Wednesday, August 21, 2019

You Will Hate World of Warcraft Classic

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I started playing World of Warcraft in August 2005, having received it as a birthday gift. At the time, it was the only game kids at my middle school would talk about. I remember sitting on the bus in 7th grade on my way home from school, and all around me everything I heard was World of Warcraft related. Literally everyone was playing it (or Halo 2, but by then the hype for that was dying down a bit).

When I first fired up World of Warcraft on a crappy hand-me-down Dell Latitude laptop, I was entranced. It was the first mmorpg I had played that made me feel like I was in an entirely different world. Sure, I had played Runescape before, but that was a browser-based game with a top-down perspective that gave you limited control over your player and your perspective.

World of Warcraft, by comparison, was a completely different animal. You could actually control your character, rather than pointing and clicking. Combat felt sensational; you could feel the power coursing through your character's veins as you launched firebolts at unsuspecting kobolds. Everywhere you went felt like it was fully-realized, with stories waiting to be told, friends to meet, quests to complete, and gear to obtain.

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Can An Auto-Generated Superteam Beat Lonzo Ball and the Lakers?

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This is an accurate representation of how good Lonzo was for me in NBA 2K19.

Each year I buy the newest iteration of NBA 2K, probably against my better judgement. As most know, at this point it's pretty much just a cash-grab rushed out to take advantage of the hype surrounding the upcoming NBA season. Microtransactions have ruined most of its game modes, and each year more features seem to be taken out than they are put in.

Luckily, the sole reason I play NBA 2K is for its MyLeague mode, which allows you to run all aspects of an NBA team for multiple decades, if you so choose. And thankfully, MyLeague continues to be updated on a yearly basis, unlike other 2K game modes that have been allowed to wither and die.

One of the things that I like to do is to construct unrealistic scenarios in MyLeague, and see how they play out over a few decades. The scenario this time was as follows: bend the rules to create a super superteam, and wait to see how long it took for the league to develop a team capable of beating it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Corridor Crew Review

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From left to right: Wren, Sam, Niko, Jake, and David of The Corridor Crew. Credit to them for the graphic.

YouTube has a lot of problems. Namely, it's full of pseudo-intellectuals who fail at towing the line between entertainment and education. Facts and quality analysis matter less to these people than views and clicks do. Charlatans abound.

And yet, thankfully, The Corridor Crew manages to transcend that morass of misinformation in a way that often matches or exceeds the best of what YouTube has to offer. The quality of their videos is so good, in fact, that you almost feel bad about the fact that you don't have to pay to watch them. 

Yet, even so, The Corridor Crew has a big problem. Something that might even be called a fatal flaw.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Humanities as a Force Multiplier

Earlier this week I witnessed something special. I watched as my partner delivered a lecture
to an audience of mostly STEM majors about the importance of Filipinas in Filipino and Filipino-American history. As the presentation reached its crescendo, I saw multiple undergraduate's eyes light up, thoroughly enraptured by a subject they had never before considered. After the lecture's end, a group of STEM undergraduates approached my partner, asking her questions and telling her that she had changed how they would view their own work. It was then that something clicked for me. I thought to myself, “this is why the humanities matter.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

5 Kinds of People You Should Avoid in Graduate School

There are many positives to graduate school. In fact, despite my experiences, I’d still say it’s worth attending. However, every prospective graduate student should beware of certain people. As someone who entered graduate school in 2015 and is now in the process of writing my dissertation, I’ve seen just about everything that grad school can throw at you. Indeed, when I joined up, I was fresh-faced, optimistic, and in many ways, downright naive.

Though I still believe in the overall mission of graduate school and what it intends to accomplish, it’s also true that it’s certainly not the oasis of learning and intellectual betterment that I thought it was as an undergraduate. In many ways, it’s a microcosm of the “real world,” warts and all.

To that end, I’ve decided to make a list of people you should watch out for as a graduate student, so that you’re better prepared when you come face-to-face with them. And hopefully, by spreading awareness of these issues, I’ll be helping to eliminate the problem at the source.

With that said, let's get started.