Son Of Sun Tzu blog

Son Of Sun Tzu blog

They keep saying my audience will find me…

22 Feb 2022

The Good, The Bad, and The Meh

Edited highlights of the last couple of weeks.

  • I finally made time to attend an online meeting of Liminal again, a provider of and example in and experiment with Collective Intelligence. As usual thought provoking conversations and quite weird challenges… for example, think of your two favourite things, then split into randomised pairs and mash one of your favourites with theirs to come up with something new. That was quite forced, a little uncomfortable, but also different, which makes it stimulating. As with analytical red teaming, for all sorts of reasons I think there’s all sorts of benefits in engaging in, and thinking about, collective intelligence… but also I think most organisations that need it won’t be willing to try it, choosing to fail slowly in known ways.

obligatory graphic alluding to complexity

  • As per my last weeknotes my disappointment at the lack of innovation was shared by a couple of people attending that Liminal meeting too. I see no way to improve this situation except through persistence.

  • Also in those weeknotes I explained I’d watched the original Ocean’s Eleven, since then I watched the 2001 remake. A few brief thoughts… most notably, it’s just a really, really good film; very enjoyable to rewatch even though I remembered every twist and turn ( it was also notable in that I can forget entire plots, even entire films, given a week or two; but while I couldn’t give you a single quote from this movie, no scene surprised me ); I was reminded of how tiny Las Vegas is in the original; the protagonists are just so “cool” which transferred well from the original, and the cinematography is just so well done ( by cinematography I mean the shots and the transitions and the angles and all the other things I don’t know the language of, but notice more when rewatching a familiar film. )

I think I now regard this as a classic

  • I enjoyed watching the Super Bowl, although the older I get the greater effect on my sleep patterns. ( I think naturally I would sleep at least twice a day, from early morning to midday, and maybe from after dinner to mid-evening ). It wasn’t a classic game, but certainly worth staying up for. As a Seattle Seahawks fan, a divisional rival to the victorious LA Rams, I was intrigued to see whether the Rams “stars and scrubs” method would pay off. Also the game was indicative of how small or lucky events make a difference to a player’s entire “narrative”; if Stafford has missed, or had been intercepted, on that 'no look' pass - it would be seen as evidence for opinions of him as not able to beat winning teams, or choking in crucial moments.

  • Golf tiddlywinks - played for the first and only time. My review would be “it’s just some counters, and a board - relatively difficult to play on such a small course, which is weirdly 16 holes not 18. The rules are surprisingly patchy considering how simple a game this is… is a river or stream a lake? Do I play immediately if I reach a hole? Only worth playing if you like disappointment and possible arguments over rules.” The one interesting aspect, as an occasional game designer, is that a functioning game can be created in such a small form factor with so few pieces and literally one mechanism.

More a game of patience and dexterity

  • Played Codenames Duet, which is a nice two-player game on trying to communicate successfully using a very limited range of options. I kinda hate the conceit that you’re secret agents, but taken abstractly this is an intriguing word game, especially as you’re forced to be quite abstract about the clues you can give your partner. I particularly like that it’s a co-operative game, I find those much more interesting to play. I’m very stimulated by directly adversarial games, but really only by how they’re won or lost, rather than trying to win them.

  • I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Great film, really thought provoking on relationships, identity, and what we’ll do with future scientific discoveries. If you haven’t seen it - my recommendation is to watch it. This specific trailer tells you a little too much, but the others tell you far too much; if you trust me, just watch the film. ( And yes, if you watch the trailer, they unfortunately let that domain name lapse. )

The film contains people, things happen - that's all you need to know

  • I watched Venom: Let There Be Carnage - by this stage in the sentence you probably know whether you want to watch the film or not, regardless of what I say. Very tightly produced, excellent effects ( watching in a relatively small screen by modern standards anyway ) which felt there, and real, and it didn’t appear to drop it’s pace during the entire movie. Another fun ride.

  • Also Night Teeth, yet another enjoyable ride; slightly erratic pacing and an obviously low budget were ignorable due to good to great performances. And maybe putting it into my “ride” class is dismissive… for me personally, any vampire film inspires thoughts of what I would do with such longevity, and what humans will do in general. As my partner highlighted, it felt very much like an RPG scenario: limited characters, and a world hidden “behind” our own. Also she pointed out it’s very much an “A24” film; this is a good video explaining who A24 are and what they’ve achieved.

  • A pointless complaint, but just in case you’re feeling the same… as well as the everything, I’m feeling particularly worn down by:

    • In 2022, with supposedly the pinnacle of technology to call upon, lists of DAO and web3 resources are mostly just… lists, no review, no usable summary, no index of resources to avoid.
    • The “tamigotchiness” of everything, from computers to houses to services to bodies, nothing is self-maintaining.
    • The increasingly adversarial nature of all relationships with companies, the dark patterns employed on their websites, how easy it is to buy yet how hard it is to return, and so on.

I have hated entropy for decades, it hasn't helped