Is Family Tree Solitaire a good test for Presidential candidates?

I know what you’re thinking.  What a silly question.  After all, my new game Family Tree Solitaire is only currently played — so far — by about 100 people.  Many game players enjoy a challenge, but often they prefer playing something that is easy to learn at the beginning.  Family Tree Solitaire is perhaps a bit harder than that, but once you learn the rules and get the hang of it, you may find that it is a nice difference from other card games you have played.

With all the presidential debates, I’ve wondered why candidates for President are not tested — like many of us are to be qualified for college (SAT) or a job (interview quizzes, etc).  After all, many government jobs still require that job applicants take a qualifying test — Foreign Service job seekers, for example, take the FSOT.  But what would a test for President look like?

Consider that a candidate to be President of the United States campaigns seemingly 24/7 for the job for a couple of years.  On top of that the costs are enormous, so they have a monumental task of funding their campaign.  Debating is a very necessary skill, as is the ability to meet and greet millions of voters.  Achieving notoriety in politics or business or law or some other profession is also often a prerequisite.  These abilities are all extremely important prior to becoming President.

But candidates don’t take a test, as far as I know.  If there was one, what should it look like?  One company that is receiving buzz in terms of hiring and testing software is Aspiring Minds.  Their motto is “Employability Quantified.”  For example, they have something called AM Situations — “Assessing how a candidate will perform in a real-life working environment.”  Maybe something like that would be a good test for a candidate for President.

Although one can identify a number of skills that a President will need while in office for 4 or 8 years, it is impossible to know exactly what kinds of surprise and very difficult decisions the President will have to make.  That’s the main reason I thought of Family Tree Solitaire.  Once you understand the rules of the game and play it several times, you’ll see that there are some tricky situations and decisions to be made.  The more you learn how to handle those situations, the higher your score will be.

So while I don’t really think Family Tree Solitaire would make a good test for a candidate for President, I do think it might be an entertaining diversion for them.  After all, President Dwight Eisenhower played the card game of Bridge regularly while in the White House.

ATemplateLogo

 

Can artistic style be cloned?

Of course.  Art forgery, according to Wikipedia, goes back more than 2,000 years.  Students learned from the masters by copying their works.  But what about using a artist’s style in another art form, such as a movie?

MIT Technology Review examined “Algorithm Clones Van Gogh’s Artistic Style and Pastes It onto Other Images, Movies” in a recent article.  While it is fascinating to see moving examples of what today’s computers and algorithms can do with an artist’s style, it is not clear how this new technique can be used.  My first thought is advertising, but I’m pretty sure we’ll see many other uses too.

But does this new algorithm take something away from the style that the artists worked so hard to develop?  In some ways it flatters the artist, but in others it takes away from the uniqueness of the technique.

Several websites — including Arts Law Centre of Australia — discuss whether an artist’s style can be copyrighted.  Most seem to indicate that style itself is not copyrightable, only the work.  But with algorithms like this new one, I wonder if this blurs the lines on what about style is copyrightable.

Science Fiction e-books update

Just a quick note to thank everyone again who has purchased one of my e-books.

“Science Fiction: Time Travel” continues to be my top seller, and I recently published “Science Fiction: Time Travel and Robots 2”.

Now that I recently completed a new video game — “Family Tree Solitaire” — I plan to get back to writing some new sci-fi stories.

More information on my e-books can be seen here on my website.

TimeTravelandRobotsTooCover_ForAmazonKindle

Family Tree Solitaire on the web now

Now (May 19, 2016) I’ve also posted quick/short rules for the game on my website in text format for printing.  There is also a pdf version of the intro video that you can print.

My latest video game, “Family Tree Solitaire”, is now also on the web for free on itch.io.  You can also find links to the FREE Windows Store, Google Play,  and Amazon Store app versions too.

Get it on Google PlayGet it on Windows 10AvailableAtAmazon

The web version plays in most modern desktop or laptop browsers that support WebGL: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge (WIndows 10), Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari — in my experience, it doesn’t seem to run on mobile browsers (phones or tablets) yet. It also will not run in Internet Explorer.