Friday, June 24, 2016

Lacero

Just read Lacero by Andy Weir a short story set in the Ready Player One universe.  Not a bad story, short but it puts Nolan Sorrento in a much more sympathetic light, and by extension really changes the tone of the whole novel.  The thing I liked about it is that Sorrento echoed my feelings about the OASIS.  Mainly that the problems of the novel's world were exacerbated by people escaping into the fictional virtual world.

Highly recommended.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Just Gonna Say It - I Hate GURPS

My Friday Night Gaming Group is currently in the middle of a Cyberpunk campaign that is being run in GURPS. After some fits and starts we are at the point where we are ready to enter cyberspace in avatar form.  In and of itself I am fairly excited about that, but...  (There is always a but right)  In order to do so we have to generate avatars that a essentially second characters.  I was sitting down trying to get mine together and I am like blech - I don't really like GURPS in general and I really hate the character generation system.  So I am doing what all mature adults do - procrastinating.  Probably 15 minutes before the game I will slam something together and hope.

Another concern - In cyberspace our characters can be anything from any genre, technology and magic both work and some areas will be fantasy themed some tech themed.  Now I know that seems fun, it worked well in Ready Player One, but none of my co-players have shown much excitement about this campaign - I am pretty sure we are only playing this because I bitched so much about being stuck in fantasy games all the time - and they keep trying to fantasy theme their characters carrying swords and daggers instead of guns etc so I am afraid that this is just going to turn into a fantasy game inside the larger game.  I guess my character could just refuse to enter cyberspace and sit out the next 6 or 7 weeks, but since I am the only character with neural jacks that would kind of put everyone else at a disadvantage.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Goal

A while back I wrote about a book called The Phoenix Project which is a novel centering around a VP of IT and his embrace of DevOps and ITIL; well, recently I found out that book was based off another instructional novel called The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement.  I enjoyed The Phoenix Project so I decide to give The Goal a try also.

It was actually pretty good.  The story held together pretty well, even the stupid romance parts, which frankly is where the hero needed the most improvement, and it moved at a pretty quick pace.  I thought that the book did a pretty good job of explaining LEAN and Just in Time Inventory and the Theory of Constraints as well as echoing my ongoing belief that the MBA fascination with quarterly numbers tends to destroy businesses.  Probably not for everyone, but I am weird and read crap like this for fun, even though Monty (from ace of Spades) will tell you I am far too stupid to understand such things.

Anywho if you are a freak like me, and I don't mean that in the Adina Howard way, read it.




Oh, the Author has a couple other books so I am starting his book on Critical Chain Project Management. Another area I am wholly unqualified to understand, but us morons have to stay occupied somehow.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Vroom Vroom - new candidate for worst music video ever



 I generally find Charli XCX's music entertaining, maybe not the best stuff in the world, but entertaining; I mean you can dance to Break the Rules and a she was the saving grace in Fancy - and people like Boom Clap and a few other songs of hers, but this song just sucks, like pound my self in the head with a ball peen hammer sucks.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Oh Dear God, LinkedIn to be inexorably linked to Microsoft Word

Clippy Redux per the source
Mr. Nadella supplied one explanatory clue in an email that he sent to Microsoft employees. “This combination will make it possible for new experiences,” he wrote, such as “Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete.” He went on to predict that such experiences would “get more intelligent and delightful.”
No, you idiot - it won't be delightful.  It will be annoying and hate-inducing.  This will cause a vast exodus from LinkedIn, which may be overdue given how bloated and unwieldy it has become, as well as forcing people who just want to fill out their TPS reports or write their term papers in peace to Google Docs.




Thursday, June 16, 2016

On Gun Control and the Terrorist Watch List

Lots of talk about banning people on either the terrorist watch list or the no-fly list from buying guns since the Orlando shooting.  I have two thoughts on the subject:

1.  It is reasonable that people on either list should be subjected to extra scrutiny, but without some sort of court action (and I will even include the filing of an indictment in that definition) they should not have their rights infringed.  I say that they should be subjected to extra scrutiny so that if they are being investigated the investigators have notice of whats going on.

2.  When did we start equating accusation with conviction.  Personally I think it started back in the 80s with MADD and their bullshit, but it has steadily grown over the years.  Now it doesn't matter what the accusation is you are presumed guilty as soon as it is made.  That needs to stop.

One other thing - I saw an article in the NY Times today - I Used an Assault Rifle in the Army. I Don’t Think Civilians Should Own Them.

One of the stupidest pieces I have ever read.  The guy gives three instances of reflexive violent behavior that occured after he returned from Afghanistan, behavior that was consciously trained into him and then further ingrained by time in a war zone and that equates to civilians are dangerous when they have high velocity small caliber semi-automatic rifles with large magazines.  If we actually follow his logic what the headline should be is "I used an assualt rifle in the army and should never be allowed to own a weapon again."

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Well Regulated Militia...

In the wake of the Orlando shootings I am seeing all sorts of calls for gun control again, most, at some point quoting "A Well Regulated Militia" as an explanation on why gun control is necessary and proper.

Here's my theory on that - Everyone reads that clause wrong, either trying to use it to restrain the individual right or an an explanation that the militia is made up of the people thus guaranteeing the individual right. 

I think it's an explanation of why the right is there - it's there for the same reason as the 3rd amendment (no quartering of troops).  At the time that the Amendment was written the founders had just finished a multi-year war which started in part when Boston was forcibly occupied, and efforts were made to disarm the local militia.  The founders wanted to make sure that a despotic state couldn't do that again so they include an article that guaranteed the right to possess weapons that could be used against the army or militia.  In other words the people had the right to bear arms in order to keep the army in line. 

Regulating the militia and preserving the security of a free state. 

In Federalist 46 Madison backs up the regular army portion of this reasoning.  The rest is just inference on my part, but I like it because then I am justified in my belief that I can own a small tactical nuke.

Why I am against Trump in 4 pictures


Make America Great Again


Self-explanatory


Mexicans and Muslims right now.  We'll see who else in a week or two.


Already happening.  Any criticism of Trump is immediately met with overwhelming vitriol from his supporters.  

From the WaPo
 The 2012 GOP presidential nominee was emotional here Saturday as he delivered an impassioned case against Trump. He said the business mogul’s campaign rhetoric — the latest example being his accusations of bias by a federal judge because of his Mexican American heritage — is so destructive that it is fraying at the nation’s moral fabric and could lead to “trickle-down racism.”
...
(this paragraph is out of order from the WaPo story but it fits better here.)
Then came Trump’s boosters, awkwardly imploring about 300 business executives and GOP establishment donors and strategists gathered here for Romney’s annual ideas festival to unite for the fall campaign. In a stroke of defiance, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus declared that Trump and the GOP would win in November “with or without you,” according to attendees.

I've said  it before, most people look at Road to Serfdom as a cautionary tale.  Trump sees it as an instruction manual.  Glad that I am not the only one seeing it.