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jocundthejolly's page

791 posts (795 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 6 aliases.


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Lemmy wrote:
Scythia wrote:
Really, intelligence as a heritable trait? I thought eugenics had died a well deserved death already.

Uh... I don't think that would qualify as eugenics.

While I have never seen any scientific studies that demonstrated that one ethinicity or another was smarter than the others (well... none that used real science, that is. Only old ones that used pseudo-science to justify racism), why wouldn't intelligence be influenced by genetics (i.e.: your parents and ancestors, not your ethinicity)?

Some studies of the intelligence of Ashkenazi Jews have provided evidence of strong(er) cognitive abilities.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathos wrote:

I listened to the news coming out of Paris...

That's my eventful Friday the 13th...

Fortunately word is that all Paizonians in the area are safe and accounted for, though the PaizoCon events scheduled for the weekend have, understandably, been cancelled.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Thejeff wrote:
Yeah, forget Freud's invented untestable explanations for human behavior and go with evolutionary psychology.

As opposed to the testable explanations of other forms of psychology?

That's the basic problem for trying to treat it as a science. You're trying to get at someone's thoughts and at current technological levels they're pretty unknowable.

You are aware that not only has that led down some really nasty blind alleys

If you're looking for the true nature of humanity and you find yourself in a nasty blind alley you have quite likely arrived at the right address.

It's a fact that we evolved, and that includes our behaviors. No matter how complex our brains are they are the result of that evolution and thus have been formed with survival and reproduction of our genes as their primary motive and function. We did not drop 3 billion years of evolution out of our species the second the light came on and we achieved consciousness.

It is a mistake to say that what is creates any sort of ought obligation on the part of our brains to do anything, but starting with the right idea of what our brains are is incredibly important to understanding why they do the things they do.

As Gould pointed out in arguing against adaptationism and evolutionary just-so stories, the brain can do a lot of things, most of which are the result of nonadaptive sequelae.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As a poet I would cite poor Geraldine (1790s) as the grandam of weird lesbian romance, in English at least (though Coleridge never specifies what manner of being she is).

Treppa wrote:
The bari is a lovely and unappreciated instrument, though I personally prefer the French Horn (that temperamental little devil). I also love the viola and a good contralto. Seems like some instruments just don't get the love that others do.

When you said bari I thought of the baryton, which I also like.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh definitely. Many low-voiced instruments struggle to overcome a buffoonish reputation.

Arnold Weinstein did a Teaching Company course on 20th c American fiction which I really liked in which he traced the defining American myth of the titanic, godlike, hegemonic, imperial self (I don't think he called it a myth but I call it that), and also the shadow of that, which he calls Nobody, as in the figure of Bartleby or Dickinson's "I'm nobody".

1 person marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
SKR was at times a massive jerk. I presume you will be selling off all your D&D and Pathfinder products?
there's a difference between a jerk and an active bigot.
There's also a difference between things written by a jerk and works that actually contain bigotry. There's even a difference between works written by a bigot and works that actually contain bigotry.

Case in point Richard Wagner. This is a little different because his works were appropriated by the Nazis 50 years after his death, though he is hardly responsible for that association. In any case, it is generally agreed that he was a vile person. I don't believe, however, that his operas feature any anti-Semitic content, though performing his work in Israel has still been controversial.

This is distasteful coverage of Wicca. Everything I have read or seen of it indicates that it is benign, silly at worst.

Melkiador wrote:
I'd say that most religions do cover neutrality though. The Christian Bible uses Lukewarm for the concept, though it's sprinkled all throughout in the subtext.

Laodicean is a wonderful word.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
manwolf wrote:
The only things that make the news are sensationalism stories to make you watch the news. It would be cool to see more stories of how the majority of Muslims denounce the extremists that give them a bad name.

Its hard for people not to notice that less than 1% of the population is committing half of the terrorist attacks (once you exclude things like tree spiking or spray painting SUVS where no one gets hurt as terrorist). All of the good press in the world isn't going to counter that.

It bites that the vast majority of are going to be painted by the actions of a small minority but its the events themselves and the way dramatic events stick in peoples minds thats going to leave the impression, not the media.

Yes, although it is hard to escape circularity, i.e., terrorism is the word we use when Muslims, usually Arabs, do something violently disruptive of what we perceive as a non-violent zero-level (borrowing words from Zizek here). Violent acts committed by Israel or the United States, for example, would not be called terrorism (at least in this country).

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We're old school like you but I don't know if there is modal fantasy gaming anymore.

The NPC wrote:

So I was thinking something earlier- I know because I was there- and it got me thinking about nuclear explosions.

Besides the obvious drops on Japan in 1945 and possibly Chernobyl, what are some significant explosions where a number of people died?

It's not really what you are talking about but there was an accident at SL-1 in Idaho decades ago that killed a few people.

KestrelZ wrote:

According to the CDC, 108 pediatric deaths occurred in the USA from 2013-2014 from influenza. This does not count adults that died from it.

I'm not trying to scar people, just trying to shed perspective on matters.

Ebola is a very painful and frightening virus, yet people should not panic and head for the doomsday shelters yet.

We DO need to strengthen efforts to assist Africa in their crisis. We also have to keep perspective in order to live a balanced life rather than survive by huddling in a bomb shelter.

Well, until now the drug companies have had no economic incentive to develop a vaccine. Had there been profit in curing these people they would have done it.

Can't find a free version but if you are willing to pay $2.99.

Kayerloth wrote:

No need for magic.

There are a large variety of desalinization processes that could be used. I'm no expert (or engineer) but one of the simplest methods is likely via solar 'power'. Basically evaporate the water off (from your salt water supply - something the sun does naturally), then condense and collect the water. The hard part according to the Wikipedia article I read is probably getting the solar energy concentrated on a small area to cause the natural process to speed up sufficiently for any large scale use.

Short read: Look into Desalinization on the Web.

I was thinking solar still (pot in hole in sun, plastic wrap over hole, water on plastic wrap, water into pot) but that probably wouldn't work in the desert.

Thanks for the information. I will strive to find more accurate sources but am gratified to see that some readers have found this topic interesting and deserving of comment.


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Ramsay Snow might be another one.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I would say Iago is the archetypal CE you are talking about. He is an individualist who is a master schemer and manipulator, can function in a hierarchy if that suits his purposes but has no sense of honor, lives to create chaos and ruin other people's lives ("motiveless malignity"). Unlike the typical lawful evil, he has no interest in power. Being at the top of a hierarchy wouldn't interest him.

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I would keep one magic missile spell in reserve at any wizard level, but I gjinkbuoull find your long term return for full investment in either spell lacking.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rynjin wrote:

First off, just want to point out that there is nothing, anywhere, even HINTED AT in the Code that prohibits drinking or prostitution. Feel free to get drunk and whore to your heart's content.

Second, as long as the deities are aligned, I see no issue. Worshiping multiple gods is something that should be common in a world with hundreds of them.

Re prostitution: theoretically, yes, but the details matter. I agree that the moral currency of paying for a friend could be the same as that of paying someone to mow your lawn or clean your teeth. But in practice that transaction is often dishonorable, exploitative, if not downright abusive.

I like gold. I like working for it and putting my butt on the line earning it as an adventurer. I like the power it gives me and I like the things I can buy with it for myself and people I care about, but really I just like it. I like the way it looks when I stack my coins. I like the way it glints. I like the way it jingles. I'm not above being underhanded or dishonest occasionally to get it, but I generally find that distasteful (let's face it, though: unfortunately, it's an ugly and unfair world and a being can't be too inflexible about principles if he or she wants to survive. That said, I can't imagine stooping to theft.). Besides, being a cheat sometimes works for a while but eventually it catches up to you. If you are a deal maker like me, you get a bad reputation, which hurts in the long run. I'm not a skinflint: I'll toss a few coppers to a beggar or help a friend out once in a while if I feel like it. That said, my gold is what I care about, and it's mine to do what I want with as I see fit.

I think most do, although you might be interested to know that it is illegal for some stations in the US to post advance playlists nowadays. Many fans are aggrieved because WQXR posted them when it was owned by the Times Company, but apparently would run afoul of the DCMA now that it is a public station.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ooo, I need to check this thread out. Phoenix has a local classical station I've been listening to since I arrived, but I couldn't identify anything they play. Mostly just use it to not road rage on the highways.

I usually listen to WQXR on the radio or WCPE online. I'm always impressed by the amount of great music I have never heard. On the other hand, classical has its many warhorses.

Electric Wizard wrote:
Ah yup.

Sheesh. Next you are going to tell us that sin²θ + cos²θ = 1

LazarX wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

On a separate note, I'll say that whenever I hear words like "privilege" and "patriarchy" (or any other "YOUR people are actively conspiring to screw MY people" term) I instantly assume the discussion became a pointless and unproductive victim-hood contest.

I'm white, male and straight... And I was born and raised in Brazil, meaning I'm Latin too. So what am I? Privileged or a member of a oppressed minority? If you ask me, I'm neither. I'm just a guy doing his best to live a comfortable and fulfilling life, and like everyone else, I occasionally have to deal with people who dislike me, some of them will have a reason for that, and others won't.

Maybe I'm an odd case, but as far as I know, no one ever harmed me because of my nationality, neither in the US nor in England (where my sister lives, so I visit the country once in a while). I've been called "cracker" on a few occasions, though.

What do you LOOK like?, because that's generally the key thing. If you pass for, speak like, and dress like a whitebread American, you'll probably be treated as such, which means you are in the privileged racial caste, and I assume you have the plus of being male. which means.

1. You're more likely to be hired for a given job.

2. You're less likely to be put in the position of being assumed a crook or felon until you prove otherwise.

3. You're more likely to be promoted than you're colored or female colleague, much less your female colored colleague.

These are facts.. White Privilege generally means not being treated like a third class citizen.

I have also read that light-skinned African-Americans in the United States move more easily, so to speak, in this civilization than dark-skinned African Americans. Which I believe, although anyone with a black forebear in the last few generations is considered black in this country, even people like Colin Powell, whose skin is lighter than that of many white people.

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Shibboleth might be a useful word for you.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Pixie Dust wrote:

Except that, as I mentioned before, everything else that comes from sex is to further increase probabilities. For instance, as you mentioned, Pair-bonding. Humans are a VERY SLOW developing species at first. Additionally, unlike nearly every other animal, we remain completely and utterly helpless and are utterly dependent on our parent for EVERYTHING during the first year of life. This is MUCH different than many other animals who are capable of moving on thier own within a few weeks after birth. This often requires 100% of the mother attention for the first year. Furthermore, the mother for the first couple of weeks will also be recovering from child birth (human childbirth is easily one of the most difficult and life threatening), thereby making her incapable of going to go get food. Therefore, humans often NEED a mate to help take care of them and to further increase the chances of a child surviving past that first year. That is why sex a verys trong pair-bonding tool.

Again, everything boils down to reproduction and the furthering of the species. This thougth can actually be applied to just about near everything most creatures do (humans are a bit of an odd species since we are capable of over-riding our own natural instincts with force of will and capable of doing things that, to an evolutionary stand point, would be straight dumb and regressing)

I agree with all that. I think we disagree on definitions.

Pair-bonding and sex are different things. BOTH evolve to make us more likely to survive to beget future generations. Just like everything else.

Not really. Evolution is not a teleological process, and it produces a lot of stuff with little or no adaptive value. Paraphrasing Gould, the evolution of the brain has also produced a lot of cognitive and behavioral sequelae, such as the ability to carry a tune or do calculus. Neither should it be assumed that extinction records poor adaptation (no one would argue that the dinosaurs were poorly adapted to their environments). Gould was one of the greatest writers and thinkers on this topic. "Spandrels" I think was his landmark statement.

It's here.

thejeff wrote:
Terquem wrote:

Pedophilia, is not a topic that is treated lightly on these forums, my post will probably be deleted, but until it is

My opinion is that pedophilia is the delusion that sex with a child is not pathological sadism

As I understand it, pedophilia is the sexual attraction to prepubescent children. I suspect there are quite a few people who feel that attraction, but do not act on it because they are not pathological sadists.

And also don't ever let anyone know or seek help because of the likely consequences.

In much the same way that someone can be necrophiliac and not actually have sex with corpses. Perhaps they deal with those issues through fantasy or roleplay. (Not the kind of fantasy and roleplay we do here, usually :)

I don't know whether their motivations are noble or if they simply want to preserve themselves (I imagine some of each), but there is a group calling itself Virtuous Pedophiles which has received some publicity in recent years. The members commit to doing no harm to children.

171)Cosmic ophthalmos: a comet or artifact used by a archdiviner to explore the cosmos remotely


Whoa, Lazarus thread.

I want to add that slavery was complex in the ancient world. No one would argue that it's morally acceptable, but many slaves enjoyed a good deal of autonomy and lived reasonably well. It wasn't by any means true that all slaves did backbreaking forced labor under the lash.

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ShadowcatX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Of course it does. It also makes it difficult to criticize the Palestinian "terrorist" organizations for targeting civilian targets. As much as accepting this leaves a dry taste in my mouth.
I got no difficulties. It serves no purpose, is probably counterproductive, and just makes them look like the a!#!&@@s that they are.

While I agree it's probably counter productive, I'm not sure what the alternative is. Israel has shown itself in the past to be quite happy with the status quo, quietly expanding settlements and dividing Palestinian territory further with Israeli controlled roads even at the lowest points of Palestinian violence. As far as I can see the only thing Israel wants from the Palestinians is more land for settlements and an end to violence.

Things are almost certainly worse for Palestinians now, but there's never been any sign of a long term solution. The only bargaining chip they have is stopping the violence and that's always been a precondition for any real negotiations. So "Give us what we want and then we'll start talking about making a deal."

Meanwhile, while everyone moans about how evil the Palestinian terrorists are, far more Palestinian civilians get killed than the other way around.

The alternative is to lay down weapons and go to the table and actually discuss things like mature boys and girls.

And do you think that maybe the reason palestenian civilians die is because they are being actively used as shields, not because they are being actively targeted?

I guess it depends what that entails. I do not believe Israel will ever come clean about its open secret nuclear weapons and its chemical weapons (they have used white phosphorus; it's safe to assume they have an arsenal of ugly stuff), allow inspections, give up the stuff that no country should have, sign the NPT like Iran has.

Alleran wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
As far as martial classes go, Hercules is probably the most powerful example, and I am not certain if there is anything he did that a 20th level Barbarian couldn't do.

Holding up the sky would be one example. Herakles was probably mythic, and after his own death he did ascend to full godhood.

There's an example in the Iliad where Diomedes was attacking Apollo, who said something along the lines of "no, you're a mortal, don't be stupid, you're not going to win this" - actually, the way that whole encounter between the two of them played out reminds me of what happens to people who attack you-know-who in Book 5 of WotR (except Apollo didn't inflict permanent injury/debilitation on Diomedes for daring to attack him).

I was thinking of the episode in which Athena buffs Diomedes, who then slashes Aphrodite's arm. That seems to support the idea that many of the Greek gods are comparable in power to PF demigods.

yellowdingo wrote:
Actually the solution may be unification. And all this child abduction has done is convince isis that killing kids on each side can be used to end all future peace and both factions are prepared to attack each other at the drop of a Lego brick.

Well, people seemingly always find reasons for Us/Them, but on the other hand people always have sex, too. Since the Semitic peoples, who have very recent common ancestors, obviously live cheek by jowl, I guess my hope is that interbreeding will gradually efface the distinctions (real or perceived) between peoples.

Adjule wrote:

I liked that many of their examples included Tika Waylan, along with Artemis Entreri (probably mangled the name, but oh well). Hearing that the default setting will be Forgotten Realms (ugh) makes me sad, but just like with Pathfinder, that doesn't matter. Greyhawk, I thought, was better for the generic setting, like in 3rd edition.

It would be nice if they had a conversion book, giving examples of how to convert from the 4 previous versions of the game.

I was surprised that Dragonlance is right out there, since it has been in the basement for so long, but that strategy makes sense. Classic settings, classic stories, and classic characters are the big chips they have in their competition with Pathfinder (and other games, aside from a few iconic monsters).

Andrew R wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
I give to charity as well.

And you don't give enough. The fact is it wouldn't matter if you gave 100% of it. You don't make enough. By the math of your own political party, you're a moocher.

I just do not think the answer to all problems is to have the government steal from others to do what i want it to.

All taxation is not theft. That is a ludicrous, disingenuous position that undercuts any legitimate arguments you might have. Feigning moral outrage that government needs money to do stuff and GASP! isn't perfect is not a legitimate discussion point.

It is about time we start convincing the people what is right
Seriously, you're saying we don't need taxation because you are somehow going to do something Jesus and Buddha together couldn't accomplish. Its not a viable alternative to taxation, don't pretend it is one.

My complete lack of a party makes that a fools judgement. The fact that i strive to never take from anyone makes me the opposite of a moocher

Taxes are taking what a man earns, it should be done as little as possible.

True charity and people actually working together gets more results than any attempt to cover over an issue with money. Real human interaction does more good than institutions ever will, especially once the bureaucrats start to game and take from it

What about wealth "a man" doesn't earn? What about wealth "a man" has unfair advantages competing for?

And conrol-f.

Is this OK? Seems paternalistic at best.

DrDeth wrote:
Robert Carter 58 wrote:

So I've been looking for ways to mitigate that.

Two solutions I've been playing with should I GM again are this.

A) run a E6 (or more likely E8) game. If you're not familiar with this variant, it's D&D/pathfinder played the same as always but players stop leveling once they hit a level cap the GM determines- level 6 typically though the GM could set it higher (I prefer 8). Advancement there after is only by a feat. So it stops rule bloat to a certain extent. You advance to level 8 or so, then every so many xp's the PCs earn feats.

Bah. E6 would be going in the opposite way from AD&D. AD&D had VERY powerful characters (I have one demi-god and two Immortal heroes, for example). Sure, D20 has 'rule bloat" but E6 does nothing to trim RULES, it trims PC power, and allows the DM to run a game without thinking too much.

An 18 ability score was special, though. It doesn't mean anything any more. I never liked the power up that came with 3E, the routine ability score increases. It's possible to go too far in lifting restrictions.

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Pupsocket wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Also, stealing isn't definitively evil. If anything it's chaotic, but not really evil. Unless you're stabbing or threatening people to get it.

No, it's Evil as a baseline. You are f#@@ing over people who have done you no wrong to benefit yourself. That is the very definition of evil. It's the shallow end of evil, and you can get away with a lot of stealing before losing your Neutral or even Good alignment, but it's still Evil.

But most heroic thieves are either subsistence thieves (Aladdin), where actual survival is the motive, not gain at the expense of others, or community champions fighting an oppressive regime (Robin Hood).

I think context is required. Cleaning out a poor person's few coppers for fun or just to be sadistic is evil. Stealing trifles from a rich person to feed a starving kid, not so much. I think there is a difference in kind there, not just a difference in degree.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
But is altruism ethical? Ayn Rand would vehemently disagree.
Shortest turn around between asking and answering your own question ever.

OQ, depends how you define altruism. In my experience, people who like Ayn Rand often resort to caricatures of altruism or straw men (e.g., altruism means destroying yourself). But it is a marvelously complex phenomenon that primatologists, evolutionary biologists, and psychologists have devoted many lifetimes to studying, fruitfully I think.

Kahn Zordlon wrote:
Private individuals and enterprises are what's important, not special interests and bureaucrats. Let the government starve, atrophy, and be seen for what it really is.

The chief defender of our rights, and of capitalism?

Probably reread some of my favorite MR James tales as the year dies. I don't know any better literary terror. Maybe something new also. I've been waiting to get my hands on Susan Hill's Small Hand and Dolly.

without a groan nowadays?

Here is d20srd's official list

Benrislove wrote:
Mergy wrote:
ArVagor wrote:
Paz wrote:
Griffin Rider wrote:
As a hard and fast rule "a" proceeds a word that starts with a consonant.
I'll be sure to remember that when referring to 'a NPC'.


While we're at it, can we please stop saying/writing "an history"? Damn Brits...

"An history" is correct though. Both are "a history" and "an history" are technically correct.

this is actually not true.

written a history, or a historic event is always correct. H is now a vowel sound.

SPOKEN An historic or an history CAN be correct if your accented speech patterns cause you to pronouce the "I" sound first.

an 'ISTORIC event can be correct when spoken that way, or when quoted (obviously) but it is never correct in written english. H is not a vowel sound.

though it is "considered" correct due to how commonplace the usage is. the majority of texts use the appropriate article usage because historic doesn't start with a vowel sound, unlike hour.

I wonder if this issue is partly baggage because ancient Greek had rough breathing and smooth breathing for words which began with vowels. History, for example, which comes nearly unchanged from Greek, and hippos (horse) start with rough breathing iota in Greek, which we write as initial h, while words like icthus (ichthys, fish) have smooth breathing.

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