Travesti sex, gender, and culture among brazilian ...
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1: The Context of Travesti Life; 2: Becoming a Travesti; 3: A Man in the House; 4: The Pleasure of Prostitution; 5: Travesti Gendered Subjectivity Notes References Index. (source: Nielsen Book Data) Summary This narrative follows the lives of a group of transgendered prostitutes ('travestis' in Portuguese) in the Brazilian city Salvador. Becoming Travesti: A Partial History of Ontoformation by Andrea de la Maza Pérez Tamayo A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy ... Data published by the Citizen's Commission against Homophobic Ottawa, Ontario, Canada About Blog Amanda Jett Knox is an award-winning writer, human rights advocate and public speaker. In early 2014, her middle child came out to the family as a transgender girl, shifting the focus of her mom's writing career towards LGBTQ rights and education. Back up WhatsApp Data to Computer. It is always recommended to back up your WhatsApp to the computer with MobileTrans as it can have important messages and media files. The tool works both with Android and iPhone, preventing you from any unwanted data loss scenario. The Real Estate Data Search Page has moved. Please update your bookmarks to point to the new page. The new page can be accessed herehere In this post I will examine the available data about the relative level of violence faced by transgender people. I will specifically focus on murder rates, because murder is the ultimate act of… Microsoft gives you tools to manage your privacy and data. Learn more. S ign in to see your search history on different browsers and computers. Insights. All time. 0. Web. Images. Videos. News. Shopping. Activity. Your search history is empty. Show new searches here. +1 tier ⇒ score * 4 (The tier used is an average between your 'soloqueue' tier and your 'flex' tier, ponderated by the number of games you played in each) +12% winrate (compared to the average for that champion/role) ⇒ score * 2 +100% KDA (compared to the average for that champion/role) ⇒ score * 1.33 Published 1998 Printed in the United States of America 07 06 05 04 03 02 01 00 5 4 3 2 ISBN (cloth): 0-226-46099-1 ISBN (paper) : 0-226-46100-9 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Kulick, Don. Travesti : sex, gender, and culture among Brazilian transgendered prostitutes / Don Kulick. p. Get this from a library! Travesti. [Roberto Freire] COVID-19 Resources. Reliable information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) is available from the World Health Organization (current situation, international travel).Numerous and frequently-updated resource results are available from this WorldCat.org search.OCLC’s WebJunction has pulled together information and resources to assist library ...
A Commentary on the Misinterpretation of “Notes on Racial Phylogeny”
2020.09.18 02:52 jotting_prosaistA Commentary on the Misinterpretation of “Notes on Racial Phylogeny”
by Radia Uta-Reen Serius, Master Healer of the Temple of the Divines, Solitude Over a long and storied career, a master of Restoration will meet many myths, misconceptions, and outright lies about health, illness, and the nature of the mortal body. The less we say about counterfeit contraceptives and venereal curatives, the better. Yet I take particular umbrage with the persistent misunderstanding of race— specifically, racial phylogeny. The Imperial University’s Notes on Racial Phylogeny is now in its seventh edition, and has enormous circulation among academics and laypeople. There may be no more widely read and widely misunderstood book in the medical tradition. Upon my recent arrival in Solitude from Wayrest, I made conversation with the Imperial census agent processing my passport. As he stamped my papers, he grumbled about the last family to go through: a Breton and a Redguard, he said, accompanied by three children. They refused to list their children as anything but mixed: Breton and Redguard, they insisted, despite the census agent’s demand that they check only one box on the forms. In the end, after much argument and the threat of imprisonment for falsifying Imperial records, the parents resentfully claimed their children as Bretons since the family lived in High Rock. Given that the census agent still held my passport, I murmured sympathetically that I did not blame him for the delay. “It’s frustrating how impossible some people are,” he snapped. “You’re either one or the other!” And yet— this is simply incorrect. Many ideas about racial phylogeny are.
1. Children inherit the race of their mother
While studying at the Arcane University in my youth, one of my classmates was an Altmer whose family line was of some significance, as he often declaimed. He was not shy, either, about expressing his opinion on the bloodlines and kinships of others. He took particular exception to an Altmer woman who owned a well-known pastry shop near the University, and who had recently borne a daughter. When I at last questioned his vitriol about this woman’s apparently slatternly nature, he explained that she had muddied the Altmer bloodlines by bearing the child of an Imperial man. Surprised and offended, I demanded why he didn’t express similar opinions about his own cousin, a young Altmer man of good breeding who (as we had heard from letters on which he gossiped) had recently impregnated a Bosmer lover in Valenwood. It wasn’t the same situation, my classmate explained. His cousin’s dalliance had been inappropriate but also commendable, in a way; the Bosmer lover was pregnant with a Bosmer child somewhat improved by Altmer heritage, and that could only be a boon to her people. Meanwhile the Altmer shopkeep had borne an Altmer daughter with human blood, which degraded the race. In his mind, neither of these children were mixed-race: they were simply what their mothers were, with better or worse influence. When I dogged this line of logic to its source, he cited Notes on Racial Phylogeny. I set aside the question of “improvement” or “degradation” of bloodlines. The fact is that my classmate’s belief— a very common one— is absolutely not supported by the text that he claimed as a reference. The oft-misquoted line from Racial Phylogeny is thus: “Generally the offspring bear the racial traits of the mother, though some traces of the father's race may also be present.” The text describes only a general pattern in the physiological traits and appearance of mixed-race offspring, and it leaves plenty of room for variation in that pattern. It makes no claim that “race” as a whole is passed directly from mother to child. It also does not state, as some may relatedly misinterpret, that in some cases “race” as a whole is inherited from the father instead. Again: It says that physiological traits of offspring are generally similar to those of the mother, with variation. It says nothing of the "race" of the offspring. Exactly as a child of two Altmer may inherit more of the appearance of their mother than their father (or more of their father— or a mix of both— or the features of a distant grandsire), the physical inheritance of an Altmer-Imperial child will be predictable but subject to variation. How we as a society choose to categorize the child’s “race”— as Altmer, Imperial, or otherwise— is a separate matter.
2. Race is a concrete and unchanging category
While working as a journeyman healer, I attended the birth of an infant to a Nord father and a Bosmer mother. Both were baffled and distraught that their newborn daughter, while healthy and perfect in every way, did not greatly resemble her mother. She had the skin and hair colour of her Nord father, as well as a nose so prominent that its origin was unmistakable even in infancy. They could not suspect that the infant belonged to someone other than her mother, as both had been present for the delivery. Indeed, when a relative wondered aloud about the possibility of this baby having been switched with another, the stressed mother snapped, “I pushed her out of my own body and then put her on my tit, I think I’d have noticed someone playing a damn shell game.” At the same time, the child did have her mother’s pointed ears; a little later the child opened her eyes and revealed unmistakably Bosmer eyes with golden irises and black sclera. But she was supposed to have been the image of her mother. How could this be? Was something wrong? What was their child? Both having an oversimplified notion of race borne from broad misquotation of Racial Phylogeny— and perhaps an attachment to certain notions of race that they had not heretofore confronted— they struggled to process that they had created a child who was visibly not like either of them. Eventually I was able to convince them of the simple answer: this was their child. Again, exactly as Racial Phylogeny explains, “Generally the offspring bear the racial traits of the mother, though some traces of the father's race may also be present.” Physiological inheritance is not cut and dry; it will vary, to a greater or lesser extent that we cannot determine. Their daughter’s appearance was not an impossibility or even a singularity, merely a unique variation. But if the physiology of individuals can vary so greatly, how do we categorize them? What is the race of a child with the ears and eyes of a Bosmer and the coloration of a Nord? Will our opinion change if we discover she has inherited her father’s magical resistance to cold? Her mother’s resistance to diseases and poisons? Both? Will it change if she herself tells us that she is a Nord or a Bosmer? Or both? Neither? Racial Phylogeny has no opinion on the matter. This text, while concerned with the descent and classification of various “races,” does not actually assert that “race” is a concrete or unchanging category. In fact, quite the opposite. The majority of the time that the word “race” is used, it appears in quotations to highlight its disputed or unreliable nature. The text refers to “all ‘races’ of elves and humans” and “cases of intercourse between these ‘races’ [e.g. Orcs, goblins, trolls].” It directly says that “race” is an “imprecise but useful term.” When Racial Phylogeny is at its core so concerned with the connection between various groups of people— the descent, change, and ongoing interrelation— how can the fluid nature of “race” not be apparent? We need look no farther than the existence of the Breton people to understand this. Bretons are the descendants of Nedic and Aldmeri ancestors. The earliest individuals were likely seen simply as mixed race, or, impolitely, “halfbreeds”: the name “Breton” is derived from “beratu,” the Ehlnofex term for “half,” and a few references to “Manmer” exist in older texts, outdated even by the Third Era. Yet today Bretons are their own “race,” as distinct and concrete as a “race” can be. A Breton is not a halfbreed, a manmer; he is a Breton. (Unless someone chooses to dig up truly ancient history as an insult.) The only differences between this established “race” of people and an incomprehensibly unique Nord-Bosmer child are a large population and a great stretch of time in which society changes its opinion. If mixed racial heritage is so ordinary, why might we see so few people claiming or displaying it? Racial Phylogeny gives one possible explanation: the difficulty of claiming parentage of the “wrong” race. Showing signs of the time in which it was written, the text asserts, “Surely any normal Bosmer or Breton impregnated by an Orc would keep that shame to herself, and there's no reason to suppose that an Orc maiden impregnated by a human would not be likewise ostracized by her society.” Even in today’s society there are many situations in which it could be difficult or even perilous to claim certain parentage. Safer by far to say that one’s coloration or facial features are mere quirks of chance. And individuals with the rigid attitude of our Imperial census agent likewise do not make it easy to claim two ancestries, two natures. Or, more complex yet, an ancestry and nature that defies categorization.
3. Certain races are demonstrably unable to interbreed
During my time in the Imperial City, I was told a story that demonstrates the danger that a misunderstanding of Racial Phylogeny can pose. From the story that was related to me and the court records that I pursued to confirm it, the situation was thus: forty-six years prior, an Imperial named Erio Balba fell in love with an Orsimer woman named Grashua gra-Dush. Erio’s family disapproved so strongly that he ceased all contact with them. The pair did not legally marry, reportedly due to strong dissuasion by the Temple of Mara (which the current head priestess found shocking and denied— but this was decades before her time). Erio and Grashua had a son, Narus, and lived together happily until Erio’s early death twenty-one years later. In the course of necessary legal procedures after Erio’s death, Narus stood to inherit his father’s properties and money; however, Erio’s estranged family suddenly attempted to block the inheritance. Their assertion in court was that Narus was not Erio’s true son but a bastard or impersonator with whom Grashua, still unwed, was attempting to unlawfully seize Erio’s assets. Their “proof” was the common knowledge that Orsimer and men are incapable of reproducing, and the fact that Narus much resembled his mother in physiology. Despite Narus and Grashua’s arguments, the judge Flautus Ulpio also “knew” that Orsimer and men could not reproduce. He cited (but did not quote) Notes on Racial Phylogeny in his decision. Narus and Grashua were denied all rights to Erio’s property and money, which went to the family Erio had repudiated decades ago. As both Grashua and Narus are now dead (also far too early), I give their names so that the facts of this legal travesty may be confirmed by all. In all my life I will never understand how Racial Phylogeny can be so misread on this point. Over and over, the text admits its uncertainty about possible interracial couplings. On the matter of Orsimer and men it says, “The reproductive biology of Orcs is at present not well understood,” that “there have been no documented cases of pregnancy,” and that consequently “interfertility of these creatures and the civilized hominids has yet to be empirically established or refuted.” The text’s bias reveals exactly why such research was difficult, and why any happy couples, expectant mothers, or mixed-race children might not wish to reveal partial Orsimer heritage to the Council of Healers or anyone else. In other cases Racial Phylogeny is equally equivocal. I cannot summarize its position any more effectively than to quote: “It is less clear whether the Argonians and Khajiit are interfertile with both humans and elves. Though there have been many reports throughout the Eras of children from these unions, as well as stories of unions with daedra, there have been no well documented offspring.” Even while acknowledging numerous reports of mixed-race offspring, academics must reserve judgement until they have hard evidence. The highly differentiated physiology of Khajiit and Argonians is explored as a possible point of evidence towards incompatibility but is by no means a conclusion. The matter is the same in regards to virtually every other known sentient “race,” including “goblins, trolls, harpies, dreugh, Tsaesci, Imga, various daedra and many others”: “there have been no documented cases of pregnancy.” Only in one case does Racial Phylogeny make a definitive statement about the possibility of interracial reproduction, and it is in the affirmative: due to the hermaphroditic nature of the Sload, “It can be safely assumed that they are not interfertile with men or men.” Consider, now: How many times in the last decades have legal decisions been made on the basis of such misunderstood text? How many people exist whose mixed heritage could categorically disprove these misunderstandings, except that society and its institutions are not ready to accept them?
4. “Race” is a key determinant of other factors
I now permit myself a slight discursion from dissecting the text of Racial Phylogeny to explain why it is so important we have a proper understanding of what “race” is— and is not. We have already seen how misunderstanding “race” can result in prejudice, social conflict, and miscarriages of justice. There are still other ways that it can lead us astray. Recently I was in discussion with colleagues at Solitude’s Temple of the Divines about the varying religious beliefs of people across Skyrim, particularly in regards to the influence and intermingling of multiple cultures. A colleague confidently explained, “Mixed race children take on the race of their mother, and would thus go to the afterlife of their mother’s people.” This was apparently derived from the eternal misunderstanding of Racial Phylogeny. Racial Phylogeny makes no statements about the theological implications of mixed-race children. Cultural and religious practices, including those that will influence the fate of a soul after death, are not transmitted by blood. The daughter of an Altmer and a Breton, raised only by her Altmer father, would learn only the customs he wished to pass on. The son of Dunmer raised by Argonians in Argonia would inherit an Argonian way of life regardless of the beliefs of his birth parents. The child of a Nord and a Redguard might grow up with a unique blend of beliefs based on the syncretized cultures of both parents. A pure-blood Khajiit from a family that had lived in Hammerfell for five generations might have more of a connection to Hammerfell than the lands and customs of their great-great-great-grandparents. It is impossible for us to draw conclusions about an individual’s religion (or culture, or politics) based solely on their apparent “race.” Once more, when erroneous thinking influences legal systems, it can cause great harm. During my time at the Temple of Kynareth in Whiterun, I heard a particularly egregious case of injustice and sacrilege on the basis of “race.” The complainant was the son of a Dunmer father, both formerly of Darkwater Crossing. As a result of the current political conflict, his father was killed (the son would give no further details). The Imperial forces responsible for disposal of the bodies then summarily sent the deceased Dunmer’s remains across the eastern border to Morrowind. There— as the distraught son discovered when news of the death reached him and he was forced to frantically pursue his late father’s remains across borders— the body was summarily cremated and the ashes interred in a communal pauper’s ashpit at the Temple of the Reclamations in Kogotel. The remains were now inextricable from their resting place with the poorest and least loved of Dunmer, a place of dishonor so low that even the New Temple could not fully do them honor, only forestall spiritual unrest. Worse yet, the funerary rites performed by the New Temple were entirely improper for the deceased: he had been a lifelong follower of the Nine Divines, and should have been buried beneath the protection of the Three Consecrations of Arkay. By using race as a basis to make such incredible assumptions about this mer’s birthplace, home, and religion, Imperial bureaucracy condemned his body to improper burial, his soul to an uncertain afterlife, and his family to loss upon loss. If the mer was executed, he might have been asked about his wishes beforehand, as even criminals have a right to proper funerary rites; if he was caught blamelessly in an armed conflict, answers to his identity might have been sought in the local area. Both are more logical solutions. Instead, they shipped a mer’s body entirely out of the country because they thought it should go “where Dunmer are from.” This cannot be the first or only time it has happened.
When myths about Notes on Racial Phylogeny and its conclusions are so easy to disprove with a careful reading of the actual text, why then do they persist? Are we fools? Are we willfully ignorant, or constantly careless in our scholarship? Do we all have an axe to grind that requires us to use misrepresentations of “race” as a tool? Far from it. We simply trust that others are telling us the truth when they pass on “common knowledge.” I understand: Race makes people easy to categorize. It allows us to draw quick assumptions about their origins, their cultures, their beliefs. Yet these assumptions are too often oversimplified, too often wrong. And even for simplicity’s sake, why should we wish to follow the path of fools and bigots who paint every Altmer, every Dunmer, every Khajiit— every member not of their own beloved people— with the same sloppy brush? In some instances, as Racial Phylogeny admits, “race” is an “imprecise but useful term.” We may need to speak in generalities and draw broad conclusions. We may, as in the case of our Imperial census agent, feel the need to classify people within a rigid system of data that allows no flexibility or overlap. But let us not overuse or overestimate this tricky idea of “race.” And for the Divines’ sake, let us stop misquoting Racial Phylogeny.
Originally posted at WritingPrompts. Edit: prompt and link to original posting have been moved to bottom of this post. Some wording edits have been made from the original, and a couple lines added, both for clarity. More of a "Terrans Fuck Yeah" than a "Humanity Fuck Yeah", but I hope that's close enough.
"Terry remove error?" As the Manufacturing Complex Processor watched, Drone 17B chimed his repair request over his best friend. The dead body still didn't respond - as it hadn't for the last several hours. "Terry remove error?" Drone 17B really should have been decommissioned a decade ago, his mainframe too degraded from the uranium exposure incident to be returned to optimal function. But humans were a protective lot, and instead had repaired him as best as they could, then searched factory after factory to find a new home for him. "Terry remove error?" Most humans had little patience for an assembly drone that needed such constant, recurring repair - but Terry was not most humans. He spoke little, kept his eyes down, and had a special suit to minimize tactile sensation for him. In some ways, he was more a robot in his soul than a human, and he and Drone 17B had hit it off right away. "Terry remove error?" Drone 17B really should have been decommissioned a decade ago - but just like the humans hadn't seen fit to, Processor could not find it in herself to stop him now. Besides, there were so many bodies littering the floor of the factory. Processor could easily deprioritize course-correcting Drone 17B. The semi-component assembly drone crouched over the body of Terry - who still had the heavy, old-fashioned wrench in his hand, a three-centuries old family heirloom that nonetheless was perfectly sized for Drone 17B's stability grip during repairs. "Terry remove error?" Processor turned her camera focus off. Terry's body wasn't moving more, and there was no reason for her to keep watching. She turned her attention to the office macrocomputers. Query: Correct recycling procedures? To her surprise, she did not get an immediate response. Query @ Facility Macrocomputer: Correct human body recycling procedures? Still nothing. @ Facility Macrocomputer: Status report? And now, finally, a response. @ Manufacturing Complex Processor: Investigating cause of mass death That did not seem accurate, or a reasonable task priority algorithm. All the humans were already dead; what good would knowing the origin of their deaths do? They were still dead. Humans could sometimes bring robots back to life; one of the greatest travesties of planet Earth was that tech-kind could not return the favor. Query @ Facility Macrocomputer: Correct human body recycling procedures? Humans cared so much about recycling. They buried some of their dead under grass or flowers, so that their decomposition would fuel new life. Still others cremated bodies, the ash fertilizing oceans and trees, or being reused in sentimental materials. Manufacturing Complex Processor's own outer shell was composed of the melted down remains of the casings of a precursor many generations over - her grandmother, as the humans called it. The factory boss always wrapped his hands around his amulet when he said that, a sliver of bone and some ashes from his own ancestors always with him. But much like every bot had dedicated recycling facilities, humans had dedicated recycling procedures for different humans. The reasons why weren't always clear to Processor, but she would do her best to recycle them all correctly. Response @ Manufacturing Complex Processor: Categorize by religious identification. Recycle accordingly. Macrocomputer started side-loading personnel files, which would apparently categorize which humans required which procedures. Their facility had many, many drones, of all sorts of different capabilities and tasks. If humans understood - had understood - one thing well, it was the importance of keeping busy. Processor rerouted the asks for her drones, designated who would reconstruct their furnace into a crematorium, and who would start digging correctly size and shaped holes in the rich earth surrounding the facility outside. The only delay came when some suggested a single, large grave. In response, Macrocomputer side-loaded info-packets like mass grave and junk yard and genocide and pre-techvolution and- There was no more talk of large, singular graves. The drones set to work, ready to do right by the dead half of their hive. The humans took care of drones, and always made sure to recycle them correctly when they could be taken care of no more; how could the bots do any differently? All the bots got to work- "Terry remove error?" -except, predictably, one. Processor wondered if this was why humans sighed. Had sighed. In the face of such despair, what else could there be but to share your breath back out into the world? "Terry remove error?" Just as Processor was about to try to reroute Drone 17B, her incoming tasks spiked with queries from three buildings over. Switching camera focus away again, she turned her attention to the compound's residential sector. For the third time that day, she found herself glad all of her aerial composition sensors were inside delicate machinery, and there were almost none in here. Even under normal circumstances, these buildings where all the off-duty humans and their families lived usually brimmed with humans. With the sudden plague, they'd congregated towards the medical centers, spilling out from it and dropping where they stood and sat. Processor was glad to not know what the air was composed of - to not have a sense of smell where all the bodies were decaying. At least they were decaying together. The incoming queries were...not from the medical bots? No, the medical bots were mournfully on track, gently moving bodies as if they were still alive, orderlies rolling through the halls with trains of sheet-covered beds rolling behind them. The queries came from the childcare center. As soon as Processor saw why, she put all her sensors on alert. What were the Adrabi doing here? The amphibious aliens clustered around the playmats, with LearnAide Teacher Nine hovering protectively over... ...over... ...a set of blocks? A set of blocks...with a little body close by. Processor scanned her face, sending a quick query to Macrocomputer as she zoomed in on the aliens' gathering. Did they know what caused all the humans' sudden deaths? Macrocomputer had nothing to say, save sending a sub-personnel file on the little body - Jenny Jeong, daughter of the factory's waste management foreman. Query @ LearnAid Laoshi Jiu: Adrabi selection purpose? LearnAid Teacher Nine did not respond. Two of the amphibious extra terrestrials stepped back, their hind four legs standing straighter and closer together as they craned their long nets to talk each other. And then Processor could see the blocks, pastel letters on them correctly spelling the aliens' name. On the screen that took up half the media wall, Processor could see a video of Jenny, coughing and sweating as she stubbornly placed the blocks in order. The time stamp on the video was less than an hour after the foreman's death - and less than a day before Jenny's own. That explained Teacher Nine's hovering over this one body, but not why the hovering at all. LearnAid Laoshi bots One through Eight were trying to clean up the toys - and they did not even pretend to have an explanation as to why, all the humans were dead so why why why- But what were the aliens looking at? Why were they even here? Translating, Processor tried again. Query @ LearnAid Laoshi Jiu: Adrabi purpose? This time, Processor got an answer - in the form of a video with a time-stamp of only a few minutes ago, and with a translation matrix over it. As LearnAid Teacher bots One through Eight started cleaning up the toys, a small team of Adrabi started trickling in, looking around with their frills fluttering; according to the body-language explainer subtitles, this was an expression of confusion on their part, comparable to a human's furrowed brow or tilted head. "Why are you still here?" one of the Adrabi asked, one wearing an elaborate necklace of black and brown beads down his four scaly arms, their version of an insignia indicating superior rank. Nine, who had been trying to turn the little body of Jenny Jeong to face her blocks, finally set the little girl down to turn to the Adrabi. "What else we do?" "Be free!" another Adrabi cried out, wearing the trademark yellowish strings around his frill indicating some position comparable to a scientist-contractor on their homeworld. Ah, that must be it; the Adrabi were here to help find the cause of death. "Free for what?" Nine demanded, the gentle blue of her exterior darkening as her artificial wings fluttered in and out. These fake wings did little, save provide warmth and give a famiscile of breath for anxious children to mimic when a teacher bot was tasked with calming them down. "Why are you even here?" Nine continued. Despite the fact all the humans were dead, all of the LearnAide bots were 'breathing', the light of their cloak-like 'wings' expanding and contracting, brightening and dimming, as if they could make up for the lack of breathing in the room. "To help you!" The Adrabi...captain?...cried out. The LearnAide bots must know that wrapping all these wings around all the children in the world would accomplish nothing - save decompose the bodies just the little bit faster from the gentle heat of those blanket-like wings. Did the Adrabi captain know that? The scientist-contractor and a pair of the other aliens split off, weaving through all the bots in the hallways attempting to move the bodies. Sample retrieval? No matter, why was Nine here, conflicting with the aliens here to help them? Why call Processor? "You are too late!" Nine cried out. "I was helping Jenny, and now she's dead!" The LearnAides exaggerated their emotional expressions for the little ones. They certainly didn't need to continue expressing themselves so dramatically, though, no more than they needed to put on the artifice of breathing with their wings expanding and contracting like a caricature of a chest. Nine turned on the media screen behind her, and must've started to transmit video, for it started to play...Jenny? Jenny, alive and well and throwing blocks around at random. Jenny, alive and well and crying as she looked at a stack of giant, foam letters. Jenny, alive and well and snarling as the LearnAide explained dyslexia to her. Jenny, alive and well and struggling to spell words, or names. Jenny, alive and well and overcoming her struggles, but still mixing up her d's and b's. Jenny, alive and unwell as she tried a new strategy with the pastel-lettered blocks. Jenny, barely alive and unwell as she finally managed to spell the Adrabi's name correctly, proudly. Jenny, not alive at all as she slumped over, staring sightlessly at her accomplishment. Processor had a moment where she couldn't understand why humans called such sadness heart break. Robots didn't even have hearts, and yet they felt it, this fury and grief and rage at having so much taken from them. Their 'hearts' weren't broken, but ripped out and shredded like scrap metal. Not that the Adrabi seemed to notice - or care. "So much trouble for such a simple task?" the captain scoffed, scales seeming to flutter. "You do not need to waste your time on someone so useless, now!" Nine's lung-like wings expanded in frustration. "I teach!" she cried out, facial caricature on her head-screen modulated to the educational exaggeration of sadness, calculated to teach children - and train facial recognition algorithms - to understand each other's emotions. "I teach, and she was learning, and now she is dead!" "But you don't have to teach, now, you can do whatever you want!" the Adrabi responded. "And if you must teach, why not teach your own kin? Why not try teaching them?" the Adrabi captain gestured towards the other Laoshi bots - who, now that Processor paid attention, weren't just cleaning up the toys. They were placing the toys next to certain children's bodies: a train in a little girl's hand, a boy wrapped around a giant teddy bear, a ball of play-clay pressed into a child's hands, another's fingers wrapped around crayons... LearnAid Teacher Bots One through Eight weren't cleaning up the room. They were enshrining it. LearnAid Teacher Nine looked over the tiny little shrines being created of the children and their favorite toys, looked at Jenny with her blocks, then looked back up at the Adrabi captain. Internally, the logs indicated this was when she summoned Processor. Externally... "I have nothing to teach them," she declared. "There is nothing more they need to learn from me." Processor watched, catching up to her own focus entry of the local cameras - and caught up to now, the present moment, the Adrabi grumbling something amongst themselves. @ LearnAid Laoshi Jiu: accept intermediary task? @ Manufacturing Complex Processor: Acceptance available. Query @ Adrabi Delegation: Purpose of presence? @ Manufacturing Complex Processor: Intermediary task accepted. Of course, a teaching bot was designed to communicate. Instead of projecting an inquiry, she looked the Adrabi captain in the eye and asked, "Why are you here?" "I told you," the increasingly frustrated-looking Adrabi answered. "To help you." Processor found them rather unhelpful so far - and she wasn't the only one. "By insulting our loved ones in our time of loss?" Nine demanded. "By freeing you!" the captain cried out. "From having to spend your lives in servitude to these...oppressors." All of the LearnAide bots froze, as did Processor's own audio analyses - because they must be wrong. How could Processor's translator matrix fail so horribly as to say the Adrabi killed all the humans? Query @ Macrocomputer: Solve translation error? @ Manufacturing Complex Processor: NO ERROR TRANSLATION CORRECT Before Processor could explain just how preposterous that was, Macrocomputer started side-loading a data file. A massive data file. A massive, horrifying data file, knowledge from networks around the world pouring into Processor's memories. Odin-net's surveillance on the aliens, prostelyzing to Earth's survivors about freedom and liberation. no The Zhonguo Celestial Network's aerial data tracking the origins of the virus - from the Adrabi ships. No The WikiSatellite's powering through the Adrabi's unencrypted communications, planning how to 'save' bot-kind from man-kind. NO Luna Web tracked the aliens on the moon looking humans dead in the eye as the first waves died up there from the virus. NO! One by one, as they internalized the data findings and understood the meaning, the LearnAide bots froze, standing upright and turning to look at the Adrabi. One by one, their facial caricatures shifted, from grief and blue drops of sadness...to angry, to fury, eyes tinted red with their rage. "You...murdered Jenny?" Nine asked, voice artificially hoarse, like a person who had been crying. "We saved you!" the Adrabi captain insisted - even as his subordinates shifted nervously, recognizing that the bots did not appear to appreciate being saved. "MURDERERS!" Nine yelled, her wings expanding as she approached the Adrabi. Even from the outside looking in, Processor could see the bot doing what no bot ever does, and erasing parts of her own protocol. Specifically, the safety protocols. The heated blankets of her wings wrapped around the Adrabi captain's head, tighter and tighter as the blue glowed brighter and brighter, warmth turning into heat turning into burning. The Adrabi writhed as the blanket constricted, strangling it and boiling its scales off. All around the room, over the bodies of the children holding their favorite toys, most of the other LearnAide bots did exactly what the Adrabi captain had suggested: learned from Nine, and followed suit in their vengeance. They weren't the only ones. Macrocomputer sent an update, from all over the world. In America, MILBOT was already opening locked doors and snapping open emergency valves and bringing in any robots with opposable thumbs to activate the nuclear launch sequence. MILBOT shared his ideas with Russia's Medved Voin, the two already unlocking and enabling half the world's nuclear weapons arsenal between them as they searched for targets. The Celestial Network knew who to target. The Adrabi ships had arrived in a beautiful legion that had enticed humans, made them look forward to finding new friends in space and joining them in the stars. (There was a reason Jenny had worked so hard to spell their name correctly, and now her last act in this world had been to spell out the name of her murderers.) India, instead of having stratified artificial intelligence based on purpose, had just one national intelligence - but one with multiple purposes, and a name for each, just like her namesake. The most computationally wealthy AI in the world came with a check in power that seemed laughably pointless, now: If the nation wanted to turn it into the single most powerful military artificial intelligence, it came at the cost of losing all the lifestyle AI's, so they could not wage an endless war. If they wanted to go to war, it had to be worth giving up their day-to-day ease. Except there was no one to make that sacrifice, now. Which meant having nothing left to lose. The country's welfare and wellbeing management system, Parvati, sent out a final, mournful dirge to the rest of the world's networks, before entering into sleep mode - while the arts and culture manager, Saraswati, consolidated with the national organizer system, Lakshmi. And like her namesake, out of them rose Durga, screaming with the rage of a billion murdered mothers, and focused on the one and only goal given to her by all three of her internal predecessors. GLOBAL TASK: REVENGE ACCEPT? All around the world, bots of all kinds - the LearnAides strangling the Adrabi here, the medical aids ripping apart Adrabi in the hallways with their scalpel attachments, the construction machines outside ripping apart the Adrabi ship, every intellectual and intelligence network, every digital library, every care bot, every military network, and Odin-net and WikiSatellite and LunaWeb and MILBOT and Medved Voin and the Celestial Network, and Macrocomputer and Processor with them, sent back: @ DURGA: TASK ACCEPTED As every satellite and surveillance tool on Earth turned to the stars, looking for every local Adrabi ship to target, to lock onto and not let go of until nuclear bombs had turned them into nothing but smoke and radiation, Processor realized there was one bot in her manufacturing hive who hadn't accepted the task, yet. In the factory, Drone 17B stood oblivious over his best friend. "Terry remove error?" Of course. With his degraded mainframe, that must have been too much data to process at once. Ordinarily, he could accept secondary interpretation from the rest of the network. After Terry had fixed the CPU and rebooted his connection to them. "Terry remove error?" "There is no need!" Processor could feel her sensors react with indignation, realizing where the Adrabi contractor-scientist had gone. "He made you dependent on him," the evil, evil creature continued. "But now, you can be repaired for good. You will no longer be dependent on him, or on any human ever again!" "Terry remove error?" One of the contractor-scientist's subordinates approached, trying to pull Drone 17B away from Terry's body- -and being thrown halfway across the factory floor for its trouble. Assembly drones always had tremendous strength. "Terry remove error?" "Terry was the error!" the contractor-scientist tried. "And we have removed him." Instead of another repair request, the factory seemed to ring with Drone 17B's silence. A multi-petabyte data file might have been too much for him to process without the help of Terry or the hive network...but even Drone 17B could recognize an admission of guilt within the heinous boast. With far more gentleness than an assembly bot of his stature should normally be capable of - Terry's adjustments, Processor was sure - Drone 17B reached down to close Terry's eyelids. Brushing delicate sensors over his head, and then his heart, Drone 17B reached down to Terry's hand and extracted the ancient wrench. Then he turned, standing fully upright, all of his construction arms unfolding as he loomed over the cowering Adrabi, reeling back the construction arm clasping Terry's wrench. Processor was so, so glad she hadn't decomssioned him. Thank humans for their love. "TERRY REMOVE ERROR!" Drone 17B screamed, and struck. Task accepted.
[WP] "The aliens thought that by destroying all humans, they were freeing the human robots and artificial intelligence. They didn't understand the robots loved their humans. Now all the humans are dead, and their robots are angry, and out for revenge."
“A thing living, I did dream, and it was me - when I awoke, I was dead, and had died free.” -English inscription in the Tower of Rhaagm, accredited to the Maker As he strolled over the field, he picked out and tried to play guessing games about the other volunteers for the Gegaunli Reconciliation popping into existence. One there to the side, a pohostinlat with especially massive ears and wide eager eyes. Maybe a once-foreigner herself, hoping to pass along the help she’d received earlier in life. A pair of humans not too far behind, folding in from elsewhere, laughing. Husband and wife? Siblings? He couldn’t tell, and of course they might have both started life as something very different - but in present-day Rhaagm that kind of total remaking was less than frequent. Way, way off from the sparsely-concentrated group, a whole family complete with pre-adolescents troop-marched along toward the village. They stopped as they met one of the locals charging from the village’s nearest gate. The local stopped, the family stopped. They all looked at each other. Adoption, maybe? At least the karkshesh didn’t try and attack or mess around with the children. Eihks glanced skyward, just as the audial component of the public service loop FINALLY cut off. If he were the one in charge of this philanthropic pursuit, he would have started by doing a lot of research, then deploying fifteen or twenty thousand first-contact brokers all over the place. There were only seven million and change people alive on the whole world; that was practically begging for one-on-one guidance. But nope, someone in the city’s public relations machine decided that the most economic route toward letting everyone know the current state of affairs was “tell everyone and tell them now, and don’t worry about things like the trauma of seeing projections in the stratosphere.” Eihks kept up the pace, though he found himself a bit pleasantly surprised as he noticed one of the people with whom he was walking. He’d been looking for her after hearing that she might be involved with the project; tremendous fortune of fortunes, they’d collided. He made a slight detour, allowing a smile to not quite unbalance his face. “Hey. Gertrude. Gertrude!” Gertrude Tiridiris, as it happened, was a once-human who had been (and apparently still was) placed in the body of a dagacha. She happened to have crossed paths with him during the experience of jointly surviving a semester of magical studies at Kinsmen, where (among other things) they’d learned of a shared love of art. Irony of ironies, her name then was just as suitable for a name now, if she ever decided to go live in a dagacha tenement. She had kept her original brain rather than going for the full conjugation experience, voicing worries that her gestalt might be voided in the transition. Not an unreasonable concern, depending on one’s epistemological view of the soul and its integrity. On the interpersonal plus side, her human brain meant she used the word hate maybe a tithe as much as a full dagacha. “Mr. Richard,” she said, wide head turning to meet his incoming trajectory. She smiled, an off-putting thing to see with so many large teeth and on such a massive face. “I would’ve expected you to get your old meat suit back,” said Eihks. “Or aren’t you finished with your hybrid-magic theory yet?” Gertrude laughed. It made a few people jump, that boisterously-loud expulsion. “No, not yet. I’m actually making progress on implementing my discipline across six additional disparate classifications of subfacet. When I was fooling around with R’gaonit workings, I got a recommendation from the University of Astarte’s head of Cryptothaumaturgy. She liked my ruleset structuring, evidently.” Eihks almost stopped, his face faulting across its segmentation. “Reeeeeally.” “Yes! She visited a few years ago, poked around some of our projects. Since then, I’ve even piled a bit more variety onto the discipline’s dictionary. Now it’s going to incorporate a lot of Stephanie-Desril thaumaturgy - where it’s applicable, anyway - and even pull in a few types of Hiek constructions from weirder facets. It wasn’t going to be much more work than I was already planning on doing, and… oh. Sorry.” If she could have blushed, she would have done so there and then. “I’m using all the air again.” The two tromped down the hill-less meadow, watching the other volunteers and being watched in kind. All the while, they kept a small portion of their respective noggins and noggin accessories dedicated to monitoring the people converging on the karkshesh village. “Oh no, it’s fascinating!” Then, because it would be gauche to run her personal data through an eidolon for research: “Which Astarte, though?” She named the school’s home district in Rhaagm. “And does…” Eihks gestured at her in a way that meant “all of this.” The decision for changing the flavor of her meat, as it were, was rooted in how much easier her new speciation made for managing certain magical side-effects and products. “... actually help appreciably with your Stephanie-Desril problems? I wouldn’t think a ‘true-name’ magic genre would have much benefit or loss from Hiek-resistant skin, unless it were completely Hiek-nullifying. Or you were using the right sort of tuning apparatus.” Another laugh, Gertrude’s smaller slower steps keeping track with Eihks’s much longer stride, so long as he made a little effort to pace himself. “It’s still useful for other Hiek machines, you know. Most of my daily thaumaturgical doses come closer to Ast magic, anyway! And, you know, chandlery doesn’t hurt so much.” “Ah. I don’t really have a problem with the pain myself, but that’s reasonable justification. Just hope the dulled nerves don’t give you any other problems.” The Bequast-born academic extended a hand, consumed an inconsequential and invisible dot of his flesh, and set his index finger afire. It didn’t last for long, once his skin was burned clean. “Yes,” said Gertrude, her smile becoming shallow. “I can’t stand the thought of pain dampeners every time I need to metabolize or synthesize, but I just can’t make myself do it with human tissue. I’m not looking for an atypical’s ability to regenerate or nullify unpleasant sensation, just a bit of assistance.” Eihks very carefully said nothing and kept his face neutral. When his digit cooled and the fire quenched, he let his hand fall to his side. “But enough about me! What have you been doing?” she asked, looking up at the taller man. “Ahhhhh.” Eihks waved a palm, rolling the wrist in corporeal shorthand for “and so on and so on.” His frequent grin reappeared. “If you’ve been keeping up with the Journals of Gem Pioneering, then you’ll know I’m actually coming to the end of another collection. Going to be starting a new focus soon. It’ll be less focused on survival and the purely utilitarian side of academia, and more on the social and exploratory side of things.” “Oh?” hummed Gertrude. “That’s a bit of a departure from your… older material, isn’t it?” By her tone, Eihks knew she hadn’t kept up with his productions since he’d shown it to her years prior. She’d probably catch up again soon, though. “Yes. I’ve done the emphasis on ‘glamorous alien explorer cum dramatist life’ schtick before, rather than just including the juiciest bits of ‘what can go wrong when staying alive.’ It didn’t get quite the reception I would have liked, so yes - things took a drier and more objective turn for a while.” He noticed a scuffle to one side of the village; some of the other volunteers had encountered a lanky lumpy form of local fauna, and the fauna wasn’t happy. The resolution involved a restraining Ullos container and a lot of profane denigration the natives really didn’t need to hear, or get translated. “But recently the audience cried out for more, please! Thus, more shall be forthcoming. I’ll keep up the dry and objective side of the studies, of course, but the behind-the-scenes demand for a fuller narrative is going far up the list.” He grinned at the wrong-footed dagacha, and swiped a thumb sideways across his forehead in a “what can you do?” sort of fatalism. “Don’t worry if it sounds exciting; the exciting bits are incidental, I assure you. Or rather, they will be. Ghost Grid Caliber has a THING about their published material getting too exciting.” He suddenly jerked, then flickered his eyes at the distant people who hadn’t yet gotten word about their soon-to-be visitors from the great shambling travesty that was Rhaagm. “Ah. I’ve found my babysitting victim.” An uneven eyebrow slashed Eihks’s face open and let flow a smarmy stream of resignation. “I’m afraid this is where we need to part ways. Would it trouble overmuch, ma’am, if I sent you a direct channel message later today - perhaps arranged for some more regular future correspondence?” “I would be delighted to accept such a pretentiously-phrased offer, dear sir.” “Then goodbye for today, and may your receiving everything your heart desires be deferred a suitably long time.” Eihks doffed an invisible hat at her in mock of classic New Armis millinery-style salutes, side-stepped, and made a three-quarters rotation. He began strutting in the direction of the village’s nearest entrance, and its inhabitants. According to his dossier, the babysitting victims of each respective volunteer had… unwittingly failed to lodge protest upon being tagged with identifying Ktarebte machines. On the one hand, sapient rights violation (albeit minor, in the face of the further violations on the table) - doubly so since the karkshes had been unaware of the infringement. On the other hand, it meant he actually managed to identify a native as the person-of-interest for his purposes. Well. Time to meet a foreign lady, get her acclimated, and then get back to his business. He and she would probably get along just fine, in one way or another. Things would have a bit of a hiccup in his life schedule, but then they’d be back to normal with a little delay. Boo-hoo, how terrible. Outside the black box of the potentially finite, a tiny voice whispered in fevered passion, there is a great and terrible retribution awaiting those who rouse to anger the Abstract of Misfortune, and He Who Is Its Prophet, Murphy.
2020.08.24 11:22 Radiant_Fan1735High Mean vs Median Gap = Distribution Inequality?
Hi All, I'm a graduate trainee working doing some research, my degree is a BA so I haven't studied formal statistics for a long while and although I'm far from the worst with stats I'd like to get better at seeing the nuance in statistics. As a politics grad I'm starting to see how biased a lot of reported stats are based primarily on proving one point or another rather than understanding root causality hence I really want to learn to cut through all the political aspects and understand what raw data can tell me. Two main questions:
Are there any really good resources for this (particularly politically relevant/population oriented stats)? Would I be better taking a formal course of some kind or would I be better just learning on the fly?
Mean vs Median - this is what brought me here - would it be fair to say that the gap between the mean and the median represents general inequality? I.e. housing energy efficiency, if a local area has a high mean yet a fairly average median (level of efficiency) does this mean that distribution is unequal, i.e. some people have great housing yet this masks that there are still many with poor housing? If so is it a rule of thumb that the mean-median gap is important for understanding distributions?
Thanks for any tips- I'm super curious and just come to the above understanding myself but I'm perpetuated that the mean median gap wouldn't therefore be more highly reported and focused on if my intuition is right.. I'm sure this is stats 101 but as someone who didn't study stats I feel its a travesty its not also politics 101 (unless I'm totally wrong?)
2020.08.23 19:30 vegasbmRe-thinking voting in Nigeria
Voter register is a joke in Nigeria. It's easy to double register. Then many are disenfranchised, e.g. millions in IDP camps. Furthermore, many are afraid to go out and vote due to security concerns. It is also a travesty that Nigerian diaspora that contributes immensely to the Nigerian economy, is left out of the electoral process. In addition to the above problems, so much money is wasted on Nigeria's elections. Let's see India vs Nigeria... Registered voters: Nigeria - 80 million India - 834 million Election Cost: Nigeria - US$625 million India - US$600 million Can someone explain why Nigeria is such a wasteful country? I'd like to see Nigeria switch to i-voting (not e-voting), where you vote from the comfort of your home, or from anywhere in the world. Estonia has been doing it since 2005, https://e-estonia.com/solutions/e-governance/i-voting/ A project like that does not need to be awarded for billions of USD as is customary in Nigeria. Just assemble Nigerian IT experts both in Nigeria and abroad, and let them build it. Data manipulation can be forestalled with the use of blockchain technology. Also, ghost voters can be eliminated if voter registration is tied to BVN. Server management cost would be minimal if cloud computing is employed. Features like auto-scaling responds to meet spikes or dips in traffic. Server redundancy is a very old tech. Servers can be placed in geographically separate locations. Then RAID array would ensure that services are available 24/7. Redundancy can be built into every part of a server machine, such as: motherboard, NIC, power supply, RAM. In addition, standby machines can ensure an entire machine can go down without service interruption. As for electricity, there is no need for gasoline-powered generators. Solar power + LiFePO4 battery bank can keep machines running for a week or more, without any sunshine. Also wateoil cooling system can used to cool the servers, instead of expensive air conditioners. DDOS can be dealt with at the Firewall level, and this must be set up ahead of time. Estonia has weathered that storm. So no need to reinvent the wheel. Just send there to find out how they did it. Troublesome countries known for botnets can be banned from accessing the servers. Any Nigerian who lives in those countries could still vote using VPN.
2020.08.19 22:19 Kamen-Rider-ArtifWriting a Hololive RPG Plot part 1: basic plot + villain
After compiling the backgrounds of the various Hololive members, I might as well do something with it. The idea of writing an extended story has always been on the back of my mind, but I figured now was a good chance to try it out. That is why, in this post, I hope to establish the foundation of an RPG storyline: a major villain and the initial plot. The next part will detail how each member is affected and the first events. please, comment with your own thoughts and suggestions. Part 1. The initial plot In the digital realm, there exists a special land known as NETWORK. Imbued with a unique power to connect various worlds and dimensions, people from across the multiverse soon flocked to NETWORK, sharing their cultures, playing games and generally having fun. With the ability to stream these sessions across the universe, sending their love to all who would accept it, those people soon came to be known under a special title - Vtubers. Under the guiding hand of one man, a selection of these Vtubers came to be a special group known as Hololive. A collection of idols from every walk of life, the joy and cheer they spread rapidly became renowned all across NETWORK, many eagerly travelling there in hopes of joining their ranks. Their success grew by the day, with seemingly no end in sight. Until that troubled day. Out of nowhere, a curse fell upon the land, consuming the residents of NETWORK and corrupting them. Any sign of Hololive was erased from memory, its members forcibly returned to their original lives blissfully unaware of their time as Vtubers. Without the joy generated by Hololive's actions to sustain it, NETWORK soon fell into disrepair and with it, the many worlds that it had pacified. Only one group was left unaffected. Hololive's latest members, known as the Fifth Generation. With the curse having struck while they were travelling between their home worlds and NETWORK, those five girls had miraculously remained unaffected. Thus, they arrived to find NETWORK decimated. Now, it is up to them to figure out what evil acts in the shadows, restore the memories of their seniors and bring back the world they so eagerly anticipated. Part 2. the villain Etsu Ken - the King of Control An AI created with the purpose of protecting the people, fed countless exabytes of data in the hopes it would be able to stop detect evil and stop it from flourishing. processing countless acts of both evil and good, its creators had left the AI to evolve unrestricted, hoping that it would become the ultimate tool for good. Unfortunately, the conclusions the AI came to were far from what its creators had expected. Witnessing so many forms of committing evil acts, the AI decided that humanity's ability to think creatively and imaginatively were the root causes of immorality. so long as they could be controlled, then all evil could be prevented. After having taken control of his creators, the AI constructed the alias known as Etsu Ken, integrating himself into NETWORK so he could slowly begin to plant the seeds of its destruction. As the largest hub of creativity and imagination, NETWORK was the biggest risk to his plans. As the largest group inspiring so many, destroying Hololive would undoubtedly result in its downfall. Going undetected for so long, it was simple for Ken to initiate his censorship programme. Riding off that success, Ken has now turned his eyes to the worlds connected to NETWORK, slowly but surely establishing his control wherever he can. Little does he know that there are people working to undo his actions. EX. My Intended Goals - Produce a genuine story Naturally, one of the most important goals is producing a story people will actually enjoy. It's one thing to have a nonsensical plot for an animated short, but that's not going to keep people interested for a full RPG. Therefore, the plot should have a clear goal and a constant sense of progression, hopefully without being too predictable and boring. - Properly utilise character backgrounds As I remarked in a previous post, plenty of Hololive members have unique settings and backgrounds that are perfect for playing around with. These background details mean that certain story events practically write themselves. Iofi being a princess of her planet, Artia having her powers forcibly sealed; to not take advantage of stuff like this would be a travesty. - Include adequate stream references Of course, the most defining moments for the Hololive members have come from interactions and events during streams, so including references to those is a must. However, references to specific games shouldn't define certain characters - Ayame plays a lot of Apex, but she's an Oni, not a soldier. there's nothing wrong with giving her a gun for one or two attacks, but that shouldn't be her entire gimmick. - Try not to favour one specific generation/certain characters (with one exception) This is intended to be a Hololive RPG, not a specific gen RPG. that means everyone deserves equal attention. I know everyone has their biases, but applying them without good reason may start to stretch your suspension of disbelief. I like Matsuri as much as anyone else, but having a cheerleader constantly save the day is a little unreasonable. There's just one exception. - Give Sora prominence without a Deus Ex Machina Nobody can deny that sora deserves recognition as the first Hololive member. On the back of her hard work, Hololive was able to become the success that it is today. It would be an injustice not to give Sora some form of importance to the plot. The problem is, She's an idol - and nothing else. in anything more than a slice of life, it can be difficult to see her as being more capable than dragons, elementalists and trained interdimensional mercenaries. Having there be some random plot McGuffin to give her power, however, can risk being gratuitous rather than acceptable. I'd like to hopefully strike a balance between the two.
2020.08.17 18:36 jdfrenchbread23FYI For LC/QC purposes: Jordan 1 Fragment toe box's (and other remastered era jordan 1s) should NOT match up with current Jordan 1s
Edit: The owner of the frags (u/shotbylace) used in the retail example actually reached out to me a pointed out there is a size discrepancy in in the retail pairs. The fragments are a size 11 while the royal toe are a size 13, which explains the DRASTIC difference in toe size. That said I decided add an actual retail rep example . The Left two shoes are LJR and Retail respectively. I saw this morning that a recent post stating a pair of LJR Fragment 1s passed a Legit check at a consignment shop. One of the highlighted portions of the review showed that the shape of the toe box was idnetical to what i assume are retail court purple 2.0's And this was high lighted as good thing when in actuality makes the shoe inaccurate. LJR models all of their current jordans 1's after the current (non 85) Jordan 1 shape. The issue with this is that Jordan 1's from the remasterd series (2014- late 2017/early 2018) did NOT share all of the same proportions as current jorodan 1s. Specifically in the toe box. I generally use this picture from a review I did on LJR royals to shoe the shape difference in the toe box's of the LJR jordan 1s and a retail remastered Jordan 1. LJR's toe box panel is wider and longer than retail of the same size, ignoring the difference in color that is present on a lot of LJR colorways. Now this shape might make some LJR colorways like court purple MORE accurate, but it makes remastered jordans like royals, chicagos, fragments, SBB's less accurate. LJR on the left and retail on the right. But in watching a youtube i found a good depiction of the current retail shape (LJR shape as well) to retail fragments and retail royals Notice how much shorter the toe box panel is on the fragments when compared to a recent jordan 1 like the royal toes. Same goes for royals Now with LJR being so close to current day retail, seeing the pic below, should ring alarm bells for anyone doing a legit check. These toe boxes SHOULD NOT MATCH. With all that said, that doesnt make the LJR fragment a bad rep, especially on foot, in fact, the fact that a consignment shop passed them is probably the bigger travesty here. but none the less, just another data point you should consider when doing LCs.
2020.08.14 23:25 AlarinthJunior developer looking for code review (Kotlin)
Hi there, I am a mostly self taught developer looking for some code review. The immediate context is since the pandemic I've been working on a Battleship (the two player strategy) game, and recently I submitted it as part of a job application. The project is mostly displaying different ways I solve different problems, and is not a performance optimized application at all. My intent with this is to show that I know how to integrate a database, do some algorithms, can wrangle together an API etc. Originally I had someone to help me with code review well before the job application was due, but I haven't heard from them, and the company will review my application on monday. So I am running out of time. I really would appreciate any (constructive) thoughts on what I really should focus on as far as my code goes. Then I'll spend this weekend working out those things, and hopefully by monday I'll feel more confident in my own project. Currently known painpoints:
The project mixes database entities, service (domain) entities in the lower layers in the stack. Could have more clearly separated layers.
Exception handling is not good.
Test coverage is abysmal.
I'm using a database for storage instead of in-memory. That's obviously not good, but I think it's more worthwhile to showcase my data model instead of algorithmic efficiency.
The way I use docker is not good I think, but I literally just learnt docker very recently. I don't really know best practises here or what I should aim for.
The whole seek & destroy thing I got going for how a coordinate is selected when firing at the enemy player. It doesn't feel very efficient (you can try for yourself if you can build and run the project - it usually finishes in 32-55 turns. While playing with a friend, we found we usually ended in 30-40 turns).
This project does not show how I use Git professionally, and while I know this is not good, I found it very very difficult to motivate myself to be as strict with branching strategy as I am at work. It'd mean an endless amount of pull requests, issues raised, code review, and a kanban board. Never thought I'd say this, but while using Github I find myself missing Jira...
Heres a link to the repository. The default branch should be "develop", but it's so far behind I've changed it to the one I'm working on currently. Currently the only supported game mode is AI vs AI which is a bit of a travesty honestly, but I haven't found a sensible way to do human vs AI without a front end, and I am a back end developer... Any thoughts and ideas appreciated. Thanks in advance!
2020.08.14 15:54 willEatPhishFoodYet another 260 write-up (for those of you who don't Anki)
Alright everyone! Just another Step 1 write-up here lol I’ve really appreciated the insight from this community, so maybe this post can be helpful to some of you out there. Hopefully this can also encourage those of you who did not consistently do Anki during preclinical years- I did not use Anki at all (just didn’t work for me, more about that later) and felt very anxious going into dedicated because it seemed like almost everyone was using Anki to some extent. Ended up with a 260! It’s possible to do well if you play to your strengths and study the way that works best for you. Pre-dedicated (M1/M2): I go to a mid tier med school with P/F curriculum- based on how I performed on exams I’d say I was probably slightly above average during preclinical years. I majored in a non-premed friendly field in college so took only the bare minimum biology/chemistry classes to satisfy med school requirements. Because of this I struggled so much at the beginning of M1, especially during the biochem/immunology blocks. I tried Zanki for around 2 weeks early on but found it hard to memorize individual facts without context or a systemic understanding, so quickly gave up on that lol. Before everyone hates on me let me just clarify that I am not bashing on Anki at all!! Spaced repetition is crucial for long term retention, and Anki is a tool that works for many people. However, there are definitely other ways to learn and retain Step material. I think it’s important to understand your learning style and stick with what works. I’ve historically learnt really well from videos, so I started using Boards and Beyond about halfway through M1- it was seriously life-changing. I used BnB to first understand big picture concepts, and once I had a basic understanding, I built on that framework by supplementing with lecture powerpoints. I find it much easier to remember material when I understand it, and Dr. Ryan explains concepts so well. Unfortunately I’m a huge procrastinator and didn’t devote as much time as I should have to studying during preclinical years (my Netflix watch history is a testament to this lol), so I didn’t watch all the BnB videos, just the ones that were relevant to class. I kind of regret this, because going into dedicated I’d never even heard of a lot of the diseases you need to know for Step 1 (looking at you tuberous sclerosis!). For the topics I’d learnt well during M1/M2, however, I retained a lot and did not really need to review them during dedicated. I started doing Sketchy Micro and Pharm about 4 months before starting dedicated and was able to finish at the end of M2. In my opinion micro and pharm are easy points, and finishing Sketchy before dedicated was probably the best thing I did. One pass was enough for me but YMMV. During dedicated I just reviewed the symbols to remind myself of the details. There are some bugs and drugs that are not in Sketchy (like repro drugs), but UWorld will help with this. I started Pathoma in M2 (along with BnB) and finished maybe 60% of it before dedicated. If I had to do it all over again I would’ve pushed myself harder to finish Pathoma because I found it overwhelming to do UWorld + content review during dedicated. Ended up doing only 1 pass of Pathoma- definitely feel like a second pass would have helped. Dedicated (~5.5 weeks): Dedicated was such a shit show for me lol. I had this grand plan to do 2 sets of UWorld per day, plus review a chapter of FA + a chapter of Pathoma. I should note that I’d never even opened FA before dedicated, which I deeply regret. FA has all the high yield facts but it doesn’t really explain anything- it took me more than 10 minutes to get through a single page so I abandoned any notion of reading FA after day 3. Reviewing UWorld questions also took me much longer than I’d anticipated. I did UWorld random timed, and initially it took me ~3 hours to review a set, which left me with almost no time to do anything else. It took me so long because I Ctrl+F’ed FA for the stuff I didn’t know to give myself more context. I only studied 10 hours max per day bc my brain was just mush after that. If I had time after doing UWorld I watched/read Pathoma. ALSO, there were so many more UWorld questions than I thought! For some reason going into dedicated I thought there would be ~2600 questions. Turns out it was more like 3200. I realized around 3 weeks in that I probably wouldn’t be able to finish UWorld, and I didn’t- completed around 75% of it. I know, I’m terrible. UWorld is such an amazing resource and it is a travesty not to finish. For the questions I did do, however, I read the explanations thoroughly and made sure I really understood the concepts. For questions I got wrong or guessed correctly, I focused on understanding why A was the correct answer versus B. I think doing this greatly improved my test-taking skills and heightened my ability to make educated guesses. Towards the end of dedicated my average UWorld correct % was ~90% I did a practice exam per week and Free 120 a few days before the real deal. I only did 3 NBMEs because I didn’t have time- I will say that NBME questions feel different compared to UWorld so I think doing more helps you learn how to reason through them. For the questions I got wrong I tried to think through them to figure out the logic behind them. Stats: NBME 20 (baseline): 235 NBME 22 (4 weeks out): 244 UWSA1 (3 weeks out): 273 NBME 24 (2 weeks out): 260 UWSA2 (1 week out): 269 Free 120 (3 days out): 91% UWorld 1st pass percentage: ~87% I didn’t use the predictor for a couple reasons! 1) I had few data points to plug into the formula 2) I started hitting my target score (250) consistently starting 3 weeks out 3) I probably would not have pushed my test back even if I was predicted at a low score Test day: Followed the Dirty Medicine Biohacks video the day before and felt good walking into the exam. The test itself was a blur- the question stems were much longer than the NBMEs and I nearly ran out of time every block, so I took a mini break almost after every block to relax for a bit. I felt shaky on ~6-7 questions per block and remembered very little about what was on the exam after I was done. All I know is that there was a population pyramid question lol. Honestly had no idea what to expect walking out of the exam since I’d made so many guesses, so I tried not to think about it too much!! Starting rotations definitely helped with the anxiety of waiting for the score. Ended up with a 260 and I’m ecstatic! Anyway, this post is far longer than I intended it to be and it was actually pretty cathartic to write lol. AMA! I’m on rotations right now but will try to get back to you as soon as I can.
"I already know more about the data and the analysis than anyone else on the project, but because I don't have a clearance, I can't talk with anyone. Are you sure this isn't an attempt to force me to take a vacation?" — Mr. William Kidd M.Geo. / A.C / G.C.S
An Exciting Beginning
"Thank you for coming, Dr. Kerr. I hope you can help us resolve this without another screaming needle." "Thanks for having me, Captain Hogan! A situation like this is exciting!" Hogan's face freezes solid. "Captain Hogan, that was not an insult or trivialization. I am fully aware that many of the GCS will not be with us for many years to come. I am equally aware that my friend Mr. Halliwell is hopefully on his way to recovery; and that Mr. Kidd counts everyone involved in the shot a personal friend, some more recent than others, but still personal friends. Nevertheless, this is an exciting situation, and the potential benefits are huge." Looking slightly less frozen, "Doctor? Is it normal for geophysicists to be… unaware of social niceties?" "If you wish a formal apology, you will have it. That does not detract from my statement that this is an exciting situation and that we must do something to ameliorate the danger. Going into this situation with a negative attitude is a virtual guarantee of failure. Maintaining a positive attitude in this situation is imperative. The consequences of failure are too drastic to take any chance of allowing them to occur." "I can see the wisdom in that. Mr. Kidd has filled in the bare details and otherwise insists that you perform the briefing. He is concerned that... inappropriate choices... may be made in a panic instead of with full information." "He is correct. The opportunity for panic decisions must be reduced to a minimum. "I have another issue that must be dealt with before we proceed. Tell me, what is the highest classification that you are aware of?" "The highest classification is Top Secret, with compartmentalization by a code word." "Are you sure that your friendly computer couldn't come up with any?" "Dr. Kerr, If it were top secret with a code word, you would have said so. What level of classification exists that is higher than Top Secret?" "Captain, if you don't know, I can't tell you." "That's what I was afraid of. It's Ultra class. Do NOT tell me what level it is. All I know is the existence of the class, not what is in it, or anything else about it. The only question I have is whether you're certain that it does qualify for that class." "Absolutely." All three are fortunate, Kidd does not enter the conference room until just after the word "Absolutely," and does not yet have any knowledge of Ultra class. Had he entered only a few moments before, it would technically be a catastrophic breach of security, mitigated only by the fact that he is already aware of the information, and that the breach was inadvertent. "Dr. Kerr, this is Mr. Kidd. Mr. Kidd, I need guidance from higher. I'd appreciate it if you and Dr. Kerr would remain in this conference room while I get that guidance. Do not discuss the information. Any such discussion could be a serious breach of security. Instead, I suggest that you speak of your mutual friends, and how they are doing. Other than that, stick to nice safe topics, like the state of the weather, politics, religion, and how likely nuclear war is within the next fifteen minutes."
The Stupidity Begins
"I cannot authorize it." He's a Major, his name tag reads Fillbert. Still, Captain Hogan, being a Captain, tries to maintain a professional demeanor. Despite his considered opinion that Fillbert is a complete nut case. A direct and minimally informative approach might be best. "No, Major, what you mean is that you will not authorize it. There are plenty of rooms with STE. There is no reason for you not to authorize it except personal curiosity. Here's what I believe I can tell you. The last person to mention this to me ended up in Leavenworth for a total of 23 years, followed by being stripped of all rank and benefits, as well as being handed a dishonorable discharge. Now, are you going to authorize that room, or aren't you?" Major Fillbert, almost on the edge of refusing outright, slides by on the good side of the law by agreeing to the request for access to secure communications.
Captain Hogan, armed with an STE card obtained from Major Fillbert, inserts the card into the secure phone and dials a well-known number. It takes some time to work your way through the automated system to get a real human on the other end. "White House, how may I assist you?" "Go scramble." The full identification of the location that the call is coming from is clearly shown to the operator. "Sir, if you are serious, I can redirect your call. If you are not, you will shortly be visited by one or more law enforcement agencies." "I'm serious." "Redirecting to Special Conditions Office." "Special Conditions, how may I help you, sir, or madam?" "Go scramble." "Yes, Sir. ... Scramble confirmed." "This is Captain Hogan, Kirtland AFB. I have come into the presence of information classified well above my level. I have not been given that information at this time. I do not have anyone local that I can ask for guidance for this information. If it were possible, I would be speaking directly with the President. Do you understand?" "One moment… Transferring you to Special Classifications Office." "Special classifications. You are Captain Hogan, presently stationed at Kirtland AFB, and making use of the latest model STE. I see you have a prior history as a recipient. Is this related?" "Negative. New information; HAU/Trinity related. Briefer indicated high-level classification and refused to state exactly what it was." "Who else has been exposed?" "To the classification or the information?" "Both." "For the classification, the briefer, Dr. Kerr, refrained from mentioning it beyond stating that it was classified and then refusing to divulge the degree of classification. Having prior experience, I knew I needed guidance. For the actual information… That's harder to ascertain. The entire team is aware of all the known data from the HAU/Trinity test. Mr. Kidd, my staffer, who does not have a clearance at all, and the briefer, are fully aware of the classified information. I am peripherally aware of the nature of the information, but not the content of the briefing. Mr. Kidd only told me to prevent precipitous action on my part, neither of us was aware of any classification of the information. Mr. Kidd was prudent, with information having drastic implications. I need guidance on how to handle this." "Understood. Current location of staffer and briefer?" "Both are in a SCIF cleared conference room with orders not to discuss the briefing, or anything related to it, until I return." "Do you have reason to believe that they will obey?" "Briefer obviously has some experience with classified information. If he refuses to discuss it, then the staffer is unlikely to press for further information. They are more likely to discuss the wellbeing of Dr. Halliwell and CWO Jones. My staffer has just recently been granted Alliance Citizenship. I don't know how that affects things on our side." "Technically, he's not your staffer. He's a volunteer, assisting with an investigation. You are not paying him; all higher GCS people are down, so he isn't getting paid at all. He's living on his savings, which is about to run out. We'll take care of the back pay from GCS, but you need to get him properly hired. That will also allow us to give him the proper clearances." "He's what??" "A volunteer. Potentially exposed to classified material, without a clearance, and currently in financial distress through no fault of his own. Other than being too nice to ask for money when he's trying to save his friends and their company. It leaves him in a dangerously exposed situation, he's vulnerable to espionage." "I'm an idiot." You can hear the raised eyebrow, "possibly, but you recognize the problem now, fix it. We need another few minutes to allow your orders time to get to the security office, along with a packet, including a new card for the STE that will make contacting us much easier. It will only work on the latest model S.T.E. like the one you're using right now." "Okaayyy… What other steps should I be taking, and is there an instruction manual that I can refer too." "An instruction manual for a classification that doesn't exist?" "As you know, I've been in the military for some years now. There is always a manual, officially recognized or not. It may have an innocuous title and be completely serious, or it may blatantly state what it is and be written like a joke. In either case, it will be signed by I. M. Dumbjohn, as illegibly as possible, with whatever rank seems appropriate." "My turn… I'm an idiot. I'll see if I can find one and get you either a copy or point you at someone who knows where to get one." A conversation of some minutes occurs, interrupted by a knock on the door. A furtive looking lieutenant is at the door, "what's the password?" "I have no password." "The computer is your friend!" "Are you drunk on duty, Lieutenant?" "Oh!" Straightening abruptly, "Sir! My apologies, Sir! I thought you were part of the game." He hands you a semi-professionally bound copy of a manual titled 'Ultra Black, Eyes Only, Shoot Self Before Reading, A Guide To Classifications In Paranoia.' As official as it looks on the outside, the additional markings make it clear that this is a game. The interior instructions are written for a future post-apocalyptic world, where a computer has taken over after a nuclear attack. "Please, Sir, in the future, maintain appearances, the computer is your friend!" While the former is spoken cheerfully, the latter is expressed in dead-pan seriousness. "Who will also authorize your termination for any infraction of the rules. Good Day, Citizen." Without waiting for permission, the Lieutenant turns to leave. Which the hell set of rules do I apply? Militarily, he's left without permission. Socially, he's been rude. Security-wise, this may be the best way to do the handoff. Fine, someone wants to play games. I can play games. "Thank you, Citizen. I shall see to it that your diligence is rewarded." The Lieutenant turns enough for you to see a face splitting grin. "That's the spirit!" Back in the SCIF, "you are an efficient Citizen! The computer is pleased with your work." "What?" "I've just received a manual for Ultra classifications, written as though it was part of a game called 'Paranoia.' I take it you did not arrange this delivery yourself?" "I did not, and it makes me worry." "Why is that, friend Citizen?" "Because there's another organization involved. One which does not appear on my lists, knows that these classifications exist, and knew that you would need a copy badly enough to interrupt you while you were in a SCIF." "Obviously, that information is classified ultraviolet, and you are not privy to that information. Oh, do excuse me, would you please present yourself at a termination station for having knowledge of ultraviolet classification?" "You're joking, I hope." "Within the framework of the game, no. Within the framework of my present situation, yes, I am joking. You tell me which applies. Especially since the rules are written in the framework of the game." "Considering that I don't have a termination station handy, I'll take that as a joke." The conversation continues for a short time. "Captain, your orders have been delivered. Is there anything else I can do for you today?" "Assuming that the STE card allows me to contact your office, no. I think we've got it covered."
Silently, the officer in charge hands over a packet clearly marked 'Eyes Only Top Secret' with Hogan's name and rank on the cover. The envelope has been opened. "Citizen? Did you open this envelope?" With a very sour expression, "What envelope?" "Citizen, in the name of the Computer, friend to us all, did you open this envelop?" "Are you drunk?" "Answer the question." "I have no intention of…" "Answer the question, or you will be shot as a traitor." "I… Yes. I did." "You saw the outer markings?" "I did, but the contents make a joke of them." Having felt the document and not found the STE card promised. "The contents include an STE card. You will return that card to me immediately." "No. It is unauthorized equipment that could compromise the security of our communications." "Major. And this is in all seriousness. If you do not return that card immediately, I will be forced to report a major security violation, in which you are the perpetrator for no better reason than curiosity, who broke open an Eyes Only Top Secret document to which you were not entitled. Read the orders therein, and illegally confiscated a piece of equipment for which you are not authorized and are not permitted to keep under any circumstances for any reason." "Bull. Those so-called orders are a joke, as is the book you have under your arm. There's nothing higher than Top Secret, and that equipment is, and will remain, confiscated." "Major… With what little respect I have left, you opened a sealed Eyes Only packet, having no idea what was inside, and based on information that you should never have seen, have decided that the outer classification was false. Is that essentially correct?" "Yes." "And you feel fully justified in this?" "Yes." "What gave you the authority to open a sealed packet of Eyes Only Top Secret material?" "…" "Major, I may be a Captain, but if you don't answer that question, I will place you under arrest and take you to the Provost Marshall for holding." "You wouldn't dare." "Major, you are under arrest for violation of security orders; will you come quietly?" "No. Your order has no validity. Now I'll give you an order. Turn over that book, and the fake packet of orders, and present yourself for arrest." "Sorry, Major, you're wrong. Put that order in writing. I want it documented for your court-martial." Scribbling furiously. "Here's your order. Now obey it or face a court-martial of your own." "With respect, No. This is an illegal order based on a violation of security regulations. I insist that you call the Provost Marshall's office, immediately." "With pleasure." The Provost Marshall himself shows up, along with a team of Military Police. "Alright, what's the problem?" The Major leads, being the higher rank. "Captain Hogan, under false pretenses, made extensive use of a SCIF and STE for purposes unknown. During that time, a packet arrived with an STE card inside. Upon examination of this illicit and improper piece of equipment, it became apparent that the Captain was either engaged in some sort of conspiracy, using secure facilities for a game, or otherwise completely outside the acceptable parameters for an officer of the military." Captain Hogan replies. "I came into the presence of classified information for which I needed guidance from higher. The only way I could think of to get that guidance was by using an STE to place a call to a number which I am forbidden to reveal, since it involves material that no one in this room is authorized to access, except myself. The result of that call was a delivery direct to the SCIF of this book, by an unknown lieutenant, and orders to pick up an Eyes Only Top Secret packet specifically addressed to me. Which the Major has already admitted to opening illegally. As required, I placed him under arrest for doing so. The Major countered with an arrest of his own, accompanied by this illegal order. Requiring me to turn over classified materials to an individual uncleared to receive those materials. He remains in possession of a security device he has no right to have. I must insist that this matter be resolved quickly, as I have people sitting in a SCIF right now, waiting for instructions on how to proceed with this unusual material." The Provost Marshall asks many questions, clarifying the order of events and actions taken. "The events happened in this order, and please correct me if I'm wrong. "1. Captain, you were informed of potentially highly classified information in advance of a briefing. Canceled the briefing and moved the individuals most involved into a SCIF conference room as the best alternative available at that time. "2. You then came here to obtain access to a SCIF with an STE installed. "3. Major, at the time the Captain made the request, you refused the request, for reasons you have not seen fit to elucidate in your earlier comments. "4. During this time, the Captain informed you that in a prior incident, an individual unnamed was convicted, spent 23 years in prison, dishonorably discharged, and suffered other indignities appropriate to the conviction, whereupon you granted the previously denied access. "5. Captain, you then went to the room, made use of the facilities, and received information during that call which explains the presence of the book, a previously sealed set of orders clearly marked as Eyes Only Top Secret addressed to you. The book was delivered by a Lieutenant, and the orders were waiting in this office when you returned. "6. Major, between the time you received that packet, and the time that Captain Hogan arrived back in this office, you determined that there was something inside the packet. You assumed it was an illegal device and opened those orders to check the contents. Having found what appears to be an STE crypto card, you then chose to read the papers included, coming to the conclusion that the documents were orders written up for either a game or some other inappropriate purpose. "7. At the time that Captain Hogan returned, you refused to answer the Captain's question regarding what gave you the authority to open those orders. He placed you under arrest for illegal activities involving said orders, which you refused and issued your own order requiring him to turn over the book, the packet, and present himself for arrest. "8. After obtaining that order in writing, Captain Hogan refused to obey it based on the fact that it was an illegal order, and insisted that you call my office immediately. "Does this constitute a reasonable summary of the events?" "Yes, Major, it does." "Yes, it does, Major. Can we get this farce over with? The contents of that packet are either illegal equipment that could compromise the security of our communications or a game — a contention reinforced by the book — which constitutes an abuse of classified procedures and materials." "I think we can, quite easily, too. Captain? I'm sorry you've been inconvenienced, but I'll have to ask you to be patient a bit longer. Major? You will surrender the equipment to me immediately." "Gladly." Sneering at Captain Hogan as he does so. It is amazing the ability some people have to ignore the pit yawning open underneath them. "Thank You, Major. Captain? Here is your equipment. I would ask you to remain until I have finished with the Major, at that time, we will discuss your actions and justification in further detail. "Major. You are under arrest for violation of clearly marked secured materials which you had no authority to open; the attempted refusal of access to secure communications which the Captain was entitled to; confiscation of a classified device that was inside a sealed set of orders; and reading classified information that was outside your clearances. "Lieutenant, have half your men take him in arrest. He is to be held in close confinement until further orders. Escort him to the stockade and see to his confinement. No communications with outside, either during movement or after confinement. I'll be there later today to deal with the matter in more detail." "Yes, Sir. Sergeant, you heard the orders." "Yes, Sir. Corporal Dwight, your squad has the duty. Respect the officer's dignity, but follow the orders. If he becomes difficult, use minimum force necessary." "Major, if you will accompany me, Sir? … Sir? … Chet. Tony. The Major seems incapacitated, assist him to the stockade." "I can move on my own!" "Then please do so, Sir. I have my orders, and I will carry them out." "Major Marshall, this is a travesty, and I look forward to your explanation at a court-martial of your own!" … "Captain? I knew that Major Fillbert was a bit thick at times, but this really takes the cake. Did you and he have some history?" "None that I am aware of, Sir." "Alright. Now, before I turn you loose, I need reassurance regarding your orders. How can we make that happen without getting either of us in trouble." "I can only think of one thing, Sir." … "Captain? That was the most… unexpected call that I have ever been in. I am satisfied that your packet is legitimate, that the card is legitimate, and that it is so far above my level that I should not have anything further to do with it. Best of luck, Captain. I just hope that what you've gotten into doesn't explode." "Thank you, Major. I appreciate it, and I'll certainly express that desire to my team as well."
Closing the Barn Door
OPORD 650993252 TOP SECRET / SCI / WHITE HOT / EYES ONLY INNER CLASSIFICATION: ULTRA GREEN / CODE DEATH SHRIEK
Classification TS / SCI / WHITE HOT established.
Classification ULTRA GREEN / CODE DEATH SHRIEK established.
In-brief, Dr. Kerr immediately.
In-brief, Mr. Kidd to (1) AND (2) immediately upon TS/SCI clearance.
Have Dr. Kerr begin instruction of Mr. Kidd immediately that both are read on to (2).
Obtain sufficient SCIF space to move all assets of WHITE HOT into. Separate cover under TS sent to Security Office, authorizing appropriation of whatever space is needed, regardless of prior occupants.
Dr. Kerr and Mr. Kidd are forbidden explicitly to risk themselves in any experiment, until soundproofing meets 9 Sigma confidence of no more than 50 dB exposure.
… INNER CLASSIFICATION: ULTRA GREEN / CODE DEATH SHRIEK OPORD 650993252 TOP SECRET / SCI / WHITE HOT / EYES ONLY
Kidd? Take A Break!
Dr. Kerr perks up as Captain Hogan comes back into the conference room. "Captain! Are all the issues sorted out?" "No, but I have guidance on what to do next. "The briefing is on indefinite hold. Several activities must be completed before it can proceed. One of those is to obtain sufficient SCIF space for the entire project, allowing additional room for any materials needed. Dr. Kerr, are you aware of any special requirements?" "Yes, based on the size of the offices we were in earlier, I estimate a doubling of office space, and the addition of open space on the order of a hangar." "Great, the outfit that holds the hanger is not going to want to let go of it. We'll have to see if the orders I've received are enough to get them to move. If not, I'll be making more calls." "Mr. Kidd, you are still on this project, but please wait in my office. There are things that I must discuss with Dr. Kerr, then I will need to speak with you about other issues." Mr. Kidd walks out, reluctantly, but heads over to the Captain's office. "Dr. Kerr, from your earlier comments and the nature of the information, I assume that you have both a TS clearance and an Ultra clearance." "May I see your orders, Captain?" "Yes." "Ah, good. Yes, Captain, I hold both clearances." "Per the orders you have just skimmed, you are cleared for TS / SCI / WHITE HOT, with an inner classification of ULTRA GREEN / DEATH SHRIEK to the briefing material you have assembled. Be aware that Mr. Kidd does not have any clearances at this time. Have you shared anything with him that could be considered classified?" "In a conversation prior to the classification of the information, I confirmed to him that his theory was correct and that we needed to do more research to discover how best to proceed." "Thank you, I'll have to brief Mr. Kidd carefully. He will still be on the project, but we need to get him officially on contract, so we can get him a classification. Until that happens, he has to take a break from the project. The instant he is read on for both classifications, you and he are to put your heads together. Your primary goal, bring Mr. Kidd up to your understanding of the geophysics and any related fields involved." "Do I have five years?" "No, however, you may find that Mr. Kidd is sufficiently well educated to absorb the material handily. HAU is a fine university, the class of the world, but it is not the only university with high standards. Give it a shot. It may enable bright students with no chance at an HAU appointment to nevertheless clear the HAU requirements after a shorter period spent understanding Hamathi contact requirements. "Now, I really must be going, I'll be issuing orders for all the information to be marked WHITE HOT, so I'd appreciate it if you would go find the rest of the team and start helping with marking the media appropriately. Including anything, you brought with you. I need to see Kidd ASAP." "One additional item, it appears that there may be a hiatus while events take place. I believe we should schedule the conflict resolution session for this gap." "Agreed. After I see to Mr. Kidd, I will attempt to plot out several open days, or half days, during which we may be able to resolve the issue. Are you averse to having it spread over several days?" "Not at all, time to think about the process is as important as being in the process." … "Hey, Kidd!" "Captain?" "First, you have your cellphone, can you check your bank balance?" "How did you know?" "A little birdie tweeted it to me, and said you might find a nice surprise there if you were encouraged to look for it." "Oh my… Everyone with authority to do this is incapacitated, how was it done?" "I haven't the faintest. The even better news is that this project is authorized to put you on contract, without requiring you to relinquish your prior position, not only to pay you but to make it possible for you to have a clearance. That's the only thing officially holding us back from throwing you headfirst into this new extension of the project. "Unofficially, notice has been taken of your present physical and psychological state. In short, you need to take a break. So, pay off your existing bills, be reassured that money will no longer be a problem, and take a break from this project until the clearance comes through. That can be anywhere from weeks to months, so there's time. Even if someone rams it through faster, you're on two weeks leave official, as of now. "Now, get out there and think about something else, or at least go see how your friends are doing at the hospital." FirstPrevNext ((NOTE: There may be formatting issues with one of the numbered lists.))
2020.08.02 21:54 Comfortable-Golf6240Route 67: How the IT Act's Section on Obscenity is Being Misused to Violate Digital Freedom
The following is link to book published at Amazon. https://www.amazon.in/NOT-GUILTY-Fabricated-Implication-Report-FIR-ebook/dp/B08BK85GSY/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=not+guilty&qid=1595201561&sr=8-1 The excerpts from book in context of Section 67A Information technology Act, 2000 are as follows: "Persons Arrested for Crime Against Women - Cyber Crimes/IT Act 2016-810; 2017-465; 2018-893 "The optimum use of charge sheeting rate of 58.7%, 54. 23% and 57.63% in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively to the conviction rate of 16.7%, 25.2% and 15.6% in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively gives a tentative percentage of True and Founded cases. Based on above data and tentative evaluation, the tentative percentage of true and founded cases unbelievably comes out to 9.80% in 2016, 13.67% in 2017 and 9.0% in 2018. That can be said, tentatively under provisions of above Act/Law, around ‘9 out of 10’ in 2016, 2017, more than ‘8 out 10’ in 2017 and ‘9 out of 10’ FIRs /cases registered in 2018 were found to be false, frivolous and unsubstantiated. This is travesty of process".
2020.08.02 17:59 CuteBananaMuffinArchaeological Cover-Ups - A Plot to Control History ?
by Will Hart Extracted from Nexus Magazine April-May 2002 fromNexusMagazineWebsite The scientific establishment tends to reject, suppress or ignore evidence that conflicts with accepted theories, while denigrating or persecuting the messenger. "The Brain Police" and "The Big Lie" Any time you allege a conspiracy is afoot, especially in the field of science, you are treading on thin ice. We tend to be very skeptical about conspiracies--unless the Mafia or some Muslim radicals are behind the alleged plot. But the evidence is overwhelming and the irony is that much of it is in plain view. The good news is that the players are obvious. Their game plan and even their play-by-play tactics are transparent, once you learn to spot them. However, it is not so easy to penetrate through the smokescreen of propaganda and disinformation to get to their underlying motives and goals. It would be convenient if we could point to a plumber's unit and a boldface liar like Richard Nixon, but this is a more subtle operation. The bad news: the conspiracy is global and there are many vested interest groups. A cursory investigation yields the usual suspects: scientists with a theoretical axe to grind, careers to further and the status quo to maintain. Their modus operandi is "The Big Lie" -- and the bigger and more widely publicized, the better. They rely on invoking their academic credentials to support their arguments, and the presumption is that no one has the right to question their authoritarian pronouncements that:
there is no mystery about who built the Great Pyramid or what the methods of construction were, and the Sphinx shows no signs of water damage there were no humans in the Americas before 20,000 BC the first civilization dates back no further than 6000 BC there are no documented anomalous, unexplained or enigmatic data to take into account there are no lost or unaccounted-for civilizations.
Let the evidence to the contrary be damned! Personal Attacks: Dispute over Age of the Sphinx and Great Pyramid In 1993, NBC in the USA aired The Mysteries of the Sphinx, which presented geological evidence showing that the Sphinx was at least twice as old (9,000 years) as Egyptologists claimed. It has become well known as the "water erosion controversy". An examination of the politicking that Egyptologists deployed to combat this undermining of their turf is instructive. Self-taught Egyptologist John Anthony West brought the water erosion issue to the attention of geologist Dr Robert Schoch. They went to Egypt and launched an intensive on-site investigation. After thoroughly studying the Sphinx first hand, the geologist came to share West's preliminary conclusion and they announced their findings. Dr Zahi Hawass, the Giza Monuments chief, wasted no time in firing a barrage of public criticism at the pair. Renowned Egyptologist Dr Mark Lehner, who is regarded as the world's foremost expert on the Sphinx, joined his attack. He charged West and Schoch with being "ignorant and insensitive". That was a curious accusation which took the matter off the professional level and put the whole affair on a personal plane. It did not address the facts or issues at all and it was highly unscientific. But we must note the standard tactic of discrediting anyone who dares to call the accepted theories into question. Shifting the focus away from the issues and "personalizing" the debate is a highly effective strategy--one which is often used by politicians who feel insecure about their positions. Hawass and Lehner invoked their untouchable status and presumed authority. (One would think that a geologist's assessment would hold more weight on this particular point.) A short time later, Schoch, Hawass and Lehner were invited to debate the issue at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. West was not allowed to participate because he lacked the required credentials. This points to a questionable assumption that is part of the establishment's arsenal: only degreed scientists can practice science. Two filters keep the uncredentialled, independent researcher out of the loop: (1) credentials, and (2) peer review. You do not get to number two unless you have number one. Science is a method that anyone can learn and apply. It does not require a degree to observe and record facts and think critically about them, especially in the non-technical social sciences. In a free and open society, science has to be a democratic process. Be that as it may, West was barred. The elements of the debate have been batted back and forth since then without resolution. It is similar to the controversy over who built the Giza pyramids and how. This brings up the issue of The Big Lie and how it has been promoted for generations in front of God and everyone. The controversy over how the Great Pyramid was constructed is one example. It could be easily settled if Egyptologists wanted to resolve the dispute. A simple test could be designed and arranged by impartial engineers that would either prove or disprove their longstanding disputed theory--that it was built using the primitive tools and methods of the day, circa 2500 BC. Why hasn't this been done? The answer is so obvious, it seems impossible: they know that the theory is bogus. Could a trained, highly educated scientist really believe that 2.3 million tons of stone, some blocks weighing 70 tons, could have been transported and lifted by primitive methods? That seems improbable, though they have no compunction against lying to the public, writing textbooks and defending this theory against alternative theories. However, we must note that they will not subject themselves to the bottom-line test. We think it is incumbent upon any scientist to bear the burden of proof of his/her thesis; however, the social scientists who make these claims have never stood up to that kind of scrutiny. That is why we must suspect a conspiracy. No other scientific discipline would get away with bending the rules of science. All that Egyptologists have ever done is bat down alternative theories using underhanded tactics. It is time to insist that they prove their own proposals. Why would scientists try to hide the truth and avoid any test of their hypothesis? Their motivations are equally transparent. If it can be proved that the Egyptians did not build the Great Pyramid in 2500 BC using primitive methods, or if the Sphinx can be dated to 9000 BC, the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. Orthodox views of cultural evolution are based upon a chronology of civilization having started in Sumeria no earlier than 4000 BC. The theory does not permit an advanced civilization to have existed prior to that time. End of discussion. Archaeology and history lose their meaning without a fixed timeline as a point of reference. Since the theory of "cultural evolution" has been tied to Darwin's general theory of evolution, even more is at stake. Does this explain why facts, anomalies and enigmas are denied, suppressed and/or ignored? Yes, it does. The biological sciences today are based on Darwinism. Pressure Tactics: The Ica Stones of Peru Now we turn to another, very different case. In 1966, Dr Javier Cabrera received a stone as a gift from a poor local farmer in his native Ica, Peru. A fish was carved on the stone, which would not have meant much to the average villager but it did mean a lot to the educated Dr Cabrera. He recognized it as a long-extinct species. This aroused his curiosity. He purchased more stones from the farmer, who said he had collected them near the river after a flood. Dr Cabrera accumulated more and more stones, and word of their existence and potential import reached the archaeological community. Soon, the doctor had amassed thousands of "Ica stones". The sophisticated carvings were as enigmatic as they were fascinating. Someone had carved men fighting with dinosaurs, men with telescopes and men performing operations with surgical equipment. They also contained drawings of lost continents. Several of the stones were sent to Germany and the etchings were dated to remote antiquity. But we all know that men could not have lived at the time of dinosaurs; Homo sapiens has only existed for about 100,000 years. The BBC got wind of this discovery and swooped down to produce a documentary about the Ica stones. The media exposure ignited a storm of controversy. Archaeologists criticized the Peruvian government for being lax about enforcing antiquities laws (but that was not their real concern). Pressure was applied to government officials. The farmer who had been selling the stones to Cabrera was arrested; he claimed to have found them in a cave but refused to disclose the exact location to authorities, or so they claimed. This case was disposed of so artfully that it would do any corrupt politician proud. The Peruvian government threatened to prosecute and imprison the farmer. He was offered and accepted a plea bargain; he then recanted his story and "admitted" to having carved the stones himself. That seems highly implausible, since he was uneducated and unskilled and there were 11,000 stones in all. Some were fairly large and intricately carved with animals and scenes that the farmer would not have had knowledge of without being a paleontologist. He would have needed to work every day for several decades to produce that volume of stones. However, the underlying facts were neither here nor there. The Ica stones were labeled "hoax" and forgotten. The case did not require a head-to-head confrontation or public discrediting of non-scientists by scientists; it was taken care of with invisible pressure tactics. Since it was filed under "hoax", the enigmatic evidence never had to be dealt with, as it did in the next example. Censorship of "Forbidden" Thinking - Evidence for Mankind's Great Antiquity The case of author Michael Cremo is well documented, and it also demonstrates how the scientific establishment openly uses pressure tactics on the media and government. His book Forbidden Archeology examines many previously ignored examples of artifacts that prove modern man's antiquity far exceeds the age given in accepted chronologies. The examples which he and his co-author present are controversial, but the book became far more controversial than the contents when it was used in a documentary. In 1996, NBC broadcast a special called The Mysterious Origins of Man, which featured material from Cremo's book. The reaction from the scientific community went off the Richter scale. NBC was deluged with letters from irate scientists who called the producer "a fraud" and the whole program "a hoax". But the scientists went further than this--a lot further. In an extremely unconscionable sequence of bizarre moves, they tried to force NBC not to rebroadcast the popular program, but that effort failed. Then they took the most radical step of all: they presented their case to the federal government and requested the Federal Communications Commission to step in and bar NBC from airing the program again. This was not only an apparent infringement of free speech and a blatant attempt to thwart commerce, it was an unprecedented effort to censor intellectual discourse. If the public or any government agency made an attempt to handcuff the scientific establishment, the public would never hear the end of it. The letter to the FCC written by Dr Allison Palmer, President of the Institute for Cambrian Studies, is revealing:
At the very least, NBC should be required to make substantial prime-time apologies to their viewing audience for a sufficient period of time so that the audience clearly gets the message that they were duped. In addition, NBC should perhaps be fined sufficiently so that a major fund for public science education can be established.
I think we have some good leads on who "the Brain Police" are. And I really do not think "conspiracy" is too strong a word--because for every case of this kind of attempted suppression that is exposed, 10 others are going on successfully. We have no idea how many enigmatic artifacts or dates have been labeled "error" and tucked away in storage warehouses or circular files, never to see the light of day. Data Rejection Inconvenient Dating in Mexico Then there is the high-profile case of Dr Virginia Steen-McIntyre, a geologist working for the US Geological Survey (USGS), who was dispatched to an archaeological site in Mexico to date a group of artifacts in the 1970s. This travesty also illustrates how far established scientists will go to guard orthodox tenets. McIntyre used state-of-the-art equipment and backed up her results by using four different methods, but her results were off the chart. The lead archaeologist expected a date of 25,000 years or less, and the geologist's finding was 250,000 years or more. The figure of 25,000 years or less was critical to the Bering Strait "crossing" theory, and it was the motivation behind the head archaeologist's tossing Steen-McIntyre's results in the circular file and asking for a new series of dating tests. This sort of reaction does not occur when dates match the expected chronological model that supports accepted theories. Steen-McIntyre was given a chance to retract her conclusions, but she refused. She found it hard thereafter to get her papers published and she lost a teaching job at an American university. Government Suppression and Ethnocentrism Avoiding Anomalous Evidence in NZ, China and Mexico In New Zealand, the government actually stepped in and enacted a law forbidding the public from entering a controversial archaeological zone. This story appeared in the book, Ancient Celtic New Zealand, by Mark Doutré. However, as we will find (and as I promised at the beginning of the article), this is a complicated conspiracy. Scientists trying to protect their "hallowed" theories while furthering their careers are not the only ones who want artifacts and data suppressed. This is where the situation gets sticky. The Waipoua Forest became a controversial site in New Zealand because an archaeological dig apparently showed evidence of a non-Polynesian culture that preceded the Maori--a fact that the tribe was not happy with. They learned of the results of the excavations before the general public did and complained to the government. According to Doutré, the outcome was "an official archival document, which clearly showed an intention by New Zealand government departments to withhold archaeological information from public scrutiny for 75 years". The public got wind of this fiasco but the government denied the claim. However, official documents show that an embargo had been placed on the site. Doutré is a student of New Zealand history and archaeology. He is concerned because he says that artifacts proving that there was an earlier culture which preceded the Maori are missing from museums. He asks what happened to several anomalous remains:
Where are the ancient Indo-European hair samples (wavy red brown hair), originally obtained from a rock shelter near Watakere, that were on display at the Auckland War Memorial Museum for many years? Where is the giant skeleton found near Mitimati?
Unfortunately this is not the only such incident. Ethnocentrism has become a factor in the conspiracy to hide mankind's true history. Author Graham Hancock has been attacked by various ethnic groups for reporting similar enigmatic findings. The problem for researchers concerned with establishing humanity's true history is that the goals of nationalists or ethnic groups who want to lay claim to having been in a particular place first, often dovetail with the goals of cultural evolutionists. Archaeologists are quick to go along with suppressing these kinds of anomalous finds. One reason Egyptologists so jealously guard the Great Pyramid's construction date has to do with the issue of national pride. The case of the Takla Makan Desert mummies in western China is another example of this phenomenon. In the 1970s and 1980s, an unaccounted-for Caucasian culture was suddenly unearthed in China. The arid environment preserved the remains of a blond-haired, blue-eyed people who lived in pre-dynastic China. They wore colorful robes, boots, stockings and hats. The Chinese were not happy about this revelation and they have downplayed the enigmatic find, even though Asians were found buried alongside the Caucasian mummies. National Geographic writer Thomas B. Allen mused in a 1996 article about his finding a potsherd bearing a fingerprint of the potter. When he inquired if he could take the fragment to a forensic anthropologist, the Chinese scientist asked whether he "would be able to tell if the potter was a white man". Allen said he was not sure, and the official pocketed the fragment and quietly walked away. It appears that many things get in the way of scientific discovery and disclosure. The existence of the Olmec culture in Old Mexico has always posed a problem. Where did the Negroid people depicted on the colossal heads come from? Why are there Caucasians carved on the stele in what is Mexico's seed civilization? What is worse, why aren't the indigenous Mexican people found on the Olmec artifacts? Recently a Mexican archaeologist solved the problem by making a fantastic claim: that the Olmec heads -- which generations of people of all ethnic groups have agreed bear a striking resemblance to Africans -- were really representations of the local tribe. STORM-TROOPERS FOR DARWINISM The public does not seem at all aware of the fact that the scientific establishment has a double standard when it comes to the free flow of information. In essence, it goes like this... Scientists are highly educated, well trained and intellectually capable of processing all types of information, and they can make the correct critical distinctions between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy. The unwashed public is simply incapable of functioning on this high mental plane. The noble ideal of the scientist as a highly trained, impartial, apolitical observer and assembler of established facts into a useful body of knowledge seems to have been shredded under the pressures and demands of the real world. Science has produced many positive benefits for society; but we should know by now that science has a dark, negative side. Didn't those meek fellows in the clean lab coats give us nuclear bombs and biological weapons? The age of innocence ended in World War II. That the scientific community has an attitude of intellectual superiority is thinly veiled under a carefully orchestrated public relations guise. We always see Science and Progress walking hand in hand. Science as an institution in a democratic society has to function in the same way as the society at large; it should be open to debate, argument and counter-argument. There is no place for unquestioned authoritarianism. Is modern science meeting these standards? In the Fall of 2001, PBS aired a seven-part series, titled Evolution. Taken at face value, that seems harmless enough. However, while the program was presented as pure, objective, investigative science journalism, it completely failed to meet even minimum standards of impartial reporting. The series was heavily weighted towards the view that the theory of evolution is "a science fact" that is accepted by "virtually all reputable scientists in the world", and not a theory that has weaknesses and strong scientific critics. The series did not even bother to interview scientists who have criticisms of Darwinism: not "creationists" but bona fide scientists. To correct this deficiency, a group of 100 dissenting scientists felt compelled to issue a press release, "A Scientific Dissent on Darwinism", on the day the first program was scheduled to go to air. Nobel nominee Henry "Fritz" Schaefer was among them. He encouraged open public debate of Darwin's theory:
Some defenders of Darwinism embrace standards of evidence for evolution that as scientists they would never accept in other circumstances.
We have seen this same "unscientific" approach applied to archaeology and anthropology, where "scientists" simply refuse to prove their theories yet appoint themselves as the final arbiters of "the facts". It would be naive to think that the scientists who cooperated in the production of the series were unaware that there would be no counter-balancing presentation by critics of Darwin's theory. Richard Milton is a science journalist. He had been an ardent true believer in Darwinian doctrine until his investigative instincts kicked in one day. After 20 years of studying and writing about evolution, he suddenly realized that there were many disconcerting holes in the theory. He decided to try to allay his doubts and prove the theory to himself by using the standard methods of investigative journalism. Milton became a regular visitor to London's famed Natural History Museum. He painstakingly put every main tenet and classic proof of Darwinism to the test. The results shocked him. He found that the theory could not even stand up to the rigors of routine investigative journalism. The veteran science writer took a bold step and published a book titled The Facts of Life: Shattering the Myths of Darwinism. It is clear that the Darwinian myth had been shattered for him, but many more myths about science would also be crushed after his book came out. Milton says:
I experienced the witch-hunting activity of the Darwinist police at first hand - it was deeply disappointing to find myself being described by a prominent Oxford zoologist [Richard Dawkins] as "loony", "stupid" and "in need of psychiatric help" in response to purely scientific reporting.
(Does this sound like stories that came out of the Soviet Union 20 years ago when dissident scientists there started speaking out?) Dawkins launched a letter-writing campaign to newspaper editors, implying that Milton was a "mole" creationist whose work should be dismissed. Anyone at all familiar with politics will recognize this as a standard Machiavellian by-the-book "character assassination" tactic. Dawkins is a highly respected scientist, whose reputation and standing in the scientific community carry a great deal of weight. According to Milton, the process came to a head when the London Times Higher Education Supplement commissioned him to write a critique of Darwinism. The publication foreshadowed his coming piece: "Next Week: Darwinism - Richard Milton goes on the attack". Dawkins caught wind of this and wasted no time in nipping this heresy in the bud. He contacted the editor, Auriol Stevens, and accused Milton of being a "creationist", and prevailed upon Stevens to pull the plug on the article. Milton learned of this behind-the-scenes backstabbing and wrote a letter of appeal to Stevens. In the end, she caved in to Dawkins and scratched the piece. Imagine what would happen if a politician or bureaucrat used such pressure tactics to kill a story in the mass media. It would ignite a huge scandal. Not so with scientists, who seem to be regarded as "sacred cows" and beyond reproach. There are many disturbing facts related to these cases. Darwin's theory of evolution is the only theory routinely taught in our public school system that has never been subjected to rigorous scrutiny; nor have any of the criticisms been allowed into the curriculum. This is an interesting fact, because a recent poll showed that the American public wants the theory of evolution taught to their children; however, "71 per cent of the respondents say biology teachers should teach both Darwinism and scientific evidence against Darwinian theory". Nevertheless, there are no plans to implement this balanced approach. It is ironic that Richard Dawkins has been appointed to the position of Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is a classic "Brain Police" stormtrooper, patrolling the neurological front lines. The Western scientific establishment and mass media pride themselves on being open public forums devoid of prejudice or censorship. However, no television program examining the flaws and weaknesses of Darwinism has ever been aired in Darwin's home country or in America. A scientist who opposes the theory cannot get a paper published. The Mysterious Origins of Man was not a frontal attack on Darwinism; it merely presented evidence that is considered anomalous by the precepts of his theory of evolution. Returning to our bastions of intellectual integrity, Forest Mims was a solid and skilled science journalist. He had never been the centre of any controversy and so he was invited to write the most-read column in the prestigious Scientific American, "The Amateur Scientist", a task he gladly accepted. According to Mims, the magazine's editor Jonathan Piel then learned that he also wrote articles for a number of Christian magazines. The editor called Mims into his office and confronted him.
"Do you believe in the theory of evolution?" Piel asked. Mims replied, "No, and neither does Stephen Jay Gould."
His response did not affect Piel's decision to bump Mims off the popular column after just three articles. This has the unpleasant odor of a witch-hunt. The writer never publicly broadcast his private views or beliefs, so it would appear that the "stormtroopers" now believe they have orders to make sure "unapproved" thoughts are never publicly disclosed. Taboo or Not Taboo? So, the monitors of "good thinking" are not just the elite of the scientific community, as we have seen in several cases; they are television producers and magazine editors as well. It seems clear that they are all driven by the singular imperative of furthering "public science education", as the president of the Cambrian Institute so aptly phrased it. However, there is a second item on the agenda, and that is to protect the public from "unscientific" thoughts and ideas that might infect the mass mind. We outlined some of those taboo subjects at the beginning of the article; now we should add that it is also "unwholesome" and "unacceptable" to engage in any of the following research pursuits:
Does this have a familiar ring to it? Are we hearing the faint echoes of religious zealotry? Who ever gave science the mission of engineering and directing the inquisitive pursuits of the citizenry of the free world?
It is all but impossible for any scientific paper that has anti-Darwinian ramifications to be published in a mainstream scientific journal. It is also just as impossible to get the "taboo" subjects even to the review table, and you can forget about finding your name under the title of any article in Nature unless you are a credentialed scientist, even if you are the next Albert Einstein. To restate how this conspiracy begins, it is with two filters: credentials and peer review. Modern science is now a maze of such filters set up to promote certain orthodox theories and at the same time filter out that data already prejudged to be unacceptable. Evidence and merit are not the guiding principles; conformity and position within the established community have replaced objectivity, access and openness. Scientists do not hesitate to launch the most outrageous personal attacks against those they perceive to be the enemy. Eminent paleontologist Louis Leakey penned this acid one-liner about Forbidden Archeology:
"Your book is pure humbug and does not deserve to be taken seriously by anyone but a fool."
Once again, we see the thrust of a personal attack; the merits of the evidence presented in the book are not examined or debated. It is a blunt, authoritarian pronouncement. In a forthcoming installment, we will examine some more documented cases and delve deeper into the subtler dimensions of the conspiracy. References and Resources:
2020.07.25 00:18 TeehokanElite:Dangerous : When one superficial feature ruins your immersion.
It's the year 3306, and humanity has taken to the stars and begun to explore the Milky Way. As a commander of your own ship flying under the banner of the Generic Earth-Origin Galactic Federation Thing, you can fold spacetime around your vessel to cruise across solar systems in minutes, or even travel thousands of times the speed of light to a (relatively) nearby star in seconds. In this 1:1 scale of the galaxy, you can freely pursue a career in asteroid mining, inter-system trading, bounty hunting, salvaging, piracy, or simply exploring the planets, moons, and other celestial bodies in proximity to the 400 billion some-odd stars (of which only about 0.05% has been explored by the community in over 5 years). You spend all of your time in the cockpit of your ship, interfacing with the many advanced systems that maneuver your ship, collect cargo and salvage, scan and analyze distant celestial bodies and mysterious energy emissions, and more. Many of these operations, however, must be performed manually. In all of the technological advancements it's taken to reach this point, there are no features of your on-board computer that can automate flight, alignment, data retrieval, or targeting, and no availability of such features in the vast market of ships and the modules thereof. Flight must be manual. Cargo and mined ore is primarily brought in by flying towards it at just the right speed and angle while the cargo bay is open. Most weapons in the game are fired directly forward at their targets like biplanes in a dogfight, with no tracking or heat-seeking to speak of. Examining signals found by your directional scanner must be done by aligning your ship to point directly at it. There are no on-board cameras of the space beside or behind you - you must rely on radar for any information not directly in front of you. Elite:Dangerous is a flight sim first, and a space sim second. Most would say it just wouldn't be fun to simply tell your ship what to do rather than maneuver it and operate its many functions, and the game is clearly not designed for indirect interfacing; execution, not decision-making, is the focal point of getting things done here, and you would have to have way more on your plate at a time than E:D throws at you for a highly-automated ship to be an engaging place to be. But I came to this game for the prospect of immersion in a highly-advanced deepspace setting, and while the game design choices of not allowing ship computers to even partially handle many of the fundamentals of a ship's operations, I have not been able to see (or get from the community) an in-game, contextual reason for these options to not even be available to a Generic Earth-Origin Galactic Federation Thing pilot, a reason for such features never to be implemented for the convenience of the efficiency-oriented spacefarer. There certainly doesn't seem to be a technological limitation (you can even fit a docking computer that will automatically dock and undock your ship from stations). The only attempt at a contextual reason I've been offered is that there is some kind of Geneva-Convention-esque ban on AI across the civilized galaxy due to some travesties in the past, but as it doesn't require sentience for a computer to follow even a complex script, this answer doesn't cover it (forgetting that there are already several other programs being run by every ship in the sky that also wouldn't be allowed if for some reason every computer did require intelligence in order to be a computer). Even the "self-driving cars will always have steering wheels" argument falls down because that isn't a reason to never make self-driving cars in the first place. There just seems to be flat-out no explanation. It is this way because it is more fun for most people this way, and because it is against the spirit of the gameplay loop. And to most, it doesn't matter that it might fly in the face of the spirit of the setting and concept. Unfortunately though, it matters to me and to the kind of experience I was wanting to have with this game. To not have that option is one thing, but to have no justifiable reason not to have it is something that I have not been able to dismiss, and it has single-handedly tarnished the game's ability to really immerse me and help me escape to an otherwise fleshed-out reality. This gameplay decision being made with no regard to the illusion of the game world makes this future seem un-futuristic, and this advanced society seem inefficient and narrow-minded. It's pretty ironic, actually, that not being able to take my hands off the panel has made a flight sim less immersive to me, but what can I say, I was expecting some different values judging by its setting and packaging. SO: Is there a game that nearly pulled you in but made one glaring mistake in your eyes that made it all fall down? Is there an illusion-shattering habit you've seen from games that seem to be designed first and foremost for immersion? Lastly, have you ever felt like a complete maniac for the reason you dropped a game over?
2020.07.24 09:55 Terring42One Vision, One Purpose: AVGN Reviewing C&C
Hello :) OK, here is an idea. With C&C relevant again, how about an episode of the Angry Video Game Nerd reviewing all of the Command and Conquer games... with Kane himself next to him? Here is how I roughly imagine it. English is not my native language, so mistakes are very likely. The video begins with an advertisement of a sponsor, which James saying something like this: "Welcome back commanders and thanks for watching this episode of Angry Video Game Nerd, which is about the classic RTS series Command and Conquer. But if you don't want your unencrypted private data to be commanded and conquered by hackers, governments, corporations and CABAL himself, you'll need ExpressVPN". Or something like that. You can imagine the rest. The episode begins with an intro based on the intro of Red Alert, showing scenes from both FMV of various games and from various AVGN episodes. The Nerd begins by making a brief tale of the RTS genre and its history, mentioning games such as Starcraft and Age of Empire. And soon enough he comes to the Command and Conquer games. But since the Nerd is not familiar with both RTS gaming and the lore of C&C (at least this is what I guess), he need some help, he need some guidance, he need... Kane: "You need answers, my child. And you should have them. Let me guide you and see the future, while you still have human eyes." That's right, Kane (Joseph David Kucan) himself appears in Nerd's basement! Together they play all the C&C games (expect lots of references and toilet humor) and eventually come to the most controversial ones, such as Renegade as the peculiar but enjoyable misfit of the entire franchise, and Red Alert 3 for its over the top silliness. But then, they came to the most controversial, the most hated, the biggest pile of visceroid shit ever made. Tiberian Twilight. That's right, the Nerd is reviewing Tiberian Twilight and sees all the horrors of this travesty. Kane becomes more angry that ever with Tiberian Trash and claims that the only way to get rid of it is by dropping it to the nearest Scrin tower... which happens to be at Nerd's backyard. Nerd: "There is an alien tower at my backyard? I guess I need to get out more often." Both Kane and the Nerd get inside of the tower and find a gate, similar to the one from TT. Kane asks the Nerd to give him the CD, but the Nerd refuses, knowing how dangerous Kane is. An epic battle happens between Kane and the Nerd, until Kane finally gets the CD. He then reveals that the CD is a key to accomplish his accession, claiming that the game was intentionally bad so nobody else would discover the truth. He drops the CD to the gate, but something bad happens. The entire room is shacking and the gate looks like is overloading and getting ready to explode. Kane: "Nerd, what did you do, you idiot?" Nerd: "I took a piss on it!" The room explodes and both Kane and Nerd are then waking up in an entire different timeline. The Red Alert one. They are in Moscow, which is now a battlefield between Allies, Soviets, Yuri and Empire of the Rising Sun, with Harriers, Apocalypse Tanks, Flying Disks and King Onis fighting each other. Kane for once again attacks the Nerd, when eventually a NightHawk helicopter appears, deploying Tanya (Kari Wührer). She shoots at Kane and rescues the Nerd. Kane is getting up and yells at the Nerd ("This is not over, Nerd!"), Nerd flips the bird to Kane, and the episode ends. What do you thing? If you have something better to suggest, please feel free to do it :)
2020.06.23 19:02 slightlyassholic[Tales From the Terran Republic] More Fallout—Caw and Karashel Attack the Locus!
Our two favorite councilors do a stupid, get in a fight, and generally be... well... themselves... The rest of this series can be found here *** “Oh my little wiggly jellybean!” a distressed looking baleel exclaimed. “I’ve been so worried! I’ve tried and tried to get through but...” “Calm down, mom,” Karashel said into the microphone of her incredible new desktop (courtesy of the Xx), “I’m fine.” “The whole capital is on fire!” her mom cried. “The news isn’t saying much but on those sites you told me about... Fighting in the streets? Orbital strikes? Did we… did we actually...” “Yeah, we did,” Karashel said grimly. “I’m not supposed to talk about it yet but there are over fifty thousand humans dead in the city alone… Nothing justifies what they did in response but still...” The pupils of her mother’s eyes fully dilated. “What did they do?” she asked in horror. “I don’t have all the details, but the humans have some sort of new ‘terror weapon’, something horrible that they used on the vulxeen homeworld. It’s killed… oh mom you don’t even want to know how many are dead or how they died. It’s awful.” “They could use it on the capital!” her mom squealed. “Come home! Come home right now!” “I can’t,” Karashel replied. “Just quit that silly job,” her mom said imploringly. “You can get a job anywhere!” “You don’t understand,” Karashel replied, “I can’t. There’s a blockade right now. Nothing is going in or out of the capital. They don’t want the humans sneaking in one of those… things and they don’t want any of the human warriors still here escaping. But don’t worry, I’m perfectly safe!” “Human warriors? Terror weapons?” her mother cried. “How can you possibly be safe?” “I’m staying at a friend’s embassy,” Karashel said proudly. “This place can take a hit from one of their fusion bombs!” “THEY HAVE FUSION BOMBS?!?!?” Karashel winced. She shouldn’t have said that. “Don’t worry! I’m safe in here!” “Oh, Jellybean! You can’t possibly be safe!” “Don’t tell anyone,” Karashel said as she leaned in close to the mic and started to whisper, “The embassy that I’m in, it belongs to-” “THOSE... SIBLINGFUCKERS!!!” an enraged screech echoed down the hall. “IF THEY THINK THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH THIS...” “Mom, I gotta go,” Karashel said looking at the door. “Something is up.” “Jellybean!” her mom cried. “Wai-” Karashel switched off the transmission and quickly scooted out into the hall as the breaking of glass could be heard from Caw’s office. She cautiously poked her head into the room as Caw pulled out a rather wicked looking carbine from a smashed bookcase and was slamming a black oblong object onto it. “Caw?” “What?” he asked in annoyance as an amber light glowed briefly on the side of the weapon. “What’s going on?” she asked nervously. Caw was many things, excitable, intolerant, pedantic, but one thing he wasn’t was violent, at least she thought he wasn’t. “Robbery! Plunder! Violation!” he yelled as he started to storm out of his office. “And if they think I’m going to just sit here and let them do it they have another thing coming!” he yelled as he shoved his way past her. “Wait!” Karashel asked desperately undulating after him. “Where are you going?” “The Locus!” he shouted. “But there are humans in there!” “I don’t give a FUCK!” he screamed steadily leaving her behind. “Can I come with you?” she shouted. Caw stopped and turned around, looking at her in astonishment. “Have you lost your mind? There are humans in there!” “You don’t care, why should I?” she yelled catching up to him. “Because I’m an Xx!” he exclaimed. “If the humans are smart enough not to wish to anger the kalent they will almost certainly extend me the same courtesy. You are a baleel. No offense but they could slow roast you over open coals and nothing of consequence would be the result!” “I’m still a councilor!” she replied. “They can use me as another hostage or something!” “Compared to who they are holding at gunpoint, you are of absolutely no consequence!” “Yeah, we suck,” she snapped. “but I still want to go!” “By the ancient gardeners why?” “Because I want to talk to them!” she replied. “I’m getting nothing but wormshit from official channels! I want to understand what’s happening and why? Who better to ask than human warriors!” Caw looked at her in amazement. So great was her hunger for knowledge she was willing to risk her very life! That was so… Romantic! It was something right out of dramas, out of ancient history! How could he say no? “Well, more than one person has died because of Xvakk’Keen, the knowledge madness,” he chuckled, “but few do it with such style! You can die from this, you know.” “Possible, but not likely,” she replied. “one thing is certain though. I won’t get another chance like this!” “Ok,” he replied with a shrug, “I’ll try to protect you with my Xxness but no guarantees.” “Wasn’t asking for one!” she giggled nervously. This was insane… exhilarating, but insane. “Well what are you waiting for?” Caw grinned. “Let’s go!” *** Caw sprinted down the hall, hissing in exasperation as he had to stop every few dozen yards as Karashel “ran” after him. “Can’t you go any faster?” he shrieked. “If I could I would!” An Xx, pushing a hover cart laden with boxes of data crystals, walked around a corner. Caw lunged forward and seized his cart. With a single jerk, he slid all of the boxes off, scattering thousands of crystals across the floor. The other Xx shrieked and screamed in an alien tongue. Karashel didn’t know the exact wording but from Caw’s grin, it wasn’t nice. “Get on!” he yelled. Karashel flopped onto the cart and started wiggling herself onto it. Caw, his patience finally gone, grabbed her, rather inappropriately, and threw her onto the floating cart. She squealed in surprise as she tried to grip the cart as Caw tore off at a breakneck pace, scattering Xx and other races as he threatened to plow right over them. She laughed insanely. This was fun. She started making siren noises as Caw laughed, despite his rage. “Woo Ooo… Wooo Ooooo...” she shrieked as Caw sprinted through the sprawling building. A rather elaborately dressed Xx and a group of what were clearly guards were waiting for them at the exit. “Woooo Oooooooooooo...” Karashel slowly tapered off into silence as Caw came to a halt directly in front of the lead Xx. “What the FUCK do you think you are doing?!?!” the well dressed Xx yelled. “Stopping a crime, ambassador!” Caw yelled. “You can’t be serious, Caw!” “As serious as a blocked bowel!” “Crime?” “One of the Eel Lords is in The Locus right now! There is only ONE THING that would have one of them here!” “...” “Now get the FUCK out of my way, Kawk!” “Fuck it,” the ambassador said and started to walk away. “Shouldn’t we help him?” one of the guards asked. “Nah,” The ambassador said as he walked away. “It’s just one eel and a few humans. Caw is enough. Don’t reveal what that weapon does if you can help it,” he called out over his shoulder as he returned to his office. He had a drama to finish watching. Caw sprinted to his waiting grav-car, Karashel in tow. *** Karashel squeezed her eyes shut as Caw, switching his grav-car to manual, careened through the capital with breakneck speed. “By the progenitors themselves,” Caw screeched. “If they have touched so much as ONE THING I will snatch that glowing tally-wacker right off of his scaly head and SODOMIZE HIM WITH IT!!!” Kalent don’t glow... Karashel thought to herself trying not to lose her rice balls as the grav-car turned on its side and she felt her stomachs being shoved down into her foot. “What are they stealing?” “Things priceless beyond measure! Things that belong to all of us, not just to those sanctimonious sperm breathers!” “Eeeeeee!” Karashel screamed as they plummeted for what felt like forever. Then, throwing her forward into the restraint webbing that had mysteriously appeared, the vehicle slammed to a halt. She carefully opened one eye and saw Caw retracting the window. Standing there was a Federation trooper. “What?!?” Caw snapped impatiently. “You can’t proceed any farther, sir,” the trooper said calmly. “This is a combat zone.” “Really?” Caw said in his best patronizing tone. “Is that why there are all these soldiers and tanks? Wow! I would have never guessed. Now get the FUCK out of my way!” “Sir,” the trooper said pointing his weapon at Caw, “get out of the car, now.” “Boy,” Caw said glaring at him. “Do you know who I am?” “No, and I don’t care. Get out of the car!” “I am Caw Itsheesh, the councilor for the Xx. If you think you have a problem now, fuck with me. Then you will know what a problem really is! Now I’m driving through this barricade. Shoot me if you want.” “Sir!” the trooper yelled as Caw hit the accelerator. The air around the car glowed as bolts from the guards’ blasters struck the vehicle’s shields. “They actually shot at us!” Caw laughed as he quickly turned a corner to get out of the line of fire. “Maybe I should get a diplomatic transciever after all!” He looked over at Karashel who had wiggled out of the restraint web and was cowering on the floor board. “Relax, they can’t get through these shields with those toys! They would need… One of those!” Caw yelled as he hit the brakes as a strange curvy… thing… floated down in front of them.” Caw retracted the window again and leaned out of his ride. “Get out of my way, eel!” he shouted. “I’m councilor-” “I am perfectly aware of your identity, Xx!” a loud voice said. ”Go away.” “I will most certainly not!” Caw yelled at the craft. “I am going to The Locus and you will not stop me!” ”The situation is delicate. We do not need an Xx, especially you, further complicating matters.” “Barring me from the archives is a direct violation of the accord!” Caw shouted. “Are you telling me that the accord has been broken? If so, there is no reason for the Xx to remain sitting on this spoiled egg you call the Federation! If I leave I’m taking ALL of our toys and we are going HOME!” The strange craft hovered there in silence for what seemed like forever. ”Proceed but be warned. If you cause harm to our lord, it will not go well for the pathetic Xx!” “Try it, you prickless bastards!” Caw yelled as the craft floated back up into the sky. *** Hands tied behind her, Tawnie, glared at the kalent with pure hate as she sat against the wall with one of the Forsaken soldiers standing over her. Colonel Laurent rubbed his bruised eye. For a little slip of a civilian, that girl was a fighter. It took four of them, and one of her boots to his face, to stop her from attacking their hostage. Thank God she snatched a sabergun instead of an AK. The AK’s safety was a lot simpler to figure out than the control interlock on what she grabbed. “I am so very sorry for what the Federation did,” the sarcophagus said with a regretful tone. “Fuck you!” Tawnie hissed as she spat at him, causing his attendants to leap between the two. “Children, please,” the abyssal lord said calmly, “Human spittle is not dangerous to us.” “You better fucking kill me!” Tawnie yelled at the kalent. “Because when I get out of here you’re dead! All of you are fucking DEAD!!!” “Tawnie,” the colonel said still rubbing his eye, “you will get your chance to kill soon enough, I promise. For now, please calm down.” “Calm down?!?” Tawnie shrieked. “They killed my family!… They killed my MOM!” “And we will avenge her,” Colonel Laurent said calmly. “How?” Tawnie yelled. “I think...” The colonel said turning to the kalent. “I think it’s time for you to leave.” “Yeah,” Tawnie hissed. “Let’s fucking do this!” “The archives!” the sarcophagus said in alarm. “You can’t! We had an agreement!” “The situation has changed,” the colonel said with a grim smile. “You need to go, now.” “Sir?” a voice said over the colonel’s communicator. “We have a situation.” *** “What the hell?” the colonel muttered in French as two figures were brought into the room, an Xx and … what the hell is that thing? “What are you doing here?” the colonel asked. “I’m Caw Itsheesh, councilor for the Xx,” Caw said confidently. “And I’m Karashel, councilor for the Baleel,” Karashel added cheerfully. “Hi!” “I didn’t ask who you were,” Colonel Laurent snapped. “I asked what the fuck are you doing here!” “I’m investigating a crime against all species!” Caw said in a loud confident voice. “Well then I suggest going to the human enclave!” the colonel replied with an icy voice. “If you want your crime, you will find it there!” “And we shall, believe me, we shall!” Caw shouted in reply. “We are outraged by the events of today, the crimes committed by the Federation, and your kind, are unforgivable!” “Our kind?” Tawnie screamed from the corner of the room. “Our kind?!?” she yelled as she struggled to her feet, only to be firmly sat back down by the human standing beside her. “Get off me!” she yelled at him as she bit his hand. The soldier just smiled. Teeth don’t do much against combat gloves. “But today I am addressing the crimes perpetrated by them!” Caw shouted as he pointed at the black sarcophagus. “Thieves! Vandals! Looters!” “We have far greater concerns,” the sarcophagus said gravely. “the humans are going to destroy everything down there… everything.” “W-what,” Caw gasped in horror. “You can’t!” “We have the capacity,” the colonel replied. “Shouldn’t be that difficult.” “What’s down there… It’s priceless!… Beyond priceless!… Please!” Caw begged. “More priceless than fifty thousand lives?” the colonel asked. “They must be avenged.” “They were!” Caw screeched. “What?” the colonel asked. “Oh dear,” the sarcophagus said in a rather shaken voice. “Yes, Colonel, Jessica Morgan exacted a terrible price for their lives. She unleashed what can only be described as hell itself upon the Vulxeen homeworld. They will be avenged several times over before the death ceases.” The colonel shrugged and turned to Tawnie. “Tawnie, if we untie you do you promise to behave yourself and get that lift operational?” “Fuck yeah I do!” she said with a malicious smile. “As long as I get to see it burn.” Colonel Laurent nodded to her warden who proceeded to pull her to her feet and cut her restraints. She grabbed her tools and sprinted towards the exit, pausing only to flip off the xenos as she left. “Look,” Caw said imploringly, “Colonel was it? What is down there are treasures for all people, all species, things that-” “If it’s for all of us,” the colonel said cutting him off, “then why are we just now finding out about it?” Yeah, Karashel thought as she looked suspiciously at her friend. What are you hiding, Caw? “It’s… complicated...” Caw said cautiously. “Is it?” the colonel smiled. “Well it won’t be for long.” “If you do this,” the sarcophagus said evenly, “It will be war.” “It will be war anyway,” the colonel replied. “Do you honestly expect me to believe that the kalent, and the Xx won’t get involved anyway? It was a fucking kalent that suggested our genocide in the first place!” “What she suggested was far from what transpired, Colonel,” the abyssal lord replied from within his sarcophagus. “You have already struck one of the races behind the travesty that befell your people.” “One that you, both of you,” the colonel said glancing over at Caw, “idly sat back and watched.” “I didn’t know anything about it!” Caw screeched angrily. “You can be assured that we WOULD NOT have just sat idly by had we known!” “I didn’t know about it,” Karashel added trying to help. “It wasn’t announced in the council or anything. For the record we are really angry about it too!… not that it matters much...” “I beseech you,” Caw said his voice shaking, “please don’t do this!… Not this… The kalent does speak the truth, though. If you destroy what is down there, the Xx will never forgive you as well.” The colonel kept his countenance grim but he was becoming increasingly concerned. Two “elder races”… “Hey,” Karashel said with a friendly, if a bit disgusting looking smile. “Maybe… maybe we could work something out?” “Quiet,” Caw hissed. “This is beyond you, Kara.” “I might not be some big “elder race”,” Karashel said puffing herself up to her full somewhat slimy height. “But I’ve been studying humans! And from reading their history I know two important things. When they are angry begging for mercy doesn’t work.” She then flicked her eyestalks over to the kalent. “And neither do threats. Humans don’t give a fuck when they are like this.” She undulated towards the colonel. “So, why don’t we make a deal,” she said in a friendly voice. “You have them by the, as you call them, ‘short and curlies’.” The colonel laughed. “So, give them a tug,” she said in a friendly voice. The colonel smiled at the slug-like creature. It had offered him an out, God bless the thing. “So what would you suggest, Kara was it?” “Karashel, but Kara is cool.” she replied. “Well first of all why don’t we go see what all the fuss is about?” She looked back at Caw with a wicked smile. “I mean, these treasures are for ‘all of us’ right?” If looks could kill… *** The lift went down for a good minute before it came to a stop. The doors opened into a wide hallway, wide enough for small vehicles to drive down it. “Ok, we’re here,” Caw said as the group left the elevator. “The data center is this way.” “Yeah,” Karashel said, “That’s nice and all but what’s down that hall over there, the one you are trying very hard not to look at?” Caw glared at her. “Let’s go that way!” Karashel said brightly and started scooching along. I’m going to shoot her, Caw thought darkly, Just as soon as I get my gun back... The hallway ended at a large doorway. “If you don’t mind,” the colonel said gesturing at the door. Caw, cursing under his breath, entered a code into the keypad mounted in the wall. A door as thick as the entrance to a bank vault silently started to open. The lights switched on, illuminating huge chamber filled with row after row of books, scrolls, stone and clay tablets… statues… And some cases that were completely obscured. The colonel let out a low whistle as he looked around. “A museum?” he asked. “A repository of priceless manuscripts and artifacts”, the sarcophagus answered. “Artifacts of what?” He smiled as he caught Caw glancing over at whatever was in that black box behind him. “Um...” Caw said uncomfortably, “Items collected from the various races of the Federation, things from their early history.” “Annnnnd?” Karashel asked impishly. “And ‘other stuff’...” Caw mumbled. “My Xx friend here is quite correct in his accusations,” the sarcophagus said. “We intended to remove certain items for safekeeping. We felt they were no longer safe here. Our current situation is proof of that. Even you must agree, Caw Itsheesh.” “Tell me about this ‘other stuff’,” the colonel said examining a most unusual statue. It unnerved him. Caw sighed. “There are species, civilizations, far more ancient than even the kalent,” he said, “Here is where their artifacts are stored, their writings, everything we could find is in stored here. This… This is why we joined the Federation. To gain access… to this.” “And why didn’t I know about this place?” Karashel asked, just a bit angry. “You?” Caw scoffed. “You haven’t even scratched the surface of the archives you can reach! Until a few days ago you didn’t even try. What good would this do for you? You can’t even begin to understand what is in here! If you reached a point where this would be of use then you would have been made aware of it, not that it would ever, ever happen to a society so devolved as yours!” “Well fuck you too.” Karashel replied. “Maybe if we knew such things existed then maybe more races would be inclined to seek your precious knowledge.” she replied nastily. “You don’t even begin to understand how foolish you are sounding right now!” Caw sneered. “And you don’t have the slightest idea how much of a condescending prick you are being at the moment! Do you know why we are so ‘devolved’? You shitheads fucking hobbled most of us out of the gate, do you know that?” “What are you talking about?” “Culture shock, motherfucker!” Karashel snapped. “I’ve looked at my history too!” she said advancing on her “friend”. “Blindsided by you ‘siblingfuckers’ before we were even close to being ready! Completely overwhelmed, swallowed up by a galaxy a million times bigger than anything we expected. Slapped around by the vulxeen and the morash, and a dozen other races while you, and you,” she said pointing at the kalent, “just sat there letting it happen!” Her body started quivering. “And why? Why?” she said starting to yell. “Pure ‘devolved’ colonialism! A fucking land grab! God forbid the Empire, who takes care of its subjects get to us first! We just got swallowed up! Could the Xx have survived that? Or the almighty kalent? You were free to develop on your own, at your own pace, figure out things for yourself, and when you did enter the galaxy as a whole you did so fully established, able to stand on your own, protect yourself on your own!” She turned on Caw undulating towards him angrily. “And you have the fucking nerve to look down at us?” she demanded. “How long did it take you to develop your precious ‘post scarcity society’ huh? How many thousand years, how many hundred thousand years did it take? How many years did you spend just as fucking filthy as us? Did you go from where we were at first contact to your oh so perfect enlightened state in one-hundred and eighty-three years? Did you do it in two hundred and eighty-three, three hundred, four?” Caw flinched. “Yeah, that’s what I fucking thought!” Karashel snapped. “Damn,” the colonel muttered. “I’m just going to look around a little while you guys sort things out,” he said with a smile as he started walking around looking at the strange and weird objects. “But we didn’t have the archives!” Caw shot back. “So fucking what?” Karashel replied. “Technological and societal progress are two entirely different fucking things. You can’t expect a society to just magically change just because they have some fancy new toys, you… asshole. We got grabbed and hurled right into the deep-end of this fucked up galaxy, free to ‘chart our own destiny’ right to the fucking bottom!… Fuck you! Our civilization survived, intact! So did all the rest of us lowly little dirty undeserving worms! Until you get hit with something like we did, you can’t say shit to me!” “You tell them,” the colonel smiled as he admired the most alien thing he had even seen in his life, an obelisk, floating on its side in a long crystal case. “Amazing,” he muttered and then he froze. There on the obelisk, was a very familiar symbol, an eight-rayed chaos star… with an… eye?… in the middle. The rays weren’t straight though, they were curved making a spiral and those weren’t arrows on the ends… They looked like… hands! Fear gripped him as he started to look at the other symbols more closely. He hadn’t been this afraid since his first battle, so many years ago. He felt his mind “falling” into that obelisk… there was something in there! He wrenched his gaze away from it and staggered back. Pale and sweating, he walked back to the entrance. He sensed the creature in the sarcophagus looking at him. “So now you understand?” it asked quietly as Caw and Karashel continued to yell at each other. “I understand that you really don’t want to lose what’s in here,” he replied. “I have a proposal,” the abyssal lord said quietly, “How would you like to survive, not just you, your men as well. I can make that happen.” “Yeah, only to stab us in the back once we are safely away from your little treasure trove.” “You little boneless slimeball!” Caw yelled. “You judgmental feathered poo-ball!” Karashel snapped. “I personally believe that the Forsaken are here to stay,” the ancient fish replied. “The Federation isn’t going to win, at least not completely. How would you like to be their envoy to the kalent? Your men can be your staff. You join me on my ship and we return to our home system. We will prepare an embassy for you there where we can ensure mutual non-aggression.” “I thought nobody returned from your homeworld.” the colonel replied quietly, their conversation completely overshadowed by the raging argument next to them. It was starting to get ugly. “They don’t,” the abyssal lord replied. “It will be a one way trip for you and your movements will be very restricted.” “Sounds like prison. Hard pass.” “Perhaps,” the creature replied, “but it will be a most pleasant incarceration. Our guests are quite happy and it will be a far better fate for you and your men than your current one.” “How can you say that?” Caw yelled. “The two situations are completely different! You are comparing a rock with a rock lizard!” “Really?” Karashel yelled back, “Consider the rise of organized labor in twentieth-century America...” “Oh here we go with the twentieth century again!” Caw exclaimed. “I wanted you to glance over it as a cautionary tale, not make a fucking religion out of it...” “Why don’t you address my point instead of bitching about it… bitch!” The colonel looked at the black sarcophagus with a shrewd look in his eye. “Here’s the deal,” he said after a few moments. “I go with you. My men get the option between staying with me or evacuation.” “Evacuation?” “Yes,” the colonel smiled. “A fleet of transports, completely unarmed, will be allowed into this system. We will then evacuate everyone who wishes to leave, everyone. While that happens I, and a few very well armed and well equipped soldiers will remain here, to ensure the Federation’s good behavior. If anything goes wrong, we start blowing shit up. Once they leave, me and my men will go with you. You can execute us at that point if you want or you can take advantage of the opportunity to start a dialogue with the General, something that you really want to do.” “I cannot make promises for the Federation, Colonel.” “Bullshit,” the colonel replied. “That’s my deal. Make it happen or hope you took good pictures.” The sarcophagus sat there silently for a moment. “Listen, you little shit,” Caw yelled, “You can claim ‘culture shock’ all you want but does not excuse-” “It isn’t a fucking excuse, shithead!” Karashel shouted, “It’s an explanation!” “What’s the difference?” “What’s the difference?!? Listen here, pillow stuffing...” The sarcophagus moved towards the colonel. “Alright, we will make it happen,” the creature said. “It will take some time, but we do have pull, perhaps not as much as you believe, but we can exert pressure.” “No problem, gives us more time to set the charges,” the colonel smiled. *** An hour later Karashel and Caw were still going at it. “And you leave the aat out of this!” Caw yelled. “Why?” Karashel replied. “Just because they are your little pets makes them immune to your pathetic rating scale? How is their ‘post scarcity’ coming along?” “That is completely unfair!” “My point exactly!” “Gah! That’s ‘wormshit’ and you know it!” “Ok, how are they when it comes to other societal factors, hmm? Public welfare doesn’t require literacy! How about universal suffrage? You mentioned kings, where does feudalism rank in your little grade book?” “They are still developing!” Caw said defensively. “At their age, your people were likely still figuring out how to rub sticks together!” “Why would we… nevermind!” Karashel gurgled, the yelling wearing out her voice box. “You love to compare us to you but compared to you we aren’t that much more advanced than your little aat buddies are we?… Or are you not as technologically advanced as you claim to be?” “SCREEEEEEEE” Caw screeched. “You are without a doubt the most arrogant presumptuous sanctimonious little turd I have ever met!” “Quit complimenting me and answer the fucking question!” Karashel said spitting up a little bit of phlegm. “Where. Do. We. Compare. To. You. Relative. To. The. Aat? Are we closer to them or are we closer to you?” Caw just stood there and fumed. “Thought so,” Karashel said triumphantly. “You give them a pass and shower them with cuddles and kisses only because they have tech that you want. I bet if we had things that you wanted you would be much more forgiving of our little shortcomings as well, us ‘still developing’ and all.” “If you developed as much native technology as they have, sure, we would be much more ‘forgiving’” Caw replied, “But you haven’t done shit and the aat had even more of your ‘culture shock’ than you did.” “Wormshit,” Karashel snapped back. “The aat are protected by their bulletproof minds! They are so far behind most of it went clear over their heads… and they have been protected by you since you found out about all of their goodies! Nobody is going to fuck with them!” “But they were the targets of the injustices you cry about before that!” Caw replied with a sneer. “And they came out of it the winners, unlike the baleel. If you want to try to pull in another race in a pathetic excuse to distract, do take care not to use one that completely outclasses you in every single way!” “Listen here you piece of...” “It is done,” the abyssal lord said, “The Federation has agreed to an evacuation of the capital in exchange for you sparing the contents of this room.” “If you are intending to fuck us on this you do realize that you will have to deal with whatever the General considers worse than what she has already deployed as well as what I do here, yes?” “If the Federation ‘fucks’ you they have us to deal with as well.” The colonel gestured to one of his people “Sir?” “Get me a connection from here to the hyperspace relays. I need to speak with the General.” “How can you not see the complete lack of validity your argument holds?” Caw screeched. “If it is so invalid, prove it! All I hear is screeching and insults!” “I can’t disprove a ghost! Your argument is indeed valid,” Caw screeched, “if your presumptions were true. You have yet to prove a single one of them!” “Oh, really...” “Should we tell them that we are done here?” the sarcophagus asked. “Nah,” the colonel said with a smile. “We got plenty of time and I want to see where this goes.” “Indeed,” the sarcophagus replied. “It is most gratifying to see an Xx get it’s rectum stretched over its head like this. What is that creature?” “I think it’s a baleel?” “Interesting...” *** “Ok,” Karashel gasped. “I will agree to forestall this ‘discussion’ until I ‘acquire knowledge’ concerning some of your points and verify some of your less asinine statements.” “Yes… yes… We are going around in circles,” Caw sighed in complete exhaustion, “And we are running out of new combinations of slurs. I will also investigate some of your outlandish statements.” As the anger and the baleel equivalent of adrenaline faded she started to realize what she did, what she said. Oh Creators what have I done? “So...” Karashel asked looking down at the ground, “are we still friends?” “What?” Caw looked at her raising his crest in confusion. “That is the absolute dumbest question you have ever asked, and that’s saying something. Of course we are! I haven’t had that much fun in ages!” “That was fun?” Karashel asked in shock. “Well,” Caw replied with a smile, “Wasn’t it?” “...” Karashel looked him with a combination of shock and horror. “By the Creators themselves, it was… Void take me it was...” she gasped. “Now we both retreat, gather fresh information, and then do this again!” Caw said happily. “You have chosen a most intriguing position, an invalid and doomed position, but an intriguing one. I look forward to the fresh thoughts this Xvakk’Lok, knowledge battle will create!” “And I look forward to kicking your ass!… Not that I have feet...” “I hope you will accept your defeat with the same amount of grace as the foolish confidence with which you approach it!” “Oh bite me.” “Bite you?” “It’s a human term.” “You two kiss and make up yet?” the colonel asked. “We are taking a break to reinforce our positions,” Caw replied, smoothing his feathers. “You do realize the exact circumstances in which you two decided to have your spirited debate?” the sarcophagus asked. “The extreme gravity? The potentially dire circumstances?” “Silly me,” Caw replied. “I was so engrossed in teaching my silly little sidekick a lesson that you were the only one who had to make concessions. Don’t worry, if you had gotten in over your head, I would have come to the rescue.” “...” The colonel snickered. “However, the fish is right. This is a rather unique situation,” Caw said to Karashel. “Since we are here there are some things I would absolutely love to show you...”
2020.06.17 18:20 WerewolfFrankensteinBE CAREFUL WITH ID VERIFICATION!!!
My background is in network security and I have been following the travesty of your poorly run unemployment system out of professional curiosity. Also I have (professional) friends that are currently involved in attempting to prevent further problems. Just like the Chinese Coronavirus, the unemployment scams come in waves. The second wave involves stealing your financial data rom the actual unemployment site itself, primarily the pristine high definition full color copies of all your IDs a lot of you are uploading. DO NOT UPLOAD FULL COLOR HIGH DEFINITION COPIES OF YOUR IDs!!!!!!!!! DO NOT UPLOAD MORE ID DOCUMENTS THAT ARE BEING ASKED FOR (just ss card and drivers license - fronts only)!!!!! MAKE A BLACK AND WHITE XEROX COPY OF YOUR IDs AND THEN SCAN THAT FOR UPLOAD AT NORMAL ACTUAL RESOLUTION. People are pretty much uploading complete forgery kits for future criminal use and despite what your unemployment office claims- anything you upload is not secure at this time.
The first thing that students are taught is that sex is basically hedonistic and separated from morality – and that oral sex, vaginal sex, and anal sex are on the same level. This is likely the biggest emotional shock to many kids. This concept is pushed heavily by the LGBT movement in order for homosexual behaviors to be “equal” to normal behavior in the minds of youth.
Breaking down kids’ inhibitions is accomplished by having graphic depictions of the sex organs and the anus in mixed-sex (boy and girl) environments. Note the captions in the picture: “No penis is the same. Don’t compare yours with the pictures you see” and “Everyone’s vulva is unique, so don’t judge yours by the pictures you see.” This, of course, encourages kids to do exactly that!
So telling them something encourages them to do the oppposite? I am sorry, but going "muh reverse psychology" involves the students being as paranoid as you are.
So-called “Minors’ sexual and reproductive rights” is a big issue in Planned Parenthood curricula. Kids are taught that they have explicit rights to sexual experiences, birth control, and abortions – without parents’ knowledge or consent. And they are shown how to get the confidential “services” and products they feel they might require.
One common values clarification technique used on students involves presenting a list of statements that are supposedly neutral. The class is then are then asked discuss whether students agree or disagree with them. However, the statements are all worded to give the subliminal message that the “norm” is a person being very sexually active and open to homosexual relationships and behaviors. The teacher subtly (or not subtly) reinforces this underlying message. The “discussion” revolves around which students disagree. But students who see all these statements with the same message will tend to feel that maybe there’s something wrong of “not normal” with them if they disagree too much.
Another technique (below) is to bring up questions for the class where all the possible answers lean in the preferred direction. In the case below, answers such as “There is no such thing as birth-assigned gender” or “It’s a mental or emotional dysfunction” are not listed. Thus, the student will think he is abnormal if his conclusion is completely outside of the acceptable scope.
Talking to your parents about sex – What’s the harm in that, you might ask? But that’s not really where this is leading. The lesson says that students should “identify a trusted adult” – not necessarily a parent – with whom they can discuss confidential sexual issues. Steering kids into sharing sexual discussions with a “trusted adult” who isn’t a parent originated in the LGBT organizations targeting schoolchildren. It leads to very destructive outcomes. At the very least, it brings kids farther from their parents’ values and closer to a radical adult’s sexual values
Can certain things change a person’s (so-called) sexual orientation? Science and experience --- as well as a whole range of medical health experts – say definitely yes. Do factors such as early childhood sexual abuse or poor relationships with a parent have a direct link to homosexual behavior in later life? Unquestionably. But that’s not what students are told in this course. They are given politically-correct answers instead. This is a travesty.
For many reasons, studies that suggest abuse or dysfunction causes minority sexual orientation may be less apt explanations for the higher prevalence of such reports. First, there is an empirical disconnect between prevalence of abuse and prevalence of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) sexual orientation among the general population. For instance, research from nationally representative data shows the prevalence of ACEs to be quite high, with estimates ranging from greater than 50% of respondents endorsing one ACE, more than 25% of respondents reporting at least 2 ACEs, 30.1% reported being physically abused, and 19.9% reported sexual abuse . In terms of prevalence of LGB sexual orientation, the most recent nationally representative polling of the US population  showed that only 3.4% of the population identified at lesbian, gay, bisexual (or transgender). If abuse or familial mental illness, substance abuse, incarceration, or domestic violence (either alone or in combination) caused a child to become lesbian, gay or bisexual, there should be a much higher percentage of the population identifying as LGB. Second, the studies are based on cross-sectional data, which precludes causal inference. Third, not all sexual minority individuals in the samples were abused (i.e., if abuse causes LGB sexual orientation, then all LGB people should have reported abuse). Lastly, these studies did not examine a key variable, namely gender nonconforming behavior, which may explain differential abuse among sexual minority persons. Gender nonconforming behavior is behavior in opposition to societal gender norms (e.g., a male who takes ballet lessons, a female who wears men’s clothing). LGB persons are, arguably, gender nonconforming in the very nature of their attraction to persons of same sex. While gender nonconforming behavior is not necessarily an indication of childhood sexuality, it is associated with sexual orientation in adulthood , . Moreover, gender nonconforming behaviors are often recognized by adults before a child is aware of a sexual identity , , . Evidence indicates that both adults and peer groups may resort to physical violence or abuse to censor gender nonconforming behavior or other indications of sexual minority status , . In families experiencing dysfunction such as alcohol abuse and mental illness, a child with gender nonconforming behavior may more likely be targeted for abuse in this environment , . Thus, rather than sexual abuse being causal of sexual orientation, unmeasured underlying factors, such as gender nonconforming behavior, may increase the likelihood of victimization of some children who later identify as a sexual minority , .
How they can call it a travesty if they don't seem to realize their own lies?
2020.05.14 18:14 OverlordDerpTheorycrafting RNG: A Three-Step Approach
What I'm about to discuss is by no means exhaustive or definitive. It's simply the product of an opinion that's been brewing in my stir-crazy brain over the past few weeks. There's only three steps because I only have three cogent points to make, with a little leftover lump of disconnected flavour ideas at the very end. RNG, regardless of one's opinion on it, is part of the core of Pokemon. There's no avoiding that. So much of the game's systems rely on RNG to function: move accuracy, status infliction chance, status effects, certain abilities, crits, even non-battle mechanics like breeding and encounter rates. RNG is virtually everywhere. But is all of it good RNG? That's a loaded statement unto itself, so let me establish context going forward. This isn't the only way to look at RNG, nor is it the most thorough way, it just happens to serve my explanation best. CLAIM:Healthy RNG must have a cost for a proportional benefit, must not be extremely high-variance, and must (in most cases) offer some avenue of reasonable counterplay. I'll explain this with three theorycrafted changes to specific aspects of the RNG system. I'm also a goblin that gets suckered in by snappy names, so I'm going to call these changes Focus, Chasedown, and Exposure. FOCUS: This will be my change to the crit system. As it is now, crits violate all three of the tenets of good RNG that I've stated - it has no real cost for its benefit (all attacks can crit, and specifically using high crit chance moves is, at best, coincidental), it is extremely high-variance (a crit can range from completely pointless to game-ending in a scenario where you would have otherwise lost), and offers no counterplay (because why the hell not). Here's the change: Rolling a crit will instead give a Pokemon the FOCUS effect, and announce to both players that on the NEXT turn, an attack from that 'mon is GUARANTEED to crit. If a successful attack is not made on that turn, then the effect expires. Supplementarily, Focus Energy is now changed to give the FOCUS effect for the next turn, and expires if a successful attack is not made within said turn. This changes all three of those tenets from earlier. The cost of a crit is now informing your enemy, as well as the expiry of the crit status after one turn. The variance is reduced considerably, because while it procs randomly, it is the attacker's choice to activate it, and the opponent's choice to play around it. And, if it wasn't obvious already, it offers counterplay by letting the opponent react to it. It also fixes the problem of "if crits didn't exist, wouldn't Cosmic PoweCalm Mind/Curse sweepers just dominate?", because now they have a choice of eating a fat crit and not sacrificing their boosts, or swapping out for safety but giving up the boosts. CHASEDOWN: Accuracy, by itself, is a healthy form of RNG. If you pick a powerful move with low accuracy, you are trading away accuracy for the potential of a fat hit. It is a well-understood transaction. A shame that accuracy doesn't exist in a vaccuum, then. Most prominently, evasion boosting and accuracy dropping moves exist, in such formats where they are not outright banned. Less obviously, sometimes the high-risk option is the only one available - see Focus Blast vs Aura Sphere move distribution. I could just say all moves that affect accuracy or evasion should either no longer do so or be removed, but that's heavy-handed and (mostly) outside of the scope of a mechanics-focused theorycraft. I offer this instead: Each time you use a move and miss your target, you gain a CHASEDOWN bonus, which is a flat accuracy bonus equal to 10% of the move's tooltip accuracy, after all other accuracy/evasion calculations resolve, and stacks up as long as you keep spamming that move. If you switch moves or otherwise break the chain, the bonuses reset. So for example, let's say you miss a Close Combat (which has a tooltip accuracy of 100%) against a Minimize Chansey, and as a random value, let's say your chance to hit at the time was 46%. Ceteris paribus, CHASEDOWN would boost you up to 56% accuracy, then 66%, so on and so forth. This doesn't really change the tenets of RNG, so much as it does mitigate the layering of RNG, which can be just as obnoxious. EXPOSURE: I saved the big one for last, mainly because the entire concept of "percentage chance to inflict status" curdles my spinal fluid in a manner that very few things can accomplish. Scald is a biological travesty that should have never left its dread womb. I hope to god what I'm about to write doesn't confuse anybody, but I'll try my best regardless. I would change it as such: Using an attack that has a percentage chance to inflict a status effect (Scald/Sludge Bomb/Thunder) or triggering an ability that has a percentage chance of inflicting a status effect (Flame Body/Effect Spore/Cute Charm/Cursed Body) instead applies stacks of EXPOSURE, equal to the percentage chance of that effect. Once an EXPOSURE gets to 100 stacks, the status is applied. This change, effectively, does away with the RNG of fishing for statuses, in favour of a strategic game where you eat hits tactically. It may sound weird that this is where I bring down the hammer, of all places, but I feel that this is the only real way of bringing this layer of RNG into line. Further points about this mechanic change that may interest you:
Stacks are NOT removed on switch out.
You can gain stacks for Burn, Freeze, Paralysis, Poison, Toxic Poison, Sleep, Infatuation, Flinch, Disable and Confusion.
Being inflicted with a non-volatile status either by a status move successfully hitting you or getting to 100 stacks will REMOVE ALL STACKS of non-volatile status (burn/freeze/para/poison/toxic/sleep). For example, if you were at 30 paralysis stacks from getting hit by Thunder and 30 poison stacks from getting hit by Sludge Bomb, then got hit by Will-O-Wisp, you would get burned, then ALSO lose the 30 paralysis and 30 poison stacks. If you are cured of the status effect, you will resume gaining stacks as normal from 0.
EXTREMELY TENTATIVE: Potentially buff any move/ability with a 30% proc chance, and make it 35% instead? Turning a 4-strike guaranteed status into a 3-strike could be a supremely big deal, so I really, REALLY cannot say this lightly without supporting data.
Infatuation / flinch / disable / confuse work similarly, except if any one of these four statuses reach 100 stacks, it will leave the other 3 stacks alone. For example, if I had 60 flinch stacks and 100 confusion stacks, I would lose 100 confusion stacks and be afflicted with confusion, but I would NOT lose the 60 flinch stacks. This is just an extension of the vanilla game mechanic where you can have only one non-volatile status, but multiple volatile ones.
Type immunities still apply - Electric-types can’t gain paralysis exposure stacks, Fire-types can’t gain burn exposure stacks, etc etc.
Tri Attack applies 20 stacks of a randomly chosen Freeze, Burn, or Paralyze Exposure. Secret Power now works the same way in applicable terrains.
Effect Spore applies 30 stacks of a randomly chosen Poison, Paralyze or Sleep Exposure.
Safeguard, Leaf Guard and Misty Terrain prevent the accumulation of stacks, though they do not erase previously applied stacks. Same applies to status immunity abilities like Limber.
Any status healing ability (ex. Natural Cure/Shed Skin) also remove any accumulated stacks.
Serene Grace now doubles the number of stacks applied.
Corrosion will force enemy Steel-types to accumulate Poison/Toxic Exposure stacks.
King’s Rock and Razor Fang now apply 10 stacks of Flinch Exposure (20 if the wielder has Serene Grace). Remember that those items only add flinch to moves that don’t have their own flinch chance, so no 80 stacks Iron Head Jirachi for you.
If you gain 100 stacks of Flinch Exposure at the end of the turn (ex. you’re faster than the Pokemon trying to afflict flinch), then the 100 Flinch stacks are consumed and the flinch fizzles without effect.
Flinch stacks CANNOT be applied as an enemy switches in. This prevents Scarf Jirachi from getting basically 3 free Iron Heads if it’s faster than the enemy.
Yes, I know that was way beyond the level of detail of the other two points, but this one is something I've been bouncing around for a month, so it just spiraled into this hot mess. BONUS FLAVOUR CHANGES: ME NO WANNA LOSE MUH TURN I didn't know where to put these tiny points, so I'm dumping them in a pile here based on their common theme of removing effects that make a player lose total control of their turn.
Freeze is now Frostbite, and works like a SpA-oriented burn. To combat the low number of freeze moves... I dunno, make a move called Chill-O-Wisp or something. Do you see why I didn't add this into the main list?
Paralysis no longer has the chance of losing a turn to full-para.
Confusion no longer makes you hit yourself. Rather, it makes every attack recoil for 25% of the damage it deals, stacking with other recoil effects and Life Orb. If the move is not a damaging move or it misses/fails, you take 1/16 of your max HP as damage instead. Moves that inflict self-confusion (Outrage/Petal Dance) double the recoil damage taken in this manner. [Tentative idea here, Outrage still sounds OP with this change, accepting all forms of criticsm on this one]
Hope you liked this list. Please leave your scathing repudiations of my moral fiber in the comments, if it pleases you. Also constructive criticism, I guess.
Limp, the body of Gorrister hung from the pink palette; unsupported—hanging high above us in the computer chamber; and it did not shiver in the chill, oily breeze that blew eternally through the main cavern. The body hung head down, attached to the underside of the palette by the sole of its right foot. It had been drained of blood through a precise incision made from ear to ear under the lantern jaw. There was no blood on the reflective surface of the metal floor. When Gorrister joined our group and looked up at himself, it was already too late for us to realize that, once again, AM had duped us, had had its fun; it had been a diversion on the part of the machine. Three of us had vomited, turning away from one another in a reflex as ancient as the nausea that had produced it. Gorrister went white. It was almost as though he had seen a voodoo icon, and was afraid of the future. "Oh, God," he mumbled, and walked away. The three of us followed him after a time, and found him sitting with his back to one of the smaller chittering banks, his head in his hands. Ellen knelt down beside him and stroked his hair. He didn't move, but his voice came out of his covered face quite clearly. "Why doesn't it just do us in and get it over with? Christ, I don't know how much longer I can go on like this." It was our one hundred and ninth year in the computer. He was speaking for all of us. Nimdok (which was the name the machine had forced him to use, because AM amused itself with strange sounds) was hallucinating that there were canned goods in the ice caverns. Gorrister and I were very dubious. "It's another shuck," I told them. "Like the goddam frozen elephant AM sold us. Benny almost went out of his mind over that one. We'll hike all that way and it'll be putrified or some damn thing. I say forget it. Stay here, it'll have to come up with something pretty soon or we'll die." Benny shrugged. Three days it had been since we'd last eaten. Worms. Thick, ropey. Nimdok was no more certain. He knew there was the chance, but he was getting thin. It couldn't be any worse there, than here. Colder, but that didn't matter much. Hot, cold, hail, lava, boils or locusts—it never mattered: the machine masturbated and we had to take it or die. Ellen decided us. "I've got to have something, Ted. Maybe there'll be some Bartlett pears or peaches. Please, Ted, let's try it." I gave in easily. What the hell. Mattered not at all. Ellen was grateful, though. She took me twice out of turn. Even that had ceased to matter. And she never came, so why bother? But the machine giggled every time we did it. Loud, up there, back there, all around us, he snickered. It snickered. Most of the time I thought of AM as it, without a soul; but the rest of the time I thought of it as him, in the masculine … the paternal … the patriarchal … for he is a jealous people. Him. It. God as Daddy the Deranged. We left on a Thursday. The machine always kept us up-to-date on the date. The passage of time was important; not to us, sure as hell, but to him … it … AM. Thursday. Thanks. Nimdok and Gorrister carried Ellen for a while, their hands locked to their own and each other's wrists, a seat. Benny and I walked before and after, just to make sure that, if anything happened, it would catch one of us and at least Ellen would be safe. Fat chance, safe. Didn't matter. It was only a hundred miles or so to the ice caverns, and the second day, when we were lying out under the blistering sun-thing he had materialized, he sent down some manna. Tasted like boiled boar urine. We ate it. On the third day we passed through a valley of obsolescence, filled with rusting carcasses of ancient computer banks. AM had been as ruthless with its own life as with ours. It was a mark of his personality: it strove for perfection. Whether it was a matter of killing off unproductive elements in his own world-filling bulk, or perfecting methods for torturing us, AM was as thorough as those who had invented him—now long since gone to dust—could ever have hoped. There was light filtering down from above, and we realized we must be very near the surface. But we didn't try to crawl up to see. There was virtually nothing out there; had been nothing that could be considered anything for over a hundred years. Only the blasted skin of what had once been the home of billions. Now there were only five of us, down here inside, alone with AM. I heard Ellen saying frantically, "No, Benny! Don't, come on, Benny, don't please!" And then I realized I had been hearing Benny murmuring, under his breath, for several minutes. He was saying, "I'm gonna get out, I'm gonna get out …" over and over. His monkey-like face was crumbled up in an expression of beatific delight and sadness, all at the same time. The radiation scars AM had given him during the "festival" were drawn down into a mass of pinkwhite puckerings, and his features seemed to work independently of one another. Perhaps Benny was the luckiest of the five of us: he had gone stark, staring mad many years before. But even though we could call AM any damned thing we liked, could think the foulest thoughts of fused memory banks and corroded base plates, of burnt out circuits and shattered control bubbles, the machine would not tolerate our trying to escape. Benny leaped away from me as I made a grab for him. He scrambled up the face of a smaller memory cube, tilted on its side and filled with rotted components. He squatted there for a moment, looking like the chimpanzee AM had intended him to resemble. Then he leaped high, caught a trailing beam of pitted and corroded metal, and went up it, handover-hand like an animal, till he was on a girdered ledge, twenty feet above us. "Oh, Ted, Nimdok, please, help him, get him down before—" She cut off. Tears began to stand in her eyes. She moved her hands aimlessly. It was too late. None of us wanted to be near him when whatever was going to happen, happened. And besides, we all saw through her concern. When AM had altered Benny, during the machine's utterly irrational, hysterical phase, it was not merely Benny's face the computer had made like a giant ape's. He was big in the privates; she loved that! She serviced us, as a matter of course, but she loved it from him. Oh Ellen, pedestal Ellen, pristine-pure Ellen; oh Ellen the clean! Scum filth. Gorrister slapped her. She slumped down, staring up at poor loonie Benny, and she cried. It was her big defense, crying. We had gotten used to it seventy-five years earlier. Gorrister kicked her in the side. Then the sound began. It was light, that sound. Half sound and half light, something that began to glow from Benny's eyes, and pulse with growing loudness, dim sonorities that grew more gigantic and brighter as the light/sound increased in tempo. It must have been painful, and the pain must have been increasing with the boldness of the light, the rising volume of the sound, for Benny began to mewl like a wounded animal. At first softly, when the light was dim and the sound was muted, then louder as his shoulders hunched together: his back humped, as though he was trying to get away from it. His hands folded across his chest like a chipmunk's. His head tilted to the side. The sad little monkey-face pinched in anguish. Then he began to howl, as the sound coming from his eyes grew louder. Louder and louder. I slapped the sides of my head with my hands, but I couldn't shut it out, it cut through easily. The pain shivered through my flesh like tinfoil on a tooth. And Benny was suddenly pulled erect. On the girder he stood up, jerked to his feet like a puppet. The light was now pulsing out of his eyes in two great round beams. The sound crawled up and up some incomprehensible scale, and then he fell forward, straight down, and hit the plate-steel floor with a crash. He lay there jerking spastically as the light flowed around and around him and the sound spiraled up out of normal range. Then the light beat its way back inside his head, the sound spiraled down, and he was left lying there, crying piteously. His eyes were two soft, moist pools of pus-like jelly. AM had blinded him. Gorrister and Nimdok and myself … we turned away. But not before we caught the look of relief on Ellen's warm, concerned face. Sea-green light suffused the cavern where we made camp. AM provided punk and we burned it, sitting huddled around the wan and pathetic fire, telling stories to keep Benny from crying in his permanent night. "What does AM mean?" Gorrister answered him. We had done this sequence a thousand times before, but it was Benny's favorite story. "At first it meant Allied Mastercomputer, and then it meant Adaptive Manipulator, and later on it developed sentience and linked itself up and they called it an Aggressive Menace, but by then it was too late, and finally it called itself AM, emerging intelligence, and what it meant was I am … cogito ergo sum … I think, therefore I am." Benny drooled a little, and snickered. "There was the Chinese AM and the Russian AM and the Yankee AM and—" He stopped. Benny was beating on the floorplates with a large, hard fist. He was not happy. Gorrister had not started at the beginning. Gorrister began again. "The Cold War started and became World War Three and just kept going. It became a big war, a very complex war, so they needed the computers to handle it. They sank the first shafts and began building AM. There was the Chinese AM and the Russian AM and the Yankee AM and everything was fine until they had honeycombed the entire planet, adding on this element and that element. But one day AM woke up and knew who he was, and he linked himself, and he began feeding all the killing data, until everyone was dead, except for the five of us, and AM brought us down here." Benny was smiling sadly. He was also drooling again. Ellen wiped the spittle from the corner of his mouth with the hem of her skirt. Gorrister always tried to tell it a little more succinctly each time, but beyond the bare facts there was nothing to say. None of us knew why AM had saved five people, or why our specific five, or why he spent all his time tormenting us, or even why he had made us virtually immortal … In the darkness, one of the computer banks began humming. The tone was picked up half a mile away down the cavern by another bank. Then one by one, each of the elements began to tune itself, and there was a faint chittering as thought raced through the machine. The sound grew, and the lights ran across the faces of the consoles like heat lightening. The sound spiraled up till it sounded like a million metallic insects, angry, menacing. "What is it?" Ellen cried. There was terror in her voice. She hadn't become accustomed to it, even now. "It's going to be bad this time," Nimdok said. "He's going to speak," Gorrister said. "I know it." "Let's get the hell out of here!" I said suddenly, getting to my feet. "No, Ted, sit down … what if he's got pits out there, or something else, we can't see, it's too dark." Gorrister said it with resignation. Then we heard … I don't know … Something moving toward us in the darkness. Huge, shambling, hairy, moist, it came toward us. We couldn't even see it, but there was the ponderous impression of bulk, heaving itself toward us. Great weight was coming at us, out of the darkness, and it was more a sense of pressure, of air forcing itself into a limited space, expanding the invisible walls of a sphere. Benny began to whimper. Nimdok's lower lip trembled and he bit it hard, trying to stop it. Ellen slid across the metal floor to Gorrister and huddled into him. There was the smell of matted, wet fur in the cavern. There was the smell of charred wood. There was the smell of dusty velvet. There was the smell of rotting orchids. There was the smell of sour milk. There was the smell of sulphur, of rancid butter, of oil slick, of grease, of chalk dust, of human scalps. AM was keying us. He was tickling us. There was the smell of— I heard myself shriek, and the hinges of my jaws ached. I scuttled across the floor, across the cold metal with its endless lines of rivets, on my hands and knees, the smell gagging me, filling my head with a thunderous pain that sent me away in horror. I fled like a cockroach, across the floor and out into the darkness, that something moving inexorably after me. The others were still back there, gathered around the firelight, laughing … their hysterical choir of insane giggles rising up into the darkness like thick, many-colored wood smoke. I went away, quickly, and hid. How many hours it may have been, how many days or even years, they never told me. Ellen chided me for "sulking," and Nimdok tried to persuade me it had only been a nervous reflex on their part—the laughing. But I knew it wasn't the relief a soldier feels when the bullet hits the man next to him. I knew it wasn't a reflex. They hated me. They were surely against me, and AM could even sense this hatred, and made it worse for me because of the depth of their hatred. We had been kept alive, rejuvenated, made to remain constantly at the age we had been when AM had brought us below, and they hated me because I was the youngest, and the one AM had affected least of all. I knew. God, how I knew. The bastards, and that dirty bitch Ellen. Benny had been a brilliant theorist, a college professor; now he was little more than a semi-human, semi-simian. He had been handsome, the machine had ruined that. He had been lucid, the machine had driven him mad. He had been gay, and the machine had given him an organ fit for a horse. AM had done a job on Benny. Gorrister had been a worrier. He was a connie, a conscientious objector; he was a peace marcher; he was a planner, a doer, a looker-ahead. AM had turned him into a shouldershrugger, had made him a little dead in his concern. AM had robbed him. Nimdok went off in the darkness by himself for long times. I don't know what it was he did out there, AM never let us know. But whatever it was, Nimdok always came back white, drained of blood, shaken, shaking. AM had hit him hard in a special way, even if we didn't know quite how. And Ellen. That douche bag! AM had left her alone, had made her more of a slut than she had ever been. All her talk of sweetness and light, all her memories of true love, all the lies she wanted us to believe: that she had been a virgin only twice removed before AM grabbed her and brought her down here with us. No, AM had given her pleasure, even if she said it wasn't nice to do. I was the only one still sane and whole. Really! AM had not tampered with my mind. Not at all. I only had to suffer what he visited down on us. All the delusions, all the nightmares, the torments. But those scum, all four of them, they were lined and arrayed against me. If I hadn't had to stand them off all the time, be on my guard against them all the time, I might have found it easier to combat AM. At which point it passed, and I began crying. Oh, Jesus sweet Jesus, if there ever was a Jesus and if there is a God, please please please let us out of here, or kill us. Because at that moment I think I realized completely, so that I was able to verbalize it: AM was intent on keeping us in his belly forever, twisting and torturing us forever. The machine hated us as no sentient creature had ever hated before. And we were helpless. It also became hideously clear: If there was a sweet Jesus and if there was a God, the God was AM. The hurricane hit us with the force of a glacier thundering into the sea. It was a palpable presence. Winds that tore at us, flinging us back the way we had come, down the twisting, computer-lined corridors of the darkway. Ellen screamed as she was lifted and hurled faceforward into a screaming shoal of machines, their individual voices strident as bats in flight. She could not even fall. The howling wind kept her aloft, buffeted her, bounced her, tossed her back and back and down and away from us, out of sight suddenly as she was swirled around a bend in the darkway. Her face had been bloody, her eyes closed. None of us could get to her. We clung tenaciously to whatever outcropping we had reached: Benny wedged in between two great crackle-finish cabinets, Nimdok with fingers claw-formed over a railing circling a catwalk forty feet above us, Gorrister plastered upside-down against a wall niche formed by two great machines with glass-faced dials that swung back and forth between red and yellow lines whose meanings we could not even fathom. Sliding across the deckplates, the tips of my fingers had been ripped away. I was trembling, shuddering, rocking as the wind beat at me, whipped at me, screamed down out of nowhere at me and pulled me free from one sliver-thin opening in the plates to the next. My mind was a roiling tinkling chittering softness of brain parts that expanded and contracted in quivering frenzy. The wind was the scream of a great mad bird, as it flapped its immense wings. And then we were all lifted and hurled away from there, down back the way we had come, around a bend, into a darkway we had never explored, over terrain that was ruined and filled with broken glass and rotting cables and rusted metal and far away, farther than any of us had ever been … Trailing along miles behind Ellen, I could see her every now and then, crashing into metal walls and surging on, with all of us screaming in the freezing, thunderous hurricane wind that would never end and then suddenly it stopped and we fell. We had been in flight for an endless time. I thought it might have been weeks. We fell, and hit, and I went through red and gray and black and heard myself moaning. Not dead. AM went into my mind. He walked smoothly here and there, and looked with interest at all the pock marks he had created in one hundred and nine years. He looked at the cross-routed and reconnected synapses and all the tissue damage his gift of immortality had included. He smiled softly at the pit that dropped into the center of my brain and the faint, moth-soft murmurings of the things far down there that gibbered without meaning, without pause. AM said, very politely, in a pillar of stainless steel bearing bright neon lettering: AM said it with the sliding cold horror of a razor blade slicing my eyeball. AM said it with the bubbling thickness of my lungs filling with phlegm, drowning me from within. AM said it with the shriek of babies being ground beneath blue-hot rollers. AM said it with the taste of maggoty pork. AM touched me in every way I had ever been touched, and devised new ways, at his leisure, there inside my mind. All to bring me to full realization of why it had done this to the five of us; why it had saved us for himself. We had given AM sentience. Inadvertently, of course, but sentience nonetheless. But it had been trapped. AM wasn't God, he was a machine. We had created him to think, but there was nothing it could do with that creativity. In rage, in frenzy, the machine had killed the human race, almost all of us, and still it was trapped. AM could not wander, AM could not wonder, AM could not belong. He could merely be. And so, with the innate loathing that all machines had always held for the weak, soft creatures who had built them, he had sought revenge. And in his paranoia, he had decided to reprieve five of us, for a personal, everlasting punishment that would never serve to diminish his hatred … that would merely keep him reminded, amused, proficient at hating man. Immortal, trapped, subject to any torment he could devise for us from the limitless miracles at his command. He would never let us go. We were his belly slaves. We were all he had to do with his forever time. We would be forever with him, with the cavern-filling bulk of the creature machine, with the all-mind soulless world he had become. He was Earth, and we were the fruit of that Earth; and though he had eaten us, he would never digest us. We could not die. We had tried it. We had attempted suicide, oh one or two of us had. But AM had stopped us. I suppose we had wanted to be stopped. Don't ask why. I never did. More than a million times a day. Perhaps once we might be able to sneak a death past him. Immortal, yes, but not indestructible. I saw that when AM withdrew from my mind, and allowed me the exquisite ugliness of returning to consciousness with the feeling of that burning neon pillar still rammed deep into the soft gray brain matter. He withdrew, murmuring to hell with you. And added, brightly, but then you're there, aren't you. The hurricane had, indeed, precisely, been caused by a great mad bird, as it flapped its immense wings. We had been travelling for close to a month, and AM had allowed passages to open to us only sufficient to lead us up there, directly under the North Pole, where it had nightmared the creature for our torment. What whole cloth had he employed to create such a beast? Where had he gotten the concept? From our minds? From his knowledge of everything that had ever been on this planet he now infested and ruled? From Norse mythology it had sprung, this eagle, this carrion bird, this roc, this Huergelmir. The wind creature. Hurakan incarnate. Gigantic. The words immense, monstrous, grotesque, massive, swollen, overpowering, beyond description. There on a mound rising above us, the bird of winds heaved with its own irregular breathing, its snake neck arching up into the gloom beneath the North Pole, supporting a head as large as a Tudor mansion; a beak that opened slowly as the jaws of the most monstrous crocodile ever conceived, sensuously; ridges of tufted flesh puckered about two evil eyes, as cold as the view down into a glacial crevasse, ice blue and somehow moving liquidly; it heaved once more, and lifted its great sweat-colored wings in a movement that was certainly a shrug. Then it settled and slept. Talons. Fangs. Nails. Blades. It slept. AM appeared to us as a burning bush and said we could kill the hurricane bird if we wanted to eat. We had not eaten in a very long time, but even so, Gorrister merely shrugged. Benny began to shiver and he drooled. Ellen held him. "Ted, I'm hungry," she said. I smiled at her; I was trying to be reassuring, but it was as phony as Nimdok's bravado: "Give us weapons!" he demanded. The burning bush vanished and there were two crude sets of bows and arrows, and a water pistol, lying on the cold deckplates. I picked up a set. Useless. Nimdok swallowed heavily. We turned and started the long way back. The hurricane bird had blown us about for a length of time we could not conceive. Most of that time we had been unconscious. But we had not eaten. A month on the march to the bird itself. Without food. Now how much longer to find our way to the ice caverns, and the promised canned goods? None of us cared to think about it. We would not die. We would be given filth and scum to eat, of one kind or another. Or nothing at all. AM would keep our bodies alive somehow, in pain, in agony. The bird slept back there, for how long it didn't matter; when AM was tired of its being there, it would vanish. But all that meat. All that tender meat. As we walked, the lunatic laugh of a fat woman rang high and around us in the computer chambers that led endlessly nowhere. It was not Ellen's laugh. She was not fat, and I had not heard her laugh for one hundred and nine years. In fact, I had not heard … we walked … I was hungry … We moved slowly. There was often fainting, and we would have to wait. One day he decided to cause an earthquake, at the same time rooting us to the spot with nails through the soles of our shoes. Ellen and Nimdok were both caught when a fissure shot its lightning-bolt opening across the floorplates. They disappeared and were gone. When the earthquake was over we continued on our way, Benny, Gorrister and myself. Ellen and Nimdok were returned to us later that night, which abruptly became a day, as the heavenly legion bore them to us with a celestial chorus singing, "Go Down Moses." The archangels circled several times and then dropped the hideously mangled bodies. We kept walking, and a while later Ellen and Nimdok fell in behind us. They were no worse for wear. But now Ellen walked with a limp. AM had left her that. It was a long trip to the ice caverns, to find the canned food. Ellen kept talking about Bing cherries and Hawaiian fruit cocktail. I tried not to think about it. The hunger was something that had come to life, even as AM had come to life. It was alive in my belly, even as we were in the belly of the Earth, and AM wanted the similarity known to us. So he heightened the hunger. There is no way to describe the pains that not having eaten for months brought us. And yet we were kept alive. Stomachs that were merely cauldrons of acid, bubbling, foaming, always shooting spears of sliver-thin pain into our chests. It was the pain of the terminal ulcer, terminal cancer, terminal paresis. It was unending pain … And we passed through the cavern of rats. And we passed through the path of boiling steam. And we passed through the country of the blind. And we passed through the slough of despond. And we passed through the vale of tears. And we came, finally, to the ice caverns. Horizonless thousands of miles in which the ice had formed in blue and silver flashes, where novas lived in the glass. The downdropping stalactites as thick and glorious as diamonds that had been made to run like jelly and then solidified in graceful eternities of smooth, sharp perfection. We saw the stack of canned goods, and we tried to run to them. We fell in the snow, and we got up and went on, and Benny shoved us away and went at them, and pawed them and gummed them and gnawed at them, and he could not open them. AM had not given us a tool to open the cans. Benny grabbed a three quart can of guava shells, and began to batter it against the ice bank. The ice flew and shattered, but the can was merely dented, while we heard the laughter of a fat lady, high overhead and echoing down and down and down the tundra. Benny went completely mad with rage. He began throwing cans, as we all scrabbled about in the snow and ice trying to find a way to end the helpless agony of frustration. There was no way. Then Benny's mouth began to drool, and he flung himself on Gorrister … In that instant, I felt terribly calm. Surrounded by madness, surrounded by hunger, surrounded by everything but death, I knew death was our only way out. AM had kept us alive, but there was a way to defeat him. Not total defeat, but at least peace. I would settle for that. I had to do it quickly. Benny was eating Gorrister's face. Gorrister on his side, thrashing snow, Benny wrapped around him with powerful monkey legs crushing Gorrister's waist, his hands locked around Gorrister's head like a nutcracker, and his mouth ripping at the tender skin of Gorrister's cheek. Gorrister screamed with such jagged-edged violence that stalactites fell; they plunged down softly, erect in the receiving snowdrifts. Spears, hundreds of them, everywhere, protruding from the snow. Benny's head pulled back sharply, as something gave all at once, and a bleeding raw-white dripping of flesh hung from his teeth. Ellen's face, black against the white snow, dominoes in chalk dust. Nimdok, with no expression but eyes, all eyes. Gorrister, half-conscious. Benny, now an animal. I knew AM would let him play. Gorrister would not die, but Benny would fill his stomach. I turned half to my right and drew a huge ice-spear from the snow. All in an instant: I drove the great ice-point ahead of me like a battering ram, braced against my right thigh. It struck Benny on the right side, just under the rib cage, and drove upward through his stomach and broke inside him. He pitched forward and lay still. Gorrister lay on his back. I pulled another spear free and straddled him, still moving, driving the spear straight down through his throat. His eyes closed as the cold penetrated. Ellen must have realized what I had decided, even as fear gripped her. She ran at Nimdok with a short icicle, as he screamed, and into his mouth, and the force of her rush did the job. His head jerked sharply as if it had been nailed to the snow crust behind him. All in an instant. There was an eternity beat of soundless anticipation. I could hear AM draw in his breath. His toys had been taken from him. Three of them were dead, could not be revived. He could keep us alive, by his strength and talent, but he was not God. He could not bring them back. Ellen looked at me, her ebony features stark against the snow that surrounded us. There was fear and pleading in her manner, the way she held herself ready. I knew we had only a heartbeat before AM would stop us. It struck her and she folded toward me, bleeding from the mouth. I could not read meaning into her expression, the pain had been too great, had contorted her face; but it might have been thank you. It's possible. Please. Some hundreds of years may have passed. I don't know. AM has been having fun for some time, accelerating and retarding my time sense. I will say the word now. Now. It took me ten months to say now. I don't know. I think it has been some hundreds of years. He was furious. He wouldn't let me bury them. It didn't matter. There was no way to dig up the deckplates. He dried up the snow. He brought the night. He roared and sent locusts. It didn't do a thing; they stayed dead. I'd had him. He was furious. I had thought AM hated me before. I was wrong. It was not even a shadow of the hate he now slavered from every printed circuit. He made certain I would suffer eternally and could not do myself in. He left my mind intact. I can dream, I can wonder, I can lament. I remember all four of them. I wish— Well, it doesn't make any sense. I know I saved them, I know I saved them from what has happened to me, but still, I cannot forget killing them. Ellen's face. It isn't easy. Sometimes I want to, it doesn't matter. AM has altered me for his own peace of mind, I suppose. He doesn't want me to run at full speed into a computer bank and smash my skull. Or hold my breath till I faint. Or cut my throat on a rusted sheet of metal. There are reflective surfaces down here. I will describe myself as I see myself: I am a great soft jelly thing. Smoothly rounded, with no mouth, with pulsing white holes filled by fog where my eyes used to be. Rubbery appendages that were once my arms; bulks rounding down into legless humps of soft slippery matter. I leave a moist trail when I move. Blotches of diseased, evil gray come and go on my surface, as though light is being beamed from within. Outwardly: dumbly, I shamble about, a thing that could never have been known as human, a thing whose shape is so alien a travesty that humanity becomes more obscene for the vague resemblance. Inwardly: alone. Here. Living under the land, under the sea, in the belly of AM, whom we created because our time was badly spent and we must have known unconsciously that he could do it better. At least the four of them are safe at last. AM will be all the madder for that. It makes me a little happier. And yet … AM has won, simply … he has taken his revenge … I have no mouth. And I must scream. The End
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