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Showing posts from November, 2011

Steam Problems with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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I've recently been discussing problems with the Steam scheme for games on Amazon forums and product reviews.  To me, this (IMO: completely illegitimate) "digital rights" system seems almost virus-like in its intrusive and disruptive nature.


(Above: Taskbar After a Steam Update)
Debate opponents who are strong supporters claiming to "love Steam" suggest I've been unfairly targeting a great add-on, with suggestions that my computer, myself, or the Skyrim program are culprits.


 (Above: Steam hangs, neither button works)
 (Above: When internet access is limited, this immovable window
locks user out of software indefinitely.)
 (Above: Use Windows to shutdown malfunctioning Steam at your own risk!)

Unfortunately, I was unable to collect screencaps of the "Changes to hard drive loop" which appears, like so many problems, related to using Steam to handle the startup for Skyrim.  Digging into the internal functions of Steam and telling it to resync its internal…

Objectivity 1.2 - Collective Empiricism

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The world is big, chaotic, and dynamically changing.  To get a grip on things, we humans put things in categories to which we refer with terms like "dog", "pastel color", "malaria", or "revolutionary scientific theory".  
To communicate ideas to others, they must be able to understand the terms we use, and have the ability to recognize when something fits a categories we are using.  To facilitate this, books have been produced for centuries which provide examples demonstrating relationships between individuals as types of a category.  What we learn about each category seems to be summed up by an archetype of that category.  
Joseph Campbell's "Power of Myth" related the interesting role culture plays in forming this archetype with a category of creature known as "the dragon".  
In Western European culture, the dragon embodies the sin of greed: amassing treasure and virgins through violence, yet neither of which he is able …

Objectivity 1.1 - Blind Sight

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Chapter 1, Epistemologies of the Eye & Blind Sightopens with the claim that "Scientific objectivity has a history" and the authors proceed to distinguish this concept from the far more ancient virtues of "truth" and "certainty".  
Fascinated with the processes of thinking and understanding by which I might not just learn more, but ways to learn better and understand things otherwise unobtainable, this kind of material is irresistibly sexy.  Also, I hate to be wrong in a degree that used to be called "scrupulosity" or "obsessive concern with one's own sins and compulsive performance of religious devotion."  In my case, this means ethical science. 
Although the 3 values interact and overlap somewhat, each is distinct, different, and is an important tool for understanding.  Also, they represent evolutionary stages of collective cognitive development in scientific research. 
Daston & Galison provide historical illustrations deve…

Objectivity 0.1 - Prologue, Objectivity Shock

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Objectivity by Lorraine J. Daston and Peter Galison opens with a man alone in a dark room, obsessing for years over drops of mercury and milk liquids hitting a pane of glass laid on a table.  With the strobed light from a spark, he was able to temporarily "burn" a frozen image of drops' impact on his retina and using this image, he would sketch the and later write extensively on the "perfect symmetry" produced by these splashes, the beauty of such a symmetrical form, and so on.  This was perhaps the first effort of its kind to capture instantaneous measure of a dynamic process, and use the technology to elaborate categories of outcomes, or "simplification through a pictorial taxonomy".  Trouble arose when cameras replaced eyes, and that perfect symmetry which had made such sense emotionally and mathematically, NEVER occurred in reality.  All the sketches, drawings, and text referred to something that did not exist and after 20 years, Arthur Wor…