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Close reading / good writers are perverts
May 10, 2022, 08:43:42 AM
Regarding [someone from the domino club]'s
good writers are perverts

Quote from: 17:22We will never have a perfect world, and it would be dangerous to seek one. But there's no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishing.
Quote from: 12:50.. the unsolved problems facing the world today are gargantuan, including the risks of climate change and nuclear war, but we must see them as problems to be solved, not apocalypses-in-waiting, and aggressively pursue solutions like deep decarbonization for climate change, and global zero for nuclear war.
Quoteif you combine our cognitive biases with the nature of news, you can see why [people have been perceiving that] the world has been coming to end for a very long time

Quick conclusion: Is the problem with the nature of news? Should we, and can we, move on from valuing 'news' at all? First of all, what is news? Is it what it sounds like?

QuoteNews (nūz), n [From New; cf. F. nounelles. News is plural in form, but is commonly used with a singular verb.]

1. A report of recent occurrences; information of something that has lately taken place, or of something before unknown; fresh tidings; recent intelligence.
Evil news rides post, while good news baits.
— Milton.

2. Something strange or newly happened.
It is no news for the weak and poor to be a prey to the strong and rich.
— L'Estrange.

3. A bearer of news; a courier; a newspaper. [Obs.]
There cometh a news thither with his horse.
— Pepys.

Back to Steven Pinker:

Quote from: 10:12bad things can happen quickly, but good things aren't built in a day. The papers could have run the headline, 137,000 people escaped from extreme poverty yesterday, every day for the last 20 years. That's 1.25 billion people leaving poverty behind, but you never read about it.

Is there too much of a focus on the "strange and newly happened", on discovering reports of "recent occurrences"?

I suppose that 'press' and journalism in general is distinct from news. I like receiving "information about something before unknown," but some days it feels as though we are enter a post-unknown world, where everything and everything is becoming further and further documented because of how driven we are by the news, by discoveries, by changes in the world...

What could replace it? What could be as compelling, once we are omniscient?
Primordial soup / Eating candy, vs whole grain
May 09, 2022, 10:26:24 PM
Sometimes I open up a bag of fuzzy peach and eat the whole thing and it's like 80% sugar. It's wild to see a 65g bag contain 49g of sugar, but it's also totally believable.

Browsing the hyperoptimized internet for anything feels like that sometimes; it feels like what I'm looking for is out there if I just keep scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.

Fictional Games / April March
May 09, 2022, 09:10:30 AM
from borges' "a survey of the works of herbert quain"

Quote from: Herbert QuainI have reclaimed for this novel the essential features of every game: the symmetry, the arbitrary laws, the tedium.
Recipes & Ingredients / Re: Grandma's Pastry
May 08, 2022, 03:58:36 PM
- Use more salt (I used something like 1 1/2 pinches - terribly precise, I know)
- Brown sugar clumps, regular sugar is OK
- Made it once with skim milk powder instead of whole milk. It was much more dry. Not sure if that was the fault of the powder, or the skim. (Perhaps both?)
- Don't make it so wet that it sticks when rolling
Recipes & Ingredients / Grandma's Pastry
May 08, 2022, 03:56:53 PM

Mix with fork:
  • 5 1/2 cup flour (pastry)
  • 1 tble br sugar
  • shake or 2 of salt
  • 1 tsp b powder

Cut in: (then add to rest)
  • 2 cups lard

Mix well and add milk to make 1 cup: (then add to rest)
  • Put egg in cup
  • Tble of lemon juice (sub vinegar is fine, but smells bad)
P.S. Doing weird shit that turns out to be successful is, yes, a thing that happens, too. I'm not the authority on this, and as mentioned at the top, this is not even about this artist specifically.

But you don't learn or grow by rejecting everything that makes you feel bad about what you believe, even if you can come up with a very compelling reason why the thing that made you feel bad might be fabricated according to some ulterior motive. That's literally how we get conspiracy theories.
OK, I lied. Here are a few quotes.

Quotethe post I initially linked to keeps harping on how doomed your project is when you make the decision to make it in a genre that doesn't seem to be popular on Steam. It basically breaks down to "if you're not making a deckbuilder, or management game, you're basically set up to fail", which obviously is going to cause a lot of anxiety in people who are either inexperienced and/or are fairly deep into a project that just happens to be in a genre that isn't one of those I just mentioned.

QuoteWhat purpose does instilling a sense of despair in people serve here?

Quotea lot of the business and marketing advice for game developers out there, works really, really hard to make its readers feel inadequate and afraid

Quotethe purpose of these posts isn't really about informing people about strategies on how to sell their game (after all, just knowing that platformers might have a harder time on Steam, doesn't help anyone who tries to sell them anyway), it's about their writers trying to sell themselves as experts to an audience they manipulated into feeling inadequate and desperate.

The problem is that the popularity of a genre does, as the statistics show, have an impact on profitability. mokko acknowledges this:

QuoteI felt incredibly anxious and defensive, because well, I'm making a platformer again! And Platformers don't sell! Which I'm not disputing here, by the way.

But when mokko asks this question, "What purpose does instilling a sense of despair in people serve here?", there's the distinct possibility that a sense of despair is the correct reaction to the truth. All these other imagined motivations, that writers are doing this because they want to make a profit, they want to scare you, etc., these do not matter if what you care about is selling a platformer to an audience that doesn't exist.

QuoteWhat actual advice does this provide to people aside from "if you're making a platformer, finish it as quickly as you can and do something else"?

Sometimes a thing you want to be possible is impossible, and there's nothing you can do about it without fundamentally compromising what it is that you want.

I'm sorry. You can't ignore the truth forever.
Marketing without fear

I won't quote anything from the second blog post; all it did was cement in my mind that this is a person who wants to sell games, who thinks a fair amount about marketing and the financial reality of trying to sell games. The "Impossible Games Manifesto" is written from the perspective of a person halfway through the process of (1) rejecting market forces while still (2) wanting/hoping/expecting to benefit from engaging with the market...

and it shows.
QuoteDemand the Impossible

  • If making impossible games is not possible, create a world where it is.

I don't know how to read this except as "If making the games you want to make is not profitable or valued, somehow figure out a way to change the world so that making the games you want to make is profitable or valued."

Why not just make the games you want to make? What's with this creating the world thing that has to come before making impossible games? We started with "Always let your desire to create and communicate fuel the rest of your decisions." & "Your ideas are more than whatever worth is being attached to them by a marketplace." but now the statement seems to be more like...

"Being allowed to express your desire to create and communicate is the end goal, but you can't do it yet, it's impossible under these conditions."

"Your ideas are actually worth exactly what is being attached to them by a marketplace, so change the marketplace first."
  • Not having a job is not a personal flaw, it's a sign that bosses are having trouble finding ways to exploit your existence for profit.

"Not having a job is not a personal flaw" -- this is absolutely true and I agree with it 100%. But I think the following clause is kind of... linguistic trickery. Like a leading question, it comes pre-loaded with an assumption/bias, in this case that the relationship you have with money must be exploitative, combative, that the only way to have a job is to be exploitable and exploited, and that the only thing that a boss could possibly see in you is profit margins.
QuoteMake it impossible for others to ignore you.

There's no "right way of doing things", aside from the right way to maintain the status quo.

  • Following the rules set out by those in power means confirming the notion that they have power over you to begin with.
  • Seeking approval from the powerful, means destroying yourself.
  • Rejecting their rules and their approval, also means rejecting the power they have over you.
  • Never reject yourself, force others to engage with your work and do the rejection for you.

"Following the rules set out by those in power means confirming the notion that they have power over you to begin with."

This bullet point is in denial about a tautology which it sets out itself. "Those in power" literally describes those who have power. This is not a 'notion', it is the material truth. You can confirm or deny it all you want.

Also, "Make it impossible for others to ignore you" as a header kinda has nothing to do with the points underneath. I can see the connection but it's pretty thin. This is more like "Act as though it's impossible for others to ignore you even if they're ignoring you," which I think might actually be good advice, but it is definitely not the same as manifesting unignorableness. If/when this fails and you are ignored because you were just pretending you wouldn't be, then what? Do you "deny the notion that other people are ignoring you"?