When the media turns its gaze to the violence in video games, it is usually the acts themselves which are labeled as disturbing, gratuitous, and unfit for public consumption. What is most disturbing and potentially harmful, however, is the way that violence is treated by the individual characters in the games. Mostly it is not seriously considered by the characters at all. Enemies are merely there to be killed, and their deaths mean nothing.
Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category
Most of us, at a deep gut level, haven’t quite gotten used to the fact that in the past century we have stopped living in rural agricultural societies where 50-90% of the population had to work the land in order to eat. (Never mind that we no longer live in an industrial society where 50% of the work force laboured in factories.) We still use the past societies we and our parents grew up in as a frame for evaluating the performance of our corner of the global economy. Consequently, when the core environmental message (that we need to reduce consumption of finite natural resources) is reformulated by people who share this background with the rest of us, the result is typically a message that we need to reduce economic growth.
That’s when the second cognitive bias hits, the one on the receiving side. We have been trained to associate economic growth with improvements in our personal well-being. (More food, more living space, a bigger car: holidays in the sun.) Those at the bottom of the economic wealth distribution curve receive the message “we need to reduce economic growth” and interpret it as “you’re never going to get your fair share of the pie”. And when those at the top of the heap hear it, they interpret it as “your share of the pie is too big, so we’re going to take a chunk of it away”.
Seriously, go read this. Nuanced and thought-provoking for all sides of the various environmental/economic debates.
The Winsxs folder, stores multiple copies of dll’s in order to let multiple applications run in Windows without any compatibility problem. If you browse inside, you will see what look like a lot of duplicate dlls, each having the same name. These are actually, different versions of the same files which are being stored; as different programs may require different versions. In short, Winsxs, which stands for ‘Windows Side By Side’, is Vista’s native assembly cache. Libraries which are being by multiple applications are stored there. This feature was first introduced, in Windows ME and was considered as Microsoft’s solution to the so-called ‘dll hell’ issues that plagued Windows 9x.
“In summary: I am not a precious sparkly unicorn who is obsessed with the purity of his characters — rather, I am a glittery and avaricious dragon who is jealous of his steaming pile of gold. If you do not steal the dragon’s gold, the dragon will leave you alone. Offer to bring the dragon more gold and the dragon will be your friend.”
This seems like what I think of as the default idealistic AND pragmatic view of fanfic by the authors.
I don’t know much about UK politics, though I’ve started to watch it a wee bit out of some sort of “citizen of the world” type interest. But I did love one line in particular out of Charles Stross’s overall entertaining Party Election Broadcast:
“However, the big political-philosophical question hanging over the 21st century is how we, as a society, are going to deal with having complete access to information about everything and everyone under our noses at all times. This is a social consequence of the technological changes now unfolding, but it has barely begun to impinge upon our politics at a national policy level. The problems of maintaining privacy and human autonomy while living in a panopticon are very real, and the risks of getting it wrong are enormous.” (emphasis mine)
We’re there now. We just have to figure out how to deal with it.
“Do coaches give kids the choice between playing in the gymnasium and playing in traffic? Do principals put beer kegs next to the water fountains in the school hallways? Do teachers allow teens in English class to read porn magazines in lieu of the classics?”
Now, of course, the two industry standard-bearers of the Post-PC Era, Apple and Google, respectively, have addressed the challenges of old very differently. Google, by embracing simpler, loosely coupled (read: horizontally-focused) cloud-facing solutions, and Apple, by embracing vertically-integrated, complete product solutions that marry hardware, software, service, developer and marketplace.
But make no bones about it; the real tempest here is who keeps the high margin dollars.
In the case of Google, they are happy to allow any and all to plug into their search and advertising gravy train, so long as they can disrupt any and all incumbent segments ripe to be broken up by their model.
In the case of Apple, they see user experience and control of same as central to their value proposition and “govern” accordingly.
Whether you see one as more open, closed, virtuous or evil depends upon your personal preference about user experience and choice, not to mention your particular economic self-interest.