1 January 2018

New Year

It snowed in Austin on New Year’s Eve. I’ve lived in New England and driven in a snowstorm in Minnesota in mid winter, so the weather was no big deal for me, but driving home at around 02:30 there were numerous vehicle wrecks surrounded by flashing lights. I saw an interview with John Cleese where he said that the one thing on his bucket list is never wanting to be cold again. ... Read more

23 December 2017

Economics of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

I’ve been playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for a while now. I have mixed feelings about it. It’s not terrible, and it’s not particularly evil as freemium/free-to-play games go, but it certainly isn’t great. Its main effect is to make me want to play a real Animal Crossing game, such as Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the 3DS. I could list many shortcomings of Pocket Camp, from the animals’ lack of individualized dialog to the dumbed down skill-free mechanics of fishing and insect catching, but I’d like to focus on one specific oddness: the economy. ... Read more

21 December 2017


A few nights ago I had episode 4 of a series dream about a crazy acid casualty Texas record producer who insisted on calling everything “best coast” when it sounded just right. So around midnight I woke up wondering which other bands were on Jet Records besides ELO, and disappeared down a Wikipedia hole. Apparently Jet Records was the creation of Don Arden, known as the “Yiddish Godfather”, who was the violent father of Sharon Osbourne, and who once turned up with a squad of heavies at another record label manager’s office and threatened to throw him out of the window for daring to discuss a change of management with one of Arden’s bands. ... Read more

7 December 2017

Some thoughts on social networks

Last week I spent some time moving all my e-mail archives off of Google’s servers and onto my own. At the same time I went through and cleared out a bunch of old mail, scanned for duplicates, pulled out family photos into an album, and generally tidied. It was an interesting experience. I found myself seeing names of people I had no recollection of, but who had apparently been a major part of my life a couple of decades ago. ... Read more

10 November 2017

Controversial opinions

Everyone has beliefs which they think are simple and obvious. In 2017, I have become aware that some of mine are a lot more controversial than I imagined. Back in February I started assembling a list. Here’s what I have so far. Apparently controversial opinions in 2017: Everyone should have healthcare covering essential treatment. What counts as essential should be decided by panels of trained medical professionals. Everyone should vote. ... Read more

© mathew 2017