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So I made a video for a Geek and Sundry Father's Day event... and I thought you guys might like it.

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This is something I wrote three years ago when asked to describe my political views... Put here for posterity...

I'm a moderate. I think there are things that lots of people want from this nation, and the best bet is to allow both sides to have a voice. Compromise and adaptation is what makes our species great, I'm wondering why it's so repellent in our government.

But unfortunately, because certain things have become dogmatic, I'm a conservative to the liberals and a liberal to the conservatives. The 2nd Amendment is a perfectly good litmus test for this. If I say that I want people to own weaponry, but I want rational restrictions on that weaponry, I'm pissing off both sides. The dogma from the left says that more guns kills people, but the dogma from the right says ANY restriction on private ownership of arms is a violation of the Bill of Rights.

But I think there's a rational approach to this. If we create a spectrum of armament ownership, where 0 is ZERO private weapon ownership and 10 is anything goes, we can help get this into perspective. The reasons to avoid the low end of the spectrum are well-rehearsed... We want to be able to defend ourselves against criminals and government oppression. The reasons to avoid the high end are that we don't feel private ownership of nukes and barrels of anthrax serve any legitimate purpose and pose an necessary risk to the surrounding communities.. So the middle ground is finding where we can meet our needs, protection, while avoiding the hazards, unnecessary danger.

The #5 in this scenario, to me, is to classify weapons of indiscriminate slaughter as unprotected weaponry just as "Fire in a theater" is unprotected speech. Any weapon that you cannot reasonably aim and use to eliminate a threat without harming the people around that threat is indiscriminate in its use. This makes it so that full automatics, chemical and biological weaponry, and nukes and other explosives are not free for private ownership. Sniper rifles cause a complications in that I'm not sure weaponry that can be used without knowing who actually fired the bullet, and that's up for debate in legislature.

I use this approach in all my debate. There is little dogmatic philosophy that I subscribe to, and I look at almost everything as a complicated effort to balance our desires with as little complication as possible. And thus, I usually end up in the middle.

As another example, I think capitalism is the best solution to deliver finite goods to the most people, but I don't think monopolies and oligarchies are natural extensions of the free market. I believe money can be used coercively, despite the opinions of the Mises folks. Competition is crucial for markets to function as efficient tools of society. But touting the virtues of markets is anathema to the left, and putting any kind of restriction on a corporation is anathema to the right.

I think we're the best nation under the sun, but I also think we have to recognize and accept our weaknesses without posturing or egotism. We have to provide ourselves the room to be wrong... because sometimes we are. Just trying to do the right thing does not transitively make all your actions correct.
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By the way, this is officially Homeopathy Awareness Week... so I feel it is my duty to share its precepts so that you can make an informed decision about homeopathic remedies.

Homeopathy is the treatment of health issues based on two concepts... treating like with like and dilution. Treating like with like means that if you want to get rid of a headache, you put something into the "medicine" that causes headaches.

Dilution means that you take some of your "medicine", put it in a lot of water, shake it really hard, slam it on the table (no, really), and then take one tiny portion, put it in more water and repeat the process dozens or hundreds of times. The founder of the process recommended a 30C dilution. This means that for you to get one single molecule of the "medicine", you would have to drink 30 times the mass of the earth in homeopathic "medicine".

Homeopathy salesmen sometimes like to talk about "water memory", where the liquid holds some memory of the substances that were in it. With that in mind, I should point out that most water has held poop of some kind.

There is not a single bit of science that supports any portion of homeopathy as legitimate theory or practice.

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy

Homeopaths on Homeopathy: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2012/apr/17/1
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Perspective is a funny thing. They played "Crazy Train" over the sound system in the park. 25 yrs ago, parents thought Ozzy was Satan.

And the mayor showed up... he either didn't recognize me or pretended not to... the latter might actually be the case.
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"I'm Christian, Unless You're Gay" came out last year, and to me it went largely unnoticed. I already believed the things in here and figured those who didn't feel that way would never sincerely take what was said in the article to heart.

But today I went and read some of the response posts, and they made me weep for about 30 minutes. Redemption like this is hard to find. I've known people who rejected gay family members. Hell, I've watched people reject family over something as trite as political belief. The willingness of others to reject their neighbors and loved ones, to degrade their character because of dogmatic opinion, is beyond my comprehension.

Everyone deserves love and consideration. Even those who believe so differently as to threaten what we perceive as the fundamental constitutional elements of the nation, home and faith. So in case there is anyone out there who hasn't read this, and there is a slight chance that their heart can be reminded of the love it deserves, I'm posting this to you. I hope it reaches the people who need it most.

Follow up response that kicked this off: http://www.danoah.com/2012/04/a-teens-brave-response-to-im-christian-unless-youre-gay.html
Other responses to this: http://www.danoah.com/category/im-christian-unless-youre-gay/
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Dear Huntsville Programmers,

I have a contact who is looking to fill some game developer positions in Huntsville... he's specifically looking for:

Game and Level Designers
Game programmers (experience with Epic's Unreal engine or VBS2 is desirable)
Web or DB backend programmers
Environmental artists
3D Artists (specifically with game/simulation experience only)

If you're on the job hunt, please let me know and I'll forward you to him!
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  1. If something seems outrageous, the issue has probably been presented to you in a dishonest manner.

  2. When gauging whether something is "good" or "bad", immediately apply your new standard to things you care about as well as things you don't. Moral judgements should be universal and non-subjective.

  3. If peer-reviewed science does not find any validity in something, there's probably a good reason for it. Science does adapt and change, but this isn't the era of Galileo... there's solid evidence behind what they have perceived. Going against worldwide scientific concensus should require a mountain of incontrovertible evidence.

  4. Small unknowns do not justify great leaps of imagination. No, I do not know what made that sound, but that does not mean it was a ghost. Similarly, what some consider to be great mysteries of the ages have been clearly demonstrated and are no longer very mysterious. Just because someone tells you science doesn't know something, that doesn't make it so.

  5. What most consider to be "common" knowledge is often false. Periodically, reflect on what you think is true... look into the data...read the opinions of people who dissagree with you and sincerely consider their points.

  6. You are wrong... often. I am wrong... often. We are all wrong about something. Step outside your issues and consider how you are wrong. Learn how to make decisions in ways that do not focus on you and what you believe. Make your rightness and wrongness adapt to facts... and grow your library of understanding so that you can see evidence that shows you are wrong.
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This week we welcome Michael Pachter, game industry analyst extraordinaire with Wedbush Securities. Michael is known for his insight into the business of games and currently hosts a show on Game Trailers called Pach Attack. In this episode, we discuss the way THQ has done the right thing all the way to the poor house, how MMO subscription models may take over your FPS, and what we can expect from the unholy union between Notch and Tim Schafer.

http://coreelementspodcast.blogspot.com/2012/02/ce-22-michael-pachter.html

[MP3 AUDIO]



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Jonathan Blow of Braid fame joins us for our first episode of 2012. Taking time out from his latest project, The Witness, Jonathan talks with us about how cheating is not really cheating, what all these MMOs are trying to pull off, and whether we should ever use the word pretentious again. We are ringing in the new year with a spectacular new episode. Join us!

[MP3 AUDIO]



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Women will hold in their babies for another day to prevent them from being born on Oct 31st.



Source and one more graph behind the cut )
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I just noticed I never posted this, here. I started a new gaming podcast, Core Elements, where we interview game designers and talk about games and how they are a part of our lives. If you get some time, check it out.
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Tornadoes whipped through north Alabama last week, and after five days the power is back on. We went down to Birmingham and stayed with friends for four days, but it's nice to be home. Only 50% of the homes in Madison County currently have power... but everyone is predicted to be back up and running by Wednesday. I am impressed by the people who stayed here and toughed it out. With kids, we just couldn't justify trying.
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Happy 5 year anniversary, baby!
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