App.net shut down last night.

My friend, @doctorlinguist, captured the last posts using his app, Texapp: 

I like @berg’s send-off post. (It’s unfortunate that the last post was spam.)

I read a series of posts on Twitter this morning by The Angry GM, where he ranted, in his usual style, about the upcoming D&D Beyond project: another attempt at bringing D&D into the digital world. It’s not hard to be skeptical about it, given the unexplained cancellations of the previous projects, and the lackluster offering that was DDI. It doesn’t help matters that:

  • Wizards of the Coast seems to have an allergy to releasing PDFs of their current material (as Angry GM points out);
  • Digital content released through their current “partnerships” is prohibitively priced;
  • Wizards has a reputation of litigiousness and paranoia concerning their intellectual property.

While I’m piling on, let’s look at all three major editions of Dungeons and Dragons that Wizards has released. Each has required either major revisions as follow-ups (3.5 and Essentials), or have fundamentally broken components (PHB Ranger), which seem feels like there’s a something fundamentally broken in the design and development process.

Given all of this, it’s hard (for me) to want to continue playing D&D.

This morning the Washington Post tweeted:

I think it’s probably safe to say that the people who would be “bringing it” are not Christians.

Here’s the thing: if you’re judging a religion (or any set of ideals or beliefs) by the actions of its followers and not by the teachings of said system, you’re doing it wrong. People are fallible, for one, and, as the inimitable Gregory House used to say, “people lie”.

If someone calls him- or herself a Christian, but then does things that are diametrically opposed to Christianity, does that mean that Christianity is bad? I dare say not. Call yourself a tree all you want, but that doesn’t make you one.

Real Christians aren’t closed-minded bigots hell-bent (ooh!) on imposing their beliefs on the world because they’re insecure and uncomfortable. Real Christians are washing feet and serving the poor, the widow, the orphan, the prisoner.

Apropos to current events, I encountered this passage reading Carl Sagan’s “Contact”:

Just at the moment when some additional unifying force is needed, this bolt comes from the blue. From the black, she corrected herself. From twenty-six light-years away, 230 trillion kilometers. It’s hard to think of your primary allegiance as Scottish or Slovenian or Szechuanese when you’re all being hailed indiscriminately by a civilization millennia ahead of you. The gap between the most technologically backward nation on the Earth and the industrialized nations was, certainly, much smaller than the gap between the industrialized nations and the beings on Vega. Suddenly, distinctions that had earlier seemed transfixing—racial, religious, national, ethnic, linguistic, economic, and cultural—began to seem a little less pressing.

 

“We are all humans.”

 

The recent activity of our Executive branch has led to many a discussion in our house about that we can do, and perhaps more importantly, why we should do it. I shared with them the following quote from Martin Niemoller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.