CHAOS AND CRAZINESS (gir)

Let the Game begin

Hey guys,

I'm starting up a free collaborative on-line story-telling / RPG game at my blog. Its an idea from the genius mind of games designer Robin Laws, and it's very new to me.

http://www.ghostwoods.com/2009/07/the-great-game-begins-176/

I'm in fairly serious need of impressions, suggestions, any feedback you can offer, so if you have a moment to go have a look -- shouldn't take more than a minute -- then I'd appreciate that greatly :)
CHAOS AND CRAZINESS (gir)

(no subject)

T͟he̢ Ǹe̴zper͢d̕i͢a̷n ̡hi͞ve̡-͠mind͏ o̕f ͞c͟hao̕s̵.͟

H̖ͨ͌͂ͧ̇̂̒ͮe̻̻̻̺̦̰͌̒ͯ̅̂ͣͅ ̠̳͖̻̍̒͐̓ͪ̌͊̔ͅẈ̲̭̬͓͔̆̊̈́h͍͕͔̠̖̘̔͌ͧ͑͗͊̎o̜̙̐̄ͩ͐ͥ̿ ̣̲̠̓̅ͩW̦̲̺̻͔̳̝ͭ̿̓̂͑ͣ͑ȃ̪̗̪̩̠ͅi̼ͩ̅͂ͤ̂̍̊͒t͇̬͍̜̺͖͋̒̽s̮̤̹̬̼͍͌ͫͅ ̺͕́̓̎B̥͖̰̳͖̰̂̉͛ͯe͇̬̬͕͙ͦ̀ͤ̆̈́ͤ̓h̯̜͔̬̙ͤ̒ͨ͒ͣi̳̙͇̯̻̜̇̏̊n̖̼͍͙̟̼͉̘ͫd̞̞͍̜͍ͩ͐̾͊̂̏ͭ̋ ̳̬̩̱͓̘͍̃T̰͙̯̼͖̮̪̋̋͗h̙ͯ͊ḙ̘͈̭̮͍̻̞̆͌ͬ̈ͧͨͥ̋ ̦̤̙̮͎̫͕͍ͩͨ͂̍W͈̗̟͑ͦ̄ͣ̈a̮̟͇̮̽l̤̘̫̦͍͍̋͑ͣ̉̍̿l͈̻̘̻̬̼͚͕ͭ̉ͫ̋̃̌͌̃.̭̬̞̎ͩ̅ͣ

Z̥̤͖̘͓̯͙͔͍̬͖̣͎̬͖̞͙̰a͈̘̮̩͚͚̹͓̝̰̣ͅl̹̩̝̖̱͍͎ͅg̼͔̣̮͇͚̬̣̱̙̯̜̱̞ͅo̻͚̘͇̹͉͔̻̫̬̬̹̬̹̲͚̻




HE COMES!
CHAOS AND CRAZINESS (gir)

New Web Home!

Hey folks.

I've started work on an epic, dark urban fantasy vampire novel. To help keep myself on the straight and narrow whilst working on it, I've set up a blog -- talking about writing of course, but also about myth, legend, odd stuff, vampires/fantasy/sf/horror, and other hopefully interesting bits and pieces.

It's a bugger trying to get a new site established, so although I admit I've got absolutely no grounds to ask, I'd consider it a significant favour (in the Neverwhere sense *grin*) if you'd drop on by, have a look, and if you like what you see, spread the word a bit.

The site is called Ghostwoods.

And thank you. If you leave me a note here or a message on the site with some reciprocal pimping that I can do, I'll return the favour.

In other news, my arthritis is slowly coming under control thanks to large doses of an immune-suppressant drug. I'm no longer feeling -- or considering myself -- disabled, just creaky and a bit ouchy. This is a massive step forward, and a large part of the reason I'm able to get back to actually doing something productive. No idea how long it'll last, but hell, any good week is one extra good week I wouldn't have had, so I'm hugely grateful. My brother is doing well too, out in Oz, so that's another former concern laid to rest. So, touch wood, things are on a bit of an upswing at the moment.
CHAOS AND CRAZINESS (gir)

First-class Twit.

EDIT: THIS IS NO LONGER TRUE. It lasted about three days. I _am_ twittering again, but as Ghostwoods. I'm trying to post microfiction and other stuff I'd want to read :)

---

I'm nervously dipping my toe into Twitter, as 'Tumbleworld'.

Have a look if you can be bothered. As here, I'm probably more likely to round up news &c than mumble on about me :)

Are you there? Let me know!
CHAOS AND CRAZINESS (gir)

The first steps towards Gibson's vision of cyberspace have finally been taken.

Virtual Philadelphia is a full simulation of the city centre. It's true to life (albeit with graphics that most computers will be able to handle easily), with links through to street businesses, historical and tourist sites, B2B organisations, official data and so on. Some of these are just web pages, but others are actual internal virtual recreations, photos and/or video tours. Other people's avatars are shown, so you can see and interact with other visitors, sales reps and so on. There are even options to show future planned construction in place of current landscape, and to link in the city's own street cameras to give you a real window on the virtual view.

Other communities seem likely to follow suit, particularly if people get behind the idea of providing useful info to go with the more obviously commercial side. Then, when they link up, Gibson's vision will just be pretty much complete. I recommend watching both videos on the link above -- I was particularly amused by the threatening music on the main demo reel!

You can download the app here.
CHAOS AND CRAZINESS (gir)

Holy shit!

Invisible UK 'net censorship wall blocking parts of Wikipedia, amongst other sites.

I thought I'd left egregious 'net censorship behind in Dubai... So much for the Emirates being a "religious dictatorship" as opposed to our "democracy". Or should that be Demoncracy?

Given the rate at which Rights Creep is encroaching at the moment, how long will it be before that firewall is censoring the Quran, or gay meetup sites, or dissenting voices...?

And for anyone who is about to post to say that this firewall is a good thing because "In The Name Of God, Think Of The Children(tm)", it is trivial to actually route around a firewall, and anyone who is still downloading sick material is almost certainly already using that sort of anonymisation technology (or else they'd be banged up). So this is not only invasive and dangerous, it's also fucking pointless.

Unless you want to stop ranty bastards like me at some point in the future.

UPDATE: More information about the firewall -- and how it was blocking a social networking developer's site -- is available here: http://nocky100.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/great-firewall-of-britain/. Thanks to bishopjoey
CHAOS AND CRAZINESS (gir)

So sweeping government powers are safe, are they?

David Cameron (leader of the Conservatives), yesterday:

"In Britain today, counter-terrorism police are spending their time searching an MP's office, arresting him, holding him for nine hours, all on a day when British citizens are being killed on the other side of the world and all because, as far as I can see, he made public some information that was in the public interest, that the government found uncomfortable. Well, let's hope that our democracy hasn't come to that."

Nick Clegg (leader of the Lib Dems), also yesterday:

"This is something you might expect from a tin-pot dictatorship, not in a modern democracy ... Given the culture of extraordinary secrecy in Whitehall, it is getting harder to hold the government to account, and opposition MPs have a constitutional duty to keep ministers on their toes ... I call on Gordon Brown to rule out any further use of anti-terrorism powers in cases that have nothing to do with terrorism."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7753763.stm

That's a top politician, folks. We have much less shielding.
CHAOS AND CRAZINESS (gir)

The only Verdict is Vengeance; a Vendetta, held as a Votive, not in Vain

I was delighted to watch Barack Obama win the presidency. I even stayed up until about 4am UK time, watching the results roll in. I hope it will make a big difference to American society, help racial integration, weaken barriers across the Western world, and give America's hideous current global reputation a much-needed re-vamp.

Unfortunately, I don't see Obama actually making much difference where most people would say it really counts -- in the nature and structure of society itself. He had a culturally varied upbringing to say the least, which is a strength, and worked for what seem to have been reasonably socially responsible organisations between his degrees in Political Science (Columbia) and Law (Harvard), so if any top politician is ever likely to want to make a change, he's a good candidate.

The bottom line though is that it is money that is in control -- not just in the US, in the great bulk of the world's countries -- and the money lies mainly with the multinational corporations and the super-rich.

That's nothing new, and there's no way Obama would have been able to raise such massive campaign funds if he hadn't been seen as a safe pair of hands.

But even if he wanted to shake things up, his power to do so is limited. In my last post, I rambled on about Fractional Reserve Banking and how it's the banks -- private corporations -- that actually create money from being legally entitled to lend out more than they have. Note what this means: almost all cash comes into existence because it's issued as a loan. Loans need to be repaid. With interest. So every time money is created, greater amounts of debt are created. It's literally impossible to reduce debt.

We seem to export much of ours to social groups (and countries) who can't fight back.

Also note that inflation is the measure by which the value of a given unit of money decreases. Most people have their money in bank current accounts, which pay little or no interest. Cash under the mattress gets a guaranteed zero interest rate, obviously. To get significant interest from a bank -- about inflation -- you have to have a lot of money to invest. So, in other words, inflation is a tax on small savings, that large savings are exempt from, or even more simply, it's banks taxing the poor and on behalf of the wealthy.

But it gets worse still.

As Obama's campaign has shown, bigger budget makes a huge difference in who is in power. Once an administration is in place, money can -- and does -- have huge sway on what becomes law. Through choosing who to fund or not fund, which debts to call in and which to let slide, banks can exert a high degree of control over scientific research, business development, social structure, and most other aspects of modern life.

And the banks, ultimately, are controlled by that same 1% of people who own 40% of all the global wealth. (That's linked above, under 'super-rich')

So if you want to know why things are fucked up and unfair, why the people who actually do all the work and grow all the food are all poor and debt-ridden, and why it's not going to change, it's depressingly simple:
The super-rich control the banks.
The banks control the flow of money.
Money controls society.
Society controls the populace.
... therefore, the super-rich control the populace.

And that's the way it's been for at least the last six thousand years.

Despite all our progress, and our illusions of freedom, we're still all peasants, enslaved in a hideous financial serfdom by our infinitely greedy imperial masters. Our politicians -- like our preachers and our media -- are there to distract us.

If Obama tried to change that, for example by making banking a government function, he'd almost certainly be shot.