Portland

Portland is a sanctuary city with no Latinos living in it. That’s a simple statement, but it sums up everything about the city’s culture – it’s all about signaling. And it’s the kind of signaling that’s an inversion of a regular business sign. A sign in front of a fruit stand advertises that they have a certain fruit because they have that fruit want you to come in and buy that fruit. The signaling the people of Portland do is pointed towards what they lack – virtue, taste, uniqueness, and quality. Virtue signaling is always a sure sign that virtue…

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Color: The Key to Impact and Emotion

Time for something different – some tips on choosing the right colors for art, ad copy, and things like book covers. Let’s start with some examples of great fantasy art by Kerem Beyit: Kerem’s proficiencies are many, but one of the reasons his art has such a vivid “pop” and stands out so much is his use of color, specifically limited color range centered on two different (but rarely complementary) colors. Rather than attempting to go for some “realistic” approach to color representation, he distills things down to a few charged areas. The result is really eye catching. Notice in…

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Steven Pinker – Immune to Reason

Easy to see Pinker is full of shit once again. People need to work (duh) even if he doesn’t. The idea of an afterlife IMPROVES behavior – both in theory (fear of judgment of the creator) and in practice (Atheists are the biggest mass murderers in history). A life whose value is greater than a dog for reasons of marginal utility is not one that is valued. If you are an object, value of human life is a non-sequitur. First reply: Because they deserve it. What does it mean to make life safer, longer and happier to an atheist like…

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Apolitical™

Sorry, folks, the Apolitical™ brand is just that – a brand. I get it – you don’t like the politics being forced into your favorite franchises at the expense of story, gameplay, aesthetics, and the general effect of the medium itself. I get that female Thor is lame and super-buff She-Hulk is an eyesore. I know that it’s not fun to be lectured about global warming in the middle of a space-opera game, or to be forced to play a game as an uggo who’s bent on killing your favorite franchise characters – and will succeed. I know it’s annoying…

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Why forced diversity doesn’t work

There is a divide that the greater culture of the center/right has a hard time explaining, but an easy time recognizing: The difference between “forced diversity” and diversity which is incidental to a story. The surface definition should be pretty easy to work with: Forced diversity is the inclusion of characters in media that are members of social/ethnic/sexual groups for no discernible story reason. Obviously, a story about a transwoman struggling to fit in will include trans characters. “Forced diversity” is having a character that is trans for no reason related to the plot. It’s a character that is put…

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When the Wind is in the West

There is always a feeling I get during the season changes: the transition from hot to cool, from cool to cold and back again. That’s how the seasons are here in central California – the weather is the same for eight weeks, then transitions for about one or two weeks to a new season. This year the heat has been slow in coming, and I’m not complaining. The feeling is something akin to nostalgia, but different – more like a memory of things that never were. My imagination always goes wild. Dreams get more intense. The sun shows at different…

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Going Stupid

As my Google Pixel XL (the original) continues its decline into non-functionality through hardware failure and obsolescence, I am seriously considering “going stupid” for my next phone. That is, I will “downgrade” to a flip-phone or the like. I have a lot of reasons for this, but there are also some big problems with trying to avoid smartphones in 2020. Reasons to go stupid: Headphone jacks are disappearing – This I decided was my line in the sand for smartphones. If I can no longer get one with a headphone jack, that means I won’t use one. I just cannot…

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Gen Y and Millenials – A Difference in Software

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about “Generation Y” (my cohort) and the strange nostalgic attachment to the franchises of the 80s and 90s. Here is another great one by JD Cowan (I recently did a narration of his “Gen Y Fragment”) The big difference between these two is nostalgia – Gen Y is obsessed with it, but the Millenials, who grew up in the grey 00s, seem to have no attachment to the past at all. Both of these cohorts have something in common, as Author Brian Niemeier has told me: they both grew up with failed…

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A world of comparisons and trade-offs

Following up from last night, I want to hammer home an important point: We live in a world of limitations. That means that the comparative value of your time spent doing certain activities is more important than an absolute value. Practicing scales will improve your guitar technique, but will it improve your technique as much as spending the same amount of time practicing actual musical pieces? The idea that students should practice music rather than scales isn’t exactly anathema to the orthodox music education practitioner; the traditionalist would say, “Practice both!” We don’t have unlimited time on this earth to…

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Jealousy among artists

At the age of 36 I’ve been involved for multiple years with several big artistic “scenes,” including authors of various genres, classical musicians (particularly guitarists), flamenco musicians, and peripherally visual arts scenes such as comic artists. In all of these, there is a character flaw that seems to occur at much higher levels than the background (and I have personal points of comparison – I’ve been lots of other things besides an artist). That flaw is jealousy. Artists are insanely jealous of one another. The worst is probably in the visual arts, but certain music scenes are simply intolerable once…

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