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by hcs at 5:42 PM EDT on May 2, 2017
@AnonRunzes: Thank you for illustrating why I was reluctant to recommend it.

I liked it, it worked pretty well for me, but I realize it isn't for everyone.

But I doubt there's any work of art that everyone will enjoy, or find interesting.

edited 5:50 PM EDT May 2, 2017
by AnonRunzes at 6:18 PM EDT on May 2, 2017
@hcs - "work of art"... The only games I can consider close to fit that title are Fumito Ueda games.
by hcs at 7:18 PM EDT on May 2, 2017
Shrug, I consider every match three game, pulp novel, advertising jingle, and McDonald's lobby to be art. Which is to say, I don't use "work of art" as a term of praise. (At least I didn't here, who knows what I may have written over the years)

Maybe it was sloppy to use such a loaded term. The intention was to cover many different media, such as music and film, where it's understood that there is no accounting for taste.
by AnonRunzes at 8:05 PM EDT on May 2, 2017
@hcs - Suffice to say, you are not wrong.
by hcs at 5:02 AM EDT on May 5, 2017
I had a disappointing experience with MHRD, ostensibly a game about building a processor from gates, turns out to be little more than textbook digital logic design exercises in a boring, underpowered IDE. It's irritating how inexpressive the language is, and I don't like the one hack provided to make that better ("Ted", who extends buses for you).

At least as far as I got, it's not impossible that it gets really interesting later on. But AFAICT there is no reason to play it if you already know the basics of this stuff.

I TA'd a Computer Architecture course once, though there we used a graphical circuit layout system (Logisim). That had its own challenges, but overall I'd say it was a lot more fun to screw around with than MHRD was to play. MHRD is actually considerably more efficient to work with, I think, though you probably have to work things out on paper or with a lot of comments if you are figuring it out.

So I may just be too familiar with these basic exercises to enjoy plugging it into a game which has no other charms, YMMV.

I had fun with Human Resource Machine, which was at heart just a set of simple assignments to complete in assembly language. The most complicated problem was a sort, IIRC. But it had many highlights:

- It's fun to mouse around, even if it is probably less efficient, particularly in an attractive interface that Tomorrow Corporation (and formerly 2D Boy) does exceptionally well

- Having a "par" for a level to beat is a powerful motivator for me (even better if it's a histogram like Zachtronics is known for)

- There's even less story and characterization here than in World of Goo, but it helps to make things a little more interesting

- Animated execution is hugely helpful for debugging and interesting to watch

- Fun music!

I think if the Tomorrow Corp folks did exactly the same digital logic exercises with their trademark level of polish, it'd be a lot more fun to play. Maybe this makes me shallow, but I don't think I'm alone.

Of course better still would be better problems to solve!

MHRD does have a gate count for each solution, and apparently it compares you to the best globally and among your friends, though this is hidden in the settings menu for some reason. I don't think this works as well as either a fixed offline par (which the designer can arbitrarily choose to be not absolutely optimal if optimal is boring) or a histogram (for those who aren't going for #1 but still want to know where they stand), though with problems with solutions as simple and standard as these there's bound to be clustering around the high end anyway.

---

I don't like to be so negative, MHRD really does seem to do what it sets out to do pretty well. I just wish it was a bit more ambitious.

edited 5:08 AM EDT May 5, 2017
by hcs at 5:33 PM EDT on May 31, 2017
On the way to the Oregon coast with my family last Sunday, we passed a dispensary with the following sign:

Tsunami Marijuana

"Get to higher ground"

---

I read through Unsong the other day after Scott Aaronson mentioned it was finished, it's a take on "what if all the weird stuff in the bible is actually there for divine reasons", or at least most of the jokes are. Lots of numerology and puns.


*** minor SPOILERS ***

There's a minor character whose name is never spelled the same way twice, which was hard to notice due possibly to "typoglycemia", which I thought was one of the best jokes in the book when I realized it.

The main backstory is that the universe used to run on god's design which permitted supernatural happenings, but an angel hacked together a mathematical physics system to run on top of it in order to deny the devil control over reality. Then the system breaks when Apollo 8 hits the crystal sphere surrounding the earth... and magic of various kinds returns.

Recommended! If a bit self-indulgent and eye-rollingly meta much of the time.

---

Funnily, I had just read The Traveller In Black the day before I started reading Unsong, which has a similar idea going on: magic/chaos is being replaced with science/reason/order. The Traveller is tasked with exorcising the demons of unreason which corrupt humankind, though I can't say I fully understand why his "single nature" is what it apparently is: essentially a genie who mostly uses your wishes to do whatever he would have wanted to do anyway.

I enjoyed struggling through the archaic language, it isn't perfect but I'd recommend checking it out.

edited 5:38 PM EDT May 31, 2017
by kode54 at 9:50 PM EDT on June 3, 2017
Funny you mention dispensaries. We don't even have them in this entire city, because in 2007, we passed a city ordinance banning them from operating within city limits. They even discover all of the handy dandy MJ indexing sites and use their information to locate and shut down illegal dispensaries that keep popping up like... weeds.

From what I've heard, people hate the "smell" that is associated with them, because apparently, the operators and everyone who visits blazes up right there on the premises, 24/7.

They also have to work in cash, and never use bank accounts, because MJ is still federally controlled, so any business involving it is against federal law, so they can just seize your assets and freeze your bank accounts at will. Thanks, Nixon.
by hcs at 10:16 PM EDT on June 3, 2017
That sucks, the ones I've walked past in Portland don't seem to attract that kind of behavior, though maybe it's a time of day thing. Or a part of town thing.

edited 10:17 PM EDT June 3, 2017
by kode54 at 11:46 PM EDT on June 3, 2017
Or a general "damn pot smoking hippies" attitude.

We also have an election for city council member going on, by mail only, and one of the replacement candidates is running solely on the platform of stopping a "monster warehouse" deal from going through. I can sort of see the reasoning behind stopping that sort of progress, since our local roads and highways are already clogged with 18 wheelers at all hours of the day as it is.
by AnonRunzes at 10:03 AM EDT on June 4, 2017
So I`m just starting my way towards PSF ripping. Although not of the "standard pQES data" sense however since I`m about to rip the sequenced music of the first Gran Turismo game not from debugging through an emulator, but rather by using uncompressed SEQG and INST files.

I`m starting to learn MIPS through this mips-iv.pdf doc I found around the internet so any tips are appreciated.

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