Nate Dickson Thinks...

Small Thoughts for a Quiet World.

I think in Markdown. I've been using it for so long, for so many things, that it's hard for me to not put things in underlines or asterisks for bold and whatnot. But even harder to avoid is the use of links. I use Markdown links in my writing, from books to articles.


I know I'm late to the party but whatever. I figured I'd publish this anyway.

  • Hades. This is my number one with a bullet, not that I'm alone in that. It’s not even close. Art, story, game play, music, innovative use of the rogue lite format, this game rocked my year. And this is even though I've been playing it since it first came out in Early Access, a couple of years ago.
  • Rimworld I wouldn't have made it this year without a somewhat peaceful little colony with low fidelity graphics and tons of weird story generation stuff. I have spent so many hours helping my colonists make cool living rooms, throne rooms, bedrooms, etc. And traps. So many traps.
  • Final fantasy 14. So much story, so many hours, so many interesting ways to MMO. This is a fun game to play if you have friends playing.
  • Terraria. It’s back for one last outing. The latest updates are incredible. This is another fun multi-player game with a ton of mods and other interesting moving pieces.
  • Torchlight 3 It’s not as bad as people said it is! I loved the first two Torchlight games, and this one isn't quite as deep or repeatable, but still a lot of fun!
  • XCOM: Chimera Squad. Surprisingly fun for a cheap game that dropped out of a clear blue sky. I feel like this probably began life as DLC for XCOM 2, but was turned into a stand-alone product near the end of development. It's really fun though, with good, solid XCOM action and a lot of heart in the writing. Story-wise, it's kind of a mash-up of XCOM and Brooklyn 99.
  • Destroy All Humans! Such a silly remake, such silly powers, so much fun. Basically this is just a good mayhem simulator. The writing gets in its own way from time to time. There are a lot (too many) jokes about people in 1950's America being deeply homophobic, and those started out annoying and went to really grating. But the action is enjoyable.
  • Dungeon of Naveulheulk. I can’t spell this game, but it’s an XCOM like in a fantasy setting, so that’s all for the good.
  • Fuser it’s so good. It’s what DropMix wanted to be, but better. This is the best game to make middle aged dudes in their bathrobes feel like awesome DJs.
  • Chess okay it’s a little weird to list a super ancient game, but this is the year I discovered and I’m playing chess again on the regular.
  • Stellaris. I’m very bad at it, but I really enjoy it. You can combine this with Endless Space 2, another space-based 4X. Both are fun, both are of the whole “build a tech tree, build an empire” variety, and I'm bad at both of them.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting 100 Days To Offload.

#100DaysToOffload 59/100

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There's a rule in business that's often called the “Peter Principle “. It's given in many forms, but here's my simplest summation:

People will be promoted to their level of incompetency, where they will come to rest.


Some twenty-one years ago I was on a Jeepney in Dagupan, in the Philippines.

fig. 1: A Jeepney. Technically this one is from Olongapo, not Dagupan, but close enough.

And the radio was playing. A song came on which I had never heard, but the first line I heard made me laugh so so hard, and even though I only heard it once, I've never forgotten it:


It's not a Bandcamp Friday, but I wanted to write about some music I picked up on Bandcamp recently.

Girls Who Care is not-so-secretly the same one guy who makes comedy music as Hot Dad. The difference seems to be that “Hot Dad” is comedy rock, whereas “Girls Who Care” performs more serious rock. In either case it's Erik Helwig.


I've never been good at chess. There are a few reasons for that, of course. One is that I don't play very often. And perhaps I just don't have the right kind of brain for chess to come to me naturally.

But I really do enjoy chess. In theory.


Glen Philips is often listed as the “front man” for California rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket. and, sure, he can be the front man.


RimWorld , for those who don't know isn't a game, according to the creator. It's a “Story Generator”. And it's quite good at that! But yes, you play it like a game. You are managing a little colony who is trying to survive on a moderately merciless world, and there is a “storyteller” AI who decides what to throw against you.


I want to share a lesson I’ve been learning over the past twenty years, slowly and poorly. It fits alongside my motto, which I’ll get to near the end. But first this disclaimer. I didn't write this about anyone else. I wrote this because I’ve been using it so much recently, and so people can help me stick to it.

Okay, enough burying the lede . Here’s the thesis statement:

Nobody else needs to endure my negative thoughts.


I'm not entirely sure what to say about Gemini, the new, intentionally limited internet protocol. Except that it feels right, it feels like a system whose time has come. It's the confluence and culmination of a lot of movements that have been swirling around the internet as of late.

Let's start from the beginning. Gemini is intentionally bare-bones. According to their homepage, the gemini project is meant to be halfway between gopher and the web. Thus it was named after a short-lived mid-point space program.


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