8-10-04 - 1


Realism is killing video games. The constraint of realism makes games very difficult to make, it makes the simplest things take weeks and weeks to do, which stifles creativity and the organic creation process. It also forbids you from using gameplay elements that make the game better if they can't be explained in the real world. Sure, realism is nice and immersive, but it's a horrible thing for game development, and overall it makes the play much worse. The crux of gameplay is in abstract forms, where you are free to use the systems that are most amenable to the play, not the simulation world.


It's interesting to me how the human mind thinks about things differently than computers. If you look at how a compute plays Chess or Poker, and then compare that to how a human compares Chess or Poker, it's very interesting. In both games, humans and computers are pretty close to even at the moment, though with a little more work and time to program, computers will dominate both games. In both cases, computers work by running massive simulations of all possible future moves, with various clever things to make the evaluation more efficient. The interesting thing is that humans don't do that at all when they play.

The human mind, as a computing device, is very good at a particular form of problem solution, which is sort of fuzzy matching and interpolation/extrapolation. Humans can look at a Chess board layout, and recognize that it is "tactically similar" to something they've seen before, even though the details may be totally different. Computers are very bad at making this sort of reasonable judgment of similarity. Humans can also recall the right move in a similar situation and extrapolate that to make a very good guess at the right move in a new situation. This kind of thinking seems to be something we're extremely good at - when we see a new situation, we can recall other situations that are similar in key ways, and we can interpolate/extrapolate to make good decisions.


I cannot stand fucking DVD's. I put the disc in, now play the fucking thing immediately, don't show me any damn intro screens or fancy graphics or fucking menus. This is a general problem with bad product design, primarily in America. A product has a primary function, it should do that and do it well, it should not do a lot of other shite that doesn't enhance the primary function. If I wanted all the fun of browsing annoying menus, I'll go browse my damn Tivo or something.


I just saw a fruity stat in the NYT. Americans believe roughly 25% of the news they read in major newspapers. That's totally fruity. Do they really believe 75% of it are lies or wrong? Republicans are around 20%, Dems around 30% , so the Reps are more black-helicopter, generally not believing anything they disagree with.


I am not anti-free-market. I believe that markets are basically *useful* things, they encourage innovation and development, but markets are not inherently *good*. Markets are inherently competetive and greedy things; each entity looks out only for its own best interests. In a pure free market capitalist society, the very rich would be in control and would have the majority of the power and wealth. The only thing preventing that is the organization and mass movement of the people that the rich try to control. In order to prevent this, the people form a government. The purpose of the government is to protect the interests of every man as well as possible - not just the majority, and not just the rich or powerful, but every man. Government should moderate the greed of the markets, and also help and provide for every man. To be clear, government should help and encourage businesses in as much as they help the people by providing structures for work; business is not inherently good, and should never ever be favored over the interests of people - government is for people, not for money or other artificial power organizations. This is the contract and promise government makes to the people who agree to be a part of it. A government should not be a power structure that controls the people; it is a collective agreement by the people to abide by certain rules which they believe are for the benefit of them all.

The government is in breach of its contract when -

it takes public land and allows businesses to permanently devastate that land for the profit of the few, such as with strip-mining or mountain-top removal, or cutting old growth forests.

it allows businesses to pollute, especially with pollution that is impossible to clean up, such as nuclear waste or large oil spills, or the many poisons released into the environment. This permanently damages our earth which we all share, which is the property of all people.

it takes money from all the people in taxes and gives it to the few in the form of subsidies and protections and tarriffs that raise the price of goods the people need.

it wages unnecessary wars that put our peoples' lives at risk and creates hate for us around the world.

it taxes the poor excessively, beyond their means of what they can be expected to pay, making it impossible for them to rise from poverty. These taxes can be in many insiduous forms - local taxes, sales tax, lotteries, credit scams, unnecessary loans, etc.

businesses are allowed to lie or manipulate markets for the profit of the few. The markets must be open, accurate, provide full disclosure to all.

it does not allow reasonable immigration and travel.

it spreads lies and half-truths to manipulate the will of the people.


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old rants