Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Just capping off the year

The year is drawing to a close. We're deep into December, and as we speak, snow is dumping down onto my home by the foot. I don't have anything in particular to talk about, but I felt like writing a bit, so here we go.

First of all, you may have noticed that the world has in fact not ended yet. I'm sure those of you who bought into the rumor about the Mayan calendar feel silly now, but don't worry, I promise not to rub your foolishness in your face. I'll just never to speak to you again. There are plenty of gullible people in my life already, thank you.

On a happier note, the holidays have been overall pretty fun. I have eaten entirely too much food in the past week and my insides are starting to punish me for it. Most people complain about how their families drive them crazy. I kind of wish my family weren't such nice people so I'd have an excuse to be a bitter cynic this time of year too. Instead, I just look like a dick. At least I gave out presents in my Santa hat again. It's a welcome distraction from having to talk to people.

I still have no job. If anybody could suggest a line of work I would be well suited for in the Albany-Schenectady region, go for it. Better yet, if any of you happen to know somebody who works at Vicarious Visions, have them contact me so I'll know who I should grovel and beg to. Sexual favors are off the table, though. I'm not single anymore.

I was just considering making a new year's resolution as a way to motivate myself to become a better person in the coming year. Then I remembered that I rarely accomplish things I set out to, especially when it comes to those new year resolutions. So, with that in mind, my resolution for 2013 is to be a lazy pathetic slob who mooches off his parents like a pitiful man-child. The best-case scenario is now that I break my resolution, which I always do. The worst-case scenario is that I keep my resolution, and I'll at least be able to say I finally kept one. I somehow doubt my parents or girlfriend will appreciate that silver lining, but who could blame them?

Well, that's enough for now. I hope you all had a decent year. May the year 2013 be even kinder to you. Peace and love, readerkin.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Just a bit about "Facebook Jail"

I dug up something from Facebook help related to this.

  • Feature overuse: There are limits to restrict the rate at which you can use features on the site. Overusing features is not allowed because it may make other people feel annoyed or unsafe.
Facebook has limits in place to prevent abuse of our features and to protect users from potential spam or instances of harassment.
Unfortunately, Facebook cannot provide any specifics on the rate limits that are enforced. Please know that the threshold at which you are warned is not a specific number, but rather determined by different factors, such as speed, time, and quantity. 

Before today, I had never heard of the term "fb jail." Maybe because I'm not an insufferable dolt who is so addicted to Facebook that my behavior could be confused with that of a bot created by the soulless engineers employed by some evil viral marketing company. But, I'll try not to jump to conclusions there. Let's have a more in-depth look at this, shall we?

What is it?

The person who used the term offered no clear context as to its meaning. I had to do some digging to figure out what they were talking about. From what I can gather, "fb jail" (or "Facebook jail" if you're not too god damn busy to type the entire name of the social networking service you have a crippling addiction to) refers to a security measure that was apparently set up by Facebook staff to curb the activity of spammers on their site. Essentially what happens is the system places a temporary lock on your profile. You can still log in and read things as usual, but can no longer "Like" pages, add friends or comment on anything until the lock expires.

As I think back on my experience with Facebook in the past, I may have experienced this once or twice. I clicked "Like" on a page or something but the change did not take effect. At the time I chalked it up to my Internet connection acting up. It really was not a big deal, and everything was back to normal in a matter of minutes, so I never considered it a problem. In fact, if I had been made aware that it was an anti-spam measure, I'd actually appreciate that and be glad such measures are in place. I hate seeing spammers on Facebook, so anything that can hamstring their ability to market their worthless crap to me is a welcome addition.

However, it seems some people experience this anti-spam measure so frequently that they are actually enraged by it. They think Facebook is wrong to use this measure, and they gave it the oh-so-catchy nickname "fb jail" to rally more hatred toward it. I'm guessing most of these people either don't understand the purpose of the measure or simply don't care. They want to be able to Like as many pages as they want, to friend as many people they don't know as they wish, and to make as many comments as they desire in the span of a few minutes.

I sincerely doubt anybody who incurs the effects of the anti-spam measures on a regular basis because of their incessant activity could possibly have anything to say that is worth hearing, so I personally have no problem with them losing their ability to comment for a while. But, I'll play devil's advocate for a bit:

Why is it no good?

While an anti-spam measure that effectively forces social networking addicts to take a break and do something else with their pointless lives for a few minutes is hilarious to me, it really is ill-advised on Facebook's part. I would cite the anger being fostered in their users, but let's be honest: that's only an issue for Facebook if those people would quit over their anger, and that's not going to happen. They've bitched and moaned their way through every change Facebook has made in close to a decade; they're here to stay.

So, here's a more important point: users who experience the lock-out have developed ways around it using personal pages and the like. If they can do it, I'm sure spammers could do something similar, so this measure is sadly not working. An anti-spam measure that affects actual people and can be circumvented is simply not a good enough solution to go on using.

What would be a better solution?

My suggestion: if a user is acting in such a way as to trigger anti-spam measures in the system, instead of silently locking them out, throw up a security dialog to verify them. Just give it a little message like,
"Hey, you're kind of overloading our system with all your activity. Could you just take a second and prove you're an actual human and not a computer program serving evil marketing demons?" 
Then ask them a question only an actual person could respond to. If they pass, let them go about their business, at least for 10 minutes or so before triggering again. If they trigger this enough times but fail the question, put a more permanent lock on their account but let them know how they can get it lifted (in the event that a person's account has been hacked). If they trigger this a lot yet still prove their humanity each time, refer them to an addiction support group in their region.

As for what the security question would be, anything along the lines of "Mother's maiden name" could potentially be accessed by hackers, or set up by whoever created a bot account, so that wouldn't work. I'm personally a fan of CAPTCHAs, but they may experience some of the same problems. I've definitely been on sites where a CAPTCHA popped up that not even a human could decipher.

Closing comments:

So, in truth, maybe there isn't a much better solution right now. I'd recommend trying a CAPTCHA for a while and seeing whether it does a decent job of controlling spam. Users will inevitably start complaining that they now have to answer a CAPTCHA while they're browsing Facebook, but those users are self-entitled fuckwits and nobody really cares what they think anyway.

Actually, I take it back. What I'd really recommend is people not using Facebook so excessively in the first place. (And changing your password from time to time to avoid hacking.) Seriously, I understand that not being able to use Facebook for a little while can be frustrating, but you're not entitled to its use every waking moment of every day. It's a free web application that the proprietors of Facebook provide on their own terms. They are under no obligation to tailor it to your personal needs. The changes they do make are usually to try and improve your experience anyway, such as anti-spam measures to keep that crap from showing up and spoiling your day. The fact that you demand even more from them all the time just makes you sound like a spoiled child. You can't walk into McDonald's and demand they make the McRib available year round and expect to be taken seriously. You can't go to Facebook and demand they run their web-based business on your terms either.

Anyway, that's all I wanted to say on that. If you have never experienced this "fb jail" thing yourself, congratulations on having a life outside your smartphone and computer. Everyone else, seriously, get over yourselves. If you want a social network that runs exactly how you want, get some programmer friends from college and make your own. Otherwise, chill out and try to remember there's more to life than Likes and status updates.

Peace and love, readers.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Just a few thoughts on the End of Days

Let's ignore the fact that the Mayans never actually predicted an apocalypse, they just created a calendar that happens to end on a certain day. And let's ignore the fact that calendars are designed to be cyclical so a new one starts whenever the previous one ends.

Can anybody explain to me how any person can believe that the ancient Mayans would have known something that modern astronomers, physicists and geologists don't know? They confused Gods with the Spanish.

Meanwhile, people are freaking out, spreading word about a terrible apocalypse predicted by the wise and powerful Mayans, all while sharing a photo of a fucking Aztec artifact. What does that tell you?


This is just a lazy repost of something I wrote on Facebook, but this blog is being neglected and I felt bad. I'll have to come up with more to write soon. Peace and love, readerfolk.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Just a bit about personal politics

I'm still seeing political discussions on Facebook. Some are fairly civil, which is always nice to see. Of course, even some of the civil ones can be very presumptuous, and you know how that sets me off.

One opinion you'll here from good people on all sides is that being a democrat shouldn't preclude you from being friends with a republican, and vice versa. Most people I respect share this idea. They will simply say that whatever you may believe, politics are personal, and they shouldn't get in the way of your friendships.

Regarding that point, though, I actually heard somebody make a compelling argument for why your personal politics do matter. According to this person, politics are important because they're a matter not just of pride, but of the fate of our country. Apparently, hardcore liberals and conservatives have such drastically different plans for our country, our very way of life is at stake, because liberals plan to give the federal government so much power that it will inevitably take away all of our civil liberties.

Since the person who made the above point clearly has all the answers, obviously, this must mean that conservatives are people with good moral values who want to protect liberty, and liberals are morally bankrupt fools who want to create an Orwellian police state so they can have free healthcare and abortions, and sit at home numbing themselves with legalized marijuana while the iron fist of Big Brother Obama crushes everything about America that we hold dear.

I like it. This view of things is nice and simple. It eliminates all the messy complications and doubt that arise from approaching politics on a personal level rather than on the level of an entire movement.

There's certainly no way that any conservative politicians are selling their political influence to private interests for their own personal gain, slowly compromising the integrity of the government as it becomes more and more controlled by money rather than morals. And there are certainly no heartless, bloodthirsty warmongers in the party who treat citizens of the very country they claim to love with the kind of boundless contempt and fury usually reserved for someone who fucked your girlfriend and your mother in a three-way over the corpse of your dog and then sent a DVD of the event to all of your closest friends.

Of course, there is similarly no possibility that some liberals believe there should be a strong federal government in place for the purpose of actually protecting people's liberties and well-being from individuals and corporations who would seek to exploit the law to control the poor and the weak. It's entirely impossible that a person branded with the name "liberal" could in fact love their country and its people and wish to work together with the rest of government to better serve them.

Nope, they all just wanna control us, and the conservatives are fighting them to preserve the American dream.

Naturally, there are also people at the other end of the spectrum, who believe all conservatives are brainless, bible-thumping toothless morons who will vote for any corrupt, filthy rich, human-trafficking, Gevenva-Convention-violating, black-hearted Sith lord so long as he loves guns and says the word "freedom" enough. On the other hand, they figure all liberals must be highly-evolved, intellectually superior, free-spirited, omnipotent, angelic reincarnations of Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Teresa (if they were atheists). This point of view has exactly as much evidence to support it as the opposite view does, and makes about as much logical sense.

As straightforward and attractive as this kind of political-label-based thinking can be, I'm mainly of the opinion that anybody who rides too hard on the "conservative" or "liberal" agenda is probably too willfully ignorant and full of indignant holier-than-thou attitude to be worth interacting with on more than a casual basis.

If anyone's going to get a bug up their ass and act like they're smarter than everyone else in the room, it should be a cynic like me. Everyone who "shoots from the hip" and "tells it like it is" is firing blind; at least I have the decency to admit that I speak from a place of well-intentioned ignorance. Plus, I sure can talk pretty when I want to, can't I?

I do know this though: amid all this bickering between the democrats and republicans, liberals and conservatives, the voices of reason and compassion get lost in the noise of war drums. Americans are essentially going to war with each other, even if it's only a war of words. Evidently, they don't realize that this process actually benefits none of us in the American public. All the squabbling and mudslinging does nothing to secure our energy independence, protect us from terrorist threats, stabilize the economy, protect our civil liberties, encourage technological progress, prevent or reverse global climate change (you know, if you believe the word of countless scientists and climate experts all over the world), or really do anything else to improve our lives. It's a giant distraction; nothing more. As long as we have somebody to place the blame on, we won't worry too much about the rest.

On the other hand, do you know who benefits quite a bit from all this political banter? Politicians. The two big parties still control our entire government, both on the federal and state levels. Independent or third-party candidates are rare, and have essentially no power to affect change. Congress has had a staggeringly low approval rating in recent years, yet many incumbent candidates got reelected all over the country. Why on earth would we keep voting for the same people we claim to think are doing a lousy job? Only morons like Todd Akin who found a way to stand out from the crowd and make themselves targets were voted out. Everyone who kept quiet and stuck to their party's platform saved their jobs.

I hear plenty of people talking about how awful the choices are in the elections, yet nobody makes an effort to find someone better. A lot of people genuinely didn't like either of the big two presidential candidates this year, but they still cast their vote for one of them, thinking it would be the lesser of two evils, and that somehow voting for any third-party candidate would be a waste of their vote.

I'm sorry, but how fucking stupid can the American people really be? The parties told us that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were our choices. We didn't pick them; the veteran members of those parties chose them. Even the political primaries are a joke; Republicans were given a handful of unlikable political riff-raff to pick from, and they picked the least of those evils to advance to the main election. How do more people not stand up in the middle of this mess and go "Is this the best we could come up with?"

At this point, I just think there's no point in fighting over how best to protect the foundations of American democracy. They're already gone. Our votes are bought and paid for. Millions upon millions of dollars were collected out of the pockets of political power-players and a sea of hapless gullible idiots, and they were spent on ad campaigns to convince us that our vote matters, yet simultaneously tell us who we are supposed to vote for. I'm not just talking about actual advertising segments, either. Network anchors and editorial commentators on cable news feed us the exact same information. I'm not sure if they're actually being paid off, or if they're just as gullible as the people they broadcast to.

It's pathetic and despicable, but even I'm complicit in all this. After all, I didn't really research candidates who might actually work to take the influence of private money and blind partisan loyalty out of political decision-making. I was too busy with whatever else I do with my life to set time aside for the future of my country, or my state for that matter. When I went in to vote on Tuesday, half my ballot was blank because I didn't want to vote for local politicians I knew nothing about, but not voting is almost as bad as voting uninformed.

In regards to the actual presidential election, I cast a vote for the Libertarian candidate. While I do agree with the vast majority of his platform, the vote was less out of loyalty for him and more out of contempt for mainstream politics. Hell, a couple of weeks ago, I still couldn't remember the man's name, and after this week, it's unlikely anybody else will either.

Well, this has gotten awfully long-winded. If I had a point to make with all this, it's simply the following: people who take politics so seriously as to cut off ties with friends they disagree with are irredeemable fucking morons. Politics, American or otherwise, are a stupid sick joke, and like most things we do as a human race, they should not be taken too seriously. It only makes us look foolish in the long run.

Anyway, if I offended anybody with this rant of mine, I do apologize. Not for anything I said, but for your inability to get your head out of your ass, metaphorically speaking. Life's too short to go on bickering over crap like this. In truth, I've given it more thought than it deserves at this point, and I wish I hadn't. So, maybe I do apologize for that much.

Verbosity is another thing I can't stand; you probably wouldn't guess that by reading this.

Instead of arguing over ideologies with people who have even less insight than I do, I think I'm better off just living the best life I can. I'm not quite sure how to do that, mind you; this life is still a work in progress, so there's time to figure it out. I'd just appreciate it if we could all learn to treat each other with the kind of respect we wish to be treated with. Nobody has all the right answers; most people don't even have a few of them.

I just want us all to remember that societies only work through cooperation, and drawing battle lines in the sand with labels like conservative and liberal only hurt our ability to thrive.

Now, I know we can't all just get along. Drama is inherent in our nature as human beings. I'm too hopeful to be a realist, but I hate entirely too many people to be a pacifist. I just hope we can figure out a way to live side by side without being at each other's throats day and night. We'll never get world peace, but I'd settle for that much.

Those are my thoughts for now. I'll sign off before this turns into a damn book instead of a post. I'll follow up later if my muse should strike me over the head again. Until then, peace and love, readers. And just for laughs:

Ron Paul 2016

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Just a quick thought

Abbreviated slang term meaning "you only live once."

I really hate that term. Why do people who say it always think it means to do something reckless? If you only have one life to live, why the hell would you throw it away on childish impulses?

Maybe because the only people who say YOLO are stupid, pleasure-seeking man-children who couldn't find real meaning in their lives if the lord almighty Himself came down on a cloud and bitch-slapped the taste out of their stupid mouths.

Just a quick thought. Peace and love, dear readers. And if you see some misguided young man talking about his swag, remind him how stupid he looks.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Just annoyed with people right now

For some reason, the Obama campaign shared this story on Facebook a little while ago. Apparently they expect it to be uplifting and inspiring. I just find it confounding and infuriating, and the comments are even worse. One guy states: "I know it's not much, but donating $5 [to the Obama campaign] made me feel really good about myself."


Maybe I'm naive, but why do people who donated a few dollars to a political campaign say they feel good about themselves? They shouldn't. Really. The only way they should feel worse is if they donated more than a few dollars.

Even if you honestly believe that Obama is the best person for the job of the Presidency right now, answer this: how does that $5 help him win the election? It's not as if your vote is multiplied by the number of dollars you sent in. All you're paying for is more brain-dead political ads to bother me while I'm eating dinner. You're buying another bottle of seltzer for the clowns in the three-ring circus we call a political system. Metaphorically speaking, that is.

Here's a sad dose of reality for you: at this point in the race, anybody who hasn't made up their mind already is not going to be swayed by political advertising. Hence, you wasted your money.

And yet, scores of people feel good about the money they've thrown away on political campaigns. If you donated $5 to Obama's political campaign, or worse yet feel somehow moved by stories about working class people giving up a pizza dinner so they can instead give to the campaign, you should be ashamed of yourself. This comes straight from that letter to Obama: $15 could have bought that nice family a fun pizza dinner, fresh fruit, or helped pay for tickets to a show they could enjoy together. Instead, that money went to paying for the incompetent political machine that pesters me incessantly with its propaganda. That political machine, by the way, is in no danger of running out of money anytime soon either.

If you want to help Obama win so badly, then inform yourself about his policies and his opponents' policies, discuss the issues with friends and family, and help get the word out. Hell, you can have local rallies for him if you really want.

But some of you can't be bothered with all that, can you? Instead you just throw a couple dollars his way so you can feel like you did something good to make a difference. Throwing money at a problem is a stereotypical lazy American way to handle things, and it's a big part of the reason the world doesn't take us seriously. Can you blame them? Actions like this make us look positively pathetic.

Of course, all this is ignoring the fact that nobody even knows about the presidential candidates in other parties beyond the big two, and I've heard virtually no one place any emphasis on voting for their own representatives at the local and state levels, or even the people who are supposed to represent them in Congress, but those are glaring issues for another time.

When our people are more committed to obtaining the new iPhone than to making an informed choice about the people who control our government, it's time to throw our hands up and let England reclaim control of their former colony. Sure, they've been having a collective panic attack over Kate Middleton being photographed topless, so they aren't the picture of common sense right now either, but it's clear now that we really can't handle running a country any better than they can.

So, that's all I'll say for tonight. I apologize for the negative tone, but I really needed to get all of that off my chest. Hopefully I'll be in a better mood after the election season is over.

Peace and love, dear readers. Oh, and if you'd like support my own campaign to become future president of the United States, send me as little as $5 to express your support, as well as your sick sense of bizarre irony.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Just a word about the robot uprising

I heard guys on my favorite radio show talking about this today. Here's a video to accompany the discussion, because robots are cool:

So, here's the thing: a lot of people seem to think that because of these advances we've had in artificial intelligence, such as with things like Cleverbot, Watson, iPhone's Siri, and all the videogames that exist, somehow we are closer to reaching a day where our science fiction nightmares come true and intelligent robots start taking over the world.

I'll be perfectly up-front about this: it's not going to happen. Robots can potentially be dangerous if created by dangerous people with bad intentions, but a robot or computer cannot be self-aware and decide to make its mission in existence to wipe out the human race.

A guy who called into the radio show made the stupidest, most herculean leap in logic I've heard from anybody who claims to understand computers. (For the uninitiated, I do have a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science now, so I at least have some excuse for being a boastful know-it-all about this stuff) The caller referenced a computer built back in the 90s which, after being taught the basic rules of Backgammon, was then left to run and play the game over and over until it taught itself how to be good at Backgammon. He then said that, since this was easy enough to achieve, all we needed to do for a robot to become self-aware is to teach it the concept of things, and then it can set about learning all things from the Internet, thus gaining mastery of all human knowledge.

There are two problems with that logic. First, the simpler one: Backgammon is not that complicated. A computer with decent AI can certainly learn to play a board game like that in this way, and it's not surprising. The thing is, the real world has way more rules and countless variables to keep track of. This is why the above robot video is so impressive: the mere act of walking around on four legs is a terribly intricate and difficult process for a computer to handle. It took very talented engineers a long time to carefully design programs that could direct that robot through a real environment. Now, just imagine if the robot had to not only walk around, but use tools, communicate, find paths through more difficult terrain, and even fight, all while remembering that if it turns on its human caretakers, it'll need to find its own source of power to run its engine.

Secondly, the much more damning point: computers, as they exist today, cannot learn concepts. Period. The very notion of teaching a robot the concept of things, or any concept at all, is absurd sci-fi stuff. Everything that we see computers do today that seems intelligent, whether it's Watson schooling people at trivia games, Siri answering our questions, or Cleverbot creepily flirting with us and getting vulgar for no clear reason, all of those things are accomplished through logical algorithms, dealing purely in numbers.

Watson can pull the name Agatha Christie from its database to answer a question, but it has no idea who Agatha Christie is, or even that the letters that make up that name are supposed to signify anything in the first place. It's just following its logic trees and trying to pull likely correct responses to the query; it's just a step up from Googling the question.

At least as they exist today, computers cannot understand a concept, they cannot learn much beyond what they've been programmed to learn, and they cannot have motivations of their own because they have no mind. So, as I said, if some mad scientist wants to create a diabolical killing machine robot army, they may do so, but those robots will never doing anything beyond what they were created to. I won't say that intelligent machines are impossible, but they would need to be created from something drastically different than the simple digital logic machines we use today.

So, that's that. I hope I put a few of your fears to rest. You're a lot more likely to be killed by your dish washer or your toaster than your computer, at least for the foreseeable future. So, relax and enjoy technology, because it's not plotting our downfall. It's here to serve us, just as it was made to.

Peace and love, readers.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Just unsure of how much to say

Unhappy news first: I'm not getting that job with Vicarious Visions. I didn't make the cut, and frankly I don't blame them. The proficiency test just served to prove how unproficient (inproficient?) I am. So, the search for steady employment, or employment of any kind really, continues. There will be more on that as it develops. I have hopes for another company that I'm somewhat less excited about, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Ourselves? Who are these plural selves I just referenced? It's only me here. Anyway...

For once, something wonderful is going on in my life that I'm not eager to share every detail of just yet. I'd just like to comment in general for now on the phenomenon known as "young love." Even now, it's sort of bizarre to me. There's a surreal, improbable, even unnatural feeling to all of it. Perhaps I'm tainted, or just overly cautious, but I find it hard to truly enjoy without careful examination.

For someone like me, who has only on a few occasions been involved with someone in any romantic capacity, it's hard to ignore this nagging fear: as much as I may like the person I am with in that moment, how do I know that this feeling I have isn't just a sort of relief at no longer being alone?

Really, any form of love is a good thing; I've always been an advocate of this concept. Whether it's fleeting or long-term, casual or committed, straight or gay, friend or family; it's all good.

What troubles me is the suspicion that, if there were another girl sitting by my side, her head resting on my shoulder as we hold hands, I would for the most part feel the exact same way. If this were true, it would mean that what I felt was not truly love for this one person, but for the mere idea of no longer being alone. Essentially, it would be love of the concept of loving, and of being loved.

Basically, I want to know for certain that this special person is just that. I need to believe that I haven't just been drawn to her for lack of other options. She is a terrific person; I have no doubt about that, and I certainly liked her before I had any sort of romantic or sexual thoughts about her. That's at least reassuring.

Well, as usual, I'm over-thinking things. If I think she's a great person, and want to spend more time with her, then what else is there to worry about? I really just need to relax. It would be easier if she were sitting here now. At least, I think it would be.

Actually, yes, I'm sure it would be.

So yeah, I'm worried over nothing. Still, I'm glad I at least thought about it. I can ultimately be more secure in my feelings that way. And hey, maybe someone reading this feels better as well. That would be wonderful, wouldn't it?

That's all for now. Peace and love, dear readers.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Just thought I should mention

My life really isn't as miserable as I portray it here sometimes. This can't be overstated: I have a great family, and some very wonderful friends. Yesterday was absurdly fun.

I'm unfortunately feeling a little sickly today, so I won't be able to adequately tell the story. For now, suffice to say that I had the pleasure of hanging out with some of the coolest people I know. Among other things, we watched a good movie, ate good food, talked about a variety of silly things, climbed a tree, and did that silly thing where you lay in the grass in a circle. It's a shame we didn't have an aerial camera; it probably looked very amusing.

Anyway, aside from that, I got some nice news today, but it's not set in stone and I'd rather not jinx myself, so I'll get into that next week sometime.

I also kind of want to use the "boobs" tag on this post, but am having a tough time coming up with a good reason for it. You'd think there would always be a reason for boobs.

So yeah, life is good. I need to take more time out to acknowledge that. Also, to climb more trees.

Peace and love, readers.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Just looked at my spam folder

There were some 300 unmoderated spam comments sitting in there, on pretty much every post on this blog, most from the same automated spammer account. As far as I can tell, that account has been deleted, but those comments remained.

Now, ordinarily I wouldn't lose sleep over this kind of thing, even though I actually ranted about these viral marketing idiots before. I will briefly reiterate my feelings on them: if you work at a company that relies on spam bots to market itself, you work for pathetic idiots and you are yourself a waste of human life. If I was given a choice between saving your life or the life of a mosquito, I'd choose the mosquito because, unlike you, its existence contributes to the global ecosystem in some small way.

What makes this awful is that, because of the sheer torrent of spam comments, I've never bothered to even look through them before. As a result, somebody made a legitimate comment on a post of mine a while ago, and it went unpublished until now because I never knew it existed. It was buried in piles of filth in my spam folder.

You know, I really don't want to lose faith, but when it becomes possible for a real person to be silenced by overzealous spam filters, because spammers have gotten so out of control that they pose a real threat to productivity, it really makes me feel awful for the state of humanity.

I can't state this enough: humanity prospers through community and cooperation. That is the only way. If you bother or even harm other people for your own gains, you are a blight upon all that makes the human race great. It's taken us so long just to come this far, and still selfish people will tear down all that we hold dear just to make themselves a little bit more comfortable.

Now, I realize it seems silly for me to say all that about something as common and (mostly) benign as spammers, but this is just the final straw. Spammers are only one minor nuisance, but they're part of a systemic breakdown of our most treasured values. I see the tentacles of the human Id grasping at everything and everyone I care about. Half of the time, people don't even realize what they're doing is hurting others. The other half of the time, they simply do not care. It turns my stomach, and I can't bear to shut up about it.

Anyway, I'm sorry this has been kind of a downer. Obviously I'm in a bit of a depressed state lately, what with the mostly fruitless job search, my student loan debt, and all the unrelenting stress and drama of politics. I really should just unplug for a few days; stay off the Internet, away from the TV and radio.

The one bright side is that I have real friends now who always seem to renew my faith in people. In times like these, I can't forget about them, or anyone else I care about.

Alright, that's enough of that. I'll try to find something fun to talk about next time. Peace and love, readers.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Just need to rant

I just can't stay quiet on this. My brain feels like it's going to explode.

Look, sometime last week or the week before, whenever, I heard people talking about this video clip of President Obama giving a speech and saying something like, "If you own a business, you didn't build that." When I heard that, I thought, wow, I can't believe he'd say that. And I really didn't. What's more, I knew he wouldn't have actually said something like that. Do you know why? Because he's not a fucking idiot. We're just a few months short of the election. Obama wouldn't go out on the campaign trail and commit career suicide with a blatant business-bashing comment like that. Nobody is that stupid.

So, I just assumed somebody was misinterpreting his words, which is prone to happen, and I let it go. I didn't care to hear anymore. If people want to hate Obama for no other reason than he is Obama, let them go right ahead. Never mind that there are a plethora of legitimate reasons to dislike Obama. Let them draw whatever twisted conclusions they want about his character and his motivations, and let none of it be based the slightest bit in reality. It's not like their gaining a newfound respect for common sense would cause them to shift their political leanings that much.

Hell, even I'm not voting for Obama. I flat-out refuse. The guy's overall been a failure; I have no doubt about that. Some of his measures with the healthcare and stimulus helped some people, sure, but he has no way to pay for that stuff. He couldn't reach across the isle and get Congress to compromise on legislation like he promised. He didn't close Guantanamo Bay, and as far as I can tell has no immediate plans to do so, despite telling us he'd have this done years ago. He got us out of Iraq on time but entrenched us even worse in other Middle East affairs. He basically seems like he's gunning for a record for the highest ever increase in national debt. That trophy should look great alongside the one for most enemy combatants blown to bits with unmanned drone strikes, which he is also winning.

And to top it all off, he signed that damn bill that would give the government the legal ability to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial if they are suspected of terrorism. Of course, he added at the bottom that his administration would never make use of this power. Forgive me if I don't trust you at your word, Barack.

But this... what happened with this video clip from the speech, what Fox News and Mitt Romney willfully did with this clip is so wildly unethical, I can't believe nobody from Obama's campaign or the White House has filed a law suit yet for slander. I was right all along. Surprise surprise, Obama didn't actually commit career suicide. He gave a speech saying that, basically, it takes a community. Even great leaders in business have people who help them, and everyone has to rely on some things like the nation's infrastructure. Shit, even Romney agrees with that. Here's a video, if you care to watch:

So... The actual line from the speech was: "Somebody invested [in] roads and bridges; if you've got a business, that- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." Now, he did misspeak a bit. I assume he meant, if you've got a business, you didn't build all that, or you didn't build those. He was referring to the aforementioned roads and bridges. If you wonder why I assume that, rather than assume he was talking about the businesses, I refer you to previous statements about him not being that stupid.

Well, guess what? Romney doesn't care about what he actually said. Fox News didn't care what he actually said. They saw an opportunity to lie right to our faces, and they took it. They cut the clip; they removed the start of the sentence when he mentions roads and bridges, so the clip they showed depicted Obama saying, "If you have a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Honestly, I'm not sure what to be more upset about; the fact that they did this at all, or that they knew their viewers were fucking gullible enough to believe it. It's bad enough that those fucking scumbags would stoop so low as to actually blatantly lie in such an obvious way. Did they really just think, hell, the American people are stupid. Our viewers at Fox News are definitely stupid. They'll believe what we show them here because they already hate Obama. And then they'll get more outraged, and they'll tell all their friends and family how anti-business Obama is, and they'll spread the word and disparage him more and more, all based solely on a lie.

And you know the most fucked up part of all?

It. Fucking. Worked.

My own father fell for this bullshit. He trusted the words and the hack-job video clip from Fox News, and he believed the words of the pundits and radio personalities. He added this to his laundry list of superficial bullshit to hate about Obama, all the while blindly following the narrative that Romney is a brilliant business leader who will steer the country in the right direction. I'll concede that Romney may know how to personally succeed in business, but I will never fucking vote for a man who would lie straight to my face like this.

Look, I can't say this to his face. I love my dad. He is overall a good guy, a hard worker, a loving family man, and given the option, I wouldn't trade him in for anyone. He's the best I could hope for. But dammit... he is so fucking gullible when it comes to politics. I guess he gets it from his dad; the difference there is his dad is in the bag for liberals instead of conservatives. Maybe that kind of blind political gullibility runs in my family.

...That wouldn't quite explain me, though. I guess I do take more after Mom after all. In that case, I should really be on medication or something.

Anyway, that's all I had to say on that. I hope some of my loyal readers enjoyed my dose of vulgar enlightenment, and I hope the various nuts who make their way here from Google realize that I moderate comments, and I have no intention of giving a soapbox to anyone who's looking for a shouting match. If you have something smart to say, go ahead, but I'll be watching like the scornful know-it-all that I am.

So, yeah, on a happier note, at least when Romney is president I'll get to gloat and rub it in Dad's face when the country gets screwed all to hell, just as badly as it already has been. That's assuming, of course, that the ocean hasn't swallowed our house by then.

Peace and love, dear readers. Don't forget: hate is a sin. Practice patience and forgiveness. Hopefully I'll be able to do the same.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dreams: Something precious

I just remembered a strange dream I had the other night. I figured it was worth reviving my dream research, but given how scarce these dream journal posts are, I figured I'll just merge them into this blog from now on. So...

I dreamed that I had found the tiniest, cutest white kitten you could ever possibly imagine. It was no bigger than a baby mouse, but fully developed (eyes open, walking on its own, and so on). This was happening at my house, apparently. I held the tiny kitten in my palm and admired it for a while. Suddenly, random huge animals seemed to be attacking from all around; bears, dogs, and I'm not sure what else. I went outside and starting running, all the while cradling the tiny kitten, trying to protect it, but somehow it slipped out of my hands. A huge dog ran to the place where I thought I had dropped it, but the dog kept running. I ran back to that spot, and on the ground, where I was sure the kitten had landed, there was a small, hairless, wrinkly, bloated creature. It looked like a fetus. It wasn't all gory or anything, just shriveled and hairless, lying in the fetal position. I knew it was dead before I even picked it up.

This kind of haunted me afterward. The dream was at least partially lucid. I had enough presence of mind to do the little walking-through-walls thing I do in lucid dreams a lot. When the dog ran toward the fallen kitten, I think I sort of willed it to keep on running without stopping, since that's what I was thinking. This is kind of just speculation, though. Also, I obviously did not choose the ending to that encounter.

The thing that haunts me about this dream is, I believe it says something about the way I think about the things (and perhaps people) that are precious to me. It's like that tiny dead fetus was saying to me, no matter what you do or where you go, the thing you care about most will slip from your grasp and disappear. It's... not a kind message from my subconscious.

Anyway, it's all still open to interpretation, I guess. I just hate to think this is how things turn out in my dreams, where I'm supposed to have all the control. Maybe it says something else that I'm not thinking of. If anybody has a theory on that, I'm happy to hear it. These dream posts are meant to be discussed, after all.

Just going to repost this

It's more relevant here anyway.

Hmm, so, the blog post with the most individual page views is one about opening up and sharing my personal feelings. The second most viewed is titled "I just accidentally electrocuted myself." I think I learned something about my readership tonight.

Also, a bit of brevity would probably go a long way here. I could update more frequently if I didn't write an entire diatribe each time. Hell, I could update even more frequently if I just remembered to do so. It's not as though I ever run out of thoughts.

More to come soon, I guess. Peace and love, reader-folk.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Just felt like opening up

I guess I'll go ahead and say this. If the person I'm talking about happens to read it, it'll at least save me some time.

There is somebody in my life I'm interested in getting closer to, but I have been holding back out of doubt. I'm convinced already that she's a great person and I'm a lucky guy for even knowing her. The concern is the same as always: I think I'm going to screw it up somehow. Intimacy is something I'm not good at, and even when I can briefly succeed at it, having a real relationship with somebody often entails them being able to count on you. Although I'm far from being impartial when it comes to judging the quality of my character, I'll be the first to tell you I'm a reasonably smart, funny guy who has the best of intentions and a lot of love to give. The main issue is that I'm utterly unreliable. I might come through when I'm needed sometimes, but if I have a relapse of depression... well, then I'm useless.

Aside from that, there are the plans I had been making for my future. Although nothing specific is lined up now, it has been my intention for a while now to get as far away from here as possible. As much as I love my family, I'd much rather be temporarily miserable and independent than complacently comfortable at home. At the very least, I should be finding a place that will be good for my career(s). The main thing holding me back from that now is that I would be leaving friends behind.

Most of my life, friendships have been things that were hastily formed when they were convenient. I tried to befriend people who were close by, and if they drifted away, or more likely I drifted away, I didn't try to stop it from happening. That's fairly normal to some extent, but I don't want to be that way. I'm not nearly as shy as I used to be, but I still have some difficulty talking to people, especially new people. It's horribly intimidating, and for all the gorgeous linguistic skill I display for you, my dear readers, on this blog and elsewhere, I'm still hopelessly awkward in person.

Even more than that, though, the thought of losing touch with people I cared for simply hurts me to think about. It tears me up inside, yet I keep letting it happen. It's stupid, but this is part of the reason I don't like to ask out girls I'm interested in. Even if I manage to say the all right things for a while, eventually I'm going to screw up. I'm going to let myself slip into apathy and neglect them. Worse yet, I might tell them what I really think about them, which depending on how well I know them could either be the single kindest or cruelest thing I could ever do to them. I feel like I can't get close to the people I care about because I think I'm just too destructive to be trusted around them. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but... well, I can't help but see a pattern in my brief history on Earth.

I must sound like such a whiny dork by now. Well, my point, if I had one, is that I seem to be more comfortable when the girl makes the first move. It's tricky even then, but at least I can have some assurance that they not only like me so far, but were willing to go out on a limb to get closer to me. It's silly, I know. I'm a decent enough guy, with a good life, and great family and friends. I shouldn't be so damn insecure. The very fact that I worry this much about hurting the people I love puts me head-and-shoulders above some people I've met. I guess I'm just too impartially paranoid for my own good.

Anyway, I might as well say this while I have some tiny iota of manly confidence stored up:

Jess, if you're reading this, I was talking about you. I'm not about to ask you on a date, because the very idea of formal dating makes me roll my eyes. I'm not suggesting a huge step up in our relationship either; I love to take things slow. All I want right now is to see more of you. Take that how you will.

Alright, that wasn't so bad. Now, if I can just find the balls to actually send that message straight to her. Hmm... maybe next time.

Thanks for putting up with my awkwardness. Peace and love, dear readers.

Just having some sexy thoughts

Not sure what fired my brain up tonight, but I have two posts for you. Here is the first.

It occurs to me that the values we as a society hold dear are not being communicated very effectively. They always seem to be present in children's entertainment, and we (usually) tell our kids how they should behave. It'd be better if we showed them how, but that's beside the point.

Despite our best efforts, we have an apparent culture of vices that permeates virtually every part of our world. Whether it's advertising, movies and television, music, magazines and news outlets, or even the actions of the people in our lives, there is always a constant message going directly in opposition to the things we're supposed to hold dear. There are too many elements of this to count, so I'll focus on this for now:


A lot of people treat sexuality like it's some kind of taboo, and when popular music, movies, television and more seem to flaunt the most disgusting and simplistic views of sexuality, the most absurd of measures are taken to counteract them. For example, some people would rather teach abstinence-only sex education in schools than have an open and healthy dialogue about sex and relationships with their kids. Frankly, I'm disgusted by people on all sides. Because sex is a cultural taboo, it becomes simultaneously something not to be discussed in polite company, and something to be indulged in with reckless depravity while nobody is looking. These are both twisted views on sex and should not be spread any further.

I just think that if we as a culture could approach the topic of sexuality with a bit more intelligence and tact, it wouldn't be such a problem. As long as you leave some of the biological specifics out, it should be acceptable to discuss the nature of adult relationships in polite company, even with children present. You should be able to talk about making love to your wife when your child is in the room; just leave out the bit where she doesn't like to go down on you because your penis smells like the toilet at a Denny's.

Sex is both a way to procreate and a medium through which two people can express their love for one another. It's far more than just a primal urge that immoral people indulge in to make themselves feel good, and that's a message our teenagers deserve to hear. For that matter, they deserve to know about the existence of differing sexuality and orientations, diseases, and contraception options.

Some adults in this country seem to think teens will have less sex if they know less about it, and that's idiotic. Our youth get a lot of bad messages about sex from music, tv, and so on. The way to combat that is not censorship; the way to combat it is to tell them the truth about sex and remind them of the values we've been trying to teach them their whole lives. You know, compassion, restraint, accountability, thinking of others as well as yourself, planning for the future. You are teaching your kids those things, right? I mean, why the hell else do you have kids?

Anyway, that's all I'll say on that for now. Peace and love, reader-folk.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Just got my degree and shot some aliens

The two events in the title are unrelated.

I'm wondering, would it be a bad idea to list this as my personal website in a professional portfolio? I have a feeling some potential employers wouldn't appreciate some of the things contained here.

Oh, before I forget, I might as well announce it here: I (semi)officially completed my studies at SUNY Institute of Technology this past May. I received an A on my thesis/capstone project, and unless something awful arises in the office, I will be getting my diploma in the mail sometime in July. I have earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer and Information Science, which is easily the most respectable-sounding piece of paper I've ever owned.

So, the job search has commenced. I'm signed up online for various job hunting services and trying to keep an eye out for great opportunities. Naturally, my mom still highlights stuff she's seen in the newspaper and leaves them for me to find, because that's how her generation does things. She's very hopeful and proud of me. Apparently I'm the first person in our family to get a BS. My mom only has an Associate's, and my dad didn't go to college. Makes me wonder sometimes how they managed to have a combined gross annual income over $100,000. It always sounds like a lot to me, but you know, taxes and all drain that quickly.

Also, I have a feeling my productivity in job hunting will be slightly hurt by the fact that I've just started Mass Effect 2 (and have purchased the third installment). I'm pretty hooked to this thing so far. I don't play video games like that daily, but once the game console is turned on, I have a difficult time turning it off. Anyway, a lot of Mass Effect jokes suddenly make sense to me, and I've decided that if Garrus and Kasumi Goto were able to conceive a child, it would be the most phenomenally amazing, charming, and lethal bad-ass in the history of fiction. Or maybe it'd grow up to be an accountant. There's no telling with kids.

Also again, I'm typing this at 4am. I started living in the daylight like a normal person for a while there, but apparently my circadian just has no rhythm, because here I am in the wee hours again. I might pull and all-nighter and try to reset my internal clock again. Hell, it worked once this year.

That's all for now. Peace and love, readers. Speak softly, but carry a big Arc Projector.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Just shouting at deaf ears

Have you read this yet? Here's the gist:

(CNN) -- A gay teenager who pulled a stun gun on students he said bullied him has been expelled from his Indianapolis high school until January.
"While the district does not condone bullying, it also does not allow weapons to be brought on our school campuses for any reason," a spokeswoman for Indianapolis Public Schools said Tuesday. "Students who violate this rule will be held accountable."

I was about to share this on Facebook, thinking the story could stand some more attention, but... fuck it. One more snarky comment from me isn't going to suddenly make things better. Now, I had a whole angry rant here about how public schools are full of shit, but that's really not the point I hope to make, so in the interest of being informative rather than just blowing off steam, I'm going to scale it back a little. So, let me just get a few thoughts about this specific story out first, and then we'll get to the heart of the matter.

The environment in our schools molds our children, and their low standards of education and care are clearly setting up our entire country to fail, but hey, who has the time and resources to solve that problem, right? Better to just make an example of the kid with the taser so they can keep up appearances without actually making their schools any safer.

"The district does not condone bullying," she said. "Students who violate the rights of others through bullying behaviors are held accountable."
Really? I wonder, how many bullies have been expelled? My guess is few or none. Seems like disproportionate punishment to me. Oh, but the student with the weapon has to be expelled, because obviously that weapon was making students feel unsafe in their school. By that logic, the bullies should've been expelled as well, but hey, that makes too much sense.

By the way, what kind of spokesperson actually has to say "we do not condone bullying"? I never once suspected they did, until they said that. Nobody (publicly) condones the practice of bullying, so when you make a point of saying that you don't condone it, it's overcompensating. I actually suspect worse things about this school because they went out of their way to say that.

Students take part in anti-bullying programs from kindergarten through 12th grade, district spokeswoman Mary Louise Bewley said. The district also offers Gay Straight Alliance groups on multiple campuses, including Arsenal Technical High School, where Young attended, Bewley said.
Yeah? How well is that working out for you? A gay student brought a taser to school because, in his own words, "I wasn't safe." Tell me, if a student is being pushed around and physically threatened by other students, what does your little alliance group do about that? How did this situation escalate so far before the school stepped in?

Look, it doesn't take a brilliant person to see the problem here. These punishments are clearly reactive in nature, not proactive. They claim they have anti-bullying programs, but have these programs improved the social atmosphere in schools? Obviously not. I don't know, maybe if kids respected your staff at all, they'd listen to what they had to say in these programs, but my guess is they don't.

Okay, ready? Heart of the matter time:

You know what would go a long way toward ending bullying in schools? Showing the kids, through our actions, that judging somebody because they're different is completely unacceptable and utterly un-American.

How do we do that? Well, off the top of my head... Legalize gay marriage. Stop cultivating a culture where gays are considered aberrant and a danger to our way of life. When prejudice and hatred dictate policy in our government, it teaches our kids far more than any cheap public school workshop will.

Kids bully because we've taught them to do so; we show them that's how the world works. Look at our politics; look at our wars; look at our reality tv; look at cable news. We've taught them that aggression, drama and violence are the tools for success. Are we really this fucking stupid?

Well, for once, I'm going to call on you, the person reading my frustrated diatribe, to take action. Even if you don't share this actual post, share the idea. Make other people connect the dots. We can't publicly say we're against bullying while our actions send the opposite message. Actions speak louder than words; we've all heard this. Isn't it high time we lived that creed? Shouldn't we practice what we preach? Or are we going to continue letting fear, misinformation and hatred tear our culture apart?

Stop telling our kids how to act and then wondering what went wrong. Be a fucking role model.

That's all I needed to say for now. Peace and love, all you happy people.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Just checked Hubpages again

So, I got another accolade on Hubpages. This time, it says that I got the Engaging Writer accolade, which means that most people who read my articles stay on the page and read it all the way to the end. I still get a fairly steady stream of new comments to moderate as well; roughly two per week. You know what's noteworthy about this?

I haven't written an article for Hubpages in over a year and a half. The old stuff isn't exactly advertised by me. Hell, some of those opinion pieces are on opinions I don't really hold anymore (the ones about God and spirituality, mostly). And yet, those articles see more traffic than this blog. It's enough to make me think I should take writing my opinions a little more seriously again. I might actually make a little money.

It's worth noting, though, that I'm getting a little more mean-spirited online of late. I'm polite and courteous to people whom I think deserve it, but most of my writing now (which is just comments on Internet forums) is of a darker demeanor. Maybe that's just my persona there. Maybe I'm actually becoming more pessimistic, more spiteful. Then again, maybe I just see things as they are and don't like to mince words. For example:

Hubpages is a cesspool of humanity. That's why I left. There are intelligent people writing for the site, but they don't account for more than 30% of the total userbase. Go look at the answers section or recently published sometime. For every useful or interesting article (I still refuse to call them "hubs" because that's moronic), there are two or three articles that have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The answers are worse; people state their sick, deluded opinions as if they are infallible, and that's just the ones who can actually fucking speak English.

Such is my displeasure with the world. I dislike being reclusive, but whenever I pay attention to other people, I inevitably am introduced to somebody who, if they stood in front of me and said the things they say online, I would be forced to violently choke them to death purely out of a sense of cosmic justice. "Do not suffer a selfish, dangerous prick to live." That is my belief. I don't know for sure that I would have the resolve to kill a person if it came to that, but I've interacted with quite a few people that would have a good chance of pushing me to that. I realize and accept that the world is full of people with all different opinions and cultures, but there are some people that, in my mind, are simply detrimental to the rest of society.

If they can't be killed, minimally, they should have their proverbial soap boxes taken away. We in the US enjoy the right of freedom of speech; that doesn't entitle you to force your twisted views upon others. Show a little respect for others for once. The world doesn't revolve around your stupid inflated heads.

Sorry, I'm done ranting for now. I hope I sort of made my point, though. My disdain, while I think it's justified, is not entirely productive, and doesn't always warrant sharing with others. I am trying to cheer up and be nicer, I promise.

Anyway, that's it. Peace and love, my dear readers. Keep your minds and hearts open.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Just letting words fall out of my head

I have a headache, so I probably shouldn't be thinking so hard. For once in my life, I should try to get to bed early tonight. Knowing me, I'll instead be up at all hours discussing inane crap with people on forums, watching stupid videos, playing games, or doing things I shouldn't talk about it polite company.

Most of those things involve looking at porn.

On the bright side, the whole writers' group thing is going pretty well. I don't know how many weeks we have left, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts. I'm debating introducing them to my whole comic story idea thing. I've barely talked about it here, and for good reason. It's basically the product of me lying awake at night thinking, "How much absurd, ridiculous stuff can I pack into a single science-fiction/fantasy storyline and still make it vaguely coherent? Is it possible to write a piece of fiction so convoluted and full of parodies, homages, references, memes and literary devices that its TV-Tropes article would be longer than the piece itself?"

Seriously, its a little horrifying. It's been in the works for over 5 years now and just keeps getting bigger and more outrageous. It's gotten to the point that I'm now thinking maybe the comic still isn't meta enough, so I'm making plans to write a comic about the comic. It's only a matter of time before I start writing a comic about that comic, too. Not much drawing has gotten done, as you can imagine.

In other news: The Binding of Isaac. I finally bought the game and played it a bit. I'm not in love with it yet, but it definitely has a lot to offer. Aside from that, it's nice to be reminded that a deeply disturbing and awful game premise can't detract from great game mechanics. Of course, for sickos like me, the murderous and blasphemous aesthetic is a selling point. The same goes for the difficulty level. Clearly, this one's not for everybody, so I really want to get at least one ending, just so I can feel like I'm part of some exclusive secret society of gamers. You think they have cool cultist-looking robes, or a secret handshake, or get to attend a special banquet with the Prime Minister of Russia and the Illuminati on the top floor of that giant hotel in Dubai?

Alright, that's enough of this silliness. Peace and love, readers.