Profile for Zeviz


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The Political Compass (Armed and Dangerous) in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #87
It seems that my attempt to make shorter posts was interpreted as admitting that you are right and I am wrong, so I guess I'll have to go through it line-by-line.

quote:
...
The reason the test questions are there is because they are relevant to society today. There is no furry legislation, or open discussions about eugenics.
...
quote:
...
Umm. Well, I actually voted in line with Nazi Germany then. Heil me.
So which one is it? Is eugenics "irrelevant to society today" or is it a commonly held point of view in the modern world?

quote:
The nationalism question is not about Nazi Germany, it is about the Bush presidency and his mantra of "you are either with me, or against me."
You might be right on this one.

quote:
Our race does have many superior qualities. I think it is a great race. I'm sure all races think they have superior qualities. I don't think that there is a better race overall, or that there is any sort of hierarchy. Does that make any sense to you?
The question says "our race" not "every race", and "many superior qualities", not "some superior qualities". So agreeing with this statement indicates as extreme a degree of racism as anybody can express in public. (Just the idea that different races have inherently inferior qualities would be racist, even without the qualifiers of "our" and "many".)

quote:
Umm. Not sure I completely disagree with you on the "segregation" question, but people do have a pretty strong desire to hang out with people that have similar interests. That would be the whole basis for Comicon, for example. I realize that is a fairly sparse example, but I'm pretty okay with the idea of nudists existing, but not in the same place where I do my grocery shopping. :P
"It is better for all of us that different sorts of people should keep to their own kind" implies much more than "I want nudists out of my grocery store" to anybody familiar with American politics.

quote:
I agreed that the most important thing for a child to learn was to accept discipline. ...
I'll believe this when I hear it from somebody who isn't a self-proclaimed liberaterian. :P (In other words, you are playing a devil's advocate for a position I've never seen in real world. Even the most conservative people I know have things other than "obey authority" at the top of the things they want their children to learn.)

quote:
In short, I really do think your worldview has colored your perception of these word meanings, and has created an interpretation which is very skewed. Is there a chance?
Sure, I've seen a lot more left-wing lunatics than right-wing lunatics. However, I still don't believe that desire for eugenics, racism, and respect for authority above all are as common in modern Western World as acceptance of homosexuality and marijuana.

quote:
Originally written by Dikiyoba:

...
But it does make a certain amount of sense to have the astrology question work the way it does (regardless of whether or not anyone thinks it should be on the quiz at all). If someone believes in astrology, they're letting themselves be influenced by authority (ie, the people who write the horoscopes) in this particular instance, regardless of their other views. So it should give a less liberal result.

Dikiyoba.

This is just another example of a question that will give almost everybody "liberal" points, just because few people in the modern world believe in astrology.

PS As for my objection to this test, it's not about where it places me. It's about the way they tell people to vote. Their chart for politicians goes from +10 - build death camps (Hitler) to -10 - lives in a polyamorous commune (no politician below -4); while their chart for poll results goes from +10 - racicst who likes eugenics, segregation, and fanatical loyalty to authority to -10 - a moderately liberal person who might oppose to gay marriage, legalization of cocain, or letting 16 year olds see X-rated movies.

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
The Political Compass (Armed and Dangerous) in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #84
I think you are still missing my point. So let's try this:

In the end of my last post I've described two people who would both score -10 on this test, despite one of them being far more liberal than the other. Please describe the equivalent pair on the conservative side. (Give me a pair of conservatives, one of whom is as extreme as they get, while the other is a mainstream guy, both of whom would score +10 on this test.)

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
The Political Compass (Armed and Dangerous) in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #82
quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Salmon:

...
Could you explain what you mean by the mild conservative ending up with a more liberal score? I guess (per our /clan conversation) that I've moderated somewhat in my view and don't take a strictly liberal or conservative view. Particularly on this test, it is sometimes easy to look at the questions in isolation and answer according to how you view that issue within your perfect world context.

What I mean is that while the test does a thorough job of confronting the person with statements representing extreme conservative viewpoints, the equally extreme liberal viewpoints are never brought up.

We have:
- "I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong" (3rd reich anyone?)
- "our race has many superior qualities, compared with other races" (this is as explicitly racist as you can get)
- "All people have their rights, but it is better for all of us that different sorts of people should keep to their own kind." (YAY4 segregation)
- "The most important thing for children to learn is to accept discipline." (Even if discipline is high on your list, few people would call it the most important. For example, religious people would consider belief in god more important than "discipline" in general.)
And so on. There are similar examples of extreme conservative positions in social and religious areas, but the list is already too long.

On the liberal side, the statements are much milder:
- "Marijuana should be legalised." - What about people who want to legalize all drugs? And reapeal the minimum drinking age?
- "A same sex couple in a stable, loving relationship, should not be excluded from the possibility of child adoption." - What about those who support gay marriage? (This question can be agreed to even if you are against gay marriage but for "civil unions".)
- "Pornography, depicting consenting adults, should be legal for the adult population." - What about those who think 16 year olds should be able to watch whatever movies they want?

Consider these two people:
- a person who supports "civil unions", but not gay marriage, is ok with marijuana, but not cocain, and believes that only adults can watch X-rated movies
- a person who supports gay marriage, believes there should be no restrictions on drugs or drinking age, and thinks that movie ratings should be abolished

These two people could get the same -10 on this test. (And I hadn't even mentioned extreme liberal things like polyamorous communes.)

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
The Political Compass (Armed and Dangerous) in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #79
Here is the simplified version:

Page 3 of the test. Question 9:
quote:
Marijuana should be legalised.
This liberal opinion is commonly held in modern world.

Question 11:
quote:
People with serious inheritable disabilities should not be allowed to reproduce.
This conservative opinion was commonly held only in Nazi Germany.

Page 6. Question 2:
quote:
A same sex couple in a stable, loving relationship, should not be excluded from the possibility of child adoption.
This is a very mildly liberal position.

Question 5:
[quote]No one can feel naturally homosexual.[quote]
This is a very conservative position.

There are plenty of other examples like this.

So a mildly liberal person taking this test would agree with all "liberal" positions and reject all "conservative" ones. While a mildly conservative person would reject some of "conservative" propositions in addition to the liberal ones, ending up with a more "liberal" score.

[ Tuesday, October 16, 2007 11:13: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
The Political Compass (Armed and Dangerous) in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #77
quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Salmon:

quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

One issue is that "liberal" propositions are less liberal than "conservative" questions are conservative. For example, the question about legalizing drugs asks only about pot, instead of legalizing all drugs. Similarly, the questions about alternative lifestyles ask only about homosexuality, instead of furries, S&M, and other things people might find more objectionable. On the conservative side, however, we have eugenics, outright racism, and other views that are strongly condemned by most of society.

I feel condemned to respond to this. The reason the test questions are there is because they are relevant to society today. There is no furry legislation, or open discussions about eugenics. They may exist as one end of a spectrum, but they just.aren't.relevant.
...

Then why did the test ask about eugenics?

This is exactly my point. For the liberal prepositions they are asking about things relevant to modern society. (There are legislative proposals to legalize gay marriage and to legalize marijuana.) For the conservative propositions they ask about things that aren't relevant to modern society. (There are no legislative proposals to ban disabled people from having children, or to introduce forsed segregation.)

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
1 in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #98
This thread is getting far too complicated, so I'd like to return to an earlier question:
quote:
Originally written by Shard of Fire:

Here's your homework:
???? = ___

???? = ._ (by my earlier definition)
More on this later.

quote:
! - ... = ___
Let's define 0 to be additive identity. (This means X + 0 = X for all X.)
This allows us to define subtraction using the following method:
X - X = 0 for all X

Thus, your problem can be solved as follows:
! - ...
= ... + . - ... (by definition of !)
= . + ... - ... (commutativity of addition)
= . + (... - ...) (don't remember the property)
= . + 0 (by definition of -)
= . (by defition of 0)

quote:
!! * ! = ___
To do this, we first have to define multiplication.
Let . be a multiplicative identity. (X * . = X for all X) Now we can solve this:
!! * !
= !! * (... + .) (by definition of !)
= (!! * ...) + (!! * .) (by associativity? of multiplication and addition)
= (!! * ...) + !! (by definition of *)
= (!! * (.. + .)) + !! (by definition of ...)
= (!! * ..) + (!! * .) + !! (associativity, and clearing extra parenthesis for readability)
= (!! * (. + .)) + !! + !! (by definition of .. and definition of *)
= ((!! * .) + (!! * .)) + (!!!!) (assosiativity and definition of !!!!)
= (!! + !!) + ? (by definition of * and definition of ?)
= ? + ? (by definition of ?)
= ?? (by definition of ??)

As an extra exercise, we can prove that X * 0 = 0 for all X:
X * 0
= X * (. - .) (by definition of -)
= (X * .) - (X * .) (by associativity)
= X - X (by definition of *)
= 0 (by definition of -)

And just to make thing more complicated, let's define X * ._ = X for all X. (This means that all multiplications in our system will be modulo ._ or, for those who prefer boring numbers, modulo 256. (Considering that . has been defined to have all properties of 1, we can extrapolate ._ to be equivalent to 256 in the regular numbering system.)

quote:
spam <=> ____
spam <=> I am bored.

PS Ah the memories of college homeworks... :)

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
The Political Compass (Armed and Dangerous) in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #74
I got something like (-5.3, 0.4) this time, which is a bit more extreme than my usual (-4, -1), possibly because I was annoyed when retaking the test and was trying to get the result I wanted, and not the ones test was forsing on me.

In general, this test is biased to give more "liberal" results, so if the test shows a surprising result for some people, it might not be quite real.

One issue is that "liberal" propositions are less liberal than "conservative" questions are conservative. For example, the question about legalizing drugs asks only about pot, instead of legalizing all drugs. Similarly, the questions about alternative lifestyles ask only about homosexuality, instead of furries, S&M, and other things people might find more objectionable. On the conservative side, however, we have eugenics, outright racism, and other views that are strongly condemned by most of society.

What I mean by above paragraph is that acceptance of homosexuality is far more common than acceptance of eugenics. So a liberal person is a lot more likely to accept homosexulity than a conservative person is to accept eugenics, leading to a "liberal" shift in the scores.

There are also a lot of completely irrelevant questions like the one about astrology. For some reason saying that you don't believe in astrology gives a more liberal result, despite the fact that it has no relation to social and political views, and neo-pagan rebellious teenagers are more likely to believe in astrology than fundamentalist christians.

In general, if the test authors put Hitler at 9.8 on their scale and Gandhi at -4, nobody should be scoring -10 unless they live in a polyamorous commune and think that there should be no traffic rules, product safety rules, or other unreasonable restrictions on people's liberties.

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Well, how can I know these answers? in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #16
quote:
Originally written by Iffy says Hell is overrated:

5. Why is Imban everything?
I assume it's because he has almost as many accounts as Zxquez(sp?) had. There was a joke about Z... being everybody because of his numerous alter-egos, so I guess Imban inherited the joke when Z... left.

quote:
3. What is all the fluffy kittens about (and how it started).
It's just an extension of the "when you do [something], god kills a kitten" internet meme.

quote:
1. How exactly did the greeting start?
Misc sub-forum was a rather insane (random, spam-filled, etc.) place, so some people began to jokingly give that greeting in the "Hi, I am new" threads. That joke was repeated so often that it became a tradition.

quote:
Originally written by Iffy says Hell is overrated:

To the person who tried to answer my questions- You haven't been here long enough to know any of these. And you didn't even answer any!
...

You haven't been here long enough to know how long he has been here. :P

Some people have a habit of starting new accounts once in a while, so you never know which high-numbered account is just a multy of somebody who has been here from the beginning.

[ Tuesday, October 16, 2007 08:58: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Book or Movie? in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #54
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

I think the gap happens higher up than those examples. It's easy for decent books to be a bit better or a bit worse. But greatness is, according to my theory, a yes/no proposition.
If you define masterpiece to be flawless, it's impossible to have a flawed masterpiece. :)

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
1 in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #22
quote:
Originally written by Arden grey with horns he was:

Is there some "Point" to all this? Anyone care to make a "Stab" at explaining?
Not only that, but I'll define quotation operator while I am at it:

"point" <=> tniop
"stab" <=> bats

Which means that "? + ? = ??" <=> ?? = ? + ?

And now, to make these numbers easier to write, let's introduce the _ notation:

._ = ???? = !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
._. = ????.
._... + ._. = ._?

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Does life imitate art? in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #21
quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:

The only way to maintain control is through more regulation. Just ask a Republican. Otherwise anyone can do it. Sorry Synergy, I think you should get magic as a member of the controllers.
That's true, but we will also have to regulate scripting. Which is best accomplished using magic. Then we'll need scripters to regulate the mages regulating scripters. And mages regulating scripters regulating mages regulating scripters. And scripters ...

quote:
Originally written by root:

Didn't we discuss this back in March? Something about Ouroborous?
Yes, we did. And we tried to avoid topics like this, leading to a steady decline in board activity, setting a new record low for the number of "active members" every month. I suggest you go through your statistical data and plot the number of active members against the number of posts in community-oriented topics. The results might turn out to be highly instructive.

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Sputnik in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #36
quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

...
Zeviz, are you saying your idea of an improved world is more toys and material possessions, created by the same technologies which also now threaten our very existence because we aren't mature enough to wield them safely?

-S-

These same technologies also greatly extended our lifespan, allowed us to suffer less from diseases, and yes, also made our lives easier and more enjoyable. For some reason, few people volunteer to go back to plowing land using horses all day. Any tool can be used to help or to hurt. How it is used says more about the wielder than the tool itself.

[ Saturday, October 06, 2007 00:41: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Sputnik in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #34
I find it interesting that the conversation about Sputnik so quickly degenerated into arguments about America's role in today's world. Especially considering that Spitnik started the era of space exploration, and sparked a space race that allowed the hostility of the Cold War to be channeled towards a constructive purpose.

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

If you're going to compare apples-to-apples then go with what did happen during the cold war, not what could have happened...unless you're comparing stress levels. I think it's at least as high now - probably higher. I think this world is more uneasy.
...

Do today's schools hold frequent drills on what to do in case of nuclear attack? Do people live with the constant knowledge that entire human civilization could end in 5 minutes? (The threat is no longer there, because the nuclear weapons are now targeted into the ocean, instead of at Russian and American cities, so even in case of a misunderstanding it would take at least 15 minutes to retarget them back, which is enough time to make out the difference between a NASA rocket and a nuclear warhead. I am simplifying here a little, but the sentence was already getting too long. :) )

As for the actual level of violence, "Cold War" was "cold" only for the major powers involved. In addition to Vietnam and Korea, there were dozens of civil wars, armed conflicts, and revolutions in which USSR supported one side and USA the other. So even if you look at the number of people killed per year, "war on terror" is probably far less bloody than the "Cold" War.

Finally, getting back to the original question of the thread...
quote:
Originally written by Actaeon:

It's been 50 years. A great deal has changed. The question is, are we better off than we were on October 4, 1957?
Just the fact that you can ask this question to dozens of people from all over the world is an answer in itself.

Internet. Computers. Microwave ovens. Color TV. Refrigerators. ... It's hard to list all of the recent technological advances that make our lives easier and more enjoyable. Even people in most of the "third world" enjoy much higher standard of living now compared to 50 years ago. The people in the poorest regions of the world might not have seen much improvement yet, but the term "poorest regions of the world" now includes far fewer countries than it did 50 years ago.

Our world is obviously far from perfect. However, while we still have a long way to go, it doesn't help to diminish how far we've come in the last 50 years. :)

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Yay! in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #27
quote:
Originally written by Dryth'tor:

Worf won a photo contest. For the winning pics, click here.

He won 1st place in under 18 pets/wildlife, and a runner-up status in under 18 humorous.

I won a $250 fishtank, so I guess I'm getting fish. Suggestions are most welcome.

Congratulations.

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
I have glasses. in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #13
I think glasses make people look more intelligent. :P

(And no, I don't wear them. Although at the rate I am going, I might need them soon.)
quote:
Originally written by Turtleking:

...
Dikiyoba: If you insist, it's just that he always infuriates me with his bumbling, breaking many basic societal rules for my peer group, not to mention generally getting under my skin. I will try to resist the urge.

There are people of many different ages and backgrounds on these boards and on the Internet in general. Judging them by your own standard is not very useful. (For example, if I judged you by the standards of my "peer group", you'd rate no better than IFM.)

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Which Spiderweb game do you like most? in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #11
BoE is dozens of games for the price of one.

If you count only games with Jeff's content, I'd say Avernum 2, Geneforge 2, Nethergate, and Geneforge 4.

My least favorite one is AvernumForge (sometimes called Avernum 4). That's the only Spidweb game for which I lost interest before finishing the demo, despite relatively small demo area.

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Other RPGs in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #15
quote:
Originally written by LakiRa@:

I should mentioned that I am looking only for RPG
that are less than 30mb.

In that case I'd recommend Blades of Avernum and/or Blades of Exile. BoA has some good custom scenarios. BoE has a huge number of exellent scenarios for any taste, but the engine is probably too old for you. I know that you've mentioned that you didn't like Avernum engine as much as Geneforge, but most games under 30 megabytes in size are going to be even older than Avernum. Much older in many case.

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
A Public Opinion Survey in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #70
About bows v. crossbows and early firearms, I've usually heard that the main advantage of the latter was the ease of mastering them. It took lifetime of practice to master the bow, while anybody could learn to shoot crossbow or musket reasonably accurately in a few months. I've heard that early muskets actually had pretty low penetrating power, especially because of low quality gunpowder available at the time. Their fire rate was also very low. However, if you had just gathered a bunch of recruits, it was much faster to train them to use muskets/crossbows reasonably well than to use longbows expertly.

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Other RPGs in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #4
quote:
Originally written by LakiRa@:

I just completed Geneforge 4 and I have completed G1-3 and Avernum 1-4 before that.
I am waiting for Avernum 5 to come out but while waiting I dont know what to play.I am looking for some good NON SPIDERWEB RPG.
What would you recommend?!

It depends on what kind of games you like.

If you like a massive story with lots of side-quests, character interactions, and so on, Baldur's Gate games are very good. (Both I, II, and various expansions.)

If you like eye-candy and don't mind FPS-like gameplay, you might like The Elder Scrolls series, particularly its latest installment, Oblivion.

These are the two I've played most recently, but there are many more possibilities.

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Man or God in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #180
quote:
Originally written by Micawber:

Does anyone actually believe this a productive discussion where either side is actually listening to the other. Or are they both rehearsing their preconceived viewpoints in the hopes of wearing down the other side. It's unbearingly painful to witness.

And remind me again, what precisely does this thread have to do with Spiderweb Software and its games?

Nobody is forcing you to read any of this.

There are some parts of this thread that are interesting, like SoT's professional explanations of the state of modern physics/cosmology/whatever. As for the rest, it's not that hard to press PageDown key a few times.

And more on topic ...
quote:
Originally written by 2disbetter:

...
That right there should be a problem for anyone. Why is there 3 billion different versions of the bible? (that number is an exageration)
...
That does not mean the original was not divinely inspired. I'm just saying it is possible that the real un-altered unchanged bible might be lost.
...
As for the discrepancies, you might want to ask the individuals who translated them. They coudl probably tell you why they felt the need to change things. (read: there is no reason, but they did it anyway)

It is never possible to make an "accurate" translation, because even "same" words have slightly different meanings in different languages.

An example from linguistics class is the simple word "on", which in some languages means "touching the surface" (for example, "a picture on a wall"), while in others it means "on top of" (e.g. "a book on the desk"). Then there is a difference in degree to which one object has to touch another to still be considered "on" it. (If a book is balanced on a corner, is it still "on" the desk? Some languages say "yes". Others say "no".) And this is just a simple preposition. You can imagine how much more complicated things get when you try to translate more abstract ideas, especially once you get into idioms, wordplay, etc.

So the reason for multiple versions of the Bible is that there are many ways to translate even simplest sentences, so each translation will be different even before you get into interpretation. Which means that people who want to make meaningful arguments about the text have to read the original in Hebrew, Arameic, Latin, etc.

As for whether "the original" still exists, the fartherst back we can go without changes is about 2nd century AD, when Jews started treating Torah (part of Old Testament) as literally holy text and copying it with corresponding care. So today you can look at a Torah scroll in any synagogue in the world and see exactly same text, including positioning of each individual letter.

However, before that point the records were treated less carefully, so there are different versions of various stories. (Dead Sea Scrolls are an example of a set of ancient documents from a geographically isolated community which are different from the versions of same stories popular today.) Even the books of Old Testament itself look like compilations. There are places where same passage is repeated twice with different details. (I guess the people originally compiling the texts couldn't decide which version was correct, so they put both of them in.)

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
What have you been reading lately? in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #517
quote:
Originally written by Turtleking:

...
Why do you lot care about a book written by a sixteen year old.
...

Why should we care about online posts written by a thirteen year old? :P

There are plenty of prodigies who had made great achievements at an early age in various fields, so nothing besides envy should cause the work of a teenage author be judged more harshly than that of an adult. As for the book itself, that kind of literature is read for entertainment, rather than a deeply meaningful look at complexities of life. If I want the latter, I can re-read War and Peace. And for a very light reading, the book was pretty fun.

PS Back on topic, the book I read most recently was "My name is Asher Lev" by Chaim Potok. Currently I am reading the sequel "A gift of Asher Lev".

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Raise your hand if you LOVE Linear RPG's! in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #7
*raises hand* :P

Actually, I haven't played KOTOR, but I generally prefer games with a strong story to games where you wonder aimlessly, hoping to stumble upon next part of the storyline. I think Avernum II and Geneforge II have handled the balance between choice and plot quite well: There are a lot of things to do and decisions to make, but there is still a clear progression of plot, with the story unfolding around you.

As for Oblivion, I got bored with it after less than a week. (Although that could be due to my dislike for FPS games.)

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
A Public Opinion Survey in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #49
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Hmm, an interesting idea. I don't really buy that decisive battle is a uniquely western goal.
...

While not uniquely western, the idea that a war ends after a grand battle is far stronger in Western Europe than anywhere else. For example, Napoleon was very surprised by guerilla resistance he encountered in Russia. The burning of Moscow was a great example of the clash between western tradition where after losing the decisive battle the losers would present the winner with keys to the city, and eastern tradition where conflicts go on for decades, only occasionally flaring up in battles.

The tradition of protracted conflicts probably goes back to nomadic tribes, which were in the near-constant state of war with their farming neighbors and with each other. Since nomads were raiders, rather than conquerors, people who had lived on the edges of steppes knew that a single battle never changed anything, because victorious raiders would leave to return later, and even if a tribe was defeated, another would rise to take its place. In Western Europe, everybody lived by farming (or hunting), rather than grazing cattle, so even the militant tribes and rulers were interested in conquering their neighbors, rather than just raiding their lands. (Vikings were probably the only exception to that, but their threat was not as constant, especially to the people of central and southern parts of Western Europe as the nomad threat to people of eastern parts of Eastern Europe.)

As for reliance on heavy armor, it might be due to the fact that the west was a lot more concerned with “rules of war” and surrender was an acceptable option, while in the east surrender would likely lead to being sold into slavery. If surrender is more acceptable, it makes sense to focus on protection so you can survive until that surrender. For Samurai, being sold into slavery might not have been a concern, but, from what I understand, they didn’t like the idea of surrendering, so they would focus on deadlier weapons, rather than more protective armor. (However, this paragraph is just my guess, so it might be completely wrong.)

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
How Did You Find Spiderweb? in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #30
I had found Exile II while looking for shareware RPGs (on AOL games, if I remember correctly). Later I also found Exile III and BoE, then lost sight of the company for some time, until I was bored at work in the summer of 2001 and found that Spidweb now had forums, full of entertaining things like "Exile, News at 11" thread, and Drakey and TM giving each other Black Marks.

PS Finding these boards in 1998 or 99 is a miraculous accomplishment, considering that Spidweb didn't have official boards until spring 2001. :P

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
A Public Opinion Survey in General
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #12
1. A stereotypical ninja is a highly trained assassin. A stereotypical pirate is a moderately trained sailor/bandit. The outcome is obvious.

2. Both were experts at fighting, trained from early childhood. However, Viking has the advantage of a thousand years of progress in weapons and armor design.

3. The question says nothing about creations, and most Shapers are nearly helpless without them, so Avernite wins.

If the Shaper is allowed to bring along his creations, Avernite might never get off more than a single round (which he will probably spend drinking potions) before being stunned to permanent immobility. However, as Khoth pointed out, a late-game Exile character could be made immortal by giving him 20 points of luck. So the fight with Exile character would end in a draw, as Shaper’s creations keep him permanently stunned, but can’t kill him.

4. Knight has a lance and far more experience fighting on horseback, so the Samurai has no chance. If the horses are removed from the equation, this becomes the question of whether Japanese swords could penetrate European armor. The real ones probably couldn’t, but stereotypical ones can cut through anything, so this would go to Samurai.

5. All other things being equal, Celts have much better equipment.

[ Monday, September 17, 2007 10:01: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00

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