Good Intentions

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, or something like that. Well I have the best intentions to keep my blog active and I have plenty of stuff to write, I am just lacking time. Anyway I have completed my reading of Death March, great book, I’d like to write my summary/review, but I noticed that I failed to write about nearly all books I liked most – Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering, Joel Spolsky on …, Design and Evolution of C++ and likely others that don’t come to mind right now. While I write more or less regularly (regularly irregular, yeah!) about all the rest. The reason is quite simple, since I like these books so much I’d like to write thorough reviews, with deep insight of why I liked or why these readings have been so much mind changing. Unfortunately I have simply not such amount of uninterrupted free time to do so.
Another theme I would have liked to write something about is racism. I am going to have two non-EC children. Well they’ll be Italians, but they look wonderfully South American. My wife and I like them a lot as they are, but we’re getting (more and more) sensitive about the racism issue. For example I was struck by the comparison among the Italian and US law about police to pull car drivers up. In Italy police forces (and we have plenty of them – police, carabinieri, local police) may halt anyone for inspection without any required justification, while US highway patrols can halt people only when they detect an infringement.
To an Italian this may look ineffective, but that makes a lot of sense when you connect it with the fundamental right to be all equal in front of the law. What prevents an Italian policeman to routinely halt cars driven by non-EC people just “because, you know how they are…”? Wouldn’t be this racism? And the same goes for ticket inspectors on buses and trains.
The other point about racism is that if the word “race” makes sense for human kind. After all words are not just handles to concepts, they bring a flavor with them, they trigger connections… well, with good approximation, we can say that according to modern science there are no such a things as different human races. Every difference we can spot beyond the skin color between, say, a black and a white are only social and cultural. Glad to see that science supports what is just good sense – “something in the blood” or “that thing in the DNA” is just bullshit when talking about behaviors.
On a lighter topic, I completed Mass Effect on X360. That’s definitively a good game. I liked it much. The story is pretty solid, the talks and pick-your-answer choices are the friendliest in the RPG panorama. I am a bit puzzled about the rating – 18 years, in the same class Bioshock is. While I fully agree about Bioshock being rather disturbing and surely non apt for underage boys, I didn’t find anything like that for Mass Effect. The violence level is quite soft, we’re about at the same level of the A-Team series. The story either is not so shocking to justify the age restriction. I would be much concerned for my children to watch the last episode of the Pirates of the Caribbean than to let them playing Mass Effect. Maybe the reason is the would-be-sex scene of the romantic subplot. I know that videogames are under a magnifying glasses so the rating agency prefers to err on the conservative side, but come on, we are in the 2008, there’s nothing in this game that, even far, approaches what every children can watch in TV prime time.
Another topic I’d like to deal on these pages is the UbiSoft Milan studio history. I have been so lucky to be there nearly from the very beginning of the long and, under many aspects, successful adventure, that I like to tell the whole tale from inside. I have an “history” document that I wrote a long ago, that needs a good rewrite.
Eventually I’d like to mention the last initiative by Beppe Grillo, the V2-day for a better news-industry in Italy.
Well this is, more or less, everything I have on my (virtual) desk, as you can see I have no blank-page-syndrome, I have just no time and this magnificently paved road ahead.

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