Recent posts by beauval on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Effects of Increasing Minimum Wage. Is it good or bad?

Minimum wage is supposed to match inflation. That’s it’s function.

I think you’re confusing that with index linked wages and pensions. The purpose of a minimum wage is to ensure that every worker receives a living wage.

When we adopted it in the UK there were cries of impending doom from its opponents, but in the event there was barely a ripple in the labour market. The sky didn’t fall, the economy didn’t collapsie. The rate rose to £9 per hour in the recent budget, and that’s under a Conservative government, which also views it as a way of encouraging people to work.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Lafayette, Louisiana, Theater Shooting:

There are so many issues of (greater?) importance facing our nation that allows Congress to see a very few killings as acceptable in the greater picture of “going-along-to-get-along” with the needs of major PAC’s.

According to Obama in that BBC interview, the number of people killed by terrorism since 911 is fewer than 100. The number killed by gun violence is in the tens of thousands. That’s hardly “a very few killings”, even in a country of 300 million people. There have been wars with fewer casualties than that. What’s going on karma? How can congress write off so many deaths as a matter of no importance?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Lafayette, Louisiana, Theater Shooting:

OK, so if public opinion is shifting towards regulation, why isn’t congress shifting with it? Is the gun lobby financing so many pet projects that the representatives of the people just can’t afford to ignore them, or is it something else?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Lafayette, Louisiana, Theater Shooting:

Somebody thinks so. Clearly a lot of other people in the only country that matters here disagree with him.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why do we value authenticity?

@ Pete
Sorry to take so long. The computer’s down, and I’m doing this from a mobile jellyphone, which takes a bit longer.

What if the replica is made by hand and perfectly mimics the individual craftsmanship of the original? Then what?

If the craftsmanship is of a high quality, then I can appreciate it for that alone. I may not like the item, but I place value on the skills used to create it. Having said that, I’m not really into duplicates unless it’s, say, to replace an important piece damaged beyond repair. Good furniture should also be about original and interesting design ideas. I do like some of the modern stuff too.

By “function” I mean that it expresses certain qualities… qualities of hand-craftsmanship, qualities of age and patina, qualities of historical anachronism. These are qualities that can also be duplicated… yet in your comparison you’ve left those qualities out of the duplicate.

Age can’t be duplicated – either it’s old or it isn’t. Patina can be duplicated to a degree, and if it’s done well it can be hard to spot. But adding patina (200 years of other peoples’ grubby finger marks) gets us into the realms of forgery, and that’s definitely not good. Personally, I think patina belongs on bronzes, not furniture. If an item is looking a bit fed up, I’m quite prepared to give it a good rub down and a french polish. It brings out the qualities of the timber. On a good piece of furniture, the veneers weren’t taken randomly from a pile, they were carefully chosen to enhance the design features.

Historical anachronism (?) is evident everywhere you look in the world of antiques, not just furniture. For instance, Queen Anne style remained popular for several decades after the old girl died, and much of what is presented as Queen Anne actually dates from the reign of George II or even George III. Thomas Chippendale drew heavily from it in his designs, although he incorporated plenty of original ideas too. Or is that not what you meant? You can be a bit ambiguous at times.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why do we value authenticity?

Beauval, you’ve cheated the question by claiming the original has value because it is functionally different than the original and that does not exactly speak to the question of why we value authenticity.

That’s a bit Irish, could you try again so it makes sense?

I don’t see how functionality enters into this. The function of the repro is exactly the same as the original. The joy of pre Victorian furniture is the hand carving, the hand cut veneers and banding, and all those little joints, each one slightly different but each one fitting exactly. I enjoy making stuff, usually railway related, and I appreciate good craftsmanship. Owning something that was made by the dozen just doesn’t have the same appeal.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why do we value authenticity?

That’s not to say that a difficult-to-create object is always better than one that is machine-made. It only means that when we are faced with two identical objects, the value will favor the one that required more human effort to create.

I like antique furniture, and would always place more value on an original item. A modern repro may be more perfectly symmetrical, maybe even slightly better finished, but it has no soul.

I have a Georgian dining table. It’s picked up a few dents and scratches over the last two and a half centuries and needs a good French polish, but other than that it’s as solid as the day it came out of the workshop. A repro is made by a workman on a jig, mine was made by craftsmen who put their heart and soul into it, not to mention years of accumulated skill and experience. That matters to me, and I feel privileged to own it, and several other pieces of a similar age. A modern piece of furniture just doesn’t have the same appeal, and I’m clearly not alone in that view.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Whaling

When I was a kid, whale meat was a cheap way of feeding the family cat. A bloke in the local street market kept it in buckets and sold it as pet food. I didn’t like going there because it smelled so awful.

However, the Japanese like to eat it, and as long as it is hunted in a sustainable way I really don’t have a problem with that. Sustainability is really the only issue I have with this. I don’t suppose the average American would be very happy if the Japanese put political pressure on them to stop eating their favourite burgers because cows are so cute.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Do you agree with this quote? "History is written by the victors" - Winston Churchill

A prime example of this was in the news recently. Three years ago the remains of King Richard III were discovered under a Leicester car park, near to where he died in battle. He is now interred in Leicester Cathedral.

There is no doubt that he was a reformer, but contemporary accounts as to his character vary wildly. He was both admired and hated. He is also widely believed to have murdered his two nephews in order to secure the throne. Being a hunchback made him an easy target for the name callers.

His successor’s claim to the throne was rather tenuous, and it would certainly have have been in his interest to blacken his predecessor’s name in order to strengthen his own position. So, was Richard really a murderous usurper? The weight of evidence says he likely was, but we will never know for sure. But in the public mind, he will always remain one of the great villains of English history.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Hog the outside lane

Are you a policeman?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Confederate Flag and Civil Liberties

So why don’t you tell us about America in its heyday? When was that, and what was so wonderful about it?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Do you agree with this quote? "History is written by the victors" - Winston Churchill

It’s true up to a point, but too simplistic. Some of the losers got their say too. Much of our knowledge of the barbarian invasions comes from the Romans, who were eventually overwhelmed by them.

Churchmen were one of the few literate groups in medieval and earlier times, and their output would have been biased in favour of the orthodoxy of the day. Other versions of events would be told from the point of view of the ruling classes; the peasants were all illiterate, so we know a lot about what they did, but next to nothing about what they thought. Yet more versions of history were written by charlatans like Geoffrey of Monmouth, who much of the time made it up as he went along. Better sources are things like official government documents (like the Domesday Book) which can be achingly dull but generally deal in bald facts.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should corporations be allowed to marry?

James, here’s a couple 1….2 about the US. I am aware that regulation is a dirty word for you Americans, but you will see no end to these kinds of abuses until industries are regulated vigourously. I know I’m drifting away from the OP, but this subject may have a bit more meat on it.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should corporations be allowed to marry?

James, you really need to stop thinking in purely American terms. Child labour is still very widespread.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should corporations be allowed to marry?

They already can, it’s called a merger. If one is more butch than the other, it’s called a takeover.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Identical Universe survival.

On top of all that, if you turn up with just the clothes on your back you are a homeless person begging for his next meal. Nobody’s going to believe you’re a genius, no employer will give you a second glance.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / which marriage will "progressives" "fight" for next?

It doesn’t affect me at all – I’m thousands of kilometres away. But sham weddings do happen, the Africans seem to be particularly fond of this route to citizenship. With Las Vegas style weddings and quickie divorces, you could find it happening to you too. It’s cheating the system and illegal, but that won’t stop them trying.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / which marriage will "progressives" "fight" for next?

Marrying Mexicans so they can claim US citizenship.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / If somebody fails to notify the buyers of a house of 'the crazy neighbor who harrases anyone liveing there', can the buyers of the house sue?

IoD, I know every country’s different, but over here the job of the estate agent (realtor) is to find a buyer for the property and bring about a meeting of minds over price and terms and conditions. It’s a solicitor’s (lawyer’s) job to make all the enquiries, which includes any ongoing disputes with neighbours. They start with a standard questionnaire and ask as many additional questions as they want. It gets very tiresome, but does offer a degree of protection from unforeseen circumstances.

Weird neighbours are twopence a bucketful, but if a solicitor failed to discover the police had been involved, I think you would have a very strong case to go after him via the Law Society, their governing body. Do you not use lawyers to do all the legwork in America?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / 3D-print a human... INTO SPACE!

I see. I thought you meant we launch a 3D printer across space on some rocket or something, and have it land on a planet and start working.

That’s how I understood it too. Shipping people out in digital format would obviate the need for expensive and problematic life support systems if trips were likely to last hundreds of years. The pioneers would be as fresh as the day they stepped on board.

And we can’t guarantee to get our machines back to recoup some of the losses of the operation if the machines are damaged (weather or just simply lack of maintenance).

If each 3D printer was identical, only one would be required to arrive in good working order. It could then build everything necessary to get the project underway. Even if it took years to get to the stage of recreating the human element it wouldn’t matter.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Hyperthetical: The Musical Reversal

Just as a matter of interest Pete, what conclusions do you draw about me on the strength of my musical tastes? (60s Rock, jazz and blues from the 1920s and Bach’s organ music spring to mind as particular favourites).

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / If you could live in a different time period...

But WHERE would you like to live? I did live in the 1950s, in London, and it’s not an experience I would want to repeat. It was a land of bomb sites, little spare cash and not much to spend it on anyway. And it was dull. The country was so busy trying to rebuild itself that there wasn’t much time to do anything interesting.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Misrepresenting Race

This reminds me of Mezz Mezzrow. Despite being white, he decided that he was black, lived in a black neighbourhood, married a black woman at a time when that would have shocked much of America, and even had himself put in the black wing in jail, where he went after being caught supplying marijuana (his ability to supply that commodity was legendary in the Jazz world). He was also, IMHO, as mad as a box of frogs. His strangeness was no impediment in his chosen profession, as he could blow a clarinet like few others.

He certainly had the cultural qualifications to claim he was at least an honorary black man, but none of the racial qualifications. He was a white Caucasian, and no amount of pretending was ever going to change that. He lived in a world where being an odd ball could be a positive advantage, but I don’t think the same can be said of the woman you are wanting to discuss. I think she needs a bit of help to bring her back to reality.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Hyperthetical: Prison Culture

If he went to trial, he could claim he was just bullshitting for attention and/or money. His lawyer could put up a pretty good case that society turned him into the shitbag he became. He has already spent 25 years in custody.

Charging him would likely prove to be an expensive waste of time.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Hyperthetical: Euphoria Forever

1. Favourite meal perfectly prepared would be a waste of the chef’s time. After 48 without eating, even a plateful of boiled cabbage would go straight down without touching the sides.

2. Only 12 hours? 12 hours is for wimps. It would take at least 18 to make me ready for bed!

3. The best pleasures are the simplest ones. This is a really good feeling.