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Messages - dubsartur

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General Gaming - The Arcade / Re: What are you playing?
« on: September 30, 2020, 06:23:29 PM »
Athena Scalzi also has a post complaining that she feels like a lot of big commercial games today set the difficulty too high for players with a couple of hours a week to play.
Got a link? I'd be interested to read. I generally don't feel or find this, though I think a lot of big commercial games do assume a lot of time commitment, I'd say the issue is less difficulty and more just speed of plot advancement, if I had just 2hrs/week on an average modern RPG I suspect it'd take me pretty much a year to get through it. Difficulty, well, most games do have an easy setting, though in some cases I think they could put in an easier one, and I often take a dislike to any game which tries to nudge you into not playing on easy.
'Twas Get Gud, Scrub.  Scalzi is one of those sites whose URL I don't save because a lot of the posts are angry American or UK political / culture war stuff, although he's certainly a lot calmer than many other people today. 

General Gaming - The Arcade / Re: What are you playing?
« on: September 28, 2020, 06:04:07 PM »
Athena Scalzi also has a post complaining that she feels like a lot of big commercial games today set the difficulty too high for players with a couple of hours a week to play.

General Gaming - The Arcade / Re: What are you playing?
« on: September 23, 2020, 07:26:13 PM »
I got stuck on ... what was that oughties D&D computer game with a built-in level builder?  Neverwinter Nights? in a similar situation: a boss fight which I could not win but the alternative path was unacceptable

Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: Canadian Politics 2020
« on: September 22, 2020, 07:14:14 PM »
The Premier of BC has broken the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Greens and called an election for 24 October.  Presumably, he hopes to win a majority for his own party rather than the "majority of one" which his NDP plus the Greens have.  Neither of the two opposition parties in the legislature (the BC Liberal party of capital and the BC Greens) are happy, the next election was supposed to be in October 2021 according to a fixed election date law and the Confidence and Supply Agreement

With the pandemic and ongoing revelations of the prospects of the Site C dam project, we live in interesting times.

Edit: Oh, and a Canadian citizen with extensive ties to the USA has been arrested at a Cdn-US border crossing on charges of mailing ricin-laced letters to the President of the United States.  I am not sure which direction she was crossing in, but Can to USA seems more plausible.

Edit: Oh, and the mass shooting in Nova Scotia seems to have been triggered by anxiety about the pandemic and possible government responses.  So that is 23 more dead because of the pandemic, like all the older people who are dying because of stress or strain on the medical system.  The RCMP have a public explanation of how the shooter was able to withdraw half a million dollars in $100 bills from his bank shortly before the shooting, but they are not always the most truthful witnesses.

Canada went with a series of complicated rules to keep Quebec and the Maritimes over-represented relative to their populations, the four western provinces don't have the benefits.  Treating populous and low-populations equally was the whole point of how Senate seats are allocated in the United States (to agree to the second constitution, the smaller states demanded assurances they they would not be stomped on by Virginia and Pennsylvania), but I wonder if they could have done a deal where only the founding states had over-representation built in.  In 1783 nobody had any vision of a United States which reached the Pacific and the Rio Grande though, Lewis and Clark had not marched.

Edit: It looks like in the 1790 census, the outliers were Delaware with 59,000 census population and Virginia with 748,000 census population for a ratio of 13:1.  Today the extremes are 579 k in Wyoming and 39, 512 k in California for a ratio of 68 : 1.  So the disproportion between population and Senate representation did not spring out of nothing, but it has gotten worse.

One of the controversial aspects of a UBI is that to get some of the benefits you have to get rid of the old programs targeted at the worthy poor.  Just paying poor people is quicker and avoids the overhead cost of deciding which of the poor are really worthy in any one program's definition (and managing one subsidy for groceries, another for rent, a third for single parents ...), but people are attached to the names of programs and full of reasons why their sinecure is for being worthy not being poor.  And I hear that the period since 2008 has been hard for poor British people.  What do Liberal Democrats in the UK think of that?

Canadian nation-builders idolize figures like John A. MacDonald, Nellie McClung, or Terry Fox but it has become harder and harder to do and I have a hard time thinking of a Supreme Court of Canada judge in my lifetime who was a "household name" except when a particular decision was in the news.  Prominent admired Canadians tend to be people like astronaut Christ Hatfield who do things which are easier to understand than resolving some irreconcilable legal dilemma.

Generally, we Canadians talk about how "the supreme court of X issued a ruling ..." not about individual judges.

I would be interested to know whether there was a debate between say a 12-year term for justices and a life term for justices when the second and current US Constitution was being drafted.  Edit: I wonder if they were trying to avoid the situation we now see in the HoR where representatives spend the last year of their term trying to be re-elected rather than performing their office to the best of their ability.

Are there any other countries where Supreme Court judges are idolized public figures like they are in the United States?

As best as I can guess, it is a mix of the United States' fixation on heroes, and the fact that running a modern state under the United States' archaic constitution requires organized hypocrisy.  Nobody wants to live under the United States Constitution as a reader in 1783 would have understood it, but then its really important whether the people being hypocritical are being hypocritical to allow the kinds of projects you want or not.

Yes, I think a lot of governments are thankful that they can let people point to some of the largest countries in the world and say "at least its not as bad as there."  I don't know if the countries which make the biggest mistakes are going to learn from them, but their neighbours might feel less need to defer to them. 

Germany has declared Austria a coronavirus danger zone.

Austria now has 6,665 active cases (749 per million population).  54% of them live in Wien-Land, where 29% of the population live.

On a lighter note, Rejected Princesses has an Armenian folk-tale about Queen Anahit

Edit: And wow, the creator seems to have been having a rough time with some of the things which are portugaled-up about social media culture and US un-portugalling-society culture.

Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: Canadian Politics 2020
« on: September 15, 2020, 10:28:09 AM »
The BC Green party now has a new leader, MLA Sonia Furstenau.  I don't know anything about her.  Each stage of the two-stage vote involved about 2,500 ballots.

There is a lot of speculation about Erin O'Toole based on his early statements.  I would need to track the originals down.  He is an advocate of a formal alliance between the UK and the old white dominions (CANZUK).

Edit: And oh wow, pioneering (and increasingly hipster) Canadian outdoor store Mountain Equipment Co-Op has handed itself over to a Los Angeles finance firm due to trouble obtaining loans.  They were founded in 1971 and have 22 stores.  "“After careful consideration of all viable options, the Board made this difficult decision,” said MEC’s Board Chair Judi Richardson. “Despite significant progress on a thoughtful turnaround strategy undertaken by new leadership, no strategy could have anticipated or overcome the impact of the global pandemic on our business."

General Chatter - The Boozer / Re: Legacy Of Dorn: Herald Of Oblivion
« on: September 12, 2020, 11:27:59 AM »
Humh, those labels make me think of something more like "King of Dragon Pass" which is centred around reading text and looking at image and making choices from a list of options.   Or a digital version of the old Fighting Fantasy / Lone Wolf books.

I think that many educated people today are missing a lot of ideas from the 1940s through 1980s because they never actually read the original books or a good textbook with a full definition, just tried to absorb the gist.  The handful of experts assume that everyone got the idea and moved on to what is new and exciting to them, and did not realize that most people are at the "maybe light is both a particle and a wave?" level of understanding and that there is a lot more work to be done in educating people about these foundational ideas. 

One of those ideas is identity.  This blog post looks at the habit of calling all kinds of social categories 'identities' and argues that we should return to the clearer, narrower definition that someone identifies with something when they says "I am that thing."

Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: Canadian Politics 2020
« on: September 11, 2020, 11:25:25 PM »
In BC politics, the main news is more traditional: the pandemic (a local tradition!), poverty and lack of services in Vancouver leading to people peeing in public at night (toilet politics are so important around the Salish Sea that they have even spawned jolly cartoon mascots), cost overruns at the multi-billion dollar Site C dam on the Peace River which would be built on unstable slate, and the premier threatening to break his Confidence and Supply Agreement and call a snap election because the leader of the Green Party had changed and the agreement did not mention a pandemic. 

Canadian journalists love to speculate about non-majority governments failing, because most of them have an unshakable faith that the rightful state of things is for the two biggest parties in a jurisdiction to bat power back and forth like tennis players while the journalists give wittty commentary. 

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