Keith Z-G

alternatingly self-aggrandizing and self-effacing

For a person who posts so little to my various web sites, I actually have a surprisingly large number of takedown requests from people upset with me having posted one thing or another.

Here's the problem, though: I'm the kind of person who thinks that false beliefs are cancerous, and that the world would be better off if all of us humans were telepathic.

Of course people say to such thought experiments "that'd be terrible! If we knew what we all were thinking we'd be embarrassed and scared and everything'd be terrible!" And sure, that's probably true at first (and if it happened all of a sudden, it might be a very oddball apocalypse). But the thing is, much in the same way that society didn't collapse when we gave up on Victorian-era ideas of how women should dress, we'd get used to it. We, as people, often have a fear of "other" and a bad habit of failing to connect and engage with other people and ideas when even the slightest disconnect interrupts the flow of communication. So much of our time is spent either failing to understand others, or judging them for aspects of themselves that we either fail to grasp the context of, or believe are extremely uncommon and thus judge a person for. See, for example, how homophobia flourishes when people believe that homosexuality is rare. More truth and light leaves us better equiped to engage with the world around us, not less, and knowing more about other people eventually makes us less judgmental, not more.

Now, in this fictional scenario (and in anything approximating or reflecting it), again, the initial path is hard. And it may indeed exaggerate and encourage debate, because people wouldn't be able to pretend others agreed with them. And, I mean . . . yay, no? If society can only function when we never talk about anything of substance, then lets tear this motherfucker down (and you can quote me on that for all posterity, and if posterity doesn't understand the actual, more abstract meaning of specific idiomatic swear words then posterity can shut the fuck up and maybe show up some time for a nice cup of tea and maybe we can talk about how rarely language is even remotely literal---posterity, what do you feel like, I have some dried mint from my garden, is that good with you?).

Maybe life would get more dramatic, but it'd also get more authentic and progressive, I think. And we could all benefit from better understanding of other people, even if that understanding sometimes puts us at odds.

And truth, well . . . truth is kindof its own virtue. It has countless upsides: you realize vaccines don't cause autism and so your kids don't get measles and their friends don't get it from them in turn, the politician who lies gets caught in it and has to leave office to be replaced by someone whose policies are based more on facts than talking points, the old-growth forests are left standing when we actually weigh the real costs and benefits. But almost moreso, it's where real beauty comes from. Auto-tuned vocals singing focus-grouped lyrics will, for me at least, lose out every time to a faltering voice singing from the heart. The sound and fury of a Michael Bay movie holds no draw compared to staring up at the Milky Way in the country at night, and tentatively grasping what it means that we stand on a spinning sphere moving within all of that.

So when someone asks me to hide something that stands as a record of interaction between a bunch of people (in this latest case, one of them being me), I have an enormous philosophical bias against complying. The part where the conversation sitting in the public record includes them calling a friend of mine an asshole doesn't even have to factor into it.

The User asked the Machine to link to SQL tables in the first database from their ancient database frontend file.

"There is no driver installed" the Machine replied.

The User installed an ODBC driver, and again asked the Machine to link to SQL tables in the first database.

"There is no connection configured" the Machine replied.

The User then configured the ODBC driver and attempted to connect.

"Your driver is outdated" the Machine replied.

Sure that the problem was now solved, the User installed a modern ODBC driver.

"Your driver is too new for the program you use" the Machine replied.

Uninstalling the newer driver, the User tested again. Elated, they saw that their ancient database frontend now connected to the first database.

The User then asked the Machine to link to SQL tables in the second database.

"There is no connection configured" the Machine replied.

The User attempted to add to the ODBC driver configuration.

"There is no driver installed" the Machine replied, and the User was enlightened.

Okay, so I'm a bit late to the party of making fun of Diablo III. But the other day my housemates were talking about how silly the randomly-generated item names are in Diablo III, and I thought "well, surely there's a random item name generator out there for Diablo III". But either nobody has bothered or my Google-Fu is weak, because shrug.

So I thought, hey, why not just write one then? The initial version is below; source code is available (and thus you could submit pull requests with more words) at the GitHub project page.

?

Future development is intended to include more item pictures, some sort of overlay/change method to make it so the modifying words actually change the appearance (not 100% sure how I'll do that yet), and hell, maybe an Android app or something that'll let you save items.

Current item images:

Particularly meaty improvements I can think of would include then the ability to sell and trade the items with some kind of managed market using internal currency, which would be hilarious (especially when you think of the dynamics, since I'd make it so you could scrap any item for 1 unit of currency; if for some godforsaken reason people actually chose to play the game, then, inflation could quickly become ludicrous).

I hear everyone's raving about Bootstrap these days, so what the hell, lets just go and make this a Bootstrap-based site.

You can still find the old content at this page (or at a Bootstrap-ified version if you like).