Thursday, April 21, 2005

Long Term

In replying to a comment a moment ago, I had a bit of an epiphany on the fundamental difference between short term and long term thinking. If it's less than one human lifetime, it's short term. People who are fundamentally selfish cannot think outside the scope of their own lifespan, and thus are incapable of true long term planning.

Having humanity's best interests at heart means thinking beyond your own lifetime. That's where the long term begins.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Now, there are some caveats to the previous post, of course, some assumptions that are being made - that getting off the planet is best for humanity, that very highly aware people would agree on goals, even that what's best for humanity is what's best in general. I have absolutely no doubt on the first assumption - for us to survive we simply must get off the planet. I have some slight doubt on the second one - Given the same information, they should come to the same conclusions, and a very aware person would attempt very strongly to avoid deception, but no two people have the same set of experiences, so maybe different goals might emerge - but I believe that they would agree on some of the more major things. The last thing is the strangest one to consider - what if what's truly best for the universe as a whole, long term, is not the survival of the human race? I hope that's not the case, but I don't know for certain.


So I have been reading Steve Pavlina's blog lately, and thinking about one particular entry on levels of consciousness. I was also thinking about humanity's long term survival prospects, and how it would be nice to see us establish a permanent colony on another planet, as I think that is absolutely necessary for us to survive. I strongly doubt I'll live long enough to see that happen, though. The conditions needed for that just take too long.

So I thought about it some more and decided I would probably be ok with knowing that as a direct result of my actions, a colony would be established at some point in the future, even after my death. It's like remote control - you know it works, even though you don't see it with the naked eye. Then I realized I didn't know how to do that, but - here's the kicker- that someone smarter than I am probably could. (This is where we tie things back to the first sentence of the entry.) They would not only have the ability, they'd have enough confidence in their ability and the impact it would have on others to make it stick. (I may actually have the ability, but I don't *know* that I do, nor do I know what actions I'd have to take to make it work.)

It occurred to me that someone at the highest level of consciousness would not only want to ensure humanity's long term survival, but probably could. They would want what was good for humanity, even if they didn't know exactly what that was, and they would act to make sure that it happened at some point in time in the future. Someone who lived several hundred years ago may not have even thought of the possibility of colonizing another planet, but they'd want humanity to survive.

So here's the punchline - Because someone at the highest level of consciousness would want what was best for humanity, and they would be able to ensure that it would happen, they already have. People smarter than I am (or at least more aware) have already done things that ensure our survival.

That's a really comforting thought.

It was an interesting experience to realize that even though I couldn't figure out what specific actions someone beyond my capabilities would take, I could deduce the generalities well enough to determine the outcome, hence the title for this post.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Rattlesnake Pasta

I was hungry for lunch, but wasn't sure of what to have. I went to Uno's, since I know I like most of their stuff, and just had the waiter pick for me. I briefly spelled out a few things I didn't like, but let him do the rest. He brought back something called "Rattlesnake Pasta" which is penne pasta with chicken in a cream sauce, a little bit of cheese, and a bunch of jalapenos. Very interesting, and something I would have overlooked had I picked for myself.

The easiest way to try something new is to have someone else pick it for you.

I've been doing a little thought on Grinning Gecko, and I'm starting to think that maybe in the long run - like once it starts making money - it should be a nonprofit organization. Now, nonprofit organizations certainly can pay people a decent salary. It's just that I think that even though I want to make games, the real purpose is to shape people's behaviour. It's an educational venture, really. The goal is to improve society by changing people's behaviour on a long term basis, and the means is games. This adds to some power and freedom of Grinning Gecko - it won't have to listen to people who are purely driven by profit.

Understand that I don't object to profits or making money, but that I think that it can frequently blind people to positive goals. Money itself is a neutral entity, a tool that lets you get what you really want. It's a mistake to want it for its own sake.

Monday, April 04, 2005


As MS ends support for VB6 a lot of people are left wondering what to do with their millions of lines of code. One solution that some have come to is .Net, but there are some major changes to the language that a lot of people don't like.

Another solution is to switch to REALbasic. It has a syntax very similar to VB6, and the standard edition is free for VB6 users until April 15. Go here to check it out, and if you get it from here you enter me into a contest. So...if you like me, get it!


Grinning Gecko

Ok, so I really should post some links to what the hell I'm trying to accomplish. First is Grinning Gecko itself. That's the home site of where I'll be releasing games of many types. The first releases will probably be pdf's at RPGNow, and here's the RPGNow Grinning Gecko store. Everyone needs merchandise, and Grinning Gecko is no exception, so there's a CafePress store, too. Once the pdf's start to do ok, I'll put a little effort into getting them done Print on Demand at two shops, both through Lulu, but slightly different - RPGNow has one and so does Grinning Gecko. Lastly (for now) are the Open Source projects I plan on: First there's lore-gcc, a front end to gcc for Lore. (Lore is my name for a programming language I want to write - I've written about it earlier.) Then there's lore, which is a Lore compiler written in Lore. Third is lore-lib, which will be the standard Lore library - but to clarify, it will be a collection of components, each partitioned out as cleanly as I can manage. The first bits to show up there will be whatever is necessary to make the compiler bootstrap. Fourth is lore-misc, which is things like bindings to various IDEs and any tools that emerge - actual apps as opposed to libraries. Lastly is legends, a game all this ties together - the goal is to make something similar to Neverwinter Nights.

So anyway, that's an outline of the plan, with all the links in one place so you can poke around and see how little I've done and watch my progress if you want. I need put all those links onto Grinning Gecko, don't I?