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Bobby Fischer in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #25
quote:
Originally written by *i:

Bobby Fischer, while a great chess player, was also an eccentric, paranoid jerk full of vitriol for any group he hated at the time.
Indeed. Here's a priceless sample:
http://harpers.org/archive/2002/03/0079099

--------------------
When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Social Degradation and Religious Decay (Split from "Life on Europa") in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #328
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I swear to Gawd, the same evening that I posted the last time in this thread, a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses came knocking on my door.
Maybe He is watching me! :D
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Is illegal downloading such a bad thing? in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #38
quote:
Originally written by Drew:

EDIT: Taxation isn't theft any more than a utility charging you for water or power is theft; in both cases, you're paying for goods and services, and in the case of taxes, frequently you're paying for benefits that well exceed the value of the amount you're paying, especially if you're poor. It amazes me how myopic people can be on this point.
OK, so assume I put up a protection racket. I provide a valuable service - security. It's not consensual, though.
Of course, one might accept that democracy has precedence over capitalism on some occasions, such as the fair use of copyrighted material. Great value for a poor kid - small to no damage to a rich captialist. Why hunt people for victimless crimes, for the mere prestige of the rich? :P
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Is illegal downloading such a bad thing? in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #35
I get a warm, fuzzy feeling from consensual use of the fruits of other people's labour. Hence, I don't engage in piracy.

This doesn't mean I'm some kind of legal positivist. The rules made up by the politicians are less important than my own ethics, of course - the laws only have the fear of retribution on their side.

If copyright infringement is theft (I don't think it is quite the same), isn't taxation also theft (of more tangible property, too)? :P It depends on your personal view of private property rights.

EDIT: The (positive) right to happiness implies an obligation for someone else to work for providing you with happiness, doesn't it?

quote:
Originally written by Koranuso:

But since our society doesn't recognize minors as having any rights (can't sign contracts, own property, that sort of thing), I don't think they should be forced to obey the same copyright laws.
Good point. I think the US is draconian when it comes to prosecuting children (alternatively, their parents), and I despise the RIAA thugs.

[ Tuesday, July 24, 2007 08:21: Message edited by: Alex ]
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Social Degradation and Religious Decay (Split from "Life on Europa") in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #158
So you arbitrarily pick 1900-present, I pick 1950-present. I'm more interested in the present and future, you see. Modern wars tend to be in places where there are dictatorships and/or religious superstition stands in the way of technological and economic progress.

Since your case is for the good old days, we should compare modern families to archaic families, not some ideal vision. Archaic families were much more based on economic necessity and coercion. Many people have relationships without being married here. In the wonderful societies of Somalia and Afghanistan, they have "family values".
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Social Degradation and Religious Decay (Split from "Life on Europa") in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #155
Stillness, it wasn't clear to me how much weight you gave to your purported biological justification of your male supremacist theories, of which you have only revealed a small part. It now seems that it's mainly from your religious faith anyway. Well, in that case I'll state that you have not proven that the Flysing Spaghetti Monster doesn't exist, and that His Divine Substance is pure white flour, hence...wait, I can't be bothered.

You have claimed that our age is wicked because:
1. Warfare is more lethal.
2. There are more divorces.

Regarding 1:
This has already been answered. Better technology has given us better weapons, but also better healthcare. Overall, lifespans are longer (and more interesting in my view). "Hard numbers" from earlier ages aren't very hard at all. Colonialism by Christian European countries is sometimes regarded as history's greatest genocide - I've seen speculative figures of up to 1 billion premature deaths overall. Since WWII, Europe is a pretty peaceful place. Sweden has had peace for a couple of centuries. I'm not complaining.

Regarding 2:
Why bother preserving miserable marriages? Who cares about the institution of marriage anyway?
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Secret room in The Avernum Trilogy
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #4
quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:

There is a hidden room with spells that you get as a reward for finishing one of the major quests by stopping the slime or cockroach plague. Ask around the mages.
Merely visiting the surface is enough (if it's the same room with tomes I'm thinking of).
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Social Degradation and Religious Decay (Split from "Life on Europa") in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #57
quote:
Originally written by Frolicking in Postaroni General:

Great! Now how do you reconcile this with only men being the leaders of families or congregations?

—Alorael, who will cry foul if anything about a best suited role shows up. Even if you want to argue that men are on average better leaders, you've just apparently agreed that women can be better leaders.

Quoted for emphasis.
I'm quite pedantic regarding the "morally interchangeable" part. If you say "it's immoral for women to lead our congregation", you should also be able to say "it's immoral for men to lead our congregation", although the combination of the two could leave you in quite a quandary.
Also, substituting racism for sexism, or vice versa, works wonders sometimes:
"There are biological differences between the groups of whites and blacks, although there are e.g. albino "black" individuals, if we want to avoid the N word. Also, there are behavioural differences, I mean, like, look at the crime statistics posted by Stillness! What have blacks contributed to civilisation in comparison to what people of Aryan descent (Germanic in particular) have achieved?! Surely, a black person isn't best suited to lead a religious community." :P
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
[GF2] Questions about training, powergaming factions and Shapers in general. in Geneforge Series
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #7
Drayks are a big step up from cryoas; the difference is like the one between fyoras and cryoas. At least twice the damage, plus much better hit chance. Ordinary drayks would be good enough for the whole game on normal difficulty. Joining Zakary's faction gives the cheapest drayk shaping training, at the Upper Research Hall (at least 6 in Mechanics recommended to get there). The Barzites have a drayk canister in Rising, and offer training in shaping drakons. The Takers have drakon canisters (and training, although I don't remember the price).

If you want to powergame, try robbing the Awakened, then buy skills from the Servants, then go Barzite, then Taker. Joining Zakary late in the game is not very helpful - the Shaper Council isn't very fond of him, and disapproves of the modifications offered by e.g. the Awakened.

Doing (or even accepting) some quests can hinder your progress in another faction. My current character (I just returned to the game after a break of a few years) can join the Takers (after Servants-Awakened-Barzites), but since I have given the Awakened research to the Barzites, I couldn't progress very far with the Taker quests.

Creation-wise, my current character went from artilas to vlish, then added a glaahk, a gazer and an eyebeast, in that order. Vlish are decent in large numbers, and cheap, but I missed drayks until I got the gazer.

EDIT: As far as I know, only the Takers turn hostile if you leave them.

[ Saturday, June 02, 2007 05:56: Message edited by: Alex ]
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
The U.S. and Iraq in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #84
quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

Really, America should focus on overthrowing its own corrupt government.
I don't know the real reason Bush had for invading Iraq, but me and many other Americans are fed up with Bush and the war in Iraq. For some reason, Americans don't want to hear people like me who say the American government is corrupt. However, people in other countries seem to know everything about the falsity of America's "freedom."

A corrupt government coupled with a strong military is a cause for concern, of course. When it comes to ordinary citizens, I think the differences are subtle. A bit more Bible-thumpers and militarists than here in Europe, I'd say. Somewhat less racism. Let's not forget the utterly pathetic "allied" governments who - against public opinion - sent cowardly token forces to Iraq, with similar motives, such as turning away concern from domestic problems towards the idiotic "war on terror" and justifying a police state. Even some politicians in (relatively) peaceful Sweden try to pull this crap. :mad:
quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

I don't consider myself an American, even though I've lived there all my life; mainly becaused I don't give into to all the brainwashing by the government.
There's no need to generalize and exaggerate like that.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
The U.S. and Iraq in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #83
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Somewhere I read this argument about how anyone who wants to change the United States has to work through the American two-party system: If you can't convince a majority of any half the people, how do you think you can convince a majority of them all?
A majority of the party leadership isn't necessarily the same as the majority of the voters. Would you say the same about a one-party system? E.g., if you can't get the support of the Communist Party of China, you are undemocratic and should shut up. :P
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:


The point is that, apart from the general tendency of Democrats to be leftward from Republicans, both parties are ideological mercenaries, and will gradually swing around to any sufficiently popular platform that they can claim. So proclaiming oneself to be outside the two-party system amounts to proclaiming satisfaction with irrelevancy, or disdain for democracy.

Voters can swing to sufficiently popular platforms, too, at least this has happened in other democracies. I appreciate your realism, but "disdain for democracy" is a bit too much.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Why You Suck: Ancient Greek Edition in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #4
In CE 2007, in the cultures deemed to be the pinnacle of civilization, women are still supposed to dress and act modestly, so that people don't think they are begging to be groped or raped. Regardless of clothing, men are mindless sex machines who enjoy being groped by any woman, of course.

In the Land of the Free, Prison Rape is very common and merely a laughing matter. On the other hand, consenting adults need to ask the Supreme Court for permission to copulate. Being a "pimp" is something to be proud of.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Best (and Worst) Movies of the Year in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #58
I haven't seen particularly many 2006 movies, but Borat was the most recent one, and it did stand out for being hilarious. "Kazakh state scientist Dr Yamak has proven that woman's brain is the size of a squirrel's brain". "What kind of car I need to buy to have a woman who is shaven down below?" Gender roles are so retarded.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
New Year's Resolutions! in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #33
My resolution was to overcome computer addiction.

The results from the first week are not promising.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Libertarianism - yay or nay? in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #0
I thought this forum would be suitable - after all, Jeff has libertarian leanings, whereas many of the forum members are quite critical of this ideology. Hyperintelligent nutcases are also abundant, which is a great advantage for my purposes. :)

The basic premise - the right of a peaceful human being to be left alone, "don't initiate force" - is immensely appealing to me. It appeals to me for reasons including:
1. Conciseness. Take it as an axiom of ethics, and much of what I (and many other people) consider morally right follows from it. E.g., "Should women not wearing burkhas be whipped in public? Nope, WTH would you initiate force against them?"
2. Tolerance. People are so diverse in their lifestyles. Can you be tolerant without refraining from aggression? "Sister, I am tolerant towards your choice to put on infidel makeup. However, I'll have to throw acid in your face, sorry about that." Doesn't do it for me.

However, there's much in libertarianism I disagree with.

For example, the distinction between negative rights and positive rights seems artificial. Don't initiate force? Sounds good, in theory. Who enforces that? Well, police and courts. Doesn't effective crime prevention sometimes require preemptive use of force? Should revenge really be the only purpose of the legal system? If you don't think so, we're already on a slippery slope towards utilitarianism and socialism. So be it.

Then there's the private property fetish. I dislike the typical libertarian's fanatical view of property as something sacred, as a part of the owner. Paris Hilton's inheritance is part of her, it follows from her right to her life, it follows from A is A...blah blah. Violating property rights - through taxation, say - is considered comparable to physically violating the owner. Bring out your shotguns! Property is part of our external environment, and in practice it belongs to whoever has the biggest guns. A certain degree of economic democracy (socialism, that is) is fine with me. The right to property is a positive right. :P

The libertarian praise for Somali anarchy brings out the absurdity in the dogmatic distinction between private and public. So, the Somali warlords aren't formally a government? Isn't it just the same on a smaller scale - petty dictatorships? Come to think of it, isn't capitalism a collection of petty dictatorships in principle? See a non-libertarian FAQ for more.

If we throw in the rabid US nationalism often present, real-world libertarianism is basically about the government's sole purpose being to use violence to protect corporate property rights, especially those of US corporations. Sad, really.

Basically, my current stance is that I accept taxation, but I oppose the collectivist prosecution of victimless crimes. Do the politicians know what the elusive "greater good" is? Would they care about it if they knew? Would they have the moral right to use force if they knew? Also, I have come to appreciate direct democracy as opposed to rule by politicians justified with occasional (often corporate-sponsored) elections. Liberal democrat? Social liberal/libertarian? How should I label myself? I'm definitely not conservative - if socialism is "violence for the happiness of the people", conservatism is "violence for the strength of the nation", a much more vicious collectivism where hatred of the different, not compassion, is the motive.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Hang 'em high! in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #13
As Thuryl and Imban have already mentioned, someone labeled as a sex offender by currrent US laws isn't necessarily some child-raping monster at all. Victimless crimes for the win!

Mandatory lifelong GPS monitoring is too much; there must be some possibility of rehabilitation.

EDIT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_vs._Texas
I used to think this was one of those urban legends thriving on the Internet. Alas, I was wrong.

[ Thursday, October 26, 2006 12:09: Message edited by: Alex ]
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Email please in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #23
If you can live with a pathetic 40MB monthly traffic limit, try Fastmail .

I'd like to test gmail, too. Feel free to PM me. :)

[ Monday, October 16, 2006 09:37: Message edited by: Alex ]
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Alec Kyras: An 19th Birthday Retrospective in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #18
Really? I'm not confused, at least not massively confused. Happy birthday, Alec!
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Love in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #46
Thuryl, you mean that people care more about society at large than they care for their own children? I suppose society has the advantage of greater numbers.

"Unconditional" love is often used as a synonym for other vague terms, such as everlasting love, great love, true love etc.

What about "love me for who I am"? Surely someone here can shred that.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
The Signature of Your Dreams in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #30
IMAGE(http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/images/People/JandM.jpg)

I win.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Alorael in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #36
quote:
Originally written by The_Other_Guy:

I was wondering, who is this Alorael people keep mentioning?
He's a Spiderweb institution that's been around forever and a day. He's a moderator and a remarkably prolific, polite and witty poster.

-Alex, who would like to remind you that the correct spelling is Aloreal.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Bride of the Abominable Photo Thread in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #114
quote:
Originally written by Spring:

Thuryl looks evil. :oo:
I think he looks like a good argument in favour of gay marriage.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Wow (G4) in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #139
OMG 23 FPS at 1024x768! :eek:
28 USD, up from 25 USD! :eek:

Actually, I'll definitely download the demo, and probably register.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Family Sizes in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #22
quote:
Originally written by Clear and Present Censorship:

I think the poll is about siblings only, poster not included. Otherwise I don't see how any family could have zero members.

Depends on which meaning of member you have in mind.

Anyway, I have no children, I have one sibling with a little spawn of its own, and I also have two biological parents (surprise!).
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Civil Unions disallowed in ACT in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 59
Profile #143
Found this on the 'net, author unknown:

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behaviour. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Brittany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00

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