The House Above the Morning Clouds

May 19th, 2018 by harold

Interesting story… So this house was designed and built by John Lautner’s associate, Helena Arahuete. She really is carrying his flame and that’s so dope.

Outstanding design. Bottomless budget. The house in itself is definitely reminiscent of Lautner’s heavy use of strong angles and floating volumes.


Look at this shiiiit

Glass House Living Room

Yes, I see myself doing very important things at that desk like crossing my arms, looking outside.

Glass House Desk

Now the client was this dude, John Roscoe. His business? Cigarettes. Yup. He built a business around selling cigarettes cheaper back in the 70s/80s I guess. He had 800 stores and a revenue of $1B at some point. Not too shabby.

The 3-bedroom house cost $17M. 1,700 acres (687 hectares!!), for two old people. The motherfucking insanity. But there’s more.

Broke after his business went down, even more broke after being convicted for tax fraud, he tried to sell the glass house for $19M after barely living a few years in it. He sold it for $3.5M to a Texan couple who are using it as a vacation home. What the actual fuck.

Glass House Down

And then it burned down last winter in the Atlas fire. Lol

But that couple –probably billionaires- are going to build it back, as it was or bigger, probably.

I don’t know what the conclusions are here: some people have so much money, it’s really insane. Being able to buy so much space on top of a mountain in the Bay just like that, to only use sometime. And not even bothering about anything, just rebuild the whole thing. Dat privilege.

The weirdness for Helena to build the dream house of someone who’s been selling a very addicting drug that slowly kills people.

The douchebaggery of not considering for a second to integrate the house more with the terrain, you know, to show some humility to humans around and respect to the surrounding nature.

The fact that the sale was a STEAL (80% off!!). The fact that a massive wealth made from cigarettes ends up burning to the ground on a hill.

Don’t build on top of a hill. Don’t sell bad habits.

Case in point

May 15th, 2018 by harold

About our weird fetichism. The perfect examples of Japanese people getting shit done and not caring about “art”:

The PS1 startup sound is a preset from a 1987 Roland synthesizer (D-50).

PaRappa on PS4 is running on a PSP emulator.

A lot of comments are like “those developers are lazy!” No. They make shit happen. You wanted a cool startup sound for your groundbreaking new console? Done. It took almost 20 years for us to know that they didn’t spend months on it. It’s still an iconic sound and yes, people making synthesizer presets are extremely underrated. They are worldwide-known anonymous artists.

You wanted to play PaRappa with HD textures right now? There you go. Do you know how insanely pesky it is to port something from a 1994 architecture to a 2013 one that has nothing in common?

We in the West need to do the same: focus on creating things that work more than trying to outwit ourselves for outwitting purposes. We fall in this trap too often. Don’t reinvent. Recycle, twist and move on.

Musicians are gods

May 9th, 2018 by harold

Last Ta-nehisi.

“when Kanye West greeted me, chopping up the Jackson 5, drawing from Bobby “Blue” Bland, pulling from David Ruffin, arrived with Jay-Z, an MC who dated back to the Golden Age,”

It’s interesting how one’s occupation can shift perception. At the start of his article, Ta-nehisi speaks of Michael Jackson about the way I felt it. But once he talks about Kanye, I’m out of sync. I was diving deeper and deeper into music at that time and I didn’t feel those beats the same way.

I didn’t connect with Kanye’s output. Sampling the past wasn’t special either. I shrugged.

The real Gods and geniuses of music are still from that 60s-70s-80s trilogy when musicianship, technology and (almost) total absence of social media and shallowness allowed people to reach out for the stars, sonically. It’s still so true. Maybe even more now. There are more emotions and soul in one George Duke song intro than on an entire album of contemporary pop music.

I’ll probably enjoy and study the gods forever.


May 9th, 2018 by harold

They were. There’s still Sixers/Celtics going on but for the rest yikes.

Utah, injuries and referees. What can you do. Good game.

New Orleans, referees and Curry. What can you do. Good game.

Toronto, referees and LeBron. What can you do. Well at least show up and give a fight!

The Raptors sweep is so, so weird and disappointing. Everyone wanted a beautiful challenge, some of that DeRozan magic. A series. Instead it’s been memes and suicide notes, damn. They couldn’t even win one game. I blame Drake.

Meanwhile, the Warriors and the 3rd quarter. What the fuck is going on. Do they use ML and AI to analyze the first half, crunch numbers and make adjustments for the second half? I don’t know but it’s unbelievable how they outscore everyone in the third. They can attack with confidence from absolutely anywhere. Ball movement is fluid, fast point breaks are fast, defense is strong, three of the best shooters ever in the same team… Good luck, Houston and Cleveland.

The funny thing about Nintendo

May 5th, 2018 by harold

Is how we see this company in the West. Or how we like to see this company.



-About art.


But them, they just see themselves as a business. And I always felt that way too. The business of making entertainment. It’s a thing in the West: business –finance and money- is separated from the craft, as if they were unrelated. Somehow! Except that they’re tied together.

Look at Nintendo Labo. It’s a very lucrative idea. It’s not just fun. It’s also cheap to use cardboard. Nintendo just tries things out, executives ponder and greenlit the best ideas –probably always on the basis that it’s affordable/profitable- and we scream “OMG”. It’s interesting. Fetishism? Maybe.

Nintendo isn’t shy on making money as a goal though. They are about that, too, and foremost. For some reason when we talk about Apple people are fine with the idea of this company making money but when it comes to Nintendo, we’re quiet. They’re about putting smiles on people’s faces right?

Yeah. And also printing money. Both goals being completely intertwined. It’s all good.

Hybrid up

May 5th, 2018 by harold

ITW Jaron Lanier

But we can’t do this combination of libertarian and communist ideology. It just doesn’t work. You have to choose one.

We already did that and they both sucked. We should have hybrid and build on that. Example of a concrete libertarian-communist tool designed to help everybody:

A true micro-transaction system with an annual, decent and fixed fee. Shareware apps. The service allows us to drop any amount of money from 10 cents to thousands to someone instantly.

Imagine the impact. Oh Harold is not doing good, here’s some change I have * 10 friends boom; little slice of income. The service itself would probably not make much money if at all, although that’s the case with most of Silicon Valley’s current champs isn’t it. It’s not always about profitability.

It would completely transform the world like the internet did.

Economically, tons of things would change and so it would change the social fabric too. This is an example of true hybrid ideology: pushing freedom and technology to profit everyone and not just the 0.1% of humans on earth. Some guys get it.

The point is, you super extremely absurdly rich people need to step down and do the work. Everyone else is.

How things loop

April 28th, 2018 by harold

I got my bike wheels and saddle stolen at work. Security guard was off.

Motherfuckers were in the library before doing it so we have them on 15 different cameras.

Police will get all that. They will passively track them. The thieves are probably in the system already. If not, now they are.

Being in the police system for 2 beat up bike wheels and a cute saddle is dumb.

But maybe they needed the $40 they’ll get for them. I know what’s like to wait for that kind of money, sadly.

If I had a better bike I wouldn’t leave it outside. But if I had a better bike, I probably wouldn’t work there. Or if buying new wheels and saddle were nothing, I wouldn’t work there either and so my bike would still be complete.

Systems loop. Thieves keep staying poor and in trouble. Broke people keep staying broke. And doing fine people keep not understanding.


April 28th, 2018 by harold

It’s going to be Utah VS Houston. Best defense VS best offense.

Donovan Mitchell is the man. Beautiful talent and scoop layups. One thing the Jazz and the Pacers are showing: basketball is a team sport. You win as a team. OKC and Cleveland didn’t deserve to go further. Maybe the Cavs will on Sunday but the truth is that they shouldn’t: That game 5 with LeBron scoring almost everything for them was the most boring game I’ve ever seen. Just awful. The Pacers play well, together and beat them by 34 in game 6 while they always lost by 2 or 3 this series. They should advance to the semi. Facts.

Meanwhile my Spurs are gone (but played well) so I root for the Pels. It’s going to be a rough series for the Warriors, especially for Draymond Green in the paint. I can’t wait to see Jrue clamp Klay because Klay has been fatal to San Antonio.

A Pelicans VS Sixers finals would be awesome.


April 25th, 2018 by harold

More than not being employed making games,

More than not really surviving on a day job,

What hurts right now is not designing. I want to think deeply about the thousands of variables. Pondering on the effect of this or that inside the game. Simplifying. Iterating. Simulating. Visualizing. Keeping the damn scope. Game Audio. Gameplay. Game Audio. Gameplay. Updating software.

It’s hard and intense and I miss this so fucking much. Oh, and teamwork.

I’m just helping people with their computers and that makes me so much more aware of what I can do. They can’t remember a password they just created and I smile at them while I want my skull to be overwhelmed with game data, assets, files, schedules. I’m bored to death.

The Three

April 24th, 2018 by harold

Shooting 3s is nice. When you swish one, it’s a good feeling. When you base an entire team’s offense on it like the Rockets do, it’s complicated.

Sure, during regular season it works well. Scoring is an easiest way to win: don’t move much, shoot a three. Compared to defending –raising arms, running awkwardly- or shooting contested 2s, 3-point shooting is the most efficient way to lead. And James Harden is the most insane contested 3 shooter we’ve ever seen.

Now, during the playoffs it’s way different. Teams expect those shooters beyond the arc and will make sure they don’t get the ball that often. The shooter has all the pressure and that’s where shooting 3s becomes a curse: you miss one. You miss two. Four. It’s the playoffs. Not scoring leads to stressed AF really fast. Then you doubt. Should you try again? Should you pass, drive? If you hesitate, you lose.

It becomes a curse. You try to focus on making those 3s and suddenly your defense sucks hard. The Rockets have showed that over and over. If they score, they’re defending pretty well. If they don’t, it’s like an open boulevard in the paint. My Spurs are doing the opposite: they focus on defense, which makes them shoot badly from 3 quite often.

But once they get it going, they win. They kept the NBA champions to 90 and their 3s went in on Sunday. 13 point lead. It’s easier to go for scoring 3s than to go for strong defense. But defense is crucial.

Pop is right. Defense first. Then your mundane bullshit like crazy threes and all that.