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Tom Forkbeard wrote:
I'm a US citizen but live in Sweden, does that count? I live in a small town and haven't found any other players.
Swedish RPG scene is pretty difficult. The major cities have some of us, and the cons are somewhat different from American ones and gaining visitors every year. Still, isn't finding a group pretty rough everywhere?
Well, now that the movie seems to be officially dead, if they still want it out, put it on the torrent sites for free. Given that they won't have a cent of money from it no matter what, that there isn't a movie in the Western world with a better ad campaign, that would flood the world's computer screens with the movie. No bombings, no lawsuits, nothing. Nobody would have to worry about anything North Korea or anyone else would do.
Right tool for the right job, wouldn't you say?
What could happen is that we dump the currect, admittedly imperfect, system for another more to the tastes of our so-called leaders. One without checks and balances, one more "efficient", with "better" "leadership", a more "Sustainable" one. Along with the unwillingness to expand when we need to, to consider all energy sources including the unpopular ones, and the failing of antibiotics... It is a pretty bad recipe.
The best thought experiment along those lines is the "it's too unlikely"-killer argument.
Lots of people, usually ones in various sects, try claiming that it is statistically too unlikely that the Earth developed life, so there has to be a creator. Some try to make some sort of calculation about it, such as so and so many cubic kilometers of ocean, so and so many millennia, and so and so improbable to develop a certain amino acid, means there is not enough ocean x time for that to happen.
One simple question answers this perfectly: "And the places where life did not develop, what do the people there think about this probability?"
Only where life developed can anyone think these things. It is like saying a marathon winner among thousands of starters that his victory was so unlikely it didn't happen. Or that a lottery winner's win was too unlikely to happen.
You can only really talk about FUTURE probabilities. Once they have happened, they are DIFFERENT. Take a d20, roll it a thousand times. But before you start, what is the probability to roll 20 every roll? The exact same as every other combination of results, of course. Now make the rolls. Note down the sequence you got. Probably not all 20s... But hey, you got a specific sequence... And all such sequences were equally probable... So, your probability to get the one you got was (1/20)^1000. And because it is now in the past, it is now 1.
Please don't judge the likelihood of stuff that has already happened, and especially don't try to prove God by doing so.
Artemis: BDSM has nothing to do with slavery. Difficult? Maybe. The thing is, BDSM relationships are about TRUST. They are entered into willingly. They are intimate relationships, where both parties care deeply for one another. Slavery, by contrast, is forced on someone by someone who doesn't care on a personal level for the slave.
Do not confuse the two, and most especially do not imagine that tolerance and acceptance for BDSM relationships would EVER equate to support of slavery. You would in all likelihood find nobody who would oppose slavery as staunchly as people in the BDSM scene. That person who begs you to own them is MAKING A CHOICE. You are fine to take him or her in and treat them according to their wishes... But once they no longer want to be owned, you violate the basic tenets of BDSM if you prevent them from leaving. Whether you consider SSC or RACK your requirements for such relations, those Cs (for consensual) should tell you something.
BDSM is something beautiful people share. Slavery is a true horror.
One aspect I often find missing in this kind of discussion is the simple fact that almost EVERYONE has a deeply seated experience of gender, just like they have sexual preferences. All the men who identify as men and women who identify as women do. If something were to change this, say, having to surgically remove breasts due to breast cancer, or hormonal disorders that make you look more like the other sex, are serious identity problems to most people, things they want to correct bloody ASAP if at all possible. And that is not even questioned. It is just when a trans person feels the same sort of problem needs to be rectified that it gets open for discussion. I find it sad and shameful.
What surprises me, however, is this: In Sweden, the process is paid by the state during two years, beginning with a thorough psychological evaluation. You get the hormones, the surgery, psychological support during it all, and so on. And still, the results are so-so. Last I heard, about a third felt things got significantly better after, a third felt it was significantly worse, and the final third did not see much of a difference. I am well aware that this is the Swedish process, but why doesn't it help more people?
Thanis Kartaleon wrote:
Blah blah blah. :-) So, we are left with Norgorber and his unknown date of ascension? After all, everyone just assumes that was the starstone... Why?
One pretty situation in Sweden a few years ago was when a man suffering from epilepsy had had a seizure on the street but was not noticed. When he came to again, he was postictal, i.e. surly, not thinking clearly, and his body was stiff and jumpy. He met a whole squad of policemen who took him for a druggie and beat the s~$+ out of him. Luckily he survived.
My group refused to turn Trinia over to Kroft, for the very good reasons described. Instead, they sent her off to Harse. However, they then received word of an execution planned anyway, an execution of a feebleminded and hair-dyed woman. This was where Blackjack intervened, and this girl too was sent to Harse. So, when the party finally make their way to Harse themselves, they meet not only Trinia, but the other woman. Since a 6th level spell is needed to remove feeblemind, and it has a permanent duration, the people there have not been able to remove it, instead they have fed her and cared for her. With no name given, they affectionately call her Drooley or Drooley girl. *scratches her head* Ah well, I suppose I need to make her sort of important somehow.
Babylon 5 is a bit of an acquired taste. I started watching it at 2:4, which was a brilliant starting point. I have since seen seasons 1-4, and I agree that season 1 is not very impressive. The strength of the series is the story arc, the way things build on what happened before - but that started in season 2 or the very end of season 1. See seasons 2-4 and savour it.
A few issues:
The IPCC has pitifully bad fact checking. The point of the "glaciers gone in 35 years" wasn't just that they were wrong, but that this one got into their most important publications. If they are that desperate for stuff to put into their papers, don't they have real stuff that's bad enough? What else that they put in their papers is of similarly poor quality? How far can we trust their data? When you check who is on the final gate before publication, it's a who's who of Greenpeace, WWF and such organizations, all of whom have a very much vested interest in widespread panic on the issue.
The environmental fanatics certainly don't rein in their predictions. It wasn't too long ago that they screamed about "70 meters of sea level rise within 20 years" or whatever. Beyond being completely sodding impossible, it didn't do them any favours for credibility. Further, there are two tendencies that make it worse. First, they keep pushing back the DOOMSDAY DATE, from 2050 in 2007 when it all started, then in 2010, they updated it to 2060. In six years, it will be 2070, in all likelihood. See, if you scream your head off about "the atmosphere will be torn away from the Earth", 70 meters of sea level rise, and similar stupidity to get attention, you kind of need a 50 year span of years so people won't come questioning you later. Second, they keep updating the predictions. The most obvious one is how they are now talking about climate change, not global warming, once their data became too difficult to fit to what had actually happened. Not exactly a phenomenon that inspires confidence.
Finally, and probably the worst part of it, they keep playing a sorry game about who gets to say what. These last seven years, it's been very clear that if you're not One Of Them, you have no right to say anything about the issue at all. Questioning the slightest issue means you're a heretic, sorry, denier, and they spare no expense in splashing liberal amounts of dirt to smear people who don't share their opinions. They "redefine the peer review process" by outmaneuvering people and journals they don't like. They refer to their "consensus" as if it's ever been a part of scientific theory, or counting how many scientists agree with them. It is ugly, and it again does nothing for their credibility.
Feel free to call me a Denier and Heretic if you will. They may be right, I just wish these people could handle themselves better - so far I am completely unimpressed.