Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

Humble Indie Bundle 6 Overview

I bought my copies when it started a few days ago, as usual. I spent a fair chunk of my weekend playing them (mostly SPAZ). I haven't beaten any yet. Here are my thoughts so far on each game:

Dustforce: Had some sound issues on my Linux rig. It has interesting gameplay but I don't get a strong sense of consistency to it all, and I don't really understand why anything is the way anything is. The interactions with walls and ceilings feel like they need more polish. It's not really my kind of game.

Rochard: This has an intriguing story that's struggling to get out from the pointless puzzle-platforming. Graphics-wise it's a nice shout-out to Unity, this would probably be a fine phone or tablet game. Combat isn't fun. Perhaps a wider array of tools would make a better game (more fun combat, more variety of puzzles, etc.), but maybe not. (Maybe there are more tools later on? I haven't gotten that far.)

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masm32/examples/exampl10/threads/multidl/multidl.exe is not a virus

This file came up in my antivirus scans because it downloads a few zip files in parallel from the masm32 website. You can see the threat report here.

But it's not a virus, it's an example! The files it downloads are (possibly helpful) tools for a windows32 assembly programmer.

It even comes with the source code:

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Clojure and jMonkeyEngine Tutorial 4 and 5

And here we go again with the next tutorials. I feel like I should start prefacing these with the following caveat: do not use my code in production unless you have considered alternative code. I've been playing around with these tutorials, last time I questionably used memfn when it wasn't really necessary. Today I'm lifting everything to the global (for the namespace) scope because that makes dynamic manipulation in the REPL very easy.

There was an interesting piece of prose in the very first tutorial which I think bears repeating:

When developing a game application, you want to:
  • Initialize the game scene
  • Trigger game actions
  • Respond to user input.

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The futility of Anarchy

I've been meaning to write this post for at least a year now, and I can trace back the origins of my thinking to the start of 2010. I've been fighting a slow battle toward the truth. I'll try to keep this post relatively short, however, though that means there will be less justification for my assertions. Since 2010 I've known there are unresolved (at least satisfactory so) problems in every Anarchist+economic model system around. There is good reason to believe some of these problems are unresolvable, if we make the modest assumption that human-like minds will be operating agents.

Let's begin with an easy target: Anarcho-Primitivism. Since there are many uncorrectable problems with this field of thought, I will pick off a few in no particular order.

First is the rejection of technology. Rejecting technology means throwing yourselves to the whims of Nature, the distance you're thrown determined by how much you reject. And we know Nature very well, she is personified as an indifferent alien agent with narrow and non-human goals. The thing we know her most of all for, above anything else, is Death. Death has many causes, but Nature has no interest in protecting us from any of them. We have to do that ourselves. The human species is close, so very close, to finally having the technology to, if not completely eliminate, at least drastically and dramatically reduce the number of individuals who die. Two hundred year lifespans are within the realm of possibility for everyone under 30 right now, and when we reach that point, billion year lifespans aren't far behind.

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There are three kinds of cowardice that are immediately distinguishable to me: character cowardice, intellectual cowardice, and moral cowardice.

The first kind, character cowardice, is typically what is meant when somebody calls another a coward. "You don't have any balls!" The cowardice is part of the person's character, their personality, their very being. It denotes a failure to physically act on account of upholding something, to do the physically courageous thing. If one action upholds honor, or decency, or civility, or some higher purpose besides the purpose of basic selfishness, and another action does not, choosing the latter action is cowardly.

In contrast the other two forms of cowardice are limited to subsets of a person's being, they're more specific. They are both shades of this core form, but I think they're important enough to highlight individually.

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