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“Fun” need not apply

Part one of our exploration of the meaning behind the word game explored Jesse Schell’s definition from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. While it captured how I often feel when playing most games, I don’t know if I’d consider it a great working definition. …


Engaging in lazy intellectualism is hard work, especially when you don’t understand what you’ve read about a topic.

An electric sign with arrows pointing to the right.
This is communicating something — without the need for words. Photo by Isaque Pereira from Pexels

About a month and a half ago, I wrote a piece for CounterArts titled “How to Spot Fascist Ideology.” In it, I presented the 14 features of fascism as outlined in Umberto Eco’s well-known 1995 essay “Ur-Fascism.”

Eco’s work clocks in at a whopping 8 pages. I read it lightly…


Deconstructing Reconstruction

A timeline of rapid transition toward the end of the war finally showed the world just how little the U.S. had accomplished

A view of the Panjshir Valley in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan.
Panjshir Province, Afghanistan. Photo by Asmat Kharoti on Unsplash

As SIGAR’s What We Need to Learn report states, “timelines and political pressure are perennial.” This is quite true — especially when your organization has spent an enormous amount of money in some of the most wasteful, counterproductive, and damaging ways possible.

And that’s exactly what the U.S. did until…


So how do you figure out which ones are?

Two people with laptops talking to each other.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

The first piece I ever wrote on Medium got picked up by The Startup. That’s right, the huge publication with three-quarters of a million followers left a private note on my first Medium submission asking if they could publish it. My mind exploded.

“Why?” I thought. …


“That which we call a [game] by any other name would be as [hard to define]” — William Shakespeare, probably playing Cookie Clicker

I beat the absolute hell out of a game the other day. It honestly wasn’t too challenging — I’ve played the game countless times, after all. But I was still relieved to have won it again.

Let me describe how the game works.

You’re a large object in the play…


So why do our elected officials balk at it?

Richard Nixon pointing finger at student during argument.
Nixon arguing with a student in Lima, Peru. Source: U.S. public domain.

Imagine any Friday evening.
Imagine you want to go out on the town — you’ve been locked up for a year, but you’re fully vaccinated now, and you want to have some drinks with friends and escape from the modern hellscape of perpetual wage slavery. …


Deconstructing Reconstruction

The middle years of Afghanistan’s reconstruction proved to be a spectacularly disastrous waste of money

American 5 dollar bill’s face of Abraham Lincoln looking at camera.
This guy knows. Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Welcome back to my ongoing attempt at digging into the details of SIGAR’s What We Need to Learn report. I have a lot to touch on in this piece, so let’s get started. As always, quotes from the report will be provided as necessary.

The U.S. government consistently underestimated the…


Deconstructing Reconstruction

The U.S. established terrible spending patterns from the start of the war in Afghanistan that would plague the project until the end

Humvee on dirt road in mountainous terrain.
Source: Pixabay/ArmyAmber

It was 2002, and then-President Bush was already bored with Afghanistan. Leadership knew that they needed to move on to the reconstruction of the country and government but were hesitant to admit that reconstruction even needed to happen. …


Come join us on the right side of political history

Photo by Derick McKinney on Unsplash

There’s an interesting lie that has spread throughout our democracy — that the Democrats are working for you, the American citizen. The lie that they are the party of the working class and are champions of the downtrodden.

The truth, however, is that they are simply a corporate-owned political party…


Deconstructing Reconstruction

It’s hard enough to make a good plan, but it’s even harder when you don’t seem to care about the results

Close up image of a clock.
From the start, the clock was ticking. Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Anyone with any experience dealing with project management issues should know just how hard it is to determine how much time a novel project should take to complete, what resources should be allocated to it, and who should be tasked with completing it. …

Dan Brioli

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