I’ve been reading and learning a bit about the concept of gamification, and I’m fascinated. The basic idea is to take the techniques and mechanics developed for games, and apply them to more mundane tasks and events to increase interest and engagement. The good people who do the web show Extra Credits have addressed the topic a couple of times, and I almost demand you to take the twenty or so minutes out of your busy day to learn more about the topic. Why? It works. For example, check out this article by Matt Ridley about how researchers are using computer gamers to redesign enzymes in a way that are up to 18 times more efficient than what an organic chemist could come up with. A remarkable feat that happened because of a game that anyone can download and play. Gamification will be huge in the coming decade.
So, there’s some concern over the recent National Defense Authorization Act for 2012, which included a controversial provision regarding potential indefinite detainment of US citizens. Some are shocked that such a bill would be passed. I’m not. Look at the numbers in regard to Guantanamo and it paints a pretty clear picture how our government feels about the idea of indefinite detainment. “Oh,” I hear you gasp, “but that’s different. Those aren’t US citizens. They’re terrorists.” Maybe some of them are, but they’re also people who have been “created equal” and “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” including that no person shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” By quietly allowing this exception to continue, Americans have swung the door wide for possible abuse.
I know he wrote and directed the movie, so he gets to claim authority, but George Lucas is completely full of crap. I don’t get why he thinks he needs to clear this up. If someone is pointing a gun at me, and I have the opportunity to shoot them first, it doesn’t make me a cold blooded killer. It makes me a scoundrel, and not dead, which is a good thing. Seriously, George, shut up.
Finally, I’m all for getting a good bargain, but I guess what constitutes good differs depending on which part of the world you live in. Take Japan, for instance. I mean, 20% off is alright, but it would have to be 50% or more before I’d say it was that good of a sale.