trobertson's recent activity

  1. Comment on Extreme China heatwave could lead to global chaos and food shortages in ~enviro

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    Nothing to do with gods or whatever. These are all entirely foreseeable ramifications (the climate stuff, anyways) of human hubris.

    Nothing to do with gods or whatever. These are all entirely foreseeable ramifications (the climate stuff, anyways) of human hubris.

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

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    Terraria != Minecraft, not even a little bit. It is unfortunately one of those "wiki games" where if you don't know what you're doing, you really should have a guide open. For example, the rules...

    Terraria != Minecraft, not even a little bit. It is unfortunately one of those "wiki games" where if you don't know what you're doing, you really should have a guide open. For example, the rules for getting different NPCs into your base are almost completely opaque to newcomers.

    You can get the basics here: https://terraria.fandom.com/wiki/Guide:Getting_started#The_First_Day

    You will NEED a boss guide, as beating bosses is how you progress: https://terraria.fandom.com/wiki/Bosses

    And if you want a more detailed walkthrough, go here: https://terraria.fandom.com/wiki/Guide:Walkthrough

    I really like the game, and play it with lots of mods, but the need for a wiki is real.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Former US president Donald Trump launches 'TRUTH' social in ~tech

    trobertson
    Link
    Trump's re-election campaign just scored huge points (and votes) among their base with this move. Scenario 1 - this gets shut down due to being a non-compliant fork of an AGPL project Courts...

    Trump's re-election campaign just scored huge points (and votes) among their base with this move.

    Scenario 1 - this gets shut down due to being a non-compliant fork of an AGPL project

    Courts aren't instant, so this shutdown is not going to immediately occur. It will, in all likelihood, occur near to the election and provide fuel to the "they're suppressing us!" argument. Nevermind that the argument is bullshit and that that the shutdown will have nothing to do with politics, the spin here is easy and will be exploited.

    Scenario 2 - this doesn't get shutdown, and Trumpers get a "safe space" to be deluded and horrible

    This will let Trumpers continuously try to narcissisticly one-up each other in an attempt to be the most rabid Trump supporter. These popularity contests will grow the extremism of everyone there.

    Basically, Trump benefits from this no matter how things shake out.

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

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    The first expansion, Tribunal, addresses that. If you've bought the game any time in the past 15 years, you'll have the GotY edition which includes Tribunal. If you've been attacked by the Dark...

    Surprisingly, I only met one of the Tribunal

    The first expansion, Tribunal, addresses that. If you've bought the game any time in the past 15 years, you'll have the GotY edition which includes Tribunal.

    If you've been attacked by the Dark Brotherhood, seek out Apelles Matius in Ebonheart.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Wuhan scientists planned to release coronaviruses into cave bats eighteen months before outbreak in ~health.coronavirus

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    I'm open to the idea that it's lab leak (it's very possible, lab leaks have happened before), I'm just very cautious about my sources of info on this particular hypothesis. Too much ideology...

    I'm open to the idea that it's lab leak (it's very possible, lab leaks have happened before), I'm just very cautious about my sources of info on this particular hypothesis. Too much ideology spoiling the well.

    7 votes
  6. Comment on Wuhan scientists planned to release coronaviruses into cave bats eighteen months before outbreak in ~health.coronavirus

    trobertson
    Link
    The source here is Drastic (https://drasticresearch.org/) and a quick look at their homepage suggests they are a crock of shit. Consider this "paper" that they are promoting on their landing page:...
    • Exemplary

    The source here is Drastic (https://drasticresearch.org/) and a quick look at their homepage suggests they are a crock of shit.

    Consider this "paper" that they are promoting on their landing page: "Understanding COVID-19 and Seasonal Influenza as Quasispecies Mutant Swarms Reveals the Quantum Origins and Cryptic Fates of Human Pandemics"

    For a second, let's ignore the obvious bullshit of "Quantum Origins and Cryptic Fates of Human Pandemics" and look at the paper itself.

    It isn't a paper. It's two links to a Substack site - somebody's blog. Luckily for us, Substack isn't malware, so it's safe to read a bit of this "paper" and draw your own conclusions: https://harvard2thebighouse.substack.com/p/understanding-covid-19-and-seasonal

    The beginning (several paragraphs down) opens as would a blog. It's not academic in the slightest. There's a lot of text, there's a lot of copy-pasted images, and there's a lot of quotes that seem vaguely scientific. But it's not science. It doesn't open with an abstract, it doesn't open with a hypothesis, it doesn't establish methodology. It, instead, opens with:

    Few things are more terrifying than being an exhausted fat kid about three-quarters of the way into your first 5k cross-country race when it’s being hosted at Fort Detrick, and you spent the previous night reading about the possibility of Ebola-infected monkeys escaping from military research facilities just like this one, and potentially setting off a global pandemic as depicted in The Hot Zone.

    For this "article" to be promoted by Drastic suggests that Drastic is, as I said above, full of shit.

    50 votes
  7. Comment on (Crypto rant) McDonald's serves 62 million customers every day in ~talk

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    The Bitcoin ledger started on January 3, 2009. 12 years ago. Bitcoin has had ages to figure its shit out - and we are talking tech years here, not politics years or Valve years or etc. All of its...

    early version of a new technology

    The Bitcoin ledger started on January 3, 2009. 12 years ago. Bitcoin has had ages to figure its shit out - and we are talking tech years here, not politics years or Valve years or etc. All of its problems were identified years ago. There were "fork wars", or some such, several years ago about people trying to fix these problems, and yet here we are.

    I do think it's philosophically interesting, but I don't think that the core tech/principles will be meaningfully adopted. There are vanishingly few cases where you need a distributed trustless ledger, where it's also a feature that there is no controlling agent who can fix things when people fuck up.

    23 votes
  8. Comment on Simon plays The Witness in ~games

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    It may take a lot longer than Part 3. In sudokus, he's known for missing the easy stuff for ages while he finds the hard things immediately. He frequently expects the audience to be yelling at...

    It may take a lot longer than Part 3. In sudokus, he's known for missing the easy stuff for ages while he finds the hard things immediately. He frequently expects the audience to be yelling at their screens at him (in a fun way). Though I'm not sure how I'd classify this...

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

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    Mall Madness is the first big difficulty wall, which iirc is right after Androgen Assault. My advice, on your first few attempts at the levels, is to ignore the targets and figure out the layouts,...

    Mall Madness is the first big difficulty wall, which iirc is right after Androgen Assault. My advice, on your first few attempts at the levels, is to ignore the targets and figure out the layouts, doors, enemy positions, pickups, etc. You can always retry / switch levels without the money penalty as long as you hit Escape before you die. And always harvest the organs, they give you enough income to offset your death penalty and afford some implants.

    If you need an easier experience, save up for the stealth suit ($12,000), the difference is huge.

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

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    Cruelty Squad is so compelling. Earlier this evening I completed my 4th run through the game (all levels, all implants, all weapons, Hope Eradicated difficulty). I recommend looking at guides in...

    Cruelty Squad is so compelling. Earlier this evening I completed my 4th run through the game (all levels, all implants, all weapons, Hope Eradicated difficulty). I recommend looking at guides in order to learn about the less obvious mechanics (like the difficulties, for example. Or the stock market (all 3 work the same way, except you can get fish and organs in missions. Do yourself a favor and hold on to some)).

    I don't typically do speedrun things but I've enjoyed running levels for better ranks, which are based purely on time to complete. Getting an S rank on the missions requires a lot of skill and knowledge, plus a smart loadout to even get you into a chance at doing well. I've only hit S on a few so far and those were not on Hope Eradicated difficulty.

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

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

    trobertson
    Link
    I hit 35 hours in Pathfinder: Kingmaker this weekend, and decided to start over. I'd been using several cheats (from the Bag Of Tricks mod on the Nexus) while I figured out how to play the game (I...

    I hit 35 hours in Pathfinder: Kingmaker this weekend, and decided to start over. I'd been using several cheats (from the Bag Of Tricks mod on the Nexus) while I figured out how to play the game (I have very little tabletop experience, and as I understand things the game has a very faithful adaptation of the mechanics) and I finally feel up to playing it for real.

    I'm enjoying it, even through the lens of cheats. Some things I've observed:

    • Wizards (and other prepared spell friends) are not nearly as OP as everyone likes to claim. This is mostly due to the quantity of combat encounters. My wizard ran out of spells quickly if I used them as a pure spellcaster. I honestly found the cantrips to be very useful though, as one of the "early" game quest lines involves trolls. The Wizard spellbook contains an acid cantrip which was my primary way of finishing off trolls. Don't mock me for forgetting I had torches and instead tediously acid splashing one troll after another :)
      • The Grease spell is, in Turn Based mode, literally unstoppable. I now understand its reputation. Slightly less useful in Real Time With Pause though, as my melee members tend to run straight into it and get themselves slipped up.
      • Being honest, I think having more encounters is a decent-to-okay way to balance out Wizards and friends. They have a limit mechanic built in, so it's only reasonable that it gets used. If I had to guess at why they are so overpowered during pen and paper play, I'd think that combat gets tedious quickly when you're manually keeping track of things (glancing at my message log during combat, and oh boy that's a lot of arithmetic). The GM therefore does fewer encounters, giving a buff to the spellcasters as they don't need to worry about depleting spell slots.
    • Now that I'm restarting, I'm trying to put a bit more effort into planning out my characters. This is difficult to do inside the game. As far as I can tell, they don't expose all the lists of feats, spells, etc. within the game. My planning process is therefore entirely outside the game, which I think is a missed opportunity. I'd really like if they had a character planner / build designer within the game, it would make things so smooth.
      • Creating / leveling up characters is a ton of fun though. There are so many possibilities for growth, and as a noob to the ruleset, I'm constantly finding new paths to a decent build.
    • Kingdom management was kind of tedious. That said, this is one of the things I was cheating on: I had a mod that reduced the amount of time that events require for completion. The end result of this is that I had fully explored the first region and was clicking "Skip Day" in the management interface to get to more events. Lesson learned - the time requirement is there for a reason, and this particular cheat lessened the game's experience. I'm looking forward to needing to balance out time for exploration and time for events. Regardless of if Owlcat nailed the balance there, it should be a lot more interesting with the need to consider time.
    • Kingdom building part 2. I don't like that you can only have 1 settlement per region. A brief overview of what's there and how I would fix it:
      • Currently, there is a mobile-game-tier "city builder" where you get squares to place buildings. Different buildings have different contribution to your Kingdom Stats (which you need to grow). There are adjacency bonuses, etc., between different buildings that increase the stats they give you.
      • As a settlement ranks up (Village -> Town -> City) the settlement gains more building slots (10 -> 20 -> 30). This growth is limited in that you need 3 Villages per Town, and 3 Towns per City. According to the internet you end up with a max of 2 Cities at the end of the game.
      • This is a very tedious and not-believable system. I would far prefer it if you could have many settlements in a region with a drastically reduced number of buildings per settlement. Let a Village support 1 building, a Town support 2-3, and a City support 5 or so. Adjust the number of Villages per Town, and of Towns per City, and you'll get a very similar Kingdom Stat mechanic in a much more believable way. You can also get rid of the grid-style city building stuff, which would honestly be an improvement.

    Overall, I'm very positive on the game. It's a slow burn, but in a good way. Otherwise I wouldn't be restarting after 35 hours.

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

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    re: Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown, you have every right to be upset. It's a single player game, there is no reason that you shouldn't still be able to play it. If you have no/low playtime...

    re: Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown, you have every right to be upset. It's a single player game, there is no reason that you shouldn't still be able to play it. If you have no/low playtime you should request a refund for it on the grounds that it doesn't function.

    Or try to find a crack that removes the online requirement.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on It turns out, all those 'woke' White allies were lying in ~misc

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    It sounds like the real question is "How much action is 'enough' to be considered an ally?" Alternatively, "How much action is required to offset past or future inaction?" These questions sound...

    If a member of a privileged group goes on a few marches, joins in a few protests, engages with their local politics, but ultimately has to get back to their own life at some point, should they be begrudged that? Are they then part of the problem?

    I mean... Yeah, they are? Inaction in the face of injustice isn't morally neutral. Sure, it's not as bad as perpetuating it yourself. But surely doing nothing while someone gets hurt isn't a neutral thing.

    It sounds like the real question is "How much action is 'enough' to be considered an ally?" Alternatively, "How much action is required to offset past or future inaction?"

    These questions sound like they are about the individual, but the sticky, tricky, unsaid part is that the problem is societal and historical as much as it is individual. It is baked into the foundations of our culture and law. The problem has existed before any of us were born, and no amount of individual effort is going to "solve" the problem, whatever that solution may be.

    A significant portion of society tried to make meaningful changes last summer, and they failed. Is this disappointing? Yes. Is the decline of the movement disappointing? Yes.

    Is it understandable that people have left a movement that failed? I think yes (mostly, anyways), but there is a lot of room for different opinions in that question.

    I think one of the important things to look at was whether the movement last summer had any chance of success at all. Donald and the Clowns had complete control of the federal government. These are people who are proud to be racist. They were the people who had every power to change things, and they are proud that they didn't. Last summer's protests and marches had no chance all to make meaningful change on the scale that is required. Not through lack of effort, but because peaceful means to make the changes did not exist.

    Inevitably, that results in a sense of futility.

    The political circumstances are different now, but the fire is gone. Time blunts all feelings, and the only people who still have the fire are those who have continued to face injustice as a regular part of their lives. As you say:

    I really don't blame Black people begrudging white people going back to their lives. That seems pretty understandable. Because POC can't get away from any of this. There is no escape from daily racism, whether institutional or personal. There is no "life where I don't have to think about Black people being murdered by police" for them to go back to.

    To circle back to the beginning, my rephrasing of the question is probably not correct. I would now suggest that the question is "How much positive change is required before one can be considered an ally?" And if "change" is the requirement, how much of the societal burden can we justly place on the shoulders of individuals? And how much can we then blame those individuals for failure if the changes are, in the relevant context, impossible?

    There is a last question, of course, based on the phrase I used above: "peaceful means". A question about whether "self defense" on a population level is the right path forward. I don't know that I'm brave enough to ask that question.

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

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    I didn't have that feeling during either game, so I don't think I can comment on that. You'll probably get the same feeling in this game. The final story moment does strongly convey that it's a...

    does the game solve the first installment's problem of feeling like you don't want to complete the game because you'll lose your "world"?

    I didn't have that feeling during either game, so I don't think I can comment on that. You'll probably get the same feeling in this game. The final story moment does strongly convey that it's a point of no return, so you'll be able to stop if you want to keep building.

    I wanted to keep building, but the lack of good mechanics to make that enjoyable made me a bit sad.

    Building is a little bit improved. It didn't receive a ton of attention but it wasn't neglected. Brief and spoiler free:

    • Multi-moonpool bases make more sense (but don't go too nuts on this).
    • Vehicles don't strongly restrict where you can build. The Cyclops <-> Safe Shallows problem doesn't exist in this game.
    • Some new building pieces; you'll have a new "multipurpose room moment", plus a few other goodies.
    • Lots of opportunity for bases that have both above- and below-water sections. Icebergs and -biome spoiler- make this easy.
      • There's different weathers now, so an above-water Observatory (or -spoilers-) is significantly more rewarding than in the original. You can also do one just beneath the water and watch the hail storms impact the ocean surface.
    • The smaller map means that having a single base is much more viable. You can go nuts on your main base.
    • This might be slightly spoilery: it can (if you build the right modules) be a lot easier to gather resources. You won't feel as resource constrained when planning.
    1 vote
  16. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    trobertson
    (edited )
    Link
    I started and finished Subnautica: Below Zero over the past few days. My thoughts are that it's a good game, but not as good as the first Subnautica. (although the technical improvements are very...

    I started and finished Subnautica: Below Zero over the past few days. My thoughts are that it's a good game, but not as good as the first Subnautica. (although the technical improvements are very appreciated. We finally lose the pop-in and stuttering issues from the first game!)

    My primary issues with the game are threefold: the story (which includes the characters and the dialogue), the map design, and the surface sections.

    I'll try to keep the spoilers small, but these are spoilers. Readers beware.

    Spoilers: The Story

    The surface-level problem with the story is that it isn't one story, it's two separate stories that basically don't relate to each other. Your initial goal is to find out what happened to Robin's sister (Robin is the protagonist). You'd think you'd be exploring the world looking for clues as to what happened to her, piecing things together as you got further in. While this does happen a little bit, there are three problems with it:

    • After you find the actual story, this thread stops being the focus. This is a shame, because there's much more room here for an interesting story.
    • You don't need to do any of the thread to complete the game.
    • Aside from the final portion (a very tedious find-the-macguffin) the story is entirely passive; you discover things by reading PDA entries. The player/protagonist has no role to play in the events.

    The second main thread is what happens when a sci-fi author loses sight of what makes things cool. The dev team had a question: "Wouldn't it be cool to meet the aliens?"

    Early in the game, you are environmentally directed (see the Map section) to a facility where one of the alien consciousnesses (the game calls them "Architects") decides to hitchhike in your brain. This story thread can be summarized, without loss of depth, as follows:

    • Hunt for 3 macguffins (alien body remnants)
    • Terrible dialogue about what it means to be human, as opposed to the Architect's networked existence (not elaborated upon, thankfully). I am not joking when I call this terrible; I turned off the voice audio and subtitles in order to escape from this. Reading it back in the voicelog was less painfully cringy than suffering through it in realtime, but it wasn't a big improvement.
    • Hunt for the Macguffin Facility, where the 3 previous macguffins are used to make the alien a new body
    • Teleport, with the alien, to the alien's homeworld

    This main story thread has the player doing patsy work for the alien, which is entirely the opposite of the first game's narrative (which was all about the protagonist trying to save themself).

    Spoilers: The Map

    I'll start with a positive: it's gorgeous. The general visual quality is improved.

    It's quite small (by feel, it's something like 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the original game), quite dense, and quite focused. Overly so, imo: it is very difficult to get lost.

    In the story section, I mention being "environmentally directed". This occurs at multiple points around the story, where there is only really one way to approach an environment. The first time this occurs is when glowing alien boxes direct you to an alien facility. It is very obvious that it's a path, and it's very obvious that you're supposed to follow it. If this only happened once, it would be fine (stories need starting, after all) but it occurs a few different times.

    The common thread for most of these guided paths is the notion that "down is progress". Without fail, if you travel downwards you will achieve story/tech progress. This is not something that happens with most other directions in the game. The above-water sections all have waypoints/beacons, and the world is horizontally small enough that you can see the entire breadth of it within your first 30 minutes of play.

    Additionally, there are paths formed by oxygen-providing plants. You can stay underwater, following these intended paths, for quite a long time.

    What's worse is that you start in the topmost section of the map. You are bounded in the north by a glacier. There are very few horizontal directions you can go. Eventually you open a sizeable surface area north of your start, but that doesn't happen through exploration, it happens through story progress (It's also nearly barren, but more on that in the next section).

    All told, the map felt enclosed and slightly claustrophobic. There wasn't any space for the world to breathe. The biomes are small and packed together. It feels more like a small underwater island rather than an ocean.

    Spoilers: The Surface Sections

    The game's new major mechanic is the notion of body heat. In the water, this mechanic doesn't exist. Body heat is purely a surface mechanic and it turns surface traversal into a total chore.

    Essentially, you start at 100 body heat. Every second you are out of the water / out of an enclosed space (home cave, etc.), you lost 1 body heat. In weather, you lose it faster. It's basically "surface oxygen" to draw a parallel to the underwater mechanic.

    There are several surface areas of varying size, a single large area, and a single huge area. Most of the areas are okay; they aren't good but they are passably alright. The huge area, on the other hand, is a trial of patience. There is exactly 1 goal at the far end, and getting there requires that you traverse a canyon maze filled with snow-dog-gators (that want to eat you) and ice worms (think Dune with heat lances for noses. They also want to eat you).

    My advice is to stock up on Fevered Peppers. Equal parts food, water, and body heat. This will get you through the reasonably sized surface areas.

    My other advice, for the big area, is to ignore it until you have a kitted out Prawn suit and just run through the whole thing, using the drill to kill the snow gators. It'll save you hours of on-foot tedium.

    Thinking some more, the big area is most of my gripe with the surfaces sections. Removing it would massively improve the game.

    Spoiler'd issues aside, the game was more Subnautica. Which is what I was looking for. There are other changes from the original, but having finished the game I'm mostly alright with them.

    2 votes
  17. Comment on The coming software apocalypse in ~tech

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    One such instance is cloud software (which is a significant portion of software engineering). Microsoft's CosmosDB has a full TLA+ model (which I think Lamport himself worked on) and that seems to...

    There are instances where this doesn't apply, however: I think NASA, aerospace companies, and other industries that are very bug-averse do use formal verification.

    One such instance is cloud software (which is a significant portion of software engineering). Microsoft's CosmosDB has a full TLA+ model (which I think Lamport himself worked on) and that seems to have been a positive experience for them. The article mentions that Amazon has done similar work for a couple of their services.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see more cloud services using TLA+ models to ensure consistent behavior.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on The coming software apocalypse in ~tech

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    (some clarifications) TLA+ (1999) and OpenApi (2016) seem to be solving very different problems. TLA+ is about logical correctness, whereas OpenApi seems to be about process communication. They...

    (some clarifications)

    TLA+ (1999) and OpenApi (2016) seem to be solving very different problems. TLA+ is about logical correctness, whereas OpenApi seems to be about process communication. They can both be used on the same project but they are not replacements for each other in any real sense.

    2 votes
  19. Comment on Stardew Valley 1.5 Update out now on PC, with the largest amount of new content added to the game since launch in ~games

    trobertson
    Link Parent
    Everyone has remarked that your suspicion is wrong (Stardew is a very casual experience), but if you do feel the need for wiki-style help there is a mod, Lookup Anything, that can serve as an...

    Everyone has remarked that your suspicion is wrong (Stardew is a very casual experience), but if you do feel the need for wiki-style help there is a mod, Lookup Anything, that can serve as an in-game reference for basically everything. It also works on modded items/npcs/etc. If you use it you'll almost never feel the need to look at the wiki.

    https://www.nexusmods.com/stardewvalley/mods/541

    6 votes
  20. Comment on What did you do this weekend? in ~talk

    trobertson
    Link
    I got gas for the first time since March. It got me thinking about how much I'm getting by WFHing: Yearly gas costs, at this rate, are <100$. Plus time savings from not commuting. Food costs are...

    I got gas for the first time since March. It got me thinking about how much I'm getting by WFHing:

    • Yearly gas costs, at this rate, are <100$. Plus time savings from not commuting.
    • Food costs are down a lot. I was spending 40-50$ per week on lunch at work, now that my costs for the whole week.
    • Better air. I've needed to go back to the office for some technical issues these past couple weeks, and the air there is stagnant and stuffy (and they've got the air conditioning on). I've always got an open window at home and the difference is enormous.
    • I've had time to grow some plants from seed. My vegetable pots aren't doing so well right now (I over-watered them and have fungus gnats) but I did get 2 radishes + 1 turnip (lesson learned: probably not worth doing tubers in a small pot haha. soil falling out everywhere and they weren't that great to eat) and about 20 leaves each of swiss chard and kale. I've also got an onion that's doing very poorly.
    • Better sleep. Same bed time but waking up an hour later is doing wonders.

    It does all come at the cost of socialization with coworkers (My team had a lot of fun during lunches, for example) but I make up for it with my hobby, ceramics. The community studio I go to has figured out how to be both open and socially distanced. I'm spending several hours a week there and it's been great.

    I've known my circumstance was lucky, but I'm basically privileged as fuck right now. That's what I realized this weekend.

    4 votes