Hello Word[press]

lordpi.com is a collection of articles.  Many are about the creative edge (ie the ‘new’ creative frontiers of play, sequential art, and motion pictures accompanied by an audio track).

Most of the articles aren’t about the rose-tinted future we’ve been promised, but about the defenestrated present.  The materials used in the window’s construction.  How many panes there were.  The type of shrubbery outside.

An observation of the condition of the human condition from the perspective of a human observing other humans.

lordpi.com used to be hosted at the (now) defunct Windows Live Spaces, please enjoy the imported articles.  New articles will be added around ‘nanowrimo’, ‘discourse’, ‘names’, and the ‘games industry’.

Feel free to contribute to the conversation.

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Goodbye Spaces [2004-2010]

What is a unique resource locator?  By any other name, it would still describe where a particular resource is and how to access it.  It would still smell as sweet.  Like nerd rage.

But http://lordpi.com is more than just an url: it is an idea.  It has had two different hosts 301 into that great 404 in the sky, but it will continue to 200.  Some chronology:

http://lordpi.com got its start via some modules on the hosting site buildtolearn.com, on January 13, 2004, as http://www.lordpi.com

Then, it was one of the first spaces when MSN Spaces launched, on December 2, 2004, as http://spaces.msn.com/members/lordpi

Then, after some changes in MSN Spaces, on January 26, 2006, it became http://spaces.msn.com/lordpi

Then, after some changes in MSN Spaces, on June 12, 2006, it became http://lordpi.spaces.msn.com

Then, with the change from MSN Spaces to Windows Live Spaces, on August 1, 2006, it became http://lordpi.spaces.live.com

Now, with the demise of Windows Live Spaces, announced September 27, 2010, it will become https://lordpi.wordpress.com

Then, if we pay extra money to WordPress, it will become http://lordpi.com

Regardless of where the website lives, it will remain true to you, our dear readers.  And it won’t be sold to Aol for anything less than what Techcrunch recently received.  So don’t worry and be happy.

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E3 2009: Evaluating Incomplete Games

Video games, exhibited at a convention [e.g. E3, PAX], will be in one of the various stages of development: recently shipped, shipping to stores, will ship in a few months, will ship over the holidays, are years away from release, or are a tech demo that will never ship in its current form.  This means that most exhibited video games will be in an incomplete state.

Incomplete games differ from released games in a number of ways.  The more incomplete a game is, the more likely it is to have serious bugs (I managed to crash and freeze a number of games at E3 this year).  Incomplete games will not have the prettiest of graphics.  They will be missing their polish.  They will be missing some of their content – an incomplete game might only consist of one actual level, bubble-gum, and bailing-wire.

Certain things can get better:

  • Performance (a.k.a. frame rate),
  • Stability (a.k.a. not crashing),
  • Graphics,
  • Polish,
  • Quality and quantity of content

These are the type of things that can be improved.  Complaints about presentation and resource aspects might be unfounded by the time the game is released.  These issues are worth noting in an objective preview, but not worth worrying about.  At least, these issues are not worth worrying about if there is a sufficient amount of time before the game is scheduled for release.

Certain things are hard to improve:

  • ‘Fun’ is very hard to correct.
  • ‘Controls’ can be tightened up, but are hard to completely change if they do not work.
  • ‘Theme’, ‘setting’, and ‘character’ are not going to change.
  • Gameplay modes (single player, multi-player, co-op) normally have to be designed from the outset – adding a new one, during development, is difficult.

Aspects that are hard to improve are less likely to change before the game is released.  That makes these aspects the best way to objectively judge an incomplete video game.

Posted in Games | 1 Comment

E3 2009: The Predictions

Today is the day that everyone gets to be wrong.

If you were to browse to a website that specializes in video game news.  Wait…  Gosh.  Hopefully, y’all will press the back button and read the rest of this post.

Video game news-based websites are currently full of: rumors, speculation, and early E3 announcements.  Fanboys and fangirls are filling Internet forums with gossip; their hopes and dreams are on display.  Joystiq has ‘Bingo’ cards to guess at what the video-game console manufacturers will announce at their keynotes – cute, but they are giving everyone the same card which defeats the entire point of Bingo.  Also, they are missing the fly, older ladies that hang out at Bingo at the local retirement home.  [shot out to Evelyn if she’s reading!].

Lordpi.com prides itself as being the sole home for truth, justice, and the American Way on the Internet.  Also, burritos.  This means that lordpi.com cannot participate in idle gossip, rumors, and any form of speculation that doesn’t involve gold.  Which is why the following is comprised of educated reasoning, blatant lies, and great ideas.

Microsoft Xbox Video Game and Entertainment System

Educated reasoning:

– Statistics: Xbox 360 has sold a lot.  Lots of people on Xbox Live.  Lots of things downloaded.  Big Netflix numbers.  Lots of 3rd party game sales.  Mention of the number of titles on the Community Arcade.

– Halo ODST: This game will be huge!  No Master Chief?  No problem.

– New 1st party game announcements: Forza Motorsport 3 [for racing fans], a game by the Lionhead studio, a game by the Rare studio, and a game by the Bigpark studio.

– Alan Wake [Microsoft/Remedy]: this game should be awesome.

– 3rd parties on display: Modern Warfare 2 [Activision/Infinity Ward], Tony Hawk’s Ride [Activision], The Beatles [EA/Harmonix], Madden 2010 [EA/EA Tiburon], Bioshock 2 [Take 2], and Assassin’s Creed 2 or Splinter Cell: Conviction [Ubisoft] are the likeliest of candidates.

– New XBLA game: A new game for the Xbox Live Arcade is normally announced and released during the press conference.

– New Xbox Live demos: New demos are normally released online during the convention.

If lordpi.com was in charge:

– Hulu support: I’d introduce ad-supported video.  Lots of people are too cheap to buy entertainment.

– Games that should have sequels:

– Crackdown: this game showed promise.  Please make another.

– Mechassault, Mechwarrior, Battletech, Mechcommander: Choose one [or more] and make more games in their series.

– Crimson Skies: See Mechwarrior above.

– Bloodwake: We’re serious.

– Phantom Dust: The first was great.

Sony Playstation 3 Computer Entertainment System

Educated reasoning:

– Statistics: Playstation sales (as a percentage).  Home numbers.  PSN numbers.  Sony likes numbers, so we should see a bunch.  Amount of user generated content made for LittleBigPlanet.

– Talk about the games that will come out eventually: God of War 3, MAG, Gran Turismo 5, Heavy Rain, and Uncharted 2.

– Media announcements: Sony will have a video partnership with someone.  Hulu, Netflix, Blockbuster, or CBS.  This will come in a forthcoming patch [to which they will provide more details].

– PS3 Slim[mer]: A new physical body is being worked on for the Playstation 3.  It won’t be nearly as slim as the PS2 currently is, but it will be quite a bit thinner than the huge unit they currently ship.  Improvements will come from: external power supply, simpler chips, and less accessory ports [external usb hub?].  The parts should cost less than the current model.  Still won’t be backwards-compatible with the Playstation 2, though.

– New 1st party game announcements: Team ICO’s much anticipated game, new PSN titles, new SOCOM, new games in their casual series [Singstar, Buzz, Eyetoy], Starhawk, and Twisted Metal.  About ten ‘new’ games should be announced, even though there have already been a number of them leaked/rumored.

– 3rd parties on display will be quite similar to Microsoft’s.

– New Home content.

If lordpi.com was in charge:

– Lordpi.com would hope that Sony gives nice parachutes to those that they put in charge.

– Presentation would be done inside of LittleBigPlanet.  If not Sony keynote == FAIL.

Nintendo Wii

Educated reasoning:

– Statistics: Wii numbers are teh crazy!!!!111!11!1  As are Mario Kart Wii, Wii Play, and Wii Fitness numbers.  DS numbers are also incredible.  Number of WiiWare and VC games might also be touted.

– The Casual Market: There will be a lot of focus on the ‘casual’ market.  Wii Fitness Plus and Wii Sports Resort will headline.

– The Core Market: Bird-chirps.  It won’t be as bad as last year, as Nintendo will talk about a new Mario game, the Metroid Prime collection, some DS->Wii IP ‘ports’, two non-Metroid Gamecube->Wii upgrades, and Kid Icarus Wii.

– New Virtual Console releases will be announced.

– There will be a big focus on the Nintendo DS/DSi as well.

If lordpi.com was in charge:

– New games:

– Nintendogs Wii

– A Fire Emblem spinoff for the Wii.  Same feel, but more realtime.

– Wii Remote Massage

– A real Zelda game for the Wii

– Wii Party [yes, it wouldn’t have Mario in it – you would primarily use your Mii’s; this would be for ‘the casual market’ that is afraid of Mario and all of his mushroom kingdom shenanigans]

– No Kid Icarus for the Wii would ever be made.  It prevents lordpi.com from joking about the incredulity of Kid Icarus not having a sequel.

– Wii HD: It’s too early for this.  It should be ready next year.  It would run the same exact game discs as the current Wii, but it would ‘upscale’ the graphics to 720P.  Primarily for the Core Market.

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E3 2009: An Introduction

It’s coming.  June 1st, 2009.  Ready or not.

What is E3?

The acronym for the Electronic Entertainment Exposition.  An industry trade show that is used to showcase video-games.

E3 was originally created to provide an environment where video-game publishers could exhibit their forthcoming wares to the distributors and retailers that made the purchasing decisions.  This way, the retailers would be able to figure out what they should stock on their shelves.

Then the media got interested in the exhibition.  Whether it was the games on display or the videos or the personalities or the keynotes: the media presence started to grow with each E3.

Each video-game console manufacturer had to have their own keynote to begin the exhibition.  These keynotes were used by the console manufacturers to announce how intelligent their supporters were for supporting them.

Video-game developers would use the exhibition to network with their fellow professionals and see the games that the competition was providing.  There might have been a crunch in getting the demos ready for the show floor, but many found the event to be relaxing and enjoyable.

What happened?

Greed.  Envy.  Sex.  Drugs.  ROCK N’’ ROLL!

E3 had become an opalescent beast.  It became more about pandering to the idiot attendees and the media than the retailers or the industry professionals.  If a person had a website or worked as a store clerk they could get in.  Attendance ballooned.  It got very expensive for a publisher to get their message across.

E3 2006 was particularly disastrous.  Rumors abound as to what exactly happened.  The leading rumors put the onus on Sony [a video-game manufacturer] and Electronic Arts [a video-game publisher].  Both had spent a lot of money, but hadn’t been able to attract positive attention to their wares.

Someone had the misguided idea that the only segment that mattered was media.  Select media.  Threats were made to leave the trade organization that ran E3 if it didn’t scale down.

It scaled down, and became a hollow shell.  Something was missing in E3 2007.  There wasn’t much of an exhibition, it didn’t get any word-of-mouth coverage, and it was more expensive than past E3’s for many involved.  E3 2008 was a little bigger, but still wasn’t what everyone involved hoped for.

Why is E3 2009 Special?

June 1st, 2009: the Exhibition is getting back together.  Spectacle!  Excitement!  Private demos of games for invite-only media that will rave about it!  Bright lights!  Big city!  Parties!  Theatres with exclusive trailers being shown!  Booth Babes!  Websites reporting on Booth Babes!  Booth Babe ranking contests on said websites!  Celebrity sightings!  Sunny Los Angeles!  Free T-shirts and bags will logos on them!  Exclamation points!!!!!!!11!!1!!1!!1!

Oh, and maybe there will be a few games.  Although, the same games will likely be playable at PAX a few months later.

E3 Highlights

Keynotes

Fanboys are already getting out their tape measures in anticipation of the keynotes that begin the conference.  A fanboy is a strange kind of Internet creature: they have purchased a device that can play video-games, but they don’t play any games on it.  Instead, they flood the Internet forums and try their best to overreact to every piece of video-game news.  Every objective news article is obviously biased against them.  Anything short of exuding praise is an affront against the console that they happen to own.  They eventually gravitate together and support each other with their trolling, insults, fallacies, and desperate search for articles that hurt the fanboys of rival consoles.  Anything that helps reinforce that they made a good decision about their purchase and the size of their penis.

Kentia Hall

It’s unconfirmed if Kentia Hall will be brought back, though.  In past E3’s [before the dark, dark days of the ‘media-only event’] smaller companies would flock to this hall with their duplication services, eccentric devices, distribution abilities, foreign developer relations, magazines to hand out, peripheral devices to show, video-game school recruiting, and Fatal1ty challenges.  Basically, people that would have been better served by having a booth at the Game Developer Conference than the Electronic Entertainment Exposition.  There weren’t many Booth Babes or spectacle in this densely-packed hall of despair and death.

And yet, Kentia Hall had a certain indelible charm…

Talks and Lectures

There doesn’t seem to be any mention of talks or lectures.  They always seemed awkward at past E3’s due to the diverse attendee population.

Nintendo

They haven’t announced where the Nintendo butt-kissing line will start.  It will be important to wait three [or more] hours in line for that privilege.  Past E3’s this line was used to show off Zelda, Zelda, and the Wii [with Zelda on it!].

E3 Expectations

Are. Through. The. Roof.  And the roof is on FIRE!  Let it burn, let it burn!

Motion Sensing Rumors

There are three video-game manufacturers: Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony.

Nintendo makes the Wii, a video-game console that uses a motion-sensing remote control as input.  Both of the rival companies [Microsoft and Sony] are rumored to reveal their own motion-sensing controllers.  Although, these same rumors were popular last year and failed to materialize.

In fact, Nintendo was so worried about Microsoft announcing a motion-sensing controller, that Nintendo fired off a press release before the Microsoft keynote.  In it they announced an attachment that would make their Wii controler’s motion-sensing actually work correctly.

This move doubly backfired:

1. Microsoft did not make any related announcement that could be upstaged

2. Nintendo admitted that the motion-sensing in their controller didn’t really work that well.

The announced attachment, the Wii Motion Plus, is scheduled to come out after this forthcoming E3 – it’s possible Nintendo might try to announce it again…

Publisher Death Watch Betting Game

There are three less major video-game publishers at E3 2009 than there were at E3 2006.  Not only does it make things more interesting, but it makes the ‘Publisher Death Watch Betting Game’ of previous E3’s much harder. The casualties were:

1. Eidos [Hitman, Tomb Raider] was bought by a UK developer, which renamed the combined entity back to Eidos, and then was recently acquired by Square Enix [Final Fantasy, other games like Final Fantasy].

2. Vivendi Universal [contained the Sierra and Blizzard studios] bought Activision [Call of Duty, Guitar Hero], merged it in, put Activision management in charge, and renamed the combined entity Activision Blizzard.

3. Midway [Mortal Kombat, Gauntlet] is in the middle of bankruptcy reorganizations of some sort.  Isn’t on the current exhibitor list, either.

Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem Forever was promised as the ultimate video-game.  The follow-up to the widely popular video-game Duke Nukem 3D, DNF [as it was abbreviated] was originally unveiled at E3 1999.  It had turned heads at a number of E3 appearances since then.  After a few more E3 appearances, non-appearances, and many rumors it became the joke of the industry.  Vaporware.  Yet, there was always the hope.  The hope, that with every E3, the developer would announce a holiday release.

The developer, 3D Realms just declared bankruptcy this past week.

 

E3 might be back, but, without Duke Nukem Forever, does it even matter?

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NaNo 2008: An Introduction

National Novel Writing Month [or NaNoWriMo, for short] begins Saturday, November 1st.  The idea behind NaNoWriMo is that you are supposed to write a 50000+ word book, from start to finish, during the course of the month.  You can outline/prepare before it begins, but the only words that count are those actually written down during November.

The big positive is that it encourages you to write something.  There is a non-profit that helps ‘organize’ it, there are a bunch of other people in your area with whom you can find mutual motivation, and there is the stress of looking at your word count every day mocking you.  In a haughty voice it mocks you.

The negative is that you are going to write utter crap.  There are special events, themes, word-offs, and such to help get those word counts up.  Writing a cohesive story is the least of a daring writer’s concern.  Only the word count matters!  It’s word count or die.  Let me put it another way: it would even break a mother’s heart to see the sort of drivel that is likely to be turned out by participating ‘writers’.  [ed: which shouldn’t be a problem for the writers of lordpi.com, since that’s the normal quality of writing on this site]

A typical NaNoWriMo will go something like this:

  1. October 31st, 11pm.  Show up, in costume, to Denny’s with laptop.  Don’t have any idea what to write.  One Luddite shows up with a pad of paper and a pencil like its still 1783 or whenever it was before laptops were invented.  Research only serves to limit word count, so it doesn’t really matter what year it was.
  2. The clock strikes midnight.  The fingers begin their divine, dirty work.
  3. Watch as someone next to you writes 2000 words in the time it takes for you do decide what directory to create your word document in.  They’ve gone home, hit the gym, and cleaned their bathroom by the type you’ve settled on the title for the document.  Don’t get me started on their ability to solve the derivatives market through a multi-sided credit-swap that ushers in a new age of peace and prosperity while you’re finishing the title page, headers, and footers.
  4. Anyway, you leave at 2 am tired with one thousand words.  It’s a this point you realize it might have helped to work on the outline in October.  Or even come up with an idea of what to write other than ‘giant robot paranormal romance’.  However, you’ve got a thousand words so you feel pretty good about yourself when you…
  5. wake up at 11:14am the next day.  [ed: this year November 1st is a Saturday, but that is not always the case]  You can always get to writing more later.  I mean, you already have a thousand words!
  6. Three days later you realize that those thousand words you wrote are getting kind of lonely.  You struggle in front of your keyboard for an hour, cranking out a measly 416 more words, and decide to watch Heroes.  Which has really gone downhill since the first season.  Now it is just the Petrelli family drama hour.  It’s almost like a ‘CW soap opera’ now, but the only difference is that the cast of Heroes is not comprised of cute twenty-somethings pretending to be in high school.
  7. You decide it might be a good idea to go to a write-in.  A write-in is where a bunch of NaNo participants sit together, normally in a public place (like a coffee shop, library, or conference room).  The idea is that you might actually write something if there are other people around you writing something (the kickoff above is actually a super-write-in).  So you go online to see where the write-ins are going to happen…
  8. …but they are all in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the day.  It’s like everyone else participating doesn’t have a job and lives out in the country.  You end up finding one you can actually make, but there aren’t any single, hot chicks there.   What the heck?
  9. To make matters worse, you manage to figure out how the Wi-Fi at the write-in’s coffee shop works.  The Internet prevents you from writing more than 217 words in the two hours you spend there.  On the bright side, one of the other writers there has a thousand words less than you, since they only heard of NaNoWriMo a week ago.  It feels good to not be in last place.
  10. Every week an ‘encouragement’ e-mail hits your e-mail inbox.  These are sent by the organizers of NaNoWriMo, and often feature famous, published authors that you’ve never heard of.  People who found eternal fame and success by writing outside of NaNoWriMo.  The messages have a different theme each week: starting well, hitting the 20000 word hump, the home stretch, etc.  Incredulous!  If there is a hump at 20000 words, then that’s going to be a problem — the 2000, 3000, 4000, and upcoming 5000 word humps have been quite troublesome.
  11. Thanksgiving is towards the end of November?  Great…  why didn’t someone tell me that’s when they scheduled it this year?
  12. At some point you’ll write something you’ll regret: a misplaced sentence, an unnecessarily verbose and redundant adjective or sentence clause, or even an entire chapter.  NaNoWriMo guidelines suggest that you do not delete it.  That is correct.  Erasing can come in December when you do not need the extra words.  I like panda bears.  Also, stop using contractions since they only count as one word instead of the two that you could get if you wrote everything out.  Sometimes random sentences also help (see the comment about panda bears above which might not be factually correct, or relevant, or accurate…)
  13. The stress might start to wear on you.  Relax, it is not the end of the world.  Imagine all of the people who have not even started NaNoWriMo.  At least you are possibly beating them at this point.
  14. Still, you will find each new day dreadful.  You are supposed to hit 1333 words/day, but it is impossible to not fall behind.  When you open up your laptop to look at your Word document, read the last page of crap you wrote, calculate how many words/day you need to ‘win’, I’m just going to watch some more Heroes or go to sleep or something…  I can just write harder tomorrow.
  15. You wake up early [or late] on November 30th.  This is it.  Going to sprint as much as possible after work!  I only need 42,879 words.  That’s only like 7000 words/hr.  If work only didn’t require me to stay so late today.
  16. At 9:47pm you set your alarm to ring at 11:55pm.  Nah, 11:50pm.  Then you get to writing.  And it flows and it is so beautiful and … ring! ba-ring! goes your alarm.  Right when you were getting to a really juicy part of describing how soft the rock hard, intangible melons felt between T.R.33V’s firm, but also intangible claws.  The way his vocorder crackled sweet subdivisions in her pert, intangible speakers.  Her gasps of delight were quickly lost under the pleasant hum of her cooling fans turning on.  Um…  But you don’t have time to continue!  Press CTRL+S, take a drink of water to cool down, and get ready for the most important part of NaNoWriMo: the validator.
  17. The validator is used to count a participants words, to judge if they ‘won’ by reaching the 50000+ word goal.  It takes 8 minutes to upload your word document to NaNoWriMo’s validator, but you make it with a minute or two to spare.  The validator tells you that you didn’t win, you didn’t come close to winning, and you need to eat more leafy green vegetables.  It’s basically your doctor without the coughing and the prostate exam.
  18. You might have lost by a large margin, but it feels good to have made that loss official.  Okay, it doesn’t really feel that good, but at least it is all over.
  19. So you tell yourself: ‘Next time!  I’ll get you next time!  I’ll have my revenge!’  Unfortunately, if you are at all like the writers behind lordpi.com, this draws a large number of stares since you just told yourself that aloud at the top of your lungs while in the middle of a coffee shop.
  20. When you wake up the next day there is a strange calm.  The pressure of hitting your 1,333 words isn’t there anymore.  Where the pain used to be is only… nothing.
  21. The only thing left is the TGIO [Thank Goodness It is Over] party a few days into December.  You show up meek and late.  It’s a mixture of people gloating about their 116,874 words before they started a second book in the middle of the month that they almost finished as well with people, like yourself, that didn’t even manage to crack the half-way mark.  Or even the quarter-way mark.  Well… you get the idea.
  22. Then you waste the next eleven months of your life living, breathing, working, eating, swimming, and reading quality Internet websites.
  23. GOTO 1

The staff at lordpi.com wishes y’all the best of luck with your NaNoWriMo endeavor.  At least, they would if there were any staff [ed: there is still no editor for this site] and if they didn’t consider it immoral for people to write works that don’t need to be read.  Which, unfortunately, includes your ‘giant robot paranormal romance’ masterpiece.  Sorry.

Posted in Fiction | Leave a comment

Presidential Planetary Platform

It’s sad how much the presidential candidates (Senator Obama and Senator McCain) have been ignoring the most pressing issue of the election:

Plutoids

Let’s face it, the majority of the people eligible to vote don’t care about taxes, war, drugs, healthcare, sex scandals, abortion, capitol punishment, foreign policy, experience in office, filling supreme court seats, or any of the usual rigmarole that politicians debate.  These are all things that have no measurable effect on our day-to-day lives.  And with our feeble votes, they aren’t the sort of things we have any ability to affect.

We should follow the advice of recovering alcoholics: ‘I don’t remember, I was drunk’.  Well, that or the thing about only worrying about what we can actually affect.

Which brings me back to the real issue of plutoids.  Now, dear reader, I’m sure that both of you are wondering why plutoids are important.  Plutoids mean that everything you were ever taught [in school] was actually a lie.

No, this isn’t about the wishy-washy astronomers and their ‘it’s a planet’, ‘no its not’, ‘its a dwarf planet’, ‘its a plutoid’, ‘plutoids are dwarf planets if they somewhat resemble pluto’, ‘i like cheese’.  And the eternally debated: ”If a ‘dwarf planet’ falls into a black hole, does it make a sound?“ And whether it is more politically correct to refer to dwarf planets as ‘little planets’.  It’s so confusing sometimes.  How do we know that ‘dwarf planets’ are really small and its not that the other planets are too big?  I mean, we refer to some of them as ‘gas giants’.  Although, I’ve heard that term can also be used to describe long-term WoW addicts.

Also, there isn’t really a problem with the invention of the term ‘plutoid’.  The wordovation space is still a nascent industry and that means there are still a lot of syllables to go around [NOTE: lordpi.com is a leading wordovator, having just invented the word ‘wordovator’ and the concept of ‘wordovation’].

The problem is that America is a democracy, and we’re proud of it.  It works.  Sure, the economy might spin out of control, there might be an oil crisis [or two], mortgages might all default, the cost of bananas might rise to $.89/lbs, ‘American Idol’ might be the number one television show of all time, and violence and sex in video games is considered teh worst thing evah.  But it’s better than any of the other systems of government out there.  The two best things about American democracy is that we get free elections – which help in determining our overlords — and that there are multiple, interlocking branches of government – a design which helps prevent anyone from having too much power.  If there wasn’t a legislative branch, the President would just declare every day ‘Wear Cheese as a Hat Day’ and demand a tithe of beautiful young ladies.  Luckily, for those of us who prefer our heads to be cheese-less and our comely, young ladies to be non-sacrificed, we have a legislative branch that might decide to impeach the President if he ever went that far.

Compare this with astronomy.  There isn’t a system of checks and balances in the ‘scientific’ world of astronomers.  They can do whatever they want, wherever they want, and there isn’t anyone who can do anything to oppose them.  Do you even know who your astronomical representative is?  When was the last time that you even had an opportunity to vote?  Were there any Plutians represented on the astronomer’s high council?  What’s to stop them from putting cheese on every planet’s head?  And what horrible plans do they have for our womenfolk?

This is why we need legislative oversight!  We need a President who will make the skies safe for democracy!  Every sentence in this paragraph has to end with an exclamation mark!  Or two!!!

Imagine if this is allowed to continue…  What happens when they decide that moonless planets aren’t planets, but mercuroids?  And then they decide that bodies like hema need to be –oided?  AND WHAT OF THE MOON?  ISN’T IT MADE OF GREEN CHEESE?  WHAT KIND OF SICK VIRGIN-SACRIFICING PLANS DO THEY HAVE FOR IT?!?!?!

It’s not too late.  We can still stop them.  We can still bring JUSTICE and DEMOCRACY to the ‘so called Scientific Community of Astronomy.’  Don’t let the terrarists win.

 

Get involved:

Ask Barack Obama what he will do about the planetary problem.*

Ask Cynthia McKinney what she will do about the planetary problem.*

Ask John McCain what he will do about the planetary problem.*

 

* NOTE: Don’t actually contact any of them.  The astronomers have ‘friends’ in high ‘places’ and they might turn you into a plutoid.  That, and you’d probably… Forget it.  I’m going to get some cheese pizza and wallow in it.

Posted in Truth | Leave a comment

Someone thinks that your occupation is unnecessary, they hate you as a person, and they have had regular sexual relations with one (or both) of your parents.

Two interesting articles appeared on the Internet recently:

Paul Graham’s You Weren’t Meant to Have a Boss and Adam Maxwell’s Opinion: The Case Against Writers In The Game Industry.

Both are interesting opinion pieces.  They are comprised of a combination of facts, observations, cute-little short stories, and bias.  In this regard they aren’t too different from every other article on the Internet.

What makes them similar is that both are targeting a profession and telling them that they shouldn’t be employed.  Paul Graham’s article tries to argue [a number of things, but primarily] that it is contrary to human nature if they are employed in a large company.  There are specific arguments that ‘programmers’ would benefit from founding a startup instead of working for a large company.  Adam Maxwell’s article is telling the game industry that they shouldn’t employ writers, but instead leave the writing responsibility to game designers.

The other way they are similar is that they both received a large amount of feedback within a short period of time.  Negative feedback.  To be honest, the moment I started reading Paul Graham’s article I went and opened Writer to compose an article titled ‘You are completely wrong: A rebuttal of You Weren’t Meant to Have a Boss’.  Whereas, I finished reading Adam Maxwell’s article and thought of posting a comment promoting anti-narrativism and/or ludology.

Still, it is the feedback that is interesting.  Adam Maxwell discovered that the easiest way of getting comments is by disparaging people who write for a living.  The ironic thing is that most of the responses are poorly written.  One comment even accuses the article as being based on a strawman argument.  Huh?

THE WHOLE INTERNET SETS UP THE STRAWMAN ARGUMENT!

If that isn’t clear, let me repeat it without shouting: 103.7% of articles on the Internet set up a Straw Man Argument.  That doesn’t even include the prevalent amount of ad hominem, equivocation, and existential fallacies one finds.  Preliminary estimations place the fallacy rate of the Internet at approximately 3.41 f/kw.*

The high fallacy rate is the primary reason that rational debate is impossible on the Internet.  At least in person you have more options since you can always beat up the opposition if their representatives happen to be weaker than you.  That lack of that luxury is probably the worst thing about the Internet.

If rational debate was possible, lordpi.com could provide argument for/against both aforementioned articles.  Instead of reading how the Internet is horribly flawed due to its lack of interpersonal, physical contact you, our dear readers, would instead be reading how every mortal person was meant to have a boss.  In fact, most immortal people also have a boss.  If you didn’t have a boss then you’d be a god of some kind.  Is that what Paul Graham thinks?  That he’s some sort of immortal, spiritual force that we should all revere, sacrifice rams to, and inundate with hot, sexy virgins?  We at lordpi.com don’t know much about him, but, to be fair, who wouldn’t want to be inundated with hot, sexy virgins?

Also, if rational debate was possible, then you, our dear readers, would be provided with a reasoned argument supporting certain aspects of Adam Maxwell’s article and discarding the unnecessary points that he added that only confuse the issue.  The result would be hundreds of angry comments in response to this article.  And each would be filled with fallacies.

To summarize: yes, everyone else on the Internet is wrong because you want them to be.  Whatever narrow perspective of the world you grew up with (appeal to belief) or would best benefit your penis (wishful thinking) must be true.  If you don’t have a male member at your disposal, I apologize.

* NOTE: lordpi.com would prefer if it was closer to pi, but there is no use arguing with scientific measurements**.
** NOTE: This does not and should not imply that at any point in time a scientific measurement has ever been made or attempted by lordpi.com.

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Halo Map Packs

The ‘Legendary Map Pack’ comes out soon (April 15th) for Halo 3.  The third map, ‘Blackout‘, was just revealed to be a remake of the Halo 2 map Lockout.

Now, I love the Bungie guys as much as anyone, but I’m seeing a disturbing trend.  Most of the maps that they release are refreshes or remakes or inspirations from maps in their previous games.

In some ways it is like high concept films in Hollywood: it’s "Spider-man 3" meets "Sleepless in Seattle" with Tom Cruise attached.  [English translation: I have no idea what I’m talking about, but I like money and I’ll sleep with you to advance my career]

The problem isn’t just the high concept nature of the recent Halo 3 Map Pack maps, but how many of them seem to be remakes of past maps.  It is one thing to remake ‘Blood Gulch’ with each release.  However, it was kind of odd that Halo 3 shipped with a remake of ‘Zanzibar’ from Halo 2 (along with a bunch of other ‘inspired by’ maps).  And now I’m worried that Bungie has started down a slope that is both slippery and sloped.

At their current rate, the next Map Pack for Halo 3 (assuming there is one) will contain a remake of an existing Halo 3 map:

The first map in the Iron Skull Map Pack for Halo 3 is ‘Snowunbound.’  Snowunbound is a remake of ‘Snowbound’ from Halo 3 but with mancannons and a Forerunner theme.  [English translation: I have no idea what I’m talking about, but I like money and I’ll sleep with you to advance my career]

You can see where this is going.  Soon there will be Map Packs for Halo 3 (assuming there are more) that contain remakes of Halo 3 maps that ship in the same Map Pack:

The third map in the Grunt Love Map Pack for Halo 3 is ‘Dustblast.’  Dustblast is a remake of ‘Dirtblast’, the first map in the Grunt Love Map Pack for Halo 3, but with mancannons and a Forerunner theme.  [English translation: I once rode my bicycle to the mall and ate an Orange Julius.  Merry Christmas]

Of course, then it’ll get really weird, and there will be a Map Pack for Halo 3 (assuming there is one) that contains a remake of a Halo 4 map (assuming there is a Halo 4) before the latter game comes out!

The second map in the Banshee vs Hornet Map Pack for Halo 3 is ‘Gyrotime.’  Gyrotime is a remake of ‘Laserspace’ from the forthcoming Halo 4 game.  But without mancannons and a non-Forerunner theme.  [English translation: it’s the normal version of the map]

Although, what will really blow everyone’s mind is when they make a map in a future map pack (assuming there is one) that was the inspiration for a map that has already shipped in the original Halo game.

The first map in the Gravemind to the Max! Map Pack for Halo 3 is ‘Boarding Mancannon’.  Boarding Mancannon is the inspiration for ‘Boarding Action’ that shipped in Halo: Combat Evolved six+ years ago.  But with mancannons and a Forerunner theme.  [English translation: GWAHahaaaaAaa]

In conclusion: I’m still going to download them all if I’m not too busy playing Grand Theft Auto IV’s Xbox 360-exclusive downloadable content.

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How-to Procrastinate

If you are reading this article, there is a good chance that you are trying to procrastinate.  At lordpi.com, our goal is to help our dear readers enjoy their precious vices without those troublesome feelings of guilt and regret.

Procrastination is often treated as a pejorative.  Which is unfortunate, since it is one of the Seven Writer Skills (NOTE: the capitalization is used to make that seem important.  I would have put a trademark emblem, but I’m too lazy to bother working with the USPTO to get a trademark on it.  Even if I did, it’d be expensive and then I’d have to defend it.  sigh)

The Seven Writer Skills are the various skills that a writer needs to use when they want to write something: procrastinate, dream, study, seduce, disguise, understand, and write.  In many ways they are similar to the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues — since there are seven of them.  (Hello, Captain Obvious)  Another way in which they are similar is that they also have an archenemy: the Seven Enemies-of-Writers-Everywhere Obstacles.  Yes, it is a stupid name, but they hate writers so there isn’t anyone who can write them a better one.

The Obstacles’s are: bliss, love, time, the wall of unknowing, rational thought, women, and fear.  Most of which are the awesome things that make our continued existence possible.  Hrmm… maybe human society would be better off without evil writers and their irrational hatred of love/peace/women/walls.   As proof, look how much we are all presently enjoying a television schedule that consists of nothing but reality and game shows.  [NOTE: this joke makes more sense during a writer’s strike]

Anyway, procrastination doesn’t help if there is a pending deadline, but otherwise it is an important skill to have.  (see the majority of this article as evidence for/against the proceeding sentence)  Which leads to the question that I’m sure many dear readers are asking:

Dear lordpi.com,

I’ve managed to avoid all of those obstacles (I’m a time-traveling despot with a giant smarty-head; my brainwaves have disabled my fear glands [ed: there are no such things as fear glands and neither is there an editor] and project inaudible sounds that make women nauseous when in my presence), but I seem to spend all of my time making powerful, thought-provoking works that will change society for the better.  lordpi.com, can you help me?

WRITES TOO FREELY

To which the normal response would be:

WTF,

I hate you.  Please give me back my underwear.

lordpi.com

Rude?  Yes.  Drafty?  More so.

Anyway, if you have bothered to read this far then you must be incredibly bored.  Sorry.  As a reward, here’s actual, helpful (!) advice that will let you correctly apply procrastination in order to make your life better:

  1. Have something you need to do.  Let’s call it Task Awesome.  It’s helpful if there is a deadline for completing it.
  2. Imagine how much better your life would be if you were to complete your task.
    1. If your life won’t actually be better (and your task won’t make society better), then question why you really want to complete the task.  It might be better to forget about it and go out and get a slice of key lime pie.
  3. Think of a nice reward you can give yourself upon the task’s completion.  Key lime pie always works — except when it doesn’t.
  4. Break down the task into small steps.  Or, at least, figure out what the next step is.
  5. Is there anything you don’t know about the task?  Add a step to research anything you don’t know.
    1. If you don’t know how to research what you don’t know, add a step to research how to research what you don’t know.
      1. If you don’t know how to research the research you will need to do to research what you don’t know… stop.  Ow.  My head hurts.
  6. Are you blocked on anyone else?  Let them know, but be polite.  And don’t leave thirty-seven messages on their voicemail — that doesn’t help.  She’s not going to call you back.  Besides, it was only two dates, so you can’t really be that obsessed with her.  No, her machine isn’t broken and she got your message: if anyone didn’t get the message it is you, buddy.
  7. If you feel overwhelmed:
    1. Take a moment to take a deep breath and relax.  Don’t stress about it.  Either it will happen or it won’t.  Life will go on if no one’s life is at stake.
    2. Chocolate covered unicorns.
  8. Now, think of a different task that you really have to get started on.  Let’s call it Task X.  Preferably something more important and more urgent.  It’s overwhelming, isn’t it?  Yet, you keep putting it off.  Every day you wake up, struggle to get out of bed, barely living morning-to-night, friendless and alone, and hating yourself.  It’s easier to go back to sleep for a few minutes than look at yourself in the mirror.  It’s probably an impossible task as well.  Only an idiot would keep thinking that it is possible, but you are too stupid to give up.  If you give up than you would be a failure and a loser, but if you keep putting it off than at least you are only an idiot and a loser.  This is where procrastination is your friend!  Rather than work towards completing Task X, you can use your procrastination to motivate you towards working on Task Awesome!

Wow, it’s so easy, anyone can do it!  Don’t forget to give a ‘shout out’ to lordpi.com when you procrastinate your way to finishing your Great American Novel!

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