Archive for category Off Topic

Thoughts on #GamerGate and #NotYourShield

Warning: This post is about politics, and games and social behaviors. It’s extremely off topic for this blog in general, but it’s also something I think is important. I personally don’t like to stray into politics here, but this is something I feel needs to be said and I believe this extends beyond just video games. Please feel free to skip if this sort of thing doesn’t interest you. Comments are open but keep it civil people. Just because you have a right to say it doesn’t mean I have a responsibility to give you the platform.

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Google Glass and Technology Chicken Little

So assuming you’re a tech person and you haven’t been under a rock for the past few months, you’ve likely heard a number of things recently about Google’s Project Glass. As we near the expected developer and public release dates, there has been considerably more talk about Glass, what it will do and how people might use it. I’ve noticed what I consider to be a very odd trend in the tech coverage of Glass, a lot of baseless and speculative hatred of the product. To be fair, Google’s proclamation that cell phones are “emasculating” haven’t endeared them to the tech press at all, but it really seems to me like the tech press really wants to hate this one.

What’s interesting to me though is not that they seem to hate it, as the tech community often likes to hate on the new and different (see coverage of the original iPhone), but rather how that hatred is being expressed. Rather than declaring that “Glass is too expensive” or “it can’t wash my car / hax0r the Gibson / play crysis / run windows and is therefore useless to the average consumer,” the tech press has taken a new tact: they’ve declared Glass as the end of society as we know it.
All around the net there are examples of the tech community declaring Glass a social disaster like nothing we’ve ever seen before.

And yet I can’t help but hear in my head, as I read these diatribes, a old man standing on a street corner decrying the advent of the personal Walkman, or the cell phone, or instant messaging. If we go far enough back in time, i can even hear an old story teller decrying the first books as the end of the social event that was verbal history communication. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe that if Glass catches on that it will be a game changer, and it will change our social lives and interactions, but the fact is there have been many such inventions before, and there will be many after. To dismiss Glass this early out of some fear of the change it will bring to the social structure is, to me, an act of great hypocrisy on the part of the tech community. We have all been responsible in some way for ushering in a new era of technology that people before us felt would fundamentally of horribly ruin society. On the whole, these changes have been for the better, and assuming Glass catches on, you wouldn’t go wrong wagering that the changes it brings about will be for the better too. So go on, grab your new bad Sci-fi cyborg glasses, and wear it and enjoy the future, or don’t because it can’t was your car, or it’s too expensive, but don’t dismiss it out of hand because of its potential to change society. Changing society is what new technology is all about.

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An Updated Link

One of the awesome RPG links on the sidebar has changed. “Djeryv” has decided to step away from the blogging world to spend more time on other projects, but he has moved some of his tools to a new site. So what used to be at Djeryv’s Dungeon is now hereĀ at WizzarDawn.

Edit 2017: The link has moved again, and can now be found here

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A New Link

If you haven’t found this already, there’s a fantastic blog discussing RPGs in general, and Pathfinder is particular to be found over at Papers and Pencils. Go there and enjoy the wisdom to be found.

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Off Topic: The downfall of Brueggers

Nothing new happening on the game front these past 2 weeks, games have been on hold for various reasons. In the mean time, I’ve got a complaint. When I was growing up, Bruegger’s Bagels was a fixture of the local community. As elementary school students, we went on a field trip to see how bagels are made. Over the years, weekly purchases of a dozen bagels was nearly a tradition. Some of the best breakfasts you could buy were from Bruegger’s, and always a nice clean place, with friendly employees and a delicious smell.

As life moved on and I moved about, I stopped going to Bruegger’s (also, I moved to an area with less of them around). So today when I was looking for some breakfast, and passed a Bruegger’s, all of those nostalgic, overly rosy memories came back and I stopped inside. It was a disaster. To start with, it didn’t smell like baked goods. Instead, the inside smelled like any other sterile generic food joint that you can find with your eyes closed. An odd mixture of corporate approved air freshener and lemon cleaner. Then the service was awful. I wasn’t even sure the person taking our order was listening to us until he started grabbing our food. He didn’t look at us, barely said a word, and never acknowledged a thing we said. The cashier wasn’t much better. Here’s a hint employees, when I ask how you are today, I’m not just talking to hear myself talk.

And then there were the prices. Breakfast for two people, an egg, cheese and turkey sausage bagel and 1 bagel with cream cheese, an iced tea and a milk cost over $10. More than $10 for something that when I was a kid might have just barely broken $6. Even worse than all of that was the food itself. Tasteless bagels, the same rubbery (possibly reconstituted) egg and soggy sausage from a steam bin that you get at any generic fast food restaurant, cheese that just barely had taste, cream cheese that was bland (and globbed on rather than spread) and lousy drinks. In less than 15 minutes, all of my fondness for Bruegger’s was crushed under the weight of corporate compromise.

What went wrong Bruegger’s? Was it your decision to lose focus on your core competency and start serving “panninis” and other generic crap? Was it some misplaced desire to cut costs by serving generic fast food swill? What happened that turned Bruegger’s from a local staple with quality food to just another generic fast food place? I don’t know, but apparently I’m not the only one who’s noticed. A google search for “Bruegger’s going downhill” turns up a number of reviews and comments that this appears to be happening across the country. What I do know is that I won’t be going back to Bruegger’s again, a sad end to a great place.

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