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Irontruth's page

6,328 posts (6,330 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
My first instinct with the Guinea Lion was to critique a predator's build on an herbivore. Predator builds are biologically expensive. There's a reason they eat meat. Also, lions can leap, so how do you expect to ranch them? You'd need huge fences, or a ceiling. This guinea lion idea is sooooo unrealistic.

Most likely by acclimating them to human contact and providing a steady food source. Cause you're right, they'd have to be voracious herbivores, which is what inspired the long distance movement penalty. They have to spend so much time eating they can't exist in large packs, nor can they travel far in a single day.

But remember, they aren't the result of evolution, but rather magical experimentation.

Also, I want a sharkhorse.

Lord Wimpy wrote:

I find it's best to keep politics out of MYFAROG threads, otherwise nobody will talk about MYFAROG. It's irrelevant to game design or your gaming group having fun.

I own the first edition that came in the big hardcover but sadly haven't gotten to play. None of my friends are interested in playing a low magic game where hunting and gathering is a part of the fantasy. If I got the opportunity to play I would absolutely buy the latest edition: fewer rules are better than more rules, after all.

I agree that we don't need to debate it, and as I see it, there's nothing to debate as these were statements from the author. I will make a similar disclaimer post in MYFAROG threads though.

When I make a purchase, one of the things I do consider is who I'm giving my money to. Sometimes it sways my decision, sometimes it doesn't. Since it's my money, I'm allowed to do that. Just like it's your money, and you're allowed to spend it how you like.

I am curious about the game and want to read it at some point, but I have no interest in giving Mr. Vikernes any of my money to do so. I enjoy a good Nordic setting and even play several other games, both historical and fantastical, that have Nordic elements.

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Here's a stat for you, if you took the best 10% of teachers in the US and put them all in schools with majority black children, the achievement gap would disappear in 5 years. The issue would be solved. Failing schools who get just one top-flight teacher see meaningful gains in graduation rates and college acceptance.
I was curious as to how you get a statistic out of a "what if?" scenario.

I have it in print form. I'll see if I can dig up an online source that isn't behind a paywall. It was an article in the Economist (a capitalist rag, not really your type).

I got my numbers wrong as well, it was the top 25% of teachers could fix it in 8 years. It's based on the efficacy of teacher performance on student achievement. Teachers that do X well get Y results from students, or rather how much impact those strategies have on students. Basically, these teachers do things that increase student performance, things which have been shown to consistently work and produce results.

There are other factors outside of the school that affect student performance, but the time spent in the classroom is important no matter what and good teachers can maximize the effect of that time.

Of course, part of how that achievement gap would be closed would be because white students would no longer have access to the best teachers, so their performance would also be falling during this period. So part of it is circular, in that if we deny the best students (now) the best teachers, they'll stop being the best students and someone else will become better.

But that in itself says that we need to find ways to make our teachers better. We don't just want to shift around the best, we need to lift up the worst.

Part of the study included identifying top teachers based on test scores, then actually going and observing classes. They didn't all share the exact same techniques, but there were strong trends and commonalities throughout. An interesting thing to note is that these techniques are in common practice in other countries where students regularly test higher than the US. Singapore regularly does well by any measure of education, but there instead of hoping that individual teachers happen upon these techniques, they actually teach them to the new teachers.

One of the major problems is that teachers get thrown to the wolves regularly. Little to no training, no classroom experience, no evaluation and practice. It makes a big difference in retention as well, new teachers that are mentored have a 15% higher retention rate (86% are still teaching at the 5 year mark) than those who receive no mentoring (71% retention at 5 years). Of course, those numbers came from the most recent recession, which probably increased retention (since it was harder to leave for a new job).

I think the teacher's unions could play a big role if they took a more proactive approach to solving issues of training and feedback for their members. If the unions adopted a method of evaluating teachers, then helping train them, they could remove it from the hands of management while strengthening their members as the same time.

Anyways, the article was an interesting read and has led me to some interesting research as I consider where and how to pursue my own training. Here in Minnesota there's a long tradition of requiring classroom time for teaching programs, so it might not be as hard to get good training, but I've got my eye on a program in Chicago that I'm going to research.

Hopefully the post didn't ramble too much, I had more and more ideas to keep going back and modify as I wrote.

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Note, the author of the game is a self-declared racist.

Varg Vikernes wrote:
The "nazi ghost" has scared millions of Europeans from caring about their blood and homeland for sixty years now, and it is about time we banish this ghost and again start to think and care about the things that (whether we like it or not) are important to us.
Varg Vikernes wrote:
Fight anti-racism and those behind it by any and all means available! No matter what they say they are the criminals, guilty of genocide against the European species! Whatever we do is an act of self-defence. Whatever we say is to defend our human species and our race from extinction. We have all the rights in the world, even according to the UN and international law, to take action to defend our species, our race and our nations. It is our duty to do so!

Now, I'm not saying that if you play the game, you're automatically racist. Just be aware of who you're promoting and giving money too though.

Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:

  • I'm not the biggest fan of Cory Booker for his stances on Newark public schools (pro-charter schools, pro-merit pay for teachers tied to testing, friendliness with lobbyists from for-profit education companies), but he hit the right notes and delivered it passionately, albeit a bit heavy-handedly.
  • I think the West Wing put a good spin on this. The mayor of DC comes in and says he wants a voucher program, because he's desperate to try anything to improve his schools. Some people are tired of supporting institutions that aren't improving. While I love the teacher's union and plan to be a member here in Minnesota in a few years, it needs to change.

    Over the last 15 years, the party advocating big changes are on the right. Now, they might be the wrong changes, but for people who are tired of the status quo, the promise of change is alluring.

    I definitely agree that more testing is bad and the testing companies are pretty much evil. That said, we do need ways to evaluate success and while I disagree with merit pay, we do need to evaluate teachers. Bad teachers who refuse to improve need to go.

    Here's a stat for you, if you took the best 10% of teachers in the US and put them all in schools with majority black children, the achievement gap would disappear in 5 years. The issue would be solved. Failing schools who get just one top-flight teacher see meaningful gains in graduation rates and college acceptance.

    Most teachers are never evaluated, or at least not meaningfully. They graduate from college, get put in a classroom and then they retire X years later. They don't go to additional classes to learn new techniques. They don't spend time in other teachers classrooms learning. They don't teach other teachers. A principal might spend an hour in the classroom... each year, but that represents roughly 0.1% of the time spent with students.

    I'd love to see the democratic party stand next to teachers and at the same time push them to do more. There are a couple of grad school teaching programs around the country that routinely turn out great teachers, even their worst are far above average. Our schools need to change and the unions have a lot of power over that. I'd like to see them get proactive, instead of just defensive.

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    Quark Blast wrote:
    Kobold Cleaver wrote:
    What actions would those be?
    Krensky wrote:

    The lying, the cheating, the defrauding of his business partners, customers, contractors and the tax payers. The inventing of multiple false identities to talk to the press while pretending to be someone else. The sexual harassment and alleged rape. The creepy lusting after his own daughter. The racism, the misogyny, the abelism, the casual cruelty and general douchbaggery. Let's not forget the temper tantrums, physical outbursts, and pathological need to be the biggest, most important person in the room.

    I probably missed a few things.

    Drumpf isn't a meritocrat. He's never had any cosideration for mertiocracy. He's a spoiled rich brat who's squandered the fortune his grandfather the pimp and father the racist landlord left him. He's an exploiter and con artisit.

    If he was as bad as all that he would have announced himself as the deserving winner of every episode of The Apprentice.

    I agree that he suffers from NPD. He's like the type specimen for that. And as such I won't be voting for him.

    Though, oddly, if he were to win he could in theory assign a cabinet that is actually competent. As opposed to filling it with people to whom are owed favors, like Mrs. Clinton will do.

    I'm really curious how you're going to spin this one to evade it (when if it were about a Clinton, you'd immediately assume all of it was true)....

    Back in the 90's, Donald Trump was a friend of a man named Jeffrey Epstein. In the late 00's, Epstein was charged and convicted of having sex with minors. He's currently a registered sex offender.\

    Donald Trump wrote:
    “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it, Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

    A case has recently been filed against Trump, by a woman who alleges he raped her in 1993. She claims she was held by Mr. Epstein and gives many accurate details of situations we know to be true in other cases. Notably, the new case also includes a witness statement (usually witnesses are hard to find in these older cases).

    During their divorce, Ivana Trump, during her sworn testimony, described how Donald had attacked her, ripped out hair and forcefully penetrated her. She said she "felt" like she had been raped. After the divorce settlement, which includes clauses where she's not allowed to say anything negative about him, she's clarified that she wasn't using the word in it's literal sense.

    New York Magainze, Nov 9, 1992. If you go to page 43, about 2/3's the way down you can find the statement:

    Trump is talking about women and says "You have to treat 'em like s---."

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    Krensky wrote:
    Kobold Cleaver wrote:
    And there's the lack of open primaries and the repeated failures across multiple states to allow new voters to register for the Democratic Party.

    Yeah, no.

    Open primaries are bad. They enable all sorts of shenanigans and in doing so destroy some of the safeguards that actually let our democracy work. Open primaries are part of the reason the GOP got Drumpf.

    If you wish to vote in a party primary, well, than you should join the damn party!

    So you know... the most vocal person advocating the theory that those who voted for Trump weren't already Republicans... was Trump.

    The data I've seen largely suggests that Trump is *shocked face* wrong. The people who voted for Trump were often new to Primary/Caucus voting, but something around 90% of them had voted Republican in 3 out of 4 of the last presidential races. Usually in the 4th, they hadn't voted.

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    Turin the Mad wrote:
    137ben wrote:

    Just saw Booker's speech, I was blown away by how positive he was about everything.

    I'm from Virginia, and Kaine is my senator, but I would have preferred Booker for VP over Kaine.
    Now it's a Drumpf "university" victim speaking.
    Booker wasn't even in consideration, was he? I loved the optimism ... but good grief the jackhammering to drive the points home ... eesh.

    I'm glad Booker didn't take it. I really, really like him, but the VP is where careers go to die.

    I also really like Warren, but I'd rather have her occupy a senate seat.

    When she ran for the senate, the first thought through my mind was how the Republicans had screwed up. If they had let her run the CFPB, they could have de-clawed the agency even more, then summoned her to hearing after hearing where they could ask questions and try to embarrass her. Instead, they put her on a stage and martyred her nomination, allowing her to run for the senate and now she sits next to them and they have to give her equal time during those same hearings.

    You don't put your enemies out in the cold. You give them a job, then you make it suck.

    Anyways, I'm glad Booker didn't take/get offered the job. He's on a good arc already, he doesn't need the VP. I'd love to see him serve another term, then move on to a governorship or cabinet position. Then run for the democratic nomination whenever all that works out. I would really like to see some executive experience on his resume.

    Quark Blast wrote:
    Irontruth wrote:

    I am asking you:

    1) Do you think the world is undergoing human caused climate change?
    Yes, since shortly after we discovered the use of fire.

    I see a "yes" in there, but the glibness of your answer tells me no.

    Since it's the internet, I'm going to assume that the sarcasm in your answer is the more truthful part. I'll read your posts with the understanding that you're a climate change denier from here on out.

    Unless you want to clarify with a non-glib answer?

    Something short. No attempt at a joke, no rambling off about how you don't like Al Gore's tie, etc.

    Quark Blast wrote:

    Well, it's been a while but way up thread I said something to the effect of...

    The models are incapable of accurately modeling the actual climate next year, let alone next decade or century. This is fundamental to the type of phenomenon that global climate is. Namely, chaotic (in the sense of chaoplexity, not the 3.PF alignment axis).

    And yes, we should act now, but not because of the "data" from the climate models but because it makes economic sense to do so. Sustainable energy sources pay for themselves quickly. On the order of years to at most a decade.

    In particular I am in favor of alternate nuclear sources and R&D into battery storage.

    Of course, one can build a wind farm or solar farm in areas totally unsuited to them and hence be a net waste but I'm assuming appropriate engineering studies being used to build out any given project.

    I'm curious and want to pin down what exactly your position on climate change is... do you consider it to be "not real" and therefore something that shouldn't concern anyone?

    To be clear, I am NOT asking you about:
    1) do you think someone else's efforts on climate change are effective
    2) what you think the best course of action could be
    3) whether you like waffles or pancakes more?
    4) anything else

    I am asking you:
    1) Do you think the world is undergoing human caused climate change?

    Quark Blast wrote:
    Irontruth wrote:
    Quark Blast wrote:

    Another take on why climate modeling is a failed enterprise.


    Or for the more quantitatively minded, LINK

    Or this one, LINK, and note especially the fifth reason of concern over trying to model natural processes, and the authors' summary concern as follows

    Crutchfield and Feldman wrote:
    Of course, most natural phenomena involve, to one degree or another, almost all of these separate sources of "noise". Moreover, the different mechanisms interact with each other. It is no surprise, therefore, that describing and quantifying the degree of a process's apparent randomness is a difficult yet essential endeavor that cuts across many disciplines.

    On the other hand, like a I said in my last post, the Global Climate Change experiment is actually underway.

    Even if we, as a species, stopped using coal this instant, the "worst-case scenario" CO2 load is already in the atmosphere and we have another 100 wait to see what unfolds.
    So, if the modeling is pointless, how do we even know Global Climate Change is happening?

    Here let me help.

    Obviously I'm saying that if you believe the climate experts and their models, we are living under the worst case scenario already.

    I'm just asking you to pick a side. Do you believe the modeling and that climate change is actually a problem, or do you think it's all bunk and modeling proves nothing?

    I'm tired of this "modeling is 100% useless, but we should act on it anyways."

    You don't have to say that the modeling is perfect. But if you're going to talk about the consequences reflected in the modeling, you should at least admit that they might be useful.

    Quark Blast wrote:

    Another take on why climate modeling is a failed enterprise.


    Or for the more quantitatively minded, LINK

    Or this one, LINK, and note especially the fifth reason of concern over trying to model natural processes, and the authors' summary concern as follows

    Crutchfield and Feldman wrote:
    Of course, most natural phenomena involve, to one degree or another, almost all of these separate sources of "noise". Moreover, the different mechanisms interact with each other. It is no surprise, therefore, that describing and quantifying the degree of a process's apparent randomness is a difficult yet essential endeavor that cuts across many disciplines.

    On the other hand, like a I said in my last post, the Global Climate Change experiment is actually underway.

    Even if we, as a species, stopped using coal this instant, the "worst-case scenario" CO2 load is already in the atmosphere and we have another 100 wait to see what unfolds.

    So, if the modeling is pointless, how do we even know Global Climate Change is happening?

    Your opposition to modeling strikes me as allowing the perfect to be the enemy of good. Since it's not perfect, you want to completely ditch it, except then we'll be proceeding forward blindly. We might be blind right now, but at least we're reaching our hands out instead of using our faces.

    You're pipedream of retraining all these people as energy engineers is beyond silly. It's never going to happen and wouldn't even be that useful even if we did do it. We're better off just training new students in the fields we need as they'll have longer careers.

    I agree we can't live like we do, but until we agree as a society a way of enforcing it or attaching the true cost of these things, people will take the cheap energy and use it. It's a tragedy of the commons. Because I can get cheap gasoline for my lawn mower, I use it, even though it does damage to the environment. If that cost were better reflected in the price of gasoline, I might have to change my habits.

    I suspect that once the price of climate change is actually factored into things like fuels, air travel is largely going to go away (until we figure out electric planes, but that's a ways off I suspect).

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    Turin the Mad wrote:

    Underestimating the general electorate's anger about rigged elections, untrustworthiness of candidates and so forth is what propelled Drumpf to the candidacy and will remain a thorn in Clinton's side through the election. That her party leadership attempted to rig things so blatantly in her favor is not going to help - only fear of Drumpf in the Oval Office counters that.

    Were this against any sane Republican candidate, this would be a very different discussion.

    Yeah, the public really stuck it to the establishment after all sorts of allegations of election fraud and general underhandedness in 2000.

    Charon's Little Helper wrote:
    Rednal wrote:
    Sometimes, I wish we had Australia's Preferential Voting System. I don't know that it would solve everything, but it might at least help.
    There are advantages, but Australia also has compulsory voting - which is foolish. People shouldn't vote for issues which they haven't done their homework on. We get enough of people voting based upon 3 second slogans rather than actual issues (on both sides) I don't want to exacerbate it. (I know that I don't generally vote for every post/issue to avoid doing that.)

    Does non-compulsory voting prevent people from voting on issues they know nothing about?

    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    Does anyone actually know a hillary supporter? It's kinda weird.

    I'm one. In my state caucus I voted for her over Sanders.

    There are a couple similar articles out there, but this one had a good closing paragraph. Article from 2014.

    It’s entirely possible that the Republicans will nominate such a poor and unappealing candidate that these disadvantages will be outweighed by the Republican’s flaws, but assuming that they choose a reasonably competent and likable nominee 2016 could easily prove to be another disappointing year for Democrats.

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    73. Guinea Lion - products of similar experiments that produced owlbears. These herbivores are largely harmless if given a wide berth, but their predator like build makes them very capable of defending themselves. They develop a home territory in small packs, preferring hilly out mountainous terrain. While moderately tamable and trainable, they make poor mounts over extended periods. They use the overland speed of a creature with 20' movement, regardless of any modifiers to their speed.

    I've finally started to admit to myself that he might win.

    6 people marked this as a favorite.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    thegreenteagamer wrote:
    To be honest, I'm so burned out by this election, I just want it to be over. I do care about who wins, but not nearly as much as I just want this crapfest to be over for another four years.

    I'm with you on that. I wish we could limit the entire thing to just 6 months.

    I hadn't really started thinking about until just a few days ago, and it won't be until next Summer, if it happens. My trip would be peppered with hiking/biking in the countryside, so I'm not too worried about cost. Hadrian's Wall and the John Muir Way are on the list of things to do.

    Scotland passed a camping friendly law in 2003. You can camp on any unenclosed land as long as you don't damage it and don't leave trash. Biking and camping from distillery to distillery is going to be strongly considered. I did something similar recently for a road trip, staying at camp sites mostly and splurging on a nice hotel when I wanted a break from that and a hot shower.

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    thegreenteagamer wrote:
    Irontruth wrote:
    I'm going to start setting aside money just in case the dollar is still strong against the pound next Summer. I haven't been to England before and if lodging/food is 30-40% cheaper than usual, I want to go.

    I remember reading somewhere that London was the most expensive city to live in the world, so I severely doubt anything in England there will be cheaper than...anywhere, really.

    That's the way it works, right? We can judge entire nations by a single city? (If that were true, and I judged everyone I met in America by everyone I met from NYC, I would truly hate humanity more than I already do.)


    Oh, right, on topic. The Johnson has officially inflated to a fat 13. He'll be pushing his way into the debates soon enough.

    God, that sounds even dirtier on text than when I say it out loud.

    It's not that London is cheap, it's that London is 27% cheaper than it was a year ago if you're spending US Dollars. I'd spend some time in London, but I'd be traveling around a lot. Gotta see all the places my Pendragon characters have died at!

    I'm going to start setting aside money just in case the dollar is still strong against the pound next Summer. I haven't been to England before and if lodging/food is 30-40% cheaper than usual, I want to go.

    Charles Evans 25 wrote:
    Irontruth wrote:

    London based EU financial services won't just fall off, they're going to end.

    Non-EU based financial institutions aren't allowed to make corporate loans in the EU. Corporate loans make up a HUGE amount of the world financial system. For example, if a bank were denied access to that part of the market in the US, that bank would essentially cease to exist. Not over night, but suddenly a massive portion of their day to day operations would be over and their ability to support or make use of their other operations would end. Imagine a football player with no spinal column. Sure, they still have arms, legs, a torso and head... but none of it works right.

    Interesting. Looking at the EU side of things, is there sufficient slack on the corporate lenders front inside the EU (minus the UK) to completely make up for the removal of London from the EU's corporate loans market?

    The only thing stopping a company from moving it's operations is the logistics or opening/moving an office. A company that moves right now from London to Paris and then operates from Paris, will see no interruption to the flow of their business (other than not having UK customers once the actual invocation of article 50 is complete).

    It costs money to set up new offices, but it's not ridiculous for these companies. All told, it might cost $5-10 billion to relocate all of the businesses, but the industry in the UK generates over $70 billion in just tax revenue (meaning they're worth several times that in yearly GDP).

    Currently, London trades in nearly $2 trillion every day, or about 1/3 of all trading of US currency. That's set to go up as an EU-US Free Trade agreement is currently under negotiation. London does more trading of the Euro than all other European cities combined.

    While London will still be a significant place for trading, they won't be part of the EU-US Free Trade market.

    Think about it this way, if you're the French minister who's negotiating this deal, how much of it do you want to give to London? Wouldn't you rather take a big bite out of this pie for Paris? What would you force the UK to give up in exchange for being allowed to still participate in these markets?

    Germany, France, Belgium and Sweden all stand to divide roughly 500,000 high paying jobs between them if they shut the UK out of the financial markets, plus increasing the activity in their financial markets, giving them more clout on the world stage.

    I don't think he's disagreeing with you BNW.

    I agree with you that that's a problem as well. What do you think a system that's solved that problem would look like?

    I've really focused on bourbon the last couple years and I've realized that my scotch appreciation has diminished. I've always liked islays, but highlands have been hit or miss for me, there's just something to them that tastes off. So I decided to look up some good ones and start the process of acclimating my taste buds.

    I picked up the Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban. It runs about $50 a bottle and is extremely pleasant. It has that distinctive highland taste (to me), but it's not overly strong, has lots of other character and is a touch sweet. All around, it's a really good whisky.

    I've got a whole other dimension for recommending it. It makes a really good gift. For scotch drinkers, the boring staple gift from those who don't know anything about scotch is usually Macallan of one type or another. While a solid whisky, it's sometimes considered a bit dull. This Glenmorangie is pretty common, it's not hard to find, not cheap, but not that expensive either. It's well known and appreciated, but it isn't a standard "go to" like a lot of other whiskys. If I need a moderately priced gift for a whisky drinker, this will be high on my list of potential bottles.

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    London based EU financial services won't just fall off, they're going to end.

    Non-EU based financial institutions aren't allowed to make corporate loans in the EU. Corporate loans make up a HUGE amount of the world financial system. For example, if a bank were denied access to that part of the market in the US, that bank would essentially cease to exist. Not over night, but suddenly a massive portion of their day to day operations would be over and their ability to support or make use of their other operations would end. Imagine a football player with no spinal column. Sure, they still have arms, legs, a torso and head... but none of it works right.

    CrystalSeas wrote:

    Depends on which model you select. Some people are willing to pay a percentage of their investments to have someone else do that. Other people manage their own accounts. Currently in the US, both options are possible.

    There are businesses which will simply use their license to buy and sell the stocks and/or bonds you ask them to for a small fee. You can still have physical certificates sent to you. You can still buy US savings bonds through your bank.

    Other business offer the 'don't worry your pretty little head" option, and skim a bit off the top of every account they manage. Depending on the company, the fees are either outrageous or reasonable.

    How much do these various options cost? Give me figures. I don't care about some hypothetical "low cost" option, give me an example of a low cost option. Because I can respond with precise numbers on this, and I already know your "low cost" options are more expensive then the one I'm going to suggest. But if you can't support your argument with actual figures, I'm not going to bother offering them.

    Sell me on how we can save money by putting up numbers. Don't tell me "it could be possible". Show me how. No numbers = fairy tale.

    Also, you should just admit it. Your idea puts more money in the hands of Wall Street. Wall Street is the major driver of the private investment industry in this country, so no matter what, they will get more money. If you have proof they won't, I'm willing to hear it, but seeing as they control most of that market, I won't believe it without actual evidence.

    CrystalSeas wrote:

    You can retire any time you want if they privatize it. In fact, as long as you aren't relying on the government to support your retirement, you can do that now.

    Then the social security check when you reach 70 is simply an income bump.

    But that assumes that everyone will be able to use the private investment processes to fund their own retirement. If you don't assume that everyone will be able to save for their own retirement, then you need some kind of government payment program to keep retired people from being homeless and hungry.

    These private accounts, who's going to administer them? Ie, who does the purchasing and selling of stocks/bonds, who keeps the records, etc? If you had to name an iconic location, where would these people work?

    I'm not opposed to modifying the retirement age based on the type of work we do. I'm starting up school again this fall, with plans to become a teacher. Partly because I've been super poor the past 10 years, I know I'm going to need to work until I'm at least 70, so part of my decision was going after a career that will let me do that. I had considered some more physically demanding careers, like pipe fitter pays well and is in very high demand, but I'd probably destroy my body much faster, meaning I could only get in another 15-20 years of work. It just wouldn't be enough time for me to build up what I'll need.

    I think modifying the retirement age based on the kind of work done would be fine. The exact details and numbers I don't know, but letting people who have to do physically demanding work retire at 60 with full Social Security benefits sounds reasonable. If something happens on the job, they would be eligible for Disability Insurance. Then push the age to 70 for those who's bodies aren't broken down by the work they do.

    We live longer lives than we did 50 years ago. Part of that might mean we have to work longer to earn the money we need for the last part of our lives.

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    Hitdice wrote:
    "Some kind of change" doesn't necessitate privatization, though, does it? You could just as easily raise the retirement age as hand the whole thing over to the private sector, right?

    Or remove the income cap on the taxes.

    edit: Eliminating the payroll cap would make social security solvent for the next 75 years.

    thegreenteagamer wrote:
    thejeff wrote:
    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    Kryzbyn wrote:

    If he's seriously doubled down with Pence, I can't vote for that kind of draconian social policy.

    Johnson it is.

    That's a heck of a regressive tax scheme he's got.

    Even the 12% (or what it is today) likely aren't really looking at his policies, but are just making protest votes.

    Huge National Sales Tax? privatize Social Security?

    That sales tax comes with the elimination of income tax and the IRS. Also, by the time milennials are elderly there will be no SS left if we don't make some kind of change.

    Just curious, do you think there will be no government agency doing audits on whether taxes are being collected correctly or not?

    For example, states with sales tax still have offices that are responsible for auditing businesses to make sure that they are reporting sales tax correctly. So, assuming that this is still being done under this system, are we just changing the name of the IRS and that makes people happy?

    I agree that they'll be smaller and less intrusive to most Americans, but they're still going to exist in some form or another.

    Of the US Federal budget ($3.8 trillion), the IRS budget ($11.2 billion) represents a fairly small portion. Even if this change reduces that need by 90%, sure it'll help the deficit, but not by much. Oh, plus you now need to pay for the infrastructure of making a check out to every adult in the US. For an idea of how much, it costs $6 billion to administer Social Security right now (which is 0.7% of Social Security's budget). They'll be able to take up some of the slack, but you're still going to need additional people working there to get the job done. Conservatively, I think we can assume another $2-3 billion, which eats into the savings of closing the IRS fairly significantly.

    BTW, SS is already benefiting from technology in streamlining their process. The cost of administrating the program has dropped almost in half over the last 30 years as technology improvements have been implemented, and they're down to 30% of what they were in the 50's.

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    thegreenteagamer wrote:

    Yeah, nobody thought Drumpf could win the primary, and laughed at the very idea... you all seem to laugh at the idea of him winning the general, and think it's going to be historic landslide?

    You seriously underestimate how utterly horrible the average American is. He's run on a platform of hatred, bigotry, xenophobia, and insult after insult after insult...and his fans don't just like him, they absolutely love him.

    Hindsight is 20/20. Prior to this primary there were numerous reasons to not think he would win. It turns out they were wrong, but if you applied the prediction of how he would win to any other presidential primary, you would not have successfully predicted who would win.

    It's like looking at the NFL playoffs just before they start and looking at which team has the best chance. You wouldn't normally pick a wild card team. When a wild card team wins the Super Bowl, you look back and it seems obvious that they'd win, but it wasn't obvious before it happened. It does happen, but it's not common, and so people aren't dumb for not predicting it to happen.

    I think it's possible for Drumpf to win. I do think it's unlikely.

    It's not easy for a Republican to win the presidency right now. Yes, it does happen, but several large population swing states have to go the right way. A Republican can't win Ohio, Pennsylvania OR Florida, they have to win all 3. The reason it isn't easy is simple, demographics. States with big populations tend to have big cities. Big cities tend to vote Democrat.

    The biggest cities in the country to vote Republican in 2012 were Phoenix (6), Fort Worth (16), Oklahoma City (27) and Salt Lake City (124).

    In 2008, Salt Lake City voted for Obama.

    He's running his campaign poorly. He has more staff in NY state than Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Florida combined, but his odds of winning NY are worse than any of those place. In addition, he doesn't even have that big of a staff for NY. His fundraising has been poor so far, largely because the Republican elite who normally fund these things don't trust him or don't like his ideas or just think he's wasting the money he does get, so they aren't donating.

    Republicans tend to draw about 9-11% of the African-American vote. Reagan, who won in an electoral landslide, had 14%. That small shift correlates to a bigger shift among general voters.

    Currently, Drumpf is polling at 0% with African-American voters in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Now, he's ahead in Ohio right now, but if that number holds true and is indicative of his %'s in other places, it doesn't bode well for his chances.

    Finally, even if he is President, I've seen what his presidency will be like before. It played out in Minnesota when we elected Jesse Ventura. I predict their terms will be strikingly similar. Mostly, Drumpf will be in the news crying about how Congress won't do what he wants. It's going to suck for the rest of us, imagine the last Congress, but getting even less done.

    Conservative Anklebiter wrote:

    Hmm, so this thread became an addition to Comrades thread. Not unexpected knowing this forum.

    Never understood why they call Drumpf Drumpf. Like, when I write or talk about Hillary I don't call her B#%$@ to be condescending to her even though I don't like her. Hell, I liked Sanders more.

    This video.

    8 people marked this as a favorite.

    I think just claiming "centrist", unless you actually sit in the middle of a majority of issues, lacks nuance and appreciation of how things are in this country. A lot of people who are politically apathetic think that they're centrist, but when you break it down by issue, they actually skew much more to the edges per that issue. An actual centrist would always trend towards the middle.

    Libertarians aren't centrist. They're actually pretty extreme in their views, it's just that some of their views end up on the left and some on the right. I think where they end up on the left is more by accident of our political system though than anything else, due to the alliances that the right has had to make over the years to stay competitive.

    Libertarians can really be summed up with the concept "the government shouldn't tell us what to do, except when absolutely necessary." Which sounds appealing, but then you have to ask the question... when is it absolutely necessary?

    Should the government tell us what to do to avoid large numbers of people don't fall into horrible poverty?
    Should the government tell us what to do to avoid large numbers of needless deaths?

    The answer in a lot of cases for Libertarians is "No". Many Libertarians believe that people should be allowed to make their own choices, even if it results in horrible poverty or death. Instead of the government regulating the amount of lead in paint, we should just use the reviews and comments section of Home Depot's website.

    I personally will never buy into that. It too easily ignores the damage to the commons, which is how you end up with things like (we don't need to debate these, just examples) anti-vaxxers, polluted rivers/lakes and poor air quality. The counter argument is usually that "well, we don't have a perfect market system", but it ignores the long history of human behavior that just doesn't care about the damage to the commons.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not for government regulation of everything. I think the Libertarian mindset is useful as a check against over-regulation and bad regulation. We should constantly be reevaluating the governments policies and questioning whether it's doing good or harm.

    I took that quiz, I'm 98% with Jill Stein/Bernie Sanders and 97% with Clinton. Johnson was 70% and Drumpf was 36%.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Charles Evans 25 wrote:
    The country voted (overall) to leave, and yet the four horsemen of the financial apocalypse seem to have decided (thus far - granted that *might* change) to loiter in the bar for a couple of more rounds of drinks, rather than to ride out laying waste to the economy.

    Just curious, do you know for a fact that British companies are going to be able to maintain their financial passports to the EU economy?

    Currently, it's estimated that a firm that wants to relocate to Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt or Stockholm will have to spend roughly €50 million. That's per firm. Yet this will still end up being cheaper than staying in London after a mere 3-4 years once the passporting of financial services ends.

    Not being in the EU will cost London based financial firms somewhere around €10-20 million every year, in addition to having lowered revenue due to not having access to certain clients. For example, financial firms will no longer be able to make corporate loans.

    The UK gets about £65.6 billion in tax revenue from the financial services sector, or about 11.5% of all tax revenue. That number is going to go down significantly as firms either aren't able to do business across the channel, or have to relocate altogether.

    The apocalypse hasn't happened yet, I agree. But right now, these businesses can still do business. Once the Brexit happens, if that's no longer true, the UK government is going to find it's lost a serious amount of revenue. How much of that £65.6 billion? I don't know for sure, but if it's more than ~£5 billion, it'll be more than the UK was paying into the EU.

    I imagine that France, Germany, Belgium and Sweden are all going to vote in favor of cutting off the UK's financial passporting, because it means they all get a bigger slice of that pie and increase their own internal tax revenues.

    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    thegreenteagamer wrote:
    When did my centrist, pro-third-party thread turn into Comrade Andklebiter's Socialist Overflow Thread?

    Just curious, do you consider the complete dismantling of all forms of welfare to be centrist?

    Centrist gets thrown around a lot. A lot of Americans seem to consider themselves in the middle, center, moderate, etc, but in reality, they aren't centrist on even most issues, taking a stand that's either left or right on numerous issues.

    Being to the left on things like gay marriage and to the right on government finances doesn't make you a centrist. It makes you to the left on one thing and the right on another.

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Kathleen Hall Jamieson speaking at the Westminster Town Hall forum. An extremely well-educated person who studies politicians. One of the things she talks about is that politicians actually have a pretty good track record of doing what they say, or trying to do what they say. They follow through about 80% of the time.

    Also, when two opposing candidates agree on an issue, it's close to guaranteed that it will be policy when one of them is in office.

    Anyways, the link above is very interesting to listen to and I recommend it. She's talking about how to listen to a candidate and analyze what they're saying in order to make predictions about how they will respond to unexpected events.

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    The Libertarian party wants to abolish:

    All forms of welfare (job training, food stamps, Social Security, Medicare, etc)
    Minimum wage

    Don't believe me? Here's their website. If you look around, you can find their beliefs on certain issues. Such as Poverty and Welfare. Essentially, the Libertarian wants to double down on Reagan's policies, which set us on a path where the lower and middle class stagnated and the rich have continued to get richer. Except they want to speed up the process.

    They want to replace the Social Security system with private accounts. Accounts that will be managed by investment firms. In other words, Wall Street.

    In addition, I can't get behind their stance on guns.

    In addition, evidence shows that self-defense with guns is the safest response to violent crime. It results in fewer injuries to the defender (17.4% injury rate) than any other response, including not resisting at all (24.7% injury rate). Libertarians would repeal waiting periods, concealed carry laws, and other restrictions that make it difficult for victims to defend themselves, and end the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense.

    I know there are people who will disagree with me on these issues, and that's fine, but if these are important issues to you, which I suspect they are if you liked Bernie Sanders, than the Libertarian Party is not for you.

    Quebec has had two elections that resulted in ties.

    Lord Snow wrote:

    Agreed. Musk and his other concerned billionaire friends are so far spending only their own money, which is fine, but I would oppose any sort of overt government funding for such programs.

    I agree it's private money and they can do what they want. But they have a habit of patting themselves on the back for their role in preventing human extinction... when there isn't any evidence that that's what they're doing.

    He was a headliner at last years conference. They like to pat themselves on the back for being the most efficient givers in the world, using science and reason to improve the efficacy of their efforts. If the AI apocalypse stays in the headline topics this year, well, I think that's going to be hard to defend.

    I think his efforts in a lot of other areas are great. This one I just have to laugh at the hubris of it.

    The logical rebuttal is that the problem is entirely hypothetical.

    There's a chance that it's never a problem. Ever.

    I don't have a problem with people talking about the issue and those who specialize in AI technology studying how it could happen and how it could be prevented. My problem is that some of these ultra-wealthy tech guys want to spend significant resources on it.

    If someone wanted to offer me free Alien Attack Insurance, whatever, I sign up for that. But if you think that the government should make Alien Attack Insurance mandatory and that it should cost everyone $1000/year... well... I want more than a hypothesis, I want data that supports the claim. I want evidence that this is a credible and imminent threat AND that the money will effective in dealing with it.

    He also thinks that AI's are the biggest threat to humanity and that we should spend significant resources combating the problem.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Steve Geddes wrote:
    Pan wrote:

    There is plenty more to see. Not sure the twin cities is a huge destination for your future trip planning but you'll find a big midwestern welcome if you decide to visit!

    Take care thanks for letting folks know its not an all out war zone in the U.S.!

    We'll get there eventually. Our goal is to visit every state. We've only ticked off about ten so far. :)

    Yup, if you come to Minnesota, Pan and I would both be able to give tons of recommendations on things to do and see.

    Similarly, the Dwarven Door Game (Sigil Edition) gets pretty crazy.

    5 people marked this as a favorite.

    I sometimes feel nostalgic for the old stores, but man, spending $50 as a kid on a game and having it turn out to be crap really sucked. I'm much more thankful for the market places available to me today. I can both identify games that are good much more easily, I also tend to pay significantly less for them.

    There's nothing really social about the process either, so I'm not sure why this is considered a hangup. If you don't want to read reviews, you don't have to. Just look at the pretty pictures, read the manufacturer blurb and make your purchase if that's what you really crave.

    Steam has a bunch of curated lists of reviews. This one is really insightful.

    Threeshades wrote:

    Having official options is better for players who don't always play with the same group. Or generally only get to play in organized play groups.

    In such a situation unofficial rules are nice to read, but you can never know if you actually get to use them.

    D&D Adventurer's League does not use any optional rules, except for the "Playing on a grid". So, it wouldn't matter if Wizard's published them or not, they wouldn't get used. At home games, you'll run into them not being used consistently as well.


    Rules for Dungeon Masters

    The variant rules for “Playing on a Grid” in the D&D
    Basic Rules and Player’s Handbook can be used if you
    and your players wish. Dungeon Masters should feel
    free to use the Dungeon Masters Guide to help run
    games if they so choose. However, D&D Adventurers
    League play does not use any other optional or variant
    rules as presented in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

    GreyWolfLord wrote:

    If they just included them as OFFICIAL OPTIONS I'd actually be far more happier with 5e to be honest.

    I've never understood the NEED to have things as official options. I mean, 99% of people played AD&D with unofficial rules. I get wanting to have things codified, but a group can agree to rules changes, I'd be really surprised to hear of a group that doesn't. I know of a lot of people who have claimed to run RAW games, but it's never turned out to be true in my experience (actually, I find it more common in the indie gaming world, because more often people are interested in the authorial intent of the game).

    SmiloDan wrote:
    Yeah, I was rather shocked at how loosey-goosey the rules for monster creation are. They seem to have put a lot of effort into all the other rules systems. I wonder why monsters got the short stick?

    Because monsters being built through a system like PC's is highly restrictive. Look at Pathfinder, you are fairly limited in the types of enemies you can have. Yes, there are lots of options for the "type" of enemy, but essentially you have a couple of styles of enemies and a very limited window in which they're useful.

    A more open monster design lets you build the enemies you need, instead of trying to figure out how the system works to build what you want. It takes more practice and fundamental understanding of the system as a whole, but it removes a tedious and restrictive process.

    In Pathfinder, I throw out the NPC/Monster building rules. I give enemies a BAB that makes them useful, and HP/AC depending on how long I want them to live. It means I can have enemies with 20 HP, 15 AC and deal 1d8+2 damage... but have a +15 to hit. I enjoy them, because the players can cut through swathes of them, since they're easy to kill, but they can't ignore them cause they will hit and do at least some damage.

    Dread and tremulus would be my two primary examples. Nights Black Agents would come in third.

    The fundamental problem with most games is that they inherently go against the concepts that make horror... horror. Not knowing what's coming next is the key. The problem is that games have rules and rules tell you what happens based on certain triggers. Ex: If I see a sasquatch, it costs me 1d6 Sanity. I've got 12 Sanity, so lets go sasquatch hunting, we'll be fine.

    I haven't played tremulus, so I can't speak to it specifically (horror isn't really my favorite genre), but I've heard good things and that it does horror decently. One aspect is that the story isn't determined ahead of time, so no one, including the GM, knows what's around the corner.

    Dread is extremely rules light and is very good at horror. The basic concept is that you have a jenga tower, every time a player does something with any risk, they make a pull. If the tower falls, whoever's turn it was, they die. You know someone is going to die and you might be able to see it coming soon, but it's unknown which action will cause it to happen.

    Night's Black Agents I put in because the game does a good job of having hidden knowledge. It's about vampires, but you never know what kind of vampires. They could be space aliens, a mind controlling parasite or even Anne Rice style vampires.

    Dread and tremulus are not related to your standard game though. A Dread character sheet will just be a couple of questions about your past and who you are, with a couple more about the current situation. No stats.

    Another game that's surprisingly dark (not horror though) is Mythender. It's a game about killing gods. At first glance, it seems more like a magical/mythical super hero's game. You play powerful characters who can do huge things and fight opponents who are similar. But it's full of moments where someone will reveal the awful things they'll do to innocent bystanders, as they search for more power to defeat their enemies. Characters have to decide if they're willing to risk defeat and death in order to uphold the principles they claim to defend.

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