Reimagined and Revamped. Fighting the spread of nonsense often feels like a Sisyphean task. However, the joy is in making the information available, not the hope of conversion.

Tech has been busy

Well, I just finished a little project I have been working on for everyone. It kind of an experiment. After seeing Skeptico's bingo boards for psychics and ID debunking, I found myself really liking the idea of people playing bingo during presentations or movies or shows relating to this sort of nonsense.

The big drawback of his bingo games was that there wasn't a good set of descriptive texts that described why each box was ridiculous or woo. In his psychic one, he did explain it out, but it wasn't convenient format. Further it was not easily distributable. There was no good way to hand out bingo cards to a bunch of people, with the descriptive text. They were great blog entries, but I was hoping for something slightly more useful.

So, I made a program to do it. If this works out (i.e. people use it) I will make more bingo games for other areas where the level of discourse truly needs to advance further. I posted it at my new site. Please feel free to browse around, but you should know, only Creationist ID bingo is there (well there is a sample animals one there too for the kiddies). As time goes on, I'll put up more bingo games (I could use help, they are very time consuming to make, even with resources available like TalkOrigins).

Get Bingo Game

You can go to the products page and download the bingo game, but also go to the topical bingo page to download the game files. Later I will introduce more bingo games. So far, everything is free, but I would appreciate token donations, any significant money that is generated will go to charity.

The software allows you to print out booklets with randomized cards on the front page. Or, you can just print out randomized cards. This way you can distribute them before dumb movies, or any presentation that a creationist may give. At least let them know, and the others around you (especially the blind followers) know that this has already been argued and debunked ad nauseum, by yelling out, good and loud "BINGO!" when you win.

Anyway, I hope you have fun with this. I hope someone uses it. I hope it helps to advance the discussion forward, even to a small degree. But I guess we will see.

Note: You need the .net framework to run the software. If you have vista you should be OK.

Tell me your bingo story in the comments.

8 comments:

On 4/8/08, 11:08 PM , AJS said...

This would be nice if not for the fact that it's written in .NET.

Have you managed to get it working under Mono?

 
On 4/9/08, 5:50 PM , Techskeptic said...

Sadly, I am not much of a coder. I made this the easiest way possible. I'm afraid I'm not sure what you mean by Mono.

I didnt think the .net would be a big deal, since its incorporated into vista, and its so easy to instal in XP.

 
On 4/9/08, 11:36 PM , AJS said...

Mono is an Open Source alternative to the .NET runtime, which runs on Linux, BSD, Solaris, Macs and probably even Windows.

You only seem to be offering a pre-compiled executable for download. That's a shame; I know Windows doesn't include a full compiler suite with the standard installation, but it would have been nice to have access to the Source Code to test it on other platforms.

Even the .bng files are proving intractable .....

 
On 4/10/08, 8:27 PM , Techskeptic said...

"Even the .bng files are proving intractable ...."


what does that mean? I didnt intend for you to be able to use the .bng files for anything but the program. Are you having trouble running it? If so just email me.

I thought about your suggestion to make the source code available. While in general I am all for it, in this case I am not (but I certainly am open to discussion). here is why.

I spent a lot of time putting the data together for each game. Even with great resources available like TalkOrigins, it still takes a long time to put them together (I even have an editor, which makes it easier). The global warming one will take even longer because there isn't a good archive for nonsense debunking for that.

So, putting the source code out there, or ways to decipher the .bng files will just make it easier for two undesirable things to happen. First, someone could use the code to make a stupid nonsense creating game. While this game is not by any measure, an achievement in computer science, I dont see any reason to make that effort any easier for someone. Secondly, I do not wish the files to get corrupted with bad information. I spent a lot of time collating the data, finding good explanatory links, and rewording stuff.

I chose windows because, good or bad, its on 90% of the computers people use.

 
On 4/10/08, 8:30 PM , Techskeptic said...

But perhaps if you want the source code, I may give it to you. Again email me privately, if you want to talk about it.

 
On 12/2/08, 11:48 AM , Anonymous said...

http://www.techskeptic.biz/ is a dns squatter search page for me. Any ideas?

 
On 12/2/08, 11:53 AM , Techskeptic said...

shit. lemme check on that.

 
On 12/3/08, 7:48 PM , Techskeptic said...

Fixed. Host screwed up. Bleh.