Archive for 2005

October 7, 2005

The martial arts site may now now be found at Consequently, it will no longer be found at the previous link.

I wrote a sitemap generator for it, and ran it on this site. Since I don’t really have any new content, I only linked it from the home page so far.

New Game Patterns Book

The people from have finally published a book, Patterns in Game Design. It appears to be written mainly from a computer game design perspective, but looking through the table of contents, there appears to be some generally applicable material.

Online Calendar

Such is my life these days that I can’t really commit to anything unless I have my calendar available, which generally means being at home. Since I have an online journal, online e-mail access, and online bookmarks, I figured that surely there was an online calendar. Actually, there are several; I didn’t have the patience to look at all of them in detail. I choose because they had a good selection of view modes. It sometimes returns ‘document contains no data’, but there is a paid service option if it works out. The other little issue is that sometimes the event colors mixed up, especially on the list year view. Anyway, it is available if anybody is curious.

No Oath of Office

I’ve had a tendency to distrust technology, which is probably one of the things contributing to my ‘past orientation’ post some time back. Amidst all the wonders, there is also a continual reminder of technology’s pitfalls. Violence, greed, and social and environmental degradation sometimes seem like hallmarks of our age.

I was thinking about my concept of power and responsibility, and I realized that technology is simply power. But it has no oath of office. There are no intrinsic responsibilities required for it’s use. In same cases (such as some chemicals and many weapons) laws will attempt restrict irresponsible use, but for the post, the power is free for the taking.

If I (ha!) had time, I thought I could write book. I would be set in fantasy world where magic and technology coexist. The plot would center around tracking down a rouge mage who had broken his oaths. Meanwhile, there would be repeated, casual, interactions with people using technology in worse ways then the mage’s abuses of magic.

A game could also be effective. Probably something in the genre of Final Fantasy, where advancing in magic requires the swearing of oaths that have real in game impacts, while technology is free to anyone who can pay money for it. An interesting idea I just had – use speech recognition to actually have the player swear the oath. If he comes close to breaking it, the reminder is to play back the recording, in his own voice.

Life Patterns

These are the ones I wrote down for my home list, though I imagine they apply at work as well. I don’t do especially well at applying these, so I probably need to look at the list more often :^)

-No, Better – I believe I wrote about this earlier.
-No Procrastination
-Do not suffer to exist any problem that is within your power to correct.
-When faced with a titanic force, turn it against itself (I inferred this one from an article; I haven’t had the opportunity to apply it yet.)

Work Patterns

I’ve been trying to write down ideas that seem to have general applicability to various areas at work (I’ve got another set at home.) This is the ones I’ve come up with so far, hopefully tags will tie together further insights.

-Ask for the deadline (usually, it was yesterday)
-Anticipate problems – just because the piece needed right now is missing, that doesn’t mean you can’t pre-empty later issues.
-It hasn’t been tested until you have a 100% as-installed system.
-”Where there is smoke there is fire” – Where there is a questions there is a problem. Or, where a person doesn’t know one thing, they probably don’t know a lot of things, and it may be possible to provide that information before it becomes a problem.

Power and Responsibility

Power shall be used for any enhanced capability directed by a person. It includes powers direct, indirect, and material. Direct powers would be talents, skills, and knowledge. Indirect would be ability to command the services of others, be it through respect, persuasion, or threats. Material sources include raw materials, tools, and capital (money).

Responsibility shall be used for some action or function that person is expected to execute. It may be a personal responsibility (eating well, avoiding danger) More often responsibility is used for a function that is a common good for at least a small group of other people.

A police officer has the responsibility to maintain the peace. He has the powers to arrest or harass (fine, etc) those that disturb the peace, as well as training to handle expected situations.

A government has the responsibility to protect it’s citizens safety and provide for the common good. It has the powers to make and enforce laws, maintain armies, and usually tax.

A CEO has the responsibility to keep a corporation functioning and profitable. He has wide powers to command and direct the resources of the corporation towards these ends.

The key concept in all these examples is that power is given to enable to execution of responsibilities. This the right relation. To give power with the hope that it will be use responsibly puts great faith in the character of the recipient. Responsibility without power is helplessness. Power without responsibility is tyranny.

Numerology: this is a little spooky

You entered: Justin Lee Love

There are 13 letters in your name.
Those 13 letters total to 52
There are 6 vowels and 7 consonants in your name.

Your number is: 7

The characteristics of #7 are: Analysis, understanding, knowledge, awareness, studious, meditating.

The expression or destiny for #7:
Thought, analysis, introspection, and seclusiveness are all characteristics of the expression number 7. The hallmark of the number 7 is a good mind, and especially good at searching out and finding the truth. You are so very capable of analyzing, judging and discriminating, that very little ever escapes your observation and deep understanding. You are the type of person that can really get involved in a search for wisdom or hidden truths, often becoming an authority on whatever it is your are focusing on. This can easily be of a technical or scientific nature, or it may be religious or occult, it matters very little, you pursue knowledge with the same sort of vigor. You can make a very fine teacher, or because of a natural inclination toward the spiritual, you may become deeply emerged in religious affairs or even psychic explorations. You tend to operate on a rather different wavelength, and many of your friends may not really know you very well. The positive aspects of the 7 expression are that you can be a true perfectionist in a very positive sense of the word. You are very logical, and usually employ a quite rational approach to most things you do. You can be so rational at times that you almost seem to lack emotion, and when you are faced with an emotional situation, you may have a bit of a problem coping with it. You have excellent capabilities to study and learn really deep and difficult subjects, and to search for hidden fundamentals. At full maturity you are likely to be a very peaceful and poised individual.

If there is an over supply of the number 7 in your makeup, the negative aspects of the number may be apparent. The chief negative of 7 relates to the limited degree of trust that you may have in people. A tendency to be highly introverted can make you a bit on the self-centered side, certainly very much self-contained . Because of this, you are not very adaptable, and you may tend to be overly critical and intolerant. You really like to work alone, at your own pace and in your own way. You neither show or understand emotions very well.

Your Soul Urge number is: 7

A Soul Urge number of 7 means:
With a number 7 Soul Urge you are very fond of reading, and retreating to periods of being alone and away from the disruptions of the outer world. You like to dream and develop you idealistic understandings, to study and analyze, to gain knowledge and wisdom. You may be too laid back and withdrawn to really succeed in the business world, and you will be much more comfortable in circumstances that are tolerant of your reserve, your analytical approach, and your desire to use your mind rather than your physical being.

You are very timid around people that you don’t know very well, so much so at times that casual conversation and social situations can be strained. You tend to repress your emotions to the extend that some people have a good bit of difficult understanding you. You tend to be very selective with friends and you don’t easily adapt to new environments or to new people very quickly.

The negative traits of the 7 include becoming too much the introvert and isolated from others.

Your Inner Dream number is: 1

An Inner Dream number of 1 means:
You dream of being a leader and one who is in charge. You want to be known for your courage, daring, and original ideas. You seek unconquered heights. People may get a first impression that you are very aggressive and sure of yourself.

The Void

A while ago I had a small epiphany about the void as a fundamental creative force. I was thinking about my long term employed status versus some of the entrepreneurial enterprises I am involved in.

The place where I work would probably have to called a small to medium sized business; not huge but not ‘mom and pop’ either, probably about 80 employees in two locations. The business literally started in the owners garage. After a few jobs that didn’t work out and a few joint ventures that fell apart, the owner figured ‘Well, I can’t do any worse than these other guys’ and set out on his own.

Because that business has survived since, I’ve had a steady paycheck and a short commute for several years. My boss had a void to fill, I haven’t.

My martial arts instructor has a similar story. The martial arts school he started out in ended up closing amidst scandal – the certificates even turned out to be fake. He went to extraordinary measures to complete his black belt, and then floated around for a while, eventually coming to a series of teaching positions that got organized under the name his own school. If his original school had been stayed open, I might be training there instead, and the Academy of Hosinsul would never exist.

In the marital arts themselves, the void shows up. If you want to put someone on the ground, you often need to make a place for him to fall. A hole in one’s defenses could be described as a void as well.

Years ago, I did a lot of things to fill the void – programming and game design mainly. Now, my life is rather full, and these interests compete with myriad other pursuits.

The Death of PayPal

Years ago when PayPal offered the option to notify me of policy updates I took it. The notices had been a minor annoyance since then, but nothing to actually worry about – until the last one.

The new policy is that items offered on eBay with PayPal must accept all forms of payment PayPal accepts – including credit cards, and furthermore you must in no way indicate a preference for certain payment types. In order to accept credit cards, one has to upgrade one’s PayPal account, whereupon a fee is charged on all transactions, credit card or not. The credit cards I understand – the credit card companies charge fees, so those have to be passed on. Its the parasitic infection of all transactions that bothers me.

Now, it happens that I personally already had this kind of account; I was selling an item I didn’t have great hopes of finding a home for, and didn’t want to scare away the buyer. It was partly my own fault for not specifying payment type – the main problem being that I didn’t realize that a straight-up credit card payment was possible through PayPal. But I did have the option (then) and chalked it up to a learning experience.

Being denied that option, however is the kind of corporate BS that I don’t take, so I canceled my PayPal account.

Strangely enough, a little latter I browsed an article about the downfall of PayPal, which all started when they got bought by eBay. It was certainly reassuring to know I wasn’t alone in seeing a problem.

A little while later, I saw deeper in the latest issue. eBay is double dipping. By forcing everyone to the fee-bearing accounts, they make a percentage of every sale, twice. To be fair one is for a listing service and the other is for a payment service, each of which carries it’s own costs. But the lesson of communism and it’s ilk is that super-concentration of power leads inevitably to corruption, and the heavy-handed policy changes of PayPal-eBay have just that scent of greed.