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Pokemon Go stole my Hidden Village idea!

by Crowhill on 11 July 2016

(The original cover)

(The new cover)

The Pokemon Go craze has infected a couple of the people in my house.

In case you don’t know, Pokemon Go is an app that imposes a virtual world on top of the real world. People wander around, using their phones as guidance, trying to find Pokemon and Pokestops and whatever other Poke-collectibles the programmers have put out there.

People seem to enjoy it. It doesn’t gather food or serve Vaal, but … it doesn’t seem to cause any harm either. At least not too much … yet. (Yes, people playing Pokemon Go have caused car accidents, but I think smartphone-induced accidents are a thing anyway, and you can hardly blame a particular game on that.)

As many of you know, I work in downtown D.C. and often wander the streets looking for trouble. I’ve long thought that it would be cool to create a game that superimposes a “Hidden Village” on the real-life city, and that people could use smart phones and such to play the game.

Bars and restaurants and other places could become special locations in the Hidden Village world, and players would interact with other players, do scavenger hunt sorts of things, and various shenanigans. (I wrote a short story about a Hidden Village raid, but I think I’ve since unpublished it. Write me if you’d like to read it and I’ll send it to you. It gives a little explanation as to how the game could be played.)

I’m not much of a gamer myself, and I’m not an app programmer, so rather than creating the game, I wrote a book that assumed the existence of the game.

“The Hidden Village” game is part of the background for the story in The Hidden Village.

Now of course this sort of game was completely inevitable, and I’m not actually accusing Pokemon of stealing anything from me, but as I was reading about the Pokemon Go phenomenon, I realized the similarities. Pretty soon there will be lots of games that merge the real world with virtual worlds, and maybe somebody will even create The Hidden Village.

2 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-11  ::  Crowhill

Speaking ability and intelligence

by Crowhill on 9 July 2016

Sometimes it’s hard to divide the two.

Obviously it takes some amount / form of intelligence to speak well — using the right words in a logical sequence with an appropriate flow and rhythm, etc. But a lot of midwits can give a good speech without a script.

There are also some fairly prominent examples of intelligent people who are notoriously bad with words. George W Bush comes to mind.

Some poor word choice seems like it’s more of a disorder than a lack of intelligence. For example, while picking the correct word does require intelligence, sometimes people have a knack for confusing words that sound the same but have different meanings. I think these people know the difference between the two words, but their brain just glides over it while they’re speaking. (I think people who do that get frustrated and develop a “who cares, you know what I meant” attitude.)

So … what about Trump?

I’m not talking about the conspiracy theories, the braggadocio and the lies. Those are all concerns in their own right. I’m talking about his chaotic speaking style.

Byron York has an interesting article on How Trump Speaks that you might want to read.

Trump rambles. He can’t stay on point. Still, he’s a master of persuasion and … I think this is key … he doesn’t sound like a politician. We’re all sick to death of standard political speech, and this is one way Trump stands out.

Still, there is the question: does undisciplined speech indicate an undisciplined mind?

3 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-09  ::  Crowhill

Interesting comments on creationists

by Crowhill on 8 July 2016

I have often mentioned that the way to get at the truth on a controversial subject is to look at what people say about it when they’re actually talking about something else.

When they’re in the midst of an argument, they’re guarded and hesitant and don’t want to give any ground, or give “the other side” any ammo. But when they’re talking about another topic, they’re more open and honest.

Here’s an interesting example.

Neal Tyson recently suggested creating a country in which decisions were based on science and reason. Sensible people have been snickering about the idea ever since, and here’s one example.

A rational nation ruled by science would be a terrible idea

I don’t care about Tyson’s silly political idea, but it’s very interesting to see what the author of this article says about creationists. Here are a few quotes. (BTW, I’m not saying any of this to defend creationists.)

As a sociologist, I do a lot of fieldwork with creationist evangelicals, and I’m struck by how rarely any of them dislike “science” as such; they don’t like certain scientists, and they especially don’t like evolution, but “science” is always just fine.

… [A] careful analysis of creationists’ scientific knowledge shows that they know as much science as anyone else. It’s just that they deny scientific claims. …

In my fieldwork at one creationist evangelical high school, I found students perfectly capable of correctly answering every question about evolution in a biology exam.

IOW, creationists are neither “anti science” nor ignorant of the facts. The problem is that they believe the wrong things.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-08  ::  Crowhill

C.S. Lewis didn’t foresee Facebook

by Crowhill on 8 July 2016

A lot of educated people think that they are the free thinkers and the poor, uneducated folk are being dragged around by propaganda.

C.S. Lewis thought the opposite was the case. The “educated” were the conformists, getting their opinions fed to them by their fellow elite.

It’s a very understandable thing. People in general feel pressure to conform with the in group. And I think Lewis was mostly right that it was the elite who felt that pressure more than the non-elite — simply because it matters a whole lot more to the business and lifestyle of the elite to fit in. Nobody expects the poor to be cultured.

Social media seems to have changed this dynamic by pushing “culture” down to the poorest and meanest. Now, everybody who dares to get online faces pressure to conform to the dictates of the mean girls.

The result is that free thinking is dying and people are sorting themselves into narrow little slices of intolerance.

3 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-08  ::  Crowhill

Is a “digital magazine” really a magazine?

by Crowhill on 7 July 2016

I say no.

A “digital magazine” is not a magazine. Let’s stop pretending and get on with it.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-07  ::  Crowhill

Ever had Switchel?

by Crowhill on 7 July 2016

I’m trying to cut back on alcohol this week. I love tea, but caffeine doesn’t agree with me. (Rooibos is okay.) I don’t like soda. So I was looking for other (interesting) options.

On a recent flight I saw a recipe for switchel in one of those airline magazines. I tried it last night, and I like it. It looks weird, but it’s worth a try.

You don’t have to make this much. I halved this recipe and still filled 5 16 oz bottles with some left over.

1 gallon apple cider vinegar
1/2 gallon maple syrup
1 pound fresh ginger, grated
2 cups molasses
1 cup lime juice

(The recipe says “courtesy of Vena’s Fizz House.”)

You bring it all to a boil, let it steep for 15 minutes, then cool, strain and bottle.

Of course it helps that I have homebrew equipment lying around, like a bottling bucket, a very large strainer, and lots of 16 oz swing-top bottles. But I’m sure you can handle this in your kitchen.

You add about an ounce to a tumbler, then add ice and seltzer and stir gently. It’s odd, but good. And it’s not too sweet, like soda.

Update: If you try this, be sure to save the ginger that you fish out of the soup. It’s amazing stuff — just to nibble on, but you can also put it in other things. I just mixed a little bit with some peanut butter, soy sauce and sesame oil, heated it in the microwave, and put that on top of leftover noodles. Delish.

2 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-07  ::  Crowhill

The rule of law is dead

by Crowhill on 5 July 2016

Chief Justice Roberts rewrote Obamacare to save it. Justice Kennedy rewrote the concept of marriage to push same-sex marriage. And now the FBI has rewritten the federal statutes about secret data to protect Hillary Clinton.

The law is irrelevant. What matters is whether the mean girls are on your side or not. If so, do whatever you want — they’ll protect you. If not, they’ll create some reason to fine you, hound you out of your job or send you to jail.

7 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-05  ::  Crowhill

Are women incorrigible?

by Crowhill on 5 July 2016

Or, to put it another way, are they being trained to be immune to the Gospel?

Doug Wilson says we’re trending in that direction.

When a man mistreats a woman, the current climate still allows a pastor to confront him, and to deal with it thoroughly. Even though the world gets conviction of sin all wrong, this climate does mean that the simple message of repent and believe is one that can still be delivered to men. The men usually expect it, which is good, because they deserve it.

But that is not the case anymore with women. Any counselor who actually tries to address feminine shortcomings in a dysfunctional relationship is a brave counselor. One of the things that happens is that any such an attempted address is immediately construed as “taking the side” of the abuser. And to anticipate an objection here, this is not a function of the counselor being male — my wife has seen the same reaction that I have, and sometimes more quickly.

Now I know that some women have done awful things to men also, and I take it as a given that this can and does happen. I do not assume that the man must be the worst offender. But in the counseling I have done over the years, the thing that usually wrecks the woman’s joy is not the fact that her sin is equivalent to the man’s, or greater than the man’s, or less than the man’s, but rather the fact that her sin is untouchable. We are dealing with a culture-wide insistence that women not be held responsible for what they do. This assumption has crept into the church, even into the conservative wing of the church, and has now been weaponized.

(The italics are his, the bold is mine.)

I have only a little bit of counseling experience, and that was a long time ago. But I have noticed the tendency in our culture to counter-attack anyone who criticizes a woman for any reason, which creates a mindset that women are never to be criticized for any reason ever.

Being a slut is not a problem. Shaming sluts is the problem. Being a lazy glutton is not a problem. Shaming “body types” is the problem.

This insulates women from criticism, which insulates them from reality.

HT to Dalrock, who has his own take on this.

11 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-05  ::  Crowhill


by Crowhill on 5 July 2016

This is an open thread where you can voice your hope / prediction for the VP selections.

On the GOP side, I think Gingrich would be a good choice except for his age, his history and the fact that he usually looks mean. Trump doesn’t need that. But I sincerely hope Gingrich gets some role in a Trump administration. Gingrich is a clever fellow.

Christie might have been a good pick a few months ago, but I think his star has faded, and we really don’t need two NY / NJ “straight shooters” on the ticket.

I don’t know much about Pence and Ernst, but I suspect Ernst will get the nod — based entirely on her qualifications and having nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that she’s a woman. Of course!

Hillary might select Warren to try to bring in some of the Sanders people, but I don’t think so. Hillary doesn’t want to be upstaged, especially by another woman.

Beyond that, I don’t have much of a feel for it. I suspect she’ll pick somebody with “diversity” cred.

In the realm of the insane, blow the world up pick, imagine what would happen if she picked Romney? 🙂

8 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-05  ::  Crowhill

No, men are not like that

by Crowhill on 5 July 2016

I liked Suzanne Venker’s book, The War on Men, and I’ve liked most of the articles I’ve read from her. On this one I think she slipped.

What the Feminization of the West Has Wrought

[Men have] been conditioned to believe that traditional masculinity is abhorrent. That it represents a time when women were oppressed; that the only way to move forward is to eradicate any semblance of Tarzan and Jane. Not only does Jane know better than Tarzan, she doesn’t need him. She can do everything herself, thank you very much. [Right so far.]

Men heard this and responded accordingly, because men are like that: they follow women’s and society’s lead, often to their own detriment.

One of the idiocies of feminism is the idea that men control everything and that the culture is designed to oppress women and keep them in their place. Venker has turned that around and said that men follow women’s and society’s lead.

Everybody (except the psychopath) follows society’s lead to some extent, and everybody responds to incentives — and the incentives are now set against masculinity, marriage and family. To that extent, Venker is right.

But to say “men are like that” is to imply that men are natural followers — more so than women. And that’s simply wrong. (If she wasn’t trying to imply that, she should have said “people are like that.” I would like to give her a sliver of a way out and say she was using “men” to mean “human beings” — in which case, way to go Venker — but the immediately following clause rules that out.)

Yes, men respond to signals and will do things because the chicks dig it. But they also pig-headedly do things women say they don’t like, because … that’s the way men are. Men “go their own way” to some extent (see I’m gonna miss her), and the whole phenomenon of MGTOW (“men going their own way) is picking up steam. (I haven’t read it yet, but Bernard Chapin has a new book called Man Going His Own Way. I like his videos, so I’m sure the book will be worth reading.)

As women began to reject marriage and family life as a viable and noble goal and make education and career their raison d’être, men had no choice but to step back.

True. What are men supposed to do, club them and drag them into the cave? Marriage involves this thing called “consent,” and I’ve read that men are more willing to marry early than women, and that it’s the women who are failing to commit these day — because they’ve been fed a bunch of BS by feminists.

Anyway, I’ve always found Venker to be reliable on these things, but I think she missed the mark on this one.

If you’re interested in my take on all this mess, read Eggs are Expensive, Sperm is Cheap.

4 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-05  ::  Crowhill

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