Month: September 2015

The Mary Sue of SF/fantasy races

Wikipedia: “In fan fiction, a Mary Sue or, in case of a male character, Gary Stu or Marty Stu is an idealized character, often but not necessarily an author insert and/or wish-fulfillment.”

Humans – In many works of science fiction and fantasy in general they could be considered the Mary Sue race, in a special way, through relation to others. (Because as soon as there is a race that puts humans to shame, the common definition wouldn’t work anymore. But such a race could still be a clichée. I just couldn’t find a better way to name this trope.)

I understand that often alien races are a tool for reflecting certain human traits for closer examination and exploration of specific aspects, e.g. for showing us the mirror, but it can also be considered lazy writing and could even fuel a certain hubris.
Did you notice how other races are often just a sub-section of human cultures/psyche/behavior etc.? People would ask things like “What is this race like?” Imagine an ET visitor asked you to tell him what humans are like, what kind of a species they are. Weird question, isn’t it?
It reminds me of how in Star Trek they eventually loosened that view and fixed some of the clichée when they revealed that “warrior Klingons” was just the generalized assumption because Starfleet had mostly just interacted with their military and thus in their narrow-mindedness probably never have considered that there are wise, peaceful Klingon teachers and all kinds of people like that. In a way, here the evolution of Star Trek lore over time serves its own exploration of human nature and our experience of life.

The losing battle of combating crappy web development

I used to use Flash player 11.5 so I could watch up to 60 fps on Youtube, but then they changed several things. First, they prevented that feasible method from working. Then they enforced HTML5 (a player with various usability downsides that I also didn’t use because back then 60 fps worked with Flash 11.5) so that I had to cripple my browser to default to Flash. (That also disabled Vine playback.)

And now, since recently, the Flash player’s bottom bar that shows video length and such is not there unless the video plays. I use an addon for disabling autoplay of videos (since Youtube and such steadfastly refuse to allow it), so maybe that’s a factor, but maybe not. I thought it’s because of my ancient Flash player version, but I should have known better. Even with the newest I don’t have it, so if I want to check lengths of videos I have tabbed (which I do a lot), I gotta play-and-page-reload it.

One would think that with all these obstacles, they’re done because HTML5 now plays 60 fps on Firefox, but at least when they set default to HTML5 it didn’t. I could reconfigure some stuff and check whether it does now, but why go through the effort if I know in advance that it very likely still doesn’t? I’m tired of this!

Youtube prevented the one means for watching 60 fps for my browser, so that kinda speaks for itself.

Same with IE by the way. That one I left to default, without modifications or stuff, and it uses Flash and thus can’t play 60 fps.

You know why all this shit is happening this way, right? Do I have to spell it out?

Google Chrome.

When that browser entered the scene, I knew exactly how it would go. That the power-hungry Google corporation would use it in order to conquer ‘market share’ and thus gain control and then focus on their browser so that others would be at a disadvantage. That’s pretty much what Microsoft tried in the past with the IE, too.

And now the (gradually less) intelligently designed Opera browser is basically Chrome, too, and even Steam has been based on Chrome.

Chrome is the corporate browser. Firefox might go through some bullshit dev ideologies, too, but THAT should be the free, independent standard used by most.

Back when I used Opera (up to version 12), I was the rare-case odd power user. When I finally saw no choice but to change to Firefox (actually Waterfox), that one had already become a minor figure.

If developments of this kind continue, we might eventually be using crappy ports of mobile operating systems on PCs, and “PC” then means gaming-console derivative multimedia computer. Also, private Linux users will be classified as potential domestic terrorists by the CIA, since they won’t be able/willing to imagine that anyone would use it unless they’re a hacker, while, in typical double standard, for business purposes it is considered a smart way to reduce expenses.

Yeah, you’ll have noticed, I’m really fed up with this shit.

People should have woken up years ago when Google dropped their motto/guideline “Do no evil.”. I mean, how much clearer do you need it?

My thesis is that people tolerate so much corporate bullshit because they are afraid of having their own personal bullshit be stripped away.