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Mammon Cultist

Sissyl's page

5,801 posts (6,431 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 aliases.


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Civil War was the end of my interest in a lot of things Marvel. It's stupid, ham-handed, uses pathetic attempts at symbolism and emotionality that consistently manage to feel as inspiring as Teletubbies, it manages an amount of characters doing bizarre things against their entire characters and/or stupidities not worth thinking about, it manages to entirely miss the entire point of the entire genre... I could go on. If it had been a movie, it would have been cozy somewhere between "Manos, hands of fate" and "Plan 9 from Outer Space".

The Onslaught storyline had the idea of all the non-mutant heroes ending up in a world where they were admired and appreciated, and the mutants getting the old Marvel Earth. It may have lacked in execution, but the idea was decent. A year or so later, this was rolled back. Civil War never was - I am certain the comic about the North Dakotan super team is selling magnificently.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
I wondering if Williamson would have been fine at all if he had been speaking privately rather than doing an interview for public broadcast.
He would have. Public performance is a necessary element under the German law, at least as Wikipedia translated it.
It's interesting that the laws in people's heads when they hear about something like this are so much stricter and more intrusive than the ones actually on the books. Private criticism. Ignorance. Scholarship. All things that wouldn't be banned, but are what people immediately jump to.

Yup. "Thoughtcrime" is a much easier soundbite. If all you have in your head are slogans, the idea that there might be nuances that don't fit on a bumper sticker is a challenging concept.

After reading page up and page down of you quoting liberal soundbites, slogans and slurs on everyone who doesn't share your views, I have to say this:

You ought to know, Orfamay.


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Irontruth wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Usagi Yojimbo wrote:


Also, dude- not cool. There is one, count 'em, one Holocaust apologist in this thread.

I count three. And, no, i'm not going to name names, as that would probably violate the terms of service agreement.

Okay. Three. Does that include me? Please, think carefully before you answer. Because your post certainly implies it.
You and me both is my bet since we dare stand up for ALL peoples rights even if they are dumb. Not surprising though is that he is not calling for an end to the ACLU that ACTIVELY sues to make certain that nazi, klansmen and the like get to say whay they want where they want. Not the liberal group that goes much farther, just those evil libertarian types he hates...

I've said it multiple times, but you've probably glossed over it, because it doesn't fit your narrative of me...

I don't think we should have a similar law here in the US. I'm willing to protect holocaust denial here in the states, as repugnant as I find it.

In the context of German history though, you have to admit that Nazi propaganda has had an extremely negative effect. You may have heard of it, it's commonly called World War 2. The German people have a right to declare that that was harmful and they want to prevent it.

Why not instate such a ban? After all, the government would be able to handle it responsibly, as has been repeated ad nauseam in this very thread.

As for the idea that you want to prevent World War II, I WOULD say it is a teensy bit late for that. Some eighty years late. And that is the problem with drastic solutions that are designed to prevent a reoccurrence of something. They only work to prevent THAT SPECIFIC instance. For example, the Maginot line. It would have worked perfectly if the Germans would have been kind enough to do things the exact way they did in WWI. By the same token, the ban on holocaust denial misses the point: Crushing poverty was what drove the Germans to Hitler. The propaganda worked because it played on already existing emotions. Preventing Hitler's rise to power by historical proxy is not going to work since time machines don't exist. It could make you miss some other dangerous politician who wants to be the strong man for a country because he never talked about jews or Holocausts. Pol Pot, for example, made quite a big splash in the murder department without talking about jews.


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Good story, believable characters, an interesting conflict, good language, a bit of mystery, some emotional punch, appropriate length, unexpected plot twists, decent dialogue... oh, and one or more ideas, well executed.

SF books are still books.


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It IS functionally equivalent to all the other suggestions here. =)


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
You're raving again Sissyl. It isn't helping you convince anyone.
And neither is your comment.
I'm just reading the thread. I thought I might warn you how you're coming off.

Warn away, but you could have saved yourself the trouble.

There is a deplorable idea on this board that the government can safely tell us how we should live our lives, and that freedom of speech is of secondary importance to how society works. I don't buy that, and I'd say I have been quite civil in this discussion. That I am making a case of things you don't care for is typically what gets me called a lunatic, raving or the like, and honestly, I don't care anymore.


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So... Mindless violent crowds tearing into round objects for people's entertainment... Or zombie games?


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At some point, we are and will remain humans. We function very much the same, and we need and value the same things. Different cultures are merely different answers to how to achieve these same things in different environments, and thus come with different problems attached. And there lies stories, every story we (again, as pretty similar humans) respond to and feel is authentic. It is all well and good to work toward civility to those different than ourselves, but it becomes a problem when you do not even tolerate balanced viewpoints on the grounds that such a viewpoint also includes negative issues.

So, we can at the very least relax about this in our home campaigns, I should say. Paizo has a more difficult situation, but are dealing with it admirably.


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Actually... while that's sort of true, this was tracked during the fall of the Soviet Union. Some were cast out... but at least after a while, it turned out that most of the people successful enough to be called the ruling class were the SAME people who were part of the ruling class before. Turns out valuing no principles more than your lust for power is a pretty good recipe for getting power. The people who are fanatics and ideologically bound are not the people who end up in power - in fact, most of them get shot when the totalitarian society has been set up.

Rabble-rousers and troublemakers are needed before and during a revolution, not after it.


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Bah, beholders aren't dangerous. After all, if you are facing one, the only thing you need to do is show it a rock and throw the rock far away and it will pursue the rock.


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Butbutbut... if my login ends with a 1 then?


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I just had an idea! Couldn't I use my login name as password too? Just think, I wouldn't have to remember two pieces of info for every site!


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The Iliad begins with Achilles in a rage because he wasn't allowed to take both lovely twin sisters Briseis and Criseis as his slave girls. BOOM, gender politics!


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But it is actually more odd than that. Fly spell lets you hoist only your maximum load PLUS any armour worn! Further, the description says you can not CARRY ALOFT more weight than that... But it says nothing about how much weight you can carry when NOT RISING. So, at the very least, it expressly allows the paralyzed person to fly wearing only an adamantine full plate, so long as they carry nothing more. A case could be made for shields, I suppose. Wearing a pair of gloves instead, though, is right out. Spiked gauntlets and spiked armour still allows you to hurt people if they try to grapple you or something like that!

At some point, RAW does get stupid, doesn't it? The truth is, we aren't doing legalese here. There will always be bad formulations and stupid corner cases.

I would judge this: The fly spell lets you keep flying, carrying just as much as you did before paralysis. The spell can still carry just as much as it could when you cast it. You can direct it through mental actions, though fine maneuvering is out, because you need the fly skill to make maneuvers, i.e. It requires movement. It is consistent, it works, it is predictable, and there is nothing bizarre about its implementation or logic.


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Ooooooh I like! Rooted to the spot means someone paralyzed functions like an unmovable rod then, right? As in, put me in the way of the tarrasque's bull rush and paralyze me, and he'll stop dead in his tracks.


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"Since I decided to stop gloating to my enemies, all these pathetic heroes who come to stop me, I am finally being successful. I had never thought it. Budgets in my organizations is up 15.000%. I have strong influence in every arena of politics and finance. In every way but the formal, I own the world.

But oh... What is the point?"


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It's not about bitterness. I have never managed to become a christian, despite actually working at it in the Swedish protestant church, one of the most liberal churches around. I have no personal story of suffering or betrayal, nothing to sour me personally on all religion or the like. My atheism stems from an understanding that all organized religion that I have seen preys on people who do not know enough to see their group psychological methods to gather followers (and income), many of the political actions taken seem to me to be aimed at MAKING people poor (primarily anti-abortion, anti-contraceptive and anti-sex ed policies) that they can then recruit, they exercise their power over others through guilt and shame primarily, they act as an excuse for any sort of monstrous behaviour including murder, and worst of all: They actively hurt progress and shut down societal advances any chance they get. The West getting rid of church primacy was THE most important advance we ever had.

So... it doesn't matter what it is about, religion isn't about tolerance. On issue after issue, it's been precisely the other way around. When something new starts to wake up in society, the church condemns it. When it starts getting traction despite this, the church deems it Evil. When enough people question this, and people start to adopt it anyway, the church paints itself as "we, the heroic few who refuse to budge". When EVERYONE else uses it, the church whines about how things were better before this moral laxitude happened and defends those who refuse to change. Only when EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the church who cared about it is gone, the church then finally claims that it was for this all along, some fifty years late. Most egregiously to me was female clergy, in which our extremely progressive Swedish church followed precisely this curve. Only fifty years apparently wasn't enough. It's been over 70 now since it became legally possible, and some in the church are still whining about it, even when the MAJORITY of the clergy are female!

And guess what? We can't allow that anymore. We don't HAVE that much time. The suffering of people with non-heterosexual preferences or who are transgender isn't a theoretical issue, it's anguish, violence, suicide and murder on a daily basis. It's families casting out their children. It's people feeling they are completely worthless, because the only moral system they were ever taught to reference says they are abominations in the eyes of their loving God, who created them as they are, which means they will end up in Hell.

I know enough about the bible to say that every single christian who cares what Jesus said and did would immediately stop doing this to them.


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The Bible is always only as important as you consider it to be. If you choose for it to decide your opinions and values, it will. If you do not consider it more than a book written by various people about their views of good and metaphysics, that's all it will be. The only thing giving it authority is ITSELF. It will NEVER be a book for ALL MEN, nor should it. No matter how important christians consider it to be, they have ABSOLUTELY no right to try to make it into law, because such laws would force non-christians to obey various parts of the bible.

It's not about not trying to find common ground. It's that with fanatics, there won't ever be such. The only "common ground" they will accept is complete conformity to their world-view. Now, not every christian is a fanatic, and some may try to listen, but in my experience, once you start discussing the sensitive areas like evolution, sex ed and cloning, any common ground you might have had disappears.

As to your second point above, that's flat out b~%&@*!$. Are you familiar with the (excuse my latin here) Index romanum librorum prohibitorum, the Vatican's list of books that were not allowed to be published? This was kept up for hundreds of years... and it reads like a who's who of every important scientific, philosophical and sociological advance in Western history. People died to defy the church... and eventually, the church lost its stranglehold on temporal power, not through cooperation with the church, but through accusation, judgement, conflict, hatred, blood and death. They died, because the things they knew to be right WERE IMPORTANT. That the church is weaker today means absolutely NOTHING, it would still play the same role if it could. Even today, the religious organizations are ALWAYS the last to adopt something, even things shown to be utterly beneficial.


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Precisely.

Answer:
Yes, that's the list I'd use myself. You could probably add in Robert Baratheon, too. Still... it's five bricks of books. Several thousand pages. I would also make the claim that Viserys and Robert needed to die from the very beginning, more like people who die in someone's backstory, even if it happens in the story. Drogo approaches that as well. The rest, I agree with you, but that's still not much per book, especially not for such a violent conflict. Add to this that only Eddard and Catelyn had point of view chapters, and it's even less impressive. Truth be told, I think its reputation for killing major characters stems from the fact that Martin wrote Eddard's death the way he did: Chance after chance after chance, first so as not to get involved, then so as not to be outwitted, then so as not to be killed. He wrote them believably and skillfully, so people managed to forget that the first thing Eddard did in the book was execute a man - and the book fulfills that symmetry admirably. It's still surprising to them.


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GreyWolfLord: I understand you want people to be happy, and you want everyone to get along. Most christians everywhere want this, honestly and truly. It's just the little matter of ACCEPTING THAT NOT EVERYONE SEES THE WORLD THE WAY YOU DO. Meaning, in no uncertain terms, that your solutions will NOT work for everyone, and since they don't, any attempt to forcibly make the world better according to your principles WILL meet resistance. Whether it's abortions, contraceptives, sexual education, archaeology education, biology education, research into stem cells and cloning, or whatever else - there are many who see growing problems with christian policies, and rightly so. Christians do not have the right to decide what is right and wrong for anyone not among their number.

It is understandable that you feel that the important part is that people accept Jesus as their saviour, but joining the church or accepting their legal influence goes far, far beyond that. Stop trying to make horrid laws, including stopping those you affiliate with from doing so, and I'll gladly accept that the situation is well and truly changed. As it is, there is a group of people who churn out monstrous laws and policies (I still think the worst is probably foreign aid in Africa predicated on abstinence being the only type of sex ed allowed, but there are many, many, many others), who are then SUPPORTED, in this and in other things, by millions of well-meaning christians. Stop doing that. Stop voting for them. Stop them when they come up with new revolting laws. If you are unable to, then SAY SO. Tell people you can't condone the actions the fanatics take. What you do will be far differently received. Otherwise put, take care to be the ones who deal with your pack of fanatics so the rest of us don't have to. If you don't, don't complain when you're judged with them for what they have done.

Yes, there are many who are christians despite being homo- or bisexual. There are also many who got fed up with being called "a cancer on the body of society" and similar lovely apellations by people who considered themselves shining examples of good, all for the "crime" of loving someone.


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Breaks Other Guidelines always pay their debts.


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These...
*shows his hands*
...are not the hammer.
*pause*
The hammer is my penis.


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The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee. - Pulp Fiction


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Squid-pro-quo?


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I would personally say that having sexuality and gender preferences be mentioned AT ALL is what primarily makes Paizo's setting, APs and modules different from other RPG products. That's the biggest difference to me, not what form that sexuality or gender preference takes. It's been a lack from the very beginning, decades back now. I am happy to see it, and the fact that Paizo does their best to show diversity is a good thing.


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As liches are described, I would say the primary problem to getting a lich willing to become living is that a lich's mind can't process any sort of reason for not remaining a lich. It has all the time in the world, it doesn't need to eat, sleep or even breathe, and if there was a point to smiles, laughing, rainbows, or fluffy kittens, that is now firmly in the category of stuff not worth considering. YLMV.


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I remember our courses on procreation through splitting. Sex ed was controversial even then...


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In my days, we didn't have tanks. We had fighting men, AND WE WERE HAPPY ABOUT IT, you hear? Now get off my lawn!


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Butts will be liberally kicked, in good measure!


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Because one of the root tenets of identity politics is that being a victim of more or less anything makes you right, at least compared to those who can't claim victimhood, who then by extension, are wrong. It is the primary reason identity politics are crap.


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Discussing religion with fanatics is never useful. See, people become fanatic the very moment they choose to define their worldview on the basis of just one narrative. What this means, more practically, is that anything that goes against that narrative is PER DEFINITION wrong. Their every ounce of self-worth is tied to that narrative, and yes, some of them would cast out their own children if the children went against that narrative in some way. Compared to that, you are not even a fly buzzing in their ear. It behooves us all to be careful never to adopt such a narrative ourselves, never to become so certain of the world, and never to simplify our lives and thoughts so much.

Besides, they don't know their beloved bible, often they haven't even read it at all. When you discuss with them about Jesus, it's usually the miracles they consider important, not what he said or did. If you discuss the old testament with them, they have not even the slightest clue. See... the OT religion is a matter of a deal between God and God's chosen people. They are the ones who need to follow his laws, everyone else is heartily invited to die in a fire. Even today, the jews do not proselytize. That wasn't part of their covenant with God. Jesus drew up a NEW covenant with God, this time for ANYONE who followed him, and THAT is the covenant everyone not-jewish is invited to join. Now, if you count through the things Jesus says we should do, he specifically brings up the ten commandments, he commands charity, turning the other cheek, and treating others as you would have them treat you - all in all a very different prospect from the Leviticus lists of reasons to kill people. He does say that he hasn't come to change a single letter of the law, though... which makes it complicated. It's still safe to say, however, that IF you want to count parts of the Leviticus commandments as relevant, you sort of have to base that on Jesus not changing the law - at which point you should be taken to task about why you're not killing lots and lots of people as the rest of Leviticus demands.

There are parts of the bible that are absolutely terrible. At some point, the very reason it has survived all this time is because people wanted to bear witness about very important things they have seen. One of these things is Jesus and his message, according to christians everywhere, THE indisputably most important part. So, when Jesus says that we should treat each other as we want them to treat us, and tells us to turn the other cheek even to someone who hit us, and thank our enemies for persecuting us, and clearly shows that he saw everyone around him as HUMANS, messages that do not conform well to that are simply not that important. Certainly not important enough to make a political stink about today.


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Nostalgia for the fifties is... Odd, to say the least. A generation of traumatized husbands/fathers, a generation of women forced away from work and into being housewives, children being allowed only the most minimal freedom, a uniform and very intolerant society... And those were the good parts, to hear people talk about it.


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But if we took out everything that anyone could ever be offended by, THEN we would have a great campaign setting!


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I don't remember where it was from... but somewhere, there was a description of an adventure plot: A nearby medusa had kidnapped a young man from the village. So, the heroes go over there, and, finding him still alive, hit the young man with good old dispel magic, repeatedly, with no success. Turns out the medusa was the only nice, attractive girl that would give him the time of day...


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All I can say is that an NPC who is captured and says things like "I will never tell you anything" is breaking a VERY important rule.

"When captured, NEVER admit that you're useless to your captors."


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thejeff wrote:

There are two almost entirely separate issues involved and it's easy to mix them.

One is justice for individual cases. The other is addressing the larger social issues that drive it. When I, and I believe others, talk about discrimination against women being a bigger problem than discrimination against men, we're talking about the larger social issue. Not saying "Don't bother punishing violent crimes against men". Prosecuting individual crimes is important, but it's not going to change the culture.

If someone with better qualifications doesn't get a job due to affirmative action programs, that IS an individual case. An individual case where someone is denied something due to, say, the colour of their skin, where the state supports an injustice against an individual. If someone gets beaten to within an inch of their life by someone else, that IS an individual case. An individual case where the state, depending on the gender of the victim, may choose to commit extra resources to do things like support the victim's recovery, research patterns in what happened and try to work against it, make sure the cops involved have education on how to help the victim feel understood and not challenged.

Talk about Justice all you want. If you refuse to see people as individuals even when they are victims of severe crimes or systematic discrimination, then nothing you say about justice is more than hot air.


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Aranna wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Men are almost 4 times more likely to die violently as women, by the hands of other men.
FIFY

Sooooo... lethal violence against men is not as much of a problem as lethal violence against women, because idiot men are the perpetrators in both cases? Men shouldn't take it so hard if they are subjected to lethal violence (I suppose this mostly concerns the loved ones they leave behind, though), after all it's just expected that men should take a bit of violence, but it's not okay if someone breaks the rules of gentlemanly behaviour and hits a woman? Or is it that if someone happens to be a man, they should know how to and train well enough to be able to defend themselves against at least three attackers, and be ready to do so at all times, and failing that shows the person never was a real man but a pathetic, snivelling weakling anyway?

...

I really don't know what to say, Aranna.


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The basic point here seems to me to be that groups do not feel. Groups do not suffer. Groups do not make choices.

Only individuals do. Everything else is merely statistics.

And if you put in group issues into serious decisions, like, we won't accept this poor white male student because that wealthy black male student gets us more diversity points in our policy, the problem is that while racial discrimination is a crime, affirmative action is something done to someone for reasons of their skin colour, by parts of SOCIETY, supported by the STATE. The big bad here is making policy because of skin colour, and you're certainly never going to get that better by implementing more of it.

As regards domestic violence, there have been studies that show that women are MORE violent in relationships than men, in all categories except the most grave violence including lethal violence. There are also studies that have shown that lesbian relationships have more domestic violence than gay male relationships. It's not an easy thing to know what the truth is, but the exact relationship is not very interesting either. It's enough to know that domestic violence is a significant problem to both men and women. At least enough to try and do something about it.


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David M Mallon wrote:

Another point: I've seen a lot of people mention medication for clinical depression. While it works for a lot of people and is certainly worth trying, SSRI-type antidepressants can also really mess you up if you're not careful.

I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when I was around ten years old (the diagnosis was revised to 'major depression with psychotic features' a little over a decade later). Since this was the '90s, people hadn't started taking into account what kinds of long-term effects SSRIs and other drugs had on people, especially kids. I hopped from drug to drug and therapist to therapist until my early twenties--nothing worked. In the end, I ended up with a permanent chemical dependency (which I've been told may contribute to my symptoms being worse the longer I'm off the medication), as well as some minor peripheral nerve damage. I've been off the medications for about two years, and don't feel any different than I did when I was on them, other than the fact that I started smoking to ease the withdrawal symptoms.

In other words, just be careful. Medication should be a last resort. If it works for you, awesome, but if it doesn't, stop taking it.

Okay... I will be nice about this. First of all, antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs do NOT come with addiction, dependency or anything of the sort, and it's a very well researched area. The three main types of addictive medical drugs are bensodiazepines (anxiolytics like diazepam and alprazolam), opiate painkillers and central stimulants. Most antidepressants come with minor side effects like mild nausea or vertigo when adjusting doses, which last the first week on a new dose, including if you stop taking them. That is not what is meant by addictive.

Second, peripheral nerve damage is not a side effect of antidepressants. What is known is that depression causes damage to the neurons in your brain, mostly related to how long you have been depressed. It's been shown, however, that SSRI treatment can actually improve that image and restore at least parts of that damage. And if we're discussing peripheral nerve damage, the typical reasons for that are: Alcoholism, diabetes and vascular disease, and vitamin B12-deficiency. This last part is important, because B12 deficiency is also a cause of depression.

Finally, it helps nobody that you tell people or imply that antidepressants are dangerous substances, when you in fact have nothing to substantiate those claims. It may well be as you claim, but the data supporting "SSRIs gave me nerve damage" is entirely ONE CASE, your own. Since nerve damage is not one of the known side effects of antidepressants despite (hundreds of ?) millions of patient years and thirty years of use and studies, it's most likely that you have misunderstood something seriously, perhaps something as simple as a vitamin B12-deficiency causing your problems instead of the antidepressants.

I should also add that antidepressants are not what shut people down or make zombies of them. Typically, this happens when someone gets put on chronic treatment with bensodiazepines ("prince Valium") - which ARE addictive, and can be pretty terrible to stop taking. What most people feel with a SSRI treatment is that they become who they should be. Their families say they finally recognize them again. However, being numb from depression is not ONLY a bad thing, some feel that it's very painful to start feeling things again. Not everyone has the right dose or the right drug, and as I said, it can take a little time to get it right.


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The problem is that when you treat people as parts of groups instead of individuals, it becomes nothing but a numbers game. A man suffering from domestic abuse is not helped by the news blaring out the story that "men beat women", even if that story is also true. Everyone should be seen as an individual, with the obvious right to live free of domestic abuse, and claiming that it's a group-related issue gives an unacceptably high rate of error.

Besides which, I fail to see how a Google Glass commercial/campaign against domestic abuse is evidence of anything. Indeed, unless the message is "wife beating men are stupid enough to beat their wives even when they are wearing camera glasses - so let's use Google Glass as our weapon of choice against domestic abuse", I fail entirely to see the point of the commercial.


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*sigh*

So, the people who see DMPCs as a good thing (tm) use the definition "any NPC that travels with the party", and lo and behold, they don't see a problem. The others will in most cases agree, as long as that's the definition given. Any criticism about using DMPCs will be considered unreasonable, because this is the only definition the pro-DMPC group uses.

Those who do not like DMPCs use the definition (more or less) "a character who the DM sees as their PC, which means the DM is actively rooting for that character", and they don't like it because they see a very large risk that it ends up with plot immunity, Mary-Sue-ishness, and tons of other different bad things or pitfalls. Most of the anti-DMPC crowd see nothing wrong with having NPCs follow the party around.

As long as this discussion doesn't even try to discuss the SAME definition of the term, it's never going to be productive, in this or any other thread.


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Rogue knocked on the door of the X-men, asking to become one of them, her previous main enemies, against the wishes of the only family she ever had, Mystique, because she believed that professor X could help her with her Carol Danvers-shaped problem where Mystique could not.

THAT was the character's triumph. She did get more interesting with her attraction to Magneto and her sometime relationship with Gambit. The issue where she gives a cheek scrape to a scientist to help her become human was lovely. Still, it's the same thing now. Overdeveloped, overused, static. And, you really have to wonder, when seemingly every single villain they meet has some way to nullify mutant powers, how can she still not have a way to turn her powers off when she wants to???


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And the fact that some DMs claim to have done it exceedingly well doesn't mean that all who claim to have done so really managed to.


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Remember: Duck and cover! Chin up! You can all handle it! Lava has no chance against an orderly, prepared population!


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Yo momma so old she was on the design commitee and cut the rope at the opening ceremony of the Dyson sphere.


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Hmmm... I am also a professional in the field, and a sufferer of depressions, and my view differs from Mythic JMD031's. Or maybe my terminology is the main difference.

Depression is not a natural, or healthy state of mind. It doesn't serve any purpose for the person suffering from it. There is no "point" to it, indeed, no "reason" for it such as trauma or the like. Depression is a gravely unhealthy, pathological disorder that comes with a significant risk, both for suicide, and for most other kinds of health problems. Survival after a heart infarction or a stroke, for example, is very much related to whether the person gets depressed, and if so, if they get proper treatment for it. It also carries a significant risk for substance abuse problems. It is NOT something you want to accept. Depression is terrible.

There is a terminological problem here. People believe that depression equals sadness, because the term has found its way into common language, you know, "I was so depressed when I heard of the earthquake in China". It is not really about being sad, though. It's an inability to feel happiness when you normally would. The brain can't form positive images, or at least have a very hard time doing so. It's like wearing black sunglasses: Everything you look at gets darker, even yourself, your future and your past. Without being able to make images of succeeding, when the best you can expect is "almost adequate", you will not succeed at much, so, after several months of this, you start forming new habits of thought. Like all habits, it takes a while, upward of six months, and depressions last six to eighteen months on average. You start seeing yourself as a loser, basically, because somehow you need to protect your self-image from failing to reach where you should. You lower your expectations.

There used to be made a difference between exogenous and endogenous depressions, i.e. those caused by external situations and those caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. In all probability, this was the result of a simple enough fact: The first depression people get, usually in their early teens, DOES usually occur at a time of turmoil and stress (then again, aren't most people stressed in their early teens?). Recurring episodes, though, do not show this. Nor have we been able to discern any qualitative difference between the supposedly exogenous and endogenous depressions as regards symptoms, duration, treatment, or anything else. The field of dynamic psychotherapy, which focuses on dealing with the "original cause" of the disorder for the purpose of getting the disorder better, has not managed any quantitative studies to back up any form of results. The current view is that "depression happens", and the treatment is the same. One exception is SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which happens at a certain time of year (late fall or early spring, usually), but again, doesn't affect treatment. Depressions are common, very common, and between a third and half the population is expected to have them at some point in their lives.

As for treatment, there are two main options: Antidepressants, and cognitive psychotherapy. The point of antidepressants is to counter the effect of the depression while it lasts (so you will probably need them for around a year or so the first time). Neuroimaging has shown that after the depressed brain has lost a significant amount of connections between the neurons, antidepressant treatment can in fact restore those connections. Effects come within four to six weeks, and the side effects are mild enough that there is little risk in trying them. This was not always the case; older antidepressant drugs were significantly more problematic with overdoses, for example. However, you're still stuck with your new habits of thought. You still consider yourself a failure and expect failure. What is needed then is a new bout of changing habits, which is where cognitive psychotherapy comes in. The principle is that you need to increase your stimulation, do the things you used to enjoy even if they feel kind of pointless now, and set goals you can meet to prove to yourself that you can succeed. This takes time, again upward of six months. Physical exercise also works, but the effect is limited compared to the other two methods, and thus, you shouldn't aim to do only this to cure your depression. If nothing else, it's going to be very tough to keep it up. Depression is ALWAYS treatable... but getting it right can take a while, so keep trying even if the first attempt doesn't manage.


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This would depend on when it happened. Africans have the most amazing genetic diversity, while everyone else is pretty streamlined. Thus, if it did happen in any way, shape or form, it must have happened some time before we were modern humans, and at the very least, Noah must have been an early African, not a Middle East human.


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Aranna wrote:
Sissyl wrote:

Again, Cowboy Bebop. It was a long time since I watched it now... But the one scene that truly stuck with me was Ed playing against the old, demented master hacker... And when he manages to defeat the guy, rearranges the pieces to let him win.

I am not sure depressing is the right word, though. It is melancholy, with the characters stuck in limbo together. And eventually, the things that need to happen do, and the world is sort of a better place. I found it beautiful.

The whole main cast have lost everything they cared about... and instead of finding each other and forging a new future they remain at arms length from each other.

** spoiler omitted **

True, after a fashion. However...

Spoiler:
Spike got to spend time with his girl and got his revenge. Ed got a reunion with her father, and a wicked cool data dog. Faye got to tell Spike of what she felt for him, sort of. And Jet, well, he did just continue on. And the world was certainly not the same, seeing as the Bigshot presenters returned home. It was the end of an era, as I understood it. I believe the point was that their circumstances, from the beginning, were an emotional limbo.


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Kthulhu wrote:

Does it strike anyone else as a bit wrong that THIS movie is opening in so many other countries before it opens in the USA ?

That A on his head isn't for France, you know!

No, it's for "Freedom".


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Again, Cowboy Bebop. It was a long time since I watched it now... But the one scene that truly stuck with me was Ed playing against the old, demented master hacker... And when he manages to defeat the guy, rearranges the pieces to let him win.

I am not sure depressing is the right word, though. It is melancholy, with the characters stuck in limbo together. And eventually, the things that need to happen do, and the world is sort of a better place. I found it beautiful.

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