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Mammon Cultist

Sissyl's page

10,457 posts (11,733 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 aliases.


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Age-related issues are thorny. Always will be. It stands to some sort of reason that a man of 96 probably should not have the same political influence as someone who is 20 - they aren't likely to stay around for long after the vote. In many countries, we have had old people dictating the conditions of pensions and such to a level that they get great pensions and everyone has to pay for them, while eventually the system collapses and then the younger people have to pay for their own pensions after having paid for the older peoples'. Sweden is a prime example of this. Fair? Not really. Nor will it get better with an aging population all across the West.

It is also obvious that demented people should probably not have political influence at all. In some places, convicted criminals are not allowed to vote. In others, immigrants get to vote before citizenship in general elections. It is not clear-cut what should be in this issue.

Finally, age also brings a discussion about the beginning of the right to vote. Eighteen is common, but so is sixteen. Many sixteen-year-olds are perfectly capable of understanding what they need to vote. Many forty-year-olds are not.

But... democracy is a sensitive beast. One man, one vote has been the best we could figure out. In the end, the right to strip someone of the vote is a very dangerous tool, and would be wielded with verve and cruelty. All the above, while real problems with democracy as it is, is really less important than a simple framework.


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Sweden is much better. Never really goes above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (yeah, I did the maths for you, you measurement-challenged people =) ), even in the most "sweltering" summer.


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Next one.

Monster: 1d765 ⇒ 164

Oh dear. A balor lord. This is too massive for me. Feel free to take it.


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Okay, time to make that shark.

Slaughterwail

This creature looks like a black furless and tailless hound of impressive size, but it has obscenely powerful jaws filled with serrated teeth. Its nose is a mere bulb, and its eyes are tiny. Instead of ears, it has a series of rifts behind the eyes. It is clearly built for speed, and for murder.

It loses the aquatic subtype, keen scent is replaced by scent, its swim speed is replaced by a land speed of 60', and it gets an intelligence of 3. Its swim skill is replaced by survival.

The slaughterwail is a terrifying predator. It lives in open areas, preferably with little high vegetation. Normally a pack hunter, it can follow prey for miles until it is isolated, or weakened enough to take down easily. Slaughterwails also coordinate their attacks with brutal efficiency through grinding, horrifying wails.

(Making the shark a land creature makes for a horrifying monster. Which shouldn't come as a surprise...)


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The brits are a strong people. It wouldn't surprise me if they fired up the old Commonwealth again, now that communications are far easier. It may just be a good idea too. If the EU won't give them decent terms in some misguided idea of punishment, they will go it themselves. Sure, it will be tough, but they have been through bad times before. London is what London is whether in the EU or not.

We'll see what happens. There is too much propaganda buzz to make a sound judgement.

But, interestingly enough, Britain leaving the EU will have gotten us one concrete step closer to the world map of 1984, won't it?


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*sighs deeply*

Well, congrats, UK. And EU. It will be very interesting to see where this goes. It's going to hit the UK hard, that's for certain. It will also probably dump the EU in a bad place. The UK has been a good part of it. The open question is if anyone in the EU will hear the message: Don't try to shift power from the national parliaments to the EU. So many in the EU joined a free trade union - and got an overbearing political union.

Before the Lisbon treaty, there was referendum after referendum saying no to further EU integration. The treaty shut down that option, giving the union the right to integrate without local consent.

On balance, the EU is probably a good thing. But it gives rise to some 50-80% of national laws, making it very questionable in democratic terms. It can come as no surprise that this was not going to be popular. I believe this result could have been avoided, but most did not see the danger, and many who did didn't care. It is a poor way to make policy.

Unless the EU starts listening to the message sent, expect more to follow.


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Denmark, known in Sweden for a very liberal view of alcohol, possibly unfairly so, has a Health authority that suggests the following:

A man who drinks more than 21 glasses of alcohol, 14 for women, per week, probably has alcohol issues.

I find these numbers ridiculously high, of course, but it's a hint of some kind.

The good news is that if you stop drinking, your body will get itself into shape pretty well over a few months, and so many of its systems will be well calibrated again. Stuff that didn't work properly in metabolism, neurologic activity, coordination, and so on.


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Lemmy wrote:
Well Sissyl... According to your argument no one is tier 1, since there's always the possibility of picking the wrong spell. That's a sign you either misundertand the tier system or, more likely, is beinv intentionally obtuse for some reason... Maybe you don't lime seeing a class you like being called overpowered?

I have played enough wizards to know what a tier 1 class is. And no, I know a cleric can be massively powerful, but as I have repeatedly said, that requires them to focus. I don't mind anyone saying clerics are powerful, I mind them basing that on doubtful information and making it a buzzword. I also mind people saying I am intentionally obtuse.

Lemmy wrote:
Saying he won't always have "the perfect spell" is also disingenuous. Rarely, if ever, a caster need the perfect spell... Often times all you need is a good enough spell, and that's far easier to have prepared...
Indeed. But with that comes a loss of power, wouldn't you agree. A good enough spell is not as good as the perfect spell, I would think that is obvious.
Lemmy wrote:
You don't have Air Walk prepared... But you can summon a monster to carry you where you want. You don't have Purge Invisibility, but you have Dispel Magic. You didn't prepare Freedom of Movement, but have Liberating Command... Maybe you don't need to go to another plane today... But you can still use Plane Shift as a SoD effrct... And so on.

Dispel magic is one of the spells that usually makes it into the prepared list. It still requires a caster level check, and you often meet casters more powerful than you, giving you a less than 50% to succeed. Plane shift, again. requires getting up close and without a maxed out save DC, often doesn't help at all. And yes, freedom of movement is great - if you go underwater, or fight something that grapples etc. Otherwise, it is dead in your list, and could be used to cure serious wounds at best.

Lemmy wrote:
Not to mention there are spells that are incredibly versatile and/or so useful that they'll rarely go unspent. Summon Monster alone add grest versatility to a character (No. You don't need a whole build to make SM good). Stone Shape, Dispel Magic and all of Stone are other spell that can be prepared every day with little risk of not being useful. Freedom of Movement and Air Walk last a long time and not only are amazingly useful in combat, but also give the character the ability to deal with countless out-of-combat obstacles. Animate Dead has permanent effects...

No, SM can be useful. You can send your celestial dire badger into what you believe is a trap. That is always useful. If you want them for combat, please tell me how a CR 4 (with SM 4, CL 7) or 1d3 CR 3 creatures will effectively impact a battle appropriate for a level 7 party, i.e. against an encounter EL 7-11? With std action summoning, Augmented Summoning and Superior Summoning, sure. Without them, don't bother. I suppose I don't see the sheer power you do in Wall of stone, but I admit it can be useful at times.

Lemmy wrote:
And PC usually have at least an idea of what they'll be fighting that day... They aren't randomly teported to completely unknown scenarios.

They might. In my experience, the unknown opponents outnumber the known. The first real chance you have to learn about them is when you're in physical proximity. At that point, sure, take your fifteen minutes to respec. I am sure your party will manage 150 rounds without you. Augury, Divination and whatnot gets you yes/no answers or cryptic hints (yaaaaay) at best. So, at a cost of 1 spell slot each, how many such questions do you put? But, perhaps this is a GM style issue. What I do know is that as soon as the boxed text in a scenario ends with "they draw their weapons and attack", you're hosed.

Lemmy wrote:
The only "specialization" a Cleric needs is a little Str or Dex and taking a few combat feats like any other character if they want to be warriors... But even without that they can use Guided Aeapons, summons and/or undead minions to effectively fulfill the front-liner role... Even if they aren't the ones swinging the sword.

As a cleric, you have NO class options beyond medium armor that boost your melee capability. Depending on your definition of "want to be warriors", I would argue they need quite a bit more than "a little Str or Dex and taking a few combat feats". A guided weapon lets you hit better, but doesn't give you wis to damage, resulting in your standard 1d8+2 or so, which generally fails to be impressive at level 3 or so. Summons, we have already discussed. Undead minions... well, I don't know what to tell you if you believe zombies are any sort of good solution for front-line fighting.


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As written, channel energy stinks. Sure, it's great healing at low levels, but it scales terribly. Taking the feats to improve it only makes sense in a campaign that lasts only for low levels.

Yes, they can change the spells they carry. People make MUCH of this. Yes, if a player knew what would happen, say, if they read the adventure beforehand, this would be an unbeatable advantage.

But if you don't, other mechanisms enter into it. You have a very finite number of spells per day, particularly at low levels. Due to action economy, only the highest few levels are really relevant in combat. As you guys have repeatedly stated: Clerics have spells useful in combat. They have spells useful before combat. They have spells for divining the future. They have spells for generic problem solving (such as the mighty water breathing...) They even have the option of leaving spell slots open, so they can sort-of respec given 15 minutes.

In other discussions, there is a term called Schroedinger's wizard. Whatever the situation, such a wizard always has exactly the right spell prepared, no matter how obscure. The Schroedinger's cleric is, naturally, utterly tier 1.

By the same token, the cleric is not going to have the perfect spell for every situation, as it happens. In fact, all those divinations are going to cost a significant number of slots (and at best it gives you yes/no/cryptic phrase answers). EACH COMBAT is going to cost a significant number of buffs, plus of course the spells used IN combat. And... if you do leave spell slots open, which IS a powerful option, those slots are slots you don't even have accessible in combat. It isn't something you can do a lot of, except for slots significantly lower than your higest, without losing a large part of your combat staying power.

Sure, not every problem is thrown right at you. Every now and then you get one of the two scenes that give you the option of resting those 15 minutes: Travel montages and research episodes. Take a look at the module of your choice. Is there, really, a significant number of scenes that do allow you to take 15 minutes off? I would say that in general, no, there is not. Most published modules put you in action scene after action scene, combat or not. And if they do, and your cleric needs to buff, you will need to cast those spells again to have them on if combat happens.

Given this... I find it to be arguing in bad faith that clerics are so hugely powerful because they can respec. Yes, to some degree they can. But for most people playing clerics, the situation remains: You choose a standard complement of spells, possibly with a few slots open and most of them at a lower level, and you focus on what you want to do. You will not be able to know everything that will happen to you, not even close, even if you use a lot of divination spells. You certainly can't do that, buff yourself, buff others, heal, condition removal, general problem solving, in-combat spellcasting and have open slots with the slots available. Add to this the simple fact that action economy doesn't really let you do all of this at once either.

So, I still don't see that the cleric spell list is going to let you compensate for a lack of focus. Not without a specific type of scenario where you get long stretches of time to respec at will, or a very 15 minute day.


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Addiction is a complex beast. The basics are: When you drink too much, you start needing more eventually. Part of it is that your body learns to handle more alcohol, but your brain also produces more receptors for it. When you quit, all those receptors are what gives you the urge to drink - you get anxiety if you don't. After a few weeks or months, this stops. The receptors are hidden away, but they remain. They always do.

And they stay away, until you next get in contact with alcohol. The truly sad part here is that the mechanism is extremely sensitive. As little as the SMELL of alcohol could potentially trigger all the receptors coming back online. See, since alcohol is a low-weight liquid at room temperature, there are clouds of it everywhere people drink, and it always smells. And if you do smell enough of it, or if you take a drink, you WILL end up exactly where you were before you quit last time.

So, the only way to be safe is not to be even close to it.

The compassionate part of the message is that it's biochemical. It doesn't happen because you're a weak or bad person. Alcohol addiction is a medical condition.


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Probably not going to change much. And if brexit wins, the uncertainty is going to get worse fast.


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Monster: 1d765 ⇒ 631

Which is... a... shark...

Well, not giving up quite yet. I will get back to the shark.


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Yeah, probably. After having played a significant number of clerics, both in 3.5 and in PF, I remain convinced that the old slogan about how massively powerful clerics are, even in PF, is b#!%$%&%. Mostly, it seems to be about how clerics can be great to have in the party for everyone else, how they can "solve any problem" using magic information they get from "divination spells" which remain unspecified and oceans of time that they don't have. Without focus, they suck at most of the roles that are available in combat, whether it is getting up close to cast save or suck spells, not having the spells to deal good direct damage, summoning which typically summons something miserable four CRs below you, or melee which gets you whacked with only medium BAB, medium armor, medium hp. To shine with a cleric, you need to focus so hard that you will exclude most other options. Despite all the snark, I fail to see how water breathing makes a cleric tier 1.


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No, because the foodstuffs were already made. I just had to wait to be given the stuff I ordered.


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I dunno. I would ask a terminally ill person if I could have that organ when they die. You know, body kept alive despite brain death and all that.


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Yes, exactly, ANRD. Exactly.


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Deathwalker had the idea that there was a non-replaceable organ in the sophont body that was needed for the serum.


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Just had a bad queue experience. Burger joint, two cashiers, people standing in one lump between them. Two lines form, and a group of three girls around ten or so split up between the lines to join whoever gets there first. Obviously so. I ask them which line they stand in. They get there right then, of course, and I have to wait for ages despite being right behind them.

I am not violent.

But... drawn and quartered comes to my mind. Graaaaagh!!!


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Useless underlings. Can't even bring me tribute. Hmph. I really should file a complain about the quality of the service here. Yeah, then you'll all be sorry. You will be fired. So there.


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Professor Farnsworth, Scientist wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Humph. Well, you can't prove I have the princess anyway. Now for the matter at hand! I demand tribute!
Isn't it a little early to be planning your memorial tribute? You aren't defeated yet.
You may have defeated the assassins I didn't send to kill you, but that doesn't give you any right to question me. I demand tribute (that's T-R-I-B-U-T-E by the way), because it is my right to do so. Are any of you Space Empresses? No. Didn't think so. Now get to it, underlings.
What does God Space Empress need with a starship compact SUV? [/le jambon Shatner]

I can feel your pain. But I won't.


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How much is the Slovenly trull, and how much more for the Expensive doxy?


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Three wildly different endings??? Cool! Do we get red, green or blue again?


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Blah. Of course I would! ... eventually. You say I am given the amulet. That goes into my bank deposit. And then, some decades down the line, hopefully before I grow senile or dead, I return to it and press my palm to it. No need throwing away decades of life. Lichdom will keep - that's sort of it's appeal. If I do not manage this, it will pass to my children, to decide what to do with.

Let's say I manage to do it properly, the next issue becomes "with 11th level powers, can I continue gaining XP?" Even if not, that still means 6th level spells. Are there any around to learn? This world is not very forthcoming with those - which would absolutely shape my future activity. Next: Are there others? I would need to know if this means I am alone in the arcane magic field, or if it's a Highlander deal. Could I do spell research, and teach magic? Oh, and I would need to take VERY good care of my phylactery.


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No. Just no.

In second edition, the action you took modified your initiative. Casting time, weapon speed, etc. That made it a necessity. But oh, such a horrid, joyless mess it made. Such endless arguments about changing your action. Such a stupid idea.


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Aranna wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Humph. Well, you can't prove I have the princess anyway. Now for the matter at hand! I demand tribute!
Isn't it a little early to be planning your memorial tribute? You aren't defeated yet.

You may have defeated the assassins I didn't send to kill you, but that doesn't give you any right to question me. I demand tribute (that's T-R-I-B-U-T-E by the way), because it is my right to do so. Are any of you Space Empresses? No. Didn't think so. Now get to it, underlings.


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No, really, you did WHAT??? Clothesline a tree.


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Humph. Well, you can't prove I have the princess anyway. Now for the matter at hand! I demand tribute!


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Humans are well known to be a dwarf-elf crossbreed.


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KK thinks singing telegrams are nice, but the attrition rate is frightful.


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I believe Gurg put it best. "FOOD STAYS FOOD!!!"


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Syrus Terrigan wrote:

@Operationdromedary --

Nice to meet you! Again.

I love the historical reference! Why I can't find anything on the 'net about it, I don't know, but I'm sure that "Operation Dromedary" was an undertaking in the North African Theater during World War II.

I used to be a WWII trivia buff.

I... knew that.


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Everyone forgets me. *sighs*


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Metal!


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No such thing is necessary. You don't need male and female individuals at some point with mutation X. Here's why:

Not every gene is expressed. This is why there is a difference between genotype (the encoded genes) and phenotype (the expressed traits). Easiest example is the ABO system for blood antigens. Someone with an A blood type (phenotype) can have two different genetic codes (genotype), namely AA and AO.

It is entirely possible that individuals hold a large part of the necessary genes without much expressing them. And then, eventually, when the genes have spread throughout a small population, there will be individuals that express those genes.

It is also a misunderstanding that different species can't produce offspring. There are a good number of examples of this in nature, even complex situations like bird species A that can interbreed with bird species B, which can in turn interbreed with bird species C - but A can't interbreed with C. Whether such offspring is fertile depends on the pairing. Or, to be specific: How well the genomes of the different species match up. We know today that the genome of humanity has a, albeit a small one, fragment of neanderthal DNA. For this to have happened, there would have needed to be fertile crossbreeds.

What drives evolution is environmental pressure. Some condition makes a certain trait let the individual more likely to survive. Bacteria under antibiotic attack and antibiotic resistance. Heat tolerance and a hot environment. Fast movement and a dangerous environment with many predators. And so on. With all these genes come a cost. A resistant bacterium needs to spend energy to produce the resistance proteins - meaning that in competition with bacteria similar to it but without antibiotic resistance, the resistant strain would lose out eventually, unless of course there is pressure from antibiotics - that makes it worth it. Similarly, being fast is not a simple thing. Look at a cheetah. The entire body is optimal for speed - but not much else.

There is no difference between microevolution and macroevolution. Boundaries between species are fluid and uncertain things, often more a question of the human need for taxonomy than reflective of anything real. Take a species in a well-defined environment with a certain set of dangers and challenges, and move half of it to a different environment. Wait a long time, i.e. many generations. Lots of them. Compare the two populations. They will be different. Evolution.


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Curses!!! Now who can I get to prevent information spread???


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No... But the core assumptions are what remain, everything else flutters forward and back - but the core assumptions always change back if they change. Peter will eventually find himself back at freelance photographing for no money for Daily Bugle.


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Dammit. Another one. Well, petunias, you have your target. Oh, and don't worry, they are equal-opportunity-eating.


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Sorry. Nobody rescues the Princess. She is a security risk, and you shouldn't even know about her. I see the space badgers need a new task...


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When Spidey retired back in the day, there was eventually a new Spider, Mattie, with different powers, but the same job. She was eventually killed, of course. The related changes ALSO reverse eventually.


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I dunno. Darwin was one smart cookie. I am pretty sure he would have been delighted to see where his theory has gone today. And of course, there is enough evidence of evolution HAPPENING for ignoring it to be unrealistic at best. For a very simple example: Cultivate bacteria. Put them under heat that is somewhat dangerous to them. Lots of them die. Among those that do not, you will find that the genes for heat tolerance are now pretty common. Same with antibiotic resistance. It is not just for those individuals, either, but traits that remain with the strain for a long time. Keep subjecting them to heat and antibiotics and the traits will remain and grow stronger. Stop heating, and the strain will no longer have such evolutionary pressure to keep it, and it may disappear in a while. It isn't just bacteria, though. Fishes from one lake divided in two from the same genetic pool, have been observed to differ greatly depending on the conditions in the respective resulting lakes.

Regarding the probability of life arising, make a thought experiment. If we assume that life happens AT ONE SINGLE POINT IN THE UNIVERSE, on a planet around one of the billions and billions of stars... Riddle me this: Where in the universe will people eventually sit thinking about how unlikely the emergence of life is?


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For the love of God, KenderKin!


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There is far, far, far, far, far too much to keep even a significant portion in your mind these days. I know the contents of the core rulebooks pretty well. I skim the rest. If I apply it, that is when I dig into the options that exist... But usually via pfsrd.


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You really call him Pocky?


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Flip-mat: Empty Space?

... I will just go home now.


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*looks at the sorry state of the screened people once hailing is responded to*

*hardens her face*

I am Space Sissyl, Supreme Grand Megapoobah of the Eleventh Space Empire! You are trespassing on my territory. PERISH OR DIE!!!


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Atmosphere??? Seriously??? The entire place is painted in pastel colours. I suppose that is evil...


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Nod. Get treat.


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Well, if you count removing half the sides and reshaping the remaining from equilateral triangles to irregular quadrangles, then yes. I would still say no.


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These days, the porn percentage of internet use has dropped sharply. It isn't that weird. Most traffic nowadays is stuff talking to other stuff. The internet of things. House talks to your mobile phone and asks if it is time to set up the heat before you come home. Dishwasher checking with the electric net to see if now is a good time to begin.

But... what happens when your house and the dishwasher start looking at porn...?


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My archer unit sank a battleship in Civilization...

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