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.