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Rich Diver

Klaus van der Kroft's page

Goblin Squad Member. 1,574 posts (1,647 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 16 aliases.


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Making some sandwiches out of the white-wine pork I made yesterday.


-Spend a beautiful weekend with the family, great weather and great food, remembering those we've lost with fondness
-Get back to town, have a good day at the office, get some of my favourite icecream on my way home
-Make preparations for a pleasant afternoon of catching up with Downton Abbey. What is that good old Carson up to these days?
-Check the Paizo forums
-First thing I see involves Yellowdingo getting naked in public

Great, just great.


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It took me a while, but I finally managed to put enough attention into a single piece of writing to publish my first RPG supplement, Ottolf's Handy Manual of Everyday Magic.

I also keep a blog about RPG stuff where I try to sound smarter than I really am, but I'm afraid it's entirely in Castilian.


Hey Luthorne!

Spoiler:
Come to think of it now, it might sound a bit reduntant, aye. The original intent was to specify you can't use something currently attached to a living creature as an ingredient, nor an entire living creature (particularly tiny creatures, such as a fairy).

Now, dead tiny creatures or undead ones are fair game for turning them into liquor!


Thank you very much for all your help in putting this up, Liz!

-Cristián


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From the horrible/fantastic movie that was Street Fighter:

Chun Li: You and your bullies were driven back by farmers with pitchforks! My father saved his village at the cost of his own life. You had him shot as you ran away! A hero... at a thousand paces.
Mr Bison: I'm sorry. I don't remember any of it.
Chun Li: You don't remember?
Mr Bison: For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday.


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KahnyaGnorc wrote:
"Remember me, Eddie? When I killed your brother, I...talked...just...like...this!"

Oh man. I can still hear that voice. It was bone-chilling then and it is still bone-chilling now.


Also from The Right Ordinary:

Horatio Jackson: We've discussed it. *You* surrender.
Sultan: But we're winning!
Horatio Jackson: *We* surrendered last time! Now, it's *your* turn.
Sultan: What about the virgins?
Horatio Jackson: Oh, please forget about the virgins. We're fresh out of virgins!


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Spoken by The Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson, from The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen:

Horatio Jackson: Ah, the officer who risked his life by singlehandedly destroying...
Functionary: [whispering in his ear] Six.
Horatio Jackson: *Six* enemy cannon and rescuing...
Functionary: Ten.
Horatio Jackson: Ten of our men held captive by The Turk.
Heroic Officer: Yes, sir.
Horatio Jackson: The officer about whom we've heard so much.
Heroic Officer: I suppose so, sir.
Horatio Jackson: Always taking risks far beyond the call of duty.
Heroic Officer: I only did my best, sir.
Horatio Jackson: Have him executed at once.
Soldier: Yes, sir. Come along.
Horatio Jackson: This sort of behaviour is demoralizing for the ordinary soldiers and citizens who are trying to lead normal, simple, unexceptional lives. I think things are difficult enough as it is without these emotional people rocking the boat.


Currently reading:

"Why Nations Fail" - Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson


When I participated as a questioner of the 2002 census in my country (ie, the guy who has to spend all day asking random people about how many TVs do they have), we were told it is better to simply ask what the person in question considers to be his gender identity and risk offending someone, than not asking and both risking offending someone and risking entering wrong data.


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The closest thing I've been to a ghostly experience was when my grandmother died a few months ago.

My aunts dressed her and tucked her inside her bed, along with a mortuary cloth surrounding her head, before the people from funerary services got there to take her to the chapel, so that everyone could say goodbye. The whole family had gathered in her home; my dad asked me if I wanted to see grandma for the last time, so I went into her room and leaned forward to kiss her on the forehead.

That's when I felt a huge load around my shoulders and arms, like when someone hugs you strongly, and for a moment I could swear I heard my grandmother saying something (but I couldn't make out what exactly).

Most of myself thinks it was a sudden rush of emotions and maybe my head confusing the sounds coming from other parts of the house, but a part of me still can't shake off the feeling of how impossibly real it all seemed.


Old Mammoth wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:


We Chileans modestly aided the Brits through the war (didn't get directly involved, though. War's not our thing), though we mostly did that because Argentina was on the brink of declaring war on us and we needed to keep them occupied with something else.

I honestly think Argentina would benefit...

Yeah, sure.

Grumble grumble grumble Arica grumble grumble grumble Antofagasta grumble grumble grumble.

:P

That was a 131 years ago and we were pretty much forced into that war (not that we didn't benefit from it, of course).


Pinup Burgers.

No idea what they are, but got invited by a group of friends to a place that serves "Pinup Burgers".

So I guess I'll be eating Pinup Burgers for lunch.


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So, about those ghost stories....


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Never seen a ghost myself, but my family's old hat shop has been claimed to be haunted so many times it's not even funny.

It's a 1850's building (my great grandmother bought it in 1912 when she first arrived from Asturias, and it has been functioning as a hat shop ever since), built over the foundations of a Dominican winery from the early 1600's.

The list of stories is pretty long, but some of my favourites include:

-The Haunted Mirror: There are several old mirrors in the shop, the oldest one having been bought from a wealthy family in the 1920's; the mirror itself was made in Venice in the XVII century. Up until the 1950's, there was an old man who visited the shop almost every day and just sat there looking at the mirror. He said he saw dancers inside the mirror and that he could hear them whispering music. The man simply vanished one day (probably died), but people kept looking at the mirror with a mix of doubt and awe.

-The Mysterious Tunnels: In the late 90's, my grandmother decided to renovate one of the bathrooms in the first floor. However, just when work started, one of the contractors accidentally caused the floor around the toilet to collapse, ending inside a tunnel. It was later discovered the tunnel ran for several blocks, starting underneath the old Dominican church next block. Dozens of bones were found, along with barrels. Apparently, the tunnel was built in the 1600's to move wine in and out of the monastery, and during one of the native attacks on the city several monks were trapped and killed inside. Ever since, people claim to see ghostly monks drinking wine around the shop.

-The Possessed Automaton: In 1915, my great grand-uncle purchased a wondrous mechanical man built in France. He looked like a hotel valet and was a clockwork miracle, being able to gesticulare, move his arms and fingers, etc. He was programmed to knock on the display windows on the front of the shop with a cane, hailing people to come in. People in town were not accustomed to such things back then, and it was so life-like that locals started saying the automaton was visiting them at night. One lady claimed it was possessed, and a priest was even asked to check on it. Though he explained everyone that it was simply an incredible piece of machinery, it did little to calm the most superstitious (it was great for business, though). The automaton has been knocking on that same window for the past 99 years, and the great grandchildren of the first customers still go check him. A couple of years ago, while inspecting some of the old rooms of the third and fourth floor (some of which hand't been opened in half a century), a hidden chest was found underneath a pile of boxes. Inside, my aunts found a smaller version of the automaton, but it was painted completely black. No one knew abou that thing, not even my grandmother, so it's thought it might have been bought alongside with the other in 1915 and left forgotten upstairs. When news of a "dark twin" of the automaton got out, people freaked out and the same stories of a possessed machine resurfaced afer one hundred years.

The family doesn't really like to spread those rumours and my great grandmother usually scolded customers for being so naive as to think any of that was true, but they certainly have helped create an aura of mystery around the business that has perdured through generations.

I love that shop.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

Sorry chum, but you are naive if you think the Falklands issue in Argentina right now is not about deflecting attention away from the appalling mismanagement by the Kirchner-Fernandez team, which has come to light now that commodity prces have fallen. The invasion in 1982 was exactly the same, and the regime then imploded immediately once they were defeated.

This has very little to do with a long-standing colonial grievance. At the time that the Falklands were being first occupied by Britain, Argentina was a colony of the Spanish Empire. During that time (and after) the incomers of Spanish descent were very happy to "displace" (kill, subjugate) the local native populations in true colonial fashion. Argentina's claim actually dates back to a claim by the Spanish Empire, rather than Argentina itself. So it's something of a joke when the Argentinians refer to the Falkland islanders as "colonialists" when most of the families have been on the...

A lot of the resentment Argentines have toward the whole Falklands thing has to do with national pride. While it is true that whenever something goes amiss the Kirchner-Fernandez dynasty attempt to blame it on someone else, they can take advantage of that precisely because it's still an open wound to many people, regardless of who is actually on the right here.

I personally understand the Falklands should remain British. It's been British territory for hundreds of years, it was defended through an armed conflict, and the local population has time and again chosen to remain British. In the nebulous fields of international law, that's nearly as good as it gets to determine who gets to retain what beyond an actual treaty. We Chileans modestly aided the Brits through the war (didn't get directly involved, though. War's not our thing), though we mostly did that because Argentina was on the brink of declaring war on us and we needed to keep them occupied with something else.

I honestly think Argentina would benefit more if it simply assumed the situation and tried to mend things with the locals. Right now, even though the islands are in front of Argentina, they need to get most of their supplies from Chile, because our transandine neighbours refuse to deal with them. All that does is create further resentment between Falklanders and Argentines, and sovereignty is never going to change hands, so why keep it that way.


The first steam-powered vehicle was built in 1672 by Ferdinand Verbiest, a Jesuit missionary who taught astronomy, mathematics, and engineering to the Chinese Emperor.


Mount Nevermind, from Dragonlance (name given to the place by some Knights of Solamnia who thought the Gnomish name was a bit over the top*).

An entire mountain carved out by insane gnomes who use a complicated system of catapults ("gnomeflingers") to move from floor to floor!

The gnomes thought the Knights of Solamnia, after arriving at their island, wanted to steal the mountain from them, so they created a device to make it invisible. However, it failed, and instead made the whole region smell like rotten eggs.

It's been my favourite fantasy location ever since I first read about it in the early 90's.

Sigil from Planescape is a close second.

Spoiler:
*Full name is "A Great, Huge, Tall Mound Made of Several Different Strata of Rock of Which We Have Identified Granite, Obsidian, Quartz With Traces of Other Rock We Are Still Working On, That Has Its Own Internal Heating System Which We Are Studying In Order to Copy Some Day That Heats Up the Rock to Temperatures That Convert It Into Both Liquid and Gaseous States Which Occasionally Come to the Surface and Flow Down the Side of the Great, Huge Tall Mound..."


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Tacticslion wrote:

:)

"Need" only in the hyperbolic sense, true... but it is a good, humorous show that I, my wife, and most people I know who've seen it thoroughly enjoy.

Community

Pierce Hawthorne is one of the characters. He's a racist old jerk, and most of the time no one likes him, but they're friends so he ends up hanging around anyway.

Seasons 1-3 were fantastic. Partway through Season 4 now and it's... still quite good, but not as fantastic (partially, I think, due to a change of everyone except the actors). I've yet to see Season 5, which saw the return of the people who were out of season 4... and was the last one by NBC (who cancelled it), but Season 6 was picked up by Yahoo! due to fans seeking "Six seasons and a movie"... which is actually pretty impressive.

I would strongly recommend watching it and not basing judgments until you've seen it. It's on DVD (I know, because it's been given to us), and it's probably also available on Hulu or Netflix or somesuch.

Regardless, it's a fine series, and I recommend it.

If you've seen it and just don't care for it: okay, that's fair.
(It's great! Six seasons and a movie!)

Season 5 is fantastic. It even includes a second D&D episode.


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I leave the XP rewards for roleplaying in the hands of the players, not myself.

The system has evolved over the years and taken many forms, but currently it goes as follows:

-At the start of a session, every player gets a number of XP rewards (we call them "tickets") equal to twice the number of players sitting (so if 4 people made it that session, each gets 8 tickets).

-Players can dish out 1 ticket to another player whenever they feel they have roleplayed well enough, as a reward for a clever idea, or when the player does something that greatly improves the game.

-At the end of the session, tickets are tallied and converted to XP. The XP value depends on the number of players and the Average Party Level, recalculated so that the total number of tickets a player can give out equals 10% of the experience needed to get the next level (so in a game with 4 people with 8 tickets and an APL of 3, each ticket would be worth 50 XP, and a character who was awarded 5 tickets would get 250 XP for roleplaying that session).

I've noticed it really makes people more committed to both their characters and to paying attention what everyone else is doing, since being able to give out rewards seems to entice them. It also seems to feel more rewarding to them, since it's their peers the ones who are rewarding them for playing well, rather than the DM. Of course, it also takes some work off my back.


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I am absolutely delighted by how 5e turned out to be. After having abandoned D&D with 4e, it feels great to be able to go back again. I was honestly nervous that I would not like the new system, so I'm deeply relieved it was not the case.

I do have a running Pathfinder campaign set in Planescape that's already a year old and is designed to last at least two more years, so I won't be leaving Pathfinder. But for the time being, I will be using 5e for new campaigns.

Two of my players got their own PHs as well, and they are both pretty thrilled with it, so much that one of them might finally start DMing again after, what, 10 years since his last campaign? It would be nice to be on the other side of the screen for a change, I say.


In order to provide a broader perspective (since it appears most of the discussion is done from the point of view of solely the US reality), here in Chile man-woman average income disparity currently sits at about 18%, up from 13% in 2003 and down from 20% in 2012 (movement consistent with the economic downturn). For self-employed people, it sits at 7.3%.

The biggest disparity happens in mining regions, where it can reach up to 52%, whereas in regions dominated by the service and agriculture industries (almost every other region that doesn't have mining operations) is drops to the 6-15% range. In the most populated region (Metropolitan Region, which accounts for about 40% of the national population), disparity is at 15%.

There are two factors often cited as for why this difference happens:

1.- Mining activities are male-dominated jobs, primarily because very few women apply for them. And since they are the highest-paying non-executive jobs in the country, they tend to skew the average.

2.- Even though about 56% of the jobs created within the last 15 years have been occupied by women and that universities are currently enrolling more female students than male ones (except in the engineering and scientific fields), female workers on average have access to lower-paying job as a result of the lower level of preparation that women born before the 1980's had, which in turn was directly correlated to the predominant role of women in the family.

Interestingly, while inherent factors to the female population do make female workers more risky and expensive (we have mandatory 6-month postnatal paid leaves and any company with 15+ female employees is obligated to have daycare facilities or pay the women to send their children to one), these are factors that do not directly influence wage, but rather the likelihood of getting hired. However, this effect is primarily seen in low-paying jobs (for small companies tend to avoid hiring too many females in order to stay below the 15 margin), so in fact this phenomenon actually increases the average income of the female working population (as most medium-to-large companies pay above minimum wage even for the lowest jobs, and generally have some kind of either union or prestation arrangement to deal with the other requirements of the law).

So while historical female discrimination still has a noticeable effect on the average income of women in Chile (admitedly a small sample, as we're less than 18 million heads), actual discrimination today has very little effect in determining how much a female worker makes (if anything, the discrimination is more prevalent in the very high-paying jobs of traditionally male-dominated CEO positions).


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AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:


And oh please don't turn this into a debate on modern feminism and whether it's "tainted" or not. Yes, there are feminists out there that do more harm that good (like the stereotypical "man-hating lesbian" that so many think all feminists are) but please don't paint us all with the same brush.

I'm certain that man-haters are a minority within feminist movements. So are woman-haters within gamer culture.

The whole thing that started this thread is, precisely, the prevailing problem of blanketing an entire segment of people with the characteristics of a minority, made all the more hurtful and divisive by the fact it is done by people with a public voice that can influence many.

It's hard to tell what a group really looks like when there's a small core of extremists that, by virtue (or rather by vice) of how noisy they are, can appear to be the majority. The internet further distorts the image, since as a medium it's geared toward showing us what we want to see.

And that's why we need responsible journalists, because those are the people who we should be able to rely on to show us the whole picture.


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Jeff, speaking for myself here, I don't think the existence or prevalence of discrimination based on race, gender, culture or what have you (which in turn gives way to the concept of privilege) is false; we can totally agree it does exist and the horrible things it makes some people do and experience.

What causes irritation and resentment, however, is the shotgun-blast manner in which the term is freely applied to anyone who happens to meet the perceived requeriments for privilege, in contrast to actually being benefited by it. It is a pretty concrete case of correlation vs causality.

It may very well be the case that a white man got a job instead of a black woman because of both skin and gender discrimination, but it may just as well be the case the guy got the job because he was a better candidate. Or, even more so, maybe all other applicants were also white men. Or he was the only applicant. Or the reviewer just found him funnier.

The degree of prevalence of discrimination is measured statistically, which means not every case is necessarily the result of one person benefiting from it while another is negatively affected.

Problem is, it is not unusual (specially not online these days, with the waters as tumultuous as they seem to be) to see someone telling someone else that he has privilege, when in truth what should be said is that he meets the criteria for privilege. However, it is rarely implied that way, instead going for the "If you think you are not benefiting from privilege, then you're wrong, because privilege exists", and not uncommonly growing into an all-out "And if you disagree, well, you're part of the problem". We can see how such a thing can easily get out of hand, even if the person making the accusation was well-meaning.

Maybe the guy saying he hasn't benefited from privilege actually hasn't. Maybe he has and doesn't know it. Whichever the case, "check your privilege" has really gotten to the point of acquiring a discriminatory weight of its own, like Auxomalous points out. It doesn't take more than a few clicks through places like Tumblr to find all manners of examples that really draw into the ridicule.

This doesn't mean there isn't privilege, or that fighting against it is wrong. Not at all. It exists, it's bad, and it should totally be fought. I'm pretty certain that a big chunk of the more virulent "check your privileges" crowd (the one that goes all the way into claiming all men should be castrated to make us less rape-prone or declare that white guys have no right to participate in gender discussions) is just co-opting the cause to express their own hate, as hate is quite good at using nice things and ideals to hide itself.

And it's precisely because of that that one cannot just dismiss those who feel bothered by claims of privilege as merely mistaken (or outright racist/sexist/whateverist) people, because the term has started to become poisonous to some, even if it is being used with no ill-will by the majority.

Internet has a way to magnify these things and exacerbate the negative qualities, which makes the bad apples misusing the privilege tag look more like bad watermellons. But that still can change the perceived value and implications of a tag, which I believe is what happening to terms like privilege and rape-culture, to the point they start to feel like just another type of discrimination.


Lemmy wrote:


High five! I visited Chile a few times! Love your country! I actually lived there for a while, although I wouldn't be able to remember anything from that time, since that happened when I was 2~3 years old and only for a few months (I think... I don't remember much of the stories that my father told me) :P.

Ooh, that means you have some Chilean in you, which makes us practically brothers ("Ya veras como quieren en Chile al amigo cuando es extranjero" and all that).

I've had the pleasure of visiting your lovely country several times (I sell olive oils to some guys in Rio and Sao Paulo) and man do I love it, from your rodizios to your garotas to your moquecas do camarao! It is almost enough to forgive you for all the times you've beat us in football.

Almost.


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Lemmy wrote:
And I was born and raised in Brazil, meaning I'm Latin too.

Woo! South America in da house <Chilean-Brazilian highfive>

Lemmy wrote:
Maybe I'm an odd case, but as far as I know, no one ever harmed me because of my nationality (although I did hear some funny observations like "You're Brazilian? I didn't know there were white people in Brazil!" and "But I thought all Brazilians were Mexican!"... Yeah, someone actually thought "Mexican" was a race!), neither in the US nor in England (where my sister lives, so I visit the country once in a while). I've been called "cracker" on a few occasions, though.

It's like the time we had a group of girls from the US and Canada for a university exchange here in Chile tell us in frank surprise "It SNOWS here? But this is South America!".

They honestly thought everything south of Texas was a different variation of Mexico.

They were pretty nice people, though.


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Interesting fact: As a native Castilian speaker, for many years I though "Bigotry" was the act of growing and grooming moustaches ("bigotes").


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That's a very interesting article, Necromancer.

I agree with several of Mancil's statements, particularly in regards to the disconnect.

Another thing I perceive might be a source of the sometimes irrational attitude of some journalists might be the way social sites work these days: You are more likely to be exposed to positive input regarding your ideas than negative input, since social sites works more on the basis of likes/retweet/share than anything else. Thus, agreement is magnified and dissent tends to fall on the backburner.

Since journalism sort of depends on you generating some clout, expanding that positive feedback network becomes important, making disent further alienating. More people agreeing with you = more likes/shares/exposition = more people following you = more people agreeing with you.

This, I think, can easily create a bubble in which positive feedback far outweight criticism. And while criticism can sometimes mean just bad mouthing, it is also the source of debate, contrast of opinions and, more than anything, middle grounds.

So perhaps that would explain why some journalist declare gamers are a bunch of misongynists: The critics that they see in their immediate social network might appear to be hostile because they stand our as a sore spot in an otherwise harmonious landscape of agreement.

When 9 out of 10 people you interact with share the same opinion as you, it is not unusual to see that 1 lonely opponent as mistaken. There's a sense of reinforcement of value when more people support something we like, and dissenting views might get demonized as a result. And from there to assuming everyone who disagrees with you is part of the same mistaken minority there's not a very long trek.

Doesn't mean I like that they do it, but makes it more understandable as to why it might be happening.


mechaPoet wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:

Albatoonoe, I understand that. I also agree it is not good for nerds to block other people from entering (on one hand, no one "owns" the nerdom and, second, it interferes with the plans to take over the world). But there's a difference between wrong and nonsense, because while the former implies a mistaken attitude, the latter indicates the person is acting without a basis. And I think that some of those who react that way do actually have a basis, even if they are using it the wrong way.

While you choose to be a gamer, I think there's also a series of components in the gamer identity that might be beyond immediate control: A person might know he loves something, but not necessarily why he loves it. Identity is not just one specific thing, but a combination of a whole pile of stuff.

While I'm not a determinist (I'm Catholic, after all), I do think there are factors in our life that shape who we are and that we cannot control. A guy who gets bullied for playing Pokemon might develop into a close-circle gamer as a result, and even if we say he can put games down at his own choice, his past experiences have already influenced a big part of his identity.

So when a nerd guy lashes at a nerd girl as previously discussed, while we can identify it as a negative behaviour, we cannot outright say the guy is being completely irrational. He might have concrete reasons to be resentful, even if the person he's being resentful against has done nothing to deserve it.

And that's understandable, to an extent.

But the degree to which women are constantly forced to "prove" their nerd-cred to these defensive men to be allowed to participate is far greater than what these men require of other men. Hence the annoying concept of the "fake geek girl," where a woman's interest in nerd-things is questioned and mocked instead of welcomed or assumed.

Speaking just from my personal experience, it would seem the defensiveness works the same way regardless of gender. As Auxomalous mentioned, some people are really protective about their "Got here first" priviledge.

It is specially evident with the whole trend of bashing hipsters. Nerds in particular can be specially venomous toward those people, because they perceive them as unjustly utilizing what's theirs. Doesn't matter if the hipster in question is male or female.

Note that I think this is different from plain misongynist attitudes, since the motivations appear to be very different.


Saved from living in ignominy.

You have my thanks.


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Ashiel wrote:

As a card-carrying nerd, I've never wanted anything but to include more people in my nerd-dom. My usual D&D group when I was a teenager consisted of me, my sister, and three of our girlfriends. I've never met a nerd that didn't want to play with more people.

Makes me wonder how much the world changes in a span of a few state borders.

In my experience (for context, I'm from Chile), the large, large majority of nerds just want to share their hobby with as many people as possible. And of course we do; most of this stuff requires other people to work!

It's why the whole backlash against GamerGate bothers me so much: I can understand people getting mad at those few that act as twitter thugs, but not being able to really take a step back and say "Hey, guys, really, this isn't the pandemic some people are making it out to be" is infuriating, and a good bit insulting. Getting told that my opinion is somehow less important simply because of the colour of my skin and the number of testicles between my legs, conflated with my love for building inefficient transit systems in SimCity, all because it somehow makes me part of the perceived problem... that hurts, really.

I support the aspect of GamerGate that accuses the game journalism/media critic of incestuous relationships with those it is supposed to report about and for the now patent concerted effort to create an artificial label out of an identity so many of us share, that of a gamer. That doesn't mean I am somehow against the other issues some of those reporters might defend, because one thing and the other are not in any way related beyond the fact they are spoused by the same person.

To fulfill Godwin's Law here, just because Hitler and I like dogs doesn't mean I support the Nazis.

Edit: Oh shi-! Thanks, Rynjin.


Albatoonoe, I understand that. I also agree it is not good for nerds to block other people from entering (on one hand, no one "owns" the nerdom and, second, it interferes with the plans to take over the world). But there's a difference between wrong and nonsense, because while the former implies a mistaken attitude, the latter indicates the person is acting without a basis. And I think that some of those who react that way do actually have a basis, even if they are using it the wrong way.

While you choose to be a gamer, I think there's also a series of components in the gamer identity that might be beyond immediate control: A person might know he loves something, but not necessarily why he loves it. Identity is not just one specific thing, but a combination of a whole pile of stuff.

While I'm not a determinist (I'm Catholic, after all), I do think there are factors in our life that shape who we are and that we cannot control. A guy who gets bullied for playing Pokemon might develop into a close-circle gamer as a result, and even if we say he can put games down at his own choice, his past experiences have already influenced a big part of his identity.

So when a nerd guy lashes at a nerd girl as previously discussed, while we can identify it as a negative behaviour, we cannot outright say the guy is being completely irrational. He might have concrete reasons to be resentful, even if the person he's being resentful against has done nothing to deserve it.


mechaPoet, what you say is true, but group statistics don't necessarily translate to personal experience, and nerd guys lashing out at "invaders" do so, I believe, from precisely that personal experience.

So even if a nerd white guy belongs to a group that, statistically, is less exposed to violence than others, if he in specific was a victim of violence for being nerd, he's just as victim as someone from any other group. So he might feel that he had to "endure" being a nerd and thus act wrongly -but, in his mind, justified- when a female -that he perceives as not having experienced what he has- "meddles" in his world without deserving it. And it may very well be true that the girl in question never had to endure said violence, further cementing the nerd guy's perspective.

I have six friends who are gay. Two of them (former schoolmates of mine, both nerds. One owes me a book, now that I recall) once told me that they really disliked when a straight man who campaigns for gay rights decries being a victim of anti-gay groups. What they tried to explain me was basically the same thing as the nerd guy: They felt that it was nice that straight men helped their cause, but that they didn't deserve to see themselves as victims without having experienced what they themselves endured for being gay.

So the logic is the same: "In obtaining this identity I had to suffer for it, so don't you dare try to make it yours without enduring the same as I did".

Try to see it from the perspective of a young man: Men develop later than women, so precisely the period during which personal identity begins to take a hold there is a perceived disparity that, if combined with a traumatic experience like being bullied, can develop into resentment. And that resentment may very well be the source of some nerd guys lashing out at nerd girls.

This is all speculation, though. I'm a business engineer who grows crops for a living, so I might be talking fish heads here. But I think it makes sense.


So, it's the fourth day of Spring, sun's high in the sky, fluffy clouds are galloping the winds, flowers are exploding in colours everywhere. A group of horses happily trots in the distance.

And I'm -me, myself, the whole of yours truly- swimming in worms. As in actual worms, not metaphorical "woe is me, the dreadfulness of sorrow crawls around me" nonsense-worms.

You see, I work in the agricultural business. And one of the things I grow are plums. When we send these plums to places like Germany and China, we have to first dry them, a process which generates huge amounts of sugar water as waste, which is expensive to get rid of.

I like this business. It doesn't usually involve more than a few worms at the same time. I like not being surrounded by worms.

Today, however, I was visiting some friend's plum drying plant, where they showed me their ingenious method for dealing with said sugary water: A huge pool filled with dirt and sprinklers, which spread that sweet liquid around, which worms happily digest and clean in the process (the rest is filtered afterward and used for irrigation).

Thing is, while plum season's not upon us, they were testing the growth of these little buggers, and had been feeding them lots of sugar water they had stored precisely for this. So there were lots and lots and LOTS of worms, some as thick as my fingers, like Monster Manual-level stuff. These bastards had CRs, I tell you.

And of course I get offered to walk on the teeny-tiny catwalk.

Which of course has no railing.

Which of course is also wet from the rain.

Which of course makes me trip and fall head-first into the wormy abyss.

Do you know how it feels to sense you face plunging into a soft, sticky, cold, writhing mass of miniature tentacle-like creatures, which proceed to fill every available space as you keep sinking beyond your shoulders, infiltrating your beard to the point of almost replacing it, before your back twists forward from the impulse and causes you buttocks to land on even more worms and, since the whole thing is soft and watery, cause you to end completely under a quicksand-like morass of annelids?

GEE WILLIKERS, I GUESS IT REALLY DOESN'T FEEL NICE

We're still going to implement the bloody thing, though. It's a good idea. I'm adding extra-railing, though. Like shark-proof cages railing.


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mechaPoet wrote:

Oh, okay, I get it now. Men don't want to let women be nerds with them because male nerds earned it by getting beaten up for being nerds.

Which women can't relate to because women don't suffer from high rates of violence in comparison to men.

Oh wait.

I think the point Auxmalous was going for (sorry if I'm missinterpreting) is trying to explain why some male nerds can act so dismissively of female nerds. Traditionally, being a nerd constituted a pretty serious affront to what could be considered the "ideal man": Indulging in seemingly childish pleasures well into maturity, participating in passive activities that relegate fitness, etc. Also, since the nerdom was/is also a pretty big harbour for people with some degree of social impediment (a good friend of mine wrote a whole sociology thesis on the issue, it was pretty interesting. He was trying to find out if there is actually such thing as a "nerd subculture"), it conflated to create the idea that a nerd is the last thing a proper man should be.

So, I think it's not that a male nerd raging at a female nerd could say "You have never suffered like I have, woman! Stay away from the dice!", but rather create this protective layer around his identity if it was under constant attack and conjoining it with the idea that "those of his kind" are those under similar circumstances (ie, other men who were ridiculed for being nerds/not proper men), that as a result would make him suspicious of a woman claiming to be part of the same group.

I don't think it is right (I've been lucky to never have experience bullying, and I grew along with both male and female nerds), but I kind of can sort of maybe understand why some people act that way.

While it could be just angry teenagers being asses online, I suspect there's something else. Particularly since I've seen it happen in some pretty varied cultural contexts, and there seems to be a lot of similarities that suggest a common cause deeper than just "anons be derpers".


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What ruffles my feathers about the whole GamerGate/Zoe Quinn/etc issue is the implied (and many times express) assumption that you can either be a misogynist or a misandrist, depending on which side you choose.

I'm pretty pissed off at that handful of journalists/media critics shooting off blanket statements and trying to own the discourse, like they are some sort of prophets that all those of us who enjoy playing games must follow lest we fall prey to our own innate capacity to hate women. When people like Kuchera start with things like "Gamers are rotten carapaces", by Jupiter it bothers me.

I'm pretty pissed off at that handful of webdwellers who think that their degrading treatment of those who think or act different is a proud banner to carry onward and that anyone trying to point out a problem in gender representation is either a SJW or a fool being manipulated. When some anonymous commenter spouts something on the lines of "Lol, get back to the kitchen" everytime a woman tries to make a statement, by Toutatis I'm jimmied.

And I'm seriously pissed off at the manner in which false association of independent elements is being conducted to create a smorgasbord of ideas that then have to either be taken as a whole or discarded, following a "You are either completely with us or completely against us".

Someone can be both a horrible person and spouse worthy ideals, and the other way around. People are not binary things that are either great or horrible. If someone seeking equal opportunities for women (good thing) sleeps with a bunch of game journalists for reviews (bad thing), she's not a monster/beacon of hope; she's a person, and we should be able to agree and disagree with different aspects of her actions without falling into separate boxes. I can enjoy good-looking women in videogames without thinking that women are just for pleasure of the man.

But, more than anything, I really, really dislike that for some people, an opponent is the same thing as an enemy. By Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, that seriously grinds my gears.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm sure it will be for the best. Caution in matters like these pays off in the end.

Thanks for the update.


I really enjoyed my time playing Minecraft. First played it during its early versions (I think I was Donor #200 or something like that), then hosted a short-lived creative server. Forgot it for some time until a couple of years ago, when I started running a fully-featured Adventure server with a large group of friends. It was entertaining, but eventually died out. Haven't played since, but I still keep the maps archived.

Best of lucks to Notch and my thanks for such a fun experience.

Mark Moreland wrote:

I only played Minecraft briefly when it first came out on Xbox, but I found the lack of story led to boredom, despite having complete creative freedom and ultimately the ability to build whatever the heck I wanted.

I heard the other day on a podcast, however, that BBC recently finalized a license with Microsoft to put Doctor Who skins and monsters into the game, so I'll be playing it again, I guess, so I can build my own TARDIS. How to make it bigger on the inside in a game like that, I haven't quite figured out yet.

Maybe you could put a Nether Portal at the entrance and build the interior of the TARDIS in the Nether.

Distances are 8 times longer in the Nether, so if you, say, build the TARDIS with a 3x3 cube base, the interior could be 24x24 cubes instead.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:

...

Several businesses would also find great use of such technology. For instance, I work in agriculture, and being able to oversee works in the fields from orbit in real time would save a lot of time and resources, since the central offices would be able to monitor how, say, harvesting is being conducted and act quickly on it. Since one of our main lines of work is sending harvesting machines to harvest third parties' fields, it would allow us keep tracks on everything without having to station managers on every site.

Not my area of expertise, but couldn't you do basically the same thing with GPS installed on your machinery?

Oh, we do. I mean about the stuff you can't directly see with a GPS tracker, such as diverting harvesting routes in case rain has flooded a specific track of the orchard and quickly rearrange the work crews, or properly check from a distance how much fruit is being left on the trees.

Even more, if precision was good enough, you could actually monitor entire fields from space to accuratelly determine things like the degree of maturity of all the fruits simultaneously. For some crops like plum, when a single day of harvesting too late or too early can mean a lot of money lost, it would be fantastic. Sometimes it's done with drones, but a satellite would be much better.


Hm, I'd imagine some companies would track people in order to estimate their consumer preferences, much in the way we are tracked when we surf online. If you could determine the path someone takes every day, then apply it to hundreds or thousands of people, and match it with all the other data you have from them (say, how often they visit online shoe shops), you would be able to pinpoint the best locations for specific businesses and/or billboards.

On one hand, that would be great, since we all like to have our favourite conveniences nearby. But on the other, you never know how that information might be missused.

I think a great use would be for transportation engineering. Having real-time data on the flow of people and vehicles would allow municipalities to alter traffic structures dynamically, which I'm sure would be very effective at minimizing jams.

Several businesses would also find great use of such technology. For instance, I work in agriculture, and being able to oversee works in the fields from orbit in real time would save a lot of time and resources, since the central offices would be able to monitor how, say, harvesting is being conducted and act quickly on it. Since one of our main lines of work is sending harvesting machines to harvest third parties' fields, it would allow us keep tracks on everything without having to station managers on every site.


I had ignored this series for quite a while (to be honest, I've never been a fan of anime in general), but after accidentally watching the first episode last week, I was caught. Ended up binge-watching the three seasons.

I really enjoyed the series, and cannot wait for Season 4.

Now, I have a sort of tangential question: I understand LoK is a spin-off from Avatar: the Last Airbender. I tried watching some of the first episodes, but it felt more like a kid show compared to LoK and so far I have not been able to get caught.

Is the tone and style of the first episodes of The Last Airbender the same throughout the rest of the series, or does it change afterward?


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That seems like a dicey situation, Sean.


Got invited to the beta. While the game seems to have some very interesting concepts, so far the controls and interface are really clunky and uncomfortable to use.

I've suffered several MMOs with excellent concepts that stumble on the interface and control aspect, becoming a hassle to play; it's like having a really cool shirt that itches the whole time you wear it. Hopefully they can tackle those issues before launch. Trion did a good work in terms of usability with Rift, so maybe they can add in their expertise in the final stages of westernization process for ArcheAge.

I did find offense in the indignant lack of beards, however. Being able to change your character's skin to appear older is nice, but as far as facial hair goes, the best you have is an almost transparent stubble.

While I will continue to monitor the game, for now I prefer to wait to see how it develops.


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My little sister is visiting for the day, so I'm making pepper-crusted avocado cheeseburgers. Just add oil, melt some butter, add black pepper and then sear the burgers with the mix.


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Chicken breast I left marinating in white wine and then coated in a crust of honey, mustard, and pepper, along with some garlic rice.

If it goes well, it should provide a sweet & spicy crunch on the outside and a juicy softness on the inside.


At risk of this ending in some sort of Yellodingo experiment I might later regret:

Tensor wrote:


1) What is your favorite animal and why (give two or three sentences only) ?

The dog.

A friendly, loyal companion that can also help you in a variety of tasks. Great to have around when raising kids as well.

Tensor wrote:
2) What is your favorite color and why (give two or three sentences only) ?

White.

Things painted white give a sense of spaciousness and calm. Also, white cars look less dirty.

Tensor wrote:
3) Imagine yourself sitting alone in a completely white room with no windows, describe this room in two or three sentences.

A comfortable room with a comfy sofa, very tall and dimly lit by a side lamp. No noise or distractions, so it's great place to sit and read.

Tensor wrote:
4) Imagine a waterfall, describe it in two or three sentences.

A relaxing experience to the eyes and ears, its sound soothing enough to make you sleepy while you watch the changing surface of clear water. The otherwise warm air is fresh with mist and quite invigorating.


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Whew, good to know it all went alright (and that the heart thing is where its supposed to be).


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I am absolutely, definitely going to forget someone here, because my brain works on an exception-based system. But still:

-TOZ: As previously mentioned, because TOZ. He is always there. No thread escapes his sight. And it wouldn't be the Paizo forums if they did. It would be... I don't know, Paiso with an S or something tacky like that.

-Orthos: One of the friendliest guys in the forum and always a voice of calm and prudence, helping discussions remain level-headed. Also a Jim Butcher + Terry Pratttchet fan. No more needs to be said.

-thejeff: In my opinion, one of the best users to have a debate with. Always very thorough in his arguments and incredibly well-informed. An excellent addition to every discussion.

-Kobold Cleaver: Just the right amount of insanity makes his posts an entertaining read in every thread.

-Doodlebug Anklebiter: Our resident bolshevik goblin is a wellspring of information and seems to have read the most obscure treatises in existence. He is always bringing forth something new and interesting to talk about.

-Liz Courts: How she manages to keep this monkey cage from exploding never ceases to amaze me, while at the same time finding the time to review products that, many times, seem to be made by the same monkeys. I'd say it's bananas, but that would be poor taste.

-Mikaze: A neverending source of good thoughts and well-meaning-ness (is that a word?). We need more Mikazes.

-Aberzombie: All-around great poster who constantly contributes with interesting information (and so many Did You Knows I don't even know how much Did You Knows I didn't know before I knew them!). However, I have one complaint: I still can't stop reading your name as Amberzombie.

-Gorbacz: It is not easy being fun in few words. Gorbacz gets it done in an excellent fashion. Also a very interesting user to read in the rules forums.

-Ravindork: A tremendously interesting user to read in the rules forums. Has some pretty amazing insights I enjoy poring over.

-Slaad-Barr: Holder of some of my favourite usernames in the forums. Also a really friendly and entertaining addition to any topic.

-Freehold DM: Always a good laugh to be had with his posts.

-Scott Betts: A very thorough poster who goes a long way into making well thought messages that I believe enrich many a conversation.

-Set: I always remember his excellent contributions over at the Conversions forums. A great user to feed off of.

-Dungeonmaster Cal: One of the cool users. A combination of entertaining subjects and all-around nice guy.

-Adamantine Dragon: A polemic user at times, but I think often shares some very thoughtful points in the Rules forums.

-Celestial Healer: This user always manages to get a bucket of laughs out of me.

-Terquem: Another user that's a great comical addition. No matter how interesting a thread, if you don't have posts from users like Terquem, they just don't shine as brightly as they should.

-Meatrace: I haven't had the pleasure of seeing him around too much (then again, I've not been able to visit these places as much as I'd like lately), but I like his keen opinions and powerful argumentation, interwoven with a very sharp sense of humour.

-Callous Jack: A really friendly user with a penchant for being pleasant and amiable in threads, always keeping it cool and levelled.

-Sissyl: She can raise some pretty interesting debates, and has a fantastic sense of humour. Plus she loves old editions of D&D, and anyone who does that is automatically a better person.

-yellowdingo: A user I seriously cannot figure out, but that I'd be damned to see away from these forums. Sometimes I think he has a very sofisticated sense of humour that just flies over most people's heads. The rest of the time I think he is partially insane. Either way, one of Paizo's most unique and idiosyncratic denizens.

That's the list, I think.

OhgodImforgettingsomanypeopleandIllkeepeditingasIrecallmorebutthentheeditfu nctionwillbedisabledandIllfeelhorrible


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All I can do from here is pray to the Heavens for you and your loved ones to be safe, Lord Snow, and for Israelites and Palestinians to one day find the strength to forgive and be forgiven.

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