27 June 2011

Political Corruption Pt. 1

You know what makes our political system so corrupt? Or any system? Money. Money is always the key when it comes to it. And where does our system get corrupted through money? Campaign contributions.

Rich people were able to donate "campaign contributions" (a flowery word for bribe) for quite some time, telling politicians "hey, you do this for me and I'll contribute to your campaign." Now, with the new laws intact, corporations can do the same thing. And corporations have way more money than simple rich people. Beyond that, they're even more unscrupulous because they don't have to answer for what they do. Rich people can be arrested... corporations can only be sued. That only happens when the person suing has more money than the corporation and that never happens.

So how would we fix something like that? Beyond removing the corporations rights as people law, which should be done anyway? Do away with campaign contributions. Entirely. Give each candidate a set amount of government money in which to campaign with and leave it at that. Do you know what would happen then? Politicians would have to rely on their ethics and their records and the content of their character to win elections. It wouldn't be about how the guy with all the money flooded the market with his campaign ads so that no one could even remember the other guy.

Bribery is still illegal, I'm hoping, and that would make decisions based off money that much more difficult to accept. How do you think a politician would vote, then, if he knew 70% of his voting population wanted something regulated but a rich corporation wanted it free, open, and unrestricted? How would he vote then?

Maybe, just maybe, they'd start making policies that benefited and supported the people. Maybe our system would actually work then.

18 June 2011

A waste of the sun

Just flew over Phoenix and something made itself abundantly clear. Nearly every house had a swimming pool; most buildings had large, flat roofs; and there was miles upon miles of low buildings. Yet I didn't see a single solar collector. Not one panel. What is wrong with this city? They are renoun for hot, sunny, dry weather and they don't utilize all that rooftop real estate. The malls didn't even have skylights.

If I was mayor I'd certainly look into regulating solar collectors, making buildings with more than x square feet of rooftop space have solar collects build. Encourage people to build more with tax credits and what have you. Seriously, it's silly, this huge city and I could even spot one panel. Craziness.

14 June 2011

I failed.

I had something I wanted to write down and I can't remember what it was. Really should have done it the moment it entered my mind.

12 June 2011

This Old Home

I really need to work on this whole "secret island base" idea I have.  I was hoping to find an old missile silo that just so happened to have been located on an uninhabited island.  So far, no luck.

Funding is also an issue.  I'd like someone to just give me several million dollars but that doesn't seem too likely either.  Somehow there has to be some way to convince people that my ideas are worth the money required.  I'm sure, in time, I'd be able to return the investment.

I'll try to ponder up some plans, may even go so far as to sketch them.  Don't hold your breath, though, as my artistic talent is next to null.

Update: A few key points to make concerning why a missile silo is the ideal build. The underground layer makes it ideal for climate control and secrecy. Also, making the old silo's door into a retractable skylight would just be awesome. Imagine having an open-air nightclub right below that huge opening and, should it start to rain, just slide a glass lid over the whole thing. Light sky above but protected from the elements. Like a football stadium, but immensely cooler.

I'd also consider calling the club "Nuclear" and one of the prime requirements to getting in would be being able to pronounce the club name properly. We like smart clientele around here.

10 June 2011

Renfair Not Fantastical Enough for True Geekery

RenFairs are neat and all, but I'd still really like to see a fantasy fair. I want to see the workers dressed as elves and minotaurs and so on. I want to be able to go into a fantasy-styled tavern and order a flagon of mead. There should be efforts in magic and other elements of the fantasy. That would be really cool. Why is there not more of an effort to create this? Why are people so set in making things "period?" Bump that, I want to have fun.

Money during the apocalypse.

An interesting thing I've encountered in video games, especially during dire situations where you're the chosen one/the last hope for mankind/the last of a band of survivors against overwhelming odds/etc... is how there are still people trying to monetize on your efforts to save everyone's ass. Why on earth should I have to scrounge up bottlecaps or old money or shiny objects to by that automatic rifle when you could just give it to me and I'd save the world with it?

It doesn't make too much sense. Put yourself in the shoes of the shopkeeper at this moment. You happen to have scrounged up some decent weapons, maybe some special ammo, but you are clearly no man of action. You site in your barricaded shelter and hope everything on the outside turns out alright. Things aren't, though, and the future looks bleak. In walks our hero/ine - just the person to get the job done. This is someone with a proven track record of saving the day, of helping those in need, and being an all-around pretty cool cat. He needs better equipment to face the current danger threatening your town. Now, make your decision:
1) You be a dick. Oh, you want that magical sword that would certainly help you save us all? Sure, if you have a 20,000 units of whatever bullshit we're using for money that I won't be able to spend because if you fail we all die. Don't have it on you? Well get your ass out there, face things that may kill you, and in turn kill us, and get more shiny things!

2) Assist. You need this magic sword? I will happily give/lend this out to you. You are an incredible person for manning up and saving the world. Few would do so, as would be the case as you are the only one. Go forth, young adventurer, and bring peace to the world.
Now comes the video game aspect to it. Sure, if everyone just gave you everything you needed, video games would become way too easy. So how do we make up for that? How about instead of accumulating money during these situations you, instead, accumulate favor points. Saved an old man from certain doom? 25fp. Killed the four demons that threatened the city? 5,000fp. Made a poor kid a sandwich? 5fp.

"Now wait a moment, Eisbaer," I hear you question in my head, as your inquiries are imaginary, "doesn't this just directly replace money for a different type of currency?" Some yes, some no. Just because you earn so many favor points and that blacksmith finally gives you that chainmail suit you've been drooling over it doesn't make you less of a good person, so you don't deduct your points from the total.

However, I also feel that you should be able to offer favors as well. 'Look, I realize this blessed blunderbuss has been in your family for seven generations, but I really need to use it to kill this monster.' Seems reasonable, right? So this would be a moment in which you would incur favor debt. You now owe someone favors. Maybe once the monster is defeated they're going to need you to run some errands for them. Easy enough. You could have done it before hand, but darn if those life-giving herbs weren't on the other side of the monster's den. So now you have to remember to pay off that debt. "But why should I," the self-important hero asks my brain, "I've already got the blunderbuss, I've got world saving to do." Because making empty promises makes you a bad person and that debt starts hurting you. Chainmail and blunderbuss acquired, sure, but the CEO of the evil corporation that is polluting the air and water is protected from everything except a rare breed of hamster. Well, the dude that sells those hamsters learned how you stiffed that guy, and seven generations of his family, over that blunderbuss and heard that your head smells. As such, you will not be getting any hamsters from him unless you make up for it. This would either be in the form of collecting far more favor points or going back to the House of Blunderbuss, apologizing profusely, and doing that favor you promised to do.

So that is my recommendation to replace currency systems in settings were money just doesn't make sense.

Ramblings

This will probably be short and sweet. I just wanted a place to put thoughts down. I'm horrible at keeping a notebook or even a regular blog. Things here will be disjointed, random, even nonsensical to those outside my mindscape. Do not be afraid, the feeling of disorientation will not pass, you just need to get used to it.

Gameplay Revolution in MMOs

Someone had mentioned that Shadowrun would make an excellent MMO.  I agree.  I also think that most RPG systems out there could be made into...