Irrsinn.net: taking joy in human unreason

business tag, page 2

Showing Support: Where’s the Money?

I find myself saying things like, “I support the alternative fuel (particularly electric) car movement. I’d love to test drive a Volt, or own a Prius. Some day, when they’re cheaper, I will.” (Or, in a variation: “No way would I pay $35k for a car, but I mos def support the move away from gasoline.”)

But what’s the point of believing I support the direction of the industry (despite its flaws) if I’m not putting money into it to actually support it? It won’t go anywhere if people don’t spend money on the things.

Fer skerious, though, there’s no way I’m spending $35k on a car.

Not sure what the happy medium is.

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Actually Kinda Clever

Upon reading “The Biggest Stock Scams of All Time” (an ambitious title, perhaps), I decided to update my non-existent knowledge of these scams and failures—including the 2008 business failures.

Holy crap.

I know, I’m so late to the party. I get the housing market failure. As Elf says, it’s not rocket science.

But when Enron occurred (2001), I was a junior in high school, immersed in the IB program, and only cared about grades and college, not about the business/financial world. Reading up on Enron and WorldCom/MCI (who blatantly put expenses on the books as income) was only the start. (MCI was taken down by a little team of auditors working in secret at night who uncovered the $3.8 billion USD in fraud. Seriously.)

Then came Arthur Andersen, the auditing company that participated in the fraud of Enron. They exist online now as a single-page presence, created in Visual Studio 6.0 with no tracking code. They don’t even care who visits. Or about lower-casing their HTML tags.

According to Wikipedia:

From a high of 28,000 employees in the US and 85,000 worldwide, the firm is now down to around 200 based primarily in Chicago. Most of their attention is on handling the lawsuits and presiding over the orderly dissolution of the company.

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Wednesday Weekly Winkage

Not, of course, limited to Wednesdays. Today just happens to be one. …Barely.

I shall open with a video of Nayna, my belly dance instructor, from a couple of months ago:

I’m somewhere off to the left, wishing I’d brought my own camera. This was after class, so I don’t feel bad about watching my instructor dance instead of dancing myself.

Weekly Linkage: Art, Science, and Spirituality

It’s been a hot minute since I posted any links. Apparently this is also the Elf Sternberg addition, since three of his posts appear here. Good stuff.

  • Lands of Dream Donation Drive – Jonas is doing one of the coolest donation drive ideas I’ve seen. Donate, and receive a detailed description and beautiful picture from the Lands of Dream. What in the hell is the Lands of Dream? Go play The Book of Living Magic. Took me about an hour (I read every description!), and everything about it is gorgeous: the art, the writing, and the music. Then take a look at some of the art/writing that Verena and Jonas are producing as part of their drive.

    Then donate. (Mine is in the queue, and I’m so excited to see what I get!)

  • Embracing pain | dooce® – “What this therapy enabled me to do as well was hold that blight in my bare hands and cover it with tears. Because the Heather who had mounted all those excuses would have acknowledged it, tipped her hat, and moved right along. Too much to get done to dwell on such things.”
  • Elf M. Sternberg – On picking up Stoicism… – My own struggle with Buddhism separation from other people led me to examine the idea of the Bodhisattva, but that feels… arrogant. Elitist. Dragging people to enlightenment. I don’t like it when skeptics who are assholes do it, so why would I want to join the party?

    I’ve become too much of a people person to want to detach and be a pure observer. I’m not sure that Stoicism is a good fit for me, but after reading Elf’s account, my curiosity is piqued. Keep reading >>

Know What’s Difficult?

Crafting a business.

Duh, right?

I don’t mean writing software on the side while you have a full-time job and dreaming that someday you’ll be your own boss. I mean sitting down with a spreadsheet and some historical data, and projecting real-deal income and expense numbers. Figuring out how to create every penny you need to make something successful and sustainable.

Okay, that’s not actually the business itself. Doing the work to make those numbers work is the business. Bookkeeping is the business. Putting fingers to keyboard and phone to ear, day in and day out, is the business. But those numbers are crucial, and your eyes must be open to the actuals of what you’re doing.

When the numbers don’t have to balance, it seems easy. It gives an inflated sense of success: I have x visitors per day or month on my site, I make $y in advertising/royalties/whatever, my part-time product makes $z, and I have a name and brand. I’ll just scale up my time and make that many times more. I got this in the bag, yo.

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Exploit: Zero Day “Headless Swarm” Landing December 1

So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.

*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…

It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.

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Attending a Charlottean Protest

I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.

In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.

Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.

Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.

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Remastering “The Majesty of Colors”

Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.

As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.

So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.

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July 3rd 2016
Tags: On Life and Love, , No Comments

First Hair Highlights

The first time I dyed my locs.

One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.

I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”

But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.

But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.

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Ossuary 25% Off on Steam!

Steam Summer Sale 2016 Offer

Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.

It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.

EZD Logo Color Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.

When a Nasal Polyp Isn’t a Nasal Polyp

I had a pretty gross thing happen to me today.

It started with a long, thin scope being poked into my nose — deep into my nose. They need to see where this mass in my nose was attached before they removed it.
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Questionable Decisions: Hot Yoga

I made a questionable decision this afternoon.

After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.

Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.

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