Tag Archives: Star Trek

Direction of education

I have been contemplating a separate direction of optional IP. You see, the studios are all focusing on the ‘next big thing’, to seemingly achieve that they tend to go towards the big successes and hope that they have one more slug to deliver. This is not a bad plan, but there is an equal danger on that larger stage not meeting expectations. This is not some curse, it comes from expressions like ‘it rains on the just and unjust alike’, ‘dress for success’, and that list goes on. Yet when we look back, what did Star Trek look back on? What inspired ‘Dallas’, ‘MASH’ and several others? Then I remembered something, something I saw 45 years ago and it still comes up in my mind every now and then. It was a series called ‘Once Upon a time’ and it ran for a long time. It was originally called “Il était une fois…”, a French educational program created by Procidis.

It is time to dig into such a corner (not that corner). You see, we forget that those who inherit the world might not vote, but they are a powerful group and the big wigs seem to forget that THEY too were young once. Consider Marcus Aurelius, the fifth of the good emperors. He died in 180 AD, he was also a philosopher who wrote Meditations, a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. Some still call it a literary monument to a government of service and duty. I was taken aback when I read [6] “to disbelieve the professions of sorcerers and imposters about incantations and exorcism and the like” written by a person who died 1600 years before BS Puritans decided to burn 14 women at the stake in Massachusetts Bay for witchcraft (Salem). All whilst these puritans optionally were afraid of women who merely needed a good fuck (optional speculation). In the end 19 people and two dogs were burned, 1600 years an Italian told them the truth of the matter, and it is time that historic figures more in a life like setting are the stuff of inspiring on TV and not cartoon like. I have nothing against cartoons, yet it is time for the next generation learn on how inspiring, innovative and generation crossing these greeks and Italians were. Some of the Italian practices are still in use 2000 years later. Julius Caesar started encryption by coding his messages. Aurelius wrote a guide that still inspires today. And that is before we consider Homer, Aristotle and a few others. History needs to teach and the classrooms aren’t getting it done, so it is time to give them a hand and the streamers are always looking for new IP, but they seemingly forgot to what the past achieved and what could be possible. Everyone wants another Game of thrones, yet those under 14 needs to be prepared for the future and a good grasp of history is the way to go. If I can create a way to create a concept of burning down a nuclear reactor using an invention from 1900 by Mr Perzy I, what could the next generation achieve when they get a good grasp of Homer, Pythagoras, Gauss and Hilbert, how good could this world end up being? There are of course no guarantees, but considering that the Pentagon cannot be relied on to properly vet translations, people elect a person as president who seemingly is proud on ‘I grabbed her by the pussy’, we seem to ignore basic knowledge and it goes beyond mathematics, or basic philosophy. As I personally see it the media (TV) has forgotten to educate, it is all about the wow, the numbers and the profit and there is every chance at least one generation is coming up short, and we get that it is not all fun and all Game of Thrones, but we need to do more, or streamers should do more to offer a wide interesting scope of educational programs. We could rely on the Squid games to control the population but is that the way big wigs want to go at present? They need numbers for circulation, for ratings and when you decrease the population by X, those numbers would never be reached. Now an argument could be made that certain ratings are easier met when you only have 78% of the population to work with but that requires math, does it not? 

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Historic detours

We all do them, I do them a lot. On any course from A to B, I tend to take detours every day. For one, I walk a lot and I like the scenery to change, it might not make much sense if you are the avid automobile fan, yet when you walk it makes a lot of sense. It can be that one route has a cinema and I want to see what is coming. That thought makes less sense nowadays, but in the past there were windows with photo’s of movies coming and movies playing. Then thee are the detours the mind makes. Those tend to make a lot less sense, even to the wielder of that brain. The Brain wants to let you know something and it tells you in its own way. Through the dream state when you are asleep, through a day dream or even through a small jump away from what you were thinking. We all have them, we pay attention (at times), we will it away or we ignore, we tend to take different strides with any mind jump. 

This happened to me today when I was doing something meaninglessly simple, mind-numbing and the brain just took over. I was at a school, not sure which one, or where. The kids spoke English, but I did not connect to the location and I have no kids, so I am at a loss on that part. The kids were eating food and a I saw a ‘pretend it is Mexican day’ sign. The sign was troublesome in a few ways but that does not matter. It was then that I noticed the food. I thought they were all enjoying enchiladas. The rolled or is that wrapped food in a thick tortilla, it was then that I took notice of the smell, the sweetness, the stuffing and then things started to make sense. The kids all had rolled up pancakes, rolled like a tortilla and the stuffing was not that of an enchilada. It was filled with fruits. Then I saw others with some kind of chili, but it was I think cranberry mash with berries, bananas and stuff, the enchiladas had some kind of jam, dried fruits, tangerine parts and I think apricot slices. They were all having fruit dishes all shaped and imaged after Mexican food, the sign made more sense now. And it makes sense, the detours allowed me to design the 5G solution I created, this is not the same, but set to a similar premise. The mind can fill voids, but it can also label and identify things it is aware of. So what if kids see the same shape as a bowl of chili, as a enchilada yet not the same. What if the apple served can no longer hold the attention it once had? What if the premise needs change? It is not unheard of, it is not even that weird. The detour can serve as a journey marker and that is how we get to the actual stirrer of the trouble I saw. 

Two headlines needs to be shown. Once gives us ‘Amazon is ‘nearing a deal’ with EA to produce a Mass Effect show’, the second one is ‘Ex-Bioware Writer Explains His Concerns About a Mass Effect or Dragon Age TV Series’. They matter, but not the way you think. There is one clear truth that I never steered clear of. The Mass Effect series (1-3) is one of the 10 best stories to ever grace the ENTIRE video game industry. In 2007 they started something that had not ever been shown before and the universe of gamers took notice. It was a few years later that we were treated to a sequel which was nothing less than one of the best games that would ever launch on a console. Yes, Mass Effect was big and even as there were rumblings on episode three, I never joined them, the story as a whole was amazing and that story can still compete with almost anything today. They screwed it up with Andromeda, but the original was and will remain a legendary achievement. 

Soon on console and TV

So whilst I do not know if there will be concerns, if there will be issues, if there will be larger ‘fears’. Consider the first game, when we go beyond the game, the setting that we forget is that the Citadel is well over 4 times the size of Manhattan, optionally a bit bigger and that implies that there are 3-4 seasons ready to be made. 

Consider Doctor Michel, getting extorted, running supplies to a merchant in the Lower Wards in order to avoid a “secret” of hers getting out. A 5 minute mission, easily converted to a full episode, or as a sideline in larger storylines over two episodes. Now consider that the first game alone has over 60 side quests, all optional stories in their own rights. We might not care about some of them, but the truth is we were never given to goods so that we would care and that matters. Just consider that we remember the stars of a show, yet how many can give us the sidekicks in Buffy? The sidekicks in Bones? The sidekicks in Battlestar Galactics? Dexter? Now consider that Spike (from Buffy) was supposed to get killed off in the beginning. Yet he stayed around for 7 seasons. The writers had something to work with and they were handed time to show value in a character. That could happen to Mass Effect as well. The benefit (for Amazon) is that they get handed something with a proper foundation, a story that can go places. And in this we see a larger stage evolving, the games are starting to set the need for TV and movies. We knew about movies, we all saw Jolie (aka Mrs Smith) in Tombraider, but the stage is now altering, games are making a larger headway into TV and the solver screen. I wonder if this is to the well of creativity drying up, or is it that games bring optional a million plus fans to the TV screen and that startup is interesting to producers. I am not sure what the answer is, because I never really considered that setting before. Yet if that is true, then the settings for Bethesda will alter a lot over the next few years. And that too matters for gamers, because the franchise that grows tends to evolve and gamers love a game that truly evolves (not iterates like Ubisoft). In this there is no telling what Ubisoft can do with their AC franchise. 

Yet in all this, I wonder what we will be treated to next. I am not siding with the worry population, I will see and judge when it hits the TV or big screen. I have seen enough on both sides to worry up front, and we all saw our fill of ‘failed’ series. Yet plenty of those ended up being true gems (Dollhouse 2009, Firefly 2002, Rome 2005, Star Trek 1966) and it is interesting that Star Trek ended up with 9 spin offs and 10 movies. So taking the word of the critics is debatable from the start. 

I hope that Mass Effect will get the proper audience and get the right stage for people to care about a good story, because the story is everything, especially in TV. 

So why this detour?
You see, what we see and what we perceive is not the same. What we see is what we are offered to see and what we perceive tends to be based on the presentation of others and the ‘critics’ as well as ‘critics’ who have other venues to promote are the fake news bringers, especially in this day and age. Some of these ‘critics’ know that people have one purse, they can only spend money ONCE, so they are getting more and more careful on what they spend money on and Amazon Prime knows that (its a Netflix issue), so they need to get the larger population on board sooner, and some ‘critics’ have friends at Netflix and other places too, so they are eager to promote one and push down the other for whatever reason they hand us and they have a larger digital market to push their view, their need and the need of their friends. That is the stakeholder game and it is hitting TV series as well, yet only now will the push be more pronounced then ever before. But that is merely my view on the matter. 

Will Mass Effect succeed? I cannot tell, I will not give my answer one way or the other, but take notice. It comes from one of the truly great stories in gaming and that matters. I reckon we will see something real in 2023-2024. 

Have a great Sunday.

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Alternative income

It seems that I hate Bethesda, I do not, I am not happy that they are part of Microsoft now, but that was their right. It is Microsoft I do not trust. So as I was playing (yet again) Fallout Shelter, we need to see how close to perfect that game is and it is a free game. The optionally dropped the ball on two issues, maybe three if they played their cards right, but that was their choice, gamer ended up with a near perfect version of gaming and that is what we all wanted (even though I would have paid $5-$15 for the game). Yet the game is not new, it is innovative adjusted, the origins of this setting goes back to Dungeon Keeper (1997), we tend to forget these little details. And when I say ‘innovate’ Bethesda truly did that to the game and their game rocks. 

It did however made me consider the stage and how it could be adapted. There was a Westworld edition, I had only heard about it, I never played it. The game was too much of a copy. Yet the setting of Dungeon keeper is one I tend to circle back to. It is the origin of that game that drives my thoughts. There is no advantage setting this to a larger Bethesda stage, Bethesda already owns it, but perhaps there are options in the Ultima stage (Richard Garriott), there could be a drive  through Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, there are plenty of options, but it is the drive of creation, with a little grasp of pragmatism (perhaps 1-3 optional micro transactions) that would make it work. The first thing is not the game, it is understanding the drive of the gamer, from that point we can move on to see what optional franchise has the larger cluster. We can chose any game, but if it has only 20 fans, the drive to a population large enough to make it work is one that we have to surpass and greed driven people always want revenue now (not me though). There are the protected franchises (Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings) that had its own barriers. There are less known franchises (Ultima) that has dedicated protectors, so we can align ourselves with a protector, or find IP that is no longer protected (which tends to take time). I stated it before and will do so again, on the Amiga Millennium 2.2 had close to all we need, so how to make that a success? To do that you need to understand the mechanics of the game. We can work with clocks, the free game only allows a clock speed of 4 and 5 skip days per day, when you buy anything, even once you get the option of clock speed 8 and that can be avoided by a one time payment of $4 giving you direct access to 16 times the speed and unlimited skips, considering that it takes up 235 days to fly to Uranus (I had to allow for that pun), we see a game that could show us optional revenue. Then there is the stage of the arcade, change your mobile into an arcade machine, play the old games for $0.99 and it will keep a track of up to 3 games, for $4 you can add 10 slots and every month another game is released, another of the classic games that can be played, the amounts of fathers that spend a fortune in quarters can now play their favourite game (optionally) for a mere $0.99, how is that not a guaranteed drive? And the nice part is that dozens of these games were never IP protected, it was not an issue in those days. 

There is a whole world out there ready for the visionary programmer to dig into, covid be damned. 

And when we see that some older games are almost forgotten (Paradroid, Boulder Dash, Spy vs Spy,  Joust, and not to forget Theme Hospital), we tend to think as what is old is useless, but there are real diamonds there. I still believe that a proper set Magic Carpet could do really well on consoles (no micro transactions), optionally mobiles could people forget their destinations when they get sucked into Populous, as such I wonder why the people at Electronic Arts are not awake. Another larger player used to be Epyx, and I cannot fathom why a game like Chip-bits, never was rereleased when the systems grew up, there are other players like Laser Squad, that might have gotten right what a legendary game like X-Com missed when they relaunched. And when the Rock (Dwayne Johnson) relaunched the game as a movie, no one considered that Arcade classic was fun to play and relaunching it might have been an option? I am not sure if there were IP’s in place and who owned it, but it seems that the owners did not move on the IP, as such I merely wonder why. 

As for the number one question you all have, why am I not doing it? The answer is simple. I am not a programmer and I am ready with my IP, but those with the $$$ (or £££) haven’t reacted yet, but that does not stop my mind of remaining creative and if it is a win for the gamers, it is a win for all of us. Life at times is that simple. I know my strengths, I also know my weaknesses and limitations, the latter two you tend to avoid for obvious reasons. Well, it is time to fee the inner person with a shepherds pie, I am feeling peckish!

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Have at it

I just had an idea, it happens, we all do. It happens whilst I was watching the Downton Abbey movie, for some reason my mind wandered about time travel, the time travel stories we have seen in the cinema, the TV series and the stage of altering the past, yet what if this was different (it always is), I remembered a line in some Star Trek novel giving us “How can we set any station to something that never happened?”, or something of the sort. It gave me another notion, one I am not exploring in the story I was writing, so I am putting it here. What if aliens came to alter history, our history, not to do us harm, but to prevent us from harming them. Consider that we find the setting to dimensional travel (which is done by altering the vibration speed of the electron), it would allow us to see another dimension, this is not new, It has been done before. Yet what happens when we visit an alternative universe where we embraced MASER technology and during the 70’s we used masers to carpet area’s, that technology was not in our reality, so as it comes here, we see a much more powerful and less peace driven people use it as a weapon. When that time is changed, the victims of a maser mine take matters into their hands and decide on a timeline change, one that stops the dimension gap from being explored. So we get in the first  setting an alien invasion, in the second setting our technological advancement in the form leading to invention that were never ours and the stage that we have to be stopped, so how to go about it?

It was  simple application of drive, fears and expectations to set the brief in motion. Ah well, feel free to tinker with it. In light of what is written here, it takes some work, a lot more than the field I designed when I set towards meeting nowhere where we see 8 couples meeting on some kind of a station and no-one has a clue why they are here, or where they are. A setting that has us wondering the bottom of the sea and the vastness of space, so far I have the setting up to the cliffhanger of season 3, but I will admit that season three is still empty. Like season 1 where I set the option of what they did not see coming (and I know what is on the other end), so as they are in a stage where they are on a third between here and the sombrero universe, they went into season 2 and ending the season we see the second way station which is a lot larger and a lot closer to the sombrero universe. A vast connection of what might be, and why not?

So as we look into the IP I casually throw away (mostly undone IP), I see another setting of where we are, we are in a stage of ideas that are flowing over us like a waterfall (it is in my case), I would gladly hand that part over for some sleep, yet there is still the other part, how can we create original IP? Even as Netflix is throwing $17 billion this year alone at new series and the continuation of existing series. I am wondering if there is anything truly original left? When we see the old series and the originality that the set as well as the foundation for other series, I merely wonder, is there anything left? It makes sense for others to grasp at what DC and Marvel have and soon other comics will find their materials in a much stronger movie setting, but that is for another day. For now I need to ponder on original choices, even as my idea seems original, it is founded on the original story RendezVous with Rama, I openly admit that and even as I made a lot of it original, there is a link because my work is an homage to the original thinker Arthur C. Clarke. It is not always good what we make, but when we see the errors we design, we also tend to see around them, or to improve upon them, at least I expect that is what most of us tends to do, the rest? That is up to them.

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It is up to someone

Yup, there is always a person to point at, a person to blame, a person to delegate to and a person to expect from. We tend to be all alike in the common things, the things that need doing and it tends to motivate us. This all started a few hours ago whilst I was waking up (without coffee mind you), and I saw all kinds of news the involved $70,000. All kinds of celebrities and politicians were commenting on it. It took me a few seconds to find out the this was about the tax returns of president Trump. He had set a tax deduction of $70,000 towards that mangy coiffure of his.

I pondered as people were laughing at him and people were making claims of fraud and prosecution. Yet in all this not one voice raised the issue on the IRA, his accountant and the others involved signing off on that. Is that no interesting? Consider that a person spends $5800 a month on a haircut, it is even less likely than someone who is impotent requiring $4000 in condoms each month. In light of the setting that President Trump had set the stage with large losses I wonder who was checking his books and why the IRA approved it all. 

In all this I found that the Independent, via The Times, (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-tax-report-apprentice-hair-expenses-b659155.html) did spend some time on this. They went further by stating “The Times report also found that Trump has been feuding with the Internal Revenue Service for the last decade over a nearly $73 million tax refund he previously claimed. If the IRS were to prevail in its audit, which has seemingly stalled in recent years, Trump could be responsible for paying over $100 million to the government”, consider that he states that criminals cannot vote, can the Americans demand that a politician cannot be elected with outstanding tax bills? 

It is not merely what President Trump believes is due, or what the IRS believes is outstanding, this one case alone proves what I have been claiming for over 2 years, until tax laws are overhauled the mess in America (and the EU) will continue. I would go further that anyone opposing tax bills must do so visibly for all to see. I wonder how much opposition we see at that point. 

A stage that fuels the setting of “It reported that the former reality television star reported making a combined $427.4 million from 2004 to 2018 by selling his name and image through various endorsements and licensing deals” with an additional “The Times reported that Trump appeared to be responsible for $421 million in loans coming due in the next four years”, it gives rise to a few issues where the IRS is falling short. 

So whilst we consider the opening setting “In a bombshell, 10,000-word report following an extensive investigation, The New York Times published claims that Mr Trump, who prides himself on his business acumen, pays a minuscule amount of tax”, it seems to me that no one has been talking to his accountant and the IRS, I know that his accountant will not talk, yet the setting is not on what happened, but on the small issue whether tax laws were breached. That is the centre stage and whilst every one is in a stage of the blame game whilst attending musical chairs, the question not answered, we merely focus on “paid no federal income tax in 10 of the past 15 years and only $750 in the year he was elected”, everyone is overlooking the fact whether he broke the law. That is the stage we need to see, we see that good accountants are expensive and they are so for a reason. For those with a sense of humour, consider that Star Trek gave us the Ferengi rules of acquisition over 20 years ago, there we see in Laws 255 “A wife is a luxury… a smart accountant a necessity”, as such TV stations were more clued in towards tax needs 33 years ago. Yes, it is that disgraceful, the setting of taxation and proper taxation was an item 33 years ago and over that time NOTHING was done. This is not a Republican flaw, because over 33 years several democratic presidents were in charge; but it was never a good time, was it? I have given light to flawed tax settings for well over 5 years, not just in the US, it is a flaw all over the EU as well, the Apple issue is proof of that. Yes, we can all blame and curse at President Trump (your right to do so), but consider that the IRS is central in this mess, so who is taking the limelight in that direction?

 

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The stage of a game

We all have an idea, some have the idea of a life time, but I cannot make that claim, not because I do not have one, but because I have too many. Yes there is the call to make remasters (Knights of the Sky), there is the call to reinvent the wheel (System Shock by Nightdive Studios), or there is the need to take it to the next level, a next level that was not possible in the past, mainly because technology did not allow for it.

This is how I always saw Pirates (by Sid Meier), there was a chance where Black Flag was a nice tribute, but it was the dawn of PS4 and Xbox One and Ubisoft took a cowardly way to progress a franchise on a lack of factors. So as I initially played Black Flag, my mind went racing. And then I remembered another pirate game, a board game with additional bluff cards. So what happens, when w take the foundation of Black Flag and make it more towards the original the Sid Meier made? The map would be well over 20 times the size, a lot more like the actual map of the Caribbeans in those days, the game would not be some fruity assassin, it would be your version and you get to live the life of a cutthroat, a buccaneer, a privateer, it is up to you, to go from a small skiff to a full-grown galley or slave ship if you are good enough. You see, there is something totally awesome about the way the game Elite Dangerous is designed (by David Braben). There your life does not matter, the game does not care, nor should it and it is time to set that stage to RPG and a pirate RPG makes a lot of sense. You cannot always be a captain, you start as a simple sailor. And in this you could get to a rank if you are good enough. 

So how do we go about it, we tend to look towards the wars of adjustment, yet there are so many wars the were never on the radar, the Dutch independence wars (which took close to 80 years), the age of piracy and lets not forget the Sudan wars (Mahdist War 1881-1899), all places that seem to be forgotten. Who remembers the siege of Khartoum? Some are so set in a stage of winning, the we sometimes forget that half the fun is surviving, so how far will you get? The original siege went on from 13 March 1884 to 26 January 1885, so what happens when you are in charge, how long will you last? Games are so much about winning, the we forget the enduring is nothing less. To make it to the date or even past it would be a victory and a half. It is so American to be the victor the most of them do not understand ‘the Last Samurai’, it is not about winning, it is about not losing, or better stated, the way you live towards the final days matters more, we forgot about that part, didn’t we?

We can set any gaming stage, but it is how we play where we see if we measure up, not if we merely tap the mile poles in a game. I reckon that the achievements made us all a little complacent in games. We can go in any direction, a Hindenburg flight simulator, yet in there we will always come up short against the Microsoft flight simulator, it makes more sense for them to add the Hindenburg. Yet what happens when we turn the script? What happens when we set the stage to a simple thing, what if the player is a no one, yet his/her grandfather was Hades, Poseidon or Zeus? What happens when we map a place like Monte Carlo completely and get him to retrieve a relic that one of the 2,261 millionaires or 50 billionaires has. Is it in a house, is it on a boat or is it somewhere else (like a museum)? We can simplify any game for as much as we can, but in the end we need a healthy story and for the most Wars tend to do that (an unhealthy endeavour if ever there was one). I saw the need of a game on mines, and remembered some bomb defusing game on the CBM-64, so where to go from there? The stage of a game is important, because it sets a vested interest of the gamer, Ubisoft had the down to perfection in Assassins Creed 2 and Brotherhood and after the they lost the plot, they almost won it back in AC4 Black Flag and they definitely got it back in Origins. I would think the a Battlestar Galactica RPG is one the would be favourable with the BSG fans, but not much outside that, the same can be said for Babylon 5, the Star Trek fanbase is huge, so that tends to be a close win any given day of the week, but that does not guarantee a good game, the issue is seen when an idea with a small base entices a large following, that is the stage we all seek. CD Project Red did so with Witcher and seemingly is about to do it again with Cyberpunk 2077.  It is the setting the fuels the story, and the story is everything, I have always believed that, it is the power of an RPG. It is because of the that we see out the great stories (Tolkien), yet I wonder what happens when we try this with Herbert on a larger scale with Dune, not merely on Arrakis, why if all the other places become involved? Perhaps a visionary will see that option with the next Dune movie (2020). In this books have been the strongest source of inspiration, mainly because there are so many of them. Yet most of us go to the same source, why? I agree that it is appealing, but there are so many nations with alternatives. That is something we saw when someone created the Untitled Goose Game, brilliant t in its foundation, as such I wondered if someone had considered the same thing with a cat (Minoes, Annie M. G. Schmidt), a writer the has a following of millions in the Netherlands and Belgium. In that same setting, as Skyrim became such a hit, did anyone ever look towards the famous Spanish Comic books of the Mercenary by Segrelles? It has all the makings of a much larger game, a stage where some are set not in multiple games, but one game with a season pass and several DLC’s.

Then there is the comic hero Rork, by Andreas, or even the Trigan Empire by Don Lawrence. I remember growing up to these stories and the stories of Ravian (Valerian), I am a little surprised that the Trigan Empire never made it to the silver screen or the computer, Don Lawrence has a flair for imagery and the computer always needs this. So what is the stage of a game that will be set next? The is the question and the is where players like Sony and Google/Apple will find themselves. Microsoft might be acquiring the brands (Bethesda), yet they do not have the stage alone and the next innovator might be just around the corner. For me, the idea that the $7,500,000,000 lemon the Microsoft acquired (not Bethesda mind you) would backfire largely and loudly and the would be OK with me.

As I personally see it, Microsoft pissed of true gamers and that group of people doesn’t pull punches when they play with their idols, we do not fault Bethesda in any of this, but aligning with Microsoft was not the best idea, as some say, you are only as good as your next game and Bethesda had plenty of winners, but what is next? We look not merely to the stage of the game, but to the next stage of gaming and I believe that they are too often hiding behind terms like ‘hype worthy games’, yet that is a setting from the mind of a marketing department, they predict that people who play games, will think this is a hype. Yet true hypes come from games the are on the edge of what is possible in gaming, the Witcher 3 is the perfect example there. Cyberpunk is also on the stage, neither of them are Microsoft games. Yet it was brilliant to buy Bethesda, but the also means that those who do not love the Microsoft console will look to the borders and see what else is possible, optionally setting the stage for the $7,500,000,000 lemon, not because of Bethesda, but because gamers have a lack of trust in Microsoft and the fact that some had the numbers that only 1 out of 3 considered the new Microsoft console, the gives me the impression that Microsoft has a much larger problem and buying software houses will not solve it, making visionary games do and the is the lesson Microsoft has not learned. They opened the door for Sony to look what else is out there, what else could become an exclusive and the is where Sony will win and gamers will win. Because it is on the edge of possible gaming where new gamers will be born, new games will be born and at the end of my life I see that there are options coming towards gamers, games the will create new gamers, it will create new creativity and new thinking through gaming and this is a good thing. The simple truth is the there is real gaming beyond Ubisoft and Microsoft, true gaming is never soft, it is challenging and the is where we need to look, we need to look where they are not looking. That is how I got most my IP in several fields. Not by being some bullet point presenter like all the others, but by looking in a direction they decided not to bother looking. That is how most revolutionary IP is created, and it is funny as this is the way Microsoft and Ubisoft started, to look where no was. Too bad they forgot about the part of the equation and I reckon the Sony is waking up to that lesson at present.

 

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What is the good place?

It’s Sunday, I am currently watching the original Planet of the Apes, it is one way to pass the time, just watch an actual classic. I have had an interesting day. With my mind on creativity, the series ‘the Good Place’ inspired me to a different miniseries. Consider a simple inventor, the man is a Civil Engineer, and he comes up with the bright notion of inventing a different kind of heavy metal filter, a way that is based on centrifugation. It is a simple yet novel idea, and he submits the idea and registers the patent. It is not a week later when he is suddenly invited for a meeting with an ‘interested party’, when he gets there he sees that the ‘interested parties’ involve a politician and a former employer. Before he knows what is happening, his patent is under attack, the politician and the former boss have sought legal assistance and they claim that the patent was stolen. In the end, after the court case they take 100% and he ends with nothing. Over time he learns that the judge was in on it, he had become a silent partner in the event that scores them $6,000,000,000 split 6 ways. 

This starts the plan where he starts to get even. The clock now jumps 12 years, the 6 are of course really happy, and during that event the social engineer walks in and shoots the entire party, the thieves their partners and 11 children. 

The next moment we see that they are in heaven, the 6 families are there, and they have large mansions, cherubs that take care of their needs and they are seemingly happy. It is at this point that the floor comes down from under them. The idea is that the civil engineer got away from hell somehow and is not wreaking havoc in heaven, yet in all this, heis focused on the 6 families, taking one child after another, all to be collected and placed on a cage of emonic thorns, making the children sign over their souls for their parents non prosecution of theft, all the kids agree and are dropped into hell, at that point the parents have to select heaven or hell, in the end only one accepts the exchange and jumps into hell with the key that will unshackle his child. 

That is as far as I got, the link to the good place is seen when in the end it shows that they were all in hell, the heaven impression was done in a deal between the head demon (Asmodeus) and the civil engineer to get his revenge. The deal was his soul freely given to teach the thieves a lesson. Yet the civil engineer has another part in all this, as the thieves sign over their allegiance towards their soul for the absolution of their crime, the second plan comes into effect. It will be his ticket out of hell. 

That is as far as I got, it took about an hour to think it through, there is a lot more, but I will not bore you with that part, not for as long as it is not properly scripted. 

This was my state of mind as the news hit me on the Coronavirus, the idea that the US has 52,000 deaths to the coronavirus, 25% of all global deaths, and they are now reopening (to some degree) their country, apart from a president making (sarcastic or not) some claim that the body can be cured from the coronavirus by applying detergent to it. In all this, we get the realisation that Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Trump both seem to live at Pennsylvania Avenue 1600,it seems that Disney characters are getting a living upgrade. Not bad for a weekend, is it?

Yet the idea of making an iteration of the Good Place wasn’t my initial idea, yet I reckon is that this series has had its impact, yet my version is not a comedy, it is much darker, heaven almost exceptionally puritan, and hell is dark and fire red in aspects (I haven’t been there yet so my view on this place is still shaping. Yet if we agree that we are driven by the seven sins and the seven virtues, the trap we make for ourselves is that there is a lack of balance. If Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness and humility are on one side, what is on the other? Pride? Avarice? Envy? Wrath? Lust? Gluttony? Sloth? As I see it, they nullify one another, like a seesaw we are on the twisting point between sin and virtue, how can we chose the balance? If Lust and Chastity are on a seesaw and our setting is the axial, how can we select? Love is a combination of many facets, lust and chastity are part of it, but they do not stand alone and we are in a stage to keep the seesaw balanced. The issue is not lust or chastity, it is fear and greed. The US reopening their places (to some extent). In all this the numbers are screaming part of the idiocy (as I see it), all these nations, the EU at almost 750 million citizens. Then we get India, Asia and in all this, the registered deceased spans 25% of the world, that is the US. Reopening stores and trying to get back into the swing of things is a choice and perhaps it is the better one, I do not have the knowledge to debunk it, but the larger healthcare message is lockdown, there is wisdom in that too. Knowing what is best is not for me to say. I understand both sides and as we see Bloomberg giving us one side,the NPR rolls in another direction, like the seesaw, the axial of balance is in the middle, yet to what direction should we swing? The problem is that for most of us the balance point is influenced by fear and equally by greed. Greed might not be pronounced outspokenly by a lot of people, but greed is a reason we must address. Even as for most it will be about the ability to pay the bills, is it any less greed driven? We might all see greed as evil (I at times do that too), yet the need to survive is also laced with greed, the need we have to pay our bills, we call it differently, but it remains a form of greed and not all greed is pure evil. This reminds me of an original Star Trek episode, it was called ‘the Enemy within’, the realisation that the good Kirk and the evil Kirk need one another, if balance of ruthlessness and empathy is essential to make sensible decisions, we see another path that we all face. The more primal the drive,the more direct the balance between both elements is seen. We are at times driven to deny the negative emotions, yet the early lockdown the harsh decision (or logic) behind it might have lowered the curve for the US, we cannot tell for certain, it is too late now, but the fact remains, in a nation with 325 million people, out of a population of 8,000 whilst there are over 2.5 million of cases and the number of deceased in the USA represents 25% of all corona victims. The numbers seem to indicate that lowering the curve sooner would have been better, but I have always stated that there is more to this virus, and so far the US is still in a beginning stage, as such the 25% might be a low number for now and the bad side is that the reopening of the US in a week might signal a very negative situation. We can speculate on this until we are old and grey, but reality will show us what will be soon enough. 

We will all make up our own minds, some will blame 5G and burn down Wifi masts, some will blame the chinese (again) and come up with more matters to prosecute and in all this, the history of the other versions of corona are ignored, we can ask any cat, but they are seemingly merely the victims in all this. It seems that the bosses that mploy a lot of us are soon to be seen as good and bad, which will upset the curve a lot, but no matter how we look towards the future and where we look, we need to find a balance within ourselves and propagate that outwards, that is essential to create a balance within ourselves, because no matter how this all goes, there is every indication that the month may will see the first of several cycles of blaming the people around us. 

 

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A night with Clio and Alecto

It started 2 days ago, I have been wondering about the news (no actual new news, just the rehash) and what to write about. I heard snippets all over the place on ‘more of the same‘ and ‘lack of originality‘, yet until yesterday (around 03:30) I had no idea what to consider when the article (at https://www.inverse.com/article/58121-google-stadia-launch-games-6-aaa-titles-to-get-in-november) hid behind ‘6 Huge Google Stadia Launch Games That Will Make You Rethink Consoles‘ to invoke interest in the Google Stadia.

It was the sight of 6 titles that had been available for some time that made me wonder if some people at Google had any idea what they are doing, so I decided now to counter it.

When we look at these games, we see a first person need, no one denies this, yet if the power is applied, we can go so much further. For example, we might see the RPG giant System Shock in a new light (it is being remade). We might look at the Citadel (Mass Effect Series) and consider it is too big (or the death star for that matter), but the situation is nice and contained. What if we set up a large space station, fill it with crew, not spawning them at certain stages, but a station with the amount of people that would ordinary fill a space station. Now the Death Star has been rumoured to contain a crew of 265,675, as well as 52,276 gunners, 607,360 troops, 30,984 storm troopers, 42,782 ship support staff, and 180,216 pilots and support crew, so too large. Yet is the idea too far-fetched? What if we scoop back to Citadel Station (System Shock version) and we have to contain a situation with 5300 people? Now the numbers start making sense. The game has difficulty settings impacting available ammunition, health food and so on and in addition, we can set the scenario to Contagion (zombie apocalypse), Competitor (sabotage), Patent run (thief) and Entity removal (assassin), each with their own issues, challenges and options. The ability to blend in, to not be seen, to steal stuff and more important to remain hidden whilst you optionally kill (or incapacitate) a specific target. Yet the station is different, the crew is completely managed by the system and in some cases it has to be done within a time frame (any except the zombie apocalypse). The option to do it alone, do it together and the fact that this location can be reused gives it all a larger replayability value on a long term premise.

To some extent System Shock had many parts, yet the original had floors and the enemy would not pass that boundary. What if that is not a constraint? What happens when a place that big becomes its complete environment? Like the station on IO in the movie Outland (excellent role by Sean Connery). What if we had a station where the ‘AI’ error of waves of people do not panic (like in AC Unity, repeated to some extent in Syndicate), what if a proper hidden body does not set off alarms immediatly, but what if a missed shift does alert security to seek for the person, a station requiring ID badges becomes a new challenge.

How is this original?

Because the template might have been used to give rise to the environment, it can be any space station. Games like Destiny, Doom, are all about trigger point, all about spawn points and all about flag points. Yet what happens when it is already all there, how do we get through the game when we set off alarms, when we alert security by giving rise to an alarm. I think that this is the part that Hitman 2 really got right. Some will raise concern, but a lot of NPC should not notice, and that is at the centre of a much larger interaction. What if we consider that the stages of Hitman 2 are too confined (not for the story they had mind you), what if an entire city is the premise; do you think that every cop known everyone? They react to the badge, the uniform (medic), the identity (clearance) beyond that they often do not. So to set the ‘futuristic’ stage, millions of gaming fans have voiced the desire to actually walk around the Death Star, On Babylon 5, on the Enterprise, on Citadel Station and so on, yet no one pushed to make it happen to the degree possible, even Mass Effect Andromeda dropped to ball to the greatest extent there, an original game that allowed for (non IP secured locations) to be addressed. Locations to be originally designed, all with the option of giving a run, a challenge and optionally a group of friends united to stop an infection ramping through thousands. We now have the technology (we have had it for 5+ years) and yet they all rehash IP that has been done before. We even see YouTube on the 32 games that are coming, yet rehashing is not a solution, yes they do have some new titles, yet all IP that is already out there, or titles that will also come to other formats. It is interesting, yet we have seen since the very first PlayStation and Nintendo 64 that their true growth was through unique IP, I wonder when Google will figure that part out. We accept that sometimes doing something over is easier and I accept that, yet when we see that these designers ignore dozens of great titles that are on My Abandonware and evolve these titles into a new stage and challenge that will captivate its Google Stadia audience is interesting to say the least. Even now some of these original creators are looking at bringing life to what was an excellent game and turn it into a new great game. I wonder why Google might have thought that this was a path that was not googley enough for them to walk on.

Dinner with Clio

There had been noise around Netflix, several sources, including the article (at https://www.barrons.com/articles/netflix-stock-has-new-worries-including-disney-and-the-loss-of-friends-51563582983) give us a view on optional issues. The article gives us: “For its second quarter, Netflix added 2.8 million net new international subscribers and lost 126,000 U.S. users, versus Wall Street expectations for 352,000 domestic additions and 4.8 million international adds“, some might state that Netflix was not on the ball; personally I believe that Wall Street was setting the stage where the insiders could profit from the backlash of “The company’s shares fell 10% on Thursday, a day after the results. They fell another 3% on Friday“, it is a personal believe, but when we see that the difference between company and Wall Street is a difference of 2.2 million subscribers, a difference of almost 50%, it implies that Wall Street remains unfamiliar with realism. In light of the growing group of streaming services (Disney, Stan, and so on) gives additional rise to the delusional view of Wall Street, especially when you consider that Disney has Marvel in its corner. Yet with the spending spree of Netflix that is set to a $15 billion budget is also a concern. Even as Netflix studios are a one-time expense, the growth needs to come from new IP and mastering innovation in stories, it is the one part that Google and Netflix have in common. I can’t comprehend that they are not considering cooperation in that regard. There is overlap, but one that could be overcome, especially if they need to push Google Stadia to a much stronger position with Microsoft and Apple biting at their heels. They have to set a stage where they can overcome that optional weakness.

As such I decided to give a little diner party, Clio and Melpomene were in attendance, Clio came with a plus one. Not only did they confirm my view of Wall Street, they gave me another example, one I did not know, a story that never made it to print ever.

There is no time, there is no date, it was late summer and in the cool breeze of night, 4800 years before Jesus of Nazareth would be born Hades met with Apollo in a temple at Gortyn. There was no reason, or none that anyone remembers. They merely crossed paths to exchange words. It was after the talk when Hades walked towards the waters at Lentas that he sensed something, he sensed the end of a life and anguish, anguish to a degree that was rare and he moved in a blink to that source. He found a young woman; she looked at him, in pain and anticipation, but not in fear. It took Hades back for a second, this young woman showed more strength and dignity than the thousands of soldiers he received from the battlefields. He gave strength to her to heal by smearing the smallest amount of ambrosia over her lips, her wounds dissipated slowly to show true beauty, her name was Anemone, she was no one special, merely the daughter of a fisherman, brutally raped and left for death. Hades picked her up and took her to a shelter. It was during that night he bedded her and she gave herself to Hades. In that shelter she felt truly happy for months, and it was not until the second week of May that she gave birth, it was not something that she would survive, to give birth to the child of an Olympian was taxing enough the power of death that was there was too strong and it claimed her. Yet Hades knew that would happen, this was now all planned. The baby was named Elissa and Hades set forth his first part, he left her in the care of Tisiphone, Megaera and Alecto. The furies would raise her until she was ready. Over the next years 7-10 Elissa grew fast and became stronger and stronger. The realm of the Furies gave her a never ending supply of cannon fodder. Yet the furies were well versed in all matters and she was not merely of steel, Alecto taught her how to be anyone, to take shape, and how to reshape form. Form was a weapon that could attack the senses, the ability to temper anger to any degree and drive her opponents utterly insane. Tisiphone took Elissa under her wing to teach her about the act of murder, to see in other ways, the ability to charm any snake instantly and make it do her bidding. Elissa learned that cutting a small lock of her hair and cast it could turn it into a snake, to merely draw some poison from it, or let the snake scout for her. She could see through its eyes and she could see the heat of people without the use of a snake, in the deepest night she could see all around her and they could never hide their warmth from her. Her reflexes honed to new heights she was able to strike in the blink of an eye, her daggers thin and short would ensure death to all requiring the veil of Hades to fall over their eyes. Finally she ended with Megaera and there thing changed, as she taught Elissa the power of envy, to see the true worth and value Megaera did something Hades never expected. You see there is an unwritten link between the Furies and the Muses, it is that link that Magaera relied on in the past to see what is true from false and there the game changed. The furies always remember the services rendered and it was at that point that Terpsichore taught Elissa the art of dance and with that skill new levels of balance and creativity were taught to Elissa, Erato taught her poetry of the heart, so that she could always see the true love from the false one, feelings from deceit, as well as truth from planned falsehood, finally there was Thalia who taught her comedy, because Magaera had seen how the jester, the funny person was often overlooked by others, by serious people driven to greed, Elissa looked deeper into poetry and learned that comedy is not merely a relaxant, it was also an interesting weapon. As the lessons ended Elissa had levels of balance never seen in any person that was not Olympian, and it was at that point that Alecto fed Elissa her dinner which put her to sleep and started the dream of what her mother faced that fateful night near Lentas and they unleashed Elissa on the world.

What exactly happened that night will never be known, yet the 4 old men that ravaged her mother were found feasting on the flesh of their sons, who had grown up to be as despicable as their fathers were. In the morning the villagers found the four elderly feasting on a broth containing the bodyparts of their sons; skulls, ligaments were visible in the cauldron, the men old, grey and turned utterly insane chanting slowly and fearful “ένα ακόμα δάγκωμα για συγχώρεση“, Elissa had completed her training and was unleashed on the world, the furies regarded her as ready for a plan of their own.

In a blazing sun

It was deep summer; the sun was relentlessly beating the streets and people. A woman was walking the streets of Heraklion; she ignored the weather and casually looked at market stalls. The street was filled with tourists and she got plenty of smiling looks, it bothered her not, over the centuries she had gotten used to it. She had not seen Heraklion for decades, so she took it all in, she was on an errant to take out a murderer, she was still every much the girl the furies trained, slowly walking towards her goal, it was a building on Evaggelistrias and as she observed the building from a distance, looking at where she needed to be, she looked back at watching the poor boy beaten to death only 2 days before, the police had no clue, but she was not the police, she looked at the building and she saw her target, the two man relaxing, smiling, laughing and drinking beer, they felt good about themselves. She waited patiently until 18:30, most people were starting their meal and she slowly and quietly walked into the building. there was no movement, no sense of anyone and she walked up to their front door, she dropped a lock of hair and quietly entered the house and moved swiftly into the house, the two men were in the kitchen fetching beer and slicing meat, she walked past them as their backs were turned so that the balcony was not a place they could flee from she knocked on the wall and as the men walked with surprise into the living room she merely stared them in the eyes, as her eyes turned deep black, they went pale and white, they over overcome by fear so intense that they dropped their beers, and rant out the door only to see the large snake on the steps, they screamed and ran up, they kept running in fear feeling the hunt of danger behind them hissing loudly, they ran onto the roof running past the water tanks until there was no roof left, they never stopped running, not even as they fell to the grass field on Anogion and the last they felt was the anguish and pain of broken bones blood leaving their bodies and the sound of hissing snakes until darkness set it. Elissa picked up the snake and softly placing the snake in her bag, she would release the snake outside the city limits, her work was done.

That was merely the beginning!

It took me 30 minutes to come up with this idea, another 30 minutes to look into ancient Greece (and a few maps) and 30 minutes to write this, so when we see the implied lack of originality, I am not sure what that was coming from. Creativity is all around us, and it only needs to right spark to set the stage to something fresh. I believe it to be just around the corner and Netflix has an advantage, Disney will not consider certain paths, they rely on families and fairy floss sugary sweetness, it is partially the weakness that Achilles showed (see Brad Pitt in Troy). I believe that the people want something darker. It might have started with an unknown British director named Ridley Scott when he made Alien in 1979; it was that feeling that I had when watching that movie and that same feeling I felt came to me again when I saw Brightburn. It might seem a little shallow, it is not overly epic, but that same feeling is what David Yarovesky left in me, he got the jackpot and if Marvel does not see that and use it (for example in Moon Knight), they will miss out soon enough, Netflix has an advantage because of the limitation that Disney keeps and even if they go via Fox, the delays they call for give Netflix an edge, they merely need to find the right spark to entice watchers, Google faces the same setting, imitation might be the path to flattery, but in this game originality and creativity are much more powerful partners, Even now decades later we still listen to Queen, watch Firefly (or Star Trek) and we watch Top Gun, again and again. Originality and creativity did that, not imitation.

So find your muse and get creative

 

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The Yellowback politician

There is a phrase I initially heard on an episode of Star Trek (decades ago), the phrase goes “Do I detect a streak of yellow across the good fellows back?“, it was Dwight Schultz (aka Howling Mad Murdoch) as Reginald Barclay in an episode where he pretends to be Cyrano de Bergerac in the episode Hollow Pursuits, and weirdly enough, it all seems to fit, I know that it is just crazy coincidence, but that is just what it is, coincidence (and crazy to boot).

So when we see (in the Guardian at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/01/eu-powers-resist-calls-for-iran-sanctions-after-breach-of-nuclear-deal) the quote: ““Today I call on all of the European countries: stick to your commitment,” he said. “You committed to act as soon as Iran violates the nuclear deal; you committed to activate the mechanism of automatic sanctions that were determined by the Security Council. So I’m telling you: do it. Just do it.”” yet it seems that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is talking to a room full of deaf people, it is exactly as the headline states: ‘EU powers resist calls for Iran sanctions after breach of nuclear deal‘, you see, no matter how it falls, the initial target is not Europe, it will be Israel or Saudi Arabia, I reckon that it is 4 to 1, 80% chance Israel cops it first and only a 20% chance that Saudi Arabia does. In those odds, Europe does not have any risk and playing the waiting game and merely act out to some degree if one of the two is hit will be fine by them, it is the usual response from those graced with the constitution of a weasel. Even as we see the hollow ‘Focus is on averting further breaches and UK says it remains committed to 2015 deal‘, they merely prefer there not be any additional breaches. They ignore the fact that Iran could have temporarily halting production, they ignore that the reporting moment does not coincide with the moment Iran officially transgressed that line, they ignore that there is credible intelligence (OK, more wild rumours) that there is more than one additional unmarked enrichment site, that is all ignored, merely they prefer not to see additional breaches. When there is no skin in the game, when the economy has no real suffrage, the inaction game can be played, no matter who gets hurt.

What they fail to see is that no matter who gets hit, both Israel and Saudi Arabia have no options but to strike Iran, perhaps that is why all the arms deals were stopped? One could argue that the quote: “European leaders had urged Iran not to breach the deal, but the focus may now be on dissuading Iran from taking further, more serious steps away from the terms“, it could optionally be seen as a soft approach towards containing the fallout, quite literally so, and yet there is a first. It will be the first time when Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel as well as the true allies both have the stage where they all unite in a single need, the destruction of Iran, part of me hopes that this happens, it will be the first signal towards the EU to clean their house, it will be the first time that this union will bring fear to the heart of Turkey, they bet the wrong horse and now they become a target right next to Lebanon and Hezbollah.

Whatever proxy path was optionally in play will now fall away because no nation has ever faced the wrath of both Israel and Saudi Arabia at the same time. Those who played games in that fashion have no place to run to, they have no borders to hide behind, whatever small options these players have, Qatar, Oman, Yemen, Egypt and whatever sympathisers are out there in these nations, facing the wrath of both sides of borders is not a game they signed up for, as such the escalation will be swift and very violent. At that point it will be the first move of Iran to ‘suddenly’ give way to emergency meetings and sit down for some agreement, at that point the EU better sit on the side and not interfere, at that point the race will overtake manners and devour Iran. It is at that point that people like Ali Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani will make some hopeful statement on errors made within the rank and press for a diplomatic deal and some peace conference, but it will be too late, we should not hear of it and those so called European leaders who resisted calls better get out of the way at that point, they missed the option, they scathed their duty and the should remain silent, run and become a barber or an uber driver, it is basically all they have left.

I would prefer to avoid all these complications, but the inactions of those relying on gravy trains and non-commitment have burned their own boats and their own bridges, Iran will not learn one way, so they will have to learn another way. It took me a few hours to design an optional solution to cripple their navy, I feel certain that I could take a look at their air force and airfields and give some additional fun (solving puzzles is actually a lot of fun).

And it goes beyond that, even as we see: ‘Israel preparing for possible military clash between US and Iran‘, it is more likely than not that US will halt its stance before the military clash happens, it will run to the border with all might, but not commit to an armed exchange, it will however not stand in the way of Israel and Saudi Arabia when they do strike, this differs them from the EU, the EU will do whatever they can to force any negotiation, even after a first strike by Iran, optionally via Hezbollah or Houthi forces and that makes this game a lot more dangerous this time around. As no one was able to stop Iran arming the other two, we are in the dark on how much was delivered and how these two will strike. Houthi forces will strike Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah will strike both Israel and Saudi Arabia, yet Hezbollah will more likely than not hide behind Houthi outfits, the rest is still open. As CNN reported hours ago, “Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a drone attack Tuesday on Abha International Airport, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels confirmed the drone attack and said it believed Tehran was involved in the operation“, the problem is not merely the attack on the airports, it seems that Houthi (or its Hezbollah/Iranian operators) are getting more adapt at their actions implying that the targets might change soon enough, the fact that Iran is out of options also implies that they need Houthi forces to hit Saudi Arabia harder and that is more likely than not going to happen. Until the shipments stop Saudi Arabia is facing a battle on 2-3 fronts, a third front will happen if Hezbollah openly commits towards Iran and the Al Qurayyat region. There is no intelligence to prove that, but tactically Hezbollah could use that stage to also increase pressures on Jordan and Saudi Arabia at the same time; I cannot help but wonder on how far this could escalate and I cannot stop but wonder how the ignorant inactive politicians in Europe let it come to this. They all knew what was at stake; they all left it to some proclaimed expectation of ‘US actions’ who in their current state could not even afford to go to war with the 17th century VOC (and a 17th century technology navy), their state is pretty bad. Even if they score immediate hits on Iran, it will escalate and until they get direct fire support from both Saudi Arabia and Israel, this could escalate out of proportions giving rise to serious damage to Jordan, Bahrain, and the UAE to boot. Iran will avoid pushing Qatar, but there is no guarantee that they avoid damage. It is a mess that could soon become uncontrollable; the inactions of Europe push for that scenario more and more.

I personally believe that it will come to blows within the next few weeks. I would be extremely happy if it could be avoided, yet as the present stage is, I am uncertain as to how it can be avoided, the best chance would be a first strike on Iran and see if Iran realises that they pissed off too many sides at the same time, but that is not a given. They might not have any chance to win, but they can still do loads of damage to several players and there is no denying that the IRGC is ready for battle, making a quick victory over Iran extremely unlikely, or perhaps it might be more correct to state that a quick victory is only possible through a severe impact on all fighting sides, a cornered party will do weird jumps and that has been a truth in life and nature like forever, so the entire situation is not out of reach and let’s not forget, Iran had the option to create a stage by temporary halt enrichment and they decided not to do that. As such the escalation has clearly be on their side and no matter how the stage with America was, by surpassing enrichment amounts they have clearly given the indication that they care not for the accords and they are calling the bluff of the EU and America to escalate issues further whilst ignoring the danger that either Israel or Saudi Arabia is, as such they only have themselves to blame when the damage in Iran takes on a much larger proportion than they anticipated, the question then becomes will the attacking nations stop, or will they to prevent Iranian attacks continue until Ali Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani and their inner circles are completely removed from power. We might think that this is the best outcome, but it is not. The devil you know beats the devil you do not and in Iran there will always be another Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waiting to take the highest seat of Iranian office.

One would have hoped that the yellowback politician was an extinct breed, but that is not the case and I fear that their damage will be visible for decades to come, no matter where that damage is.

 

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Too grim a reality

It is not a new concept, it is not even original. My first introduction to the concept of mass executions was in a Star Trek Episode of 1966, ‘The Conscience of the King‘, the story about Kodos “the Executioner”. The backstory was: “In 2246, an exotic fungus destroyed most of the colony’s food supply, and its inhabitants, of which there were eight thousand, faced starvation. Kodos, implementing his own theories of eugenics, selected four thousand of the colony’s residents to be put to death, so that the remaining four thousand might survive on the limited food supplies available“, so when we were introduced to Infinity War and Thanos, the scope changed but the premise did not. This is not an attack on Marvel in any way, the idea existed and that is not an issue. Yet the reality we face is actually a lot grimmer. It is a lot more dangerous, because in my view Thanos was an optimist. At this point we (due to political inaction), we might have to cull 97% of the human race.

Scary is it not?

To see this, we need to take a look at the guardian. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/08/un-environment-report-how-australias-political-parties-plan-to-respond-to-the-crisis) gives us: ‘experts rate Australian political response to extinction crisis‘ and that is where the problem starts, politicians are there to cater to big business (for the most) and this is not in the interest of big business. Politicians have a long standing history of not doing the right thing and not putting their foot down, so inaction remains for now the best we can hope for.

So where is the problem?

The responses give a much larger issue that they have been ignoring. When we see: “review but keep existing environment laws; a $100m environment restoration fund to clean up coasts and waterways, protect threatened species and reduce waste; $189m over four years for the “direct action” climate solutions fund, in part for revegetation of degraded land” reads like an absolute joke.

For this we merely need to look at the Adani Carmichael mine. ABC reported: “The CSIRO and Geoscience Australia said the modelling used by Adani was “not suitable”, and also cast doubt over the company’s plans to protect important environments. “A number of limitations were also identified in the proposed monitoring and management approaches, indicating they are not sufficiently robust to monitor and minimise impacts to protected environments,” the agencies’ report said.” Even when we consider “Boost early warning monitoring systems between the mine and the nearby Doongmabulla Springs wetland“, as well as “Respond immediately to any unexpected groundwater impact“, when it happens it will be too late and the impact damage will have been done and finish it for generations. There is more; I wrote about it in January 2018, in the article ‘Vision or imagination‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/01/13/vision-or-imagination/) I looked at the Guardian, as well as the Cairns Post where we see “During a recent patrol blitz during the Christmas-New Year period, GBRMPA and partner agencies detected 41 instances of people fishing in the wrong zones, including no-take areas“, unless we change the rules where ANY transgressor gets their boat impounded and auctioned off for repairs of the Great Barrier Reef, this degradation will continue. In a setting where there is coral bleaching to any degree in 93% of the reef is a stage where we need to act differently, or we impose draconian laws to protect the reef, or we cull 97% of the population, I will let you decide, yet remember, politicians are all about promises and discussion, but they lack the balls to act or enforce. It makes for a better case to reduce the population (and resolve affordable housing at the same time).

It is even worse than you think

For that we need to see the words of Melissa Price, the environment minister. Her idea of: “investing in the protection of our native species and their habitats. We are investing billions of dollars to deliver a cleaner environment“, I have no idea what drugs she is on, but I would love to sample them as they are truly psychedelic in nature. You merely need to look at the impact of Cyclone Debbie and “Adani has been fighting to hide details of what it told the Queensland Government about the risk of pollution to the Great Barrier Reef ahead of Cyclone Debbie in 2017” (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-10/adani-spent-a-year-trying-to-hide-reef-spill-details/10090632). So when we see: ““Just give me a little detail and we can include and update [the temporary emissions licence],” a department staff member replied“, as well as “Adani admitted to breaching its licence, spilling polluted water into the Marine Park that was 800 per cent dirtier than was allowed” my case is pretty much made. With the apology if I sound too sexist, listening to Melissa Price and reflecting on ‘the protection of our native species and their habitats‘, I feel like I am reading a debate where a vibrator is defining the need of income for the service of any huhu where that owner shows it owns the vibrator it bought (a real graphic an none personal analogy).

So when I read in the article the response from Adani giving us: “We have elected to have the matter heard by a magistrate rather than pay a $12,000 fine, which should not have been issued in 2017 following Cyclone Debbie, and we look forward to resolution of the matter.

A $12,000 fine? Are you out of your fucking minds (I apologise; emotions got the better of me at this point)? In the end, we see that last month Adani paid the $13,055 (according to various sources) and the laughable failure of this shows just how massively the environment department failed Queensland, failed the Australian people and how it failed the environment. In light of such transgressions, in light of the utter failure what is laughingly referred to as: ‘The Environment Department‘ a clear case could be made to cull the population by 97%, CEO’s, CFO’s and politicians get to be at the front of that line.

Oh, and before you think this is me against Adani, you are wrong, Adani is merely one of the more visible examples from a list that includes hundreds of transgressors and the Australian Environment department is merely one of many that has been unable to protect the environment and truly pressure fines that start in the high millions and optionally demand and exercise a right of closure of plants who make these kinds of errors, yet that was not what this was about, merely a symptom of a much larger problem.

It is not much better on the other side of the isle. Even as we see what I regard to be labor party puppets giving us the blame game (like Tony Burke), we see “It is now clear we are on the pathway to a million extinctions, we are potentially facing the sixth mass extinction in the history of the planet [and] Australia remains the extinction capital of the world. This reinforces the need for Labor’s comprehensive policy agenda to fight extinction“, just like other Labor party sided members (like Jeremy Corbyn). We see part of this in “The Greens were “deeply concerned that Labor has taken a weaker climate policy in 2019 than what they proposed in 2016, which was weaker still than what they took to the 2013 election”“, it is not all a given, but the facts are there. Even as this is more a tug between Di Natale and Bill Shorten, the issue is that they are all weak on the environment, because there is too much debt, too little work and for the most politicians have a track record of letting big business walk all over them, so a billionaire family like Adani and several others do not consider Australian politicians to be any more of the loud windbags than the politicians in America and they made an equal disastrous mess of it all.

If we go by the Conversation (at http://theconversation.com/shorten-distances-himself-from-green-overtures-on-climate-policy-116360) we see: “The decision for Bill Shorten is whether he follows the take-it-or-leave-it approach of Kevin Rudd in 2009, or negotiates with the Greens, just like Julia Gillard did in 2011, to deliver a climate policy that gives future generations a chance“, yet what we should see is: “Whomever gets elected has only this term to act, or the final approaching certainty that there will not be any future generations will become a slow but certain given“.

They all talk some talk, not the talks and NONE are willing to start increase fines by no less than 15,000% as well as mandatory closing of no less than 15 months of whatever plant makes the transgressions. In addition, the entire response of ““Just give me a little detail and we can include and update [the temporary emissions licence],” a department staff member replied” need to be met with draconian changes to the employment of whomever made that ‘little’ short-sighted consideration. The time to be nice has been over for well over a generation and the political players need to openly acknowledge that, as well as underwrite whatever law changes are required.

Any response of ‘but Adani will walk away‘ should be regarded as null and void, in the end if there is money, they will come, we need to stop facilitating to large corporations and truly change the way we do business and change the way that they are allowed to do business. The failure is seen when we look at Apple (perhaps the clearest example), when we see: “Revenue was up nearly 13 percent hitting $9.1 billion, compared to $8 billion in 2017“, yet we also get: “With bigger revenue comes a bigger tax bill. Apple incurred a tax bill of $164.1 million for the year, comprised of $127 million in income tax, a $30 million tax adjustment related to prior years and another deferred tax income expense of $7.3 million“, this implies that Apple pays a mere 1%, how will you fund any program for any environment when large corporations vulture entire nations? And when we see the Australian Financial Review (at https://www.afr.com/news/politics/national/uber-in-labor-s-sights-in-multinational-tax-crackdown-20190505-p51k9n) with the smug response “the Tax Institute of Australia warned about extra regulation for multinationals, saying it could discourage companies from setting up operations here“, my clear (and slightly less diplomatic) response would be: “Oh, please let them fuck off! When they lose 20 million customers in Australia and an optional 68 million customers in the UK they will lose more and more, more market share and all the momentum they had!

Facilitating to big business is one of the main reasons we see a loss of environment and biodiversity in the first place. That evidence is shown to some degree by American documentary maker Sue Williams. She gives us (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-09/environmental-impact-of-the-iphone/7825360) in 2016: “more than 50 million tonnes of e-waste will be generated this year alone“, with the added: “this ends up in China, India and Africa, the devices were then broken down in unsafe ways where toxic chemicals end up in the water and air.” It shows a much larger issue and even as Australia might not be the place of the largest transgressions, we see that Australia has failed its people and environment in the most total way possible at present.

I wonder if the people will ever vote for the parties that truly are out there trying to set up proper laws to protect the environment, when that happens we will see a rush of panic from anyone riding some sort of gravy train, I merely expect it will be too late at that point.

So, even as we wonder on Marvel and its success, we should also consider that Thanos was an optimist; removing 50% of the population will no longer get it done. When you realise that actual truth, will you ignore it or actually demand change before you have to sacrifice the life of one or more of your children? You might laugh at this as it is not realistic, and it might not be in this generation, but that setting is not a given for THEIR children, not merely because the population will surpass 8 billion within the year, but the fact that when their children are born our population will surpass 9.5 billion, it will be too late at that point. Oh, and when we all accept the compromise to put in place the Chinese one child policy on a global scale, what excuses will nations offer when that policy is breached? Humanitarian reasons perhaps?

Should you think that this is some new revelation, think again! Especially when you consider the dangers that the movie Koyaanisqatsi (life out of balance) showed in 1982, almost 37 years ago. The mere realisation of what the city of New York needed to feed its masses (overfeed its masses more accurately), and we see that the matter got worse, the inaction of politicians globally makes even less sense.

I merely wonder what excuse the politicians give, and who they blame when the collapse biodiversity is at our front door awaiting the label ‘extinct now‘. As we get reports upon reports and denials from its opposition, we need to take heed of the inaction on acts like overfishing and poaching, clear criminal acts that have little or no punishment, when truth comes to bare, remember that any elected politician after 1983 is directly responsible for the mess we see today. The entire push it forward is not to be regarded as a defence, or as an optional response. In my view there is no ‘I was not involved in that decision‘ it will be on their names and the names of their prodigy. If you doubt that, look into history on what the people did in anger to those called: ‘German Girls‘, Women from the Netherlands, France, Norway, Spain, Italy, Greece and a few other places; women who fell in love, had a flirt or for mere survival reasons got attached by a German soldier. They were according to records: “Women who married German soldiers and their children were stripped of their citizenship, interned and deported to Germany. Many of the offspring who remained were abused, attacked and confined to mental institutions because of their parentage. As well as the French part where about 20,000 women accused of sleeping with the enemy had their heads shaved; others were covered in tar, physically assaulted, stoned, spat upon and shunned. As many as 6,000 people considered collaborators, including many women, were killed“, when you read that part, will these people proclaim innocence, state some defence that ‘we’ are better than that now and demand safety for their children? I don’t think you comprehend the masses when it is enraged, these people will all be out of options, and let’s face it, when the big environmental disasters start hitting, the groups of soldiers and police and fire brigades will all be hit with other first casualties, and they will not be much of any protection for these exulted high earners. WW2 was perhaps the foulest example in history, yet it will be nothing when the biodiversity collapses under the pressure of pollution and too large a population, the political inaction will enrage billions on a global scale.

So even as we laugh at the silver screen and Thanos snapping its finger, we are getting to a place where we get to see the infrastructure and resources collapsing, and there will be someone pointing a finger at the politicians, at that point what will that person do? Will he (or she) become a version of 1966 Kodos the destroyer? Will he/she (too late) invoke draconian laws to undo the presented damage, whilst they know it was already too late?

I cannot tell, but I can tell that we are at the end of our ropes to instigate a solution, too many species have become extinct, we did allow our natural biodiversity be permanently affected to that degree.

I am however also aware that there is opposition to my view, one blogger gives a really good setting (at https://conservationbytes.com/2014/03/17/if-biodiversity-is-so-important-why-is-europe-not-languishing/), the blogger is  CJA Bradshaw and he gives another version, a less pessimistic version (in 2014 mind you), I do not agree, but I will not dismiss this view as it is well phrased, well written and gives good examples. He gives at this point a realistic view, yet at the end of this, we will be growing towards a population of 10 billion and there is a limit to what we can get from an acre of agrarian land, knowing that the planet is 30% land and the stage that the population that land supports went from 6.6 to 7.9 billion in a decade gives us a 19% growth in a stage where the growth of land is set to 0%, actually, that is wrong, some scientist claim (I use claim as I never delved into that data) that land capable of being ploughed and used to grow crops (arable land) decreased by almost 30% due to erosion and pollution, so not only are there more people, there is less place to grow their food, and that is actually really important. So as we create more land for crops, the ‘wild lands’ where the animals roam decreases more and more. To see additional dangers, we need to look towards places like Borneo lost in the time between 1985 and 2005 an average of 850,000 hectares of forest every year. If this trend continues, forest cover will drop to less than a third by 2020, so by next year Borneo and all the oxygen producing forests is merely a third of what it was, whilst the population grows and grows, is anyone worried about breathing yet? The same is happening in the Amazon region, the two largest oxygen producing areas gone to the largest degree. At what point will anyone realise that oxygen tends to be an essential need?

All unattended issues and we are actually running out of time, so who is willing in the end to snap their fingers Thanos style?

 

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