Recent media 5/24

Books
Currently Reading: The Lost Art of Real Cooking. Discussion and persuasion about cooking and how we choose to view it.

Liberty’s Blueprint: How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist Papers A good solid overview of the Federalist Papers, with interesting insight into both Madison and Hamilton. It made me interested in Madison; maybe I’ll read a biography about him.

Podcasts
Dice Tower 303 & 304: I remember enjoying them, but retained nothing. That’s been true of many espisodes of late. While enjoyable, are they a waste of my time? I’ll experiment with the voice recorder and see if that helps.

Master Plan 57&58: Both episodes were about editing and word choice. 57 was a panel on editing, while 58 was a dialogue with a fellow Fate editor. Both were interesting but very inside baseball.

TJ Hour 1022, Boston: A calm discussion about terrorism, with analogies to revolutionary war atrocities and protests, such as the Boston massacre and Boston tea party.

TJ Hour 1023, Human Progress: An optimistic look at science and progress that did a great job of underscoring the improvements in medicine and transportation since the early 1800s.

Other
The most influential thing in recent weeks was the theft of my laptop. It was a painful blow, not really for the shiny silicon box, but for the 10 years of emails, pictures that I hadn’t yet uploaded, etc. that I’ve been transferring forward. I’ve lost several evenings to resetting and changing passwords and installing software on the new system. There’s much worse in the world, but it’s annoying at worst.

Interestingly, both Starcraft and Windows 8 wound up preserving more information than I’d expected. I was looking forward to repeating Starcraft–I’d made it to the final mission, but thought I’d have to start from scratch. Nope! The saved game was online, so I got to restart at the final battle. [Still having trouble making it past 70%…]

Recent Media 5/7

It’s been a while, so I’ve listened to quite a bit and read a few books.

Books
Thomas Jefferson The Art of Power by Jon Meacham. A good book with a good thesis to organize things around. Early in the book it seemed like he was trying too hard to hook everything into power, but it all fit by the end. A good overview. I learned a lot about Jefferson’s early life.

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed. A nice fantasy novel, with magic that’s costly. The setting achieves its goal; it doesn’t feel ‘exotic’, instead, everything just makes sense with a middle eastern flair.

Currently Reading: Are you my Mother? by Alison Bechdel.

Dice Tower 301 and 302–Fine as always; though the top 10 list of 302 was blah… in part due to the wide divergence in what counts as a “political game”.

Play on Target
Episode 8, Table Management Strategies– Wandering, but a good group of guys (yeah, all guys). Their solutions stay in the center and seem pitched towards traditional GM/player splits. Their positions are completely reasonable, if not broad.

Special 1– Great interview; Rite Publishing re: Lords of Gossamer & Shadow. It also had a good segment where Steve Russell admitted that kickstarter really does cut retailers out of the loop, threatening them.

Roleplay DNA Episode 21– Lots of filler to start the show. The topic was “Balancing Act”, balancing gaming and life. Unfortunately, over-gaming’s not an issue at the moment. The solutions discussed seemed tangential to the problem as my friends and I experience them.

This American Life
493: “Picture Show”. On “Mapping” as an intimidation strategy in the occupied West Bank and Painter Schandra Singh on fame and the world of wealthy artists. Interesting views; mapping’s intimidating force seems real and chilling.

104: “Music Lessons.” Okay, but forgettable.

Thomas Jefferson Hour
1020: Archaic and Evil. A discussion about Jefferson’s “tear up the constitution every 19 years” comment. Interestingly, that was tied to the length of 50% of the population changing over–it’s much slower now. I wonder if he’d stick to ~20 years, or still go with “half the population is new”?

1021: Military industrial complex. A threat foreshadowed by Jefferson’s fear of standing armies as a threat to free republics. The show wandered widely, but interestingly.