On Friday, the usual games and geekery crowd had a celebration of Melanie's birthday by playing games, and we ended up playing Wizardology.
Which was my choice, since I've never played it before, but I conclude that I don't like it. Way too much depends on chance and luck of the draw, nor do your odds of succeeding increase as you progress through the game; I cannot imagine how playing the game multiple times would increase your odds of winning, the way they would for Settlers of Catan.
Best comment of the night, by Carmen on the Twilight love triangle: "Would you rather have an oral fixation, or doggy style for the rest of your life?"
Saturday i picked up the first season of Babylon 5, as a boxed set of DVDs, at the pharmacy. Thankfully, Abi Sutherland's rewatch on Making Light
had told me what episodes I may safely skip, so I watched 1, 6, 7 and 8 before going to bed. I am enjoying it so far, therefore (possibly because I skipped the bad episodes.) The aliens in this one may actually be intelligent
, although the first incluing by basically accusing Londo, on behalf of his entire species, of misleading humans a hundred years before, threw me off. Even if he is an ambassador, no individual can speak for his entire species' decisions of possibly before he was born, nor have to.
I happen to feel very strongly on that point, of confusing individuals with groups, possibly because of hearing "Oh, those Russians did..." way too many times. When you equate the self-identity of a population of umpteen million with the actions of a few hundred people in the government, especially if you know that this government is not fairly and democratically elected, that is assigning responsibility without power. And just plain feels like being accused of something you didn't do.
Probably a common feeling for many members of monoliths, be they Arabs, mining industry workers, members of the media, or Microsoft employees. The cure for it, however, is pausing to think a little and distinguish the monolith into a few more subsets, separating the human beings from the system.
I guess both these frustrations, the one with Wizardology and the one with Sinclair's discussion with Londo, come from the same source: I want effort to be correlated with reward, and I do not like punishment not related with your own effort. Indeed, I react to frustration, to feeling powerless in the system, strongly enough that there are many good books set in oppressive regimes that I have quit reading (e.g. Cory Doctorow's For The Win
), even though I know that the hero will triumph in the end; I do not want to emotionally empathize with that world for even the short time before the heroes will start winning, by pretending that I was in their place and in their place, there was nothing I could do