Recent posts by petesahooligan on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / War on Drugs vs. Don't be a snitch

There’s a philosophical slant that you might consider, too. Life is challenging and you have your hands full trying to make the best of it. It’s difficult enough to have things go your way even when you put in the work, (but it gets easier as you get older… I didn’t “grow up” until I was well into my twenties, at least). With all of the challenges you’ll encounter while living your life, you should never look for other peoples’ problems to work on too.

Surround yourself (to the best of your ability) with people you respect. If someone doesn’t meet that criteria, don’t have anything to do with them… don’t talk about them, don’t think about them, don’t worry about them. (And don’t let them near your cell phone.)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Hey Karma, wanna fight?

Figured if Karma were up for it, I’d be willing to have an argument with him on the subject of his choice. This might satisfy his apparent yearnings to zing me with little bon mots and snarkastic rebuttals.

Visualize a flamboyantly thrown gauntlet by a well-dressed dandy.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How Do You Feel About Collegiate Fraternities and Sororities?

Wait, what is the point of a fraternity again?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Questioning the Nature of Your Embodiment

Would an automobile that was interfaced through neural transmissions qualify as telepresence? One would have the option of entering and exiting the car… to be “in” the car would be to feel the traction, the engine, the weight distribution… but there would be a persistent awareness that a biological organism was waiting for your return. Maybe a pilot could retain full control of their biological functions even while “in” the car.

To me, this degree of immersion is what makes the the consideration difficult. How much of what I currently am would I be sacrificing?

Do I want gills? Hell yeah! Do I want gills when I’m at the bar trying to chat up that hot girl? Not really.

There are, of course, physical considerations. A human form is not meant to fly under its own power. (We can jump a little.) Putting wings on a person doesn’t bestow flight… it just makes things like cooking more hazardous. To fly we need wholly different forms… forms that may be incompatible with other things that gives our lives meaning and satisfaction. To fly in ADDITION to my current pleasant activities is much different than to fly in EXCHANGE for my current pleasant activities and is, to me, the central interesting evaluation.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Looks like this forum is dying

I’m impervious to childish taunts.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How Do You Feel About Collegiate Fraternities and Sororities?

I think what I was trying to say, Karma, is that places like fraternities provide benefits to their members. That’s fine, in general. There needs to be member benefits in any social organization. I don’t even have THAT much of a problem in that fraternities, because they are found in higher education, create yet another social advantage to those people that take that path to career.

What I don’t like—and why I am philosophically wary of college fraternities—is that they recruit based on various reasons that may or may not be the qualities that we (society at large) would like to see encouraged. Fraternities do not strike me as being traditionally inclusive or diverse. In fact I believe their reputation is just the opposite; fraternities are known for being exclusive and proprietary. It is the birthplace and introduction of new boys to the “old boys club.”

That’s why I mentioned that fraternities are bad for everyone else, and that they perpetuate an economic system of inequity that reinforces the wealth of those with birth-right advantages.

It’s not wrong for people to be drawn into fraternities. I don’t think they are “bad” people. I just think the system is bad and doesn’t produce more societal good than harm.

That probably clarifies my earlier statement.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How Do You Feel About Collegiate Fraternities and Sororities?

there was a co-ed chemistry-based fraternity, where everyone was in one of the chemistry-related majors, studied science together, and remained friendly colleagues once they entered the workforce. It’s a useful system.

In terms of social, educational, and employment equity this is a pretty good example of a self-perpetuating mechanism for providing advantages to people that take traditional paths to career advancement. These kinds of advantages are good for individual members of that fraternity but bad for everyone else. Having a familial bond with someone based on a social or academic club (that ultimately provides career opportunity) produces advantages and inequity.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / #hyperthetical: 300

From Klosterman.

You are presented with a strange challenge: Someone dares you to count backwards from 300 to 0. If you succeed at this simple request, you will be given $25,000 cash. However, if you misspeak, get any digit incorrect, or make any mistake whatsoever, you will immediately be doused with gasoline and burned alive.

Do you attempt this challenge?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How Do You Feel About Collegiate Fraternities and Sororities?

I’m with you on this, Karma.

But, groups w/ “rules” tend to make me a bit “nervous”.

Clearly, any club that is created with the pretense of academic support or philanthropic action that goes on to simply become a party collective—as many fraternities and sororities are—is a shitty thing. Fraternities are often the first exposure a young person has to living on their own, and the familiar securities of home (meals, stable housing, regular schedule) can provide an inflated sense of confidence.

University students, I believe, should be attentive to their studies. It’s important to blow off steam occasionally, but that should never be the priority. But partying is only part of the problem that frat organizers have created. Hazing is another issue.

The hazing is an initiation ritual that perpetuates other abuses. There’s a camaraderie to frat “brothers” that is sometimes deeper than the law and social taboos.

That said, there’s something powerful and important about tribal culture. Frats are not (and have never been) my tribe but I’ve had others. Punk rock music—we had our special bars, language, bands, culture, and codes—and skateboarding—its lingo, its social norms and expectations, its odd “physical meritocracy”—and my gaming community. All of these tend to see people as “one of us” or “not one of us.” That’s usually okay… but it can be dangerous, too.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Questioning the Nature of Your Embodiment

I would like to start with some humble improvements.

1. Computer interface that didn’t require so much physical control. I’d like to direct computer actions using muscular commands without actually having to move my hands.

2. Automobile controls that not only allowed me to engage “seamlessly” with piloting functions but to also understand the diagnostic operations of my car on a visceral level.

3. Educational applications could really benefit. Building an immersive swimming class, for example, could provide people with exposure to the techniques and movements of swimming without having to be in the water. (Perhaps they don’t have access to a pool or they have debilitating fears.)

4. Personal electric transportation, such as electric skateoards or skates, that could be controlled using subtle physical impulses in an intuitive and reflexive way. That sounds fun to me.

5. Later, I could see this kind of interface being used to manage elaborate systems like nuclear power plants, municipal power grids, and traffic control.

All of these nodes would require the ability to “jack in / jack out” rather than being an irrevocable engagement… at least to meet my own comfort level.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What do you think the impact would be if Serious Discussion were to receive more regulars from Off-Topic?

Just as relevant, what’s better: Yellow or blue!?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

Not bad for someone that once thought the thesaurus was a type of dinosaur. Your literary dada exposé is irrelevant in this thread. I’d hate to see it deleted. Start your own thread for discussing the Great Vika Conspiracy.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What do you think the impact would be if Serious Discussion were to receive more regulars from Off-Topic?

I think the result of more people from ANY source contributed to SD it would change the quality of the discussion.

I don’t think OT has a lesser quality of person… but I think the type of discussion that happens in OT isn’t appropriate for SD, and vice versa. People go there for that, they come here for this. The people will conduct themselves in whatever way is appropriate, of course.

Usually.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

Ah… interesting.

The rhythm of my work ethic requires some amount of down-time to recharge, become inspired, to gather new data or impressions, to see hypotheses develop. Creativity and innovation require periods of gestation… and that often means letting the idea go for a while to allow your thoughts to relax. It’s like flexing a muscle… flex, rest, flex, rest… so too are ideas born.

I can understand your desire for more time with the developmental ideas that are important to you, Vika. (Not to suggest that you’re unfulfilled, but rather that if you were offered X number of years you would devote them to more access to your career)… but I would challenge that by countering that any limitation on your life-expectancy is going to produce the same constraint.

Is there a particular threshold that you would feel more comfortable “letting go” of your life’s work than what you expect to be able to accomplish in your natural lifetime? Are you holding out for self-regenerative “smart cells” that regrow lost tissue? (In other words, is your holy grail expected to occur well beyond your natural lifetime?)

I don’t think I have one. BUT, if I were pressed I would use my expanded lifetime to master the world’s languages, musical instruments, and artistic styles. I would spend my superlife first on personal enrichment and later on public enrichment.

I’m afraid though that I would squander a lot of it because my sense of urgency was removed.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

I think a lot of people are missing the bigger question here. The easy question is “how long would you hope to life” and the difficult question is why?

A very long life expectancy doesn’t guarantee long life, so if a person were to desire a ridiculously long life, would that really give a person more time to do what they wanted to do?

I suspect that our life goals are intrinsically constrained to what is reasonably possible within a normal life span (normal by today’s standards). For example, when we create a “bucket list” we don’t generally put things on it that we cannot ordinarily be expected to do… like, learn to teleport or travel back in time.

If we were to declare our life expectancy to be 900 years, would our hopes and dreams scale accordingly? I don’t think so. As such, I think 800 of those years (those years that were in excess of a normal life span) would largely be wasted on trivial stuff. I think most people would simply expand the perfunctory activity of their normal life into the longer time span… and not (instead) create 10-times as much “life work.”

Interesting observations, Karma. We know that as people age they generally become more provincial, territorial, and insular. Some sociologists/psychologists believe that when we age we begin to rationalize our mortality in new ways… and we want to know that our lives mattered. So we focus more on reinforcing personal relationships and places where we believe our lives have been significant. Older people, as a result, tend to be more nationalistic, for example.

(I wish I could find the study that correlated age with these characteristics but nothing came easily… but it’s out there.)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / American Conservatism versus the world.

I wouldn’t be so sure, BSG.

Imagine:

• The discussion wends into the nature of extreme hyperbole and its effectiveness as a means of persuasive communication.

• The discussion explores how the most narrow points of view often produce the most visionary expressions.

• The discussions reveals examples of how our most compelling thinkers are often specialists and focused on singular goals.

Hyperbole has its conversational white-space, I think.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

It’s a very philosophical (and madly hypothetical) to speculate what the role of mortality has on a person’s work ethic, intrinsic curiosity, sense of deliberate urgency, and so on.

A person with a life expectancy of 900 years may feel like a child at 50, with all of the same urgency and need for accomplishment. Meaning, that “young” 50-year-old may approach scientific inquiry, and career or personal development, a lot more casually than a person with a traditional life span. “Write my memoir? What’s the rush?”

The entrenched thinking of the tenured professor is a good analogy. Certainly there’s little incentive to advance one’s career when one’s career has plateaued at its zenith. There must be incentives for improvement.

Yet, when we look at what motivates people to contribute to a greater good, the contributor is not always a benefactor… in fact, the contributor is often not a direct benefactor. How many scientists working on a cure for cancer themselves have cancer? Certainly not too many.

The motivation to cure cancer comes from other incentives… less direct incentives.

Do those incentives change when we dramatically alter a person’s life-span?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

It’s interesting, Vika, how a person’s career and influence would change in their discipline if they were 3, 4, or even 10 times older (and more experienced) than their peers.

It’s easy to imagine that the person with 10x life and professional experience would be more capable, innovative, and creative.

However, it’s also easy to imagine that a person with 10x life experience might be more entrenched and habitual in their ways of thinking… and actually less prone to “happy accidents.”

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

For me, I want to live long enough to do the things I want to do, make the change I want to make, and no longer.

Wave-Rida’s comment about friends dying and the “vampiric” version of immortality doesn’t appeal to me either, but even if EVERYONE could live forever, I don’t think that would be so great.

However, it might be nice to have some super ancient people around as historians.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Giver recently became compulsory reading for 6-7th graders in Hungary

Well, why don’t you choose any one of those scenarios, Vika.

What is the fundamental difference in teaching methods when there’s a narrow disparity between individuals in a small class versus a diverse range of aptitudes in a large class?

I agree that it depends entirely on that, but it also depends entirely on lots of other things. For the sake of discussion, I was proposing that there’s a significant consideration based on your desired outcome.

If you want an outcome that says “the pupil(s) was exposed to Shakespeare” then the pedagogy is going to be different than if your want an outcome that says “the pupil(s) can identify Shakespeare.” (Or even, “the pupil can emulate Shakespeare.”)

That was my point. The nature of the class was not really the focus… but since you brought it up, how would your curriculum differ for each class type?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Giver recently became compulsory reading for 6-7th graders in Hungary

Unfortunately you’ve still got to teach the ‘fundamentals’ of writing before you can get to the fun optional stuff, and some required literature always gets clumped in with that, either that or the school doesn’t have the budget to allow multiple lit courses.

This passage caught my eye.

I’m currently working on a curriculum and I’m confronted by a decision. (Actually, lots of decisions.)

Is it better to apply your finite resources to the pupils that will benefit the most from it, apply your resources evenly across all pupils regardless of their capacity to maximize the education, or to apply your resources to the pupils that are farthest behind?

One way of looking at it suggests that you focus most of your energy on the top-performing students because they are the ones that can make the most out of your investment. They are prepared for your instruction and will be most able to excel in school as a result.

Another way suggests that the equitable approach is to simply provide the same degree of instruction to all the pupils and essentially be “blind” to providing extra attention to those that struggle or those that are highly capable. This approach appeals most to a sense of fair play, though the same amount of service to different students does not necessarily mean that it will have the same educational impact.

The last way suggests that by bringing up the lowest performers it has the most impact because a student that is prone to do well will often do well without extra help whereas a student that is doing poorly is likely to do VERY poorly moving forward as they fall farther and farther behind. The impact of not receiving the educational resources they need could literally mean the difference between a difficult life and one that has some true opportunities.

I don’t agree that education has to follow a “logical” path of staged development, as you suggest, IoD. A student can often jump right into the fun, optional stuff and because that fun stuff is more engaging to the student, the educational impact may be greater than if they’re required to slog through a bunch of boring stuff.

When I was a kid we had to do sentence diagrams and know all the different types of words and how they worked. I immediately forgot all of it and even though I do a fair amount of writing today, I still don’t really understand the formal rules of writing. I learn by doing, and when I encounter an rule that applies to the types of things I happen to be writing, that’s when I’m most likely to internalize it.

Imagine you were really excited about learning the banjo but your parents tell you that you must take a basic guitar class first. The problem is that you have no interest in guitar. Guitar is boring. You want to play the banjo.

I would recommend that you jump right into the banjo. It will be more difficult for you because you lack guitar-playing experience, but your enthusiasm for the instrument may make up the deficit.

Now, you can’t write a proper haiku until you know what a syllable is… so there are some conditions… but I don’t think it would be necessary to read Shakespeare in a literature class unless it was clear that the students were really stoked on Shakespeare.

This is going to quickly migrate into a conversation about standardized testing, I suspect.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How old do you want to be when you die?

This may seem like a strange question but I’m curious how long people hope to live.

The bigger question is why?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why the Kong SD forum is as close to perfection as you can get.

Uh… no. It was weird.

In the room there were 15 or so professional game developers. We were there as peers to look at some prototype RPG models… new types of roleplaying. It was not a “game convention” or whatever. It was a professional setting… a working meeting.

Whatever. Doesn’t matter. It was supposed to be a joke for Vanguard.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Freedom of Speech: Garland, TX style

Right. Bias is everywhere and in everyone.

Some biases we take more seriously than others, too. So it’s not just the degree of bias but the content of it. An organization espousing the superiority of apple pie to peach pie can be as militant as they want… the bias is not inflammatory (even though many people might have a personal preference for one over the other).

And the person exerting bias is relevant. A person acting or speaking on subtle (or overt) preferences where the only person impacted by their decision is themselves, it doesn’t really matter. When that person is making decisions that impact others, the bias should be inspected.

Finally, some biases are contemporary triggers and they come and go with the generations. Biases that shaped the controversy around the Vietnam War are less potent today, but biases in regards to environmental issues as it relates to global warming are MUCH more potent.

These are the biases I was aiming for in my earlier comment:
• Inform decisions that impact others (and)
• Are generationally relevant

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Freedom of Speech: Garland, TX style

Great observation. Funny thing about the “court of public opinion” is that it doesn’t really seem to give a shit about if you’re working on it. In fact prevailing PR wisdom mandates that a public personality or company NEVER admit to any wrong-doing or weakness, (usually for legal reasons).

The woman in Karma’s video clearly has severe biases that cloud her judgment and manifest in service inequities. She might be a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan and that shouldn’t be a problem if she can come to work and deliver the same professional level of service to all her students regardless of race. Apparently she can’t do that.

I think that the Public (meaning, those of us that summarize, editorialize, and propagate current events) was more accepting of public apologies and other acts of honest transparency, it might usher in a new era of social responsibility from businesses and public figures.

Sadly, I think we’re caught between two ideals.

On on hand we have prioritized “safe” speech because public outcry has become so immediate, shrill, and widespread that people are gun-shy from addressing difficult topics. I think most people want to talk about sensitive social topics but are uncomfortable with the degree that so many ideas are explosive. You might hit a landmine without even knowing it’s there. (And, of course, not every black person is interested in race issues just like every white person isn’t… not all issues touch everybody.)

On the other hand we (the people) are feeling disenfranchised and alienated from governmental and corporate policy because these important conversations are happening behind closed doors. When inequities emerge — in law enforcement, education, wages, social issues — the result often seems deliberately biased. The only place we can talk about race and law enforcement is through bullhorns at marches… because those conversations sure aren’t being talked about by our political candidates.