Monday, July 28, 2014

Mike Boydston has an impressive dedication to BBC...

....and also an impressive amount of free time, apparently.  Making a record of all the books we have read in the four (!) years of BBC was a long-requested blog feature and has been on my list of things to do for awhile, but Mike went and just did it.  I appended our most recent reads to the end of his impressive efforts.  Thanks to all of you who have been a part of the group over the last few years.  

Get ready to gaze in admiration/horror at Mike's comprehensive BBC history (now immortalized in the "BBC - The Story So Far" permalink to the right) after the jump:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

D&D duz make you smarterer.

But we already knew that.

In other news, it is unlikely that I will be able to attend tomorrow's meeting, so I will make the following points now:

1. Apparently, the NSA is the gold-standard for file decryption, at least according to Mr. Stephenson.
2. Did anyone else note that our heroic Russian security guy always carries a towel, and does not panic?
3. Fucking motives, how do they work?
4. I do not understand the mountain lion except as a somewhat silly deus ex machina. Or, possibly, a eucatastrophe.
5. Stephenson is exactly, completely correct when he notes that camouflage clothing is a cultural signifier. You certainly don't need it to hunt ungulates.
6. I enjoyed the book.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In case 1000 pages of reading was not enough...

For those of you thinking that video game gold farming was so crazy it must have been something that Neal Stevenson made up, think again.  The article is seven years old, but the practice hasn't gone away.  If you ever were looking for ways that the size of our economy distorts the world, this is a good place to start.

Also, Richard in the book is partially based on this guy.

This article details the various online games that have hired real economists to manage the amazing amounts of money being traded in their games, and the real world research that is coming out of studying the patterns.