Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015, Belatedly.

Progress Continues!

The holidays have proven distracting, on top of any number of other things, but they are nearly done with the impending new year. In the meantime, however, I believe Christmas Songs are still customary.

It's only six minutes, how bad could it be?

Meanwhile now that the actual Christmas is past- and thank you to the the staff who handled their collective Christmas Parties responsibly and without friction (though we again have security footage that will require deletion in some cases)- I have been able to get back to work properly and am beginning to find free time once again. Which, as some of you know, really should be much easier to do than it has been until recently.

A special shout-out if you will to the cult of Urmgosh the Nebulous. The Subterranean Facility loved your Christmas Pageant, but were- I suspect- appropriately confused by it. Was it supposed to be serious? A comedy? Parody or artistic? Primary descriptors used by the attendees were fascinating, surreal, and ineffable. I am sure Urmgosh the Nebulous, if they exist, would be very proud. Or possibly furious.

Looking over the video I was reminded of this. Inspiration perhaps? Be sure to have both clips playing at once, for full effect.

As you are all so fond of saying, no one can possibly know for sure. Possibly not even Urmgosh. Assuming of course they are real, which I personally would not advise.

A late Christmas gift to me personally was the reminder the odd person not paid in some way by me, or otherwise looking to destroy myself and all I have wrought, read this thing. Very novel. I shall have to try to upgrade the quality.

I hope everyone had a truly wonderful Christmas and likewise a fantastic New Year's Eve. New Year as well, naturally.

Progress continues!

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Secret Diary of Darth Otion. Beware Force Awakens Spoilers.

Warning : Any witness to the writings within will be slain. My pain dairy is for me alone, as is my pain.

Fear the knowledge contained within, and flee from it.

Dear Diary,

We finally tracked down the map. Or would have, if General Hux's cannon fodder could do anything right. I had them slaughter the village we found the Resistance pilot in. One of the Stormtroopers, FN-2187, had some sort of mental breakdown, nothing else explains their looking directly upon my dread countenance. Perhaps they could see the deep pain I hide behind this horrifying mask instead. Moved to silent admiration for my commanding prescence despite the suffering I endure, mocked and bullied by the Light Side as I am.

I spared them, just in case.

Now though, I will extract the location of the map from the Resistance Pilot. He will see the Power of the Dark Side.

So noble I stand through my suffering. Life is pain, death is mercy, the villagers will never understand my kindness.

Dear Diary,

I found this taped on my door.

I think General Hux is behind it. When I find the minion he tasked with this, I will force-choke them to death. The idiot doesn't understand. The Lightcrossguard doesn't need to be functional or practical in any rational sense. It's symbolic. It embodies my noble purpose and dedication to a higher ideal. It looks so much more powerful than a conventional Lightsaber. If Darth Vader had used one, it's symbolic weight would have surely kept him from succumbing to the seduction of the Light Side.

It makes people take me seriously.

I found this on my door last month. They are so bitterly jealous of my dark erudition.
Dear Diary,

I was betrayed. It hurts, so badly. 

FN-2187, the Stormtrooper I was so kind as to spare, escaped with the Resistance pilot. Why must they hurt me so? Here I thought that they might have seen past my mask and into the true me, but where I imagined admiration I know now there was only jealousy.

I should have slain them then. Stupid of me. So stupid.

Darth Vader would not have made this mistake. I will pray to him for guidance.

Dear Diary,

General Hux fails me yet again. He's surely doing this on purpose, just to spite me. Master Snoke fails to see the truth, that they are sabotaging me at every turn. Still, he makes it clear to them that they must clean up this mess. Also my mess. I had to destroy so much equipment to vent my terrible rage over the news the Droid, and the map, escaped.

The only thing that soothed my rage was mention of a girl with the Droid. She's important to me somehow.

Master Snoke mentioned my incomplete training. Perhaps soon my trial comes, and I can finally free myself of the Light Side's offensive tugging at my soul. The pain will end, all I have to do is kill Dad.

I hope it counts. He's not even my real Dad.

Dear Diary,

We have destroyed the Republic. It would have been glorious, but for having to listen to General Hux prattle endlessly on about it. He knows nothing of true order. True power.

But enough about that cruel idiot.

We captured the girl. Her beauty calls to my tortured soul, I removed my terrible guise, to sooth her in turn with my handsomeness as I invaded her mind for the information I need. Unexpectedly she saw into my mind in return, and cruelly created lies about what she saw there.

Me? Afraid I am not as strong as Darth Vader? Absurd. I had to get out of there immediately to avoid bursting into laughter. Because it was laughable. I'm just as tough, or will be once I kill Daddy.

Dear Diary,

The girl is some sort of Light Side prodigy. She escaped. I was so angry, but then Daddy turned up. He asked me to take off my helmet while I spoke to him. The fool.

I asked him to help me, and he agreed. So I killed him. Even in the end he couldn't admit the truth. I am clearly adopted.

I LOOK NOTHING LIKE HIM OR 'MOM'. How long did they expect me not to NOTICE?!
Still, I think it worked. I feel much stronger now.

Dear Diary,

I was defeated today. I would have been killed, but the earth conveniently split me away from the girl, who despite being a Light Side Prodigy fortunately did not spontaneously master Force Jumping as well. It's so unfair. Being a Dark Lord is sooo haard, and no one understands!

I have no idea what went wrong. Perhaps killing Daddy wasn't enough because he wasn't even my real Dad. Master Snoke says it's time to complete my training anyway though.

It had better work. In the meantime I must find out who my real dad is, so I can find and kill them. Just to be sure.

I'm going to cut myself on the ride back to Master Snoke.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Viral Legacy

Progress continues.

Though I can take little credit for it. Having something of a sick day here. Vexing really, as for reasons I shouldn't get into that should have been nigh impossible. Still, I have a virus. But not Windows 10. It's biological.

If you choose the left option, Microsoft will reveal they actually already installed Windows 10 when you weren't looking.
The sad fact of this is that for most people this tactic will be successful. They will resent it though. People always resent it when you chip away at their freedom to choose. That's not going to stop "Behold my works, ye mighty, and despair!" Microsoft though.

They're really quite determined to force this, despite the fact that being a de-facto monopoly already ensures that the next time any of us buy a PC, Windows 10 will be right there on it complete with advertising and a pop-up that reminds you you can have a fully functional word processor/media player/etc. for a low low monthly fee.

They might as well slap in some novelty user avatars and rename it World of Windows Online: Through the Dork Portal.

A subscription model with a cash shop has been every company's wet dream since Blizzard's most successful skinner box. And of course this one comes with a surveillance package that makes NSA Directors jizz their pants. Though you can disable those, I'm told. At least until Microsoft patches out that option without telling you.

Enough about that, however. Normally I would not linger on this topic, but I am ill and cranky today and THAT, above, was the first thing to pop up and insult my intelligence. "Both buttons say to upgrade! Oh noes! I musts upgrade!"


Where was I... Oh yes. There is nothing like a bit of illness to make you ponder your legacy. After all, immortality is not on the table. When I am gone, and I must go eventually, what will I leave behind?

Surprisingly little that is attributable to me, as it happens. When I cease, so does Arketer Labs. I should have quite the long run yet and- worry not- all projects not completed by then will still be pursued. It just won't be by Arketer Labs.

Meanwhile I myself am indeed just a manager of the truly brilliant, with comparatively little aside of some, reputedly, good ideas that went into various projects. Still, when it is time for those projects to meet the world as a whole, my name won't be attached to them.

In a decade or so, perhaps I should settle down. Have an Heir or Heiress. Take a decade or so off of the expected end of my lifespan to open a cafe somewhere... Or I really rather think I would enjoy running one of these.

Well, time will tell.

Here, have something terrifying.

And now something less terrifying, courtesy of a friend.

Progress continues.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dirty Windows

Progress Continues.

I personally use Windows. Just on the one computer as I find the novelty refreshing.

However over the past year or so I have been ever-increasingly annoyed with Microsoft's determination that I really should upgrade to Windows 10.

Windows justly caught a great deal of heat for that middle one.  It says "Upgrade now or Upgrade Later this thing is happening, Peon." 

Microsoft is an anti-competitive software Titan. They aren't going to give anything away if they aren't sure they will make more than enough money to compensate. This would perhaps be fine, if they were upfront about where they make their money.

That it should be free to the consumer is not good news to the consumer. Microsoft is loyal to money, but if the money is not coming from the consumer then Microsoft is not going to be loyal to the consumer.

So the question arises- Who is Microsoft loyal to now?

Clearly it is someone who can pay them enough money that they can eat losses in giving away copies of their software for free.

What then are they selling to this mystery buyer? It isn't software, clearly.

Rather than explain this however, Microsoft spares no expense to tout the many wonderful improvements Windows 10 offers over previous versions- Oh, and has now decided to no longer say what is in it's patches to Windows 10.

This is the New, More Open Microsoft.

Windows 10. "You'll pay, one way or another."

Really, the entire thing is an attempt to spite Google- itself a terrifyingly powerful company- but one with less in the way of villainy in it's history. Microsoft wants to take them down by getting your information before they can- and by subtly forcing you to use Bing.

You didn't think Cortana was googling anything, did you?

Meanwhile I rather prefer the old way of buying software once, rather than having my software replaced with something under subscription models bundled with intrusive spy and adware.

Of course, I do grant it would be that much worse if they did that AND made you pay for Windows 10. Which many will still have to do.

About the only good news on this point is that it lowers the bar even more for the Steam OS. Assuming Microsoft hasn't discreetly killed that somehow in a backroom somewhere.

Progress continues.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Subversive Heroism

Progress continues.

Not that I will be discussing it, of course. Instead I'm going to talk about a cartoon series that ran initially from 1983 to 1985.

I was a fan, at the time for all of the stupidest reasons- as befit my age.

The series covered the misadventures of an abomination of science, a malfunctioning cyborg with the IQ and self-awareness of a toddler. They were supposedly the hero, despite only ever accomplishing anything on their own through the sheerest chance.

Pitted against it was an organized terrorist organization lead by a criminal mastermind with the good sense to distance them so far from their crimes that not even the fans knew what they looked like.

Were it not for plot necessity and the intervention of two additional players, only the worst of outcomes could be expected, and that brings us to the true heroes of the series. A small girl genius and an improbably loyal dog genius.

The smartest characters in the entire series.
The team of Penny and Brain were responsible for nigh every case's successful resolution and while they tended to fall short of stopping the Nefarious Dr. Claw for good, still kept him and M.A.D. in check.

Penny often took great pains to ensure that her Uncle Gadget received credit for her and Brain's work. This was accepted without question. Presumably because it would have devastated Inspector Gadget to realize the truth, that he owed all of his success to his underage niece and dog, the latter whom he could not so much as recognize as a dog if Brain wore so much as a fake mustache.

Of course, it is more accurate to realize that Penny simply put her Uncle to very good use as she did what was necessary to thwart M.A.D.. Inspector Gadget was the bumbling, loud, noise-making useful idiot who drew the attention of the nefarious while the Competents- Penny and Brain- actually got things done.

Letting him have the official credit is, if anything, a bargain for the amount of threat his bungling diverted. It no doubt helps she probably did care about her Uncle. Indeed, why not let him have the acclaim for the risk he put himself at?

Perhaps more importantly, in a practical world had her role in affairs become public- she would likely soon become unable to participate in resolving future threats. Either simply for being underage- adults would reasonably wish to spare a child from danger, or because thus clearly identified they would have been much more directly targeted by M.A.D.

In this, they- whatever the writers intended- exemplify not just quite the strong female role model (predating what is probably the next most competent female role model in the fiction of the age- Samus of Metroid fame.) but also what a true (benevolent) genius would do. Getting what needs to be done, without desire for vainglorious celebration of their talents and courage. Not because those are terribly corruptive elements- which they are- but because such puts them in a great deal of danger by revealing them to their enemy.

After plot armor, secrecy and misinformation really is the best armor. At least until we develop something better. Complex remote-control operations are close to being a new second-best, though they do seem to breed a certain carelessness in practice...

But I digress.

Remember the heroic genius of Penny Gadget!

Mr. Gadget could have been much more disastrous in another profession indeed.

Progress continues.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Intrepid Lemon Demon

Progress Continues.

Recently I have come to realize that one artist keeps turning up in my internet meanderings, one which has been turning up for a great deal of time. So much so, they feel a bit like an old friend, even though we have never actually spoken.

I speak of course of Niel Cicierga, or Lemon Demon- if one goes by their Porn Name.

Best known initially, I believe, for their song and "The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny", posted below, they've made a career for themselves out of humor and music- but mostly humor. They are also solely responsible for one of the most personally touching songs I have on my alarmingly advanced music player. Which is not The Ultimate Showdown.

While I am only really beginning my foray into entertaining weird people online, Lemon Demon has been at it for years- and shows no indication of slowing down. It is safe to say I am a fan. I am, in fact, somewhat envious of their zeal for it.

No small inspiration as well. I keep meaning to write them a fan e-mail, but quite frankly just can't bring myself to breach the idea to #0. They really have no appreciation for such things.

Niel Cicierga is on Patreon, but without a good polarizing scandal which to ride like a bucking bronco, sadly brings in less than one-third of other internet celebrities who have ridden such things hard.

Progress continues.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Plot Twist

Progress continues.

On some things anyway. Rather having fifth thoughts on Arketer Labs of Tyria. Specifically the Field Tests and whatnot.

I rather think no one particularly likes Roleplaying that uses dice in any meaningful way. Even when it's not, in fact, particularly meaningful.

Mind you, I quite understand. Dice interrupt the narration, the immersion and color. Their only charm is in ensuring true unpredictability.

But, for that to be the case, you have to be comfortable with accepting the consequences.

My goal in doing these Field Tests was to create a context in which those consequences should never be terribly unpalatable, no matter how bad they are in practice.

Of course, I truly do hate dice (barring some methods of alteration). It's only fair you know, they hate me. They hate you, too. It's rather as if probability itself resents having it's time wasted.

So, since dice compound the difficulty of interesting anyone in playing with remote-control Clockwork Simulacra- those are getting shelved and quite possibly the shelves tossed into the incinerator.

The other major aspect of difficulty- Remote-Control Clockwork Simulacra being too far-fetched for this highly realistic fantasy world with teleporter objet d'arte and fully autonomous Clockwork Simulacra, Giant World-Eating Dragons of unusual patience and a massive intelligence network (Pact, The Order of Whispers in Particular) that couldn't manage a guess that the humanoid plant people and plant wolves, the only such creatures of that sort, were linked to the Giant Plant Dragon- which was freed by one of them...

Well, that particular aspect of difficulty must endure.

Progress continues.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Thwarted Arrow

Progress Continues.

Not quite at the pace I would prefer, but does it ever? To be fair the only person I can blame is myself.

I can allow no excuses.

Meanwhile here's a thought that has bothered fine minds before. How does anything ever get done?

Take for argument an Archer is shooting at a turtle, either because he's a hunter with an irrational fear of turtle bites that must feed his family- or because he's just a jerk picking on one of natures less fortunate creations.

So he lines up a shot, perfectly aimed, and releases an arrow.

To hit that turtle, the arrow must travel halfway to the turtle. Then it must travel half of the remaining distance. It must, in fact, cover half the distance again and again- infinitely.

How then, does it ever actually strike the turtle? Because strike the turtle it must and observably does.

I am led to believe many a philosopher has been inclined to muse over such paradoxes. The Dichotomy Paradox, in this case.

For some reason I am absolutely convinced the truth is thus:

The Archer only thinks the Turtle is the target. What does the Arrow think is the target? According to physics it would be the center of Earth's gravity, would it not?

The arrow isn't perpetually closing half the distance to the turtle, it's perpetually closing half the distance to the center of the earth, only some utter asshole has arranged for a turtle to be in it's way!

But in all fairness to the archer, that arrow was never going to reach the center of the earth. While it perpetually closed the distance between itself and the center, something was always going to get in the way. Dirt, trees, other wildlife, someone the archer hated more than turtles...

Thank goodness arrows are immune to existential ennui born of futility. Our ancestors would have starved.

Now, if only I could put this curiously non-drug-induced revelation to some practical effect...

Also I am considering reducing this blog to being the heavily narrated creative-writing record of Arketer Labs of Tyria's Field Tests. Just as an aside.

#0 never lets me use it to comment on the more interesting things happening around here anyway.

Progress continues!

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Terrible Power of Jar Jar Binks

Progress continues.

Jar Jar Binks is powerful.

As in Multiply By Zero powerful.

He is the cinematic equivalent of a kazoo.

Indeed, much like there is not a song yet written that- when played on a kazoo- does not become a laughable mess I cannot imagine a single movie in which putting in Jar Jar would not make it absurdly terrible.

Just picture any memorable quote from a movie, and JarJar it to damnation. That link takes you right to a handy translator, if you have mercifully managed to forget how that horrible snail-eyed gecko-donkey spoke.

A few examples :

"Missa wish missa knew howa to quit yousa."

"All thesa moments ganna be nocomebackie in time… likein tearsies in rain!"

"Ever since missa ganna remember missa always wanna be a gangsta. To missa da was bedda than be da chancellor of da unit states. To be a gangsta was to own da biiig empire."

"Franklies missa dear, missa no giva damn!"

"Goes ahead, makes missa day."

Jar Jar truly does possess a dark power.

Progress continues.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Constant Reinvention

Progress continues.

As you can see, I am back. I am not sure entirely many people quite noticed I was gone to start with, but that's just one of those things a mature person has to bear with good grace.jerks

That said this little period of silence has only lead to, hopefully, a renewal of personal purpose and refinement of priorities.

I am not the man I was two and a half weeks ago. But then, who of us is the same person they were two and a half weeks ago?

Certainly not you. That you from two and a half weeks ago doesn't have two and a half weeks worth of memories that you do. It's quite possible they would not in fact make all of the decisions you have thus far today the same way you have.

They had an untold number of hairs you presently lack, however replaced they may have been by new growth since.

They're sporting a layer of skin you've sloughed off, and lack the new layer you've got under the rest.

This isn't to say you're entirely different. Hardly enough time has passed for there to be significant turnover of body cells and that old whopper about every cell in your body being replaced in around seven years is patently false.

Indeed, you have a number of neurons in particular that have lived and will live precisely as long as you do- or a few seconds longer depending on how you end.

But that is entirely too morbid.

Rather than dwell on the fact that the persistence of being is quite possibly illusory, it's best instead to note that we as sentient beings are not only profoundly mutable- as time renders us all- but unlike all the other creatures of creation (in nature anyway) we are capable of conscious self-alteration. Which means we can at any given point in time start pursuing self-improvement to counteract the mindless destructive change that is entropy.

For a time anyway.

Alternatively at any given point we can choose a new direction for ourselves and set out on that path. Ten years to master almost anything. It's not too late to become an expert on anything you like, if you can find the focus.

So, let us all set out today to become a person whom our present and past selves would look upon enviously.

At least until that future person becomes toothless, wrinkled and/or senile. At which point looking back fondly is probably going to be inevitably preferable barring a solid faith in a pleasant afterlife.

I am definitely no longer this reputable-looking gentleman sporting that vase of perfectly safe fog-concealed halloween candy.

Progress continues.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Villainy, Hyperbole and William Arthur Ward- Redux

Progress continues.

Before I go dark as I must for the next two and a half weeks or so, I thought I would present this partially rewritten old removed blog post. It's entirely too simple, but advocates some worthwhile habits all the same.


In this post I would like you to consider the folly of internet villainy. Or rather, the folly of indicating an individual or group as being a villain or villainous on the flimsiest of evidence- if any at all.

Now, to be clear I am not saying villains do not exist. There are all too many people who, via grotesque narcissism or compulsive deception certainly qualify, however they are- I believe- vastly rarer than many would believe. Instead I note that most vilification in the media and internet has been not only horrible, but horribly ineffective to the point of being outright counterproductive.

Why? Because as a society- I speak of the internet especially- we do need to collectively learn that there is nothing to be gained from getting incredibly angry about people being wrong on the internet. There is nothing to be gained from trying to paint people we disagree with as irredeemable human beings unworthy of basic dignity (I believe some exceptions apply, but are- I would insist- most rare indeed and not to be casually identified).

When you paint someone as a villain you oversimplify and exclude the possibility that they are simply mistaken. Worse, by painting them as an irredeemable villain you effectively exclude yourself from being taken seriously by them. Very few people on the internet, when faced with abuse and vitriol, become more likely to change their opinion as a result.

On the contrary, they are more likely to buckle down in defense of their point of view and may even stop considering whatever the given subject is objectively at all.

Who is right becomes more important that what is right and when that happens- everyone loses.

To avoid this, I would put forth that it would serve any reader well to be more aware of hyperbole. A.K.A. jingo, rhetoric, drama, or fishnozzle.

Now, hyperbole is not something commonly effective on someone who disagrees with you. Instead it is something you must be wary of in your allies. It will most often be used in an echo chamber, or closed circle of like-minded individuals to reinforce a siege mentality and discourage any disagreement with the consensus.

It is the megaphone by which the loudest idiot ensures they are heard over the others.

It needs to stop, yet it can only be stopped internally. You, dear reader, need to be able to stop and ask yourself 'is what I am saying accurate or dramatically exaggerated?' if the latter, you will need to be the one to then re-evaluate and back down.

If you do not, YOU run the risk of becoming the loudest idiot or a minion thereof. Worse still, hyperbole works on the user as, or even more effectively than it does on anyone else.

This is how Men's Right Activists convince themselves they are oppressed by women. This is how wishful special omniqueer you-can't-prove-I'm-NOT-an-oppressed-minority types come to genuinely believe they are as well.

These people are not the enemy though. Their backwards thinking is. The enemy is a problem, not a person.

When you attack a person rather than a problem as if they are the enemy, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy in most cases. It turns out that when you attack the average person, they tend to react to it as if YOU were the enemy. Imagine that.

Finally, spare yourself considerable grief. Do not bother trying to harass MRAs or Social Justice Warriors out of existence. It's not going to work and each of them will just take it as confirmation of their existing biases. Effectively using it as encouragement.

Instead I would encourage you to take this quote to heart.

"It is wise to direct your anger toward problems - not people; to focus your energies on answers - not excuses." - William Arthur Ward

If you solve the problems that give rise to these people, you set the stage for everyone to move on to something more worthwhile.

Or, failing that, donate to a worthwhile charity to spite your enemy I guess. That's better at least. You know we've got a lot of room for improvement when 4chan shows us a better way.

Progress continues.

Perhaps most comically of all is the fact that this Jesus is still far too improbably Caucasian to be a proper representative of the Middle Eastern Jewish Son of God.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Binary Thoughts

Progress continues.

Someone I greatly respect noted that however well-intentioned my previous post was, I was actually falling into a rather nasty trap of thought. In fact, worse than that, I actively enticed any readers (mercifully few) into falling into it as well.

Binary thinking.

For my part I believe my partiality to it is aggravated from my extensive exposure to American Culture. Americans especially are trained into Binary Thinking, it's very useful for manipulating the populace.

Do you vote Democrat or Republican? Is one good and the other bad? Is one Friend and the other Foe? What do you do then, when both choices are terrible?

This is where I steered people wrong, and this is a shame. Binary thinking cripples thought terribly.

Humanity in general is very prone to thinking in black or white. Good or bad. Friend or Foe- and the temptation is easy to understand as it provides one with a relatively simple world in which they are always 'good' or 'right'.

But it's profoundly illusory.

Now, don't misunderstand me, extremes do exist. Good and evil  do exist. I would advise being wary of anyone who insists there are no such things. That said, finding such things in their pure forms is roughly as likely as finding a true-to-myth living unicorn.

We do not live in a binary world, so binary thinking- though convenient- leaves you critically vulnerable to manipulation as stated before and prone to, even entirely left to your own devices, horrible mistakes.

Binary thinking works for a binary world where it is Day or Night and not, in fact, evening or morning or Brunch. Ever.

Which I suppose we all know, but tend to selectively forget when we're provoked to outrage against 'Others'.

Progress contines!

Friday, October 16, 2015

I.F.F. Systems

Progress continues.

Not, perhaps, where I would prefer it to... Still, progress is progress and the vital bits are taking priority as they should.

Events have prompted me to wax philosophical however.

Have you ever considered what makes someone your foe or your friend?

I've spent entirely too much time pondering this question in years past, and I find myself revisiting it.

Is it dictated by how you react to people? Is it dictated by how people react to you?

In what measure?

How many of your present friends would have been foes had you met initially in a different context?

How many of your foes could have been steadfast friends?

Who do you want to be your friends?

Who do you want to be your foes?


The answers to these questions, if you can answer them honestly, will tell you much about who you are and where you are going.

Not that you should necessarily share your answers. Assuming you are self-aware to the point of being able to answer such questions, spreading that around will likely tempt someone to test you- if your answers hold true they can then manipulate you based on them.

Knowing the answers yourself though... That is important.

Hopefully they don't mark you as some variety of sociopath, but so long as your sole answer to the last question is 'because it is advantageous to me' you're probably fine.


This is of course definitively navel-gazing philosophy, so don't get carried away with it. It does nothing in itself, but simply serves as a tool for self-calibration to the ends you wish. Choose those ends wisely.

For my part, and I suspect that of most of Arketer Labs, those can be largely boiled down to leaving the world better off than we found it.

Do the locals badmouthing the Shepard justify his actions or do his actions prove the accuracy of the badmouthing? I err towards the latter in this scenario. Still, however questionable the logic at play- if you think about it the supremely powerful tyrants do seem to have been generally miserable bastards.

Progress continues.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Progress continues.

I have been a bit underwhelming as a guild leader as of late, in Guild Wars 2 that is. Rather slacking off I think, not fully applying myself. No more!

I have it in mind to do things a bit differently with future jobs. As it was I was hoping to build fun outings out of in-world events and combat, but rather doubt it can be sold to people. Instead, I have something a bit more complicated I intend to launch.

Fully DM'd combat in which the hateful Random Number Generator determines the fate of the party. A location is chosen, ideally at an easy jumping puzzle, the party enters and plays as usual to a certain point at which they either are attacked by a big bad or attack such a thing on orders. Their characters will be limited to what their Proxies can do, each with set stats loosely patterned after their chosen profession.

From there, the digital dice decide with an expected relatively high failure rate.

Failure that should be utterly shameless for anyone, after all- their actual character might have done a bit better. Plenty of excuses and uncertainty. Glitches, hardware malfunctions or limitations...

Indeed, I have a 'glitch' system in mind that will allow players to attack twice on their turn, at the risk of debilitating malfunction.

Meanwhile "Dr." Retekra Rotcerid continues to be a babbling lunatic. Their therapist informs me that they're making great progress however as they recently came to understand that the name they have is a bastardization of mine and my title.

So they've announced their name is now "Dr." Retekra Rocerid... Frod. Or, in short, Dr. Frod.

That's Frod as in Clod, by the way. Not Frood or Frow-d. Frod. Dr. Frod.

I really don't know what to make of that. It seems apt and yet somehow too honest while still being technically meaningless. I cannot believe they knew the Old English term. This has to be some sort of self-awareness peeking through.

I'm officially endorsing this, in any case. I'm even willing to tolerate them being called Dr. Frod without complaint. It's self-disclaiming!

Progress continues.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Introductory Mass Deception

Progress continues!

Here, at least. Hopefully at Stage 2 as well.

Elsewhere there are... problems.

America bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital.

The U.S. is investigating, but apparently needn't worry as CNN's Mairi Mackay informs us in their article "Is bombing a hospital a war crime?", because apparently it isn't by virtue of the U.S. being too powerful to answer for a crime because it's just collateral damage. Yep. U.S. couldn't have responded to a report of terrorists at a massive MSF hospital ANY OTHER WAY but by bombing it for an hour and a half or so.

It's like when you find a spider in an apartment, so you quietly set up some demolition charges and bring the complex down.

Sure, you've murdered every family in that complex, men women children and family pets alike, but it was the only way to be sure.

Hopefully your jail cell will be clean, or you're a well-connected wealthy commanding officer who will be 'protected by your own'.

In times like these it often pays to look at news sources rather removed from the American power system.

Right now the best thing the U.S. can say is that "They are investigating". Please note that the death toll from this strike keeps growing. As of this writing it's 22 dead and 33 missing, with the odds of the majority of those 33 turning up in one or perhaps even two peices in which one part is still alive- rather slim.

If the U.S. does not hold it's own accountable... Well, suffice it to say you can't be the good guys and cover for a fool in your ranks who ordered a lengthy airstrike on a Médecins sans Frontières hospital. However much they are worth, whatever friends they have, they just acquired negative value as a human being, as has every person who obeyed that order.

You aren't going to get out of that sort of red easily, but if you don't have them start trying you'll stain the entire country instead.

Already the blame is getting juggled. They want to say it was 'some afghans' who ordered it, but that is understandably unacceptable to competent commanders who don't want people thinking any idiot with a cell phone and the right number can have the Air Force solve their problems for them explosively.

This isn't really a question, so long as the latter are then held accountable- it's the latter. Clearly. Yet...

Here comes the juggling of which is better- looking incompetent, or holding the person/people who is/are accountable.

But this is all very serious and happening in a far away land of people not like us- except for the doctors and whatnot. I mean, they were probably like us, only better. Well, nevermind, let's move on to something that is depressing in a different way.

Star Citizen is fucked.

Who knew that a man fired for never knowing how to focus and just make a game would blow 90 million dollars and fail to make a game. Chris Roberts is going to ride that nuke all the way down.

If you are inclined to read that first link, which has greatly offended the sunk-cost-fallacy victims, what is most damning in it is perhaps not even the allegations that are made- it's the reaction Chris Roberts himself has to each of them.

They allowed Chris Roberts to basically put in his own objections to every allegation.

In fact, you could make an article out of those responses alone.

Meanwhile people already invested in this game that does not exist have started calling the author of this article a hack and saying things like how clearly Cloud Imperium is not running out of money because they keep going back and improving things you see.

Actually, if you keep going back instead of going forward- that's a really good way to run out of money.

Also I found that Mr. Gio Getmoney (the fellow in the link above) has the nerve to call other people hacks and frauds to be shut down by common sense... rather adorable. He's impartial, you can trust him, join his star org!

When this starship titanic finally realizes it has hit an asteroid, it's going to be a fascinating show.

Even better? After 90 million in development costs, it already should take your virginity on command in a polite and enjoyable way, as opposed to the present figurative barrel it has you over.
I don't know if this game will ever see the light of day, but I cannot see it being anything other than Squadron 42 Forever.

Star Citizens may keep the faith, but ultimately that will only serve to needlessly create far greater cynicism in the world when reality prevails over directionless vision.

Progress continues.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Stage 2 Labs

Progress Continues.

I think Donald Trump has me depressed.

"Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game." - Donald Trump

Well, obviously.

And yet an alarming amount of the U.S. Population believes he can be trusted not to bump up that high score with the power that would be at his disposal in the Oval Office.

Fortunately he is not the only Billionaire in existence, and others that exist- albeit all too few- have a purpose higher than that of a child in an arcade.

So, aside from us working in obscurity, here are people applying their minds and resources to things that matter more than high scores.

Created by the man who made his fortune with Five Hour Energy, he's applying the absurd wealth gained from an absurd product to something vastly more useful. Improving the global quality of life.

It's quite inspiring. If you have an hour to burn, the video is well worth the watching. This is genius.

I admit, I am a bit jealous of how they have pulled this off, but as they are not especially clandestine I do rather fear for their future. There are an alarming number of powerful people in the world who would happily keep half the world in misery and poverty than risk seeing their high scores drop.

I think we can expect great things from Stage 2 Labs, assuming they are not destroyed.

Meanwhile I find my focus waning personally. A side effect perhaps from an ongoing project... Productivity remains through the roof, but how much I am getting done causes all that I am not having much success with to seem that much more of a waste of time- even if I have the time to spare.

Still, I can be quite stubborn if I put my mind to it. We shall see how it pans out.

Progress continues.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

This Day of Questionable Judgement

Progress Continues!

Though not without complication.  #0 has been a bit irritated with me since I wrote about their Tyrian counterpart on a post for a RP 'job' for the players of Guild Wars 2. Surprisingly sensitive, #0. In any case I am striving to cut down on irritating them. Ever since we shutdown Retekra Industries they have if anything only gotten more anxious about reprisals. I intend to leave them out of future writing efforts and otherwise try to reduce their stress level.

Something we've done HAS irked our enemies however. Though to say their sense of humor is twisted beyond mirth is a profound understatement- this time however they've actually done something very funny. They've threatened to expose the project Retekra deduced the partial nature of themselves.

Given they would have to expose their own possession of similar shall we say... under-regulated technology, which they have ALREADY abused terribly- Well, now I see a bit of where Retekra gets their hideously deranged incompetence from, if outlandish heritage claims could be said to have any merit.

Ah, but I am no doubt losing the audience- not that I presume very many not scouring it for intel to use against us read the bloody thing.

 Meanwhile it's a good day for science in general. In most places.

For examples of it going wrong, there is always Sadly, This is Not the Onion.

Where on this day you can find where an university's students have protested a Mexican restaurant handing out sombreros because it's racist. I'm sure they're very proud of themselves, for far too long have people near the University of East Anglia been inflicting the unspeakable act of wearing novelty hats while eating Mexican food. Mexico was going to threaten war over that any day now.

Yes, why on earth would they be concerned with the fact their country has an alarmingly large percentage of it effectively under the rule of drug cartels when British people could be eating a burrito in comical attire.

Meanwhile in yet another example of Zealotry leading idiots to effectively campaign against their own supposed goals, 'hardcore' vegans have been protesting to get dog meat put on the menu. Please do take a close look at the photos. These people have convinced themselves that railing about how people will eat cows, but not dogs, means they are horrible hypocrites. As if people who ate meat took some sacred vow to consume all animal life.

"Oh, oh, you eat COW?! Well, why don't you eat DOG?! Why not KITTENS?! Why not Platypus?! I don't see you eating the AUSTRALIAN CONE SNAIL, HYPOCRITE!"

But for two silly and bad ideas I note Sadly, This is Not the Onion does not always promote such.

In fact, today it refers to a silly and GOOD idea as Kansas Governor Sam Brownback declares October "Zombie Preparedness Month".

It's terribly silly and dovetails all too well with Rural U.S. fantasies in which they get to fire off shotguns slightly more gratuitously- but to effect. Yet, it does promote good habits that may well serve all the citizens of Kansas in the event of any number of catastrophes, such as tornadoes, which Kansas is certainly not unfamiliar with.

So, please, more of the last and less of the first two, world.

Thanks in advance.

Also Retekra is soon to get his blog privileges back. He lost them recently after trying to sneak in edits to one of the few parts of his blog he is not allowed to edit.

I am being told that this will be good and that when he's writing his deranged babble- primarily about rubbish marijuana-fueled 'philosophical' posts from others on Tumblr- they are much more manageable. I'm taking the handler's word for it as to do otherwise would mean talking to Retekra myself.


Progress continues.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Shake the CYBER-VAWG for the Babby

Progress Continues!

Not that long ago I had the curious good fortune to acquire, by means #0 most assuredly would not approve of me discussing, a rather unique vantage point. One which has me both constantly busy and also so idle I hardly know what to do with my time.

Such a perspective leads you to noticing certain things, like for instance how precisely America controls it's self-unaware citizens and gets them to- again and again- vote against their own best interests and in the favor of the Corporations that now have more powerful civil rights than they do.

Not that private interest was particularly weak BEFORE the Supreme Court more or less said they had a constitutional right to buy political candidates.

Don't slap yourselves on the back, though, International Community- most of your governments tend to do the same things to similar results. In fact, one tactic has been SO successful that they've bought it in bulk and are putting it before the United Nations.

Red Herrings are the political McBurger, they even don't have to be particularly good to get people to buy them.

Ideally Red Herrings that are dramatic but at best/worst simply make things a touch more difficult for poor people while protecting lucrative business opportunities from worrisome public scrutiny or opposition.

In the United States the Red Herring of choice is Abortion. It's emotionally charged (angering in particular, one of the emotions of choice for shutting down higher brain function), it allows people to believe they are defending innocent babies or the rights of individuals and best of all no matter what side people are on in the argument- there is absolutely no risk whatsoever the topic will result in any meaningful government reform. (Yet people will support or abandon a candidate over this one issue.)

Meanwhile with Net Neutrality more or or less dead in the U.S. the corporations that stand to profit now set their sights on this hated enemy on an international stage. They've learned that if Net Neutrality becomes a dominant topic, then the public can be rallied to interfere because sadly there are enough people who understand its importance to do so.

What to do... What to do...

From the CYBER-VAWG report HERE.
Have YOU been the VICTIM of CYBER VIOLENCE?! I know I have, as- I believe- just about anyone who has played an online Player-Versus-Player game that has made the mistake of allowing combatants to speak to each other.

Oh, wait, I forgot to ask the important question. Are you female? No? Ok, well, you don't count then. MEN can TAKE such abuse, Women however are so sensitive to the bad words and hollow threats on the Internet that only MEN can handle (There is no Cyber Violence Against People Report) that apparently that we must relabel it CYBER VIOLENCE and PURGE it from the internet to protect their delicate sensibilities.

Oh, does that sound sexist? Damselling perhaps? Well, we'll just have to find some women who've made their careers on selling this concept, and have them do it for us. We'll put them before the U.N.

It's only internalized patriarchy if it goes against the media narrative.
Oh, look, there they are.

I am particularly disappointed that for someone who made their initial videos under the supposed intent to fight the trope of reducing women to being Damsels in Distress in video games, Ms. Sarkeesian jumped on the effort to Damsel them in real life and DAMSEL THEM HARD.


Working with the industry to make the internet safe for VAWG? I thought VAWG was the enemy...

Well, problem solved. The forces behind this know the topic can be useful and profitable for all involved- except the average citizen. It's proven! I mean, look back at the shambling horror that was GamerGate. Tremendous potential to reform internet 'journalism' shut down with the blanket generalization that everyone not venomously opposed to GamerGate and anything it had to say was a Misogynistic Shitlord who must be destroyed to protect women.

Now they can bring that shallow, self-congratulatory and ironically profoundly patriarchal attitude to a more lucrative issue than protecting internet hack reviewers and other 'journalists' from scrutiny of their ethics. (Which as we have seen from the last entry was a lost opportunity indeed.)

Do you think this is a distraction? A Red Herring to keep the people hyped up and fighting for the emotionally charged and 'clearly' visible RIGHT side? While vastly shadier but less dramatic transactions get slipped past in the noise?


Bam. Attention wonderfully drawn away from where the money will be made at the expense of the lower classes, starting from the upper-middle I might note.

I detest unnecessary (actual) violence. Fake violence is grand, because thus far fake violence is decades away from posing any scientifically verifiable threat to human life in any capacity- and words, however mean spirited or in poor taste, do not even qualify for that. Mind you, civility on the internet could stand to be improved considerably. Just... Well, for everyone. Also it's not ACTUALLY a matter of life and death.

We would be better off dropping the hyperbole and offering free courses on how to deal with obnoxious people in a healthy manner and how to avoid BEING obnoxious. (First step, don't threaten violence. Against anyone.)

If the U.N. and U.S.A. want to tighten the laws on stalking regardless of gender, that would be lovely. I believe we already have laws against what these CYBER-VAWGers threaten to do.

Meanwhile CYBER-VAWG sounds like a terrible monster indeed. Right at home in the lazy Sci-Fi of your choice. Wait- didn't I see that in an episode of 'Starbarians'?

No, I must have been mistaken.

Progress continues.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Buzzfeed's HIV-Negative Shaming OR : Buzzfeed Believes HIV Favorably Comparable to Bellbottom Jeans

Progress continues.

Not for some however. In fact, some people have once again decided to get so VERY progressive they have gone from advocating equality to advocating for a disease, which makes them objectively more foolish than Anti-Vaccine activists.

Patrick Strudwick, the Buzzfeed LGBT Editor has apparently opened his mind so far it has vanished within itself leaving a quantum paradox of bad logic in it's place.
Unasked courtesy of  Bubbachrissy

The article persists HERE, somehow.

The article, sadly, is not commenting on what an absurd thing it is to view HIV as 'a complication' that one is ever 'ready for'.

No, it is indeed shaming the individual for rejecting an encounter with someone because they have HIV, however politely they did so while celebrating- CELEBRATING the 'slapdown' of the rejected. What WAS this epic slapdown you ask?

"You wear flared bellbottoms? Clearly that is worse than AIDS. I regret ever contacting you, Sir."

I would note that Mr. Knight and Mr. Strudwick are both writers in the UK. What are the odds they are friends, hrm? This celebrating of mediocre burns to the end of shaming someone who, bafflingly, doesn't want to risk aquiring or actually aquire a terminal illness? The product of unethical journalism?

No, I am sure this is in no way a factor.

Ohey, this epic battle of wits continue- what brilliantly comic wisdom did Mr. Knight have for this loathsome virus not-wanter that assuredly warrants celebration and in no way confirms his opponent is distinctly more rational?

But... Fashion sense can improve. HIV, presently, is still QUITE TERMINAL. Mr. Knight, unrealistic? Well, perhaps not as much as Mr. Strudwick.
This all quite infuriating as it's social pressure being applied directly in opposition to good sense for the sake of ego.

Individuals afflicted with HIV should not be unfairly discriminated against, but it does not obligate anyone to get into a relationship- and certainly doesn't obligate anyone to sleep with them. Shaming someone for not being willing to take that risk is... Well, dramatically more disgusting still. Advocating otherwise isn't being progressive, it's encouraging the spread of a terminal illness.

This isn't an anti-gay statement, it's a pro-gay-health statement. If idiots of this caliber had their sway, it would objectively  shorten the lifespan and lower the quality of life for those who were encouraged to welcome or spread the disease.

If an individual has HIV, their life is going to be harder and shorter for it. It is tragic and this is why the disease, like all other diseases, must be fought- not social engineering applied to turn them into badges of honor or a fashion statement.

When your mission leads to increased death and disease in the populace you CLAIM to champion, Mr. Strudwick, I suspect you need to take a VERY HARD LOOK at what you are doing and why.

Famous for being HIV. Chemsex. This is a Gay Health magazine? GOOD Health? It would better serve the aims of people who want Gays dead.
There is something very wrong with this community. This is not funny, This is utterly horrible. This is rapidly approaching Bug-Chasers-Level insanity.

Discriminating against a disease is NOT quite the same as discriminating again against a person. A person afflicted with the disease IS subject to discrimination AGAINST the disease because the disease MUST be fought or else you are serving to further a plague.

Someone with an illness of this nature should not be shunned, they should not be hated, they should have every practical liberty the uninfected have- but this must not be expanded into pressure for the uninfected to take risks they are not comfortable with- for what should be self-obvious reasons.

If the disease is fought and diminished, then ever-fewer people will ever need to worry about these issues or face the NECESSARY discrimination against the disease. Is that not worth fighting for and, at the very least, accepting polite rejection with a modicum of grace?

Clearly, Mr. Knight. Clearly.
Mr. Knight quite likely does feel victimized- and he HAS been- by a disease (or whoever infected them, possibly). Attempting to pressure anyone into taking risks of acquireing it themselves however, primarily serves the aims of his antagonist, the disease, regardless of what he wants.

Let's now think of something a bit less stupid, such as the last Superman film. It did not in fact, encourage the spread of AIDS in any capacity.

What is it with the last name Knight in any case? It seems to have a habit of turning up in trouble.

Progress continues.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Questionable Decisions

Progress continues.

I am starting to suspect the sinus-implanted explosive in Retekra Rotcerid was intentionally faulty. No doubt some added bit of manipulation to ensure I didn't dispose of them somehow. I am presently securing staff with expertise in handling deranged individuals and hope I can reduce or eliminate my interactions with our new village idiot entirely.

Apparently, and I suppose this should not be surprising, they are obsessed with me- but for the sole purpose of taking a contrary stance on my every thought. For instance during an interview I, in hindsight mistakenly, mentioned my horror that Donald Trump was being taken seriously as a candidate for President of the United States.

Afterwards "Dr." Rotcerid instantly became an enthusiastic Trump supporter.

Their present handler, #51192178, thinks this might be an avenue for getting answers out of them. What's more, they suggest giving them their own 'blog' to 'keep them talking' as it were as they struggle to effectively anti-emulate me.

I am grudgingly authorizing it but really rather doubt the babbling basket-case has anything of value to reveal.

Either way I have been given a new healthy appetite for escapism.

Before I get to how I have been wasting perfectly good time in playing video games, I want to talk to you all about an alarming development.

Did you know incidents of violence against robots are at an all-time high?

Yes, indeed incidents of cruelty to robots are ever-increasing. From the murder in Philadelphia to children bullying robots in Japan- JAPAN! If Japan is bullying and tormenting robots, what hope do these gentle machines have?

Stand with me in condemning Roboticism.

I won't be doing this again, I just really wanted to share the animated gif above.
As for Guild Wars 2, the progress on the guild IS continuing. Indeed, I think finding a means of opening the guild to Sylvari is rather going to be a boon. An alarming number of human character players seem to be in the game to pointedly ignore ALL of the more fantastical elements of the world in favor of pursuing live-action Game of Thrones fan-fiction. Or other pursuits which in one recent case created something of an awkward scene for the Tyrian Director.

I needn't change the name of this individual, they did it themselves after this.
...tugging him with him, eh? Not that an assurance the player was female would have changed anything.

The backstory for the surely non-existant husband was actually quite detailed for a porn plot device. Why they thought it would entice me remains a mystery, but I assume they believed that for other players the power trip of helping a treacherous woman utterly betray the trust of their supposed loved one would be a powerful draw.

I have learned since that they have thus far undertaken new scenarios without a betrayal component.

Also they seem to have put me on ignore.

Some people do not take rejection well at all, however civil.

Well, back to combating the imaginary technophobia of imaginary technology.

I think I rather like this Lyle McDouchebag guy.

Progress continues!
(Bonus Roboticism)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Frustrations and Madness

Progress continues.

Largely without me, as it turns out. I suspect #0 has been quite pleased to have my focus on making something of this Guild Wars 2 guild. Precious little presents a security concern given that we do not, in fact, produce clockwork battle proxies.

Progress on that Guild has been something of a pain, I admit. I would think given my other work this should have been an easy hobby- but I have certainly learned a measure of humility, only a good thing.

Though I am increasingly irritated on the Tyrian Director's behalf. I'm considering making a short list of the most obnoxious role-players. The ones who are condescending, hostile, and smugly emote at length about how great their character is and how bad yours is in order to criticize without inviting in-character retort.

Really, while they do much to support Arena Net's intimations that Human culture is decadent and backward- full of people consoling themselves with the gilded trappings of faded glory as their collective fate circles the drain and other more industrious races leave them behind...

It makes it that much harder to maintain the Tyrian Director's idealism that they SHOULD be saved. If Arena Net ever does decide to have an Elder Dragon destroy the Reach, I am going to have a very hard time maintaining the Tyrian Director's logical horror at the terrible loss of life while I myself am laughing.

I may let the Tyrian Director become slightly less civil and nice.

In hindsight, I am perhaps making the grave mistake of caring entirely too much about these imaginary things. Instead let me shift focus to these things which are also imaginary.

As I mentioned in the last update we captured the 'head' of Retekra Industries, a body double of myself who apparently continues to sincerely believe they some sort of upgrade to me. "Doctor" Retekra Rotcerid.

We've attempted to determine some less idiotic name for them, but they refuse to respond to anything short of Doctor Retekra.

Studies into why they are as profoundly messed up however have borne some fruit. It's no shock at all that they are insane. What IS shocking is that they're alive at all.

Here, I represent a perfectly normal and sane individual.

As you can see, the readings reflect this.

"Doctor" Retekra Rotcerid, on the other hand, even once persuaded to sit still three sets of broken electrodes later...

Has readings that roughly resemble this

This was the closest to normalcy the readings came, even with sedation.
Next up is finding out how they were crafted, so to speak. They are a rush job of some sort, clearly, else the message here is that our antagonists have technology well beyond what we're working on. The implications of that are particularly terrifying, while simultaneously out of our hands.

Perhaps that is the real reason I have found perhaps entirely too much time to waste on this frivolous hobby.

My empathy is strained in dealing with them. They are quite objectively designed to be a mockery of me and everything I stand for. Imagine, if you will, suddenly having a twin brother who believes they are a better version of you- SINCERELY BELIEVES this- and is perpetually demanding you yield control of all your holdings to them so they may 'achieve their destiny' in conquering the world. Which they insist will happen with or without your cooperation.

I am acutely aware they didn't ask for this, and additionally quite aware that if their creators had things go to plan- their brains would have indelibly stained a section of the now defunct Retekra Industries facility, but it really is quite infuriating all the same.

I should simply be pleased that whatever indoctrination they've been subject to has rendered them non-violent. Loud, prone to maniacal rambling, but thus far entirely unwilling to physically touch anyone, much less strike them. They have, however, proclaimed the imminent "Doom" of everyone involved in their handling, including myself.

Maybe Kryta isn't QUITE that depressing in context.

Progress continues.