GCU Dancer on the Midway
Paul Wright's blog
Link blog: economics, money, currency, betrand-russell 
1st Dec 2011, 12:15 pm
King Under The Mountain: Soundtrack and Adventure Log
Someone actually ran a Dungeons and Discourse game (see the Dresden Codak cartoon). This is what happened. "In the middle of the Cartesian Plain at the confluence of the rivers Ordinate and Abcissa stands the mightiest of all, the imperial city of Origin. At the very center of the city stands the infinitely tall Z-Axis Tower, on whose bottom floor lives the all-seeing Wizard of 0=Z."
(tags: betrand-russell philosophy roleplaying dungeons-and-dragons funny)
Cow Clicker Founder: If You Can't Ruin It, Destroy It : NPR
Bloke makes spoof Facebook game to mock the grinding required by Facebook games. Facebook users play it for real.
(tags: games zynga facebook cow psychology)
Embedded in Academia : Nine ways to break your systems code using volatile
"The volatile qualifier in C/C++ is a little bit like the C preprocessor: an ugly, blunt tool that is easy to misuse but that — in a very narrow set of circumstances — gets the job done. This article will first briefly explain volatile and its history and then, through a series of examples about how not to use it, explain how to most effectively create correct systems software using volatile. Although this article focuses on C, almost everything in it also applies to C++." Relevant to my interests as compilers get cleverer about re-ordering.
(tags: volatile embedded programming C threads multicore memory-model)
Ask Chris #81: Scooby-Doo and Secular Humanism - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews
"On Scooby-Doo, do you prefer the monsters to be real or people in costumes?"
(tags: scooby doo rationality)
The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin | Magazine
Whatever happened to Bitcoin? Via Andrewducker.
(tags: bitcoin currency money economics wired crypto cryptography)
1st Dec 2011, 05:23 pm (UTC)
I thought a better soundbite for the volatile article would have been the start of the summary section at the end, which was very nicely put:
Optimizing compilers are tricky to reason about, as are out-of-order processors. Also, the C standard contains some very dark corners. The volatile qualifier invites all of these difficulties to come together in one place and interact with one another.
1st Dec 2011, 10:04 pm (UTC)
There's something really depressing about that Cow Clicker story. It's sort of like that joke about how when we invent full sensory VR, the human race will quickly die of starvation. Except that Farmville type games are already killing productivity and the only reward you're getting is pixels on a screen. Like rats that can be trained to just keep pressing the reward lever forever.

And I'm just as bad, really, I've spent way too much of the last couple of months playing Glitch. After Level 20 it's a whole lot more milling than actually discovering new fun stuff, but for some reason I haven't stopped. Sure, Tiny Speck is less evil than Zynga (not exactly a high baseline!) but it's the same basic concept: doing a repetitive and fairly mindless action for intermittent, even if totally valueless, rewards, is really really addictive. Well, Glitch keeps promising us more expansions that will keep the game interesting at higher levels, but that's more the rationalization than the reason that I keep on putting so much time into milling.
12th Dec 2011, 02:16 pm (UTC)
Like rats that can be trained to just keep pressing the reward lever forever.

Humans to like to think we're special, but this sort of thing tends to weigh against that. I was reminded of the stuff on the You Are Not So Smart blog.
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