Monday, December 07, 2009

My neighbour's carrots are good enough for my stew.

A long long time ago, someone said:

"I think that even though my carrots are okay, I could trade my Uber Cabbages for that other guy's Uber Carrots, and we'd both have variety and Uber Veg."

Well, maybe not, but at least a long time ago, people realised that trade was good. Now, trade costs us something, just like doing the farming, and costs are offset by the benefits of doing the trade.

Years later we are making trade with all sorts of people, and it's great, but... there are some other guys over the river that have cool stuff we can trade, and we can do really well for ourselves if we built a bridge.

So, we built a bridge, a small one, that didn't quite have the capacity to hold all the trade we wanted to do, but we didn't know how much we needed until we got over the bridge...

So we built a better one. Which worked fine, but over that bridge we saw more rivers.

Once we had built bridges for those areas, we found out our first bridge needed to be even bigger and stronger, and also have Toll booths.

You see, we were caught in an never ending cycle of building bridges. Because we didn't know what kind of bridge we needed to build until we'd done a preliminary one, we'd often have to build a new bridge or a better one, and we didn't even know about the other rivers we wanted to
build bridges on until we'd finished building the current bridges.

If we used only the existent bridges, we could plan out our profits and losses really well. We could estimate to within 5% of what everything was going to do. But we hoped that new places, beyond rivers that needed bridging, would provide better profits.

We hoped that doing something that was unknown, untested, unproven, could provide for us a better return than our current simple to understand area of effect because we had previously experienced better returns each time we had built our bridges.

What we forgot was that sometimes the bridges cost so much to build that there wasn't any trade left over to make a good stew. Sometimes you need to live with what you've got. You can quite easily go bankrupt making bridges and forgetting to actually do any trading for carrots.

You can quite easily go bankrupt building new engine technologies and forgetting to actually make any games.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Vinyl bit depth

MW = g/mole

polyvinyl chloride = H3C2Cl
density = 1.39 g/cm3

H=1, C=12, Cl=35 = MW 3+24+35 = 62

mole = 1.39g/62 = 0.0224

Avogrados number = 6.022 x 10^23

molecules per cm3 = 0.0224 * 6.022 = 13.49 * 10^21
cube root of 13.49 * 10^21 = 2.3804 * 10^7 or 23,804,000

23,804,000 < 24777216

therefore 24 bit audio is better than vinyl.

is 16 bit audio better than vinyl too?

only if the error margin in printing vinyl is greater than around 256 molecules... how likely is that?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Times they are a changing

The article, in a nutshell, tells that access to music, freedom to try out before buying, or just never buying, has affected the music industry and may kill it.

I hope it does. Just like the games industry. Art needs to be lead by a desire to create, not create money.

The music industry is a really good example of an industry that uses massive amounts of marketing to keep the wealthy, really really wealthy. Radio stations sometimes play music that's truly found, but the norm is that if the music wasn't bribed into the hands of a DJ, then it's not ever going to get played.

I feel the same thing is beginning to happen in games. We need to understand that small development companies can make a considerably smaller amount of money on games, not due to the games being worse, but simply because the bigger publishers get to spend lots more money on marketing, which in turn pays for itself keeping the rich, rich and the poor, poor.

Steam and other locked down providers (PSN XBoxLive) provide a way for the small guys to get their work out there, but we do need free advertising for these little guys, otherwise they're still not going to get the sales they deserve.

The same is true for music. I listened to Pandora, and spent at least £300 on music i'd have never bought if it hadn't have been for that "free" to listen service. Music industry, admit it, internet-radio is free advertising. Shut up about fees and win gloriously without trying by muzzling your lawyers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Damn successful know nothings

Could it be that teenagers are more prone to become pop-stars because they know so little? Consider how much more appreciable your art is when you are constrained compared to having full reign. Consider then that teenagers know very little, yet think they know a lot. This in mind, you have someone who is constrained in their art, the art being the subject of life, of which they think they know a lot.

How could someone who thinks they know lots about the world or any other subject not want to provide help with all their ability? It's quite simply the blind leading the blind, but it explains why the art is so real, and naive, and appreciable by other teens. The "the old ones just don't get it" feeling is really strong in all of them, so the constrained world view creates a space where art is born. The art of a fantasy world in which we do not live, but reminds us of our youth, or is background music to it.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Once more an accusation

Being accused of racism is very annoying, more so I believe if you were brought up in the east end of London like I was. The idea that a person prejudges based on race, or even creed, is obvious and true and we all do it to some degree once we've achieved adulthood. There wasn't a prejudging bone in my body until I left school. I went to college, then university and learnt that the people I had grown up with had decided whether by their own volition, or by peer pressure, to start to conform to the racial and religious stereotypes. This upset me, but I continued to understand that people are all the same on the inside. I had a reinforcement of this view when I spoke with an old friend, now a gang leader, and we talked about the old times. What was strange was, he was telling me that I wasn't like all the other white guys, just like I remember my grandparents saying how the black man in their street wasn't like all the other black men. It made my hope that we were all the same inside a reality, and I will forever be thankful for that moment.

Religious, racial, sexual and age related intolerance is annoying, it's not the end of the world, but it is annoying. I put up with a different kind of prejudice, the prejudice of cultural authority over truth. I was accused of being a racist because I was making observations based on data that had been filtered through ethics committees much more politically correct than myself, and because the observations were negative to only specific racial groups, I was being called racist. I fear that this judgement of my racism was based on the statistical analysis being uncomfortable to witness.

Facts can lead to truths, but not always, and that's why when I'm talking about genetic variance, I always try to remember that facts can be filtered by other factors so that the truth can be misrepresented. For example, you could have said that say that on average, men were healthier than women in the 20th century, because they attended primary care less often, but the opposite has become apparent. The higher rate of male attendance at clinics instigated a study. The study into the cause of the influx. The best guess was that men just didn't want to make too much of a fuss, or couldn't get time off work to look after themselves properly in the past, and now men have become wimpier. Okay, maybe wimpier is a bad and sexist term too. I guess I'll never win.

We must be wary of statistics, they can be misused very easily, and making observations and then having refutation based on other reasoning can be a great way of reducing the likelihood of an incorrect assumption of the truth. But to condemn someone for making observations that fall into the category of racial observation as a racist is much more prejudiced. They have taken the authority of cultural acceptance of the authority of truth, and for that they stifle science. Science is not prejudiced, in fact it defines a prejudiced experiment as a failed one because it generally cannot be falsified.

I admit to using some "common truths" in some of my theories, but if we all need to back up any idea with citations and facts and figures, then we're just disallowing conversation.

Stop being so annoyingly prejudiced against the possibility of truths that are socially unacceptable.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Beleiving in God makes you gay.

I had an idea last night, quite a funny one really. Now, let's get it clear, I don't beleive in being turned gay, nor do I beleive that turning straight is any more likely than "becoming less left handed". Consider populations of mammals where there is a gene for being gay (or a gene for being straight, I don't think it matters which), which in my opinion probably is the actual state of the world at present. Now, consider situations where there is no stigma attached to being gay, no fear of being caught out. In such situations, the gay mammals have no children, or at best only few because they aren't "sticking it in the right place". Now consider an environment where being gay and appearing gay is somehow frowned upon (yes, I know, the idea of being gay being frowned upon is uproarously funny). In such an environment, gay mammals may still copulate with members of the opposite sex, purely to show how straight they are.

So, religions (the source of the dominating cultural attitude towards homosexuals) have made homosexuality a taboo, a sin, and in turn have probably increased the amount of gay in the world.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Of all the stupid ideas...

DRM and Copyrighting is getting out of hand. I'm of the opinion that these companies don't even know why they're doing it any more. They're just doing it.

My reasoning comes from how I've noticed that some Youtube videos have their audio muted because their backing tracks "infringe copyright".

To me, this is a perfect example of what's wrong with copyright, because the artist who created the track which was then later used in the youtube video would get BETTER sales through the free advertising that is having your track played with some cool video. How often have you heard an advert's music and wondered where to get the track, or watched a film or tv show and again, wanted to know the origin of the music so you could go get it?

To me, it looks like the current methods of copyright enforcement are a theft of opportunity to those who have copyright.

If I were a publishing company, I'd welcome any people giving me free advertising, mostly because that's pretty much the only advertising I trust anymore.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do your bit for the environment, write a review!

Designers have moved from making products that are as good as possible, to being as good as necessary. We've had beds that last up to seven years, washing machines that last for 4 years, and now cars that don't really go much more than ten years. This is the problem with the way we work. We buy stuff based on what we think we want, not on what we actually need. It's been like that for centuries, but only in the last century has the design of things been so blatently directed at making things appear to do all they things we want them to do, but still not worth having.

I see an end to this due to the internet. Yes there will still be tat for those that do not heed the warnings, but just in the same way as science got a lot better when peer review began to make its way into the main, user reviews are how we get away from products that only appear to be good.

If you think about it, all the tat has to be manufactured somewhere, has to be made using resources of material and power. These are wasted resources because they can't usually be recycled, and the amount of use gained from the tat is minimal so it encourages more production. The only way to stop the tat being made, and thus increasing the quality of goods in general, and reducing the unnecesary usage of resources on unworthy designs of goods, is to make sure we evolve the manufacturers by not buying stuff that is sub-standard. Low cost manufacturers will go out of business, and be replaced by higher quality producers as the demand for quality goes up. This can be done through user reviews of the things we buy. Peer review made science stronger and better. User review, though not really related, can be a form of natural selection for the animal kingdom of commercial goods manufacturers.

So, do your bit for the environment: write a review.

They think they are doing good.

I was linked to this site today:

Although I don't like the things being said, I am beginning to understand why people like that say this stuff. I find the statements to not only be ridiculous, but also quite abusive. Once I am calm however, I can see that there's a sense of trying to make the world right behind these statements. Just because people are ignorant of something (like the workings of evolution) doesn't mean that they are spreading lies, they're just spreading misinformation that they've probably heard from somewhere else, and cognitive positive bias gets in the way of accepting any new facts that might counteract the bad science.

So, these people believe what they are preaching, see things so clearly, so wildly off the mark too, surely this means that the best tactic is to try to find some way to remove them from the world of difficult science and bring the big questions back into line with things that are easy for layman to understand.

If relativity was more obviously anti-god, then there'd probably be lots of creationist style claims that it isnt' true, it's just a theory, but as it's not obvious that it leads to a godless world, it survives untarnished. It wouldn't matter that we use relativity every day in our GPS equipment, or that scientists make predictions that come true because of it, because facts and predictions don't count towards convincing someone that what they know is not true if they have faith in an alternative truth. The point of faith, the trust that something is true, is that it defines any contrary arguments are being false rather than being falsified by them.

So, with a new understanding of the people behind such blatantly misrepresented facts of science, I am going to try to find a new way into the minds of those who closed themselves off a long time ago. Wish me luck.