Why World of Warcraft’s Writing is So Bad

“Because the writers suck.” That’s the simplest answer. It’s a correct answer, in my opinion, but even a great writer would have a hard time working within the framework of modern WoW to produce a good story, much less good dialogue, quest text, etc. World of Warcraft was never known for having exceptional writing, but the past versions of the game were quite sharp and effective, producing long-lasting memories of characters, places, and events, while newer expansions have produced a grey blur of forgettable babble from interchangeable blobs of characters. But why? The emphasis on how the game is played,…

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The AI art controversy

I’ve already said everything that can be said on AI image generation months ago elsewhere, but I’ll sum up everything you need to know about the controversy: Problem 1: People thinking that AI art is “art.” That is to say, it has some expressive artistic value. While valuation of art is in the viewer, intent is in the artist. 20th century artistic trends, both in academia and in pop culture, have divorced both the artist from the art as well as the intent of art from its effect. Thus people can, with a straight face, say that Disney gets to…

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Metaverse Sucks… and you will use it

Meta has ascended to memehood, and the Metaverse officially sucks, but not for the obvious reasons. And the reality is far more dystopian than you might think. What once was Facebook, now oddly rebranded to a word that describes nothing in particular, wants you to get online and get social, but this time… VIRTUAL. They even stripped the once cool-sounding “Oculus” of its name. I haven’t “explored” the metaverse as of yet (no meta headset and no extra 1,500 dollars to buy one, and if I did have the money, there are better things), but early reports are that it…

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Materialist Inversions of Solipsism

Well, we’ve come full circle from gnostics believing the material world is an illusion to materialists believing that consciousness is an illusion. People are often unaware of the materialist assumptions they hold and how they affect their view of reality, even when they lead to absurd, contradictory conclusions. Even an intelligent person like Scott Adams can end up in a silly place because of such assumptions—the primary one being that the material world is all that exists. Having read his view on free will in one of his books, he was almost at a compatibilist belief regarding free will (his…

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Politics and the Alternate Utility of Time

Next time you turn on the news, click to open an article, or read a long post/Twitter thread on politics, consider what else you could be doing during that time. Time, after all, is the one resource you can’t get more of. Unlike economies of trade, it is a zero-sum game. The concept of alternate utility in economics deals with how resources are best used. For instance, a piece of land could be used to grow 100 units of corn or 80 units of rice. Another plot could produce 30 units of corn or 50 units of rice. If corn…

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Mad Uncle Marty

This story will be in my upcoming anthology, Afterglow: Generation Y, available for pre-order now. Caitlyn sighed as she took over control and steered off the main drag and into the suburb, the electric engine revving as the tires hit the uneven pavement between the squat rows of ancient track homes. Unkept trees leaned out over the asphalt-turned-gravel, letting drooping, dry branches down to the cracked sidewalk. “That’s sigh number two,” Jaiden said. “That must mean something is bothering you.” “Only took you ten years to figure that one out?” Caitlyn said and smiled at her husband. Her eyes went…

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Materialism and Gnosticism

Check out a great thread by author (and attorney) Alexander Palacio: It’s odd that the extremes of materialism (in the philosophical sense, the belief that only the material is real and of consequence) end up in the same place as Gnostic heresy in denying the importance and reality of the body. According to the materialist, you ARE your body, there is metaphysically no separate spiritual “soul” that ascends to heaven or goes anywhere else. Thus one would think that the body is, therefore, the only thing that can be sacred because it is all humans are. However, the disregard for…

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Twitter bots, author style

It’s well-known by users that the majority of Twitter accounts are automated; that is, they are bots, not humans. Most posts are also automated, but Twitter works to keep these facts hidden from certain users. First, with journos, their follower counts are often very high, but their engagement is low, except when they post key pieces of (dis)information. Journos are often blindsided when they get ratio’d by anons because their followers are bots, and the anon has real humans interacting with him. The writer in question likely doesn’t realize his 500k followers are mostly fake accounts created to make his…

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Losing your hearing is a very lonely experience

You hear a voice, and you look up, and you realize everyone is laughing. Someone nearby elbows you, but you missed the joke. Are they laughing at you? Yes, losing your hearing is a very lonely experience. Have you ever travelled to a foreign country, or gone somewhere in your own where you don’t fully speak the language? Ordering food, paying for groceries, getting a cab, asking for directions… all these things become chores where the outcome is uncertain. Did I order the food I actually wanted? I’m I getting charged the right amount of money? I am going where…

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Overcoming AI limitations in design.

In my first articles and videos on using AI art for book covers, I pointed out some of the real limitations of the current AI, which many laymen are going to miss: They are bad at composition, that is, mixing forms, scenery, etc. at different planes in one image They are bad at certain details, specifically hands, eyes, and noses. So, how can we overcome these issues? Well, if you are willing to do a little extra work, it’s easy. Instead of trying to fit every element you want in a picture into the AI prompt, you can make several…

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