And another thing...

May 19th, 2008

Another point that I wanted to make in my last post (hey, I got distracted by the beauty of my prose), was that ol' Newt is churning out the revisionist history of the Bush administration:

Carter, like many outsiders who became president (including the current White House resident), greatly underestimated the the institutional strengths of the Congress...the Texas legislature only meets every other year. This gave Governor Bush a considerable misunderstanding of the depth of institutional trouble he would face in Washington.

So the Bush presidency has been a failure because Congress was too tough on him?

There are so many levels of outright mendacious lying in there. Newt Gingrich is complaining that Congress was too mean to a president. Yes, revel in that for a minute. And that president is George W. Bush, who had six years of a Republican Congress that gave him everything he wanted, and more, and he returned the favor by reducing their power as a branch of government. And now he just ignores Congress entirely.

I imagine that Newt gave an evil little chuckle when he wrote those words. Nice to see that Newsweek will print any old lies, as long as the page says "Opinion."

Masochism

May 16th, 2008

I subscribe to Newsweek. Lately, I'm not sure why. (Ok, I'll be honest: Because they made it ridiculously inexpensive to do so.)

First, I read George Will's columns, which should be titled "I'm Full of Shit, by George Will." He folds, spindles, and mutilates the truth, and does so quite gleefully.

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AWESOME: The Game

May 15th, 2008

[11:47] Oso: "WTF: The Game" would be awesome
[11:48] Oso: you could include any idea at all that a 13 year old would find awesome
[11:48] Oso: without regard to continuity or logic or anyting
[11:49] Neal: Magic swords! Chainguns! Riding a fiery horse! It's WTF: The Game!
[11:50] Oso: skateboards! tight-bodied women in slingshot bikinis! horrible aliens! guns that shoot guns! and lots and lots of huge fucking explosions!
[11:50] Oso: WTF: Teh Game!
[11:50] Oso: god damn, people would buy that
[11:51] Oso: almost as much as they would talk about it
[11:51] Neal: Hee. Screw that "games as art" nonsense
[11:52] Neal: I think it would be a huge hit on something like the Xbox Live Arcade
[11:54] Oso: I honestly think it's a great idea
[11:54] Oso: theme? the theme is "awesomeness"

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Review: The Tycoons by Charles Morris

May 15th, 2008

The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy by Charles R. Morris - 6.5/10 Interesting book, and with decent details as to the creation of the business empires of the titular men. However, it was also more or less a hagiography, particularly of Rockefeller, for whom Morris clearly wishes to be reincarnated as a 19th century soft cloth so as to better polish his shoes. He pulls the classic conservative "scholar" trick of pretending that one contrarian source's opinion is superior to any number of other sources, and spends a lot of time denigrating Rockefeller's critics and generally putting forward character opinions rather than sticking to facts.

According to Morris: Carnegie was a liar and an asshole, Rockefeller was the pinnacle of honesty and righteousness as well as a genius, Gould was also a genius and his character was unfairly blackened, and Morgan was a wet blanket who stymied entrepreneurial competition. What links the men together? Nothing, apparently, aside from time, place, and business success.

That said, it was an interesting book and did contain a great deal of factual material; worth reading but marred by personal bias.

The words of Jonah Hex, as written by Joe Lansdale, are patently too harsh but I like them so I'll use them anyway: "I say you're a boot-licking son of a bitch and you'd suck the jam from between a dead man's toes."

Fabricated "victory"

May 9th, 2008

So EA has "backed down" from their "The Customer is Always Guilty" security scheme, reverting to the "Prove That You're Not a Thief" scheme. Now, while that is (arguably) better, I think that it's also untrue.

People complained about the security obstacle course that had to be navigated before you could run Bioshock. Entering a CD key used to be enough; now your computer needs to log into their servers, information is transferred, and your game is unlocked. (Well, I say "your" game, but they make it clear right from the start that you only "own" it at their pleasure.)

So EA comes up with a horribly punishing new security check, the gaming public screams in outrage, and EA backs down, replacing the horrible new scheme with...the horrible old scheme.

Victory!

...for EA.