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Archives for General

insect stings

I first got stung by a bee (or yellow jacket or wasp or something) at a math camp when I was 16 yearrs old. I remember thinking, “Oh, I’ve never been stung before, I guess that’s what it feels like! I wonder if I’m allergic?”, and then five or ten minutes later, no longer having […]

current status

I am, fortunately, doing much better than I was a month ago. The leg/back problems have improved a lot: shortly after writing that post, I went on a nine-day course of steroids, and those had an immediate huge effect. I do indeed have a pinched nerve, and have an MRI to prove it; it was […]

false equivalence and maintenance of privilege

On Sunday, the New York Times wrote an article about Michael Brown saying, among other things: Michael Brown, 18, due to be buried on Monday, was no angel, with public records and interviews with friends and family revealing both problems and promise in his young life. Shortly before his encounter with Officer Wilson, the police […]

energy and pain

I haven’t written here much recently; and I haven’t been working on my recent programming project, either. That’s not a sign that there’s something else that’s grabbing me: I just haven’t had energy during the evenings for about two months now. So it’s been easiest just to read blog posts or watch TV or play […]

brenda romero: jiro dreams of game design

It’s months since GDC, and I’m still trying to unpack my feelings about Brenda Romero’s Jiro Dreams of Game Design talk. Or maybe not so much my feelings about it—it’s an excellent talk, no question—but my emotional reactions to it. Her talk confronts concepts that I care about (greatness, team structure, creation) in contexts that […]

men, women, programming, culture

So, a couple of weeks ago, a prominent programmer / writer wrote a post whose driving metaphor was: frameworks are bad because it’s like one woman having many men sexually subservient to her, whereas the way things should be is for one man to have many women sexually subservient to him. People complained, he apologized […]

blank screen starting octgn in wine

I set up OCTGN on Wine on a new computer in preparation for this week’s VGHVI session; I was following these helpful instructions, which have worked for me in the past. Unfortunately, I ran into a weird problem: OCTGN would start with its normal “Loading OCTGN” screen, but then instead of showing me the normal […]

the wind rises

The Wind Rises is, I suspect, a very good movie; I won’t end up loving it in the same way as Spirited Away, but I probably will end up loving it more than Miyazaki’s films since that one, and the fact that it takes a less fantastical approach to its subject matter of course comes […]

kickstarters i’m waiting for

Here’s a list of Kickstarters (plus one GoFundMe) I’m waiting for: One small outlier and one huge outlier. The Urban Tarot guy (“Estimated delivery: Dec 2012″) sends regular updates with new pieces of art, the art continues to look gorgeous, I’m still looking forward to that. And Hadean Lands was funded long enough ago that […]

games and copyright

John Walker’s editorial in Rock Paper Shotgun on “Why Games Should Enter The Public Domain” was going around my Twitter feed the other day, frequently coupled with Steve Gaynor’s response. And what I appreciate about both of them is the pragmatic tack that they take: I think that the U.S. Constitution has it right by […]

this week in v.c. biases

When I suggested three days ago that perhaps venture capitalists didn’t have superhuman powers to avoid bias by following the smell of money, I wasn’t expecting this gem from Tom Perkins: Regarding your editorial “Censors on Campus” (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels […]

that paul graham interview

So, there was this Paul Graham interview going around recently. Which was originally behind a paywall, so the link that got passed around was from Valleywag; I wondered how much they might be quoting out of context (which is what Graham claimed), but looking at the full text and The Information’s explanation, it seems not? […]

possessiveness and cliques

There was a post called “On cliques” going around a month and a half that I meant to talk about at the time but never got around to; it’s about somebody feeling ostracized by “big names” at a party because they were talking to each other instead of talking to him, and about his subsequent […]

social norms and market norms at work

Reading Predictably Irrational got me thinking again about workplace organization: in particular, the extent to which companies try to set up the employer/employee relationship as a primarily social relationship instead of as a primarily market-driven relationship. And, of course, it’s both: work involves people interacting together over a long period of time, but work also […]

netrunner, systems thinking, rule sets, cynicism

I play a lot of Android: Netrunner at work; other board games, too, but Netrunner is the one that’s sunk its teeth into me most deeply. I mostly play over lunch, but sometimes I play at other times, and occasionally those lunches get pretty long; this makes me wonder: is there any way I can […]

at&t update

Last month, I switched back to AT&T after a brief, bad experience with T-Mobile, but I didn’t feel great about it, among other things because AT&T was charging me phone subsidy rates for phones we’d long since paid off. But, as it turned out, a couple of weeks after that, they changed their data plans […]

my t-mobile experience

I’m honestly not entirely sure why I’m writing this post: the fact that large corporations suck is not a surprise to anybody, and neither is the fact that large corporations try to coat themselves in a veneer of human interactions and come off looking even worse once you get beneath that veneer. Still, venting can […]

structure within teams

Since my role shift at work, I’ve been thinking about teams: partly being surprised by my reactions to some interactions, partly thinking about ways in which my instincts are a bad fit for some aspects of our house style. And three questions about organizational team structure (in general, not about my current job) that I’ve […]

earning, spending, and saving

I’ve been thinking about earning, spending, and saving money more than normal recently. Part of this is getting older in a young person’s industry while having my employment be more contingent than normal over the last year; part of it is the lure of riches that the startup dream dangles in front of you; part […]

dead blogs

Like many other people, I switched to Feedly as my Google Reader replacement. The import worked well; as part of that process, in the “Uncategorized” category, I found dozens of blogs that hadn’t published for years. I removed most of those subscriptions, but some of them I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of: And […]