The Movielicious and The Phileas Club have reached the end of their lovely and exciting road… To read more details (and keep following Patrick’s online adventures), please go to patrickbeja.com.
Hugs to all!
So Apple announced its long awaited tablet this week, and many have commented, analysed, cried in despair and praised the oversized iPod. One thing that I have seen yet though is a deeper look at what it means for the computer world and computer users going forward. I’ll take a stab at it.
What Aunt Edna Needs
It seems that at least half the tech world is disappointed that they won’t be able to code C# or run photoshop on their iPad. I humbly believe that this is due to a very deep misunderstanding of the concept that Apple introduced this past Wednesday. Indeed, more than just a new device, they have created a new kind of machine, that many of their competitors will try to replicate in the coming months and years:
Yesterday I got an email by a listener of The Phileas Club. I often get emails and answer them privately, but after writing this one I thought that it was summarizing my thoughts on the topic enough that I should make a blog post about it. So here is the original email, and my answer.
Quick note: the topic is sensitive, and in the past we have managed to keep these kinds of debates very civilized on this blog. If you chose to comment, please keep that tradition alive, thanks!
I recently started listening to your show and started from the beginning and have been slowly catching up to the recent shows. I was a little disappointed at the sara palen talk because of the anti religious tone it took but let it go because i figured that was going on in the media at the time as well. Then I got to episode 10 and was completely offended at the comment you made that something should be done to people that preach the young earth theory. Evolution is not fact, it might be the majority view but remember that the majority also thought the world was flat at one point. There are scientists that use the same research as evolutionist and show it to back the theory of a young earth. I don’t expect you to change your view on this subject but I think you should know that our comment upset me.
And my answer (I didn’t address the Sarah Palin comments or the other details, as I thought they weren’t really the core of the issue):
First of all let me thank you for taking the time to write to me; I really appreciate it.
That being said, I’m very sorry but I’m afraid that I cannot subscribe to what you’re saying… The “young earth theory” is not a theory, it’s a belief. The people who support it aren’t scientists, they’re spokespeople for organisations that have other agendas. A theory is supported by verifiable fact, and no fact comes to support the idea that the earth is 6000 years old. No scientist worth their salt, and no one who understands the meaning of the word, will give any credit to it.
This is my whole argument: by treating this “idea” as a theory, we validate it and lead people to believe that there might be some truth to it. There isn’t, and we should stop indulging it altogether. Don’t get me wrong: you are of course free to believe whatever you want, but believing something like that is very simply ignorance and missinformation, not “just another theory”.
[UPDATE 2 - Surprising settlement]
For Immediate release:
A few hours ago, minutes before the official end of the duel, the Parisian Bureau of Ethical Affairs ruled that this e-battle was causing a substantial amount of harm to the online community, and should be resolved peacefully.
I have thus decided to lay the matter to rest, and as the offended party I will declare the matter a draw as of this moment ( the rules of Internet Dueling clearly state, in section A12 – amendment C: “Dude, the offended party can, like, totally declare the duel a draw”). The world can sleep soundly tonight, and we are all relieved.
On a personal note, I will say that I suspect Mr. Merritt will be especially relieved, as his score was obviously a disappointment: trailing well bellow the 50% mark for most of the duration of the poll, he mostly failed to reach the majority he needed to prove his point, and was (according to expert analysis) set to lose altogether had the process reached its conclusion. No thanks are required, I only do what’s best for the common good.
We will now go back to our daily lives, glad that the worst has been avoided.
[UPDATE - STUNNING DEVELOPMENT!]
A few days ago, the podcast “The Movielicious” released its fourth installment where the hosts gave their reviews (kinda) of the movie “The Hangover”.
Not long after that, tech personality Tom Merritt launched a vicious attack on Patrick Beja’s character. Being a man of honor, Patrick responded in the only way he could: with dignity. He requested that this terrible feud be settled in the olden tradition of Internet Duels, in the form of a courageous poll: he knows he is severely handicapped by Mr. Merritt’s inexplicable popularity on “The Twitter”. But Patrick is ready to stand for his ideas and suffer the consequences of his bravery.
This poll will last for roughly five days (until Friday July 10th). Please vote according to your conscience.
It’s been roughly six months since the last expansion came out, so I thought it would be a good time to give my thoughts about how the game has evolved and where it is today.
Short disclaimer: this is, as usual, a very long article that I’m pretty sure a lot of people won’t have the time to read. I’m ok with it; my short little fun blurbs have a much better home on my twitter page, and I aim my blog articles at some slightly more in depth analysis. My aim here isn’t to just state what I like or dislike, but rather to take a longer look at the hows and whys of the choices that were made, and try to understand the philosophy of this type of game design. I would recommend this article to any Wow fan, but also any MMO enthusiast who doesn’t have the time to get to level 80 in Wow and explore the intricacies of Blizzard’s designs.
So anyway, if you have a little bit of time to waste I hope you enjoy it and it brings something to your day!
Ok, here we go: Read more
Veronica Belmont, Turster, Felicia Day, Scott Johnson and two other guys you may or may not have heard of are all garthered for one great hour of podcasting!
Listen to the show:
A word from Patrick: I couldn’t have dreamt of a better way to celebrate this amazing year of How I Wow goodness. I think this show embodied everything that I like so much in podcasting: it’s about friends taking the time to come together to share a moment of pure enjoyable fun. I hope we will have many many more.
And for those who were in the chatroom and enjoyed the “director’s cut” version: thank you so much for being with us. The sole fact that we were sharing it with all of you made it what it was.
Hi all, and welcome!
I’ve been talking for a while about the fact that I was having problems managing all the different blogs I set up over the past couple of years. Most of them are podcast blogs that don’t really see much activity outside of the show’s schedule, so it only makes sense that I would put all of that together in one convenient place.
Furthermore, it will allow me to add content much more easily in the future.
Please note that the “individual sites” (or minisites) are still sort of available through the use of categories: if you’re only interested in The Phileas Club and nothing else, you can go to the show’s minisite (available through the navbar on the top menu) and that’s all you’ll get.
I hope you enjoy the new organisation and the new homepage! As usual, all the comments and feedback are very welcome.
“Again with Twitter?!”
Yeah I know… Twitter is here, get used to it.
Alright, so what does Twitter need? First one who says “a business model” gets a cookie. Yes, they do need that, but let me take a detour through the user side of things for a moment and I’ll get back to that in a minute.
As I have said before, Twitter’s simplicity is its strength. I don’t think they should give it up for anything. Others have tried to “enhance” the user experience by adding threading and things like that. An interesting idea on paper, but it does take away some of the product’s usability. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hater; let’s just say it’s different and the crowds seem to be gravitating towards more simplicity.
So Twitter has to stay simple, but there is still room to expand. And I think topical conversations is indeed something that could enhance the user experience tremendously. If done right, and in the spirit of the product.
In comes the #hashtag. We all know that you can use these to specify what topic you are talking about. This is incredibly useful and I strongly believe Twitter should make it its next big push. So to put things clearly:
Alright, so everyone has heard about it. Some of you probably use it. But most people have a very hard time explaining what the heck Twitter even is…
So I’ll try my hand at this. The aim is to write a short description of why so many people love Twitter so much, and explain why it is a major new form of communication, just like email and instant messaging were in their time.
If I do things right, next time your friends ask you about Twitter and you go insane trying to explain it, you can just send them to this article and they should have a vague idea of why it’s such a great tool.
Democracy isn’t a perfect system, it’s just the best one we’ve found yet. And as with anything that’s not perfect, you’ve got issues that can become pretty freakin’ annoying after a while. On the Internet, which is probably the most extreme form of democracy we have, everyone can express their opinion equally. And it seems that most of these are: “THIS SUCKS!”
I’m sure you’ve come across this idea yourself: whether it’s on the net or in real life, it sometimes seems like people are never happy. About anything. “People” will bitch and moan all day long, and all you hear about in the news is controversy. And from there it’s easy to go to the conclusion the rest of the world is a bunch of dumb saps that will always be unhappy, no matter what the topic is.
Well, while I agree that most people are probably dumb saps, I still think that this view is a sort of optical illusion. The thing is, there is no idea in the world that will get a unanimous approval. And I mean none, like, ever! Go with me on this: try to think of an idea that would garner universal approval in a modern western society. Even the brightest, shiniest, happiest proposal would get a couple of groups of people who would violently oppose it. As long as it’s something “realistic”, it will make some people unhappy.