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Be advised: this thread is not for serious in-depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.

This is the Quality Contributions Roundup. It showcases interesting and well-written comments and posts from the period covered. If you want to get an idea of what this community is about or how we want you to participate, look no further (except the rules maybe--those might be important too).

As a reminder, you can nominate Quality Contributions by hitting the report button and selecting the "Actually A Quality Contribution!" option. Additionally, links to all of the roundups can be found in the wiki of /r/theThread which can be found here. For a list of other great community content, see here.

These are mostly chronologically ordered, but I have in some cases tried to cluster comments by topic so if there is something you are looking for (or trying to avoid), this might be helpful.

We also had the problem with the database earlier this month, so some of these comments aren't available in their original context. However I am reposting the comments themselves below; it's not a perfect solution, but in various ways it beats the alternatives I could think of. That said, if you find any errors in need of correction (misattributed comments, for example) please feel free to @ me. The number of copy/paste errors I made in the process of trying to put this together is... not small.


Contributions Outside the Main Motte

@gattsuru:

Contributions for the week of January 29, 2024

@Southkraut:

@Rov_Scam:

Contributions for the week of February 5, 2024

@TitaniumButterfly:

@Folamh3:

@FCfromSSC:

@RandomRanger:

@mitigatedchaos:

@felis-parenthesis:

@100ProofTollBooth:

@FarNearEverywhere:

Contributions for the week of February 19, 2024

@BoneDrained:

@ZRslashRIFLE:

@curious_straight_ca:

@Capital_Room:

@fishtwanger:

@cjet79:

@SecureSignals:

@RandomRanger:

@WhiningCoil:

@SlowBoy:

Contributions for the week of February 14, 2024

@cjet79:

@FCfromSSC:

@HlynkaCG:

@Walterodim:

@SaltCheck:

@screye:

@Shrike:

Contributions for the week of February 26, 2024

@DTulpa:

@Spookykou:

@ControlsFreak:

@gattsuru:

@Chrisprattalpharaptr:

@100ProofTollBooth:

This weekly roundup thread is intended for all culture war posts. 'Culture war' is vaguely defined, but it basically means controversial issues that fall along set tribal lines. Arguments over culture war issues generate a lot of heat and little light, and few deeply entrenched people ever change their minds. This thread is for voicing opinions and analyzing the state of the discussion while trying to optimize for light over heat.

Optimistically, we think that engaging with people you disagree with is worth your time, and so is being nice! Pessimistically, there are many dynamics that can lead discussions on Culture War topics to become unproductive. There's a human tendency to divide along tribal lines, praising your ingroup and vilifying your outgroup - and if you think you find it easy to criticize your ingroup, then it may be that your outgroup is not who you think it is. Extremists with opposing positions can feed off each other, highlighting each other's worst points to justify their own angry rhetoric, which becomes in turn a new example of bad behavior for the other side to highlight.

We would like to avoid these negative dynamics. Accordingly, we ask that you do not use this thread for waging the Culture War. Examples of waging the Culture War:

  • Shaming.

  • Attempting to 'build consensus' or enforce ideological conformity.

  • Making sweeping generalizations to vilify a group you dislike.

  • Recruiting for a cause.

  • Posting links that could be summarized as 'Boo outgroup!' Basically, if your content is 'Can you believe what Those People did this week?' then you should either refrain from posting, or do some very patient work to contextualize and/or steel-man the relevant viewpoint.

In general, you should argue to understand, not to win. This thread is not territory to be claimed by one group or another; indeed, the aim is to have many different viewpoints represented here. Thus, we also ask that you follow some guidelines:

  • Speak plainly. Avoid sarcasm and mockery. When disagreeing with someone, state your objections explicitly.

  • Be as precise and charitable as you can. Don't paraphrase unflatteringly.

  • Don't imply that someone said something they did not say, even if you think it follows from what they said.

  • Write like everyone is reading and you want them to be included in the discussion.

On an ad hoc basis, the mods will try to compile a list of the best posts/comments from the previous week, posted in Quality Contribution threads and archived at /r/TheThread. You may nominate a comment for this list by clicking on 'report' at the bottom of the post and typing 'Actually a quality contribution' as the report reason.

I.

Profile of Patric Gagne, sociopath. Caucasian, 48, married, two children, dirty blonde hair. Occupation: therapist, writer. What makes one a sociopath?

Traits may include lack of remorse, deceitfulness and a disregard for the feelings of others as well as right and wrong.

Sounds pretty bad.

But that only tells part of the story. The part that’s missing is you can be a sociopath and have a healthy relationship. You can be a sociopath and be educated. That’s a very uncomfortable reality for some people. People want to believe that all sociopaths are monsters and that all monsters are easy to spot.

I’m relieved sociopaths can still get degrees. What’s the subjective experience like?

Just because I don’t care about someone else’s pain, so to speak, doesn’t mean I want to cause more of it. I enjoy living in this society. I understand that there are rules. I choose to follow those rules because I understand the benefits of this world, this house where I get to live, this relationship I get to have. That is different from people who follow the rules because they have to, they should, they want to be a good person. None of those apply to me. I want to live in a world where things function properly. If I create messes, my life will become messy. I think [transgression] feels good because it feels free. To do something bad, it’s like, I don’t give a [expletive]. The consequences — be it internal guilt or getting thrown in jail — happen after. In this moment, I’m going to do this because it feels [expletive] great to just not care. That is what the sociopath experience is almost all the time.

II.

Lately I keep hearing about ethically questionable things my acquaintances do. Examples:

  1. Driving in the bus lane to beat traffic.

  2. Buying 5 TVs to take advantage of a sale, then returning four of them immediately.

  3. Buying furniture from IKEA, using it, then returning it before the 180 day policy expires.

  4. Using the carpool lane when driving alone.

  5. Avoiding road tolls with illicit methods.

  6. Raiding the office snack room and hoarding the best snacks for themselves, or even stocking their pantry at home.

I’m not going to browbeat these people to get them to admit that this stuff is wrong and antisocial. It’s not exactly the crime of the century. Depending on how well I know the person, sometimes I gently ask them why they think this is acceptable. The responses I get range from non-sequitur rationalizations (“I overpaid my taxes, why should I pay bridge tolls?”) to rules-lawyering (“if it’s not forbidden, why shouldn’t I?”) to blackpills (“it’s like India here, every man for himself”) to blank stares and changes of topic.

The people I’m talking about are high functioning. They have careers, relationships, educations. They make good money. The sociopath at least understands that there are rules that have to be followed, but Gagne’s understanding of “neurotypicals” doesn’t match what I see (maybe I don’t know enough affluent white female liberals?). I see people who see no connection at all between rules and benefits. I see people who don’t feel that they have to follow the rules, or even that being a good person entails following the rules. I see people who will do just about anything that gets them ahead if they can’t immediately see the harm. The notion that actions may have diffuse costs, that abusing policies makes things worse for people who follow the rules, that your coworkers might want to eat those snacks, is the furthest thing from their mind. They view these considerations with something between ignorance and contempt - you’re just a sucker if you aren’t looking out for #1.

But sociopaths use it out of necessity, and that’s a really important distinction. My decision to mask [adopting prosocial mannerisms] is not because I have some dark ulterior motive. It’s because you guys are interesting to me. Neurotypical emotions are so colorful and complex. In order for me to engage with you, you have to feel comfortable with me. In order for you to feel comfortable with me, I have to mask. I find that people are unnerved by me when I’m not masking… The bottom line is that I want you to feel comfortable, so I engage. I smile. I mirror. It’s not nefarious; it’s necessary.

Has it always been this way? I am not sure. I think that things have gotten worse. It seems that more people are adopting the perspective that they should just loot all the value they can out of the systems around them, systems that aren’t perfect (why do we W-2 employees need to jump through these tax hoops again?) but make our way of life possible. Burning trust and social capital by mainlining the remorseless sociopathic experience is not long-term sustainable. The people are the same as they used to be, but the mask is slipping, whether that means there’s more of this behavior or people feel emboldened to speak out about it.

III.

Borges wrote a meta-fictional review of a book about how a knave got a glimpse of preternatural goodness in some scum-of-the-earth son-of-a-bitch and realized that he must have witnessed a glimpse, a shard of a great man.

All at once - with the miraculous consternation of Robinson Crusoe faced with the human footprint in the sand - he perceives some mitigation in this infamy: a tenderness, an exaltation, a silence in one of the abhorrent men. "It was asif a more complex interlocutor had joined the dialogue." He knows that the vile man conversing with him is incapable of this momentaneous decorum; from this fact he concludes that the other, for the moment, is the reflection of a friend, or of the friend of a friend. Rethinking the problem he arrives at a mysterious conviction:some place in the world there is a man from whom this clarity emanates; some place in the world there is a man who is this clarity. The student resolves to dedicate his life to finding him.

Even a man of the ‘vilest class’ can reflect a kind of holiness. Isn’t it possible that the mild-mannered white collar transgressors around me are reflecting a kind of damnation? Did these small-time bastards pick up their tendencies from some glancing contact, a ‘faint trace’ of a scowl or word in someone more pathological?

Gagne again:

I think, inherently, neurotypicals are fascinated by sociopathy because it’s a relatable disorder. Everybody has that darkness in them. Everybody has those thoughts that they shoo away because of guilt. If more conversations between neurotypical and so-called neurodivergents were to occur, it would benefit both… I was sitting across from a man at a dinner party — this was like two years ago — and my diagnosis came up, and 30 seconds afterward he said, “You know, I have thoughts of killing my wife a lot.” Not to normalize that, but I was like, Tell me about that. And he goes: “I’ve really thought about it. I’ve reached out to people about hiring somebody to kill her.”

“The line separating good and evil passes… through every human heart.” There has to be a way to beat back the darkness and grow the ‘bridgehead of good.’ To refuse to reflect the damned darkness of the guiltless sociopathic id, in ways big and small.

But as for myself, with no clear villains to tilt with, perhaps the best I can do is to keep my mouth shut. Borges has the last word:

After rereading, I am apprehensive lest I have not sufficiently underlined the book's virtues. It contains some very civilized expressions: for example, a certain argument in the nineteenth chapter in which one feels a presentiment that one of the antagonistsis a friend of Al-Mu'tasim when he will not refute the sophisms of his opponent "so as not to be right in a triumphal fashion."

Transnational Thursday is a thread for people to discuss international news, foreign policy or international relations history. Feel free as well to drop in with coverage of countries you’re interested in, talk about ongoing dynamics like the wars in Israel or Ukraine, or even just whatever you’re reading.

The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:

  • Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.

  • Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.

  • Advice. This can be in response to a request for advice or just something that you think could be generally useful for many people here.

  • Encouragement. Probably best directed at specific users, but if you feel like just encouraging people in general I don't think anyone is going to object. I don't think I really need to say this, but just to be clear; encouragement should have a generally positive tone and not shame people (if people feel that shame might be an effective tool for motivating people, please discuss this so we can form a group consensus on how to use it rather than just trying it).

Here's an essay I wrote. It's mostly sketching out the general case without going into case studies. I realize people like to bring things down to reality but it didn't feel right for this essay.

Arthur has an oil well. Caleb has the skill to refine the oil. Without the oil the skill is useless. Without the skill to refine the oil the oil is useless. How do they share the profits that come from selling the refined oil? How do they negotiate the split of the profits?

One might imagine that Arthur could choose from many oil engineers and select the one that will give him the best deal, and Caleb could find the oil well owner that will give him the best deal, and supply and demand would meet in the middle through ordinary market forces. In practice this isn’t always how things go. Sometimes one side doesn’t have any other potential partners. Sometimes, for one reason or another, neither side does. If there’s only one seller and one buyer, that’s known as a bilateral monopoly. In the case of the oil well it’s less a matter of buyers and sellers and more about two business partners who can’t profit without the other.

In such cases, negotiation turns into a game of chicken. If Arthur offers Caleb a split that Caleb thinks is unfair, Caleb can refuse it, in which case the oil stays in the ground and neither side gets paid. Likewise for an unappealing deal that Caleb offers to Arthur. If one side wants 95% of the profit, the other side could reject the deal, even if it means no profit for either of them. That’s not irrational, it’s just the only way to exercise leverage in such a situation.

So far so obvious. But here’s the thing that I want to call attention to: in a simplified model, the deal that will go through is one where the wealthier business partner gets a larger cut of the profits. In a market with only one buyer and one seller, the side with the highest willingness to cancel the deal has the most leverage, and the richer side (theoretically) needs the money less. Horribly ugly, but also utterly reasonable. In many cases we may wish it were otherwise, but if the poorer business partner cancels the deal too often out of indignation and pride that’s not so great either.

It might seem like the situation I described with only one buyer and one seller is unlikely to occur, but consider the situation in Venezuela under Hugo Chavez: Chavez couldn’t fire all the domestic oil engineers and replace them without greatly hampering oil production and disrupting the workings of the entire country, and the oil engineers couldn’t go work somewhere else without uprooting their lives and going to an entirely different country. Venezuela didn’t have a monopoly on oil, and the oil engineers didn’t have a monopsony on oil engineering, but the costs for switching partners were high enough that somewhat similar effects were in play, I think.

Mood board:

The national pride of poorer countries as a recurring factor in geopolitics

Oil negotiations between Iran and Britain in the 1950s

Hugo Chavez firing all the oil engineers in Venezuela

Hollywood Strikes

The likelihood that both sides will think that what they bring to the table in the deal is the key ingredient in the process and therefore more valuable.

Additional thought:

What would it look like if the richer side needed the money more? Could that ever happen? Maybe there could be situations where the richer party has “farther to fall” than the poorer party. For instance, if the richer side of the equation has a lot of valuable businesses that need capital injections in order to stay afloat, and the poorer side of the equation can just continue with a meager but stable lifestyle.

https://absenceofweather.substack.com/p/fair-and-unfair-in-bilateral-monopolies

Do you have a dumb question that you're kind of embarrassed to ask in the main thread? Is there something you're just not sure about?

This is your opportunity to ask questions. No question too simple or too silly.

Culture war topics are accepted, and proposals for a better intro post are appreciated.

Be advised: this thread is not for serious in-depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.

Transnational Thursday is a thread for people to discuss international news, foreign policy or international relations history. Feel free as well to drop in with coverage of countries you’re interested in, talk about ongoing dynamics like the wars in Israel or Ukraine, or even just whatever you’re reading.

The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:

  • Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.

  • Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.

  • Advice. This can be in response to a request for advice or just something that you think could be generally useful for many people here.

  • Encouragement. Probably best directed at specific users, but if you feel like just encouraging people in general I don't think anyone is going to object. I don't think I really need to say this, but just to be clear; encouragement should have a generally positive tone and not shame people (if people feel that shame might be an effective tool for motivating people, please discuss this so we can form a group consensus on how to use it rather than just trying it).

This weekly roundup thread is intended for all culture war posts. 'Culture war' is vaguely defined, but it basically means controversial issues that fall along set tribal lines. Arguments over culture war issues generate a lot of heat and little light, and few deeply entrenched people ever change their minds. This thread is for voicing opinions and analyzing the state of the discussion while trying to optimize for light over heat.

Optimistically, we think that engaging with people you disagree with is worth your time, and so is being nice! Pessimistically, there are many dynamics that can lead discussions on Culture War topics to become unproductive. There's a human tendency to divide along tribal lines, praising your ingroup and vilifying your outgroup - and if you think you find it easy to criticize your ingroup, then it may be that your outgroup is not who you think it is. Extremists with opposing positions can feed off each other, highlighting each other's worst points to justify their own angry rhetoric, which becomes in turn a new example of bad behavior for the other side to highlight.

We would like to avoid these negative dynamics. Accordingly, we ask that you do not use this thread for waging the Culture War. Examples of waging the Culture War:

  • Shaming.

  • Attempting to 'build consensus' or enforce ideological conformity.

  • Making sweeping generalizations to vilify a group you dislike.

  • Recruiting for a cause.

  • Posting links that could be summarized as 'Boo outgroup!' Basically, if your content is 'Can you believe what Those People did this week?' then you should either refrain from posting, or do some very patient work to contextualize and/or steel-man the relevant viewpoint.

In general, you should argue to understand, not to win. This thread is not territory to be claimed by one group or another; indeed, the aim is to have many different viewpoints represented here. Thus, we also ask that you follow some guidelines:

  • Speak plainly. Avoid sarcasm and mockery. When disagreeing with someone, state your objections explicitly.

  • Be as precise and charitable as you can. Don't paraphrase unflatteringly.

  • Don't imply that someone said something they did not say, even if you think it follows from what they said.

  • Write like everyone is reading and you want them to be included in the discussion.

On an ad hoc basis, the mods will try to compile a list of the best posts/comments from the previous week, posted in Quality Contribution threads and archived at /r/TheThread. You may nominate a comment for this list by clicking on 'report' at the bottom of the post and typing 'Actually a quality contribution' as the report reason.

Do you have a dumb question that you're kind of embarrassed to ask in the main thread? Is there something you're just not sure about?

This is your opportunity to ask questions. No question too simple or too silly.

Culture war topics are accepted, and proposals for a better intro post are appreciated.

Be advised: this thread is not for serious in-depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.

Transnational Thursday is a thread for people to discuss international news, foreign policy or international relations history. Feel free as well to drop in with coverage of countries you’re interested in, talk about ongoing dynamics like the wars in Israel or Ukraine, or even just whatever you’re reading.

15

Well, the site got dumped. I have a bad habit of hoarding tabs, and I've got two pages worth of posts still open, so I'm going to copy-paste them here in raw text so people can salvage what they can. Anyone else who still has pages open, feel free to join in.

16

Very sorry about this one, guys.

For reasons that I'm currently unsure of, the database decided to eat itself. I'm giving it something like 40/40/20 "hacker", "postgres bug", or "host glitch".

The site currently has two different backup methods. The manual backup triggers whenever I do a site update; the last site update was on 1/31. The automatic backup is supposed to be daily, and I check it once in a while to make sure it's working. It's been working literally ever since before the main Motte site was launched . . . and it broke on 2/4. Good timing, thanks, system.

In theory, the quality-contribution system captured all reported quality contributions during this time. I'll try to retrieve those. Any opinions on whether I should just go ahead and repost them, or whether I should send them to the person so they can repost them?

I do have a dump of a bunch of text snippets that are all that was left of the database. If you remember some phrases you used I might be able to retrieve parts of lost posts. That said, someone's tried this with a few posts and got 0/2, so absolutely no promises here. Feel free to ask though! If you want to take data recovery more seriously, make a copy of your browser cache, which can then be pored over to find people's posts. I'm not totally sure how important this is, but I bet at least a few people will be sad to lose effortposts they made.

I've fixed the backup issue and set up better monitoring so it will yell at me if it fails again. I've also temporarily increased backup frequency to hourly, just in case there's some serious stability issue right now that I'm not aware of. The good news is that this shouldn't happen again, at least with as much lost data. But that doesn't really fix this one.

Apologies again.

This too shall pass.

The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:

  • Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.

  • Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.

  • Advice. This can be in response to a request for advice or just something that you think could be generally useful for many people here.

  • Encouragement. Probably best directed at specific users, but if you feel like just encouraging people in general I don't think anyone is going to object. I don't think I really need to say this, but just to be clear; encouragement should have a generally positive tone and not shame people (if people feel that shame might be an effective tool for motivating people, please discuss this so we can form a group consensus on how to use it rather than just trying it).

This weekly roundup thread is intended for all culture war posts. 'Culture war' is vaguely defined, but it basically means controversial issues that fall along set tribal lines. Arguments over culture war issues generate a lot of heat and little light, and few deeply entrenched people ever change their minds. This thread is for voicing opinions and analyzing the state of the discussion while trying to optimize for light over heat.

Optimistically, we think that engaging with people you disagree with is worth your time, and so is being nice! Pessimistically, there are many dynamics that can lead discussions on Culture War topics to become unproductive. There's a human tendency to divide along tribal lines, praising your ingroup and vilifying your outgroup - and if you think you find it easy to criticize your ingroup, then it may be that your outgroup is not who you think it is. Extremists with opposing positions can feed off each other, highlighting each other's worst points to justify their own angry rhetoric, which becomes in turn a new example of bad behavior for the other side to highlight.

We would like to avoid these negative dynamics. Accordingly, we ask that you do not use this thread for waging the Culture War. Examples of waging the Culture War:

  • Shaming.

  • Attempting to 'build consensus' or enforce ideological conformity.

  • Making sweeping generalizations to vilify a group you dislike.

  • Recruiting for a cause.

  • Posting links that could be summarized as 'Boo outgroup!' Basically, if your content is 'Can you believe what Those People did this week?' then you should either refrain from posting, or do some very patient work to contextualize and/or steel-man the relevant viewpoint.

In general, you should argue to understand, not to win. This thread is not territory to be claimed by one group or another; indeed, the aim is to have many different viewpoints represented here. Thus, we also ask that you follow some guidelines:

  • Speak plainly. Avoid sarcasm and mockery. When disagreeing with someone, state your objections explicitly.

  • Be as precise and charitable as you can. Don't paraphrase unflatteringly.

  • Don't imply that someone said something they did not say, even if you think it follows from what they said.

  • Write like everyone is reading and you want them to be included in the discussion.

On an ad hoc basis, the mods will try to compile a list of the best posts/comments from the previous week, posted in Quality Contribution threads and archived at /r/TheThread. You may nominate a comment for this list by clicking on 'report' at the bottom of the post and typing 'Actually a quality contribution' as the report reason.

Be advised: this thread is not for serious in-depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.

15

This is the Quality Contributions Roundup. It showcases interesting and well-written comments and posts from the period covered. If you want to get an idea of what this community is about or how we want you to participate, look no further (except the rules maybe--those might be important too).

As a reminder, you can nominate Quality Contributions by hitting the report button and selecting the "Actually A Quality Contribution!" option. Additionally, links to all of the roundups can be found in the wiki of /r/theThread which can be found here. For a list of other great community content, see here.

These are mostly chronologically ordered, but I have in some cases tried to cluster comments by topic so if there is something you are looking for (or trying to avoid), this might be helpful.


Quality Contributions to the Main Motte

@MadMonzer:

@George_E_Hale:

@Meriadoc:

@LetsAllSitDown:

@themoosh:

@FarNearEverywhere:

Contributions for the week of January 1, 2024

@ymeskhout:

@FiveHourMarathon:

@100ProofTollBooth:

@firmamenti:

@Capital_Room:

@gog:

@George_E_Hale:

@gattsuru:

@To_Mandalay:

@papardus:

@Hoffmeister25:

Contributions for the week of January 8, 2024

@Folamh3:

@NullHypothesis:

@FiveHourMarathon:

@rayon:

@gattsuru:

@RandomRanger:

@ControlsFreak:

@Amadan:

Contributions for the week of January 15, 2024

@ymeskhout:

@doglatine:

@SSCReader:

@gattsuru:

@HlynkaCG:

@FiveHourMarathon:

Contributions for the week of January 22, 2024

@Martian_Expat:

@kopperfish:

@FiveHourMarathon:

@felis-parenthesis:

Transnational Thursday is a thread for people to discuss international news, foreign policy or international relations history. Feel free as well to drop in with coverage of countries you’re interested in, talk about ongoing dynamics like the wars in Israel or Ukraine, or even just whatever you’re reading.

8
post thumbnail

Aaaand we're back!

The goal of this thread is to coordinate development on our project codenamed HighSpace - a mod for Freespace 2 that will be a mashup between it and High Fleet. A description of how the mechanics of the two games could be combined is available in the first thread.

Who we have

Who we need

The more the merrier, you are free to join in any capacity you wish! I can already identify a few distinct tasks for each position that we could split the work into

  • developers: “mission” code, “strategic” system map code

  • artists: 2D (user interface), 3D (space ships, weapons explosions)

  • writers: worldbuilding/lore, quests, characters

  • testers: the way the any program works always makes sense to the developer, so feedback from people who aren't me is always appreciated. This is a pretty easy way to get involved, though it does require an initial investment of buying Freespace2, at least until we manage to turn it into a proper total conversion, and use only our content.

A small note if you want to contribute:

Don't be afraid to ask questions however small, or silly you might find them. This is literally one of the primary functions this thread has. The Hard Light documentation is... there... but it's not great, and between that, the peculiarities of LUA, the FS2 scripting API, RocketLib, and other parts of FS2 modding, it really might not be obvious how to resolve issues you run into. I might not be able to answer all questions, but I've dabbled in all these things, so there's good chances I might be able to help.

What we have

  1. Capital ships

  2. Fighters

  3. A cruiser, loaded in-game

  4. Turntable render for a cruiser

  5. Turntable render for a destroyer

  • Some of the ships concepts are now imported into the game

  • A proof of concenpt for “strategic” system map we jump into on start of the campaign. It contains a friendly ship and 2 enemy ships, you can chose where to move / which enemy ship to attack.

  • A “tactical” RTS-like in-mission view where you can give commands to your ships.

  • A somewhat actual-game-like workflow. Attacking a ship launches a mission where the two ships are pitted against each other. If you win, the current health of your ship is saved, and you can launch the second attack. If you clean up the map you are greeted with a “You Win” message, or “You Lose” if you lose your ship.

Updates

November was a mess for me IRL, December was Christmas time, and even though January was busier than I would like, I managed to get some work in. The biggest change is the Battle Group split / merge feature. Also did some refactoring because there were way too many ship lists to keep track of whenever any ship is was added / removed, but of course that's not the kind of thing that lends itself to flashy gifs. Another change that I managed to get in back in November is setting up debugging with EmmyLua which helps in development a lot.

Bugs found

  • Cannot jump into mission without “Alpha 1” being present in group
  • Crash on win/lose of the game
  • System map targetting is off - sometimes the target ship moves on before you reach it

What's next

  • Improve the simplified orbital mechanics

  • Fixing the bugs

  • AI code for System View ships, first for plotting the course, and if time permits for some basic enemy movement as well.

10

The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:

  • Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.

  • Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.

  • Advice. This can be in response to a request for advice or just something that you think could be generally useful for many people here.

  • Encouragement. Probably best directed at specific users, but if you feel like just encouraging people in general I don't think anyone is going to object. I don't think I really need to say this, but just to be clear; encouragement should have a generally positive tone and not shame people (if people feel that shame might be an effective tool for motivating people, please discuss this so we can form a group consensus on how to use it rather than just trying it).