ACBob's ZimZam - Blog

An ever earlier Halloween

2023-09-28 ◦ 16 Minute read

Halloween is probably the only holiday I actually celebrate myself. Sure, I celebrate Christmas for family reasons, but I don't internalize the idea of gift giving on the 25th1, it's all charades because my partaking makes people happier than doing nothing for Christmas on an edgelord basis of "Nuh Uh I'm not a christian :)" that I have, regrettably, done in the past.

Halloween is different. I'm not quite (or at all) traditional in my celebrations per-se, but the celebrations that I do are entirely genuine. Ignoring the spiritual significances of Halloween, I adore the culture where for no reason in particular than it being a certain date, the entire world comes together to share silly skeleton images or give out sweeties.

I take Halloween as an opportunity to dress up and have fun. It's a day where, inherently, there is nothing serious. You go have fun, get drunk with friends or sleuth the neighborhood for candy, drink fall related drinks or enjoy the skeleton war... It's the only day, by technicality, that I wear exactly what I want, in that every single Halloween I take the opportunity to dress up in something.

Good heavens, by the way, it seems like forever since I've stared down the lektor writing page and written anything. That's because it's been almost a full year since my last post. This is probably in part because of my tumblr that I setup in May last year, where I've spent hours drowning my mind in the natural warmth of a social media platform and its endless supply of catered content, and any mild thought I have becomes a short post that few see and gets it off of my mind.

I feel like I've to write something, anything on this blog to justify the cost of my domain, so I'm going to take this opportunity and, atleast while I write this sentence, take some of my "ramblings" posts and expand them here. Unfortunately, I only started using ramblings about 5 months ago, and the rest of my short thoughts are drowned in a sea of 're-blogs' on tumblr. Still, 14 pages of posts isn't bad to sift.

It should be noted I don't consider myself a genius or particularly well educated on most (any?) of these topics, I'm simply writing what my thoughts are in regards to them.

Naming of Self

It’s kind-of hard to stick to one name. Sure, I’ve named myself now and I’ve got a name, but ALSO there’s so many names that would’ve gone so hard that I could’ve picked.
Not that I would, it’s an awkard middle ground where I wish I was the kind of person to have such a name like such.

One of those shower thoughts that I think is worth explaining. And given the only interaction I have on this post is someone asking for examples2 or they'll bludgeon me, I feel inclined to do so.

Generally adjectives, of all kinds of words, tend to make for killer names. There are some pretty silly on reflection, but really hard-going names that I think would make for killer non-binary names, like so:

  • Alchemical
  • Fuselage
  • Macaroni3 (Shortened as Mac)
  • Wizard

My name is far nerdier than any of the above4, but as I said, if I had to be anyone else I'd rather I took a name like the above.

Silly guy does Serious Shit

Diversity win! Silly guy has to do the most serious thing in their entire life

At some point, I entered a national competition for a laugh. A national business competition. In May, I was informed that I was a semi-finalist and had to travel. While I don't remember the timeline too well, this was probably posted not long after I got a phone call at a bus stop in the pouring rain. Considering this event, it's surprising I didn't write anything long-form about it.

Come the day I gave a presentation to a room full of very serious business people. I wore my best shirt (a black one amusingly), some tight trousers and a nice rainbow tie (that I got from a gag shop). I stood there, and proposed the idea of Open-Source Software to a room full of people who have never seen a line of code in their life. I left that room and talked to a few other people, one person decided that my idea wasn't anything they could help with, and another couldn't possibly imagine the idea of giving out software for free5.

It was like a less professional Dragon's Den. Amazingly, I won. I didn't expect to win, which is why after leaving the area I took my shirt off of my pajama tshirt and walked around with a big TARDIS on my chest. I ended up in the local newspaper (of the town I had to visit in order to present) that I never read and a swanky online article (that doesn't use my picture unfortunately).

I don't really have much more to say, I'm sure a more emotional version of myself could write something more poignant, but at the moment it's been a few months since, and I can't really get any more specific without leaking what the competition was6.

Terrifying News

when I made fun of companies for changing their logo to rainbow I didn’t want them to stop. why is there no rainbow logos this year. it’s gay month, pander to us, come on man

I'll state the obvious - I'm a queer.

This year for pride month, I was expecting the usual barrage of rainbow capitalism but there wasn't. There was no wave of rainbow profile pictures. No wave of pride-themed events for places to make money off of. Comparing to previous years, it was like the entire corporate world forgot pride month.

I think it's easy to figure why. I know people in the US and while I try to ignore the draconic legislation being put into place (for my mental health), it was a terrifying slap in the face. Queer people are no longer deemed safely profitable by big companies.

It's like an awful scale of, well, awfulness. Genocide → Legal → Majority Accepted → Capitalism Profit Venture.

This wasn't the last slap in the fact of this year (and I doubt at this point we've seen the last), there was also that whole bud-light debacle I didn't really care about.

Fermi paradox & Stop fearing Aliens

the fermi paradox is dumb, 4000 knows nothing about 6,700,232 and yet there’s infinite numbers so surely 4000 would’ve heard something!
Intelligent life doesn’t have to be rare or fleeting for the vast infiniteness of space to overwhelm any attempt at useful communicarion, stop watching star trek, nerds
Humanity is not special, Earth is not unique. It’s the only one we’ve got and we must protect it, but that doesn’t mean earth is the only place 2+2 was discovered

following my previous post, why is other life existing a terriying thing? I get the arthur clarke quote n’ all, but why is it scary?
To me it’s about as terrifying knowing that australia exists and has native peoples. It’s not, that’s what. I don’t want to bring colonialism into this but I don’t think nonhuman intelligent life should be a terrifying concept to anyone.
I will however concede it would be terrifying if somehow humanity were the one thing in the entire universe that was actually unique. But I’d be pretty spooked if the world was pudding too.

Pretty recently I've been exploring my personal philosophies, given a lot of my philosophies were created years ago when I was An Awful Person™, and are largely incompatible.

On reflection, then, the Fermi Paradox is... I don't claim to be a scientist, but it's pretty dumb, isn't it? The answer to why nobody's calling out to space is because space is too big to see. Smoke signals are local, and that's the best we have in terms of equivalence for talking through space, and I doubt it gets much better.

I've come to believe the universe is teaming with life, that life is a wholly unremarkable thing for space in general. Just looking at Earth, there was a period of time where it was believed that the Mariana trench probably didn't have life. You'll never guess what we found after getting better technology.

To a degree, the Fermi Paradox boils down to "New York doesn't exist because I can't see it from Ireland" and "2,000 could interact with 5,000". It ignores the reality of space and human interaction, it decides that because we exist and know we do, we should extrapolate that because we don't know other life exists it doesn't. It's a (series of) bad assumption - a silly thought experiment.

The Earth is undoubtedly unique and special - it's the only place in the universe with me or the people I know. But its uniqueness is not an intelligent life-form. Given the universe is full of life, then there's probably a good chunk where intelligent life follows. There's life all across the universe and plenty of that life knows that 2+2 is 4.

But the fact that life does exist in great quantity, and so does intelligent life, is not an invitation for anyone to ignore the climate crisis, or otherwise let the earth be destroyed.

As a side note from the future, James Webb has possibly found the artefacts of life (dimethyl sulphide) on an exoplanet and while we're a wee bit away from fully confirming or denying it, I'm already getting ready to tell everyone "I told you so".

500gb Game installs and the loudness wars

modern games using storage requirements as a dick measuring contest is nothing different to the 2000s loudness wars when you think about it

In the 2000s, people kept making their music louder and louder. The migration to digital formats compared to traditional formats led to people making mistakes in some places, and making use of possibility. Once the technology was mainstream and popular, such that the traditional formats were unpopular, this trend began to die as familiarity with the new stuff increased.

Since the 90s7, video games have been getting bigger and bigger. Games used to fit in kilobytes, with cartridge based formats that were physically massive because that was a huge amount of data at the time. An NES Cartridge, for example, could store up to 256kb (40kb as standard) - and Super Mario Bros. was 31kb, they left a whole 9,000 precious bytes free.

Cartridge formats dominated, even when requirements began to hit megabytes - millions of bytes. Super Mario 64, only a couple generations later (and admittedly 3D instead of 2D) was 54mb. DooM was 5.3mb (shareware).

And these weren't laughable sizes to sniff at, in 93 your average disk would barely have 100mb to sit around, so taking up 5% on a game was notable. It only got bigger, eventually we needed a whole gigabyte for a game - billions of bytes for a game! Unthinkable.

Largely when it came to games, the space on a Disk was a problem that needed to be worked around. The playstation 3 brought Blu-Ray to the consumer gamer market8, meaning games could be bigger than 4.7gb of yester generations - they could be up to 25gb! Similarly, the PS3 also brought the internet to consumer gaming. No longer did you need to ship your finished product (a separate issue), but you could put more data on the 'cloud' and add it on-top of the disc!

In modern times rather than the ancient past of cavemen, we sniff at megabytes and have plenty of GB to spare. With that, game companies love to show how good their game is because of how big it is. Where you'd have John Carmack invent a compression algorithm to make Wolfenstein fit on floppies, now you have (what I would call) a mockery of the artform.

A very recent game, and perhaps the game I was referencing, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor requires 155gb to spare on a game. A lot of people have hard drives counting in TB - trillions of bytes, so they sniff at that. CoD: Modern Warfare is even worse, clocking 235gb.

I draw parallels because as technology got better (tapes → floppies → compact discs → blurays → the internet) games have gotten bigger - their file sizes louder. The migration to new formats compared to traditional formats led to people making mistakes in some places, and making use of possibility.

If we're at the end of the curve, we'll see it slow down. Or it'll speed up. No matter what direction, you better pray your internet connection is good if you want to play your favorite modern games.

Language evolution in the internet age

The internet will forever change how languages evolve due to the sheer nature of how easy it is to commune with anyone and everyone, the prevalance of written communicatiom being so high also means that misspellings will become words in their own right - e.g ‘forgor’
And I think that’s beautiful-pilled fr fr on god no cap sheeesh

My darling partner surely has a better grasp of this sort of thing. But I think it's pretty clear that the internet (or just digital writing) will forever change how languages evolve over time. I think in coming years we'll see words evolve and change based on Memes and typos.

My own vocabulary has been touched by the internet with a less than gentle hand, there's a lot I say that I wouldn't otherwise. For example, I say "y'all", it's extremely useful and a great way of talking to a group in second person (that's gender neutral)! But I wouldn't have picked it up without the internet, even if I lived in America9.

We see it when kids gain accents from countries they've never been to, Bluey with Aussies, Peppa Pig with British people, and a slew of content farm quality stuff with America. It's simple, but these foreign accents will sort-of be part of how they speak ad infinitum. Anecdotally, a younger member of my family pronounces their 'R's in an extremely American way, where-as the rest of their accent is pretty normal.

Pop culture of the past has definitely shaped language, just look at "Bless You" when you sneeze - it's a grandfathered phrase from when JC10 was still a common celebrity. We'll see it coming soon too, with words like "yeag" or "forgor", created from simple typos but granted their own version of words. More corporately, there's "tweet"ing in the dictionary, you can "google" something as a verb in the dictionary, etc.

Words like "yeag" are quite interesting, it's undoubtedly a typo on the word "yeah", brought about through the QWERTY keyboard and the proximity of G/H, but it's a word that conveys its own weight. You say "yeah" as an affirmation/confirmation, similarly with "yeag", but "yeag" is used in more informal situations - and in my experience can convey a strength of affirmation, you can "yeag" something you're unsure of, or you can "hell yeag" your way to being a divine source of information.

It's not all good, I would say, as you now have to "unalive" people or we upset the robots we made.

Broken Reality, Jazzpunk and QT

broken reality and jazzpunk occupy the same area in my mind. they’re both worlds i want more of, games i desperately want to be longer; but both games i’ve gotten all the content i possibly can out of them.

Jazzpunk is easily one of my favorite games of all time. It's funny, enjoyable, and not too long. Broken Reality (BR) ditto. BR is a bit more of a... game11 than Jazzpunk, where Jazzpunk is transparently a walking simulator filled with slight puzzles and comedy, BR is full of puzzles and mechanics.

QT is the least "game-like" of them all, originally a parody of the horror game P.T., it's a.. well, walking simulator. The steam release is atleast a collection of 3 games of different themes, a P.T. parody, a little cartoon adventure through a museum, and a huge island filled with cartoon characters. It's endearing •◡•.

When I posted this originally, I absolutely owned the game QT, but I sort-of forgot about it. Recently I tried to 100% it and got a lot more enjoyment and fascination with it - even if it has already been a big inspiration to some of my most complex projects - Squonker.

I've 100% all these games. They're endearing, Jazzpunk is funny, Broken Reality is aesthetic with some (dated!) humor, and QT is just joyous. I've gone through every nook and cranny of these games, I have all their achievements and I've enjoyed every second.

I desperately want MORE of them. There's very few games I want more of, Minecraft has long overstayed its welcome in my mind, the Half-Life games were enough, Portal's enough, but these games are just enough game to make me wish there was like 5× more of them.

I'm in luck in some places, too. Necrophone Games of Jazzpunk are apparently in the works of making a new game (according to reddit users who claim to have emailed them), Dynamic Media Triad of Broken Reality is developing a sequel to Broken Reality set in a more familiar internet to me, filled with frutiger aero magic. Unfortunately however, Happy Snake Games of QT has been on a hiatus of developing games for a couple years now.

I highly anticipate Broken Reality 2000, and it's likely to be a game I spend my money on the first time I find that it's released. Ditto, potentially, if Necrophone are indeed working on something.

I may make a much much larger article where I just completely gush over these brilliant games - game reviews are hardly unknown to this blog, although I did promise halloween articles last year so don't hold your breath.

I yearn to make a game like these. To take the comedy of Jazzpunk with the aesthetic of Broken Reality and the cuteness of QT. I swear one day my only finished game will not be Tic-Tac-Toe but you have 3 players from when I was drunk.

  1. if anything it'd make sense to have a ceremony of giving gifts on New Years to beckon the coming year. I wonder if any cultures have done that...

  2. This is someone I know in person, this is not an invitation to threaten bludgeonings to control me, even if it may work.

  3. My partner made a joke about middle name and last name, but I have to admit to it, "Macaroni Nathaniel Cheese" would be a brilliant name, especially when you shorten it to Mac N. Cheese.

  4. It is not air-conditioning, despite my display name.

  5. I ended up finding a good explanation - It's not quite like giving paintings out for free, but rather giving out easels and paint brushes and paint for free, to let someone put it together and do something.

  6. Which would hinder my privacy.

  7. I suppose since the dawn of gaming, to a degree.

  8. A very silly format that is probably only popular because of the playstation

  9. Not that I would.

  10. Jesus Christ. (I think it's funny to reframe Christianity as if it's modern celebrity culture).

  11. They're undoubtedly games, Games are an art-form and devoid of category, I'm basing it on things to do. Where you only walk, it's "less of a game" than one with puzzles - but they're both games.