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Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Tale of Two Quizzes and The Bernie Generation

The original World's Smallest Political Quiz was designed by David Nolan. It consist of ten short questions, which you can answer 'Agree', 'Maybe', or 'Disagree'. 

An example would be, "Government should not censor speech, press, media, or internet." 

The resultant score correlates to a compass, denoting Left, Right, Authoritarian, or Libertarian. Anyway, a complaint I've heard lodged by a few leftists was that it was "too slanted". By that, of course, they meant "too libertarian".

Given that the choices are binary, as well as having a moderate option, the claim doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Their real qualm is that they don't like being called authoritarians.

The truth of the matter is that both parties, yes, even friendly Bernie Sanders, are authoritarian, and largely to the same degree. Plot any politician's stance on the Nolan Chart, and that's apparent.

Which leads us to this abomination. This is what is current being used to gauge one's political ideology:

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Seriously. That's a question presented.

"Our race has many superior qualities, compared with other races."

Erm, what? Crikey. I was trying to finish the quiz to get a screenshot of my results, but I had to stop. It's nauseating.

This is the equivalent of some trash app passed around on Facebook. Except it's not a joke, it's what young people are using to self identify. Libertarianism is now 'right libertarianism'.

If you look more closely, however, something more sinister becomes apparent. This quiz reads like a psychotic government's wish list. Fuck the census. It gets right down to the heart of the matter. How'd you like this information on each citizen?

"Military action that defies international law is sometimes justified."

"I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong."

At best, this is feeble sophistry. At worst, it's an ocean of millennial lemmings being led away from the very concept of liberty. 

""from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is a fundamentally good idea.""

Mheh. Fuck you guise, srsly.

And then the capper:

"A genuine free market requires restrictions on the ability of predator multinationals to create monopolies."

That's a lot of derp in one sentence. In what sense is this a political question:

"It's natural for children to keep some secrets from their parents."

Sub-Cosmopolitan Magazine caliber. These are the people that will be running the country. Or what's left of it.

It's part of a a bigger effort to pervert American libertarianism, of course, along with the movement to paint all anarchism as communist. 

"Abstract art that doesn't represent anything shouldn't be considered art at all."

Put the fucking bong down, guys. This has nothing to do with political viewpoints. 

Finally, after six pages of this crap, I get this:

You can't even be a libertarian, according to this quiz. Ain't that some shit? There's a page about race, religion, and a entire page devoted to sex. To score high left libertarian, you'd have to answer all of the Social Justice questions correctly, slanted as they are. I refused.

To replicate the results of my Nolan Test, well, I'm not even sure how you'd have to answer them.

At any rate, pathetic. We're doomed. Free market economist Milton Friedman?

Meh, he wasn't very libertarian... 

I'd love to know where they got each of these people's views on race, sex, and religion.

Oh, well. Feel the Bern.

Bernie Sanders' Dank Meme Stash

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Eight Rock Star Programmers You Never Heard Of Part 2

When last you weren't reading Part 1 of this article, I was going on about programmers as musicians, and attempting to write clever analogies. I make no pretense of doing that again.

Jeff Minter

Rock Star Status: Captain Beefheart
No, he isn't. He's Jimi Hendrix. I don't know enough about Captain Beefheart, anyway. But Jeffy is like, wow. He paints in big, bright, bold lo-res graphics, EXACTLY like if Hendrix was writing a song using an 8-Bit device. About Llamas. And that's just his early, blued-based stuff. His games are like records you can just put on repeat.

Possibly after bonging out.

It is 3D in which Mr. Minter really hits his stride. His broad strokes from a carefully chosen palette give way, mid-career, to concise swirls of notes, buzzing around your head out of the ether in a most cosmic-like manner. "Minter is God" read the buttons of the affected. Pure psychedelia in digital form.

Eat Electric Death indeed, man.
But Jeffy is more than virtuoso. He spearheaded an actual, if failed, revolution. One of his designs was slated to be the pack-in game for a system Nintendo was working on, named Revolution. This was obviously way too much for The Man, as the game wasn't included, and the system name was watered down to the non-revolutionary Wii.

Pic Possibly Unrelated.

Rock Star Status: Jimi Hendrix

Jim Sachs

In an eerie reversal of Dorian Grey, Jim's self-portrait stays the same as he gets older. But I kid.

If you played games in the 80s and 90s, Jim Sachs touched your heart, much in the way I assume Cat Stevens touched your heart in the 70s. With less guitar. He played with light and shadow in a showstopping way. His art influenced gameplay. Jim Sachs can get more out of a simple color-cycling animation than most guys can do in an entire album. Again, draw your own Cat Stevens references from that. 

Look, Jim did a lot of stuff, but let's be honest, here. Defender of the Crown will always be his . He's gonna have to play it at the beginning, middle, and end of his shows.

He influenced George R.R. Martin.

The next, eagerly-awaited Cat Stevens album from Jim was slated to be the eagerly-awaited 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea game. Drawn with the same loving attention to harmony and melody as one assumes Cat Stevens once did, the gaming public drooled at the prospect. I think we did it all using our imagination, as that's all we had to go off of. 20,000 Leagues. Jim Sachs. Defender of the Crown.

See that animation? That's what I'm talkin' bout.

Here's where it gets sad, and actually almost sort of parallels the life of Cat Stevens. It seems our Mr. Sachs worked so hard on this game, 20 hours a day, people say, that he eventually had to pull off of the project. The world is sadder for the loss.

Don't get too sad, though. We still get great things like his artwork.

And his very realistic aquarium screen savers.

In a sense, it's almost like Jim never left the idyllic aquatic environment of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, instead electing to remain there forever, in a world without deadlines or silly sleep requirements.

Dang, that is kinda sad, actually. He's on Facebook, really, so no worries. Although one wonders what his artwork would be like if he had instead embraced Islam...

Rock Star Status: Cat Stevens

Team Amiga
The Amiga people were more like The Beatles, but they looked and acted like the Monkees. By all accounts, it was like watching Sargent Pepper being recorded with Wacky Sax playing on a continuous loop. This was a famous misdirection straight out of  'The Art of War'.

Amiga were making a computer. Well, they were making a game system, ostensibly. But they didn't want anyone to know any of that. So they released games, joysticks, and peripherals. In fact, they released the original Wii Balance Board, the Joyboard.

Guru Meditation Not Included.

But check this out: In 1984, the Macintosh debuted. Black and white, mono sound, one-button mouse, single-tasking.

The Amiga came out in 1985, with 4096 colors (kinda), 16-bit stereo sound, a two or three-button mouse, and multi-tasking. It's been the model for computers ever since. Also somewhat obscure and European. Like Ozric Tentacles, I guess.

It's not like they stopped with one, either.

The Amiga's real power was in its operating system. Intuition, the backbone of Workbench, had mystical properties. It could read minds. Consequently, other Amiga users were your tribe, sight unseen. We were all hanging out a big muddy rave together. Somewhere in Europe.

Wait, wouldn't this make them more like The Velvet Underground?

There were way too many people involved to start naming them by names. Kinda like...Ozric Tentacles? But as if creating the most iconic computer of all time wasn't enough, a few Amiga people released some solo albums as follow-ups.

Perhaps you've heard of them.

Okay, perhaps I should stop picking bands I know little to nothing about. I have no good way to tie the Amiga people to Ozric Tentacles, short of using some cliched way to say they created digital/analog alchemy on a grand scale.

Nailed it.

Rock Star Status: Ozric Tentacles

Joel on Software Joel

Joel Spolsky? Rock star?

Hell yes. Although he'd probably cringe at the comparison, and we imagine he shuns rock star programmers in general. perhaps that's because rock star types don't always get on well with other rock star types.

And Joel is about as big as it gets, in a sense. He was project manager (or some such lofty title - I don't really research these things) on an obscure little project that may have passed across your desk once or twice in your life.

That's right. He wrote Microsoft.

But Joel didn't just rest on his laurels. Oh, hell no. He's now one of the top columnists on Silicon Valley topics. His articles on usability are like User Interface Design erotica. He builds teams and projects in a decidedly non-Microsoft fashion. Not content to rehash major label pop forever, he continues to refine his art, on his own terms.

Joel rocks. But he rocks in a timely manner, on budget, and meeting the targeted specifications. 

Rock Star Status: Tin Machine-era David Bowie.

Meme Bomb Post

Why am I dumping all these branded memes to my normally writing-oriented blog? Because they weren't getting out into the wild by Facebook. And I've have to be writing or typing, otherwise. But I'm doing them en masse, now, at least.

'Reduction of Forces' chapters 3-20 coming up soon...

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