Wednesday, February 6
I thought I might put a few links on today for a change, so...
One of the truly fun boardgames that I played once, a long time ago, and have longer for ever since is The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game. It involves up to six players and the purpose of the game is to end up with the most cash. There are six races in the game, and you can win varying amounts of money from them depending on the particular race and where you're placed. However, the real money is to be won by betting on the winner of a specific race. All bets are hidden, and it's a rare game in which you don't deliberately attempt to make your horse lose a race in order for another (more profitable) horse to win. All of this is spiced up by special cards which allow players to do various nasty deeds such as knock horses out or change the outcome of a race.
You can see immediately from its title that it doesn't shy away from the true nature of boardgames, which involve deep-seated resentments and anger boiling over into players maliciously attacking others; just ask anyone what I'm like when I play Monopoly! Anyway, it's all fun and I'm probably going to buy this boardgame sometime soon.
Here's an amusing short story on how Britain might have become an evil empire in the late 19th century, headed by none other than Professor Moriarty. Hijinks include the English cricket team singlehandedly fomenting revolt and widespread tensions in the USA and a war against France.
An interesting interview with Ken MacLeod (SF author) in which he echoes many of my own sentiments regarding transhumanism. Worth a read.
I heard a nice factoid from my neurobiology lecturer a couple of days ago; he said that our cerebellar cortex in the brain, thought to be responsible for the prediction of muscle movements, often 'recalibrates' itself in the presence of semi-new scenarios. So when you're driving a new car, you'll turn the steering wheel a bit from left to right to test how it goes, and if you're sitting down at a computer you haven't used before, you'll wiggle the mouse about a bit to test the sensitivity and see how it moves.