Life Dump

There’s not been too many entries lately, and that’s because I haven’t had much to write that was on-topic for this Blog.

Make Games, Not WO:AR

Though some may have come to lean on this as being a Warhammer Online source just because I had some good strategic advice you can’t find anywhere else, I haven’t played Warhammer Online in days.  Clearly, from my last entry, I needed a break from it.  So I’ve been spending my free time developing my BYOND game.  While I’m really enjoying that, I’ve been learning as I go and I’m not sure what else could be said about it that hasn’t been said already.

My BYOND development lately could be easily summarized in one sentence: I’ve been putting an idea through multiple levels of refinement.  This means I’m tweaking it and reinventing it as I go for better gameplay. I’m apparently not good enough to get the idea right the very first time.  I have to get pretty close to seeing in the game before I realize that what I imagined needs tweaking in the face of harsh reality.

I imagine most game developers would find themselves in the same situation.  A cutting-edge game idea is apparently one of much trial and error.  No wonder clones (a.k.a. not-so-cutting-edge game ideas) are so conductive with the small time frame game developers are typically given.  When the boss is breathing down your neck, best to refine an established mousetrap than one that seeks to reinvent mousetraps as we know them.

That’s pretty much all I have to say that’s on the topic of gaming-related concepts.   However, I feel like unloading my cluttered mind right now, so if you follow the rest you’ll see me embark on tangents of insanity that only originate from sanity so extreme it has come out the other side.

Struggling To Stay On Topic…

I’ve come under the realization that, for the most part public web pages (such as this Blog) serve their readers better by being informative about things that may be genuinely useful to the reader.  “What’s going on with my life lately,” is not something that’s genuinely useful to the reader.

The other day I was driving back from school, I was thinking about writing a public service message about pornography.  I was going to say something like…

“You know, Pornography is basically Viagra for the brain – that’s the practical purpose of its existence in society: it’s created to help people feel horny, just like Viagra, and has the same use – it’s used by people who have sexual relationships but they want assistance getting good and horny. Maybe if I knew that when I was a kid, I’d not be so interested in seeing it.  After all, most kids would neither need nor want to get good and horny.  Instead, we hide pornography’s purpose from kids, and so they seek it out from curiosity, and draw strange conclusions about it, and before you know it’s some kind of misguided status symbol.

… and this could have been a potentially interesting thing to say and expand upon, but we come down to the fundamental problem that this is not the topic of this Blog, and people who have come to read it might feel mislead to read that here.

Well, at least I got it off my chest.  It sort of goes onto the tangent of, “It’s my Blog, you’re not paying me to read it, so if you don’t like what I post I guess all it costs me is popularity.”

What have I got against popularity, anyway?

While many of us want social acceptance, upon further reasoning, excessive popularity only creates harm.  Popularity is a kind of power earned, not through the merit of performing good in the world, so much as just getting people to like you.  Sometimes, people like you for doing good, but it’s easy enough to make people think you’re doing good.  Many people don’t reason too far into the motives of others.

Consequently, popularity emerges as a very dangerous kind of power.  There’s a lot of likable evil scumbags throughout history who wielded that power to harm others.  At the mildest, your average celebrity induces irrational behavior in their followers.  A little worse, your average cult leader can induce mass suicide.   Amongst the worst, one popular fellow set off the holocaust, one of the worst atrocities of mankind.  I’ve many good reasons not to trust popularity, it is essentially a kind of mass hysteria which is one of the worse qualities of the human creature.

Whoops, I just tripped Godwin’s Law. This Blog entry needs to draw to a close soon.  I’ll just finish this tangent.

Hopefully My Only Post On The 2008 Presidential Election

Keep what I said about popularity in mind when you’re thinking of voting: granting power to people you like is a substantially worse policy than granting power to somebody who is a benevolent ruler.

Personally, I really do not want to see a Republican victory in this presidential election because for a long time they’ve made it their policy to first fuck up the country and then insult their opponents until they are re-elected.

It’s an approach that works, and that’s a travesty, because clearly somebody who makes mistakes and then tries to demonize their opposition until they’re popular again is not a benevolent ruler.  Doing whatever you want and then attacking whoever opposes you is, by definition, the action of a malevolent individual.  Putting not benevolent but malevolent leaders in charge is the most sure path to assure we’re a part of tomorrow’s axis of evil.

It’s pretty inescapable logic.  Unfortunately, I’m afraid most voters don’t run on logic so much as fear and loathing these days.  It’s a pity – Democracy seems to be coming rapidly obsolete.  By that, I’m saying that the damage we’re sustaining to our country’s health due to poor decision making of the voters creates an impetus for social change against Democracy.  I hope to survive the resulting upheaval if it comes to pass.

Oh, by the way, the meaning of life is down here.

If not, oh well, nobody lives forever.  I’d rather go out early, through the trials of doing what’s right, than to live a few years longer but leave a trail of wrongdoing for those who follow me to deal with.  It’s not because I hate living, but rather because I revere life, that I take that stance.

It’s sort of how I learned to cope with my quarter-life crisis, really: we’re all going to die, it’s just a question of when.  Even the longest lived among us is but an imperceptible drop in the bucket in the long history of life.  Therefore, make your life not the when but the what: work to improve the world around you, as the things you have done to change the world while you were here are your only proven worldly claim to immortality.

Expressing a desire to do what’s right at the expense of one’s longevity is about all the indication many would need to identify someone as a some kind of crazed revolutionary/terrorist.   Relax – all I am is just a computer gaming hermit who has thought a few things through.   I’m not a revolutionary or a rocket scientist – I’m not even that good at math – I just enjoy thinking.  If anything, my main asset is an excess of free time and that computer games are, if anything, thinking exercises.

A thinker’s religion.

Thinking is good.  Maybe even better than good – maybe thinking is a manifestation of divine providence.

As the object that assembles the input from our senses, our minds are the place in which we are given to assemble our view of creation.  A mind that is stronger, and relatively clear of interferences such as selfish fears and wants, would be able to assemble a clearer view of creation.   To have a clearer view of creation is to have a clearer view of the vision of its creator.  Therefore, to become a better thinker is to better live in accordance with creation.

Thus, even bad-at-math computer hermits like myself should try to become a better thinker.  This is something reasonable people of any philosophical persuasion should be able to agree with regardless of the particular interpretation they have chosen.  At least, I think so.

8 Responses

  1. I totally agree, but Im some kinda wacky Epicurean Utilitarian. ;-D I wonder if we got some good strong philosophy schools going, maybe ‘mericans would think more? It would likely devolve quickly into some sort of game show format…

  2. Heh – “wacky Epicurean Utilitarian,” I like it.

    Establishing some schools of thought on this would be interesting, though getting the ball rolling on a thing like that is tricky business. If the goal is to make it popular, and part of the philosophy is that popularity corrupts, how do you keep the original message in tact?

    Right now, we’ve got people who work in extremes; Much like typical American politics, people tend to choose a side of a fence and go way over it. For example, bible thumpers versus hardcore atheists. My chosen philosophy would be to try to integrate the best rational parts from each, and set no idea in stone lest it trap one within. To argue an extreme requires being trapped within one side of a whole idea – lets stop arguing and start talking.

    I guess it’s the schools – established educational facilities – that are in the best position to forward the philosophy of thinking. The only question is if the right people are in charge. The focus on Critical Thinking that became pivotal as of late is right on the mark. How does one make more people receptive to the idea? We could start by taking out the word “critical.”

  3. Was this a repost / re-write from your old blog?

  4. If you mean my private personal blog – nope, I sort of wrote this one up on the fly in one sitting based off of the stuff that was on my mind. (Thus, I rambled on a bit.)

    I’m not surprised you thought it might be – the subject was a bit personal than typical gaming-related topic I intend this blog for.

    I know that you (Walla) might have taken it as a bit of a personal affront when I made my personal blog private. However, it was because I took it in a very personal direction. It’s now full of lengthy internal monologues along the lines of, “Was it right for me to masturbate today, did it achieve something productive, or is masturbation just pointless self-gratification?” I’ve been revisiting that one for years.

    Maybe that’s TMI, but I thought you needed to know why that blog is private. Nothing I do is particularly deviant (if I thought it was I wouldn’t have just posted that here on this public comment thread) I’m just very introspective about it. I don’t think anyone, even friends or family, really needs to read that garbage. Really, that would have been one of the more interesting entries – most of them are full of boring details like, “crap, where did the week go? Let me try to recollect what I did this week.”

  5. Wow. Ok. I don’t remember you having any other blogs than this one and the one on geldonsgaming.blogspot so I dunno what you are referring to… My question was referencing a familiar theme that I thought was resurrected after the move from blogspot and thought it was accidentally reposted.

    A side note — I don’t see how anyone could take it personally if one choses to make a blog private. That doesn’t make sense.

  6. Ah, it seemed to me that something you said over ICQ had a bit of a tone that you thought I was shutting you out when I privatized it back then, but maybe I was reading too much into that.

    To answer your question, back when I created this Blog I pretty much moved everything I wanted to keep from geldonsgaming.blogspot.com here. So anything I post recently here will be new.

    Though, you know, this is coming from the same person so you might detect a similar personality about what’s being said. I’ve always leaned liberal about most things, and occasionally I’ll go off on a deep philosophical tangent.

    Lately you’ve been saying that I wrote the same thing a lot. Well… how should I put this in a way that speaks truthfully without offending?

    The challenge to the reader is ever one of finding unique value out of what’s being said. Should that challenge not be met, all reading will seem the same to the reader.

    You might think this the responsibility of the writer, but unfortunately there’s little the writer can do about an unreceptive audience. They could make a fool of themselves, I suppose, and write something so radical that the reader has to notice difference – but I’m not so desperate to be read that I’ll write radical things – essentially lies through their exaggerated nature – simply to get noticed.

    A similar tangent could probably be found between any artist and its viewers. I may not be the best writer on the planet, but I still think this tangent of writing as an artform works. As an artist, I haven’t lost my scruples to the point where I’ll write things I’m not thinking to get attention. I may not end up being famous, but as I just wrote in this blog entry, I’m not a fan of the power of popularity.

  7. All i was asking was if the blog messed up and posted an old post…

  8. So far, I haven’t run into that problem on any of my Blogs.

    Sorry if I’m reading too much into everything right now. My brain’s on overload from all this BYOND coding I’ve been doing lately.

    (But then, my brain oft is. I enjoy thinking overmuch, perhaps.)

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