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Archives for General

castro 2

Castro has been my favorite podcast app for years. Podcast apps generally have the same basic functionality, and Castro didn’t do anything particularly special in that regard; instead, it presented an environment where I wanted to spend time. When I’m using the podcast app, I am, of course, spending most of my time listening to […]

summer 2016 status

Or: nagging annoyances from the start of the summer that I hadn’t gotten around to blogging about. Probably everything here deserves its own post, but I’ll just get this summary out now to unblock myself. Because I would like to get writing again a little more regularly. And part of the reason why I hadn’t […]

deus ex go

I basically enjoyed Deus Ex Go in the same way that I enjoyed Lara Croft Go: well-done puzzles, putting together a few elements in ways that are straightforwardly entertaining at the start but surprisingly difficult at the end, even though the levels are deterministic and only have a few dozen spaces. This game is a […]

our glorious health care system

I’ve been getting tired of my allergies recently (or, rather, getting tired of being made tired by my allergies), so after talking to my doctor, I made an appointment with an allergy specialist. That specialist gave me suggestions for different drugs to try, and also thought that allergy shots might make sense; but if I’m […]

tai chi, attention, and pain

I started taking Tai Chi lessons this fall, from Master Tony Wong, and it’s been a very interesting experience indeed. I’ve been getting more curious recently about small decisions, and about paying attention to my fundamental reactions to experiences; Tai Chi gives a lot of material to think about on both fronts. Over the three […]

read my linkblog!

A periodic reminder: this isn’t my only blog: I also have a linkblog, http://links.malvasiabianca.org. I cap posts there at four a day (unless I mess up), and most days there aren’t that many posts. Heck, probably most days I don’t post anything there, though I certainly post there more often than here! And then there’s […]

more on small business models

Some items feeding into each other that I ran across last Friday:   StartUp episode #16: The Secret Formula In the first season of StartUp, one of the possible routes that they considered taking is the traditional VC strategy of getting a large audience by making lots of stuff, trying to build a large and […]

attention, joy, connection, and life

I reread The Nature of Order this summer and fall, and I’ve already talked about how the second volume, The Process of Creating Life, has a lot to teach me about to teach me about writing software. The final volume, The Luminous Ground, is more fundamental, more basic, in a mystical way. It’s explicit about […]

unpleasant web sites

I’ve come slowly to the whole ad-blocker debate: all things being equal, I’m not an active fan of ads, but I accept them as a possible way for writers to get paid, and most of the time they’re not that bad. Sometimes, they do cross the line for me—I really don’t like the “around the […]

games, prices, value, and uncertainty

Earlier this summer, I talked about the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter; I wanted to expand on my approach to questions like that. In general, the price of a game (or of any product!) will be somewhere between how much it costs to develop, produce, and sell the product, and how much value people get from the […]

office chairs and grounding

One thing writing about Pamplemousse made me wonder about: I feel better sitting there than at work, but the chair isn’t the sort of chair that I would normally actively think of as a comfortable chair. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s a perfectly nice chair, it’s just nice in a quiet, unassuming, and not super-padded […]

wholeness

About once a week, on my way into work, I stop at Pamplemousse to have their “French Breakfast”. That’s a picture of it above: it’s just a sliced, warmed-up baguette, with butter and jam. And it’s my favorite part of my weekly commute routine. There are lots of little things I like about it. The […]

the shenmue 3 kickstarter

I’ve been surprised at how much negative reaction to the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter has appeared in my twitter feed. Maybe not so much in the quantity of the reaction as the tone: it seems like the Kickstarter is a flashpoint in a culture war, while I don’t really understand why there has to be a […]

patronage

In Episode 34 of the Exponent podcast, Ben Thompson talked about the process of starting his blog and turning it into a substantial business. (The discussion starts around 18 minutes in.) It’s an interesting counterpoint to all of the recent discussions of how to turn video game criticism blogging into a business: so many people […]

shoes

About six years ago, my feet started hurting, enough that I went to see a doctor. He didn’t find anything particularly wrong with me, so he suggested some inserts for me to use; my memory is that that generally fixed things, but it also got me a little more actively curious about shoes and walking. […]

amazon and pull systems

Nine years ago, I was thinking about how Amazon Prime enables a more lean approach towards purchasing: if you that you can get whatever you want in two days, then you don’t have to buy things until you need them. For example, I can take a kanban approach towards book buying: if I don’t read […]

unsolicited advice

If you have your Twitter client configured to use a third-party link shortener, get rid of that configuration: if I see a link in your tweet, I want to have an idea about where the link might lead before clicking on it. And if you are using a third party link shortener that directs to […]

systems of survival

I’d been feeling insufficiently empathetic recently, like there are a lot of people out there whose belief systems are alien to me; so I decided that it was time to reread Jane Jacobs’s Systems of Survival. It’s an interesting book: its thesis is that, while there are certain concepts that show up more or less […]

widget!

We’ve been without dogs for almost three years now; Yosha and Zippy were wonderful, but we wanted a bit of space. Not too much space, though: we knew that we’d be getting another dog or two in a few years, it was only a question of when. Last winter, we took advantage of of not […]

trying to make sense of the apple watch

Apple showed off the Apple Watch last month; they were the first company to really figure out smartphones, they were the first company to really figure out tablets, so are they going to do the same with smart watches? And, if so, what does that mean? We’re obviously quite some distance away from knowing the […]