Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Energy and Focus

Mastering life is merely a matter of focus and energy. You see... *yawn*... Sorry, what was I saying?

Watching the Watchers: Davos 2015

The World Economic Forum annual meeting has recently ended. It's always an interesting thing to watch, because it is essentially a networking meeting for a bunch of people who collectively represent a pretty staggering amount of money. I was happy to see that the ascendance of LED lighting got its due, but the reporting seems to be more on the negative side. It seems that in a world which recently learned the top 1% would soon hold 50% of the wealth, there might be some cause to worry about fallout from that discrepancy. So much so that rumors of hedge fund managers buying farms and airstrips in remote areas made the rounds.

OK, I'll admit it, I am mainly picked up on the stories because they had a nice mix of flavors fitting for these parts. As power brokers doing what they do, it earns the watchers tag, but there's a smidgen of green tech in there, seasoned with just a pinch of personal-apocalyptical paranoia.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Watching the Watchers: Removing Campaign Donation Restrictions Has the Effect You Expect

In the wake of the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision, which gave free speech (First Amendment) protection to political donations by corporations and other business entities, something entirely unremarkable has happened. Donations by organizations not directly affiliated with candidates and donations by entities that do not have to disclose their doners have both doubled. Also, sixty percent of all donations to so-called SuperPACs come from less than two hundred families. Perhaps we should stop calling America a representative republic. Maybe refer to it as a quid pro quo republic instead?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Steam Review: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Enslaved is a console-style light brawler/platformer, elevated past its flaws by story and style.

Visually beautiful and well voice acted, with an engaging story and reasonably fun fight mechanics, Enslaved is almost a great game, but flaws keep it at just very good. It is held back by movement that isn't as smooth or responsive as you want it to be and some odd lapses in user prompting. The game is also fairly short, clocking in at around eight hours. With the price lower now than when first released, the length is not an issue. Extra points for a post-apocalypse rendered in greens rather than browns. Take a few points away for making me chase otherwise pointless orbs for upgrade currency, as they are purely a game-mechanic, pulling you right out of the story flow. Well worth a look if the setting or gameplay sounds interesting to you.

Screenshot via Steam