Link Roundup: January 2023

December tends to be a slow blogging month for me, and apparently that also extends to how many links I end up collecting.  So, just a few things this time.

I recently published an article on The Asexual Agenda analyzing an episode of the kids’ show Recess.

What Elden Ring Is Like For Someone Who Doesn’t Play Games | Razbuten (video, 28 min) – Another perspective on a topic I wrote about, in my dialectic review of Elden Ring.  My husband is definitely a more “advanced” gamer than Razbuten’s wife, and did eventually complete Elden Ring, but he agreed with many of the observations in this video.  He said he went back to look at the tutorial, and it was remarkable how many things he misunderstood or completely missed.  He also tried avoiding difficult encounters by going elsewhere in the open world, but then it turns out that everything else in the game is also too difficult.

For another perspective, I also saw another article titled “‘Elden Ring’ is undeniably game of the year–and that’s a problem“.  While I agree with the main point, I find some of the supporting arguments bizarre.  What kind of person wants to get into gaming for the first time, and goes straight to Elden Ring just because it got game of the year?  How is it that they have heard of The Game Awards at all, without having heard that Elden Ring is hard?  I’m what they call a “core” gamer and even I am barely aware of The Game Awards.

Surge Pricing Will Kill Us All | Unlearning Economics (video, 40 min) – An analysis of surge pricing as practiced by Uber, which I think gets into some of the micro problems of free markets.  In theory, free markets should efficiently allocate rides to people who need them most.  However, because there’s inequality in ability to pay, it instead allocates rides to people who have more money.

I consider myself to be socialist, but I also believe in free markets which probably puts me at odds with a lot of other self-identified socialists.   I think robust wealth redistribution would go a long ways towards solving the problems with free markets, and then stuff like surge pricing would actually allocate rides efficiently as intended.  Of course, it wouldn’t solve all the problems, and there’s definitely a lack of transparency and predictability in surge pricing.  I wonder if it would help if Uber were required to announce pricing surges a day or a week ahead of time, so people could plan around it.

Argument Clinic: Pseudo-Skepticism | stderr – Marcus Ranum focuses on a particular argument tactic, asking for references and studies.  In a way, it’s a fair demand, and basically the same thing as saying “citation needed”.  But it’s also a lot of work to provide citations, and a lot of work to determine whether the citations are correct, and I’m not willing to perform that work for some rando who will probably not be convinced regardless.


  1. SchreiberBike says

    I’m basically a democratic socialist, and I agree that free markets can solve most problems better than a command economy. But not everything; when the market is the only force, increasing income inequality is inevitable (natural alliteration). A democratic country could make some reasonable adjustments, I think that with high taxes, smart services, and a universal basic income, practically everyone would come out ahead.

    The extremely rich don’t see it that way and they’ve done so much that the US is only a republican democracy in name.

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