Yes I am replaying HORIZON: ZERO DAWN and paying more attention to the parts of the story that serve mostly as setup for FORBIDDEN WEST. The closer I look the more it seems they really had a plan for a trilogy of games.

Without spoiling too much, I want to say that some of the story beats in H:FW seem on cursory examination to be repackaging of similar story beats in H:ZD, but I actually feel like the writers did a very good job of keeping faith with the story milieu while introducing new material. And the echoes of H:ZD that you see in H:FW are more resonant with the original than a simple repetition would produce. (Yes, I'm definitely taking a swing at Star Wars VII here.)

I am replaying HORIZON: ZERO DAWN in Story mode because I love the world, the characters and the story *that* *much*, and while the game is smaller and less technically sophisticated than H:FW, I am enjoying the replay very much. So much of H:FW now feels like it was a promise kept that was made in H:ZD. I love when that happens.

The more I think about what it really could mean if Elon Musk is seriously on the brink of taking the birdsite into private ownership, the more I scare the living fuck out of myself. I don’t think very many of its most influential users are quite prepared for the possible consequences of what that motherfucker can easily be expected to do with the enormous power available to him if that deal goes through.

Now that everybody has finished ELDEN RING, now is an excellent time to remember that HORIZON: FORBIDDEN WEST is a masterpiece.

Here is Evgeny Morozov with a capolavoro on the topic of post-capitalism in the wake of what I have long been calling the Intelligence Revolution. He successfully knocked me off several of my intellectual hobby horses with this piece. It’s a bit of a slog to get through, but I think it’s worth the effort. newleftreview.org/issues/ii133

I have had the soundtrack to HORIZON: FORBIDDEN WEST on loop for pretty much a week now, and I gotta say it’s a good soundtrack. Helps that it’s 147 tracks adding up to 7 hours and 37 minutes of music. Has given me a new appreciation for the importance of music in a video game and just how hard it is to get right.

Accordingly I am not at all sympathetic to the view that expressed by forces birth advocates that anybody other than the pregnant person themselves should have any say in whether to carry a pregnancy to full term. I get that sometimes other people come to feel like they have a property claim on another person’s reproductive organs. And that’s just not acceptable to me. Now you know the very personal reasons I came to see it this way.

I recount this story because I grew up with this history of how reproductive rights are important when couples have a dispute over whether and how many children to bring into the world. As it happens I’m pretty sympathetic to the view that my father was well within his rights to choose, and if the state had interfered with it and forced him into an unwanted fatherhood, that would have been personally bad for me.

So skip ahead to 1978, when my parents finally divorced. (The irreconcilable difference: mom desperately wanted children and had finally found someone who would father them; father had never regretted the vasectomy not even a little bit never once.) Settlement was quick. My father got full custody. He had the only child he ever wanted. She got the additional children she wanted. No contest.

Also worth noting: spousal permission the other way has definitely been a thing. When my mother decided she wanted an IUD (yes, despite my father having had a vasectomy, draw your own conclusions) permission from my father was required. (He quite sensibly gave it. Again draw your own conclusions.)

Note well: obtaining a vasectomy has never required spousal permission, and the very idea probably sounds crazy to most people. My father certainly never considered it. He was shocked and surprised when my mother objected. Didn’t stop him. And he was right to do so. He knew better than she did that he was done fathering children.

Around my second birthday, my father quite sensibly decided on his own that one was enough and he was never going to be the father of another child. So he got a vasectomy. This was not welcome news to my mother after the fact. She desperately wanted more children, and she felt they my father had stolen them from her.

Since we’re recounting family stories of reproductive rights, I’ll tell the one from mine. I was born in California some years before Roe v. Wade, but after Griswold. Most contraceptives were available to married couples. Abortion was not readily available despite being somewhat legal there. This is not strictly a story about abortion but reproductive rights more generally.

Looks like Yarvin’s gonna be whispering in the ear of a US Senator soon.

Here is Alex Pareene writing about The Basic Problem that has to be resolved if we want corrections to any of the other fundamental errors that plague our contemporary politics. theap.substack.com/p/the-insti

What I'm listening to today: "Ambient MonoPoly Set"

This showed up in my YouTube synth vids recs. I think "Tefty & Meems" started out here just trying to test out / demo one of Behringer's many clone synths but got carried away and recorded basically a 45 minute album of chill ambient techno with improvised vocals. Just one synth, one woman singing, and tons of echo, but the mood is intense.

I suggest starting about 11 minutes 45 seconds in, as that's when it gets Good

youtu.be/shP9As1PrrY?t=700

Seeing a lot of posts here and there expressing genuine mystification over what is the end result that right wing activists are pursuing, and look: everyone know what it is— repealing the Establishment clause in the First Amendment. Please I’m begging you stop pretending you don’t know this. Everyone knows this.

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