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January links: Video games, tanks for Ukraine, Teletubbies

Interesting stuff from January, 2023
January links: Video games, tanks for Ukraine, Teletubbies
"Commander Shepard from Mass Effect dancing with teletubbies, digital art" DALL-E2

Good morning from Idaho!

Between bouts of home furnishing in our new place in the Tetons, things in my life have been very video game-themed this month: I finished God of War on PC (excellent), tried Elden Ring (after a couple hours, I figured out that I just didn't want to invest the time required for the difficulty), and played through Mass Effect (little writeup on that here. I didn't love that one either!). I wrote a piece below on how I justify to myself time spent on games like these.

Also along these lines, we've been watching The Last of Us on HBO, which has been a weekly delight. The show is based on a video game, which illustrates just how cinematic and powerful the stories have become in recent PC/Xbox/Playstation titles. The third episode with Nick Offerman absolutely blew us away. Can't recommend it enough.

From the last month (or first few days of this one)

From me: Rationalizing my leisure time. I'd read it in conjunction with the link below this one:

On rationalizing my leisure time
Jumping through hoops to tie everything I do to some larger purpose

On video game addiction:

Video! Game! Addiction!
A guide for navigating a world of infinite entertainment

Not to go too far down the "Hoel" hole, but I would now also describe mine and Fiona's new lifestyle as “high-tech pastoral”:

Remote work is the best thing to happen to families in decades
Yet commentators and politicians keep missing it

I plan to shamelessly copy this guy's style in some future videos:

A continuation of the Scott Alexander Bay Area House Party series:

Even More Bay Area House Party

Why big online platforms get shitty over time:

Pluralistic: Tiktok’s enshittification (21 Jan 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

Funny little photos from carrying a camera around everywhere:

A lighter side of life – picture essay
Advertising art director turned photographer Alan Burles on the influence of French-American photographer Elliott Erwitt and the beauty of getting ‘lost in wonder, love and praise’

Finalists for the close-up photo of the year:

The Top 100 — Close-up Photographer of the Year
The best 100 close-up, macro photography and photomicrography pictures of 2022. View the winners of Close-up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY 04).

The Bradley fighting vehicle in Ukraine:

What Bradley Fighting Vehicles Will Mean for Ukraine
The Bradley has the speed, range, and firepower to help Ukraine retake its territory.

And, finally, tanks for Ukraine: “'Scholzing' means “communicating good intentions, only to use/find/invent any reason imaginable to delay these and/or prevent them from happening.”

The Last Taboo: Germany’s Leopard Tanks Are a Game Changer with Significant Risks
With the delivery of Leopard battle tanks from Germany, the Ukraine war is entering into a new and dangerous phase. Olaf Scholz must now clean up the political damage he has caused, hold his country together and find a path with his international partners to end the conflict.

USMC pilot arrested for training Chinese pilots (via my pal SamS):

Former US Marine Corps pilot Major Daniel Edmund Duggan was arrested in Australia in October 2022 on charges that he was training Chinese fighter pilots in violation of multiple arms control laws.
Posted in r/Spycraft101 by u/Spycraft101 • 235 points and 11 comments

Russia’s new military barons:

Public Politics in the Wartime Russian Dictatorship - War on the Rocks
Will President Vladimir Putin’s regime implode? Unfortunately, the media’s fixation with this question — understandable as it might be — has prevented us

Software defines tactics:

Software Defines Tactics - War on the Rocks
The book “The Bomber Mafia” revolves around the efforts of military officers to develop effective tactics for a bomber force, emphasizing the feedback

Teletubbies has a Twitter account:

Text to music generator: