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Advancement January 02nd, 2009

The supercomputer was huge, taking up about 6,000 square feet. Officially, it was under the joint supervision of four of us, but it was the summer, and with one of my colleagues on maternity leave, another on sabbatical, and the third preparing for retirement, I effectively had the run of the place. Our ...

The Economics of Charity Exhaustion January 01st, 2009

As faithful readers of this blog might note, there have been more posts lately than usual. I’ve been going through all of the unfinished posts, some of which had a few paragraphs written, some with a sentence or two, and some nearly finished. This one only had a title, based on some thought ...

The Industrial Society and its Future, pt. 3 December 30th, 2008

First part, second part. 3) Is technology making us less human? I’ve put off writing this part for a long time, because this question has another underlying question to it, which is “What does it mean to be human?”. There’s another reason too – this is probably the strongest argument against the proliferation of technology. We are ...

Instituting Total Surveillance December 30th, 2008

The biggest problem with a police state is getting it up and running without people complaining. Here is the solution. Imagine the work involved in setting up a surveillance system in a small city. You would have to install cameras on the street corners, and run cable into the grid so that they could ...

Threats to the Nation December 13th, 2008

We were talking in class today about the threat that artificial intelligence might pose to the world, and I’m pretty firmly of the opinion that it absolutely doesn’t matter. This is mostly because of what I know about nuclear weapons escalation. The Russians and the Americans kept building bigger and more destructive bombs. The ...

In Defense of Nuclear Weapons December 08th, 2008

The only way to win a nuclear war is to not start one. Now, it is my basic belief that the world leaders know this. In the history of nuclear weaponry, only two have been used in an offensive capacity. Those two were obviously “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”, used at the end of ...

Understanding workforce December 07th, 2008

One hundred years ago 60% of the American workforce worked on a farm.  Today, it’s .6%.  One hundred years ago, there were scientists who openly questioned the existence of the atom.  Forty years later it was weaponized, and ten years after that started being used as a source of power.  The last hundred years have ...

The Industrial Society and its Future, pt. 2 December 04th, 2008

Continued from this post. 2) Prosperity: Does technology make us more prosperous? Is this prosperity evenly distributed among people, or does it make some of us richer while making others poorer? First, I think I need to debunk a claim that I hear a lot.  It goes like this; while the standard of living has risen ...

Narrative Structures in Games: With Pictures! April 09th, 2008

Alright, this is part of the below post, but with handy-dandy pictures for explanation: To the left is a picture of a linear narrative in a game. The circles represent plot points, and the lines show the flow from one plot point to the other. Depending on the game, a plot point might be ...

Problems in Gaming Narratives April 08th, 2008

I had a meeting today with the English department at my college. We talked about narratives in games (which wasn’t the focus of the meeting, but that’s fine), and my blog is obviously a place for me to be eloquent after the fact, so here goes. Take the example of the narrative story in chess: ...

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