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User ID: 758

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If you believe the accounts in this documentary (timestamped 40:50-42:30, CW: conservative propaganda), the addicts receiving free drugs from the government proceed to exploit their higher risk tolerance by trading the clean drugs to their dealers in exchange for (presumably higher qty. of) street drugs. Then the dealers resell the government handouts to addicts elsewhere with lower risk tolerance and no access to free drug programs.

Obvious follow-up questions: Is this just a case of insufficient dakka? Also, even if it's not providing safer drugs to the population it intends to, doesn't it reduce some property crime?

Dear Dame Caroline,

I can confirm that Mr. Brand is able to monetize his content on our network and will continue to be able to do so unless his content is found to violate our terms and conditions as listed here: <link>

Please refer to the same document for <company>'s policy regarding inappropriate and illegal behavior on our site.


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Was that so hard?

I've found magnesium to be great for avoiding sore/cramped legs in the days following long hikes.

Vancouver, Canada

I feel the other side of this analogy too.

A few years ago, I bought a nice electric mountain bike. Fast, fun, capable (you can ride MTB trails uphill!) - I love it to bits. If I could, I'd ride it everywhere. So what's the problem?

It's that my city has a rampant bike-theft-culture. Within a few weeks of locking it unattended outside, some fucking junkie would try and steal it, and even if they didn't fully succeed, they'd loot it for parts, jamming a screwdriver through the flimsy battery lock and prying it out. They'd go for the wheels, or try and take the seat. They would still end up causing damage. It's enough to dissuade me from riding it, and I feel it's a legitimate frustration with the state of the city that that is just accepted as normal and expected.

Well, since AFAIK, themotte.org never defined what the arrows mean here, I can't say you're wrong, but this community emigrated from Reddit, where the arrows did have an intended meaning

"If you think something contributes to conversation, upvote it"

"Please don't.. Downvote an otherwise acceptable post because you don't personally like it."

I think it's fair to assume that on this Reddit clone, the arrows have inherited that meaning. In my opinion, a measure of value is better feedback than a measure of agreement because I want to optimize for good participation. Optimizing for agreement is how you get an echo chamber, or audience capture.

"So don't do that then, and ignore the downvotes", I assume you would say? Sure, but I think you admit the vote score do matter. That "cheap dopamine rush" exists and affects how people feel about their posts. I worry when I see threads like the pronoun one where someone is patiently laying out a minority opinion, and getting negative reinforcement for it.

I tried Replika a few months ago to see what the fuss was about and found it to be a baffling disappointment. It could be so much better than it is.

It was fine at matching tone and texting style, but it constantly forgot basic things I'd just told it (and it claimed to have saved to its memory). It didn't seem to develop any consistent personality, and just overall came off as the retarded generic chatbot it is. I think it's running some early version of GPT (2?) combined with a custom db for long term stuff that apparently doesn't work.

Just .. How? How is it not running something like GPT4 under the hood? Whatever it would cost for the API would surely be made up tenfold by having a more believable companion to talk to .. right? It did offer an upgraded chat model, but only with a $90/year subscription and no free trial. It seems like such a basic failure of drug-dealer business sense.

A humble request to the voters of this forum:

Please, for the sake of ideological diversity, do not downvote well-expressed opinions you disagree with. Contrary views are fertile ground for good discussion, as several of these QC reports show. Please try and see them as a complement to your side of the argument, not a threat. If nothing else, they provide a contrasting backdrop against which to paint one's own picture. This should be encouraged, not discouraged.

A prime example would be the discussion about pronoun policy a few days ago.

After playing through Act 2, I think I'd advise starting the game as one of the origin characters, specifically Shadowheart or Lae'zel, rather than creating your own.

For one thing, you get to have 4 written characters in play at once rather than 3+generic protag

But also, it feels like the game is supposed to be their story. Eg. Shadowheart begins holding the MacGuffin, and a lot of the game locations & NPCs are directly related to her personal quest. Lae'zel has a pretty obvious character arc tied up in the main plot too. The world-shaking revelations don't land the same way for Tav or the other companions, who are just along for the ride.

Whenever you find a bar/bartender you like enough on their own merits to keep returning, I guess. More genuine, less transactional. Befriend the bartender because you enjoy their company, not because you need to acquire a bartender wingman.

I'm sure that works as you describe - cultivating a reputation, social proof, all of it, but doesn't it feel dishonest to its core? Like, the whole edifice is built on wanting to be seen as the kind of person who is a sociable regular at a fancy cocktail bar and not actually being that person. If you were that person, you'd already have such a place in your back pocket.

  • I hate rests as a resource system. It feels like it breaks power fantasy when a character can only do things a few times a day that they ought to be able to do at will, especially the weapon maneuvers. There's no believable reason why my character can only do a flourish with their sword once an hour. It certainly wouldn't cost them more energy than leaping 5 meters, which they can do every turn.
  • Related: The game expects you to rest a lot, and weaves in story progression during each night. .. but it also rewards you for not resting. There are incredibly powerful buffs that get applied once to your party during various story events and then last until your next long rest, and then you can't get them back. (Eg. +1d4 radiant damage on weapon attacks, +1d6 to attack rolls, ability checks, saves)
  • Some builds and features are so good/broken/fun that they make everything else feel lacklustre. Eg. Tavern Brawler (+str to attack & damage for unarmed + throwing). Eldritch Blast (The best damage cantrip for only 2 levels in warlock, long range, deals 1d10 + cha, pushes enemies, and gets extra beams scaling with character level without any more investment).
  • Common for CRPGs like this: Items and ability features are a total clusterfuck. With the exact same rules text, some items work on all weapon attacks, some only on melee. Some apply to throws. Some don't. The only way to know for sure is to test. There are some bonkers interactions where one effect procs another, which procs the first again and so on.

Text-to-speech while doing something mindless.

That helps a bit, but ultimately it's a problem of too much content, too little time.

It's usually that I don't see any upside in doing it right away, and potential upside from delaying it.

A more convenient opportunity to do the thing may arise - a lull in conversation, an unexpected phone call, etc. Or, another task might come up and both could be combined for greater efficiency.

I don't think it's that difficult to drop Hammerlock-style hints and not treat it as a big deal, especially if it wouldn't be a big deal in-universe.

Example, minor spoilers for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, also tagging @TowardsPanna , who asked about it in the Friday thread.

There's a NPC character who is a "trans" woman. I put that in quotes because this is a universe where you can literally take a magic potion and permanently transform into the opposite sex (or, presumably, like, a giant spider if that's more your style). You only find out if you pick up some random junk item, then ask the character's spouse about it (spouse wants to keep it private and won't tell you the details), then ask the character about it again much later in the game. You could easily finish the game and not come across that detail.

That seemed totally fine? It respects the worldbuilding and doesn't come off as unrealistic, or in your face.

Contrast with the Hogwarts Legacy character that stood out like a sore thumb, not so much because she was a non-passing transwoman, but because the HP universe has transformation magic, and if that exists, why would any transwoman not avail themselves of it?

You could also do ambiguously-trans, like this character in the recent pokemon games. When I saw this market, I was pretty baffled - hadn't even considered that when playing through the games - but reading the evidence, it does seem plausible.

I like https://spotwx.com/ . Zoom in, pick a location. Select the model for the area / time span you want, and then you get a nice readout like this.

Sure, but why is the thing good?

In its original form, it was good because it served a functional purpose. Thereafter, each copy was only good because of nostalgia or familiarity, and I think it settles for being merely good, when it could innovate using more recent techniques, new materials, creativity and perhaps be better. At least, that's the ethos I got from the book (and, I'm told, it's kinda-sorta what the Modernists were going for).

Against this, I'll dig up my favourite quote from The Fountainhead:

  • It’s the Parthenon! - said the Dean.
  • Yes, God damn it, the Parthenon! The ruler struck the glass over the picture.
  • Look,- said Roark. - The famous flutings on the famous columns – what are they there for? To hide the joints in wood – when columns were made of wood, only these aren’t, they’re marble. The triglyphs, what are they? Wood. Wooden beams, the way they had to be laid when people began to build wooden shacks. Your Greeks took marble and they made copies of their wooden structures out of it, because others had done it that way. Then your masters of the Renaissance came along and made copies in plaster of copies in marble of copies in wood. Now here we are, making copies in steel and concrete of copies in plaster of copies in marble of copies in wood. Why?”

Maybe those were nice houses for their time (though on many, I see exactly the sort of cargo-cult ornamentation Rand's character complains about). Today, when I hear people clamour for beauty in architecture, they seem to want those old designs back! They have no positive vision of the future. Concrete boxes might be uninspired, but I'm not sure they're that much worse than making a modern copy of a Victorian copy of a Renaissance copy of ancient woodworking.

Charitably, these comments are less self-deprecation and more praise for the heroics or achievements of others. If there's any narcissism, it's in the need to be seen as publicly signaling one's respect, and inability to just say it plainly.

Huge mistake in my opinion. Can't speak for others, but to me, a sign-in wall means I just stop interacting with that content altogether, and if I get linked there by mistake, I'll curse the site under my breath and close the tab. I can forgive Facebook because it's mostly aiming to be a more tight knit community site for local groups/friends/relatives. Instagram, Reddit, and especially Twitter have no excuse. Gut feeling is it's mortgaging the site's future for short term metrics.

I'm skeptical that "it's simply the case that real life offers superior enjoyment", full stop. What real-life team sport offers the complexity, action and fast paced strategy of a RTS like Supreme Commander? What real-life pursuit offers a visually stunning, persistent imaginary world for thousands of players to live in and form communities like FFXIV? What real-life performance or play matches the worldbuilding and narrative depth of something like Disco Elysium?

For some people, sure. Winning that game of ultimate frisbee, climbing that mountain, seeing that play, might be more fulfilling than vidya. For others, I doubt it.

Out of curiosity, what is the general direction/thrust of Worm fanfic?

  • "author did it wrong, I'll fix it"?

  • "explore another character's perspective"

  • "I just want to play with these toys some more"?

Recommend any high quality ones?

Depending on what you want to achieve, Peter Boghossian & James Lindsay (yes, really) have a book: How to Have Impossible Conversations

They generally advise not marshalling evidence for your claims, but instead seeking to understand why your opponent believes their claims, then just asking if they can think of any evidence that would change their mind. This both helps get to the root of the disagreement, and also zeroes in on the kind of evidence you could provide if asked.

Decent probability this is fake, but there was a short viral video recently of a "social experiment" where you see the target pause, consider what's going on, and conclude that "no. There's no possible way this is genuine, not even as a real pick-up line. I must be on camera."

Funny, sure, but also a bit sad.

I feel the same way about most unprovoked social interactions in public, except it's almost always about money, not entertainment. One time, someone waved at me, gave a smile and said they liked my hair. This is extremely rare. I never get compliments, and this one brightened my day. Immediately, my brain screamed "scam. They're lying. They want money. It's not real", and I told my brain to shut up. Just this once, we will give this person a chance. They said something nice. There are nice people in the world. Reciprocate. So I stopped, we introduced each other. They were about my age, seemed interesting. We talked about school or something for five minutes. It was pleasant.

Then they got to the part where they just needed fifty bucks to pay cab fare across town to meet their sister. They normally wouldn't ask for money but..

I walked away mid-sentence.

This one reminded me of @Primaprimaprima 's post on internet addiction a while ago. I think I'm still of the same opinion.