Yaba Yaba

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Archive for September 2008

Clive Thompson: The Game of Politics Is Ready for Its Upgrade

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Clive’s latest wired column starts from the fun of political simulation games, and moves to ponder politics as a game.

the thing is, the game is clearly in need of a redesign. When you play Political Machine, you quickly realize – much as real-world candidates do – that you’re mostly worried about the small handful of vote-rich “swing” states, like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. I won even though I almost completely ignored population-rich New York, California and Texas.

But the point is, thinking about American democracy as a game is not necessarily a bad thing. Quite the contrary: It might be the best way to fix it.

Yeah, I was thinking. I tend to treat my whole life as a game. One where I’m at the same time the designer, one of the main characters in the narrative, and a player.

When you design a game, you need to first decide on the objectives of play, and make sure the players are rewarded for maximising performance with respect of those. In a first-person shooter you’re king if you kill the most baddies, but you don’t get points for socialising or, say, negotiating a truth with the zombie hoards.

Now let’s look at the game US politics. We can’t interview the designers, so let’s apply the rule of “the purpose of a system is what it does“. Given the actions that the game rewards, what would you say are its objectives?

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Written by yishaym

September 22, 2008 at 12:01 pm

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(ht Jyri Engestrom and Thomas Nicholls)

Written by yishaym

September 11, 2008 at 8:47 am

Listen to Eric Lee

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Finally. Someone says it out loud. Its not about the platform, the flash, the wiz, the bang. Its about getting unions – or any action group for that matter – to own their site. Owning it just like they own their placards and paint.
SO if they want a blog, give them a blog. If they want a FB page (yuck) let them have it, as long as they make it themselves.

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Written by yishaym

September 7, 2008 at 2:12 am

Found: the ultimate steampunk project

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(image  Frauleinblue)
I found Kinetic Steam Works on Tristian Tristan (aka loupiote)’s beautiful burning man set. I was always a bit two-minded about steampunk. But these guys, three long hoots on the Levavasseur for them! I mean, what could be more steampunk than sailing an armada of steam boats up the Hudson?

Written by yishaym

September 7, 2008 at 1:10 am

Posted in art, steampunk, technology

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Harry’s place shut down for ousting an antisemite

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Update (sept. 05): now its in the papers, so it must be true.

Eric Lee reports that Harry’s place, a popular British left-wing blog, had the wire cut by its ISP after posting the details of Jenna Delich, a Sheffield based academic who in the course of discussing the academic boycott of Israel on a trade union mailing list linked to the website of American KKK leader, neo-Nazi and Holocaust-denier David Duke.

So here’s me making the same accusations, posting the same picture. Sue me too.

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Written by yishaym

September 4, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Berlin, August 2008

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Written by yishaym

September 3, 2008 at 1:47 am

Posted in pictures

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