Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tools of the Establishment

I listen to talk radio a lot. I read several political blogs. I care about things...and I have an interesting idea.

I feel that the public isn't apathetic about politics, but they are overwhelmed by them. The media is a poor tool for spreading a great deal of information quickly. Politicians craft their own slick messages that are hard to believe, unless you're already a believer. I hear again and again how busy people care, but don't have time to keep themselves informed. Heck, even if you're really political, it's tough to find credible information on any voting topic. People vote for incumbants because they know them, and they don't have EASY access to other options. Example: As a die-hard democrat I will never, ever, vote for a republican. It's nothing personal, the party just doesn't reflect my views and values. I would, however, vote for new democratic leadership in the primaries *IF* I could find information on those candidates. Information.

I propose an electronic voting tool. Sort of cross between myspace.com and match.com, totally centered around voting and elections. The tool would provide:

Member Profile: Survey would cross reference with candidate survey/reports allowing voters to find candidates who share similar views with memebers, even if the candidate isn't an incumband and/or isn't getting a lot of press.

Candidate Profile: Similar to member profile, surveys filled by candidates are listed as surveys. In the absence of a survey, a report may be filed by a member of the candidate's party (or administration as a last resort.) Imagine going to the polls knowing which judge you want to vote for!

Initiative/Referendum Profile: Along with the text of the law. Initiative profiles include what candidates and polititians support/oppose them. Instant poll information shows member opinion. For/Against comments provide views from members.

Voting Tools: Opt in/out for E-mail alerts regarding new initiatives, referendums, ect., new candidates entering the races. Online polls covering all upcoming votes.

Donation Tools: Any candidate or group sponsoring or opposing an upcoming may establish Donation buttons on their pages. The site funds itself by taking a % of each donation.

The big questions include how to keep the system neutral, and where to get information. I would strive to de-emphasise party in favor of a series of key issues. Candidates would of course specify what party they belong to, but I see no reason for members to do so unless they really wanted to.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Edit: Crap. I just found out there's a German game called Industria. A search I did a few month ago came up clear. All that work on the logo...shot to hell.

My current personal gaming project. Industria is being designed from the ground up to be the first player-created trading card game. The basic intent is that players will given tools to create cards, rules, and art for the game. The basic setting, rules, and factions will be established at the beginning to provide a launchpad for whatever fans choose to do. While the setting is meant to be a dark, sci-fi, environment, where it goes will be largely decided by the players. At least, that's the plan.


Industria is a 10,000 square mile city, surrounded and engulfed by a sea of poisonous gas. Only the upper levels of the thousands of towers provide complete safety from the poison below. The city is controlled by the Monastery, an enclave of super scientists and self-proclaimed gods. While they are in control, they are far too apathetic to rule. That is left to the oppressive Ministry of Technology, who use tidbits of super technology provided by their masters to keep a stranglehold on the workers who keep the city's massive mechanised life support systems functioning.


The Monastery - Amoral super scientists who see the city and its inhabitants as nothing more than raw materials for their bizarre experiments. Two factions control different aspects of the Monastery. The humanoid Mages have unlocked the secrets of biological immortality and appear human, at least on the outside. The monstrous Priests have long ago replaced thier organic bodies with mechanical apparatus designed to prolong life indefinitely. Priests constantly tinker and modify themselves, so the older the Priest the more twisted and inhuman it appears.

Ministry of Technology - The Monastary's tool for controlling the masses. The MoT is for all practical purposes the governement of Industria. It does not govern the people directly, however, but instead is responsible for keeping the city's massive and labor intensive life support machinery functioning...at any cost. Keeping the masses in line is simply a by-product of their assigned tast. The MoT answers only to the Monastery.

The Hidden - Shadowy figures with mysterious goals and powerful mental abilities. Such is their power that they move completely unnoticed through the corridors and platforms of Industria.

Unionists - Rebel workers and scientists who fight the MoT for what passes for freedom in Industria. Unionists use forbidden knowledge and technology to gain the upper hand on the well equipped and numerically superior MoT, though such victories seldom last.

Underlurkers - Forced by desperation into the structures built below the poisonous cloud level, these poor souls have been mutated by constant exposure to the gas. The Underlurkers range from mentally enhanced super scientists, rivaling the Mages of the Monastary to beast-like sub humans. Most have a powerful hatred of those that live above the cloud.

Minions - Millions of people toil, steal, con, and otherwise make their lives in the city. Some are fiercely loyal to one faction or another, others couldn't care less for the Industria's politics. Anonymity is the only thing all Minions have in common.

The Game: While still early in development, the basic system will most closely resemble a simplified DoomTown TCG, with characters, locations, and missions setting the scene for action and victory.

This game will require more than just game design to succeed. Web design, art, and other talents will be needed in order to make the user-generated trading card game a reality.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I have just finished constructed Oswald Cobblebot version 2. This is noteworthy because Oswald is fully functional 2wd wedge built with a lexan top. All components are 100% visible, including the wiring.

It is a very good basic robot example.

It's built with:

2x Tamiya single gearbox (running Battlebot toy motors)
2x Tamiya Off-Road Wheels (the fat yellow and black ones)
1x Sozbots ESC v2.1
1x V-Tail Mixer
1x HiTec DCX Rx. Mini Rx would be even better/cheaper.
1x Thunder Power 7.4v LiPoly Battery
20" 1/4"x1" UHMW, cut into three pieces.
10"x4" Titanium (not sure how thick)
9"x5" Aluminum (not sure how thick)
And of course some wire, solder, nuts and bolts.

So simple, even I could build it!


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Brian reminded me that have this blog, *my* blog, too!

This is what I discovered today:


Coolness with legos.

The robot event was huge success. As usual, I came in second. We're looking into holding another one in late July/early August. In addition, we're going to invade the Dorkbot monthly meeting with a demostration of what Western Allied Robotics is all about. What is it all about?

Mission Control (me) vs. Eggbeater (the ladybug)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Seattle Bot Battles IV
One month. One Pound.
One month. Three Pounds.
You can do it.
Life is too short to build machines that last.

Status: ConfirmedWeight Classes: 1 & 3 lbsDate: April 9th, 2006 - Check-in By 11AM, Fighting at NoonLocation:Seattle Center House, Seattle WA

Entry Fee: $20 per robot

Special Event: Mini Kinetic Sculpture Pageant
EO: Adam

Registration - The Builders Database
Sponsored by:

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Smoking Outside Under Attack

Seattle, WA. A recently passed Washington law requires smokers to stand 25 feet from public buildings. This law has recently come under attack from claustrophobics who claim they can no longer find clean air in wide open spaces.
“I don’t feel comfortable that close to walls”, explains Jeanne Hudson, “and now when I try to move away from them, there’s this haze of second hand smoke.” Rather than simply complain, Hudson has taken action. She plans to introduce an state initiative reducing the distance smokers must stand from 25 feet, to 15 feet, from any public building. Additionally, smokers will not be allowed more than 20 feet away from any free standing public structure.
“Claustrophobic non-smokers have the same rights as any non-smoker. We just want to make sure our rights aren’t trampled by those that would send smokers into our space.” Says Seattle city councilman Brett Smoots (D). Smoots has been publicly claustrophobic for nearly ten years, and have been a staunch advocate for claustrophobic rights. When asked how it would be possible to enforce narrow smoking areas, Hudson suggested painting “cancer zones” on parking lot and sidewalk areas where smoking was allowed. “Near the zones, the pavement can be painted yellow, for 80% likely to contract cancer from second hand smoke. The actual smoking zones themselves will be painted red, with skulls and crossbones, to represent the 99% likelihood of contracting cancer from standing in that area for more than a few seconds.”

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Love Monkey, my favorite new show. I love this show. I hope they air a few more episodes before it gets cancelled.

Also, from now on call me A-Con.

Jennifer Lopez started it, with J-Lo. Ok, I can deal with that. Now I find out Mr. Britney Spears, Kevin Federline is calling himself K-Fed. Seriously. K-Fed. Kay-Fed. Kaaaaaaaay-Feeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhd. I've got to stop, or else my nose might start bleeding.