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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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:

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).

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.

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.

10

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.

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.

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).

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).

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.