The Canine Uprising?

I was supposed to be in the Dominican Republic, not your inbox this weekend. We bailed on the trip. We didn’t want a remote chance of being quarantined in the Caribbean. Some people might think that’s paradise. Those people don’t have 3-year-olds.

Without any local plans, we just took care of some chores and most nights we played Quacks of Quedlinburg with Zak. For the game nerds, it’s a bit like a deck builder. It’s known as a bag builder but with a don’t-bust-press-your-luck mechanic. To most of you, that means nothing but for the remaining, you should know this an outstanding game. It’s fun, and seasoned gamers won’t like this necessarily, but it has enough luck to allow a first grader to compete with an adult. I found myself thinking quite a bit about the value of the “options” (they’re actually chips representing ingredients in a potion recipe) in the game and their respective costs. The concepts of theta, volatility, and vega would be visible to someone with a finance background if they looked past the game skin.  An engineer would see this game as a very pure simulation (most likely AI) based problem especially since the game has no trading interactions. Avi tells me the designer is coming out with a much heavier follow-up catering to a less casual crowd.

Here’s a random bit.

My 3-year-old, Maxen, is obsessed with dogs. He constantly pretends he is one, barking and crawling on all fours. He can never let one pass by without giving it the full Pepe Le Pew treatment. Friday he asked for one. He doesn’t know this is never happening. His grandmother lives with us. She believes all dogs are members of a sleeper cell waiting for their chance. Actually, that’s the wrong metaphor. This is more widespread. More like a canine Skynet. We think we have programmed our “best friends” but it’s only a matter of time before the pack becomes self-aware. I’m not kidding. She doesn’t even trust puppies.

So cohabitation with grandma and Sparky is a non-starter. I keep trying to explain to her how ridiculous she is. If Arab Spring taught us anything, a networked rebellion would require large-scale coordination. Twitter. Smartphones.


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