I was going to do an election post, but like everyone else, I’m pretty sick of the election. I just can’t finish it. Instead, I’ll post a conversation with a friend that discusses a lot of the topics I wanted to cover anyways.
And Lo, the Bloglomerate did descend upon Terraria, consuming it with fervor in the fallout of the catastrophe known as Diablo the Third. Verily, Terraria did provide a unique and thrilling video game experience that the blogging conglomerate thoroughly enjoyed, and experimentation began with creating PvP arenas to siphon further joy from the game – but disagreement lurked on the horizon.
A long time ago, in a land just before Diablo 3 had yet been released, the constituents of the mighty Bloglomerate convened to discuss the long-anticipated title. Here follows the conversations that took place as we trekked through the creative wasteland of Diablo the Third.
A foray onto the topic of gay marriage, inspired by the book of faces. I’d like to take a look at a few ideas that seem to fuel much of the opposition to homosexuality.
- Strictly defined gender roles
I watched a great Norwegian documentary a few months back that investigated some of the dominant theory in psychology and sociology in Norway, where most explanations tend to favor nurture over nature in the development of the human psyche and society. Over the course of the series, he demonstrates how the desire to create total equality leads to dogma which rejects the possibility that people aren’t just blank slates. To the point: as much of the anecdotal evidence suggests, men and women are fundamentally different from one another in certain ways. This observation forms much of the basis for “ought” statements concerning the genders, but to stop here is to use incomplete evidence.
I wrote an email. Wouldn’t you like to read it? It’s about Minecraft.
I’m a long-time player of Minecraft – since 1.1.0 alpha. The single player mode consumed about 20 hours of my time, but I put it down when I realized that no one else would ever be able to enjoy the fortress I’d created. A few weeks later, I got together with a group of my friends and we started a server. It’s tough to say how much time I’ve put into the projects on that server (see here) – a thousand hours would be a low estimate. I mention this solely to support the statement that I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about where Minecraft has been, where it’s going, and what its potential is. Right now, that potential is being squandered. You created a wonderful game, the first viable entry into what could be a totally new genre of video games. However, I feel strongly that the direction you’ve taken the game is one of very, very limited potential.
This blog was given an award.
It wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
Adorable was perhaps the last adjective I had in mind in the creation of this blog, though Lauradid say it was given ironically. Social convention dictates that I accept and conform to the stated rules of this award:
- Thank the person who gave you this award, and link back to them in your post.
- Tell us 10 things about yourself.
- Nominate your bloggers.
- Contact these bloggers, and let them know they received this award.
The alternative to doing these things is that I embrace my inner asshole and analyze the shit out of a seemingly minor event. Can you guess which one I’m going to do?
I delivered a eulogy today. This is what I said.
I’ve never done this before, so I apologize ahead of time if I’m young and stray too eagerly into the unorthodox or worse, the cliché. Death is still mostly foreign to me.
I only experienced a short window in Nana’s time with us. Seventy-two years of her story do not include me, and a lifetime of practice, mistakes, and learning preceded my interactions with her. Whatever her challenges were, I was not privy to them. As such, Nana will exist eternally in my mind as the pristine vessel of the best kind of grandmotherly love. On any given day, she would fulfill with gusto the roles of guardian, tutor, correctional officer, and friend. She made possible a wealth of excellent childhood memories which I look forward to reminiscing on for the rest of my life; the ride home from school in her glorified go-kart of a car, the bacon sandwich she’d make every day while I sat down to watch afternoon cartoons (starting with Thundercats), the countless hours spent doing puzzles and playing word games. All of that was beautiful and lovely, but I think it would fail the depth of her character to limit my eulogy to youthful nostalgia.
Which presents a problem for me.
I realize, as I trawl through the annals of my biography, that my memory is not good. I have this collection of scenes from my childhood, but the details are so blurred. In these memories, her mannerisms and demeanor are perhaps the clearest of what remains; I can recall the lilting style of her voice when she would admonish me, or how her lips would purse woodenly while she read a story, or the way it seemed like every wrinkle on her face would contribute to her smiles. But ultimately, I can’t remember a lot of what she actually said to me. I forgot, kind of like loose change through a hole in your pocket. I was too young, incapable of understanding the myriad subtleties that no doubt accompanied her old-fashioned sensibilities and warm companionship. I want to say I know who she really was, but by the time I was beginning to develop an identity, she was losing hers to Alzheimer’s. I am stuck knowing her only through the murky lens of early grade school.
Many of my youthful memories involve passively eavesdropping on various phone conversations in my house. I was an introverted child devoted to his video games, but also capable of multitasking well enough to shoot noobs, guzzle coke, and listen to my mother on the phone. As a result, hundreds of anecdotes swim in my memories like little tadpoles doomed never to grow into proper frogs. Frog-memories. Memory-frogs. Whatever, man.
One such memory was of a young girl entering puberty. This girl was experiencing great distress over the phenomenon of growing up. A hither-to perfect child, focused in her studies and obedient in her manners, she found herself anxious and distraught at the introduction of such foreign objects like bras and tampons into her daily life, and rebelled for an exceedingly long period of time to a level that, compared to her previous demeanor, was rather shocking.
My mother deemed that she had experienced a childhood that was, perhaps, exceedingly good, and puberty for this girl meant the end of all she knew and held dear. My mother went on to conclude this girl’s reactions as evidence of original sin – that even the best families with the most excellent children cannot escape the taint of Adam. I would, of course, reach a different conclusion.
I think of all this as I ponder a commonality among some of my social groups that I find to be wholly disturbing. How can someone who is but twenty-four years-old truly look at all the world and see nothing but what once was, when “once was” is such a limited and incomplete definition, one borne of the naivety of youth? Was his childhood really so glorious that he is now permanently embittered to whatever new experiences he has yet before him? Or was he like this from the start, complaining to his mother that her milk was wholly inferior to the efficiency and convenience of the umbilical cord?
I would be content to consider this a mere anomaly if I didn’t see it in varying forms across every spectrum of life. I am terrified to consider what kind of old age these folk will experience. Oh, dear Sally, that Halo 6 you’re playing is absolute rubbish compared to the original Unreal Tournament! Everything after that – absolutely terrible, but they had the right idea, back then, mhm. There has always existed a mighty contingent of humanity that opts to criticize rather than to create, but I deem that this is a unique extreme of this population, and one that threatens to strangle itself with standards that cannot be matched.
I’ll leave this with a conversation.
[psimon] We call it “golden-age syndrome” because we forget that the golden age has a much more accurate name and the complaints about SK and games are symptoms of a more profound disease.
[salmon] excuse me while my head explodes
[salmon] i guess my initial question then is
[salmon] i loved my childhood well enough
[salmon] it was pretty great, plenty of magical moments
[salmon] but i have to say i’m enjoying adulthood a lot too
[psimon] Do you complain about Golden Age?
[salmon] i guess not
[psimon] I don’t think you do, but I’m asking just to be sure.
[psimon] Well, there you go, Salmon.
[psimon] You enjoy your adulthood and do not complain about the Golden Age you experienced before this current stage of your life.
[psimon] You have just come to understand the true nature of golden age syndrome
[psimon] Some people will spend the rest of their lives trying to figure this out.
[salmon] but i guess i still wonder
[salmon] let’s say ted had a really fantastic childhood
[salmon] the kind filled with technowonder
[salmon] how could he be poisoned against everything so quickly, before he’s even experienced it?
[psimon] I have my answer, but the answer is only worth anything when you’ve made it yourself. I’ll share mine not to deliver the answer to you, but to give you something to think about while you make your own
[psimon] I’ve found throughout this “real world” that many people.. scores of people.. are unhappy. Miserable. They complain, mope, get angry, any host of reaction, but at the core there is a lack of contentment.
[psimon] thinking about this and a few good books I was lucky enough to read…
[psimon] Some people grow into adults without realizing that contentment is a choice.
[psimon] So they go around looking for all these things that could be wrong, all these needs to try and satisfy…
[psimon] forgetting that the external world isn’t where your emotions are created
[psimon] its an internal choice, being happy, and people who don’t know that often don’t do that.
[psimon] children don’t have as powerful a capacity to resent or be displeased
[psimon] and the only exclusively human thing in this world is hypocrisy
[psimon] People who grow old without growing up become jaded and convinced that they’re right.
I got this gem in the inbox today, attached with a chain email with lots of fun pictures of Obama and Blagojevich:
I think you mentioned the virtuosity of Mr. Obama? Mr. Clean?
1.) I won’t appoint any lobbyists to Cabinet positions – only a half dozen – unless more pay their dues.
2.) Cabinet appointees will be rigorously examined – unless it is only a few hundred thou of tax evasions.
3.) I will not tolerate “pork” in spending bills. A half trillion coddled in the “stimulus” package won’t matter much will it?
4.) I will bring bi-partisanship to capitol Hill. But Pelosi will shut Republicans out of the debate and I back whatever spending bill comes from her caucus. (And tell the public it is crucial to pass it NOW!) That is bi-partisan isn’t it?
5.) I will bring “change” to Washington. Except a horde of Clinton appointees and a few things mentioned above.
6.) I didn’t know Bill Ayers
7.) I didn’t know the Illinois Governor.
If this is honesty and transparency someone is wearing welding hoods.
I called it hot air from a snake oil salesman – from an “empty suit” (no character). Was I right?”
While I appreciate the opportunity for discussion, please don’t forward chain emails – if you’d like to share an article you’ve read or a video you found interesting, send it on, by all means. Chain emails, however, aren’t a reliable basis to form an opinion from – they’re just propoganda.
Thus far, I feel Obama’s done a great job. I like the majority of his appointees. While I wasn’t big on Daschle’s connections to big pharma, he was a very firm against single-payer health care, and I liked that. As far as tax evasion goes, I seriously doubt it was intentional for Dacschle or Geithner – no politician worth his salt purposefully makes that sort of mistake, and given the complexity of our tax code, I find it quite plausible that they simply made mistakes. I’m not such a huge fan of Geithner, especially after he alluded to some protectionist tendencies prior to his confirmation, but I’ll wait and see before I judge too harshly.
As far as the stimulus plan goes, overall I’m fond of it. I’ve read through a good bit of the original 180-page plan, and I can definitely get behind much of where the funding is going, but some of it seems ill-timed. That is, the target projects (ex: the National Mall) may important and useful, now isn’t exactly the time to be renovating our parks – important though they may be. There’s a fair bit that can be trimmed down, but neither party is doing what it takes to find out what both parties can agree to removing (and I’m confident there’s a lot of room for agreement). The process behind this bill has been disastrous. Multiple Republican senators have said they’ll reject the whole bill, regardless of what’s added or removed. Pelosi is also a part of the problem, and she seems (to me) wholly unhelpful in seeing this bill through. Obama can’t control her, however, nor can he be blamed for either party’s refusal to play ball. The most recent meeting between Nelson and Collins is evidence towards this.
I don’t think Obama was expecting so much resistance, and he was probably relying on the passage of this bill to come through on a lot of what he wants to change, which is why he’s trying to ram it through with relatively minimal consideration. What strikes me most, however, is that he’s utilizing similar rhetoric to what Bush used to justify the PATRIOT act, or the FISA amendments, or the war in Iraq. A lot of that is fairly standard political jargon, but I think if he wants to separate himself from previous administrations, he needs to come up with some new strategies.
I maintain that Obama’s a great guy, and his actions over the past few weeks have supported my feelings about him. Closing Guantanamo, exposing the current and past presidential records, denying Citibank its $50m jet, the $100k salary caps on White House employees, the $500k salary cap for all CEOs receiving bailout money, re-enforcing existing laws on interrogation, his weekly youtube addresses, and the simple fact that I can find all of his executive orders, memorandums, and nominations/appointments on the White House website seem to be a strong indicator that he’s starting off on the right foot and coming through on his promises of transparency and integrity.
He’s certainly not perfect, and I don’t appreciate the way he’s handling this stimulus plan – but if that and some photos of Obama with Blagojevich in a chain email are all it takes for you to hate him, then it seems to me that you’re simply looking for reasons to dislike him because he’s a Democrat. If you’re looking for reasons to dislike him, you’ll never run out – but that doesn’t mean you’ll be reasonably justified.
My grandparents like to spam their address books with terror-filled articles about gay marriage and such things. Here’s a choice quote from my grandfather:
“Is “liberal” your escape from reason, or just a license to create your own morality? We have seen it all before and it is a well trodden path that allows a person to run; but not to hide from Truth. Don’t be too hasty with your judgment of biblical morality.
When the liberals discovered smoking causes cancer they virtually outlawed smoking. When they discovered homosexuality caused aids they tried to outlaw what? Truth! More good sense from the liberals!”
One of my cousins lashed out, and was promptly trounced by generic blather about how godless liberals are. To teach them all a lesson, I wrote a goddamn essay.
This whole debacle was just forwarded to me last night, so I apologize for being oh-so fashionably late to this party. But if I might be heard for a moment or two, I’d be much obliged.
Arguing the roots of this nation is fruitless. We don’t regard other nations based on what they were two hundred years ago – we judge them on what they are now. Norse mythology is no longer relevant to Scandinavia, Druidism is no longer relevant to England and France, and likewise, America’s religious roots should have little say in the here-and-now. Even if America ever was a “Christian nation” (a debatable matter, at best), we are looking at nation that has been long divided, and we must deal with this reality. Thomas Jefferson said it best: “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.”
What does do injury, however, is the suggestion that somehow my vote for Obama is both Godless and amoral. I not only believe Obama to be a man of incredible moral quality, but but that he’s also a man of outstanding character seen only once in a lifetime. I see in him a true love for others and for his country, I see a strong desire to do the right thing, and I see the policies and the planning to back it up. I see those around me for the first time ever truly excited to be an American, hopeful that this country can for the first time in history be lead by someone else outside an arbitrarily chosen set of rich white men. I don’t expect you to be excited like me. I don’t expect you to agree with me. I respect your views and I see the validity in them.
That said, there are more important issues than gay marriage to handle. Why is the issue of two men getting married more important than reforming our utterly broken education system? Why does it even compare to the fact that over half of Americans can’t afford health insurance? Why does it even hold a candle to the fact that America has within its borders 24% of all of the world’s prisoners, with only 5% of the world’s population? There are so many things wrong and broken within our society. So many of these problems don’t even exist outside of America, too – a semester in Europe taught me that much and a half. There are solutions to these problems, and other countries have already found them. America is way behind.
Don’t get me wrong: social issues are important. But if you’re going to argue that the godlessness of the blue states is going to finalize America’s demise, I would beg you to examine the current situation in our country. Red states currently sport higher teen pregnancy rates, higher high school drop out rates, higher crime rates, and higher divorce rates (I can provide sources, if necessary). Every red states reports significantly higher numbers of Christians. If the Bible belt is to be any example, America’s problems cannot be solved by fundamentalism or neoconservatism. Our problems can’t be solved by broad platitudes, or by gross generalizations, or by a simple belief in doing the right thing. Problems don’t get solved with harsh criticism and stern disapproval, they get solved by doing something. As Benjamin Disraeli said, “It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.”
I believe Obama went and did something – and in doing so, he revamped the American political system as we know it. His campaign registered millions of unreached voters. He opted of out of the public financing system – 80% of his donations were under 100 dollars. He’ll be the first president in 150 years to owe nothing to any corporate sponsor. He single-handedly renewed my hope in the American government, and I can safely say he did the same for others around the country. He renewed the world’s hope in America, too – for even as a waning superpower, our fate is tied to those of nearly every other nation on earth. Just look at Iceland.
All that’s to say: don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Obama’s stance on gay marriage should not be the deciding factor for any person’s vote. I happen to agree that I have no right to interfere with how my neighbor chooses his or her lovers – does this invalidate everything I’ve written thus far? Does it just further attest to the liberal taint within my soul, or my complete godlessness? Please think rationally about this. See beyond red and blue. Not everything is black and white.
Respect the validity in disagreement. Honor the fact that others can think rationally and critically about important issues, but come to different conclusions. Avoid these over-simplified anecdotes and sweeping generalizations. Not all liberals are the same. Not all Christians are the same. Just look at our family: we’re not the same.
I apologize for the essay-length, but throwing one-liners back and forth does little to accomplish much in the way of reaching agreement or understanding between one another. I hope I’ve contributed positively.
I thought I should add: please don’t insinuate that AIDS is somehow divine justice over gay people. It’s repugnant simply given the fact that AIDS is currently ravaging Africa sideways and a half, and is also universally common among America’s impoverished, particularly African-Americans – unless you have a sin you might wish to label across all of those demographics, as well.
EDIT: The responses have been amusing.
A distant relative that I don’t actually know:
“I know that at the end of this election my faith is not in government, but in Jesus Christ. He has a bigger plan for all of us and he will use anything to His glory. So we wake up another day just happy to be alive and well. I know the end of the story and I am on the winning team. We still love the world through His eyes and live for King Jesus until He takes us home.”
My 80-something year old grandfather:
“I appreciate Tim’s effort to marginalize what has been said but the wordy and inane comparisons fail miserably to explain why going down a road already proven to be a failed system could possibly prove to be “positive”. Throwing more money at education than everyone else on the globe has produced a deficient product in comparison. More will do even less. Judging history has proven to be the necessary and exact measure for current appraisals. “He who doesn’t learn from the past is doomed to repeat” is a paraphrase of several political philosophers – probably a bit wiser than our contemporary young people. Seeing Obama as a man of noble character means someone has ignored his judgment. It sees him also as NOT guilty of shitting on anyone and everyone he has looked to as mentors or helpers, in his political quest, whenever they became a hindrance to his search for power. It looks past his deceitfulness when his past record, by rhetoric or votes, is brought to bear on his judgment. A look at his oration to far left assemblies and how different it was stated in a broader spectrum audience is more than a little alarming. He lied about his intentions to accept public financial support for his campaign. His sources of support have been hidden for questionable reasons. And this represents character?
The argument about red states/blue states is not proven. Those statements are inaccurate and illegitimate .
The fact that Obama wishes to support gay marriage, and abortion, represents departure from a moral code of thousands of years existence. A wise person could not possibly see that CHANGE as absolutely positive.
Sorry Tim but your argument fails to reach the level of responsible debate.”
My uncle’s father:
“‘There are so many things wrong and broken within our society. So many of these problems don’t even exist outside of America, too – a semester in Europe taught me that much and a half. There are solutions to these problems, and other countries have already found them. America is way behind.’
Tim – – you don’t know me but I know your mom and dad – – the above is your quote – – and I don’t want to sound ugly – – or start any MORE controversy – – but if this is REALLY how you feel – – why don’t you move to Europe or some third world country and enjoy your life instead of being miserable in this backward country – – just an idea – “
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend for the fall term, due to financial problems. I hope to get back to L’Abri sooner or later, but this fall will not be possible. I should have my debt repaid soon, however.
Thanks for everything.
For whatever reason, it was very hard to send this email.
God, I miss it.
One thing that I’m always left frustrated with about this blog is how, when it gears up into its more popular stages, people have a tendency to treat it like some back-door news feed. When someone mentions that they read it on my blog and didn’t hear it straight from me, there’s usually some level of intended guilt trip involved. It’s why I originally moved it, three months after its inception. Admittedly, that was just a lesson in understanding that the internet is not a private place and that blogs are not the place to bitch about your parents. But I don’t think the situation here is quite the same. I’ll get to that, though.
The point of this blog was, at one point, to make it easy for people that were interested in my life to keep up with it. It also served primarily as a hub for social connection between all of my friends, which is why it was once as active as it was, as it made it really easy to bring a lot of different people into one place. Especially when I was on my controversial topic kick, there was a lot of fun to be had in the commentary. I still get a warm feeling in my heart knowing that a forty-year old woman came trotting in with here three associate’s degrees (or sommat) to try and trump us. Those were good times.
While I’m happy to see the blog become a point of interest for lots of people again, it needs to be clear what exactly this is for. The blog isn’t where I come to talk about my day and provide regular updates about where I’m going and what I’m doing. I write about whatever interests me, and that has little to no correlation with the daily drama that life tends to engender, but is merely inspired and motivated by such. When I do invoke the details of day-to-day life, I do so in the hope that it makes my point clearer, not because I like to keep everybody on the same page of updates on my life.
There is no level of privilege to the information I share. Nobody deserves to hear or not hear anything I’ve said, it’s a freaking blog. As such, I find myself a little violated when I’m subtly berated for sharing any important information through this medium, in an attempt to make a philosophical point more clear while simultaneously clearing up some misconceptions about my plans. There’s also the simple fact that saying it here means I generally have to do it ten or fifteen times less than I would otherwise.
This is a personal blog, and I write with the intention of directing it towards you, my audience, and not any other. It’s not impersonal to learn about me through whatever I write here, because it’s exactly the same as what I would have told you in an email or in a conversation or over IM, but perhaps even more clear and precise due to the luxuries of time and proofreading. Hey, you’ve even got a means of public and private response. I find little weight in the idea that I’m required to share all personal information (what little of it I do share here) through seemingly private means.
On a practical level, I just hate it when the contents of my blog come up in serious conversation. This isn’t a news article or an encyclopedia. It’s a series of thoughts on life, not the de-facto place to know Tim and all that Tim’s about. I’m not that easily unraveled. As such, you, my faithful readers, would do well to understand that this is the most controlled medium in existence (or close, anyways). I’m letting you read exactly what I want you to read, and that too much inference is unhealthy. I also expect some kind of communicative integrity. I don’t like it when what I write here is transmitted to others without perfect clarity. It’s the nature of communication for accuracy to degrade as it falls from the source, but come on, it’s on the freaking internet, available for anyone to read. I don’t need to deal with unnecessary miscommunication crap. Ultimately, I just want people to understand that the blog is for my enjoyment, not as an obligation to anyone else.
With that, I’m headed back to sleep.
For some reason, I feel like posting this here. It’s an email that I doubt any of you will find meaningful.
date: Sep 23, 2007 10:26 PM
subject: Communication & Moderation
I have no real way of knowing how interested you are in the workings of the communities outside of SK.org. If you aren’t at all, then I can safely say this email won’t interest you. If you are, I’d like to ensure another player-run forum doesn’t blow up in the face of the game.
I’m sure you know by now that SKLogs.com has now sunk, javarmonkey.com being the replacement. While it is self-described as not being focused on SK, it does have a section devoted to SK. With that, it has the potential to enrich or degrade SK, just as SKLogs did. Communication goes a long ways towards ensuring that history doesn’t repeat itself. That might sound cliche, but there’s a lot we can learn from SKLogs.
The relationship between SK.org and SKLogs was abysmal, at best. Its origins were humble enough, but time saw a massive schism between the two, when really, they’re both working to try and make the game more fun for everybody. I don’t need to describe SKLogs’ devolution; we both know what the problems were and why they were so bad. But, I think it was a necessary problem for the community to face. SKLogs made mainstream what supamang and Chemhound did in the pseudo-underground. It forced the players and the staff to make a very conscious choice about how they played the game from an OOC perspective. Not visiting SKLogs meant sacrificing a huge wealth of information as well as a very large social connection to the other players. That wasn’t the case, before. Additionally, the wealth of information created an illusion of necessity – players seeking to maintain their status as knowledgeable and elite felt required to read and participate in order to stay on the “bleeding edge” of competition inside the game.
While it is easy to decry such an obviously weak attitude towards the game, most players don’t, even now, realize that they were so immersed in the cycle. History seems to indicate that there’s no way to change these trends – which is why a place without moderation became such a powder keg, self-destructing in a pile of chaos and flames. With this, we’re presented with the same situation, but with fresh experience and knowledge to learn from. A player-run site is a necessity for SK. As one forum passerby, Joebones notes: a strong player-run forum is a sign of good health in and outside of the game. There has to be a place where players can go to be moderated less strictly – otherwise they’ll get fed up, and something on the extreme will appear, like another SKLogs.
I am (for the time being) moderating the SK section of Java’s site. Her goal (as well as mine) is to eliminate the presence of information that detracts from the game – working out what kind of information that is, exactly, isn’t easy. That’s why I’m writing this. A successful player-run SK forum (or subsection of a forum, as they case may be) should be focused on complementing existing structures and material without fighting against the ideals of the game. I think I need your help to do that – if you’re willing to provide it.
From what I can tell, a major portion of SKLogs’ failure was derived from a lack of communication. What would you like to see in this player-run community? Where should it differ from SK.org? How can I make sure the two aren’t working against each other? How comfortable are you with any of this?
Thanks for your time and consideration. I hope I’m not too long-winded, but I thought I should be thorough about all this.
Salandarin / Tim
As children, the primary goal for our elders is to show us, by whatever means necessary, that the world does not revolve around us. Cultural nuances are what these people are attempting to instill within us: standards of common courtesy & manners, tradition, honor & respect. These form the foundation necessary for normal interaction within one’s world. How one creates and defines one’s world is another ocean of intrigue entirely – today, I ponder upon the evolution of our idea of self, among a sea of other selfs.
Generally, we define assholes by their sense of self versus our own and/or those we care for. How dare he let his dog shit on your lawn? What did his mother ever teach him? Probably nothing, lol.
I’m more and more convinced that personality is a matter of how well one can alter one’s perspective at will. This ability is more commonly known as keeping an open mind – but so many are convinced that the expansion of the mind is more related to politics, than to every day interactions, that few even ponder the true depth of such a concept. The open-minded person is capable of empathizing and sympathizing with every person and every situation with the fullest extent of his or her heart. This is an ability most often attributed and reserved for therapists, yet why would we try and treat such a fantastic trait with such aloof disdain by quarantining it to something so limited as a counseling session?
kaika_sk: I guess it is because of my interest in psychology that I love learning about people.
kaika_sk: Its kind of a hobby, I observe people everywhere I go.
kaika_sk: Probably why I tend to troll the forums instead of posting.
salandarin: i enjoy both sides of the equation. observing other people as they react to me allows me to observe myself in a more objective manner, but i get to learn about other people and myself at the same time
salandarin: i like to think of each interaction as a chance to improve on the last one
salandarin: constant state of improvement!
kaika_sk: *nods* That makes sense.
salandarin: it’s kind of like the real-life RPG 😉
salandarin: i wish more people thought of life like that.
salandarin: which might sound kind of conceited, but a lot of people have given up on improvement and growth
salandarin: and instead are just gunning for breaking even, survival
kaika_sk: I agree, I mean, I think too many people are not really seeing the bigger picture.
salandarin: i sort of understand – experiencing just two weeks of constant work work work work gave me a real case of tunnel-vision, it’s so easy just to get lost in the details of life
salandarin: life can be lonely and embittering if you don’t keep perspective
kaika_sk: Well, I think right now for myself, I am in the survival mode, but more so because of my financial situation, I just don’t have the time or energy for more.
This is my point. Why do we lose sight of self-improvement? The primary focus of our social education in youth is how to play nice with others. Yet once that eighteen or so years of learning are done, we somehow come to accept that “people are the way they are”, that who we’ve become by the time we have our degree is who we’ll be, for the most part, to our death-beds. It’s a state of docile acceptance: we treat our personalities and our perspectives as concrete, immovable objects that cannot be improved or harmed. Our environments and circumstances only “unlock” certain aspects of ourselves, good and bad (such as depression or contentment). Why are we content with what’s enough to make it through life, when we could be emotional and social giants, building each other up with even the most minute interactions?
Idealism sucks balls.
“Hey, Kyle, hold up a second.”
» “Yeah, buddy, what’s up?”
“This really isn’t working out.”
» “How’s that?”
“I’m going bat-shit; I’m double scheduled two nights this week. I miss a day at the restaurant, my ass is totally fired. I make more on a slow night there than I do during a full day here.”
» “So you’re quitting?”
“What other choice do I have? I fucked up planning ahead, and here I am. I figured if I could make it through this week I’d be fine, but this was the breaking point. And the planograms. Ugh, the planograms. I’m sorry, man.”
» “Nah, don’t worry about it. I saw it coming anyways.”
» “I figured it’d be some time this week. You’re really good at this, you did a great job, but I totally understand.”
“Thanks. It sucks balls, but what the hell else am I gonna do? I mean, shit, I promised myself I wouldn’t get caught working Sundays, yet here I am. I missed a friend’s funeral yesterday for work, I’m at my wit’s end.”
» “So what’re you gonna do?”
“Find a job that’s okay with me working two days in the week? I don’t know where the hell I could do that, but I’m sure there’s something.”
» “Not likely.”
“I can’t take doing the corporate crap. I’m serious about the planograms. You know how long I spent moving shredder lubricant yesterday? Damn, talk about a lifeless task. How do you put up with it?”
» “Working at Borders wasn’t so bad, it was a little more free-form, but it’s all the same in the end. You put shit on a shelf, sometimes it’s more specific than others. Management isn’t so bad, there’s some thought to it, but it’s a job like any other.”
“I guess so, but I don’t think I could handle that, either. The bureaucracy of quotas…”
» “You’ll never get away from that, don’t even try. It’s just the way any business works.”
“Maybe retail’s not for me, then.”
» “The quotas are always there, even if they aren’t called that. You go to a law firm, you better be damn sure you have enough clients, win enough cases, it’s the same anywhere you go.”
“I’ll find something.”
» “Hah. Don’t be a stranger, man. Stop by. I’m not mailing your paycheck, either, you gotta come pick that shit up.”
» “My first trainee quits after three weeks. Fucker.”
Session Start (AIM – Steak220:Lemonadeyeti): Sat May 08 23:00:30 2004
[23:00:30] Lemonadeyeti: woo
[23:05:22] Steak220: woo
[23:05:25] Steak220: new RvB
[23:05:28] Steak220: if you care
[23:05:29] Steak220: at all
[23:05:33] Steak220: about the world
[23:05:37] Steak220: and all that is holy
[23:05:40] Steak220: and motherly
[23:05:51] Lemonadeyeti: why don’t you give me your shovel before you dig yourself any deeper
[23:06:07] Steak220: ….dig myself into what?
[23:06:29] Lemonadeyeti: a hole… that’s where most people dig themselves to
[23:06:37] Steak220: …
[23:06:41] Steak220: generally that’s a metaphor
[23:06:56] Lemonadeyeti: generally there’s a snake in my boot
[23:07:01] Lemonadeyeti: but
[23:07:03] Lemonadeyeti: not right now
[23:07:06] Steak220: …
[23:07:08] Steak220: wow
[23:07:11] Steak220: that made no sense
[23:07:14] Steak220: whatsoever
[23:07:15] Lemonadeyeti: somebody poisoned the waterhole!
[23:07:24] Steak220: you watched toy story, didn’t you?
[23:07:30] Lemonadeyeti: not recently
[23:07:34] Lemonadeyeti: just watched indy jones
[23:07:38] Steak220: oooh
[23:07:51] Lemonadeyeti: first one
[23:07:54] Lemonadeyeti: raiders of the lost arc
[23:08:02] Lemonadeyeti: ark
[23:08:03] Steak220: that one’s good
[23:08:09] Lemonadeyeti: not the best
[23:08:17] Steak220: i liked the 3rd one best
[23:08:20] Lemonadeyeti: it was the best
[23:08:23] Lemonadeyeti: we couldn’t find it though
[23:08:25] Steak220: tscha
[23:10:13] Lemonadeyeti: la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
[23:10:15] Lemonadeyeti: la la la
[23:10:17] Steak220: no.
[23:10:18] Lemonadeyeti: la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
[23:10:22] Lemonadeyeti: la la laaaaa laaaaa laaaaaaa
[23:10:23] Steak220: NO.
[23:10:29] Lemonadeyeti: i love teh muzak
[23:10:35] Steak220: what muzak?
[23:10:36] Lemonadeyeti: of teh indi
[23:10:41] Lemonadeyeti: joens
[23:10:45] Steak220: oooh
[23:10:48] Steak220: yeah
[23:10:53] Steak220: john williams is nifty
[23:10:56] Lemonadeyeti: when we bought our old jeep in like 1992
[23:10:59] Lemonadeyeti: it came with a CD
[23:11:02] Lemonadeyeti: that had that music on it
[23:11:09] Lemonadeyeti: but it got all scratched up
[23:11:11] Lemonadeyeti: like 10 years ago
[23:11:13] Steak220: A CD WITH MUSIC ON IT?!?
[23:11:18] Steak220: STOP THE PRESSES.
[23:11:20] Steak220: ahem.
[23:11:24] Lemonadeyeti: CONSIDER THEM STOPPED
[23:11:28] Lemonadeyeti: …and restarted.
[23:48:35] Steak220: processor is inpervertable, though
[23:48:43] Lemonadeyeti: hmm
[23:48:46] Lemonadeyeti: i know i can do this…
[23:49:04] Lemonadeyeti: “want to start up my processor?”
[23:49:07] Lemonadeyeti: that’s not good
[23:49:09] Steak220: ……
[23:49:11] Steak220: no it’s not
[23:49:14] Lemonadeyeti: hm
[23:49:25] Lemonadeyeti: “i could process you all night long”
[23:49:28] Steak220: “wanna be my HSF?”
[23:49:56] Steak220: there must be a way!
[23:50:13] Lemonadeyeti: we may have found gold
[23:50:17] Steak220: indeed
[23:51:18] Steak220: dang
[23:51:23] Steak220: i can’t think of anything
[23:51:36] Lemonadeyeti: where there’s a will, there’s a way!
[23:51:49] Lemonadeyeti: which is why i need a friend named will
[23:51:53] Lemonadeyeti: just to mock
[23:52:14] Steak220: ah
[23:53:24] Steak220: zach says it’s inpervertable, too
[23:53:26] Lemonadeyeti: yeah
[23:53:27] Lemonadeyeti: heh
[23:53:29] Lemonadeyeti: i just asked him
[23:53:31] Steak220: ha
[23:54:01] Lemonadeyeti: well write it down and frame it
[23:54:11] Lemonadeyeti: a challenge before the whole human race
[23:54:20] Steak220: hmmm
[23:54:28] Steak220: how would you broadcast a question like that?
[23:54:50] Steak220: find a way to pervert the word “processor”?
[23:55:07] Steak220: extract a sexual situation using the word “processor”!
[23:55:12] Steak220: or maybe
[23:55:18] Lemonadeyeti: it’d have to be on the howard stern show or something
[23:55:23] Steak220: hahaha
[23:55:28] Steak220: they could do it
[23:55:33] Steak220: they’re about that low
[23:55:38] Lemonadeyeti: all the people with those mind-types listen to it
[23:55:44] Steak220: and call in
[23:55:50] Lemonadeyeti: yes
[23:59:44] Steak220: hmm
[23:59:48] Steak220: like nobody is online
[23:59:51] Steak220: this is depressing
[23:59:54] Lemonadeyeti: well
[23:59:59] Steak220: such a phenomal question to ask
[00:00:02] Steak220: so few to ask it to
[00:00:14] Lemonadeyeti: asdfjkl;
[00:00:16] Lemonadeyeti: wooo
[00:00:19] Lemonadeyeti: indeed
[00:00:27] Lemonadeyeti: if eels could talk..
[00:00:38] Steak220: …
[00:00:42] Steak220: we don’t live in the ocean.
[00:01:10] Lemonadeyeti: if they could talk, they’d tell people that they’d be fine without water, they just need wagons and people to pull them around in
[00:01:31] Steak220: that’s why eels don’t talk
[00:01:37] Steak220: because in the beginning
[00:01:38] Steak220: they did
[00:01:44] Steak220: and they controlled humans
[00:01:52] Steak220: and had them pull them around in wagons
[00:01:54] Lemonadeyeti: what’s weird is test tube babies
[00:01:56] Lemonadeyeti: don’t have navels
[00:01:57] Steak220: but there was a revolution
[00:01:58] Lemonadeyeti: isn’t that weird?
[00:02:06] Steak220: and the humans
[00:02:14] Steak220: removed all the eels voice boxes
[00:02:16] Steak220: and yes
[00:02:19] Steak220: that is weird
[00:02:38] Steak220: wow
[00:02:41] Steak220: that would be awful
[00:02:44] Steak220: going through life
[00:02:46] Steak220: without a navel
[00:02:53] Lemonadeyeti: people would look at you and be all disgusted
[00:02:58] Lemonadeyeti: and you’d never have children
[00:03:15] Steak220: yeah
[00:06:06] Steak220: man…no navel..
[00:06:12] Steak220: moving on
[00:06:14] Lemonadeyeti: ok
[00:06:43] Lemonadeyeti: this conversation sucks so much
[00:06:45] Lemonadeyeti: i’m going to sleep
[00:06:48] Steak220: me too
[00:06:51] Lemonadeyeti: woo
[00:06:55] Steak220: you too
[00:06:56] Steak220: …
[00:07:01] Steak220: something like that
[00:07:08] Lemonadeyeti: let’s not talk
[00:07:19] Lemonadeyeti: show your silence with dots
[00:07:20] Lemonadeyeti: …
[00:07:23] Steak220: …
[00:07:26] Lemonadeyeti: …
[00:07:30] Steak220: …….
[00:07:36] Lemonadeyeti: ………
[00:07:39] Steak220: .
[00:07:43] Lemonadeyeti: …?
[00:08:00] Steak220: … !!
[00:08:32] Lemonadeyeti: …
[00:08:36] *** Lemonadeyeti signed off at Sun May 09 00:08:36 2004.
Christine Pardo: You ever poop a poop that wider than it is long?
Kinohki Tasaki: yup
Randy: Yeah, and I named it Tim.
Christine Pardo: lol
Christine Pardo: Randy, you’re awful
Christine Pardo: You’re grounded
Christine Pardo: For pickin on Tim
Randy: I wasn’t picking on him.
Randy: I don’t play with my poo.
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 mac.com, 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
Music a really strange thing. More for me than most, I’ve realized, because I don’t listen to what’s good, I listen to what I feel like. Most of the time, that’s techno, but it took me about an hour to figure out what to listen to just now.
Music is one of those things that can really boost my mood. I’ve come to kind of depend on it while at home, but it’s a big distraction if I don’t make the right choice. I can’t focus while I’m reading if I enjoy the music too much, or if it’s too varied in tone. Like just now, I’ve been reading Catcher in the Rye. Music for the mood? Classical. I don’t often pick up the classical stream, but it’s pretty nice for times like this. Soothing.
And, in honor of the sign above my monitor that states “I SHALL NOT BE LAZY. 🙂“, I return to my reading.
New pair of glasses: ~$200.
New copy of Starcraft: ~$10.
LazyAmy77: at least you didn’t have OWL glasses for six years
salandarin: i did, actually
salandarin: but you’ll never know that
LazyAmy77: sure I won’t
salandarin: those pictures
salandarin: top secret
LazyAmy77: mine are in yearbooks all over Ithaca
LazyAmy77: and embarassing
LazyAmy77: i look like a librarian midget on crack
salandarin: right, but what did you look like THEN?
salandarin: OH NO HE DIDN’T!
Totally, totally priceless. I found that super amusing, anyways.
To start us off, let’s have some humor. Speaking of a crowd of post-grad students visiting the tenant upstairs:
lemonadeyeti: go upstairs and throw bibles at them
salandarin: we’ve got at least ten in the house, i figure i can kill at least one, perhaps mame another
lemonadeyeti: maybe extra big bibles
salandarin: those are reserved for special times
salandarin: like for if jack thompson ever came over
lemonadeyeti: no, bad idea
lemonadeyeti: he absorbs bibles through his skin
lemonadeyeti: that’s how he gets nutrition
salandarin: hmm, along with a diet of american patriotism, it is a volatile combination
lemonadeyeti: and jesus
salandarin: perhaps a sony executive?
lemonadeyeti: same thing
salandarin: no, they just beat up children in the alley
salandarin: saying something like “the power of capitalism compels you!”
lemonadeyeti: like jesus
salandarin: i will not dignify this analogy with affirmation or rejection
lemonadeyeti: i have pictures
salandarin: sony executives do not speak in slang
salandarin: they speak in lawyer
lemonadeyeti: like jesus
lemonadeyeti: i asked 8 ball
lemonadeyeti: “Is Jesus a Sony executive?”
lemonadeyeti: “Without a doubt.”
lemonadeyeti: i am the winner
I think we can move on from what I dub the “Comment Wars”. I feel it was becoming so cliche, that it was hitting infinity, which is also a negative number, meaning it was both cliche and not cliche at the same time. This paradox is unacceptable, and not cliche.
And yes, I wrote the vast majority of that article on Jack Thompson. There was an article there before, but I just assimilated a large portion of it and rewrote every section, most from the ground up. It was fun – I think I’ll write articles like that more often. I felt it was funny, not hilarious, but amusing by some standard. I’m sure Gwen won’t agree, but Gwen was born in Outer Mongolia, I really doubt she’s prepared to discuss this topic thoroughly.
As Paul would say “continue padding”, and/or the lack thereof (note clever use of title – that’s cliche).
I don’t normally post so often, but the hilarity of this situation will be lost if I don’t act soon. I worked for Mr. semi-famous old guy today, and I’ve been pushed to the brink. I shall try to detail the events as humorously as possible.
Today, after school, I was “chilling” amongst the 40 degree rain with my “homeez” before I checked with Mr. semi-famous old guy to make sure I wasn’t skipping work. Understand, I didn’t really expect to be doing yardwork in 40-degree rain, I almost didn’t call because of my confidence that he would not be needing my work today. Nevertheless, I toddle into the nurse’s office. At the time, it had stopped raining only five minutes before.
Apply a very, very thick Russian accent to everything, and picture a stout man that is 4 feet tall, and the humor begins to take shape.
Me: “Hello Eugene, I’m checking up to see if you still want me to work today. It got awfully cold and rainy outside today.”
Mr. semi-famous old guy: “It stop raining. Let me see.”
(i wait approximately 1 minute, with only the noise of many things crashing on the other side of the phone)
Mr. semi-famous old guy: “No, it’s fine. Come!”
Me: “Uh…alright…it’s kind of wet, but, I’ll be there in a bit. Thanks.”
(the phone clicks off without him saying goodbye)
I make my way on up to his house, which is about ten minutes away. Upon arrival, he sees my attire of shorts and a fleece jacket, and a new dialogue ensues.
Mr. semi-famous old guy: This is not proper attire. You need pants and coat!
Me: It’s fine, I’m not that cold, let’s just get to work.
Mr. semi-famous old guy: I don’t want you catch cold!
Me: No, really, it’s fine.
At this point he gave me the directions for planting the tulips around, but glaring problem stood in the path of doing this. He wanted me to plant at least a dozen tulips in a garden I’d already thoroughly planted in. There was practically no room left.
Me: I’m not sure there’s going to be room in here. If I dig, I may hit the bulbs I’ve previously planted.
Mr. semi-famous old guy: What bulbs? I don’t remember this.
Me: It was a few weeks ago, I don’t remember the names. I planted them all over, though.
Mr. semi-famous old guy: Uh..throw out these annual greens and plant next to them.
When he shuffles off, I’m a little worried. This now leaves an entirely barren patch of garden, filled with three kinds of bulb-type annuals. That’s gonna be one screwed up garden come next year. As he comes back out, he’s carrying a beige trenchcoat.
Mr. semi-famous old guy: Put it on, if you will.
Me: Really, I’m fine! I’m only here for another fifty minutes, I’ll be perfectly okay!
Mr. semi-famous old guy: Please, I don’t want to you catch cold!
Me: I’m certainly not cold, especially my upper body. I have a jacket on.
Mr. semi-famous old guy: Wear it, I don’t want you catch cold!
Not wanting to give the guy a heart attack, I figured I would appease him. How cumbersome could a trenchcoat-jacket be? I begrudgingly put it on.
As I start to break ground (it’s now been 10 minutes since I got there), the first ground I hit contains an old bulb. After discussing the significance of this for at least five minutes, he does not relent and I keep going. He wanted me to stick the tulip right on top of the old bulb. Maybe he should stick to math, and not gardening. He shuffles away again and I manage not to hit any more old bulbs, thanks to the clear space provided by the now shredded Begonias and furry green things. He comes back out, this time carrying jeans. These are not just any jeans. These are jeans with a waist size of 50. My waist is a 30.
Mr. semi-famous old guy: Be a good boy and obey me just this once, and put these on.
(i give him a blank stare)
Mr. semi-famous old guy: Please! Put it on!
Me: We’re wasting time. Just let me work.
Mr. semi-famous old guy: You’ll catch cold!
Me: I’m not gonna catch a cold in the forty minutes I have left.
Mr. semi-famous old guy: Please put it on.
Wanting to ensure that I get payed, I obliged him. Overestimating the width, I didn’t take my shoes off before attempting the feat of putting these gargantuan pants on. They got stuck at the very bottom, and I spent three minutes doing the one-legged dance attempting to pull my shoes out of the jeans, while not getting my socks wet, and then getting the jeans on over my shorts. At this point, I must have looked like some kind of clown. I have waist size 50 jeans on, a bullet-proof trenchcoat, and massive gardening gloves on. As expected, they immediately began to fall off, and I did the “no-belt waddle” to prevent them from just falling to my ankles.
Mr. semi-famous old guy: Ah, you need a belt.
Me: Naw, really? Please, just let me get to work.
Mr. semi-famous old guy: You waste time trying to keep them on!
Me: We’re wasting time now! I only have thirty-five minutes left!
Mr. semi-famous old guy mumbled and shuffled back inside, and I managed to work for another ten minutes without interruption. This time, he held a striped belt.
Mr. semi-famous old guy: You need this.
(at this point, i was mildly afraid he would start beating me with it)
Me: No. I don’t. Just let me work! We only have a little time left!
Mr. semi-famous old guy: Please, put it on.
He put the belt on a nearby chair and shuffled away yet again. I was able to work in mild peace for the next twenty minutes, until my dad showed up, and that was that. I’ll probably write him an email tonight, with one of two options for him. Either I quit, or he pays me two (maybe three) more dollars an hour.
I feel kind of bad giving that kind of option to an old guy well-versed in a field I’ll eventually need to be heavily acquainted with, but that was just ridiculous. I mean, really.
EDIT: Since people seem to not be noticing the link to the wikipedia article (wiki is slow today), the guy is a semi-famous mathematician, he’s 80+ years old.
Also, I hold in my hands a check for seven dollars. Clowns get payed more per hour than that, right?
“A quotation, like a pun, should come unsought, and then be welcomed only for some propriety of felicity justifying the intrusion.”
– Robert Chapman
I thought the irony here would be enough to justify posting that. I truly do love Google’s homepage doodle. It warms my heart.
I have spent the last days before school playing WoW, and doing nothing else. Work ended Friday, I got my paycheck, and once Dad gets back, the parts are coming. He gets back next Sunday, while Mom and Jonothan get back the Sunday after that. This leaves me semi-home alone, with just Emily who is here periodically to make it seem as if the house weren’t occupied by a single hermit.
I overslept for Church today (second time in a row), and I shall blame my faulty alarm clock, that doth not ring when I ask it to. This leaves me concerned for my braces removal appointment tomorrow at 8:15. I can only hope that they will remove the darned things and ignore the fact that I’ve never worn those silly rubber bands. The same day, I also visit the journeyman Opthomaligast to figure out how my eyes are doing. This also means new glasses, which I am rather excited about, as I will be choosing a more stylish and fashionable pair that ever before. No, I will not be getting contacts. The idea of sticking things in your eye is wrong, and cannot be justified.
And now, I go to sleep, or at least the place where sleep occurs, so that I might not shoot myself in the morning.
EDIT EDIT EDIT:
[01:16] tim: alrighty
[01:16] TheMysteriousMrZ: ?
[01:16] tim: i should hopefully get my braces off tomorrow morning
[01:17] tim: which i have to get up at 7:30 for
[01:17] tim: so, i’m out
[01:17] TheMysteriousMrZ: woaaah, that’s gonna be weird
[01:17] tim: you bet
[01:17] tim: plus, i’m getting new glasses this week
[01:17] tim: my face is going to melt
[01:17] TheMysteriousMrZ: OMG
[01:17] TheMysteriousMrZ: it’s like tim PRIME
[01:17] tim: or
[01:17] tim: like tim 2.0!
[01:18] TheMysteriousMrZ: gentlemen, we can rebuild him
[01:18] tim: “first, we’ll remove his braces”
[01:18] tim: “then we’ll extract his liver, and replace it with high voltage batteries”
[01:19] TheMysteriousMrZ: “how will he digest food?’ “ELECTRICITY”
[01:19] tim: “and if he survives that, maybe a nose job is in order”
[01:19] tim: “his new nose will contain razor sharp needles instead of hairs”
[01:20] TheMysteriousMrZ: that would be like the the suckiest six million dollar man ever
[01:20] tim: are you kidding?
[01:20] tim: imagine him sneezing
[01:20] tim: that’s his superpower
[01:20] tim: activated by snuff powder
[01:20] TheMysteriousMrZ: lol like poetry in motion
EDIT EDIT EDIT EDIT:
As Daniel noted, this is approximately the second anniversary of this blog, with me at around 370 posts, Daniel at 460. I choose to note that most of my posts are more flavorful and filled with words. And for some reason Blogger does not have my stats on posts/week and words/post. Teh lose.
I was in a great mood, until, randomly, I recieve this.
[15:00:12] TheMysteriousMrZ: www.gamerankings.com so, i see that half-life 2 has remained in the top five while halo 2 is conspicuously absent from the top ten altogether.
[15:00:25] *** “TheMysteriousMrZ” signed off at Sat Dec 04 15:00:25 2004.
THIS is why Half-Life 2 sucks. THIS is why Half-Life sucks. I didn’t want to have to make a post about this, but I’m gonna have to if I’m gonna get my point across.
Sure, four weeks ago I was confident that, according to Gamerankings, Halo 2 would have a higher score. In reality, I didn’t care, it was just a fun bet with BEN (not Zach, mind you). I would have liked to see Halo 2 stay up there. The retardacity of this is that somehow the ranking score has turned into a numerical value of how good a game is. It’s a summary, not a statement. I find it enough that IGN, Gamespot, and GMR all found Halo 2 to be a better game. I could care less about “Boomtown” and “eToyChest”‘s ideas. You know why Halo 2 has such a low score? Because 6 sites, none of whom I’ve ever heard of, decided it’s a bad game. I read them. As reviews, they SUCKED. If quality of reviewers could be measured, they wouldn’t be included. Nonetheless, they are there, pulling Halo 2’s score down a full percentage point or two.
That being said, HL2 has a higher score, fair and square, I suppose.
As for MY opinion of HL2 and why I think it sucks, I’ll try and convey that now. I’ve seen HL2. I watched Zach play it for an hour, and to be honest, I was not amazed. From what I’ve read (I’ve read 3 or 4 reviews on it) and seen (I’ve watched a number of movies and screenshots), I can make some pretty fair statements here.
Graphics: Yeah, they’re good. That is, if you have a good rig. Zach’s machine definately isn’t bad, (It’s like 2.2 AMD with a 9600P, right?) but it didn’t look outstanding on his rig. Good? Yes. Personally, I don’t find the recent graphics of Doom 3 and HL2 all that amazing, they look dreary and dull. Elder Scrolls IV? Now that’s beautiful, and it’s not even a finished engine.
Physics: Get ready for this: Halo 2 and Half-Life 2 use the same physics engine. They both use the Havoc engine – HL2 uses a slightly more advanced and souped up form that allows some water effects (bouyancy) and just a little more detail all around. Personally, I could care less if the world I’m playing has realistic physics. The physics in Halo 2 are detailed enough that I can have loads of fun just screwing around rolling barrels and rocks around. Ben said something about the ragdoll not being good in Halo 2 – I beg to differ. Watching myself die is almost a treat – it’s like a reward for doing badly. If I’m sniping and I get sniped back, my guy will fall backwards (not doing the flailing thing) and roll down the stairs slowly. So far I’ve never seen any unrealistic poses (think back to when ragdoll had just come out) or anything annoying and stupid. Yes, every now and then when you get blown up your guy will flail around, but so what?
Storyline: Keep in mind, I speak from ignorance and base what I know off of the Gamespot review. According to them, the storyline was weak, and not very good in general. The end was anticlimactic and ended with you fighting a weak enemy with an overpowered weapon. This is just what I read – don’t look at me for innacuracies. Halo 2’s storyline owned. I have to say, it was really good. Did the cliffhanger ending suck? Absolutely. I wanted the game to keep going very, very badly. That just raises the bar for Halo 3 – I expect a lot from its story now (Bungie has unoffically announced it in the recent Q&A). Apparantly HL2 still doesn’t have any cutscenes, or third-person events for that matter, and Gordon Freeman never speaks. That doesn’t seem like much room to make a plot. I don’t think I’d like the entire story being told by people talking to you.
All that being said, there is still more to mention. Halo 1 had a higher average review score than Half-Life 1. When I compare HL1 and HL2, I don’t see much difference. They look the same, they feel the same, they even SOUND the same (they didn’t even put in new sounds for some parts of the game). HL2 = HL1 + graphics and physics. That’s all I see. When I look at Halo 2, I see worlds of difference. H2 = H1 + much improved storyline/single player in general + huge gameplay changes (new weapons, vehicles, maps, dual wielding, no health, I could go on and on about the fundamental differences) + xbox live + graphics + physics. When I say HL2 sucks, I don’t mean it’s a bad game. I mean that by my standards, compared to what I enjoy playing, it is not a fun game that is worth my money. Steam alone is enough to push me away – I read the Game Revolution review, and that was a big enough factor to really change their score. Anyone with a non-state-of-the-art computer will have to deal with loading times and general annoyances. The implications of Steam are awful – if every company did this, PC gaming would go down the tubes.
That’s just what I have to say.
Halo 2 owns, I’ll bother with a real update later. I have a final gay marriage conversation, with Paul. It’s the 5th one (4th one is one Zach’s blog). When I was debating this whole thing with Kevin, I knew all my reasons, but it seems I’ve just forgotten them. I had a legitimate argument, I just burned myself out on this particular topic. Oh well. Because this one is short, it’s getting posted directly.
[20:52:53] Salandarin: paul…
[20:52:54] Salandarin: “Maybe it’s because he doesn’t have an argument besides “God hates fags”.”
[refer to comments on zach’s blog]
[20:52:56] Salandarin: come on man
[20:53:11] Lemonadeyeti: what’s your argument?
[20:53:21] Salandarin: it’s certainly not that.
[20:53:24] Lemonadeyeti: what is it?
[20:53:59] Salandarin: why does it matter? you’re just gonna transform what i say into opinionated Christian-isms
[20:54:20] Lemonadeyeti: do you want to tell me what it is? because if you don’t, then I’ll think you don’t have one.
[20:54:25] Salandarin: i never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever said God hated anyone.
[20:54:44] Salandarin: you know I have one. i have four arguments on it.
[20:55:05] Lemonadeyeti: tell it to me…
[20:55:59] Salandarin: no. you know why I don’t want to? because it’s not gonna make a difference. it’s gonna set you deeper in your belief that I’m in blind believer in something that doesn’t exist, and that I’m trying to legislate morality and my beliefs.
[20:57:43] Lemonadeyeti: ok, you took offense to my comments. they were insensitive and inappropriate, and for that I apologize. I know you are very religious and faithful, something I could never be, and I respect that.
[20:58:05] Lemonadeyeti: but I don’t see your argument outside of religious/moral standpoint and if it does exist I would like to know it.
[20:58:16] Salandarin: thank you
[20:59:19] Salandarin: my personal goal would be to remove marriage benefits, and just seperate marriage from the government. that way marriage is back at the origin/foundation of religion.
[20:59:44] Salandarin: the government can supply civil unions for those who want marriage outside the church.
[21:00:09] Lemonadeyeti: marriage is an ambiguous word because it is sanctioned by the government
[21:00:19] Salandarin: doesn’t matter.
[21:00:32] Salandarin: if it weren’t sanctioned, we’d be better off
[21:00:44] Lemonadeyeti: as it stands now, marriage based on sexual preference is discrimination, because it is not limited to only christians/ those of specific other faiths
[21:00:58] Lemonadeyeti: if it were to be run by the church, then it wouldn’t be
[21:01:10] Salandarin: what’s your point?
[21:01:52] Lemonadeyeti: my point? as long as marriage is a governmental institution it shouldn’t be limited by the specific beliefs on a single faith
[21:02:26] Salandarin: and you’re right. morality from any one point of view cannot be enforced.
[21:02:31] Salandarin: and should not.
[21:03:32] Salandarin: i’ve given up on arguing over gay marriage. personally, i don’t want it to happen, but, there’s nothing I can do.
[21:05:44] Salandarin: are we clear?
[21:05:56] Lemonadeyeti: transparent.
I am still opposed to homosexuality in itself, for reasonsbeyondmy faith. If you want them, ask me.
HALO TWO OWNS ALL!
Today was pretty good. I woke up at 8:00, and I was like “Meh, I’ll take my time.”, so I got to school at about 8:45. Most everything in school has been going pretty well, though Chemistry is SNORE-TASTIC. I slept a little bit in there, as it’s just so boring and easy to understand. I had a much more extensive and interesting debate over abortion with Paul. We ended on the note of having to discuss Evolution, which will be understood once you’ve read it. Semi-long.
Much more detailed, and probably a little more interesting. As a side note, if you wannaflameme for my beliefs, don’t do it on my comments. I just gets annoying having to do it over the comments system. If you have a question or something to add as support or counter-point, go ahead, but don’t flame.
[2012 edit: looks like these gems are lost forever]