racheljoi.com

weekly roundup – first ever!

Welcome to my first weekly roundup, where I write about things I’ve read, games I’ve played, and things I’ve been thinking about that don’t merit their own blog posts.

I’ve read a few interesting articles this week. I discovered the Wait But Why site, and the archives are full of interesting things. I read a two-part post on AI and the timeline for the future of it, which was both really interesting and fairly terrifying. The idea that we could be so close to immortality or extinction left me reeling. It’s a very long read, but I highly recommend reading all of it. Another interesting post I read was about procrastination. I spend a lot of my time on unimportant things, and though I’m starting to get better about doing things that will move me forward, some days are better than others. The post really resonated with me, and it reframed things in a way that may put me in more control in the future.

I’ve read a couple of art-related articles this week as well, both ending rather negatively about their subjects. One was about Peter Lik, the photographer, the other about an art collector who patronizes young artists. The article about Peter Lik talks about his business plan (prices increase based on how many prints sell, and stores in high-traffic tourist areas), and about the criticism he has received from the art world (lack of shadows and darkness in his art, little resale value). We nearly bought a Peter Lik a few years ago, and I still like what he does. I’m not sure what that says about my taste in art (it probably means I’m not very sophisticated). I didn’t like the sales tactics they used, somewhat akin to car sales, but it nearly worked. The other article dealt with a man who patronizes artists as an investment strategy. It made me think more about what I’m doing with my business and how easily artists are taken advantage of.

This post about Hillary Clinton was eye-opening. I had to reconsider why I feel the way I do about her. It’s a defense of her in a way, pointing out that she’s in an impossible situation. I dislike her corporate connections, but at the same time, she’s doing what she needs to to survive, and she’s immensely strong. I cannot imagine anyone I know putting up with what she’s had to endure for the last twenty years.

Another site I’ve discovered is Inverse, which is full of articles that make my geeky heart sing. If you get excited about science or nerdy shows or movies, this is the place to poke around. I don’t want to point to any specific articles, because they’re all good.

On to games! Recently, I’ve played Morels, Smash Up, Stone Age, Eldritch Horror, Red Dragon Inn, and Exploding Kittens. It’s been a nice vacation. 🙂

  • Morels: I love this game, which is a sweet two-player game collecting mushrooms. I think every game collection needs good two-player games, and this is a staple of ours.
  • Smash Up: The fun part of it is that you combine two character types (I played wizards and cybernetic apes), hence the “smash up.” It’s a fun game, easy to learn, not very complicated.
  • Stone Age: It’s a worker placement game. Meeples farm, build tools, have babies, hunt, build huts, and collect resources. It’s a great game with a lot of different ways to win.
  • Eldritch Horror: We lost spectacularly when we played, but it’s a fun cooperative game with battling monsters and solving mysteries. It’s supposed to be less complex and more fun than Arkham Horror, but I haven’t played Arkham.
  • Red Dragon Inn: You’re heroes in a pub after a successful quest, and you try to weaken the other characters and get them drunk and take their gold. It has pretty simple mechanics, but it’s a fun game, and all the expansions mean you can play with many people (though the games get kind of long).
  • Exploding Kittens: It’s not a complicated game, and the most exciting part of it is the text on the cards. We played the NSFW version, so the cards were quite rude and amusing.

Finally, I’ve been thinking about my own attitude towards politics. The things politicians say and do make me so angry (so. angry.), and the apathy and voting against self-interest infuriates me. And I don’t know what to do about it. I campaigned for a race in Kansas in 2014, and though we worked really hard, my candidate lost and the party as a whole lost badly across the entire state. I’ve moved down the crazy scale by moving to Utah (not terribly far, but a little), but with the national races heating up, there’s stuff in the news all the time. As a Democrat in a red state, I’m frustrated. Instead of trying to make a national or even local difference, I’m going to try to make an individual difference. In a couple weeks, I have orientation for volunteering with refugees. I’m excited about the prospect of helping people who are new to the country.

That’s it for this week! Let me know your thoughts, and if you have recommendations of things to read, I’d love to hear them.

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