Month: December 2017

The SpaceX Launch freaked some morons out; Trump aims sights at FBI director; a drug dealing moron; and more stories

A few interesting things happened in the past few days. Here is a small collection of stories to read on your Christmas Eve.

NPR: SpaceX Rocket Launch Lights Up The California Sky, Freaks Out Some Residents

The contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen from Long Beach, Calif., more than 100 miles southeast from its launch site, the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Friday. Javier Mendoza/AP

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket had a successful launch on Friday, December 21st. The resulting gas and contrails from the rockets created a beautiful mark on the sky – or an alien UFO, according to some people.

In a bid to ease the minds of worried witnesses, the Los Angeles Fire Department released a statement saying the “mysterious light in the sky is reported to be the result of [Vandenberg] Air Force Base launching rocket to put satellite into space.”

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk didn’t help matters when he tweeted, “Nuclear alien UFO from North Korea.”

“People were wondering if it had something to do with movies, or TV or a UFO,” Jimmy Golen, who was touring the Warner Bros. studio in Burbank at the time, told the wire service.

NPR: Trump Seizes On Reports FBI’s Deputy Director Plans To Retire In Early 2018

President Trump used Twitter Saturday to suggest that Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s increasingly embattled deputy director, was holding onto his position in a race against time to claim full pension benefits.

Trump said McCabe was “racing the clock” in one tweet Saturday:

“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!”

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The way the video game industry exploits the human dopamine response is unethical.

Bogus achievements and subtle changes to the way games are presented today maximize the dopamine hits the average gamer will receive so that they return to play habitually. This is taking advantage of human biology, and it’s unethical.

It’s just a part of human nature. When you accomplish something, your body releases the hormone dopamine to make you feel good about what you just did. Normally, this would be for things like a successful hunt, or watching a crop grow successfully, or scoring a goal in soccer, or managing to get more than a stammer out to the lady at Safeway whom you constantly forget is paid to smile at you. Increasingly, social media is actively trying to exploit the human dopamine reward system by pushing meaningless notifications – that’s right, just getting notifications is enough to give you your pleasure hormone for the day.

But that’s been written about enough. Let’s talk about the way video games have been trying so hard to brainwash you into returning to play.

First of all, achievement trophies are total bullshit. They’re immaterial titles that were once reserved for actual challenges and accomplishments, and now are awarded for as much as buying the video game. I’m not kidding, that’s an achievement. Executives and marketing teams and whatever bullshit hacks realized they could trigger our desire to keep playing without actually rewarding the player with anything. Once, completing levels and challenges unlocked cool content or bonuses for the players, and this is increasingly harder to find in video games. The best video games continue to reward the player with substance.

Money well spent. Ahhhh dopamine.

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