Tag Archives: rant

Thoughts on the future of trumpism

I woke up today and saw the news, and it was suddenly… sane.

I am no great fan of Democratic politics.  As I’m a leftist, I hadn’t seen a distinct difference between the two parties.  I often have characterized Democratic politics as a “cooling off” for Republican policies – a part of the country’s rightward shift.  Republicans will do something (say, start to bomb other countries with drones willy-nilly), and Democrats will freak out… but Democratic administrations will use the powers instituted by the Republicans. At that point, the Democrats shut up about it.  Pretty much everything in the war on terror – drone assassinations, torture, secret and illegal detention, etc. – are now part of US politics.

Trump made me modify my view.  Previously, I had considered the Republicans more doctrinarian and disciplined about their doctrine.  While I found their doctrine odious, there was consistency for it.  What Trump did – and this might be his lasting contribution to the Republican Party and conservatives, in general – is fracture that consistency.

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Creating alternate timelines is weird

Like, narratively weird.  As a sci-fi writer, the thing that gets into my head is… where does the energy come from?  A fair number of sci-fi stories – and this has been brought on by me (trying) to read William Gibson’s Agency – a future alternate timeline has a bit of a cottage industry of going back in time and messing stuff up to “see what happens.”  It is established that these alternate timelines are physically real and distinct.

So, every time some hobbyist gets an inch, they can go and create – materially, physically create – an alternate timeline?

WHERE DOES THE ENERGY COME FROM?!   How is all the free energy not the biggest point of all of this?!

Ahem.  That is all.

Thoughts on A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear by Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling

I’ve finished reading A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (And Some Bears) by Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling, a seriocomic take on the Libertarian Free State Movement by illustrating what happened when the “Free Town Movement” came to Grafton, New Hampshire.

In short, it’s a funny book if you like black humor. (I do.) I am also amused that a couple years ago, I was seriously considering writing a novel that would be a spiritual successor to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. The question central to the novel would be, “What happens to Galt Gulch if it was based on other libertarian attempts to create a utopia?” I planned for it to be a horror novel. A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear is, essentially, what I was going to write, except funny, and with bears.

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Bein’ Critical of Twitch-streamed D&D Games!

OK, then, more talk about tabletop RPGs on Twitch. This is where I get critical.

Most games on Twitch are Dungeons and Dragons. This is expected. I don’t play D&D anymore, and I haven’t for several years – and even when I did play it, well, I have been told I don’t play it in a very D&D way. I now have a much better idea of what that means.

Because, here’s the thing, when you start a game – and many of them do start in this exact way – saying a tiefling, a dragonkin, and a drow walk into a bar… that’s not the lead-in to an adventure. That’s an introduction to a fantasy-themed joke.

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Police and bad apples plus fixing the system

Some jobs can’t have bad apples.

Imagine you walk into a doctor’s office and you’re told, “Well, sure, a lot of doctors are good eggs, but a lot of other doctors are, well, racist. If you’re not a white person, they’ll either refuse to treat you or make your condition worse – not as an accident but maliciously, sometimes severely. And now and then, somewhere between a thousand and fifteen hundred times a year, they’ll decide to kill you, again, often with malice aforethought. BUT, I, who am a good doctor, will not do anything to fix this situation, because all the other doctors won’t like me, so I tolerate and, indeed, through the continued support of the organizations to which we mutually belong, encourage their racism and violence – and will indeed defend vocally and, occasionally, with the violence of my own those ‘bad apples.'”

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Fuck Electric Cars

Let me explain. I ride my bicycle between 4000 and 5000 miles each year. That’s not even counting my ebike, which I use for as many errands as I can, which accounts for another five hundred to six hundred miles a year.

I was reading this content-free article from “cleantechnica”.com where they assert without a shred of, y’know, proof that electric cars are better than gasoline-powered cars. Is it true that e-cars are better than gas cars in terms of energy efficiency? Honestly, I don’t know, but I also don’t care. Like the oil industry, the e-car industry is doing it’s dead-level best to obscure the pass-through pollution – the total pollution the vehicle generates from the manufacture, use, and disposal – it creates.

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YouTube now thinks I’m a sexist jerk because I watch video game reviews

I’ve been sick with bronchitis the past couple of weeks – which is a growing and uncomfortable health trend of mine, that every cold turns into bronchitis – which has allowed an interesting picture into the world of video gaming and sexism.

I’ve been watching more YouTube than I should. It comes in easily digestible chunks and much of it is easy to follow. And, honestly, I don’t care if I follow it. Mainly, I watch videos about bicycling, professional wrestling, comedy, and bicycling. However, since I’m sick, I’ve been keeping track of the unfolding disaster that is Fallout 76, plus some other videos by presenters who I found amusing.

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Thoughts on bad writing in video games using Rise of the Tomb Raider as a starting point

I’ve been under the weather, so I played through Rise of the Tomb Raider to pass the time rather than dwelling on how awful I’ve felt. It made me think about why writing for video games is so bad.

Don’t get me wrong: Rise of the Tomb Raider is an excellent game. While I’ll be using it for purposes of illustration, because I’ve just played it, many games commit far worse literary sins than Rise of the Tomb Raider. There will be spoilers under the cut to illustrate my various points about the awful writing in video games.

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There is no proof too much exercise will kill you: health news is the worst

There’s been a piece of “reporting” going around saying that it’s possible to exercise oneself to death. The New York Post’s headline is “You can exercise yourself to death, says new study.” A bunch of articles share that title, or slight variations on it.  Short form: it’s bullshit.  Deep and highly piled bullshit.

The news “stories” is based on a paper that has been electronically distributed by The Mayo Clinic Proceedings titled 25-Year Physical Activity Trajectories and Development of Subclinical Coronary Artery Disease as Measured by Coronary Artery Calcium by Deepika R. Laddu, PhD, Jamal S. Rana, MD, PhD, etc. I’ve provided links so, y’know, you can read it, too, if you’re so inclined. I did.

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Nearly Quit Writing This Week

I almost quit writing this past week. Art is a very rough road, and there are no clear signs to “success.” Effort and ability are not enough. I’ve got a bookshelf and tablet full of indie writers who have gone through the considerable effort of writing and publishing their works – but the truth is that few people are likely to read what they write. It is as I said: hard work and ability aren’t enough.

The flat truth: the number of writers in any given market are increasing at a much faster pace than the number of readers. The limited amount of time and money the audience has is being more finely distributed over an ever-increasing number of authors. So bad is it that it is considered de rigeur for indie writers to pay promotional sites to give away their books. It is a reader’s market, and for the readers it’s great! They get to read to their heart’s content and not pay a dime, to have a plethora of high-quality work for free, indeed, the expense is borne by the writer, not the consumer.

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