qwiddity: (Default)
2017-06-27 05:03 pm

How to do something good...

For most, conventional paths lead to average results. Your Key Performance Indicies only matter to people who find nothing else interesting. Give people different reasons to find you interesting. Giving up other people’s definitions of success is liberating and ultimately grants fuller expression of who you are and what matters to you.
Other people won't live with any consequences of choices you’ve made. So why live according to their definition of success? When you give that up, you cast off lots of baggage. You can enjoy a sense of lightness, peace, and freedom which casts light into everything you do. As long as you push through that short term, you have the opportunity to accomplish incredible things.
But you’ve got to want it, stick to it, and fight for it.
The heightened level of awareness, the calm outlook, the new job, the paid off debts, the flourishing startup business you desperately want to build. Any meaningful benefits in your life will always come attached to short term pain. Build something. Make Something.
Be consistently confident that by doing anything with the intention of doing good, good will come from it.
qwiddity: (Default)
2017-03-18 10:15 am

Cross-posting mayhem - or, a retaliatory strike on "How to be insufferable on Facebook"

There's a school of thought which says "status updates" shouldn't actually be status updates, because that fails to adequately appreciate what people want to read about here. But I feel that sort of status update fails to adequately appreciate how on Facebook we only want to read status updates which present a cleanly sanitised, quality-controlled, highly-processed, quickly manufactured-for-public-consumption view of the life we're living.

With that in mind I'm going to use Facebook as my "bullhorn to the world" to let you all know that last night I decided it was time to try sleeping without pain relief, alone in my hotel room in Bangkok. So I just took my sleeping tablet. It was probably too early for this adventure, because after 8 hours of fitful tossing and turning I woke up from a deep, dreamlike state lying on my stomach, elbows pressed hard into the mattress, with my hands clasped tightly together in prayer position. At least my eyebrows and forehead were slightly elevated from the pillow because they felt about twice their normal size and aching like... well like they'd been pierced 2,600 times. At least my lower back and buttocks weren't so sore today though.

Needless to say, I immediately wimped out of bed and took my pain relief, I know that's the ending to this story you're all waiting for, but the epilogue is that after a month in Thailand and two nearly two weeks of recovery I'm starting to feel very lonely and sorry for myself - I'm ready to come home, I miss everyone I'm close to terribly (including my family and my cats). I must mention and thank Ivan Jasenovic for being so steadfastly supportive and stoically helpful.
qwiddity: (Default)
2017-02-01 11:40 pm

Nobody has a monopoly on objectivity.

But everyone deserves the opportunity to be on the receiving end of some sage advice at least now and again. S
The decisions that you make, every day, about how you'll act, these decisions foment into who'll you'll be - within the psyche they all have minute ongoing consequences which never, ever stop fermenting our personality and our interactions with observer-independent, objective shared reality.
Our decisions act as a "weakly-interacting nexus of causal pathways" which, acting in synergy, combine to distill the very essence of our consciousness and core identities.
So, whatever you choose to do, whoever you choose to be, be as confident as possible you are making the best choices for yourself. You will know if you are making the correct choices - because you won't have to lie; especially to yourself.
As Shakespeare's Polonius spake unto his departed fated son Laertes within the pages of 'Hamlet', "This above all, to thine own self be true, then thou cans't not be false to any other...", and that beautiful truth alone shall set you completely free.
(this message of integrity brought to you by insomnia, and an innate desire to finally opening up about something important)
qwiddity: (Default)
2017-01-24 12:13 pm

Readily identifying yourself as something you're not is a perversion of self-expression.

Do you find the notion that pair-bonding's strong Darwinian evolutionary selection force could be that mammalian females require some protection while breastfeeding disturbing? The reason we have beliefs about reality is so we can still see the best action to take when blinded by doubt, paralysed by fear. Our beliefs define us., just like our memories, without them we are nothing to ourselves, and thus nothing to others.

Low self-esteem can be increased by exposure to relatives. There are a bunch of lies inherent in the social contract, the biggest probably being those concerning attraction; People pretend they don't imagine themselves having sex with other people, and in turn those imaginary sexual partners pretend they don't know the fantasies are going on all around them. This makes both parties feel more civilised. some people do this by faking an interest in others, but this is borderline sociopathy. Better to have real shared interests, which are all about common ground. Find something each party likes or hates, sometimes the best way to connect with someone is to crease concentrating on showing them what you like and focusing on them, at other times it better to focus on yourself.

Being forced to bury painful memories sometimes makes things worse. Grief avoidance can lead to anxiety disorders, which in the worst-case scenario can manifest into physical illnesses. Psychological studies performed after September 11th's attacks in 2001 showed that on statistical average,, repression was in fact better than dwelling in misery. So the best choices for handling negative emotional states seems to be between challenging it into non-existence or discovering a healthy and productive way to let them out - like artistic impulses or constructive conversation.
qwiddity: (Default)
2017-01-09 12:10 pm

Ritual is what happens when we run out of rational behaviors.

Is it wrong to always be right? Or just always think you're right (even if you're always right)? Is all that matters in objective view of the world? Nobody has a monopoly on objectivity. By causal determinism we are hardwired to need answers. The hominid which hears a rustling in the bushes and checks to see the reason why lives longer than the ones who are disinterested in their surroundings.

But just as there is no line in the sand between strong and weak evolutionary selection processes, there is fine distinction to be drawn between good and evil in the landscape of ethics or morals. There is only action which an intelligence can tolerate, or that which is intolerable and these happen in degrees. Rontgen probably killed his own wife discovering the X-ray, just as Marie Curie died from radiation poisoning researching the radioactive properties of radium. Anna was terrified when she saw Roentgen's photograph of her hand, showing the bones and her wedding ring. After winning two Nobel prizes, dying through a little-understood poisoning interaction as a result of scientific investigation must have similarly terrified the brilliant Mari's husband Pierre. The invisible causes of death are as incomprehensible as our attempts to navigate the landscape of ethical action.

Most of the motivations of science which are conducted unethically are to uncover what is possible in the course of the research, bury the evidence of how the discoveries were made, then turning a profit before the researchers can forget what they went through to obtain their results.
qwiddity: (Default)
2017-01-08 07:04 pm

Why, despite our technological capacities, are we not all working 3-4 hour days?

Hell is pretty obviously a limitless Einsteinian human stupidity of individuals collectively spending their time working on tasks they hate and are especially bad at.

But it’s not entirely clear to me how humanity would suffer, were all private equity CEOs, lobbyists, PR researchers, actuaries, telemarketers, bailiffs or corporate legal consultants were to similarly vanish.

The more obviously one’s work benefits other people, the less one is likely to be paid for it. If you want your idea to be widely accepted, used, and special, it had better be free. If you want it to be really especially liked and well-used, you had better be willing to give up the idea of getting any credit for having it. Ideas are like children, perhaps they deserve more rights.
qwiddity: (Default)
2017-01-07 08:43 pm

If you want to be special, you're going to have to be alone.

Somehow in my juvenile way my knee-jerk reactions to stimuli made me trip, falling into an adult response by accident. It's too bad that in the course of my transgressions I've wandered in and out of people's lives drunk and incoherent. I guess somewhere in the midst of my family dysfunction I found a way to be intellectually successful in order to find an escape hatch into my own mind, my rich inner life compensating for the emotional paucity of my surroundings. Watching someone get blind drunk then giving them crap for acting like a drunk is like dating someone until they're emotinoally invested enough to love you, then dumping them and giving them crap for being upset.

Realtionship studies show people who sleep around are miserable. The fewer partners you have, the happier you are with the person you'll iultimately end up with. Asexuality will only get you so far (ACE people may simply have an underlying medical condition causing their asexual behavior traits, like tumourous growths or debilitated pituitary glands which causing erectile dysfunction or loss of sexual drive). Sex is the fundamental drive of sexually reproducing species, and a healthy sexual appetite and ability to satiate it is a strong signifier of overall health. Orgasms oxygenate the brain, lighting up the neuronal networks with activity, which in turn floods other organ systems iwth endocrinal stimulants, pain relievers, and oxytocin - a neuromodulation chemical basis for bonding. Lots of people don't have sex, the only people who don't want its effects are either unaware of them, sick, lying, dead, or lonely.

How do you fight lonelieness? By smiling? Love hopes all things. You cannot love someone without making yourself open to thier fears, you cannot connect with someone without becoming sensitive to their hopes. But when someone is disconnected they're often driven to ask what is the meaning of life, asking "Why me?" in response to the indifference of nature to any existence, conscious or unconscious, rational or irrational, examined or unseen. "Why bother?: is often the response, but it's cruel advice, just beacuse there may be no greater meaning doesn't invalid the search, else why bother with any inquiry into anything? People try to make sense of what happens to them to make them the way they are, especially in the face of an uncaring universe. One method of coping is to live like nothing matters, to be a manipulative self-centered narcissistic jerk who brings misery to everyone in life by constantly reminding everyone that nothing matters and behaves terribly as a result. The advantage of this method is that when karma fights back at least it's deserved.

Girls get mad irraiontaly because they are genetically programmed to make a big deal out of every little thing. This is because in order to more heavily invest in children they must feel they can do as they please while still being able to act like they don't want to do so. This way they don't feel like sluts, ot get called out by other girls for being a slut. In the gender hierarchy women lead from the rear ranks, meaning they're surrounded by underling morons who are either afraid of her or want to kiss up to her. To cope, she needs to be respected enough to not be treated like some tender flower who needs coddling. Yet, it's wrong to treat your girlfriend as if she's weaker than you, even though she may be. Your girlfriend wants you to care about more than just what you want, what you think she thinks, she wants you to care about her, because she deserves someone who does.
qwiddity: (Default)
2017-01-02 08:05 pm

Traps being primitive, my preference is for elaborate, beguiling entanglements of inveiglement.

I've been an idiot, I've had this pointless argument in my head that trust is unfounded and fictional because of our innate self-interest and evolutionary selected selfishness. But trust, like belief, or hope, is not arn argument which can be subjected to reason, and it's time to take a leap of faith. I can't believe I won't make mistakes again, but I hope they'll be different, less harmful mistakes. I think I have been afraid of changing my self-induced mistakes, to improve, because of a belief which is intruding - that I cannot be the person my family, my close friends, my lovers wish I was. But maybe I am better than I think. Maybe the universe is just deterministic enough that I could be, or am exactly the person they need me to be. Still, it's difficult when you feel like you're easily replaced, like a family getting a new puppy, or a puppy getting a new fillet steak. New and intriguing is someone or something else, now you're chewed and worn, except for those who have difficulty letting go of the old. Like an old leather jacket I cannot help but love those I've become accustomed to even more. Now we've been together enough for a comfortable fit, replacing that feeling splits the seams. That isn't to say I even know if I won't want another puppy or fillet steak ever again, which seems kind of selfish. Yet, the heart wants what it wants. There's nothing worse than loving someone who's never going to stop disappointing you, because they won't change. I can't help but feel at fault when she needs someone else, I kept hurting her. Why do that? Who did that make happy? Is she happy? I just want her to be happy, and I thought it couldn't be possible with me. Life experience teaches everyone who survives long enough that eventually any action will always have consequences. Part of being a mature adult is learning to accept them and take responsibility, so after doing wrong, apologising is necessary. I'm sorry.

I've been thinking about my irrationality, and I've come up with a rational explanation. I dislike letting go of the past, especially the good moments which form the foundations of my memories which compose my sense of self. So I cling to any negative interaction in the hope that experiencing bad things beats forgetting that anything ever happened at all. It almost works, but all I'd have to to is change reality to fully realise the grounding for the reasoning. I didn't start any of my relationships, but I had the chance to end them before things became terrible, but I didn't, because I love her because I'm human, all too human, and it's human to hang on. That's because nobody can be truly rational about their emotions, otherwise they wouldn't be emotions. The rational mind wants everything to be physical, tangible, because that would make the reality of our emotional lives simpler - unhappiness could be cured. Misery, anger, regrets are difficult things to reconcile the rational self to dealing with, which wants to medicate or reason problems into nonexistence. I have unresolved issues, and my relationships embody the unresolved issues. I've made the choices I've made because I'm a deeply unhappy person, but even in despair everything I do I've done to fix my life, because I need sympathy, because I wanted to piss people off, because I can't get over anything, or because I was moving on (or trying to), because I want to know what it's like not to live in pain, or because I wanted to feel more pain because somehow even through everything I feel I deserve the hurt.

It's not over, but at best I can only say I completely miscalculated. All the hurt feelings I've caused never disappeared into the mists of time which heal all wounds, at least not yet. They came directly back to strangle me, because nothing which matters is ever over.
qwiddity: (Sad)
2017-01-01 06:08 pm
Entry tags:

In Socratic terms, tolerance of irrationality is the foundation of every relationship.

Last night was an interesting one. A great way to ring in the new year, being around wonderful supportive old friends and forging interesting new bonds with those people moving from online friendships to IRL. From sight-unseen to new friends, such a difficult journey of discovery for everyone involved, I'm amazed we do it. I'm happy I've done it, I feel braver socialising with people I know little of than jumping from cliff-faces, or risking my own life. I suppose I feel in those activities the solitude grants a greater degree of certainty in that I know what I am thinking, but I cannot ever know what someone else is thinking - even when their communication is as raw, as honest as possible.

My oldest, closest, dearest friend, the biological father of my ten-year-old son, is clearly still feeling the loss of his much beloved maternal parent even after more than a year. I don't think we ever really, truly recover from that particular loss - I don't think we're ever really meant to. This person who carried us in a specialised organ, or even if they're not our biological parents, there is a special bond of caring and love which is the most enduring thing in our entire lives. It would be more strange (not to mention mechanical) if we did recover from such a severance quickly and completely. Through their continuous acts of love, good parents refuse to allow children to "fail to thrive", because of their emotional this intense emotional bond. They are our models for life, for compassion, for understanding - but they are mortal, like the reality we find ourselves populating. This is a strange and hostile place we find ourselves alive within, this water-soaked rock floating and spinning through space around a ball of burning gaseous light which lives and dies in the same breath of fusion-fire even as we do, such connection we have, yet we are bound by distance from each other as far as our planet is held in isolation by gravity from the sun, orbiting slowly, aphelion, perihelion.

Which brings me to my beautiful lover whom I've treated so badly. For two years I've behaved abhorrently, refused to open up and tell my feelings to, refused to treat well in deepest fear that the bonds of intimacy might tie me tightly when to be tied up in every way was all I wanted. I am responsible for disrupting the course and flow of our deepening feelings, and I feel like a misbehaving child who needs a scolding and a spanking. I want to scream, "It was all an act of defiance!" but there's nothing I can do except admit responsibility and hand my head. The abused child has become an abusive adult as all the awful things I've done to fight this emotional life of the heart have returned in spades to slash my dreams for the future. Defiance in the face of wisdom enough to return good affection might be likened to swimming against the current in an endless, slow moving river. Rather than splash in futility it would be better to do nothing, to sit on the bank this powerful and great course as, indifferent to your preferred direction, it flows as it will. Carried from independence by this flow, my thrashing has turned me away from closeness, now there is nothing to be done but longing for a return to closeness. A return to safe, shallow and slow-moving waters in preference to rocky white rapid flows of turbulent times. Longing and hopefulness much characterise this gravitas outlook of predestination of the life of the heart, we less choose our emotional lives regarding others as are wholly immersed in the flow of feelings they create for us by their actions and our interpretations of their affection for us. For me, this kindness, this understanding, this gentle forgiveness is like a warm decalcified spring water source in the high mountains, a source of immense immersive longing for greater connection.
qwiddity: (Sad)
2016-12-31 01:22 pm

Light at the end of 2016

My hoped for lightening of mood from apologies and unburdening of secrets has arrived ahead of any expected schedule. Still feeling a little sad, but there is much more hope. Have used far less medications in the last 48 hours, not feeling the best physically but that's okay - last night I slept naturally without the help of medications for the first time in weeks. Tomorrow I will be able to go home and lie in the pool, then take a long relaxing shower, and rest in my own bed. I wish I had someone to share that thing with sometimes. Still lonely, but I feel better, the process of opening up to people, one person and several people in particular which I've initiated will definitely be a long one, with some failure to reconnect but so far much more success than I'd anticipated. Am hoping to express my feelings for someone which I've had since 2014 soon. Admitting that rather than express affection I'd rather be abusive to excuse my withdrawal and isolation coping mechanisms is very hard. I hate to think what I've put people who feel close to me through, I can't excuse it, but I can try to change my ways. Today am just playing video games with friends, and I took a nap on their couch for almost two hours while downloading a 68GB game, they've gotten so over-large in some cases. I really enjoy video games, I wish I had a system capable of playing them well, as soon as I'm more financially secure next year that will be a goal to achieve. My new year's resolutions are to continue the trend of open honest conduct in an effort to change myself into someone I like more completely.
qwiddity: (Default)
2016-12-30 01:06 pm

(no subject)

Feeling slightly better today. Still sad from difficult conversations yesterday and last night. Came out to lots of people, trying to decide what the criteria for doing so ought to be, so selected several people I've known for years who I've pulled away from intentionally and isolated myself from because withdrawing from intimacy they were seeking was easier than being brave, open, and honest about my personal history. I'm not feeling any kind of overwhelming need to go public, but I feel some people in particular were owed an explanation. Also, I've been apologising for past misbehaviour as well. It is making me feel sad, but eventually I hope an unburdening of sorts.
qwiddity: (Default)
2016-12-29 09:44 pm

rough day

Rough day today. Tough decisions to come out to people, admit responsibility for past bad behaviours, avoidance, and keeping guilty secrets from my past. Very difficult conversations. Teary-eyed, but determined to change my life.
Back sore from too much sitting unsupported. Surgical scars hurt, but improving.
Looking forward to reconnecting with some people I haven't seen in a long time and some only a short while, hopefully will be able to make two days out of the house before returning.
qwiddity: (Default)
2015-11-28 06:03 pm
Entry tags:

Dear Ben Riley, deputy director of the Queensland Liberal National Party's dept. of "operations"

Ben,

Having read your unsolicited letter which essentially begs for alms in exchange for a promise that your political party of current employ might, possibly, maybe, campaign in the next state election (if successful in retaining its registration), I'd like to respond in kind. It's quite easy enough for representatives of the LNP to make grandiose claims about Australian Labour Party being controlled by "union bosses", and it's just as much of a straw-clutching exercise as when ALP opponents decry Liberal National Party members for being controlled by "big business".

Proving these statements either way is an entirely different matter. The LNP has so far been unsuccessful in its attempts to bring opposition leader Bill Shorten's shortcomings as a representative of the Australian Worker's Union to public scrutiny - perhaps conditions at the mushroom farm were in fact improved by his actions and subsequent departure into politics?

People I speak to are more concerned about the sheerly ridiculous, that Dyson Hayden could have the gall to sit in judgement of his own apprehended bias - as a judge on a royal commission costing the Australian taxpayers far more than any "shady back-room AWU deals" it inquired into, while being of direct benefit merely to a select few black-letter lawyers and of dubious support to the LNP's cause nationally.

If only I felt my donation would mean something either way, I might be motivated to do more for either side of our political process. I can't even get my local member (LNP member Mal Brough) to respond to me seriously regarding the provision of rights for certain subsets of people, who live in our society and pay tax like any others, to be married.

Apparently this is because upgrading the Bruce highway is a surer bet, and I'm quite sure it's sociologically safer to be consistently in favour of roads, and consistently lacking any opinion on issues which might be dangerous to one's continued aspirations in parliament. If he'd like to uphold my standards and my viewpoints, I'm sure I'd be more inclined to make donations.

To address your question regarding what I might do, were I the state premier for 300 days? I can tell you, if you'd like to know: I'd try to employ more teachers, I'd try to make higher education free for everyone, I'd try to create more economic growth through the establishment of good government conduct, and promote private enterprise which utilises state-run infrastructure with effective taxation. I'd try to ensure government enacted policies not just "good enough", but were of the best possible quality and care as to the interests of the people they govern.

You know, the ways things used to be run, before people lost their minds, (which were apparently made up entirely out of their memories of past events) and began to allow the LNP to ply them into mass-marketed election cycling, which have consuming our processes of governance until they have been all but devoured, reducing sittings of parliament to knee-jerk partisan infighting instead of properly representing the people of our state and commonwealth.

I suppose in a sense I'm willing to contribute anything of myself BUT money to politics. Make of that what you will in this "plan for Queensland" - the last I heard of it was when the LNP wanted to sell off public assets, including our state-owned _WATER_SUPPLY_ and was swiftly voted out of office for tabling such ridiculous proposals. Apparently people didn't like the idea that they might have to pay by the glass for drinking water as a direct cost of supporting the LNP's vision for our future, and I honestly can't blame them for that.

PS: If you'd like to discuss helping me out with my university studies or student fees, making a donation is as easy as giving me money, which you can do in a variety of interesting ways. Not the least of which is the ever-popular: "fold your donation into a paper-plane, then fly it out of your high-rise office window in Spring Hill to alight upon such gossamer wings of hope that the light of its glory in the form of almighty currency may trickle down into some kind of benefit for such unfortunate have-nots as myself."
qwiddity: (Default)
2015-06-10 07:26 pm

Careful Preparation Will Be Rewarded

Preparing crab cakes as per an SBS network Food Safari episode from the USA where Mauve O'Mara interviews a man who gives his recipe for Chesapeake Bay crab cakes in a New Orleans style with a spicy Remoulade. Very delicious, but called for a handful of parsley. Usually there was parsley growing in the garden but today it along with several other plants which haven't been faring well have been removed by the new gardening service. Lacking parsley, I defaulted to dried herbs but decided to pick a sprig of mint from the lone remaining plant. Uncustomarily, I didn't take the time to shake the sprig before going inside. I will never forget this action again. Further, my washing of the herbs was unsufficiently attentive to detail, something I will never again omit, but moreso the vigorous shaking of freshly-picked herbs. Back inside the kitchen, slicing the mint I noticed a small green caterpillar, and had time to pull the knife back, but was in that state of flow that motor neurons activated by the cerebellum provide and was unable to stop... gashing the poor creature almost clean through, in what would probably be around the area of the thorax-head. Mortally wounded, it thrashed and seemed to exclaim its utter distress. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I didn't... I was careless. I'm sorry."
Suddenly anthropically personified through apology, the tiny thing seemed to regard me through black eyes the size of pinprincks "You were careless? My life! My beautiful life! I was supposed to have been a butterfly... my life. I wanted my life." as, in possession of a nervous system or not, it writhed as the juices of its tiny life flowed outwards through the gigantic wound.
"I'm sorry." suddenly tearing up with remorse that my lack of attention had callously murdered this tiny thing, I tried to put a quicker end to its suffering, and probably even messed that up.
Moments of carelessness like this don't often cause eye-watering emotional pain, but there is the occasional exception however irrational it is. In this case, it was a caterpillar, which was eating the mint plant, and a small insect which any number of other animals which populate the garden would have eaten without a second thought. In the end, it's more the inattention leading to the needless death which can unnesscessarily burden the soul. Certainly I don't think a desire for minted peas was rooted in much but innocent intentions, but for the sake of how testing these experiences are sometimes, executing my intentions will involve more care.
qwiddity: (Default)
2014-05-01 10:30 am
Entry tags:

Affaires D'amour Bête Noire

She said:
"You sound like a poet."
So I said,
"For you, I hope I always do!"
You make my mind's choir sing,
Set my heart aflame, aloft.
For you, my coarse, stark utterances
Transform upon my tongue.
Into the very best eloquence
my lips may command.
You set my desire aflame.
Change my quill's strokes
On vellum soft.
First gentled, tender, questioning
To bold, confident, glorious!
Effulgent being.
Pan himself would weep
Upon descriptions of thy pulchritude
If mere wordy metaphor
conveyed the proper essence
Of any feelings reserved just for you.
And so, she said:
"I just meant you rhymed a lot."
So I said:
"Thanks, that's really cute."























qwiddity: (Default)
2014-04-07 01:20 am

Sunday Night Techical Support Kumite

Ladies and gentlemen, it's Sunday night! Time for Technical Support Kumite! In the blue corner, wearing a solid-gold jockstrap padded with hundred-dollar bills, the reigning heavyweight telecommunications champion! Let's hear it for the Internet Service Provider! In the red corner, a featherweight challenger appears! No cash on this Customer! Just brandishing their fault reports. bills, and shares to the referee!


Though two contestants may enter the Ring Of Complaints; only one will leave satisfied!


Now we want the worst, the dirtiest fighting this audience can take! Let's see the spit fly, forehead-veins set a-pulse, the crunching hum of vocal chords-on-bone! Let's see them take those gloves off for round one! FIGHT!


A textbook opening from the Provider, the first blow a kindly how-do-you-do. Some needlessly pummeling queries on the Customer’s guard. A vicious jab to the business ethics from the challenger shows the Provider they really mean business! This is ten in the evening on a Sunday, folks! The Provider falters, the referee calls a quick end to the first round! Both contestants return to their corners.


Round two, FIGHT! The contestants circle the ring, the Provider is visibly bleeding from the ears. A roundhouse punch to the Customer’s jargon! The Customer swats the blow off like an irritating insect! The Customer explodes with a series of lightning-fast body blows up and down the specialist lingual domains! the Provider reels to the ropes! The Customer follows at a run, swinging a left-hook up underneath the Provider's guard! It catches the Provider in the responsibility! the Provider is down, hitting the mat hard! The crowd roars! They've seen this happen before, will the Provider rally for round three? The coaches are calling for towels and water.


There's the bell! Round three! But wait, what is this? The Customer is walking to the ropes, they're tagging someone... a front-row audience member! The Customer is pulling them through the ropes, who is this? Who will enter the Ring Of Complaints? Oh my... this doesn't look good for the Provider! It's the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman! Looks like they've got a full thirty or forty kilos on the Provider and stand at least a foot taller! Oh dear, they're putting on a pair brass knuckles, and the Provider is shaking like a leaf in late autumn! The referee is leaving the ring! Running down the aisle into the changing rooms! Doesn't anyone want to see what will happen?


What a sickening sight! The Ombudsman has stepped on the Provider's foot! A right uppercut to the chin! A left hook to the temple! A push towards the ropes, the Provider sways back! Stumbles forward! The Ombudsman lunges in... Oh! Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was a knee to the groin! The Ombudsman grabs the Provider by the shoulders and is pulling them up. Oh! A head-butt, right on the nose! the Provider crumbles to the mat like a rag doll! The Ombudsman turns to deliver a swift kick to the ribs with what looks like pointed-toe steel-caps! the Provider is curled into the foetal position, gosh, that flow of blood is starting to pool. Perhaps this is it, folks? I think someone ought to call an ambulance.


As much as we all want this to be over, the Ombudsman has pulled out a switch-blade! He's cutting off the Provider's clothes and throwing them to the Customer! The Ring Of Complaints rarely sees this sort of treatment! The Customer and the Ombudsman are shaking hands! the Provider is coughing blood and trying to cover itself, and the crowd goes wild! Their evening blood-lust sated beyond their wildest dreams! Just remember, it's all here for you: the guts, the glory! Late night Sundays on... Technical! Support! Kumite!!!!! Ladies and gentlemen, thank you and goodnight. Always remember to take care on the Internet!

qwiddity: (Default)
2014-03-20 07:09 pm

I'm not going to post this on Steam until I've played enough hours to merit such negativity...

I bought early-access Godus because I managed to make myself believe for an instant this would be a return to good times had with Populous. Godus is the game 22cans made with funds generated by iOS users crazy enough to fund their previous, depressingly mercenary project-game Curiosity. I didn't like the concept of Curiosity, feeling it traded people's curiosity for money (and gave a random person a sense of importance). A more important question than whether you ought to play Godus would be: "How does Peter Molyneux continue making games?" The answer being foolish people such as myself continue to fund his hit-and-miss efforts. Let's just say I feel foolish for spending money this way, and hope my decision can be redeemed with the full release.

Other terrible Peter Molyneux games include Black & White, B&W2, Fable, Fable 2, Fable 3, and a number of other games which never made it to market (Project Milo). However, excellent Peter Molyneux games include Populous (the reason I bought Godus), Dungeon Keeper... oh and he produced Magic Carpet and the original Syndicate. With a track record like that, it's difficult to say, based on an unknown element of involvement in game design/programming/production, whether future games are worth it. But it's clear projects with Molyneux in a design/programming role suffer less critical acclaim than projects he produces.

For what it offers players for $20, Godus is only slightly less of a one-sided money-making venture than Curiosity, 22cans say they "thoroughly enjoyed developing our dream game", which misses a salient point. If developers enjoy their work more than players enjoy their experience--something is wrong. What's wrong is that the early access release of Godus isn't fun. By their 22cans combined, Tim Rance and Peter Molyneux seem able to ignore all feedback while marketing terrible game after terrible game. Even after Lionhead Studios' failures. This is probably due to the insatiable hunger of stalwart adherents in the United Kingdom and France for more locally-produced endeavour.

Godus isn't fun, because this sandbox game clamours for your attention like a an irritating hallway monitor, while simultaneously demanding action on your behalf to continue functioning. When you attempt to play in your sandbox, you can't move even a grain of sand, for want of not clicking on what you're supposed to. Good grief, don't you know anything? Better flash some icons to spawn modal help windows filled with irrelevant information explaining why you're so stupid you can't understand the highly intricate concept of repeatedly clicking on things while drooling. To put it bluntly, playing this game is like working with Filemaker Pro through a Zynga interface.

They've said with this early access release of Godus that they're aware that the game "involves too much clicking" and that this and other obvious gameplay deficiencies will be remedied in the final release. Perhaps buy the early access edition of Godus if you're especially tired of your current mouse. Or if you need something to ease any Farmville-esque cravings suffered while jonesing for a Facebook dopamine fix. Early access Godus costs $20.00 -- Cookie Clicker is free!

There are so many Godus elements which would be conspicuous by their absence, here is a list:

1. Obvious elements which will be soullessly used to market virtual hats/cards for cash.
2. Obvious game design for mobile platform (to be monetised for extra cash).
3. Obvious design choices to keep players chained to their mouses forever in the hope they'll swipe their credit cards... for extra cash.
4. Game comes with 50% off voucher for a Razer Naga, so you can use all the buttons for clicking.
5. Clicky-clicky-Clicking on subjects' houses to obtain belief.
6. Clicky-clicky-Clicking on subjects' houses to force them outside to build new houses.
7. Clicky-clicky-Clicking on subjects in utter frustration because they won't do the above, and even when they try, their actions occur at well below snail-pace.
8. A game where making yourself multiple coffees isn't an essential element while waiting for ages of civilisation to advance at 1:1 time-scales.
9. Clicky-clicky-Click-dragging to sculpt landscape which expends all your resources, then rubber-bands back into shape rather than being sculpted.
10. Timers which stop randomly for tens of seconds with 1:24 on the clock.
11. Annoying beeps demanding you click on alerts which display modal timeline menu showing things a tooltip could have related more easily.
12. A game extremely derivative of "From Dust", but less visually appealing, or mechanically rewarding.
13. A game which isn't a terrible money-grubbing attempt to have a game to play over your girlfriend's shoulder. Sorry, did I say girlfriend? I meant wife.

To put all this in a less frustrated way: From Dust is much better than Godus, and has a very different pedigree, being designed by Eric Chahi who also designed Another World. From Dust was released in 2011 and is $14.99. Since I enjoy God games, it's best to conclude this review with one which is far superior to and and cheaper than Godus. Have fun playing "From Dust"! :)
qwiddity: (Default)
2013-10-22 01:56 am

Poetic traduction

Finally, he spoke, "My lady... you are a vision of pulchritude! Your hair, like succulent treacle waves of profusion! Your eyes, sparkling gems of sapphire moonlight! In your effulgent presence I feel... coarse and unworthy. I must go," and with that he turned and slumped away.
Heavily bearing in his heart the tragic, unrequited love of a poet. I didn't know what to say, what could I do to ease his tortured soul's great pain? So I chased him outside into the parking lot, then just as his eyes shone bright with hope, I kicked him in the shins. What a creep.
qwiddity: (Default)
2013-10-17 05:05 am

Tea & Coffee and why I'm not drinking either.

Have you ever woken up at 4:30AM, compelled to write down better fridge magnet slogans for tea and coffee than "Do stupid things faster, with more energy!" and found that one pretty hard to top? Must've been a 3AM effort is my guess, the ideas that come from that hour of the morning are usually of better quality than ones which arise closer to the sun itself.
I'll have a go anyway, although this is more a tea analogy, have you ever noticed that cups of tea in English-speaking cultures are peculiarly British? Even the question "Cup of tea?" sounds like a train rattling its way up towards some Scottish highland, or over towards Delhi or Bombay, chic-a-choc-chic-a-choc, cup-o-tea-cup-o-tea-cup-o-tea. Are we there yet? Cup-o-tea-cup-o-tea.
This is why I gave up drinking tea. I gave up drinking coffee because it's a ridiculous habitual stimulant but tea is so mild you forget the roots the plant itself drives into your very life. As James Marsters' character Spike said to Anthony Stuart Head's character Giles in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer "Did your life flash before your eyes? Cup of tea, cup of tea, ALMOST got shagged! Cup of tea?" Think about the hours of every day you spend making and drinking cups of tea. Remember, even without the time-wasting aspect, stimulants are generally BAD for you, even if you don't sugar it up and add milk so you can feel your mouth . Stephen Fry related on QI once the concept that tea-drinking made the ancient Chinese so self-satisfied with their perfection of teapot and cup technology they failed to advance beyond porcelain for about a thousand years. Really. I have my own internally self-consistent theories about what halted further advancement in ancient China and it has more to do with one half of a society deciding to waste most of its effort and waking hours systematically oppressing the other half. Often with newly-invented traditions so insanely barbaric they can only be rationalised as forms of 'ritual' abuse.
Back to tea, in the time I've spent writing this I could probably have made two cups of tea, but I'd still be contemplating the phrasing of the first sentence over the hot fuming tannin vapours. Sure, I know how to savour the world's finest Ceylon leaves, but if you do anything 5, 10, or 30 times per day there's hardly any point in stopping the endless repetition of the activity to smell the roses. About the only people who need to drink tea as many times per day as lots of people do are tea farmers--and that is because they either need to grade their own product, or they simply need to do something to distract them from the mind-numbing repetition of tea-farming itself. Which brings me to coffee.
Although I have at various times in my life been incredibly addicted (5-10 double espresso per day) to coffee, I believe it is essentially a silly activity. As a child, my parents used to load me up with coffee for breakfast before school. This is probably as ridiculous as it gets. Obviously they had little idea (or were woefully, wilfully ignorant) of the health detractions of giving your child coffee, or not making them eat breakfast. But who cares? They wanted to go to work, and I was an accidental inconvenience to them at the age of five to twenty-five.
In conclusion, I offer these tarnished gems to the world:
"Cup of tea? Or would you prefer a Salvador Dali melted clock?"
"Cup of coffee? Or would you prefer to just stop doing silly stuff?"
Perhaps we'll all switch to caffeine-free, artificially sweetened, non-carbonated, naturally-coloured, flavourless soft drinks. I've got a good brand name for these; "Why Bother?"
I also think that is a good name for decaf soy lattes with a twist of lemon.