Monday, December 31, 2007

Why Do We Have a National Meth Drug Problem?

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Simple: We have a Failed Economic Strategy

Here's a perfect example I learned back in the earlier 1980s...

Don Daglow's Utopia is the father of all real-time strategy games. Often referred to as "Civilization 0.5," Utopia puts you in charge of an island civilization. Many games, from Civ to Sim City to Starcraft, are spawned from this groundbreaking simulation.

You and your opponent each have an island to rule. Points are accumulated based on the welfare of your island people. You can choose to be a benevolent ruler or an aggressive dictator. Your people need food, housing, and industry for clothing and other essentials.

What you cannot manage are natural disasters. A single hurricane could wipe out your crops, sink your fishing fleet, destroy all the homes and factories you've built.

Rebels may automatically appear should the welfare of the people drop. They could attack!

Classic dilemmas in a game that is sure to become an absorbing classic in its own right.
Source: Utopia Catalog Description

Get the Picture?

The Control Panel... could it be this easy?

Ponder the advise given by the manufacture,


You win by accumulating POINTS, not money. Your gold bars are
meant to be spent. Each player starts the game with 100 gold bars.
Select items to purchase using the numbers below:

1. FORT (50 gold bars). Protection: Guards surrounding land area
against rebels. Guards nearby fishing boats against pirates and
opponent's PT boats.
2. FACTORY (40 gold bars). Income: Earns at least 4 gold bars per
round. (More as well-being of people increases.) Pollution increases
death rate.
3. ACRE OF CROPS (3 gold bars). Income/Points: Each acre feeds
approx. 500 people. When rained upon, yields added revenue
(approx. 1 gold bar per acre). Average life of an acre of crops is 3
rounds, but this number varies.
4. SCHOOL (35 gold bars). Income/Points: Increases well-being of
people and productivity of factories.
5. HOSPITAL (75 gold bars). Increases population and greatly
increases factory productivity.
6. HOUSING PROJECT (60 gold bars). Points: Increases harmony on
island by housing 500 people.
7. REBEL SOLDIERS (30 gold bars). Aggression: Cause opponent to lose
points or income.
8. PT BOAT (40 gold bars). Protection/Aggression: Guards your
fishing boat against pirates. Sinks opponent's fishing boat.
9. FISHING BOAT (25 gold bars). Income/Points: Automatically feeds
500 people and earns 1 gold bar per round. If moved over a school of
fish, earns 1 gold bar for every second remaining over fish. Can be
sunk by pirates, PT boats or hurricanes.
Use the DIRECTION KEYS to position your cursor over the area of your
island where you want to build or plant crops. DO NOT use the cursor
to place rebels on your opponent's island or to buy a boat. Rebels are
placed randomly by the computer and boats automatically appear in
your island harbor when purchased.
Check your treasury to make sure you have enough gold bars to buy
the item you want. Press the number of the item, then ENTER.
The item symbol will appear on your island where the cursor was
positioned. The cost will be deducted from your treasury.
You may purchase items at any time during any round, as long as
you have sufficient funds. (If you try to buy with insufficient funds,
you get nothing but a RAZZ.)

At the end of a round, all action freezes for a few seconds. You hear a
"time's up" signal. Your treasury display changes to show your score
for the last round (points gained), then your total score so far. When
the game resumes, action picks up where it left off. Your treasury
display returns, with any earning from the last round added.

Check score or population any time during a round using the scoring
keys (see CHECK YOUR CONTROLS, above).
You automatically earn 10 GOLD BARS per round, even if you do
nothing during that round.
Be aware of your census count, so that you can provide adequate
food, housing, schools and hospitals for the people. Remember:

1 housing project per 500 people.1 fishing boat OR 1 acre of crops per 500 people.Hospitals and schools are up to you.

You can't control it, but you can try to anticipate it.
RAIN STORMS help your crops grow. Try to plant where the rain
most frequently falls. There are no set paths for rain, but you will
notice general patterns.
TROPICAL STORMS bring a deluge. They may either help your crops
or destroy them. On rare occasions, they may destroy a building or
HURRICANES usually lay waste to everything in their paths. Fishing
boats will be sunk if moving, but have a chance of surviving if
anchored. Everything else over which the hurricane passes has a 2/3
chance of being leveled. As in real life, the faster a hurricane moves,
the less damage it inflicts.

If the people are not satisfied, rebels may spring up on your island.
Your opponent can also pay to establish rebels on your island. (And
you can do the same to your opponent.) Rebels appear at random
points, destroying anything on which they land. Peace can be
restored only by increasing the people's well-being. A rebel faction
will then disappear, usually within one round.
A FORT protects everything within a one-cursor radius around itself
(including boats, if the fort is on the shoreline).

TO CONTROL your fishing boat or PT boat, move the cursor over the
boat, then press 0 (zero). The cursor will disappear and you will be
able to use the DIRECTION KEYS to move your boat.
If you have a boat docked in your harbor, you must move it before
you can buy another boat.
Watch out for invisible SAND BARS near the shore lines. They can
slow you down when you are trying to move quickly. Avoid sand
bars by moving parallel to shore whenever possible.
TO REGAIN CONTROL OF THE CURSOR, press 0 (zero). The cursor will
reappear and you can move it, using the DIRECTION KEYS. The boat
will be anchored at its current position (except in the bottom inch of
the screen where the score is displayed).
Once a boat is anchored, it will not move. A FISHING BOAT can still
fish (if it is over a school of fish)...or be sunk, so best not to leave it in
open water. A PT BOAT cannot attack when anchored...but it can be

* A PT boat can sink opponent's fishing boat by occupying the same
space.* PT boats cannot sink pirate ships or other PT boats.* PT boats can stop pirate ships by moving in front of them. Use a PT
boat to protect a fishing boat in harbor.* PT boats can ONLY be sunk by hurricanes or tropical storms (rare).* PT boats cannot fish.* You cannot control BOTH PT boat and fishing boat at the same time.* Pirates can ONLY be sunk by hurricanes or tropical storms (rare).* Pirates can sink fishing boats by occupying the same space.

1. Start with a greater number of shorter rounds (30 - 45 seconds),
since earnings and points are added each round.
2. Buy a fishing boat in the first round, and hang on to it. It's the only
income source that you can really control.
3. Get housing established early in the game, then go for a factory.
Remember that factories cause a slow-down in population.
4. Hospitals dramatically increase productivity, but they also boost
population. Since the point value of each individual improvement
DECREASES as population increase, save hospital construction for late
in the game.
5. Do your planting early in the round. Crops planted late may
disappear as soon as the round ends.
6. Don't overplant. Crops are an unreliable source of income, since
they depend on rain. They also require replanting.
7. Don't drop anchor for long in the upper left section of screen. All
hurricanes originate here.
8. Prepare for the possibility of aggression. Build your town in a
circle with a space left in the center for a fort, so it can protect the
entire town if necessary.
9. Don't be afraid to take aggressive action yourself, if your score
falls behind your opponent's. But build your fort first.
10. As a cooperative tactic, BOTH players can invest in PT boats early
in the game, then position the PT boats where they will block the
arrival of pirates. Pirates usually appear first in the corners.-----------------
(c) 1981, 1997 Intellivision Productions, Inc.

More Later...

Friday, March 31, 2006

The Strategic Plan

... Involves You & Your Efforts to Expel the Rebels.

More to Come...