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About itsamoose

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  1. Socialism

    This is one point in particular that I'm not sure how solves any of the problems laid out. Sure I would be in favor of eliminating corporate influence on our political process, but by replacing that with large labor unions would just be replacing one dismal power structure for another. The current corporate influence on US politics is effective because of it's ability to get votes, and I don't see how or why this sort of bureaucracy would be changed significantly if that influence was transferred to labor unions. We'd be changing the keys to power, but the motivations of those keys would remain unchanged. Organizations like labor unions may be more sympathetic, but I don't see how a similarly influential groups would act any differently than their corporate counterparts. The direction of capital accumulation might change, but I don't see how the dissemination will. Instead of vying for the support of corporate and business leaders, politicians would play the same game but with labor leaders as they did in the first half of the 20th century. Maybe I'm too cynical here, but I don't see how or why a labor leader would be more interested in building roads and bridges 3 states away than they would garnering more resources for their union. If you ever read Robert Gates' writing about his time as secretary of state, he describes how he went to great pains to eliminate the corporate and monetary influence on our military. In this time he describes learning that every single defense contract was a kingdom unto itself, and how he couldn't get even the most staunchly anti militaristic senators to vote against more defense spending because it might end up taking money away from their state. This is really my key disagreement with the social democrat point of view. It seems to hold that more people being involved in the process translates directly to more egalitarian and beneficial outcomes, but in all areas this has the capacity to create the same sort of inequality we see today. Even just the recent past we have Brexit, Prop 8 in california, bathroom bills and a whole host of other decisions defined more by selfishness than anything else. I get the same sense from the social democrats that I do from the occupy wall street movement--people generally against the status quo, but not with the requisite planning to identify and eliminate it's core problems. Oddly enough, I see in the proposed policies of social democrats the same sort of policies that got Trump elected-- that is to say economic populism and trade protectionism. I don't mean to be too harsh here, so rather than just be a nay-sayer here are a few questions I have for social democratic policies: 1) How and why do the motivations of labor leaders differ from corporate leaders with respect to the political process? Specifically, how would this not lead to the situation of real power only being in a few hands, or nepotism being the mode of the day. 2) What economic policies should be implemented to prevent the overwhelming accumulation of wealth other than to tax it? In other words, how should this be done before the wealth is accumulated? 3) What role should the government play in markets other than regulating them? Specifically, how would government domination of a market be prevented in any market the government becomes involved in? 4) What changes to government contracts and subsidies should be made? 5) What protections should be put in place to ensure smaller organizations or individuals are on a level playing field with larger ones? 6) How would the disparate needs of the various states in the US be handled, and what power would state governments need to have over federal? 7) How are strong regulatory practices, and direct government involvement or control in markets possible without a strong centralized authority? 8) If such an authority not existing is truly the difference between democratic socialism and other socialist regimes, how would the creation of this authority be prevented? TL;DR I think I have a decent grasp upon the philosophy of social democracy, but how is it to be put into practice?
  2. Socialism

    I've spent the last few weeks reading into the democratic socialist viewpoint (for lack of a better word) and to be honest, almost none of what they advocate is really socialism. Most of their advocacy and ideas come in the form of social programs, safety nets public works and the like, and in many ways I see the same sorts of personalities advocating for democratic socialism as I do for libertarian ideology. Mostly I see these movements as a response to crony capitalism, lobbying, private prisons, military contractors, and other things of this nature where nepotism and culturally adverse economic incentives exist. The two main points of socialism, to take a pragmatic view, is to criminalize profit and outlaw private property, neither of which seem to be objectives of the democratic socialists. There seems to be some general sense that a socialist system will take over gradually, but so far I can't find any proposals of how they intend to achieve this, or how they intend to defend against having the sort of outcomes that, to be perfectly frank, every single socialist government in the world has had. I suppose the one distinction I've noticed is the idea that economic and governmental systems should be decentralized, but I've yet to encounter any compelling arguments as to why this would create better outcomes. The argument tends to go that dictatorial power drives society in a negative way, but this seems to me just a possible for a bunch of people acting selfishly in the way democratic socialists content wouldn't create different but equally negative results. I suppose I'll keep an open mind, but so far I'm not finding much of the argumentation or pragmatic concerns of the philosophy all that satisfying.
  3. Masculinity

    Not to harp on this point, but this observation and others like it are the sort that I think is contributing to that misunderstanding described earlier. To view Masculinity as having a "good" and "bad" version is to conflate the idea and it's proponents. The desire for self reliance is not an inherently positive characteristic, and could be turned to either end. If I use a hammer to build a house for habitat for humanity, the hammer doesn't become imbued with benevolent traits any more than it would become imbued with malevolent ones if it was used to commit a murder. It is still just a hammer. If we associate a trait with masculinity, we must recognize that it is the application of this trait that determines it's worth, and not relegate it to either promotion of subversion. The idea of the masculine/feminine spectrum is one I find ultimately unsatisfactory. I can see why it is believed, but it seems to naturally lend toward a few fallacious conclusions: 1.) The ideas must stand in opposition to each other 2.) Either one is wholly good and the other wholly bad, or each has it's own distinct positive and negative version. This assigns agency to the idea rather than the agent, and is a mode of thinking that leads to, for example, the idea that sex is a conquest because sex is viewed as an inherent good. 3.) Traits that cannot be placed squarely in one camp or the other are worth less. not "worthless" but in fact, worth less than traits which are starkly feminine/masculine. This is a corollary to point 2, in that by making a value judgement of the concepts primarily in opposition to one another we relate their important to our perceptions more so than their results. 4.) We have conclusions drawn for us. For example, let's take the idea of self-reliance. By placing this on the masculine end of the spectrum we force ourselves to see it is beneficial to men, and antithetical to women. We see a woman's independence as a subversion of her character and not an expression of it. There are a few other minor points I have with the categorization, but these are the big ones. I'm not saying doing this is "wrong" necessarily, only that to do create an opposition where one need not exist. It allows us to see the ideas only as a matter of contrast, of good and evil in themselves, rather than something that could be used to either end. I contend that the sort of masculinity that leads to bullying is the exact sort that leads to dadliness. Both actions require the exertion of dominance, it is only the target of that dominance which has changed. We can't decide if an action is masculine or not, or by extension good or not, on it's own merits if we've already decided it's place on the spectrum.
  4. Masculinity

    From what I'm seeing, the softboy/fuckboy thing seems to highlight a failure of the dating and communication process more so than an aspect of masculinity. Certainly in my life, and this seems to be true with my conversations with others, sex or any physical aspects of a relationship are simply unacceptable goals in a romantic endeavor. Not only is this the case, but seeking these things directly is seen as a manipulation or subversion of the process. To this end sex has become a sort of currency in the process rather than a part of it. Particularly in the poem quoted above, the exchange appears to be seen as though between a con artist and their mark. I'm not sure how this ties to masculinity directly, aside from perhaps the experiences of the courting process for certain individuals, but it does appear clear that masculinity is the frame through which these sorts of communications are perceived. Of course there are those who would directly relate such tactics as dominant or manly, but I'm hesitant to accept any conclusions from such people for the obvious reasons. So far in this thread I've noticed much discussion of masculinity, perhaps in totality, as a bad thing or as a thing misused by the deceitful. I'd be curious to know, what would you say masculinity is? Not what is it used for, or where it might exist, or who might exhibit it, or what version of it is best, but what is it exactly? As someone who has had a quite positive experience in my life with (my) idea of masculinity I'm curious to know what you all think of the concept in its own context.
  5. Mass Effect Andromeda - Thumb Drive Engaged!

    I recently jumped back into the SP campaign of andromeda after the changes, and while a number of improvements have been the game still feels like it doesn't really have the same spark that the original trilogy had. The game starts quite strong, but quickly the whole thing starts to feel empty. My actions feel obligatory, and ultimately inconsequential. I find myself more often than not bumbling into main quest objectives, and the character interactions feel forced and inorganic. It seems to me like the conventional wisdom of game design was applied here, almost entirely to the detriment of the end result. To some extent a lot of the issues people see are the result of a rushed development, but after the recent fixes I don't think more time in the oven would have solved the core problems present.
  6. Crota 2Day: A Destiny 2 Forum Thread

    I'm also quite looking forward to destiny 2. Destiny in recent months has become my game to unwind with at the end of the day, and I'm glad to see a lot of the arbitrary restrictions removed from some of the content. My big concern though, and I've seen no indication this will change, is the incredible emphasis destiny places on random loot drops and immutable currencies. I recently discarded something like 50 exotic shards simply because I has no use for them, despite being an incredibly rare material. Otherwise, I'm really into a lot of the changes both to class designs and and equipment, as well as the broader experience of playing the game. In a lot of ways this feels like the game bungie has wanted to make all along. Also a bit of a side note, the game only coming to the blizzard launcher seems like a much more consequential move to me than it's being made out to be. It might be a one off thing, but at this point it seems like this is the first real sign that big publishers are starting to pull away from steam. EA already jumped ship a few years ago, and I wouldn't be surprised if Activision were going to do the same in the years to come.
  7. In terms of emergence, it might be more useful to think of games not as systems and mechanics, but as rules. For example: Be the first person to push the button is actually 2 rules at play--order and pushing buttons. We might see "first" and "push the button" as individual mechanics, and the interaction of the two could be seen as a system. Both systems and mechanics are either collections of rules or describe interactions based on rules, but emergence is still possible without such organization. For example, consider a the following two rules: 1. Boys like Girls 2. Girls like Robots Neither of those two rules describe what the game might be, what actions the player might take, if those rules can interact with one another, or how those rules might be organized. Those rules imply a number of concepts in the game (namely boys, girls, robots, and feelings) and the emergence is then a product of the interaction of those rules, or in other words things present but not necessarily defined.
  8. From a purely technical perspective, the answer is 2. So long as at least 2 systems are present in a game, and those systems are implemented in such a way that they can interact with each other then emergent interactions are possible. Really all you need are 2 rules with the possibility of interaction with one another in a way that isn't prescriptive. For example, the ability to press and buttons being pressed isn't an emergent interaction since one directly influences the other, but the ability for a ball to get knocked into a button such that it is pressed is since the ball pressing the button is just a logical consequence of the two rules interacting. You could say all you need is one, since rule can interact with itself(such as physics impulses), but I wouldn't necessarily go that far because that rule's core functionality would necessarily contain internal interactions. The result in this case might not appear prescriptive to us, but it's execution is entirely determined by explicit functionality. To put more of a point on the premise, what do you mean by "emergent stories" in this context. Technically a rocket jump in quake is an emergent story, although a limited one, but I get the feeling this case something particular is being driven at.
  9. Masculinity

    I've been thinking about Clyde's religion analogy, and I think that is a fantastic way of approaching the subject, or at least thinking about it. Much like religion, gender exists across various cultures and times, with a basis in the natural world with perhaps similar themes throughout but the dogma being inconsistent and tendencies being parallel. Also Gender it seems, much like religion, is more a matter of will than a matter of fact and it's expression subject to the whims of the day. For example singing and dancing were once seen as gentlemanly and masculine in the US, but are now seen as effeminate. Also it might explain my aversion or malaise in regards to the topic, but that is more of a personal thing. I have nothing more to add at this time, I just wanted to mention I really like that insight.
  10. Masculinity

    This is usually something I find is a weird dynamic in any conversation about gender, and something I've been thinking about lately, mainly in the difference between scientific gender and cultural gender (for lack of better terms). In essence, the scientific definition of gender exists for the purpose of objectivity in experimentation-- for the purposes of any experiment a "male" is an organism with an XY sex chromosome, and a "female" is one with an XX chromosome. That's not to say that any differences must or will exist based on that distinction, but that that distinction is a useful and ultimately necessary tool for biological experimentation. I think that this hard lined definition, which exists for a distinct purpose alone, and explicitly for the purpose of discrimination in biology, for many people then becomes the basis by which social concepts associated with biological genders are also defined. In that case, again in the course of experimentation, different discrimination can and would apply to the various subject groups. This is why every serious scientific study will start with a definition of terms just like a legal document, in order to preserve objectivity in the methodology. I don't want to get too far afield here, since this is sort of a different topic than masculinity, but I think it's the primary failure of most discussions I've had on topics like this that the thing itself isn't defined. For example, from the first couple of posts here it seems like Clyde views masculinity as a thing that is, or is done, whereas your view seems to be that masculinity is a perspective of a thing (assuming I'm not reading too far into the posts) which is a discussion worth having. That's not to say that one of those is right and the other isn't but rather that an agreement of the definition (or at least the parameters of the discussion) is warranted before the discussion can be had in a way that can be expounded upon. Then again my background is in the sciences, as is my manner of thinking, so perhaps this sort of exercise would ultimately unnecessarily limit the discussion to a particular viewpoint or create that same undesirable scenario where one thing is right and the other isn't.
  11. Masculinity

    Given my information may be out of date, but it was my understanding that the XYY chromosome as being linked to a sort of "super male" genetic archetype has been lately debunked. Not only do individuals with this chromosomal anomaly exhibit similar testosterone levels than XY males, but in general relative concentration of testosterone hasn't been linked to aggression in the way one would expect. On the other hand, fluctuations in T levels have been shown to result in mood swings, which are most common in anabolic steroid users. As people use these hormones their own bodies produce less, and when they go off their bodies they have an abnormally low T level (for the individual) which has been linked to aggressive response. In general though, testosterone is most strongly linked to seconds sex characteristics such as facial hair, body odor, musculature, and so on. It might be that aggression is typically associated with these aspects (as it has strong ties to mating behavior in all mammal species) which is typically something males of the species do. Also touching on the point of behavioral science, it is important to note that individual behaviors are the result of specific motivations more so than biological processes. The reason I bring this up is that there is a tendency to ascribe behaviors to biological processes and ultimately marginalize the effect of stimuli on those responses.
  12. I still play a couple times a weeks and I'm generally enjoying the new mechanics and cards available. I've seen a lot of new interactions with cards and mechanics that make the game more exciting, but my one reservation is that the game seems to become and even more solitary experience. With all the new card combos possible, particularly with respect to quests, the game more often feels like you and your opponent are racing to fulfill some goal rather than playing against each other. The quests aren't designed in such a way that avenues for engagement even exist for the opposing player (save perhaps for the rogue quest) which can lead to situations where you don't really need to consider your opponent's plays. In other words, the new stuff has improved what hearthstone was good at before, but also makes it's detriments that much more noticable.
  13. Fake Games

    To be fair, doesn't valve have the right to determine what they think is a game? Just because you have a storefront, doesn't mean you have to sell everyone's products in it. What is so wrong with Valve determining what a product they are willing to sell should be, and make their rules accordingly? While it might seem like valve is intentionally silencing people, what they are proposing really is a watered down version of what every other storefront requires--and a more democratic one at that. While there exist a demonstrable strain of abuse in it's execution, Valve's system might be the most open of all the major platforms. Apple regularly prevents games from being sold on their platform due to it's subject matter, and developers sometimes have their games pulled off the marketplace without warning for any reason up to and including Apple just felt like it. I won't claim to know their intentions, but Valve's system seems to be a distinct and exacting response to this, where the users are able to have some say in the market's function. I know this is a pretty unpopular idea around here, but there is a lot of good that comes out of that system. We tend to focus on the bad, mostly because it's particularly appalling, but for every Zoe Quinn or Briana Wu there are a dozen or more developers who can run their businesses and feed their families due to this exact direction, and they are worth considering too. Maybe valve's changes will lead to certain games not being sold on steam, but in the long run this sounds like a wonderful thing to me. Not every TV channel needs to show the same types of content, and not every online marketplace needs to sell all the same things. After watching Sterling and Bain's videos, it's clear to me that when valve says "fake games' what they are referring to specifically, are more akin to art forgeries. Not games made with store bought assets or simplistic mechanics, but those that are primarily born of another's work without credit. Most games made with Unity today use the same plugins and technical features, but it doesn't sound to me like this is what causes valve to consider them "fake games". Also on the point about their influence, let's remember that valve is staffed by some of the most intelligent people in the industry who spend all day thinking about these issues. I very much doubt Sterling and Bain told Valve anything they didn't already know, and their influence is likely far less than their egos would lead them to believe.
  14. Fake Games

    Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo don't have this problem because they effectively have a top down approach to allowing games onto their marketplace. Just as an example, here are the two processes we went through in getting our game on PS4 and Steam PS4: - Get registered as a developer with sony - Get Devkits from sony to develop on their platform - Get license from Unity to be able to deploy and publish games on a PS4 - Submit game for a cert process - Release game - Any patches need to go through another cert process, which includes the game being perfectly functional with any combination of patches installed. Steam: - Get registered as a developer with steam - Get approval to be on the marketplace - Release game - Patches are released at the developer's discretion Valve does take a lot of flak for attempting to democratize that system, but there is value in that expansion. This process does ensure quality, but it's often the reason things come late or even not at all to the consoles such as the case with Diablo's seasons feature or that situation with Phil Fish. While there are a lot of games that make their way onto the marketplace that shouldn't, it also creates a space for games like Stardew Valley, Undertale, and others to get out to the public, or any other games by creators that aren't equipped for a full cert process. Hell even getting access to a devkit, or perhaps even approval to develop on the platform can be a bit of a hassle and to some extent the amount of paperwork involved can discourage people from the entire process. What valve hasn't, or at least hasn't been willing to do in my view is take these so called fake games off their marketplace once they're discovered, or put any kind of restrictions on pricing for games that don't meet some kind of standard.
  15. Destiny

    It's not you, destiny has changed a lot and not necessarily in ways you'd expect. They throw a lot of stuff at you pretty early, and most of that won't be necessary until way into the late game. For the most part you only need to follow the exclamation points for story and playlist stuff, best place to look at at the bottom left of the screen when you bring up the director. Most of the changes are to perks on exotic weapons and the economy, neither of which really matter until you've done just about everything else. I'd say just pick playlist you like and go for it--the rest will fall into place soon enough