Saturday, February 10, 2018

Chaotic evil + positivity

Candle art shot

Lyric OTD
Chimney falls and lovers blaze
I thought that I was young
Now I've freezing hands
And bloodless veins
As numb as I've become 
I'm so tired
I wish I was the moon tonight
- Neko Case, I Wish I Was the Moon, (live!)
Watch that Neko Case video, man. She's singing this song live.
Great song and lyrics. She's beautiful. And the best voice in the business. Neko is wonderful!

Awaken Online

Book: Catharsis Awaken Online #1 by Travis Bagwell
Review: 2 bill-stars (out of 5)... not good

This is the story of a high school kid playing a virtual reality (VR) role-playing game (RPG) because he got suspended from school. (hmm) That's it. (hmm again) I had to skim through the last quarter to finish.

The Goodreads genre here should be young adult and definitely not science fiction.  Did you know that Goodreads auto-magically determines a book's genre by the "shelf" on which users have placed it? Here's the link: I've never used the shelf feature on Goodreads. (hmm)

AO is very different than, for example, Ready Player One. In RPO, the virtual reality is part of a plot with characters and a theme and creativity and such. AO is very highly rated. I think that's due, in part, to its ultra-violence. But everything is virtual. When you die, you have to take a three hour timeout from the game. (sigh) There are allusions to how the game is changing people in the real world, but it's not really fleshed out.

I guess some of the jargon comes from existing games like dungeons and dragons. NPC is a non-player character, or a computer-generated element of the game. Jason, the story's main character and a sullen teenager (zing, ha!), has an "alignment" of "Chaotic-Evil". That's pretty funny.

A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. He is hot-tempered, vicious, arbitrarily violent, and unpredictable.
The major precepts of this alignment are freedom, randomness, and woe.
Young people and video game players may find the book appealing. (shrug) Not a good read.

Positivity from my favorite chart guy

Here's one of the best from my favorite chart guy, Mark J Perry. This is a great counter to all the negativity we get streamed at us nonstop from FAKE NEWS. It's something that any old-timer can confirm for you because we remember rusted out cars and eating at home every night and yadda yadda. Americans are much wealthier than in the past.

FAKE NEWSthe middle class is shrinking, getting squeezed. (gasp!)
Realityin the last 50 years, both middle class and lower-income groups have shrunk.
Well wait a second, how the heck is that even possible?
There's only one answer... Americans have moved up to the high-income category.
Positivity and Prosperity!

Chart OTD
...the middle class really is shrinking, but it’s because so many US households are moving up to higher income groups.
- Mark J Perry, Yes, the US middle class is shrinking, but it’s because Americans are moving up

I'll sneak this one in here, too. Pretty interesting  What percentage of oldies are still working? Basically, more oldies are working now than a generation ago. 50% more!

I hope to still be working at 65. I might be a janitor or a barista or an RPG coder (sorry, inside joke), but still... we'll see. Of course, working at something you enjoy because you want to is a LOT different from working at 65 because you have to pay bills.

This dood (below) is 55 and is similar to me. He does many small (low-paying) jobs rather than one big (high-paying) one. He calls it a second childhood. I guess. It's definitely a more selfish lifestyle than when you're in your 30's and focusing on your kids and stuff every day.

Today, I think of myself as semi-retired: My various ventures earn me roughly a third of what I made as Director of Financial Education for Citi’s U.S. wealth management business and, indeed, I spend modestly more than I earn. 
- J Clemens,

Facebook struggles

Facebook is not for 55 year-olds. (duh) I don't get it. I don't want to get it. (waving cane) I follow along, but I've stopped posting except for our fantasy league groups... which are very nice, btw.

Obviously, social media is wildly popular and taking over the planet. But today, at least, much of the content seems to be:
  • Candy - Social media is emotional and mental candy. There's a sugar rush, but there's a complete absence of any nutrition or substance.
  • Clever - Being clever is the coin of the realm on social media. Even this pitiful blog is more interesting than the latest meme or political post (gasp!). Brad Pitt is right: "Oh, I get it. It's very clever. How's that working out for you... being clever?" Great. "Keep it up then."

There's another odd (and temporary?) Facebook thing going on. They can't seem to get a handle on what news they show because there's so much crap out there. Google has this problem too. For example, Google News considers MSNBC a news source. (pfft)

Here's the gibberish that showed up next to my Facebook stream. (btw, who knew that gibberish started with a G, that's weird; I could have sworn it was jibberish; oh well, public school education, he he) It's news that's "trending", Facebook says. Very exciting. (ha)

This is a hot mess.

Child rescued from inside toy claw machine - "KTLA-Channel 5 reported that Mason did get a toy."

Spirit Airlines employee told student to flush emotional support hamster down the toilet - "I didn’t have any other options, she said."

Jim Carrey urges Facebook users to DELETE their accounts in protest over Russian interference in the US election - "#unfriendfacebook"

It's like Facebook has been taken over by the old National Enquirer.
And Jim Carrey... um, struggling dood. Mightily. (scrunch)

Facebook, social media, other tech... I think we'll figure it out. Eventually.
thanks... yow, bill

PS - Capitalism. America! (in skillet form, huzzah!)

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