Death's recent activity

  1. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    Death
    Link Parent
    Then you have seen the gist of it. The war system is still built upon Casus Belli and Exhaustion. It's not necessary to conquer every single system, it's just one of the easier ways to increase...

    and a game or two right after it was released.

    Then you have seen the gist of it. The war system is still built upon Casus Belli and Exhaustion. It's not necessary to conquer every single system, it's just one of the easier ways to increase Exhaustion with an enemy. If you want to actually claim those systems/planets not occupying them makes it harder to enforce demands.

    There are also certain types of war/empire that you can not "win" but can at best settle for white peace for (unless you completely wipe the enemy off the map). Functionally, though, white peace in those scenarios is as good as winning a war of conquest.

    6 votes
  2. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    Death
    Link Parent
    When was the last time you played? Combat and wars in particular have been going through some overhauls recently.

    When was the last time you played? Combat and wars in particular have been going through some overhauls recently.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on How search-engine optimization ruined the Internet in ~tech

    Death
    Link Parent
    Honestly I lay the blame partly with Google itself. Some of the technical improvements they've encouraged, like using HTTPS, have been for the better but for the longest time they've allowed the...

    Honestly I lay the blame partly with Google itself. Some of the technical improvements they've encouraged, like using HTTPS, have been for the better but for the longest time they've allowed the SEO industry to game their algorithms in very overt ways, and they never took as hard a stance against at as they should have.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on CDC considering recommending general public wear face coverings in public in ~health.coronavirus

    Death
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    I'm kind of disappointed how many authoritative instances kind of bungled the communication with regards to face masks. In many places the line that they're ineffective has been repeated even...

    I'm kind of disappointed how many authoritative instances kind of bungled the communication with regards to face masks. In many places the line that they're ineffective has been repeated even though research, especially in areas where pandemics have occurred before, have shown a degree of effectiveness. I could understand governments wanting to avoid more hoarding and scalping, like what we saw with hand sanitizer, but to go back on a hard line like "don't use masks" erodes trust in public instances, which is just as big of a problem imo.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Reality has endorsed Bernie Sanders: His policy proposals are especially apt now, when the coronavirus crisis is revealing an economy organized around production for the sake of profit, not need in ~news

    Death
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    The impression I sometimes get of the US' political community is that they seem to persistently believe they somehow have no control at all over the national conversation and so need to be...

    Thus far, the Trump Administration has predictably bungled the response to the coronavirus. But the Democratic Party’s response has been hampered by its shared hostility to unleashing the power of the state, through the advance of vast universal programs, to attend to an unprecedented, devolving catastrophe.

    In the last Democratic debate, former Vice-President Joe Biden insisted that the U.S. doesn’t need single-payer health care because the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy proved that it doesn’t work. Strangely, he simultaneously insisted that all testing and treatment of the virus should be free because we are in crisis.

    The impression I sometimes get of the US' political community is that they seem to persistently believe they somehow have no control at all over the national conversation and so need to be constantly running after common talking points. So you get these weird, seemingly contradictory positions which seem incredibly disingenuous because there's no real through-line other than "we've followed the polls and the news cycle". It's like "the customer is always right" but for voters. If nothing else, a lesson you should be able to take away from the Republican strategies (culminating with Trump) and Sanders is you can have some kind of influence on the national conversation and dictate which topics people talk about.

    I realize this isn't a binary, and that the Democratic strategy probably does include attempts to steer the conversation towards topics they know they can win on. But it still seems like a lot of moderate American politicians are more comfortable pretending to be answering everyone's concerns rather than presenting a more focused vision and insisting it, in and of itself, contains the answer to people's concerns.

    10 votes
  6. Comment on Microsoft: Cloud services demand up 775 percent; prioritization rules in place in ~tech

    Death
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    Wondering if this is related to likely increased load on their other products as well, like office online or Teams for meetings.

    Wondering if this is related to likely increased load on their other products as well, like office online or Teams for meetings.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on A thread about the UK "nudge unit" and their response to covid-19 in ~health.coronavirus

    Death
    Link Parent
    What are we supposed to be seeing here? All I see is a couple of tweets without too much content and no mention of a nudge unit.

    What are we supposed to be seeing here? All I see is a couple of tweets without too much content and no mention of a nudge unit.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on White House, Senate agree to $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package in ~finance

    Death
    Link Parent
    Having known people who did actually delay re-entering the workforce because it would given them a lower salary: it is almost never based on a rational calculus. The money-as-incentive rationale...

    Having known people who did actually delay re-entering the workforce because it would given them a lower salary: it is almost never based on a rational calculus. The money-as-incentive rationale works in a theoretical economic argument but its a rational proposition applied to a deeply irrational system. It's too easy to suppose high unemployment benefits will be the main cause of a mass of delays in re-entry.

    There will be collusion, sure, but to what degree? And is that degree so damaging that the measure would be a net negative?

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Time’s Up said it could not fund a #metoo allegation against Joe Biden in ~news

    Death
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    I mean, I can kind of understand being conservative in the approach in that regard. Losing the exemption would be a huge blow to them and the IRS is traditionally not an institution whose rules...

    Ellen Aprill, a professor of tax law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said that Time’s Up’s analysis is too conservative, and the group wouldn’t be putting its tax-exempt status at risk by taking a case involving a candidate for federal office as long as it followed its standard criteria for taking on cases. “As a legal matter, if the group is clear regarding the criteria used as to whom it is taking to court, show that these are long-established neutral criteria, and they are being applied to individuals completely independent of their running for office, it would not be a violation of tax law. Groups are allowed to continue to do what they have always done,” she said.

    I mean, I can kind of understand being conservative in the approach in that regard. Losing the exemption would be a huge blow to them and the IRS is traditionally not an institution whose rules you want to interpret to liberally.. And the way the restrictions are usually phrased are rather broad. Time's Up would be taking a huge gamble on this.

    The references to Dovere, a reporter with The Atlantic, and Painter stem from their Twitter posts that highlighted favorable comments Reade had made about Putin in a now-deleted post on Medium. “What if I told you that everything you learned about Russia was wrong?” she had written in one 2018 post. “President Putin scares the power elite in America because he is a compassionate, caring, visionary leader. … To President Putin, I say keep your eyes to the beautiful future and maybe, just maybe America will come to see Russia as I do, with eyes of love. To all my Russian friends, happy holiday and Happy New Year.”
    Reade says that she learned about Russia and Putin through a Russian friend in her creative-writing group; she is currently writing a novel set in Russia. She wrote the post in the spirit of world peace and solidarity with her friend, she said, adding that the writing should have nothing to do with her allegation. Reade’s leftist mother had raised her to oppose American imperialism and be skeptical of American exceptionalism. She hoped that Time’s Up would be able to help push back against the attacks she knew would be coming.

    There's just no way that's ever not going to be a PR nightmare for her potential case against Biden. Not just for the content of the Medium post itself but the further association with her Russian friend, her writing that novel, and the mention of her anti-imperialist mother. It fits the mold of "US citizen turned Russian operative" far too well.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on White House, Senate agree to $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package in ~finance

    Death
    Link Parent
    His base will credit him and it'll be interesting to see if that leads to more other voters somewhat absorbing some of that as well, although more along the "well in the end he came through" line...

    His base will credit him and it'll be interesting to see if that leads to more other voters somewhat absorbing some of that as well, although more along the "well in the end he came through" line of thought. It would certainly seem plausible given his approval rating has been climbing for the past week or so.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    Death
    Link Parent
    I kind secretly hoped AC and Doom would have Easter eggs referencing each other but I guess they wouldn't have had the time to get that cleared before launch. The official DOOM twitter account...

    I kind secretly hoped AC and Doom would have Easter eggs referencing each other but I guess they wouldn't have had the time to get that cleared before launch. The official DOOM twitter account getting in on the meme was amazing though.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    Death
    Link Parent
    I caved and bought all other DLCs, including apocalypse, on sale shortly after Federations dropped. Origins are a great addition and add a lot of new flavor but honestly it's the new Envoys,...

    I caved and bought all other DLCs, including apocalypse, on sale shortly after Federations dropped. Origins are a great addition and add a lot of new flavor but honestly it's the new Envoys, Federations, and Galactic Community systems that stand out to me. They finally managed to make diplomacy less of a lottery of "which shitty neighbor are you" and gave some much needed variety and purpose to the Federations, which previously were either stupidly broken or just a bunch of losers mooching off of you. I especially like how you can now, technically, move in such a way that you can subtly take sole control of either the federation or the Galactic Community through things like the Favor system. Lots of empires will happily trade favors for some scraps of rare resources, which is fun for now but I hope they kind of fix that because it's getting to a point where it's maybe a little too easy.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    Death
    Link Parent
    The one single issue I kind of had starting Doom Eternal was how much was thrown at you at once. Not just in terms of changes to movement with the addition of the dash, the poles, and the shotgun...

    The one single issue I kind of had starting Doom Eternal was how much was thrown at you at once. Not just in terms of changes to movement with the addition of the dash, the poles, and the shotgun hook, but also in how many more demons you have in one arena. This combined with the upped graphics, more saturated colors, and increased number of assets and animations made it really hard for to focus at first. My mind was constantly over-stimulated and I regularly found myself dying inside a pile of grouped-up demons because somewhere I had lost my sense of spatial awareness and didn't know what I was doing anymore.

    It probably didn't help that just the week before launch I had been replaying DOOM 2016 and the way that game has this really subtle, laser-focused system compared to Eternal's much more arcadey, frantic one honestly kind of reduced my enjoyment of Eternal for the first few hours. I had to turn down the difficulty and train myself to use the new mechanics more before it finally clicked.

    I think, on the whole, Eternal is a clear improvement and a logical progression. It's a worthy sequel to a good game. But I do wish it was a little more restrained in some areas. Or at least that it built itself up more gradually.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on Why don't we just ban targeted advertising? in ~tech

    Death
    Link Parent
    In my experiences small businesses only slightly benefit from targeted advertising in most cases. In no small part because to do so effectively still requires some degree of expertise. Instead the...

    In my experiences small businesses only slightly benefit from targeted advertising in most cases. In no small part because to do so effectively still requires some degree of expertise. Instead the main vectors remain word-of-mouth and "organic" growth through social media outreach and SEO, which wouldn't actually change that much. Locally too, one of the bigger vectors for restaurants (according to a friend's account) is services like Google Maps and local guides rather than AdSense advertising or targeted Facebook ads.

    As far as I'm aware targeted advertising is much more of a benefit for businesses which fall outside traditional structures and have less of a geographically concentrated customer base, like e-commerce or online services.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on Mozilla launches a new Test Pilot: Firefox for a Better Web, offering privacy and faster access to great content in ~tech

    Death
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    It's another interesting project from Mozilla, but with it's entry price I'm kind of wondering if this aiming at a level of market penetration they cannot guarantee for themselves. I hope this is...

    It's another interesting project from Mozilla, but with it's entry price I'm kind of wondering if this aiming at a level of market penetration they cannot guarantee for themselves. I hope this is all calculated to generate enough revenue for them, even at low adoption rates.

    7 votes
  16. Comment on Why don't we just ban targeted advertising? in ~tech

    Death
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I don't think a compromise is necessary or better. The proposed measure seems to leave enough room and sacrifices little of actual value. There might be discussion on it's finer details possible...

    I don't think a compromise is necessary or better. The proposed measure seems to leave enough room and sacrifices little of actual value. There might be discussion on it's finer details possible but all in all I think both the consumer and the provider will adjust nicely.

    In my view "untargeted advertising is wasteful" is not a compelling argument to anyone but the people buying the advertisements, it's essentially a different angle on the received corporate wisdom of "targeted ads work better and people prefer them" the article argues against. There's no more reason to believe consumers actively prefer targeted ads over non-targeted ones when given the choice, or that they experience their absence as a loss. Or at the very least: the body of evidence only very poorly supports this conclusion.

    Besides: targeting isn't even necessarily a novel concept: radio, television, and print all use metrics to decide ad pricing and entice specific companies, and for a long time this resulted in similarly "wasteful" advertisement in a situation we still thought largely manageable. I think you might see a lot of platforms return to this older model, rather than outsourcing it to the tech giants. Specifically marketing their own metrics to entice ad buyers, it's very possible the big tech companies will even stay on as brokers in these exchanges (as they already, arguably, are). We may see other issues arising from this but I do not agree that this would be a regression.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on Why don't we just ban targeted advertising? in ~tech

    Death
    Link Parent
    I think part of the solution is specifically aimed at prohibiting the possibility of combining enough data points by not allowing the transfer of customer profiles between third parties. Currently...

    I think part of the solution is specifically aimed at prohibiting the possibility of combining enough data points by not allowing the transfer of customer profiles between third parties. Currently k-anonymity is a workable yet flawed solution because it can still be defeated with enough data and processing time. If that flow of data is stopped it becomes much harder to identify somebody within a k-anonymized table. That would also make the issue of exactly defining "personal data" less relevant, at least as far as marketing practices are concerned.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on Why don't we just ban targeted advertising? in ~tech

    Death
    Link Parent
    To expand on this a little: companies don't actually construct personal dossier of the hundreds of thousands of people they advertise to, but if a target consumer receives identifier X, is shown...

    To expand on this a little: companies don't actually construct personal dossier of the hundreds of thousands of people they advertise to, but if a target consumer receives identifier X, is shown an ad for profile Y, and this is stored in a database somewhere then there exists a point of information which concludes X is the kind of person described by profile Y. And that information, in turn, can be cross-referenced with other information and profiles to construct an increasingly specific picture.

    2 votes
  19. Comment on Why don't we just ban targeted advertising? in ~tech

    Death
    Link Parent
    I think the M&M's example kind of outstays it's welcome, but it's probably necessary to make the post itself more resonant and easier to understand. A better point would probably have been that...

    I think the M&M's example kind of outstays it's welcome, but it's probably necessary to make the post itself more resonant and easier to understand. A better point would probably have been that it's not specifically the choice of M&M's versus other sweets is the issue, but the fact that the brand has the kind of mind-share necessary to lower inhibitions enough so a purchase is instinctively made where refusal may have been the better option, regardless of the actual purchased goods.

    Part of the reason supermarket or other off-brands exist in the first place is to capitalize on this: maybe somebody is enticed to purchase M&M's, but hesitates due to the price, only to find a cheaper version available just next to it.

    One can argue that this is a failure on the part of M&M's marketing and therefore defeats the argument, but I think we should consider that the issue with advertising isn't so much who is on the receiving end of the consumer purchase, but what the more general effects on the population are. (This is one specific issue, of course, not the Ur-problem of all marketing)

    5 votes