Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

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  • Published: Feb 28th, 2009
  • Category: Media
  • Comments: 1

Since when did Facebook

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become the playground of high schoolers?

It’s bad enough potential employers can stalk photos people tag of me in various states of inebriation, but now I must block entire swaths of my personal errata because students of mine can potentially see it? I’m not sure what to blame more: The voyeur/exhibitionist pathos of the internet or the speed in which I switched from Student Who Doesn’t Know Better to Member of Authority – a transition of exactly two months, consequently. Alas.

While I’m on the subject, Facebook recently clarified their EULA because somebody actually read that Epic and discovered what we all assume when we breeze through the EULA: Namely that they own every little bit of content we write forever and ever. Read the rest of this entry »

Why I don’t follow politics lower than Mayor

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Sheldon Silver, D-Lower East Side, has decided to spearhead a move to save the MTA by instituting payroll taxes on employers and add tolls to the East River crossings to the tune of, well, subway fare. Poetic, sure, but consider that the opposition argument that it’s unfairly benefitting Manhattanites (because it’s not like Manhattanites haven’t been paying through the nose in taxes to keep the crossings aloft for all those Bridge & Tunnellers already) has usually been his argument, despite representing Lower Manhattan.

NYC, like all major American cities, has a hate-hate relationship with its suburbs, in that they represent nontaxable people who use city services but live beyond the city line. The first half of NYC’s history, the problem was solved by simple annexation (hey, Queens, you’re mine now) to jurisdiction-ignoring authorities (bridges, bus depots and commuter trains can be considered “ports,” right?).  The problem in most every other industrialized nation is solved by having the ‘state’ basically be the metropolitan area + the suburbs + the exurbs, such that one couldn’t conceivably live close enough to commute to the urban core daily but far enough to avoid paying taxes for it.

Silver, on the other hand, seems to have this sort of relationship with himself, considering he killed previous attempts on a commuter tax as well as Bloomberg’s congestion pricing (cited by Silver that his compatriots, upstate Democrats, complained it was a de facto commuter tax. No shit, Sherlock.) only to devise a plan that could conceivably quadruple-tax NYC for the same damn service.

This is why I would sometimes prefer a benevolent dictatorship. Things that benefit everybody should not be this hard to maintain. Seriously, folks.

“You Be Da Man!”

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So sayeth R-FS* Michele Bachmann to GOP leader Michael Steele.

Some good may come of this. For starters, Republicans may once and for all kill gangster-inflected hiphop.

*Flyover State

You’re Not Helping

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I, in my years of bike messengering and commuting via bike in Manhattan, have developed many strong opinions on helmets, bike lanes, traffic laws, activists and public image in general. I know that my take on the matter is a mishmash of conflicting views (that I self-servingly liken to a microcosm of the city itself) and justifications that don’t work beyond their intended audience.

For instance, I wear helmets sparingly because I feel I’m not as aware, aurally, of my surroundings when I have one on (that, and the aerodynamic shape of certain helmets – especially with the little plastic bill in front – seem to ensure that they’d crack on impact anyway) and if I’m to be broadsided by a crosstown bus I’d prefer avoidance than mitigation. Read the rest of this entry »

How stupid do I think the Republicans are?

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<                                                                          This stupid.                                                                               >

The budget is a “job killer,” says Congressional Republicans, because it increases taxes. On the top 2%.

I could have sworn we went over that in the campaign, and I’m pretty sure we know how that turned out.

Meanwhile the NYCDoE is singing hallelujah that they might not have to lay off 1500 teachers after all – and might even have a capital budget for some nice overhauls. Who knows? After eight years of the darkness of the Bush regime, even a bare bulb is blinding in its luminance.

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  • Published: Feb 25th, 2009
  • Category: Media
  • Comments: 11

A reposted repost

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The old site ate my second rant about Grand Theft Auto – part of what prompted the updating of the site – and considering the popularity (read: Rabid fanboyism) of the first, I thought I’d try to paraphrase what I put there.

Grand Theft Auto 4 is turning into something of a parable of the computer gaming industry in general right now. Now, I’m of the technically-minded persuasion – or to put it another way a long-time PC apologist – so I wholeheartedly accept the myth of PC gaming’s “Gold” and “Silver” Ages; namely the careers of Sid Meier, Will Wright, Peter Molyneux, John Romero et al and the companies Looking Glass, Bullfrog, Westwood, Interplay and LucasArts (back when it was doing adventure games) as inventors of the market and giants upon which the industry as a whole grew.

The market had a great number of things to say about game design, processing tricks and how us nerds saw the world in the first place: Insightful and compelling Sci Fi universes and not much in the way of human interaction. Like reading an Asimov series and trying to infer relationship advice from it. Read the rest of this entry »

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