Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Politics - Student's March

Politics - Student's March

Explain to me what is today, because this is the only thing I can see:

Thousands, thousands and thousands of students who rose up in protest.

Maybe a million. Maybe millions.

Students, teenagers, CHILDREN. Protesting their right to live. To draw attention to the fact that adults have failed them. Adults have failed them again, and again, for 19 years. Since a fateful day in April, 1999, when 13 people died and Americans did nothing.

The pattern repeats itself. Over and over, until Sandy Hook. 20 children are shot and die. Their ages are between 6 and 7.

America does nothing.

Stoneman Douglas literally one month ago. Another 17 students are shot dead, another 17 wounded. In the face of despair, and the agony of what they shared, those same teenagers now are demanding MORE. They are rising up, they are angry and RIGHTLY so.

They have been failed, and they recognize it. You have a country where a dude tried to blow up his shoes and now we all check our shoes before we go on an airplane. But the response to a gun in a school was to arm every teacher.

No one believes it. The NRA has become an organization lobby for the profit of itself and to maintain its stranglehold grip on power by any means necessary.

Including sacrificing children.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Politics - Gun Control

Politics - Gun Control

The opposition I see all the time to the term 'gun control' is split into two categories. There is the irrational, which is not worth engaging in because it has no recourse based on reason. And there is the rationale that sits in a position whereby the imagination has not yet seen a path forward on gun control. Whether wilful, or ignorant, or both, is not what I am interested in expanding upon here.

Instead, here is a straightforward proposal about what reasonable gun control could look like, based on a handful of other examples in other nations.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Writing - A Tale of Two Bards - West Marches

Writing - A Tale of Two Bards - West Marches

“Oi! Bard!”

Sedriks looks up from a wooden bowl of eggs and pork cracklins to eye a longtable of farmhands, the lead of which, a grizzled greybeard has just addressed him.

“That twanger on your back, is it just for show or can you play a tune?”

Taking one last long pull of the mead, the bard in question responds, “Isss not for show, how dew ya do. I can play it right smartly if ye have the coin for me trouble.”

There is a slight rumble of chairs and scrapes, the farmers rustle through cotton pockets and into leather pouches to produce a fistfull of brass.

“Here then! If you are as good as they say from the night of the attack, a song. More where that came from if we likes what we hears!”

Sedriks unslings the Viola, with a nod of thanks to the waitress who deposits the coin on the table before him. The room falls to silence as a long ashwood bow is produced from within a sturdy carrying case. The first pull of the bow produces a clarion clear note, low and mournful, echoing through the rafters and out the half-cracked windows into the evening rain.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Politics - Stoneman Douglas - On Evil

Politics - Stoneman Douglas - On Evil

Consider this: Right now, someone is doing a calculation on how much money it costs for the lobbying and marketing campaign to ensure that yesterday’s tragedy happens again. It happens so often, they might already have a spreadsheet for it. They plug in what state, elementary, junior high, senior high, or post-sec, how many children died, how many teachers, was the shooter black, or muslim, or white? They put in the guns the shooter was carrying, the put in whether the shooter killed themselves at the end. The put in a bunch of variables from the long list of shooting history

That spreadsheet kicks them back a number in the millions. That's the dollar value they spend on ads about 2nd amendment rights, on 'protect yourself and your family', on botnets and forum posters that 'the Democrats are coming for your guns'. On lobbying politicians to push their agenda.

That's the kind of evil we're up against.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Equality - On The Basis of Merit

Equality - On The Basis of Merit

Redditor Psyladine wrote a fairly detailed idea about why the argument "The most qualified person should get the job" lacks a certain amount of understanding. I wanted to save and share widely this contextual view for consideration.

'most qualified' implies the 'most qualified' inherently seek out the position. What affirmative action seeks to address is that half of all available brain power, i.e. women, are not pursuing the industry.

Since men already pursue the industry disproportionately we'd have to rule out a common factor explaining this discrepancy, the remainder then seems to be a contentious choice between implicit bias in the industry on the basis of gender, hidden disincentives towards women, or a factor inherent in the women themselves independent of the industry. Given the prevalence of sexual discrimination laws and the very existence of the civil rights movement, the third, while convenient in placing the burden of evidence on the non-participating gender, seems a bit too convenient.

The reaction to even token participation of women in the industry as being contrary to a meritocracy is evidence of that bias itself. When there is a disparity, corrective action does seem heavy handed, but the disparity itself is the issue, not the beneficiaries of positive incentives.

Let's look at it from a different angle. Say there's a fascinating industry directly relevant to the interest of the 18-45 crowd, massive entertainment industry here, nearly 100 billion a year.

When you look at the employment in that industry, you find out out of 10 people, only 2 are white to the 8 black (maybe a sliver of one goes towards latino or other minority).
The very fact of its distribution creates a specific mental image and set of preconceived assumptions about that industry, assuming you aren't part of the 80%. Sure, you might get in edgewise, you might even make it, but you will always be an outlier, an exception, and possibly, god forbid, a token used by the industry to ward off possible discriminatory action by the state.

This isn't about a 50/50 distribution so much as it is assessing a disparity and critically weighing whether that disparity is innate, cultural, social, or even purposeful and self perpetuating.

For the white programmer in the gaming world, you are the 80%. To hear that someone doesn't feel included, well, what's it to you? It's your club, your environment. If they want to belong bad enough, they'll bend until they fit into yours.

But it doesn't seem right, does it? Or maybe it does, and you don't know why it should ever be different. After all, if they aren't already a significant corpus in the industry, maybe they just don't belong there, right? Culturally, of course.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Theatre - World Theatre Day 2017

Theatre - World Theatre Day 2017

Isabelle HUPPERT
The message author of 2017 is Isabelle Huppert, the theatre and cinema actress from France.

World Theatre Day Message 2017 by Isabelle Huppert

So, here we are once more. Gathered again in Spring, 55 years since our inaugural meeting, to celebrate World Theatre Day. Just one day, 24 hours, is dedicated to celebrating theatre around the world. And here we are in Paris, the premier city in the world for attracting international theatre groups, to venerate the art of theatre.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Game Design - Resist Jam - If Not Now, When

Game Design - Resist Jam - If Not Now, When

It has taken me a week to collect some thoughts. I think that might be a hallmark of doing difficult and meaningful work. That you need to take time away from it, just a little bit, to decompress and actually think, and consider what you did.

Last week Sunday, the team of Chris Slater, Ian Pratt, Lindsay Comeau, Lawrence Cheung, Bryan Link and I completed our Resist Jam submission. Resist Jam was a week long game jam inspired by the recent events going on in America today. We were mandated to make a game about resisting authoritarianism in all its forms. We were tasked with making a game that showcases some ideas about diversity and inclusion.

Check out more information on Resist Jam Here.