• 11 Posts
Joined 1Y ago
Cake day: Jan 28, 2022

I'm honestly not sure how to summarize this video. It's a very interesting look at the way that the impulse to "optimize" gameplay affects the culture surrounding games, especially MMOs and other multiplayer games. It particularly looks at World of Warcraft and the social norms that have developed around and within the game. It's a long watch but I found it really interesting, and I have zero connection to WoW and have never played it.

Yeah, it’s been the one feature that I’m really missing badly. Edge was genuinely a very good UX experience as far as a daily driver browser goes, and if it weren’t for the persistent feeling that I ought to be supporting FF just so there’s a little diversity in the browser space I’d probably still be using it.

Here is a blog post that I know really influenced my feelings about moderation and rules in online communities, and came up a lot in discussions of what we wanted Beehaw to be. I think we all really just want Beehaw to be a place where nice people want to stay…

I switched back to Firefox from Edge recently (I know, dont @ me) and the only thing I’m really missing at all is the way that tab grouping works in Edge. You can just drag a tab over another tab and it will automatically create a new group for them, then you can collapse groups in the title bar if you’re not using them. That plus Edge’s tab sleeping made for some easy and intuitive tab management that I haven’t been able to recreate in Firefox yet. I know there are some tab grouping extensions but none of them let you drag/drop in the title bar, and a lot of the better ones are very focused on tree syle vertical tabs, which I don’t hate but don’t really use much. I prefer tabs being in the title bar, because that space is going to be there anyway so I might as well fill it up with something useful.

Interesting twitter thread from PopeHat about what this might indicate.

It could be just my personal preference of course

I think that’s probably the case here. I really enjoy environmental storytelling, and piecing together a story from bits of lore and clues scattered around a game world. It’s just a different way of telling a story than a more guided or linear narrative. It’s not objectively better or worse than more traditional story forms. I do think that it is a type of narrative that is easier to tell in a video game than it would be in another format, which is why it feels like such a novel experience to me. I had a very different experience of Breath of the Wild from you, incidentally. Which I think just goes to show how strongly subjective these things are. I found BotW to be incredibly engrossing, and I’ve beat it at least three times, the last of which I cleared all shrines. I mostly didn’t approach the game as a checklist of things that needed to be done, though, or as something that needed to be progressed through in order to get to a particular point. It’s not really structured that way. If you want, as soon as you get off the starting plateau you can just go fight Ganon. There’s literally nothing stopping you other than a lack of health and good gear, and from watching speedruns it doesn’t actually take that long to get pretty passable gear anyway. I constantly found myself traversing huge portions of the map in that game just out of curiosity to see what was over the next hill, or around this mountain, and I felt that the game almost always rewarded that curiousity.

I don’t think that Open World mechanics are at odds with good story-telling, I just think that they are better suited to a different type of storytelling than the traditional linear video game story.

I think the problem is more that a lot of studios want to shoehorn a traditional linear narrative into an open world and usually what that ends up meaning is one of two things. Either you have certain places that the game tells you to go to get more story, and the rest of the world is really just sidequest land (looking at you, Ubisoft), or you wind up having a lot of exposition thrown at you while you’re moving from point A to point B (Rockstar…).

I think good story-telling in an open world is possible, but to effectively use the open world it needs to be different. Environmental storytelling is a lot more important in these types of games. I think Breath of the Wild did a pretty good job of this, although it wasn’t perfect. But I think the environment was put together in a way that you could really start to understand the backstory of the world without somebody lore dumping at you. The problem with BotW is that they didn’t trust the player to pick up on the story, so they still included the lore dump. I think Elden Ring also has some really good open world storytelling. It’s opaque but very evocative. You’re given a few details about the past, but the real heavy lifting is done through the environment and the items you find throughout the world.

I was wondering the same thing. There are a fair number of plants like this in the area that supply parts to Hyundai and I suspect there are similar things happening at most. I also get the impression that our AG is looking the other way as hard as he can on this. Hyundai brings a lot of jobs and money to the state and they’ve got a lot of influence here.

Boo has been around for literally decades in its current form (I’m from the south and I heard it growing up in the 90’s and 2000’s), zoomers didn’t invent it out of nowhere. And it’s almost certainly a variation of ‘beau’ which dates back to the 1700’s. You might have noticed it becoming popular overnight, but it didn’t come from nowhere and it’s been part of the regional dialect here in the south for years. That’s how language usually works, it develops slowly and regionally, sometimes locally, and spreads; or something happens to popularize that variant in a larger english-speaking area.

I’d argue that the singular ‘they’ has been doing just that in the last decade or so, pretty quickly gaining wider acceptance as the leading gender neutral pronoun. I’m not opposed to other alternate pronouns, and if somebody asks me to use one I’ll do my best to remember and respect that, but IMO it’s going to be an uphill battle for neopronouns because they don’t have the foothold that the singular ‘they’ already has in being used in very closely related situations. Sure, it would be “neater” in some ways to have a gender neutral pronoun that used singular verbs, but honestly English is such a mess that it’s not really adding much more confusion. In fact, we already have an example of a plural pronoun that made the shift to being used as both plural and singular: ‘you’. ‘You’ used to be the plural second-person pronoun, with the singular being ‘thee’. However, ‘you’ made the shift gradually to being used in both the plural and singular, although ‘you’ is still grammatically plural, i.e. you say ‘you are’ not ‘you is’ even when referring to a single person. That ambiguity between singular and plural seems to be the main objection that most people have to the plural ‘they’, but most people don’t really have any issues with ‘you’ because it’s been used in that way for so long that it’s been normalized. Likewise, I think the singular ‘they’ will be totally natural for native speakers in a generation or two, barring the complete overthrow of the english-speaking world into some kind of Handmaiden’s Tale dystopia…

Yeah, the modern usage of ‘they’ as a pronoun for a known, specified antecedent of non-binary gender is fairly new, but there are enough related uses of the singular ‘they’ that it think it’s not as much of a stretch for people to adapt to than an entirely new word.

I don’t think ‘it’ would fly in English. It would be quite dehumanizing as a gender neutral pronoun. We generally only use ‘it’ for objects or animals that we don’t assign any kind of sentience to. Some folks in the US will even get weird if you refer to their pet as ‘it’.

I think ‘they’ is probably the best bet we have for any kind of gender neutrality in English. There is a long history of using ‘they’ as a singular pronoun, usually when referring to an antecedent of unknown or ambiguous gender. This practice goes back as far as the 14th to 16th century in English, and most native English speakers will be quite comfortable with this type of usage. Adapting to using it as a singular, gender neutral pronoun in other situations will take time, but less time - I suspect - than trying to convince people to use a neopronoun of some kind.

I don’t completely disagree, but one of the problems with smart glasses continues to be creating a clear display that is unobtrusive, clear, and doesn’t obstruct your view. What’s interesting about this smart contact is that the display is so small and so close to your eye that you basically can’t see the screen itself, but the display is supposedly very crisp. Now whether that’s true in practice I don’t know. And there are a ton of other technical hurdles to overcome. I suspect battery life is probably a big issue, but also the FoV is apparently somewhat of a problem, which they are trying to overcome using eyetracking and software. It’s at least really interesting.

Hands-on: Mojo Vision’s Smart Contact Lens is Further Along Than You Might Think
Mojo Lens seems to have created a "smart contact lens" with a pretty dense display along with a fair number of other features including a wireless radio, accelerometer, gyro, and magnetometer (for eye tracking). It all seems to fit into an incredibly small package which is apparently thicker than normal contact lenses, but still wearable as demonstrated by their CEO. It seems like a pretty exciting piece of tech. I have suspicions that the battery life is probably the most limiting factor but I'm going to be following this with interest.

I had a lot of fun with this, and it generated a lot of discussion on a Discord channel that I’m on with some friends. There was a pretty interesting split in the “kill count” between folks who were more utilitarian in their decision making (chose to directly intervene, resulting in fewer deaths) and a couple of people who had higher “kill counts” that were a result of more deontological ethical frameworks (i.e. killing is wrong, and flipping the lever and intervening is killing someone even when the end result is fewer deaths).

It led to some really fun discussions about problems of knowledge in utilitarian ethics. If you have perfect knowledge of a situation, then it’s not that difficult to make an ethical decision. I know that 1 person will die if I flip the switch, but I know that 5 will die if I don’t. However, we rarely have perfect knowledge of the effects of a decision in real life, so consequentialist decision making can be a lot more fraught in the real world, because we may understand the situation wrongly and our decision could result in a bad outcome. That’s why I appreciated the prompts where the results were obscured in some way, such as the one where you have left your glasses at home and so you’re not sure if there really are 5 people on one track and 1 on the other, and the one where the two outcomes are expressed as probabilities. It led me to realize that in real life I tend to operate with a “two-level consequentialist” ethic. I try to base my decisions on their outcomes, but in times or situations where that calculus isn’t possible, I tend to fall back into a sort-of “rule consequentialism”.

I do think that one thing this presentation of the trolley problem does poorly is that it doesn’t emphasize that your choices are between inaction and intervention, i.e. that the outcome of the straight track is the result that would happen if you weren’t present, or if you don’t act, and the outcome of the side track is the result of direct action. This is implied in the whole setup of the Trolley Problem, so somebody who is already familiar with the thought experiment will understand that, but somebody who is only familiar with the more meme-ified version might not understand that the first decision is between whether it is wrong to take direct action to kill someone in order to prevent more deaths. The way that folks arguing against utilitarianism like to frame it is to question whether it would be ethical to kill one healthy person and harvest their organs to save 5 others.

Anyway, all this to say that I really enjoyed this little site for prompting a lot of fun discussion in my friend group.

I’m not totally sure where you’re disagreeing with this video. I don’t think he’s trying to claim that CoD singlehandedly invented the war shooter, just that its gargantuan popularity and the way it handles its themes and its feedback loops are at odds with the subject matter.

In all seriousness, this is simultaneously cool and absolutely distressing in a very dystopian way.

You know, that’s fair. I think you’re probably right that the video isn’t necessarily conflating the religious right with evangelicals. I might have been reading that into the video when it wasn’t actually there.

This is a decent overview, but I think it misses a few important factors.

One is that there is an ongoing realignment within christian denominations between conservative and progressive wings of even the mainline protestant denominations. These splinter groups, like the ACNA (Anglican Church of North America) and the group that is in the process of breaking away from the United Methodist Church probably wouldn’t be considered evangelical in the technical sense, but they are absolutely part of the religious right. I think the number of “evangelicals” in the political sense (not necessarily the theological sense) is probably higher than is being estimated in the polls cited in the video, but I don’t have any concrete evidence of that. There is also a very strong fundamentalist Catholic wing of the republican party that was very visible in the rise of the alt-right and the Trump administration in particular. Overall, I think that “evangelical” is probably a flawed term to use for the religious right.

The second is that he fails to address the very significant part that opposition to desegregation played in the early formation of the modern religious right. This article goes into some detail about the racist roots of the religious right, and that opposition to abortion rights was in many ways a pivot to keep momentum in the movement going.

A lot of the early members of Beehaw came from another link aggregation site that had a lot of promise for a while and then started to suffer from neglect and lack of moderation. Some of the folks there thought maybe they could do better, and I followed along partially out of curiosity and partially because the folks that were leaving were good folks and I wanted to see what kind of community they would make.

I’m not sure I can trust this currency, where’s the complicated distributed consensus mechanism? I don’t have to light a forest on fire to interact with it! The value isn’t even fluctuating wildly! 0/5 stars /s

Discussion of this article on other sites has been awful, so I'm interested to see if Beehaw has any thoughts. The book looks really cool, it's more tempting than a lot of the more recent books that Wizards has released.

Haven't seen much really heavy music on here, so I thought I'd post this. This has gone one of the most brutal breakdowns I've ever heard, as well as an incredible deathcore style vocalist.

This article is the first in an excellent ongoing series by al.com writer Kyle Whitmire, called State of Denial. About the series, Whitmire says, "Alabama has been poisoned by old lies. “State of Denial” is a year-long initiative looking at how Alabama’s past corrupts its present and deprives the state of a better future."

It was interesting seeing this headline over the weekend. RPG platform DrivethruRPG has also come out with [a similar statement](https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/comments/smx42p/drivethrurpg_on_twitter_in_regards_to_nfts_we_see).