Videogames versus other media
Artist: I made a watercolor of teenagers at a picnic. See how the transparency of the paints highlights the interplay of light and shadow on their faces?
Composer: I came up with a short symphonic piece on the same theme. Hear this bit? Note how the flutes can suggest either birds chirping or the happy chatter of carefree teens.
Playwright: I wrote a romantic comedy about teenagers at a picnic accidentally revealing the crushes the have on each other.
The other two: Nice! When can we see it?
Game developer: (smugly) Whatever, check this out: We just finished an in-house graphics engine that takes advantage of the new mega-texture multi-layering via dynamic shader chaining of the new HS7979xTreme+ GPU. You can look at a tree and see every single leaf dancing on the breeze.
Artist: (impressed) So you're making an interactive piece about the beauty of trees?
Game developer: No way, that would be boring, man! It's a game where you shoot bad guys in the face.
The other three: ...
Game developer: What? You should see the ragdoll physics!
Signs your first day at work is also the last
I haven't had a full-time job for a year now (ed: as of 2010-10-19), and while I'm not 100% opposed to the idea, the latest attempt to get one reminded me in a rather painful way about the reasons I hate full-time jobs. If this happens to you on the first day, consider running away screaming:
- Nobody has their own workstation; they keep moving between computers like guests at the Mad Hatter's table.
- When the lights go out, they have a difficult time accepting the simple reality that they're forced to take a break, and run around like headless chickens.
- The boss looks funny at you if you're sitting still even for a moment.
- When the lights go out at the other office, the same boss brings everyone over. Never mind there aren't enough chairs, desks... or electrical sockets for the extra laptops.
And no, don't buy the excuse that it was an unusually chaotic day. Reasonable people would easily deal with chaos by slowing down, sitting back and taking things one at a time. Trust me, the above bullet points indicate a systemic problem. Unless you enjoy stress (some people do), just stay away. Your health (mental and otherwise) has no price.
Germany vs. Romania
One quick trip and you can't help but notice the differences...
German railroads: you go across the country, switching three trains in the process, and you don't even speak the language; everything goes without a hitch.
Romanian railroads: the actual train number doesn't match what's on the ticket. You end up running back and forth between the information desk and the platform. Luckily, the train is late.
A German's idea of a low-end train: no electrical outlets in the cars.
A Romanian's idea of a decent train: the toilets actually work.
A German's idea of clean streets: "What is this 'dust' you speak of?"
A Romanian's idea of clean streets: we don't have any idea. Really.
Germans do everything by the book, no matter how unimportant it may seem.
Romanians do nothing by the book, not even the most important stuff.
How do you recognize a Romanian in a German train station?
A: It's the guy with too many bags who doesn't look where he's going.
Have you laughed? Good. Laughing is good. But remember, it's all true.
Three types of OS users
I finally identified the essential difference between Windows users and those of other operating systems. It's very simple, actually. Windows users will bitch and moan about their operating system at every turn. They'll complain about bloat, viruses, bugs, prices, Bill Gates... just about everything Windows, yet they would never, ever try an alternative.
Unsurprisingly, Linux users are the polar opposites. They positively love their OS; if they see any flaws in it, they're totally willing to overlook them. They use what they like and they like what they use. Still, offer to introduce them to some other OS (the more obscure the better) and they'll jump at the opportunity to try something new. As long as it's not Windows, of course.
Last but not least, Mac fans are, well, fanatical about their favorite platform, which they consider perfect. Trying something else? Surely you're kidding! Windows is totally uncool and Linux is for rocket scientists. No wonder everyone else disagrees with them.
Can we all get along, for a change?