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A concept whose time is now!

Postmortem Studios

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Excellent “Aliens” Colonial Marines vs. Zombies AAR

Dawn of the Lead

Utopia unit 16 was slowly recovering from their disastrous last mission. With Wu and Hämäläinen dead, Trill and McSorley left behind on Ryukyu Epsilon and Evans and Franz-Haugen-Ankerson hospitalized, it was time to bring in some fresh meat. With the losses suffered by the Utopia units, new troopers were transferring in from various sources. Joining the Sweet Sixteenth were

Pvt. Abdul, a polite and well-mannered devout Moslem transferring in from MESA – the Middle East Security Army. With no blemishes on his service record, Abdul’s semi-forced transfer is a bit of a mystery.

Pvt. Swartz, the unit’s new heavy weapons specialist. A jovial Neo-Bavarian with a liking for beer and sausages – lots of both. Schwarz is also from MESA, and he’s a voluntary transfer.

Pvt. “Shaq” Leroy, a medic from the New Orleans isles. Leroy’s not only a capable medic, but very canny in the…

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Neat analysis of the ‘Bioshock Formula’

Postmortem Studios

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Bioshock Infinite

I’ve been watching the missus playing Bioshock: Infinite, the indirect but sort of direct sequel to Bioshock and Bioshock 2. As you may or may not know I made an RPG resource for Bioshock which can be found HERE.

Without getting too spoilerific, Infinite lives up to its name and potentially opens up the role-playing possibilities and opportunities in a whole variety of worlds, not just the ones that are presented or hinted at in the Bioshock series so far.

Bioshock, as a game, has great hooks and gets its hooks into you, but it does follow a sort of a formula. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. A formula or structure can help channel creativity and doesn’t (obviously!) indicate any paucity of imagination.

The Bioshock Formula

Extreme Ideology

Each Bioshock game taps into a form of ideology and dials it up to eleven. While the setting and…

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Conversion bits from Mad Robot

Dawn of the Lead

Looking to turn your Warhammer 40K Imperial Guard into Colonial Marines? Mad Robot Miniatures has just the thing for you.

In other words, the 28mm Colonial Marine review has been updated again with some conversion parts for GW plastics. What’s the verdict? Go check it out!

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“Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.”
— Oscar Wilde

Let A Thousand Nations Bloom

If you haven’t yet, do pick up a copy of Huemer’s latest book, The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the RIght to Coerce and the Duty to Obey. But for the short version, check out this month’s Cato Unbound. Here’s a typical Huemerian insight: 

Imagine that someone proposed that the key to establishing social justice and restraining corporate greed was to establish a very large corporation, much larger than any corporation hitherto known—one with revenues in the trillions of dollars. A corporation that held a monopoly on some extremely important market within our society. And used its monopoly in that market to extend its control into other markets. And hired men with guns to force customers to buy its product at whatever price it chose. And periodically bombed the employees and customers of corporations in other countries. By what theory would we predict that this corporation…

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Here’s a perfect opportunity for someone with some real book learnin’ on the subject to demonstrate the broken window fallacy. But no, it’s left to me, an unlettered nobody, to supply the punchline to this economic in-joke. Well, me and Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

Let A Thousand Nations Bloom

Things that make you go hmmmm:

Whether it’s recovering from a war or cleaning up after a natural disaster, periods of severe destruction are usually followed by sharp bursts of economic activity. Money pours in from government and insurers to repair infrastructure. Homes get rebuilt, debris cleared. As a result, the overall economic growth that follows a natural disaster can often outweigh the wealth it destroyed. Economists call this the broken window effect. “To an economist, breaking a window always boosts GDP,” says Michael Englund, chief economist at Action Economics. Englund thinks that Sandy could end up boosting fourth-quarter gross domestic product by as much as two-tenths of a percentage point. “The backfill activity will probably be bigger,” he says. “By the time the rebuild is over, I think we’ll see this as a net positive [for GDP].”

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Defining and applying the principles of good governance.

Let A Thousand Nations Bloom

The political news cycle is entertaining in about the same way that a tornado watch is entertaining: nothing good comes of it, but there is a lot of noise and activity. I’m sadly addicted. Every time the legislature passes a dictionary-thick bill that nobody likes or ignores another impending financial disaster I struggle to restrain myself from screaming “institutional sclerosis!” at my computer screen.

Political activists of every generation learn the same sad lessons. It’s easy to identify areas where the law can be improved, sometimes with huge social gains. But they soon discover that lawmaking is controlled by a bizarre machine full of biases against good policy. The best of intensions are no match for the force of institutional inertia.

In short, they rediscover some small portion of the classic problems of collective action first written about by Public Choice economists. For example, the case against agricultural subsidies…

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