balooga's recent activity

  1. Comment on Jordan Peterson Announces Free Speech Platform ‘Thinkspot’ in ~tech

    balooga Link
    Here's the thing. Freedom of speech isn't meant to protect normal speech. It's for offensive and unpopular speech. I think it's an important freedom for a government to recognize, for the general...

    Here's the thing. Freedom of speech isn't meant to protect normal speech. It's for offensive and unpopular speech. I think it's an important freedom for a government to recognize, for the general health of society. Mainly because governments don't have a great track record when it comes to mediating what speech to allow.

    But we're not talking about governments, we're talking about private websites. Assuming American jurisdiction for a moment, the 1st Amendment, which says "Congress shall make no law..." doesn't apply in this situation. If I wanted to make a social network restricting all users' posts to the word "buffalo" that's my prerogative.

    There are plenty of places online for normal speech. If a site is created with free speech as its core principle and selling point, it's not going to attract people away from their existing communities for normal speech... it's going to attract the other kind. The offensive and unpopular speech, almost exclusively. This is how echo chambers are born. No matter how offensive or unpopular the stuff a person might want to say is, I'd hope they would at least recognize that's not a good recipe for building a healthy community.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on How do you wake yourself up in the mornings? in ~talk

    balooga Link
    I can't stand being startled awake. Some people may appreciate the burst of adrenaline and elevated heart rate that come from a sudden blaring sound in their ears, but not me. I'm also not a heavy...

    I can't stand being startled awake. Some people may appreciate the burst of adrenaline and elevated heart rate that come from a sudden blaring sound in their ears, but not me. I'm also not a heavy sleeper, so any more than a minimal alarm is overkill for me; I wake up to this calming electronica song. I live far enough north that the sun is up bright and early in summertime, but winters are a different story. A Philips sunrise lamp has been very helpful with that.

    Though I like to ease gently out of sleep, I've found that lingering in bed and dragging things out isn't a good way to begin the day either. I've trained myself to get out of bed immediately. It doesn't make every morning a breeze, but generally just getting on my feet goes a long way toward getting there. The mornings I snooze, I invariably end up feeling sleepier and more difficult than the ones when I get out of bed as soon as I hear the music. I don't have any tricks for making this part easier, but it does come more naturally with practice.

    I don't have a programmable coffee maker but I enjoy making iced coffee this time of year. I'll brew it before I go to bed the night before. It's nice to just pull a pitcher out of the fridge and pour a glass as soon as I enter the kitchen.

    16 votes
  3. Comment on The Toy Story Trilogy Gets the Epilogue It Deserves in ~movies

    balooga Link
    I'm glad to hear it's a good movie. After the fantastic trilogy of movies ended with about the best ending one could hope for with the series, my heart sank when I heard a fourth was on its way....

    I'm glad to hear it's a good movie. After the fantastic trilogy of movies ended with about the best ending one could hope for with the series, my heart sank when I heard a fourth was on its way. I've seen too many other good franchises overstay their welcome.

    I'm sure Pixar handled the subject with their usual family-friendly tact, but it's hard for me to imagine a kids' movie revolving around existential crises and deformed characters with suicidal tendencies.

    4 votes
  4. Comment on Google releases free Game Builder: Create 3D games with friends, no experience required in ~games

    balooga Link
    This looks really interesting. Thanks for the link! I'll have to give it an install later.

    This looks really interesting. Thanks for the link! I'll have to give it an install later.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Cyberpunk designer says CDPR is working on transgender character options in ~games

    balooga Link Parent
    When it comes to narrative art like novels, TV, movies, and video games, I think there's a difference between critique and the sort of moral indignation we're discussing here. As others have said...

    When it comes to narrative art like novels, TV, movies, and video games, I think there's a difference between critique and the sort of moral indignation we're discussing here.

    As others have said in this thread: Just because a fictional world contains themes, imagery, or characters that are offensive, doesn't mean that the artists are endorsing it. You have to interpret these things in the context of their medium. Often the most outrageous elements of fiction are there specifically to illustrate something about the real world. Reacting to the inclusion or portrayal of something without taking the next step of considering why it was done that way is not critique.

    6 votes
  6. Comment on Cyberpunk designer says CDPR is working on transgender character options in ~games

    balooga Link Parent
    I swear, some people won't be happy until every last objectionable thing has been removed from all media. Every character will be idealized and inoffensive and there will be no villains or...

    I swear, some people won't be happy until every last objectionable thing has been removed from all media. Every character will be idealized and inoffensive and there will be no villains or conflict or plot.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Still snarling after 40,000 years, a giant Pleistocene wolf discovered in Yakutia in ~science

    balooga Link Parent
    Wasn't that the core message of Jurassic Park? Humans playing god results in unforeseeable, unintended consequences. The "dinosaurs eating humans" bit was just one facet of the total system...

    Wasn't that the core message of Jurassic Park? Humans playing god results in unforeseeable, unintended consequences. The "dinosaurs eating humans" bit was just one facet of the total system breakdown that occurred. It's been a long time since I read the book but IIRC it emphasizes this a good deal more directly than the movie.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Updates to "Activity" sorting method (the site's default) in ~tildes.official

    balooga Link Parent
    The most recent comment on that issue is from Deimos, two months ago: With this sorting change announcement, it sounds to me as though the groundwork's been laid to proceed with implementing this...

    The most recent comment on that issue is from Deimos, two months ago:

    I feel a little weird about the non-bumping part though, since right now Activity is completely consistent with every new comment causing a bump and that would change it. I do think it's correct to have these not bump the thread, it will probably just be a little odd.

    With this sorting change announcement, it sounds to me as though the groundwork's been laid to proceed with implementing this (perhaps called "asides," which I prefer).

    3 votes
  9. Comment on 10 Surprising Facts about Books of Beasts from the European Middle Ages in ~books

    balooga Link Parent
    Interesting! Thanks for the reference. It must have been a frightening time for people, to live in ignorance of the greater world around them. With no real understanding of what lay beyond their...

    Interesting! Thanks for the reference.

    It must have been a frightening time for people, to live in ignorance of the greater world around them. With no real understanding of what lay beyond their own borders. Every foreign people group was mysterious and exotic, not to mention a potential threat of incalculable magnitude. We know others exist, but are they even human? Do they ride atop monsters we've never encountered? Are they armed with supernatural weaponry? And the answer to all of those questions is a resounding "nobody knows."

    1 vote
  10. Comment on 10 Surprising Facts about Books of Beasts from the European Middle Ages in ~books

    balooga Link
    That was interesting! I enjoy reading about real historical legends of magical objects and beasts. I want to know the stories behind all of these. Did they spring fully-formed out of medieval...

    That was interesting! I enjoy reading about real historical legends of magical objects and beasts. I want to know the stories behind all of these. Did they spring fully-formed out of medieval imaginations? Or are they the product of centuries of rumors corrupted over time like a game of telephone? Things like unicorns and blue-skinned Arabs I suspect were the latter. Fire-stones and manticores, on the other hand, are so farfetched someone must have been willfully inventing them.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on Watch Dogs: Legion hands-on: one hour hacking my way through London in ~games

    balooga Link
    I remember being hyped about the first game when I saw the teaser trailer, and the backlash the followed when the final game failed to deliver. I never ended up playing it, or the sequel, but the...

    I remember being hyped about the first game when I saw the teaser trailer, and the backlash the followed when the final game failed to deliver. I never ended up playing it, or the sequel, but the video here looked so cinematic and amazing and ambitious that I can't help but compare it to that original one. Is there now any reason to believe the actual game will resemble what's being shown there?

    If it's real, I'm definitely interested.

    I suspect the number of possible characters is going to create a lot of repetition and stilted, generic dialog. Likewise I bet that wisecracking AI is going to get old real fast. I hope I'm wrong but it would be a monumental effort to create that much true variety. Kind of like how No Man's Sky gives you a nearly infinite universe to explore, but every world fits one of about a dozen templates and they all start to look the same after you've visited a few of them.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on Ubisoft reveals game subscription service UPlay Plus for PC and Google Stadia in ~games

    balooga Link Parent
    I guess the idea is to treat Stadia like a new console platform. So we'll be seeing things like "coming soon to Xbox One, PS4, and Stadia." I wonder if other subscription services will be...

    I guess the idea is to treat Stadia like a new console platform. So we'll be seeing things like "coming soon to Xbox One, PS4, and Stadia." I wonder if other subscription services will be available through it, like Netflix? I mean it's completely ludicrous BUT I could see a use case if you have no other devices in your living room. Access to Netflix via the Chromecast you already use for games, with a cohesive UI for both things, could make some sense. At any rate, I'm sure Google would be happy for the metrics.

    Edit: I guess most TVs these days have Netflix apps baked into them so maybe there's still no point. I haven't bought a TV in years, since before the whole internet connectivity industry trend. Though if we're considering data privacy, it might still be preferable to get your Netflix via Stadia and keep your TV manufacturer (and their ad partners) in the dark. When I do get a new TV I'm gonna do everything I can to prevent it from monetizing my viewing habits.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Ubisoft reveals game subscription service UPlay Plus for PC and Google Stadia in ~games

    balooga Link
    Wait, it's coming to Google Stadia? I'm so confused. How is that going to work exactly?

    Wait, it's coming to Google Stadia? I'm so confused. How is that going to work exactly?

    2 votes
  14. Comment on E3 2019: Bethesda Showcase in ~games

    balooga Link
    None of the stuff they showed really interests me. After the past couple years I’m extremely cautious about TESVI but that’s my most anticipated title of the lot. Frankly I don’t trust today’s...

    None of the stuff they showed really interests me. After the past couple years I’m extremely cautious about TESVI but that’s my most anticipated title of the lot. Frankly I don’t trust today’s Bethesda not to ruin it.

    Starfall could be interesting but we don’t really know anything about it yet.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on Board game recommendations to replace Monopoly? in ~games

    balooga Link
    One of my favorite games is Carcassonne, it’s easy to learn but fairly deep in strategy. I recently learned Suburbia and I think it might be a good choice too (it’s also thematically closer to...

    One of my favorite games is Carcassonne, it’s easy to learn but fairly deep in strategy. I recently learned Suburbia and I think it might be a good choice too (it’s also thematically closer to Monopoly). You might also take a look at the Ticket To Ride games, which are pretty solid and fun.

    11 votes
  16. Comment on Stadia Connect 6.6.2019 - Pricing, Game Reveals, Launch Info & More in ~games

    balooga Link
    I'm not sure where I picked up the idea that this would be a flat-rate subscription service that grants access to the whole catalog, like Netflix or Spotify, but I'm disappointed that it's not. If...

    I'm not sure where I picked up the idea that this would be a flat-rate subscription service that grants access to the whole catalog, like Netflix or Spotify, but I'm disappointed that it's not. If I'm going to pay full price for games, I'm going to make sure I can actually own them.

    I'd happily pay twice the subscription fee they're asking for, maybe more, if all the games were unlocked.

    I got to participate in the Project Stream beta and it worked surprisingly well. I like the general idea and the Stadia controller hardware looks nice too. I may still sign up, I'm just sad that the pricing model isn't what I thought it would be.

    4 votes
  17. Comment on What's an example of something cool on the internet that isn't as well-known/appreciated as you think it should be? in ~talk

    balooga Link
    Problem Sleuth, the extremely ambitious MS Paint Adventure by Andrew Hussie. It's presented as an old-school PC adventure game with text input. Whenever a page was posted, readers would suggest...

    Problem Sleuth, the extremely ambitious MS Paint Adventure by Andrew Hussie. It's presented as an old-school PC adventure game with text input. Whenever a page was posted, readers would suggest the next "command" to run. Andrew would then pick his favorite from the suggestions and draw/narrate the result. It produced a hilarious, sprawling epic far more amazing than it had any right to be.

    Then, after that story concluded, he went and did it all again with Homestuck. Which was more than quadruple the size and scope of Problem Sleuth, bigger and crazier in every possible way. I never finished reading Homestuck but I'm blown away by Andrew's commitment and attention to detail. Both are truly artistic feats.

    He also made some shorter adventures earlier on but I recommend you start with PS.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on Gravity Falls is awesome in ~tv

    balooga Link Parent
    Seconding that. Don't watch the spoiler video, but be prepared for a gradual but strong tonal shift in season 2. All your thoughts about this being a show for kids will evaporate. Frankly I have...

    Seconding that. Don't watch the spoiler video, but be prepared for a gradual but strong tonal shift in season 2. All your thoughts about this being a show for kids will evaporate. Frankly I have no idea how they retained a TV-Y7 rating throughout the run. Gravity Falls doesn't just flirt with things like body horror and existential dread, it plunges headlong into them. By the time you reach the finale there are hardly even any jokes.

    It's a GREAT show but probably not what a lot of people signed up for when they started watching the family-friendly comedy cartoon in season 1.

    What I really like about Gravity Falls is the attention to detail. There are constantly things happening in the background that tie in with events that previously occurred or have yet to occur. One-off jokes surprisingly turn up again as meaningful world-building. Be sure to check out the hidden messages after the end credits for a pretty deep rabbit hole of extra mystery: There were even clues hidden in books and things outside of the show. Not to mention the Rick & Morty tie-ins. Check out this Film Theory video (after completing the series) if you want to lose some real sleep.

    2 votes
  19. Comment on I don’t care for haiku in ~creative

    balooga Link
    I don't know what a Syllable is, I'm writing Stream-of-consciousness

    I don't know what a
    Syllable is, I'm writing
    Stream-of-consciousness

    1 vote
  20. Comment on Google to Restrict Use of Ad-Blocking Software in Chrome to Enterprise Users Only in ~tech

    balooga Link Parent
    Totally agree. Edge sucked but at least it represented some diversity in the ecosystem.

    Totally agree. Edge sucked but at least it represented some diversity in the ecosystem.

    6 votes