "Computer Chronicles" episodes to see where they are now. Meet "Sam Druker" in 1990, then again in 2004, then again in the 2010s.
Evidence? - 18:34 CDT, 7/01/19 (Sniper)
It's funny how even in 1990 globalization was simply taken as some sort of inevitable force, like a tornado, and that there was and is nothing which could and can stop it-- just listen to the first four minutes of this "Computer Chronicles" episode!

Then along comes Donald Trump, invoking a long-forgotten but long-storied history of "protectionism", and people act like they've never heard of the once-dominant concept before. I've always viewed myself as a liberal-- in the 19th century sense, of course-- but over time I've started to question some of my assumptions in this area.

In the fifteen years I've worked for my employer, I've heard "we need to be a global company" for that entire period-- then the gal in this episode says the same thing. But I've never heard anyone say why-- it's just stated as a fact. There are over 350 million people living in the United States-- surely you could make plenty of money just selling to them?
Like He Heard Me! - 15:25 CDT, 7/01/19 (Sniper)
And just like that, here is exactly for what I was asking! He even explicitly name drops STOS (and its Amiga port "AMOS") as the inspirations. Cool!

I also thought it was funny how the interviewer says, "One nice thing is that it's not patronizing, with lots of little Nintendo Miis running around, telling you what to do", as that's one complaint I have with "Dreams", and "LittleBigPlanet" before it. To be fair, since I wrote the aforelinked "Dreams" post, I have given it another shot and am improving.

I also found myself strongly agreeing that the Atari ST and Amiga were where things went off the rail: it might sound silly, but that added step of having to boot the Basic off of a separate floppy was definitely an inhibitor.

Maybe one day I'll do an extensive write-up of various GCS's, with pictures and screenshots: off the top of my head, I could do Megazeux, STOS, Roblox Studio, Dreams, and now this upcoming "Fuze".
Getting Worse - 10:02 CDT, 7/01/19 (Sniper)
Because so few women today are having kids, their evolutionary-biological need to nurture is completely thrown out of whack. This has led to the current bizarro-land of beasts getting treated like humans: even in my own neighborhood, I routinely hear dogs being talked to like babies-- "come here sweetie!"-- or cats being walked around in baby strollers, or dog kennels being referred to as "daycares". This is also the origin for insane statements like "animals are people who can't talk".

This kind of stuff is so "out there" that it's one thing famous dystopian authors like Orwell didn't anticipate.

Well, I just heard a new one: pet owners being described as "pet parents". Don't believe me?
Not Rooted In Fact - 08:28 CDT, 7/01/19 (Sniper)
It's very strange that I still come across people occasionally saying how much they "hate" or "don't trust" their ISP, while not even mentioning Google, Facebook, or Twitter.

I've been a Comcast cable modem customer for fifteen years on the trot, and their service is great: basically zero downtime in that entire stretch. The prices aren't bad either for the amount of bandwidth you get. At the bug out house, I have aDSL through the local telco, and same deal there. But the content provider sites, like the ones aforementioned? Talk about evil!

Based on real-world events-- not totally imagined fears-- ISPs rank on my "concerns" list at about the same level as the furniture store which sold me my desk.
Cliches - 20:31 CDT, 6/30/19 (Sniper)
I think "Horizon Zero Dawn" is yet another Marxist metaphor, except with Frankfurt School elements added to it. Unlike most video game writing though, Horizon's is subtle enough that I suspect most people will breeze through it and not even make the connection. That almost makes it worst honestly, because of the subconscious normalization of SJW values. Consider:

An evil Capitalist corporation destroys the environment. The leader of the company is a white male. A woman creates an artificial intelligence program which uses top-down Communist-style central planning to terraform the new environment. Most of the leads in the AI development are women, including a hijab-wearing Muslim who wishes everyone "peace" in all of her dialogs. Meanwhile, the AI itself-- "Gaia"-- is modeled as not just a woman, but a black woman.

Think about the supporting characters too: with the exceptions of "Sun King Avad" and "Rost", the white male characters in the story are either homocidal maniacs ("Helis", Avad's father, the Hunter's Guild guy, "Nil"), or emotional basketcases ("Erend") who need to be saved by the strong, independent female characters ("Aloy", the black "Vanesha", the Asian "Talanah"). The lone black male lead character, "Sylens", is basically a copy of "Morpheus" from "The Matrix"-- so it doesn't really follow the pattern, since it had an obvious literary influence.

About "Sun King Avad" specifically, he has several lines of dialogue where he remarks that it's wrong for some people to live in the nicer town up high, versus the village down below, and that the royalty should ditch living in the palace. That damned "income inequality"! There was also that side quest where big strong female "Aloy" uses physical intimidation and threats of violence against the white male doctor to coerse him into helping some poor sick kid: "Healthcare is a right you evil whitey!"

Every character you kill through the game is a white male. I can't think of a single scene involving the death of either a black male, or a female-- the fodder are always white males if you pay close attention, as are the non-robot boss fights. The game also has several instances of homosexual characters, and frequently tosses in lots of interracial relationships in side quests.

The game is positively sprawling, so maybe there are exceptions to the above which I'm just not remembering. I may have gotten ambushed once by fodder thugs, and one of them may have been female-- I'm not totally sure. But on the flip side, there is probably lots of additional stuff following the pattern above, which I'm forgetting.

I'm a Martin Luther King Jr "color blind" person: my character and artistic choices in game design would be dictated by what would make for the best game, or what would deliver the most thematic cohesiveness: the art itself would drive things. So to me it's truly a bizzaro-land "Twilight Zone" world we live in where people designing video games of all things are sitting down with big spreadsheets making sure the skin color of the characters serves a specific political message, or meets some kind of quota, or where the whole thing is designed to not upset this group or that group-- the actual art of it takes a back seat.
Excellent Example - 15:07 CDT, 6/30/19 (Sniper)
Thanks "Kamala" for providing an even better destruction of the so-called "gender pay gap" than I could have even come up with myself: professional sports!

Ever watch a women's football match? It's excruciating! It takes about a half an hour for the ball to move from one end to the other, and the standards of defending and goal keeping are shocking. Women's professional teams get routinely shellacked by high school boys teams, which is about all you need to know.

Where men and women do equal work, women on average get paid slightly more then men due to preferential treatment (they are absolutely fast-tracked for promotion where I work). But the work usually isn't equal: women are out sick more often, take extended leaves to have babies, take a lot of time off to take care of family business, are less ambitious on average and like to spend more time socializing versus getting work done, and so forth.

And on the football pitch, they're significantly slower and weaker. The work is not even close to equal. And that's why they make less money!

Incidentally, I remember the guy who used to host "Fox Football Fone-In" years ago-- I think his name was Steven Cohen-- once saying, "I like my ladies, and I like my football-- just not together." True, that.
Consequences - 07:53 CDT, 6/30/19 (Sniper)
There is an interesting corollary between this discourse and "affirmative action" programs.

In the Chinese MIT case, directly as a result of the Chinese government, no Chinese student can really be trusted. Similarly, a sad side effect of "affirmative action" programs, which are brazenly bragged about and continuously thrown in everyone's faces, is that every woman or black person who works at a given company has a very natural question mark hovering over them: were they hired just to meet a quota?
Rays - 13:42 CDT, 6/28/19 (Sniper)
As someone who grew up tinkering with POV-Ray in DOS as a kid in the early 90s, and who ran out and bought an RTX 2080 as soon as they were available, I've always had a pretty good working knowledge of how ray tracing works. Given that, I absolutely understand how this functions, and in fact I've wondered myself if such a thing would be possible.

Of course, it's being funded by DARPA so at first it'll be used to kill "terrorists" around corners-- then the used equipment will pass down to the domestic police force and will be used for warrantless spying on innocent civilians. It's a cool technology for sure when taken in isolation! But like all new tech inventions, in today's hedonistic post-modern relativist consequentalist-driven society the potential for evil is greater than the potential for good.

Back to a topic from earlier today, I'm not the only one wondering not only which remote fringe holes these Democratic presidential contenders crawled out of, but how they've possibly gotten promoted to positions of actual power in society. To quote a video I once saw, "these people aren't great-- in fact, they're not even average." The Napoloean-attributed sentiment of "never interfering with an enemy while he's in the process of destroying himself" made me laugh too.
Circus - 08:22 CDT, 6/28/19 (Sniper)
I have never seen so many whack-jobs in one place as during the Democrap's recent debates. Historians will have a field day with these in the future: late stage empire collapse-- who can hand out the biggest goodie bag of free shit?

Mark Dice has been covering the "highlights".

Turns out, all of this batshit crazy hedonism, racism, sexism, and disintegration of even basic logical abilities has happened before: maybe over the weekend I'll have time to finally put together my blog post, where in "Crime and Punishment" Dostoevsky uncannily describes an SJW-- in 1860's Russia!
Disconnect - 08:06 CDT, 6/28/19 (Sniper)
It's interesting how when I study both history and current events, the facts very frequently-- or, more often than not-- do not align with the narrative. Take today's world leaders as examples.

Starting with my own country, Donald Trump is Bill Clinton 2.0: life-long Democratic populist, with streaks of liberalism in select areas. But the narrative is that he's some kind of nutty one-off. The narrative also says that Vladimir Putin is some kind of insane dictator-- yet every time I've ever heard him speak, his explanations not only are highly reasonable, but consistent with Russia's actions, for example in Syria and Venezuela; seems to me that propping up existing regimes is better for global stability than tearing them down-- Iraq War, anyone?

But then the narrative hasn't much to say about China's Xi, when in fact he's the crazy dictator, having written himself into their constitution-- by name!-- as "President for Life", along with his eerily North Korean Juche-like "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics." When Macron was elected in France, the narrative praised him, and then he went on to brutally suppress populist uprisings with armed soldiers and guards-- Marine Le Pen is some kind of nutjob apparently, when she's pushing for France to merely control its own borders.

And so on.
Disappointed - 21:34 CDT, 6/26/19 (Sniper)
I'm completely discouraged with "Dreams", not sure how much more I'm going to play it.

I am unbelievably poor at doing artwork of almost any kind. And that's no exaggeration: I can only "imagine" things in two dimensions, so stick figures-- and even then, not doing any kind of inventive poses-- is quite literally as sophisticated as I get. In part because of that, the game creation systems I've had the most fun and been the most successful with-- ZZT, Megazeux, STOS-- are the ones where you're basically doing low-grade, two-dimensional pixel art.

What's interesting about that, is that I do have excellent aesthetic sensibilities! So when the scope is limited to making little 16x16 pixel tiles or 2-bit color ASCII sets, my games wind up being rather attractive! Even in something like "Super Mario Maker", I think my levels cosmetically were some of the best around. My STOS racing game as well is looking quite pleasing so far.

But you dump me into something like "Dreams", and... forget it. I spent four hours tonight trying to make my own character, and it's so embarrassingly bad that me and my kids were howling with laugher. That extends to trying to make "textures", and pretty much everything else. So the only realistic way I can make a game in it is to either do "pixel art"-- and then why not just make a STOS game at that point?-- or just wholesale rip off other people's stuff, at which point it doesn't even feel like my own game anymore.

I think "Dreams" is clearly more oriented towards designers and creative types. You drop a pure logic, mathematical person like me into it and I'm totally at sea. On the flip-side though, I'd love to see the look on the faces of these designer types were I to sit them down in front of my blurry composite-out, 320x200 CRT Atari ST signal, and pull up my 80-column STOS game source code-- they'd be just as adrift, if not even moreso! Different game creation systems, for different kinds of people.
New Name - 07:49 CDT, 6/26/19 (Sniper)
Apparently this "Yusuf Yazici" is the player Tare wants to replace Sergej with, when the latter completes his whopping move to PSG.

Mama mia, what a player! I'm getting Hernanes vibes, in the sense that he's not just pure fantasy-- he has excellent physique and the kind of "grinta" it takes to succeed in Italian football, on top of his curling left-footed shots and pirouettes.

If Berisha stays and Inzaghi can get him going as well, it could be quite the midfield.
Asshat - 09:51 CDT, 6/25/19 (Sniper)
We have a "MongoDB" tech guy into work today, and he described the obsession with normalization in relational databases as a "theology" and "philosophy", in a smug tone of voice. What a jerk.

As a big fan of document databases myself, I still recognize that the reason you don't want fields to be duplicated all over the place is because it makes updates and consistency a nightmare. It's the same reason for the programming principle of "DRY". Normalization and "DRY" aren't cults, or pointless exercises.

Beyond that, what the hell is wrong with theology and philosophy? I'm an atheist, but even I think the study of God and of right and wrong are worthwhile, to say the least. Religious people aren't "nuts", there is a huge body of intellectualism behind them, agree with their arguments or not.

Still, his underlying premise that the reason relational databases took off was because storage used to be expensive might be at least partially true, even if it's pure conjecture, versus the pure statement of fact in which he presented the hypothesis. I like to think of it as relational databases are good at solving different types of problems than document stores, why is why the former continues to be ubiquitous today.

In other words, the only "theologian" in the room is this guy.
Modern Society - 16:00 CDT, 6/24/19 (Sniper)
On day five of having no refrigerator or freezer, so every single meal basically devolves into thirty dollar eating out trips. The unit is even under warranty, but we've gotten ping-ponged from the retailer to the manufacturer to pseudo-arbitrarily canceled repair appointments by local businesses, to the point of absurdity.

Now wifey just called, and the latest repair business said "we've been trying to call you, but now we can't get you in until July 2, sorry." The number that was given to them by the manufacturer? A land line we last had over a decade ago! Wifey is trying to figure out how the manufacturer had even gotten that number in the first place, especially since they'd confirmed her cell phone contact information when setting up the appointment...

I'm about to raise holy hell with the manufacturer...
Incorrect - 07:37 CDT, 6/24/19 (Sniper)
A pet peeve of mine is when enthusiast PC hardware people say you can't really use FLOPS to compare video cards, due to some variation of the expression "not all FLOPS are equal", or "a FLOP on this card might be worth more than a FLOP on that other card." Huh?

"FLOPS" stands for "floating point operations per second". For example, "1.3 * 2.7" is a floating point operation. When we say that a video card can do 6 teraflops, that means it can do six trillion such operations, every second. If another card can do 4 teraflops-- 4 trillion floating point operations-- it is flat-out not going to be able to render as much geometry at equivalent framerate targets.

A FLOP is a FLOP. "1.3 * 2.7" is the same whether it's done on one video card versus any other. It's a totally apples-to-apples metric! They are created equal, they are the same everywhere, and it is a useful measuring yardstick for the overall performance of a card in terms of rendering geometry!

Is it the end-all of the performance conversation? Obviously not! Video chipsets have pipelines, where an immensely elaborate number of actions are all chained together, in parallel. One chipset may be able to do floating point math more efficiently, but could have a huge bottleneck elsewhere, which means it would render the same scene less efficiently in net, which means lower framerates.

And maybe this is the sentiment these tech people are trying to get across: you can't just look at a video card's FLOPS number and call it a day. But then, why don't they just say that, versus claiming that "2 + 2" is different when I do it, versus when you do it?
Dreaming Close - 13:53 CDT, 6/23/19 (Sniper)
I bought the "early access" version of "Dreams" two days ago, and I'm of mixed opinions about it.

On the one hand, it's like Doom 2016's "SnapMap" times fifty: the sheer volume of logic elements, the ability to segregate them into separate containers, the full-on geometry shaping, the animation system, the sound-related features, and so forth, make it easily the most sophisticated "in-engine" level editor I've ever seen, by some margin.

On the flip-side, it makes me wish that it was a little more engineering-oriented: how do you handle source control and versioning? How do you smoothly merge and back out contributions absent some kind of pull-request mechanism? How do you handle continuous integration? How do you do unit testing? It does have a configurable grid, but I also wish it had some kind of alternative blueprint mode, like traditional editors. I also miss the option to plug in a keyboard and just write code, versus fussing with always-drifting gyroscopic drag-and-dropping for everything.

It's tantalizingly close to crossing the boundary from "level editor" to "full-on GCS", which is actually what makes it kind of frustrating, sort of like the "uncanny valley" effect, where the closer something gets to looking real, the more obvious its flaws become. As the product stands right now, I think "Dreams" is just going to be a dumping ground of ten-minute "experiences" versus full-on thirty or forty hour games.

To play devil's advocate in the completely opposite direction, I wish full game engines like "Unity" or "Unreal" were more like "Dreams" in terms of feeling "gamified". Granted, those engines do support fully-scripted simple games, but it's just not as polished. And implementing code requires "Visual Studio", which just feels like overkill for most things. So some kind of middle ground would be perfect-- the intuitiveness and level-editor feel of "Dreams", but with alternative "hardcore" modes, with actual coding, unit and integration testing support, GitHub integration, and keyboard plus mouse capabilities.

I still think though that on the balance, my all-time favorite and most fun-to-use GCS is "STOS", on the Atari ST: you write code through a gamified-like editor, so it satisfies my programming itch, but you use graphical tools like a full-on sprite animator and music composer right alongside.
Thumb in Eye - 07:47 CDT, 6/22/19 (Sniper)
I see this kind of situation with government power brokers all of the time; Carrie Lam says that the state will "do more explanation work"-- which of course translated means, "it's not the thing, but the optics of the thing, which we need to change."

I don't know the first thing about Hong Kong politics by the way-- I'm merely commenting on her quote, which has to be pretty transparent and eye rolling to her opposition.
Foreshadowing - 20:18 CDT, 6/20/19 (Sniper)
Long-time readers will know that over the decade+ I've off-and-on played Konami's "Pro Evolution Soccer" series-- dating back even past the first "Winning Eleven" on the PSP-- I often have "Pro Evo" moments, defined as: I always build my Master League teams with super young players, then bring said team up through the division-- until I start seeing those players pop up in real life, in prominent spots.

My favorite one was on Xbox-- as in, the original Xbox-- when I bought a teenaged Italian striker named "Gilardino". He, of course, went on to become a superstar.

In any event, I just had one such "Pro Evo" moment not a half hour ago: in the second half of their game versus Japan, Uruguay brought on a young fellow named "Federico Valverde". "Boy his picture looks familiar...", I thought. Then it struck me: I rummaged in my drawer for my Master League team sheet, and sure enough my lynchpin central midfielder is... "F. Valverde".
One-Dimensional Analysis - 14:02 CDT, 6/20/19 (Sniper)
Boy is the "Messi" talk regarding Argentina getting on my nerves. Just look at this article, for starters: the whole solution to Argentina's problems is to structure the entire team around Messi, how to "best deploy" him.

I watched last night's game against Paraguay, and Argentina's midfield was so terrible that I actually started counting the number of passes per possession: I think I hit "4" a few times-- usually it was "2", or "3". And it wasn't purely tactical either: this Argentina team is simply not very technical with the ball at their feet. They are miles away from teams like Chile and Brazil in terms of raw footballing ability. Even Japan looked great in the first half hour or so of their last game.

Probably the only player who I thought played well was Lionel Messi-- the rest of the team looked like garbage. Just look at that insane penalty given away by Otamendi! Is that Messi's fault, or a shortcoming in tactics too?

For what it's worth, Paraguay are positively dismal as well. The entire game was both teams having poor passes and missed touches, resulting in 50-50 balls with players hitting the deck constantly. Super boring match, difficult to watch.
Village - 07:44 CDT, 6/20/19 (Sniper)
The Frankfurt School may have kicked off this Cultural Marxist sexism initially, but I think in practice it's literally as simple as women expressing blind in-group preferences: it's the head ITV comedy woman, wanting to hire other women, pure and simple.

I see this in my workplace too: departments will have like 75% women in management already, and they all quite openly and brazenly state that their overt policy is to hire even more women, over men. That's how you know it's not about "equality"; rather, it's simply unadulterated tribalism.
Clear As Mud - 17:31 CDT, 6/19/19 (Sniper)
I've observed the exact opposite of what is stated here: as game technology has become more advanced, innovation and game developers going into "unknown territories" has diminished, not increased. This is because as budgets exploded, "one game makes or breaks our entire studio" strongly disincentivised risk taking. What about the PlayStation 5 would not re-inforce this trend, much less reverse it?

Don't get me wrong: I'm really excited to see "Horizon Zero Dawn 2's" shiny new coat of paint. I love new graphics technology! But I have absolutely zero expectation of games broaching "uknown territories": if anything they'll become even more conservative.

In other gaming news, it takes quite the machete to hack through Phil Spencer's corporate bullshit talk, but the best I can glean is his recognition that some level of cooperation with competitors is good for Microsoft, even if he and his cohorts are making up all of the specific details on the fly as they go. There's just too many contradictions in what he says-- "we need an Xbox" - "consoles aren't where money is made", or "play anywhere drives us" - "but only on Switch, sometimes"-- to think he has some kind of master vision.

I get that on the development side, Microsoft is now a "platform company", versus one that sells boxed copies of Windows and Office. But on the gaming side, they almost sound a little like Sun Microsystems back in the Java days: "take our framework and run your code anywhere!" As the interviewer points out, this is a business, and money needs to be made somehow.
Football - 20:43 CDT, 6/18/19 (Sniper)
Watching the Brazil-Venezuela Copa America match. Brazil's team is worth 913 million EUR more than Venezuela's-- 970 million, versus 57. Unbelievable! And yet, Venezuela are hanging on by the skin of their teeth!

In other football, Minnesota United's Open Cup comeback tonight was really exciting, even if it was mostly due to Houston completely running out of gas in the last half an hour. At the same time though, that Quintero strike was marvelous, and Toye showed some excellent centerforward play, peeling away for the winner.
Yikes - 15:16 CDT, 6/18/19 (Sniper)
Holy hell is this game ugly!

Not only does it look really dated from a texture and geometry standpoint, but the totally random looking choices of colors, directionally-vapid character designs, and thrown-together looking HUD and background elements are so astonishingly amateurish that I can't believe the development team wouldn't have put a pause on things once they saw where it was headed. There is no cohesion or overall thematic direction binding everything together.

The guy who made this video says about twelve times how "beautiful" the graphics are, and all I can think is that it's pure nostalgia and emotion speaking-- he even says in the video that he "backed" the game and has been eagerly waiting for it for years, which I think puts the blinders on totally.

It also sounds like the title is a massive bloat-fest: why the hell would you need side quests in this kind of game?
The Future? - 08:01 CDT, 6/17/19 (Sniper)
These "cars" remind Eric Peters of Huxley's "Brave New World"-- but they kind of sound more to me like the rooms with the TV walls in Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451". Either way, talk about creepy. And this "future" isn't some kind of hoax either-- major "car" company executives, from the CEOs down, are leading massive re-branding efforts for their companies, as "mobility providers".

I spent the entire Father's Day weekend at the bug out house with H and D. Take a look at these statistics for kids raised in father-less households. Then remember that 72% of black kids are raised in such homes. Then correlate that with percentages of violent crimes committed by black youths, including gang-related hand gun homicide rates in places like Chicago. Then go to any inner city and ask the mothers why they had kids out of wedlock: "to maximize welfare payments." A lot of America's social ills can be traced directly back to the welfare state apparatus.

Tying in the "car" topic to this past weekend, we used wifey's WRX to go back and forth. On the way there, there is a perfect left-hander coming off of a road with a high speed limit. I asked H and D, "want to take a corner fast?", to which they shouted "yeah!" The car swung for me in a beautiful arc from the first road to the next, tires chirping, where I caught the reverse-weight transfer perfectly exiting the corner. The WRX's design makes such maneuvers easy! Then on the way back, I positively flew down the curved entrance ramp onto the free way, turbo whistling away as I took the best line. To think that people want to eliminate these kinds of experiences-- the joy of a performance-oriented automobile-- is very sad.
Ask - 11:36 CDT, 6/13/19 (Sniper)
First of all, Crazy Bernie is a Communist, whether he openly admits to it or not; there are numerous videos of him having come back from Communist regimes in the 1980s and praising up-and-down Commie dictators and their systems-- go look it up if you don't believe me. So any time Bernie makes a statement like this, remember that Communism is his goal, and that like all Communists, he's willing to force his world view on everyone else quite literally at gun point.

But second, even if we play pretend with the "Bernie is just a Democratic Socialist who likes Norway" facade, what about all of the people who wouldn't consent to being robbed blind to pay for some idiot's basket weaving college degree? How about this: rather than falling back on Locke's so-called "consent of the governed" and making assumptions, why not just ask people? Bernie: I don't consent. See, how hard was that? And if my neighbor does consent, tax them to pay for someone else's college, and not me.
Inevitable Death of Air Travel - 14:01 CDT, 6/11/19 (Sniper)
This is unbelievably timely.

Not two days ago, I was watching a regular pilot in my area flying his personal aircraft over my house, as he frequently does. On this occasion for some reason, it struck me just how contrary to today's safety-and-control obsessed society-- and I mean the word "obsessed" in every sense, and to the strongest and most ridiculous degree possible-- that freely sailing through the skies, without a trouble in the world, actually is. Watching his plane reflect the sun's rays as he gently banked back towards the local municipal airport felt almost anachronistic.

I went back into the house and said to wifey, "In our lifetime, the Leftists are going to ban personal air travel. I'm sure of it." She was skeptical. But here we are: a proposal for no personal air travel in the New York City area. And like all things, this will just be the start-- it will be nation-wide at some point.
Improving - 09:44 CDT, 6/10/19 (Sniper)
I recently revamped four of my "Magic: The Gathering" decks, and they went four-for-four against two of my friends yesterday afternoon: decks 1-3 won their respective games in three-way multiplayer, followed by deck 4 winning in a one-on-one match. And these friends are no slouches in their own rights.

The latest evolution in my deck building came from my realization that decks need to be able to win in multiple ways, but without watering down too much their core strategy. In game four, my "Biovisionary" clone deck was never even able to draw either a Biovisionary or a Jarad's Orders-- but still won via its Soul Foundry / Evil Twin combo, which let me keep the battlefield clear, whereupon I won via conventional combat damage dealing.

Most impressively, that last win came against what our group refers to as the "God Deck"-- the name says it all, it's one tough nut to crack.
Clueless - 07:55 CDT, 6/10/19 (Sniper)
I've never understood those people who say "video game system 'power' doesn't matter, only the games are important." If that were true, we'd all still be playing the original Game Boy. It's like this weird creed, and if you don't agree with it you get called a "graphics whore" (how is liking graphics technology a bad thing? Who knows)-- notice how Andrew Reiner quickly backpedaled in his own thread: "Oh yeah, the games are everything!!!"

I love how in the interview shown in this Mark Dice video, the interviewer references one of Soph's works (but is too cowardly to call her by name), where she is wearing a Muslim get-up in the thumbnail, saying that the "author" (Soph) was "spewing anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, and homophobic hate..." Hey, douchebag: the video was about tech censorship, not Muslims-- did you even watch it? Thanks for proving her right!

I don't like using coarse language, but I'm sick to death of these people. If you are a pure, unadulterated ideologue who is trying to get people banned without even listening to or offering rebuttal to their content, then "douchebag" is the only word I can use for you.

Incidentally, I did think it was hilarious that the New York Times picked Molyneux as the face to show several times in the montage. They couldn't have picked a funnier person, because out of anyone, all Molyneux does is state facts, offer reasonable theories based on those facts, and openly debate people who disagree with him-- changing his opinions where he's found he's wrong. What a crazy, self-defeating person to pick as the primary straw man!

I also like how the article describes... what, I'm not sure, the "far right", whatever that even means... as being a "soap opera" with a parade of villains, blah blah blah. Meanwhile, the very article itself reads like a melodramatic soap opera, parading villains in a montage picture! Zero self-awareness, as usual.

EDIT: I've since read the article, and I see that they used Molyneux because the dude watched a lot of Molyneux's videos.
Fudge - 20:08 CDT, 6/09/19 (Sniper)
All of this, just because Hitlery lost the election. Hah! And it really is just that simple.

In totally unrelated news, Microsoft is bringing back "Flight Simulator"! I used to live in the various versions of that during the late 80s and early 90s.

On another Microsoft note, the history of total bullcrap in video game console releases continues. Remember "Project 64", with games which would "re-program themselves"? Or Sony's "Emotion Engine", with its "real-time Toy Story graphics"? Now we have: Project Scarlett, four times more powerful than the Xbox One X. So that's a, what, 40 teraflops GPU?

I'm sure it'll be a nice video game system, but c'mon.
Louder - 14:28 CDT, 6/08/19 (Sniper)
I'm neither sympathetic nor hateful-- rather, I'm genuinely curious, as my interest in psychology dictates, what the hell happened to this "Carlos Maza" guy during his childhood. His entire life is oriented around getting people he doesn't like kicked off of web sites, for Pete's sake!

Also if you didn't notice from the link, Steven Crowder is on Bitchute! No clue when that happened, but it's great! Another aside: it took me a second to understand "Quarterblack's" costume-- he's a furry! Absolutely hilarious.
Might Be Right - 12:39 CDT, 6/08/19 (Sniper)
Listening to this Molyneux hypothesis makes me wonder if he's hit on the origin of Scott Adams's "two movies" model.

People who are seeing "movie 1" are predominantly those who are dependent on the State, either for direct employment or for some kind of survival-based handout, whether that be food stamps or "Social Security"; conversely, people who are seeing "movie 2" are those who-- like me-- are not particularly dependant on the State in any way, and who thus view that institution not as some kind of savior or protector, but as something more akin to a mafia organization.

I'm going to keep this new Molyneux concept in mind-- it seems superficially plausible. What makes it seem so is that it delves deeper into people's psychology: deep down, do they fundamentally believe that they can survive in a world without the State apparatus? There may even be people privately employed, but who still have little confidence in their abilities, and who live in continual fear of getting laid off-- and I bet they are virtually all Democrats.

Whereas for me, even when I was a dirt poor college student with $50 to his name, and was living off of government-subsidized student loans, I had positively zero fear of the State ever disappearing even though my entire livelihood at that time was dependent on it-- because I knew if it collapsed the next day, so what? I'd quit the stupidly inefficient and largely manipulative college scam, and do something else productive with my time! But my attitude was borne out of confidence in myself. The same thing goes for today: the grid goes down and I can't work on computers anymore? Big deal: I'm smart and enterprising: I'll start farming, or learn a craft.

"Movie 1" people live in fear. So people like me or Molyneux not only trigger jealousy and loathing, but are an enormous threat to their very existence. That's why they have to call me a "white supremacist" when I post a link to a historical video exposing the "intellectual" roots of their ideology. By contrast, "movie 2" people do not live in that state of anxiety, and resent that half or more of society which is extracting their wealth via force.
Google's Evil Empire - 09:30 CDT, 6/08/19 (Sniper)
At present, Google is an astonishing $136 billion dollar company. I've been pondering whether or not to consider its empire built on fraud.

"Fraud" means to misrepresent the terms of a contract. If Joe sells Frank a car on the stated premise that "the car is running perfectly", while secretly knowing that its engine will explode right after Frank drives it off the lot, Joe has not technically lied-- the car was running perfectly at the moment in which Joe stated as such-- but any reasonable person would take "running perfectly" to mean that Joe was not aware of any fatal flaws in the car's condition.

When "GMail" was created in 2004 and was invitation-only, a friend sent me just such an invitation. The service was "free!" I did a little reading and quickly decided not to accept it. To this day, I am not among GMail's 1.4 billion users. Why?

Imagine that instead of a grocery store price tag for a loaf of bread having a dollar amount printed on it, it would say "your date of birth". In the cereal aisle, a box of "Frosted Flakes" would cost "your complete job history". A can of soup would be priced as "the names of all of your children, and their dates of birth." In the next aisle, a frozen pizza's tag would read "your shopping history, including that hemorrhoid cream you bought yesterday." A jelly donut? "Your home address." A package of bacon? "The routes you drive in your car." And so on.

Anecdotally, it doesn't seem that most people would be ok with those terms of exchange when stated up front. Now let's imagine that the grocery store has everything-- the loaf of bread, the "Frosted Flakes", the soup, the frozen pizza-- marked as "free!". But like Joe in the car example earlier, what the store isn't fully disclosing are the tracking microphones and cameras they are slipping onto everyone's clothes as they pass through the store's exit.

Countering the above discourse is the old adage "may the buyer beware". In the fine print of Joe's car sales contract, it does say "sold without warranty". When I received the 2004 GMail invitation, I was able to investigate and discern the company's business model-- so why couldn't other people?

But this is why there are arbitration institutions, private or otherwise: sometimes it's difficult to determine if murder was committed, or in what degree. It seems rational to entertain that perhaps Google built its empire based on the principle spirit of fraud. It would be interesting to see them put into a situation where their actions are put on the scale and weighed against the body of case law.
Shaping Up - 08:46 CDT, 6/08/19 (Sniper)
Both Inzaghi and Tare have re-signed, and the names I'm hearing thrown around-- Wesley, Jony, Kenny Lala-- make me think Lotito has decided it's safe to ratchet the team's wage bill once again, as he's been slowly and surely doing in the entire time he's own the club.

I have what I think are legitimate doubts about Inzaghi, but I really like the work Tare does generally-- and I'm not the only one, his reputation is sterling-- and I've always been a big fan of how Lotito runs the financial aspect of the club.

Given also that we tend to alternate good and bad seasons, it could be a very exciting year for us.
X-Man - 09:33 CDT, 6/07/19 (Sniper)
Wow-- some guy decided to do a 3DO "The Need for Speed" run in real life, complete with a successful "outran the cops" victory. Impressive! I'd shake the driver's hand if I knew who they were.
Fries Day - 07:59 CDT, 6/07/19 (Sniper)
I got a huge laugh out of this article, particularly the stretch from "Are you a Republican" through "Are you just quietly minding your own business". One can't win for losing! Although I wouldn't count on the United States becoming "united" again anytime soon, if it ever was: replacing the "Articles of Confederation" was a mistake from the get-go, and I think the country is headed for Balkanization before anything else-- especially when the next major economic crisis hits in a couple of years; keep an eye on those secession movements!

In other news, at first blush this looks like "Doom 2016" running on Switch: terrible! But looking more closely, it reminds me a little of "Red Faction" on the N-Gage. Cool! The idea of intentionally running a modern game engine with an absurdly low resolution might seem like a weird idea, but I think there is a method to their madness.
Can't See Past Their Noses - 17:30 CDT, 6/06/19 (Sniper)
I'm part way through this Crowder video from yesterday, and am shaking my head in disbelief at how much of an unprofessional circus Google is. Let me sum it up:

"Look, this video has 'Muslim' in the title! I'm going to spend a whopping twelve seconds copying and pasting the URL into Outlook, then send it to Steven Crowder's actual professional attorney, who has the know-how to sue my company's ass off, as an example of why we removed said Steven Crowder from our 'partners' program-- without having watched the video."


"Alphabet" is a $137 billion company, and this is the kind of Mickey Mouse-league behavior they engage in? Unbelievable! It re-affirms what I wrote in this post from a couple of weeks ago. I think these companies are so arrogant and hubristic that it's going to take a serious day of reckoning in an actual court of law-- maybe even the Supreme Court, where they will be forced to declare "public square" versus "newspaper" status-- to set them straight.

When people base their entire livelihoods on the legal contract that is your "terms of service", and you can't even give them return contact information-- not even kidding, just watch the aforelinked Crowder video-- or articulate coherently how they violated the terms in the first place, then that's a flat-out contract violation-- enforcement of which even Libertarianism suggests is one of the isolated valid functions which the State apparatus performs.

The other thing I want to bring up is that a friend at work asked me about "Google Stadia", and I explained that one of my concerns was that Google would censor which games are allowed on their platform. "That game deals with the American Civil War and has slaves in it? Nope! That's 'hate speech' because it might make some random person uncomfortable!" Or, heaven forbid, what about a game with overt right-wing political viewpoints expressed by an NPC, or as part of a game's story? "Call of Duty" and "Splinter Cell" are thematically nationalistic ("Us" from country A, versus "them" from country B), would those be allowed? And on and on it would go.

Google is worse than Stalinist Russia or modern-day China in terms of how loosely they define-- or fail to!-- their censorship. Companies can change, but given the evidence so far, for anyone who cares about artistic license or expression, Google becoming the dominant force in game streaming would be the medium's worst nightmare.

The third and final thing I want to say about this topic is: who the hell are these weasels pushing for this, and how could they possibly have so little wisdom, that I wouldn't even trust them to do a grocery shopping run for me if I handed them a list?

There's that old adage, "first they came for XYZ, but I wasn't XYZ so I didn't care, then they came for me..." And that's all very valid and true! And then there is the historical track record of public censorship, which inevitably ends in people being physically tossed into gulags. And that's a valid argument too. But a lesser discussed point is this: change can never happen if people aren't made uncomfortable! I know this is a cliched example, but it's true: suggesting that slavery was evil made lots of American Southerners uncomfortable one upon a time. But if everyone is sealed in their stupid little bubble chamber, isolated from "uncomfortable" ideas, the world turns into "Fahrenheit 451".
Perspective - 12:12 CDT, 6/06/19 (Sniper)
Henrietta is super excited for the upcoming "Pokemon" game. I might even play just enough of it myself to be able to write a review, even though those games don't really hold my interest.

It's funny how one's perspective changes depending on what one has been playing. I've been really into wrapping up my long-delayed playthrough of "Horizon Zero Dawn", and actually busted out laughing at the graphics in the "Pokemon Direct"-- I felt like I stepped back twenty years!

To be fair, even by 350 gigaflops Switch standards, it looked pretty rough to me: lousy frame pacing and tons of aliasing.
The Code - 08:09 CDT, 6/06/19 (Sniper)
I've finally cracked the code for why some people are considered "controversial" and "arrogant": it's because those people state facts. Take Yngwie Malmsteen; in this 1988 interview, he said that he "plays better than most of those [competing guitarists] guys-- nearly all those guys out there." Well, was that not true? In 1988 and maybe even today, he's one of the top living guitarists on a planet with seven billion people on it. It's not arrogance-- it's a statement of fact.

I've always considered metal to be the pinnacle of human music to this point, because it takes the peak of composition-- baroque and classic music-- and marries it to the best sound produced so far, that of electric guitar. It was amazing to me to read these words from Malmsteen then: "I like the melodic and harmonic feel of classical music and the logic behind it but I love the aggression, the impact, the noise and the extreme power of metal. I need that in my music. It's not there in classical." Well said! There is nothing "controversial" there.

But then he also said, "Often I'm playing to people who don't understand what's in the music. Sometimes I'm playing way over people's heads. There's nothing I can do about that." Again, it's a statement of pure fact: he really did and is playing over a lot of people's heads! Not everyone can be an expert in music theory, but they may still enjoy his sound for reasons they don't consciously understand.

It's sort of like when Stefan Molyneux says, "I run the best and biggest philosophy show on the internet." Is that not true? Or when an in-prime Randy Moss was asked, "who is the best receiver in the NFL right now?", and he replied, "me!". Was that also not true? Terrell Owens and Marvin Harrison were talented too, but not the extreme virtuoso phenom that Moss was-- not even close. Again, a statement of fact, which was construed by many as "arrogance".

To me, "arrogance" is being really terrible at something, but still thinking you're the best. Like when most people try to talk political theory with me, but they can't even assemble a basic syllogism. "Controversial" is stating an opinion which has no grounding in reason or fact.

Stefan Molyneux will give an entire, one hundred percent sourced, two hour presentation slideshow of nothing but pure evidence to support some hypothesis of his-- like how IQ differences in race cause different nations to develop, differently. I listen to it and say, "nothing here is even remotely controversial-- someone may present a countering case and that's fine, but Molyneux's view is not 'controversial'". And yet when other people hear the same words, they call him "arrogant" and "controversial". It makes no sense.

I think in the end it boils down to thinking versus feeling: if some idea makes them feel upset, then they call the person who said it "arrogant" or "controversial". It's nonsense.
Randomly Generated - 07:28 CDT, 6/03/19 (Sniper)
Have I just found the neckbearded hipsters's secret to making the awesome music they have in their games?
Dr. Mengele - 07:43 CDT, 6/02/19 (Sniper)
I went through airport "security" just recently, in January of this year. I had to strip off my shoes and belt, empty out the entire contents of my luggage, step arms-up into this huge scanning device, while getting berated by armed goons.

An elderly man in front of me didn't have the strength to hold his arms up, and they were shouting at him-- "sir, arms up! Arms up! Get your ARMS UP". In his distress, he'd forgotten that he'd been holding his phone in one hand, so they proceeded to yell at him about that.

After getting through, hastily putting my shoes on, trying to tuck my shirt back in so I could put my belt back on, while escorting my dumbfounded kids, while getting yelled at to "hurry up" and empty my bin, I thought to myself, "This kind of degradation has no place in a free society."

Now take a look at this, and imagine a world where you're subjected to "body scanning checkpoints" during day-to-day life-- not just at an airport, but almost everywhere.
Math - 16:11 CDT, 6/01/19 (Sniper)
Take an Italian team's market value, multiply it by ten, and you get the sophistication of their football. Even lowly Serie A sides like SPAL play some really neat stuff.

Take an English team's market value, divide it by ten, and you get their sophistication. Today's Champions League final was just twenty two men running around aimlessly. What a snoozefest!
Two to Tango - 09:01 CDT, 6/01/19 (Sniper)
It's funny seeing Nintendo's since-abandoned ideas being tried elsewhere-- check out the dual-screen laptops!

I for one really liked the 3DS and Wii U concepts. As much as I play my Switch, reverting to just one screen feels like a step backwards. I could see playing an open-world game on one of these laptops, and having the map always available on the bottom screen, as being really fun.

Speaking of bringing back old ideas, I absolutely fell in love with this. I was bummed when wood-panelled electronics went out of style in the 90s, it'd be phenomenal if that idea made a comeback.
All Games Could Do This - 16:44 CDT, 5/31/19 (Sniper)
I've thought about even doing a-- very, granted-- poor man's version of this for the "CPU" opponents in my Atari ST racing game. It's conceptually not very complicated: the "AI" logic performs some action, and if that action contributed to a desired outcome-- getting a frag in Quake III, for instance-- then prioritize that node. If some other action resulted in an undesirable outcome, then demote that node.

On my Atari ST it would have to be extraordinarily simple: for example, what average speed for a car gave the highest probability of getting a high placement in a race? Then it could write that data to disk after each race, and read it back in at the start of all subsequent races.

On a modern computer though, the number of behavior nodes could be quite vast-- and with contemporary processors, the "AI" would "learn" really quickly. The stated results in the article-- that the "AI" logic, reading from its historical records, could beat human players consistently-- doesn't surprise me at all.
A Better Path - 11:38 CDT, 5/31/19 (Sniper)
This is the kind of new-style personal transportion I can get behind. As even my six year old son will tell you, Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe-- "numero uno" on the periodic table.

Besides that, flying makes more sense than traveling on the ground: it takes more energy of course, but you know what they say about the fastest route from "point A" to "point B", which is nigh-on impossible without going airborne. And in a place like Minnesota, forget continually plowing and salting all of the surfaces-- just cruise over them.

Another possibility would be resurrecting "ground effect" vehicles: they use less energy than actual aircraft, but still ride aloft.
Involved in the Troubles - 09:25 CDT, 5/31/19 (Sniper)
One of the funnest parts of working at a big company is having to write up "objectives", derived from those above us on the food chain. So we get handed these "corporate-speak buzzword bingo" sentences from the directors, and we have to find clever ways to shoehorn the actual work we trench soldiers will be doing, into that format. It's a lot like this "Dilbert" cartoon.

On top of that, the group I'm currently in within the company has like 19 female managers, and 3 male ones. This gyno-centricity manifests in the performance reviews being oriented around "people" (how many presentations did you give? how many "coffee chats" did you have?), with "oh, uh, did you actually get anything done?" being sort of a foot note. This doesn't jive well with my very introverted "roll up the sleeves and get shit done" personality.

Right now, I'm trying to figure out if "stand up an Elasticsearch 7.x cluster" is more of a "Drive Operational Excellence", or "Leverage Capabilities" kind of thing. Or should it perhaps even be considered a "Delivery of High Value"? Decisions, decisions!
One More Time - 20:39 CDT, 5/29/19 (Sniper)
I know I've written about "abortion" (nice euphemism, lulz) before, but I just overheard an argument about it, so I figured I'd re-iterate my take for posterity's sake.

Pro-"abortion" arguments are always made on the basis of property rights: "it's the woman's body, so she gets to use lethal force to expel the interloper at any time of her chosing." But that doesn't stand to reason to me.

If a person with Down Syndrome accidentally stumbles into your house and passes out on the floor, you can't just club the poor fellow's skull in with a baseball bat. Call the cops, wait for them to show up, and have the person removed. Ditto for abortion: just have the baby, and put it up for adoption. Using lethal force unnecessarily is quite literally murder, and should be illegal.

But it's even worse, since the vast majority of abortions are not performed when the mom's life is in danger, or even because she was raped. Most of the time, she voluntarily let someone cum in her, and then wants to murder the baby. That's like inviting the Down Syndrome person in, and then clubbing them to death.

If the Down Syndrome person is about to accidentally knock you into a pit of lava, then fine you can kill them to save yourself if absolutely necessary. But other than saving the mom's life, "abortion" is categorically murder, and should be illegal across the board (delegation of self defense to the State).
Popcorn Time - 17:48 CDT, 5/29/19 (Sniper)
I'll be curious to see if Robert Mueller just handed Trump the next election.

Say what you will about Skeletor, but she knows another two years of witch hunt nonsense, which will inevitably end in failure since the Republicans control the Senate, is going to alienate more people from the Democrats, than endear them. That's why she's been so firm in trying to steer her comrades away from the impeachment path.

Besides that, it's zero sum: every moment the Democrats spend building a "platform to nowhere"-- kind of like their "infrastructure" projects incidentally-- is a moment which can't be spent building an actual policy platform, palatable to the average American.

But now thanks to Mueller, Skeletor and Chucky are on the hot seat to drive impeachment proceedings, even if it carries the whole party-- carriages and all-- right off the cliff into oblivion.
Rational Predictions - 12:59 CDT, 5/29/19 (Sniper)
I should read Michael Malice's new book; this brief blurb about the book addressing "catastrophic" thinking amongst members of what Malice and others call the "New Right"-- a group which includes me, according to Malice's definition-- caught my ear. I wonder what Malice has to say about economics?

For me, the way it was put in the aforelinked podcast implied emotionalism and panic. But in terms of economics, I think the threat is quite real. There are trillions-- yes, plural, and many times so-- worth of global debt. But it's not as simple as "I owe you $100 and you owe me $100, so we'll just call it even"; rather, it's governments owing governments money, banks owing banks money, governments owing banks money, banks owing ordinary people money, people owing banks money, people owing governments money, governments owing people money, and so on.

Imagine a spider web with billions of threads in it, so dense that the eye can't even make sense of it. Each one of those threads represents someone or something owing someone or something else money. Heck, even the money owed is just debt-- fiat currency-- versus actual assets! Once even handful of the major threads come undone, it's going to be like chain-reaction margin calls on the stock market; "I don't have the money, I need it from Joe, who needs it from Frank, who needs it from Goldman, who needs it from the Greek State, who needs it from the ECB, who needs it from..."

When this happens, entire governments-- right down to or especially local municipalities-- are going to go belly up. Except this time, central banker hands are tied, because they already have inflated balance sheets from the last recession, and interest rates are near or at the zero bound. As a result, it will be more or less total freefall. Picture what happened to Detroit, but this next time on a country-wide or even global scale. Remember "Occupy Wallstreet"? Imagine that, times ten, or fifty, or one hundred.

The average American can't even afford an emergency $500 car repair, and the average state or municipality can't even come close to meeting pension "entitlements" as is-- now imagine 2009 hitting again, but even worse.

So back to Michael Malice and his book: I'd be interested to know if he'd categorize the above as being some kind of irrational discourse. I should also add in the interest of fairness that there is still some rope left with which to hang ourselves: wifey is always saying, "next step will be NIRP", to which I add, "and stock nationalization, like the 'plunge protection team' at the Bank of China". So maybe those two things will "ride us over" the next crisis, to the point where it'll only be "2009 times two"-- then the one after that will be "the big one".
Right On - 14:28 CDT, 5/28/19 (Sniper)
Fun statistics here: I'm a "full stack developer" who made $107,800 last year; I work from home; and I have zero interest in becoming a manager, ever. That puts me right about at the average in terms of pay, part of the 33% who works from home, and a member of the whopping 75% who have no interest in management.

I do sort of wonder how people answered the "which kind of developer am I?" question. For example, in even just the past five years of my career I've routinely done back-end work, middle-tier service design plus implementation, data engineering in Hadoop, front-end JavaScript, and everything in between, hence why I say "full stack". But that same applies to everyone I know: are there people out there who only work on the back-end, for example?

The only clear-cut exceptions to that rule I can fathom are the "DevOps" and "data scientist" ones, since those are pretty specialized careers at this point. For example, my employer has a whole team of just-"DevOps" people, and the "data scientist" ones are embedded directly in business groups, sitting in their Python "notebooks" all day. But for everyone else, the lines are probably pretty blurry.

I once knew a guy who knew one SAP module, and his billing rate was $300 per hour-- the fellow was so specialized that he didn't even know what a web service was! Even though the money is in specialization-- think of it as "division of labor" within "division of labor"-- I can never see myself pidgeon-hole into just one technology, even if it'd mean I'd make a few extra thousand per year. I'd get so bored in my career I'd probably wind up changing careers!

I like flitting around: Android one minute, Elasticsearch the next, 1985-vintage "Basic" programming the next, and so forth. And that's how I'll probably stay.
Nailed It - 08:43 CDT, 5/27/19 (Sniper)
Fantastic article here about electric cars from-- who else-- Eric Peters. On top of the arguments he makes, he's also embedded this chart, which really tells the tale.

I've always told people that if they want an economical car, look at one of the modern-day tiny-engined conventional cars, like the 3-cylinder Ford Fiesta. These cars get 50 miles per gallon on the highway, yet have all of the benefits of a conventional car: gas it up in two minutes, fun-to-drive manual transmissions, you can take it to any mechanic to get it fixed, you don't need to rob your neighbor to afford one, and so on. Now I can add "oh, and they're better for the environment than an electric car too".

But the zealots don't really care about the environment-- their only concern is virtue signalling. I had a friend once who wanted a "green" car, and when I gave him a list of high gas mileage conventional cars, he almost got aggressive with me-- very angry and defensive, even though I was just trying to help. A few months later, he bought an objectively inferior-in-every-metric $50k+ "Chevy Volt", and was handed thousands of dollars of my tax payer money in the process to artificially lower the MSRP.
Big Result, Questions - 08:06 CDT, 5/27/19 (Sniper)
I almost spit out my coffee on reading that the acronym for the anti-Brexit party in the UK is "CUK". Sounds about right! Incidentally, the CUKs were positively shellacked at the ballot box, failing to win even a single seat evidently.

I see two problems though: first, even as Farage is positively one of my heroes, he's more of a change agent; we saw this after Brexit-- the instant he walked away after the referendum, the whole thing disintegrated into a Theresa May-shaped mess. Now that Nigel's done it again, how will this result carry forward into the desired actions-- what's different this time?

Second, even though immigration is undoubtedly one of Britain's biggest problems-- just ask any of the victims of the Muslim rape "grooming" gangs-- there are a lot of other issues too: they have cameras every three and a half feet in London; they throw journalists into solitary confinement and 150 calories a day for filming on public roads outside of court houses; and they fine and jail people for making YouTube videos.

Even aside from the border issues, the UK seems like a highly undesirable place right now on a lot of fronts. How will this election result impact those pock marks? As it stands, it almost looks like the alternate timeline where Hitler had won World War II, and Britain is accordingly Fascist!
Energy Has Merely Shifted - 19:14 CDT, 5/26/19 (Sniper)
I've been trying to get motivated to refresh some of my skills at home, and it's been a disaster: I wanted to re-write "Gassy Girl", got as far as the USB debugging not working on my phone, and gave up completely; I wanted to learn a new web front-end framework, did one DuckDuckGo search, got bored, and quit; I wanted to learn how "Machine Learning" algorithms work, I started reading, got bored five minutes later, and quit.

"Why don't I have any energy for this technology stuff anymore?" But then it hit me: I do-- it's just happening through my kids. When in my above discourse I related that I got "bored", I invariably walked over to Duncan: "Hey, want to work on your web site's JavaScript some more?" Or to Henrietta: "Let's try some scripting in 'Roblox Studio'!"

It's not that I've lost my passion: it's just that the locus has shifted from myself, to my kids. In other words, my kids are my "outside of work" project for which I have endless energy. It's like playing with technology, with the added bonus of watching their faces absolutely light up when something "clicks". It also has this satisfying "bigger than me" vibe, which is why I think a lot of people turn to religion, or politics: like I'm leaving my own legacy through my children.
Parallels - 16:33 CDT, 5/26/19 (Sniper)
Unless I'm looking up a footballer's goal scoring record, I've long-since stopped using Wikipedia for anything; since "Brexit" and the election of Donald Trump in particular, the site is a disgraceful, utterly unreliable source of even remotely objective information.

And on that topic, it's fascinating how "Brexit" had the same impact in the UK as Trump has had in the US: namely, it's made it easy to separate the wheat from the chaff all across society.

In Delingpole's words, Brexit did "...drive quite a few people on the Remain side of the argument completely bonkers", and it has "acted as a touchstone by which you can judge in an instant who is really sound and who belongs to the decaying, corrupt, ideologically bankrupt old order..."
End of a Minor Era - 10:06 CDT, 5/26/19 (Sniper)
Lazio's season is finally over, and this one last drubbing at the hands of Torino was a fitting end not just to the year, but probably to Inzaghi's time at the helm.

This team was way too talented and lavishly built to finish in mid-table. Inzaghi failed to get even the remote best out of the squad's top players such as Luis Alberto, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and Ciro Immobile. He was also totally unable to successfully integrate the new additions, such as the highly regarded Riza Durmisi, Milan Badelj, and Valon Berisha. As a consequence, the team had never established any consistency and accrued some shocking results along the way, such as the 2-1 loss to Chievo and a 1-0 loss to SPAL, right when the team should have been the most focused and motivated, as they were still in for fourth place.

If the team hadn't managed to basically knick a result despite having been outplayed in the Coppa Italia final one-off, this season would be viewed universally as one of total collapse.

Along with an inability to consistently focus and motivate the players, Inzaghi also struggled tactically, displaying way too much rigidity in his approach, even when it was obvious that the other teams had figured out how to stop it, and even when it was obvious that our players were having difficulty being successful within it. As an outcome, in certain matches this Lazio team put in some of the worst, most difficult-to-watch football since the infamous Ballardini relegation year, barely able to string more than a few passes together.

Taking his three years in total summary, Inzaghi isn't a bad coach by any stretch no matter how negative the above recounting may sound: he took the team on a deep Europa League run last year, and won the Coppa this season. But he's also hardly irreplaceable.

I think it would be really fun to see what Fabio Liverani could do with this team-- he is one of my favorite players of the Lotito era, and I think his temperament and intelligence make for a compelling coaching profile. Sinisa Mihajlovic is another interesting choice as one who could perhaps do great things with the squad, although I do also recognize that he's pinged around between many teams already in his managerial career.

And I can't write about this season without also mentioning that it's a crucial juncture from a player-retention standpoint: some of the big names-- Alberto and Milinkovic-Savic among them-- may depart, which puts the onus on Igli Tare to find adequate replacements. As such, it would be nice to come to terms with a new coach sooner rather than later, so they can have input into those decisions.
Way Ahead - 14:24 CDT, 5/24/19 (Sniper)
Earlier this week, we had "3rd grader" Henrietta do one of her twice-per-year standardized tests, which we issue to make sure she's tracking. In a test which ranks all the way up through the 12th grade in their charts, she scored in the 69th percentile in reading, and the 76th percentile in math-- putting her at "5th grade fall" and "4th grade spring" levels, respectively.

Not only is she a very bright kid, but this is also a huge affirmation of home schooling. In fact, the whole setup in our house feels so natural that I actually forget it's not "normal", and that other kids go to an actual "school"! If anything is unnatural, it's being bused off en masse to a prison camp to "learn". What a bizarre arrangement!
Fake News - 13:23 CDT, 5/24/19 (Sniper)
This kind of stuff is pure propaganda: it takes an assumption-filled "estimate" for the total added corporate tax costs, divides them by the number of American households, and basically says "these tariffs will cost you an extra $831 this year." What if I don't buy any expensive Chinese or Chinese-derived electronics this year? Then the tariffs will cost me $0, or darn close to.

When economics is treated purely as a praxeological analysis of actual human behavior, I find the topic to be fascinating. But as a "field", I wish it had never been "invented" or formalized: it's nothing but a bunch of dweeby pencil-necked control freaks with inferiority complexes using pseudo-science and quasi-math as excuses to meddle in people's lives.

The real world is just too complex and dynamic of a system to know what the hell will happen next, because people's value preferences, behaviors, and world events are constantly changing. The best one can do-- for pure shits and giggles at that-- is understand the praxeological explanations for why people do what they do, and call it a day.
Change Gears - 11:45 CDT, 5/24/19 (Sniper)
With "Super Mario Maker 2" looking like a disappointment for me-- no way to string levels together still?-- I may pick up a copy of "Dreams". I mean, just look at this-- the character and camera movement is ten times better than any of the actual 3d Sonic games!

Of course, every time something gets "democratized" it turns to crap, and that has included video game development-- so be prepared for the "Dreams" gallery to be filled with billions of pieces of garbage, just like was the case with the first "Super Mario Maker".

But from a purely microcosmic perspective, even if I never play other people's games, I'm always down for a cool new level editor. They were pretty pretentious, but I did play and enjoy the "LittleBigPlanet" games on PS3 and PSP as well, so I have some history with this developer.
Into the Corner - 18:35 CDT, 5/23/19 (Sniper)
Because people on the Right are dominated by logic and reasoning-- you can even see this via brain scans, where proportions are different between self-described "conservatives" and "liberals"-- they keep trying to get a grasp on some kind of rules-based consistency regarding the tech companies' "terms of service". Here is just the latest of dozens of examples-- this time from a guy who actually works at Google, befuddled that his own employer hasn't defined "hate speech".

And every time I read one of these complaints from people on the Right, I just shake my head: there is no logic to understand! That's not how these "let's ban Joe and not Frank" decisions are being made! There are no rules or definitions being used, and so there's nothing to grasp!

What happens is, a Leftist employee at one of these companies gets hot and bothered by something they've read, about which they disagree. Because they're emotions-based, rather than be calm and say "Eh, to each their own", they let their anger short-circuit them, and they frantically recruit other hystericals to their side, until the "offending" person or organization is banned.

When Jack Dorsey was asked by Joe Rogan to explain "why certain accounts got banned" from Twitter, all he could do was stammer "uh... um... uh, terms of service, uh, um". What to do? He certainly can't say "because the account made me angry", even though that's literally all there was to it!

And one of these days in probably the not-so-distant future, these tech corporations are going to be dragged in front of the Supreme Court, and made to decide if they are public squares, or newspapers-- in other words, logical consistency will be forced on them. And that will spell the end of them, because there is no way out from there.
Vivid - 16:08 CDT, 5/23/19 (Sniper)
Cool artwork from one of those mysterious non-Pokemon "Game Freak" projects in the works.

I know you can get "colorful" games on other platforms too-- but the Switch has an almost exclusive focus there, and it's glorious.
News Omnium Gatherum - 07:52 CDT, 5/23/19 (Sniper)
Woke up to a lively assortment of news in my feeds this morning!

Starting with the most mundane, the new BMW "3 Series" sounds terrible to me, in spite of Eric Peters's positive review; no manual transmission, a turbo-four instead of a proper V6, and undoubtedly filled with intrusive nanny tech. No thanks.

Up next we have an article explaining how Progressive Los Angeles is Progressing back to the 18th century-- nothing like rats and typhus! San Francisco evidently isn't the only Californian Leftist bastion in terminal decay. Heck, why limit to California-- look at Chicago and Detroit!

Remember last year's post regarding the "FISA Memo"? Trump is on the verge of declassifying a multitude of documents related to that corruption. And I was just talking about "rats"... grab the popcorn and watch your favorite Democrats line up for the dunk tank!

Finally, recall my "white supremacist" post from a few weeks ago, then read this; "white supremacy" means being a "perfectionist", having good writing skills, seeing things as "right or wrong", being "individualistic", or thinking there is an knowable objective reality. Glad they cleared that term up for me!
Unbroken and Broken - 08:04 CDT, 5/21/19 (Sniper)
This article has a neat chart, which attempts to formulate growth of college majors versus the political ideology of their corresponding faculty. Interestingly, my college major-- way back in the day-- of Computer Science skews slightly conservative, if I'm reading the vertical axis correctly.

The reason I find that mildly surprising is because I had the overwhelming sense my college professors were liberals. And even professionally, the leftist programmers will openly make anti-Trump jokes in meetings. Turns out this is just a case of the liberals being the most vocal, as usual-- and the conservatives keeping their mouths shut, also par for the course.

Sometimes I also wonder if I'm in the right career: look at the explosive growth in Computer Science majors since 2011! I was also alarmed by the "Learn to Code" joke-- notice that it wasn't "Learn to Sew", or "Learn to Jackhammer". I wonder if my field is on the brink of being totally commoditized?

In other political news, and not just to brag, I got another one spot-on; check out Mark Dice's coverage of the breakdown of Google's search results. My prediction is totally coming true: their results are basically worthless for anyone even remotely right-of-center politically, and it's all because of what I laid out in that post.

In other totally unrelated news, my sister sent me this-- it's the 3DO's "The Need for Speed", but corrected to make the car pace match what they would actually be in real life. I passed a couple of cars once in real life going 140 mph in my 350z, so I can attest to the rate at which slower moving traffic comes and is left behind, as shown in the video. Of course, the gearing and speedometer is all broken-- this is just a hack, after all.

But it brings up an interesting game design discussion: the 3DO's NFS is probably the best designed video game I've ever played, from the standpoint of making realism trade-offs in exchange for superior gameplay, but in a way that still feels convincing. A superficial example is that the driver is sitting too high in the game's cockpit view-- so they raised the camera a bit, and it does wonders in improving visibility, while still feeling realistic.

But the best example comes in the form of the game's pacing. "Digital Foundry" did a frametime analysis of the title some years ago, and it only runs at like 13 fps. I was shocked-- how could the game feel so butter smooth at such low framerates? Then it dawned on me: rather than "frameskip", the developers made the engine simply render every frame, then balanced the game so that the distances traveled made sense given the low framerate!

In other words, if you divide the number of kilometers traveled by the amount of ground the car moves each frame, multiplied by the framerate-- such as 13-- the math actually works out! To put it yet another way, they eliminated the framerate issues by just building the entire game's design around that limitation! As for the other cars, they are moving "too fast" relative to the player-- but this was also intentional, because just like the cockpit view situation, the game is way more fun and balanced, while still having satisfying passing maneuvers.

Back to the hack then: the hacker "unbroke" the game and made it "realistic". While it's a fun exercise and a way to explore the game's brilliancy, also notice how it's basically unplayable as a result. It's a cool testament to just how clever of a release 3DO's NFS is.
Specialization - 08:18 CDT, 5/20/19 (Sniper)
If anyone ever wondered about the unbridled spread of "division of labor" over the past one hundred and fifty years or so, look no further than how stock market investors award the improvements in efficiency.

Interestingly, the part of that story in which Sony's "PlayStation" team was upset also reminded me of how free wheeling businesses used to be, for better and for worse-- it struck me as refreshing!
Double Standards - 09:11 CDT, 5/19/19 (Sniper)
I'm going to need to re-evaluate "Civilization VI".

I got it as part of a "Humble Monthly" collection back when it was a relatively new game, played part-way through a single match, and wrote it a glowing review. Just a couple of weeks ago, I got a great deal on the Switch port, and am part-way through my first game there. And now that I'm battling through a major war, some serious balancing issues are emerging.

But before I get to that, let me say that my current match-- played as "Cleopatra", on the "Warlord" (third) difficulty-- is more emergent and ludo-narratively rich than any match of "Civ" I've ever played, and I've been at the series since "IV" was brand new, fourteen years ago. I have "Phillip" of Spain adopt Judaism, followed by Montezuma and his Catholic empire, both on my continent waging war against one another. Hilarious, those damned crazy Catholic Aztecs!

After some really exciting early game shuffling, a prolific Montezuma was in pole position via the "Religion" victory condition-- which forced me into allying with those nutty Spanish Jews to do a joint war against the aforementioned cross-bearing jungle guys. I was even able to use the game's phenomenal city state mechanics to recruit an extra army for my use! And hence, the fighting began.

And that is also where the problems began.

Before I started the war with feather outfit-adorned Montezuma, I checked his resources: no ability to make iron or gun powder-based units, and only seven gold to his name. His army consisted of crappy "Eagle Warrior" units, which were no match for my knights, swordsmen, and crossbowmen. "No problem", I thought: at that point in the game, it takes several turns just to make a single new unit.

Not five turns into the battling-- whereupon I rapidly razed one of his cities-- a knight approached. Then another. Then another. Then another. In just a few turns, he was able to make an entirely new army of powerful units, filling the screen. With seven gold. How?! So I did a bit of investigation online, and found this forum thread. Apparently when you turn up the difficulty, the only thing which changes is that the AI cheats! One comment even explicitly states: "Difficulty level = cheat level".

I bet if I had some magic code to turn off the fog of war, the AI was spawning one or two Montezuma knights per turn, just off screen, maybe even in the middle of a plains or something.

Apparently the AI in this series has always worked that way to some degree-- but I've never encountered anything as egregious as this Montezuma war. I remember the game taking flak when it was brand new for the AI being "too easy", and I wonder the developers panicked and patched in "AI can spawn infinite units" code, just to superficially make the game more challenging?

The whole point of a strategy game is to test the player's ability to plan-- and "Civilization VI" gives you a myriad of amazing screens and tools via which to do just that. And they're all pointless, because the rules of the game will pseudo-arbitrarily change as soon as the AI starts to lose-- it's like "Mario Kart 8 blue shell" crap, in a different genre. Frustrating!

I've read that the Switch port is several patch versions behind the PC version-- so maybe they've improved the AI situation more recently, and Nintendo's platform will benefit from that eventually? I hope so, because this handheld adaptation is amazing: the controller interface is fantastic, the graphics are essentially identical to the PC original's, and even the performance is wonderful! And nothing beat having Ghandi almost randomly and hilariously finger-waving at me after I'd declared war: "You're so evil..."
Very Nice - 16:14 CDT, 5/17/19 (Sniper)
Just found an article which lists my 2017-vintage "B350 Tomahawk" motherboard as getting Ryzen 3000 support!

This is awesome, because it means I can just drop the CPU into my existing PC without doing a single other thing; swapping motherboards is as much work as building a brand new PC for Pete's sake.
Overachievement - 08:15 CDT, 5/17/19 (Sniper)
In a lot of ways-- number of supporters, all-time points table, and typical squad value, to name a few-- Lazio are the sixth "best" club in the Italian football pyramid. Interestingly though, in terms of trophies Lazio are fourth, behind only Juventus, Milan, and Inter.

This is an interesting macrocosm to my personal experiences as a die-hard Lazio fan for the past fifteen years, where Lazio have mildly overachieved in terms of actual outcomes, versus their means. Turns out, despite down periods this has historically been true of the club.

Speaking of the final itself, for those who missed it here is the club's highlight reel, and here is the league's-- between the two you can get a good picture of what went on. Regarding the "missed" Bastos penalty situation, eagle-eyed wifey pointed out something even I hadn't realized: "Uh, that shot was going way wide-- the hand took it towards goal, which is probably why VAR watched and ignored it."

At the very end of the league reel, just check out the absolutely surreal imagery with "Olimpia", the team's eagle, adorned in sky blue and white, behind the trophy: Lazio are the coolest football club in the world!
One of the Best - 16:03 CDT, 5/16/19 (Sniper)
This is another example of Tom Woods at his best: a "real deal" academic PhD historian and ultra well-connected with facts and the Libertarian community, but also one of the most down-to-Earth chummy people I've ever encountered, who takes the time to explain complicated multi-faceted historical and economic concepts in the kind of plain manner which anyone can follow.

He's one of the very first people I always steer others onto when they express an interest in Libertarianism.
Atalanta 0, Lazio 2 - 15:57 CDT, 5/15/19 (Sniper)
We did it! So proud of the team today, they worked ultra hard from the opening whistle to the dying seconds. That ninety five yard counter attacking solo Correa goal put a serious exclamation mark on an exciting and deserved seventh Coppa Championship in our fine club's history. Forza Lazio!
Cars Too Expensive Now - 11:14 CDT, 5/15/19 (Sniper)
Due to the inflationary "debt is money" fractional-reserve banking "financialization magic" Monopoly money scam era, plus car-specific "safety" and "green" State gunpoint-enforced laws, cars are now entering into the realm of apartment buildings: too expensive for the common plebe to own, leaving renting as the only option.

It's not only yet another example of the ever-diminishing standard of living for people in the West, but will further "income inequality", because it's yet another thing "commoners" will be spending money on simply to service their standard of living, rather than accumulate ownership of their own wealth. It's like another form of usury.

Notice how video games are going this way too: big publishers are now "leasing" access to an ownership of a game as a "service", whether via server access or streaming; gamers pay their dues for months and years, spending the traditional cost of buying a game many times over, while never winding up with an actual copy of the game to have in perpetuity.
Half-Way Right - 10:26 CDT, 5/15/19 (Sniper)
One of my favorite topics-- that of so-called "animal rights"-- came up during this session, and I wasn't entirely pleased with Stefan's answer. I don't want to belabor the point-- since regular readers will know I've written about this topic many times before, even offering up for mental digestion a bullet or two in my summary post-- but I feel compelled to wrap a better bow on the issue than did Molyneux.

I look at the world through the lense of "natural rights", not the "non-aggression principle". Non-human animals and plant life don't have the ability to formulate or will maxims, so the body of natural law-- both on the "accountability" and "granting of self-defense rights" ends-- does not apply to them. Molyneux gets this part right, offering up a similar line of reasoning, but adapted to the "non-aggression principle".

Where he goes wrong is that he fails to articulate that this is a one hundred percent, absolutely pure question about categories: humans have the capacity for reason-- to formulate and will maxims-- whereas non-human animals and plants do not. The questioner poses, "what if a plague reduced all human intelligence to a low level"-- then yes, absolutely "natural rights" would no longer apply to humans either! Because humans would no longer belong to the category of rational beings.

For some reason Molyneux didn't want or think to answer this inquiry with its totally obvious answer, which is why I wasn't satisfied with his treatment of the issue.

On the concept of "outliers", a person with Down Syndrome, or someone who is drunk or asleep, still falls under the "natural rights" umbrella, in the sense that they are a part of the category "human". Similarly, an unusually intelligent ape does not. However, taxonomical categories are not "forever"-- indeed, humans were not always rational beings. And perhaps some day in a million odd years, the category of "dolphin" or something along those lines will need to be re-evaluated, once the intelligent "outliers" are no longer "outliers".

Of course, I recognize that all of this is lofty and abstract, and that in the real world things are complicated, messy, and often unclear. That's why murder trials often have hours or even days of jury deliberation, to determine not only whether murder occurred, but to what degree-- none of which obviates the abstract principles underpinning the concept of murder.

Applied then to the case of this "animal rights" issue, if a person with Down Syndrome commits a brutal murder in the messy real world, the specifics of that case-- did the perpetrator even understand, and to how far of a degree, what they'd done?-- would need to be examined. Similarly, if a super-human intelligence-level monkey, with an "Ape Escape" Spector-like brainiac helmet suddenly appears and commits human genocide, then the specifics of culpability in that case too would need to be analyzed.

And I'm not merely "weaselling out" through a logical consistency escape hatch here: in all morality, classifications and generalizations need to be used to establish guiding principles-- but in the end game called "real life", necessity dictates that it's individual organisms and circumstances which need to be acted upon.
Floored - 20:21 CDT, 5/14/19 (Sniper)
Last "Soph" post, I promise-- I've just been on a kick with her content today. The reason I've been on a kick is because her stuff is downright profound! Just check out this, and this. These are as packed full of "truth bombs" as any of Ayn Rand's works, or Stefan Molyneux's videos. That's high praise coming from me, because both of those people have been very influential on my way of thinking.

Of course, having been around for awhile I've heard all of these arguments before, having formed many of them independently a long time ago from my own experiences with parental observations and my experiences in school. But the unbelievably content-dense way in which she delivers them is remarkable! And for viewers freshly exposed to the concepts... I can see why she has such a following.
Young People - 15:42 CDT, 5/14/19 (Sniper)
Picked up Taco Bell for lunch today, and the cashier asked if I wanted to "donate one dollar for scholarships something-or-another." I instinctively said "no, thanks"-- why would I want to voluntarily funnel money into the pump-and-dump college debt scam cartel?

Shortly after, I noticed a poster they had up advertising the promotion, which I just now found online. As you can see, it's a hispanic (of course) thot "political science" major (i.e. nutjob) with hair extensions who has a "passion for justice" (translation: racist sexist). The only money I'd put toward this is that she's not going to be a "next generation innovator", whatever that even means; more like a regressive Nazi SS watch dog. Of course, she's probably just a paid actress "fake person" anyway.

On to a different topic: provided she's not the "dumb one" in her family (distinct possibility), I'm sure Susan Wojcicki scores well on IQ tests, considering she comes from a lineage of Jewish PhDs. But holy buckets does she have zero wisdom or common sense! First, she doesn't understand that the political ideologies she's pushing are quite literally Fascist, and lead to police state despotism. Second, she's leading her company off a cliff and into major financial losses through sheer foolhardiness. Classic "book smark but total idiot" type.

On the latter point, she gets taken apart by my new favorite online personality, who makes the following arguments: Susan Wojcicki doesn't want pressure, so she's thinking extreme short-term "how can I relieve the pressure"; she's doing this by continually appeasing the censorship mob-- who will never be appeased, because they'll just keep shifting the goal posts; doing this paints her into a corner long-term, because the mob is too fickle to be reliable revenue generators, and the censorship only alienates the reliable content creators. Logically sound take if I've ever heard one.

Regarding "Count Dankula", even if he were still a Communist and even if I did find his dog "Roman salute" ironic joke distasteful (I thought it was hilarious-- reminded me of something you would have seen in a classic "Monty Python" skit), I'd still support him and his cause just as much. Because people like me want the same consistent rules applied even to people with whom we disagree. And a free society simply cannot function if people don't have the ability to criticize, critique, debate with, and poke fun at others.

Regarding "gen Z": I thought the generations were just getting dumber and dumber-- but as it turns out, I think the "millenials" were just a blippy low-point. For example, Zero Hedge posted this article recently, which shows even as "gen Z" people start to become wage earners, they do idiotic things with their money at lower rates than do "millenials". This is anecdotal, but I've also heard several "gen z" commentators online say that in their schools, huge swathes of their peers are highly suspicious of the State, conservative in their values (save money, be responsible, deferred gratification, etc.), and think "millenials" are idiots.
Kindred Spirit - 09:11 CDT, 5/14/19 (Sniper)
I don't know that I've ever had these acting skills, but if I were fourteen years old today instead of back in 1995, I'd probably be a lot like this girl. At that age, I too was very tech-savvy, sardonic, and had strong linguistic skills. I even had brown hair, blue eyes, and braces.

For me, my frustrations took the form of "blogging"-- years before the term was even coined-- after I'd taught myself HTML 1.0, and hanging out on IRC and Usenet with fellow rambunctious teenagers. I've actually preserved the oldest surviving example of my writing, when I was just a few years older than her. The bitter "l33t h@x0r sp3@k" was strong with me at that time.

I wasn't nearly as politically aware as she is, but the "internet" wasn't even remotely the same back then, so I didn't have the resources she has. Which is why I say I'd be just like her today, given apples-to-apples time periods. In a way, for people like me and her, this is the best time in human history to grow up, because of the today's 'net. Maybe I was born just a smidgen too early. Specifically, I would have benefited greatly from exposure to "MGTOW"-- it would have explained and resolved one of my greatest frustrations back then. I spot-listened to a few of her videos, and even though she's a girl she definitely understands the toxic role women traditionally play in sex relations, which is very instrumental for someone her age.

Of course, I also wonder what's going on in her home life. I was being raised by not one, but two narcissistic parents. I spent my entire life, up until a few months ago (yes, age 37) caught in the parental "drama triangle" shown in the second link, without knowing why I was so anxious all of the time. Both of my siblings also have dealt with depression and anxiety their whole lives. So, I hope this girl is doing ok, I'm happy she has a healthy internet-based outlet for self-expresion, like I did as a teenager.

Speaking of that, I laugh at the famous "liberal compassion", yiking like a bunch of dumb dogs for YouTube to take down her channel because of her political views, versus being happy that a hurting teen has a medium to vent stuff out of her system, and to develop skills while making a few bucks at the same time. It would have been like my parents or a nosy neighbor taking away my computer back when I was that age.
Dogmatic - 12:01 CDT, 5/12/19 (Sniper)
Dragon's Dogma is a pretty fun RPG. It's a weird mix of "The Elder Scrolls" and "Demon's Souls". A few years ago, I played part-way through and reviewed the game on Windows. Of course, on PC I was playing at a native 2160p, at a locked 60 fps.

Maybe I'll buy the Switch port some day, and actually finish the game! I don't remember why I dropped my first playthrough-- I think I just got busy with other stuff.
Trust - 18:38 CDT, 5/10/19 (Sniper)
I laugh hysterically every time some tech company boss says, "I know you don't trust us currently, but just look at these new privacy controls we built into our product!" It's so illogical it makes my brain hurt.

Unless the hen house is either Free or independently audited by a trustworthy third party, and not the fox, it simply can't be trusted; it's trivially easy to have button event handling code do nothing.
Context Is Important - 08:24 CDT, 5/08/19 (Sniper)
It's really funny how, when you dig into the various highly-promoted and publicized scare-mongering reports or even historical records, there is invariably tons of history behind them.

In this case, it turns out that the "50,000 species per year" number has a long past of nonsense, to the point of getting laughed at. Then it suddenly gets resurrected, and people who have known about it for years can only roll their eyes. It reminds me of the "six million Jews gassed by Hitler" deal.
Kernel of Truth - 07:13 CDT, 5/07/19 (Sniper)
Remember when I wrote about how Windows will probably just be a GNU/Linux distribution some day? We're inching closer.
No Leg On Which To Stand - 07:07 CDT, 5/07/19 (Sniper)
Hah, regarding the "tweet" in this article: unless you're some form of anarchist, you sure did consent to facial recognition scanning at the airport, according to your own logic! Statists say that simply by being born, you "consent" to "lawmakers" making "laws" which must be followed.

I remember having this debate with my father some years ago; I was arguing that you can only consent to delegation of rights that you have as an individual-- as in, I can't delegate to my friend to have a party in your house, because I don't have that right myself. "Nope", he argued, "you are delegating to them the right to make 'laws'!" And my father is nominally a minarchist, not some kind of nutty commie!

So when a non-anarchist complains about some kind of usurpation of power by the State, I just smile. Hoisted on one's own petard indeed.
Lightning Strikes - 16:59 CDT, 5/06/19 (Sniper)
"Minecraft", "Freedom Planet", "Sonic Mania", and... that's about it-- the only three games of the past decade I've liked without reservations. I think there is about to be a fourth...

Marriage of 16:9 pixel-perfect art without even a sniff of bearded hipsterville craft beer pretentiousness? Check. Early-90s style DSP-esque music, but without chippy obnoxiousness? Check. Complete absence of SJW or Dudebro themes? Check. Hell, this basically looks like a modern-day "Neo Geo" game, made back then!

The only thing it sort of has is the "evil capitalist" thing, with the premise of the game being that you extort protection money as a sort of simulation mechanic. But I'm just going to treat it as a "government establishment simulator"-- can I extort 100% of the people like governments do? "Pay your 'property taxes' or die, biznatch!"

It technically comes out tomorrow, but seeing as how this looks like a potential "ActRaiser" or "Dragon Force" to me, I'm going to wait for a "physical" edition so I can have a case and game card.
Confirmation - 13:21 CDT, 5/06/19 (Sniper)
Remember when I recently wrote about how uninteresting the games are on the current platforms, versus the consoles in any other prior generation? Take a gander at this collection of peoples' top PlayStation 4 games. Other than "Monster Hunter World", which shows up in a few instances... blegh!
Another Bad Excuse - 11:49 CDT, 5/05/19 (Sniper)
I was thinking today about that topic of so-called "externalities", which are so often used to justify the State apparatus. The principle is that people's actions sometimes cause unintended consequences on others, and so pre-emptive laws are required to stop people from causing potential harm.

But aren't the laws used to "govern the externalities" creating externalities of their own? In fact, if you just look at your own lived experiences, which set of others' behaviors cause you the most unintended unpleasantness: someone inadvertently polluting your water, or police officers constantly hounding you every time you drive a car, the thousands of laws governing what you can do with your property, taxes, and so forth?

In other words-- and which seems to always be the case when it comes to justifications for the State-- the consequences of the State's presence are always significantly more harmful than the problems they are apparently meant to stave off. In this case, the State is by a mile the biggest creator of "externalities" of them all!