William Gibson whines about the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer

In case you had been wondering whether William Gibson was jealous, you don’t need to wonder any more.

William Gibson is commonly credited with creating cyberpunk, not because William Gibson did anything very noteworthy, but because William Gibson was the first guy to get RECOGNIZED BY OTHERS for writing cyberpunk.

Gibson was given too much credit. And now he’s not in the spotlight and he’s not really happy about it. Disrespecting mainstream cyberpunk as “generic” has been a bad habit since 1989, and Gibson has never been free from that bad habit.

Gibson was always a literary geek and never a computer geek, so I don’t think he appreciates how much goes into making a GTA-style game.  This is the same guy who tried to copy-protect his poetry so that it could be read once, and would then delete itself before it could be copied.  It was a cute gimmick to camouflage a cash grab, but it failed.  It got cracked. Everyone has access to that poetry Gibson tried to protect.


A particularly well-received work by Gibson was Agrippa (a book of the dead) (1992), a 300-line semi-autobiographical electronic poem that was his contribution to a collaborative project with artist Dennis Ashbaugh and publisher Kevin Begos, Jr.[111] Gibson’s text focused on the ethereal nature of memories (the title refers to a photo album) and was originally published on a 3.5″ floppy disk embedded in the back of an artist’s book containing etchings by Ashbaugh (intended to fade from view once the book was opened and exposed to light — they never did, however). Gibson commented that Ashbaugh’s design “eventually included a supposedly self-devouring floppy-disk intended to display the text only once, then eat itself.”[112] Contrary to numerous colorful reports, the diskettes were never actually “hacked“; instead the poem was manually transcribed from a surreptitious videotape of a public showing in Manhattan in December 1992, and released on the MindVox bulletin board the next day; this is the text that circulated widely on the Internet.[113]

Since its debut in 1992, the mystery of Agrippa remained hidden for 20 years. Although many had tried to hack the code and decrypt the program, the uncompiled source code was lost long ago. Alan Liu and his team at “The Agrippa Files”[114] created an extensive website with tools and resources to crack the Agrippa Code. They collaborated with Matthew Kirschenbaum at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities and the Digital Forensics Lab, and Quinn DuPont, a PhD student of cryptography from the University of Toronto, in calling for the aid of cryptographers to figure out how the program works by creating “Cracking the Agrippa Code: The Challenge”,[115] which enlisted participants to solve the intentional scrambling of the poem in exchange for prizes.[116] The code was successfully cracked by Robert Xiao in late July 2012.[115]




Various Problems with Travis Bradberry’s Attempts to Stop Chronic Unhappiness

If you have not yet read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided, you should take a look. It might explain a lot about your problems with society.

The very rich people at Forbes magazine thoughtfully gave an article to the plebs about happiness. This article uses lies and half-truths in a perfect demonstration of bright-siding. Obviously I don’t like this article and I am going to point out problems. However, a few of the article’s claims are reasonable and I do concede some points without conceding my main point.

The key material of the Forbes article is as follows:

10 Troubling Habits Of Chronically Unhappy People

Some habits lead to unhappiness more than others do. You should be especially wary of the ten habits that follow as they are the worst offenders. Practice emotional intelligence and watch yourself carefully to make certain that these habits are not your own.

1. Waiting for the future. Telling yourself, “I’ll be happy when …” is one of the easiest unhappy habits to fall into. How you end the statement doesn’t really matter (it might be a promotion, more pay, or a new relationship) because it puts too much emphasis on circumstances, and improved circumstances don’t lead to happiness. Don’t spend your time waiting for something that’s proven to have no effect on your mood. Instead focus on being happy right now, in the present moment, because there’s no guarantee of the future.

2. Spending too much time and effort acquiring “things.” People living in extreme poverty experience a significant increase in happiness when their financial circumstances improve, but it drops off quickly above $20,000 in annual income. There’s an ocean of research that shows that material things don’t make you happy. When you make a habit of chasing things, you are likely to become unhappy because, beyond the disappointment you experience once you get them, you discover that you’ve gained them at the expense of the real things that can make you happy, such as friends, family, and hobbies.

3. Staying home. When you feel unhappy, it’s tempting to avoid other people. This is a huge mistake as socializing, even when you don’t enjoy it, is great for your mood. We all have those days when we just want to pull the covers over our heads and refuse to talk to anybody, but understand that the moment this becomes a tendency, it destroys your mood. Recognize when unhappiness is making you antisocial, force yourself to get out there and mingle, and you’ll notice the difference right away.
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Blassreiter Episode 14 transitions from bad writing to bad cliches

I really wanted to like Blassreiter. Early on, it was obvious that the Japanese writers liked selling pale-skinned European characters to Japanese audiences. That was fine by me.

Then the writers introduced the main conflict as driven by cruel natives who hated the outsiders. The outsiders had Muslim names like Malik, but were pale-skinned just like the natives. Thus having obfuscated the racial hatred that motivates Muslims to attack Germans, the writers felt free to unleash their favorite cliches.


Long-Lost Sibling Cliche:

Tedious, politically correct attempt to whitewash muslim invaders in Germany as pale-skinned, victimized outsiders:

Penultimate cliche:

The supervillain was a pure-as-the-driven-snow altruist before her mad science research was perverted by evil white men:

The writing isn’t entirely horrible, it’s just super racist against white people. The cliches are solid old classics, and I don’t doubt that they will carry a story suitable for eight-year-olds who have never read any literary criticism.

Profiles in likable characters: Kanuka Clancy and Noa Izumi

I delve into some amazingly trashy television. Some of it is childish, such as Dominion Tank Police. Some of it is forgettable and bland (and I would cite an example of something forgettable, but such stories are all so bland that I have forgotten their titles). But sometimes amid the trash, one finds real treasures.

Patlabor is remarkable in that it presents amazingly likable characters in a humanized fashion.

These characters have human flaws, some of which are played for childish laughs; for the most part, these flaws are humanizing, not grotesque.

For example, when you are sleeping with a lot of men on the floor of a room, it’s just grotesque when one of them sticks his foot in your face.

However, if you are so inexperienced with women that you start dreaming that stinky foot is a woman, that’s kind of childish but also kind of humanizing.




One of the male characters is macho in a childish but believable way: he is obsessed with combat, and even dreams about shooting bad guys. It’s very believable: if you know a lot of men in the real world, you have probably met at least one foolish manchild who is competent enough to get a job as a cop or a soldier, but who really doesn’t have the maturity that his position should require.

Apparently only the men have to suffer overcrowding.


Izumi Noa apparently gets to sleep in a comfortable room all by herself.

I was initially scared that Noa would turn out to be very obnoxious. She could be an unrealistic pseudo-lesbian (like Major Kusanagi), or she could be obnoxiously tomboyish (like Leona from Dominion Tank Police).

Initially, she appears to be a standard anime tomboy protagonist: she has a bizarre and unhealthy love for giant robots, bordering on the erotic, like Leona.

Izumi Noa joined the police voluntarily just so that she could pilot giant robots. Both Izumi Noa and Leona are tomboys who love their giant robots more than any boyfriend. However, whereas Leona was a badly written character, Izumi Noa is believable. She is obsessed with giant robots, but that’s her only flaw. Later episodes of the OVA give her a believable backstory, believable human relationships, and believable romantic interactions with human beings. She is not unbelievably competent, and she is not grotesquely klutzy.  She’s not particularly feminist by modern standards, although in the 1980s she was probably perceived as highly feminist. (One might speculate that the producers wanted a highly feminist character, and the writers fooled them by presenting concept art for a tomboy heroine with scant love for boys, but then delivered a well-rounded character.) Izumi Noa is very likable, but not extremely feminist.

The OVA does have one extremely feminist character, and I am amazed to say that she is likable.


Kanuka Clancy initially appears as a ridiculously overcompetent superheroine among the ordinary slobs:

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Normies are waking up to Hollywood’s excessive decadence, and some of those normies are complaining about Show Dogs


Summary: Normies are waking up to Hollywood’s excessive decadence.

[lightly edited] reprint of someone else’s work:

I completely missed that a new kids movie called Show Dogs came out this weekend. The premise looks cute,

Max is a talking police dog


Max’s success is riding on whether or not he lets both his partner (for practice) and a stranger (the competition judge) touch his private parts.


Newsflash, folks: THIS IS CALLED GROOMING and it’s what sexual predators do to kids!

It gets worse. Maldonado describes the movie’s dramatic dog show finals scene:

The day of the finals come and if Max doesn’t let his private parts be touched, he may lose the competition and any hope of finding the kidnapped panda.  It all rests on his ability to let someone touch his private parts.  The judge’s hands slowly reach behind Max and he goes to his “zen place”.  He’s flying through the sky, dancing with his partner, there are fireworks and flowers-everything is great-all while someone is touching his private parts.

So a stranger touches Max’s privates and it MUST feel good because Max has gone to his happy place while being fondled.


Maldonado saw the movie with not only her kids, but her husband and her mother too. After the movie, all three adults felt uncomfortable with the “private parts” stuff. She says:

Turns out, it appears the Show Dogs movie has some problems.

After what I’ve learned about it from another parent review, I am SO GLAD my son did not see this movie. Let me explain. Terina Maldonado, parent reviewer for the Macaroni Kid website DID take her kids to see an advanced screening of the movie as part of her job with Macaroni Kid…but she came away with some seriously BAD feelings about the movie. I’ll let Maldonado explain in her own words.

It all started out fine, she says:

“The premise is great for a kids movie.  Max is a talking police dog (voiced by Ludacris) who is paired up with a human partner, Frank (Will Arnett) to infiltrate a prestigious dog show and rescue a kidnapped baby panda.  Being a tough dog from New York, Max has no business competing in a dog show but uses his street smarts to outperform the competition to get closer to the inner circle of kidnappers.  Along the way, Max learns lessons about trust and the need to accept help from others.  The usual hilarity ensues with dog farts, bites on the rear-end, and slap-stick bonks to the head which elicit giggles from the audience. “

It’s when Max the police dog learns what he has to do to truly go undercover and be accepted as a legitimate show dog that the trouble with this movie starts. WHAT does Max (and apparently all the show dogs) have to submit to?

Having his private parts touched and inspected. Yep. Maldonado continues:

“What could have been solely a fun movie for kids that would get my highest recommendation is damaged by a dark and disturbing message hidden, not so subtly between the fluffy dogs and glamorous parties of the show dog lifestyle.  As part of any dog show, contestants are judged on their abilities and physical attributes.  One part, in particular, is the inspection of the dog’s private parts.”

Max, of course, is  NOT cool with this, and when his partner Frank and a former champion show dog try to get him to accept this process, a certain dark and very dangerous theme for kids emerges. Maldonado explains:

“Since the inspection of the private parts will happen in the finals, Frank touches Max’s private parts to get him use to it.  Of course, Max doesn’t like it and snaps at Frank for him to stop.  Max is then told by the former champion, who has been through the process before, that he needs to go to his “zen place” while it happens so he can get through it.  More attempts are made by Frank to touch Max’s private parts, but Max is still having trouble letting it happen and keeps snapping at him.”

Max needs to get it together, see, and LET PEOPLE TOUCH HIS PRIVATE PARTS, or he might lose the competition and fail at his mission to rescue the kidnapped panda.

During the movie, I kept thinking, “This is wrong, it doesn’t need to be in a kids movie. Everything else in the movie is good fun except for this.”  Afterward, my husband mentioned that he picked up on this message too, as did my mother who saw the movie with us.

Maldonado then goes on to mention that she is a survivor of child abuse, and describes how she will talk to her kids about the movie and that part in particular and use it as a lesson to instill in them they lessons she’s already taught them about how “we never let anyone touch our private parts, what they should do if anyone tries.”

How the script and premise for this movie EVER got approved scares the CRAP out of me! This is 100% indoctrination. I will not apologize or care if anyone thinks I am crazy for thinking so. This is letting a movie of funny cartoon dogs teach our kids that hey, “sometimes ya just gotta let someone molest you.”

NOPE. Parents, do NOT go see the Show Dogs movie. And please share this so other parents won’t make this mistake before they know what’s up. The message here is WAY beyond inappropriate — it’s downright DANGEROUS for our kids!


Vietnam influenced Dungeons & Dragons, but most gamers would not appreciate too much homage

D&D players have been passing around this picture, showing Viet Cong tactics that were paid homage in Gygax’s Keep on the Borderlands and in other D&D products.

Note however that fighting the VietCong must have been dirty and miserable. Players seldom want to feel dirty and miserable. One can pay some homage to the VietCong by slapping a poorly-understood version of their tactics into a game, but I don’t think anyone is going to appreciate a lot of homage.

It’s been said that traps are good for D&D DMs who like describing rooms verbally. If every detail of the room might be a trap, then the DM has an incentive to give each room a lot of detail, and the players have an incentive to pay attention to the details of each room.

However, that kind of description is neat when the DM is describing a whimsical dungeon with blue oil lamps illuminating slate and malachite flagstones. The players can try to investigate the flagstones to see whether they are secret doors, etc. That kind of detail is just miserable if the players have to peer into the darkness of a muddy tunnel looking for snakes and scorpions.