Coded green.

Tuesday 2 September 2003

Screenshot Master of Magic

Pic of the day: Casting the "stop bug" spell. OK, not, but a screenshot from Master of Magic. (The white chicken, near as I have figured out, is a symbol of white magic. Probably stand-in for a peace dove.)

A sick mind in a sick body?

Was home sick today, as my digestion was acting up. It is still unstable at best, I shall have to evaluate in the morning whether it is capable of a 1 hour commute ... it is really not fair, I have been rather nice to it.

At least I got time to play Master of Magic. I have found a position where I can easily play with my left hand mostly, so I don't damage my right wrist any worse than it already is. As regular readers may have noticed, my relationship with Master of Magic is not one of those quiet, steady ones. It is rather a wild thing, where I reluctantly approach the game after many moons of absence, only to be sucked in once again. The slow, almost boring start that soon gives way to more and more choices as exploration, magic research, city development and military defense all make their claims on a poor wizard. The irritation as competing wizards start to send armies against me even before they have declared war. The satisfaction of smashing said armies using some special strategy that artificial intelligence just doesn't think of. The excitement of the march against an enemy capital, the elation or rather exultation of banishing a particularly treacherous competitor to limbo. The quiet contentment of seeing my empire spread, trying out new spells, and cleaning out tough dungeons. The black despair as the show-stopping bug trashes my magic kingdom in mid-game.

This time, however, I was successful. One of my guardian spirits happened upon Ariel's capital city in time for me to storm her tower before she could cast the Spell of Crash Computer. Several hours of joyful gaming ensued.


One of my favorite games newsgroups has recently become a forum for debate about the feces content in American hamburgers, and McDonalds in particular. Evidently the large-scale production means that once gut bacteria become mixed into the food, they are distributed very widely indeed. Somehow this is taken as proof of "lowered standards" in society as a whole, part of a conspiracy to produce stupid, mindless customers for Big Business. And the saddest part is that the wild-eyed leftist loon is played by one of my favorite posters.

Food poisoning is indeed a problem in America and increasingly in Europe too. I'm certainly not the only one who is absent from work because of gastrointestinal problems, and unlike this case many of those sick leaves are caused by fast food. Again, especially in the USA. I am not amazed. With the runaway price war on hamburgers, something has to give. In the long run, you can't get anything for nothing. Rather than running a loss, the major chains have to cut corners here and there. And the more corners they cut, the more people will get violently ill and eventually die. In the Holy Empire of Litigation, the fast-food chains may still rue the day they started on that downward spiral.

But that's how the laws of economics work. If all you compete on is price and brand name, quality will bear the cost. If you compete on quality, price is going to suffer. You can't get it all.

You can however get more and more of it all. Since my childhood, a lot of things in life have improved. From the safety of cars (the first car I remember in detail did not even have safety belts) to the speed of computers ... improvement, improvement left and right. Somehow I wonder about the inner workings of the minds that can forget all this and identify market economy with the few scandals. What is a scandal today, after all, was what our ancestors had to live with on a daily basis. On the farm where I grew up, we didn't have a refrigerator until after I moved out. Incidentally we didn't have a shower either, and the toilet was part of the barn, much like in the bronze age. I've probably swallowed a lot more gut bacteria than the people who boycott McDonalds. Well, unless they're the type that don't wash their hands after going to the bathroom, in which case they deserve whatever bacteria they get, don't you think?

I do wash, actually, but some days that's just not enough - although I feel better now. Not working helps for almost everything. ^_^ A sick attitude in a sick society ...

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Icky Monday
Two years ago: Sparks
Three years ago: SIMple pleasures
Four years ago: Making Sense

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