Profile for Or else o'erleap.


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I'm back!!! in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #16
Nuts is such a subjective term. I prefer to think that Solberg found his calling.

—Alorael, who also notes that he found his familiar. Again. And again!
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #168
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Can you prove that? I think the recognition of marriage is practical. For example, I don’t think it’s debatable that a child that grows up in a secure, loving home with a mother and father generally fairs well. Of course other arrangements can work, but I think that this is the most natural and therefore the ideal.

And since same-sex couples can already have children by adoption, surrogate, or sperm donation, isn't it best for the children to give the family the protection of a legal marriage?

But that's besides the point. Marriage is not about children. Making it so is another legal battle entirely.

quote:
If you think that homosexuals, the polyamorous, and whoever else should have their unions recognized in the same way, THAT IS YOUR OPINION. You are entitled to try to legislate it if you please, just like I’m entitled to try to make the neighborhood I want to build in an empowerment zone. But to say that a certain law is bad solely on the basis that it discriminates is not accurate.
Sure it is. Discrimination is bad. What makes some discriminating laws good is their other effects. You haven't provided positive effects for preventing same-sex marriage.

quote:
Claiming that one person is hurt because another person gets favor is also off. If the government gives tuition assistance to a soldier, does that hurt the person with a handicap who can’t join the armed forces?
Tuition assistance in this case is a perk/payment for services rendered. An individual does something to earn the assistance. Like any job, preventing the handicapped from joining the armed forces is not permitted unless it's not possible for them to do work.

quote:
Should everybody get tuition assistance since this discriminates?
Yes, ideally. But funds are, sadly, limited. Marriages aren't. Once again: there is no cost to same-sex marriage. There is no downside to same-sex marriage. Demonstrate one or provide another argument to justify your position.

—Alorael, who will not accept the costs to the government from income lost to marriage tax breaks. By that reasoning nobody should be able to get married.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Giscard Letter in Avernum 4
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #1
It's on a corpse in the Eastern Gallery. I recall it being north of the road between Cotra and Fort Dranlon, but I could very easily be wrong. Just look around.

—Alorael, who would guess that the answer to this question is available in some walkthrough on GameFAQs.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #148
Not many people get married for the benefits, but there are plenty of people who see no moral or religious reason to marry. They could happily just live together. They get married, though. Why? Among other reasons, the rights and privileges of marriage are useful for partners living together.

Since we don't legally object to polyamory, I see no reason to legally obstruct it. Allow civil unions between anyone and everyone as long as all participants are consenting, informed adults. Let people sort out the significance and reasons for themselves.

—Alorael, who agrees that society values man-woman partnerships over other kinds. What he's not satisfied with is that that may be more than an artifact of religion, which is in turn an artifact of society thousands of years ago. Maybe it's time for a change.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #123
A few points:

On nature: Of course genitalia are "designed" for male-female sexual intercourse for impregnation, but design is the wrong word. Yes, I know you'll disagree. Evolution provides plenty of reasons for sex and plenty of reasons why sex requires evolving for sex.

Anyway, since creationism/ID isn't generally accepted, arguing from design is meaningless.

On morals: Law is not about doing the right thing. Law is about doing the fair thing. It is, or should be utilitarian. Put bluntly, I don't trust most people to make laws that are morally correct, but I do trust them to make laws that are best for the largest number of people and that's good enough.

On disagreement: Anyone has the right to propose any legal changes. One of the jobs of the government is to refuse some changes even if the majority supports them. Discrimination is one of those cases: minorities should be and must be protected.

By the same token, anyone has the right to try to role back civil rights and return to Jim Crow. Even if 90% of the country supports this, the government is obligated to refuse. Discrimination against blacks is unconstitutional, and I would argue that discrimination in general (without good reason, as Thuryl pointed out) is against the spirit of the document and really ought to be amended in.

—Alorael, who views this as secular extremism only in that certain political agendas particular to the religious are not viable. Plenty of secular agendas are equally unacceptable, though, so it's not as though this is some atheist crusade against the faithful.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #108
Okay, I profess myself won over. Devil's advocate mode off.

Now I'll play Excalibur's game. Suppose a society takes the problem of overpopulation very seriously. This is reasonable, after all; the problem is enormous. Now, let's suppose this society has the will and the wherewithal to tweak genes in all embryos. Not out of question in either a near dystopian future or a near wealthy commune! Now, population comes from sexual intercourse, which occurs primarily between heterosexuals. Homosexuality appears to be at least partially genetic. So let's hypothesize a society that's willing to both tweak and condition its babies to be homosexual for population control. (Credit where it's due: Joe Haldeman's Forever War)

—Alorael, who in any case thinks you are egregiously missing the point. This is a thought experiment about the current situation reversed. If you can't manage that, your lack of ability with abstractions renders you largely unsuited to considering possible futures based on possible policies.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #101
True, but I believe the personal right to engage in risky behavior (and, yes, suicide) trumps the very small benefit to society of heavy-handed safety. It requires a bit of ethical calculus to work out exactly how the utiles stack up, but I don't a debt to society is a good justification for promoting mandatory safety measures.

—Alorael, who on the other hand would be quite happy if cars were made so that turning the car on were impossible without the the driver's being buckled in. Law must permit stupidity, but manufacturers only have to pander to mass preference for the ability to be stupid.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #98
Kel: I realize that not wearing a seatbelt greatly increases the chances of severe injury and thus the need for complicated care. I'm just not so convinced that there are so few ambulances and so few hospital beds that this is a critical concern. It could be, but I don't have any evidence either way.

Drew: Likewise, I am aware of the costs to the family of the seatbelt avoider. I'm just not sure that the cost is societal enough to justify legal safe(ty belt)guards. Insurance premiums might count, but the health insurance system is such a mess that I'm much more inclined to take this as evidence that insurance needs an overhaul, not car safety.

—Alorael, who must point out that a homosexual society is not unthinkable. It has been suggested many times in science fiction, has been one of Leon Kass's rather crazy objections to both IVF and gene therapy, and is quite feasible using current technology as long as both males and females continue to coexist, the former are willing to donate sperm, and the latter are willing to accept it.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Another Old School Game in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #21
quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

Exile had music, and it was alright actually.
It was a MIDI of Bach's Little Fugue in C. It's okay, but there are better free recordings available and listening to it on loop gets old quickly.

—Alorael, who instead proposes having Terry Riley's In C made into background music. It wouldn't even need to loop!
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Another Old School Game in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #18
At this point Jeff probably could get music for reasonable prices and he could probably make it either optional or small enough to make download sizes a non-issue, but the problem is entirely in his mind: he doesn't like in-game music, so he doesn't put it in his games.

—Alorael, who thinks maybe a way to give your own music files to the game and tell it which to play under which circumstances (battle, town, dramatic plot dialogue, and so on) would be nice. It wouldn't be all that great, though, and Jeff probably has better things to program.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #92
I'm not truly convinced that seatbelt laws actually reduce the ambulance and hospital requirements to an extent that makes them meaningful forms of improving the health of others. Wearing a seatbelt is pretty much good for the wearer only. If an adult who knows exactly what the risks are wants to go beltless, I can't really see how the government should be able to overrule the decision.

That said, there's a world of difference between seatbelts, where you can choose to ignore the law and accept the penalty, and same-sex marriage, where you cannot ignore the law because the entire problem is on paper, not physical.

—Alorael, who also thinks the point about morals is a good one and who agrees that laws should not be moral. If two consenting adults can get married, any two consenting adults should be able to get married. In a large sense this is still a problem sex-based discrimination: hetero marriage only discriminates against same-sex couples on the basis of one of them being the wrong sex. That is illegal in every other context.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Avernum Consensus Poll in The Avernum Trilogy
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #6
Aimee isn't in A2 in person. She just leaves a message and a spell for you.

—Alorael, who professes himself unsatisfied. Maybe she'll return from distant planes bearing word of a new threat in A7. Maybe it will be Grah-Hoth. Again.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #70
quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

quote:
So you're in favour of polygamy
I never said that.

Okay, so what's your solution to the women who want to get married when there are no longer any available men?

—Alorael, who agrees that unisex bathrooms should be fine. The only problems are Puritanical beliefs, worries about sexual harassment (which require the assumption that only heterosexuals use public bathrooms), the presence of urinals (discriminatory!), and the unfortunate fact that toilets that men can use end up unusable very quickly. Perhaps a large public effort to promote aim would help.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Avernum Consensus Poll in The Avernum Trilogy
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #2
Aimee is also mostly a one-shot, and she is definitely high on my list of intriguing and important mages. I've always wanted to see more of her.

—Alorael, who considers the troglos and giants two separate plagues. Alien Beasts are also a plague and can be stopped separately from beating the game, sort of.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Geneforge For PS2 in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #9
Don't most consoles have some kind of SDK so that the game designers can make the game on their own?

—Alorael, who is really dubious about, say, Microsoft actually programming all of the games after they're designed by someone else. Surely there are Xbox games with fewer bugs than Microsoft products?
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
OMG!! in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #24
I like the small stories of minor Avernites a lot, and one of my complaints in A4 was that the characters reappeared without having their lives advanced for the most part. But look at Carol and Tor: they start out living separately. After Fort Avernum shuts down they get hitched and start a farm together. Eventually they separate again because Tor is a persistent quartermaster/pawn for the crown and Carol wants a life of her own.

—Alorael, who maintains as always that the beauty of Avernum isn't in the big stories. It's in the background, and the background very much includes the little people.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #56
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

By the way, race is based on arbitrary manmade distinction. Gender is not.

What's arbitrary about race? Different races obviously aren't the same. They look different. They have different genetic predispositions. There's something real there. The fact that we have decided it isn't okay to legislate based on it is right in all of our opinions (I hope!), but it's also arbitrary.

The problem with voting by your beliefs is the fine line between that and forcing your beliefs on others. If you are an evangelical Christian, you believe that everyone else should belong to your religion as well. It would make sense to vote to make Christianity required by law. There's no reason other than religion to vote in such a way, though. Same-sex marriage is a similar problem: except for religious beliefs, there's really not any good reason to ban it.

—Alorael, who still thinks the problem would be most easily solved by striking the word marriage from all legal documents and replacing it with civil union. Leave the sacred union to the purveyors of sanctity and keep the legal benefits strictly separate and available to anyone.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #27
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

By the way, a sentiment of anti-homosexuality is far from being the sole property of conservative Protestants. I think it's safe to say it's ubiquitous the world over.
So is evil.

quote:
Originally written by Jewelz:

The privileges aren't given for no reason, though. The government wants men and women to get married and (here's the key) procreate so that next year's military will have a good population of strapping young lads to fight in their wars and next year's lads will have ladies to birth their next generation.
Maybe this would make sense if sexual orientation were a choice, but it's not. The strapping young gay lads aren't interested in settling down with young ladies for a fecund union. Petty bribery won't change this. And plenty of those gay lads and ladies would very much like children and provide stable homes. It's just a little harder for them since the government shakes wags a stern, moralistic finger at them.

quote:
Granted this does not cover all privilege discrepencies, especially on the individual business level, but then it's a question of how big you want your government to be in regulating such things.
This echoes post-Civil War sentiments in the South. When there is discrimination the government needs to be big enough and intrusive enough to stop it. This was (and, sadly, is) true of racial discrimination, this was and is true of gender discrimination, and it is definitely true of homophobic discrimination.

—Alorael, who very much like's ET's comment. It captures the issues of the American Civil War beyond slavery quite neatly.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
OMG!! in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #14
They are "very good friends," and that's why the were exiled. They have rainbow symbols in A3 along with a few other Avernites. They're permanently paired in the series.

Yes, they are lesbians.

—Alorael, who would like to know what you made of the two of them that wasn't lesbians. The Empire doesn't like friendship? (Okay, it probably doesn't, but it also kicks puppies.)
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Urgent in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #9
I don't care that much about what you have to say. Sorry.

—Alorael, who addressed Aran with his previous comment, not you. Although really, sending two different emails from two different locations and two different addresses ought to up your security as long as the problem is on your end and not Jeff's.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Urgent in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #5
Since the card number was sent in via the encrypted order form, giving additional non-number information by email doesn't actually make things much less secure.

—Alorael, who insists on hand-encrypting all information he sends in the clear with Pontifex/Solitaire. Anyone who really cares what he has to say will take the trouble to decrypt it.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
OMG!! in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #8
One of my friends discovered the joys of Avernum without my having played any role in it, and I've only recently found out. It made me very happy.

—Alorael, who is really quite impressed. The last time he googled Nethergate the brewery came up first, second, and third, with Spiderweb's game trailing. How things have changed!
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Dragons and Vahnatai-The superiors.Foolish or mighty? in The Avernum Trilogy
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #8
Well, let's see. Erika was more powerful than Rentar-Ihrno. Sulfras was imprisoned by the Empire, but Erika was banished and cused by the Empire. Younger Erika, perhaps, but it looks like both can be taken down by sufficiently large forces.

It's actually rather interesting that Sulfras, the most powerful of the dragons, is never really compared to anything else in strength.

—Alorael, who thinks the vahnatai win in the end by numbers and also by powerful individuals. Rentar-Ihrno may or may not be the strongest vahnatai; she's high up in her clan, but maybe not even the most powerful there. The crystal souls are more powerful as well, and I'd say they're more powerful than she was as a crystal. So while the strongest vahnatai may not be stronger than Sulfras, it's reasonable to assume they're more impressive than Pyrog and Motrax.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
What have you been reading lately? in General
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #608
It sure looks like you added it to me. Not quite right, but close enough.

—Alorael, who is not everyone! He is neither Imban nor Zxquez! He demands individuality!
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Garbage in Avernum4 in Avernum 4
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #15
You can't take non-BoA parties into BoA scenarios. That would be particularly difficult from A4, as A4 and BoA don't have the same engine.

You could use the script to create shopkeepers, but garbage just doesn't sell. I think you're stuck with it.

—Alorael, who hadn't previously considered how the loss of an outdoors means a proliferation of permanent useless crud.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00

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