Links for Monday October 27th 2014

  • The Open-Office Trap – The New Yorker
    I absolutely loathe open plan offices. I have never been more productive than in the brief, halcyon period early my career where I had my own office. Or, I guess, when I work from home. Both of these things enable me to manage the terms on which I engage with colleague's requests for help. (Which isn't to suggest I don't wish to enage, merely that I want to do it in a planned and productive manner, not to be forced into it by someone saying my name…)
  • TOMW8S – ‘Donkey Kong Variations’ | Buddy Peace
    8-bit remix of Tom Waits classic Mule Variations. Really interesting to hear Waits stuff done like this.

Not Saying Anything About Gamergate

If you have no idea what Gamergate it, then skip this, and move on. You’ll be happier.

I’ve not been saying anything about Gamergate, in large part because I can’t imagine anyone actually gives a toss what I think about it, and because I would imagine anyone who knows me, or who has been reading along for even a short length of time, can probably guess what I think of those malign little bags of rancid fuck.

But then I read Felicia Day’s post the other day, and I thought, well, perhaps on some level, it’s important that I say at least something. If not to anyone else, than at least to me. Gamergate is such a stupid thing to feel the need to make sure I’ve stood up and been counted as against – because it’s so evidently disgusting that I feel everyone should be against it, in the same way I feel that everyone should, y’know, breathe – but in the light of posts like Ms. Day’s, I sort of feel like it might be useful (in whatever trivial sense) for people to stand up and say “Fuck them”. To maybe redress the balance just slightly. Not in a “not all gamers” way – just in a way that says that their attempts to create a climate of fear will not work.

Of course I have very little to fear. I’m a straight white male. But I sort of feel like I should try and do something, however small, to ensure that gaming does not become the kind of place that these vile shitweasels want it to be.

Gaming has brought me so much joy. I’ve made friends with so many people and even fallen in love with (a smaller number of) people I’ve met through gaming. All these folks are wonderful, wonderful people, and the thought that running into another gamer and thinking “are they one of the dangerous ones?” is now good sense and caution, well, it’s just incredibly saddening.

So, in so far as I have any sort of statement to make about Gamergate it’s this: I will continue to run games that strive to be open, inclusive and safe spaces, and if I falter in this from time to time, I will continue to seek correction, and strive to do better. Outside of things I have direct involvement with, I will continue to support progressive gaming projects in whatever way I can. And the very second I find out that someone I know thinks that Gamergate is in any sense in the right, they will no longer be welcome at any game I’m running, or in my house.

Links for Wednesday October 15th 2014

  • Lockheed says makes breakthrough on fusion energy project | Reuters
    I… don't know what to make of this. If it's true, this is *huge* news. Just enormous, on a sort of I-can't-quite-believe-this scale. But this isn't "mad scientist with basement lab makes mad claims" like we've seen with fusion before, this is a major military industrial player that is apparently seeking partners to actually *build* the thing! I really hope this is true. Wow.

Links for Monday September 29th 2014

  • Yahoo Directory to close down
    I am internet-old enough to remember when the Yahoo directory was the best way to find websites on the internet. A hand-categorised-by-actual-humans list of the most useful websites on many topics was superior (for a while, anyway) to what was produced by the early-stage search engines. I used it pretty much daily. A significant chunk of my first ever internet job was devoted to making sure that our client's sites actually got listed in the Yahoo directory. I am, therefore, wiping away a little nostalgic tear.

Links for Friday September 26th 2014

  • ntlk’s blog: Why can’t you track periods in Apple’s Health app?
    As this article makes clear: there probably isn't a good reason why not, and there are loads of reasons why it would be useful. I would home this is an oversight that will be rapidly corrected.
  • 15 Lessons from 15 Years of Blogging – Anil Dash
    I sort of wish I had kept up the habit of writing "proper" posts on this site, or any other. I'm not even honestly sure that I can point to when I stopped. Honestly, I'm not sure I ever really started – I've never had a topic to explore, never tried to set my blog up as about anything – it's just, y'know, an agglomeration of stuff. Which explains why it has a double digit audience on a good day. But then, it's really not for the audience, so that's fine – it's an aide memoire for me. Anyway – some solid advice here.

Links for Wednesday September 24th 2014