Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

Logical Consistency and Truth

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Monday April 30, 2018 at 09:22

In short, internal consistency is the baseline requirement to take anything seriously. If it doesn’t agree with itself, it can’t possibly be true.

Specifically as pertaining to political policies, something can’t be useful unless it is true, because lies always betray their wielder.

Discuss!

Oppression in the Name of Love

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Thursday April 12, 2018 at 10:21

In the USA, at the time of this writing, our Government is pretty good at moderate but pervasive oppression. Oppression that isn’t really bad enough for people to complain too loudly. I mean, it’s a lot worse other places, but oppression isn’t something you want in moderation.

I think this pervasive oppression stems from a blindness we have developed over the past hundred and fifty years, and which I’d like to explore. This article is an inversion of my previous pondering on policy, where I made excuses for why I haven’t thought deeply on the ideal government. In the interim I’ve been thinking, in some areas deeper than others. I’d like to share these thoughts with you, and the first is about oppression. (more…)

Bring Singapore to Camarillo

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Wednesday April 11, 2018 at 04:39

I’ve wanted to live in Singapore for a long time. The style and attitude of the government really appeals to me. I even visited, and was quite pleased with the experience.

But my parents, wife, kids, friends, and church are all in Camarillo. We’re used to the weather here and I don’t feel like we’re going to be able to move any time soon.

So how about we bring Singapore to Camarillo? (more…)

A Mental Road Trip of Two Tragedies

Posted in Articles,Children by Ziggy Wednesday February 21, 2018 at 14:56

To the people of the United States of America,

Every time I hear outcry over the tragedy of a school shooting, it reminds me about self-driving cars. Yes, the road is a bit long, but I’m prepared to do all the driving for you. As long as you don’t jump out along the way, we’ll end up passing through education, gun control, and abortion as well. So, buckle up or whatever? Really, it doesn’t matter if you wear a seat-belt. This is a purely intellectual journey, and you won’t be badly hurt if my driving ends us in a collision.

Or will you? Perhaps intellectual injuries are worse than physical ones? Certainly they are harder to detect, diagnose, and treat. If the analogy has any merit, the danger of throwing yourself bodily from this mental journey while it is half-finished and hurtling along could be even more deleterious, in the long-run, than the equivalent physical action. On the other hand, if you don’t like where I’m going, perhaps you will feel you have no choice.

So here’s my proposal. I’ll take this article slowly and carefully, making plenty of stops along the way so you can safely leave if you feel like it. In exchange, please strap in, and keep your arms and legs inside the reasoning at all times. Comfy? Good. We’re ready to begin. (more…)

Civilizations, Barbarians, and City States

Posted in Articles by Toad Sunday September 17, 2017 at 21:19

Introduction

Ever played the Civilization series? Maybe Endless Legend? If not, these are both examples of what are often called “4X Games“: they’re turn-based strategy games focused on “exploration, expansion, exploitation, and extermination”. This sort of game can also be called an “empire building” game, and the general premise is that the player is an external guide for a people group of some description that usually fits with the modern idea of a nation. Typical examples of this game will be played on a more-or-less 2D map, feature some sort of development mechanic (usually in the form of one or more research trees designed to model scientific progress), and a unit-based movement mechanic that usually comprises both combat and exploration. Units can generally build cities and destroy cities and other units. Cities build more units, and can improve themselves and (by some mechanic or another) improve (“exploit”) the land around them. In these games, the player seeks victory through one or more forms of dominance: the classic victory condition is total military conquest, but over the years more options have been added, ranging from scientific victories (where the player’s nation is the first to achieve some developmental milestone) to diplomatic victories (where the player is essentially elected “king of the world”) and more.

Perhaps the most recognizable example of this sort of game is the Civilization series. Started by Sid Meier at Microprose back in 1991, the Civilization games have long set a standard of quality in the genre and are commonly emulated, cloned, and adapted. (more…)

GR:SO post-mortem

Posted in Articles,Music by Ziggy Friday May 12, 2017 at 06:05

Hey, Paul Spooner here, doing an animation post-mortem of the Good Robot: Space Opera AMV I made.

How it Began

The ground was laid for the project in mid-september 2013. Shamus Young had just started working on a 2d shmup game called Good Robot, and I was inspired to make a 3d model of the eponymous virtuous automaton. The model turned out pretty well, but besides a few renders I didn’t have anything to use it for.

A couple years later, it’s February 2016, and Good Robot is finally scheduled for release. I have the impulse to contribute to the marketing push by making some fanimation. (more…)

Parenting Philosophy

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Tuesday March 28, 2017 at 15:42

I have ranted before about raising children, but I figured I’d post this more concise crystalization.

First, Anna and I are both fundamentalist Bible-believing Christians, and that (hopefully) guides our aims and methods. So, you’re going to have to translate these to match your own principles.

Our core principle is “Children are people”
And then any principle which applies to people in general applies to them, especially:
“People can be trained in any ability which they can control.”
and
“People are responsible for any action or possession that they can control.”

On top of this is our belief that “Parents have ownership over their children”
which leads to two further principles:
“Parents are responsible for their children’s actions.”
and
“Children should obey their parents”

From these six principles, follows our principle of parenting and child-rearing:
“Parents can and should train their children both to obey, and to accept responsibility for any of the child’s actions or possessions that the child can control.”

Pondermull Campaign

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Wednesday March 22, 2017 at 16:16

Back in 2010-2011 I ran a D&D campaign. It was my first real attempt at “doing it right” and I feel like I learned a lot in the process. Most of those lessons you can find elsewhere, and I certainly didn’t innovate to any great degree, but as a means of closure (and since I intended to do so eventually) I’m going to chronicle as much as I can of what happened and why. I’m doing this without most of my notes, so many of the details are incomplete.

To start off, here’s:

The Grand Outline (more…)

Composite VTOL

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Saturday January 28, 2017 at 09:05

Our aerospace industry could be more efficient if we built airplanes in two pieces, a take-off tug that did launch assist for a long-range mission core. Details in this report: http://www.tryop.com/Innovation/CompositeVTOL.pdf

Or just read the text below (more…)

Planet by Oskar, Now with Saves and Keyboard Shortcuts

Posted in Articles,Other by Ziggy Sunday September 18, 2016 at 08:46

Oskar Stålberg wrote this lovely little piece of software which he titled his “Polygonal Planet Project”.

Unfortunately, it had no keyboard shortcuts or save/load functionality… so Dru hacked it in! It’s currently a single-file “quicksave” sort of functionality, but it seems to work in the cases we’ve tested. It makes the game much more enjoyable, we think! Currently saves are hard-coded to /path/to/Planet/planetsave.cfg.

F5: Save to File
F9: Load from File

(more…)

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