Especially here on the internet. Ken sees a potentially sobering mirror:
I’ve been feeling very self-conscious. That’s because lots of people are talking about … subjects with which I am somewhat familiar. When they do, I ask myself: when I very frequently talk about things I haven’t bothered to learn about, do I sound like that? God help me.
I urge you to ponder this koan, which could lead you to satori.
It’s not just me. Ben Zimmer and Scott Hanselman have peeked behind the veil and found comment spam procedural content. The first spam comment template allows 30,576,476,160 distinct comments, which should be enough to last at least a few weeks.
We frequently receive search engine optimization spam. I presume everyone who runs or writes for a website does. They can help us increase our ad revenue! Okay, so they have never looked at the site. They heard about us from our current ads, but did not click and increase our ad costs! Okay, so they are just blatantly lying from the first sentence to the last.
Replying to spam is generally a bad idea, but I am tempted to have a Popehat pony e-mail exchange sometimes. What do you think of our current KTR ads? By what percent do you think we could increase our revenue? Would it be enough to buy a pony?
“Expect,” like most English words referring to mental states, is problematically ambiguous. It could refer to considering something (1) likely to happen or (2) obligatory or reasonably due. Speakers may not realize that something obligatory is unlikely (or something forbidden is likely), and listeners can reasonably misunderstand which sense of expectation is meant.
If I say that I expect someone to do something, you’ll probably need context or nonverbal cues to understand whether I consider it likely, obligatory, or likely because it is obligatory. I have some employees who will not be meeting their performance objectives; we expect (meaning 1) them not to live up to their expectations (meaning 2).
Further ambiguity is introduced because expectation is not a single thing out there in the world but rather billions of individuals’ mental states. You and I have different estimates of how likely something is (meaning 1). We are more likely to agree about expectations (meaning 2), although beliefs differ radically on what is “reasonably due” (see: who deserves the most credit or whose turn it is to do housework). A particular person’s expectations (1) are a single thing we can reasonably discuss, as is a consensus estimate (“the publisher expects (1) the game to have 1 million subscribers”). In that sense, it becomes entirely reasonable to expect (meaning 1, personal) something to fail to meet expectations (meaning 1, consensus or someone else’s). I occasionally hear someone say s/he expects (1, personal) something not to live up to his/her expectations (1, personal); expecting disappointment is not fully coherent, but we are just a bunch of social primates with meat-based computers in our skulls.
To answer a recent question: my expectations (1) can differ from my expectations (2).
Our friends at Popehat have a poll for you. This one is just the “online” part of “online gaming” that we cover here; I don’t think we have any really good anti-gaming attempts to censor free expression this year. Strong candidates include suing charities and knitting circles, a bomber who found a judge unaware that prior restraints on speech are not constitutional in the United States, and actual cases of governments sending men with guns ’round when they were unhappy with free expression.
Note that this is for asshattery rather than thuggery, as you’ll note several major government missing from the options. That would explain why several people who are just huge jerks are beating out actual government threats; the reigning champion as I type this combines both.
Saved for Friday, since you could spend a long while pursuing those links. Apologies for having linked to TV Tropes on a Monday before; I promise not to do it again until you least expect it.
Literally. No soap, radio.
Via Syp via Tobold
An established online gaming company with some moderate success in its record released its next generation MMORPG based on a popular fantasy intellectual property. Whatever the initial hoopla, it was pretty quickly recognized as an incremental improvement on the WoW quest-based MMORPG model, with some changes such as a central quest line running through the story from tutorial to endgame, with the early parts customized to your character. One of the notable differences from comparable games was the financial model, which included buying an account once rather than paying a monthly fee; a cash shop provided assorted character boosts and account upgrades.
The game had immediate appeal Explorers and Socializers, and frequent events were a big draw that gathered players together, although it did split them into multiple instances of the zone which could be inconvenient. The PvE was relatively relaxed, the community was more positive than average. There was a lot of play and exploration below the level cap, and the endgame content was structured around single-group dungeons, although content did exist for larger groups of characters to tackle together, if you were up for fighting a dragon. It also had a draw on Achievers with its take on achievements, which linked back to Explorers given the range of achievements available. As much as the game tried to advertise to Killers with its PvP area based on taking keeps and sieging the central castle, it was mostly a PvE playground.
For its first expansion worth of content, it added a new tier of items, along with a new mechanic whereby dungeons would be more difficult unless you had run the dungeons enough to get equipment that countered the debuff mechanic. This new equipment also had the best stats in the game. You are familiar with the sort of forum wars that erupt when you put the best equipment in gated group content, but the Lord of the Rings Online got past it, and the game is still available with 4.5 years’ worth of updates if that is the game you are interested in playing.
She will whine at great length and volume about any closed door or other obstruction to her freedom of movement. She has high expectations about coming attractions and how responsive to her desires others should be. Once past an obstruction, she will do exactly the same thing that she did in the previous room.
She usually does not want to interact, and heaven forfend you show her attention when she is otherwise occupied, but she hates being left alone and seems to like having people around (just at a safe remove).
Since I was a kid, it has been a tradition to make chili for Halloween so that we could fill our bellies with something warm and hearty before going out to get candy. I have kept that tradition, and by request here is my recipe. Continue reading