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Narrow Parsers

Creating n00b-friendly interactive fiction by deliberately reducing the number of available verbs? Intersting… Though I rather liked the results when I experimented with diegetic (in-game) hints delivered by an NPC who gets more and more specific to help the player accomplish some orientation tasks. Parser IF is fundamentally driven by player action, by game verbs, in a way that’s not necessarily the case of choice-based IF. When you’re designing a protagonist, a…

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Clickbait writers hate this English professor’s time-saving trick!

Defeat clickbaiters with this one weird trick! You won’t believe how punctuation can save you time. Will you regret clicking that headline phrased as a question? (You can safely avoid clicking any headline phrased as a question, promises an emotional reaction, or hedges a claim with “may” or “could be”. You won’t miss anything important if you don’t click that bait.)

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Releasing a Tiny Game and Trying to Get Paid

[G]ames is a bit more financially brutal than either theatre or poetry, which is funny, because poetry is already financially brutal. It is harder to get people to pay for games than for any other artform I work in. I could make more money for less work elsewhere. That said, in both theatre and poetry most of my money comes not from sales but from commissions and public funding: trying…

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Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed [a Certain Political Slant] News

One day when I was an undergraduate working for one of two competing student papers, two rallies were held on opposite sides of the downtown mall. One group held signs like “Keep your laws off my body,” and “Keep abortion safe and legal,” and the other group held signs like “It’s a child, not a choice” and “Abortion stops a beating heart.” The student paper I did not work for ran…

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There is no cloud. It’s just someone else’s computer.

I have so far resisted the jump to streaming media. I do regularly by Kindle books, which Amazon can send down the memory hole without my permission . James Pinkstone gives me another reason to continue resisting. For about ten years, I’ve been warning people, “hang onto your media. One day… information will be a utility rather than a possession. Even information that you yourself have created will require unending, recurring payments just to…

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Facebook Hired Journalists to Train Its Trending Topics Algorithm

Recently I noticed an unusually incendiary phrase in the Facebook “trending” list, and noticed that several people in my feed were reacting strongly to that language. When I clicked the link, I was taken to a page that did not actually contain that phrase. When I searched news.google.com for the source of that phrase, the results came up nil. A few hours later, searched turned up bloggers who were angrily…