In a World of My Own Design

Welcome to a piece of my mind I’m pretty sure you’d wish you didn’t know existed.

Imagine if the life that you thought you shared wasn’t really there. It was made up in your mind, could be anyone, anywhere. You’d be living in a world of your own design, undermined. In another place, other space and time.

So goes the first lines of Clean Bandit‘s Dust Clears, a track from their 2014 album New Eyes. The song continues:

Imagine if the friend that you thought you knew wasn’t really true. It just existed in your head, the reflection used wasn’t you.

Even though I listen to a lot of music, I don’t really listen very often. I prefer to work listening to music, and while it might not actually be the case, I imagine that it helps me concentrate. So the majority of the music I listen to is basically advanced background noise.

But sometimes I listen, and when I listened to Dust Clears, a really weird thought began to grind in the back of my mind.

The Second Tale of a Doomed Colony

It’s not over until everybody’s dead. Again. (Or: Let’s play RimWorld.)

Well over three years ago, I posted The Tale of a Doomed Colony. It’s a story set in your favorite base-building-survival-strategy-sandbox-game, RimWorld. The time has come to read through the diary of another colony administrator to discover a different tale from a RimWorld colony1.

These are our three unfortunate colonists:

Hansol “Alice” Lee is a 16 year old mute without social skills. She likes to stay up late, and has a way with animals.

Lidia Delacruz is a 52 years old former test subject turned body guard. Lidia’s social skills are non-existent, and she has creepy breathing. She excels in both shooting and melee, however, both skills that I’m sure will come in very handy. Lidia’s creepy breathing will probably make it hard for her to sneak up on anyone, though.

The third, and final colonist is Vladislav Delacruz. He is 64 years old, and suffers from severe Alzheimer’s. He also has a psychite addiction, which I’m sure will not become an issue… Vlad is quite the craftsman, so let’s hope we can keep both his Alzheimer’s and drug addiction at bay. Vlad is Lidia’s brother.

Masters of Doom

Few people have been as defining and influential for the gaming industry as the Masters of Doom, John Carmack and John Romero.

Both grew up in the 1970s, experiencing the golden age of arcade video games. Classic games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man was an important part of their childhoods. The Apple II was the inaugural home computer for both Carmack and Romero, and the first published games for both of them were Apple II titles.

The two Johns’ paths eventually crossed when they met at Softdisk in 1989. It was a match made in heaven, and both were integral to the company’s success with their contributions to the Big Blue Disk magazine. Carmack, a programming and computer graphics genius – described as “a brain on legs” – and Romero, brilliant at both programming and game design.

At Softdisk, Romero and Carmack met Tom Hall and Adrian Carmack (not related to John). Tom worked at the company as a programmer and game designer, while Adrian’s primary role was as an artist. In early 1991, the four of them left Softdisk, and founded Id Software.

The Fall of Springwood

This is the last chapter of my narrative Cities: Skylines series about Springwood in where a very ambitious plan goes terribly, terribly wrong.

Not too long ago (all right, it’s been nearly two months, but getting things through the grinder takes a lot of time these days), your favorite Finnish developer Colossal Order released yet another DLC for their popular city builder Cities: Skylines.

To celebrate the new expansion, I decided to add a nice campus area in Springwood. Unfortunately, nothing went according to plan.

Free Speech & FLOSS vs the Alt-Right

What’s the link between free speech, dental hygiene, and the alt-right? I have no idea. But there’s an clear link between free speech, Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS), and the rising alt-right movement.

As I reported back in May, the alt-right echo chamber Gab is adapting ActivityPub. One of the main drivers behind this decisions is to make a beachhead inside mobile app stores. The next version of Gab is a fork of the Mastodon code, and it’s scheduled for launch on July 4. Gab’s impending inroad has caused a slight scare on the left side of the fediverse. As It turns out, leftists, antifas, and the LGBT community really don’t like the alt-right.

But there is no need to panic. Because of its open and distributed nature, the fediverse already has a few Gab-friendly Mastodon instances. Still, you don’t see the fediverse being overrun by the alt-right. Even if ActivityPub enables propagation of Mastodon message through server-to-server federation, administrators can block other instances from federating through their own. Enough blocking, and a particular instance is effectively left as an isolated little island, all alone in the fediverse.

Another interesting discussion that has surfaced recently is how Mastodon client app developers should handle Gab. Their beloved apps will soon be openly used to spread alt-right propaganda. Gab’s imminent adaption of Mastodon has forced many app developers to make a conscious choice in the matter.