Guilty Spark

Post 343. I'm sure you're almost too shocked for words that I named it that.
  • I'm sure it doesn't even register with anyone but me (this is the kind of crap I worry about), but in response to any perceived hypocrisy in praising Warcraft while castigating Warhammer, Warcraft actually takes its setting semi-seriously. The orcs, goblins, and trolls are not a joke in Warcraft, they are in Warhammer—look at the orc gods, for instance ("Gork and Mork", fertheluvva, and even the orcs can't tell the difference between them).
  • Remember that thing I mentioned, couple back, where the guy was questioning whether fantasy video games are an inspiration or a distraction? Well, while vidyagames in general may prevent one from doing one's writing, it must be said: the best work currently being done in both fantasy and science fiction is in video games. The best fantasy is Zelda and Warcraft; the best SF is Halo. The latter, especially, is doing more to advance public appreciation of the genre than the SFWA ever did.

    Notice, please, before you yammer at me, that I said best. I did not say "most innovative" or "most creative", or any of the other phrases you use that mean "We shall substitute novelty for quality, because 'have I seen it before?' is easier on my puny brain than 'is it worth a tinker's damn?'". Warcraft and Halo are, indeed, quite solidly formula: but they execute that formula perfectly. Good formula is better than bad innovation, kindly compare the real Zatoichi films to that Beat Takeshi abortion if you don't believe me.
  • That is interesting, isn't it, how things like our obsession with novelty are simply fetishes designed to let people avoid thinking or having to form their own judgments. One wonders, is it a form of cargo cult science, simple-mindedly attempting to substitute an experimental marker for the human judgment?

    Mythbusters, given how many of their endeavors "disprove" a straw version of the "myth", is another example of cargo cult science. Watch that show closely, and you'll be surprised how often they deliberately reduce issues to an artificial subset of the possible interpretations, that just happens to be that subset easily tested—or rather, easily disproved—by their halfwit methodology. Why? Because they, in classic cargo-cult manner, have made "falsifiability" the mark of science, therefore the easier a thing is to falsify (even by deliberately stacking the deck against confirmation), the more scientific they think they are—and therefore the more cargo the spirits will send them. Not even Popper, the popularizer of "falsifiability" (known as "naïve falsification" in philosophy of science) would accept Mythbusters as a truly scientific endeavor.

    Also, Mythbusters, like the Innocence Project, puts the results in the working title of the experiment.
  • So the disadvantage of French Roast coffee, is that you lose the unique characteristics of the beans. And the advantage, is that you lose the unique characteristics of the beans. That is, you can make serviceable coffee from poor, cheap beans, simply by roasting 'em real dark.

    This is important if you're provisioning an army. Say, a grand one. Canning, triage...the list goes on, of things invented for Napoleon's army, the biggest in the world up to that time (possibly excluding the Mongol Horde). Remember that, and also radar, next time someone says "What's war good for?" Aside from that whole "defeating Nazism/abolishing slavery/etc., etc.," thing.
  • So decided that my felinoids' swords have a very shallow fuller, but it's near the cutting edge, and takes the form of a Granton edge, only they call it a scalloped-hollow edge. It not only slightly reduces the weight, it reduces sticking when, for instance, slicing through meat. And, uh, swords do a lot of slicing through meat, you know?
  • If you needed another reason to hate the Battlestar Galactica reboot, how about the fact they apparently decided who was a Cylon at random? This isn't me, this is a real thing—they didn't have anyone established as a Cylon from the get-go, they decided 'em as they went along. C'mon, guys, at least make a list of possible Cylons, and decide that as you go. Don't just randomly have the first officer, who served alongside Adama in the first war, be one (that is not a spoiler, you cannot spoil something that has maggots in it when "fresh", and Galactica makes casu marzu look like irradiated milk).

    Nobody's asking that you be J. Michael Straczynski, just, y' know, try and make sense. Apparently even that was too hard for them. Ron Moore is, in essence, another way to say "Rick Sloane".
  • Some crazy Browncoats have a petition to help Nathan Fillion buy the rights to Firefly, and then reboot it. And some of them have pointed out, Family Guy got rebooted. And Firefly is better than it is. Even I must concede that.

    However, Firefly does not have the built-in Comedy Central/Adult Swim dumbass audience that Family Guy does. It does not appeal to stupid drunken/stoned college students. All its sins on its head, it does require more sustained attention than the 4-minute, maximum, gags in Family Guy—and if you take out the "this gag taking so long is the only funny thing about it" gags, Family Guy gags are more like 2 minutes, max. So I doubt a rebooted Firefly would be much more successful than the last run, even if rebooted Firefly didn't suck just as bad as rebooted Futurama did, which is by no means certain (and pre-reboot Futurama was better than Firefly, sorry).
  • You know that thing, 'tis a theme in Firefly (along with the usual Whedon tics), because the other head writer was a Libertarian? "People don't like to be meddled with"? Yeah, they also prefer not to be raped and murdered, and that's what a remarkable proportion of the human race goes in for, you don't meddle with 'em.

    People always say Rousseau was naïve (though they demonstrably have never read him), but he at least knows to start with the question, "Even assuming the original, innocent, 'noble savage' [not, by the way, a concept he particularly emphasizes], why did people ever decide to abandon the State of Nature for the state and the Social Contract?" The need to meddle with the people who go in for rape and murder is the answer to that question, kiddies.
  • Turns out, those mystery anime plots aren't that far-fetched after all. The Glico-Morinaga Case, perpetrated by someone, or a group thereof, calling himself, or themselves, The Monster with 21 Faces, really happened.

    Because if there was ever a country where criminals might concoct pointlessly elaborate plots, and actually pull them off, it's Japan.

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