Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saving Lives With Money

 In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti, the charities that provided medical intervention had a problem: how could the identify which injuries and medical problems were the result of the earthquake, and which conditions were pre-existing? Since the country had (and still has) such poor facilities, lots of people in the country had curable medical conditions from before the earthquake, and thought they could get in on that charity medical care.

My question: Why does it matter why anyone needs assistance? It's not as though earthquake victims are more deserving of assistance than someone who got hit by a bus. Neither person deserved their injury, and both would be better off with intervention.

Whenever someone dies of starvation or dehydration, the problem could have been solved with money. If we're willing to save a person that was starving as a result of an earthquake, then we should be willing to help someone who simply doesn't have land good enough to grow sufficient food.

Intervention that is used to prevent starvation, disasters, or injury has a multiplicative effect; if you spend a dollar on prevention, you save many dollars in the future. Logically, as a cost saving measure, the first world should spend all the money necessary to bring the benefits of modern civilization to anywhere willing to accept it.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Star Trek Back on TV

There's a headline going around that a guy is pitching a continuation of the Star Trek TV series of series. My first reaction: extremely cautious optimism. There are a number of problems that face the Star Trek fan of today:
  1. A show at this stage of development has low success rate of getting to the screen
  2. Science fiction is more expensive than regular programming, further decreasing the chance it will be picked up
  3. The guy pitching the show isn't even on wikipedia
  4. Most shows are bad
There are probably other things I haven't thought of, but that's most of my concern. From the hints he's dropped, it sounds like the guy cares about Star Trek, and has a vision for the show, which is cool.

Would I like to see more Star Trek on Television? Absolutely.

If it was completely neutered like Voyager? Maybe not.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Have you heard of this website called Youtube? I've been putting some TF2 videos up there. You can find them on my channel. Here's one for those of you too lazy to click a link:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dominion: The First Two Turns

Dominion is a great game. The game plays like ascension, but has a more strategic element, since you don't get screwed by the changing cards available on the board. In Ascension, you basically make one decision: "Fight or Buy", and you try to focus on that build for the rest of the game. In Dominion, every turn requires quite a bit of thought, if you're trying to maximize your gains.

I've been thinking about the strategy of Dominion in terms of what to do in the first two turns.

First of all, the first two turns are interchangeable. If you buy card X in turn one and card Y turn two, your deck will be the exact same when you shuffle your 12 cards as if you bought card Y first and X second.

You want to start off with two cards that do something directly. No cards that simply help another card in the first two turns.

Village is a great card, but you're not going to get to use three actions in your third or fourth turn; you'll only have two action cards in your entire deck! Go with the Steward until you have some more action cards in your deck.

It's difficult to figure out the correct ratio between action cards that do things, and action cards that support playing more cards. A lot of it depends on how many cards give +2 actions.

If you can buy a gold or a Province, get it every time.

One last thing: Don't be afraid to buy silver in the first two turns. Your main goal in the game is to buy expensive things, and starting early works great.

I forgot the best part! This site has a random dominion starting generator. If you play Dominion, it makes for a lot of cool variety.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Price Drop Illogic

Apparently many people are unfamiliar with the idea of buying things. It's a simple system: A person pays money for goods or services, and the recipients of that money delivers that good or service.

The furor over the price cuts of the 3DS and Team Fortress 2 imply some new philosophy of shopping. The thought seems to be, "If I buy something, and someone else gets that same thing for a lower price, I'm getting screwed."

You still got a product in return for your money. You thought it was worth ten dollars, or two hundred fifty dollars, and you got it for that price. Once that transaction is complete, the relation between you and the seller is complete. You may have been ripped off*, or you may have won a great deal**. Either way, the price in the future has nothing to do with the value of your purchase in the past.

Where have these people come from, anyway? Almost every consumer product's price goes down over time, except survival commodities like Petrol and Food. When did this completely ordinary process become an outrage?

I suppose I shouldn't bother; people will complain about anything nowadays.

*If you got a 3DS
**If you got TF2

Saturday, August 06, 2011

All In The Family

All in the Family is the best show ever made. It pushed more borders than anything today, (although a lot of that is the fact that there were more borders back then,) and the show is still funny, and sad, and powerful, in a way that still applies to modern day.

Lots of episodes are on youtube, check them out if you get the chance.