Another rant about the Genocide in Gaza

For the last six months, I have found myself sounding off every few weeks on Facebook about the ongoing atrocity that is the Israeli massacre of  the people of Gaza. I figured I should copy and paste it to this blog I don't use much just in case Facebook deletes it, or I eventually delete my account. It's good to have a record, you know? [Big sigh] It's one of those times again where I feel like I need to lay out recent events, mainly to organize my thoughts for the next time someone asks me why I'm wearing a Palestinian flag on my kippah. First, there's the blockbuster 972+ report on the targeting process for the bombing campaign. They built a chain of AI tools that rank everyone in Gaza in likelihood of being a Hamas fighter, then programmed another one to report when it believed that they arrived at their family home. And finally, they lowered the confidence thresholds so that basically any man over 15 in Gaza qualified, and set the collateral damage limit to &qu

Another update on the RPG Fully Automated!

 My last blog post was June 28, sharing a beta version of my game. It's nearly six months later. Hundreds of hours have been spent on this, and sometimes I feel like that's a nuts thing to do. But it's gotten away from me at this point. It's too good not to finish, and so far along. I could release it as it is now, though it'd remain just a curiosity. To see it become what I really want means at least trying to promote it, and I can't promote it until it's DONE done. The manual still needs cleanup in places, and that will easily take many hours. I'm considering reformatting it all in a more professional software, though I'm far from certain it's worth the time. But what really needs prepped is the campaign modules. There's a lot of formatting and assets to play and test. For now, the goal is to resume trying to find new eyes for this. I don't know how available anyone will be during the holidays, but then again people have time off. Fully

My tabletop RPG "Fully Automated!" is now in Beta version!

For a long time I've been working on a tabletop RPG, and this week I'm transitioning it to beta version. It's still in development, but it's at a stage where I'm ready to share it with a broader audience in order to collect feedback before releasing it fully. For anyone who just wants the link, here it is:  Fully Automated! Solarpunk RPG Manual as well as the Fully Automated! Story Modules . Exploring LA by Sean Bodley ( ) It's funny to look back on the path that led here. It started around 2018 when I went looking for a scifi RPG after I got tired of running homebrew Dungeons and Dragons games. I couldn't really find what I was looking for, which was just a cyberpunk story with a sense of realism and humor. I settled for the RPG Corporation but immediately dispensed with most of the in-game lore. It all felt stuck in the 80's, technologically and culturally. To their credit, there's a ton of content, and it's not bad. It&

Ilhan Omar's courage to wear a hijab is what inspired me to start wearing a kippah

  Members of Congress voted this week to strip Representative Ilhan Omar of her foreign affairs committee assignment supposedly in response to statements she made several years ago which have been widely criticized as antisemitic. Now, I don't normally write much about antisemitism, because most of what I say both on and off the internet is about constructive, positive things. I discuss things I'd like to see more of. But in this case, I have such a thing to say about this ordeal. The central thing is this: I remember the statements that have been used to justify Omar's present public shaming because they were what motivated me to start wearing a kippah at thirty-three. In support and admiration for Ilhan Omar. This may sound crazy if you've read most news. They don't bother recounting what Omar said that earned her such vitriol, instead content to describe it the way I did above: "widely criticized as antisemitic".   This is a great phrase if you work in

On the nature of law, and its use in modern America

The following is a reddit post that ran longer than intended, but I think captures something I've been thinking about a lot.  ~~~ I think it's important that more people start to recognize a pervasive miscommunication that conceals one of the fundamental drivers of political conflict right now. When a right-leaning person says that they support things like "law", "order", "law enforcement", or "the rule of law", they are not talking about a blind imposition of the official, written, government codes of law on all individuals regardless of circumstance. They are talking about natural law. They believe that there is a specific way that all things are simply supposed to be. Who holds power to decide natural law is determined itself by this natural law, and the power they hold is owed to them by virtue of the fact that they intuit this law. They are attuned to how things should simply be, and know how to impose that on those who

Newsflash: the pandemic continues

 We got a new dog: Jimmy Parker! Also, Tony and I got COVID. Here is another useful link I want to save, since I still have use for it: Cal-SuWers Network Dashboard (Sigh.)

A quick update

 It's January 2022 now.  I also finally was able to get an appointment to get boosted.  I've started a new job and moved to a new city, and I'm excited to try new things... once the latest surge ends. Unfortunately, enough time as passed that the posts I'd made with links to useful COVID trackers are off the front page of my blog. And yet... their utility hasn't passed. Alameda County Dashboard San Francisco County Dashboards San Mateo County Dashboards 91-divoc IHME Projections Deloitte LA Times

A quick review of The Eternals

The Eternals is a very good movie. It's beautiful to look at, exciting, and gets viewers invested in its characters. It makes no major mistakes. It's easy to rate a move when they fail at any of these things, but when there's nothing wrong, what's left to debate is whether a film is good or great. I'm inclined to call Eternals the later: it's boldly ambitious. One can debate whether it succeeded in those ambitions -- I thought it did -- but I think it is beyond dispute that everyone involved aspired to something monumental, which is something I will praise regardless of outcome. There is a sense of enormity to the film that brings to mind 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ultimately, though, every film's reception depends on what the viewer is looking for. This is a movie aimed at comic book nerds who also read books. It's not a kids film. There's nothing a kid couldn't enjoy, but the pacing and themes are clearly intended for adults. In one moment, we'