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Tycho / 10 minutes ago

The rumor was that Dislike was en route to Facebook, but I don’t think that was ever an authentic option and would corrode the service.  It was eventually determined that Liking Things wasn’t sufficiently granular, and so there are a raft of New Likings being rolled out.  Except they’re missing a few key inflections that apply to ninety-nine point four percent of posts.

I have conversations with people all the time about whether or not they’re going to quit Facebook or they’re going to quit Facebook for real now, and I can’t think of a single time anything like that has happened.  Well, one time.  A friend of Brenna’s determined that this device was essentially a kind of comparison engine, endlessly assessing her vis a vis other people - all of whom were engaging in a rigorously performative perma-joy - and that being exposed to these rays was not a net gain.

I feel like the assumption of Facebook is more or less a preview of our cyberpunk future, where people who refuse or can’t afford the cortical implant will become pitiful creatures of exile.  We offload a lot of our processing and memory to others, and to machines, and it’s simply a fact that appearing to know when someone’s birthday is grants social power.  Foregoing it would be hard.  This is why being presumed an asshole is so liberating.  If I remember something, people are all like holy shit.

Sometimes there is a game I want to try on Facebook, and only there, so I use it then - like a platform.  I don’t put it into the vein of my arm, ever to drip, because that’s not how I use technology.  In the end that’s the distinction.  I would have been considered, and indeed was considered, an anomalous sort of weirdo person for the level of integration technology had in my life as a young person; my mother was forever worried about its effect on my “spirit.”  I’m willing to entertain the idea that I enjoyed playing videogames then, even enjoyed them a lot.  It’s a policy I’ve maintained, even going to far as to invent two young people to play them with, which can only be called “dedication.”  But the level of integration and offload you see with Facebook is deeper than anything I ever experienced with Warlords II, and I played a fuck ton of Warlords II.  Because it ostensibly has to do with interest in others, it doesn’t get tagged as pathological, even if using it means you ignore actual people.

(CW)TB out. 

Tycho / 2 days ago

Club PA Comic Preview

The full strip and its accompanying postito go out later this month to members, and becoming a member is incredibly easy and is also rad for too many reasons to enumerate here, which is why there’s a whole page dedicated to it.  I think this one is pretty Goddamn good:



Tycho / 2 days ago

Motherboard merely joins a raft of sites which have, over the last couple years, removed the ability for users to comment on their articles.  It’s funny; the first thing I did was scroll to the bottom of the page to see what people thought about it.  There was no comment section there, which I probably should have guessed.  Force of habit.

Comments are what they are.  “Don’t read the comments” is a phrase you have heard, and perhaps used.  Sometimes people say that it’s not enough to say “don’t read the comments” and then they read the comments and get super angry, which, I mean, I don’t know.  You tell me if that’s a good life strategy.

I go to the comments not to find consensus but literally to find people criticizing the article.  I want to see the idea of that article discussed.  I am not of the opinion that most articles I see are very good; and even if they were, they’re not scripture.  For me they’re like the sausage casing that contains the actual food, which is the community processing the data.  Independent of any other consideration, just at a lower level of magnification, I don’t think we get smarter this way.  I don’t think we achieve robustness just rolling around in a bunch of ideologically hermetic spheres.

You don’t have to have comments on in order to be a good person.  I don’t have comments on my posts, for example, and I’m an incredible person.  The only reason there is a newspost at all is that I wrote the first website by hand, and the page looked really crazy with a big empty cell on the left of the navigation stuff so I put text in there.  I should have just stacked the UI in two rows and saved myself a lot of trouble.  I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words now and gotten in huge trouble and it could all have been avoided.  A public diary is an incredibly dangerous instrument.

So, comments are not required, as I said.  I don’t think you’re obligated to donate the footer of your article to people that hate you.  Adding comments to our strip page - when everyone else was removing such things - was certainly a conversation.  But here’s what I would say: having them and then taking them away is strange.  And trying to present the fundamentally censorious act as being of a piece with greater communication is simply a lie.  You aren’t supposed to call people liars; it’s one of those things you aren’t supposed to do.  It seems like a rule cooked up by liars, frankly.  But what if a person dissembles madly, and writhes rhetorically, in the service of a goal oblique to their stated aims?  I see no reason to invent another word.

(CW)TB out. 


Tearaway is a game that came out awhile back on the Vita and I loved it. I’m playing through the PS4 version now and it’s even better in a lot of ways. It’s still a ridiculously beautiful platformer with some genuinely unique gameplay but it also has a really cool second screen application now. If you have kids in your house this is seriously something you have to try because they will love it. Let me tell you how it works.

The game is designed to look like the entire thing was made out of construction paper. It’s really an amazing effect and the game sells it 100%. Creating new stuff is a big part of the game as well. You can actually draw out designs on the touchpad and see them come to life in the game. One of the first tasks in fact is to design a new crown for the king of the squirrels. You’re given different colors of construction paper and you just get to go to town. Drawing on the touchpad works okay but if you have the Playstation App you can use an iPad instead. This gives you a great big screen with construction paper, scissors, and even the use of the camera. You can use all these tools (or even better someone else can)  to constantly change the world while you play.

I gave the iPad to my son Noah while I played through the game. He would draw little designs and then with one button send them to the game where they blow into the level on a gust of wind. He can also use it to design new bits and pieces for various characters in the game including the main one. Don’t like the nose this guy has? Well draw a new one! Using the camera takes the photo you snapped and applies it like a texture to some random part of the level. I was running along a bridge that was all of a sudden plastered with Noah’s smiling face. If you have kids around you know how awesome five year old laughter is and I’m telling you Noah lost it. Pretty soon my level was textured with pictures of the dog, his big brother, my wife and one that I am pretty sure was a picture of his butt. He’s going through kind of a butt phase right now.

We played this way together for a couple hours and it was non stop fun for he and I both. In fact when I told him we had to stop he asked if he could keep drawing in the app. I turned the TV off while leaving the game paused and he just sat and made stuff out of construction paper for a while. If you’re looking for a fun way to play games with your kids, especially little ones this is a fantastic set up. You’ll be playing a stunning/challenging platformer while doing virtual arts and crafts with your kids. That’s a win win in my book.

I will say that the Playstation App can be a little wonky. I had some disconnects and one error that forced me to delete and reinstall the app entirely. When it worked it was awesome and it worked most of the time, just be prepared for some hiccups.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 4 days ago

The HBO extras contract for Westworld is fascinating reading, and gives one an idea about what it must be like to have sex with a lawyer.  The excerpts you’ve seen online only represent a portion of the depravity:  there are deeper, more erogenous zones.

I don’t go in for Toy Games at all, not really.  But I do go in for Lego shit, and I have occasionally tried to describe the quandary that the adult Lego Maniac is bound up in.  When you are a young person, and you look at a box of Lego shit, you are more concerned with the number of pieces than the number of dollars required to own it.  You can turn the box over and over in your hands, and feel the weight of it, which is the weight of a soul minus the body it is contained in.

I could buy them now, and thus far that satisfaction when I see a Death Star or whatever has been enough for me.  I can make anything I want, which is the power of these devices; I cannot meaningfully desire any more bricks.  I still have all my old stuff downstairs, some still in the ancient Star Wars pillowcase I used to keep them in.

One of the strange things about Lego is that it constitutes a kind of post-brand toy.  This is Ironic, capital I, because individual sets are more branded than ever.  Even their core shit is all hyper defined, coming out of an era where they were as “generic” as possible to be as interchangeable as possible.  But they are all compatible, the fundamental atom of this universe being the pip, which I think are generally called studs but I’ve already made a concession by not calling them Legos.  Everything can live together.  Try to play with any other two toys, as my sister and I used to with my Transformers and her My Little Pony…  ponies, and you run into problems fast.  For one thing, these ponies aren’t little anymore.  Rainbow Dash is taller than a semi truck and weighs over thirty tons.

But, like I said: from an IP perspective, this shit is hyper transgressive.  It’s of a piece with remix culture, fanfiction, things which beyond a certain scale of operation are considered violence against a brand - at least, in the West.  You can profit by it, or be destroyed.  You can swipe, in the manner of a dumb giant, with your wide palm at the empty air.  Or you can sell me a hundred dollar platform and a handful of bumpy shrapnel for a hundred dollars, with the promise that our entire culture is little more than a palette from which you will draw an elemental creative force.

The game reinforces this also, and it’s clever about the mash-up.  I would say Back to the Future and Portal constitute pretty out there stuff for this mill, but at least for my house they picked right.  Even the pieces you put on their little platform - which the game stops to let you build, accompanied by dramatic music - don’t stay in place.  You’re always picking pieces up and removing them as a fundamental part of the gameplay.  The whole thing is Lego as shit.

I know that Gabriel would say, under duress, that Infinity was best, but he has a lot of legacy plastic to consider.  So do I, of course, some of it more than three decades old, and it is all part of a legacy that now includes my daughter and my son.

(CW)TB out. 

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