When I think of Thanksgiving, I usually think of getting together with my family, eating tons and tons of food and sleeping it all off at the end of the day. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate family friendship and all the blessing we have been giving in this life. The whole slaughtering of innocent Native Americans and stealing their land is a also on my mind as well.
But none of this is really what businesses want us to think about. Halloween ended a short few weeks ago and Thanksgiving is a week away, but most retail stores have not let those two holidays stand in their way of reminding you that Christmas is on its way. They aren’t reminding us about the need to remember the savior and celebrate his birth. No. They want to remind us that we need to buy presents for everyone. We need to spend cash and lots of it. Not for some greater good of society but to line the pockets of investors in a down economy.
For many many years we have lived with a plague that hits us every year at Thanksgiving time. No it isn’t flu season. No it is a disease called “Black Friday”. This day, the Friday following Thanksgiving, is when most retail stores hold some of their biggest sales of the year. They pull out all the stops in the rush to sell as much junk as possible in the run up to Christmas. (more…)
I recently wrote this article on Gamasutra in response to a pair of articles which talked about the practice of copying game mechanics. The discussion has been interesting. So here it is for my own records.
I had never heard of Vlambeer or Gamenauts before yesterday. I had never heard of Radical Fishing or Ninja Fishing either. Yet in a single day, both companies and both games came crashing through my browser. Why?
To make a long story short, Vlambeer made a simple little flash game called Radical Fishing. They have a following of supportive and caring fans. They released this and made some money off of it.They decided they wanted to port the game to the iPhone but with improved graphics and gameplay. However they needed money now and made a couple more games browser.
While all this happened, Another game company, Gamenauts, saw a fun game that did not have an iPhone equivalent and decided to bring a game to that market that had those mechanics. This caused an uproar among fans of Vlambeer and their games.
That is the story in a nutshell. (more…)
Two years ago, my wife and I found the Syfy series Sanctuary on Netflix. The first 2 seasons were available and we watched all of it. We loved the show. We were really excited about catching the third season this past year. However, we do not subscribe to cable or satellite television and were unable to catch the new episodes as they aired. So we turned to Hulu.com. This was great because Sanctuary season two ended on quite a cliff hanger.
Sadly, we were very disappointed with the news that after episode 2, new episodes would have to wait a full month before they would be available for streaming either on Hulu or Syfy’s own website. We ended up forgetting about the show and missing several episodes before we remembered. This is where another poor policy stepped in. Syfy only allows the last 5 episodes to stream. By the time we remembered to start watching, 2 or 3 episodes were already knocked off the internet. This made us upset and we just stopped watching.
About a month ago, a man I admire, Danny Ledonne, wrote a blog post about why libertarians should support a woman’s right to seek an abortion under any circumstance. As he points out, this is a contentious issue that the Libertarian Party has punted on.
Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration. (Libertarian Platform 1.4)
In Danny’s defense of a woman’s right to seek an abortion, he uses what he admits to being an imperfect analogy of an unwelcome house guest:
If I am the owner of a property, I decide who is welcome and who is not. If an unwelcome person persists in remaining on my property (an “intruder”), I have the right to use every means up to and including deadly force to remove this person from my property. Naturally, I am going to seek out non-violent means to resolve this conflict first, however at some point if the person refuses to leave my property (“like it or not, I am living in your dining room for the next nine months”), I may choose to use physical confrontation to remove this person. You see where I am going with this; if a woman has self-ownership over her body, then clearly she is the sole decision-maker as to whom is welcome inside her body.
Now I have a problem with this. This analogy, while written in good faith, is not an accurate representation of pregnancy or abortion. (more…)