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Yarrr... Linux! in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #84
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

But what is the evidence or argument that has persuaded you that American wealth actually has been gained at the expense of the rest of the world?

I'm not just attacking you -- I have been wondering a lot about this point myself. So far, though, it just isn't clear to me that the rich world simply got rich by robbing the poor. So if you could explain your view to me, it might help me understand an important issue better.

I'm not trying to say that it's a zero-sum game; it seems obvious that the global standard of living has, in fact, risen, and economists with many more years of study and wisdom than I swear that wealth can be created. What I'm after is that a certain amount of manual labor has to be done for the world to run properly, and that there is a ceiling for the ratio of white-collar workers to blue-collar workers, and it seems to me like it's got to be below one, perhaps even one half. It just seems like a disproportionate amount of Americans are engaged either in white-collar work or in providing services to white-collar workers.

Given my earlier assertion that there is a limit to just what portion of the world can be doing white-collar work, it follows that the accretion of white-collar workers (and service workers who exist for the convenience of affluent white-collar workers) in any one place merely means that there are more blue-collar workers elsewhere. Of course, I'll concede that I have no idea whether that ratio can be technologically extended upwards, or whether we've even reached it with the technology we've got, but when not only your manufacturing, but even your radiology and tech support are carried out in other countries because people are willing to work for so much less, it seems only a matter of time before people closer to home start making a fortune on supervising them instead of American corporate management people.

EDIT: I guess the concise way to say all that is that American economic primacy does not appear to be based on superior productive capacity; rather, it appears to be due to the simple fact that we have so much money. Since money is an abstraction, I'm nervous about whether an economic superiority based now, although not formerly, on an abstraction holds any real water.

I'm just a high school student, so you're probably better off wandering into your college's economics department, but I appreciate the confidence.

[ Wednesday, January 18, 2006 08:50: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Yarrr... Linux! in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #81
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

quote:
Originally written by PoD person:

I'm coming closer and closer to the depressing conviction that my USA's standard of living is predicated on the poverty of several third-world countries. I would welcome some sort of disproof, but it seems that our proletariat became bourgeousie by turning itself into the white-collar controllers of an impoverished global proletariat, and that's ;_;
I'm not saying you're wrong, but why do you say this?

Well, its seemed sort of obligatory given the social injustice fiber running through this thread. It does sort of contradict my other point about capitalist motivation, but one cannot disregard that capitalism may just be a bang-up system for promoting local (i.e national) accretion of wealth at the expense of inhabitants of other countries.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Yarrr... Linux! in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #73
quote:
Originally written by Alorael:

If you know a way to make communism work, please share it. I think almost everyone acknowledges that communism is a great system on paper, where none of the problems that crop up in the real world plague it.

I maintain that the desire for wealth as one of the motivating factors behind everything we do, perhaps even the greatest motivating factor, makes communism and socialism difficult to implement. The problems of capitalism have already been outlined. Personal opinion is a big part of which point on the continuum is best, but I think that if you like socialism, the best workable plan is to find that optimum point where most people remain motivated but the actual rewards are small because most of the wealth (using wealth loosely) produced is taken and used or redistributed by the state.

My first paragraph was an endorsement of capitalism as a motivator. I feel that any sort of communism would need to keep the capitalist economic incentive structure of compensating those with rare skillsets exponentially. Otherwise, laziness and inertia will take over. People will take the obvious job if the compensation is the same. In other words, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his abilities, down to a certain minimum cost of living." Even then, the removal of the "produce or starve" capitalist motivation could prove disastrous.

t Kelandon - the crux of my little addendum was that I'm not entirely sure this lifestyle is even possible except at the expense of a lot of the world.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Yarrr... Linux! in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #68
I've not done any serious studies of economics, but the way I see the success of capitalism is this:

There is no linear correlation between expenditure of effort and wealth, nor is there one between the value of the aggregate impact of the service on society on wealth; rather, wealth (by which I mean purchasing power, political influence, AND the ability to make sure one's children's futures are secure - morally bankrupt or no, that is one of the greatest motivating factors in the pursuit of wealth) is directly proportional to some power greater than 1 of the service's value to society and inversely proportional to the fraction of society that possesses the skillset to render the service. Unless there is some incentive for people possessing rare skillsets to use them (i.e. a better ratio of wealth to effort expended), then they are equally likely, perhaps more likely, to perform much more rudimentary functions. Just, no. The best way to ensure that very, very important things are done by the right people, maybe. (It also enshrines the movie industry and professional athletes, but, hell, I wouldn't want to go through life with no NFL).

I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I'm coming closer and closer to the depressing conviction that my USA's standard of living is predicated on the poverty of several third-world countries. I would welcome some sort of disproof, but it seems that our proletariat became bourgeousie by turning itself into the white-collar controllers of an impoverished global proletariat, and that's ;_;
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Finalizing Scenario Ideas. in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #10
The party are students at a University, where they are in training to become special military operatives, but it is a true university, and they are assigned to escort an anthropology proffesor on an expedition as a kind of internship. They help him clean out a nasty infestation of Yeti-type creatures in the ruins he wishes to investigate. He then finds, displayed in a place of prominence, a magical record of the ancient civilization there, and becomes deranged/possessed and magically throws the party into a dungeon. They must then escape, confront him, and bring him out of his stupor without killing him.

Might I suggest giving each potential designer a thread on the Lyceum to post progress, questions, etc.?
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Holy Mac Windows Batman! in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #37
Debates are great and all, but what's more important to know and establish for once and for all is can you dual boot and what must be done in order to do so. I've heard that the Intel-based macs will use a different system architecture (i.e bus, etc.) and you won't actually be able to run Windows on them, despite the processor they've got in common.

[ Thursday, January 12, 2006 13:56: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
I Want to Crush Your Dreams. in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #54
quote:
Originally written by *i:

quote:
Originally written by PoD person:

Archaeologist recruits party as escort for expedition. Party clears out nasty bug infestation. Archaeologist retrieves artifact, attacks party, disappears. Party finds archaeologist on throne, he calls party uppity slaves and throws them in dungeon. Party learns of ancient slave rebellion, finds artifact of some sort. Violent confrontation with archaeologist ensues, he comes to, confused, and he and party hightail it out of there.
A decent start, but needs more fleshing out. I'll offer a few suggestions that you are free to use in any capacity you wish:

Probably more interesting if the party is a bunch of students or apprentices to the archaeologist. The stock hired adventurers is a bit too cliched. It gives a better motivation to why the party is there. Also, freeing their master from possession later on would make a good plot motivator.

The artifact needs to be defined. I assume it possesses the archaeologist so what is it, an idol, a sword, or something else? Answer this question before proceeding anywere as the type of artifact dictates the story.

Bug infestations are a bit cliched. They could work well, but make the bugs special or unique in some way. Preferably related to the artifact at hand. Perhaps a cult of Aranea could be fairly interesting.

Throne? I got totally lost here. Almost feels like two separate scenarios at this point. You really need to flesh out where this comes from. Perhaps instead of searching for the artifact outright, how about they are searching for a Lost City in the mountains? Perhaps the people in the Lost City would have the trait of immortality (they can still be killed, but otherwise live forever) and they enslave mortals.

Not sure how the violent slave rebellion works in? Is the artifact a different one or the same one? I'd vote for recovering the artifact, feels less random and two artifacts are a bit much.

I neglected to mention that the scenario takes place in a ruin. I like your suggestion that the adventurers are not simply hired, but I don't think they should exactly be students of the Archaeologist. Rather, I'll say that they're students at the university where he teaches. They aren't archaeology students, they're military/magic students, and they're coming along as research volunteers, because the archaeologist doesn't know what's in the ruins, whose location he has learned of through some cliched means.

I chose bugs to infest the ruins because they have the potential to be quite nasty while not being in any way supernatural. Basically, they're just the justification for bringing non-archaeology students along. I'm thinking though, that I might put the ruins in the snow and use some sort of Yeti/Abominable Snowman creatures. Or, perhaps, something using the swamp dweller graphics from ASR.

Anyways, the nasty but not too challenging infestation defeated, the party and the archaeologist discover, in a place of prominence, an artifact. After messing with it a while, the archaeologist realizes that it is some sort of incredible advanced information repository, and starts reading from it. Perhaps, he even shares some information with the party, and they get boosts to certain stats/spells. As it goes on, he becomes more and more engrossed in the artifact. Eventually, the party gets bored and goes to sleep. When they wake up, Herr Professor has vanished.

Without their chaperone and ticket home (try returning from a UROP without the sponsoring prof), the party goes into the ruins to look for him. When they find him, he is seated on a throne in the ruins. The throne room has remnants of an ancient battle everywhere. The party is relieved to see the professor, but he doesn't seem to know them. Instead, he seems to think that they are uppity slaves, and he reads some spells from his artifact, teleporting the party into a dungeon.

I'm thinking the cell the party winds up in will just have a crumbled wall - the "professor" doesn't realize that the city is a ruin. While in the dungeon, the party should notice yet more signs of ancient violence - skeletons in loin-cloths weilding crude weapons collapsed next to ones decked out in flimsy ceremonial gear. Eventually, as they approach the throne room, they should find one, massive, armored skeleton holding a wand/orb/spell-casting item of some sort. When one character uses this on the "professor," the character should be transported to some abstract astral arena and square off with the shade possessing him.

I can't really figure out a way to work a moral dilemma in there, except maybe for the party to run away or to just kill the professor instead of exorcising the ancient ghost.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
I Want to Crush Your Dreams. in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #34
Archaeologist recruits party as escort for expedition. Party clears out nasty bug infestation. Archaeologist retrieves artifact, attacks party, disappears. Party finds archaeologist on throne, he calls party uppity slaves and throws them in dungeon. Party learns of ancient slave rebellion, finds artifact of some sort. Violent confrontation with archaeologist ensues, he comes to, confused, and he and party hightail it out of there.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Best musician or composer in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #59
I think the common feature of most Nu Metal bands is a slower tempo (than most types of metal, mind you), drop-tuned guitars, not usually double bass drums, and frequent recourse to growling-type vocals, like Slipknot or Korn. They also often have DJs, for some reason. I'm not a big fan.

Personally, I'm an alt-rock man through and through, but my tastes vary pretty widely within the genre.

I like Death Cap for Cutie and Interpol in terms of the softer stuff, and I like AFI for a bit more melodious hard rock.

Rage Against the Machine brings the fury and the funk better than anyone, stupid politics or no.

Metallica (pre-St. Anger) and Avenged Sevenfold are good straight-up power metal, and the Mars Volta can put a good song together in between acid binges.

Arena-rock wise, I really like Weezer, and, unlike everyone else nowadays, don't much care for Greenday. I like the new stuff, but it's basically just Weezer songs with slapdash anti-Bush lyrics for the Rebellious Teen demographic, and the old stuff just never really did it for me.

My pet genre, though, is grunge. Pearl Jam is basically just Arena Blues-Rock, but Gossard and Ament work great together, Irons laid a beat, and Vedder's got soul. Alice in Chains, well, Layne Stayley. I always thought Nirvana to be a bit overrated, Cobain's overused misunderstood-me act was inferior to the fun he had with folky kitsch in songs lake Like of Fire, but, you know, what sells sells. My favorite band, Soundgarden, gets called Grunge because they came from Seattle, but their sound was really more Black Sabbath heavy metal. Cameron was a beast on the drums and Cornell, well, he's my favorite musician/composer (singing is musicianship, right?), although I won't say he's the best or anything like that.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Avernum 4? in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #360
He hinted, on an earlier page, that the sliths would play a significant role. The Za-Khazi run is about a big war with the sliths.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Delving Deep Into Bahssikava in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #21
NPCs' creature scripts don't do anything. They just run basicnpc.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Potara: The Fusions in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #4
I guess conjoined twins aren't people.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
I don't normally pass these on but this is important... in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #18
Oh, come on, SoT brought his sense of humor in full force. You know, being asinine implies acting like, you know, and this topic is about people showing their, you know. Goodness.

EDIT: Unless, of course, you were just playing along, Kuc. In that case, I just rendered the clipboard and the dodgy degree completely unnecessary.

[ Friday, June 17, 2005 06:05: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Who are you? and What's your IQ? in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #217
Student of Trinity, have you heard of St. John's College in Annapolis? I think they may be at least attempting what you're after. They go by a "Great Books" curriculum, and in science that includes people who are now scientifically discredited, but students are forced to consider only that scientist's experimental data, etc., and must make a sincere effort to understand the scientist's reasoning, instead of dismissing it automically because "we know now that that was wrong." The nature of the search for truth and of knowledge itself are big things at St. John's.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Mad Ambition... in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #7
Actually, it was the one below the bolded line, and there was a zero, which you don't have in your post. So, yeah, I guess I did get a beta version. I was pretty eager for this one, and nabbed it as soon as it got on the tables. Haste makes waste, I suppose.

Oh yeah, I especially liked what the "mad ambition" turned out to be. Nice. I won't spoil it.

[ Thursday, June 09, 2005 18:25: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Mad Ambition... in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #5
There's another error. You have one parameter too many in the add_dialog_choice call on line 635 in t9fortress. You have a 0 after, the string, and you shouldn't.

Errors aside, though, this was an awesome scenario. I should've played it at level 16 or 18, instead of 11, but I did know that it was a TM scenario. Fix the script errors, and this thing's got a shot at the contest (although Bahss is probably more Jeff's cup of tea, not to mention that you point out to the player exactly how you are limited by the engine - fine by me, but maybe not Jeff).

[ Thursday, June 09, 2005 14:32: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Mad Ambition... in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #2
You don't have to do that, just take the part that originally began with "Alas,...", and put it in a new add_dialog_str call.

It worked fine after I did this:

if(get_flag(34,0) == 0){
reset_dialog();
add_dialog_str(0,"This city has clearly seen better days.",0);
add_dialog_str(1,"The plan for Ivalice likely was for it to have been a boom town, thriving on ore and lumber.",0);
add_dialog_str(2,"Alas, it has since fallen on considerably worse times. The apartments that were already completed still stand, and the areas where more were planned are visible.",0);
add_dialog_str(3,"Bodies are strewn about the entrance, mostly but not entirely decomposed. Blood from the battle is still scattered about. It's a grisly scene.",0);
if(get_flag(99,0) == 1)
add_dialog_str(4,"The nephils need to be stopped, so that this sort of tragedy does not ever repeat itself.",0);
if(get_flag(99,0) == 2)
add_dialog_str(4,"This city will be avenged with the blood of cats!",0);
bmessage = run_dialog(1);
set_flag(34,0,1);
}
EDIT: By the way, how on Earth does one defeat the behemoth with the ax?

[ Thursday, June 09, 2005 11:42: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
A Large Rebellion help in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #2
Rather than start a new thread, what exactly is to be done in the Goldar mines? I haven't the foggiest...
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Mad Ambition... in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #0
...is up. Download and enjoy!

EDIT: TM, in the encounter that takes place upon entering Ivalice with Malachai, the string in line 49 is too long. The resulting error prevents the party from being split up. I split the string up right before "Alas."

[ Thursday, June 09, 2005 08:20: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Who are you? and What's your IQ? in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #193
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Most people do not actually have any idea how many ways there are to be wrong; they do need to study physics, or perhaps something else, in order to begin to get an idea. This is an example of something valuable to learn in college.

It certainly isn't to be learned just by hearing somebody tell you it in so many words. But that doesn't mean that it couldn't be learned faster and by more people, if colleges made deliberate efforts to teach it, instead of simply patting themselves on the back when people pick it up along the way.

Is there any way to teach this more directly than an understanding of the sources of experimental error in your field (which requires a fairly deep and specific understanding of the field itself) combined with a statistics subject that covers the various kinds of bias (which doesn't really merit an entire course for its own sake)?

I think the best analogy to be made here is working out. Sure, we'd all love some way to become sculpted like a Greek god without all the effort, but it just doesn't exist. To build the intellectual muscle, you've got to lift the intellectual weight.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Ephesos' Scenario - Druids of Krell... in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #5
SPOILERS!
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I'm on Windows. After Oakleaf gets Ephesos out of the cell, there's that cutscene like "You walk into the center of..." and my party walks through a wall into some blackness. At that point, I can move the mouse, but nothing happens and clicking doesn't do anything. When I press Ctrl+Alt+Del it says "Not Responding," and I use the task manager to close BoA.

EDIT: Also, where in blazes is Mad Ambition? IIRC, TM said that he submitted it for the contest...

[ Sunday, June 05, 2005 15:52: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Ephesos' Scenario - Druids of Krell... in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #0
...is on the Spiderweb Tables! Enjoy.

EDIT: Oh dear. There's a serious error in Kolthis's aerie. Makes it unfinishable. Darn.

[ Sunday, June 05, 2005 13:00: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Who are you? and What's your IQ? in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #176
Actually, I hate the phone more than anything. I'm fine talking to people face to face, or talking on the phone to someone who called me, but I will do almost anything to avoid calling someone on the phone. I hate the feeling of interrupting someone in the middle of whatever they're doing.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, I guess I'm both naturally gregarious and extremely insecure, because, when I feel comfortable talking, I talk a lot, but if I don't, then I don't.

[ Sunday, June 05, 2005 06:09: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Who are you? and What's your IQ? in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #174
I see your point, Ash. It's not the way I would want to go, because, with a few scholarships, college can be one of the most carefree times of one's life. Plus, I want to go into engineering or architecture, and you've got to have a lot of education before anyone will trust you with experience (and rightly so, I might add!).

quote:
Originally written by Ash Lael:


[quote]And, your advice works only for those with very good social skills. Not everybody can pick up a phone book and start calling random people.
Bull. Write out what you're going to say on a piece of paper beforehand. Practise with a friend. It's really not very hard at all.

[/quote]I think the fact that you respond "Bull!" just shows that you can't really relate to people without social skills. The life path you describe sounds like it would require a near-constant exercise of social skills. You're right, social skills can be feigned, with effort, but I think you underestimate how that can wear a person down. I, personally, need time away from people whenever
I've been forced to deal with them for any extended period of time.

[ Sunday, June 05, 2005 05:38: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Who are you? and What's your IQ? in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #164
I think education is necessary to give everyone a fair shake. Sure, you can work your way up the career ladder if you have the right contacts and you're an unusually likable person, but I think, Ash, that you're working from the assumption that you are the norm, when it seems to me like you are the exception. Employers can't afford to give everyone a chance, so people pay universities for an opportunity to prove themselves.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00

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