Small Worlds

Yesterday, I find out that NCZ gew up in southwestern PA, and today I find out from Grognardia that William H. Keith (a friend-of-a-friend that I run into a couple of times a year) has published game material for Traveller. Even more interesting is the fact that one of the first Traveller adventures I ever bought ("Ordeal by Eshaar") was one of his first publication.

It's a small world, after all.


Once again, I find that I like TJIC's vision of how government should work much, much, much better than reality:
In my idea society, freeing a man from wrongful imprisonment by the state would be a high ritual: as soon as the pardon or appeal was read, trumpets would sound, cops would halt traffic so that the the governor and his retinue could march directly from the court house to the jail, ceremonial sledgehammers with carved ironwood handles would be used to break the hinges off the cage, the free man would be draped in a sumptuous cloak and have large over-boots fashioned out of bearclaws laced over his shoes, and then he would be led out of the cage, across the prostate backs of the original judge and any cop who testified in the case, as the trumpets continued to blow.

Public Service Announcement

Communism kills people.

There you have it - end of story. As Mr. Lane comments,
Marxism is intellectualism for stupid people; it tends to attract the sort who can’t understand that an economic system that cannot feed its own population reliably has failed at the game of Life. Literally.
Addendum: Just in case the point isn't entirely clear, I'll echo some choice comments on the subject of defending Communism from Billy Hollis over at Questions and Observations:
First, saying that their ideology produces results just as bad or worse as Nazism isn’t calling them a Nazi. It’s stating the clear truth.

But there’s an even better reason to treat their "creed" with complete contempt. Behaving otherwise makes their beliefs acceptable, even respectable, in academia.

Those beliefs should not be respectable. It’s time their ideology joined phlogiston, the luminiferous ether, phrenology, and Lamarkian biology in the historical gallery of failed concepts. They shouldn’t be coddled for believing in nonsense; they should be ridiculed for it.

Giving them any respect whatsoever means that get to continue to indoctrinate new generations in the same idiocy, meaning we still have the problem of academic idiots pushing an evil, failed ideology into the indefinite future.

Far better, I believe, to make it clear and obvious that their belief is not a respectable one.

Google - the Uncompany

Follow me here.

"Living" and "dead" aren't opposites - they are descriptions of time stages. You're not "dead" before you're born, right? There's a transition from one to the other.

The opposite of "living", really, is "unliving". As any SF/fantasy fan will tell you, that covers a lot of territory - robots, golems, elemental forces, intelligent gas clouds, the Great Old Ones. Things that may think, and which people might interact with, but which are not "living".

Likewise, the opposite of "dead", really, is "undead". The life cycle for a vampire, or a zombie, or a ghoul goes from living to dead to... well, they can't back up and become living again, can they? So they instead become "!dead", or rather, "undead".

Which brings me to Google.

Google, as you know, as the company motto, "Don't be evil". So, you can argue that Google, as a company, has the goal of being "not evil". And yet... while we're accustomed to seeing good and evil as opposites, really, they're not. You can be "not good" without being evil, and you can be "not evil" without being good.

So, by analogy... if "living" is to "good" as "not living" is to "not good", then "dead" is to "undead" as "evil" is to "not evil".

In other words: Google. Company of the Undead. As Jonathan Coulton says in "Re: Your Brains":

All we want to do is eat your brains.
We're not unreasonable; I mean, no one wants to eat your eyes!
Does that not describe Google? Hmmmmmmm?

Gotta go - there's some guys in white coats here who say they want to say hello.


  1. The government should tell people how to eat, exercise, etc.
  2. Why? Because unhealthy living choices drive up health care costs for everyone else.
  3. Why? Because the government ends up forcing health care organizations to care for those who cannot afford it themselves.
  4. Why? Because it would be cruel not to take care of them.
  5. But since this impacts health care costs... GOTO 1.

And We're Not Even Trying!

On the way to work this morning, I heard three news stories in series - the first about a tanker truck explosion In Ford City, PA that killed one man; the second about a chemical plant explosion in Cumberland, WV that killed two brothers; and the third, about a car bomb in Baghdad that killed two people.

After that, my first thought was, "Holy cow... we blow up more people every day, by accident, and we aren't even trying. We're supposed to be scared of these amateurs?"

Continuing to Fiddle

Bah. Formatting? What's that?

Blogger has apparently decided that my last two video links should be handled differently whether they are being shown on the main page or stand-alone. Which is still better than the original "we'll slop this around over whatever text happens to be on the page" theme I was using earlier... but not by much.

Let's see how smaller embedded clips fare:

Ah. Much better.

Shamus Young Rocks

As he himself describes it, this is a "... short bit about the internet history and technology, and how they're related to nuclear weapons."

It's short, sweet, and it explains how the internet as we know it today was "a really awesome accident".


Finally got annoyed enough at the old layout (primarily the main column width) that I went ahead and switched my template around.

Much happier now.


Via Coyote, Hans Rossling's "200 Countries, 200 Years, Four Minutes":

Coyote calls it a "commercial for capitalism". I'm thinking about Aretae's assertions about economic growth, individual liberty, and wondering... which is the chicken, and which is the egg?

I'm not really sure it matters.

A Thousand Here, A Thousand There...

In the past month, the NYC Board of Elections has turned up almost 200,000 "found" votes.

Yeah. 200,000. 200k. A fifth of a million. There were 80,000 uncounted votes discovered in Queens alone, and the total number of "found" ballots was almost more than the total number of voters from the Bronx and Staten Island districts.
“After a 16-hour day there’s room for error,” said Valerie Vazquez, a spokeswoman for the Board of Elections. “Poll workers have to take the report that prints out after the polls close, manually input that to a Return of Canvass form, and then it goes to the Police Department where civilian employees punch it into computers.”
Really? Really? Nearly 200,000 missing votes, and the only public response from the Board of Elections is to try and blame transcription errors?


I suppose there's little or no reason to question why said votes are skewed 2:1 in favor of the Democratic candidate for mayor, then. Or, say - how about that Working Families Party managing to do well enough to change their ranking on future ballots?
“Unbelievable,” said Dan Cantor, executive director of the Working Families Party.
You know, I think Dan hit the nail right on the head, there.


Jonathan Coulton

Go. Listen.

Code monkey like fritos.


To quote Arlo Guthrie... "I'm not proud... or tired."

Well, maybe a little tired. A word this long takes it out of you.

Edit: of course, it should be spelled "enfunctionalizationisting". Same result. Let's call the first version the British spelling and be done with it.