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If it gets down to decimeter precision, which I believe is quite possible today, the government could track everyone outdoors by simply connecting these data to face recognition surveillance camera data, to have a realtime map of where everyone is and has been at all times. This would work wonders to chart how oppositional politicians move, should that information be necessary or interesting.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
This is about the best argument against having this kind of discussion at all. Seriously, if treating people the same is STILL racism, it is quite simply not something that can be avoided.
This is a very, very sad way of discussing. Starting by saying "you gotta acknowledge collective white privilege to be accepted in this discussion", claiming this is important despite a complete absence of things we as individuals can do to correct it, showing deplorable police policies as examples of this untouchable collectivist power structure (seriously, tear up the police departments enough and you will solve that particular piece of s$$@), all of it channeling into "white privilege is the central problem here, but we're not blaming you white guys, just know that the only reason your lives aren't living hell is because of white privilege and don't forget evil white men kept slave m'kay?" It is a collectivistic circle jerk. The way to solve this is to give up the crap about collective identities, ensure Rule of Law is reinstated (this would efficiently kill off all the driving while black offenses, btw), and yes, let us treat each other with empathy. Don't forget, what you're saying above is very close to saying people don't have empathy.
It is also worth mentioning that the much vaunted "level playing field", at least in the area of university applications and affirmative action led directly to asian-americans getting an even worse deal than whites did. Should then the asian-americans be given restitution for this?
This would be a wonderful idea to watch... if only the participants were not the usual gallery of severe personality disorders. The site certainly seems to confirm they are. Calm, collected people who want to play well with others, who know things, who want more than fifteen minutes of fame... that would be a society-building show to see.
We all like to think ourselves immortal, invulnerable and utterly sane at all times. We always think that what we perceive is more or less the definition of REALITY. This doesn't really change, to paraphrase one of the greatest thinkers of our time, until you get hit.
One thing that can provide that hit is depression. Slowly, over months, you stop seeing the good things in your life. You can't see that things can go right. You can't make mental pictures of succeeding. You, your close ones, your situation, your economy, your future look bleak, dreary, and unchanging. What you lose is HOPE. People tell you it's not that bad, and you can't see it. People tell you to fight on, and you REALLY CAN'T see the point. You slow down, you start thinking of yourself as a loser, you find it harder and harder to get out of bed. You lose your appetite and you wake up early in the morning with a bad feeling that doesn't relax until late morning. Anxiety mounts and gets harder to deal with.
And if you get medication for it, you can get out of it in around a month, get your entire emotional range back, start seeing light and colour again. Or, you can slog on, running a very real risk of death by suicide. Clinical depressions are dangerous, some studies show them about as dangerous as heart attacks. The medication you get will give you some side effects, like gaining a pound or two, some problems achieving sexual release (not that sex works very well when depressed anyway), dryness of mouth. Simple, right? Remember that depression colours your vision. Given the offer of such drugs, you may well find that you can't see the point. After all, everything is a mess and they aren't going to work, and besides, they have side effects, right? Much better to slog on and hope you can fix things... eventually... some way.
In this situation, yes, it IS a good thing that patients are forced to accept care, including medication. The only other alternative is letting someone take a very serious risk for reasons that are treatable.
Another situation is psychosis. This includes: Mania, where you are far too active, start massive numbers of projects only to lose interest very quickly, tell people a lot of unconsidered stuff (telling your boss what you really think of him might not be the best idea), spending massive amounts of money, being very angry with someone trying to get you help or prevent you from doing what you want, not sleeping, starting relationships you didn't consider, and the like. Paranoia, where you feel threatened unceasingly, isolating you more and more, making you react with fear or anger against the closest people around you. Schizophrenia, where you lose touch with reality, hear your own thoughts as voices, sometimes telling you horrible stuff like telling you to kill yourself, sometimes forcing you to obey odd or dangerous commands, where you can't make sense of things at all, where you could have a tangible sense of impending doom, or feel the people on the TV are talking directly to you. Where you can feel everyone else can read your thoughts, or you can control theirs. And of course, fear and anxiety on a level most people hopefully never have to reach.
All these conditions require pretty strong medication. These drugs certainly aren't much fun, mostly giving sedation, the truth is that they work in two to three weeks. In the case of mania, it takes a week or so to recover fully after that, but patients usually return to normal. Paranoia and other schizophrenia also gets treated well with the drugs, also in a few weeks, but usually the disorder leaves serious traces on the person in other ways - worse the longer they were psychotic. Now, manic patients don't feel they need medication at all, they need everyone to stay out of their way and let them forge ahead. Paranoid patients certainly are not going to accept horrible and threatening drugs. Schizophrenic patients usually can't understand the concept of medication at all. And... if they don't get help, each of these patients will systematically wreck every single corner of their existence: Apartment, relations, economy, health... and run a strong risk of suicide.
Again, they need help. Contrary to what some believe, it is NOT just a matter of being dangerous to others. If you are in a situation where you CAN'T make decisions that are vital to your entire existence, then it's not okay to say "He said he didn't want help, so it's on him". Because it ISN'T on him, since he was not in good enough shape to make those calls.
If I ended up in such a state, my view now is that I would want people to force me into effective treatment. It is the same if it was one of my loved ones. If the choice is between complete ruin for the foreseeable future and being forced to take medicine for a few weeks, that isn't even something a healthy me would hesitate on. If I said no due to my illness, and some moron took that as reason not to help me... if I ever recovered, I would see that person as utterly despicable, incompetent and dangerous. I should also add that when a follow-up study was made in Sweden regarding our forced treatment laws, the vast majority of the people who had been subjected to such care were grateful they had gotten it.
You are not the definition of sanity. We can ALL end up there. Certainly, it would be horrible to subject a healthy person to this - but that isn't what we're talking about.
Good questions. Let me try to answer this.
What existed before the DSM (and the ICD) was no system at all. Depression was one thing in France and another in the UK. Studies diverged hopelessly since the points measured varied so widely. In short, having a standard for psychiatry is a GOOD thing. Now, if someone in South Africa makes a study about depression, everyone will know that the criteria used were at least roughly comparable. I say roughly, because there are certainly other related issues that have not been solved (such as which rating scales are used).
The making of the DSM is not a secret process. Rather, it is open, widely debated, involving many, many people. Certainly, there is factionalism and people trying to profit, but they are far from alone in writing it. Note also that though the diagnoses are detailed in it, there are no recommendations for treatment there. Most significantly, though, psychiatry is much like foreign aid: Unceasing need and demand, always a lack of supply. Trust me when I tell you that nobody has a serious interest in "making patients". Yes, Big Pharma would love that, but every diagnosis is something a doctor needs to put and then treat. Psychiatric patients typically have the resources to pay for long-term care themselves, and so they only get it if someone helps pay for it. At the end of the day, it is the politicians who decide what psychiatric care looks like, which patient groups to prioritize, and so on. Sum total: Don't worry about too much psychiatry.
This becomes even more clear when you look at the ratio you describe. About half of humanity will have a serious depression in their lives. At any given moment, 8% of us suffer from depression. 10% or so will have substance-abuse problems at some point. 1-5% will be bipolar. 1% will have schizophrenia. Everybody has anxiety every so often, but 10-25% have clinical levels of OCD, panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, or such. Add in Alzheimers disease, psychiatric problems associated with other disorders (depression after stroke, for example). Suicides are expected to (or have already) overtaken accidents in various measurements of risk of death, after only cardiovascular disorders. All this points to one serious conclusion: Psychiatric disorders are ALREADY a massive problem that leaves noone or very few people untouched. The sad fact here is that we can't deal with what we have today due to a lack of resources. If people did more than give a collective shrug, the effect would be massive.
Drugs are not what most people think they are. Each psychiatric drug, like all other medical drugs, has been tested for more than a decade in very expensive and thoroughly exhaustive studies. The substances are purified and isolated to lower the risk of side effects. VERY few of them are addictive (Morphine derivates, bensodiazepines and central stimulants, generally). The side effects they do have are at least fairly minor. So... if we have a patient who can't have a functioning life without taking medication (schizophrenia, bipolarity, serious depression at least), why is it wrong to test a drug to see if it helps them? If they don't feel better for it, they will stop taking it. It is not uncommon that someone has to switch to another drug that suits them better. I don't see it as a problem.
Finally, it is worth addressing the principle here. As human knowledge grows and we understand the system better, we will naturally come to see certain traits as expressions of disorders that were not previously identified. Why? Because it gives us a handle on helping those people. It is all well and good to say things like "ADHD is just b$#!@$~$ designed to sell medicine" if you and yours do not have that particular problem - but should this be the basis for health care in our society? "Cut out cancer care, it's too expensive, and in my family we always die before sixty in heart attacks anyway", "Alzheimer's disease is a lie, and nobody in my family has ever gotten it, so who cares if there are medications that work?"
There are three ways to get summon spells cast without a 1 round casting time (start in one round, finish the next), as far as I know: Sacred Summons, Academae Graduate and the Summoner class SLA. YOU WANT ONE OF THESE. Thing is, you can't be an effective summoner without actually getting monsters into play, and much like buffing the first rounds of combat, you lose too much of the average battle time by casting 1 round spells. This can be mitigated if you cast before the combat begins, but with a 1 round/level duration of the summon spells, that carries the risk of not getting to do anything with the monsters. The exception is the Summoner, who gets a much longer duration.
My suggestion, though, would still be a cleric, for Sacred Summons. You need the shorter casting time which only applies with a few creatures, but if you get it with Lantern Archons or something else neat, that's okay. You are in the battle immediately. What happens after that is more up to you and if you have longer casting times later in the battle, that is also okay.
As stated, a cleric can work wonders with many different strategies even while focusing on summoning.
*whispers to blonde martial artist, a knight, a green-haired girl, a jungle child, a yeti, a maniac with a mask and chainsaw, a ninja, a blonde general woman, a doppleganger, a young girl with a large puffy hat, a bearded old man, a relic hunter and a white-haired guy, all collected in an airship, the whereabouts of Kefka*
*brings out the popcorn to watch*
Lord Snow wrote:
Well, the trick to adding stuff to the cube is, of course, that eyes are food. It takes some serious plasmic manipulation, probably setting up the endoreticular matrix in certain zones to neutralize the acid. Luckily I have the feat for that now. No, I am not Mr Potato head. I am the six million gp cube!!!
Then don't kill them, obviously. If they are a real person that associates with a group, it's murder. It is when they see themselves as merely a part of a group that they become valid targets.
Really, I am not serious. The mere problems involved in finding out what they are thinking makes it obviously unworkable.
However: There are so many ways to lose your individuality today. Everyone and their grandma wants you to give up your individuality, replacing it with obedience toward whatever. The idea of the well-oiled society where each person is merely a cog turning smoothly along with everyone else is surprisingly popular despite decades of suffering as consequences of the attempts that were made toward this in various places. If not nations, religions or organizations, it's mobs, riots and the like.
NOBODY should use these techniques to reach their goals. Humanity DOES answer to it, but the consequences are always terrible. And a response to it could be to only value the lives of these people as much as they value their own individuality. Consider it a thought experiment.
There is no way to do that NOW, no. Give it time, thejeff. The point of technological advance has never been to do precisely what the next advance makes possible. The point of antibiotics wasn't to cure one specific infection. The point of the electric calculators of the eighties was never to sum up 2+4 or writing 5318008 upside down. When people asked Maxwell the point of his equations, he said "what is the point of a newborn child?" You are right, in the first phases, we would not be able to transport people off planet fast enough. That doesn't mean we never will, though, and it is quite possible that an increased standard of living in the poorer countries will solve this issue by itself. However, prevent that increase of standards because you want to conserve energy and it won't happen. As for it being a utopia, I much prefer working toward such a world to dooming us all to a "sustainable" dystopia. Oh, and the problem with the AGW alarms is that they always claim we will all be dead in exactly fifty years. In 2007, that was set to 2050. In 2010, it was instead 2060. In 2020, it is a fair bet it will be 2070.
Ummm... We Westerners live lives of luxury. Compared to the dark ages, we live lives that kings would dream of. We have food. We have running, clean water. We have education, transportation, money, dental care, other health care, and when we die one day, there are cemetaries for our corpses. We usually don't have to fear for our lives. Our children usually grow up. And so on, and so forth.
All this requires energy. Energy today comes from oil and nuclear power and coal, and thus many people draw the conclusion that since these things are bad for the environment, we must all conserve energy to... Something. It is unclear where that line of thought goes, to me. It seems pretty much shot down that we will be able to conserve our way out of this particular conundrum. "No carbon dioxide pollution" is surprisingly a popular idea. Well, it would mean shutting down every single energy expenditure. Heating, city lights, transportation, electricity. We are indeed talking about a post-apocalypse here. The proponents say it is just a question of changing a few things, not our whole lives. This is the currently dominating idea for the future.
I say b*$$~*. Solve the problem instead. The universe is full of energy, so let's go get it. We live in a miserable little 1 G gravity well. For a species that can do what we can, it is time we used that ingenuity to expand further. Start colonies. Launch spaceships. Build space elevators. We won't be able to forever, so we need to go while we can. Not to mention the risks of having a little vertical "hello!" from a big rock one day. In such a scenario, there will be absolutely no lack of jobs.
Let me add the "seek a glorious future in the colonies" scenario to the list.
What would really save police lives is if they simply sent out drones with automatic weapons and gunned down all the protesters. Not one policeman would be remotely injured. See now why safety of police officers before taking any other consideration can be a very bad idea?
Policemen and soldiers (and others) have chosen to take jobs that can be quite risky. Nobody is forced to be one. It is, quite literally, part of the job. Certainly, give them what protective gear they NEED. It's ridiculous they would need armored cars, automatic rifles and sniper rifles to deal with a peaceful protest - if so, they are severely incompetent at their job.
Like all other settings, a megadungeon becomes valid only by the vibrancy of its setting. This is acheived by theme, style, plots, NPCs, events and so on. A million rooms full of monsters doing nothing is indescribably boring. Divide it up into communities, nations, heck, even civilizations, make memorable NPCs, interesting and far-reaching plotlines, dastardly villains, interesting problems, differentiated "terrains" and so on, and you have something far better... though it doesn't fit the traditional (Undermountain etc) megadungeon concept very well anymore.
The problem is that you are in essence sending them a message that they NEED this stuff by giving it to them. "Be afraid. Be very afraid. One day you will be shot by the Enemy, then you will need body armour. Or do you want your children to grow up with a single parent?" And so on. When wearing all this gear, of course, you take more risks, which actually make things worse. Not to mention it leads to an arms race. If the people who want to take out police officers need military weapons to do so, then military weapons is what they will get. When police departments have changed the rules in the other direction, such as having single officers patrolling, violence has gone down, both against others and against the police. Removing the stuff seems like a brilliant idea.
It is more like saying "No, the system you're playing can't be a tabletop roleplaying game AND a fantasy game, it has to be one or the other!!!!11oneone" EVERY SINGLE TIME someone says they are playing a fantasy RPG. It is wrong, useless and done to death and beyond by now, Vod. If you still think it is a relevant thing to preach, I suggest you read up a bit on what democracy means.
Sexual preferences do not, on their own, predicate any sort of behaviour, delusions or morality. It seems odd that so many today still think so. Heterosexual people do not automatically rape people of the opposite sex. Homosexuals do not automatically rape people of their own sex (this was a rather common viewpoint in the eighties...). Sexual preference is sexual preference, nothing more. Some people have it in them to rape others, but that is a result of a complex interplay of many factors of their personality, and as far as I have understood it, not tied to their sexual preferences.
That is why muddling the language of the field is dangerous and problematic.
No. Sleeping with anybody is not anythingphilia. Sexual preferences are just that, sexual preferences. The acts MAY certainly coincide. However, someone attracted to corpses might well feel that a vampire leaves him/her uninterested.
On the topic of pedophilia: It is not all that uncommon that someone committing sexual acts with a child is an expression of pedophilia, but rather pathologic sadism. That person is looking for a victim, whether a child, an elderly, or someone weak or disabled that they can safely terrorize. The important part here is that such a person and a pedophile will likely react in different ways in future situations. Muddling the two is NOT a good idea.
No. Again, you are talking about necrophiliac ACTS, not necrophilia, which is the sexual preference involved when someone is attracted to corpses.