06 October 2015

Reverse Cryptomnesia?

Also, an inadvertent monograph on the Quinnspiracy and TvW at the UN because that's what happens when you get into a flow talking about programming... 

I talked years ago about the embarrassment of coming up with an idea only to find not only does it already exist, but it's so immensely commonplace and ubiquitous in your own life that it probably took more mental energy to forget it exists than for you to come up with it. This is putting a twist on that idea. 
I don't know programming. I don't know programming at all. I understand some of the ideas around it, but the leap from text in C++ to HD graphics is almost abstract for me. I've tried writing text adventures, but HTML is about the best I can do, and Depression Quest* is pretty much the kind of game I would want to create, though not nearly as pro-social or insightful... or worth playing. 
At one point, after hearing about all the various tools available, I had an idea to use one of these drag-and-drop interfaces to put together the laziest, most bare minimum "Hello, World"-shaming programs and then charge an absurd amount of money for it. Of course, I'm not saying I'm any kind of genius, much less that there's anything more than petty and opportunistic about such a venture, but I figure it's like snuff films; just because the idea is simple and plausible enough doesn't mean anyone's taken it all the way to reality. I know there's a proper name or attribution to the notion of, "if you've imagined it, someone else has likely made it" a more Zen-like perspective on the patent joke "anything that could be invented already has been". As for my "invention": 
Even the most expensive Android app, which is capped at 200USD (but is available as a six app set), is at least a set of desktop themes. I wouldn't call that essential, but at least the developer has enough skill to not look like a shameless opportunist. Meanwhile, one of the most expensive apps on Windows phones is only a mere half-step above the app that I would create. Mine would even be called "the 1000 dollar app that does nothing" (this was before I found out about the price cap) along with a myriad of disclaimers in the description that this is literally a kind of half-hearted social experiment/get-rich-quick scheme. My thinking was that, by the law of averages, I have the power someone would buy it just to burn money and have the dubious honor of having spent a ludicrous amount on a frivolity. 

*For the record, I have no problem with Zoe Quinn. I think the controversy around her has been absurdly blown out of proportion. It did turn my stomach a bit to see her alongside Anita Sarkeesian at the United Nations. As I've said about Sarkeesian, and as much as I legitimately like some of her videos such as the Lego one and even Ms. Male Character, she completely lost my respect with the Women as Background videos with their embarrassingly transparent misrepresentations of the games in question on top of the absurd premise of connecting real-world behaviors to in-game violence. Put simply, she's the worst person to champion her own cause, and while she certainly does not deserve death threats, I feel as though her issues overshadow Quinn's, who has been the victim of a massive, coordinated cyber attack and been accused of attempting to profit from the suicide of Robin Williams. To make matters worse, while I may not care about her personal life, the fact that there are so few women in the games industry does put her in an awkward position where her every inconsequential action carries absolutely onerous consequences. She shouldn't have to be an example, yet I don't think her position is discussed nearly enough. 

I guess you could say the reason I care more about Quinn than Sarkeesian is that Quinn is making legitimate efforts to enact changes in the games industry, blazing trails between the paths less-traveled while Sarkeesian is a bloody backseat driver. 

To put another way: 

If a film critic and a filmmaker were drowning and I could only save one of them... Well, I like The Island and even Age of Extinction had its moments. Sorry, Leonard. 

Final note: double-checking the definition of monograph to make sure I was using it right (you tell me), led me to this site which seems pretty damn awesome at first impression. 

29 September 2015

Don't You Trust Me?

Gave my left hand a challenge. Granted, vector art relies on mouse movements and manipulation of primitives, so it's hardly daunting, but it turned out nowhere near as daunting as anticipated. 

01 September 2015

Profane Offer

This was a tedious nightmare, but good grief was it fun.

21 August 2015

Well, here's that, then...

My Political Views
I am a right social libertarian
Right: 3.96, Libertarian: 7.19

Political Spectrum Quiz

Frontiers (Plus bonus)

I'm Not Done Here

17 August 2015


Made in LibreOffice

I probably spend way too much time on Google+ having deeply intellectual debates with idiots. It's one of those cases where the other person almost has a point, but take it a little too far to the point of absurdity, cutting off their nose to spite their face while writing it off as "just a flesh wound". I don't have a problem with opinions, but I think Harlan Ellison put it best,

"You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your INFORMED opinion."

There's always at least one curious turn the discussion takes that often reminds me why I left Tumblr (which I've learned is Slavic for "Trigger"). The other person takes their foot out of their mouth long enough to start asking personal questions, even though I don't really go out of my way to hide my identity (I'm pseudonymous, not anonymous). Basically, they're trying to root out my agenda (which is Icelandic for "Privilege"). This might be fair if they weren't trying to filter my position through a strainer woven from false dichotomies, as in, "I'd only speak in favor of teaching evolution in schools if I hated God by way of some personal tragedy, a la the Epicurean Paradox*."

The fact of the matter is that devoutly, pedantically religious people are afraid of ideas. They're afraid because God is an idea, an idea for a benevolent creator deity concocted by scared, lonely shepherds in the Middle Eastern desert to reconcile their insignificance with their existence. What scares them is that many other people the world over had the same idea. It may not look that way because the idea is dressed up in culture and history and conflict, but underneath all that, they're all alike. When people realize this, suddenly they become harder for those in power to control and dance to the beat of their particular drum. Marilyn Manson put it best, "I don't hate God. I hate his fan club." In the end, if you're focusing on the medium instead of the message, it means you're all out of ideas.

Flat version

I normally try to avoid gradients in vector art (except maybe for backgrounds), but I think it's really fitting for this one.

*(which is an old Iroquois slur that roughly translates to, "God can't hear you and he probably thinks you suck anyway")

14 July 2015

Cue the Green Slime!

I am on a roll with picking up cigar boxes. Went to another grocery store a little farther away than my typical one, and found these two (this Camacho box is practically furniture, it's so decadent). Had to kinda play the squeak-wheel-get-grease game which I hate playing; I hate being pushy like that and I hate putting people on the spot when they're just doing they're jobs (and I've worked retail and customer service, so I speak from experience). In my defense, I had no intention of pushing the issue if it was a legitimate store policy (like sending them back to the distributor as proof of sale or something). Also, the kid just handed me the keys to the case from over the customer service counter. That's plain irresponsible. Lastly, given that our dialogue on the matter boiled down to:

"If you don't give them away or sell them, what do you do with them?"
"I don't know."

I don't think it's unreasonable to set a precedent. To his credit, he offered to call up the head honcho and get some clarification. He came over and said it was cool to give them away as long as they were empty. I guess they've had a problem with people simply offering to take the boxes before their contents have been sold off. That's understandable given that some of these boxes are humidors.