Friday, October 28, 2011

Circular Arguments

I know you like candles. I like candles too. For their time they were a very effective technology that served us well. And I know that the prospect of light bulbs seems scary to you, and you don't trust new-fangled, high-tech solutions to problems you thought were already solved.

But just listen to me for a second.

I've been following this light bulb thing for a while, and using them for some time. So I'm in a good position to say that there's something to it all. And sooner or later, you're going to have to accept that they are better. And no matter how many light-bulb drawbacks you produce or how many arguments you make for the superiority of candles, it won't make a bit of difference.

I'm not saying your candles are going away completely, mind you. They certainly won't be our first choice for lighting needs, but they'll retain a certain place in our society. But if you really were to follow through on what you're saying now-that you'll never use light bulbs and only stick to candles-you're going to look like a crazy person in the long run. And that'll be appropriate, because you will be a crazy person.

Think of it this way. Used to we transported goods with wagons and horses. Then someone came up with railroads. And I'm sure that there was a certain amount of resistance to that too, from people who pointed out the expense of laying all that rail, how they didn't need to ship that fast, how cold and unromantic the rail cars were compared to a good, old fashioned wagon. But looking back, all that seems silly now. And it's clear that those detractors were fueled almost entirely by a fear of change.

So horde your candles if you want.* I'll won't even laugh when you grumpily accept the future, and enjoy it.

*Actually that's a good idea. Once they become a quaint anachronism the price will skyrocket, so long as you can make them smell like baked goods.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Class Struggle

When you play games that let you choose your class (knight, thief, wizard, etc.), it ends up being a sort of personality test. Melee characters tend to be the more aggressive, sports loving types. Clever people who enjoy a more technical role go the wizarding route. Those with a strong protective instinct often role Healer classes. 

It's not that cut-and-dry, mind you, human being simply don't sort that cleanly.* But there's definitely something revealing about it. The problem for a serious gamer is that, over time, you eventually get tired of the kind of class you usually play, and start to branch out.

At least, I think that's all it is. 

But it could also be a signal of personality change. As life forces you into new roles, perhaps your self shifts a bit, and your class choice moves accordingly. If that sounds like an interesting idea, let me assure you that it isn't. It's terrifying. What if I wake up one day, and all I want to do is swing a sword at a guy? What if I don't want to sit back inflicting status ailments with my bow, or cast a buff on my teammates? *shudder*

*Except thieves and rogues. They are always troublemakers.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Water is really a very precious resource. Especially clean, fresh water for drinking. It's an essential component of all life that we know of, and the areas where it chooses to flow have etched out the mapping of our existence on this planet.

The idea of a machine that seems to produce drinkable water infinitely, at no cost to the drinker, is amazing. It's a miracle. A device like that would, outside of our modern technological feats, be a thing of incredible value. We should all be in awe that it exists.

So why, cat, do you insist on destroying it?

Why does this flowing river of life so offend you? Why can't you just get up, take your morning drink, then sit back and think, "Holy crap, that's awesome"? Why do you insist instead on pushing the fountain around so the water sloshes out*, then pawing at the little dome of clear, delicious water until it's set at some useless angle? What about being so well provided for angers you so much?

How about a little gratitude?

*Plus you hate getting wet, why would you want water spilling out all over the place?

Friday, October 7, 2011


The reality is that Velcro makes a lot of sense.

As a kid, Velcro shoes were a revelation. No more hassles of tying laces, then having to stop everything you're doing to tie them again. And for people like me, who prefer their shoes pretty snug, Velcro provided a highly adjustable fit that didn't get annoyingly looser as the day wore on. It was, in all ways, superior to the rather clumsy method of interweaving a thin piece of cord through tiny, pre-made holes and knotting them together at the end.

But once you become an adult, you can't wear Velcro anymore, not unless you're very old, or in some way physically or mentally challenged, or that weird guy who wears Velcro shoes all the time. And why? No one knows. It's that way because it's that way. It's as though our society required a daily dexterity test, and if you can't pass it, that fact needs to be constantly advertised on your feet.

Except for sandals. There Velcro is okay, even though sandals have always used straps and buckles and lots of other perfectly good non-lace mechanisms. Let's toss those out and use Velcro. But on anything else, unacceptable.*

*Go to an athletic shoe store. Look at what's on the shelf. Is Velcro going to make them really look that much stupider?