Saturday, March 8, 2008

It's hip to be [chat]

It's not too hard to figure out, you see it everyday
And those that were the farthest out have gone the other way
You see them on the freeway, It don't look like a lot of fun
But don't you try to fight it; "An idea who's time has come."

Don't tell me that I'm crazy
Don't tell me I'm nowhere
Take it from me
It's hip to be [chat]

Friday, March 7, 2008

Penny Arcane and Frontalot as Spinal Tap.

WoW, Glenn Beck, and Context

So last night a few things pissed me off in World of Warcraft and, as always, Glenn Beck said idiotic things on his show. This morning I've tried to mix these two things together to, in a manner similar to Voltron, form a more significant and powerful rant than the two piddly rants I could form using either part. After grappling with this for a while, though, I realized that no one pays me to write these things and I'm not beholden to anyone but myself in writing them. So today I'm going to rant about some things which piss me off and if you don't like it then you can write your own little structured, organized, engaging rant.

Show me your Stats!
You know how in Pokémon there are a plethora of hidden stats which drastically influence gameplay? You know how one has to inductively guess at them to maximize one's Rattatta? Well, World of Warcraft has that same enraging problem. Unlike Pokémon, however, in World of Warcraft one may install addons which display these hidden stats and so allow a player to better understand their class. While most Pokémon players would give their left bidoof to see these hidden, useful, meaningful stats many World of Warcraft players obstinately refuse to allow their self access to them.

And fuck-all if I can understand why.

Omen is an addon which displays a user's threat. Threat is, generally speaking, what determines whether or not a mob tries to beat the living shit out of you. So, seeing one's threat would be useful, right? Well, last night when I suggested to some people that they install Omen they got pissy and said that if an addon is required then the game itself is somehow flawed.

Which, if you didn't notice, completely misses the fucking point. When discussing addons we are not critiquing the game itself. We're talking about gaining access to hidden stats which influence gameplay; we're talking about learning.

You know how Disgaea was awesome because it displayed everything? Do you remember how great it was to be able to see pages of stats regarding damage, character abilities, past accomplishments, etc.? Well, addons basically do that; addons transform World of Warcraft from Pokémon into Disgaea.

And hell if I can understand why someone would choose to play the Pokémon version of WoW over the Disgaea version of WoW.

Glenn Beck vs. Academia
I really like it when a Glenn Beck or Bill O'Reilly take issue with academia and spew forth puny little tirades about how liberal academics are indoctrinating our children with "the views of the terrorists".

Think about it. On one side you have professors who spend their lives reading, writing, teaching, and learning who attempt to educate young adults and instill in them a sense of curiosity and open-mindedness. On the other side you have recovering alcoholic Glenn Beck. That right there, to me, ends the debate.

Last night Glenn Beck was upset. Upset because liberal academics are on the side of the terrorists. Liberal Academics do not want us to indiscriminately bomb brown people as a result of our being terrified by something that happened seven years ago. Liberal Academics want us to treat captured terrorists well, to maintain a sense of decency and not stoop to their level. Liberal Academics want their students to be aware of the world in which they live and understand nuance.

And, sure, professors are human and make mistakes. Professors are not infallible. But it still seems foolish to advocate Glenn Beckian ignorance and terror over, say, nuance and understanding.

What confuses me the most, though, is how inharmonious these views are.

Liberal academics, to use Glenn's term, want the policies of the United States to be subject to the ideals to which we as a nation supposedly cling. Liberal academics do not want to torture people because torture is bad; we have defined it to be such. Liberal academics want the policy of the United States to be subject to rules which are in accord with ideals.

People like Glenn Beck, though, want that same thing. Only the ideals to which Glenn Becks cling are more focused on men fucking other men and women being homemakers.

Each group want to subject their self to ideals. But what they disagree on are the ideals to which they must be subject. One thinks we must uphold our ideal of foreign policy but may release our ideal of heterosexual marriage. One thinks we must release our ideal of foreign policy but must uphold our ideal of heterosexual marriage.

And both seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that they're each making the exact same arguments. They're just using different nouns.

Bringing it together
What I wanted to do was combine these rants to show how context matters, how context is basically the thing from which all others operate. A proper understanding of context would allow Glenn Beck and Liberal Academics to agree. A proper understanding of context might spur far more WoW players to install addons.

The problem is that we have different views of these contexts. There is a context in which torture is good and a context in which torture is bad. There is a context in which homosexuality is good and a context in which homosexuality is bad. There is a context in which Disgaea is better than Pokémon just as there is a context in which Pokémon is better than Disgaea.

Our job as human beings constantly subject to the human condition is to assess these context, to forever effort towards understanding them. It does not behoove us to pick a context and stop, to become entrenched in our own self-supported Dogma. We need to question ourselves and rethink what we are doing. We need to accept contexts for what they are and so engage them in an effort to better ourselves. We need to be aware of ourselves and learn.

And we really need to stop being dipshits and take care of our puppies rather than treat them as pieces of furniture with which we occasionally play fetch.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

iPhone SDK: Free Download

So, Apple made the SDK (Software Developer's Kit) for the iPhone and iPod Touch available to everyone for free. The only catch is that to use the SDK you need OSX and then, you know, to lower your standards to the point where you can tolerate using OSX. But the program itself is free. That's something.

It's up on or at least the link is. When I go there it says "Internet Explorer cannot display this page". But I am not on OSX. Because OSX sucks.

While I think it is keen that the SDK is available for free I am a bit upset that it can only be used on OSX. Not because I want to use it, mind you. Rather I'm upset that the only people who can write programs for the iPhone and iPod Touch are the effete fucks still belaboring their grudges about Windows ME while sitting in yuppie coffee shops being shitheads.

Admitedly, though, the majority of people who actually own iPhones and iPod Touches are those same effete yuppies.

And me.

Cause I like being able to browse the internet while I'm shitting.

Rants are Good: Zero Punctuation

On Wednesday afternoons when a new Zero Punctuation bursts into the world like a fornicating teen's unwanted fertilized egg shortly after taking a "morning after" pill I like to hop over to the related Kotaku thread to lurkingly frolick in the fanboy idiocy.

Whenever "Yahtzee" releases a new rant there will undoubtedly be irritated fan boys who decry the "review" and hurl insult at "Yahtzee" like bricks sent aloft by Christians lovingly embracing the message of Christ by destroying abortion clinics. And just as the Christians miss the point of their Holy Text (Don't Be A Dick!) so too do the fanboys miss the point of Zero Punctuation:

It is fun to find fault with things.

Ranting, nit picking, critiquing, and generally berating things is an enjoyable activity both for the individual and the audience. People like George Carlin, Lewis Black, and Denis Leary have made careers out of simply finding fault with things and so, too, has "Yahtzee". And while I can understand the reasons for which, say, John Hagee would not appreciate George Carlin I am somewhat perplexed by why a fanboy would dislike Zero Punctuation.

In a convoluted way players become personally invested in the games they play. If a person plays WoW for months on end, grows up playing Mario games, or reaches a new level of excellence in Guitar Hero there is a degree to which these games become a part of who that individual is. So in this way it would be sensible for a person who enjoyed The Witcher, due to some brain abnormality, to be upset by "Yahtzee"'s review of The Witcher. But what this situation fails to capture is the self-awareness gamers need to have.

I think it behooves an individual to be aware of their self, to understand their self. If, for example, an individual is obsessed with an ex-girlfriend it behooves that individual to acknowledge this even if that individual can internally justify the obsession based upon their completely objective assessment of past events. If an individual really likes, say, Devil May Cry 4 it behooves them to have the self-awareness to acknowledge that the game has flaws, that it is not perfect.

And this is the aspect of reality upon which Zero Punctuation focuses: nothing is perfect.

There are always nits to pick, always flaws to exploit and focus upon. And doing so, finding these flaws and picking this nits, is an enjoyable activity which both entertains and reminds us that we ought to have a knowing sense of awareness and humor about our hobbies. While an individual may be personally invested in a game that same individual must also acknowledge this investment and step away, so to speak, from the pastime and realize that while to them it is enjoyable it is also, in so many ways, a waste of time and a subject ripe for mockery.

All this to say that I really like Zero Punctuation and if you don't then you suck.

So there.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Zero Punctuation: Devil May Cry 4

NASA + QQ = Mars Mission

So, this is brilliant. NASA can finally harness the power of Emo via a one person, one way mission to Mars.

Alone on a spaceship headed towards Mars with the knowledge that you will never return? Man, that would be awesome.

Maybe they can power the rocket with the blood gained through the individual constantly cutting their self.

Obama Clinton: Dude's on Top

While I prefer to have the lady on top (It's just more fun that way) in this particular situation it is not the case that the lady, or the strained facsimile thereof in the form of Hillary, is on top. Let's look at some MSNBC provided numbers.

NBC News Delegate Hard Count (without Texas caucuses):
Obama: 1,307
Clinton: 1,175

Super Delegate:
Clinton: 254
Obama: 211

Popular Vote:
Obama: 12,920,961
Clinton: 12,322,695

So Obama has more delegates, Clinton has more super delegates, and Obama has won the popular vote. That being said can anyone explain why the hell Clinton is saying shit like this:
"Asked on CBS's "The Early Show" whether she and Obama should be on the same ticket, Clinton said: "That may be where this is headed, but of course we have to decide who is on the top of ticket. I think the people of Ohio very clearly said that it should be me."

Because she is not winning. Sure, she won three states last night after Obama won 12. But I fail to see how that somehow puts her on top.

Compounding my confusion is her constant statements that she is staying in for the people, that this is somehow their race and she humbly continues leaking racially skewed pictures of Obama to the press so that average, everyday citizens can have the opportunity to vote for her. And of course there are plenty of people who want her to do that, who want the chance to vote for her. Which, fine, that is great and all...

But more people want to vote for Obama.

And given how Democracy works...etc.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Gary Gygax Died: Insert Insulting D&D Reference

Gary Gygax missed his final saving throw, falling dead at the feet of inevitability.

Has anyone looted him yet? I wonder what he dropped...

The best argument against Humanity II

In yesterday's rant I condensed my hatred of humanity down to a pithy knockoff of a Chuchhill quote while supporting my argument with examples from movies I have recently watched. Overall I think the rant was in accord with the journalistic excellence readers have come to expect from the rants I write on Everyone Is A Sith while my boss is at lunch. For those of you who missed the rant (even though it is right fucking there) and so require a summary here it is:

"The best argument against humanity is a five minute conversation with the average human being."

While everyone has ample examples from their own lives upon which they may reflect to see the wisdom within this quote apparently the good people at Fox News decided that rather than dwell in abstracts I needed a real-world, timely example to showcase the genius of my pithy little quote. So, out of the kindness of their black hearts, they posted an article by John R. Lott, Jr. entitled, wait for it, Global Warming: Is It Really a Crisis?

The article itself is the usual hodgepodge of "my scientists say your scientists suck", "human beings cannot impact the planet", and "I don't want to not drive my Hummer" idiocy presented in the same faux scientific manner as every other head-buried-in-ass-sand-stupid article written by unobjective dipshits. But what sets this article apart is this little gem:
"If we believe that man-made global warming is “bad,” we still don’t want to eliminate all carbon emissions. Having no cars, no air conditioning, or no electricity would presumably be much worse than anything people are claiming from global warming."

Ok. Since John R. Lott, Jr. missed this I will assume that others missed it too. Let me state this clearly so that we can all be on the same proverbial page:

Global Warming and Global Climate Change result in EVERYONE DYING.

Ok? If we fill the atmosphere with CO2, cut down all of the trees, use all of the oil, and cram the remaining habitable land full of chemicals and trash we all die.

The lack of realization so many have regarding this point is, I think, a wonderful foundation upon which to build my argument that human beings simply fucking suck. They do not think through things. Human beings ignore the world in which they live and instead base their decisions upon idiotic delusions and baseless assumptions, romanticized ideals found in fiction rather than fact.

And it all comes from this sense of detachment human beings embrace. This notion that they are somehow separate from the world in which they live. I do not understand how a person can think that if we cut down all the trees and fill the atmosphere with CO2 there will be plenty of oxygen to breathe. I don't understand how a person can have an argument regarding global warming based on the impact of taxes on business. I do not understand how someone could not recycle, conserve resources, and fucking pay attention enough to see the world in which they live and ACT ACCORDINGLY!

It's all a part of this idiotic delusion human beings have embraced which is supported by this mask society affords them. Human beings no longer have to carry buckets of water from the river to their homes; rather, they simply turn a handle and water appears. So the understanding of reality becomes one in which water magically appears when one turns the handle. Of course it is not the case that the water has been filtered through their neighbor's septic system, that one is basically drinking another's piss. No, the water has been magic'd into homes. It's not the case that trees are needed to have oxygen. Nope. Oxygen is just magic'd into the atmosphere. The environment is not necessary for survival. Nope. The environment is there to supply materials from which one can profit. The thing that supports existence? That's something else. Has to be.

And it is all there in that quote. That self-involved, delusional "we still don’t want to eliminate all carbon emissions. Having no cars, no air conditioning, or no electricity would presumably be much worse than anything people are claiming from global warming." Human beings adore their stupid little system, their idiotic conveniences.

There is a trap used in Asia to catch monkeys. The trap is a hollowed out gourd or log with a piece of fruit inside with a hole large enough for a monkey to just get its hand inside. When a monkey reaches inside to grab the fruit it cannot get its hand outside; the fist is too large for the hole. Since the monkey will not let go of the fruit they are stuck in the trap and will stand there, clenching their fruit, as a person walks up to them and beats them to death with a stick.

Human beings are the monkey. The delusion is the fruit.

And when humanity get beat to fucking shit by nature's stick? Don't come crying to me.

Because I'm just going to say that I fucking told you so.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The best argument against Humanity

This rant started as a critique of the Winston Churchhill quote, "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter." The problem I have with the quote is that it is a downplayed, ironic, laughable representation of a valid point. If you have seen the West Wing episode where they use the quote you'll see this. The quote there is portrayed, as it always is, as an ironic exaggeration. Sure, there are problems with democracy, but it is the best we have.

As I delved into the quote and attempted to embrace it and so fix democracy I realized that the quote really is quite laughable and ironic in its simplicity. In truth, the quote does not go far enough. So here is my altered and, I think, more accurate version of the quote:

"The best argument against humanity is a five minute conversation with the average human being."

That's better.

Human beings really do not behoove anything. We don't help the universe. All we've managed to do thus far is clutter space with our trash in the name of "science". We don't help the planet or "nature". Rather, we've managed to destroy it. And when you think about it we really don't help ourselves all that much either. Sure, we have houses, painless dentistry, and Enzyte but fuck if I can figure out how that behooves us and takes us somehow beyond this mundane existence.

At the risk of discrediting myself forever more I'm going to use a quote from The Matrix right now:
"I'd like to share a revelation I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with their surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to another area, and you multiply, and you multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague, and we are the cure."

I know that Agent Smith is supposed to be the bad guy, that Keanu Reeves is supposed to be the hero (Fucking empirical proof that we as a species are epic failures) but the difficulty I have with this characterization is that Agent Smith is right.

Think about Jurassic Park for a moment. That movie is a wonderful portrayal of the human condition: Human beings use their intellect and abilities to fuck themselves over. And the worst part is the complete lack of awareness they have about it. In Jurassic Park they create Raptors. And then when the Raptors behave like raptors they are portrayed as evil, the villians, simply because they are trying to eat people. Which, really? Is quite a sensible way for a Raptor to behave. Especially when you consider that the Raptors had been crammed into a cage their entire existence.

There is an individual with whom I play WoW about whom I need to bitch as well. The guy lives in an apartment, owns a golden retriever, and seemingly never lets the damn thing out of its cage. How this relates to my present rant is his reasoning for keeping the dog in its cage: When he lets the dog out the dog behaves like a dog. The dog chews on things. The dog wants attention. The dog wants to run around and play. His response? Keep it in the cage. Because a dog behaving like a dog is inconvenient.

And that is so much a part of the human condition: this desire to denaturalize everything; to make everything conform to our petty and idiotic and convenient little ideals. We destroy nature to make suburbs. We effectively imprison animals to actualize this idiotic little idea we have of the human-animal relationship (as if that idea itself is not fucking idiotic and the result of speciesism). And we enact and utilize these adorably naive little systems of government to makes ourselves feel secure and superior without having the damn self-awareness to realize just how fucking futile the whole enterprise of humanity actually is.

"Why, Mr. Anderson? Why, why, why? Why do you do it? Why, why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you're fighting for something, for more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is, do you even know? Is it freedom, or truth, perhaps peace or could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson, vagaries of perception. Temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify it's existence that is without any meaning or purpose! And all of them as artificial as the matrix itself. Although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it Mr. Anderson, you must know it by now. You can't win, it's pointless to keep fighting! Why, Mr. Anderson, why? Why do you persist?"

Mother fucking right, Agent Smith. Mother Fucking Right.

I really do hope that I live long enough to see our idiotic little bastard species off itself in some terrifically spectacular culmination of years of asshat-stupid idiocy. Because we've had it coming from day one. And the sooner we're gone the sooner reality can get back to its own self-sufficient, beautiful little waltz.

I just hope we haven't fucked it to the point where it can no longer recover.

It's like he knows what you're THINKING

George Carlin speaks Truth.

Seriously.. it's like reading Jay, but more focused, and yet, offhanded.