Friday, September 30, 2016


If Nietzsche were a white rapper, would he philosophize with a "STOP! HAMMER TIME?"

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Presidential Qualifiers

Saying someone is qualified to be president because they've been in politics a long time is like arguing that stool that's been in your bowels a long time is qualified to be your brain.

Morality of Actions and Actors

The morality of an act is independent of the actor or their affiliations. If a serial killer provides food to a starving man, he has committed a moral act. If a philanthropist murders a man in cold blood, he has committed an immoral act. The action itself must be judged on its own. However, when judging the worth of the actor, then these previous behaviors can be accounted for.

I see a lot of people responding to critiques of actions as though they were critiques of actors and vice versa. It makes discussions difficult.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Debate Style

Political analysis post. No sides taken, just analysis. Topic: debate style.

Hillary will be the usual. I don't expect she'll do anything out of the ordinary. She'll have the usual set of one liners and a phrase she repeats a lot. Standard stuff we've seen a dozen times before.

Trump has basically two approaches, which makes him more interesting to discuss: he can choose to go the typical politician route and try and appear more traditionally presidential OR he can double down on the bombast, slamming and insulting and never stopping.

In the past, when he's had this choice, he has always chosen the latter. Despite it being low on content or substance, this has had no small amount of success for him. It got him the nomination and he's coming into this debate with Hillary's formerly double digit leads in multiple swing states now barely there at all. At the same time, there are limits to how far you can get on bravado alone. He needs to put more substance out there and being churlish doesn't do that.

Another factor: pretty much no matter what he says, he will be depicted as a bad guy. Any challenge to Hillary will be label misogynist (regardless of whether it actually is). If he goes a calmer route, he'll still be labeled a mad man by the press at large. The gains from it are therefore minimal. It's probably why he's chosen to adopt such an over the top persona to begin with. It's a question of how much of that we'll see.

So, does he try and increase his voter pool by doing a face turn to appear more palatable or does he own the role of the heel to keep the energy and momentum going? It'll be an interesting choice.

Not a Puppy Mill

"I'm going to start a dog farm."

"A puppy mill? That's horrible!"

"What? No! What kind of monster do you think I am?"

"Oh, phew. What will it be, then?"

"I'm going to breed them for eating."

Dystopia Brainstorm

An old post I made back in 2015:

"I want to create a dystopia. But I'm not sure what kind. Cyberpunk mega-Corp is boring and too overdone from the 80's and 90's, so that's out. There's failed scientifically planned utopia, hedonistic gilded cage, authoritarian nightmare, psychologically manipulative shadow cabal...

"I'm trying to think of one that isn't done a lot."

 We ended up settling on "What if Tumblr ran a country." It makes people cringe every time we say it.

Friday, September 23, 2016


When the cheese maker was berated by his wife, he said simply: "Am I not gouda 'nuff for you?"

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

Why Don't you Obey the Law?

I like the sarcastic "Why don't you obey the law?" memes. However, let's avoid the Nazi and Communist ones - no reason to Godwinize things before they start. There are plenty of other historical examples of government run amok: Jim Crow, Prohibition, Japanese Internment, etc. It's more fun to be snarky when you also demonstrate a broader range of knowledge than "Nazis were evil."

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Math in Narnia

In Narnia, the shortest distance between two points is a lion.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Ice Cream Adulting

Being an adult means having a car with which you can hunt down an ice cream truck if it dares drive past you without stopping.

Friday, September 16, 2016


Forget Goku vs. Superman. I want to see Luffy vs. Plastic Man.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Trump supporters and Hillary supporters are in the same bucket. And it's labeled something much more offensive than "deplorable."

Email Leaks

A political leader having their email hacked and leaked is essentially the same as what they've authorized the NSA to do to us. Yet we're supposed to feel safe with the latter and horrified by the former.

We should be grateful to the hackers who have given us the transparency we deserve that the media denies us regularly.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Time Travel Data

How much data is there on time travel?

1.21 gigabytes!

Convention Logistics: GM Badges

Why give GM badges at a con? Man hours.

I typically requires 8 hours of game running for 1 badge (2 four hour sessions). The typical game has an 8 person limit. So 16 people, each getting 4 hours, for 64 man hours of content provided for 1 badge.

A typical panelist will do a 1 hour panel for a badge. They would need 64 people there to do the equivalent of a GM. Some panelists do more (I've run 3 hour workshops for 100+), some do less. A typical range is 50-100 man hours of entertainment for a single panelist badge. However, this ratio decreases when you add co-panelists. If you have 2, then it's 25-50. If you have as many as 4 panelists, then it's 16-25 man hours per badge.

GM'S provide the same average level of man hour entertainment for a con as a panelist. That's why you should always compensate them similarly.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mulan Live Action

If they do a live action Mulan, I'd love to see Ming-na Wen play Mulan's mother.

I just hope they don't cast Tilda Swinton or Scarlet Johansen as the lead!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11 Flashback - 15 Years Later

It was my sophomore year of college at WPI. (The year I had a 4.0 GPA - a good year, all things considered.) I was commuting to school. The car radio wasn't on when I was driving to school that morning, so when I got on campus I hadn't heard anything going in. I was in class, Cell Biology with Professor Adams (awesome guy), from 9 - 10 AM.

I came out and went straight to Olin Hall, 3rd floor, to the Alpha Phi Omega office. We had a meeting of the membership committee then. I waited ~15 minutes before the head of the committee came in and said, "Didn't you hear what happened?"

We turned on the TV in the APO office. It was antenna, so we could only get local stations. On Channel 5 (ABC), I watched the towers fall live on TV. I also heard of the strike on the Pentagon.

We left the office to find a better TV. We went to the lounge in another building (my memory fails me on which) and watched more. This is when I heard about the crash in Pennsylvania. A guy freaked out, "They're coming to get me! They're coming to get me!" A professor asked him to be quiet and he settled down.

I went to the campus center, sat with fellow Wedge Rats in the OctoWedge to watch the big screen. I found out classes were canceled. Called my parents. Went home. I skipped the memorials on campus - I wanted to be with my parents.

Friday, September 9, 2016


Don't you hate it when you're making an argumentative point about US History and you get your Presidents mixed up?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

RIP Phyllis Schafly

“My opponent says a woman’s place is in the home. But my husband replies, a woman’s place is in the House — the U.S. House of Representatives.” - Phyllis Schafly, 1970

Phyllis Schafly is where the "A woman's place is in the House" slogan comes from. She used the quip when running as a Republican for Congress against her male Democrat opponent who had told her, essentially, to get back in the kitchen. She passed away Monday 9/5 at the age of 92.

When she began political commentary, there were few if any female voices. Hers would emerge as one of the biggest of the 20th century, including brilliant take downs of Rockefeller Republicans and a wonderful critique of Kissinger's foreign policies. While some debated the merits of lipstick, she wrote of ICBM's and the Cold War. She helped defeat the poorly worded and hastily designed ERA, which, among other flaws, would have ended the female exemption to the draft during Vietnam. Who knows how many mothers, sisters, and daughters would have been lost if that had passed?

She was a powerful female voice of the 60's and 70's that paved the way for later generations of women in political commentary on both sides of the aisle. A brilliant mind and gifted writer, even if you didn't agree with what she said.

Friday, September 2, 2016


On good days, I feel like a character from a Robert Heinlein novel.

Bad days? Kurt Vonnegut.