The Exigent Duality
Questions - 14:46 CDT, 4/02/20 (Sniper)
I've been a big fan of Mark Cerny since forever: I loved "Marble Madness" in the 80s; I liked many of the "Sega Technical Institute" games; and his name is in the credits of all of my favorite "Crystal Dynamics" 3DO games.

All of that said, I think the verdict is still out on how good of a hardware designer he actually is. That might sound strange given how many years he already has under his belt at Sony-- but consider:

  1. He was a consultant on the PlayStation 3's design.
  2. The PlayStation 4 was the most mundane black box imaginable-- but it won by default after Microsoft shot themselves in the foot. Tough to draw conclusions from that experience.
  3. He missed the mark almost completely with the Vita.
  4. There are tons of red flags regarding the PlayStation 5 so far.

The PlayStation 5 will seal his hardware reputation for all posterity I think.

There are questions for me even on the software side: for starters, while his "method" technique really caught on, I later learned that Ed Logg actually employed that concept way back in the late 70s-- and Cerny got his start in the industry working directly under the very same Ed Logg. Undoubtedly that's from where the idea originated.

Some of his game design track record is spotted as well. I still really like "Kid Chameleon", but the game is unplayable without save support. I've heard that the "Knack" titles were pretty mediocre too. He did "consult" on a bunch of good games-- it's not clear to me what that means exactly.

Criticisms aside, I'm still a big fan: I do think he's the smartest guy in pretty much every room, and he is a walking fact book on game and hardware design for sure. We'll see how the PlayStation 5 winds up doing.

In other gaming news, I reinstalled "Gears 5" from scratch, and that took care of my previous issues. I had a number of conversations on Reddit and elsewhere, and apparently the problems I saw are quite commonplace on Microsoft's store. Yikes.

Finally, my hand is almost fully healed from the ridiculous bruising it took via H's and my first-ever skate park visit-- the palm was swollen up like a sausage! This progress means visit two is in the cards in the coming days.
Stuck - 16:31 CDT, 3/31/20 (Sniper)
I refill my water bottle, get my room all situated, TV on, sound bar on, back rest pillow in place, controller in hand, kick off "Gears 5" from the "Xbox (Beta)" icon, sit through annoying splash screen FMV... game sits at the menu forever with a spinning "loading" icon... followed by a window popping up, "your data will sync soon!"... wait longer... longer...

Yay, it's done. Main menu shows up, and... "There is a game update". And the game... force closes. I open up the "Windows Store" application, and there is an almost 13 gig update. And the game quite literally won't even let me run it without the update.

I kick off the update. It's going slow. I "pause" it. I disconnect my VPN. Try to restart it, and... "Error". I click the "See details" link. In typical Windows and Microsoft fashion, I get the least helpful message ever: "Something unexpected has happened!" Why Microsoft's crap can't show you the extreme verbose, raw details like GNU/Linux so I can actually diagnose the problem, I've no clue.

So now I have a game which won't run without a patch, and a patch which won't install because "Windows". Welcome to your all digital future, today. What happens when these servers are gone some day, and you want to replay a game you paid good money for once upon a time? The game has to "phone home" every three seconds, and get back just the right messages, or it force quits! Of course, I'm not sure there's much worth revisiting here anyway; all games today are so contrived and derivative.

Makes me just want to play Sega Genesis the rest of my life: the cartridges still have me up and playing in ten seconds, thirty-plus years after they came out.
Lacking Form - 10:36 CDT, 3/29/20 (Sniper)
I may be bored with electronics overall, but here is a major exception: this is the kind of ambitious-relative-to-the-hardware software we used to get monthly when I was a kid. If the games industry could re-discover this kind of form, my boredom would be erased completely. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening due to the reasons I discussed in this post.

I played the early portions of the "Gears No-Longer-of-War 5" campaign yesterday, and I'm not sure I'm digging the "Metro Exodus"-style pseudo open-world design. That, and the butch female protagonist is one of the most obnoxiously sarcastic, vulgar, low self-awareness character I think I've played in a video game.

Speaking of which, wifey and I were laughing at the female NPC character designs in the boring village "walking simulator" portion; they all had this phenomenon going on, and all of the "walking past" dialog was littered with f-bombs and selfish non-stop bitching about pointless crap.

That's not to say "Gears No-Longer-of-War 5" is a bad game: the gunplay is still just as fun as it was when the original title came out, the world art direction and technology is phenomenal, I like the addition of "Jack" and its skill tree, and the entire campaign supports drop-in and even split-screen co-op.

That said, I have been running into problems with what appear to be memory leak-related cache or VRAM thrashing, after the game runs for twenty or so minutes. I posted on a forum asking about it, and someone recommended downgrading to the previous Nvidia drivers-- which did help at least partially. Someone else posted and said the game is a hitching mess even on the Xbox One X-- yes, even the console version running on Microsoft's own hardware!
Stale - 18:54 CDT, 3/28/20 (Sniper)
I am sick to death of electronics: old video games, new video games, watching videos, movies, television shows, and so forth. Essentially, anything involving sitting in a chair, staring at a screen. Outside of my career, I need to totally ditch all of this crap, and take up additional physical hobbies to supplement inline skating.

Speaking of which, it's been raining all day, and I'm going nuts not being able to be out on my skates. I feel as our chickens undoubtedly do: cooped up!
Standing Ground - 13:42 CDT, 3/28/20 (Sniper)
Hah, American mainstream journalism at its finest. Is this lady doing a news segment, or an opinion show-- because I can't even tell the difference.

She ends with calling him "Mr. No", because he "votes no on lots of things"-- as if that's a bad thing! I wish we had a whole congress full of Thomas Massies. From the standpoint of this lady, thank goodness I'm not President-- I'd veto practically everything which came across my desk! Unless it's a bill undoing other bills of course.

In any event, in skimming through the comments on Breitbart and YouTube, there are tons of people who said "I didn't agree at first, but now after hearing him I do agree"-- which is a testament to how cool of a head he is.
Pandemic - 07:45 CDT, 3/27/20 (Sniper)
There's been a terrible virus going around lately, and it's infected many otherwise, ordinarily rational people with whom I associate-- it's the most dreaded pandemic of all: the fear of Coronavirus virus!

Some of my coworkers-- logical individuals normally-- are almost literally cowering under their beds! I've never seen anything like this in my almost forty years. These people-- most of them American, but some of them Indian as well-- are willing to sacrifice essentially all individual liberty, their sleep, and their well being at the altar of being afraid of the virus-- to the point where they get annoyed if I try to inject a little sanity antidote.

Ever seen the statistics for how many people die in car accidents every day? Or look at how many tens of thousands die from influenza every year, just in America? Or how many people seriously hurt themselves or even die walking down stairs in their houses, or getting out of the bath tub? Or how many people are mugged, assaulted, or even murdered?

Life is positively inundated with daily risks far, far greater than the Coronavirus. Yet people don't hide in their houses, or call for the government to ban driving, bath tubs, or shut down the entire economy so all stairs can be replaced with ramps. Rather, they voluntarily take appropriate precautions-- such as not driving like mad men, like stepping carefully out of the bath tub, and so forth-- and otherwise just get on with their lives without worrying. That's how a reasonable person behaves.

The Coronavirus is much the same: stay mostly at home for a bit to help "flatten the curve", wash your hands, cough into your arm-- and don't think about it otherwise! Life is too short to worry about controlling things you can't control. And it's astonishing to me that otherwise smart people are falling prey to what can only be described as hysteria.

But then again, I guess that's why it's a virus: the fear of virus virus!
Swagger - 19:18 CDT, 3/25/20 (Sniper)
I've been following video game system releases for thirty years, and you can quite often tell which system is going to "win" that particular generation, before the platforms even hit the shelves.

The PlayStation 5 community reminds me a lot of the Saturn supporters, prior to that system's release: lots of really transparent, Nintendo fan-esque "only the games matter" talk, "specs aren't important", delusionally holding on to bread crumbs like the sound chip, even as report after report from developers indicate that the Xbox Series X is miles ahead in terms of real-world performance.

And speaking of that camp, I'm getting PSX vibes: tons of enthusiasm, gloating over the specifications, rooted-in-reality excitement, and so forth. It's quite literally the opposite of lead-up to the current generation; the shoe is on the other foot, as it's pretty clear to me at this point that Sony will be the one running games at the lower resolutions and framerates this time around.

On a totally unrelated note, of course I feel for people who have lost work or gotten sick-- but at the same time, I've actually been really impressed with how people have come together, and how so many companies, my employer included, have been incredibly supportive and helpful. This has also steered people towards home schooling ("we're all home schoolers now"), and integrating their work lives with simultaneously being with their families all day. I wouldn't wish the virus on anyone, but it's also important to be optimistic and look at the silver lining.

Given the virus's low fatality rate, the biggest medium-to-long-run pain I see from this is the State and Fed literally helicoptering trillions of dollars bailing out the banks again-- what will all of this monetary expansion mean for prices? We need a whole new series of "Peter Schiff was right" videos; here he is at his best, explaining how we got to this situation.

It's also worth observing that the State has children captured in government schools for thirteen years, yet doesn't teach them even the most rudimentary financial responsibility; when I met with my financial planner for the first time in my very early 20's, the first thing he told me to do was gradually set aside three month's worth of expenses-- a "rainy day" fund, personal finance 101, day one. Seeing people like "Vee" complain, "how are people supposed to buy food without the government handing them money?" reminds me that these systems-- such as the government schools-- are not meant to educate and foster independence and self-actualization, but rather to create good little obedient dependent tax cattle who toe the line.

I think it's a compliment to the way wifey and I have set up our lives, that nothing has changed for us with this; obviously we had no way of knowing a virus would be "the pin"-- but it was totally apparent to us that the current system wouldn't sustain for much longer, and we organized our lives accordingly, ahead of time. That's all thanks to Austrian economics, traditional Conservative family and financial values, and so forth: if you want to be happy, Conservatism is the model to emulate.
Entertainer - 20:01 CDT, 3/21/20 (Sniper)
There's a little "stunt" I do on a particular street: I leap off a curb, parallel-turn arc up and down the bottom of a sharply-angled driveway, then step-over to my left onto the adjoining sidestreet.

When I was out an hour or so ago, I heard someone shout "you crushin' it brother!" as I wrapped up that sequence. Here a few young black men were standing on their front steps, filming me! So I guess I can mark this down as the first time I actually entertained a random third party with my skating.

A few days ago I checked the Amazon order for my first pair of skates: delivered on September 30, 2019. I've had less than four full months of practice, and that was divided in two parts by winter. And I started not even being able to stand on skates without falling down. Taking my limited athletic ceiling and age into account, and I think I'm progressing pretty well.

One thing I'm trying to do is develop my own style. Don't get me wrong: watching a pure technician with a ton of experience, like a Richie Eisler, is like observing a real-life ninja-- he's unfathomably talented! But while he's a big step down in overall talent, there's something about the flamboyant, almost out-of-control Xavi Eguino that I want to emulate.
Got Droned - 18:22 CDT, 3/21/20 (Sniper)
Now that winter seems to be officially over, the kids and I got out today with Duncan's "Altair AA108" drone. The wind was pretty gusty, so it took a really steady hand and delicate inputs to keep the thing in the air-- as evidenced by the shot of us retrieving it from the mud.

But we got some cool pictures nonetheless, including an aerial shot of wifey's car, and a grab of H and D themselves. Enjoy!







Hmmm - 12:37 CDT, 3/21/20 (Sniper)
I'll listen to the rest of this later, but based on the first thirty minutes, I think this guy's "moral nihilism" could be defeated in about five minutes.

If I have a logically valid syllogism proving a moral statement-- any moral statement, like "it's objectively wrong to steal"-- then this guy either has to accept that "moral nihilism" is an incorrect worldview, or he has to argue that logic itself is invalid, which he would of course try to do using logical statements.

In other words, I think this guy could be painted into a corner very easily with a well crafted series of arguments.

On that note, I wonder how extreme materialists like this guy seemingly is, acknowledge that logic is in fact valid-- because logic is, after all, an abstract concept, not some kind of object we can hand back and forth.

Saying that logic is just "electricity and chemicals in the brain" doesn't seem to align with how certain and universally and objectively true they present their arguments. Maybe aliens orbiting Alpha Centauri have different chemicals in their brains, and so "1 + 1 = 2" is purely subjective-- which is a very non-materialist argument.
What to Make of It - 08:40 CDT, 3/21/20 (Sniper)
I was just making this argument yesterday to wifey: "so will the gestapo need to stay at home too, or will they be riding around arresting people who leave their homes?" I get the so-called "flattening the curve" thing, but for the most part people will obey that without totally egregious civil rights violations-- many of which won't go away once the "crisis" is over-- out of pure self-preservation.

I've been saying for a long time that modern video games are so outrageously long because millenials are using them for escapism, rather than taking the self-accountability needed to go out and make their way in the world. Here is an explicit confirmation, straight from actual game developers.

Relaxing and unwinding after a long day's work is a great thing for the body and mind-- but it needs to be preceded by the long day's work. Or in this case, not living in total denial of imminent systemic collapse for years and years, then stockpiling toilet paper of all things in a total panic at the absolute eleventh hour. And by the by for these people: how do you think your "gun control" measures will feel once the social unrest breaks out? Did you think ahead about that one as well as you did everything else?

But maybe I shouldn't complain: nothing in my life has changed because of this, in part due to not succumbing to escapism throughout my life-- wifey and I have done a lot of practical prepping over the years, knowing how fragile the "system" is-- but also out of luck: I work for a Fortune 500 corporation with superb cash flow, and which is in an "essentials" industry to boot, and I already worked from home full-time anyway. So wifey and I can take credit for some of it, and thank luck for the other part.

In the end though, it's funny how suddenly all of my co-workers are preppers and home schoolers, whereas they used to sort of laugh at me: reality eventually asserted itself!

Finally, in totally unrelated news, I was listening to some Yngwie last night, and that got me in the "fuck it" frame of mind: so I threw caution to the wind, put on the skates, skated as fast as I could directly towards a curb, jumped, and... easily cleared it. And there went my fear of jumping on skates! After seeing me do it, Henrietta followed, and... total success. We then spent over an hour making up crazy routes on the various sidewalk "ramps" and curbs, imitating each other's stunts. It was a total blast!
What Happen - 16:36 CDT, 3/20/20 (Sniper)
Eric Peters raising lots of alarm bells, and when I read articles like this, it's impossible to blame him: how many of these civil liberty violations will go away once the virus situation is all clear? To me, the majority of this seems more like dry run conditioning to see how far the public can be pushed, than legitimate attempts to keep people from getting sick.

On a related note, someone needs to do another round of "Peter Schiff was right" videos.

In a surreal role reversal, here is Tom Woods hosting Peter, with the latter at his scintillating best: it's a must-listen. There are a bunch of charts here and here to accompany your listen. Everything Peter has been saying for years about this economy being totally fake has proven correct: sharpest sell-off literally in history, despite the Fed taking its balance sheet to all-time highs in a matter of days!

It's that analogy of the drug addict: the economy needs more and more of the drug just to stay afloat-- or by this point, not even: we're in ICU "overdose" territory now.
Aeon 60 - 18:38 CDT, 3/19/20 (Sniper)
My new skates came in!





It's been raining all day, but I still took them out for a little spin. They're so smooth! Everything from the boots to the buckles to the bearings are premier quality. From a skating perspective, they have so much lateral stability and inspire so much confidence that they almost feel like cheating.
Alien World - 15:33 CDT, 3/19/20 (Sniper)
Politicians and Federal Reserve board members don't hesitate for a second while "deploying" billions or even trillions of dollars bailing out banks through "asset" purchases. But when it comes to sending mom and pops a thousand dollar check, there is enough wringing to dry out every hand towel in the country. I'm not proposing that checks should be sent out: it's a terrible idea, as are bail outs for banks and corporations-- I'm merely pointing out their priorities.

On a somewhat related note, I read that there has been a confirmed case of influenza in my home city. I also read that some guy died of HIV there as well, and someone even got hit by a car! What is this world coming to? Well, I can tell you one thing: I'm not leaving my house under any conditions, and I am not removing my pillowed vac suit either! And if the President doesn't declare martial law, then he's a total ninny.

Speaking of that, why do people look to politicians for emotional support? I can think of few things creepier. I have no clue what "Orange Man" has or hasn't said about the "Coronavirus", and I couldn't care less. Yet I've read criticism that he hasn't been "reassuring" enough. Are Nancy Pelosi and The Donald your mommy and daddy? Whereas I'm of this school: "How do you know a politician is lying-- his mouth is moving."

Moving on to something with more levity, I can relate to Torvalds' notion. But then again, I'm strongly in this former group: "There are some individuals for whom email and phone/IM works just great. These are usually the self starters, so they're looking simply to get guidance and then get stuck in. Then there's the rest who are demanding more explicit instructions." With the exception that to me even "IM" is way too intrusive: email is the way to go.
Technical - 15:58 CDT, 3/18/20 (Sniper)
I really enjoyed Mark Cerny's "PlayStation 5" presentation today. It was very tidy, logical, and technical.

Sony's approach almost seems like a shift back to the 80s or 90s, in the sense that the PC was all about brute force, whereas the dedicated game systems had lots of game-specific, specialized silicon. While I'd still really like to see an off-the-wall system where all of the silicon was focused on something audacious like holograms or voxels versus streaming gigabytes of textures and triangle meshes off of disk, their custom controller and best-of-all-time sound chip are pretty neat.

Whereas, Microsoft's "Xbox One X" essentially takes the same route as the original "Xbox": it's just a really nice, souped up gaming PC with basically off-the-shelf components. The video chipset has more "compute units" than Sony's offering, but I wouldn't be surprised if the "PlayStation 5" provides better net framerates in some "open world" workloads especially. It's brute force, versus finesse-- sort of like the "Xbox" versus the "PlayStation 2".

Of course, all of this hardware is moot because there isn't anything interesting to play on it; I spent over seven hundred bucks on my RTX 2080 and have played like two games on it ("Shenmue III" and "MechWarrior 5"), neither of which even remotely required that much horsepower. The industry is split between the Chads and Tyrones getting their legions of wannabe Hollywood walking simulators and Dudebro shooters in one corner, and the no-chin soy boy effeminate pseudo-men indie and Nintendo fans in the other.

The only video gaming I've done in the past two weeks is playing through 1993's "Shining Force". No need for 12.5 teraflops there; probably a Pentium 133 is fast enough to emulate! And it's ten times the game anything modern I've played, especially in the most-important aesthetics department.

In other hobby-related news, H and I have been inline skating at least two hours every day. I've sort of plateued: I'm improving at the step-over turn, but jumping is still terrifying. My "Aeon 60s" should be here tomorrow, and H has a used pair of "Roces M12s" coming a few days after that. Then we'll go hit up the skate park for the first time. My hope is that having an actual object to jump onto (a ground-level rail, or a "box") will help me.

One of the most bizarre-- and incredibly refreshing-- aspects of the hobby is that the men are actually men! With video games, I became so used to every single article or YouTube video being penned or presented by either some morbidly obese, tatted-up carousel-riding white chick, or a "guy" with lower "T" levels than wifey's eighty year-old grandmother-- it's almost jarring to not have that be the case anymore! In general, the crowd is a huge improvement, and really adds to the enjoyment of the hobby.
Money and Skates - 16:41 CDT, 3/12/20 (Sniper)
Anyone who complains about "income inequality" and doesn't have "Federal" and "Reserve" as two of the first words out of their mouth frankly has no clue what they're talking about. Here we see the Fed creating three trillion USD in a timespan of days, and handing it directly to the bankers. And that's just for the crisis-- as in, it's in addition to their usual schenanigans.

Three trillion dollars! In a matter of days! No other source of "income inequality" comes even in the same universe as the kinds of money sums the Fed casually throws around!

In other news, I finally got off the fence and placed an order for my first "real" pair of skates: USD Aeon 60s, of the Richie Eisler variety-- which I think look absolutely phenomenal! H and I drove to a skate park near our house, and it has plenty of ramps, plus a low rail maybe a foot off the ground. H is just as excited to get into "aggressive" as I am-- in fact, I'm about to go shop for her skates now. She's already into actual women's sizes, so they might get pricey...

Speaking of skating, H and I were practicing jumping off of curbs today. A car started coming. I rode up to the curb and did one of my routine "don't even need to think about it" quick turns-- only to have the muddy surface go out right from under my planted foot! I went down fast, and the side of my face went straight into the mud! As the car went by, I realized it was a cop: "Are you ok?!" she asked. I just gave her a big laugh and a thumbs up-- I must have looked hilarious!
A Nice Person - 18:06 CDT, 3/10/20 (Sniper)
People are generally assholes. I base that on my thirty-eight years of life experience, where easily ninety percent of human interaction has been either neutral, or varying degrees of overtly negative. But maybe a handful of times in my life, I've actually had an affirming, pleasant exchange with another person.

I was out an hour or so ago on my skates, where a woman stopped her car, rolled down her window, and beckoned me over: "Sir! I need to tell you something!" As it turns out, I've become a "constant story" in her household, as they've watched me progress from a total beginner just last summer, to being "very skilled and super confident" as she said I am today. This, of course, immediately after I'd almost totally wiped while practicing my speed skating strokes-- a point which I modestly emphasized, with a laugh!

It was a very brief conversation, but it felt great to hear a neutral, total stranger confirm to me that I'm on the right track, and that all of my hard work on the skates is paying dividends.

My other big breakthrough was discovering this guy about a week ago. That video in particular answered my question regarding what I want my personal school choice to be: urban freestyle. It's "Jet Set Radio" in real life-- minus the graffiti of course. Every time I skate now I'm immitating Bill Stoppard. Right now I'm working on hopping onto and off of sidewalks and other elevated surfaces-- it's kind of scary, and I did a real number on my right knee a few days ago, but I'm making progress.
Too True - 17:38 CDT, 3/10/20 (Sniper)
In one of those "sometimes the comments steal the show" situations, and related to my previous post, here is a very astute observation from one of IGN's readers:

"When I was a kid, there were dozens of sports titles on the market and many of them were great VIDEOGAMES. Most people didn't care about how it interfaces, or didn't, with the actual sport. Some were very authentic. Some didn't even try.

Then 2 frustrating things happened:

1) NBA Jam was a massive success and the term 'arcade sports title' became erroneously synonymous with 'no rules' gameplay and unrepentant in-game violence despite almost no arcade game before JAM doing that except arch rivals.

2)more sophisticated hardware began to attract the 'sports gamer' who may ONLY play sports games and wanted authenticity above all else. It was more important to that player to have authentic rosters with photos of players than to play a game that was actually fun.

The end result was sports games that were heavy in authentic detail and light in quality game design."


I've written about that topic many times before! For example, here I am discussing how the 3DO's "The Need for Speed" selectively and cleverly sacrifices realism in lieu of making a more fun game. I give another example in this post in the form of the classic DOS flight sim "Aces of the Pacific": those era flight sims games were just realistic enough to feel authentic-- but otherwise focused on being fun, character-filled games first and foremost.

In fact, that schism the commenter mentions-- this huge rift between people who want "casual" and those who want absolute realism-- has resulted in the middle ground being totally lost across the entire games industry! The only exceptions I can even think of are the "Forza Motorsport" and "Gran Turismo" simcade racing titles-- and even those lean maybe too much towards "sim".
Almost - 08:01 CDT, 3/10/20 (Sniper)
Long-time readers will know this first-hand, because this site existed even back then: when the NFL announced their EA exclusivity deal in 2005, I dropped the NFL cold turkey for an entire decade-- this reaction from a guy who had practically the entire league's player pool memorized, who used to sit at Vikings training camp every day for hours taking notes, and who seriously considered dropping college and trying to get a job within the league instead.

When I saw this then, I ran to my wife and said "NFL 2K21 is coming!", only to then read the rest of the article: "...in a partnership that will span multiple video games centered on fun, approachable, and social experiences." So, the best thing that could have happened in the hobby for me in over a decade is a "nothingburger". In the words of Earl, "Total bummer, dude!" This deal will probably manifest in some terrible NFL-themed "gacha" mobile game, and some shoestring budget "Blitz" clone on Unreal Engine.
Things Change - 09:10 CDT, 3/07/20 (Sniper)
I thought that this was kind of a fun video, in the sense that in almost every case the child looks way more effeminate than the father, sometimes dramatically so. Pay attention to skin complexion, strength of jaw line, size of nose and eyes, strength of eye brow ridge, ratio of face width to height, and so forth. It's a nice visualization of falling "T" levels over the past thirty or forty years.

Even though a lot of these are pretty funny, I mostly just feel bad for the guy: he's at that stage where he's the funny old man in the nursing home who can't always remember his name, and who playfully tries to pull on the nurse's dresses as they walk by, while giggling like a child. In his much younger days he was probably the smartest, most honest politician Jan Helfeld ever interviewed.
A Partial Convert Maybe - 17:14 CDT, 3/04/20 (Sniper)
I've never been much of an American muscle or pony car fan: I don't care for their trademark design aesthetic, I find the culture sort of eye roll-inducing, and any automobile where one capability of it is totally out-of-whack with the rest of the car's capabilities just seems poorly engineered to me.

That said, I can certainly understand the appeal when put this way-- in part because it reminds me of the video game post I just made yesterday. Say what you will about it, a car like his Trans-Am certainly does have an immense amount of character: it has the same raw, "I don't give a damn" personality-filled manner of the old video games I enjoy so much.

I can also relate to what he says, because I see many of those same attributes in my 2003 350z; it has TCS/STM, but with the press of a button all "assists" (other than ABS) are totally defeated-- leaving you alone with the somewhat coarse vibration-filled V6, the throaty exhaust, the notchy 6-speed manual gearbox, the array of oil pressure and electric system analog guages, and the "modulate attack angle with the throttle, or just do donuts if you want" rear-wheel drive.



But that said, my car is a mid-point between his and the modern, so it also has the bubbly, ugly air bag-filled steering wheel and dash board. It is fuel-injected. It also has massive ninteen inch wheels, on which I have fitted a set of the absolutely marvelous "Michelin Pilot 4 S" tires-- although I consider that point to be a positive, not a negative, because my it means car's handling, braking, balance, and power are all in a nice harmony with one another.



And while we're at it, let me complain about something he didn't even mention: the addition of massive iPhone-like screens has completely and utterly ruined whatever was left of car interior aesthetics, to the point where I would never buy a car which has such a monstrous obelisk bolted onto or into the dash.
Continuous Failure - 17:06 CDT, 3/03/20 (Sniper)
Even when taking the exact same game, the people who design the modern incarnations absolutely destroy the character and atmosphere. Is it done intentionally, or is it sheer incompetence? Either way, it's just bizarre.

A case-in-point: every hair on my arms stood on end as I watched and listened to this. Meanwhile, the contemporary Switch port looks and sounds like a fifty cent mobile title!
Spotted - 15:41 CDT, 3/03/20 (Sniper)
Unbeknownst to me at the time, someone snapped a picture with me in it, playing "Killer Queen" at a local arcade; I'm the guy in the middle, with the glasses and black coat.



Incidentally, I was quite happy with how I played: I was "queen", and lost track of how many matches my team won in a row. At one point, a couple of people from the other team shouted out, "who the heck is your queen? Grrr!"
Tale of Two Kids - 20:37 CDT, 2/27/20 (Sniper)
As is my usual habit with everything in life where I research like crazy, I've been digging into the pasts of the latest batch of nationally-known Democrats. The most interesting one I've found by far is Pete Buttigieg, who is as close to a "twin study" as you'll find to me-- to the point where the similarities are kind of creepy:

  • Born in the midwest, three months and two days apart (he's the younger).

  • Both started reading at a very young age.

  • Super serious, shy, intense children; gained reputations as the smartest in their respective elementary schools. We even look sort of similar as kids, see below comparison photos. He's a little older than me there, but it's the closest age match I could find.

  • Both got picked on a lot by the other kids. Often friends with the teachers moreso than classmates.

  • Only children. Technically I got a brother when I was eleven, but any birth order expert will tell you that psychologically, that kind of age gap is the same as being an only child, with such relationships taking on instead an "uncle and nephew" familial role.

  • Went to essentially all-white, upper-middle class private elementary schools. My case was Catholic all the way through; his was Montessori, then Catholic.

  • Excelled at piano at a very young age-- albeit he kept with it, whereas my teacher moved out of state, and I never signed up for lessons again.

  • Favorite show was "Star Trek: The Next Generation". Played football and soccer religiously with friends.

  • "Valedictorians" in 8th grade; my school didn't have that title technically, but I was top of my class by a wide margin. I also was granted a significant four-year scholarship to high school in recognition of my achievements.

  • Presidents of student councils.

  • Gave speeches as 8th graders to room full of adults; acted and spoke like 30-somethings at that age.



But then starting around ninth grade, we split in diametrically opposite directions: he became a huge "Kool-Aid" drinker-- an advocate for authoritarianism-- and continued his academic achievement. As an adult, he's a text-book "social justice warrior" Democrat-- a grown-up "goodie two-shoes".

Whereas and in total contrast, I became highly anti-authoritarian in high school, and wound up in the bottom quarter "burnout" segment of my high school class-- choosing to devote my intellectual pursuits to things other than school, which I found to be a pointless and tiresome nuisance. As an adult, I'm a Rothbardian-styled anarcho-capitalist-- a grown up contrarian thinker.

Here are just a few things which were different for us, and which could account for the divergence:

  • From the article: "Buttigieg was the only child of college professors growing up in a bubble of academia in the Rust Belt." By contrast, I grew up in a Conservative, Free Market-oriented household, in a blue collar neighborhood.

  • Regarding his father: "...garnering attention for his scholarship in critical theory and civil society..." You just can't make this stuff up: his dad was quite literally an American contemporary "Herbert Marcuse". Could getting "Frankfurt School" values in your ear all your childhood influence your sexual orientation later on? Perhaps.

  • When teachers or parents would compliment me, they'd say "some day Mike, you'll make a great businessman." As an adult, I've had a long and successful career in a Fortune 500 company. When teachers or parents would compliment Peter, they'd say "some day Peter, you'll make a great politician." The specifics of reinforcements like this materially matter to children like him or me.

  • There could be a genetic component in play as well; both my mother and father's families have strong anti-authoritarian streaks-- for instance, my maternal great grandparents were "moonshiners" during Prohibition.

  • Another key difference is that my family started going through really bad times around when I was starting the tenth grade, causing serious disruptions to the stability of my home life. It's possible that those experiences were what tripped the anti-authoritarian tendencies in my DNA, and also caused my grades to suffer.

  • You can split intellectuals into two types: those concerned primary with the outside world, where their inner world fulfillment is secondary-- and those who are the opposite. He is clearly the "outer world" kind, so the praise of good grades and the acquisition of power is satisfying-- and I am strongly the "inner world" type, hence why a "dark closet programmer, just leave me alone" career and society is appealing.

As a partial aside, Bernie Sanders of all people proved a huge inspiration for Peter's having entered the political arena; in fact, Peter wrote a high school essay describing Bernie as "principled."

Communism is on the extreme end of "the ends justify the means" spectrum; if we have to crack a few eggs to make the utopian omelet, then I guess that's that! Whereas a principled attitude would be, "no! those eggs are people! and killing people or stealing from them is wrong, no matter what the end goal." That's why Marxist-styled Leftists are always morally relativistic post-modernists, and Libertarians are always moral absolutist "natural law" types.

Thus, describing Bernie as "principled" seems completely wrong to me; he's a relativist, as did Peter become unfortunately. And that's the biggest divergence of all between us.
New Approach Needed - 20:19 CDT, 2/25/20 (Sniper)
Watching this has only reinforced my view that we need to wind down the texture-mapped polygon era: that approach is just too expensive in terms of requiring further and prohibitive die shrinks, and also in terms of asset creation project budgets. It's had forty years and probably trillions of dollars of R and D in total aggregate, and it still hasn't produced photo-realism. From here, there are just too many hard constraints-- some of it in technology, some of it financial-- for it to move much further down the "diminishing returns" wedge.

It's like in software development: when I hit a problem that's requiring me to write tons of or messy code, almost universally I'm trying to solve the problem inherently in the wrong way; almost always after I step back and re-think the big picture, I find a different and sometimes even trivial way to solve the same problem.

The video above shows us an alternative that is definitely worth exploring futher. Someone should make a dedicated video game system implementing that notion: point cloud indexing system in hardware. As someone who specializes in Elasticsearch at work, I understand the power of these kinds of systems: in Lucene, you can have billions of points indexed, and search or aggregate them in scant milliseconds. If you implemented a special chipset to do this in hardware, I don't see why you couldn't cull these billions of data points hundreds of "frames" per second.

Put another way, nothing you see in that "Holoverse" is using triangle-based geometry at all. And graphically even at this "Magnavox Odyssey" stage, it looks almost as good as the very best PlayStation 4 games, even when scaled up to room size! For the home market, the first implementations will look like this: a table you walk around. Apparently in 2018, the tables could be sold profitably for just under 50k USD-- here is hoping various dynamics come into play to drop that price rapidly.

I also can't write a post about this without commenting on how stupid people are too: it's like when people put on "VR" headsets and are trying to grab things... eek gads. With this, people are afraid to "jump" down the "hole", and the guide has to actually explain to them that it's not real... pretty cringey.
Arguments - 19:45 CDT, 2/24/20 (Sniper)
I only had time for the first forty minutes of this, but what I heard was a fun conversation, even if Molyneux was being a jerk and kept interrupting his opponent.

His opponent was postulating that the Industrial Revolution "just happened" due to "hard work" in the factories. Whereas, and from my studying of history, my take coincides with the aforementioned Molyneux's: people always "worked hard"-- the variable which changed, and what created the fertilized soil for the Industrial Revolution growth spurt in human wealth, was the proliferation of the Western values of liberisation.

In Ancient Rome or Greece, much less aboriginal cultures and the like, geniuses were saw as threats to power, and exiled or executed. In a post-Enlightenment society by contrast, which largely values free speech, equality before the law, private property, economic liberlization, and the non-aggression principle-- like those in 18th century Great Britain and America-- for practically the first time ever geniuses were left to their own devices: to invent, to lead, and to create the opportunities for others to ride the genius coat tails to their own wealth.

In other words, the Industrial Revolution was not random or "the cure", but was rather a side effect of post-Enlightenment values finally reaching critical mass. The values were the cure. It follows then that the value set of Molyneux's opponent-- Communism-- would finish off the gradual "undoing" of the circumstances which led to the wealth in the first place.
Weird - 17:21 CDT, 2/24/20 (Sniper)
I flipped my whole GNU/Linux user interface to Mexican Spanish, to help me learn the language. It's very bizarre to have to translate menus in my head as I click on them.

Why do millenial video gamers always say "what a great time to be alive!" when they see something they like? Not only is it a strange expression, but it's almost like they all got the memo or something, to use it so frequently and predictably.
Bored - 14:58 CDT, 2/24/20 (Sniper)
I finished "Skatey-Cat" over the weekend for the upcoming "Fuze Player"; check out some of its new content here. I'm curious to see how many actual submissions they will get beyond mine: it seems like everyone on the forum is constantly starting new projects, getting five percent in, then starting something else; I'm the only one who has actually completed an end-to-end product of any complexity so far as I've seen.

My next Fuze project will be a pseudo-3d maze game, similar to Ed Logg's "Xybots". I already have the code to handle parsing the internal level structure, and also the code to draw to the appropriate parts of the buffer. The trickiest part will be animating the transitions, plus actually drawing perspective-correct tile sprites, given my crappy artistic skills.

I've been in an even bigger funk than usual with relations to the hobby-- I really need to find something else to do with my time. I can picture with my mind's eye what it would be like to have a modern-day equivalent of the "Atari Lynx": it would be expensive, run hot and have lousy battery life, but would basically have photo-realistic "Road Rash 3DO"-style graphics but with 2020 technology behind it, and ray traced lighting. Why can't companies do something crazy, off-the-wall ambitious like that anymore? It would really put the fun back into the hobby.

Instead and out of boredom, I've been playing "Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate" on Nintendo's crappy underpowered Switch-- a game which even recycles assets from the original 2004 PlayStation 2 title... I haven't even been enjoying old games, because I want something new and novel, not just re-experiencing what used to be new and novel. In any event, it's tough to change gears and do something totally new, when I've been playing video games as my number one hobby consecutively since 1984 or so.
Lack of Integrity - 07:22 CDT, 2/21/20 (Sniper)
About a year ago I mostly gave up reading game news outlets. Previous to that, I'd been reading paper game magazines since 1988, and online sites since 1995-- so it was quite a streak while it lasted. The reason I stopped was this: all you get today is complete and absolute uniformity of opinion, extraordinarily low-quality writing, and tons of political nonsense.

It got so bad that I started locating pictures of the writers, and without fail the men were all visibly at critically low T levels, while the women were pink-haired, tatted up, and had nose rings. Even the paper magazine "Game Informer", which I'd been reading since the late 80s when they had those colorful cover borders, started running articles about "gun control" and so forth.
Strings - 11:33 CDT, 2/18/20 (Sniper)
I work from home on a permanent basis-- but once in awhile I need to go to the office for some meeting or another. To me, the most striking thing about my employer's office complex is how it has inward-facing propaganda-- this, in contrast to outward-facing propaganda, such as advertising. I wonder how common this is with large corporations?

I've written before about how the walls have creepy, pseudo-subliminal messaging on them, like "we care about our employees". But after not having been in for some months, the gyno-centricity was what stood out to me the most.

The first thing I saw when I arrived was a blood bank van parked outside the employee entrance. Not only was it painted bright pink, but it had "This vehicle contains HOPE" printed in giant boldface. The next thing I noticed was that the company had put large cardboard stand-ups, with the silhouette of a woman running, "advertising" the "corporate strategy du jour" to its own employees. Everywhere I turned, I saw one of these-- there must be two or three dozen of them on the campus.

Of course, I picked up on the fact very early in my career that these trendy "buzzword bingo" corporate strategies come and go about every six months, and that it is absolutely pointless to even bother remembering what they are-- so I haven't a clue what a running woman has to do with anything.

But rather, the point I'm illustrating is how the messaging I get bombarded with in my rare workplace forays is carefully crafted to manipulate people's emotions, versus using fact and logic. And seeing as how I'm almost totally impervious to emotional ploys, I pick up on the objective facts of the manipulations, like which kinds of fonts or colors are used, how things are arranged, and so forth.
Potential - 18:09 CDT, 2/16/20 (Sniper)
I haven't been writing much about sports since the posts really don't age well-- but I'll make an exception today: even from a neutral standpoint, if I had to pick which of the three between Juve, Inter or Lazio look the most likely to be consistent throughout the remainder if the season, I'd pick Lazio. A third Scudetto is a legitimate possibility.

The other hilarious part about this match was watching Inter bring on guys like Eriksen off the bench and still not be as good as us: heck, they brought Victor Moses and Alexi Sanchez on as almost afterthoughts, like fifth and sixth attacking choices! I don't know how the two payrolls stack against each other, but I bet Inter's is quite literally four or five times Lazio's.

The cameras kept showing some Chinese guy-- owner? I've no clue, and don't much care-- and he had this enormous, Millenial-style pouty face, like the new toy his daddy had bought him with fresh "Bank of China" Monopoly money had just broken down. I wonder what the expression on his face was when Sergej sombrero'd the aforementioned Eriksen three times in about forty seconds? Hah!
Deadline - 07:34 CDT, 2/15/20 (Sniper)
I remember when it was a big deal that wifey and I met via the internet back in 2000-- specifically on ICQ, when she was scouring profiles and pseudo-randomly sent me a message; people were amazed to hear the story! Now meeting "online" is the most common method!

I've never understood the bar thing-- why would you look for a life partner and mother for your future children at a den of drinking and smoking? We're going here for a work outing soon-- do the women shown in the pictures look like reliable child-rearing material?

In other news, the Fuze guys have announced that they are releasing a gratis, player-only application on Switch, and will accept only the best game submissions for inclusion with it. Last night, I sorted out my "Skatey-Cat" backlog and estimated the tasks-- I think I can just barely make it by their end-of-day March 2 deadline, if I really cram.

There are 50 million Switch units sold-- if only a small portion of them download the player app, that means hundreds of thousands of people might be playing "Skatey-Cat"! And judging by the "game jams" so far, my aforementioned title would probably be one of the best ones to ship with the player.
Still Confused - 16:06 CDT, 2/13/20 (Sniper)
I thought this would be interesting, but both of them were terrible.

For his part, Molyneux got hung up on the pretty basic concept that the idea of a thing is different than a specific, physical manifestation of that thing-- as in, there is the notion of a "ball", and then there is that literal ball sitting right on the floor right across the room. Hurr.

For this Dyer fellow, he sounded sort of like a crazy hippie. In the end, Molyneux totally ceded the floor: "Walk the audience through your proof of God." Dyer's response went something like, "There is this other universe of abstract things. Boom, God!" Not the best syllogism I've ever heard, that's for sure.

It's a shame, because I thought this was a good chance for someone to clear up my confusion related to the ancient "materialism versus idealism" debate. I guess that will need to wait for another day.

I did watch another video recently which was good though: this is Thomas Sowell, someone about whom I've heard a lot, but also about whom I have never gone out of my way to look up. He is the real deal, as it turns out.
Skatey-Cat Publicity - 07:29 CDT, 2/12/20 (Sniper)
I just got a tip on the forum that the FUZE Arena guys covered "Skatey-Cat", and sure enough!

It was fantastic to hear that they recognized and appreciated that I was doing chip music for the soundtrack-- it was one of my technical innovations, even if the code was partly lifted from their tutorial, which I'd used as a starting point.

They also enjoyed the innovative control scheme, and said that the game had "so much character" overall, which is something I really wanted to emphasize, since personality is so lacking in modern games in general. Additionally, they praised the fact that my kids contributed much of the art work.

My next task with that project is to do some refactoring. After that, I want to add a third-person pseudo-3d shop sequence every few stages similar to my "game jam" entry, which will bridge the transition between "worlds". Once that's done, it'll be time to create snow-themed art and music for "world two".
Failed Experiment - 16:32 CDT, 2/11/20 (Sniper)
I saw the below comment on a news article today, and thought it was a fascinating long-scope, bird's eye view of this subset of American history. With a little editing and footnotes, it wouldn't be out of place in a history text book one hundred years from now.

Many early American figures such as Abraham Lincoln foresaw this problem, and preferred to offer blacks a path back to Africa, or elsewhere such as the Caribbean, in lieu of full-scale integration.

I think they were on to something, and it's why I often write on this blog about secession: many times splitting paths is the best, most peaceful route which will make everyone the happiest.

"For almost 150 years the Liberal Left has been conducting an experiment. The subjects of the experiment: African people and working-class whites. The hypothesis to be tested: Can people taken from the jungles of Africa and forced into slavery be fully integrated as citizens in a majority white population?

The whites were descendants of Europeans who had created a majestic civilization. The former slaves had been tribal peoples with no written language and virtually no intellectual achievements.

Acting on a policy that was not fair to either group, the government released newly freed African people into a white society that saw them as inferiors. America has struggled with racial discord ever since.

Decade after decade the problems persisted but the experimenters never gave up. They insisted that if they could find the right formula the experiment would work, and concocted program after program to get the result they wanted.

They created the Freedman's Bureau, passed civil rights laws, tried to build the Great Society, declared War on Poverty, ordered race preferences, built housing projects, and tried midnight basketball.

Their new laws intruded into people's lives in ways that would have been otherwise unthinkable. They called in National Guard troops to enforce school integration. They outlawed freedom of association. Over the protests of parents, they put white children on buses and sent them to African schools and vice versa.

They tried with money, special programs, relaxed standards, and endless hand-wringing to close the 'achievement gap.' To keep white backlash in check they began punishing public and even private statements on race.

They hung up Orwellian public banners that commanded whites to 'Celebrate Diversity!' and 'Say No To Racism.'

Nothing was off limits if it might salvage the experiment.

Some thought that the Talented Tenth would lead the way for African people. A group of elite, educated Africans would knock down doors of opportunity and show the world what Africans were capable of. There is a Talented Tenth. They are the African Americans who have become entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors and scientists. But ten percent is not enough. For the experiment to work, the ten percent has to be followed by a critical mass of people who can hold middle-class jobs and promote social stability. That is what is missing.

Through the years, too many African people continue to show an inability to function and prosper in a culture unsuited to them.

Detroit is bankrupt, the south side of Chicago is a war zone, and majority-black cities all over America are beset by degeneracy and violence. And Africans rarely take responsibility for their failures. Instead, they lash out in anger and resentment. Across the generations and across the country, as we have seen in Detroit, Watts, Newark, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, and now Ferguson, rioting and looting are just one racial incident away.

The white elite would tell us that this doesn't mean the experiment has failed. We just have to try harder. We need more money, more time, more understanding, more programs, more opportunities. But nothing changes no matter how much money is spent, no matter how many laws are passed, no matter how many African geniuses are portrayed on TV, and no matter who is president."
Rare Earth Event - 07:25 CDT, 2/08/20 (Sniper)
This was surreal to watch: Leftists having an actual argument about ideas! Ninety nine percent of the time they are about pejoratives, ad hominems, misleading non-sequitors, and raw emotional appeals, to the point where engaging in discussion with them is pointless. Of course, it also is possible that the only reason Chris Matthews suddenly decided to tell the truth about his thoughts regarding Socialism is because he has an ulterior motive in wanting to push Bloomberg or Biden.
Superior Choice - 16:13 CDT, 2/06/20 (Sniper)
There's a lot of debate and bragging going on with regards to how powerful-or-not the incoming video game systems will be. To me, it's a purely academic question because it's not like video card technology on the PC side will stand still: next year, I'm sure Nvidia will have an "RTX 3000" line, with second generation "RT" cores which are twice as fast, and twenty-plus teraflops of floating point horsepower at the top-end.

Eight-odd months into the eight-odd year lives of these new systems, and we'll be back to the exact situation we're in right now: the IBM PC platform will be vastly more powerful than the video game systems, and those who can simply defer gratification and save up just that little bit of extra money-- even to a minimum wage worker, accumulating another three or four hundred dollars means skipping the beer, weed, and fast food for a few months-- will be much better served just assembling a computer.

The other benefit to a computer is that once you're on "the PC track", you can just keep dropping new video cards in it over the years, while leaving everything else alone. This is especially true if you're smart, and buy into a new CPU platform right when one is released. Duncan is still rocking my original Ryzen 1600 chip, which I handed down to him when I moved up to a brand-new 3700x; paired with the RTX 2060 he got for Christmas, and it's a formidable ray tracing-capable gaming system for not that much money. Because I bought the 1600 on launch week, it's had years' worth of legs.
Rebuild - 16:33 CDT, 2/05/20 (Sniper)
I'm going to buy the next edition of "Madden" right away, and start a potential tradition of building a franchise with the worst team of the prior season. I did just such a project a couple of years ago with San Francisco, and with my usual pain-staking, spreadsheet-based analytical approach to playing video games, turned them into three-time consecutive Super Bowl champions. For this time around, I've already started breaking down and analyzing the current Cincinnati Bengals roster.

My strategy is always to ruthlessly cut and trade players near-or-over thirty, then use that cap room and draft capital to make major youth movements-- if even a small percentage of the young players "turn out", I have a wonderful backbone of a squad.

As part of that analysis, I've been watching highlights of Joe Burrow, who almost certainly will supplant Andy Dalton in this upcoming Bengals season. He's an interesting college quarterback, in that he has NFL-caliber ball placement, consistently throwing over the near shoulder, back shoulder, up high, down low, and so forth. And while he's no Lamar Jackson, he can also sense pressure and move around a lot in the pocket. I also see that he has good deep ball accuracy.

However, the real star I'm seeing from these clips is his receiver partner, Ja'Marr Chase, who at age nineteen is already making contested catches look like second nature. An interesting thing will be seeing who owes more what: once seperated (with the receiver remaining in college, and the quarterback shifting to the NFL), will we find that Chase was "made" by Burrow-- or will we see Burrow struggle, absent a Chase-style receiver with Bengals? Or, will they both eventually turn out to be prolific professionals, and their relationship will prove to have been purely symbiotic?

In other news, this is undoubtedly coming to America, if not at least vicariously. Or is it? I keep hearing city slickers tell me that "eletric cars are 'inevitable'"-- yet from my experience at the bug-out house, there is absolutely zero possibility of electric cars being even remotely feasible in the country's vast, low population-density rural areas. Remember: America is a huge country, with oceans of wide open space between the major population zones-- it's not England, or France.

For example, my family up North runs a paving business, and drives hundreds upon hundreds of miles per day just to get to and from work sites: there is no time to "recharge" an electric vehicle-- instead, the business uses diesel pick-up trucks, which can be refilled at any gas station, near-instantaneously. Even for rural people who don't run businesses like that, just a mere trip into town would absolutely stretch an electric car's range to the max. And that's not even getting into cultural considerations-- no one I know at the bug out house would touch an electric car with a twenty foot barge pole, even if they were practically possible to use.

Finally, it's possible that "the coronavirus" has staggering counts so far. Of course, this is exactly the kind of actual journalistic reporting which the Democrats and their tech friends want to ban as "fake" or "manipulated" news, when all it's doing is publishing straight facts: multiple times now, Tencent has published numbers, then quickly taken them down. Reporting on that is called "journalism". And yet, it's this very outlet-- "Zero Hedge"-- which has been locked on "the Twatter."
Pseudo-Arbitrary - 08:05 CDT, 2/05/20 (Sniper)
I went to a private, Catholic elementary school for nine years-- K-12-- from the late-1980s to the mid-1990s. The school is still in business (thriving, seemingly), and has a web site. If you click on the "Staff" page for the parish, you get a large color picture of the principal-- my kindergarten teacher from 1987, incidentally-- along with her full professional contact information. If I were to post her picture and name on my blog, and say "here is the principal of school XYZ", that is not "doxxing". The word "doxxing" means "to publicly identify or publish private information about (someone)...". If I were to post her picture, along with her home street address and personal cellphone number which I'd dug up by cracking her computer, that would be "doxxing".

Fast forward then to a pair of "the Twatter" account lockings: first "Zero Hedge", and now James O'Keefe. In the former case, "Zero Hedge" posted a link to the "about" page of the clinic which may have created "the coronavirus", which contained the public information of the institution's lead scientist-- so, identical to me linking to the 100% public-facing "about" page of my old school. Same thing in the second instance: James O'Keefe published the names of the two men his team caught in undercover interviews, both of which are on Sanders-related campaign web sites. Neither of those cases are "doxxing", any more than Eric Ciaramella has a right to have no one on planet Earth say his name.

The fact that "the Twatter" is now locking accounts for posting public facts, and in a totally one-sided manner to boot-- just read the above-linked article for lots of double standard examples-- shows how desperate they are to control the narrative, Soviet Union-style. Pretty soon they'll have algorithms "Photoshopping" people out of photographs. And all of this because the moderators at these companies get angry: trust me, I've worked with people like that before-- "I get so f'ing mad at stuff like this!" Then you hand them a button allowing them to lock people's accounts with a mouse click, and...
Corporate Curated - 17:22 CDT, 2/04/20 (Sniper)
I've been on the receiving end of tirades like this several times before. They're astonishing not only by how unhinged they are, but from the vantage point that the various authors were willing to pour so much energy and time into them, at the opportunity cost of all of the other things they could have been doing with their lives. Mind boggling.

Watching the Super Bowl really drove into focus for me just how corporation-dictated our lives are on a day-to-day basis. From the league itself, to the team-specific promotions, to the stadium design, to the brands of shoes and hats people were mandated to wear on the sidelines, to the deluge of commercials non-stop hammering social re-programming on a mass scale, to the very specific verbiage and language the punditry was allowed to use, to the television I was watching it on via the video card in my PC rendering it, to the clothes I was wearing, to the McDonalds I was eating-- every last aspect, a "Fahrenheit 451"-esque "experience", carefully curated by nothing but multi-billion dollar companies and board-room execs.

I don't fear corporations like I do governments: if I don't like a given company, at the end of the day I can simply choose to not buy their products or services, and there's not a darned thing they can do about it. But from an optional, entertainment perspective, they are impossible to side-step, as they've corporate-mergered into oblivion, and a tiny number of them have pretty much taken absolutely everything over. Take video games: look at this list of the "biggest games coming in 2020", and how crazy-conservative (compared to "triple-A" games from older platforms) they are aesthetically and mechanically-- then cross-reference the publisher revenue via Wikipedia, for each game. See the connection?

The biggest reason why these gigantic corporations exist is because they get billions of dollar's worth of protections ("corporate personhood"), first-access to newly-created Fed bucks at virtually zero percent interest, and even outright cash subsidies, where the CEOs actively compete with each other to see who can get more "crony capitalist" tax money. This kind of public-private "cooperation" as an economic system actually has a name: it's called "Fascism". And it's the system the United States employs, to an extreme degree.

Back to the DNC Iowa debacle and undoubted corruption, take a look at the picture of the two men in charge of the company: they both have weak jaw lines, unpronounced cheek bones, weak brow lines, plus soft, pale, woman-like skin-- especially in the case of the guy on the left. Notice their attraction to flannel and dorky hipster glasses. I'm guessing they have roughly equivalent "T" levels to the woman in the middle, which is probably a big reason why they are attracted to Leftism.
Musings - 08:03 CDT, 2/04/20 (Sniper)
I found some aspects of this guy's story to be pretty relatable: weird acting ostracized kid with zero access to girls while hormones were raging; hooked on sugar and porn at a pretty young age; ballooned up to nearly three hundred pounds; had a traumatic "along for the ride" run-in with authorities before the age of twenty, spent years in retrospect looking up "how the heck was that even legal?" Had to manually learn how to understand body language by reading about it; and so forth.

In other news, here is yet another one of those surreal instances where it's obvious someone behind the strings sent out a memo, and all of the Democrat operatives got it. This time, it's "Trump is a monarch". For being so coordinated and corrupt, it's amazing how incompetent the Democrats are; when someone lies and cheats and still can't win, that's pretty pathetic. And speaking of coordinated and corrupt, could their "quality control" be any more transparent? Obviously, cuckoo clock Breadline Bernie won the caucus voting while Creepy Joe did terribly, and the DNC office is trying to "fix", or at least find a way to spin, the outcome.

On a totally unrelated note, Duncan came up to me yesterday: "hey papa, I think there is a way to do faster-than-light travel: create a ship with specially-shaped rings around it, which would fold space time one way on top of the ship, then another way along the bottom-- this would create a space-time 'wedge' through which the ship would travel." I don't know if he came up with this on his own or read about it online, but either way I wouldn't be surprised if an adult Duncan really did invent a warp drive.

Regarding the Super Bowl, I was surprised that Kansas City won. Even after watching them lose, I still think San Francisco were the better team: rather, I think their coaches blew the gameplan-- the sensation I got was that they didn't even really try to impose themselves like they had all season. It almost reminded me of watching Vikings, and how their coaches tend to choke in big games. At least I really like Mahomes, and it's amazing to see him win probably his first-of-multiple Super Bowl MVP awards by age twenty four. If there is one player I can tell is destined for Canton, it's Mahomes.

Finally, here you can see just how easy it is to fool an "autonomously driving" car: a twenty dollar print-out from Kinkos cleverly taped up just in the right spot would quite literally cause a Tesla to veer directly into head-on traffic-- it's that trivial, and it's exactly what I wrote about here. The reason you can find dozens of stories of Teslas crashing or running over pedestrians is simply because of how easily these systems are tricked, as they are being "beta tested" on real live people. And it's not just this one flaw, and it's also not like they can necessarily be resolved, as even the article states: "One reason [for no patch fix] is that there is no way software could detect the difference between a road sign projected on a tree's leaves, and a legitimate road sign..."
Blind Leading the Blind - 12:12 CDT, 1/28/20 (Sniper)
Almost universally there is a big disconnect between what's true, and what's popular-- for example, on "Reddit" the most accurate comments are very nearly always the gray, hidden, downvoted ones at the bottom of a given page, to the point where that's the first place I look when I open a thread on that site.

Even with that trend, I can't think of too many bigger examples of this phenomenon than meathead Joe Rogan. For a guy who serves as some kind of "king maker", his positions are completely nonsensical, and he is incapable of even basic logical deduction-- he's a classic "rampant emotionalism clouding judgement" case. His latest one is apparently an endorsement of Comrade Breadline Bernie. Hah!
Crony Capitalism - 18:04 CDT, 1/27/20 (Sniper)
Out or morbid curiosity, I've been watching "RetroManCave" Neil's "BBC Micro" mini-series on YouTube, and it's been just as creepy as I thought it'd be: old pictures of uniformed kids and their "educators" crowded around the little beige essentially State-manufactured and standardized boxes, like a bunch of school children from old Soviet Union photographs.

The funniest part is the reverence given to it by people like Neil, claiming categorically how big of a "success" it was. The evidence? Nostalgia and meaningless anecdotes. It's a classic case of Bastiat's "seen versus the unseen". Not to mention, this same class of people constantly harp on about "crony capitalism"-- can you find a better example than this?

And on that note, in virtually every other country-- meaning, where it wasn't 50% subsidized like it was in England-- where Acorn tried to sell this computer, it was a colossal failure, to the point where it basically drove Acorn into bankruptcy; they wound up getting acquired in the 90s. I've noticed that the fact the machine was not even remotely competitive in actual free markets does not give the proponents of this program pause.

Another interesting side note: one of Acorn's very early figures, Roger Wilson, suddenly woke up one day and decided he wanted to be called "Sophie". Ok, fair enough. But then he started getting named to "top NN most successful female computer scientist" lists! How is that fair to the actual women who got bumped off those lists in lieu of Roger? It's no different then men beating the snot out of women, in women's sports. Biologically, men have significantly more muscle mass than women, and way more of them have genius-level IQs-- so the comparison is apt.

And on that note, Neil ends the third part of his series by blathering on about the so-called "gender gap". Why is it I never hear about the crisis of 90% of interior decorators or nurses being women? "Oh my god, we need to close the gender gap in interior decorating by getting more men in!", said no one, ever. Or at my employer: 75% of marketing is women, and all management says is that they want to hire more women. That's how you know it has nothing to do with "equality", and everything to do with Cultural Marxism and sexism.

All of that said, I do think from a personal standpoint that I would have loved the BBC Micro as a child-- so I can at least understand why people like Neil have nostalgia for it, even as they lack the self-awareness to know that they are purely ex post-facto rationalizing their emotions with pretend reasoning. That colorful, low-resolution program with the house, which tied into the corny TV drama show, would have really captured my imagination as a seven or eight year-old.
Game Jam Done - 14:30 CDT, 1/26/20 (Sniper)
Here are the final results of the first-ever Fuze "game jam" I mentioned a few posts ago! The first game on the list is mine. For some reason my BitChute video is still "processing", so here is my entry on Twitter instead, where I have a throw-away "upload junk from my Switch" account. "MikeDX" from the forum also did a live feed, which you can see here.

The most impressive entry was the texture-mapped cube game; the cubes were just created using a built-in Fuze Basic command, but it was seriously hardcore math to get the textures drawn in a perspective-correct manner. That fellow has a major "pure math" background from the looks of it.

I think mine was an easy second place from a purely technical standpoint-- it's the first time I've ever seen someone do pseudo-3d on Fuze, so I was really breaking new ground there; that engine could easily be made to render 3d dungeons ala "Xybots", or something even better.

Unfortunately, I don't think the streamer had the technical chops to really comprehend what was good or bad from an engine perspective-- even in the case of the cube game, he liked it because it had catchy music, which was just a canned song from the built-in Fuze assets, and took one line of code to put in! Likewise with mine, I think he completely missed the point, and didn't appreciate what it was doing "under the hood".

Anyway, he seems like a really nice guy, and he's even published some of his own games in Fuze-- so perhaps he was just "dumbing things down" a bit for stream purposes. And all-in-all I had fun working on it, even if it did get a little hairy towards the end, trying to meet the deadline!
Accidentally Smart - 07:59 CDT, 1/26/20 (Sniper)
From a business standpoint, this was a good move by Fils-Aimé, simply because significant swathes of the "millenial" generation are developmentally-retarded at an eight year-old level-- so keeping Nintendo as "kid"-focused has worked out really well.

From my perspective, I think a modernized Nintendo logo would have looked really cool, as would Nintendo focusing on more mature, professional, adult-like games and products-- imagine the Switch looking more like the PSP, or Nintendo applying their game design principles to dark, first-person shooters?

That said, it's been a nice product for someone like me with his own young kids in the house-- we've had a blast making goofy Fuze games, for instance.
Fuze Game Jam - 19:09 CDT, 1/25/20 (Sniper)
I just wrapped up my entry for the first-ever Fuze "Game Jam"! What a marathon: the code got progressively more messy as I raced to get it done. It could definitely use several rounds of refactoring. Still, I'm proud of the fact that I wrote the entire thing in one day.

As for the concept, I was inspired by my recent obsession with "Xybots" to make my own sprite-based faux-3d engine. The current form takes place on floating platforms, but I could just as easily modify it to take place in a dungeon, with walls, ceilings, and floors, with transition animations.
Intention - 07:40 CDT, 1/25/20 (Sniper)
As much a I like and respect Julian Assange, and positively abhor how he's been (predictably) treated, I think this might actually be correct.

The Bill of Rights was drafted to grant protections, from the new Federal State apparatus, to her citizens. That was the whole point! The states said, "no way in hell we're ratifying this new constitution if we can't speak freely, can't practice religion, can't keep and bear arms to regulate its newly-proposed militia", and so on. The intention wasn't to grant protections to foreigners living in Zimbabwe or Egypt.

To put it another way, granting those protections to non-citizens just doesn't make sense given the historical context of why that document exists in the first place. I mean, is some guy living in sub-saharan Africa guaranteed free speech by the Federal government? Obviously not.

Of course, that does open an interesting can of worms: if someone is in the United States on an H1B Visa, can the Federal State complex lock them in prison if they criticize said State? Well, I suppose it can! But I think the "check and balance" there would be the probably violent reaction from the American people.

A guy quoted in the article in turn quotes Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence: "we all have God-given rights, citizens or not!" But while that's true, it's a total non-sequitur, as I described above: those aren't even the same document! If I wrote in a letter to someone that I don't think I'm morally obligated to pay my debts, but then took out a mortgage, the terms of the mortgage are in the mortgage, not in the letter I wrote my pal.

I'd be genuinely interested to hear someone like Tom Woods clarify this, it's a question I haven't really thought about before. If I'm wrong, then where?

Here is a guy in the comments who thinks the same thing, bold emphasis is mine:

"The Constitution's Bill of Rights is a document that constrains the Government when dealing with the GOVERNED. The governed are the citizens of the USA. Treaties can be drafted that temporarily grant similar protections to nonCitizens, but that is something for the Congress to undertake.

Yes, the Declaration of Independence does express that there are universal and inalienable rights granted by the creator but it is not a suicide note or a declaration of surrender nullifying the special status of citizenship. Hesian mercenary troops billeted in towns within the US were not whom the founders intended to protect.

Just as we do not send lawyers into battle to decide on the motives of engaged enemy combatants, tasked with determining who can fire at whom, we do not expect that domestic rules of conduct be applied to the international arena and to non-US Citizens...unless a treaty states as such.


If I hear a clarification which explains if and where I'm wrong, I'll do a follow-up post.
Silly - 08:13 CDT, 1/24/20 (Sniper)
My favorite part of these Pro Bowl events are the hilariously intentional bull shit interviews the players give. Like Davante Adams: "Uh, well, we had to deal with some adverse weather, which is unfortunate..." The interviewer does a great job setting the players up, with her tongue-in-cheek use of sports cliches and faux-dramatic tone.

My boss at work is a big car guy like me, and we had a little debate yesterday about electric cars. At the end of it, I was like "give me a reason to care." All of the energy around these things is, "how many billions of more investment do they need before they're even on basic parity with internal combustion cars"-- what's the point? "Hey look, I invented this loaf of bread that's 25% more expensive and 25% less bread", and expecting me to be excited for it. Even if it was the same, what's the point? Electric cars are a hammer in search of a nail.

That said, he did get me on one point: if you're shopping for a BMW, why not buy a Tesla Model 3, which is actually cheaper and has roughly equal performance overall to something like a 3-Series? But to me, that's more of an indictment of how expensive BMWs are than how "practical" electric cars are: it's more like, "your cars are so overpriced that an electric car is cheaper? Hah, you blew it big time!"

Speaking of car prices, the median price of a new car is now $36k! Considering the median wage earner in America makes $32k per year, how the heck are they supposed to even afford an automobile these days? That's why the average age of cars on the road is over 12 years now. By the time the car makers are done satisfying the regulatory goons in the State, and bolting on all of those obnoxious "lane keep 'assist'" BS, it's no wonder only rich people can afford a car.

To put it into perspective, in 1985 the median car price was $15k-- after adjusted for inflation! He showed me a render of what is apparently the new Z (sounds like it actually might be real this time), which apparently will be a twin-turbo V6 with a manual transmission option-- but you just know the thing is going to be well North of $40k: way out of my price range! To me, $40k is entering exotic car territory, no way I could justify that kind of money on a Nissan that's not called "GT-R".

Remember: Nissan killed the 300ZX because the twin turbo made it too expensive-- but this time, the CAFE mandates mean they aren't allowed to learn from that lesson.

Given all of this, I bet when the next recession hits around 2021, half of the car industry literally just goes bankrupt.
Skating - 20:09 CDT, 1/22/20 (Sniper)
My mom got the kids and I pairs of ice skates for Christmas, but it's been so cold that we haven't had a chance to try them-- until this afternoon, when we headed up to the park near our house, where the city maintains a plowed, decent-sized ice area.

Turns out, ice skating is almost exactly the same as rollerblading-- it took me about thirty seconds to feel comfortable. In fact, I'd say ice skating is a bit easier: any pressure causes immediate turning, so it's easier to change direction; and stopping is quicker, because the blades dig into the ice.

That said, Henrietta and I did both take rather hilarious "heels-in-the-air" flying falls when we got too cocky. And Duncan was struggling to stay upright, so I had to spend a lot of time pulling him along-- whereas he took to inline skates much more quickly at an indoor roller rink just a few weeks ago.

We're going to an actual indoor ice skating facility this weekend with my mom. It'll be fun to try these skates on perfectly flat, high quality ice!
Every Trick - 15:29 CDT, 1/21/20 (Sniper)
My employer invited a speaker today for a big, whole-company meeting. I'd link straight to the speaker's web site, but as always I have to be very careful to not risk accidentally identifying my employer.

In any event, the speaker had a weak chin, a small feminine nose, no discernible adam's apple, a thin lispy voice, "chin-thrust" female mannerism while speaking, and big thick-rimmed black glasses.

I went to his Twitter feed, and sure enough he was a walking cliche, promoting lots of common Leftist strawmen bashing and crazy conspiracy theory myths, such as "vaccines are universally great" (video with some creepy dancing woman), the "anthropogenic climate change" nonsense, and female "wage gap" model, among others. It's amazing how predictably low "T" levels impact a man's political views to become feminized.

In any event, one of the things this fellow "re-tweeted" was how to convince a "climate denier" (blasphemer!):

  1. Reframe solutions as upholding the stability/longevity of the current social system.
  2. Reframe solutions in terms of maintaining Earth's purity.
  3. Highlight the overwhelming scientific consensus on global heating to promote the perception that climate change acceptance is the norm.
  4. Give people a chance to affirm their personal values prior to the conversation.

Translated:

  1. Tell the racist that nothing will change with their white hegemonic society (strawman).
  2. Manipulate their emotions; Conservatives value "sanctity" / "purity" (Jonathan Heidt, "The Righteous Mind").
  3. Commit the "lots of people believe XYZ so XYZ must be true" fallacy. Deliberately mis-represent the infamous "consensus study" by cleverly saying "global heating" versus "global heating caused directly by man" (anthropogenic). It also says "perception", not "fact". In general, this point was carefully word-smithed to produce an effect, while providing plausible deniability (it's not technically lying!).
  4. Let the blasphemer rant first so as to expend their emotional energy up front, leaving them more receptive to propaganda later. Very manipulative.

What's not among the bullets? "Produce evidence supporting the theory".

Wifey also laughed at the second point: "why would I think a planet once covered in molten lava was 'pure'?" My response: "I didn't say the above strategy would be effective for the Lefties-- I'm just explaining what the strategy is!"
Contradictions - 08:08 CDT, 1/21/20 (Sniper)
This might be the first time in human history where a mob marches on the elite for the cause of giving the elite more power!

It reminds me of that Breadline Bernie organizer caught on camera calling himself an "anarcho-Communist", while simultaneously saying he wanted to throw Republicans into gulags. Because nothing says "anarcho" like State-institutionalized forced labor camps!

Watching the Left try to reconcile the cognitive dissonance of their old "for the little guy" sensibilities with their modern day inclination for totalitarian Fascism is hilarious.
Skill - 15:40 CDT, 1/20/20 (Sniper)
I thought this article was entertaining. I do the opposite of all of the annoying things listed therein: I signal exactly twice and assertively slide into place as I'm signalling whenever I change lanes; I pick a spot and just park; and driving in the snow late last evening with no one around, I was drifting my wife's WRX around every corner in my side-streeted neighborhood.
Banana Republic - 08:17 CDT, 1/19/20 (Sniper)
The banks throw obscene amounts of money around to each other like it's confetti during a parade; aggregate it, and you get those "income inequality" charts.

First, consider how much money a billion dollars is. The banks, starting with the central banks, routinely conjure up and distribute hundreds of billions, sometimes on a monthly basis-- think "QE".

Second, this money isn't helicoptered to the average Joe-- rather, it's directly deposited into the accounts of their already-billionaire pals. For example, read this article, specifically the following (bold emphasis is mine):

"The Fed has yet to address the 'demand side' of the Sept repo crisis, namely the market transmission mechanism which is intermediated by hedge funds. And it is here that, as the WSJ reported, the Fed is currently contemplating providing liquidity directly to hedge funds to prevent a systemic collapse during the next repo crisis, whenever it may strike."
Skatey-Cat Alpha - 21:27 CDT, 1/18/20 (Sniper)
I finally have an alpha version of my first-ever Fuze game out the door. Check out my forum post here. The video is also shared on this site's BitChute channel. Whew!
Same Problem - 17:36 CDT, 1/15/20 (Sniper)
I've been on such a "Xybots" Lynx kick that I decided to look up Ed Logg on YouTube. Sure enough, here he is talking "Gauntlet" in 2012. I'm only ten minutes in, and it's already a great presentation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bloody hell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unfortunately, I don't see it happening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think that's far-fetched? Hearken back to my post earlier this year about the UN's "2030 Agenda". It's all right out in the open.