Monthly Archives: August 2014

What a Socialist Paradise looks like

I recently came across this story: Brazil’s valley of beauties appeals for single men. It tells of a rural town in Brazil that appears to have a chronic man shortage.

Here, the only men we single girls meet are either married or related to us; everyone is a cousin…I haven’t kissed a man for a long time. We all dream of falling in love and getting married. But we like living here and don’t want to have to leave the town to find a husband. We’d like to get to know men who would leave their own lives and come to be a part of ours. But first they need to agree to do what we say and live according to our rules.” [Emphasis mine]

I see what you did there: “If you want to live with us, you must submit to our demands.” If you are a young man looking to start his tribe, do you really want to start from a position of supplication? No. Just… no.

The town… “has a reputation for its strong female community after its founder, Maria Senhorinha de Lima, settled in the town when she was branded an adulteress and exiled from her own church and home in 1891.”

Aaaaaaand that’s where the trouble started: with the sin of Eve — female rebellion. And the town’s women are lonely as a result. What a surprise. Action, meet consequence.

We have God in our hearts. But we don’t think we need to go to church, get married in front of a priest or baptise our children. These are rules made up by men.”

Whenever I hear the phrase “…in our hearts“, I mentally grimace and think “Cop-out”. Here’s my translation: We want spirituality — the cheap and easy part — but don’t want religion — you know, the part where you actually have to do stuff.

“There are lots of things that women do better than men. Our town is prettier, more organised, and far more harmonious than if men were in charge. When problems or disputes arise, we resolve them in a woman’s way, trying to find consensus rather than conflict.”

True enough, and I am sure that it’s all fun and games… right up till five hundred hairy, smelly barbarians — or worse, a crowd of Muslim men — show up at the gates. Then they will look for strong men to hide behind, as females of all species are wont to do in times of crisis.

“We share everything, even the land we work on. Nobody competes with anyone here. It’s all for one, and one for all.”

Sounds like the perfect utopia… for women. Men, however, are a little more competitive… and we like it that way. I have found it to be true that  women are wired for community and fear abandonment, while men are wired for significance and fear failure.

“The whole town came together recently to help buy a huge widescreen TV for our community centre so we can all watch soap operas together. And there’s always time to stop and gossip, try on each other’s clothes and do each other’s hair and nails”

This is the socialist/feminist paradise in action. A herd of women watching soaps/gossiping/clothes/hair/nails. Not like that happens here. Not. At. All.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the world there is a bunch of people working on a cure for cancer. And they are probably men.

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(In)equality

“Men are more likely than women to be arrested, die violently, commit crimes, be victims of crimes, go to jail, and be addicted. They also die more often on the  job, have more heart attacks, commit suicide in greater numbers, and live shorter lives than women” (David Murrow)

Equality between the sexes is easy! We’ll have it when…

  • Women serve the same jail sentences as men for the same crime.
  • Infidelity in females (“She wasn’t satisfied”) is treated the same way as it is in males (“He’s a jerk”).
  • A woman has no right to a man’s financial support unless she is married to him.
  • The state quits paying women to have babies.
  • Violence against men is taken as seriously as is violence against women (statistics show that the former is actually more common, though less severe).
  • Women are required to register with the Selective Service (aka “the draft”) or lose the right to vote — the same way as men are.
  • “I was drunk and had sex” no longer equals to “I was raped”.
  • Men live as long as women.
  • Paternity Fraud (where a woman attempts to force a man support a child that is not his) is treated the same way as tax fraud – with jail time.
  • Women start tipping like men.
  • Men and women have equal standing in child custody disputes (as opposed to the current system, in which “The bad, bad man is bad, bad, bad” ).
  • Women are required by law to leave toilet seats up.
  • Financial support for breast/cervical cancer is matched by testicular/prostate cancer (the latter actually kills more people, but gets far less money).
  • Either Paternity leave is mandated (unlikely) or Maternity leave is abolished (impossible).
  • All governmental organizations dedicated to women either have a complimentary men’s equivalent or are abolished.
  • Men can have babies.

The elephant in the room is that we don’t have equality, and probably never will. And I for one say “Vive La Difference”

I have found that when many women talk about “equality” what they mean is “to have all of the same rights and rewards as men, but without the responsibilities and/or the work required“. That’s childish behavior, and the last time I looked, children were not allowed to vote and had to be told what to do.

Today is “Women’s Equality Day“, whatever that means. Enjoy!

Hyperexotics

Another day, another version of Real Racing 3. This version takes a break from previous versions (1.12, 1.2, 1.3, 1.3.5, 1.4, and 1.5) and kicks it up a whole major version it to 2.0.0. However, the big leap in version numbering is perhaps a little disingenuous, as there doesn’t seem to be a huge difference between this and the last version (1.5).

Two new Cars

Screenshot_2014-04-10-03-50-04This version features the debut of two new cars — the McLaren P1 and the Lamborghini Veneno. Both incredibly sexy, incredibly fast — and incredibly expensive — so much so, that if you have to ask “how much?” you can’t afford one:

The McLaren P1 costs $1.15 Million, and there are fewer than six hundred in existence

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The Lamborghini Veneno costs a jaw-dropping $4 million and there are only three in existence.

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Both production runs of both cars are completely sold out, but thanks to the magic of the Firemonkeys, you get to drive both in a brand-new Series — the Vertex — along with the Porsche 911 RSR (2013) (known irreverently as the “Porsche SuperGrip”, due to it’s hamsters-with-gluepots ability to stick to the road) that was introduced way back in the 1.3.5 “Seven Bloody Porsches” update.

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The Death of the Delorean

Since the release of the game early last year, the game has offered a different “deal” every week, including some free or half-price cars. However, those in the know were aware that it was possible to put your device in airplane mode, set your device’s date to back when the discount was available… and purchase.

The not-so-awesome race.

Screenshot_2014-07-13-08-24-55The “Awesome Race” is gone. The ’69 Charger Endurance race that used to go on forever has now been well and truly fixed.

Onward and Upward to V2.1 – Aston Martin

All this and Ferrari II

It’s been a while since I have blogged on my favorite game, Real Racing 3. Time to put that right. Last time round I was less than impressed with the first three Ferraris (yes, that is apparently the correct plural) introduced in version 1.4, but what I didn’t know at the time was that the Men from Modena had another three cars ready to go — the 458 Spider, the 599 GTO, and the legendary Enzo Ferrari.

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Unlike the previous three, these new offerings were a little more what I expected of the Marque; Better performance, better handling.

There was also an unexpected addition to the Real Racing stable, a debut from a new manufacturer, ladies and gentlemen, presenting the mighty name of… Hyundai?

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In the last version of the game, I noted that “Ferrari Faceoff” had been put at the end, after “Zenith”. In this version, it has been moved from it’s ill-deserved ultimate position at the top of the tree to further down.

This is the last version of the game that featured “the Awesome Race”, my name for the everlasting endurance race with the ’69 Dodge Charger that was introduced in Version 1.3. I took advantage of this to run a blistering 1500-mile race over the course of a week.

1500 Miles

The likes of which the world has never seen…

New feature: Weekly Time Trial Tournaments

Screenshot_2014-06-10-02-42-53While this is a new feature, I cannot comment on it, since weekly time trial tournaments require that you have the latest version of the game installed, which this isn’t.

Race Replay

Screenshot_2014-06-10-02-42-58This is a wonderful feature. After completing a race you have the option of watching it again from a series of trackside cameras, or from any of the driving views. Very nice. The only thing that is missing is the ability to save that replay for watching later, or showing to your grandchildren. Assuming that you can take enough time away from the game to actually have any children, that is…

Screenshot_2014-06-10-02-43-04

AWD Attack

AWD AttackThis is one of those events with only one car — the brand-spanking-new Hyundai. I20 WRC Don’t be fooled – the I20 WRC is a little beast of a car, with a beastly price tag to match. It’s a four-wheel-drive rocket-powered roller-skate, although when fully upgraded, it is almost feels too fast, and feels skittish in the corners. It also gets my vote for the coolest product placement I have ever seen in a a computer game.

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Oh, the irony…

Grand Tourer Supremacy Series

Grand Tourer Supremancy SeriesNo new cars to be found here, but a chance to make some extra R$ and Gold from the cars you already have. This series showcases the two Bentleys (Continental Supersports and Continental GT Speed) and two of the three Mercedes-Benzes (SLS AMG and SL 65 AMG Black Series). Sadly they left out the third Benz — the sexy SLS AMG GT3, but it would not have fitted in here.

Spirit of Ferrari

Spirit of FerrariMamma Mia! The Italians are at it again! Race the three new Ferraris. You start off with the 458 Spider working your way up to the 599 GTO before unlocking the legendary Enzo Ferrari.

Enzo Ferrari Triumph

Enzo Ferrari TriumphThe mob at Ferrari must have been mightily impressed with the Enzo Ferrari; they named it after their founder. “Enzo Ferrari Triumph” joins “AWD Attack” and “The Legend Continues” to become the third single-car series — and like the other two, this series is optional.

The name's Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari.

The name’s Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari.

 

When Permanent Employment Isn’t

In Grandpa’s day, you finished your education, started your job, and worked in the same place until you retired. That was it.

These days, things aren’t so easy. Downsizing, Rightsizing and “Returning to our core business” have conspired to make employees largely expendable and interchangeable – except for the ones who aren’t. The ones who actually design and produce stuff and get things done. For every one of those there are ten, twenty, fifty or a hundred replaceable HR Drones, Mid-level Managers and paper-shufflers.

The recession of 2008 made things even worse. The large-scale loss of factory jobs — mostly held by men — meant that for the first time there are more women in the workplace than men. While I have nothing against women in the workplace, the presence of more people seeking employment means that employers can afford to be picky. They’ve also gotten stingy, offering lower salaries and fewer benefits in what seems to be a race to the bottom.

I became a freelancer in 1989 after losing a job. It was an accident, but a fortunate one – the best deal on the table at the time was a freelance gig. Thirty-five years later, I still work in consultancy; my current “temporary” assignment is now in its fifteenth year. As a result, I still have the freelance mentality — even though my employment is technically “permanent”, I am under no illusion that my employers will fire my proverbial as soon as I am no longer profitable for them. It amazes me that so many people actually believe that their employer somehow “owes” them a job, benefits or perks. Life isn’t fair, to be sure, but I have found that people generally get what they deserve or settle for, though manyof us have deluded ourselves into believing that we somehow deserve better.

In Grandpa’s day, everyone wanted a cushy office job that didn’t involve “getting your hands dirty”, and this is what parents still steer their children towards. But the stable jobs in the future are those that provide services; plumbers, welders, mechanics, looking after children/pets/old folks – these are the jobs that can’t be outsourced. That may not sound glamorous, but it’s more sensible than running up huge student loan debt to get a Master’s Degree before ending up working as a Barrista.

My message to young people today is a simple one: Follow your dream, as long as your dream involves producing something of lasting value. If that happens to intersects with your passions, fine. I know of a chap who loves being outdoors and found a job working as a Park Ranger. But if your passion is street-art (aka Graffiti) or Video Games, do not delude yourself into thinking that there is a lucrative career to be had. Above all, don’t go to college unless you can afford it or have a clear career path mapped out.

There is nothing wrong with getting a boring/uninteresting job, as long as you are aiming for something better. A highly-paid job that you hate is the closest thing there is to hell on Earth.

Figure out what you love to do, and find a way to make it pay.