Cyberpunk, Politics, Gaming

Went to Electron Workshop on the weekend to watch William Gibson's No Maps for These Territories, followed by Johnny Mnemonic. The former was good phenomenology of technology in radical smash cut style, the latter was disappointing hack of the Gibson short story but tolerable. The Workshop is an excellent venue of the more professional warehouse cooperative style, and I hope they do well. On a somewhat related tangent, convened the Linux Users of Victoria meeting on Tuesday where two very different talks were provided; Bianca Gibson on preventing volunteer burnout and Russell Coker on the current status of BTRFS.

The two related political organisations that I'm primarily responsible for have had actions this week; the Victorian Secular Lobby has a media release on maintaining the Australian Charities and Non-Profits Commission, which is being suspiciously dumped after some intense lobbying by both the Catholic Church and Financial Services Council; I smell a Sinodinos. The other for the Isocracy Network, organising a meeting on North Korea: Human Rights and International Relations (FB) with a scholarly and eye-witness account being presented. Somewhat related is The Philosophy Forum meeting that I'm convening this Sunday; Bill Hall speaking on the social and technical evolution of the species.

Most of RPG Review issue 23 is ready with the theme of "Different Worlds" (like the old magazine), which includes Victorian versions of Mars (Savage Worlds), Gulliver's Trading Company, a post-cyberpunk Titan (Eclipse Phase), GURPS Middle-Earth and much more. In actual gaming activities, recent sessions of Call of Cthulhu, Pendragon, and GURPS Middle Earth have all gone well. Unfortunately, after almost ten years of play, my HeroQuest Glorantha game has fallen into a small hiatus, even though the plot is at the point just preceeding "the big reveal". Hopefully it will get a shot in the arm soon - I suspect it is the longest running HQ game in existence.

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I can't believe "advancing religion" is considered charitable...

As for the Chinese Dinosaur (the Sino Dino), him and Eddie should have to share a cell for a number of years. I can't believe he is still a politician. I love the back and forth at the ICAC this week (paraphrase): "do you think $200 000 for four hours work is reasonable?" "It depends on what you compare it with" "I'm comparing it with reality".
"Advancing religion" has been a charitable justification for a very long time. However, such organisations must not be eligible for other criteria, and the last Federal government put a stop to any new applications.

Which is a shame, because there goes my institute for the advancement of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Invisible Pink Unicorn, and Discordianism.

The Chinese Dinosaur is one thing. Corrupt people exist and corrupt politicians are among the delicious of all (with the possible exception of clergy). What I find particularly interesting is how an organisation like Australian Water Holdings came into existence to begin with - and, are still operating!
It seems that privatisation has been an excuse for mates to get rich. With that thought in mind AWH makes perfect sense.