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Everything posted by itsamoose

  1. The Next President

    Why would it be so pointless? Even if Bernie wins the nomination, and then the election, both congress and the senate are controlled by republicans. I'm certain most of the obstructionism in recent years is due to Obama's race, but if both parties had an in to the executive branch I can't see either as being less likely to engage with it on legislative matters. Some changes there might even lead to changes in the system of leadership in the senate and house, where the 2 party system is ingrained in the very legislative process. The VP doesn't have much in the way of formal powers or responsibilities, so his ability to block a democratic candidate's agenda wouldn't be any greater than Ted Cruz's is right now. The reason for many of the problems in our political system today is that the two parties have been able to consolidate their power so effectively that their involvement is a foregone conclusion. Wouldn't you be more likely to get involved in a political process and consider third party candidates if it weren't a winner take all situation? I know I would, and I think it would be a good first step in reversing the trend of lower and lower voter turnout.
  2. The Next President

    That is exactly what I'm suggesting, but only part of it. Our political system has been so designed to never require the parties to work together that effectively only 1 can get anything done, and in a way that party elites dictate. Our political system was designed back when it took months weeks or months to cross the country, and only about 20% of the population was literate. What made sense back then have become vestiges or are active impediments to modern democracy. As you point out technology has progressed incredibly since then, but virtually none of that has become integrated into the political process. I don't mean to go on a rant here, but in change the surface elements of our democracy I think we'll just end up compounding the problems. At a minimum we need structural changes to the various branches, if not a complete rethinking of the constitution. As for superdelegates, I'm not convinced their dictating the outcome of the primary will have any lasting effect on the democratic primary. Clinton still enjoys a great deal of support, and superdelegates exist exactly for the purpose of party officials . This situation has played out a few times, even as recently as 2008, and since their inception superdelegates have come to dictate more and more the outcome of the primary process for the democratic party. At this time, Clinton only has a couple hundred delegate lead over sanders if you don't consider superdelegates, and a nearly 600 delegate lead if you do consider them.
  3. The Next President

    This would be a good start, but ultimately you'd also need to 4) Eliminate the electoral college system for presidential elections, and have the winner decided by the overall popular vote. At the moment there is basically no reason for a democratic candidate to care what people in Texas say, or a republican candidate to care what people in California say. For those that don't know, originally in the US people used to vote for electors, the number of which was determined by the population of the state. Those electors would then go to a convention and vote whichever way they wanted, so it was still a nationwide contest. Today however, if you win the majority of the votes in a state you get all the electoral college votes for that state (in most cases), so it is possible for a candidate to win the opverall popular vote but lose the election. In order to do this however, you'd have to convince both the republic and democratic party to give up their power base. 5) Make campaigns publicly funded, with a requirement to get public funds being a number of signatures. You want to know why Donald Trump was so easily able to start his campaign? Because in the US if you want to get on the ballots, the requirement is that you raise 5,000 dollars. You literally buy your way onto the ballot. 6) Hold debates run by a branch of the government, not by the political parties themselves so that all candidates appearing on the ballot get an equal chance. 7) Get rid of the idea of tickets, or voting for both a president and a vice president, and have the runner up be the vice president. This is how our elections originally functioned, and I personally believe it was a great benefit that simply didn't catch on the way term limits did. There is a lot more that would need to be done from there, but I doubt much of it would actually be possible. Edit. Also a bit of a clarification on superdelegates. They only truly exist within the democratic party, in that there are high ranking members of the party in each state that can vote whichever way they wish. That is why, despite Sanders' victories in many states, he didn't technically "win" any of them. Those delegates are under no obligation to consider the opinion of the voters in their state. The RNC has a similar system, where each state gets 3 additional delegates, but they are obligated to consider the public's opinion in casting their votes. In both cases however, a system exists where a single person's vote counts as much as thousands of others.
  4. The Next President

    Trump's rise to me isn't so much an indictment of the US political system, as it is some structural elements of it that have become more common in recent years. Interestingly enough, the whole thing started with an abduction and alleged murder by freemasons when John Quincy Adams was president. I think that most people, myself included, don't understand how the primary system in the US works as well as we should, and the importance that has been placed on it in recent years. Most people are familiar with Citizens united, and it's effect on the amount of money in politics, but the problems started way before then. There was at various points in our history a few scattered political parties, and those parties would coalesce into larger groups during elections but were not formally linked. The primary system is what created the republican and democratic parties as we know them today, where those parties have full time employees and fundraising mechanisms that never turn off. Someone like trump is the inevitable consequence of money, gerrymandering, the electoral college, and the creation of a political industry, something I don't think anyone understands quite well enough to come up with a remedy for. The primary system has become so ingrained in our politics that no one considers any parties other than the democrats and republicans because they effectively run our elections. Independent candidates, and candidates of other parties, don't appear in televised presidential debates because the RNC and DNC simply decide not to invite them. We often forget this, as many of their members are representatives of government, but the democratic and republican national committees are not actually government organizations. Personally I think Trump's days are numbered, it's only a matter of time until he has to tone down his rhetoric to win in a general election, or does something that breaks his mystique. Trump may be winning in primaries while being supported by frustrated voters, and when districts are considered arbitrarily by the party branch in that state, but that is a far cry from the circumstances of a general election, not to mention the caucuses. I mean on the other side of the aisle, the superdelegate system basically exists so the democratic party elites can put forward whoever the want, which at this point should be pretty clear is Hillary Clinton. Beyond that, it is really difficult I believe for anyone to say what is going to happen in this election. The system we have has allowed the democrats and republicans to exert unprecedented control over swathes of the electorate, and I just don't see them as willing to mutually give that up.
  5. One Day In San Fransisco

    I hear this all the time living in San Diego. There are even a couple places people claim you can't get into unless you get there by at least 11 AM. On the other hand, everyone down here says San Francisco has the best asian food in the states, so if you're into sushi, korean barbeque or anything like that I'd say give that a go.
  6. Illustrator in need of advice!

    Vlad, The artwork looks incredible, I really dig that style. To be honest that kind of work is in pretty high demand in the indie world, provided you can find the right project and the right people. As someone who tired, unsuccessfully for almost 2 years to find a decent programmer who would stick with the project, the trouble will be getting people to take a chance on you more than to prove your ability. I didn't see any animation work in your portfolio, but if you are interested in indie game development this is really something you should take a crack at. For the most part indie studios don't hire an illustrator, animator, concept artist, etc. They will usually hire 1 artist who can do all of those things, or purchase individual pieces which is a tough situation to be in. I'm sure mobile game studios would love someone of your ability, and they are always hiring. I come more from the technical side personally, but from what artists I know the consensus seems to be that it is much more difficult to find work simply due to the sheer amount of talent available. Beyond that I'll just say the same thing that I say to every person looking to get into game development--make a game. Game development isn't a test of skill, it's a test of endurance. Sure game companies are going to care about your ability and what not, but really the biggest thing for anyone looking to hire a new developer is whether or not they can prove they are able to see something through to the end. It doesn't have to be a massive years long development, or even a full game. Something that takes a month or two, or just a level is enough, it just needs to be finished. Without even considering things like crunch and overtime, game development is exhausting, tedious work, and the first thing to do is make sure you actually enjoy the process of making games. As much as I love my job, there are weeks at a time when I hate everything I do, nothing works, and the urge to quit is pretty intense. In my mind the hardest thing about game development is learning to take it one step at a time, and not get overwhelmed by the sheer scope of it. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck, and I'll make sure to show your stuff around should the situation arise.
  7. XCOM 2

    I sat down to play a bit more of this today, and I'm really enjoying the tactical battles but I find the strategy layer to be incredibly frustrating to deal with. The flow of the UI seems to have taken a step back from Enemy Unknown, where I find myself having to constantly bounce in and out of menus to accomplish basic tasks. It seems like they wanted to preserve too much of the presentation from EU, and it really gets in the way. I think that presentation made sense when I was concerned about adjacency bonuses, but this time around I find myself spending more time than I want to just watching transitions between menu screens, just to see enough information to make decision. I can appreciate the aesthetic choices for things like the strategy map, but it seems to me that the design for this had changed significantly enough from EU that it really needed to be considered differently than it is. The strategy map in particular doesn't really show you anything you can't see easier or more clearly elsewhere, and the real time nature of it tends to cause situations where I see a number of popups back to back regarding unrelated objectives which really breaks the flow of the game. i was put off by this a little bit in EU, but now that I'm considering a wider array of information with more overlapping timetables and positioning being a factor it's all the more frustrating. I almost wish they went with something like a calendar view or more of a civilization style turn system that would serve me a handful of toasts on the day they completed so I could parse them as I wish. Instead I end up going to the strategy map with maybe a 1/10th of a day to go on my current objective, scanning for a bit, seeing a toast, dismissing or stepping through it, scanning for half second or so, seeing another unrelated toast, handling that, and so on. It's more the fact that the game presents so much information to you at a time, then demands you deal with it all in sequence, and doesn't clearly indicate when certain objectives will end that I'm having a hard time with.
  8. XCOM 2

    Exploiting might not be the right word, but for the most part my success seems to hinge on whether or not I knew something was going to happen and prepared for it. I find myself rarely responding to situations dynamically with any success. Success usually means my having failed the mission once and reloading a save or having my initial ambush take out an enemy or two. The really big thing I noticed is that the mission layouts themselves are dynamically generated, so in a few cases I would fail a mission, reload a previous save to try and get a better squad together (bringing some mind shields for example) only to have a new mission layout generated that made it a cake walk. I think it's partially a function of there not being many of the mechanics being available in the early part of the game, so all you can really do is shoot or throw a grenade, and the greater variety of enemy abilities. The reason I mentioned the difficulty is that they seem to be throwing a lot of mechanics at you pretty quickly, and the enemy variety ramps up to the point where encountering a new mob almost always results in a reload. I'm not sure if this is more or less prevalent on different difficulty levels, or if enemies are less likely to use certain abilities.
  9. XCOM 2

    I'm about 5 hours into XCOM 2 at the moment, and I'm enjoying it for the most part, but the combat is really starting to grate on me. Similar to the first game, the first couple hours are pretty uninteresting, mainly since you only have 4 carbon copy soldiers with no abilities but I suppose that is to be expected. I'm really enjoying the concealment mechanic, and the classes have all been refined nicely from what I've encountered. What is starting to frustrate me is that they haven't come up or worked in any kind of change in how missed shots affect the game. Most of the missions so far are timed in some way or another, and this can lead to some incredibly frustrating situations where I lose the mission because I had to spend 2 turns killing a single enemy due to all the missed shots. I suppose missed shots are just part of the XCOM design aesthetic, but given all the extra mechanics, especially all the new one shot kills/disables, it seems like the design would really benefit from a miss being more than just a lost action. Generally so far I'm enjoying most parts of the game with reservations. I like the new focus on the story, but often the chatterbox NPCs end up making me sit there doing nothing while they finish their diatribe. The new Avenger idea is cool for the campaign map, but the notification spam is a bit annoying. In most respects I feel like the game took two steps forward, and one step back as compared to the remake. The one thing I am really enjoying without qualification is how much more of a board game it feels like. From the Avatar project victory clock and so on, XCOM 2 feels like a fantastic video game adaptation of a board game. By the way what difficulty are y'all playing on? I'm on normal currently, but even there I'm rarely getting shots with a greater than 50% chance to hit without really exploiting the mechanics, and have lost 1 or more soldiers on almost every mission.
  10. Feminism

    Well I've never worked in a lab that used human tissue, but i would imagine it's similar to other labs that use biological materials. Really the process involves a whole bunch of steps, and for the most part any money involved goes to transportation and administrative fees. For example, when we used to get mice for tests we would first have to find a source, in the case of the labs I've worked in a company that breeds the mice with specific genetic markers, with a particular affliction, etc. I don't know for certain, but I would imagine it is the same for experiments involving stem cells, in that certain studies would be interested in stem cells from certain parts of the fetus. Now granted the planned parenthood videos are nonsense, but there is one truth in them where the doctors describe needing to keep the sample intact for this reason. Second you need to transport the material to the lab that will use it, which will require usually someone to maintain contact with it at all times to preserve the chain of custody and have the necessary authorities be aware of the shipment. Really the issue here is that you can't just send biological (considered hazardous) material through the mail like you would a regular package. Next you'll need someone at the facility who is responsible for receiving and monitoring the samples once they get there, as there are a number of federal regulation related to the use of that material and it's generally a good practice to do this in research. Those were basically the steps for procuring mice we used in a sleep lab back in the mid 2000s, and there have been a number of changes to the regulations regarding those since then. I know particularly under Bush these regulations were tightened, at one point there were only something like 4-5 sources of stem cells that were even available to use, and given that these studies involve human tissue I can't imagine there would be less regulation than we experienced using mice. This is a bit of a cursory explanation of the procurement of these samples, but if you are more interested in learning about those processes I'd say just go ahead and call or email a lab. They have to make that information available to the government so I don't imagine they would have a problem going into more detail on how their lab operates.
  11. Black Lives Matter

    The hardest thing about reform in the US is that we know virtually nothing about the problem. Police departments aren't made to make their arrest and other information public, you must request individual incidents and wait for a response. Even then, there is no standard by which all police departments must fill out their paperwork, so even if you manage to get the information it'll likely be incomplete. It's crazy to me in such a technologically focused world we still don't have any government body who collects, collates and makes available this kind of information nationwide. Look how much good the census has done over the years and not one politician has though to expand that practice to the copious amounts of data we could use elsewhere.
  12. The part about programming languages being converted to english is a fascinating thing to me, mainly in that the structure of high level programming languages follows the structure of english. I don't think it would be enough to simply write a compiler for the language in question, as the structure of the programming language would probably need to still follow the general structure of english but with the other language's words swapped in. This is probably exacerbated in game engines, where speed and memory footprint is at an incredible premium, but it seems like in general applications there has been a (still somewhat small) push to create more non english based languages. Interestingly enough, the goal of the .Net program that spawned C# and Java was meant to combat this problem, though as I understand it the idea of ILs has fallen out of favor due to rapidly changing hardware. I wonder if this point specifically will get addressed as computers get faster and the performance difference between native and CLRs becomes negligible. On the high level side, I wonder if this kind of concern will push for the development of better visual scripting systems, which could even eliminate the need for words to be used at all. This is such an interesting phenomenon to me, because the world I assume Rami is imagining requires either a massive overhaul of the very idea of programming, at virtually all levels, or for the creation of some unified system that will probably still be written in english on the base level but can be interfaced with abstractly. I personally don't know enough about networking and machine level systems to comment further, but I imagine if those things don't get addressed then the most that can be hoped for is a high level integration of different languages, with the base level components (and higher paying jobs) remaining in english only.
  13. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    This actually reminded me of a book I read a while back called On Bullshit. It's a good read (very quick) and the author basically comes to the conclusion that while both bullshit and lies are deception the difference is that lies are malicious, whereas bullshit isn't meant to harm. I think when it comes to something like trolling this distinction doesn't really exist, and as such anything negative regardless of intent is seen as trolling.
  14. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    Isn't trolling by its very definition abuse? Sure some kinds may be more palatable than others, or perhaps less harmful, but the intent of a troll is to derail the discussion and launch a personal attack on the side they are trolling. I can't think of, or imagine, any instances of trolling where this is not the case.
  15. Black Lives Matter

    That affluenza kid really makes my fucking blood boil. It is such an egregious abdication of responsibility by the judge, and has now ended up exactly how anyone would have predicted. Between shit like this and the people trying to justify the Tamir Rice decision I have absolutely zero faith that our justice system is even capable of reform.
  16. Black Lives Matter

    The Tamir Rice case is particularly shitty, as the video (NSFW) shows the cops nearly run him over before immediately shooting him. There wasn't even a fucking attempt to arrest, question or do anything remotely resembling police work. After all the high profile cases in 2015 we need at the very least a moratorium on grand juries in cases involving cops.
  17. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    That is the basic assumption of any conspiracy theory. Any evidence suggesting a conspiracy is proof, and any lack of evidence just means the cover up was that effective. I think that why are you so angry guy said it best, it is a theory supported by theories. At some point belief is a matter of will more so than a matter of fact.
  18. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    Well success for me means I got them to acknowledge the parts of their argument that didn't make sense, or that their anger was misplaced. Just keep the questions relevant, and discuss them without posing questions that suggest they are the owners of the idea and instead treat them as the vehicle for it. Then check back with that person in a few days/hours/whatever, and if they're thinking has gone the way you were hoping, or they have at least come to terms with their anger, success! There won't be a payoff for you personally, and you'll never be thanked or get credit for what you did, which I think is often the determiner of success. I'm certainly no expert, but from my experience it is far easier and yields better results to attempt to create a situation where the person can come to the idea on their own as opposed to it being given to them. Don't treat them as though their ideas are ignorant, treat them like you would someone who hasn't been exposed to alternatives. I can't tell you how many arguments I've had with people, both in person and online, where I challenged one of their ideas, and the next time we had a similar conversation they advanced the very idea I had exposed them to in the first place. There is one example in particular that sticks out in my mind, where my old room mate and I were watching TV. A commercial came on where a woman was parked on the side of the street, opened her door and another car came by and ripped the door off it's hinge. He then made some remark about this being because she was a woman, and I just pushed him on the topic. So female drivers are bad because another driver wasn't paying attention? In a commercial for an auto repair company? What if it had been a man? And so on. Then he would put forward some piece of evidence, for example saying that women are involved in more accidents than men every year, and I pointed out the stat he was referencing didn't say who was responsible, that an "accident" by it's very nature doesn't mean someone was at fault, if that number was significantly different than the number of accidents involving men, etc. This went back and forth for a bit, and he ended the conversation confident in his assertion. Then a few days later a friend of ours got into an actual traffic accident, where a woman happened to be the other driver, and suddenly the guy who had determined women are shit drivers because he watched a commercial was pointing out all the logical inconsistencies I had pointed out a few days previous. Again, I got no credit for this, but in the end who cares? Particularly when it comes to games, and the community being so insular, it makes sense why people would desperately hold on to things they see as central to their personality or lifestyle. I would imagine if you went over all the conversations you've had about this in the past, you've been successful more often than not, but that success just didn't happen in a particular time window.
  19. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    This might seem like a small thing, but from what I've seen of anti gamer gaters (assuming that is a thing that exists) and others is that the language they use often poisons their message. It might not seem like it, but there is a huge difference between asking "Why are you so angry" and "Where is this anger coming from". In the former, the person's ego is inexorably linked to the anger, and in the latter ego is removed and can be examined outside of the ego. Disagreement is certainly exacerbated by the nature of online communication, and the expectation of online conversations with strangers, but this is the most important part. The person's ego must be removed from the idea, otherwise they will cling to it long past the extent of it's validity because questioning the idea feels like a questioning of their character. If there is one thing I've noticed about people and the internet, it's that on all sides there is this extreme desire to characterize people who believe in certain ideas as good and others as evil or stupid. I think it's part of the reason right wing politics are so prevalent, in the US at least, is because even progressive parts of the internet seem to operate on the basis that quality of character either determines, or signifies belief in a particular idea. Even left wing politics use as their basis a decidedly right wing notion, which is both demonstrably false and actively undermines any attempt at conciliation. In every contentious argument I've had online, regarding gamergate or anything else, the dividing line between success and failure on my part is almost always whether or not I was able to separate the person from the idea.
  20. [Question] Unity3d first person development

    If I'm reading this correctly, I think what you are trying to do is click something in the world, then have that appear on the GUI? kind of like how you can pick up an item and inspect it or rotate it around like in gone home? If so, and there isn't really a place anyone tells you this, first person games often use a series of cameras for their rendering. The next time you are playing a first person shooter, walk up directly into a wall and equip the biggest gun you have. If you then look at this from another player's perspective, the gun will be clipping through the wall, but the first person player won't see that. The reason is that there is a separate camera for rendering high definition objects such as the gun or the player's hands. It might look like the thing you are picking up is just flying into a viewable space on your screen, but in reality it's a bit of smoke and mirrors. The object may fly up the screen or perform some other action, but in reality the object you are looking at is either an entirely different one, or being rendered by a separate camera specifically designed to display things in high detail.
  21. Social Justice

    Culture to white people, or at least in my experience seems to be informed by some association through nationality of your parents or by choice. Most of my friends consider themselves Italian or irish, to the point that if you ask them what they are they will only say they are American in the company of non Americans. Otherwise they seem to consider their culture as being related related to their job or hobby. I just don't tend to see the same idea of a shared experience as being central to it. The ideas tend to be more rooted in where you came from or your goals than your experience.
  22. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    So is websites that are on their way out propping up gamergate a thing now? The common thread here seems to be support for GG tends to come out of places who would be the farthest thing from anyone's thoughts otherwise.
  23. International Politics

    This is a little bit different than things typically posted in this thread, but I've noticed an ongoing and increasing trend of religious groups in the US seeking exemptions from discrimination laws based on their religious beliefs. I think the problems with this are obvious, but I'm curious as to whether this is a particularly american phenomenon or if this is something happening in other areas of the world as well. I know in the states this movement seems to be almost entirely driven by christian organizations, probably spurred by the ever present war on Christmas everyone seems to be convinced is being waged.
  24. Social Justice

    Well I'm certainly no expert, but Gorm I'd like to see you stay in the thread. I'll admit that I sometimes push your buttons a little bit in order to get you to elaborate on something, but as I mentioned before that is more a result of me not being satisfied with general words being used as a stand in for discussing specifics. I'm sorry if I've upset you--my intention is to get an elaboration more than anything else. So back on the topic of food, I recently moved from Massachusetts to California and I've spent the last couple of months trying all types of restaurants in my area. I work with a couple guys who are foodies (for lack of a better word) and they've introduced me to a number of dishes that I'd never even heard of before, and styles of food that from my experience just don't exist on the east coast like Vietnamese and ethiopian dishes. They told me the two things they look for in a restaurant are first if the people making the food are of a particular nationality, and if people of that nationality are eating the food. Thinking back about all the restaurants we've tried, the quality of the food usually had more to do with the freshness of the ingredients than the ethnicity of the cooks or even the clientele. From my experience, with cooking in particular, I've always seen it as more of a skill than the product of experience being around something. Perhaps you would be a better judge of whether or not a particular dish is good or not, but I grew up in a family of Italians and though I've been given literally lectures on how to make a good sauce, I don't have much experience actually making sauces. I'm sure there are concerns regarding identity and the like, which I couldn't really speak about personally, though I wonder if the ethnicity of the cook is just something that people immediately grab on to as a determining factor in their enjoyment of food they have extensive experience with.