My alarm says it's time for Finn's bath. Finn, get naked.

Friday, March 20

Cool

Colossal Order For President

Cities: Skylines


Oh yeah, Windows, Mac, and Linux.  And only $30.  And it's on Steam, so if you're short of cash, you can just wait a little.

Two more points.

First, I was going to say that the cities look too clean to be real, but then I learned that the developers live in Finland.

Second, this review: I named a dog and just followed it wandering the streets for a bit. It didn’t wander far, but made me appreciate the level of detail.

You can currently grow your city up to a population of 1 million.  And you can name a dog and watch it explore the neighbourhood.

I played Sim City 4 back in the day on a 1.2GHz Athlon with 512MB of RAM, running Windows... ME?  I think.

I now have an 8-core 4GHz AMD system with 32GB of RAM, not to mentioned a graphics card with 3GB of RAM and a 3TFLOP GPU, so a hypothetical city builder game that took advantage of all that power would probably look something like this:


Or maybe this:

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Friday, January 09

Cool

A Very Modest Proposal

The greatest satire of modern "liberal" thought you'll read all year.
This new human rights law will set up state surveillance of intolerant citizens, including those who voice anti-feminist views and those who voice overt approval of a totalitarian ideology. Intolerant citizens will not only be arrested, but will also be sent to special re-education facilities designed to instill values of tolerance, and the law will also require all media outlets to promote a climate of tolerance. The law carefully takes freedom of expression into account.
The only question is whether this is intended as satire.

Update: The 21st century's answer to Jonathan Swift insists that she's serious.

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Friday, December 26

Cool

No-One Likes Tangerines

No-one.

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Cool

Aww, It's Over

One of only a handful of games I've had time to play this year.*  

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I liked the part about the cats too.


* Apart from Billy vs. Snakeman.

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Saturday, December 20

Cool

Currently Playing

Epic Battle Fantasy 4.

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Sunday, July 27

Cool

Science Girls

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Thursday, July 17

Cool

Spoilers!

Minor Season 8 spoilers:



Major Day of the Doctor spoilers:

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Monday, April 28

Cool

On The Subject Of The Higgs Boson And How We Know For Certain That All That New-Agey Spiritual Crap Is, In Fact, Crap

Sorry, jump forward to about 34:00 to get to the delicious creamy filling.  I did have that working, but now it doesn't want to behave.

Though then you'd miss the chocalatey coating, with tidbits like the fact that the amount of energy in the particle beam of the Large Hadron Collider is equivalent to a freight train moving at 100 miles an hour.  (Which is why the thing is so big - freight trains have lousy turning circles.)


In essence, any hypothetical event - say, faith healing - can be reduced to particle interactions under Quantum Field Theory.  People are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons, so whatever happens to us has to interact in some way with those particles.

We know the properties of the known subatomic particles, and none of them allow for faith healing.  So if faith healing were real, it would have to be carried by a new, previously unknown particle.  And under Quantum Field Theory the properties of that particle would be constrained by the very fact that it interacts in normal, perceptible ways (curing illness) with normal everyday matter.

The trick shown here is that the same equations that describe this hypothetical interaction also describe how new particles are produced in particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider.  And the constraints on the properties of our hypothetical faith healing particle include a constraint on its mass.  And for our hypothetical particle to interact in perceptible ways with everyday matter, that mass would be low enough that existing particle accelerators would generate it in quantity.

And yet, they don't.

In other words, any such particle would already have been found and catalogued, and the mechanism for faith healing discovered.

Which means that Quantum Field Theory can be correct, or faith healing can be real, but not both.  The evidence for Quantum Field Theory is vast; if it were wrong, you would not be reading this, because computers and fibre-optic links simply would not work.

This doesn't mean that there aren't exotic undiscovered particles that show up at very very small scales or at very very high energies.  It doesn't mean that we won't find such particles and harness them in advanced technologies.  It just means that we know for certain that they play no direct role in our everyday lives.

There are known unknowns in physics; we don't know what dark matter is, and dark energy came as a complete surprise.  And there are almost certainly unknown unknowns.  But Quantum Field Theory tells us where these unknowns lie, and it's not in our day-to-day world.

Which means that not just faith healing, but anything that affects people in perceptible ways, that disagrees with known physics, is known to be untrue.

So bigfoot isn't ruled out (though it clearly doesn't exist), but ghosts most certainly are.  Acupuncture isn't ruled out (though meridians don't exist), but crystals are just pretty rocks.  And so on.

We reject all that stuff anyway because it's unsupported by evidence and contradicts well-tested scientific theories, but Quantum Field Theory tells us outright that it cannot be true.  If the internet exists, then psychic powers do not.  If you have an iPhone, you do not have a guardian angel.

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Thursday, April 17

Cool

Musical Interlude

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Friday, February 14

Cool

Bargains

Civilization 3, 4, and 5, and all their major expansion packs, plus Sid Meier's Ace Patrol, Pirates, and Railroads* on Humble Bundle for $15.  Or Civ 3 & 4, Ace Patrol and Railroads for just $1.  Installs on Steam.

I like Civ 3 a lot; Civ 4 less a lot, and haven't had time to play Civ 5 yet.  It's only been out a...  Three and a half years...

Speaking of Sid Meier, his Alpha Centauri plus Alien Crossfire expansion, on GOG for $1.49.

Also on GOG, all the D&D games for $21.10 (in case you missed the last 37 sales).  That's about 500 hours of game time there.

On Google Play, not a sale at all, but Final Fantasy VI is out for Android.  This means that I now own Final Fantasy I, II, III, IV, V, VI (all on Android, a couple on my iPad, and III on my DS as well), VII, VIII (both on PC), X, X-2, (PS2), XI (PC), and XII (PS2).  I'm only missing IX and the recent crappy ones.

Of those, I have finished X.  I have gotten to the last boss in III.  About half -way through X-2, but it's pretty silly.  The rest, not so much.

* Not Railroad Tycoon.

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