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Archives for July, 2009

twenty years of beard

As far as I can tell, the last time I shaved was twenty years ago yesterday. If you’re curious what two decades of beard looks like, here’s a recentish picture of me: That’s actually from three and a half years ago (I don’t take pictures very often, and appear in them less), but while I […]

galison, strands of practice, and trading zones

The last chapter of Galison’s Image & Logic is about the relationship between (breaks in) different strands of practice within physics. If you treat the notion of paradigms sufficiently seriously, you’re led to think that theoretical breaks and experimental breaks come hand in hand: the two sides of a paradigm shift are incommensurable, so the […]

sid meier’s alpha centauri

The Vintage Game Club’s sixth game was Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. About which I don’t have much to say, but I’m in the habit of blogging here when I finish a game, so: It’s a Civilization-style game. Some of my friends praised it quite a bit, but I’m not seeing that: it’s in the lineage […]

explaining my choices

I periodically encounter discussions of why people play games (most recently in A Life Well Wasted), and I’ve been getting more and more allergic to such talk. The main reason is that it almost always comes in the form of claims that “we play games to have fun” (with a strong implication that anybody who […]

vgc game 7: majora’s mask

I’m pleased to say that the Vintage Game club has chosen The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask as its seventh game. The discussion will probably begin on Friday, June 10th; it’s a wonderful game, and one that I suspect has quite a lot to teach me; please come join us if you have any interest […]

the perils of particle physics

If you are considering building an experimental apparatus filled with liquid hydrogen, you might want to keep the following incident in mind: Deep within the bubble chamber, the inner beryllium window had shattered along a microscopic imperfection in its surface. Splintering outward, the inner window fragments blasted open the outer beryllium window accompanied by the […]