Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

Project London and Blender Models

Posted in Other by Ziggy Friday October 28, 2011 at 12:05

Perhaps you’re wondering what happened to Project London (Perhaps you don’t care at all)? Well, read on (or get lost)!

A few years ago, I quit my job and spent six weeks in Seattle making 3D models for a no-budget film that hasn’t come out yet. The reason it’s not out yet is that making a movie is a ton of work! After the 3D model part got done (about two years ago) they had to get picture lock, which involves deciding “We’re happy with how it looks right now, even though the sound is unfinished.” This is really hard to do because sound is a very effective tool to impart believably; Unfortunately the sound guys need picture lock so they can do their thing. (this isn’t strictly true, but it makes it lots easier on the sound guys if the scenes aren’t changing all the time while they are trying to establish mood and sync footsteps and stuff)

So after picture lock, sound design began in earnest. For whatever reason, Ian had a lot harder time getting a sound team working efficcently, and sound design dragged on and on. I actually helped to create some sound effects, even though I have no experience in sound design. Just shows how desperate they were. In the end, the producer and director decided “Let’s just raise some money and hire professionals.” And that’s where this post comes in.

When I started working on Project London, I signed an NDA saying I wouldn’t leak information about the script, the models, or anything I knew without express permission. Some of my best modeling work I’ve ever done was for Project London, but I’ve been largely unable to show it off. Until now.

So here they are, all of the (major) Blender models I made for Project London. Please donate so we can get this thing off the ground!

Inspirational Passage

Posted in Other by Ziggy Tuesday October 25, 2011 at 14:47

Frederic Bastiat quote from Economic Harmonies:
“And what element of progress is there in the world whose beneficial action has not been marred, particularly at the beginning, by much suffering and hardship? Our great urban masses of human beings stimulate bold flights of thought, but they often deprive individuals in their private life of the corrective of public opinion and serve to shelter debauchery and crime. Wealth combined with leisure favors the cultivation of the mind, but it also nurtures ostentation and snobbishness among the great and resentment and envy among the lowly. Printing brings enlightenment and truth to all strata of society, but it also brings nagging doubt and subversive error. (more…)

Starship Log: 021

Posted in Starship Log by Ziggy Monday October 10, 2011 at 10:02

I’m giving the heat dumps a day to settle in before characterization. Back to more normal work today. Did some rounds on the mech deck. Everything normal, just like it should be.

Ran out a formal report to the engineering on that surprisingly useful “improved 0-Gee wrench”. Basically I said that it’s useful for making temporary crimps with “permanent” fittings. Threw a bunch of slang and extra info on top, should be a pain to read. Pretty fun to just ramble.

Bastiat Describes a Nation

Posted in Other by Ziggy Thursday October 6, 2011 at 15:27

Keep in mind, this passage was written 150 years ago. The ever relevant Frederic Bastiat:

It is quite common, however, to attribute to capital a kind of deadly efficiency that would implant selfishness, hardness, and Machiavellian duplicity in the hearts of those who possess it or aspire to possess it. But is this not confused thinking? There are countries where labor is mainly fruitless. The little that is earned must quickly go for taxes. In order to take from you the fruit of your labor, what is called the state loads you with fetters of all kinds. It interferes in all your activities; it meddles in all your dealings; it tyrannizes over your understanding and your faith; it deflects people from their natural pursuits and places them all in precarious and unnatural positions; it paralyzes the activities and the energies of the individual by taking upon itself the direction of all things; it places responsibility for what is done upon those who are not responsible, so that little by little the distinction between what is just and what is unjust becomes blurred; it embroils the nation, through its diplomacy, in all the petty quarrels of the world, and then it brings in the army and the navy; as much as it can, it perverts the intelligence of the masses on economic questions, for it needs to make them believe that its extravagances, its unjust aggressions, its conquests, its colonies, represent a source of wealth for them. In these countries it is difficult for capital to be accumulated in natural ways. Their aim, above all, is by force and by guile to wrest capital from those who have created it. The way to wealth there is through war, bureaucracy, gambling, government contracts, speculation, fraudulent transactions, risky enterprises, public sales, etc. The qualities needed to snatch capital violently from the hands of the men who create it are exactly the opposite of the qualities that are necessary for its creation. It is not surprising, therefore, that in these countries capital connotes ruthless selfishness; and this connotation becomes ineradicable if the moral judgments of the nation are derived from the history of antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Though I would love to credit Bastiat with incredible foresight, it appears he is merely observing a current state of affairs. What this passage really says is that things have not become materially worse than they were a couple of centuries ago. Unfortunately, neither is our understanding (as a culture) much improved.

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