Archive for July 2014

Facebook Deactivation   3 comments

I deactivated my Facebook Sunday night. It got to a point where I got fed up with the online company (and I don’t mean the website). I started to feel detached with myself and had to put a stop to it.

I’m still available, limitedly, everywhere else. Other than that, I’m nowhere.

To be honest, I don’t know what I’m feeling now. It seems I’ve lost interest in a lot of things. I could feel my writing and thoughts progressively get bitter every week. You wouldn’t have read of them here, though.

Worriedly, I lost 10 pounds in just 2 weeks. No exercise. Just didn’t have the appetite. I’m still undecided on whether I like being alone and hate social gatherings. I feel lonely at times and want to seek company. Overall, my mind is all over the place.

A constant stream of music, undivided focus on certain games, gaming making and TV shows are the only ones to keep my mind preoccupied before it regresses to unworldly, horrible thoughts.

I’m done.

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Posted July 29, 2014 by StupidSystemus in Personal

July 2014 List Post   1 comment

1. I haven’t played on my PS3 in a while since I finished Uncharted 2. I got roped in to watching an RPG Maker VX Ace video on YouTube. It got me all nostalgic about the RPG Maker 2000 game I was working on (on and off) that wen’t nowhere from 2002 to 2007. I dusted up all my files and managed to port most of the my project to RPG Maker 2003.

Ever the perfectionist, I spent 3 weeks and got hooked on Maplestory again. I haven’t spent a dime on this free-to-play game. This shows incredible restraint on my part. I already reached level 200 on my main character, but they’ve added 50 more levels, additional quests, game mechanic changes (GUI, character balancing, etc) and new characters. Not much leveling on my part… just overall character improvement.

2. I’ve had the first two season of The Wire in my harddrive. I got hooked on the first two episodes. I literally “marathoned” the entire series (five seasons) in less than two weeks. If I were to judge and make this show the standard to all shows I’m going to watch, I don’t have to watch any other show again. It’s that good. I thought Game of Thrones was complex. The Wire takes the cake. They have just as many key characters, if not more, as Game of Thrones and each of them have been exceedingly memorable. I thought the show couldn’t do any better after Season 3, but they proved me wrong. Season 4 has the best storyline out of any shows I’ve seen so far.

It’s really hard to describe this show. It’s not a police drama like Law and Order. Some have called it Urban Procedural. It has a rich sociology intertwined with the organizational structure of Baltimore’s police, politics, drug-trade, middle-class, school system and the media. It portrays a fictional Baltimore dealing with all facets of the organizations and how they affect each other.

Season 1 introduced two major groups of characters: The Baltimore police department and a drug dealing organization run by the Barksdale family. The season follows the investigation of the Barskdale family and the police’s wiretap on them (hence the title of the show) and the inner workings of the police department’s hierarchy.  They also introduced two mainstay characters:

Omar Little, a stick-up man who robs the drug dealers in Baltimore. He lived by a code to not involve citizens in “the game.” Reginald “Bubbles” Cousins, a recovering heroin addict who sidelines as criminal informant for the police.

Season 2 continued the ongoing examination of the drug problem and its effect on the urban poor, but also examines blue-collar urban working class as depicted by the stevedores (dock workers) in the city port. Some of them get caught up in the smuggling of drugs, other contraband and illegal immigrants for prostitution. The subplot in the season is the Barksdale organization continuing its drug trafficking despite their leader’s incarceration, with Stringer Bell (second in command) assuming greater power. This was foreshadowed in Season 1 during a “How to play chess” scene. D’Angelo Barksdale (the leader’s nephew) explains chess to Bodie and Wallace as a metaphor for drug deals.

Season 3 put the focus back on the Barskdale drug organization, rival Standfield drug organization, and local politicians. It introduced a city councilman wanting change for the city from a corrupt mayor.

Season 4 put the focus on a local school, the mayoral election, police department politics and action on the street corners.  Four middle school African-American boys are introduced to the story. The central drama is whether “the game” of drug dealing will have an affect on these kids and whether they will somehow beat the odds pointing them toward jail and violent death.

Season 5 continued to focus on the police department, the Stanfield drug organization and city hall while introducing a fictionalized version of the Baltimore Sun newsroom. It was an examination of the devaluing of human life and institutional dysfunction.

“The game” is often mentioned throughout the series as a metaphor for all the organizations. The rules change, but the game stays the same.

3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best movies to come out this year.

4. I added a TV stand on top of my wide drawer and a small organizer on top of my dresser in my room. I planned on getting an L-corner desk, but I have very little room to set it up. I probably don’t need it.

5. Going to eat this naked burrito from Qdoba.

I’m done.

Posted July 19, 2014 by StupidSystemus in Musings

The Worst Thing About the Internet   Leave a comment

I remembered when I was a kid when my mom and our nanny were talking about this pamphlet they got from people passing them around outside the grocery store. I was 8 years old at the time (this was 1992) and could barely read in English. I knew enough to read the pamphlet headline: End of the world in 1999. They were talking about Revelations in the Bible. The pamphlet spoke about the wrongly dead coming back to life. It also talked about the good people being taken with the bad ones left behind. I didn’t understand this concept as well as a kid, but I remembered thinking this would be like an alien mother ship taking all the good people away from Earth. This gave me a scare for a few weeks. Then, like most kids, I stopped asking questions and moved on. All the adults stopped talking about it, so it gave me a sense of security while still partly scared deep down.

Stories and rumors like these spread around cities through word of mouth, soothsayers and the gullible. Some were famous enough to get radio and TV time. People were particularly gullible and believe everything. Growing up, I look back to it all and found it both silly and alarming. It’s silly because adults are embarrassed to be found wrong, especially by a child. It’s alarming that people still spread these rumors and just as many wholly believe them.

My aunt had a “dumb” moment one time. My cousins and I were playing at our house. She came running over, screaming for her kids about something happening in the world. She made us turn on the TV and change the channel to HBO (of all the channels). There was a news reporter talking about an invasion. There were people running and in panic in the streets and other damages. It cuts back to the news reporter signing off and ending the broadcast with the static screen. Then the credits rolled in. My cousins were still asking our aunt (their mother) if everything is OK. I was speaking to myself loudly, saying not not to worry about it as this was just a movie made to look like a real event. My aunt was just staring at the screen and answered in single words to our cousins. They left and went home. I’m still amused about the whole encounter. I think my aunt got embarrassed for believing the movie to be real and didn’t bother explaining her weird behavior. Her heart was in the right place, but she probably felt betrayed by it all.

Fake stories and rumors are still spread around the world in pretty much the same way. The only difference now is that we have the Internet. For all the advancements and convenience it gave the world, I think the worst thing about the Internet is giving stupidity a voice. Many have called this time period the Information Age. Anything we want to know, we can learn online. It’s not immune to misinformation, unfortunately.

It’s probably a human defect inherit to all of us. We put too much trust in the written word. We believe what we want to believe. We read with our own voice in our head or imagine how the words are said by the source (implied source, at least). We project our own understanding and interpret them as we see fit.

“So it was written, so it shall be done.” Not all the time. Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

“To say that nothing is true, is to realize that the foundations of society are fragile, and that we must be the shepherds of our own civilization. To say that everything is permitted, is to understand that we are the architects of our actions, and that we must live with their consequences, whether glorious or tragic.”

There are some serious truths in that quote. Do you think this is true? Or do you just want to believe it? Awake yet?

I’m done.

Posted July 11, 2014 by StupidSystemus in Musings

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