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Archives for General

refocusing my guitar learning

The Rocksmith team recently released a (free!) update to Rocksmith 2014 that was substantial enough to deserve a new name: Rocksmith Remastered. It’s the same game, just better: they’ve looked at how people have used it over the last three years, where the rough edges are, how they could modify it to help your learning […]

what comes next?

When I blogged about Trump before the election, I thought he was unlikely to win, though a 1-in-6 chance still scared me. And, well, I’m scared now. So, what new bad event has a 1-in-6 chance of happening now that we add in the fact that Trump is elected? Maybe I’ve been reading too much […]

sources of energy

I’ve started paying more attention recently to what gives me more energy: evaluating experiences, places, even objects on that criterion instead of other criteria. Not necessarily physical energy—I’m as capable of falling asleep in post-lunch meetings as ever—but mental energy, a feeling that I’m building up my reserves for thinking instead of chipping away at […]

after the election

As of two weeks before election day, it is looking like we won’t have a fascist as our next president. It’s less of a sure thing than I would like—if you trust FiveThirtyEight’s model, then the odds of a Trump presidency are about the same as the odds of rolling a 6 on a die, […]

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 […]