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1  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: Today at 01:47:15 AM
I'm sure that's not a roll-call photo (headshot) but intended for one of the countless slice of life shots that go into those things.

I don't see any advantage in trying to pretend guns don't exist/excising them from every image of high school life. A lack of awareness helps nobody.
2  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: December 19, 2014, 05:16:37 PM
It's not expecting Sony or the exhibitors to show moral fortitude. It's not even expecting them to show enough pragmatism and self interest to realize that now they'll be expected to fold by every extreme group when a movie they don't like is made.

  I think it's just the shock of realizing that was always true. Nothing has changed on the ground - there's merely been a light shown on it. Most of the time they have better judgment about not getting themselves in the predicament in the first place.

It's you implying that Seth Rogan and co are horrible, vile propagandists who deserve the death threats and having their work tossed on the trash heap because it offends some people who had the ability to embarrass the studio and threaten violence.

  You're right. "Deserve" is too strong. Perhaps "should have expected". I'm sorry, but the chain of events here is just shy of being as predictable as gravity. In no small part because of the list of examples you so thoughtfully provided.
3  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: December 19, 2014, 02:18:56 PM
So Chaplin should never have made The Great Dictator.
Team America was just stupid a stupid propaganda film.

Whatever. I have no doubt that you'll find some other reason to justify the cowardly and decision to not exhibit the movie which precipitated Sony's financially motivated move to take the insurance check and run rather then offend the vicious man child ruling North Korea at the moment. That's your opinion and your right.

It's still wrong.

Out of curiosity, when did we ever expect corporations to serve as bastions of moral fortitude? Seriously, I'm more puzzled by that than anything else you've said.

And I'd say the parallels to The Great Dictator are pretty damn significant to why North Korea would be so high strung about this.
4  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: December 19, 2014, 02:05:37 PM
So, Salman Rushdie deserved it.
Kurt Westergaard should have known better.
Theo van Gogh had it coming.
Anita Sarkeesian obviously deserves the death and rape threats.

Way to blame the victim.

No, way to recognize the real world exists rather than a fantasy of action without consequence.

Civility is a very, very thin veneer. Some people chip through it by accident. Other deliberately. It gets a little tedious people being shocked at what exists underneath.
5  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: December 19, 2014, 01:55:13 PM
You can't obliterate North Korea.  Its a solution that would almost never be on the table save very few possible instances.

  I'd have said the same thing about the United States overrunning and occupying Afghanistan, directly on the Russian border and a hotly contested region between the two superpowers for decades. And yet here we are. The whole world averted their eyes because the Americans were PISSED.

  I have little doubt China would let that pimple of a nation go if it looked like the Americans were in their bloodrage again.
6  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: December 19, 2014, 01:49:51 PM
Which, of course, is why we carpet bombed England in 2006.

I hold dubbaya is seething contempt and I still would have been outraged if I'd heard about it at the time.

Not cool is not cool.
7  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: December 19, 2014, 01:47:31 PM
No one wants to hear the "risks" of cyber security, because it's expensive and filled with IFs.. but man... those IFs are more powerful than briefcase bombs.

  Honestly, most people don't even have the fear that would help them understand its a poor position to remain in. That's the benefit as I see it - we do stupid reactionary stuff when we're afraid, but at least there's an awareness. Maybe Sony taking a 100 million dollar kick in the teeth is enough to put that fear into people who can act on it. The fact remains if you think someone can remotely fry your power grid... you've done something very wrong. It's fun to push off costs to the next generation and all, but those costs still exist and your options are either to pay them OR avoid being such a rampaging douche that people think its worth their time to figure out how to stick it to you through all the exploits you couldn't be bothered to close. We all marveled at stuxnet here. Not nearly so awesome when you realize math is not a uniquely American skill set.

  I still have no idea how the movie got the backing that it did. People go to jail for death threats. People go to jail for treason for making death threats to (their) heads of state. The pull required to get conservative studio heads to back it... well, I can't say I'll miss the heads that roll at Sony over this one.
8  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: December 19, 2014, 01:32:27 PM
  Part of me wonders if somebody, somewhere involved with "The Interview" isn't seeing this play out almost exactly as planned. Grotesque provocation disguised as art. The almost inevitable response. We only need a little more escalation, something a little more direct and on US soil, and then we get another free pass to obliterate another nation. You have to think that's an outcome that would agree with the minds behind "The Interview".
9  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: December 19, 2014, 12:43:54 PM
You think that's bad, wait til they start shutting off your power for a few days.

  This country could only benefit from some live demonstrations of how vulnerable our infrastructure is that aren't simultaneously accompanied by a shooting war. I'd take 48-72 hours of inconvenience in exchange for national awareness that we are fuck-all terrible at guarding our infrastructure in a heartbeat.
10  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: December 19, 2014, 12:39:10 PM
  Wow. I am so far off the mainstream on this one it loops all the way around from being funny, to unfunny, and back to funny again.

  You made a movie about an assassination attempt on a real world sitting head of state and thought SHIT WOULDN'T COME RAINING DOWN? What is fucking wrong with people? That's not comedy, it flagrant militant propaganda and it deserves to be met with just shy of act-of-war retaliation. That's the plot from some sort of WWII "kill a nip today" reels.

  Sure: North Korea is a goddam barbarous hovel, thought evidently a hovel with a downright competent cyberwar division... Learning about which is a huge upside to this little clash. BUT. Re-envision it as an assassination plot against Putin. Think the Ruskies would have a big ol' belly laugh? No? Huh, why not? Maybe England? Hell, I doubt Sweden could manage to look relaxed with something like that directed at them on a global scale. But nah, it's North Korea. They won't mind... W.T.F?

  "This film is fictitious and any resemblance to real personages is strictly coincidental" goes on most movies for a reason. The creators picked a fight and now are looking baffled the other guy didn't just bend over and take it up the ass. Real politik bitches: you can die from stupid like that. It might actualy benefit the species if you did die from that. I'd rather people didn't think throwing gasoline on an open blaze was cause for yuks. I'd be perfectly unsurprised if it was South Korea that took a digital pick axe to the west's unbelievable ignorance on this one. They actually have to live with their neighbor and have been more than a little fed up as the proxy for USA/China grudge matches.
11  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: December 19, 2014, 10:56:45 AM
Dems: it's time to dump Dixie.
I decidedly disagree with the ultimate conclusions, but I can't dispute the logic.
Well...I'm sure plenty of folks want to re-fight the Civil War. Tongue
Hey, maybe if we do we can nuke ourselves.
Yeah. That'll show us.

  *Looks at the Stormsurge URA*

  I've suggested giving Dixie the boot - er, sovereignty - for more than 2 decades now. I've lived in Mississippi several times now and its another nation from my native California, whether we choose to recognize that formally or not. Parts of Hawaii want out bad. California and Texas are both so far above the national average either one would be better off locally not yoked to some of our rotting federal infrastructure...

  I really do think it all comes down to Quebec. If they break off peacefully, it's gonna be a powerful precedent for first world nations being able to balkanize without instantly falling into armed conflict. Scotland's vote was a good try. We really are on the cusp in this matter.

  *Wanders off humming 'let it go'...*
12  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Beyond Earth (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: December 19, 2014, 10:42:05 AM
Just spent some time reading general reaction threads on some boards... it is so clear to my I played this game completely unlike many Wink. Most of the time I'm hitting the improved terrascape virtue about 3 turns before my first terrascape is up, because I'm bee-lining to both in the virtues and tech web. That and one solar sat over them in early game and you just win.

That and I always preferred the 3 hex sonic fences because I don't trade with other nations except to bribe them. My trade units are never at risk/need personal shields - they just rove inside overlapping interlocking fields of absolute alien exclusion.

Really looking forward to doing a new play through post patch and turning up the difficulty a bit just to see how things change. I've also heard good things about the marathon mode in terms of the turns being half-year (which my help my brain cope with the combat mechanics).
13  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Another gadget gone real on: December 18, 2014, 08:41:22 PM
Looking at the Exacto a little more closely... what the hell is it homing in on? Laser guided bomb comparisons were made - its it adjusting to hit an illuminated point?
14  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Idiot Box: TV News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: December 18, 2014, 10:46:42 AM
Finally had the chance to sit down and watch some Agents of Shield for the first time (episodes 3-9 in a single sitting, yay binge watching).

So, the accusations of slavishly mimicking Firefly? Pretty spot on I'd say. The usual neurotypical bullshit of "lets make really smart people less scary to our viewing masses by making them socially inept"? Oh yes, we're deep down that rabbit hole.

I actively hate the writing for Skye....
(click to show/hide)

Its watchable, but I wish it were better. Maybe I'm just spoiled by West Wing.

In other news I'm watching the first season of Blue Bloods. While that had one round of indescribable stupid (Your brakes go out while driving down a light traffic nighttime street in New York, what do you do? Put it in neutral one second later and start exploring the power of my emergency brake come to mind for me...) on the whole I've really enjoyed it. Its been somewhat thought provoking for me since I'm dealing with a narrative environment where families going into government service across generations are such a thing.
15  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Fantasy Craft Second Printing Q&A Thread on: December 18, 2014, 10:18:33 AM
 Because its such an absurdly powerful effect that each of the three attack types should/would have its own separate feat. The ranged version is Carnival of Carnage Smiley.
Except there aren't equivalent unarmed and ranged feats, at least in anything that's been officially released, which is what makes Cleave's splendid isolation in melee so noticeable.

  Carnival of Carnage (which appears in Dark Inheritance) isn't "equivalent". A big part of what keeps cleave in check is a very limited number of potential targets being within reach. Its a big deal when you start being able to move between the attacks and increase the number of valid targets by shifting the envelope (even so much as by 5 feet). having a literal shooting gallery a hundred feet or more across is significantly more butch than the whole cleave chain rolled up in one. And CoC's prerequisites in DI reflect that, including being faction-locked to the wuxia allegiance of the setting. Pew pew!

  I totally get Pat's reluctance on the unarmed front too: while the mechanic could be written the same way - and one could even argue that with unarmed attacks typically doing less damage than weapons the taken-in-a-vacuum symmetrical effect is weaker than cleave - the fact remains you can't take a characters unarmed attacks away via disarm or being captured. Mastercraft's shwah (IMO) comes from being attentive to the broader narrative consequences when weighing the value of mechanics. Being able to destroy a room full of goons in a single round even stripped to your skivvies is both very cool (and therefor very valuable) and potentially a little frustrating for the show-runner trying to build any sort of tension in a 'Captured!' plot. I would probably be as wary or even more wary about its introduction than I am of a character being able to fly under their own power - an effect I know ruins all kinds of narrative hurdles a scenario designer might otherwise rely on. I think an 'unarmed cleave' is a valid effect to have exist and to allow characters to strive/build for it... but not one that needs the same comparatively easy access as the melee version.
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