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    1. Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Spoilers for Solo follow - you have been warned.

      So a year after it's release and months after it went up on netflix, I finally got around to watching Solo.

      For context: for most of my childhood, I was a huge Star Wars buff. I played Star Wars: Galaxies growing up, I was in the massive crowd that saw The Force Awakens opening night, I spent the better part of 2 years as part of a prerelease community for Star Wars: The Old Republic. There was a time where I could name nearly every planet of consequence in the canon and knew most of the expanded universe's timeline.

      But the new trilogy has been... well, nothing. I found it to be a mediocre, hole-filled mess most of the time, too busy being Disney's Star Wars^tm politically correct safe-kid to actually be good movies on their own. Rogue One was an enjoyable exception, but still not particularly amazing... but the point I'm driving at is, the last couple of years, I've pretty thoroughly come down from the Star Wars high.

      When Solo came out, I assumed it would be more of the same - panned by critics, it was presumably going to be another politically correct, lackluster, rehashed or nonsense story, this time using Han Solo's name as a marketing tactic. No desire to see a childhood hero Anakin Skywalker'd, I skipped it, and didn't even care to watch it when it popped up on Netflix.

      Tonight, out of pure boredom, I decided to give it a watch and was surprised to learn that I couldn't have been more wrong. Which is to say, I enjoyed the crap out of it!

      It had romance! Snappy writing! Memorable, enjoyable, non-trope characters (mostly!) Although it had some of the same flaws as Rogue One (namely that it started to drag on), it also had something that Star Wars hasn't truly seen since the original trilogy: heart and soul.

      More importantly, it did something that no movie in the franchise has done since the original trilogy, and actually engaged me with the story. And this is where the spoilers come in.

      First, credit where it's due: although the story tended to go on and on, at no point did I feel like any of it was unnecessary - it just felt like it was too constrained by being a single movie.

      I was invested in seeing an actual romance in the story (since apparently ONLY Han Solo can do that), which saw a satisfying, and rather complex resolution. The dirty, street-level setting and story was an awesome break from the epic, world-shaking conflicts that the movies have clung to until this point (or whatever the hell The Last Jedi was). It was powered by characters, and I appreciated that.

      To top it off, the reveal of Maul at the end of the movie was totally intriguing, and (IMO) beats any other reveal in the series hands-down. I was a fan of his appearances in the cartoons, and seeing him on the villain's throne in a movie, I think, would've made for a much spicier and more intriguing story than whatever/wherever/whoever Snoke was. From getting his ass kicked by the Emperor for the plot, to getting beat down by ol' Ben (for the plot), the guy's a damn competent villain that still hasn't had a real shot.

      Don't get me wrong, it had its flaws: as mentioned, it was REALLY long, and I don't mean to imply that every character was perfect, or that the plot wasn't totally ridiculous in places. But the story was good enough, and the movie enjoyable enough, that I could overlook it, and that's more than I could say about the movies that caused me to not see it in the first place...

      Which, to my final point, is the greatest disappointment: with the cancellation of all the non-trilogy entries in the series, it's safe to assume that Disney's learned all the wrong lessons from Solo.

      Rather than attributing it's A- performance to the point that people just haven't much enjoyed their epics, remembered what happened the last time someone tried to do an origin story in the series, or were feeling Star Wars fatigue, and didn't go to see it as a result, they'll blame the format, the story, the stakes, the setting, the characters - all the things that made the movie worth watching at all.

      So, with Episode 9 coming out sometime this year and us presumably going to see a mediocre conclusion to what has at this point been a completely mediocre and forgettable trilogy (with lightsabers!), all I can say is, Solo sadly will stand out in my mind as the only movie in this era that carries on the legacy of the originals. I'm disappointed, more by circumstance than anything. I think, had Solo come out 5 years ago, it would've been hailed as the proper return to the franchise that it deserved to be, far more than any of the other franchise entries have succeeded in doing since.

      What'd you think of Solo, Tildes? Am I stark raving mad?

      15 votes
    2. I've been somewhat of a lurker here, actively reading posts, but today I came across a topic which had a small typo in it. No big deal, but if this was wikipedia, I could easily go in and fix...

      I've been somewhat of a lurker here, actively reading posts, but today I came across a topic which had a small typo in it. No big deal, but if this was wikipedia, I could easily go in and fix it... Then it hit me, what would a site like tilde be like if anyone could propose an edit to a post, and have that edit go into effect if the original poster approved it? Of course revision history would need to be available too, for accountability. Good idea? Bad? I'm just curious how that might play out.

      10 votes
    3. In 2016, I was an ardent supporter of Bernie. But come the general, I voted 3rd party, because I was "Bernie or Bust." Many people accuse me of indirectly voting for Trump, allowing "the worst...

      In 2016, I was an ardent supporter of Bernie. But come the general, I voted 3rd party, because I was "Bernie or Bust." Many people accuse me of indirectly voting for Trump, allowing "the worst thing ever" to happen (esp since I'm in a swing state that went Trump). But here's the truth as I see it: Voting Democrat regardless of candidate, with their only qualification being "Not Trump," will only increase the USA's slide (deeper) into fascism.

      The reality I see is that even if Trump had never entered the 2016 race, 90%+ of the policy, judicial appointments, and everything else that he has done since being elected would be identical no matter which "R" candidate won the race, because all of these things are exactly what the GOP has been doing for decades. In that regard, I consider Trump more favorable than any other R candidate, because he is at least failing to do his "real" job: Hiding fascist, imperialist policy behind a charismatic smile and some clever words.

      Ultimately, this is the reason why I don't generally support Democrats either. Hillary's policy wouldn't have been as immediately destructive as the GOP agenda, but it also would not have stopped the march towards fascism. I voted my conscious in 2016, and will do so again in 2020. I just hope there are more people willing to do the same this time around.

      I like to picture that the government of the USA is digging a hole. With every shovelful, we're sliding ever closer to a fully authoritarian fascist regime, and the destruction of our planet. While Trump (and the GOP as a whole) has been calling in for backhoes and drills to speed the process....as far as I can tell, only two candidates in the 2020 primary are calling to stop the digging: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. At best, the other candidates are conveying messages akin to: "We need to compromise with the GOP and maybe slow down the rate at which we allow new backhoes to be brought to the pit."

      In my mind then, it makes more sense for 4 more years of Trump, than to allow another center-right candidate for his opposition. Because at least Trump isn't able to pull off the charismatic smile and/or intelligent language that the Regan's, Bush's, Clinton's, and Obama's of the world have that allow terrible things to continue behind a cloak of "incremental change." It wakes up those who would otherwise tolerate these horrendous acts, and perhaps inspires them to become more active. By allowing for the political discourse to end with "Anything is better than Trump", it just permits the overall platform to gradually, but continually shift to the right.

      And in my mind, it is the total death of real, dissenting voices in public discourse that is far, far worse than Trump winning another term could ever be.

      I would love to hear if anybody else in this community has had feelings akin to what I've described here, as I've only been described as "insane" by most of the people I've discussed this with in person.

      14 votes
    4. I have stood on both sides of the abortion debate. I was raised conservative. Most of my family is conservative. But I became more liberal as an adult. In listening to both conservatives and...

      I have stood on both sides of the abortion debate. I was raised conservative. Most of my family is conservative. But I became more liberal as an adult. In listening to both conservatives and liberals argue their side of the debate they have something fundamental in common: both are motivated by a desire to care and protect. Liberals want to protect the rights, autonomy and health of women. Conservatives want to protect the life of the unborn.

      Both sides see the other as monsters out to attack. They think that because the other side works to thwart their efforts to protect, that the other side intends harm. But that's not true. Neither side wants to inflict harm. They may be willing to inflict harm to protect another, but that is not the same as wanting to inflict harm. Those who are pro-choice don't want to kill babies; they want to protect women and sometimes killing the unborn is the unfortunate cost. Similarly those who are pro-life aren't necessarily motivated by a desire to control women*; they want to protect the unborn and limiting some rights of women is the cost.

      * This of course comes with some sticky caveats. There is plenty of sexism among many who are pro-life, and plenty of hardliners who think women should be subservient. And those people's sexism does color there views of women's reproductive autonomy. But there are also moderate pro-lifers who otherwise value the rights of women. You don't have to be sexist to be pro-life. Anecdotally the pro-lifers I know personally are in the latter group.

      soundtrack for this post

      15 votes
    5. Hereby I suggest that there be a dedicated Tildes group for social media–related topics. Current State The (recent) number of topics tagged social media exceeds the number of topics in several...

      Hereby I suggest that there be a dedicated Tildes group for social media–related topics.

      Current State

      The (recent) number of topics tagged social media exceeds the number of topics in several existing groups:
      https://tildes.net/?tag=social_media
      In addition, there are more topics without the social media tag but with tags related to individual social media, e.g.,
      https://tildes.net/?tag=reddit
      https://tildes.net/?tag=facebook
      https://tildes.net/?tag=twitter

      These topics are quite scattered across the site (many of them are in ~tech, and some were moved to ~tech from places like ~talk and ~misc).

      Why Not Just ~tech?

      The topics are often focused on non-technical aspects of social media, and the mentioned moves from more general groups might suggest that social media are perceived as a general rather than a purely techn(olog)ical phenomenon. In addition, ~tech is already the biggest Tildes group.

      Special Relevance

      Tildes is itself a social medium site, and many of the above topics are thus specifically relevant for Tildes. For this reason, I suggest ~socialmedia as a top-level group rather than a subgroup (of ~tech, apparently).

      5 votes
    6. I think we need to be more open in changing our opinions now a days more then ever, or at the very least, open to listen to others. so what was a strong opinion you once had, but has changed since...

      I think we need to be more open in changing our opinions now a days more then ever, or at the very least, open to listen to others. so what was a strong opinion you once had, but has changed since by listening to others?

      42 votes
    7. Please, if you haven’t already, see Part I and Part II. Besides using anti-virus software, I wondered if there were other ways in which I could reduce the amount of threats to my online privacy...

      Please, if you haven’t already, see Part I and Part II.

      Besides using anti-virus software, I wondered if there were other ways in which I could reduce the amount of threats to my online privacy and security. One method that I came across was to block adware and malware before it had the chance to reach my browser and computer.

      For the technically inclined person there is Pi-Hole which is a network-wide adware/malware blocker. The name comes from the use of a Raspberry Pi to act as a black hole for adware/malware. Currently, supported operating systems include Raspbian, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS.

      A much easier method, which essentially does the same thing, is to modify your computer’s hosts file. For a safe and easy way to do this, I recommend that you use free GUI software to implement this. Windows users can download Hosts File Editor+ and Mac users can download Gas Mask.

      Next, you will want a DNS blacklist that comes from trusted sources. The ones that I recommend are from Steven Black here: https://github.com/StevenBlack/hosts

      Scroll down the page a little until you come to a table of all the different combinations of blacklists.

      From there you would choose which list to use, as your new hosts file depending on your personal preferences by clicking on the corresponding Non Github mirror.

      Using your hosts file editing software, you would then create a new hosts file by copying and pasting your preferred list. You may want to check for an updated list every once in a while. Most of these lists have their associated creation dates near the top for convenience.

      14 votes
    8. I was browsing r/privacy today and I came across this guy going on about how Mozilla was just pretending to be privacy focused. Here's his comment. Now I don't really know what to think of this,...

      I was browsing r/privacy today and I came across this guy going on about how Mozilla was just pretending to be privacy focused. Here's his comment. Now I don't really know what to think of this, and frankly, I'm getting really exhausted of hearing about how all the things I'm using aren't actually trustworthy. So can so someone put my mind to rest? Does this guy's claims have any truth to them? Thanks.

      19 votes
    9. Previous threads: What DE and distro do you use and why? What's your OS and how does it look? What does your desktop look like? What tools do you swear by? I've recently switched to Arch and...

      Previous threads:

      What DE and distro do you use and why?

      What's your OS and how does it look?

      What does your desktop look like? What tools do you swear by?


      I've recently switched to Arch and today, it's finally done! You have no idea how hard it was to even turn it off. So I wanted to make another OS/screenshot thread, especially since it's been quite a long time since the last one, and Tildes population increased inbetween, so we might find something interesting again :-)

      What's your OS, what do you love about it and how does it look?

      25 votes