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Everything posted by itsamoose

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    This perfectly sums up my thoughts on the movie--it and the new star wars movies don't seem willing to break from the traditional formula. I'm not sure why the story needed the lead scientist's daughter to be the one to take it down, it seems done that way because of the emphasis on family from the prequels. As entertaining as that final battle was, it painted a picture of the alliance as almost an equal match for the empire, which is why I think the final scene with Vader was such a great one in that it showed the overwhelming might of the empire that the rebels were facing. For those that haven't seen the film yet, I don't think it's a bad movie, it's simply a passable one that would likely have been forgotten were it not set in the star wars universe. For those looking for something new to happen in that scenario, it's death by 1000 cuts. Basically, this:
  2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    I just saw this movie, and had very much the same reaction to it that I did episode 7--I liked it at first but it quickly became grating to me. I'm not sure how much of that is just my nostalgia for star wars hyping me up, but I feel like ultimately the new movies don't really have the direction or perhaps the courage to strike out on their own. I don't see a button for spoiler tags so hopefully the ones I added are actual spoiler tags, and if not SPOILERS BELOW!
  3. What kind of deeper dives are you looking to do? Something specifically with Unity or programming generally? In either case, I tend to recommend since they place a strong emphasis on both practical application and coding practices with exhaustive explanation, which seem trivial or perhaps frustrating when you're first getting into programming but are hugely beneficial later on. Beyond that, if you're comfortable enough with programming/reading code and working with Unity to strike out on your own, I'd recommend just trying to recreate a mechanic from some game you like. Also, a great resource for figuring out how to take the next step is something called .net reflector if you can spend the money, or for an open source solution. Then head on over to steam and pick up Bastion from Supergiant games if you don't own it already (or pick up the demo), decompile their dlls and take a look. Really any C#/.net assembly will work, I only suggest Bastion because it's what I did when I was learning to program. You might not be able to understand it all just yet, but I personally found it helpful to understand what a fully fledged game project looks like. I found the hardest thing to learn about game development generally wasn't how to get started, everyone and their mother seems to have a guide for that, it's how to go from the Hello world style projects to something that has interacting systems, game rules, and so on.
  4. International Politics

    I don't think there is a thread dedicated to this kind of thing, so here goes. Today the Nuclear deal with Iran and 6 world powers was announced to curb Iran's nuclear program. I haven't read through the whole thing yet, but the major points seem to be: - international inspectors will gain access to Iranian Facilities, though this action can be delayed by Iran - Various sanctions lifted, totalling around 100 billion in assets for Iran - Iranian banks gain access to international credit lines - some of the larger nuclear facilities will be converted to power plants, and enrichment there will be held to around 4% (you need something like 90% for a bomb), - some facilities will be decommissioned completely, and the number of centrifuges in the country will be decreased - Iran agreed to a "breakout period" of 1 year, meaning they would reduce their stockpile of enriched uranium to an amount where it would take them 1 year to acquire enough material to make a bomb To me this deal doesn't seem all that bad, but the one thing that concerns me is that Iran has the power to delay inspections for up to 24 days. To me that seems like enough time to cover up something, but there may be a reason for it I'm not aware of. The deal may still fall apart, particularly if Netanyahu (Israeli PM) or some of the fringe elements of the US Congress get their way, but I'm hopeful that bringing Iran into the international community will help out the middle East at large.
  5. The Next President

    I'm not necessarily saying people aren't motivated by positive things, or that only two extremes exist (despite those extremes getting the most attention), just that anger is a more effective motivator. Obama could not have won if he didn't tap into the frustration the american people had with their government. Look at all the post Brexit interviews, many from people who regret their vote, and you find their reasoning was that they wanted the establishment to feel their voice, and the same is true for Trump's support and in some respects Obama's support before that. I have a number of friends who supported Trump, most of which are fully aware he's an unmitigated asshole but didn't care because they angry about Benghazi or emails or some other blown out of proportion scandal. I don't think it's possible to win an election in the modern age, or at least in the modern US without tapping into the anger and frustration of the electorate regardless of one's sympathies to those feelings. Like I said before you could put C'thulu on the ticket and 40% of the population would vote for him based on whether there was an R or D next to his name. It's really about winning those 10,-20% of voters who end up swinging the election one way or another, and in terms of being helpful, what could be more helpful than winning? Even back as early as Adams' presidency after Washington mudslinging has been present in the background of the electoral process, while virtue is paraded publicly. I know I'm coming off brash here, and I apologize for any offense i might be causing, it's just that I'm incredibly frustrated with my liberal leaning friends who insist that an institution and process like politics, marked by deception, enmity and defamation literally since it's inception can be won nicely. It simply can't, it never has been, and while I wish those things weren't true, people outside of particular circles couldn't give less of a shit about winning by the high road. This election should have been the easiest thing in the world for Democrats, they just weren't willing to be honest about the process or their position in it.
  6. The Next President

    Obama's slogan was hope, but his message was anger at the republicans for getting us involved in wars and letting infrastructure crumble. He challenged the political doctrine of the time, whereas 8 years later that doctrine had changed and was being supported by the new democratic nominee. I know we tend to look back at things through the lens of history and it's easy to lose sight of this, so here's one quick example from a speech Obama gave in 2008 when describing how Bush handled the office of the presidency: "That's not part of his power, but this is part of the whole theory of George Bush that he can make laws as he goes along. I disagree with that. I taught the Constitution for 10 years. I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We're not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end-run around Congress," or another statement where Obama accuses Bush of negligence in his duties regarding the FEMA effort in New Orleans: "When the people of New Orleans and Gulf Coast extended their hand for help, help was not there. When people looked up from the rooftops, for too long they saw an empty sky. When the winds blew and the flood waters came, we learned for all of our wealth and our power, something wasn’t right with America. We can talk about what happened for a few days in 2005, and we should. We can talk about levies that couldn’t hold, about a FEMA that seem not just incompetent but paralyzed and powerless, about a president who only saw the people from a window on an airplane instead of down here on the ground, trying to provide comfort and aid,” Obama said then. “We can talk about a trust that was broken, the promise that our government would be prepared, will protect us, and will respond in a catastrophe.” Obama's campaign, while defined as hopeful and along racial lines in most respects, still had a large portion of it that was a backlash to the previous administration. Clinton on the other hand found herself selling more of the same, which doesn't really work in a country as distrustful of it's institutions as the US. Imagine how different the response to Clinton would have been if her message had been that she was fighting the establishment her entire career, she'd been stymied at every turn, made to support things that were wrong because of the culture of Washington, and finally sought the office of the president because she was tired of politics as usual and wanted to finally have the influence to flip the system on it's head.
  7. The Next President

    This is similar to the conclusion I've come to since the end of the election, but with one caveat. It wasn't necessarily that the democrats lost, its that they were playing the wrong game. Trump understands that on social media, the usefulness of a statement is far more important than it's actual content, and while his campaign was often negative and disparaging of people they made incredible use of the handful of times Clinton was overtly negative. Trump's ability to identify with anger, however vaguely or paradoxical that relation was, turned out to be incredibly effective where it was needed. Clinton's strategy of selling a similarly vague message of hope and shaming Trump played directly into this strategy. I think what the internet, and more broadly social media has shown us in recent years is that things like anger, fear and hate are far more effective motivators than hope and conciliation. Ironically she may have had more success if she had ran a more radically feminist campaign--one that spoke to the anger we're now seeing in protests from the left and was more willing to turn on it's own establishment like Trump did. Trump was able to speak effectively to the anger people felt for both the political system and the establishment that ultimately birthed him, while Clinton didn't really run a campaign that appealed to people's feelings in the same way or at all. As much as it sucks to say, political campaigns in recent years that appealed to some sense of morality have been utter failures and Trump is just the most recent. I don't know how long we've been here, or how long it'll last, but what's clear to me is that "Fuck that person because I'm angry" is a far more effective message than "This person is great because XYZ". For most people the election decision came down to 1 particular thing that irked them more so than a complete assessment of the whole.
  8. The Next President

    While that would be nice, one look at the GOP's platform tells a very different story, at least on social issues. A few of the big ones are Ban abortion with constitutional amendment Define marriage as 1 man and 1 woman nationally, constitutional ban against same-sex marriage "Homosexuality is incompatible with military service", no women in combat roles No federal student loans, instead insure private loans More oil, natural gas drilling, reject international climate accords Undo Iran agreement, walk back Cuba remove contribution cap for political donations require state issued ID for voting no stem cell or other research with religious objections There are a few more, but those positions I feel like aren't things that the republican party will be willing, or in some cases able to negotiate on as the nature of some of the proposals don't afford any kind of a middle ground. Now that republicans have control over the presidency and the legislature, many of these proposals can become reality, particularly with a Trump who is likely to surround himself with sycophants and yes men. Remember that decisions like Obergefel v. hodges, Roe v. Wade and others were based on there not being explicit language about the issue in question in the constitution, and that is what is really at stake here.
  9. The Next President

    I'm not so sure he'll be stopped really on anything he truly wants to do. Republicans control the senate, house, presidency, and when Trump puts up his own nominee the supreme court as well. Now that they finally have the control of the entire government, what they've been driving at for so long, I don't see any amount of those groups banding together to stop the most popular man in their coalition. I don't see a republican house, senate or judiciary taking any serious steps to stymie his attempts to get his agenda across, and he'll be more than willing to put things like abortion restrictions, anti-LGBTQ propositions, etc on virtually any piece of legislation to get some deal done. The question, really is how effectively will democrats be able to filibuster these attempts or take back senatorial control in upcoming elections, or even limit the damage. Let's not forget that while many of the republican establishment are wary of trump, his running mate who is estimated to have a lot of power to set agendas in the administration is in lock step with the republican platform on social issues, and from his governorship in Indiana has shown his willingness to pursue that agenda.
  10. The Next President

    This is exactly the reaction I've been seeing. Whenever my staunchly liberal friends go on rants like this, trying to blame everyone and everything it's no wonder liberal viewpoints are so reviled by those who would otherwise be sympathetic but don't hold them at the time. It's easy for people who live in cities with public transportation, garbage removal, and so on to vote for having the benefits of government involvement in their daily lives (which is again what happened), but if you put yourself in the shoes of rural America the government is really only something you interact with on a need to basis and usually in a way that will cost you money or prevent you from doing something you've become accustomed to. I don't think it's that hard to see why people who live in these kinds of places, Trump's major source of support, would vote against larger government at any cost, and I think that is the concern that the democratic party failed to address, particularly in the rust belt. My biggest concern at the moment is how Trump's leadership will affect press freedoms. If he does the things he's been claiming, and his personal history would suggest, regarding "opening up the libel laws" I don't think it's a far way to go from that to a situation where politicians can sue news outlets to have damaging stories taken down even if they are in the public interest.
  11. The Next President

    I think to some degree that's been the case for some time now. You could run a C'thulu/Satan ticket and it would still get 40% of the vote because party loyalty is a stupid thing that exists. The argument most people have for Trump has mostly to do with the Supreme court and US foreign policy from my experience. As much as the economy, immigration and so on get a lot of play in the news, Trump more than anything seems to be a response to globalization and the US role in the world order. For most people, particularly those who live in rural areas, all they know about US foreign policy is that we spend millions if not billions outside our borders only for the rest of the world to hate us for it. That might seem like an oversimplification, and to some extent it is, but in all the conversations I've had with enthusiastic Trump supporters that's a pretty common sentiment. If you look at the US foreign policy, particularly when it comes to things like Russian aggression in Europe, or trade deals in Asia, the conservative opinion more often than not is to ask why we're even involved. It's no surprise that Trump enjoys a high level of popularity among the most selfish fucking generation in US or even world history
  12. The Next President

    To me the worst aspect of the whole system is how emphatically all media companies, both what you might consider old and new, solicit uninformed opinions about things while providing almost no context. I constantly see polls based on questions like "Should Hillary go to Jail", and I don't know how a reasonable person could construct that poll with any intent but to solicit the worst kind of reaction out of people. If you watch even a half hour of cable news today you can see how the whole endeavor was designed to create conflict that the hosts and audience can revel in for as long as it can be made to last. Media companies have just become places where people are encouraged and rewarded for confirming their bias, and as much as I might agree with a lot of their positions liberal publications like the Huffington Post are absolutely the worst offender in this regard. I can't recall how many times I've seen a headline in these massive, panic inducing, bold block letters making some person out to be horrible or a situation to be dire only to read it and wonder how the hell they even came up with that title. I can see how one might write off the headline as being separate from the article, but I think today the headline can in most cases be more important than the article itself, or at the very least what is perceived as it's sentiment.
  13. International Politics

    Yes what China is doing is similar to what American companies have done, not the American government. My point with that analogy is that in the west there is a firewall between private enterprise that doesn't exist in eastern countries like China and Russia. That does raise some serious concerns and differences between who is responsible for the negative consequences of that kind of action. African nations can and have kicked out western companies who step over the line, but it isn't possible to do this with China because the companies are effectively extensions of the government. You can't kick out the company without also kicking out the government. On the other point I agree the US has had a number of interventionist failures around the world, but again this is the result of a lack of forethought more than anything. I think and genuinely hope that is changing in the future, but I don't think it's fair to paint the entire thing as a wholly American endeavor or a wholly bad one. We are constantly asked by the UN and other world powers to intervene, and sometimes for good reasons like the Ebola crisis and others, and in many of these cases other countries like Canada and the UK are involved as well. It's easy to say that the someone like Saddam Hussein is preferable when we don't have to be the ones living under their rule. Iraq and Afghanistan look like a mess now but let's not forget that as a result of these western actions girls are allowed to go to school and press freedom has become a reality. I kind of hate this argument I'm making because it is fundamentally a lesser of two evils one, which really just means everyone is wrong, but I can't just see it as all bad. Yes the west and the US in particular has had failures, but if you can find me another country that has had as much power as the US and has been as benevolent with it as it has I'll raise that flag. Until then, I can't imagine a scenario where there is a perfect response to what are incredibly complicated political situations that lead to these kind of interventions. I don't think there has ever been a time I history where cultural or governmental change didn't lead to a period of instability or at the very least uncertainty.
  14. International Politics

    I'm not entirely certain the Sanctions on Russia from the west are particularly effective given how the global economy works. They still trade Freely with China in particular, but other countries as well, and since the sanctions hit Russia the war in eastern Ukraine has become more and more technologically advanced. The Sanctions were designed it seems to get the Russian people to demand an end to the action, but this thinking seems to be the the product of western politicians and diplomats thinking about how they would influence a western populous. While I can't say for certain what people in Russia actually think of the conflict, I don't think the same rules apply to a place where virtually all government media is controlled, conspiracy theories are often presented as fact, and even to the point of the administration preventing local artists from performing because they are critical of the Kremlin. Generally though, while it's certainly true that the US has had a number of obvious failures of foreign policy that have lead to negative consequences around the globe, from my understanding of the various situations this is the result of thoughtlessness more so than any kind of directed effort to exert control. For example China has invested a lot of money in Africa recently, and the deals go something like this. First a Chinese bank agrees to lend an African nation some money at a favorable rate, and in return China gets exclusive rights to the natural resources of that country on the land that they are negotiating for. So then that country hires a Chinese firm to come mine the resources, paid for with the money from a Chinese bank, and hires locals to fill in the low level positions while filling management with Chinese citizens. All of the resources then go to China, even firms within that country have to purchase the resources dug up in their backyards from China. They do tend to do quite a bit of good in those countries at the same time, like building airports and other facilities needed to process these jobs, but these countries are effectively giving up their material wealth for what is really an economic colonization. In the West we tend to give out money on the basis of political change, which brings with it some instability. While western intervention, whether military, economic or diplomatic does carry uncertainty with it by virtue of these changes, I don't think it's fair to equate that stability, largely born of unforeseen consequences, with the purposeful and deliberate exploitation practiced by countries like China and Russia. The situation in eastern Ukraine and Crimea was a deliberate act by the Russian government to increase it's size and influence, US involvement in Libya on the other hand was a NATO operation aimed at ending human rights abuses with no follow through, which resulted in a power vacuum.
  15. International Politics

    Interesting update on Ukraine for people like me who haven't heard much about it in a while. The more I see about this conflict in particular, as well as Syria, the more I think that this kind of thing is just how wars are going to be fought in the future between powerful or influential governments. It seems like the days of officially sanctioned, or even declared war have come to an end and we're now in the era of conflicts that are just as deadly and costly, but waged under the radar in an almost informal setting.
  16. The Next President

    The VP debate has been enormously frustrating for me, particularly with the media's response to it. The mere fact that Pence is getting praised for his performance, which consisted of just straight up lying for the entirety of it, has completely dashed my hopes of this election being a one time thing or even just a low point in american politics. It's not so much the ignorance of the voters or their endless justification of Trump's actions, it's the media's desire to simply revel in the chaos that absolutely drives me nuts.
  17. The Next President

    so it looks like about a week after the debate clinton has gained back a lot of the ground she's lost over the last month or so, fivethirtyeight at the time of this writing projects her chance of winning at 67%, up from a low of about 55% the week prior. It's not enough to say she's gained back all of the ground, or she'll keep the lead she has, but it does bode well I think. it was clear from watching the debate that trump was simply outclassed, and his insistence on litigating his old scandals over and over again continues to hurt him. It'll be interesting to see how things develop over the next few weeks now that Clinton and Trump are liable to get the same amount of coverage, if for no other reason than she'll become a staple in the non stop coverage of trump. As weird as it is to someone who pays attention to politics, this seems to be a quite significant period to what are generously called low information voters. I'm constantly surprised by just how many people haven't decided who they are voting for at this point in the race.
  18. From my (limited) experience I think this is due to the AAA industry moving away from level based games to more systems or experience based games. Level design is still a big topic in deathmatch and similar multiplayer games, but most AAA games have become so much larger and designers need to have more distinct roles. A AAA game 10-15 years ago might have had say 1 designer per level and another designer or two to handle the gameplay systems, but nowadays those systems have become so much more complex and require a lot more design resources. Also in that same regard, level designers are often now responsible for things like cutscenes, story beats, and all kinds of other in-level things that weren't present before, so in a lot of cases the art department ends up taking on some of the responsibility for the actual level layout.
  19. Nonviolent Ant Farms

    I had a good time with Banished, though if you are going to pick that one up I'd recommend going in completely blind. I haven't played it in a while, but when I did there was a definite optimal strategy that kind of takes the fun out of the game once you know how it works, but until then it's very enjoyable.
  20. Social Justice

    I saw something similar to what universities are seeing now regarding the PC culture discussion when I worked in medicine, and it's what ultimately pushed me out of the field. Essentially what would happen is that insurance companies created what are now known as networks, which are really just providers they have negotiated rates with in exchange for steady business, and in theory generally improve the flow of information between general and specialized physicians. What came next however is where things start to go wrong, where referrals were essentially created by insurance companies as a means of coercion, and doctors began to get rated based more on patient opinion than performance. Nowadays one of the worst things you can do to your doctor is give them a bad rating on some website, with many insurance networks seeing anything other than a perfect score as a negative mark against that physician. This is largely something that came about when insurance companies started to exert control over these networks they created (which are now pretty common and even involve hospitals). I know at my university, despite the student body being overwhelmingly in favor of gay rights, it wasn't until 2012 that the school officially listed sexual orientation in it's non discrimination policy despite something like a 20 year campaign to have it included, and even then the statement makes sure to mention their catholic roots. I've heard a number of stories of universities either merging or forming similar networks, and I'd be interested to know Gorm, as someone who is closer to this than most of us, how much if at all this is affecting policy at the institutions.
  21. International Politics

    sounds like some good news might finally be coming out of Syria with the US and Russia getting a ceasefire negotiated, hopefully more to come.
  22. The Next President

    not necessarily, in the national polls (which can be misleading) the gap has closed for trump but the overall situation hasn't changed that much. At this point Hillary isn't trouncing Trump as much as she was, but she's still way ahead.
  23. The Next President

    Fair enough, but I'm not talking about art and thought generally, I'm talking about that article. The article that rants about Trump's character, seeks to define him as second rate, and generally wave a middle finger in his direction. If you dislike Trump's politics you like the article. The meaningfulness and insight of the article are not only informed by, but require a specific bias. It's the kind of article that can be easily, readily identified as mudslinging if those biases don't exist. If you like it, you like it, there's nothing wrong with it, just as it's perfectly legitimate to have a negative reaction to a piece of writing that is fundamentally negative. In other news the debate moderators have been chosen, for whatever that is worth. I haven't been able to find any hard information on whether Johnson or Stein will be invited to attend, but It doesn't seem to be looking that way.
  24. The Next President

    I can see the article and those like it have benefit, but only for selfish reasons and only in a specific circumstance, That isn't to say those reasons are bad, but to pretend like they are more than that I think isn't beneficial. When you say rhetorically arm yourself against him--against whom? for what purpose? To what end? I enjoyed the article likely as much as many others will, but it doesn't really serve any greater need than a pat on the back. I mean if you read the piece it does nothing to further enhance the understanding of trump's support, a motivated voting base that surely won't die with his candidacy. It doesn't really seek to even describe the situation beyond suppositions about the man himself. it's a hit piece, plain and simple, it's value is cathartic but to say that it has any benefit for the understanding or dealing with right wing movements in the future is a jump I just can't make. As an example of what I'm talking about, plenty of conservative thinkers and writers have written just as savage takedowns of the man and his candidacy, and those articles have had largely the same impact in conservative circles. On one side you have people condemning trump for not truly representing conservative values and fearmongering, on the other you have people diminishing him as narcissistic, and in the middle is this large swath of support that no one really seeks to understand. All these well written articles from either side, whose intent must be to have some sort of negative effect on Trump's support, after all why else would they be written, have had no such success.
  25. The Next President

    This is something I think about often, especially when I read things like the Kellor piece. It's a pretty solid takedown, but to be honest it's preaching to the choir. No one who would be impressed by that article would even consider voting for Trump, and those that don't aren't doing so for intellectual reasons. When you see interviews with trump supporters, when they are confronted with the contradictions that swirl around trump's promises, they don't at the end of the discussion decide to drop their support. Supporting Trump is like getting drunk-- you don't do it for any reason that makes intellectual sense, you know it'll probably have negative consequences, and you just don't care. You did it because you wanted to, nothing more. I get the argument certainly that a Trump presidency is a something that should be considered in a profound way, but the people and sympathies that support him are simply not engaging with their decision in that way. I think this article is a great example of the reason why liberal, or even moderate commentators have been unable to create a crack in trump's armor. They are trying to make a case against trump in a way that would compel them personally to vote against trump, but not in a way that would compel a trump supporter to vote against him. While I personally enjoyed the read, I don't really see it as any more than another on an ever growing pile of soon to be ignored hit pieces.