RADIO FREE DISCORDIA is finally launching! You can hear its birth pangs tonight at about 7 PM EST. If you’re interested in doing a show, whether it’s a one-shot or a weekly gig, contact Mourning Star, who can (often) be found in the #RFD chat room.
I’ll leave you to read them in your own time, but I could smell the PR bullshit coming off these Tea Party protests from the start, I just didn’t have the time or the inclination to dig.Â Nevertheless, an insight into how these things work is always nice.Â As Ames points out
So todayâ€™s protests show that the corporate war is on, and this is how theyâ€™ll fight it: hiding behind â€œobjectiveâ€ journalists and â€œgrassrootsâ€ new media movements. Because in these times, if you want to push for policies that help the super-wealthy, you better do everything you can to make it seem like itâ€™s â€œthe peopleâ€ who are â€œspontaneouslyâ€ fighting your fight. As a 19th century slave management manual wrote, â€œThe master should make it his business to show his slaves, that the advancement of his individual interest, is at the same time an advancement of theirs. Once they feel this, it will require little compulsion to make them act as becomes them.â€ (Southern Agriculturalist IX, 1836.) The question now is, will they get away with it, and will the rest of America advance the interests of Koch, Santelli, and the rest of the masters?
I’m down with this.Â God knows, all I do every day is read political theory texts and blogs anyway, it would be nice to engage myself somewhat more critically with the whole process.Â I have also been taking notes from TV Tropes, for my own attempts of fiction, once I start writing fiction again (in between searching for jobs, reading, blogging and contributing to several internet fora – sooner or later, something will give, most probably me).Â Should those come to fruition, I’ll probably spend days getting people to read them, so no doubt you will all know when it happens.
Anyway, I know a couple of peeps from PD, such as Cramulus, have also expressed potential interest in this project, and board members always have tons of hosting space lying around, doing nothing (for some bizarre reason).Â Hopefully, enough people will register interest to get a viable site going once I get to pitch the idea to the members.Â Worst comes to worst, I’ll dump the ideas on a free blog until someone less in debt and more technically competent than me gets a Wiki on the project started.
Edit: NlhasdAJHLgkgli.Â Seriously, that’s what the inside of my head feel’s like.Â I tried, but my mind is so fried right now I can’t express myself the way I want.Â I need a proper night’s sleep.
In my last post, I talked about two games which use a very large, dynamic board: the internet. By using the internet as a gamespace, players invent new uses for websites. The playspace is dynamic, always changing. Adaptive, creative strategies win out. Participation leads to exploration.
I have to confess I’ve been pretty plugged into PMOG in the last few days. I’ve enjoyed seeing which websites have been trapped or treasure’d by other players. And I’ve gone on some missions which have taken me to some pretty interesting and unusual spots on the web. But something’s still missing. I’m still anchored here to my computer, wishing these adventures were a bit more tangible. Such is the plight of any gamer whose characters lead more exciting lives than their player. But that’s the clue – PMOG and Wiki Paths blur the lines between game activity and non-game activity by creating a game that overlaps traditional web usage. Why not explore this border in the real world? Let’s imagine some game events which could happen if these passively-multiplayer games took place in 3D.
Several technologies already exist which allow digital interactivity in meatspace. It’s just that nobody’s set up a game (that I ‘ve heard of) which brings all of these elements together. GPS, voice-over-ip, and digital cameras could easily be blended together to transform urban areas into playspaces.
Imagine a game that you play as you make your way through the real world. As you pass an intersection, you receive a text message that there is a chest nearby. You click the link for more info, and see a picture of a nearby mailbox. You walk over to the mailbox and press a button on your phone to collect the loot.
Or maybe I leave a mine along aÂ busy street. A few hours later, another player walking down the same street is informed that he’s triggered a mine and has lost 10 points. If I respond when it happens, I have the opportunity to send a 15-second taunt via voip.
Maybe I’m hanging out at the library, looking for a specific book whose cover has a scavenger-hunt sticker. If I snap a picture of the sticker, I get to hear the next clue. While I’m searching for the book, I bump into another player who is on the same scavenger hunt mission. We agree to cooperate to find the next clues, and spend the rest of the afternoon navigating the city together. Suddenly the game experience has created a real-world experience. Relationships form. Networks grow. The line between the digital and real worlds has been blurred.
Of course, this presents some new problems. There’s an alchemy involved in meeting strangers, and not all formulas work. I imagine the ten year old player who ends up in a party with drunken teenagers, or the sociopath who lures players into isolated situations to meet them. The stakes of befriending a dangerous person are much higher in the real world than they are on, say, facebook. Controls could be set up to filter out certain players – like maybe you only want to play with other 20 somethings, or only people who go to your college. Maybe there’d be a way to tag problem users so your friends can avoid them.
I imagine puzzles that can only be solved by getting together a party of people. Maybe there’s a spot on a college campus which has treasure buried under it. To find the spot, you’ll need to get together someone who specializes in geocaching (to find the spot), logic problems (to pick the lock on the chest). Maybe you need to bring together certain character classes, sort of like how in fantasy games, a well rounded party needs at least a healer and a tank. When the chest is finally dug up, you snap a pic of your group for a few bonus points and they split the treasure. The person who planted the chest is sent the picture of the groundbreaking discovery.
Faster paced games would be possible too. Maybe I could put treasure in one room on the top floor, and then put killer landmines all over the rest of the building. When you hit a landmine, you’d have to go back outside and push a button to be resurrected. You’d have to use trial and error, teamwork, or creative problem solving to bypass the mines and grab the chest. Teams of players could compete to race to the chest. Or maybe two teams would race each other to the chest, or fight each other in capture-the-flag style matches. Every building, every park, every urban center lends itself to different strategies and tactics. The game is wrapped around real-world geography and therefore real-world problem solving is needed to accomplish game tasks.
One day we’ll be able to play this exciting game, or maybe one like it. The technology already exists and it’s just a matter of time before someone develops the game. And then we’ll be on our way to really having the fabulous, action packed adventures our characters so frequently do.
As a kid, I used to draw board games on the sidewalk. I’d write “go back two spaces”, “lose a turn” and the like on the sidewalk squares in chalk. The neighborhood kids would grab dice and race each other around the block.I had psychedelically transformed my neighborhood into a board, and people into pieces on it.
Years later, in college, I created a campuswide 24/7 game, called “Tales of the Dreaming”, where the players played the roles of creatures living in a dream world. The people on campus who weren’t playing — or rather, people who didn’t think they were playing — were figured to be people just going about their dreams, oblivious to the battles and stories and scavenger hunts going on right below their noses. At any time you wanted to go to the Dreaming, you could slip on an arm band and be your character in this parallel community.
I’m intrigued by blurring this boundary between games and reality. That’s why I was delighted to discover two games which use the internet as their “board”. Both are firefox plugins, and very easy to learn.
The first is WikiPaths, a “Wikipedia-based scavenger hunt game“. After you install the plugin, when you go to the wikipedia entry for Path, you’ll see a start button. Click it, and you’ll be taken to a random page. Another random page will be displayed in the bottom right corner of your screen. Your goal is to navigate from one page to the other in the shortest number of clicks possible.
Since the pages are random, there’s no way to really know if you did “well”. It takes a bit of strategy to figure out how you’ll navigate from, say, an obscure hair metal band, to a public school in india. The name is a bit misleading though because it’s not really a “race” – there’s no way to record your score or compete with other racers. Regardless, Wiki Paths’ reappropriates wikipedia as a game board.
The second game is called PMOG, the Passively Multiplayer Online Game.Â This game takes your normal web browsing behavior and plugs it into a few game feedback loops. Every time you view a unique URL, you get a few points. You can then spend those points on tools, which allow you to interact with other players. You can set a mine on a page, and the next player to view it will trip it, causing their browser to shake and a few points to be lost. You can also leave crates, which give players goodies for finding them. As you go through the web, messages will pop up when you encounter something that another player has left. It’ll also notify you when another player trips your mine, and give you the opportunity to taunt them.
Since you accumulate points just for using forums, social networking sites, reading blogs, porning around, whatever, you’ll be racking up points all the time. It feels a bit like Progress Quest in that you’re effortlessly and passively accumulating resources all the time. This raises a few privacy issues of course, namely that when the plugin is turned on, pmog.com is recording what sites you view. But they swear on a stack of bibles they won’t hose you (intentionally) for participating.
There’s also missions, guided tours of a section of the internet. The mission creator will string together 4 or more websites around a theme, and write about a paragraph about each site. If you’re not interested, you can just click through to the end of the mission, but if something along the track piques your interest, you can jump off and explore to your heart’s content before you continue. Missions often take you to some pretty interesting places which you may not have encountered in your regular web travels. It’s in this way that PMOG rewards you for exploring the web, and checking out stuff outside your normal circles.
Creative gamers are reappropriating the web, transforming it into a playground. New behaviors are emerging out of this digital morass. Wikipaths has forged a new usage for wikipedia, while PMOG blurs the line between game play and non play. That’s the Golden Secret, some say, transforming Life into the Art of Playing Games.
Thanks to Reqiuem who posted this link on the forum.
The most interesting thing is how incredibly limited the range of passwords is.Â With enough time, it would be very easy to crack these accounts.Â As the author notes, even when the security system forces people to be at least a little more security conscious, they take the path of least resistance and, in the example of Myspace, tack a “1” on the end of their usual password.
Obviously it would be very hard to get this data, but I’d be fascinated in seeing how this sort of information correlates with that for important passwords, like those which allow access to emails or online stores or banks.Â I’d be willing to bet many of the passwords are very similar, and could easily be found out with minimal data-mining of an intended target.
Bruce Schneier once wrote a brilliantly funny, yet sadly true, article, about the security mindset vs the normal human mindset once.Â As I recall, his main point was that the security minded person looks at a system and thinks “how can I abuse that?”, whereas the normal person tends to use the system in the correct way and context, without paying much attention to how the system could be subverted or turned to other ends.Â That is certainly part of it.Â I also think its because people are used to seeing a computer as their personal possession, and everything on it as an extension of that.Â Yet the internet is very much a shared space, which all sorts of characters can and do use.Â But because people feel they own their computer, they feel free only taking minimal security precautions, more as ritual and formality than with any mind to actually defending accounts against possible intrusion.
I’ve often stated critical thinking should be on every school cirriculum, but now I’m starting to wonder if perhaps Security 101 shouldn’t be added to that list as well…
Now, this is fascinating.Â No, I’m being earnest here.Â I’ve always thought virtual words and games, like Second Life, to name a famous example, are not very noteworthy in and of themselves, but for the purposes of economics, wonderful.Â Implenting crazy economic theories in real life, is, of course, somewhat dubious, ethically (has anyone told Milton Friedman or Vladimir Lenin this), but online, you can study the cause and effect of changes to a macro-economic system.Â It turns economics into a far more testable subject. This may also be the case for other social sciences, especially political science, although I haven’t seen that pursued so far.
Anyway, the point of this is that in the massive world of Eve Online, a banker has vanished with 86 billion, causing a run on the banks.
Iâ€™ve asked this question before: Suppose the natives in some Western European countries actually start to seriously resisting the organized destruction of their countries, halt mass immigration and reverse Multiculturalism. How will American authorities and media react to this?
Frankly, I wouldnâ€™t be too surprised if they turn out to be actively hostile to native Europeans. That was the case with Clinton and with Bush, who after all supported the continued Islamization of Europe through Turkish membership of the European Union. It will be even worse with Obama, an anti-white Marxist.
As we know, a â€œNaziâ€ these days is not one of the many Muslims and their Leftist cheerleaders who shout â€œDeath to Jews! in the streets of Europe; itâ€™s any white person who doesnâ€™t lie down and die on command. If we donâ€™t lie down and die, we must be Nazis. We are after all Europeans.
Fascists in Europe have seen this more recent immigration as a threat to the cultural homogeneity and national traditions of their countries. They have often exploited increases in the numbers of Muslims to claim that they are defending Christianity against Islam. Opposition to immigration has been one of the common threads within various fascist movements, and it is arguable that it plays the same role for such movements today as anti-Semitism did for inter-war Nazism and its imitators.
The Encyclopedia of World Fascism, page 367
JERUSALEM â€” Even as Barack Obama becomes the 44th president of the United States, anti-Israel professor Rashid Khalidi, whose ties to Obama stirred controversy during the campaign, has stated he could currently communicate with the incoming commander in chief, WND has learned.
Amid concern within the pro-Israel Jewish community, Obama repeatedly had denied he was influenced by Khalidi.
In an interview with the radical Democracy Now! news network last week, Khalidi expressed hope Obama would alter U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, talking to â€œall sidesâ€ of the Israeli-Palestinian arena. He also criticized Israel for killing civilians in the Gaza Strip the past few weeks and for leading what he termed a â€œpropaganda campaignâ€ to de-legitimize the Hamas terrorist organization.
In practice, the term cosmopolitan was applied by interwar fascists chiefly to Marxists, Freemasons, and Jews. In Nazi thinking, Marxism and Freemasonry were themselves part of an international Jewish conspiracy, so that â€œcosmopolitanâ€ often meant â€œJewish.â€