Introduce Yourself! Board Code and Off Topic Nonsense Reconstrionist Third Series

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This is actually an introduction thread, all evidence to the. contrary. So, welcome Aurordan. I hope you enjoy your stay.

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@Les Mis: You are right, they really do almost nothing in the theatrical version to explain why the peasants are revolting (cue History of the World Quote here), you are pretty much just supposed to take their word for it.  Honestly, the movie version doesn't help, as the musical set pieces tend to be much more in-your-face at the people, whereas in the stage production, you just about never see the borgeuoise.  The book does a lot more to set up the oppresiveness of the land, but mostly with dry exposition.
In the end, listening to commentary on the movie here, I think that the greatest failing of the movie was its inability to generate sympathy.  These were supposed to be a bunch of hot-heads that didn't know any better.  It has a very 'these were somebody's sons and daughters' type atmosphere, at least in the theatre productions I have seen.  Because of that prior experience, I think I was able to overlook the fact that they were complete jerks, which made it hard to sympathize with them. 
Honestly, the worst thing they did was give faces to the enemies.  Since there is no clear antagonist of the story, we are relying on a narrative about this hidden enemy.  When the enemy is no longer hidden, and, frankly, was not that bad a guy, we couldn't just take the kids at their word.  Just seeing the cannons and the guns with no faces attached would probably have made the emotions more acceptable.


@Unrelated news: Apparently, a deal on the fiscal cliff has been reached!  Yay?  For those who are not aware (not sure if it's gotten any press outside the US), the fiscal cliff was a compromise between Dems & Reps that, if we didn't figure out how to get the deficit under control by Jan 1, 2013, a set of automatic spending cuts and tax increases would go into effect, which included deal-breakers for both parties.

Now, why my tepid yay at this 'disaster' being averted?  Well, first of all, they didn't avert anything, they kicked the can.  The deal which 'saved' us just created tax increases which will put a dent in the deficit, as well as spending cuts which can barely be called marginal.  On top of that, this pushed the cliff back all of...wait for it...two months.  Yay.  So, to summarize.  We didn't solve the deficit.  We didn't end the threat of the fiscal cliff.  And we didn't really even compromise, since we only tackled half of the equation (revenue vs expenses).  Yay?

I'm curious, to all of the people outside of the US, Is there so much conflict in your governments that you can't get a budget passed?  And is there a threat of going deep into debt, or do you maintain a balanced budget?  And how does your media react?  Is it generally critical, or does it buy into the rhetoric coming out of politicians?  I'm genuinely curious if this is really just an America thing, or a general politics thing.  I'm really frustrated right now.
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It was reported here in Belgium (at least in the two newspapers I have access to). I glanced over it, and I seriously had problems seeing why they couldn't reach a deal. No-one wanted to let the automatic thingy to come into effect. 


The papers mostly wrote about the difficulties about reaching a consensus and explained it all. There may have been a slight bias in favor of the Democrats (as is usual over here), but it was pretty objective, really.


Belgium seems to have an easier time balancing budgets, even with a whole lot more parties in the government. Most issues over here are focused on local vs. federal, which doesn't really play when balancing the federal budget. Healthcare is also something that is taken for granted, so that's a lot of spending that's really non-negotiable.

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

Being in the military has only made me more desensitized to politics, despite the fact that it affects me even more. All these people do is sign my paychecks. That's the extent to which I feel I have to care.
WHO AM I?
HARDER THAN DIAMONDS STRONGER THAN STEEL AND BURSTING WITH VIGOR. THAT'S THE WAY THE BEAST ENGINE PLAYS.
PROUD BEARER OF THE MOST INCORRECT THING JIVANMUKTA'S READ ON THESE FORUMS YET AWARD. SO BRING IT ON. ALL OF YOU. I have taken the top of the mountain and I will accept all challenges. Attack me, all at once if you must! I will never falter! THE ONLY GLORY IS IN DEATH. AND DON'T FORGET TO COWER BEFORE THE METALLIC MIGHT OF JUSTICE.
I'll be honest, I really don't think that the American politic system works on a national level.

Too many politicians are busy being professional politicians to try to enact any real lasting change; they're just trying to keep their jobs and that basically means never agreeing with anyone across the aisle.

My fellow Americans;
Vote local.
It's the only vote that matters.     
And this is what the US is trying to export across the world!  Huzzah!

I mean, there's some value in a system that degenerates to deadlock much of the time, once a nation reaches a certain level of stability -- it's at a point where things self-evidently work, and this way the people in power can't screw it up too badly.  But man, when **** actually needs to get done... let's just say that the longer I pay attention to US politics the more I like the benevolent-autocracy approach.

Of course, I'm pretty bitter about all this because these clowns control my paychecks, making this 'debate' incredibly frustrating to watch -- for instance, I didn't know whether I was supposed to show up for work today or not until last week.  And a cost-of-living pay adjustment almost certainly won't happen (for the third? year running, in a field where gov't employees are already dramatically underpaid relative to industry).  And now I get to look forward to the same BS in two months.  And... well, I'll stop now.  But GAH.

"Go, then. There are other worlds than these." -- Stephen King, The Gunslinger

Please feel free to copy this message into your sig.

...Speaking of wages for government employees, didn't congress get a raise as part of the deal?

That speaks volumes to me, personally. >_>

This as we find out that apparently the crackdown last year on Occupy Wall Street was in part initiated by the major banks in this country, aided by the administrations of the supposedly untouchable universities who sold their students down the river. Lovely, all of it.
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...Speaking of wages for government employees, didn't congress get a raise as part of the deal?

That speaks volumes to me, personally. >_>

This as we find out that apparently the crackdown last year on Occupy Wall Street was in part initiated by the major banks in this country, aided by the administrations of the supposedly untouchable universities who sold their students down the river. Lovely, all of it.



Wait, back up, I missed that story.  Can you expand please?  Genuine curiosity.
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Susan Summerson also appeared in the Innistrad Mafia Game http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28609371/Innistrad_Mafia?pg=1 Writer of Nally Bear from The Gathering Flavorful Voting Game: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28846821/The_Gathering:_M12_flavorful_voting_game?pg=1 Writer of Phyrex the Myr from Phyrexia Reborn: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27993097/Phyrexia_Reborn:_A_Flavorful_Voting_Game?pg=1 Writer of Tinker the Myr from Legacy of Karn: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/26647005/Karns_Legacy_(A_flavorful_voting_game) Writer of Crusader Tolkana, who has appeared in: Eldrazi Awaken: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/24071149/Eldrazi_Awaken:_A_flavorful_voting_game?pg=1 Colors of Magic: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/25352501/Colors_of_Magic:_a_flavor_game?pg=1 Guildwars III: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/26082093/Guildwars_III:_Shattered_Pact_(A_flavorful_voting_game)?pg=1 Writer of Isaic from Treasures of Zendikar http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/22819881/Treasures_of_Zendikar?post_id=402182877#402182877
...Speaking of wages for government employees, didn't congress get a raise as part of the deal?

That speaks volumes to me, personally. >_>


That's stupid. Because over here, government employees actually have rather lower wages in general, made up for in better benefits (mostly retirement).


Wait, back up, I missed that story.  Can you expand please?  Genuine curiosity.


Yxoque: Linkmeister

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

I'm currently arguing against morons who defend Tolkien's chauvinism.
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I'm currently arguing against morons who defend Tolkien's chauvinism.



Really a guy from a more chauvinistic time is acting that way? Do tell me how you judge the past based on the present.

"The fuel on which science runs is ignorance. Science is like a hungry furnace that must be fed logs from the forests of ignorance that surround us. In the process, the clearing we call knowledge expands, but the more it expands, the longer its perimeter and the more ignorance comes into view." -Matt Ridley, Genome

Yeah, get 'im!
WHO AM I?
HARDER THAN DIAMONDS STRONGER THAN STEEL AND BURSTING WITH VIGOR. THAT'S THE WAY THE BEAST ENGINE PLAYS.
PROUD BEARER OF THE MOST INCORRECT THING JIVANMUKTA'S READ ON THESE FORUMS YET AWARD. SO BRING IT ON. ALL OF YOU. I have taken the top of the mountain and I will accept all challenges. Attack me, all at once if you must! I will never falter! THE ONLY GLORY IS IN DEATH. AND DON'T FORGET TO COWER BEFORE THE METALLIC MIGHT OF JUSTICE.
You two are so cute together.


I don't think you can talk about Tolkien's identity politics in an un-nuanced way. His books are more complex than a lot of critics give them credit for.

I'm super biased, though. Eowyn is one of my favorite characters of all time ever, and someone I've admired since I was like nine years old. Any criticism of Tolkien's women always seems like a criticism of her to me.
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Thanks for the link Yx.

I have to admit, though, I don't see it.  These documents are supposed to show a vast conspiracy?  All I see are records that governement institutions warned private organizations that there were going to be protests, and there were some risk of violence inherent in something of that size.  Did I miss the section where a meeting would have took place indicating there was some back-and-forth in this process?  The crackdowns were awful, and obviously indicated police brutality at its worst, but seeing conspiracy here feels like tilting windmills. 
(Obvious disclaimer: I did not read each individual page of the documents, only the cliff notes provided indicating these machinations.  Also, since there was redacted information, there obviously could be more hidden.  I'm also not debating the validity of the FBI and DHS actions, only the assumption that they were only working as schills)


@Tolkien: Do you mean the inherent chauvanism of his writing, or was there more to the man himself outside of that?  Obviously the writing was incredibly masculo-centric, but I'm just checking what the content of the debate is before saying anything.
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There does seem to have been some back and forth, although I'll freely admit that this document is huge, and heavily lobotomized to the point where I'm sometimes having a lot of trouble understanding what's going on. :/ Honestly the two things that bother me the most are the fact that school administrations traded information on politically active students with an organization that treated them as terrorists, and the fact that someone had plans to assassinate OWS leaders and we still don't know who. Both of those things are really disturbing. The latter from a "Holy hell, is this even for real?" standpoint, and the former from the perspective of... well...

Universities really and truly are supposed to be untouchable. That's why tenure exists--to protect the university as a bastion of dissent and free discourse. Cracking down on underaged drinking, hazing, and assault is one thing. Having campus security monitoring political gatherings is quite another.

This just feels really... I don't know, squicky to me, mostly because this is my field, you know? It just disturbs me.

You're right that I'm probably blowing things out of proportion with the involvement with the banks, though, although I still don't think it's reasonable that the FBI was talking to businesses in the specific context of OWS as a terrorist organization. That seems more like collusion to suppress protest itself, and is very in line with the extremely troubled history of labor movements in the US.

And don't get me started on the shoddy press coverage of this stuff. -_-
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As CS Lewis put it far more eloquently, "time is not an excuse". This is why I have issues with the Fair For It's Day clause; you are compromising when you shouldn't.

Indeed, compromising truth with outdated morals, like heteronormativity, only slows down the proccess, and thus I can safely blame Tolkien of being unnecessarily conservative, as he was acknowledged at the time ("a conservative even for the standards of conservatives")
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There does seem to have been some back and forth, although I'll freely admit that this document is huge, and heavily lobotomized to the point where I'm sometimes having a lot of trouble understanding what's going on. :/ Honestly the two things that bother me the most are the fact that school administrations traded information on politically active students with an organization that treated them as terrorists, and the fact that someone had plans to assassinate OWS leaders and we still don't know who. Both of those things are really disturbing. The latter from a "Holy hell, is this even for real?" standpoint, and the former from the perspective of... well...

Universities really and truly are supposed to be untouchable. That's why tenure exists--to protect the university as a bastion of dissent and free discourse. Cracking down on underaged drinking, hazing, and assault is one thing. Having campus security monitoring political gatherings is quite another.

This just feels really... I don't know, squicky to me, mostly because this is my field, you know? It just disturbs me.

You're right that I'm probably blowing things out of proportion with the involvement with the banks, though, although I still don't think it's reasonable that the FBI was talking to businesses in the specific context of OWS as a terrorist organization. That seems more like collusion to suppress protest itself, and is very in line with the extremely troubled history of labor movements in the US.

And don't get me started on the shoddy press coverage of this stuff. -_-



The bolded part is what bothers me most.  And not just for the reason you stated (though holy hell is a great summation, I must say), but in that, of the literally two-dozen news stories I read before posting, I think ony one of them brought it up.  I feel like this is the big thing, a genuine threat being ignored for no apparent reason.  However, it's getting lost in all of the conspiracies about what did who know, and when and why were they treated as terrorists. 

And, to sum up my feelings on the actions taken: if there's going to be an organization of this size, with this many simultaneous events going on, I dang well do expect the government to keep a close eye on it.  If the FBI weren't monitoring it, frankly I'd be a lot more concerned about their ability to do their jobs.  That being said, if there comes to light absolutely any indication that they deliberately withhelp information critical to the safety of an individual, or contributed to the environment to led to some of the more disasterous crackdowns, that would be sincerely disturbing.

Finally, w/r/t the universities' involvement, I really can't say too much on the issue.  The ivory tower nature of those institutions isn't as critical to me as it may be to you, so I don't think I can judge it with the emotional outrage necessary to dig too deep at this.  I will trust your word as to the disturbing implications involved in this, however.  Hopefully, it's not as bad as it could be.

Oh, and yes, shoddy press coverage.  Good lord, shoddy press coverage.  What happened to the popular media?  Have they always been this bad, and we only realize it now that we have other sources?  Or has something changed?

(Further disclaimer: I am not saying we shouldn't be looking at this, and I do especially want to commend the organizations that brought this to light.  They are a testament to what individuals can do in the information age.  All I am saying is that we need to exercise restraint and not judge on speculation or extrapolation.)
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Yeah, no that's reasonable.

Part of my frustration at the branding of OWS as a terrorist organization and the heavy monitoring comes from the lack of similar monitoring, according to the stories I've read, of the Tea Party. And I mean... they were having meetings where they were discussing OWS alongside groups like the **** Nations. That's... messed up.

The other thing that bugs me, in thinking about it, is that they apparently feared that unstable individuals would use the movement to perpetrate violence. Which, ok, I get that, that's reasonable. And we know for a verifiable, indisputable fact that at least one "journalist" deliberately attempted to start a riot to discredit the movement. But my issue is... why did the FBI go to businesses with this information? Why didn't they attempt to notify people heavily involved in the movement so that people in the movement would be protected? And sure, we can speculate that the reaction might not have been positive to that either but we can only speculate because they didn't bother to try

I mean, it's not like this movement covers things up. Your Anon News, for example, distributes any news about OWS, good or bad, including information about black bloc disturbances and fringe elements. I don't know. It just seems like the FBI is particularly hell bent on burning every bridge they can with organizations like this. Like, if you've got agents monitoring anyway, why not have them at least build a working relationship so that if something DOES happen the two sides aren't at loggerheads from the get-go?

You're absolutely right, though, that while there should be more reporting on this, there's a lot of extrapolation going on that I'm leery of, now that I've dug through the actual documents a bit more. I do hope they can dig up some more information, since right now, like I said, the information available is choppy and kind of difficult to sort through.

(And honestly, after reading some of the more hyperbolic articles... well, let's just say that I'm wishing scare quotes weren't protected under the first amendment. I would totally lobby to have those things criminalized. Also, "irregardless" and "Have your cake and eat it too." Grumble grumble grumble.)



As far as the reporting in general thing goes, I think there's good evidence that things are getting measureably worse... More and more newspapers, for instance, are losing revenue and getting bought out by single, national corporations, sometimes resulting in a literal information monopoly in whole cities, where there's really just one paper. I've read that the same thing is occurring in Australia, too... not sure about the UK or elsewhere in Europe. This is one area where I would be all for some good old free market competition, frankly--especially since not everyone has access to computers to get a wider range of information.

I mean, when you have the head of a news organization promising to throw the entire weight behind a current American military general if that general runs for President... yeah, there's something wrong there.
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Apparently my post got eaten...could've sworn I posted.  Bullet points:

-I actually had thought the tea party was monitored, but a google search indicates I was misremembering.  Probably got it confused with Biden's comments.
-Yes, the FBI's approach probably would have been more successful had they reached out to leadership in the group, either instead of or in addition to other methods.  I give them half-a-pass, since the leadership of Occupy is somewhat ill-defined, but then take that pass away immediately because, well, that;s your frikking job!
-Hyperbole in news is the single worst part of monitoring news today.  And I have not found a way to avoid it.  Best I have come up with is to get at least a half-dozen sources before making any conclusion, so the hyperbole hopefully balances out.  Google News is useful for that.
-Monopolization in News Media would be the single most devastating monopoly that could occur, in my opinion.  While I don't think we're at that point yet, we are in a dangerous position.  I think it may take a new generation of thinking, though, before news media is able to adapt to the modern age and find profitability without conglomerating.
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@Keeper: Here's something that you're going to love. In Belgium, police aren't even allowed on campus, unless they get specific instructions from the guy in charge of the university (don't know the exact word for that job in English). 


And Flanders seems to be the exception for newspapers losing sales. In the French part of Belgium, all kinds of newspapers are losing sales, but in the Dutch part, the sales figures for quality-newspapers (I think the proper English word is "broadsheets") are rising. 


As CS Lewis put it far more eloquently, "time is not an excuse". This is why I have issues with the Fair For It's Day clause; you are compromising when you shouldn't.


I'm not going to say anything about Tolkien (because I don't know anything about them), but I feel that "time can be an excuse", or more specifically, context can be an excuse. As it is, I'm so liberal (US-definition) that Fox News would probably describe me as a hard-core anarchist/communist. But I cannot honestly say that if I was born 100 years ago, I would had been in favor of universal suffrage, women's rights, peaceful resolutions of conflicts, etc. The fact that I can be a feminist, atheist, pacifist, rationalist... comes from the fact that those options are available to me. If I lived 400 years ago, I'd have probably thought that burning a couple of cats alive would be as much fun as playing Minecraft.

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

Actually, that brings up and interesting (and completely unrelated) point: How would minecraft be received by your average 1600-ite?  Thinking about it, the primary draw for our generation is the absorbing nature of it, and the freedom of crafting and creating with no restrictions.  Would someone in that age see it that way?  Or would it be just more digging in the dirt, like the digging in the dirt that you just finished.  Y'know, assuming you could actually do this test without them setting you on fire with the tail-end of a cat...
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Susan Summerson also appeared in the Innistrad Mafia Game http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28609371/Innistrad_Mafia?pg=1 Writer of Nally Bear from The Gathering Flavorful Voting Game: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28846821/The_Gathering:_M12_flavorful_voting_game?pg=1 Writer of Phyrex the Myr from Phyrexia Reborn: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27993097/Phyrexia_Reborn:_A_Flavorful_Voting_Game?pg=1 Writer of Tinker the Myr from Legacy of Karn: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/26647005/Karns_Legacy_(A_flavorful_voting_game) Writer of Crusader Tolkana, who has appeared in: Eldrazi Awaken: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/24071149/Eldrazi_Awaken:_A_flavorful_voting_game?pg=1 Colors of Magic: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/25352501/Colors_of_Magic:_a_flavor_game?pg=1 Guildwars III: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/26082093/Guildwars_III:_Shattered_Pact_(A_flavorful_voting_game)?pg=1 Writer of Isaic from Treasures of Zendikar http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/22819881/Treasures_of_Zendikar?post_id=402182877#402182877
@isaic:

Yeah, we might just be in a transitional phase and things will get better and diversify again, as they seem to be doing with creative media... but I fear that might leave poorer, older readers behind, you know?

@Yxoque:

Woah, really? Why is readership increasing? Whenever I see analysis of newspapers they treat the collapse of print as inevitable simply because of the Internet's existence, but if non-French Belgian papers are actually selling MORE that totally undermines like... wow, a LOT of the current discourse on digital vs paper media, actually. 0_o


Man, I'm having trouble seeing Minecraft as something more than "more digging in the dirt." I don't know how to answer that question at all. :P

It's an interesting notion in general... how advanced does a society have to be before certain ideas are actually conceiveable? I mean, some of the Gnostic scriptures clearly discuss the idea of **** from a proto-feminist perspective of male attempts to control threatening women, but if you explained modern feminist discourse about sexuality would an early Christian get it? I honestly don't know.

I mean, we know that language orders thought to a great extent, for example, to the point where people who don't have complex number systems literally cannot correctly remember and reproduce numbers of objects, so if a society doesn't give rise to language conducive to certain ideas those ideas might be literally inconceivable. 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
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@isaic: I'm not sure what appealed to the average person in the 17th century, but I'm pretty sure that Minecraft wouldn't be a hit. Even today a lot of people pass on it, because they want more than just the appeal of building things. Also, burning cats might be super-fun, so Minecraft might not compare. Kidding aside, Minecraft is really about the joy of exploration and creating, something tradespeople and merchants did regularly, so virtual exploration might trigger "work"-patterns, rather than "fun"-patterns. I'm sure the really smart people (e.g. Leibniz etc.) might have enjoyed it.


@Keeper: 


1) No-one knows. Our papers are pretty high-quality (I think, I don't read enough foreign papers to truly compare), but they don't offer anything extraordinary. 


2) I'm not sure if anything would be completely inconceivable. I mean, the hardware is pretty much the same, so it's mostly a matter of explaining everything really well. It would also be pretty hard to distinguish between them really not grasping a concept and them just not thinking it's a good idea or refusing to accept your data. Do you have any concepts you think would be impossible to understand without living in this time?

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

So... Legacies updated.
(Click Here)
Yeah, no that's reasonable.

Part of my frustration at the branding of OWS as a terrorist organization and the heavy monitoring comes from the lack of similar monitoring, according to the stories I've read, of the Tea Party. And I mean... they were having meetings where they were discussing OWS alongside groups like the **** Nations. That's... messed up.



The only thing I can think of is the major difference between the Tea Party actions and OWS, that being the Tea Party was much more cohesive. True, probably half the people at the events show up armed one way or the other, but at the end of the day they all cleaned up and went home. OWS, on the other hand, had what, a dozen more squatter camps set up in major cities all over the country, often with daily protest marches? I don't think there has been anything quite like that since the Bonus Army back in the 30s. And unlike the Tea Party, OWS actually did manage to rack up quite a bit of damages via smashed windows and the like, partly because there was no real control mechanism to join their events. So you'd get the protestors who really just didn't want to waste their lives paying off impossible student loans, and the hot heads getting their jollies smashing stuff. On the other hand, this is the same bunch of "analysts" that suggested returning vets be monitored as possible domestic terrorists, so it is also quite likely they just have their heads stuck somewhere unpleasant.

The other thing that bugs me, in thinking about it, is that they apparently feared that unstable individuals would use the movement to perpetrate violence. Which, ok, I get that, that's reasonable. And we know for a verifiable, indisputable fact that at least one "journalist" deliberately attempted to start a riot to discredit the movement. But my issue is... why did the FBI go to businesses with this information? Why didn't they attempt to notify people heavily involved in the movement so that people in the movement would be protected? And sure, we can speculate that the reaction might not have been positive to that either but we can only speculate because they didn't bother to try.



Reading the article, I thought it was the other way around - the corps used private security to gather information and then provided it to the FBI, and then the FBI offered protective and disruptive services during planned events, if requested? I can only assume the FBI was involved to begin with because of the nationwide state of the movement. As for not warning OWS about threats of violence against them, see the earlier comment about heads and unpleasant places.

I mean, it's not like this movement covers things up. Your Anon News, for example, distributes any news about OWS, good or bad, including information about black bloc disturbances and fringe elements. I don't know. It just seems like the FBI is particularly hell bent on burning every bridge they can with organizations like this. Like, if you've got agents monitoring anyway, why not have them at least build a working relationship so that if something DOES happen the two sides aren't at loggerheads from the get-go?

You're absolutely right, though, that while there should be more reporting on this, there's a lot of extrapolation going on that I'm leery of, now that I've dug through the actual documents a bit more. I do hope they can dig up some more information, since right now, like I said, the information available is choppy and kind of difficult to sort through.

(And honestly, after reading some of the more hyperbolic articles... well, let's just say that I'm wishing scare quotes weren't protected under the first amendment. I would totally lobby to have those things criminalized. Also, "irregardless" and "Have your cake and eat it too." Grumble grumble grumble.)

As far as the reporting in general thing goes, I think there's good evidence that things are getting measureably worse... More and more newspapers, for instance, are losing revenue and getting bought out by single, national corporations, sometimes resulting in a literal information monopoly in whole cities, where there's really just one paper. I've read that the same thing is occurring in Australia, too... not sure about the UK or elsewhere in Europe. This is one area where I would be all for some good old free market competition, frankly--especially since not everyone has access to computers to get a wider range of information.

I mean, when you have the head of a news organization promising to throw the entire weight behind a current American military general if that general runs for President... yeah, there's something wrong there.



And everyone thought yellow journalism died in the 20s! Personally, I'm not sure if the problem originates in journalism, or if it is a combination of two things: journalists trying to push their point of view in a story, and people only paying for the point of view that fits with their world view already. Hence why something like FOX holds so much market share compared to its competitors. I would also wager that's the reason those broadsheets are doing better than the traditional outlets - they probably tap into a market segment that the Big Boys ignore, being comfortable with just raking it in off the predictable audiences.

Howdy, I'm Dr. Demento, I don't have a schtick (exepct perhaps phasing, but that honestly isn't that unique)... Yadda-yadda-yadda introduction statement coinciding with theme provided by title (WTH does Reconstionist mean?) ... Introduction statement carrying on the most recent theme ftom earlier poster (Bi-Polar Gnome that developed OCD in order to stabilize his emotional state, but as a result he feels compelled to set objects on fire at regular intervals which has led him to  be exiled from civilization (don't throw matches in thatch houses))... Punchy warning about the forum's more colorful and regular personalities (Oh ho, that Keeper sure does like to talk)... Ah, here we are, ignoring previous conversation and switching gears like a 16 year-old learning to drive stick.

Les Miserables (as a cultural phenomenon), too popular? Not popular enough? Perhaps the greatest musical ever made for straight male audiences (including Spiderman)? Tear jerking? Too long of a book?

In reference to previous discussion on the topic, I don't think the students are supposed to be entirely sympathetic, but none of the characters are (besides Valjean, and perhaps Fantine). I think the key selling point of Les Mis is that it speaks to all ages. Are you a tween? Your heart breaks with Eponine. Are you a "cynical" high school/college student? Your blood races at the ABC Cafe and then burns at the barricades at injustice of the Man. Are you a cynical post-"cynic"? Then you grimly stare at the empty barricade and nod solemnly at "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables." Are you an adult who's life has gone to some dark places? You too have "Dreamed a Dream." Do you wish for stability and order even while witnessing the continual failure of justice systems worldwide? Perhaps you stand with Javert on the bridge while contemplating the abyss. Do you have a soul? Then you better be crying when you here "To love another person is to see the face of God."

I wouldn't go so far as to say the musical doesn't judge the characters (After all, Javert is not allowed to join in the heavonly Finale), but it certainly is very generous with its sympathies without forcing you to share them. It isn't a morality play, it just doesn't shy away from "your actions have consequences, but oh-by-the-way you might be screwed regardless." (That is, unless you consider Fantine's death to be the obvious result of pre-maritial sex). Thus the title, "The Miserable", everyone lives in a world of sin (and therefore suffering), and we must live with those consequences. However, in the always positive note, it does concede that if you work to rise above (or help others rise above), then perhaps after you are done living with the consequences of sin, you might die and go beyond them.

Further note, I really love the weight of the word sin. It gets used for pretty awful purposes sometimes, but I love how it brings together imperfection, suffering, judgement, and inevitability into one powerful punch. It leads to awesome phrases like "sin eater" too. Say what you will about the Catholic Church, but millenia of studying, dissecting, then reorganizing the human experience has created a wealth of symbolism (CC: Any established religion or mythology).
"I think me going Bang bang bang I win is pretty intuitive" Mafia Record: Wouldn't you like to know? 2011 Mafia Awards - Mastermind of the Year
mymoment
\
57817638 wrote:
58060728 wrote:
88318561 wrote:
58060728 wrote:
Moriok Rigger does absolutely nothing to boost other riggers. You are incorrect.
Moriok Rigger is not a Rigger in print. Only in Errata WHAT NOW! (yes, I did put that phrase in for that exact reason)
Congratulations, they have activated your trap card!
Howdy, I'm Dr. Demento, I don't have a schtick (exepct perhaps phasing, but that honestly isn't that unique)... Yadda-yadda-yadda introduction statement coinciding with theme provided by title (WTH does Reconstionist mean?) ... Introduction statement carrying on the most recent theme ftom earlier poster (Bi-Polar Gnome that developed OCD in order to stabilize his emotional state, but as a result he feels compelled to set objects on fire at regular intervals which has led him to  be exiled from civilization (don't throw matches in thatch houses))... Punchy warning about the forum's more colorful and regular personalities (Oh ho, that Keeper sure does like to talk)... Ah, here we are, ignoring previous conversation and switching gears like a 16 year-old learning to drive stick.

Les Miserables (as a cultural phenomenon), too popular? Not popular enough? Perhaps the greatest musical ever made for straight male audiences (including Spiderman)? Tear jerking? Too long of a book?

In reference to previous discussion on the topic, I don't think the students are supposed to be entirely sympathetic, but none of the characters are (besides Valjean, and perhaps Fantine). I think the key selling point of Les Mis is that it speaks to all ages. Are you a tween? Your heart breaks with Eponine. Are you a "cynical" high school/college student? Your blood races at the ABC Cafe and then burns at the barricades at injustice of the Man. Are you a cynical post-"cynic"? Then you grimly stare at the empty barricade and nod solemnly at "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables." Are you an adult who's life has gone to some dark places? You too have "Dreamed a Dream." Do you wish for stability and order even while witnessing the continual failure of justice systems worldwide? Perhaps you stand with Javert on the bridge while contemplating the abyss. Do you have a soul? Then you better be crying when you here "To love another person is to see the face of God."

I wouldn't go so far as to say the musical doesn't judge the characters (After all, Javert is not allowed to join in the heavonly Finale), but it certainly is very generous with its sympathies without forcing you to share them. It isn't a morality play, it just doesn't shy away from "your actions have consequences, but oh-by-the-way you might be screwed regardless." (That is, unless you consider Fantine's death to be the obvious result of pre-maritial sex). Thus the title, "The Miserable", everyone lives in a world of sin (and therefore suffering), and we must live with those consequences. However, in the always positive note, it does concede that if you work to rise above (or help others rise above), then perhaps after you are done living with the consequences of sin, you might die and go beyond them.

Further note, I really love the weight of the word sin. It gets used for pretty awful purposes sometimes, but I love how it brings together imperfection, suffering, judgement, and inevitability into one powerful punch. It leads to awesome phrases like "sin eater" too. Say what you will about the Catholic Church, but millenia of studying, dissecting, then reorganizing the human experience has created a wealth of symbolism (CC: Any established religion or mythology).



You are the first other person I've ever met who made a reference to "sin eaters". I like you for this.

"The fuel on which science runs is ignorance. Science is like a hungry furnace that must be fed logs from the forests of ignorance that surround us. In the process, the clearing we call knowledge expands, but the more it expands, the longer its perimeter and the more ignorance comes into view." -Matt Ridley, Genome

Good to see you back, Doctor.

And that was a great analysis. 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...

Damn Chandra is looking nice.
Though I really wish they'd just... stop with the fire hair for one or two pics.
For one, there isn't NEARLY enough fire there for all of her hair.
www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...

Damn Chandra is looking nice.
Though I really wish they'd just... stop with the fire hair for one or two pics.
For one, there isn't NEARLY enough fire there for all of her hair.


Wait, how does one put on tailored chainmail? Does she have to hand weld it on?
"I think me going Bang bang bang I win is pretty intuitive" Mafia Record: Wouldn't you like to know? 2011 Mafia Awards - Mastermind of the Year
mymoment
\
57817638 wrote:
58060728 wrote:
88318561 wrote:
58060728 wrote:
Moriok Rigger does absolutely nothing to boost other riggers. You are incorrect.
Moriok Rigger is not a Rigger in print. Only in Errata WHAT NOW! (yes, I did put that phrase in for that exact reason)
Congratulations, they have activated your trap card!
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the FSS board already has a thread discussing whether or not all the green in the art is hinting at her turning

>scowls
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the FSS board already has a thread discussing whether or not all the green in the art is hinting at her turning

>scowls



Foul festering pit that it is. Jackanapes and fools, the lot of them!
Though I really wish they'd just... stop with the fire hair for one or two pics. For one, there isn't NEARLY enough fire there for all of her hair.



I for one would like her to at least once, wear here dang goggles.

Foul festering pit that it is. Jackanapes and fools, the lot of them!



To be fair, only one person seems to be entertaining the thought, and the next two pages is people saying at various lengths "lol nope"
To be fair, only one person seems to be entertaining the thought, and the next two pages is people saying at various lengths "lol nope"



Well, alright then. Though I stand by my jackanapes comment.


Well, alright then. Though I stand by my jackanapes comment.



I've read in at least three threads in the last two days that suggest that the goings on in RtR are the machinations of Nicol Bolas.
One of them outright called him smarter than Niv, if memory serves.

They are Morlocks, Barinellos.
Wretched scavenging troglodytes who cannot stand the brilliant sun that we, the Vorthos master race, enjoy.
They are Morlocks, Barinellos.
Wretched scavenging troglodytes who cannot stand the brilliant sun that we, the Vorthos master race, enjoy.



Could we choose some other underdwelling devolved horror? If memory serves, the Morlocks were secretly harvesting the supposed upper races.
That is indeed a nice picture of Chandra. Though the heeled shoes bother me a bit.
Anatomy looks a bit off to me. Poor Chandra :/
Show
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www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...

Damn Chandra is looking nice.
Though I really wish they'd just... stop with the fire hair for one or two pics.
For one, there isn't NEARLY enough fire there for all of her hair.



Her head is absolutely tiny!
IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/global/images/mtgcom_daily_mc52_picMain_en.jpg)IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/73821e61e013eadf56a8e4e2226d89a3.jpg?v=90000)
Could we choose some other underdwelling devolved horror? If memory serves, the Morlocks were secretly harvesting the supposed upper races.



...
That was a thing wasn't it... 

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