Mar. 5th, 2008

Apparently, Hillary Clinton's newest push has been that she's the "experienced" candidate.

Of course, John McCain's experience too.

But both of them are experienced in making gigantic mistakes about things like wars and then not realizing the mistakes they made.

That's hardly a good reason to vote for somebody.

Yeah, I'm "officially" for Obama, and have been for a while. Clinton would make a decent president, but even otherwise reasonable people have visceral hatred for her, plus we really don't need the last generation of presidencies to look like Bush-Clinton-Clinton-Bush-Bush-Clinton. That's way too much aristocratic succession bullshit.

John McCain, of course, would be a disaster, as I've stated before. I'll have more to say on him later, especially the whole "man of integrity and strong convictions" bit. (But for the moment, "strong convictions" aren't a plus when those convictions are completely wrong)


Mar. 5th, 2008 02:00 pm
here's a nifty article about mistakes experts and novices usually make.

(via SEED)
Infrastructure for the Future We Want over at Worldchanging.

That's the kind of work I want to do. That's what I went back to school to learn how to do. And we need to do it soon. The US infrastructure needs about $1.6 trillion in repairs and upgrades, and that's just using the most conventional estimates by people like the American Society of Civil Engineers. I suspect a lot of the stuff they suggest is probably not a good idea, like more highways, or can be done better and newer. That's a lot of money.

About half the amount we're spending on the war in Iraq. Just for the US.

Which is also just about 1000 times more than George Bush promised us it'd cost when he started his war.

Gary Gygax

Mar. 5th, 2008 08:34 pm
Gary Gygax is dead.

I heard about it yesterday, but didn't know what to write. And I'm still not entirely sure. Without Gary Gygax, there's no D&D, and without D&D, I wouldn't be here. I'd probably be somewhere, but not here.

Most of the people reading this I've met through one RP or another, online. I wouldn't have met most of you without the influence of D&D and thereby gaming in general. Most of my friends through school I met because we were gamers, though there were few enough times we actually played D&D, and I never went to cons.

I have the old AD&D books at home, picked up over years of visits to used bookstores through my childhood. There's a milk crate full of D&D adventures I found one happy time at a thrift shop. I think that was where I first ran into D&D. There was this box full of booklets with maps, traps, monsters, treasure, and other things that set my mind racing. I couldn't even have been ten at the time. And one day, treasure of treasures, my dad found an old copy of the first box set three book original Dungeons & Dragons in the basement, one he'd had himself. Including those crappy plastic dice with unpainted numbers. Who'd known my dad had been cool once?

As kids, my brother and I played D&D with my aunt watching over us, when we couldn't stand staying in the hospital room where our grandmother lay dying.

It's really an inextricable part of my childhood, even when I didn't have anybody to play with. But I had the books. The treasures. The heroes. The monsters. The illustrations of monsters with (gasp) boobs.

That's all because of something Gary Gygax started. And then the other games that came forth from that. He gave all of that to all of us. Yes, even the Johnny-come-lately computer gamers. No D&D, no WoW.

I had only one encounter with Gary Gygax, directly. Last millenium, 1997 or 1998, there was an online convention. I don't remember the name, but the PWL (PlanesWalker's League, an old magic online league) had a virtual booth there, and I was an op by then, so I was at the con. And the star guest was one Mr. Gary Gygax. ANd I made an ass of myself, or at least thought I did. I don't remember the question, but I asked something about original D&D and LotR, and what other inspirations he'd had, or something like that. I don't even remember his answer, because a little later on, one of the other PWL folks messaged me saying my question had hurt Mr. Gygax.

In retrospect, I don't think she knew that. And I'm sure he got that kind of question all the time, but I was still young then, and I felt awful. I didn't stick around to see the rest of the interview. That was my closest brush with him. I guess I'll never find out if he got offended, or even cared or remembered that encounter now. But I never got to give him the kind of fanboy thanks that today's Order of the Stick did. And that's too bad.

Goodbye, Gary. So long and thanks for all the dice.



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