Jun 30, 2004

Wiki quote

I told you about Wikipedia.

But this is not all. There are several other nice wiki related projects bundled with it.
My favourites is the Wikiquote.

Don't you just love quotes? I do. And the wikiquote has this lovely option 'random quote'. Nifty extreme, I say.

Radnom quote for you all...guess from who - Leondardo da Vinci. Yes, it was random.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Till another quote...


Update on my Javascript trouble (tnx Wodzuniu for help!).

I found the error source. It is my firewall. For those interested in details...

Date: 2004-06-30 Time: 21:34:11
Removed http://commentthis.com/window.open('http://CommentThis.com/CommentThis.aspx?blogid='+bloggerid+'&blogitemnumber='+bloggeritemnumber+'&style='+stylesheet+'&blogtitle='+blogtitle+'&emoticons='+emoticons+'&encoding='+encoding , 'blogitemnumber', 'directories
From http://commentthis.com/CommentThis.js
Because Script-based Popup

Fixiti, fixiti...

Updatish...fixed. Somehow I got it fixed. Don't ask me how. I am not sure myself - I just hit the firewall with my trusty hammer hard and long enough till it agreed to let me use the comments again :)

Just wanted to tell you how useful Mozilla was with my work - especially the Web Developer Tools (see Tools menu). If anybody out there is still using Internet Explorer - pity on you. It is like using Ford Model T instead of brand new car. Go download free mozilla NOW!

Jun 29, 2004

Java, GIMP, Monty and Community

I have been having Javascript trouble, which means I cant read your comments ATM. Hopefully will get that fixed soon.

In the meantime, I have seen Monty Python film Life of Brian in cinema. Hilarious. Look at the bright side of death...I like such optimistic messages :)

I have been trying my hand at some graphic designing. Found an interesting open source tool - instead of Adobe Photoshop or Corel stuff, try GIMP.

For some interesting discussion today, see CommunityMayNotScale.

I say it may. Look at Wikipedia. But...what do you think?

Jun 26, 2004

Worth the wait

Well. Many things are. Is this blog one of them? You know better then me...

On Friday, I had another talk regarding my doctorantship in Poland. So far, so good - or even better. The professor has agreed to be my tutor, and now all I have to do is to submit the papers and pass the qualification procedure - which means that my professor must support me, and I have to look better then several other people. Well, my academic creditentials are quite good (three diplomas :>), but my publications are not so good. Wikipedia, several articles on the net...well, when one comes to think of it, I have dozens of online publications and webpages under my care :) Maybe I have a chance :)

About worth the wait thing. New GAIM is out!

Do you use any instant messanger soft? ICQ, MSN, YIM, GG, Jabber, stuff? If you use several - stop! Each takes memory and some even throw ads at you. Go open source and use a beautiful soft that merges all of your buddies lists into one - like GAIM. See the screenshots if you dont believe me how comfy it is. Hope you find it useful. I did.

Well, I am off to writing stuff about me and my future work I should send my soon-to-be (hopefully) supervisor prof. Take care!

Jun 23, 2004

Law, Democracy and Ten Commandments

Today will be less utopian. I have mentioned some time ago that Max Weber had done some interesting research on the impact of religious systems on western civilisation.

Today I'd like to discuss something not connected directly to Max Weber work, but quite interesting nonetheless. The topic for today's lecture, dear students, will be 'Democracy and the Rule of Law'. The inspiration for this was a long ride in the train and an article by dr Bogdan Szlachta - 'Demokracja a rządy prawa'.

First of all, it is important to remember the wise words of Winston Churchill: "Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
Therefore, beware of people who put democracy itself above all and say that if something has been decided by the democratic procedures, it is perfect - not least because it what we call 'democracy' today is not as much as the 'will of the people', but rather 'consensus among elites'.

Now, consider the opposite ideas of two main schools of philosophy of law.
Legal positivism theory states that law is what majority says it is and there is NO inherent or necessary connection between law and morality.
Natural law theory asserts that there is an essential connection between law and morality. This view is frequently summarized by the maxim: an unjust law is not a true law.

Which is right? It is a good question and there is no answer all agree on - hence the two schools and their opposing views, right? :)

What makes me wonder is that: if we agree that majority can decide EVERYTHING, that means that no value is perfect nor eternal. NONE. None at all. And that includes simple things like good and evil. Perhaps one needs to read some sf to really understand what it could mean. I *can* imagine such dystopian world, and even the chain of events - evolution - leading to it - but I don't have to like it. And I don't. It may be necessary, but I hope it wont happen during my lifetime (which I estimate on few thousands of years, as well as yours, my dear readers - but that is a topic for another lecture :).

So I am all for the natural law theory. Now that raises an interesting question - what values should be sacred?

There are three schools of thought here.

First one points to the constitution, as the 'law above all law'. However I dont need to give you examples of how constitutions have been ammended or scrapped and rewritten altogether. Even US constitution is not immune to change. It may delay the process, but it is just a delay, nothing more.

Now consider human rights. They are much better, but they they have one weakness. They are based on logic and reason. Becouse it is logic and reason, children of the Age of Enlightenment and Renaissance that also gave birth to the legal positivism.

Immanuel Kant wrote:

"Enlightenment is man's leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if its cause is not lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one's intelligence without being guided by another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own intelligence!"

And while I am all for using one's intelligence, a great fan of scientific progress and staunch beliver in the inherent goodness of human nature - I think that if we pull out all the stops and let intelligence, logic and reason roam freely, we will end up one day in a terrible, dark place. Place were desire for greater efficiency eliminated emotions, where morality is considered to be a useless artifact impeding progress... I did mention sf literature, right? Go read 1984 by Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley or some newer anti-utopias like The Domination by S. M. Stirling I you think I am being to gloomy. As unlikely as any of those futures are in themselves, each represents a possible scanario which chance for happening greater then 0%. Small? Sure. Ever heard of gambling? EOT. :>

So what kind of balances and checks could be put on reason? There is only one that has proven to be successful. Bypassing logic and reason...the religion. Yes, I am dead serious, even though I don't consider myself to be a believer in any religion I can't see any other force capable of standing up to reason and logic. Setting aside the belief in magic and mysticism, we have to agree that there are some values that should never be changed, some laws that should never be removed - with no ifs and buts.

And believe it or not, I think there is an almost perfect set of rules. Look at the Ten Commandments. The first three put the set above all and require all to accept them without reservation and question. The rest spell the basics for human society, and are definetly wise - they ensure the happiness and well being of individuals and families. Granted, they do require some interpretation - like killing in self defence, or movement of time for rest from Sunday to some other days, and such - but those are minor nitpicks. The Ten Commandments are the father of western philosophy, with its developments of democracy, capitalism and many others.

In the end, I am not trying to convert anybody - I'd be the first to say about any religion the same that Churchil said about democracy, and I'd like you not to think that 10 Commandments = Church or any specific religions with their separate descendant (and definelty less then perfect) rules. But I think that:
- there are some values that must be forever prserved
- only religious (as in not based on logic and reson - i.e. unquestionable) belief can ensure that
- 10 Commandments look like a very nice set of rules to achieve that goal

Hopefully I made some sence. Comments, as always, unexpected :( but highly appreciated ;)

Jun 22, 2004

1001 Ideas

Call me 'renaissance man'. I can talk about almost anything...the only problem is, I have little idea how to make a living of it. So far my best bet is to be a kind of academic...

Although I remember from my economic studies the saying: 'Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach'.

Hrmph. They just envy us, the thinkers, that is :>

Today I have been thinking about one thing. Well, many things, but I have to summarize. So.

1. People should have complete control over their taxes.
1.1 Voting should decide what amount of presonal income must be spend on taxes.
1.2 Any legal business or organisation can apply for 'tax money'.
1.3 This organisation has to present online *all* finance data, all work documents, and all of their decision makers should spend at least half an hour each day on their own version of p-blog (see my post few days ago about p-blog idea) to show what they personally have been doing. The organisation should have a daily activities blog as well, to summarise how the tax money have been spent with links to all appopriate documents and such.
1.4 Organisations will be listed in an online database, sortable on keywords like area, field, etc.
1.5 You can give your 'tax money' to any number of organisations.

It is a bit utopian, but not really. I assume you know what public good is, and the free rider dilemma?

This definetly requires further study. he The Economist recently called Wikipedia the 'one of best encyclopedias' and people working on it (volunteers) - 'force for good' (see BugMeNot if you are not a subscriber). Apparently Economist is entirely 'force for good' ;0

The underlying question is: capitalism, based on one owns personal desires, have proven to be the best system for creating wealth and prosperity (let's live the problem of turbocapitalism aside, I tackled it few posts ago and will undoubtedly return to it). So far, no goverment has been willing to let it govern the public good. Why? They say it couldn't. But they said it about everything else...yet look at deregulation. Can it be that when goverment realises that without their control over public good, the current bureaucratic organisation would lose its reason to exist?

No lawyers (again wrote about it some time ago). No beaurocracy.
Now isn't it a warming thought?

Time for me to foresee the future.

In less then 100 years (I bet on 30) beaurocracy will be replaced by online volunteers, many of whom will be paid from tax money distributed by individuals at will.

How does that sound?

Jun 20, 2004

Birthday update

First of all, today (20th June) is my birthday. I expect a flood of comments with wishes! :)

Second. I know it has been four days without and update, but I have been busy. On Friday I talked with yet another professor of UJ about my doctorate. He was quite nice and perhaps I finally found a right place...well, I don't want to spoil my luck so I'll leave it at that and tell you more when I myself know something more. For now, it is all talk and promises...

Third. In preparations for my b-day, I have been visiting old times with some of my favourite old games. If you agree with me that today's games are not up to the standard of those past, check Home of the Underdogs for lots of freeware, shareware and abandonware.

Some titles I'd like to recommend: Battle Isle 2 (thanks to this game, I got drawn to the world of strategy games 10 years ago - and, counting the sequel #3, I have sunk more then a weeks worth of life into it... Panzer General ('one of the best wargames ever created' - review sais - and it is not lying. For any IIWW fan, it is a must), Exile - crpg be awesomly playable WITHOUT good graphics.

That's all. Expect another update when I finish BI3 :)

Jun 16, 2004

Democracy game

Small or big one. Groundbound, or space exploring.

Am I talking about Civ or Master of Orion? Yes and no. Try those games on the mega-multiplayer scale. But not as in normal multi game, like 'one faction per player'. Rather as in 'many players in a faction'. Dozens if not hundreds or players debate on every choice a single player normaly makes, roleplaying their various personas (from city major to space fleet commander). It is an interesting phenomenon called 'the democracy game' - read more about it here.

From a more serious POV, note:
- it proves that there are people who are willing to spend their time to 'run a country' and think it is fun

Would you be willing to let them run the real world? Serioulsy, can they do a worse job then real world politicians and beaurocrats? When I think that similar communities build Linux or Wikipedia, I am really thinking it is not just a joke...

Perhaps it is a sign of how future will look like?

Or perhaps I am just mad. Oh well...time will tell.

Jun 14, 2004

Link time

Today, two links you might find interesting.

Centre for Political Thought is a Polish think tank. They have some interesting articles translated into English. If you feel like reading something more refined then a blog, take a look.

And if you are in a mood for fun (not that reading serious stuff is not...but back to basics is good from time to time) check this:

Sluggy Freelance is the best (comedy) online comic out there. Over 6 years running, one of the first, and still rocks. Check this out...oh yes, and beware of the bunny. You have been warned.

Wiki featured article about one of my favourites games - Go. The oldest board game there is. If you somehow haven't played it, give it a try.

Finally, a little quote for today. No links attached. It is a continuation of the Plato quote I gave you a few days ago. At least as good as that one...

But if, being beggars and starvelings from lack of goods of their own, they turn to affairs of state thinking that it is thence that they should grasp their own good, then it is impossible. For when office and rule become the prizes of contention, such a civil and internecine strife destroys the office seekers themselves and the city as well.

Signing off for today...

Jun 12, 2004

EU election and software patents

It is a bit late, but still - if you havent voted yet (and are eglible) - definetly check this out!

Read more about software patens here or here. English users, check this out, Polish - see here.

This is all for today. Vote wisely!

Jun 11, 2004

Buchanan and a quote

I am slowly moving beyond Weber. I am reading a work by James M. Buchanan - The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy.

I have just started, so no lecture today. Just a quote before I sign off:

If you can discover a better way of life than office-holding
for your future rulers, a well-governed city becomes a possibility.
For only in such a state will those rule who are truly rich, not
in gold, but in the wealth that makes happiness--a good and wise
-- Plato,
"The Republic"

Jun 10, 2004

Flash of Alfred Weber

Yes yes, Alfred, not Max. Apparently, he was the brothe of Max, and he had done some interesting work in economy and sociology as well.

Wiki didn't had an article about him. Didn't, it has now :) See?

Another thing I did today was an anime review for Dirty Pair Flash. It is like Dirty Harry + Charlie's Angels + kawaii anime :) Posted it on THEM Forums.

I am continuing my research on history of communications. I have this faaaat book on history of writing. It's fun. If you don't believe me and cant wait for my (eventuall) Wiki article, here is a website with lots of info.

Btw, if you have never seen a Polish written text, here is a sample.

Take care,

Jun 9, 2004

Reagan quote

Granted, we all have been hearing about Reagan lately, but I will have to say this - he was a very wise men, whose contribution to the fall of communism earned him my respect, whatever his other faults might have been.

Did I mention he was wise? Read on:

"Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders. ... The Goliath of totalitarianism will be brought down by the David of the microchip."

* June 1989

I agree with him 100%. See some of his other quotes on wikiquote.

"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

* During a microphone check on August 11 1984, unaware that he was being broadcast.

*grin* and he had a sence of humor.

Farewell, Mr. President.


In other news, I have been working on article about History of communication. 6 pages now. I will post more when I finish it, and probably have a list of interesting (and improved) Wiki pages. Like the one about message drums I wrote yesterday :)

Although I *should* be concentraiting more on looking for a doctorate and such. Shame Wiki does not pay for contribs...

Jun 8, 2004

Max Weber cont.

Just to let you know, I have been working hard on Wiki, adding lots of new positions, and most importantly - many links to ebooks and tables of contents inside wiki entries on Max Weber works.

Browse them from Max Weber Wikientry.

Jun 7, 2004

The Democratic States of America

I thought that today I would be discussing connection between United States and evolution of democracy – unfotunately, that didn't happen, but I did give this matter some thought yesterday and it seems too interesting to let it slide. Fortunately, I still can write about my thoughts here - nothing lost, nothing gained, right?

First, let's consider the logic of cause and consequence. Since the concept of democracy (which could be traced as far as Pericles in ancient Greece) predates US by oh, some 2k years, it would be right to say that in the match between the USA and the democracy, it is the democracy that scored first goal – or speaking more formally, it influenced US first.

How? I won't go as far as saying that without the idea of democray US would have not formed. It has been proven by history without doubt that colonies tend to declare independence, sooner or later – but most of the time, they have became a monarchy (before XX century) or an authoritarian state (lately). Why the US become a democracy is a very interesting question, and I wont go into the details here (those details could form a dissertation thesis by themselves!), sufficient to say that it looked like the best way to preserve AND INCREASE the influence of important status-groups that supported the revolution (urban status groups as defined by Max Weber, mostly). The influence of idealists and religion (Christianity notion of equality) should not be underestimated, either.

Then the tables are turned, and it is the US that begins to influence democracy. Consider such 'milestones' (as defined by John Markoff):
– creation of political parties (first ever known political party activists can be traced to New York in 1820s – before that time it was considered that a 'true democrat' should not pledge alegiance to any group, by rather to the whole nation)
- expansion of the voting census – first, to all citizens (elimination of wealth requirement) in the US contitution, then to women (Utah and Wyoming were first in 1870s, although the first nation to grant all women the right to vote was Australia few years later)

It is interesting to stop here and consider why the democracy in US was not overthrown but on the contrary it grew, since it will shed light on one of the reasons for its (or should I say 'their) expansion in the last century. US was lucky. It is almost as simple as that. No agressive enemies on its borders and a continent rich in natural resources ripe for conquest. Coupled with religion that supported economic growth and didn't oppose technological progress (see my article on Max Weber work on Prothestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism for more info), it lead to US becoming a superpower we all know and love (or at least cant deny its existence) today.

The status of superpower surely helped the first wave of democracy in Europe – after IWW, where many countries were able to chose a new political system, surely democracy's image was helped a lot by the fact that the most powerful country on Earth, victor in the World War (the War to end all wars, heh...) was a democracy. It is prudent to note here that later, during the Cold War, US acted in support of democracy as often as against it – realpolitik and self-interest made it often wise to support authoritarian regimes that would be indebted to US and oppose the commies rather then to support democracies, which were more likely to suddenly change sides (after an election) or care about their own interest (I recommend history of India-US relations for an interesting study of that).

Finally, today US is a leader in (among many other diffrent things) electronic voting, which coupled with the Internet may lead (IMHO) to another democracy milestone, and creation of e-democracy.

There are thousands of interessting aspects in the area of evolution of politial systems, when one stops to think about it.

Well, I am off to finishing an article about evolution of communication - very relevant as well, but I'll leave this for some other entry...


The Corporation
Should be interesting. I wrote about it two weeks ago, check the archives if you dont remember - short story, it is a documentary about the concept of the corporation.

Jun 6, 2004

Turbo Iraq?

Let's start with an interesting reading on Iraq (a popular subject these days...).

As some of you may remember, I said that US deserves to make a profit after its (continuing) efforts to remove Saddam - and even Iraqi themselves agree with that (see the poll I linked in April). But:

But lack of oversight and transparency have created the opportunity for corruption. Businesspeople working in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan (two major sources of supplies for Iraq), allege that Halliburton's unchecked power to choose contractors and send the bill to the military opens the door to kickbacks.

A Tranparency International raport I posted some time ago also shows then when it comes to deals in 3rd world countires, US companies dont shy away from bribes and shady dealings.

Seems nobody is interested in changing that. :(

Anyway, my optimism for Iraq situation is being drained down. I *still* think that removal of Saddam was good and necessary, but what happened afterwards...*shrug*.

Now when one thinks of Marshall plan after the IIWW and the current problems in Iraq, there is an obvious question - why 50 years ago US could help rebuild a continent after a 5-year war (the official name of the Marshall plan was the EUROPEAN RECOVERY PROGRAM), and now it cant rebuild a single country after a month of hostilities?

There is something to be said for demagogy of using arguments from history to talk about present situation - it is always easy to critisize what is going on now, and wisely point and past events.

So I am not going to present an easy solution here - I am not even going to present *a solution*. I'd just like to point you out in the direction of an interesting concept.

People say that money makes the world tick. In other worlds, political decisions are influenced by the factors of the economic system. Is the economic system of today the same as the one 50 years ago?

How much have the capitalism changed over the past half century (or perhaps we should consider the process in the longer term)? And if it has, does it deserve another name, like turbocapitalism, perhaps?

I hope it is not that bad, and whaterver damage has occured, is and will be reverable. But for now, I can only hope - to know that, I would need to do lot more research. I'd value your opinions on that, though (hint - commment).

Untill another time...

Jun 4, 2004

Open source strategy remakes

I am a fan of old strategies - many of which is abandonware and easy to find for free. The new ones...seem to me 2 dumbed down, overflowing with SFX but losing the complexity AND easy interface that made old games stand out. The oldies like Civ, Transport Tyccon, SMAC, BIsle, MOO, Stars!, UFO, Frontier, Privateer...rings a bell?

So I found today that they are coming back, with a venegance, and free :)
How is that possible? Open source, of course...

To start with what made me make the below list in the first place - mention of TTD in the sf.net update @.
1. "An open source clone of the Microprose game "Transport Tycoon Deluxe"."
I to Development Status: 5 - Production/Stable

Now many people know civilisation and might have heard of...
2. Freeciv
Freeciv is a multiplayer strategy game, released under the GNU General Public License.
It is generally comparable with Civilization II®, published by Microprose®.

But what about SMAC?
3. Freeciv Alpha Centauri - SMAC Open Source...mam smaka :)
The Freeciv Alpha Centauri Porting Project aims to incorporate features from Firaxis Games' "Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri" into the main "Freeciv" project.
Development Status: 3 - Alpha

Personally, the old strategy game I hold most dear is not Civ, it is Battle Isle 2. And it is here as well!
4. Advanced Strategic Command - ASC is a free, turn based strategy game in the tradition of Battle Isle. Its features both single player gameplay against an AI as well as extensive Play-By-Mail multiplayer functionality.

* Development Status: 4 - Beta

In two versions :)
4. JBI - a Java Battle Isle Clone. A Remake of the turn-based strategy game Battle Isle by Blue Byte.

Development Status: 2 - Pre-Alpha, 3 - Alpha

Od tego momentu przestalem sie dziwic. Privateer/Frontier?
5. Final Frontier Trader.
Final Frontier Trader is a 2D single player space strategy, combat, and trading game. You pilot a starship which is upgradable. You can buy, sell, or trade parts and even new starships. You can even join a fleet for experience in missions and combat.
Development Status: 1 - Planning, 3 - Alpha

Time for my favourite genre, the 4X games - eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate :)
6. NodeWars
NodeWars is a Space Empire Management game. Imagine a game with the speed of StarChamber and the detail of STARS! and you're about halfway there...
Development Status: 1 - Planning

Another one...
7. Fate - A Space Trading and Combat Game
Massively Multiplayer Space Trading and Combat game. This is an online strategy game, not a 3D space sim. Incorporating ideas from games such as Stars!, SE3, MOO, Tradewars, MUD/MOOs, Dune II, SimCity
Development Status: 1 - Planning, 2 - Pre-Alpha

And another one...
8. Stellar Legacy
Stellar Legacy is a turn based strategy game (similar to stars!, MOO etc.) set in space. The player controls an inter-stellar empire in a galaxy of other empires who could be friendly, secretive, hostile or however the other players wish to play.
Development Status: 2 - Pre-Alpha

Finally, the remake of game I still play regulary in multiplayer:
9. Freestars
FreeStars is a project to create an easily modifiable clone of the 4X turn-based strategy game Stars!. With version 1, the goal is to clone Stars! as closely as possible. For version 2, the goal is to make improvements in the balance and gameplay.
Development Status: 2 - Pre-Alpha

Well, thats not the end, by no means. XMAS is early this year:

10. Skrupel - Tribute Compilation
Skrupel – Tribute Compilation is a webbased cross between amazing games like, VGAPlanets, Ascendancy an for example Master of Orion. After installing on webspace (php,mysql) up to 10 player in a round can fight against each other using their browser.
Development Status: 4 - Beta

11. FreeOrion
FreeOrion brings nation building to a galactic scale with its full-featured grand campaign and in-game racial histories, in addition to the classic 4X model of galactic conquest and tactical combat.
Development Status: 2 - Pre-Alpha, 3 - Alpha

12. Space Opera
Space Opera is a space colonization game similar to 'Master of Orion' or 'Galactic Civilizations'. You can explore the universe, colonize planets, fight aliens and research technologies. Images were created with Povray and Terragen.
Development Status: 1 - Planning, 3 - Alpha, 4 - Beta

SLASH'EM (SuperLotsaAddedStuffHack - Extended Magic) is a variant of Nethack. It is a roguelike, single-player role-playing game where the hero must venture through the depths of the Dungeon of Doom to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor.
Development Status: 4 - Beta, 5 - Production/Stable

14. UFO2000 aka X-COM: Gladiators
Multiplayable remake of microprose\'s X-COM: UFO Defense (UFO: Enemy Unknown) game. Uses Allegro game programming library, so it should run at most platforms Allegro has been ported to.
Development Status: 5 - Production/Stable

15. Xenocide
3D multiplayer and turned based game inspired by X-COM: UFO Defense. Coded in C++ and developed to be mostly platform independent.
Development Status: 2 - Pre-Alpha

16. X-Force: Fight For Destiny
X-Force is a remake of the classic X-Com-Games.You have to defend earth from alien intruders by intercepting their UFOs, accomplishing tactical ground missions and researching the mystery of the invasion. The game features action, stategy and economic
Development Status: 3 - Alpha

A note - remember that all prodcutions before 5 - Production/Stable are likely to be UNSTABLE and unfinished, so play at your own risk (no, they will not fry your comp, but they may be disappointing - as in lacking lots of options and stuff). Just keep checking their production pages every few weeks - or if u can, help out with the work and make it ready sooner!
One way or another, enjoy.

Jun 3, 2004

The Ruins Story is Here!

Remember the ruins I mentioned few days ago? Here is their short story (very short, since I am tired today...).

Coming back home from the city centre I decided to taka a diffrent route (I walk on feet, walking is the only exercise I can tolerate, perhaps becouse years ago I have mastered the art of reading while walking :>). Skipping the details, instead of going by the nice park on the right side of the road, I decided to do something courageus and see what mysteries lies on the left, where I have never been (don't look at me like that, we moved there recently - oh, like 6 years ago. You can hardly expect a person to know that stuff in such a short period of time, right?). First, I stumbled onto old park. Benches, overgrown patches of road, unfinished fountains...cool. Then, I saw extremly overgrown stairs leading up to a forest. Off I go (listening quitely in case forest is inhabited by some dangerous animals, like homeless...). Quiet - I go on. Forest is about 5 meters wide, other side - ruins. Strange ruins, of what I later learned was supposed to be parking lot, small shops and ticket sales places. In fron of me, more forest leading to what I know is a normal house district where I live. Right, the main road, behind me - the old park. Left is interesting - overgrown (again) stairs leading up to...what? Well, I go over there, and whoa, in front of me - a giangantic stadium-arena, of course - guess what - overgrown. Quite a big field, and this eerie silence - no people anywhere...Then I decided I had enough experiences, and went back to the main road to see if I havent stumbled into alternate dimension and there are still civilisied people left. Apparently, they were.

As I learned later this day, it all started with the fall of communism in Poland, and the inevitable raise of corruption. The (police, btw, lol) football club called Gwardia has been constructing a sports stadium. With the recent rush of claims to property appropriated by commie state after IIWW, the stadium switched hands - but then the new owners dissapeared. And the old owner, the Gwardia club, went under at the same time. So since early 90's, the stadium lies in ruins, sourrounded by overgrown park, a kilometer or so to the city centre...

Great place for a LARP, I think.

Jun 2, 2004

Art, legal, Weber on India

Art, becouse I stumbled on the legal stuff while reading Back to Iraq blog (latest post is about art in Baghdad).

Legal. His blog is under the Creative Commons licencse. Ooc, I clicked on the link and a phrase there hit me.

This is a human-readable summary of the Legal Code (the full license).

Lawyers are not human, right?

Weber writes that legal code is necessary for capitalism. And granted, the larger the communities - and today's is global, not to way around it - trust is just not possible. Even if we assume that majoirity of humans are trustworthy, the remaining 1% or whatever will rip any naive souls to pieces.
But as Weber also writes (yes, I am under his influence lately), every system starts to degenerate. And I think that our legal system has degenerated - and it reached that point when the legal language becoem a diffrent language, one that requires years of study to understand.
Honestly - cant it all be written like that human-readable summary?
There is a diffrence between important details and stiffling legalism, and I think current legal system needs a reform as much as the political and economic one.

And for today's cake's icing, you can read my synopsis on India society and religion by Weber.

Jun 1, 2004

Max Weber

Remember when I said I was finding reading about his ideas interesting? Still true.

I decided that the best way to remember this is to write this down - that is how I learn best, not listening to some lectures (I find most speakers simply too slow and during majority of my uni studies while I attended the lectires to 'look active', I simply read a book :D). So when I want to learn sth, what do I do? Read a book, then write a summary. Of course, since my writing is illegible, I do it on computer.

So I am in the process of creating a summary of all Max Weber works (or, all that I can get my eyes on). Of course, I am doing it on Wiki - I always thought that sharing is good (hate the people who said 'I did it, why should I share?' Grrr...selfish #%#^). And of course that means that I can access my articles anytime anywhere, and some other people are likely to correct and improve them every day...really, isn't sharing nice? Go Wiki.

So, for your pleasure, you may read my latest creation (others are linked on the Weber page), but this is by far the most interesting: Religion of China (Confucianism, Taoism), its relation to the development (or rather lack of thereof) of capitalism and comparison to Puritanism.

After you read it, consider the following questions:
- can you say that any religion is better in *ALL* aspects?
- can you say that some cultures are inferior? At least in *SOME* aspects?
- can you say that the fate of civilistations, cultures and individual humans is depenent on the place they were created/born in - it's geographical aspects, climate, history and neighbours?

Personally, I say yes to all of that. What about you?
Listed on BlogShares Creative Commons License
Voice of the Prokonsul by Piotr Konieczny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.