Recently, John Campbell, the author of my most favorite webcomic, pictures for sad children, wrote a series of articles (for lack of a better word) that have generated some interesting controversy that’s relevant to my previous post about trolls.  Although they’re an interesting read, the titles alone rather succinctly describe the content.  The only background you need here is that John Campbell’s comics and street art are nothing if not compulsively melancholic, but never, ever serious.

His entire confession and apology was fake.  A lot of his readers and fellow artists were pretty offended, and not unfairly – but one line in particular got me thinking.

I regret the borderline people, those who could identify the problems in their life, face them, and allow themselves to be changed, but instead found it necessary to conceive of themselves as “struggling with depression” rather than being genuinely held back emotionally by some nasty and real situation. Any work participating in the “culture of depression” has probably contributed to these sad and unnecessary cases.

Continue reading control


Another thing I wrote for this lame psych class. The prompt this time: why is depression & its treatment so popular in American society?

For better or worse, America is a highly individualistic society. Self-reliance is generally considered to be a major virtue. Once an adult, an American is expected to provide for him or herself with minimal dependence on family or friends. In general, people who have not attained the expected level of independence are considered lazy or slothful. A failure to perform well in school or work is usually called a flaw of that person’s work ethic before anything else. In short, Americans tend to believe that most of a person’s successes and failures are up to that individual, and too much help will make them weaker and dependent. While these beliefs have probably helped maintain strong economic performance, they have encouraged behaviors and attitudes that leave Americans vulnerable to psychological instability.

Continue reading dividulous


I wrote another thingadoodle for my abnormal psych class. The prompt was “How is the DSM IV a vital tool in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders? How is it an obstacle to the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders?”.

In the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel, the Judeo-Christian god interferes with the attempts of mankind to build a temple that reached to the sky (now believed to be a Babylonian ziggurat) by inflicting a curse upon the men building the temple. The curse was that of individual language; by causing each man to speak and understand only his own language, they were no longer able to collaborate and finish the complex task of constructing the temple, and it was abandoned. This story speaks to a basic truth of mankind: collaboration requires that we have a shared understanding of one another. The DSM-IV is our current best attempt at achieving this shared understanding in the field of mental health.

Continue reading standardly


I wrote this for my abnormal psychology class, in response to the prompt “Identify a behavior that you engage in that others might classify as ‘abnormal’. Why is this behavior seen as different or unusual? How have you responded to the reactions of others?”. My choice of topic may at first seem glib, but I enjoyed writing it, and I like where I ended with it. I love being in school again. Nowhere else might I be asked to conjure up something of this nature.

I work in an office where the median age is in the late 50’s to early 60’s. Being 22 years-old, a number of my habits and behaviors naturally come across as abnormal to my co-workers. Some of these are merely a feature of different tastes and interests, but those that seem to have the most significant impact upon my interaction with my co-workers seem closely related to the different kind of relationship I have with technology. I have been using computers in various shapes and sizes since I was three years-old, and I generally find it extremely easy to engage in multiple activities (of a specific nature) simultaneously or in rapid succession.

Continue reading expectaculous

scientification, act 1

I think I have some explaining to do regarding the last two years of my life. I’ve strayed from sharing the day-to-day details of my life on this blog, but I think it’s time to make this place a little more human. As my dearest friends disperse out across the world once more, it would suit me to become comfortable providing some more detail about the progress in my life.

Spring 2009 was a rough period in my history. I was still working at the Geek Squad, a job whose only saving grace was a team of exuberant and eccentric co-workers that allowed me to share in some of their excellence. I was really enjoying the academics at IC, but the social scene was intensely isolating and in my semester there I couldn’t manage to make a single friend. I was also struggling to come to terms with my gradual conversion to atheism and what this meant for my identity and future. Living with my parents greatly exacerbated all of these issues, and I was eager to get out. When John approached me about joining him on an apartment hunt, I was totally on board.

Continue reading scientification, act 1

existential hat trick

Vocation, con’t

“Jack of all trades, master of none, but oft times better than the master of one.”

This phrase, written first in 1612, was regarded as a compliment during the Renaissance. Renaissance humanists believed humans to be limitless in their capabilities, and as such should pursue knowledge and mastery in every possible manner. Also known as polymaths, these individuals would learn multiple languages and musical instruments, developing not just intellectual skills, but also their physical prowess, social accomplishments, and artistic capabilities. They’re the reason we use the word university (universities were once places of universal education) and why the liberal arts are called the humanities.

Not everyone agrees with this ideal.

“He who embraces too much, has a weak grasp”
“You aim for everything, but you hit nothing”
“Who chases two jackrabbits catches none”
“Seven trades, the eighth one – poverty”

The problem with quotes is that it’s easy to mistake a catchy zinger for valid truth, so here’s something a little more personally relevant. An extended relative of mine – a concept artist for a custom car designer – gave me a framed piece when I was sixteen years old of this wonky car doing a burnout, and he signed it with this oddly prescient quip:

Pick your direction,
aim it & GO!”

My point, I hope, is illustrated. There’s an approach to life that says being well-rounded makes us better at life as a whole, and there’s another that says exclusive dedication is the path to success. The truth, I suspect, is a mixture of the two.

Continue reading existential hat trick


I’ve spent the last three weeks holed up in my room, for no particular reason. After oversleeping for a test in my logic class, I suddenly lost all desire to keep going, and here I am, accomplishing quite little. It’s relatively the same circumstance I found myself in a year and a half ago.

I’ve been consumed with the concept of purpose. The popular mindset is such that purpose is equivalent with desire. We do not have a distinct purpose outside of what we want; we seek something, and we do what is necessary to acquire it. It is unsurprising, then, that the nature of depression lies in apathy. If our purpose is derived from the basic notion that we have something we care enough to pursue, we lose purpose when either we lose that which we used to care for, or we cease to care. Statistically, suicide is most common among individuals that have recently experienced significant loss – a job, family, etc, or have very weak ties to those entities in the first place.

The pervasiveness of simplistic evolutionary theory in my psychology classes has thus far been rather depressing. I don’t buy that most of our facilities can be reduced to functions of mate selection and special superiority. That just isn’t how I live my life on a day-to-day basis, nor anyone that I know. I recognize the importance and necessity of evolutionary theory in, say, biology, but I’ve come to think of the matter in this way: if we have evolved such that matters of morality, of love, of art and music, of poetry and film, are merely abstractions of survival mechanisms, then perhaps it is best to treat them at their abstracted level, rather than attempting to simplify them into more quantifiable terms. The process strips all that we gain in that abstraction, leaving us with very little that, to be rather blunt, makes us happy.

Perhaps what is so attractive to me about love is that it is both a desire and a purpose.

the lost and the lonely

My peers are hopelessly divided between the pretty and the ugly.

Nobody would ever put it like that – such terms are uncouth to our ears. Yet our words cannot hide our actions. I go to one group, and clustered together are meticulously prepared mirages of persons, yearning to be judged and found acceptable by the discerning. I go to another, and the art of presentation has been lost, drowned by society’s unspoken demands, embracing a hopelessness that provides solace against the onslaught of judgment.

The beauty around me is corrupted, marching its way into meaningless oblivion as it hungrily pursues itself, its incest creating a fog of self-absorption. I wander the halls looking for beauty, but I do not find it. Each woman is the same as the next, offering fake smiles to match their fake hair. At least they are consistent. The men speak in voices deeper than puberty granted them, wearing attitudes of pre-packaged rebellion like fine jewelry.

There is a solution, but I know not what it is.


I thought I’d go ahead and share two papers I wrote recently. This first paper is from one of my sociology classes, Definitions of Normality. I referenced a few posts back. Although I had to resort to some hyperbole to make my point and I had to gloss over some really huge stuff to cram it into six pages, I like how it turned out.

The purpose of the paper was to write a time in which I’d “passed”. We recently read a book detailing the lives of various people that had pretended to be people they weren’t – black for white, gay for straight, etc.. I asked her if I could take an alternative approach, and she approved it.

If passing is defined as an attempt to circumvent unjust exclusion, I cannot confess to having done such in any meaningful way. I cannot recall a time in which I chose to hide important realities about my history or identity for the sake of attaining personal social equality. That is not to say that I have always loved who I am without reservation, nor do I suggest that I have never faced situations in which I wanted desperately to fit in – at any cost. My response to those feelings and circumstances, however, has not been to pass, but to consider the worthiness of the challenge, and change myself accordingly, all the way from appearance and mannerisms to my core values and beliefs.

This story starts in Mississippi, where my father was the vice president of a prominent theological seminary in Jackson, while my mother managed a large campus ministry. I lived there for ten years, until my father left his position to pastor a Presbyterian church in Ithaca. Until we moved, I had never once been challenged on or had any reason to question the religion of my parents, and I thought little of it until I was thrust into a new culture that did not embrace my father’s ideals. With this move, I continued to fit in marvelously with my peers at church, but I did not fare well in my elementary school experience. At the suggestion of my homeschooling friends, I spent most of my time in junior high homeschooling, a choice which radicalized my religious and political views. I began to read my Bible daily, prayed for God to take away my lustful thoughts (he never did), and I cheered as Bush took office.

Throughout this, however, I was tremendously unsatisfied with myself. From elementary school onward, I had a piercing desire for one thing: a girlfriend. I talked often of my loneliness to my mentors at church, and I trusted them when they assured me that God had a plan for me, and that I need only wait until God decides I should have one, if ever. They stressed that secular relationships would not afford me any happiness, and that I should seek to attract a holy woman by earnestly seeking God. The idea of adapting to modern romantic standards was repulsive; dating was a flawed and selfish system, devoid of any redemptive qualities. I should not seek to be ‘cool’, either, because ‘cool’ was not the measure by which men served God. So I ignored the conventions my few secular peers followed, even as I entered high school, and I took pride in being different.

I had but one friend (from church) as I entered my first day of high school, and he invited me to come to a gaming party at his friend Ben’s house – eager to see what exactly I’d been missing for fourteen years, I arrived without any notion of what to expect. Descending into a pitch-black basement, I entered a room whose walls and ceiling were covered with soft-core pornography, while half a dozen adolescents cursed furiously and compared everything to boobs and penises. I had no clue what to do, so I threw myself at an Xbox and tried not to look away. I managed to inquire why the walls were covered with tits, and Ben matter-of-factly explained that this was his sister’s room, and that she was a lesbian. I decided to save my shock for after I won the current round of Halo.

I quickly realized that this reality was at complete odds with what I’d been living for years before. I walked into church a day later with nothing but compunction and confusion. My father’s sermons told me that there was something fundamentally wrong with what I witnessed; they did not go to church, they were lustful and vulgar, they were sinners. My training told me that because they did not know Jesus, they were missing something from their lives and had no true purpose – but the more I came to know Ben (I went to every party he had thereafter), the less this conviction revealed itself to be true. Ben was an intelligent, caring, and hilarious person whose day-to-day problems did not find their solution in religion. He had something I wanted – even beyond a girlfriend – he seemed to have no need for the God I deemed so necessary.

I could have chosen to live a dual life. I could have easily maintained the facade of a proper church boy while participating in the godless hedonism of my peers, but I chose, instead, to integrate the two. I played both sides of the fence. I engaged my friends at school in much religious discussion, attempting to convert them to Christianity, while I did the reverse to my peers at church, playing the devil’s advocate, borrowing from many of the arguments my friends from school offered. I did it as a means towards figuring out which path contained more truth. At times, I resonated far more with one side than the other. But I never pretended that I was someone that I was not. I sought first and foremost to accrue knowledge, that I might make more informed decisions on my future.

I began to part from Christianity. A slow realization started, wherein I saw that the relationships around me – particularly the romantic relationships – operated on a set of rules that I was not properly following. My religious background had taught me to ignore these rules, but as Professor Baker noted, rules are what bind us together, they help make sense of the world. I realized that these rules existed for a reason, and that I must understand them if I wished to be a part this society around me.

So I changed. I decided to pursue and conform to these rules as best as I could. I started running and working out nearly every night. I started observing the fashions around me, I noted which colors went best together, how they wore their clothes, they way they walked and the way they talked. I watched movies, and I examined the men that my female friends considered so dreamy, and what made them so attractive. Cooley would be proud, no doubt; I shamelessly sought to emulate the best of what secular society had to offer. I wanted to be awesome. This wasn’t a new pursuit; I’d always wanted to be awesome. I was redefining what awesome meant to myself, and rethinking what awesome meant to others.

Quite simply, I was repeating the process of socialization. Baker describes this as the means by which people learn to be members of their social group. I was altering my primary social group to include a wider variety of people, who operated by a very different set of folkways. Prior to this, I had seen popular culture as being devoid of meaningful rules, but in fact, its folkways formed a network at least as complex as what was within the church. It wasn’t simply that I was adopting new folkways to achieve a goal, nor that I was abandoning old folkways; I was altering my core values in such a way that adopting these new folkways would be completely natural.

Over the following two years, I left Christianity completely, even after spending four months at a Christian study center in England. I got a large tattoo of a phoenix on my chest. I started smoking. I went through my first serious relationship, with all the accompanying highs and lows. My musical tastes expanded from almost exclusively listening to techno, to chamber pop, death metal, and trip-hop.

Goffman says that we are forever performing for one another, projecting an identity to those around us. Not everything I’ve done and all I’ve changed has been a grand projection for the entertainment of others, but the lifestyle changes I made feature an important common factor: they are, for me, parts of my life that I share with practically all of my peers. In changing my body, my religion, my music, these were expressions to those around me (as well as to myself) that I’ve changed, and that I’m no longer the person that I once was.

The path that these changes have taken me on has not been easy in any regard. The distance between the old church culture and myself grows ever wider as I lose common ground with their values and I decline more of their folkways. I am still close with many of my church friends, but a tension lingers over every conversation, composed of unspoken challenges and questions. I still yearn for what the faith purported to offer; the idea of an intimate and involved God is both beautiful and powerful. The community was also open, caring, and supportive, and the norms of my chosen social group do not lend themselves to such entities.

Although change is a difficult and frustrating process, I feel strongly that it’s a superior alternative to passing. Many people have “successfully” managed two separate lives, one for religion, and one for everything else – but such duality is ultimately destructive, as well as deeply disingenuous to both cultures. Passing, in this matter, seems unacceptable, a choice made out of weakness, an inability to choose between two competing societies that offer different realities and promise radically different futures. I have devoted my identity – the only identity I have – to one world, rather than diluting it, and I’ve changed it as has become necessary with society’s evolving norms. I take pride in having avoided passing thus far, and I hope that I can continue to do so for as long as possible.

This next paper is a little more obscure. I wrote it for my ethics class. The goal of the paper was to utilize Aristotle’s virtue ethics in approaching abortion. It’s a little meta, but I love me some meta, so I really enjoyed this one.

The realities surrounding an issue such as abortion are inexorably grim. At the core of the matter lie millions of unwanted and unplanned pregnancies, for which abortion offers a permanent solution. This solution is not without its concerns, and it holds a number of grave reflections upon the virtues we hold dear as individuals, as well as a society. What virtues are at stake when considering abortion? Does abortion lead us towards those virtues, or does it send us astray? Although Aristotle would have had no concept of abortion as we know it today, his ideas can form a powerful basis for considering what is worthwhile in this debate.

To determine the virtues relevant to abortion, we must consider the consequences of an abortion. An abortion is not just about ending a nine-month pregnancy, but about preventing the birth of a child that will exist for years to come, and the burdens that are involved with raising that child. An abortion is also a matter of desire; excluding cases in which the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life, abortion is being considered because the child is not desired, whether due to a lack of financial or emotional readiness, or a simple absence of motive to become a parent. Finally, abortion also holds serious consequences for the physical well-being of the mother, particularly when contrasted with the alternative outcomes involved with childbirth.

All of this is largely a matter of looking forward. How will the mother’s life change with the presence of this child? In what ways will society be altered? What can the child look forward to? Although a multitude of virtues are weaved throughout the nuances of these questions, a few can be considered of greatest importance. These are questions of prudence. Is it wise to birth a child into an environment that is not prepared for her arrival? It is likely that such a child will be afforded far fewer opportunities – educational, financial, and social – than a child brought up inside a ready home. Likewise, an unprepared mother will certainly suffer stresses and anxieties that other mothers might not. When a child’s home cannot provide for all of his needs, it is left to society as a whole to provide support, a pressure which becomes quite serious with each unexpected child.

Aristotle would look to the importance of prudence as a matter of balance, an approach which works surprisingly well in this regard. Too much prudence might involve aborting every unexpected pregnancy, regardless of the mother’s wishes, for fear of the burden these children bring upon their mothers ans society at large. Too little would see abortion struck out as an option entirely, with mothers foolishly embracing the potential of new children without any consideration for their practical ability to care for these children.

Abortion is also an issue of fairness. If a woman does not desire her pregnancy, is it fair – to the mother and to the child – to bring the pregnancy to term despite this? Is it fair to bring a child into the world only to send them to an orphanage or foster home? By the same token, is it fair to place such an expectation on society to support the child? Is it fair for a woman to undergo the rigors of a nine-month pregnancy and risk childbirth against her will? If the unborn possess full human rights, is it fair to end their life despite these concerns? Is it fair to abort a pregnancy simply because its future is not the same as others?

Aristotle’s approach proves less effective in this regard. The median of fairness is highly nebulous; how may a woman be too fair as she ponders an abortion? Can society truly be too fair, too considerate of all relevant interests? To further complicate the matter, fairness is a more subjective virtue. If one values the life of an unborn child very highly, it becomes more fair to ensure the pregnancy comes to term, regardless of what outcome that child faces on the other side of the womb. Conversely, if one values a woman’s ability to control the future of her body as greater than her pregnancy, the fair choice is already made. Indeed, the answers to questions of fairness seem almost independent of the virtue itself, being predetermined by our attitudes on independence and the nature of human life.

Another direction to be taken with fairness is the simple answer that nothing about an undesired pregnancy, aborted or not, is fair. It is ultimately unfair that we are forced to make these choices, and as Aristotle himself acknowledges, the point from which we start our lives is hardly fair, regardless of how prudently we plan ahead. That being said, this route opens up a better question: are there cases in which it is more fair to abort, than to bring to term, and what are they? In this way, the virtue of fairness is still the goal, but it is less about achieving an objective status of equality, so much as choosing the fairer of two imparities, and we may still honor the importance of fairness in morality.

This brings us to the third, and perhaps most important virtue, conscientiousness. While it might first seem but a synonym of prudence, the conscientious person is driven by a conscience that is satisfied only by a wide awareness of what is it hand and a cautious examination of available evidence. Prudence and fairness without conscience are lifeless, as the goal in ethics is to make decisions that are moral, not just reasonable, for what is strictly reasonable is not always moral. The virtue of conscientiousness drives us to use our prudence and our pursuit of fairness to achieve a most moral end.

Conscientiousness is a virtue whose mean can be found in relation to prudence and fairness. While it may sound odd to be too conscientious, giving too much weight to our conscience would be to defy reason, to follow our gut without consideration for the practical realities and consequences of the situation. Too little conscience would, as mentioned before, result in purely mechanical decision-making, holding no regard for the sanctity of life and happiness, stripping us from what makes these matters important in the first place.

There is a potent example within Rachels’ book, The Elements of Moral Philosophy. He describes the infanticide that was once common in Eskimo society. The Eskimos lived in a harsh environment with very scarce resources, and families could only grow as large as the hunters were able to provide. As such, families were simply incapable of supporting more children; thus, they enabled society to survive by limiting how many children they raised; raising them was simply not a feasible option. Their choice was prudent – they looked to the long-term future of their community, and saw that they could not support more dependents. Their choice was fair – how could the life of a child outweigh the survival of their entire society? Their choice was also conscientious – they did not do this on a whim, but as was grimly necessary.

Considering the importance of these characteristics helps to reveal which choices are truly moral ones. If we thoroughly ponder each virtue, we can uncover a multitude of important questions – questions of prudence and fairness, questions that challenge our conscience. If we follow these questions to their end, it seems that the ethics of virtue may hold a multitude of answers, even if it does not yield them easily.


This first week of classes at IC has been amusing on a number of counts, primarily in what I observe in other students, as well as in the teachers.

The whole environment seems to ooze this aura of academic enlightenment. That is, the teachers seem keenly aware that they’re being looked to for enlightening ideas, and the students seem eager to show that they’re internalizing this enlightenment. There’s this sense that education – namely, this education – is the saving grace of the world, that this institution is a bastion against the ever-rampant forces of ignorance, and that within these walls, salvation might be found that cannot be seen elsewhere in the world, all for a mere $40,000 per semester. Enlightenment isn’t free, silly.

If you hadn’t guessed, I’m just a little skeptical, and perhaps a bit cynical, too. Thus far, I’m thoroughly enjoying my classes and it’s good to be around people my age for once. Still, I find myself smirking. Very few of my teachers have held any job outside of academia, but they espouse their subjects of choice with such zeal that one would think they found the solution to their life’s problems in the subject matter they’re disclosing. Similarly, the students (and teachers) around me seem impossibly homogeneous, intellectually. I understand enough of sociology to know that birds of a feather flock together, socio-economically, but the similarity in thought and expression between my peers is, well, frightening. One student poses a neatly packaged answer to the professor’s question from a classic postmodern relativist standpoint, and five others follow suit to affirm over the next twenty minutes. Professors seem to fancy themselves as avant-garde by tossing in some burns on conservative politics, or by declaring their disdain for standardized testing. It seems like a very expensive celebration of our world-view, rather than anything particularly challenging.

It’s not so much that I disagree with their statements (though I do, particularly with the students), but I find it all more distracting than anything else. I appreciate the effort put into being challenging, in offering new and surprising views of the world that I’ve never encountered before – but I’m starting to doubt that I will find that here. The lack of genuine variety in methodology or thought processes seems inescapable – what else would one find in a college that fosters a culture of semi-subtle elitism?

It’s not nearly so bad as all that, and much of what I’m saying is conjecture at this point – I’ve only just had a week of classes, after all. But my gut is usually quite good at identifying such patterns.

“Education is a kind of continuing dialogue, and a dialogue assumes, in the nature of the case, different points of view.”
Robert Hutchins


The feeling I got after registering for all of my classes and such was pretty similar to how I felt when I was on the plane to England. New beginnings, and whatnot.

Intro to Ethics
Social Change
Psychology Lab
Intro to Logic
Definitions of Normality
Proseminar in Motivation (no idea what a proseminar is or how it’s different from an amateur seminar)
Orientiation to Psychology (just a 1 credit course on careers is psych)

I am excited.


Young IT employees pose a challenge to many managers who say the Millennial generation holds employers up to unrealistic expectations and makes unreasonable demands for their services.

You may have little patience for people who demand more than they are worth; but this generation has absolutely no patience for companies unwilling to engage them at market value.

It’s simple economics. If a key employee thinks that he is worth $X salary, you evaluate whether or not he’s worth it. If he is, you pay it. If not worth it, you don’t. That’s it. These people are not quitting to go work at McDonalds, they are finding other work that pays them what they want.

The ‘retention’ problem is not because this generation wants the kitchen sink; it’s because these companies don’t have any money to buy kitchens.

Hao Wu:
How often do we here, “If you don’t like your job – QUIT already!”

So we do just that, and the six and seven-figure salaries in management still feel violated.

I say f- them. Either pay more, or quit complaining about our right to leave.

I dunno…I have to say “Welcome to the real world”.

We’ve done our young people a disservice the past few decades….in schools and society, we’ve taken away anything that might hurt little Timmy’s self esteem…..everyone gets an award for ‘trying’, and everyone is taught they are all equal and will be treated that way.

Parents who work too much….have tried making up for it…by giving their kids what they want. It leads to people coming out of this sheltered environment, and being shocked that they don’t walk right into a job making the $$ their parents did….not instantly being a manager…and [shudder] having to work their way up from the bottom.

I’ll admit…my generation (early X) had a great deal of this too…but, not quite as bad as it seems the youth coming into the workforce now have.

I’m not saying it is all of them…but, this attitude does seem to be rising. Unless you can start your own business….you’re gonna have to learn that there is the golden rule…whoever has the gold, makes the rules. If you wanna work and make it…well, you’re gonna have to sacrifice and work hard for awhile, pay your dues as they used to say.

30-50 years ago, if you went to college, chances are your parents were blue collar people who worked their asses off to save enough money to give you that opportunity, and you probably had to work your ass off to get more money and scholarships to make it. Yeah, there were a few kids of rich parents, but they were the minority.

Now we have a LOT more people in middle-class office jobs. They don’t have to pull double-shifts to get their kids into college. And their kids don’t have to work their asses off for it – they can just get financial aid and student loans, WITHOUT having to join the army for 6 years. Yeah, there are still kids out there who work their asses off to get into and through school, but they’re in the minority.

30 years ago most kids who graduated college were thankful they didn’t have grease under their fingernails when they came home from work like their parents did. Nowadays, more of the kids who graduate college are from families who never had to worry about anything. If your parents always had enough money, why wouldn’t you?

“I say f- them. Either pay more, or quit complaining about our right to leave.”

There’s more to it than that. Someone just out of college may say, regarding his first 2-3 jobs, “This sucks! I’m not getting the {respect | money | office | projects} I deserve! F*** this. Bye.” But that person mistakenly thinks that he’s getting a worse-than-standard deal. So out of ignorance, he leaves a perfectly good job, chasing the mythical perfect job.

It’s that pointless churn that I think employers might reasonably be frustrated by. (Of course, those employees might find that they can do less work and get paid more by working in marketing. In that case, the employers are themselves getting a bitter dose of reality.)

They’ve been promised the world by well-meaning educators, parents, and public figures for most of their youthful lives.

College is your ticket out of the ghetto, means a higher income, better work conditions, more freedom, more control over your career, more respect, blah, blah, blah. It’s true in a way, but the way a university education is described is often as the opposite of blue-collar work. That is to say that many kids are told (I know I was, all the way up through the end of undergrad) that I was going to college to avoid certain things:

– Being poor
– Having to get paid for what I “do” rather than what I “think”
– Being stuck in a “dead-end job”
– Having to “flip burgers,” “answer phones,” “make copies,” or other “menial labor” work
– Low pay (this is a biggy, and you hear it over and over and over)

Well… all of these things are exactly what you confront when you finish your bachelor’s degree. I know it was a tremendous shock to me after having been goaded on for years to get good grades in high school, then to go to college, then to hang in there—goaded using all of these reasons for sticking with it—only to find out that college doesn’t provide you with wealth, the ability to get paid for what you think, a way to avoid dead-end jobs, having to start at the absolute entry level, or getting paid nothing for all of the above… The only way up the career ladder is to climb it, from the bottom.

It’s the “all kids must go to college” culture that we have—we even direct kids away from the things they’re interested in in many cases using these kinds of arguments (which are really veiled threats in a way of what consequences await them if they don’t go to college) and then they graduate expecting exactly the benefits that have been used as selling points for all these years.

I can completely empathize. It took me a good five years to come to terms with the fact that I’d essentially been had and would now need to choose between going out and starting up the career ladder as if I’d just graduated high school with essentially no advantage, or going to grad school on the other hand (i.e. school for many more years and at great expense) to gain at least some measurable advantage for myself with all the hard work I’d done.

I chose the latter, but I often reflect on the fact that I could easily have chosen the former as well… there was certainly a point in my life where it could have gone either way.

In a way, what was promised probably used to be true, but not because college was such a great training ground. If only the relatively gifted went to college, say, 50 years ago, then they would probably emerge to find a creative career in a respected field waiting for them. Now that any monkey with middle class parents can bum their way through, the group of college graduates is no longer self selecting for those who are talented enough to secure the things they’ve been promised.

Now, I don’t think this contradicts your point, but it may explain it. I think people may have mistaken the self selection in the last generation for some magical property endowed by the act of going to college. But I will contradict you enough to say that SOME new college graduates do find that those expectations are met. If you’re at the top of your class, intelligent, and actually good at what you do, you’re never not wanted. It may take a bit of legwork to find someone who’s willing to pay for that, but they’re always out there, because a lot of people are really really bad at what they do.

“If young people were going to develop responsibility, they would need to have a connection to what they’re responsible for, which means giving them real power in the world, which isn’t happening.”

This statement captures the problem beautifully. The world will be yours one day, want it or not. And if you’re a bunch of checked-out WOW playing crybabies it isn’t going to be much of a world. Nobody gives anybody anything worth having in this life. You get it by earning it. And if you don’t give a shit now, you certainly aren’t going to give a shit when the next generation is crying that you don’t do enough for them.

I advise you to get your ass off your shoulders and act responsible first. You’ll become elite within your generation.


I worked for a company that was bought out a few years back. The new CEO came to visit us to “pep talk” us, telling us that we were currently number two in the marketplace and that we wouldn’t settle for number two: we had to be number one.

No one was enthusiastic in the slightest, and it wasn’t because we were in a new company. No, we weren’t pepped by his speech because it was clear to us that there was no advantage to us other than perhaps some prestige to being number one. All we would be doing is earning him and the stockholders more money.

We’re told that we have to earn our place in society, but from many of our perspectives, there really isn’t anything *worth* earning. What is the very best that most of us can hope for? A middle class position in an ever poverty-increasing society due to the tremendous shift of wealth towards a small number of businessmen? A marriage where we both work long hours in order to fatten a tiny number of people’s pockets, coming home so exhausted that we’re barely able to tend to the children’s needs and much less to each other’s, so we compensate ourselves by the accumulation of possessions? Some world we’ve been offered. I’m not sure that it will be worse off if we’re a bunch of WOW playing crybaby slackers.

I’m frustrated that despite all of human innovation and technological advancements, I have to kowtow to an alarm clock that rings at 6:30 AM. Where are the promises that technology was supposed to reduce working hours and make our lives more pleasant? No, we’re forced to work harder to compete with other organizations who also suffer the same fate as our own. I think many of us have realized just how much society *has* lied to us, about college, technology, etc. and we’ve grown apathetic and tired of the empty promises. I’d rather be a relatively poor slacker with time to myself to do what I want and to enjoy my family than a successful developer whose time is consumed with largely meaningless pursuits and whose life is filled with possessions.

“We don’t feel that we should be expected to “earn” the right to be part of the important goings on in our culture.”

It should be handed to you? Some sort of divine right?

“We feel that, even if we do “earn” what rights are available, we will still be pawns in someone elses game, and we have no more love or respect for their game than they have for us, so we don’t bother.”

We older people feel like that too. Very few people throughout history have been able to evade that feeling.

“We consume these “opiates” because we hate the real world we live in, we see no hope of changing it, and we have given up and fled to imaginary land. In our zoned out state, we do only what we must to exist, because we are not really here.”

And the inevitable result of your pathological lethargy will be the fading of America as a country of importance. Let us hope you are not all like that.

“Now, some of us haven’t given up. But we still don’t take jobs for employers, we become self-employeed.”
This isn’t different than any generation that came before you.

“None of us are interested in taking these “entry level jobs” in the hopes that we might be blessed with something better some day. We know that someday will not come.”

Well, most people recognize that gaining experience makes you more valuable and more capable of starting your own business. There is no shortcut when it comes to experience. By definition, you must experience something to become experienced at it. GTA won’t help you. There are no video games to put real-world business experience, real world technology experience or, …, well, …, real world experience into your brain.

“If young people were going to develop responsibility, they would need to have a connection to what they’re responsible for, which means giving them real power in the world, which isn’t happening.

If young people do develop a sense of responsibility, they are still not going to take jobs. They are going to take over.”

It is every young generation’s manifest destiny to take over from the older generations, eventually. But there are rites of passage. Those older guys know more than you do. They are tougher, meaner, smarter, more experienced, better talkers, better programmers, better negotiators, better strategists, etc.., than their younger colleagues. They are like this because they have been at it a lot longer. You will take over as they retire off and/or as you become experienced enough to outsmart and outcompete them. Again, there are no shortcuts.

So stop being a spoiled brat and go do the grunt work. You aren’t yet up to the task of the higher profile stuff. You will know when you are up to the task, because you will take over. Until then, you are just flapping your lips. And no, you aren’t worth the same amount of money as someone that has been doing the job for 20 years. In all likelihood, if you disappeared, they would hardly notice – as a green kid, the company is investing in you – you likely add very little value, so you are being payed more than they are able to extract in value from your labor. You are likely being trained, groomed and given experience in the hopes that your value will eventually increase past the point where their investment is, making you a profitable employee to have on board. If the 20 year veteran disappeared, the lights wouldn’t turn on, the database would stop working, nobody would be able to get a new release out, it would start raining blood, cats and dogs would be living together and the company would go into crisis mood. But you wouldn’t know about that, because you haven’t experienced it…


It’s gotten a bit strange how much of my time I spend evading direct questions, when talking to a lot of people during my day. It’s so much easier when you have complete control over what people know about you, but it’s become something of a test to see if people can cut through my bullshit. Most won’t blink twice at how vague I can be. Some of them are just being polite until they get to know me better, others really just aren’t listening in the first place.

But, it would be another facade if I were to say I did it solely as a way to test people. I just do it because I don’t like dishing out seemingly unsatisfactory answers. Being vague is a form of verbal procrastination – when I have the information I want to give, I’m focused and direct. Those that know me, know that – but I also use that trait to draw attention away from other subjects that I don’t want to undergo too much scrutiny.

The days I enjoy most, are those where I don’t have to be coat everything I say in a bouquet of flowers. The people I enjoy most, are those that I never need to do the dance with. The people I dislike most? Those that pretend, act, and lie.

It’s an important distinction. I don’t pretend or act. I’m pretty realistic about myself, and it’s because of that, that I feel the need to throw up so many deflections. Not that I’m afraid of anyone knowing me – to the contrary, I’m an open person. That’s why I’m writing this at all. No, no, it’s about perception and respect. I am a vain soul. It’s the strong, but unfortunate drive behind much of what I do. It wasn’t until I realized how much of my desires were mere vanity that I could sort through what’s worth pursuing.

Computer science is strong evidence to this. I am, at this point, mostly confident that my future is not in the field of technical work. I’m inexorably tied to the hardware I do so love, but only in so much that I am a gamer and a scrutinizer of the trends that result from this piece of machinery. To the point, though; my interest in Computer Science, I suspect, was a result of my desire to live up to the expectations which I enjoyed, and the chance to participate in something intellectually competitive on a large scale. In simpler terms: from youth, most of my family and friends assumed (on a reasonable basis) that I would venture into a realm of technology, because of my affinity for and desire towards the field. Combined with an easy chance to prove myself as truly skilled through keen programming skill, eventually completed by entering into what is generally accepted as an elite field (game design), I would have “mastered” a skill – not for bragging rights, but to enjoy the perception that would be drawn around me, serving also to feed my ego which I secretly enjoy (refer back to vanity).

It sounds so simple – we are so often told not to live by the expectations of others, but I don’t think most people who speak those words even know what it means to do such, or what it feels like. I certainly wouldn’t label myself as a servant to the hopes and dreams of my elders and peers, nor (I doubt and hope) would anyone else. It was not that I felt pressure from those desires, but instead a desire to receive those pressures and the rewards met by living under those.

It comes through in so many other ways. In recent months I have been running oh-so consistently. Yet for most of my years of running, I had yet to comprehend why I find enjoyment in it, and why this enjoyment comes and goes much less reliably, and sometimes more frequently, than a full moon. With time, comes plenty of chance to consider the evidence, and I do believe it is all for the same reason. I run to be seen. My favored route goes through collegetown – and I slow down before and after so that I can sprint, because I enjoy getting the weird looks from passers-by. It’s such a jackass thing to do, yet I do it because I am just that vain.

I hope I actually wake up for classes today. I want to start my Psychology class. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about any course yet. Someone at the restaurant, a student at Cornell, was telling me about her Human Development major – it’s a combination of Sociology and Psychology (which also happens to be in the state school at Cornell – meaning wickedly cheap). We shall see.

About That Thing…

It’s exceedingly bizarre how transient one’s outlook on his future can be. For two years I’ve more or less told myself I’m going to TC3 and then transferring somewhere, heavily based under the assumption that my parents wouldn’t be paying for anything. Apparantly this isn’t really the case, and I don’t know why. My mom just walked in and proposed that I go to Houghton for a year or two and then take IC up on that whole free tuition business for another 2 years. For the unaware, Houghton’s a mostly liberal arts school (with some focus on music), somewhere in the regions of the state. I have been, in the past, heavily opposed to going to Houghton because it’s a Christian college (there’s a certain breed of “Christian” that places like Houghton attract that I find intolerable, even if they’re just a small portion of the populace). But, when mom suggested it tonight, I realized I don’t actually care that much. It’d be nice to just have a definitive plan for the future, or something.

My only worry is that I, uh, have absolutely no applications or recommendations or anything of that sort. Exciting times. We’ll see how this goes.

Facts, Generically

I’m going to make a pseudo-prediction of my SAT scores, based on how well I think I did. I’m really hoping I did as well as I think I did, because that test was long. Really, really long.

Reading: 725-760
Writing: 735-775
Math: 625-650
Essay: 9

I only omitted three or four questions, all of those being math. I managed to fully finish each section, so I didn’t have to omit any on account of not having enough time. The essay wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be, but it came out a lot more disorganized than I wanted it to be – I had the right ideas, but it lacked drive/purpose. We’ll see how much they care in the two minutes they grade the thing. Scores come out June 26, so I’ve got a while to wait. I sent scores to CMU, RPI, and IC. Honestly, I don’t know if I want to go to any of those – CMU is probably out of my grade range, RPI might be cool, and IC has the benefit of being free (parental employee benefits ftw), but I don’t want to stay in Ithaca. Basically I just sent them out because it’s something you’re supposed to do, I guess.

I added some new pictures that I took on Saturday, some of which I like, but they’re generally the same as the others. I handed in this set of pictures for my travel project, along with a reflection on the pictures and the general focus of them. I felt okay about it, although she didn’t seem super happy about having to download each one of them at a time (apparantly she’d not seen a .rar before, which I should have accounted for). Oh well.

Other stuff – I finished Kare Kano and Fruits Basket, and started on Fushugi Yuugi. Both Kare Kano and Fruits Basket were good, and Fushugi Yuugi seems alright. Ranma’s still downloading, along with season 5 of 24, which will be followed by the episodes of Lost that I haven’t seen (about half of season 2).

And now, a shower.

Life’s User Interface

I am exhausted. This week has been a non-stop marathon of energy-sucking activities. Two birthday parties, two sleepovers, one get-together at my house, one trip to the mall, three trips downtown, and a long trip to Rochester and back. And now I’ve gotta work as fast as I can to finish this CS stuff before Monday. It feels good, though. My break was not wasted. I completed almost none of my goals (I had no time to touch photoshop or the design, really, although I did make a little progress, just not much).

Today, though, I drove up to Rochester with Daniel’s parents and hung out with him for his freshman recital, and got to see things at Eastman. It was great to see Daniel, but it was cooler to see his friends and such, and also really nice to see a college campus. Eastman is kind of odd in that it’s in the middle of Rochester, which is about as ghetto as cities come. There are totally clean and modern sections of the city which make the city look really prosperous, but you can literally walk a block away and you’re in a red-light district. As Daniel, as well as other friends of mine have told me, you’re often instructed not to wander more than a block away from the local college campuses, as the chances of being mugged are extremely high.

Seeing the campus, though, was kind of a surprise. I had NO idea dorms were so small – and Daniel’s was larger than most. The actual facilities were really nice and such, and I saw the motivation behind going to a school that has a nice design and architecture. Which kind of put me in the whole college-centric mood. Honestly, all I want right now is to get to a decent tech school and OUT of high school. I wait semi-patiently.

Call the Fire Department…

I’ve been put on SLASHDOT, YO!

None of you may understand the significance of this, but a hundred thousand people just read my question, and 100 were kind enough to leave really, really helpful responses.

The big idea I gleaned from this is that the math I’m doing now is far closer to Arithmetic than true math. Additionally, Computer Science, although math-based, can be understood with average math talent. There were also several really helpful suggestions dispersed throughout there as far as other careers – informatics, network administration (sysadmin, IT, etc.), and even being a lawyer.

The bottom line? Not so much video game design. According to them, that is possibly the most math-intensive line of programming in the field. Perhaps my feelings towards math will change in college – we’ll see. Even then, though the big thing I kind of realized is that I should probably just suck it up. Another encouraging point was that a few people said that those with the ability to communicate clearly and in a grammatically correct format are in short supply. This gave me a whole new drive to keep pushing for RPI (or whatever, I don’t really care where I go so long as it’s a tech school). This feels good.

I just hope it lasts.


I love Slashdot. I got an email from a guy suggesting Interactive Journalism, which sounded pretty interesting. Equally notable was the fact that his email was from, which is most definitely Apple-owned. Slashdot, the place where 17-year olds get answers from Apple employees.



//03:54:04 JRGuitar04: so…you could play like…NASA on your computer?
//03:54:18 salandarin: pff, NASA is old-hat
//03:54:32 salandarin: it’s all about the Department of Defense now
//03:54:51 salandarin: i can simulate the beaurocracy down to each secretary and unanswered paper!
//03:55:03 salandarin: oh wait, that’s Homeland Security


These Times of Ours

In many senses, this is what one could consider the second part to my post about my paths in life. This is probably not the final portion, but it is a continuation, of sorts.

My overall progress towards pinpointing where I should be headed has actually headed in a negative direction. I’m no longer sure about anything at all. Sample questions that have been running circles through my head might be:

Do I want to do something in English? Writing? What kind of writing? Creative? Books? News? Editorials?

Do I want to do something involving communication? Commucation theory? Media?

What kind of media? Modeling and rendering? Image manipulation? Web design?

What about computers? Computer science? Game design? Software development?

I can’t help but wish that through all this, I had some kind of guiding motivation. In some kind of weird way, I wish something bad would happen to me that drove me to a specific career. This brings me to wishing these times of ours were more exciting. One could argue that there’s nothing more exciting than carbon nanotubes and cloning (even if it was faked), but recently, that stuff just doesn’t interest me.

This train of thought brings me back to a belief I once had in elementary school. I was thoroughly convinced that I had been born in the wrong century. In specific, I was really meant to be a chivalrous knight of old, fighting for the honour (I’ve taken to spelling that with a ‘u’ – I read a quote that went something like “I put the U in honour because it seems to be missing these days”) of…something. Needless to say, I had some issues with reality back in the day.

The point here is to say, I don’t have a direction. I spent an hour today staring at prospective colleges, not because I’m worried, but to get some kind of inspiration from their lists of majors and minors. The trouble is, when I think of any one profession I might like, I see huge blocks that would severely hamper my enjoyment. Examples:

Computer science (being my original choice) is still a viable option at this point, because I do enjoy programming. The problems here are that I don’t know if I enjoy it THAT much, but really, the killer is the math. Supposedly, I’ll need lots of math. I don’t enjoy math enough to spend my life doing that. Is there a compromise?

Engineering, I suppose, is still on the table. I don’t like the vast majority of fields in engineering, and this pretty much leads me straight back to computer science. What I do know, however, is that I do NOT want to be a computer engineer.

The most obvious combination of the above two is Software Engineering, which may just be the solution to the problem. Software engineers are lovingly known as “code monkeys”, mostly for their ignorance of elegant and robust technique. This is the main problem with software engineering – I do not want lesser training. I, like Will Wright, am very fond of the algorithm, and would thoroughly enjoy applying elegant solutions to complex problems. Could I do this with software engineering? I have no idea.

Journalism is just kind of a random thing that sounded cool. Potential issues I see mostly involve the content of what I would write. I could see myself writing for some website (preferable) or newspaper (not so preferable), but I definitely don’t want to write about politics or sports.

More thoughts out loud. I submitted a question to /. that probably won’t get answered, and I’ll submit another one tomorrow regarding the mathematical difference between SE and CS. Comment, please.

(also, I fixed the javascript to work for Opera)

The world, slightly askew

Having missed church this morning for some reason I’m not really aware of, I spent my time looking at this catalog I got from RPI entitled “Private Colleges and Universities”. As I expected, it was mostly the same old sensationalist drab, but the helpful part about it was one part of an “Admissions Q&A”. It said for those who don’t know what they want to major in, to attend a school with a wider array of classes. I thought that was pretty good advice,

The Core of the Hard

The Olympics this year have not been of Olympic quality. The figure skating is outright boring. Whatever controversy spawned this new scoring system has created a demon child that’s definitely not worth watching on TV. I had high hopes that NBC would do a good job of not flooding the television with biographies and whatnot, but nay, they’ve done just that. Don’t get me wrong – I like a few now and then, of interesting people that have interesting lives. But I honestly do not care about the life of every single American athlete. I really don’t. I absolutely HATE how EVERY reporter asks an athlete for their favorite olympic moment, or what it feels like to win. All of this reminds me of college mail.

This college mail is insane. Tons of it, all over the place. I’ve gotten at least thirty letters, and the last time I checked my inbox I had sixty-two unread emails (fifty were colleges). It angers me. What’s that, Baldwin-Wallace? You have lots of stories to share with me? Well, I have lots of I-Don’t-Care to share with you! No, really. All of these emails and letters are EXACTLY the same. These can’t seriously actually be effective tools. Maybe it’s a lot less exciting since I’m going to TC3, but, honestly, this stuff is exactly like the Junk Mail program I wrote not a month ago.

So, I hate defending my choice to go to TC3, but I had to do it again.

I had a little argument with Matt and John over TC3 versus Cornell. I stand by my choice not because it’s my only choice in the first place, but because I think it’s the right one anwyays. Both of them projected the idea that Cornell somehow gives a better education. Define “better”, please. Brilliant professors that are only at Cornell for research purposes, and not to teach? Honestly, when I look at some guys, I see people who are working themselves to death. Yes, they’re smart. But are they taking three APs (pretty much the max for junior year, unless you’re Ryan) because they’re that interested in US history, chem/physics, and computer science? Chances are, they want the college credit.

EDIT: as i read the above paragraph over, i kind of noticed i forgot that whole “two years” bit. i meant to imply that the education at TC3 for the first two years is almost as good as Cornell’s. hah. whoops.

I have nothing against making life easier, but seriously. Some people take college WAY too seriously. Maybe I don’t take it seriously enough. And if I don’t, that’s my loss.

New design should be done before break is over.

I’ll Get You, Sho.

PSAT Scores:

  • Critical Reading: 62
    • 89% higher than all juniors
    • SAT range of 560-710
  • Math: 59
    • 78% higher than all juniors
    • SAT range of 520-690
  • Writing Skills: 60
    • 82% higher than all juniors
    • SAT range of 480 to 670
  • Overall: 86%

I’m pretty happy, but my mom immediately felt the need to shoot me down. Recently, she’s started working for the Ithaca College admissions department, and she promptly informed me that those scores aren’t enough to get into Ithaca College. Not only do I not want to go to Ithaca College (i have several times informed her of this), but I’m going to TC3, where the SAT becomes null and void. I’m taking it because it’s fun, it’s a cool way to gague where I’m at. I think I did pretty well.

The Math portion I am disadvantaged as I’m not at the level needed to take the SAT (probably ended up in 4 or 5 questions wrong total), and I screwed up the Writing Skills by getting that last 7 or the last 9 questions wrong, due to being really rushed. I should have omitted them, but I think I did well anyways.

And courtesy of Daniel, I shall direct you to one of the funnier sites I’ve visited in my time, but a creepily accurate charge against Christendom in America. Meet Landover Baptist Church.

Finally, apparantly I’ve been tagged.

  1. I’ve been listening to the techno track from the next-gen party for many hours. In fact, it’s looped over 550 times now. So good.
  2. I’ve got five pairs of old glasses sitting in the droor (edit: i’ve been informed this is actually “drawer”?) next to me. That’s over $1500 of glass and metal, not including the cost of visits to the opthomologist.
  3. I have no yearbooks. None. Nada.
  4. I used to know disgustingly large amounts of geography. I would, for fun, go through this computer encyclopedia where you could click on a country on the map, and it would give you lots of information, play the national anthem, and other things. In fact, I placed second in a geography bee in third grade.
  5. I owned, or have owned, approximately $2,409.49 in video games. That’s around 53 games. That’s not all of them, either.

I don’t really want to tag anyone, but I guess I’ll tag Paul. Woo.

And now, to start this CS project.

Bickering About

Things have normalized, life is normal, things are good. The PSAT left me amused, I expected something difficult. The hardest part was doing the 38 questions in 30 minutes (I am slow, teh woe), which I managed to do. I only omitted 4 question, hooray me. I expect a good score.

For my college major I put down 303 – Computer Science. I was doing a little research on all the fields that I’ve been interested in, to find out that a lot of them were not quite what I’m looking for. Ideally, I’d like something that combines Software Engineering, Number Theory (those two combined equal Computer Science, basically), and an engineering science, like Physics, Astrophysics, or Biomedical. I was slightly disappointed by what wiki had to say about Biomedical engineering, but then again, the article wasn’t of great quality, so I’m doubting it was entirely accurate, but doing something that, say, involved designing the software for some hospital machine would be cool. I’ve always been kinda interested in physically healing people (dude, I play a Medic in BF2, a priest in WoW, you get the idea), but I can see that fading out or being disillusioned out of.

In any case, Computer Science is about as good as it gets right now, and so that’s what I put down. It’s fun planning out your life.


A word about BF2, if I may. I was pretty excited to get it free with the video card, but my enthusiasm has been mildly curbed since. It has to be one of the most poorly coded games I’ve ever played. It crashes constantly, the graphics engine is grossly inefficient, the memory management is horrible, it has horrible glitches that are glaringly obvious and yet not fixed, and a lot of the gameplay is flawed. It’s kinda fun, but it’s a lot of pain for only a marginal amount of fun. The thing I hate most is the artillery. I honestly don’t think it has any good use. Your commander can call it in on any area viewed by a person on the team, but to be of use, enemies have to be there, and if there are enemies, there are friendlies. It teamkills almost as much as it kills. There are also other balancing issues that I don’t like (ex. if you’re on foot, all vehicles are going to murder you without fail, unless you’re an unsees anti-tank infantry, and the only vehicles I’ve ever seen do anything besides make for fast transportation are the tanks, helicoptors, and airplanes), and yet despite these I’ve had some fun playing it. The gameplay is dynamic enough to make it worth playing, anyways. If I had more memory and a faster harddrive, that would make it a little more worth playing.


Anyways, this homework isn’t getting done on its own.