I don’t think a band has ever delivered less on the promise of its name than “Gunship”.
The Queue is an algorithmically driven system on the Steam video game storefront that, daily, suggests twelve video games you might enjoy based on your browsing, purchasing, and playing habits.
I ran a successful Twitch (live streamed, Internet broadcast) morning show for five years called “Dark Acre Church”, where I simply looked at six to twelve of the video games in the Queue and offered raw, unfiltered feedback on the quality of the marketing that the developers and publishers were doing. I felt that I had my “finger on the pulse” of video games during that time, and learned a lot about what works, what doesn’t, and the direction that the computer video game market was headed.
At this point, 90% of my Queue is hardcore, exploitative, niche fetish pornographic video games. The other 10% is split between major new releases and tiny independent video games that will likely never see a proper version 1.0. Very rarely will the Queue serve an “old” game, meaning one that was released prior to the current week. As I do a full Queue of twelve games privately nowadays, this means there are at least eighty-four new games published to Steam every week.
Something to consider for any aspiring developer. If you’re one, you shouldn’t be doing it for the money anyway. That was a hard lesson I had to learn by losing over $100,000 and five years of my life to the pursuit. Do it for the love of the process, and you’ll never be disappointed.
One of the more fascinating, standout elements of the study of economics has been how long it took nascent economists to realize the importance of the myriad external factors—many seemingly unrelated—that play a role in an economy. That and how important historical performance and trends are in shaping the present and future. And I'm talking about highly educated, intelligent, privileged men who were put in positions where they were responsible for educating subsequent generations of economists.
This may sound preposterous, but it's precisely how modern social media analyzes and disseminates information: myopic, individualized anecdotes spread as gospel truth to armies of drooling followers. It's even more astounding to see this behavior perpetuated by social media accounts that don't even have much of a following; just individuals shouting incoherent, irrational nonsense into the void.
I completed a foundational study in economics this month. My thoughts are recorded in a review of Mark Skousen’s “The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of Great Thinkers”. I’d like to reiterate here that ChatGPT 4.0 has been an invaluable aide in self-study, and I would urge anyone who’s hitting the books on their own to start using the tool. It’s like having a pocket professor who shoots straight and offers balanced responses to all your questions, no matter how foolish they may seem to you. There’s the bonus of it being available 24/7 and the total absence of shame that accompanies asking such questions in an auditorium filled with impatient classmates.
I feel bad for people who rely on social media for news. I’ve gone through many stages of news consumption in my life: from regular daily reader of the Victoria Times Colonist as I aped my father with his morning coffee; to total anti-news for a decade while I worked and lived in Tokyo (which, while blissful, was an exercise in ignorance); to the sucking morass of the Facebook/Twitter/YouTube swamp where I had convinced myself that the algorithm was taking good care of me; to now, where I pull from primary sources like Associated Press and Reuters, subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, and cross reference major stories against acknowledged centrist sources and smaller local outlets. I’ve been hardening myself against misinformation for two years now, and so to effects of this legislation which, at its simplest, is asking Meta and Google to pay for the rights to distribute Canadian news.
I see people calling this totalitarianism and censorship and those people don’t understand what those words mean. This is capitalism, which to many of those same reactionary folks is seen as just as evil as the other two concepts, but I’m here to tell you that the sky isn’t falling. I would hope that for Canadians this is a wake-up call, and that people start looking beyond the contents of their algorithm driven, dopamine rich drip-feeds for news of the world.
Interestingly, this bill has zero provisions for people taking news from primary sources and reframing it in their own posts. If anything, this move by the government—if Meta, Google, and any others affected don’t come to an arrangement, which I suspect they will before long—should encourage more grassroots journalism. At the very least to the extent that I’ve practiced it by questioning authority and taking responsibility for my own information.
I’d finished a Warhammer 40K ebook this month and it got me thinking about my past purchasing behavior. It’s one of a great many digital comics and ebooks I’ve acquired over the years from Humble, and I genuinely regret having bought so damn many of them. I have a completionist attitude now towards the act of reading, and having a looming stack of unfinished material hanging over my head bothers me to no end.
I recommend that when acquiring new books, do it singly and with purpose, and try to read what you have before moving on. Anything else is just compulsive hording. This is a lesson that I’ve only recently applied to my video game collecting habit, and wish I’d done it far sooner.
It is incredible to me how astoundingly difficult I find it to avoid social media. Whether it’s being ambushed by the “For You” feed on X, or endless scrolls on YouTube’s Recommended page, or even the occasional miring in Facebook’s random feed (which is perhaps the most insidious, as I follow no one on there and maintain an account only to occasionally check in on certain people). These are tar-babies coated with honey that speak too loudly to my unconscious brain, to the point where I break my own vows of avoidance without even thinking about it.
I’ve been using X and Instagram as “notification systems” to let people who might be interested in my content get updates without having an email alert or building a system on the site to provide latest content notifications. Maybe I should just build one for the site and be done with it and let that be enough, but the off chance that a social media post would reach a wider audience—for the small cost of publishing them—is too valuable to ignore.
Draft Mirage: The phenomenon in writing where an author is composing a draft of some work and believes he has a long way to go before finishing, so he puts it off and puts it off and when he finally resumes work, he finds that the draft only needed a minor amount of work before it could be called "done".
A quick run-down on what I expect for the coming month and I’ll let you go: a self-study of Howard Kahane's Logic and Philosophy: A Modern Introduction and Stanley B. Lippman's C++ Primer (Fifth Edition); the first few weeks of the final year of my bachelor’s degree in creative writing, which will involve writing both a book’s worth of short stories and a book’s worth of poetry; looking into a new daily project for 2024, as the 365 is all but finished save for the publishing; and doing my ready best to avoid getting sucked into infinite scrolls.
See you in a month.
2023.08.01 – 2023.08.25