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Force of Will: Days and Nights at the Carnival of Paradox

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May 24th, 2010


07:34 pm - Lost
Here was the point of "Lost".

To get you to talk about it, blog about it, obsess about it. That was only done by creating questions in your mind that you needed to see answered.

And if they weren't answered in the end? Talk, blog, obsess about that.

Yeah, yeah, they got me too.

Still, I waited until there was no more new advertising. Mostly...

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04:35 am - With Report
I still probably have suicidal thoughts several times a day. They are generally abstracted however. It's less of a plan. The thought just pops into my head. But this does not coincide well with my dwindling health. Like I say, I don't own handguns...

The actos plus met often makes my colon feel like I've just had an oatmeal and gerbil enema.

***

I've been a long time member and mod of a forum for which the topic is the NFL Rams. The creator and long time member just gave me and another guy ownership and quit as he couldn't handle the stress of trying to mod the place. It's just another net pissing contest. Anyway, this gentlemen is going through a rough time with health and family and the place was supposed to be a refuge and it turned into a burden.

I'm very fuckin pissed at a couple of people on there that this happened. And me and the mods are getting criticized. Look in the mirror you piece of crap and think about what you've done. Make the place so insufferable that the creator quits. Just try me...

WIll

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May 23rd, 2010


06:20 am - With Report
We had two gigs yesterday. Street fair at the county seat, and then a night gig at the local club.

We have been playing with probably one of the best guitarists I've ever run across. He used to spend endless hours watching Brent Mason tapes in slomo so that he could figure out what he was doing. If you don't know who Brent Mason is, look up the Valley Arts demos on youtube. Suffice he's the 12 time CMA guitarist of the year. Anyway, this guy J is also a pain in the ass to work with. Total spoiled athlete syndrome. He played with us longer than anyone else, but in the end he was just more trouble than he was worth. He showed up late today because he didn't know where we were playing even as we talked repeatedly about this fair by city name. He went to the wrong town. We took him to Nashville and he went down with $2 in his pocket. It would have been one thing if he'd have told us he couldn't carry his weight on that one, but he just sprung it on us when we got there.

Lil sister won the karaoke at the fair and so we get to open for Craig Morgan at the big county fair in July.

My wife wound up talking to another of the few very good STL country guitarists who was playing with the later band who is our most direct competition. His mates were all very nervous as he quit them once before. So that was funny. We were not even trying to recruit him. Face is sun/windburned and my legs are fried. We had to do our own PA for the fair and I just have so many spine issues that its a major pain to lug that stuff around and set it up. The night show was at the place where the guy has the Eden Metro plus Ampeg 1 x 18 and I just used that. Its a house.

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May 20th, 2010


10:41 am - Carb Hangovers
I now get carb hangovers that beat anything that anything but a near case of alcohol poisoning could provide. Within the last 12 hours I had a bowl of cereal and a can of ravioli and now I feel like shit.

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May 19th, 2010


01:17 pm - :xbox 360: The Saboteur
Walkin through the Wal Mart I see they had price dropped this one from $60 to $20 so I picked it up. Always looking for a bargain.

It is the next step in a Pandemic game from the people that brought you Mercenaries and Mercenaries 2. That is to say there is something compelling about what they are trying to give you in the scope of the world game, and yet they just seem to miss for some variety of reasons. As a note the parent company pulled the plug on Pandemic.

Anyway there is a lot to like about this game. Nazi occupied Paris is an excellent setting for which the game comes close to setting the proper mood. It gets very close but in one sense the game wants to be hyper gritty but at the end hits a cartoonish note in the artwork, characters, etc. This is another Pandemic staple. The other shortcoming is the controls which are just not quite good enough. Neither are they so horribly bad that they make the game unplayable. Just another note of Pandemics "almost great, but not quite".

What is good? Like most of Pandemics previous work the world is huge with tons of free world roaming things to do. This is Paris chock full of Nazis with their men, vehicles, gun emplacements, checkpoints, aircraft, sniper/watchtowers, propaganda speakers, etc., and the list goes on and on. There is stuff to shoot and blowup everywhere in an expansive setting. And the general idea of this is awesome.

They also used a black and white to color mode which tells you at what level you've liberated a certain area of the city. It is an interesting idea, but in some sense it takes away a level of suspense that could have been achieved. This is to say if you're walking around the the scene is in vivid color, you know there are probably not any Nazis around.

Anyway, I think it was well worth the buy at $20, but at $60 I would have been disappointed in the shortcomings.

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12:57 pm - About the President
I've been of voting age for 28 years, or 7 Presidential terms. I was rather aware of the political situation for maybe 8 years before that. So lets say 9 terms.

I don't know what the hell these guys have done. This is to say I've never felt any of it.

People go on and on about the President all the time. Or some other politician. But how often do you actually notice some change?

You know where I notice government? In road conditions/road work. Yes, I went to public school, but that is the case for most and has been for some time. Its second on the list.

This isn't to say that things haven't changed. I'm sure things have. There is information abounding that things have indeed changed. I just can't tell you how much of that impacted me.

And neither does this keep me from having an opinion on how that man is doing. They've all more or less done things which I read about which cause me concern, mostly with having troops overseas in some capacity, but they've all done that one and rarely has it turned out not to be costly in some way or another.

Largely here the feeling is this. The President doesn't do anything. Congress hardly does anything. The major points of law are covered. And so people railing about the President or some politician? Its like the noise a balloon makes when you pinch the inlet. Sound as a relief valve.

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12:24 pm - Incorporated Man
7:35 am - Investing in the Poor

http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2010/05/investing-in-the-poor.html

The Unincorporated Man is a science fiction novel in which shares of each person's income stream can be bought and sold. (Initial ownership rights are person 75%, parents 20%, government 5%--there are no other taxes--and people typically sell shares to finance education and other training.)

The hero, Justin Cord a recently unfrozen business person from our time, opposes incorporation but has no good arguments against the system; instead he rants on about "liberty" and how bad the idea of owning and being owned makes him feel. The villain, in contrast, offers reasoned arguments in favor of the system. In this scene he asks Cord to remember the starving poor of Cord's time and how incorporation would have been a vast improvement:

"What if," answered Hektor, without missing a beat, "instead of giving two, three, four dollars a month for a charity's sake, you gave ten dollars a month for a 5 percent share of that kid's future earnings? And you, of course, get nothing if the kid dies. Now you have a real interest in making sure that kid got that pair of shoes you sent. Now it's in your interest to find out if he's going to school and learning to read and write. Now maybe you'll send him that box of old clothes you were thinking of throwing away. Under your system you write a check and forget about the kid, who'll probably starve anyway. Under our system, you're locked into him.

...the real benefit comes about when those 'evil, selfish, horrible corporations' get involved. How long will it take for a business to realize that there's a huge profit to be made in those hundreds of millions of starving children?...Imagine a world where a bank gives a loan to a corporation to build a school, hospital or dormitory. Not because its the right thing to do; who cares! They'd do it because it's the profitable thing to do. And because of that, my system, not in spite of greed and corruption and incorporation, but because of it, will work better than yours in any time period with any technology you choose."

So who do you stand with, JC or Hektor?

Hat tip to Robin Hanson for lending me the book and from whom I cribbed the description of ownership rights. Hanson offers other thoughts on the novel.

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May 17th, 2010


02:52 pm - Vincenzo Natali to film Neuromancer
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2010/may/14/william-gibson-neuromancer-vincenzo-natali

Interestingly I find that the Neuro series goes through an arc and as it goes along the visual demands ramp up. Modern film tech is, I think, up to the task, but one could spend a lifetime doing the series and end up with hours of film.

Can Slim Pickens do the voice for Dixie Flatline? No, really. Tech that shit as well.

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May 13th, 2010


02:59 pm - Tea for Two
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/may/27/tea-party-jacobins/?page=1

"But the blame does not fall on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or the Republican Party alone. We are experiencing just one more aftershock from the libertarian eruption that we all, whatever our partisan leanings, have willed into being. For half a century now Americans have been rebelling in the name of individual freedom. Some wanted a more tolerant society with greater private autonomy, and now we have it, which is a good thing—though it also brought us more out-of-wedlock births, a soft pornographic popular culture, and a drug trade that serves casual users while destroying poor American neighborhoods and destabilizing foreign nations. Others wanted to be free from taxes and regulations so they could get rich fast, and they have—and it’s left the more vulnerable among us in financial ruin, holding precarious jobs, and scrambling to find health care for their children. We wanted our two revolutions. Well, we have had them."

There is something romantic and ugly about this Tea Party stuff. We played one and it was a mish-mash of angry rhetoric at best. There was no unifying principle other than frustration coming out over a loudspeaker. I can't say anything thought provokingly smart was said.

But I like looking at this sort of stuff. You follow the course of music history and where Schoenberg says "harmony is dead" releases his music to unload that freedom as a disconcerting cacophony. The artists and philosophers are usually ahead of the curve. Hey, I'm free to make up my own language that no one understands. This is what were battling. Anomie has perhaps become the constant state in opposition to any historical sort of social demand coming from institutions. And while the gubment is being picked on now, most are forgetting all the other battles which have been waged against institutional demands. Could I make the case that my life is more intruded on by big corporations than big government? Where is the line between tax and purchase price?

As an aside, the other day I saw the Reagan speech where he courts Gorby to "tear down the wall".

"We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek LIBERALIZATION, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Ron the Liberal. Oh, we do know our history. Or not.

And there is Liberal Progressive-ism in the Constitution as well. "Promote the general welfare". In every corner you can see how those old coots knew it was about fighting and both made the system slow and ponderous and with relief valves along the way.

Shrink government enough and you have anarchy. Lets go the distance.

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May 11th, 2010


11:18 pm - Game On
I'm waffling between Civilization Revolution on the 360 and the old Microprose MtG game. Yes, the former is a shadow of the PC versions. Yes the latter is abandonware from which you get to do degenerate things like have a deck with three time walks, two black lotus, etc., and play against an AI that isn't too tough unless you spot it a lot of life difference. Whatever. Its free and you get to mize the broken.

I was playing some WoW, but that sort of mouse intensive game puts me in horrendous pain after a while.

Kids have Star Wars: KotR going on the 360.

We've bought 3 versions of Diablo 2. They never load twice. This is in part why I'm playing Civ Rev. I have version of 3 and 4 for the PC but cannot either find all the discs or get them to load. My youngest son is just hell on all that shit and I've got 50 games if I've got one that are scratched beyond use. Oh, well. They complain more than I do. One day it'll sink in. Or not...

I've got a line on about a 3 year old Mac notebook for $70. It'll be mine, mine, mine....

Will

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