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Dominion Vs Dawn Of Everything

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I’ve read two books this year that present delightfully clashing worldviews, told through the lens of history.  Dominion reinforces everything I was taught growing up. Some from direct lessons, but mostly absorbed through my culture.  The message of Dominion in a nutshell: Christianity is what propelled human rights, bending the moral arc of history upward, leading to our present time of unparalleled freedoms, rights and dignity. (One which is quickly backsliding due to the rejection of Christianity ).  Personally, my study of history, science, religion and philosophy over the years has changed my thinking on the worldview I inherited. But much like my opinions on the specific faith I was raised with, this evolution of thinking is not an overt rejection. Instead it’s a deeply critical interrogation of my own ability to adjudicate the veracity of the claims therein. I can’t tell you if a creator god incarnated as a man to sacrifice himself for the sins of mankind. I simply lack the cred

Art that Inspires Art that Inspires Art

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I'm finally near the end of unpacking from my move, and pleasantly surprised to find these lovely Jed Henry prints I had purchased years ago at a game convention. These are interpretations of franchises that were foundational in my creative journey as a game developer.  One thing that is so lovely to me about these is the personal resonance they bring, because I spent 5 years of my childhood in Japan. I was quite young, I think around 2-7 years old. So my memories of Japan are hazy and magical.  It's interesting that Japan became so ascendant in the medium of videogames, so not surprisingly, all 3 of these franchises are Japanese in origin.  It's hard to say how much of my creative influence is "Japanese".  But in looking over these artifacts, it's clearly a lot.  Let's see if I can categorize the effects these had on me. 1. (Center) Legend of Zelda (NES) My 11-year-old mind is blown by the idea that a game can be a WORLD, as opposed to my previous experie
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  Over the past half-decade my need to blog has diminished as I’ve been more active on social media.  But I still like the idea of checking in on this blog for the big milestones, as a more permanent (as permanent as internet may be) historical document for myself.  As 2021 nears its end, this seems like a good time. First, I’ll drop some facts that I can reference as I go. The household has managed to avoid Covid  We were forced to move from our home of 12 years, but found a nice place, miraculously, in one of the worst times ever to buy a house. That happened in July. I continue to work from home 100% of the time, and it seems like this will be an option in perpetuity.  Our household is still composed of me, Heather, our youngest son Shane (22) and my brother John. My job continues to be amazing and has been getting better and better Heather’s health continues to decline. The biggest event was a lung surgery to remove a mysterious cavitary lesion in September. I think it’s fair to sa

When the Shoe Is On the Other Foot

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  So a mob invaded the capitol building last week. That was interesting. Here’s what I find more interesting: the accusations of hypocrisy flying in every direction right now.  I find them interesting because I have a heuristic that I try to employ whenever something drastic happens to someone on one side of an issue. Especially if it’s not a side I agree with.  That is, I try to imagine how I would feel if myself or someone I agreed with had the same thing happen to them.  With that in mind, let’s look at some of these accusations of hypocrisy. Here we see a liberal ‘take down’ of concerns about Trump’s Twitter ban. The question this begs is: Are liberals now ok with private companies refusing service to those they disagree with?  Because last I checked, most were not.  In this particular instance, we who find Trump revolting and dangerous are very happy that a private company gave him the boot.  But my heuristic tells me to ask what would happen if Obama had been banned from Twitter?

Hades as Allegory for Gen Z's Desire To Escape

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  The first thing I did in 2021, even before getting out of bed, was to finish Hades.  I deliberately took my time with this game, having spent 109.4 hours and 96 attempts. I tried to figure it out all on my own without guides or walkthroughs.  Rogue-lites have been my favorite genre of videogame since I discovered Spelunky a decade ago, and it's cool to see how this little subgenre has developed. Many have said it, but I'll repeat it; Hades does everything right. It is >very< hard for a game to get me to care at all about its story/characters.  Especially cartoon characters.  But somehow they pulled it off.  The pacing of the various systems’ introductions and expansions and combinations is truly a masterful work of design art.  But I want to talk about one thing that struck me from a thematic perspective. And that is how the plot is speaking to a generation.  Not my generation; but my kids.  I read somewhere that something like half of young adults under 30 are living