Sunday Morning Reading Material: First Sunday in February 2011


I can’t wait to have kids!

It’s Sunday. Sundays are for waking up at 5am and being unable to fall back asleep. At least, that’s what the evidence would suggest. Sundays are also for traveling to San Francisco and paying outrageous cab fair. Also: Sundays are for football– one last time this season.

This week Egypt showed the world that it longed for democracy. Iran put some Americans on trial for spying, and Canada decided to let private enterprise destroy its internet.

So, what do we have this? Oh! How about this uplifting story about a black woman being thrown in jail for sending her children to school with some white kids. This is how American schools resegregated themselves. Or rather: this is how we Americans resegregated our schools.

One of the weirder things to me about our species is it’s persistent need to sort itself into various artificial groupings. For instance: my grandmother was born an “Italian” woman, but died “white”. There aren’t “Asians” in China, Japan, or Korea the way there are in America. Ta-Nehisi Coates meditates on the subject.

As interesting to me is the differences between genders. There are some obvious ones (men and women have different secondary sex characteristics– unless you’re trans– unless…), and we’re left sort of scratching our heads about what it all might mean. For sure, we know that men and women are treated differently. I’m fairly sure most of this is social construct. I’m not sure how to change society.

If you’re a Simpsons fan (as I have been), then you’ll probably want to check out this McBain movie.

Know someone having a birthday? I do love this card.

Speaking of birds Jess Barrow reflects on being a mentor to the first generation of Bangladeshi women who are told they can do anything. Ans she watches birds.

Nixon held power because of the Hard Hat riot. Bush took power through the Bourgeois Riot. D-Squared considers the “Asshole” as a strategic resource for the Right Wing.

Speaking of awful, right-wing organizations: The National Organization for Marriage stole Zach Weiner work– and his bandwidth. He fought back. it was glorious.

Speaking of stealing work and bandwith: Microsoft’s Bing uses Google’s information.

Anyways.

In the days of ancient Rome, this would have been taken as a very poor omen.

You like logic puzzles, right? How about Butts? How do you feel about a logic puzzle involving butts? Don’t lie.

My rule of thumb: when you see a bunch of people doing the same stupid thing, there’s usually a fairly strong incentive. For instance, the most recent financial collapse was caused because bankers were making more money off bad loans than good loans. Talk about socially non optimal! The solution isn’t to hector people into making more moral decisions, but rather to so utterly change the incentive structure that bad outcomes are difficult to achieve. Has the Financial Regulation bill done this? I don’t know.

Robots? Freaking adorable. Everyone likes Robots. Well. Except that one robot. You know.. that robot which dropped the grenade and then drove over it. Yeah. That one gets demerits for starting the human-robot war early.

Speaking of butts: San Franciscans love our opinions. Do try and understand that we are an ornery, cussed, lot who would much rather ridicule your taste in coffee than admit that anything coming from outside our Faire Citye could have value.

Things that have value outside of San Francisco? Seattle’s VALVe software. Upwards of $1 billion in revenue, in fact. I’m honestly not sure I believe the number. It’s about the closest thing to a “solid” number we have, though.

Fans of gaming should check this out: some interesting-seeming games you might not know about. I actually own, but haven’t played, Frozen Synapse. I’ve played the crap out of Magicka, and am very much looking forward to Subversion.

I swear that everything I said above is true. Apparently a lot of people lie about what they’ve done in games. Interestingly, I think this is more an artifact of the past than something that can sustain itself much longer. Between my Steam Profile, and Raptr account, pretty much everything I’ve done in gaming (in the past 3 years) is immortalized. My X-Box having friends will have even more data.

And finally: if you read only one link of all that I’ve posted– you’re doing it wrong. But! Rob Zacny talks about Alan Wake and the creative process. Are games art? Are we still having this debate? Rob’s article is pretty clear proof that they are.

Look at the time! I’ve got to make some Chili for the Big Game!

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