Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Remember how last post I mentioned it would be a double post day?

I lied. Unfortunately I had ladder games to lose and coaching to endure from a Masters Zerg. And it was endurance, I lost a lot of PvZ's.

So today I shall post the post you probably haven't been waiting for.

Once upon a time when I was still leaching off my dad in their seemingly upper-class conservative house I believed all that came from my Dad and hell even my stepmum's mouth was gospel. And when they ranted about dole bludgers being a worthless drain on the system I wholeheartedly believed them.

In fact I distinctly recall my best friend Shane and myself (Shane came from a similar socioeconomic background) discussing ways of eliminating this wastage. Like forced labor death camps. Or killing the dole bludgers, cooking their remains and feeding them to all the starving kids in Africa. Thus killing two birds with one prion-infected stone.

In time however, I learnt that my old man and my stepmum harboured unjust and harsh prejudices.

Nevertheless I couldn't help feel like I WAS a worthless drain on the system during my brief jobless stint. Among other things.

If you are unemployed and you do feel like this then... just don't. Because any well thought out socioeconomic analysis will tell you that you are in fact of great and vital importance to the economy.

 Consider the three main states the general labour market can reside at. There can be high unemployment, labor shortages or a perfect balance where unemployment sits at 0% and there are no labor shortages. In practice though you can get both labor shortages and unemployment and the unemployment rate is very rarely at exactly 0%.  Furthermore it is nigh impossible to ascertain a perfect 0% unemployment and no shortageof labor unless the nation in question is communist and even then t still is difficult.

So if the system must either err on having some unemployment or a shortage of labor, which is preferable?

If you answered, "labor shortages" then you are completely and utterly wrong. No workers means no work gets done and even being short a 5th of a person can slow productivity to a snail's pace. Labor shortages also mean that employers cannot afford to lose a single one of their staff lest their snail pace production slow down to to a complete stop, leading to a plethora of unreasonable demands employees can make of the hand that feeds them.

Benefits like holiday leave or maternity leave become liabilities that can render small business's bankrupt when labor shortages are already crippling productivity.

Then there are the effects of governmental intervention to solve labor shortages, such as mass immigration.

I'm sure I don't have to spell it out (but if I do, post below and I'll give you some historical examples), labor shortages can be devastating.

High unemployment is bad too, but the worst effects of high unemployment are on the unemployed themselves. If there is no welfare system to take care of them they tend to starve to death along with their families. If there is a welfare system in place then they just become a drain on taxpayers.

A little bit of unemployment though (2-10%) is perfect.... in a nation that has welfare to take care of the unemployed. The reason being that, businesses can operate with the best workers at their disposal and can use the "slack" of the labor market to readily expand their business or to fire and hire better workers. In a 0% unemployment labor market this is not possible; it is impossible to expand a business when there are no extra workers available to do so.

So If you are unemployed and suffer under uppity working class plebs brown-nosing you, then promptly tell them the truth followed by some "french". The cold hard economic truth is that your nation's economy cannot grow without you and all the other dole bludgers handing in their forms to centrelink/welfare every month.

Monday, 26 September 2011

A slightly more on topic of-topic post

Seeing as some of you are bitching about my content this will be the last off-topic post. For realz.
So today's will be a double post day methinks.

It seems one of you was particularly distraught about my quest to become an even bigger nerd and the rest of you descended into boneheaded comments. Ok I get it, you don't give a dog's breakfast on my big dream to be that guy who shows up to lan parties and everyone immediately refuses to play starcraft in the same way my brother-in-law and I refuse to play board and card games with my sisters (they have a tendency to win cluedo as soon as they get into their first room and make their first "inference"). So I'll get back to yet more boring posts about BOOOORING topics, like war, religion and politics.

But before I do, I would like to share with you a miracle that happened to me yesterday. I am a labbie now.

No, not this kind of labbie

That's right I now work in a laboratory like the evil supervillain I am. So instead of using my half baked chemical engineering degree to synthesize meth and feed it to my dog I get to make life-saving drugs doomsday weapons and get money for it.

Did I say meth? I totally meant math.

As such, next post shall be yet another sociopolitical commentary this time on employment.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

It's easier to write off-topic stuff than to research and write a good article on current affairs

Not that I would, given how mundane the headlines are of late. The headlines today are the same ones we had a few weeks ago. Greece is still begging for money, the US economy is still screwed and in my own country both the Prime Minister and Opposition leader don't seem to care about human rights violations performed by the federal government as long as it's not technically on our soil.

So I think next post I'll revert to my favourite topic of choice: War/History

In the meantime I'll go back to my off-topic rambling because I love talking about off-topic stuff. Particularly starcraft. I'm beginning to think even changing the blog's title and topic to sc2. At least I would post more than weekly.

See while I have been busy with life I did have the opportunity to do some laddering on the weekend before I went to barcraft.

I watched the grand finals of the dreamhack valencia invitational (a starcraft tournament hosted in europe) and then promptly played a ladder game.

It seemed like just another ordinary PvZ (that's Protoss vs Zerg, not Plants vs Zombies, which I suck at). I did an economic 2gate zealot rush and expanded behind it and then sealed the deal with 2base chargelot archon with double attack upgrades. For all you non sc2 nerds still reading this, this is like feigning a punch to the head and when your opponent raises their hands to protect their face, you kick them in the "nuts" instead.

When I was brutally raping the poor zergy, the victory felt mundane. This was a strategy I had long since perfected and used countless times to great effect. But then as the victory screen appeared I caught a glint of CGI mock-reflection amongst a metallic grey pop up.

I couldn't believe it. Was this really happening?

I was in such shock I barely ready the little pop up. But I did catch one word.

Just one.


And that set my mood for the rest of the day. A few hours later I went to my first barcraft; you go to a bar, watch starcraft tournaments and drink and talk with other nerds. I was the life of the party there and possibly the only sc2 nerd there who binge drinked his way through the sea bnet invitational and the subsequent gomtv vods that played on the screen.

The games themselves were depressing and predictable; my favourite sc2 heroes were losing matches. The people there though were fascinating. In particular the races and the personalities of the barcrafters there.

My Poor Protoss heroes aren't doing well at the big tournaments of late :'(

There was a terran, who I would have expected to be as loud as siege tank fire, but instead was as quiet as a ghost.

There was a zerg by the screen name of "Ripper" who just seemed like a good person to be around. He was cheerful and friendly, tactful and had good personal hygiene. Certainly not someone you would expect to command an army of slime covered bugs.

And then there were the Protoss players. In the game of starcraft, Protoss is a race of technologically advanced aliens with a zealous code of honor. In real life, the pro-tossers were uptight elitists. Just talking to them was such a hilarious experience for me. (for any tossers reading this, I <3 you)

In the end I managed to stumble home with an unknown double digit number of drinks burdening my gait and made it to my bed safely.

But that last Sunday has got to be one of the best days of my life.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Yet Another Off-Topic Post

A universal trait in humans, or at least the sane ones is that everyone subconsciously or consciously attempts to achieve social homeostasis. Everyone wants to be in a tribe where they fit in.

That tribe may be your party hard friends that you go out clubbing with every Friday night, or your wow-friends, or your co-workers, peers or maybe just your family.

There is usually some prejudice involved in these tribes though as they subscribe to similar beliefs and ideals. Which is why I never tell girls in real life I play computer games and also why in job interviews I pretend that I do professional wrestling, rock climbing, sky diving etc

The hardest time I have ever had trying to convince my superiors and co workers that I was truly a member of their "tribe" was when I worked in construction. I would have had an easier time fitting in if I just had a lobotomy.

So when I woke up today, a bright and sunny Sunday, at 4pm to a raucous of folks who don't share my interest of pwning noobs, my natural reaction was to roll over and try to get some more naptime in before dinner.

My ex was also there which is completely irrelevant to this post because she might be reading this.

When I finally decided to get up I had a brief conversation with a WOW fan who tried to hook me up to EVE. I steered the conversation to the promotion of esports in general. To everyone else, it looked like we were nerding it up, all smiles and cheer but in reality I was swallowing an immense welling of bitterness, rage and disgust.

As a competitive gamer, one of our "tribal" prejudices is that "casual gamers r fgs lol". I cannot fathom why anyone would get entertained by killing pigs in the forest when you can methodically destroy an army utilising every little teaching of Sun Tzu using only your hands to ensure that every command is crisp and perfectly executed like a machine. And against a human opponent who is trying the exact same thing against you.

I am of course neglecting the other competitive gamers out there; the first person shooters. I bear no grudge against them, I could never do what they do. But at least they have that drive for perfection. I respect that.

In my competitive game of choice though I face a new problem. I am a rank number one gold scrub and I don't want to play for fear of losing my rank. It's ridiculous. I mean, it's just a game right?

The irony is that, if I was losing a ton of games I would play more. But alas I have status to defend.

Another interesting thing is I had a falling out last week with an sc2 friend. Her macro was terrible. She wasn't making enough workers in our games and when her response to me pointing it out was apathy. I couldn't talk to her on skype after that. I dc'd and logged out of sc2. I was so angry. Not building workers is a cardinal sin in sc2. You go to hell for not building workers.

But worse was my anger at myself for taking 2 weeks of playing with her to realize that I was carrying her. Carrying her like a baby. But I was too focused on my own play to realize she consistently took 10 minutes to get a measly 30 scv's.

We haven't played with each other since but I did make up with her. 8 hour skype conversations can do that to a man. Hell, boobs and a good facebook profile can do that to a man.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Illegal Immigration

So I'm guessing you guys probably don't follow Australian news... That's okay I don't either. But for some reason I felt compelled to read some news whilst eating my wholegrain uber healthy cereal.

Apparently the Australian Federal government can no longer send refugees to be processed offshore. It's Illegal, just like those damn pesky immigrants. What do I mean by "processed"? I don't actually know. I think processing just involves them sitting around in a detention centre for the rest of their lives but I could be wrong.

So instead they get to sit around all day in an Australian detention centre on the Australian mainland.

I actually have a problem with this. We really should let all of them into the country.

Not that I care about the immigrants, it's just we signed a UN charter a number of years ago saying that we would happily let people in who were seeking asylum. If we renege on that agreement it makes us look bad in the international community. We are setting a bad example.

Instead we should officially take our signature off that document and then shoot all illegal immigrants on site. That's a joke btw. I don't condone genocide.

But we should let the poor bastards in. Perhaps it may make our country a little bit less Aussie and a little bit more Muslim. Maybe they aren't all seeking asyum and some of them are just greedy bastards wanting a cheap holiday in Australia. But the alternative is to let these people suffer. I'm not even talking about their own country. They come here on boats. Boats that don't have enough fuel to make the round trip only one way. Sending them back is sending them to their watery grave.

Now I know some of you will be thinking "yeah but Alex, I don't want Australia to turn into modern day USA full of Mexicans who are taking our jobs". Well the answer isn't to eliminate immigration. No all you Caucasians simply have to outbreed the immigrants and problem solved. Australia remains white.