A Luke-Warm Political Hot-Take

Back in 2016, I published a blog post1 about the major election results for my state and country (California, USA). While I probably agree with most of my feelings at the time, I know for a fact that I made some bad choices with my votes, and an invalid hot take. I want to revisit this, and respond to it with a little more knowledge and hindsight.

Hilary Clinton vs Donald Trump

The voting system in this country is a joke. The only countries less democratic are those without any voting, and maybe “votes” with only one candidate.. which includes portions of the US. This is a large topic, but one of the easiest problems to attack is the presence of the electoral college. The popular vote doesn’t actually matter, what matters is a select group of 507 representatives. Most of the time, they vote according to what the populace votes for, but not accurately. Fortunately, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact intends to fix this.

The more immediate problem is who got elected that time. Trump is a moron, and caused a lot of harm.. and that’s even before COVID-19 became a problem. He is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and partially responsible for millions worldwide. Of course, every American president has a body count2 3, but Trump is a special level of stupid, careless, and evil.

That said, I’m still not sure he was the wrong person out of the two choices available4. Hilary wanted to go to war with Russia, a decision that could easily be civilization-ending when promoted by a competent politician. Of course, Russia interferes with all US elections, and in this case assisted the winner.

Flavors of Bad

I don’t know much about the particular candidates that ran for Senate and House of Representatives’ seats, but the Republican Party won the majority, and have a history of helping the wealthy grow their wealth at the expense of worldwide suffering. That said, I’m not holding the Democratic Party up as some kind of hero. They are responsible for the majority of the harm that Republicans have not caused, and have a history of pretending to be held up by Republicans when nothing of the sort has occurred.

Californian Propositions

I’m going to skip over propositions I can’t have a valid opinion on, as I lack knowledge on the specifics, with the exception of stating that on the surface 51-57, 59-65, 67 seem like progress. Of these, the following passed: 51, 52, 54-57, 59, 63-65. (Full results.)

58 (English-only schooling) and 66 (limiting death penalty appeals) are objectively bad propositions that passed, discriminating against non-English-speakers and increasing support for state-sanctioned murder. 62 (death penalty removal) might’ve been a good step towards prisoners’ rights – but did not pass. Of course, US prisons are somewhere between a death camp and slavery on average5.

I previously agreed with 58. At that time, I did not realize how much of a discriminatory it is to allow English-only schools. On the surface, it sounds fine, the majority is English-speaking, and should not have to be hampered by provisions for non-English-speakers in areas where there aren’t any non-English-speakers, right? The problem is these areas don’t really exist, and this just hides them farther under the rug6.

Many of us believed that 67 (single-use grocery bag ban) was a positive. I was led to believe that the benefits were grossly outweighed by unintended costs and increases in plastic usage to make reusable bags. For example, it would take a “reusable” bag thousands of uses to make up the difference in environmental impact of its creation vs a single-use bag. This is a feat that is not likely to be achieved. In fact, this post was written poo-pooing this proposition until I went to gather sources.

Turns out, it’s a lot more complicated!7 While the negative facts I’d heard are true, the result of California’s ban is the majority of purchases are being made without any bag use. Turns out, they just didn’t need them for the most part. (It is important to specify that these results are not generalizeable to any population, however.)

I am somewhat conflicted about 63 (background checks for purchasing ammo, prohibition of large-capacity magazines). My gut tells me this is a good thing, because gun control is a good thing. However, I have heard evidence that suggests that these kind of half-assed measures are easily worked around and serve no actual prevention of gun-related harm. At the time I went all-in on my gut feeling, instead of doing more research on the topic. At this time, I have not gone back to check sources to find out if this measure is actually helping.

There is much more to be said, but that also requires research. Please comment if you would like to see that done on these or other political topics.

  1. The original will likely go down as part of a site redesign and holds no value as content, so I’ve created an unlisted paste of it.
  2. That list is obviously outdated, as Trump easily makes the top 5. And that’s without even counting foreign deaths.
  3. Another example: Sanctions, which directly lead to somewhere between thousands and millions of deaths, and much more significant suffering.
  4. History shows that Americans rarely have a 3rd option in presidential elections.
  5. This article on modern concentration camps primarily focuses on more recent events, but offers a taste of what I am referring to.
  6. Languages spoken in California.
  7. ABC News’ article on plastic bag bans. I cannot reliably determine the net effect of California’s prop 67, but it seems to be edging into positivity.

Everything Is Okay (Music)

A while back I produced a work of Modern Art with the software suite known as Factorio. This only needed minor editing but I was a very lazy girl. Today, I bring you… Everything Is Okay, a custom alarm to let you know that your world isn’t ending.

My First Ludum Dare (#32)

Grand Theft Papercut

This was the 4th Ludum Dare that I wanted to participate in, and the first where I actually did. I was inspired by my recent discovery of a GameBoy GTA game, and my unconventional weapon (theme) was a deck of cards.

It was also my first time making anything tile-based, and it worked very well for my experience at the time. Even better, it was the first time I had the capability to load and save, and the game was also the map editor for the game. Very much something I’d like to do again sometime.

You can go play the prototype here.


Not sure how to introduce this blog or myself, but here goes:

I go by Tangent, or Rose, and I’m a programmer with interests in video game design, web services, motorcycles, the furry fandom, and probably a bunch of other stuff. This blog is where I will be sharing ideas, mostly of the variety that have not been turned into a successful project. I am starting it to declutter my notes and various books of ideas that I cannot continue, but I am sure there will be more to write about.

In addition to my primary goal of sharing ideas related to video game design, web services, and any other area of programming, I sometimes write short stories or attempt to write novels. These will be shared here as well.

That’s it for now, hopefully you find something of note or worth from reading things here in the future.

Self-Terminating vs Inertial Activities

(This post has been imported from an old blog of mine.)

I listen to a podcast called Cortex, a productivity maybe show, or “listening in on a monthly discussion of work over lunch.”* In episode 66, they discussed a book about behavioral change, and seems to be based on evidence instead of the “just follow these steps” other self-help books spout.

During their discussion, Grey mentioned the idea of self-terminating vs inertial activities. Some activities suck up way more time than you thought they would (e.g. watching entertainment, playing video games), while others take exactly the time they should (a commute to work, or a shower). Grey finds script-writing, exercise, reading (tasks his future self is happy with his completion of) are all self-terminating tasks, whereas activities to spend little time on (such as watching Netflix and playing Factorio), he ends up spending far more time on.**

I find this idea beneficial to think about. With the exception of programming, it seems that everything I should be doing (but don’t, or don’t nearly enough) is a self-terminating activity, and everything I shouldn’t be doing as much of is an inertial activity. For example, I want to get into writing again, and I’m certainly done writing as soon as I’m done with this post.

I’ll end it here with a copule lists of activities I find self-terminating or inertial, each of which is something I spend too much time on, or not enough time on.

Self-terminating activities

  • Showering
  • Brushing my teeth
  • Cooking/eating (in general, but especially with healthier foods)
  • Making YouTube videos
  • Writing

Inertial activities

  • Playing video games, especially Factorio, Minecraft, Minetest (and maybe American Truck Simulator)
  • Browsing the internet
  • Watching YouTube

I’m intentionally listing things that fit the model of self-terminating activities as productive and inertial activities as unproductive. It’s also just a preview of things on top of my mind right now. I’ll be thinking this through a bit more on my own time.

* Yes, I know they are not monthly episodes, but they feel kind of like it to me. :/
** Took these examples specifically from his reply to this comment on reddit.