22 February 2018

Video game idea

Imagine the following team-based First Person Shooter: The map is a realistic model of a school, complete with blind spots and separated buildings. Random AI-controlled schoolchildren are everywhere, acting unpredictably as they panic and try to run to safety. Most of the players are randomly assigned to play one of the following (adult avatar) roles: Armed uniformed police officer. Armed teacher. Armed parent who happened to be visiting the school. ... Read more

18 February 2018

Nuke study

With the Trump regime talking about a nuclear first strike against North Korea, here’s a fragment of an article from Harper’s Magazine, December 2017, talking about how bad things could get: A 2006 study by the Rand Corporation calculated the effects of such a nuclear detonation at the Port of Long Beach, California. The weapon was presumed to be two thirds as powerful as the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. ... Read more

16 February 2018

Guns and the mentally ill

So, another mass shooting at a school, and the same memes go around. I mostly have nothing to say — wake me when Republicans decide that there’s something more important than NRA money. However, there’s one small point I’d like to make regarding memes going around about Republicans and Trump making it easier for the mentally ill to buy guns. Memes like this: Let me start with some positioning: Yes, the meme says “this year” when in fact the vote was a year ago. ... Read more

13 February 2018

Quinn Norton

Earlier today the New York Times announced that they were hiring Quinn Norton to be their new opinion columnist on “the power, culture and consequences of technology”. Before long, her friendship with neo-Nazi weev had been pointed out to the NYT, along with her history of using homophobic and racist slurs online. By nighttime, she was unhired. The TL;DR here is that being friends with literal Nazis is a career-limiting maneuver. ... Read more

29 January 2018

Parrot festival

Last Thursday we got in the car and headed to Houston for the 2018 Parrot Festival, held each year by the National Parrot Rescue and Preservation Foundation (NPRPF). It was three fairly solid days of presentations on various psittacine topics. I had learned about the event over a year earlier, and made a note in my calendar to check the lineup in December. When I learned that this year’s special focus was to be the budgerigar, we decided we had to go. ... Read more

© mathew 2017