I’ve noticed a change in four variables since a week back, and I am trying to determine which were the causes, and which were their effects.
First though, an allude on lurking variables. For those unaware, if event A precedes event B, for example if Obama becomes PotUS and the economy crashes, event A is not necessarily the cause for event B. In the example, Obama’s inauguration was actually a lurking variable, while ineffective previously established banking policy was the actual cause.
Which brings me back to the topic title. Playing EVE seemed to me the cause, and ceasing to write the effect. However, I had continued playing DotA while I had been writing, and I had also played DotA without writing through most of college. I had to wonder what else had been different.
Which brings me to the other two things. I 3) stopped listening to audiobooks, and 4) stopped wanting to do things, like going to the beach or walking the dog at night.
I did not listen to audiobooks during the school year, but I did read books during previous summers. I also wrote during previous summers, as well as during my audiobook listening period this summer. Since playing video games, if not EVE specifically, does not directly correlate to my writing stints, whereas book reading of some kind does, I’m going to tie those two together.
That leaves EVE and my lack of drive – and those two I’ve observed not only in myself but also in some WOW addictions that I’ve seen. Moral of the story? If you want to spend your free time playing video games (like me), don’t do it. Go out to a bar, go race some toy cars, go pick some cherries – but don’t play EVE or WOW or even LOL. Any game where you make progress is simply pulling you further in: good marketing doesn’t correlate with a good product (see: Microsoft, Apple, etc)
In introspecting on these variables on the beach with my dad this morning I stumbled onto a related doozy: video killed the radio star. More importantly however, video kills the imagination. The ambiguity of the 1000 words that a picture can substitute forces for the reader to imagine their own image of whatever is being described, thereby revving the imagination engine. Video, however, provides a single interpretation which requires absolutely no creative juices to be running. It’s great to relax on, but it doesn’t stimulate the mind the way books (written or audio) do. Watch movies, but read books too, especially if you’re suffering from writer’s/artist’s/filmmaker’s block.
The party being the questions I am both asking and attempting to answer.
I watch Smallville, and I was just now wondering how long this series was going to last. They can’t rightly be done based on the last scene of the season finale – that wouldn’t bode well for the Superman that we all know and expect (what with comics, cartoons, movies all saying otherwise). Or can they? Lex is dead, why should Clark stick around?
And that’s what hit me: Lex can’t stay dead. That’s the third biggest contradiction they could have (the second would involve Lois being dead instead). I thus propose that 1) Lex will return to Smallville and 2) The series will end with a face shot of either Lex turning past us and looking a little to the right of the camera (from the camera’s point of view), or with a scene of Clark in canonical red-and-blue looking off into the distance right after that Lex shot.
If I am right, I will be flaunting it in the year (or two (or three)) that it will take to happen. If I am wrong, my one hope is that someone comments about it. Hah.
I’m probably (here comes my clever inclusion of the title (again)) late to the party, as I’m sure others have already made the same guess about Lex returning before the series would end, but I’m also probably the only one who made the same exact prediction about the very last episode. I challenge the CW to prove me wrong by 1) using my exact prediction and then 2) filming yet another season, just to spite me. Why? Because I actually like the show! Now read the post title again.
The other party has been in Beta for quite a while now, and I, who have been on the Beta waitlist since two hours after it was announced, have only now gotten an invite. I have a Dell Latitude D630 running XP with the cheapest options overall: this means I have an Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X3100. Integrated graphics cards suck so much, that my guess is that Blizzard wants to know if my laptop will run their game. With the install now complete, I will give it a try.
UPDATE 1: Just kidding, it is now patching. And you got excited! Hah!
UPDATE 2: Patch done! And then suddenly, there was a v12->v12.1 patch that had to happen. Too soon.
UPDATE 3: This is just ridiculous. I’m going to watch My Name is Earl. I’ll figure this out tomorrow. Hah.
UPDATE 4: A day later, on the road, and having patched via a tethered 3G connection, I have finally found my way to the smooth login screen. Unfortunately, Battle.net doesn’t seem too happy about my improvised internet – I might have to wait until I’m on some respectable WiFi. Still, the fact that the menu loads is a good sign. I did have to reinstall and restart before the patcher worked.
UPDATE 5: Tethered 3G works just fine, but Blizzard decided that v12.1 that I had just finished updating to wasn’t enough, and rolled out v13. Downloading, slowly but surely…
UPDATE 6: Now, 13 patches later, I am about to try running the actual game. Moment of truth…
CONCLUSION: SC 2 runs with an Intel GMA x3100. However, my Dell Latitude D630 apparently lags the game, enough so that Battle.net lets me know about it. I tried playing an unranked practice and learned two things: 1) Lagging for 5 seconds every 20 seconds will bring me down to 0 of my allotted 45 seconds of lag within 5 minutes and 2) I still suck with Terran.
Recently I had a heart to heart with a friend, Max Lytus. He’s had some dark periods, and so we related by bringing out all of our old poems, songs, stories. There was some pretty awesome, even if long forgotten, material in our stacks, and so he’s started out his own blog at maxlytus.wordpress.com. If you can sing, and his songs strike you as poignantly as they did me, leave him a comment – I’d love to hear those songs produced, whether by an amateur or by a professional.
Likewise, you can find my own poetry and prose, as well as some roves, at a new(ish) blog I started at seldomjournal.wordpress.com. I’ll still be ranting here though, so no need to migrate if feelings aren’t your cup of tea.
If you don’t know much about homeopathy then you should probably read the WP article. I first heard of homeopathy when I read Voodoo Science by Robert Park. On the beach with my parents last New Year I found out that my sister had once been treated with homeopathic remedies.
She was given the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) and developed a rash and fever. Further medication only worsened her state. My mother was told by a homeopathic practitioner to stop all conventional medication and to instead administer ~7 homeopathic remedies at various times each day. Within five days my sister was cured.
My mother proceeded to embrace the Post Hoc fallacy by insisting that since my sister was cured, it was because of the homeopathic remedies. I suggested that perhaps her body simply needed the calm afforded by the placebos that were labeled as homeopathic remedies, as the only “medicine” involved were sugar and water.
My mother and I don’t see eye to eye on most issues, that being just one example. Perhaps it is the strong disparity in her Cold War USSR upbringing and my no-war US childhood, but I can’t help but revert to MBTI thinking. I’m an INTP. My mother always compares me to my sister, who Ive talked to and found is an ESFJ. I’m introverted, she’s ex. I’m intuiting, she’s sensing. I think and perceive, she feels and judges. All of those come with their strengths and weaknesses, but all of my sister’s strengths are my weaknesses. She’s in HR, I’m in physics/programming. She went to a huge school, I went to a small one. She makes her situation while I mold mine as it comes.
MBTI has helped me view what my mother perceives as faults instead as alternatives. My biggest reveltation has to do with my perception of time. Rather than taking the “do today what you can do tomorrow” approach, I find myself procrastinating until the last minute. The rare times that I do work early, it comes out shoddy. When I put it off however, I spend my mental downtimes (restroom, shower, falling asleep, waiting in queues, walking to places, etc) immersed in useful thought, often about the very things that I’ve put off until later. When I finally sit down to do them, I’ve had many hours of mental planning, planning which I wouldn’t have had without procrastinating. And to think, procrastination is very common in TP individuals!
If only children all took Myers Briggs early on in the educational system, and schooling was tailored to the children’s traits.
Back to the beginning: I sometimes wonder if my lack of belief in placebos and homeopathy diminish their psychosomatic effects. Perhaps however, my strength of resolve helps keep my stress levels low, contributing to a reduced frequency of illness (my worst this past year has been influenza, which I suffered for only two days during which I dosed advil, filtered half a dozen cans of soup, and slept for 19 hours each day, after delaying the effects for several days with Vitamin C until the weekend). Yeah, I think knowing is better than being ignorant, irrespective of which one brings you happiness.
Jumping onto the social media bandwagon, I proceeded to Twitter – only to find that I have nothing to say on it. One could argue that I simply did not embrace Twitter for its use – letting people who apparently care about your daily dealings know just what those dealings are – but I would say that I prefer a more personal mode of interaction for my “status updates”. I have also found that, of my initial ~20 contacts, at least three of them are Serial Twits (because Twitterers or Tweeters both sound ridiculous, and neither is as demeaning), who post about every little thing, and sometimes four or five times about the same thing. Whether it be a sports match, a gaming convention, or the influx of illegals into your backyard, I don’t care. Luckily twitter allows me to forever remove these spammers from my feed, thereby ending my friendship with them. Somewhat like breaking up over facebook – society in my eyes is hitting a new low. So now I use twitter for FDA recalls, NSF and NASA updates, and to see when Download Squad or RolePlay Gateway have something new to report.
Which brings me to something useful: Google. Having given up on Firefox due to a Google Gears + Integrated Gmail crash, I am now using Google Chrome for my internet, with Gmail for my email, and Google Reader for my RSS feeds. I Google Maps my public transportation, I Google Search for my search, and the only other sites I seem to frequent are Wikipedia and IMDB. If Google were to absorb those too (as per its blobular trend), and maybe make a Linux based Google OS, and take over Meebo for its multi-protocol instant messaging, then I really would bow down to that Blue Red Yellow Blue Green Red Skynet and consider myself saved by the Technorevolution. They did after all come out with the Android, and if naming is any indication of function…
So I’ve recently narrowed down my list of non-google sites that I actually use. They are Ficly, Photobucket, and WordPress. For some reason, I feel that Google Wave might help to centralize everything that I do online.
On an unrelated note, two of my professors were walking the stairways and hallways in a very solemn manner – slow, careful steps, hung head, stooped posture – until I alerted them to my presence, whereupon each of them in their respective incidents livened up and help a perfectly normal conversation with me. Then returned to their zombie walk as I made some distance.
But for those of you who do use twitter, I highly recommend TwitterFeed, Su.pr by Stumble Upon, and TweetPsych. I have decided that a Tweet should either have a witty joke/comment, or a link in it to be of any use to anyone. “Mowing lawn, back in ah hour” does not qualify.
I am opposed to any sort of theism, but I do not hate particular people whom I meet who happen to be theists. I am sure that I am friends with many of them, so I keep my views in check when discussing religion with them. Often times I am regarded as negatively for being an atheist as I regard them for being theists, but when the topic is not religion we usually get along great.
And I know that when it comes to organized anything, including religion, people are bound to blog, make web communities, start organizations. Atheists have certainly done so, just like marine biologists, nuclear physicists, poets, etc. But when someone comes out with a message along the lines of
404 Server Error – Page or Article Not Found
Our holy servers are currently experiencing miraculous amounts of high traffic and atheistic evils.
I have to stop because my otherwise boring day has just been interrupted by an uproarious fit of laughter. My coworkers are looking at me like I’ve just been shot (or had a violent seizure). And its not even done! They redund the message a little lower on the page:
404 Error Page Not Found
Refresh to find the article you wanted, and if that doesn’t work please keep praying for an hour and then check back.
Which isn’t quite as funny, but wasting an hour to make a page not found error resolve is just nonsensical. (If the page doesn’t exist, your prayers will do nothing to make it happen. One of the webmasters needs to actually upload that page.) There’s more! They took the time to (incorrectly) explain why 404s occur.
Why do 404 error messages occur?
The 404 Error message was created by an unholy menagerie of vile atheists, Democrats, liberals and Godless Soviets in the Year of our Lord 1992. We’re told through electronic pathogens and demonic incantation rituals, they managed to create ways to electronically limit the amount of lost souls and seekers of truth that ‘web servers’ could process in a given minute.
Though their machinations are evil and everlasting, through hope, prayer and clicking refresh you can eventually overcome these wicked limits during times when tens of thousands of people flock to ChristWire per hour to discover the works of True Christians.
Yes, that is indeed taken from ChristWire wherein any non-existent page will (hopefully) redirect you to that compendium of knowledge.
Christians: how can you take that? Do you wholeheartedly agree with ChristWire’s message? Or are you appalled at this blatant defamation of your faith via ignorance and hatred? If you find that this portrayal of your faith hurts Christians everywhere, send ChristWire a message via The Holy Mailbox.
By the way, as per Webopedia, the error that they incorrectly describe as a 404 is actually a 502 Service Temporarily Overloaded – Server congestion; too many connections; high traffic. Keep trying until the page loads. Though I’m in doubt as to whether that has ever actually happened to them.