Wednesday, November 25, 2009


What is freedom, other than the right to do something someone else disapproves of?

(In response to the current "Should Google ban racist images?" nonsense.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, the adventure game was among, if not the, most popular type of game on the personal computer. I was pondering whether this had anything to do with the average intelligence of people using computers at that time. Computers in the home were relatively rare, there was no Internet available to the public, and any computers that were in the home were relatively difficult to use. In short, computers were once the realm of intellectuals and nerds. No longer.

Sometime in the early 1990's, I was introduced to the Internet at university. There was a brief period where practically everyone on the 'net was an academic or very technically inclined. Even early home access didn't seem to change this mix much. There was a distinct culture and set of social norms associated with discourse on the 'net. In September 1993, AOL essentially changed this culture forever. The age of spam, trolling and flamewars had been launched, to engulf the Internet forever.

One hope expressed on the early Internet was that it would be able to bring everyone together in a global conversation, where the honest application of logic and reason in the discussion would lead us to a golden age of peace and enlightenment. Or something. At the time, this actually seemed reasonable, mostly because the vast majority of the people in the conversation at the time respected reason and logic and were willing to consider different points of view and the possibility that their own opinions might be wrong. The major flaws in this reasoning are still only becoming fully realized, but we now understand this: many people are not reasonable, nor do they respect reason or logic.

The point of this being, there have been a number of endeavors undertaken by the intellectuals of this world, and they have been routinely cocked up when the rabble gets in on the action.

Now, I'm not going to say that should not have happened. I'm not even going to suggest it wasn't a net gain. What I want to know is, what is the next sub-culture of intellectualism that will fly under the radar for the next decade or so, and how do I find it?

Friday, August 7, 2009


I will probably never really understand social network sites. One of the biggest draws to computers for me was that you can do fun stuff without interacting with other people.

I was trying to find an anti-social network, but that mostly resulting in finding joke / faux-sociopathic sites. I don't actually hate people (in a broad sense), I just prefer to be by myself most of the time. I was wondering if there was a social networking site for people who don't like people. You know, we could get together and chat about our common disinterest.

Dang, blew another irony meter.

I think I would make an awesome starship pilot. Not the Star Trek kind of pilot, too many people. More like the Larry Niven "there's no room for anybody else" kind of pilot. I'd probably miss the wife and kids though.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thought of the day (month/year)

It is better to have questions that cannot be answered than it is to have answers that cannot be questioned.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Star Trek 2009

OK, I saw the new Star Trek (2009). It was awesome and I enjoyed it immensely.

Now that that's out of the way, the nit-picking can commence. Spoilers follow.

No, seriously, SPOILERS FOLLOW.

1. The creators of the film obviously have not the faintest conception of how much distance there is between planets, nor how fast light travels. The Enterprise leaves the (former) location of Vulcan at some multiple of the speed of light ("Warp 3"), and after many, many minutes of events on the ship, ditch Kirk on a remote ice world... which is still somehow near enough Vulcan that it could be seen clearly in the sky, probably no further than the moon is from Earth.

2. Spock is ditched on this planet to observe the demise of Vulcan. That's some pretty excellent planning, making sure that he is located on the exact location on a presumably rotating planet to ensure he has a clear view of the planet's demise, even though the timing of the event was fairly imprecise.

3. I can grant you could teleport onto a ship at warp speed, whatever. Except, the ship had been travelling at warp speed for potentially hours by that point. If the transporters are capable of operating over that kind of distance, what is the point of having starships at all?

4. Oh so many more, but I'm out of time. Try Bad Astronomy for more.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Thought for the day

Reality is not subject to a vote.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Important Question #7

What happened to Important Question #6?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Important Question #5

Do you think all of the "missing matter" in the universe could be accounted for by all of the pens I've purchased over the years, have never taken out of the house, but somehow seem to have vanished into thin air? (Conservation of mass, psssh.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Important Question #4

What in the hell is the matter with you people?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Important Question #3

While debugging in Visual Studio (C++), why can't I edit values in the watch window while the program is running? Sure there may be some context problems with local variables, but at least I could flip debugging globals without having to stop execution.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Important Question #2

Does the government effectively get a 50%(ish) price reduction on labour costs because they eventually recoup much of what they pay out in taxes?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Important Question #1

In Pokemon, why is the the "grass energy" icon a picture of a leaf?

See for reference.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Recently watched: Stargate

Back in 1994 when the movie Stargate was first released, I remember watching it in the theater and liking it much more than most of the reviews at the time suggested.

I watched it again on DVD a couple years ago, and that time I didn't like it as much. The pacing seemed off, the plot a little silly, and I think I couldn't get past a couple inconsistencies with the Stargate SG-1 TV series that I had watched quite a bit of in the preceding years.

I watched it again a couple of days ago, and this time I enjoyed it immensely. The pacing was good, the ideas and universe created were interesting and detailed, and I saw more ideas that were well integrated into the TV series than I saw inconsistencies.

I think maybe it's one of those movies you have to be in the right mood to watch. There are so many cool ideas in it, from a "hidden history" on Earth to traveling to another world. I think I've always appreciated movies like that, but somehow the presentation in this one falls flat for some people. The immense success of the TV series probably demonstrates that well.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Banning Books

So, apparently there are still people who think that banning books is perfectly reasonable.

To summarize:

"Robert Edwards, who launched a formal complaint about the Canadian novel, says the foul language, anti-Christian overtones, violence and sexual degradation probably violate the Toronto board’s policies of respect and tolerance."

Fine then, how about we remove the Bible from all school libraries, for it's violence, sexual degradation, incest, murder, genocide, and what I would expect is a clear violation of the Toronto board's policies of respect and tolerance?

You know what? Reading stuff that makes you uncomfortable is good for you. Reading about nasty stuff does not imply its endorsement, it offers and opportunity to discuss how it could happen and how never to let it happen.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Yes, I haven't been writing recently. Between finalling a game, Christmas and generally not being very worked up about anything, I haven't written for much too long. Even my plan of fictional writing hasn't panned out because I was doing more of that in a directly work-related fashion, which obviously isn't really able to be shared here.

I came across this site: (via Pharyngula). That pretty much sums up the majority of thoughts I've had on the topic of prayer/miracles.

In case you don't want to read all that though: Miracles are things that God does that violate the laws of physics. God never performs miracles that clearly violate the laws of physics, or even fall outside of statistical expectations. That is to say, without a lot of fudging around the definition of "miracle," it's pretty safe to say that there have been none in modern times and prayer is utterly ineffective in causing them to happen.

In other news, I just recently had two wisdom teeth out. "Fun" is not a word I would use to describe it, but having had kidney stones, I would like to mention that any pain is nothing compared to that.

Work is going well. Our game is approved and on the way to store shelves (and Steam)! I'm moving from Rendering to Gameplay on the next project, which is both a little disconcerting, since I have a proven track record in rendering, but haven't done much specific gameplay programming for quite a while. I've always railed against being pigeonholed, but having done rendering for several years I may have done it to myself. This will be a good change. My main goal is always to Make A Difference, and that's where I'm needed more at the moment.

In other other news, the snow is finally melting in Vancouver. This is the most snow I've seen out here in 10 years, and it's sticking around much longer than I've ever seen too. After a pretty cold summer, I was hoping for a mild winter. Oh well, maybe next year. And maybe the fog will go away - it's been foggy day and night for the past three days at least, and for a good portion of the last week. Other than that, it's been cloudy. I think we had a few hours of sun a couple weeks ago... My astronomical observation plans have not gone well over the last few months. Every time I think about buying a semi-decent telescope, I wonder if it's even worth it, living in Light Pollution Hell and all. Of course, some day it will clear up and I'll regret not being prepared.