20 NOV 2018 by ideonexus

 "Post-Libertarian"

Brand now describes himself as “post-libertarian,” a shift he attributes to a brief stint working with Jerry Brown, during his first term as California’s governor, in the nineteen-seventies, and to books like Michael Lewis’s “The Fifth Risk,” which describes the Trump Administration’s damage to vital federal agencies. “ ‘Whole Earth Catalog’ was very libertarian, but that’s because it was about people in their twenties, and everybody then was reading Robert Heinlein and ...
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20 JUL 2017 by ideonexus

 Old CRPGs are Unplayable for Modern Gamers

They had five days to play (Ultima IV), and I asked them to make as much progress as they could in that time. When we gathered to debrief in class, a few students explained how they’d overcome some of their difficulties, but the vast majority was utterly flummoxed by the game. As one of them put it, “I’d say for gamers of our generation, an RPG like Ultima IV is boring and pretty much unplayable.” After removing the arrow from my chest, I asked them to explain why. It mostly came dow...
Folksonomies: gaming preservation history
Folksonomies: gaming preservation history
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01 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 1980 View of Software

Software is a new enough kind of thing in the world that humans are still figuring out how to deal with it. Though it can be bought and sold, you can't see, hear, touch, taste, smell, eat, or burn it. On an unlovely flat artifact called a disk may be hidden the concentrated intelligence of thousands of hours of design, for which you are expected to pay hundreds of dollars, and which you can reproduce on your own computer with perfect fidelity in less than a minute, free. Personal computers ha...
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28 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 President-Elect Trump has a Low Signal-to-Noise Ratio

What a president says is typically allotted a ton of news value, by default, and rightly so. But it has been assigned news value because it traditionally has had a very high signal-to-noise ratio. Presidential remarks are normally so considered, vetted, poll-tested, etc. They usually are a somewhat reliable guide to the policies a president will pursue, how they’ll pursue them, etc. But Trump isn’t like that. He throws a ton of stuff out there, on Twitter and off. The signal-to-noise rati...
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 Knowing Your Work isn't Good Enough

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who d...
Folksonomies: art work creativity talent
Folksonomies: art work creativity talent
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 Hydrogen Levels in the Universe

Our Sun is significantly enriched, having formed when the Universe was more than 9 billion years old in the plane of a spiral galaxy, one of the most enriched places in the Universe. Yet, when our Sun formed, it was still made out of — by mass — 71% hydrogen, 27% helium, and about 2% “other” stuff. If we convert that into “number of atoms” and treat the Sun as typical of the Universe, that means, over the first 9.3 billion years of the Universe, the fraction of hydrogen ha...
Folksonomies: physics astronomy hydrogen
Folksonomies: physics astronomy hydrogen
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20 JUN 2014 by ideonexus

 Transcription Fluency

When you write something down, either while taking notes or while trying to write your own original thoughts, you’re dealing with what literacy scholars call “transcription fluency”: How quickly and fluidly you can get down — “transcribe” — the stuff that’s in your head. One of the reasons we formally teach handwriting to young children is that you don’t want a bottleneck between the ideas they’re forming and the writing. If you struggle with the act of forming let...
Folksonomies: writing medium
Folksonomies: writing medium
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30 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 "Follow Your Passion" is Terrible Advice

So I started to wonder what would happen if we challenged some of these sacred cows. Follow your passion -- we've been talking about it here for the last 36 hours. Follow your passion -- what could possibly be wrong with that? Probably the worst advice I ever got. (Laughter) You know, follow your dreams and go broke, right? I mean, that's all I heard growing up. I didn't know what to do with my life, but I was told if you follow your passion, it's going to work out. I can give you 30 example...
Folksonomies: passion meaning purpose
Folksonomies: passion meaning purpose
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"The road less traveled" is better advice.

21 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 You Are Not the Same Person You Were as a Child

Think of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you weren’t there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place … Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not...
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All your cells and atoms have been replaced since then -- this is not true, but it is partially true and food for thought.

18 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 1847 Speculation About Extraterrestrials

In general I would be cautious against … plays of fancy and would not make way for their reception into scientific astronomy, which must have quite a different character. Laplace's cosmogenic hypotheses belong in that class. Indeed, I do not deny that I sometimes amuse myself in a similar manner, only I would never publish the stuff. My thoughts about the inhabitants of celestial bodies, for example, belong in that category. For my part, I am (contrary to the usual opinion) convinced ... th...
Folksonomies: xenobiology
Folksonomies: xenobiology
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On the sun trees would be larger, but would break apart if made of the same material as those on Earth.