The heat is on. It’s on the streets. And in my house. More about lexical selection errors and Hitler documentaries than you probably want.

Summer Is Here - June 2023 Part 1

1,593 words.

Summer Is Here - June 2023 Part 1

It’s hot as I’m writing this. This past week has been the start of the traditional summer weather here, which has average temperatures during the day somewhere between 85-90 F (29-32 C, according to Google). Today I mowed the back yard, and even though it’s nowhere near as hot as it could be, it was sufficiently hot that I did not enjoy being outside.

Gaming

There’s been another Steam Next Fest, the forty-seventh one this year? Or maybe the six hundredth? Something like that. Not only am I uninterested in trying demos that all look basically the same, I’m also not very interested in reading about said demos anymore. To my aging and jaded eye, the video game scene is kind of uninspiring these days.

The only game I have on my radar to buy for the remainder of this year is the Elden Ring DLC. Most likely, I’ll excitedly buy it and then never actually launch it, like I did with Hellblade II.

I saw some folks complaining about Sony not bringing Bloodborne to PC, like that’s ever going to happen, so I fired up Bloodborne on the PS5 for a few nights. I don’t think people want the real Bloodborne on PC. They actually want a version rewritten and remastered to work at higher resolution and 60+ fps (like the Demon’s Souls remaster), because it’s very frustrating to play a game locked at 30 fps. It’s like playing on a laggy dial-up modem connection. Not super fun when you get to the bosses. The Cleric Beast remains one of the worst boss fight experiences in Soulsborne history, and it’s the first one you meet.

Media Production

I’ve been recording a number of videos of mock Pathfinder combat scenarios as I go about testing the capabilities of the various Pathfinder classes and exercise the weird nitpicky-rules-for-every-little-thing Pathfinder system.

Anyway the thing that I want to note is how often I listen back to what I recorded and hear myself saying words that are completely different from what I intended to say. The most recent example is when I said “AC” like three times instead of “initiative.” e.g. “Oops I accidentally dropped him from the encounter tracker so I lost his AC and now I need to manually set his AC to what it was before.”

It’s the same as that thing I do where I type words that are completely different from what I intend to write. I just did it in this paragraph. I typed “that I completely different” instead of “that are completely different” and I didn’t realize it until I read back over it. I believe it’s called a “lexical selection error” in speech circles. And since my writing is simply a transcription of what I’m saying to myself in my head, it translates into my writing, too. First drafts, at least.

These sorts of things make me paranoid about what I might be accidentally saying in work meetings without realizing it. But I think in those situations, I’m already hyperfocused on what I’m saying, so I wouldn’t be speaking in that unconscious stream-of-conscious way that I do in video recordings. But sometimes I do do that, where I’m giving demos of my sprint work and I’ll talk for a couple minutes and then immediately afterward I’ll have absolutely no memory of what I just said or how I said it. But in those kinds of meetings, nobody is really listening anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

Television

Current weekly shows regularly watching: Glass Cannon Podcast Campaign 2 (on YouTube), The Rest is Entertainment Podcast (on YouTube), Jon Stewart’s bits on The Daily Show and that The Weekly Show podcast thing he does (on YouTube).

I’ve gotten a bit weary of Glass Cannon’s Get in the Trunk. The Delta Green setting just doesn’t appeal to me that much. (Incidentally, there’s a Humble Bundle where you can get like a dozen Delta Green book PDFs.)

Watched a docuseries called Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War on Netflix, which I thought would be about the Cold War, but kind meandered around a lot of different topics.

Then, Netflix insisted that I watch some new docuseries about Hitler, because there haven’t been enough of them yet. I’ll admit I was curious what younger documentary producers would say about Hitler. I can report that they made a pretty strong case that Hitler’s reign was really bad, let me tell you.

The main thing that sets this Hitler documentary apart from every other Hitler documentary, I think, were these things:

  • The use of (presumably) AI to clean up the vintage audio and video (and the use of aggressively off-putting colorization of black and white film).
  • A throughline that cast war correspondent William L. Shirer as the a of “protagonist” for the documentary. They used an AI to “speak” the words of his Berlin Diaries “in his own voice” from before, during, and after the war. Incidentally, war correspondents of that era were an odd, egotistical lot. They were sort of the celebrity action movie heroes of the day.
  • A lot of flash-forwards and (supposedly) authentic audio from the Nuremberg Trials, which I hadn’t seen much of before. (In this era of AI, it’s a lot more difficult to audibly identify authentic audio that’s been cleaned up. It sounds basically identical to what could be totally fake, recreated audio. Somehow they can take vintage noisy audio recorded with a terrible microphone and decades-old degraded magnetic tape and make it sound like it was recorded in a pristine studio.)
  • Also every single historical recreation was in super slow-motion. Every one of their recreations of a Hitler temper tantrum was pretty funny to watch. Do you think actors are excited to get the role of Hitler in a Hitler documentary? I wonder about that sometimes.

On another topic, I think the new season of That Dragon Show is almost here. What I remember of the first season is that the story didn’t actually begin until the end of the last episode, so the entire first season seemed like an extremely skippable prologue.

Podcasts

My lifestyle doesn’t really align very well with listening to audio-only podcasts anymore, or even audiobooks. Typically when I listen to voices in audio, it consumes a lot of my brain processing bandwidth, so I can’t do that while doing anything that requires mental acuity, like work, or writing, or just about anything. Typically the only times I can listen to pure audiobooks or podcasts is when going to sleep, or when cleaning, or when mowing the lawn. Also when driving, but I drive so little anymore that I couldn’t even finish an hour of podcasts a week.

But.

Lately I’ve been listening to a Glass Cannon actual podcast podcast called Blood of the Wild. I started it last weekend when I decided to completely rearrange my living room so I could rotate my gaming desk 90 degrees to put a wall behind me. Since then I’ve been finding ways to listen to podcasts all day, instead of listening to YouTube videos of podcasts all day. It works, except for when I actually need to focus. Mainly because it’s an actual play podcast, which means you don’t really need to focus your brain on it minute-by-minute. You can just kind of let it wash over you and only really pay attention for the important or funny bits.

Movies

I watched Greenland on Max (I think), which is a Gerard Butler end-of-the-world flick that is more intellectual than you might imagine. It wasn’t terrible. I mean, except all the science.

Audiobooks

Speaking of listening to audiobooks before bed, I’m listening to Three Body Problem again. (I was listening to Dune again, but then I started Three Body Problem after watching the Netflix show.) The show actually follows the book closer than I realized, it’s just that all the characters in the book are Chinese. [“or Chinese,” I first wrote.]

Day Job

I’m not one to rant about my job, because my general feeling is that if you’re at the point of regularly ranting about your job in a blog or on social media or whatever, the only useful feedback you’re going to get is that you should consider changing jobs. But sometimes things happen at one’s job that are really annoying. And that thing is when nobody is in charge of a project but people are still expecting things to get done, but you definitely, positively do not want to be in charge of said project because it’s a complete waste of everyone’s time and utterly unrelated to any organizational goals, which is why the project should just die already. But if you show the slightest sign of proactive involvement, you’ll be branded the one in charge and be held accountable for everything. That kind of thing is pretty annoying when it happens at a job.

World Context

As yet I don’t know what to replace TweetDeck with for news.

  • There was an EU election. The main summarizing story I saw afterward was something like “big gains by the far right but the center right won and also the Green Party lost a lot.” If we were to translate that into American politics, we would be very stumped because there is no more center right in America.

Bye!

Hey look, I added comments again, because it was easy and free. I don't recommend writing anything that you don't want to lose, because I don't know anything about the stability of this platform.