Weekly Update

Burst! – I’m almost done adding new features to Burst!’s song editor to improve its usability. Once that’s done, I’ll polish it and bug test. Then, game designers can use it to map button presses to the beat of songs for the actual game. I’m hoping to finish this up by the end of the month. Next, I’ll work on Burst! itself.

The Twelfth Hour – I wrote like mad and finished a rough rewrite of Chapter 8 this week. I’m a bit surprised it came together so quickly. I started with no idea how I was going to fit all these scenes together or if they would even work, but miraculously, all the pieces fell into place. O.o Next week, I’m hoping to finish a rough rewrite of Chapter 9. It depends if I can continue this speedy pace. After all, I’m also starting this chapter with no idea what I’m doing. 😛 It’s also massive and bloated… Then, I go back to Chapter 8, make a plan, and start revising because rough rewrites for me either produce an excess of description or dialog with nothing else.

Critters – I finished editing the latest novel I took on from Critters. I think this is the first amateur novel I’ve read that had a satisfying ending. O.O It was great!

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Unsolicited Comment: Logan Paul’s Dead Body Vlog

The premise for Logan Paul’s Dead Body Vlog actually had the potential to send a powerful message to his viewers: “A silly YouTuber goes ghost hunting in a forest where 100 people commit suicide every year only to find out that it’s not a joke.” Indeed, watching the video, his and his crew’s reactions when they initially discover the body is a surreal moment. He is clearly horrified by what he’s found during what was supposed to be another fun, stupid video shoot.

The problem is video editing. He doesn’t end the video there, which undermines any potential it had to bring awareness to the pervasiveness of suicide in Japan and the West. Instead, he went back to, “Oh yeah, I’m a silly YouTuber. Let me drink sake and crack jokes in the parking lot outside the forest.” Which, how else are you supposed to react to accidentally discovering a dead body? Some may give into horror or despair, but it is also a somewhat ludicrous situation. They may have been raw, unfiltered words he said because he didn’t know what else to do with himself as he claimed. Leaving them in the video, however, just invites people to criticize his knee-jerk response rather than to experience with him the moment he realized what he treated as a joke is all too real. If all we had was everything up to his initial reaction and the retrospective vlog (probably minus the footage of the body. that’s a bit too real), this video may have had a very different response.

Clearly, for whatever reason, Logan Paul didn’t do that though. Perhaps he can’t “read the room,” perhaps he had good intentions for this video but his execution was flawed, perhaps he thought his viewers would be in the same emotional state he was in, perhaps he wanted his viewers to see and feel everything he did as I assume he wants with every vlog he does, or maybe he really is just a selfish jerk, who exploited a dead body. Who knows? But this is the Internet, so let’s just assume the worst, right?

2017 in Review

I thought it might be fun to look back at what I did this year. I didn’t even realize I released 17 YouTube videos. That’s probably more than double what my average has been throughout college. O.o In fact, “I did more than I thought I did” is a consistent theme throughout this list.

Weekly Update

Writing – I finished revising Chapter 7 of the The Twelfth Hour and began making a plan for what to do with Chapter 8 and Chapter 9. Shit hits the fan in these chapters, and well, it hits a bit harder than I like. I also realized that midway through my previous draft, I’d begun rewriting part of Chapter 9 and never finished… so Chapter 9 kind of doesn’t even have a sensible series of events. Plus, a lot of things have changed over the course of this latest draft. Rather than coming up with a complete plan as I’ve done before I started revising previous chapters, I came up with a rough timeline of new and modified scenes that I wanted to happen instead and started a very rough rewrite. I’ll go back and figure out what scenes are necessary/working/problematic once I get a better feel for what exactly is happening and in what order. Also, I’m almost done editing the latest novel I took on from Critters, I’m helping my brother with a cover letter and resume, and I’m writing a cover letter and resume myself.

Programming – I’ve been putting some time into Burst!’s song editor for Team KAIZEN lately. The more tools I add to it, the more I feel like I’m building a video editor. O.o I also gave this website a facelift to make it easier to find things from the main menu. I removed some pages, added some pages, modified some pages, and reorganized some things.

Other – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I celebrated Christmas by helping my mom cook, writing, or doing nothing, which I will probably also do for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I uploaded the complete English dub of Elysium to YouTube as well, which took a surprisingly large amount of time and effort. I did it for you, Elysium!

Elysium (2003) on YouTube

I recently received a request from someone who read My Search for the Final Fantasy of South Korea to post the full English dub of Elysium online. I’m not the type to upload movies, but the history of CGI movies is important, Elysium is important (and awful), and there don’t appear to be many copies out there. Surprisingly, YouTube allowed it to exist. So far, only what appears to be a bootleg movie site has claimed to own the film, specifically the original South Korean version, and monetized the video, but it hasn’t been taken down yet. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Unsolicited Comment: What Type of Customers are We?

For quite a while, I’ve accepted the argument that employers have the right to fire employees who say things perceived as, or that are in actuality, racist, sexist, or otherwise offensive on social media. Employees represent who their employer hires and the company as a whole. If they represent themselves badly, they can cost the employer sales and customers, so it makes sense that a post on Facebook could cost the poster his job… Right?

Mike Cernovich’s documentary on free speech, Silenced, made me think of a different way to look at this dilemma. Firing someone is equivalent to throwing rocks at them for something they said, which contradicts everything we teach our children and uphold as moral. When a child says something mean to another child on the playground, we generally don’t encourage the victim to beat the bully half to death with a stick. In movies and TV shows, heroic children stand up to bullies with cleverness by revealing the bully’s hypocrisy and flaws. More realistically, we encourage our children to tell a teacher or parent; an adult will have more resources to find the source of the bully’s behavior and (hopefully) correct it. We can also encourage children to ignore the bully or leave the situation.

This is what we do in our personal life as adults, too. If someone has an opinion we disagree with, we can attempt to reveal the flaws in their belief, or discover the flaw in our own, in a discussion; we can share the books, videos, and podcasts that support our beliefs; we can accept that we have different opinions; or we can disengage with one another altogether. If we can’t prove that someone’s opinion is wrong, or if they’re just being mean or stubborn, it still isn’t acceptable to punch them in the face.

When employed citizens voice a thought perceived as unpopular, misinformed, or offensive, however, suddenly, it’s acceptable to deprive them of food and shelter (i.e. their source of income). Sure, if an employee is pestering customers and colleagues with her troll-like personality, stubbornness, or beliefs and negatively affecting the company’s productivity, then she should be fired, not because of what she says but because she isn’t doing her job. But if companies must fire employees for what they say on their personal time to please their customers, what does this say about the customers and society as a whole? They are so sensitive that they see a man venting thoughts to his Facebook wall as the next Hitler simply because he mentions a statistic that, on average, whites have higher IQs than blacks and Hispanics. They love diversity so much that they would reject everyone who isn’t like them. They are so uncertain of themselves and their beliefs that they would sooner kill someone who questions them than allow their “attacker” to have his naive beliefs. They are so afraid of the violence that the speaker doesn’t even intend to perform that they would perform it first. They are so dependent on the speakers’ thoughts being false that they would silence them without proving them false. They are so immature that they want an adult, a company, to ruin anyone who says something they disagree with. And companies have no choice but to serve them.

The question isn’t just, “Should companies fire employees for what they say on social media?” The question is also, “What type of customers do we want to be?”

Weekly Update

The Twelfth Hour – I made it three-fourths of the way through revising Chapter 7 in the past two weeks. Also, I discovered a Twitter event called PitMad where authors post an elevator pitch of their ready-to-publish novel with #PitMad. Agents and publishers can browse these pitches and those that they Like are considered an invitation to send a formal query to them. This event is held about once every three months, and the next two occur in March and June next year. I’d like to participate in at least one of them and see what happens…

Shattered Soul – Besides that, I continued programming on Shattered Soul. I’m now in the middle of refactoring part of a system I wrote about five years ago. The new system is pretty awesome… but then again, I thought the old system was pretty awesome. Indeed, it did serve its purpose pretty well for getting the tech demo off the ground, but I didn’t think it was flexible enough. It needed a component design, not a hierarchy! 😀

Other – Christmas is coming. Can you tear yourself away from your work long enough to plan what presents you’re going to get anyone? I know I have a hell of time doing that. Also, everyone in my family hates stuff right now (because our house is full of fifteen years worth of crap we haven’t unpacked/burned). So I’ll be figuring that out next week. In other news, I’m editing another novel for someone. Thankfully, this novel isn’t as enraging as the last one I critiqued. It’s not free of problems, but it is, by far, the most entertaining and cohesive novel I’ve edited.