/ interests of the day

Links of the day - 25th March 2018

Learn Go by writing tests
A decent in progress series of learning Go using TDD. As someone who is building his first real Go project using TDD I can affirm it's a great way to learn the language without taking Jacky shortcuts.

BBC did a feature on a community of home watch makers

A startup idea community called nugget

Apparently this is v3 and it looks like it has a solid business plan behind it. You have raw ideas and premium ideas. I can definitely say the premium ideas are worth it. You get 5 free ones forever. After that it's 29 USD a month

The reality behind Google's silly AI projects

Didn't read the whole thing but it looks interesting enough to bookmark for later.

The dangerous myth enforced by Civilization's endless growth model

A slightly alarmist take on how civilization and other games in its genre fail to accurately portray how civilizations actually collapse. Over population. Natural disasters. Pollution. I say alarmist because games have forever been a scapegoat. Dangerous values are reinforced in games. A myth which has been repeatedly disproved since the days of people trying to say that violent games reinforce violent thoughts. But the lesson on how we could design games to breakthrough shitty conventions is still valid.

So it isn’t just a narrative problem that Civilization, and games in general, insist on perpetual growth. Yes, it produces the late game stagnation that Rise and Fall tries valiantly to shake up. But when games hew so closely to the perpetual growth model, they uncritically reinforce one of the most damaging myths of our time – a myth currently destroying our only biosphere.

So however many farms you build, the soil won’t degrade. You can’t poison or overfish the seas, and those whales that provide you with luxuries will never go extinct. Your mines and factories won’t taint the air. The forests you fell will never erode the soil to the point where your cities flood and roads crumble. Even in Rise and Fall, your empire enters a Dark Age by failing to grow enough, rather than, say, through overconsumption.

Which is a perfectly valid critique of the mechanics of the entire genre. Which I didn't know is called 4X games until today