How Art, Creativity, and Innovation Detract From Productivity

Jimquisition

The Escapist : Jimquisition : Neutered

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Here is a link to the video that sparked the idea for this article. The embedding does not seem to be working with the site very well.

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Usually one of the biggest challenges in learning a language (particularly a second one) is getting past all of nuances, the “little things” such as inflection, tone, formal/informal, etc. One aspect that makes English such as difficult language to learn is precisely just how vague and indirect it can be. This can be seen with the sheer amount of synonyms and word choices available. All that a writer needs is a thesaurus by their side and they can literally say the same thing over and over again in a near limitless number of different ways. Continue reading

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Faith or No Faith: Nintendo Wii-U, Struggling Sales, and Improving Morale

Nintendo Wii U

The Wii-U; yet another underdog console from Nintendo.

Every now and then it helps to deliberately ask people for their thoughts or views. In terms of Nintendo’s Wii-U, the overall consensus seems somewhat scattered. There is no shortage of articles lamenting the consoles poor sales, and recently it was announced that the Wii-U is still going to be sold at a loss:

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“Earlier this week, Nintendo’s annual report cited Wii U hardware sales as a major factor in the company’s 36.4 billion yen ($387 million) operating loss. In the same document, Nintendo [President] Satoru Iwata promised investors the company will ‘strive to regain ‘Nintendo-like’ profits’ in the current fiscal year.

Selling hardware at a loss is a decidedly un-Nintendo-like practice. Iwata made headlines last October when he first revealed the company would be losing money on each Wii U sold. However, the following month Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime downplayed the significance of the profit shortfall, saying ‘as soon as we get the consumer to buy one piece of software, then that entire transaction becomes profit positive.’” Continue reading

The Navy and Kinect: “Stopping Sexual Assault”

Xbox One Kinect

The Kinect will make sure you’re not a sexual abuser.

The Kinect never ceases to be a great source of unintentionally hilarious entertainment, and that’s not even considering actually playing the thing, necessarily.

Though in this case it has less to do with the Kinect itself, and more to do with a management and higher brass that seems hopelessly out of touch. Kotaku sheds some light on the idea of the U.S. Navy using Kinect software as a proxy for sexual harassment/assault training and deterrence:

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“Sailors are going to learn how to read another person’s verbal cues and body language with a Kinect training game meant to curb a sexual [harassment]/assault issue that has become increasingly embarrassing to the armed services.

Like all great things in the military, this game has a very literal and no-fun title: ‘Avatar Based Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Training.'” Continue reading

Why Women Wear High Heels: A Theory

High Heels

High heels or stilettos?

A while ago, a prominent writer, Frost (whom I can’t find much information on despite a bit of intense Googling), wrote an article asking why women wear high heels. It seems like a somewhat weird question, one could almost ask that about any accessory. I did not particularly like his reasoning, as it was very complex, even convoluted, I’d say. Anyways, high heels in particular are interesting.

Some say that it accentuates the female form, stretching their lower halves and reinforcing what curves are there. Others say it is just an accessory like any other, one that women wear to fit in with all of the other women, similar to the typical “Ugg boots, iPhone, handbag” combo that so many have poked fun at in recent years. Many say that it is just a sign of class and status, a way of expressing femininity, in the same way a well-tailored suit expresses class and status for a man. Continue reading

In Video Games: Is It a Man or Woman?

The creators of Natural Selection 2, yet another big, brown, multiplayer focused FPS, has sparked quite a bit of controversy over their new female marine armor design. Basically, the new designs are more practical and realistic, like real armor, thus making the female marines looking practically like men, similar to what real military armor and equipment does.

Unsurprisingly, there has been a good amount of positive praise for the design decision, which is fine in itself. It’s difficult to argue that video games aren’t necessarily sexist when many of them have a healthy dose of female skin being flashed on screen. What’s interesting, however, is what this new design direction and philosophy means or represents as far as just how disingenuous the whole concept is.

Natural Selection 2 Female Marine

Natural Selection 2: Female marine armor design

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Misunderstanding Objectification

Objectification

Objectification goes both ways.

Visual representation is the same as objectification.

Or, it’s to say that you cannot visually represent something without objectifying it. The word “objectification” has unfortunately become part of an emotionally charged lexicon of jargon used in place of an actual argument. Under such use, the original meaning is typically lost. Yet such misuse offers a great opportunity for (re)discovery if one is actually willing to search for what these terms truly mean via any legitimate dictionary or thesaurus.

Here is what the word “Objectification” actually means:

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[T]o present as an object, especially of sight, touch, or other physical sense;

[M]ake objective;

[Externalize]

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Continue reading