Reflections

Creative Commons is good, if you allow commercial use

Accepting commercial use of your works is necessary for a thriving, worldwide commons of free cultural works. Here’s why.

I have just chosen to allow commercial use of my photos through an appropriate Creative Commons license. This was a rather significant change in my thinking. My gut reaction has always been “I don’t want others to exploit my work and make money off it”. But while this is a valid sentiment with the best of intentions, it utterly fails to capture the complexities of the problem. I did some research and, as often is the case, my new-found knowledge required me to completely change my mind and my conduct. Here is an overview of the problem and why you should allow commercial uses of your creative works.

Continue reading “Creative Commons is good, if you allow commercial use”

Ramblings

Why I support Wikipedia and why you should too

Knowledge is power. Giving everyone free access to knowledge is one of the most democratic things we can do.

Wikipedia has often displayed donation banners at the top of articles. Lately they’ve been getting a bit more dominant (in a perfectly fine non-flashy way, mind you). Now, at long last, instead of filing it away in the dark recesses of my mind, I actually read the message and reflected on the whole “knowledge is power” thing. Easiest reflection I’ve done – five minutes later I was a Wikipedia supporter. Here’s what went though my head:

Continue reading “Why I support Wikipedia and why you should too”

Gaming

Review: Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition

Divinity is a really good game. It just forces me to make a few compromises I’d rather be without.

I’m currently co-oping1 Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition. It’s a fun game, with lots of attention to detail and thoughtfully implemented gameplay mechanics. But some poor choices on my part have left me wanting more here and there, and I’m not sure I’m willing to replay it to treat it more fairly. So here’s a kind-of-review that’s most likely a tad bit more critical than the game deserves.2

Continue reading “Review: Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition”


  1. It’s a verb.

  2. I intended to just jot down a quick couple of paragraphs. Boy did I fail at that.

Gaming

On my Zelda optimal equipment guides

The “why” of my no-nonsense guides to help you get everything as soon as possible while playing Zelda games.

In games, I like to get some mileage out of my gear. On the occasion of the imminent release of Twilight Princess HD, I have just released an interactive, mobile-friendly equipment walkthrough for Twilight Princess (both HD, Wii and GC) that you can use as a quick reference to get all the items and equipment as early as possible. The descriptions are short, concise, and clear enough that you’ll actually spend your time playing, not reading. Similar guides are also coming for Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Skyward Sword, and Wind Waker HD.

Continue reading “On my Zelda optimal equipment guides”

Ramblings

Why I blog

Writing makes you better at thinking, learning and communicating.

I enjoy writing. I know I write fairly well and that some people enjoy reading what I write. But getting read isn’t the most critical aspect for me. The three main reasons I blog are reflection, communication, and learning.

Continue reading “Why I blog”

Tech

Technical details about my new blog

Some edits I made to the Wordpress theme and plugins I’m using

When you’re into web design, of course you can’t simply install WordPress and be done with it. The current default WordPress theme, Twenty Sixteen, is nice and clean, but a few tweaks here and there made it look a bit better and even less noisy.

Continue reading “Technical details about my new blog”

Reflections

Escapism is negatively charged. Let’s change that.

By spending time doing what you enjoy, it becomes easier dealing with what you don’t enjoy.

The spending of time and money on hobbies and other leisure activities is an important ethical consideration. How much is too much when your time (and money) could be spent in “better” ways? Here I argue that escapism can be healthy and make life better for you and those around you.

Continue reading “Escapism is negatively charged. Let’s change that.”

Gaming

A killer is born: On ludonarrative dissonance in Tomb Raider

Lara Croft’s origin story ends up being appropriate, just not the way the developers had envisioned.

Lara Croft’s origin story is supposedly one of survival. The introduction shows an innocent female archaeologist and her friends heading for adventure and fame. Circumstances quickly deteriorate, and the first Lara does in the game is to set herself on fire, fall several meters down onto a metal pin, and brutally pull it out from her side. The sequence is emotional and well executed, the subtext being that this hurts Lara as much mentally as physically. Before the credits roll, the screen fades to white and the text a survivor is born appears in bold, rough letters. And it might have worked. She has undoubtedly become tougher and more experienced. But she has also become a cold-blooded, psychopathic killer.

Continue reading “A killer is born: On ludonarrative dissonance in Tomb Raider”

Books

Summary and review of “No Place to Hide” by Glenn Greenwald

Some books are simply too important not to read.

Every now and again there comes a work – whether a book, a movie or something else – that is of such societal significance that it cannot and must not be overlooked. Glenn Greenwald’s No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State is just such a work.

Continue reading “Summary and review of “No Place to Hide” by Glenn Greenwald”

Reflections

Physics and uncertainty: A slightly poetic view

In its hunt for the Truths of nature, physics uncovered the Eternally Unknowable; the Forever Uncertain.

The Book of Nature is written in the language of Mathematics”, Galileo famously said. The language of mathematics is clean, precise and absolute, with no regard for the concept of uncertainty. But Uncertainty, this frowned-upon offspring of Mother Earth and Father Science, of theory and practice, which we’d rather throw to the wolves on a cold winter’s night, is central to all science. In physics, uncertainty is particularly special, because physics has always been concerned with the hunt for certainty – the hunt for the capital Truths of nature.

Continue reading “Physics and uncertainty: A slightly poetic view”