On the Facebook/Trump internal memo published by The Verge


Lot’s of food for thought on this, and I’m not sure I agree with all of it, but there’s one standout paragraph towards the end:

The focus on filter bubbles causes people to miss the real disaster which is polarization. What happens when you see [26%] more content from people you don’t agree with? Does it help you empathize with them as everyone has been suggesting? Nope. It makes you dislike them even more. This is also easy to prove with a thought experiment: whatever your political leaning, think of a publication from the other side that you despise. When you read an article from that outlet, perhaps shared by an uncle or nephew, does it make you rethink your values? Or does it make you retreat further into the conviction of your own correctness? If you answered the former, congratulations you are a better person than I am. Every time I read something from Breitbart I get 10% more liberal.

Bam. This idea of filter bubbles distorting our thinking is flawed – the problem is we harden our viewpoint when we are presented with content we don’t want to see.

Man builds legendary engine from scratch

My all-time favourite car is the Toyota Supra 3.0 Mk IV Twin Turbo from the early 1990’s. To my eyes the car still looks fantastic today, and the engine is stuff of legend. The Toyota 2JZ engine comes from the factory at about 320bhp (European spec), but is massively over engineered and can be tuned 500-600bhp without any significant changes. With a bigger budget, 1000bhp is possible.

I’ve just found this video of a guy building a 2JZ engine from scratch and it’s a masterpiece – he makes it look as easy as building Lego

From Russia With Love retrospective review

From Russia With Love poster

Bond was off to a great start with Dr.No, so it was soon time to deliver the next chapter in the story. Making a successful sequel is no easy task – musicians often struggle with their second ‘sophomore’ album and the same goes for filmmaking. Think of the number of sequels you’ve seen that are well-made and entertaining, but lack depth because they’re no longer telling us an origin story. In the superhero genre, nearly every sequel chooses the “things get difficult for superhero” story, because there isn’t really any other option. The first film tells us how the character starts out and usually goes out on a massive high, so the only real choice is for things to get worse before they get better.

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Dr. No retrospective review

To reinforce how old Dr. No is, it was released only a year after Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, and the Boeing 707 (their first passenger jet) seen at the start of the film had only been in service for 3 years. The legendary Aston Martin DB5 featured in later films didn’t go into production for another two years.

Despite it’s age, new viewers shouldn’t worry about getting a sub-par or bare-bones Bond film. It has almost all of the ingredients that made the rest of the series so popular. Bond takes his orders from M, and then flirts with Moneypenney on his way out of the office. There’s international filming locations, car chases, fights, and a complex and evil super-villain with an elaborate lair. Ursula Andress makes a strong case for being the best Bond girl of all time. The scene where she emerges from the sea in a white bikini is cinematic legend, still winning awards over 40 years later

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Upcoming film reviews from the BOND 50 box set

Recently I purchased something that reignited an interest in all things Bond. I’ll save the story of what it is for another time (spoiler – it’s not an Aston Martin), but it encouraged me to start watching or rewatching some of the more recent entries in the series. Yes, even Die Another Day. Soon after, I saw an opportunity to do things properly with the BOND 50 box set, going cheap in as-new condition on eBay.

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Draugen – a dark, atmospheric Norwegian adventure

Eurogamer are reporting that reporting that Draugen – a new ‘fjord noir mystery’ set in 1920’s Norway is due out next week on Steam, with consoles later in the year. It looks great from the trailer – slightly reminiscent of Firewatch but much darker. Check it out:

This looks like a must buy for me – can’t wait to give it a go. Look out for a review soon.

What’s wrong with today’s gaming industry?

In the early days of the PS4 and Xbox One, I was full of optimism for almost every new big game releases, just like I had been with the 360 and before that. But as these machines matured, my enthusiasm waned – beaten down by all the titles that over-promised and under-delivered. Nowadays, unless a release has been showered in awards and has a lot of positive sentiment around it, I ignore it. Even if the reviews are good, I will still look for reasons not to buy.

Have I really changed that much? Or are there other reasons? Firstly, it’s certain that I’ve changed. There is no doubt that I have less time available. And after decades of internet use, my attention span could be better (although it is improving – more on that in another article)! I have more non-gaming interests too, so in the short chunks of spare time I have, I’m more likely to spend it on things like watching YouTube videos about cameras, old tech and other nerdy forms of procrastination.

Even so, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling underwhelmed by modern gaming. And it’s not so much that I’m getting left behind, it’s that there’s a number of trends that have had a negative effect on the pure fun of gaming.

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Welcome and an introduction to oldgamer

Welcome to oldgamer.co.uk! My name is Dorian and I run this new site. Yes, that’s me sat in a Space Harrier machine in the vintage photo above. I’m in my mid-forties and currently own a PS4, an OG Xbox One and a gaming PC. I live in the North West of the United Kingdom, and make a living as a front end web developer.

If you’re a gamer who finds their play time tailing off because of other commitments, or even just fatigue or boredom, this is the site for you. As well as covering what is going wrong with gaming, my aim is to broaden my horizons beyond gaming, and perhaps yours at the same time. I’m something of a serial hobbyist, who tends to try lots of different things out to varying degrees, rather than diving deep into a single subject. That should keep the articles coming for you guys and gals!

There will definitely be articles on gaming (old and new), but I’m keen on culture and technology in a broader sense, including retro tech. It can be fascinating to look back at the stories behind old tech. A younger version of me dismissed anything old as clearly inferior and not worth my time, but now that we live in an era where we can no longer fly supersonic from London to New York, and we haven’t set foot on the moon in nearly 50 years, it seems there’s a bit more of a story to tell.

My first personal site was blitterandtwisted.com, which covered technology, gaming, culture and politics. While the site had its highlights – an interview with a mobile game developer, and a post that appeared to influence a bigger publication, it’s been close to death for years. A hosting environment problem decimated the traffic and SEO ranking, and after that it was hard to stay motivated to write for an audience of almost nobody.

This site is a fresh start with a new domain, look and feel (coming soon!), and a few tech improvements like HTTPS and a mobile-friendly design. Initially, it’s going to be me publishing articles. I’d very much appreciate comments and constructive feedback, but once the site had a clear identity and audience, my hope is that guest writers will want to get involved as well.