Published by Professor von Explaino

As part of the upgrade, I played a bit with simple Javascript/ CSS animations for the Deck of Many Things for D&D. Let me know if you like it?

Published by Professor von Explaino

The book I’m writing has advise in it for a coder. While I was writing it I found little bits of thought that I hadn’t put into practice. So I put them into practice. I’ve just updated my site from the ground up. Let me know if anything’s busted.

Published by Professor von Explaino

I’m getting started on one of my long-dormant projects. Writing a tongue-in-check resource book, using a slice of von Explaino’s “Look At Things Through The Lens Of Something Else.” Participating in the Tech Misfits group on Facebook has helped me keep focus (thank you) and I’ve finished a first-ish draft of 13,823 words.

I’m very happy with this progress. Fingers cross momentum can keep up.

Forums. Tumblr. Twitter.

They’re devolving into shouting matches where some people just go to agitate and throw stones. Listening/ reading is optional. They’re not discussions or debates, they’re debacles. Approaching this from a Steampunk perspective there was a method of solving disagreements / preserving honour. The duel. Can we bring that approach to online mudslinging?

I think there’s a web application possibility here. Comments/ arguments go on long enough and one party challenges another to a Duel. Duels have Weapons, Rules, a Judge, an Arena and occasionally an Audience.


Two that spring to mind are Words and Combat. Words could be debates or sources. Combat is more visceral and twitchy. It works as long as the Arena is public.


Where the duel takes place depends on weapons. Words can’t just be a continuation of the comment thread slanging match, something more rigid. This I think would benefit from a custom build debate-style application. Combat, well, there’s a tonne of online shooters/ battlefields/ fighters that would work splendidly for this. There would have to be a registration system that links the accounts of the participants from the original comments to the participants in the Arena. The Arena should also allow for an Audience and Judge.


Online games come with their own rules, but they may need to be extended for the Duel (e.g. Specific levels, specific weapons, etc.). Rules of Debate would be useful auto-enforced by the debate-application.


Some Arenas come with their own judges, such as shooters with health bars. Others require more nuance, or if the online arena has a specific Rule then a judge might be required to interpret. The judge needs to be impartial and trusted.


A public disagreement might benefit from a public duel. Or people might just want satisfaction amongst themselves.

I think this could be useful and interesting as a project/ tool for handling unruly comment forums. Thoughts?

Published by Professor von Explaino

I’ve collected a number of pins/ patches over the years. I’d like to use them but I don’t want to poke holes in all my clothes/ permanently affix patches to jackets I grow out of. What do you do with yours to bring them with you?

Published by Professor von Explaino

In Australia the federal government has taken the very brave stance of showing they are completely unable to do their jobs in representing the people of Australia by holding a Marriage Equality plebiscite. Which is basically a no-commitment Survey, which binds no party to any action whatsoever. Geniuses.

I’m obviously voting yes, but some people are voting no.

Voting no is just wrong. It hurts people. It treats people as something less than people. It says their ability/ need to love is less than.
Hell, it turns people into Us and Them again, and we know how that works.
Please rethink it. People on the LGBTQIetc. deserve the recognition of love, commitment, honour, love, dedication, devotion, love, love, love. Marriage is a western ideal for joining people in mutual respect, support and love for as long as they live in same. That’s not a straights-only attribute.

I’d love to talk to anyone who thinks they should vote no, as I think you need to talk through it more. Hell, I’ll talk to those suffering through the indignity of this plebiscite if it’ll help. As a steampunker/ steampulper I think it’s our duty as history-adjacent visionaries to apply our thinking to reality where it’s possible. And equality is a goal that we CAN reach.

Published by Professor von Explaino

My place of work has been a source of constant change for about 10 years now. Restructures, realignments, reorganizing; but we’re just about to hit a change that’s putting all the others to shame. Complete redesign. New reporting lines. External audit. The works. This is putting a strong strain on morale and highlighting our former collaborative culture has been eroded. Over the years we’ve had a few attempts at communities of practice for coders, getting people together from different areas, bouncing ideas off each other, trying to get a community going.

They have never panned out. The few interested people drive it while they’re at the wheel; but once they hand over or burn out it just. Stops. So I’m trying something different now, formalizing a Skunkworks. Over lunch, so it’s very laid-back and voluntary, and just talking to the people I know who are keen on doing _THINGS_ and see opportunities that are _MISSED_ because of budget or priorities or whatever. I’ve got three people interested and we’re doing it the right way – Git, repositories, projects, all the fun stuff. And I’m getting to work with people I wouldn’t normally work with, and it’s fun. Other people have seen our plans and have actually managed to offer some training space over the lunch break to use as work/ demonstration spaces.

This thing is useful for coders, sure, but definitely crafty-types would benefit from this to. So I’m looking for advise/ experience from people who’ve done this sort of thing? Pitfalls? Positives? Let everyone know.