Monthly Archives: August 2012

PLAYBOY INTERVIEW: RICHARD DAWKINS

There’s no evidence Jesus himself was barking mad, but the doctrine invented later by Paul that Jesus died for our sins surely is. It’s a truly disgusting idea that the creator of the universe—capable of inventing the laws of physics and designing the evolutionary process—that this protégé of supernatural intellect couldn’t think of a better way to forgive our sins than to have himself tortured to death. And what a terrible lesson to say we’re born in sin because of the original sin of Adam, a man even the Catholic Church now says never existed.
more on playboy.com

A piece of a good journalism prepared with care and effort and presented with well-rounded buttocks in the background. Reading with Instapaper is recommend to avoid unnecessary distractions.

The interview made me realize that I don’t really know the contemporary Catholic doctrine anymore and even made me consider buying a catechism to learn how the church deals with issues like reconciliation of evolution and the original sin. For instance, when the original sin appeared and did Neanderthals have had souls?

Your words are wasted

In a time where we are all gnashing our teeth about Twitter’s API changes that may lock out many 3rd party developers, Google Plus’s lack of content portability or lack of respect for the permalink, as well as the rise of country club social networks pay-for social networks like app.net we find ourselves asking questions like:

  • Why doesn’t someone make a free or cheap social network for the people?
  • Why can’t I control my content?
  • Why can’t I export everything I’ve written?
  • Who owns what I type?
  • Why isn’t there an open API for my content?
  • Why can’t I search posts over a month old?
  • Why can’t I have this or that username?
  • Why am I not verified?

All these questions are asked about social networks we don’t control and of companies who don’t have our best interests at heart. We are asking these questions in 2012? Read those bullets again. These were solved problems in 1999.

While Scott Hanselman raises a valid point here, he seems to ignore the fact real blogging requires effort while social networks give a pleasant illusion of meaningful exchange of ideas at the cost of mere 140 characters or less.

10 Recent Science Fiction Books That Are About Big Ideas

This Hugo-nominated novel is available online for free, so you can see for yourself why so many people recommend it as a blockbuster idea-driven book. Some 80 years in the future, alien devices arrive and take a snapshot of the entire planet Earth — then self-destruct. The crew of the starship Theseus sets off to find the alien intelligence that sent the machines, with a vampire captain and a crew of weirdos.
more on io9.com

Since the two biggest ideas of our generation are zombies and vampires, they both made an inescapable appearance on the list.

Why you don’t overturn the Big Bang via a media interview

The huge disconnect between what the paper actually says and what the author is promoting in the non-technical press is disturbing. Anyone who didn’t read the paper might think it supports what Quach is saying in interviews, and what the university press office passed along unreservedly. Effectively, the author attempted to bypass the peer review process any legitimate scientific paper must go through and appealed straight to the public, presenting claims that probably would not pass muster with experts in the field.

An instance of the phenomena known as doing “science by press release”.

Once a somebody, now a nobody: Starcraft 2 has destroyed my life

Here we are now, June 5, 2011. I’m 6’1” (yes I shrunk from all my inactivity), 235 lbs, I can barely do 25 regular push-ups, I can’t run 3 miles without stopping for several rests, and my muscles are so tight I can’t even kick properly anymore. My body aches. My skin is pale, I havn’t shaved in months, I shower maybe once week. I wear the same clothes every day, because I’m so ashamed that I can’t fit in my old clothes I punish myself by wearing these clothes. I’m afraid to leave the house to be seen; I don’t even want to see my friends anymore. All I want to do is sleep because I’m so ashamed of what I’ve become it’s painful to be awake and have to think about it all.
more on olganon.org

A first-hand account of Starcraft 2 addiction. It so horrible it sounds almost improbable, until one reads similar stories on Hacker News comment page for that article.

On the other hand, this person clearly has other issues with addictions and Starcraft is just one of them.

Obesity and Fitness Are Revolutionized by Reddit, Not Doctors

Reddit obviously isn’t the only burgeoning hotspot of fitness knowledge on the Internet, but its dynamics make it the best example of a recent trend. Lately, you’ll find fitness forums on many geeky, non-fitness focused websites, such as Something Awful, XKCD’s forums, and even 4chan (protip: don’t go there). Much of their content contains information gleaned from findings first brought to attention by Reddit. This new movement has acted as a catalyst for many new communities, which have popped up in the last few years, such as Paleo, CrossFit, and Intermittent Fasting.
more on greatist.com

The next revolution comes from Reddit and 4chan. The very sound of it makes me shiver.

The making of Warcraft part 2

His view was that most folks play games in bright rooms, so our artists should be authoring our games to play well in that environment. He argued that it’s easy to draw artwork that reads well when viewed in a dark room with no outside light can distract from the monitor. But when computer art is competing with bright lights it’s much more difficult to see. And fluorescent bulbs are the worst form of light available — the cold, flickering glow of their tubes tires the eyes and washes out colors.

So the lights were always on in the art rooms to force artists to compensate for terrible lighting by creating art that accounted for those conditions. These working conditions chafed on some (all?) of the art team, but ultimately led to artwork that stood out compared to products of the day.

The second part of the great article about making of the original Warcraft game. This one focuses on game design process.