Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of 2016

The 1960's bragged about being the weirdest decade ever that no one could ever top and 2016 went, "Hold my beer."

I am very glad 2016 is over. May a year as weird and off putting not grace our age again for some time.

Friday, December 30, 2016


2016: The year where even Vulcans could understand the word, "Fuck."

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Con Logic

A convention needs leaders:

Person 1: "I have several years of experience in this position performing this task on both a larger and smaller scale than you currently require."

Person 2: "I have no experience at this at all."

Person 2 gets the position. CON LOGIC.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016


Where does a mouse keep it's valuables?

In a Swiss bank.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


I dislike MRA's because they are dominated by a bunch of whiny cry babies. Too much blaming other people and not enough personal responsibility. This is the same reason I dislike other groups and I make no exception for them just because I'm also male.

I can understand the point some MRA's make when they highlight injustice and inequality. However, I feel that many of their solutions rely too much on the "there should be a law" school of thought rather than "we should strive to be better people." Legislation is a lazy (and usually ineffective) solution to societal issues.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Forum Memories

Many years ago, I was on an Internet forum. I was very active on it, even got promoted to moderator. I was one of the popular members, who everyone knew and liked discussing things with.

But, as time went on, I had arguments with the owner and others. I was one who liked to argue and discuss matters, while they preferred to leave their sacred cows untouched and unchallenged. There was a falling out. Eventually I was banned. (Along with several other very popular members with similar attitudes.)

There was outcry. The defense was, "Hey, it's his forum, he can do what he wants with it." True! That was the case. If he didn't want me or others on his forum, he could indeed ban us for any reason he chose. And he chose to give none, just a dismissal.

Shortly thereafter, the forum died of attrition as the average poster decided they didn't want to hang around a place where people were banned arbitrarily with no explanations. They left, moving on to other forums. Today, that place isn't even online anymore, dead to the world. His legacy is a dead website and shattered social network.

Moral of the story: Just because you can do what you want with what you own, doesn't mean you should. Bad choices can kill off the very thing you're trying to preserve.

Friday, December 16, 2016


I am like a zombie when it comes to my tastes in a significant other.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"Everyone Knows"

The way to manipulate the majority is not through direct and overt convincing of a point, but to shape the background noise of their life. If the media they consume, stories that they hear, and rumors that are spread generally conform to a certain set of assumptions, those beliefs will gradually become accepted by the average person at least in a fuzzy sense. Keep it up long enough and things that challenge those assumptions will be seen as increasingly ludicrous - even if those challenges are the truth itself.

Specific historical examples: Japan's educational system during the Meiji restoration, which trained millions of youths that Japanese were racially superior to other Asians and Japan's manifest destiny to rule the Pacific; Mao's spread of communism after driving out the GMD from mainland China; and, the Catholic Church in medieval times.

This is why appeals to popularity are invalid arguments. "Everyone knows" is not a basis of fact; in fact, as history shows, what "everyone knows" is frequently wrong. (A corollary is that just because something is widely held doesn't make it wrong by necessity - it only increases the likelihood.) Skepticism should increase the more people seem to assume a fundamental principle without evidence. Demand proof, not popularity.

For example, one reason I like the Bill Nye and Ken Hamm debate on evolution is that Nye was able to make his case without a resort to popularity. He didn't have to say "but everyone knows this." He came in with facts, math, and logical arguments that showed why evolution has earned its place as the dominant theory. Evolution isn't true because a majority of scientists subscribe to it; a majority of scientists accept it because it has the evidence to back it up.

Contrast that positive example with a lot of what passes for arguments these days. "Everyone knows that this viewpoint means you're a nut," "everyone knows that no religion makes you evil," or "everyone knows that government does what's best." Hoyt coined the phrase "Argument by posturing." I think that's a good way to describe the attitude underlying those who use this kind of tactic to marginalize others.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Frank Cho

Frank Cho's take down of the people screaming over his art is wonderful. His "Outrage!" Spider-Gwen should go down as one of the great satirical memes. We need more artists willing to stand up to the empty shrieking heads who claim to act out of "decency" or other such claptrap.

I feel we're on the cusp of another Wertham the way things are going. Artists like Cho, who defy calls to conform, will help stop that.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016


If you made running shoes from the skin of a Slowbro, would they be walking shoes?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Irregular at Magic High School

I enjoyed "Irregular at Magic High School" thoroughly.

The soundtrack is amazing. I love several of the background tracks, which rely heavily on EDM. The animation is also gorgeous. The visuals on magic are some of the best I've seen. 

Storywise, the world is fascinating and the way it approaches magic - an application of math that influences reality's foundations to trigger physical phenomenon - is a lot of fun. I really enjoyed how the author put thought into this system and innovation: shortly after introducing gravity controlling flight magic, for example, he immediately takes it to the next step of fusion reactions through gravity control. Brilliant science fiction.

One thing I liked is that while it has a lot of talking, which I normally find boring, the dialogue is good enough to hold my interest. A common complaint about is the gobs of techno-babble it uses to explain other techno-babble. Personally, I like those bits (probably my Star Trek background coming in). The explanations also make sense in the context given with some gap-filling on the part of the viewer.

A large chunk of the characters are actually interesting! I found Tatsuya a very refreshing male lead. He gets criticized as being overpowered, but I see him as very similar to Alucard in Hellsing: immense power that came at the cost of his identity, making him a tragic figure. I like that he always decides by reason and logic instead of emotion. He's the polar opposite of the inept but hot blooded hero so much anime has. He's careful and calculating even in the smallest thing. That he has such amazing rational capacity makes all of his accomplishments seem plausible and avoids Gary Stu status.

While the male lead does have romantic interests from some of the female cast, not all of them are enamored with him. There are several other pairings, helping the show avoid the harem trope of SAO.

My main critiques are aimed at the last arc, "Yokohama Disturbance." It felt rushed, especially the fight scenes. We get major revelations about Tatsuya, but the exposition seems too short. I understand his powers are basically all creative applications of a single skill, but the show doesn't tie it all together as well as it could

I am fine with Tatsuya being exceptionally powerful, but it felt his classmates, who are supposed to be more average, were comparatively too strong. One of the bad guys that gets built up as a true threat is taken down twice by high school kids in short conflicts. It was very underwhelming. The fights needed to be longer to justify the outcomes as the result of struggle and hardship to defeat a superior foe. As is, none of the villains ever came off as truly a danger, which undermined the tension. Tatsuya curb stomping someone is fun, but when everyone is brushing off battles with just a few bruises, it makes him seem weaker.

I'm hoping for a second season, since the novels are ongoing. One of my hopes is that we see Tatsuya have a match at some point. One of the rules for being incredibly powerful is that you're rarely unique - or others learn how to deal with you over time. It'll be good to see him have to deal with that in the future.

Overall, the series is worth watching, at least for the first few episodes. The last arc is sadly a bit rushed compared to the rest and feels poorly constructed. It's a definite "Your mileage may vary" series. I recommend the series, on Netflix subbed only, for anyone who likes their magic to be more science based.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Last Month of 2016

2016 continues to ratchet up the kicks to the groin each month. I half expect December to have some kind of extinction level event.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Feedback Sources

That feeling when you spend time crafting carefully considered comments to prompt improvements - and are completely ignored for no reason other than not being in the "inner circle."

Remember, if you aren't open to feedback from myriad sources (regardless of their relation to you socially), your organization will languish and expire.

Friday, December 2, 2016


You know you're a teacher when you spend more at the math conference than the anime convention.