December 15, 2018
I did a bit of thinking about a mobile game I liked a lot lately, "I'm Ping Pong King". The other game I recently finished is at the other end of the complexity spectrum - "Just Cause 4" definitely feels rushed, has very repetitive missions, super-fiddly systems of territory take over and weapon configuration, and is mostly inferior to 3, but I had a good time with it. No other series I know equals the beautiful sense of motion granted by the protagonists combination of grappling hook, parachute, and "Squirrel Suit" gliding (skimming near the ground, shooting the grapple forward and then yanking back to get a bit more speed is straight out of a flying dream - assuming you don't comically misjudge and pull yourself headfirst into the ground or a tree or something.) Combine that with a ton of fun to steer and shoot vehicles, lots of props that explode in absurdly gratifying ways, and a new mechanic letting you strap a lifting balloon and/or a rocket booster to ANYTHING (or anybody) with often hilarious results, and it's a solid holiday game. (It also has one of the greatest easter eggs ever for any a-ha fan) It was interesting comparing Just Cause 4's Rico's abilities with the web-slinging in Spider-Man. The latter is set in a much more realized urban world, but you don't really control where you're firing your webs, just kind of steering around it. Plus I never used enough to get really comfortable with the combat...
Another random rant nobody cares about: I've never been a huge fan of the Playstation controllers, while I admire the symmetry the thumbsticks never seemed super-comfortably placed and triangle/square/X/circle never stuck in my mind. In particular, I heard that in Japan, "O" means (roughly) "OK" and "X" means wrong, but when they regionalized it for the USA they made "X" be the default OK. For me, that will always feel badly placed, since X is on the bottom of the cross the buttons make, and I think "yes, approve, go" should be on the right side, indicating "forward" progress (in cultures that read left to right)

Also, it feels wrong to me that the L1/R1 are the smaller shoulder buttons, while L2/R2 are the bigger buttons - the bigger buttons are much more primary, I think, so the numbering will always feel backwards to me (in the same way I function better when my car and house keys are placed to make a kind of semantic sense with the layout of the doors.)
@ademklevy :

This page offers some variants of that last diagram...
December 14, 2018
sounds to me like someone's got a case of the s'pose'das!

Been thinking about this famous Simpsons line in the context of how I'm noticing everyone is very quick to use emotional judging to get to a stance of "this is good and I'm for it" "this is bad and I'm against it" rather than more finessed categorization; for understanding that everything exists because of some kind of set of cause and effect, and usually meeting some kind of purpose, but maybe a purpose that doesn't align with our own. (I think this "emotional judging" goes against Buddhism's suggestion that we not attach so freely, lest it lead to suffering.)

I mean, that's what a "s'pose'da" is, right? "This should not be!" and yet - there it is. From whence "should"? Going to "how it should be" can be used to deny personal responsibility for preference... I mean you can often trace it back to a lot of "well, we should make choices now to make outcomes like this less likely in the future, preferring rather a common-sense-derived set of preferred outcomes", but most people just go with their gut and-or defer to authority of one kind or another.

Anyway, is the line this teacher is using one (or similar to one) teachers actually used, or was it kind of made up for the show?
Sigh, in the interest of fairness- damn it to hell, NJ Dems, don't gerrymander too, you jerks.
Cracked has some thought experiments, mostly old stuff but some kind of new. I think how some of them - especially "which has more value, water or a diamond, when only the former is essential for life" and "would you ruin a $50 pair of shoes to plunge and save a drowning kid, but not send $50 to a foreign kid-saving charity?" only make any kind of sense if you throw away context. In most contexts, a diamond will gets you lots of water. In context, a drowning child is a problem at hand with a finite and bounded and satisfying solution, while sending a check involves chipping on a corner at a huge problem without resolution.

Noticing that brings me to this idea of how I'm a "cruxian", that I care about things in broad strokes and am relatively insensitive to nuance - basically, my brain is much more attentive to how things interact with their context. I'm blind to things like the mostly-internal excellence of a well-constructed symphony, say... not to mention a bit faceblind, maybe since the specific contours of any given face don't change how it interacts with the world (unless the personal is at the far ends of the beautiful/ugly spectrums)
Today's Nancy is on point.

Man. I feel bad for not being a better hermit crab parent over the years. They are so orderly!
With the rise of phrases like "horny on main", I feel like the word has recovered something it lost in, like, the 80s with 2 Live Crew's song - like it's kind of useful to playfully talk about expressed sexual desire without being too gross or too judgemental.
December 12, 2018
Lately I've been working on a personal timelines project, experimenting with visualizing the course of my life so far: where I've lived, jobs I've had, people I've been with romantically, etc.

Time for humans is such an odd beast - it marches inexorably forward, yet loops back on itself in the form of days of weeks and seasons in years. In experimenting with visual representations of it, I thought back to my old hooptime illustration, showing the idiosyncratic way I place a week in physical space (like when making simple day-of-week calculations)

Back then I mentioned and illustrated my even stronger sense of the course of a year - again counter-clockwise, with January at the top, and looping back:

Of course a simple loop doesn't display a forward progression of time, so for grins today I stretched out the loop into something that also expresses the movement into the future:

(It's not entirely dissimilar from repeat until death, my attempt to animate Christa Terry's ingrained visualization of an upward spiral of years.)

You can see the full p5 version here.

I'm still very interested in the topic of how different people visualize time, and speculation on what influenced that (clockfaces, calendar pages, whatever) If anyone has an idiosyncratic time-space mapping I'd be delighted to try and make an illustration of it.

"It's judgement that defeats us."
--Colonel Kurtz, Apocalypse Now. I have been thinking a lot on judgement lately; wondering if it's just a form of unnecessary attachment, this incredibly goofy need to develop a gut feel "am I for this or against this" on every topic that crosses our path.
One of the best Vine compilations ever. Man what a brilliant medium that was.
My recent devblog post on repeatable random colors in javascript is slightly more clever than sometimes plus I get to quite John von Neumann: "Anyone who attempts to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course, living in a state of sin." (At my first programming job Paul Morville made a small sign of that, since he thought my protests along the lines of "this code can't POSSIBLY be doing that" had a whiff of that "from structure, chaos"...)