Recent posts by vikaTae on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Book Club 2015

Don, are we talking purely factual books that can be used as references, or can we include personal reading choices as well?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

Originally posted by Jantonaitis:
And you know what really ticks me off? It’s not karma. It’s that for as long as this has been going on, you all have stood by and done nothing but make snide remarks and feign sympathy in private. If I leave, the problem will not leave with me. The personal vendetta will, but he will continue to be as he is – and it’ll be your problem, not mine. Enjoy!

The sympathy wasn’t feigned. Other than that, I don’t see what you believe we could have done. None of us have any power over other posters here, and any attempt to reason with one party in the feud off-forum always leads to those people also being blocked, with new feuds involving them, starting.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

Originally posted by TheBSG:

When I said “Bang” I meant slang for “Sexual Intercourse.

I know you did. As I said, I wouldn’t mind paying to see them do that. It would certainly break this ugly tension towards one another that’s been hovering over the forum for a while now. Even with one obviously willing to let bygones be bygones, the tension’s still there; still palpable. It’s the same with the tension between one of them and myself (Note: I have no wish to bang either of them, so cut the similies out now :P ) .

It polutes the forum to no small extent, and is the root cause of a lot of our problems here, particularly in all the passive-aggression which results. Whilst all parties involved aren’t willing to put this behind us, that tension’s always going to linger and pollute the forum. I really don’t see another solution here, other than both parties who are willing to put old arguments aside leaving the forum altogether, to mollify the feelings of the third party, and abate the tension that way. It’s still a short-term solution at best though, as more tension will be created sooner or later, and the root problem hasn’t been addressed. Namely, how to handle these disputes in such a way as that regardless of the feelings of the participants whoever they may be, things don’t bleed over into the open forum.

Now, your second post: The snuff film bit took me by surprise, but as I was in a playful mood, I rolled with it; that’s all that was.

These posts are going to get deleted for being off topic now, not cause they’re dirty. That’s kind of sad to me.

No, they’re entirely on topic, and I hope this post clarifies why they are.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

I just wish to be certain they’re actually gone :)

Nothing worse than not knowing if a given individual is actually dead or not, and filmed evidence does help set the mind at ease.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

So long as they remember to film it and we each get copies, I’m good with that.


More on topic, could we at least try not to hurl insults at each other, and try not to set up long diatribes on why we hate one another? Both are kinda counterproductive to the whole concept of creating a better forum environment.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

Originally posted by cromagin2:
I also suggest leaving a reason WHY a post is removed when it is removed for everyone to see. Right now it adds anger to the forum to see so many removed posts with no idea why. Why would anyone new want to wade in with the fear of a post being removed with no explanation? I think this kills threads just as much as a troll trolling.

The problem is Kong would have to recode the forums to add that functionality. Right now when it says “this post was removed by an administrator or moderator”, it hasn’t actually been replaced with a new post saying that; rather that’s an automatically generated line of text when a post is soft deleted. The original post is still there in full, but locked from public display.

There’s no way to customise those messages, it’s one message for soft deletes for the whole forum and that’s it. The moderator cannot insert a new post after the removed one, but before the next post in the thread because, again, the forum was never coded to allow for that. The post would be added on the end of the forum thread the same as any other post.

The only remaining option would be to physically delete the post and write in why it was deleted, but that would destroy the original post that soft delete does preserve, and the original poster would still retain edit rights to replace it.

There isn’t an ideal solution right now, and any ideal solution for that hinges on getting Kong to rewrite the forum’s code, which is very unlikely to occur for a pletora of reasons that have been visited repeatedly over the years.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

Originally posted by cromagin2:

This is rather unfriendly and harsh, don’t you think?

You reap what you sow. Yeasy’s been here long enough to make his ‘debate’ style well known. He doesn’t believe evidence has any part in a debate, which makes it rather hard to get anywhere. Add in his insistence that only one very narrow-field type of logic has any merit, and you get a complete waste of time all round.

So yes, we’re rather unfriendly towards him.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

You’re describing a code of ethics, or at least you’re trying to. As several of us have said now and you have repeatedly ignored, such will not work unless it is backed up by don. We know this because we’ve been down this road before, several times, and it plain does not work to set up a code and hope everyone is decent enough to always follow it on their own.

Talking about enforcement sort of puts the cart in front of the horse… like hiring a security guard before you have something to keep secure.

If you ignore that SD already exists, then sure this applies. But you will have to pretend that kongregate does not have a SD forum, and that we are apparently going to set up a brand new forum somewhere else, in order for that argument to apply.

Once some fundamental goals are established and can answer “what is SD for?”

“The internet is serious business. Talk about politics, world events, and other such things here.” That is the purpose of SD. Serious discussion. That quote was taken from this page, which I’m certain you’ve seen a time or two whilst you’ve been using SD.

You can also read this and this for a good definition of what SD is for. The information’s all out there for new posters to read.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / E-cigs and vaping directly linked to cancer.

Originally posted by cromagin2:

I do not like them due to the flavors people use and I have to smell them. Like Apple and Grape, who knows what chemicals they use to flavor those scents and they linger in the air.

The same chemicals used to create those flavors in foods. They are designed to be strong, and readily identifiable by the nose, and they might even be an extract of the actual fruit. As to lingering in the air, no more so than any other scent. Your nose is pretty good at picking up odors, and I sincerely doubt there’s more than a few parts per million of the scent molecules you’re detecting.

Don’t forget your scent of smell is a molecular detector that’s triggered when a molecule physically binds to an olfactory receptor in your nose. This means that the scent stays in your nose long after it has settled from the room. You just subconsciously edit the signal out after a while.

I really feel that unless they have a delivery method that can deliver the addictive nicotine to the addicted with 100% proof no harmful substances of any kind can be inflicted on others all smoking/vapin ecigs etc should be required by law to be used in the persons home or car only

Quite a few pathogens are spread via the air. An infected person (even with no outward signs otherwise) can propell millions of bacteria into the air with a cough or a single sneeze. Even what we would usually call an uninfected person (ie everyone on Earth) is still exhaling pathogens with every breath.

By the same ‘logic’ you are using here, we have proof that normal breath is not 100% guaranteed safe, so a law should be passed to mandate nobody is allowed to breathe except whilst in their own home or car. That wouldn’t end well now, would it? Same issue with vaporisers and breath. If it was comfortable for the person to breathe in, then it’s not an immediate toxin, and since their lungs will absorb most of the chemicals, only an extremely tiny percentage will be breathed back out again. Functionally it’s no different to the breath of random stranger A sitting next to you in the bar. Do you throw a fit because they are breathing in your presence and it’s dangerous?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

If we use an assumption of an interest in moral behavior as a metric to improve SD, then the improvement will fail. We’ve done this, been through this territory several times. Voluntary systems of self-morality don’t work. They hold for a little while among those willing to self-enforce, then things slowly slide back to how they were before.

Worse, you’re still in a situation where anyone who doesn’t wish to abide by the new rules is still free to ignore them completely, and do whatever the hell they like, same as is the case now. There’s no reason beyond self-belief to hold forum behavior to a moral code.

Also, a universal system of morality does not exist. So arguing that this universal system will do most of the work for us is pointless. Our brains are a product of evolution and upbringing. Nature and nurture. Every brain has slightly different genetics and a different upbringing. Every morality, as an emergent set of data in that brain is going to be slightly different. There are areas of overlap for the majority of systems in the current range of human moralities, but no overlap that comprises all systems.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / PotUS' SotUA

Originally posted by donseptico:

As a Brit, um no… none whatsoever… I don’t even know the theoretical significance (if any) of the speech itself – isn’t it pretty much the same thing every year? The president comes before congress and says ’we’re doing a good job’?

It’s a lot like Cameron addressing parliament. Everything that suits his policies gets discussed, rabble rousing gets a field trip, and reality doesn’t get a look-in.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Off Topic is below Average.

I’ve come across interesting posts occasionally in OT. I don’t post there, but do browse their index once a month or so. End of last month there was even someone asking for help with a flash MoCap setup of all things – but (unsurprisingly) gained no replies. Other interesting topics come up every few weeks or so. Their topics occasionally start out serious, but devolve into nonsense and stay nonsense well within the first page, so I tend to use the rule of thumb the OP is going to be the only intersting part and it rarely leads me wrong.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / E-cigs and vaping directly linked to cancer.

Originally posted by Kasic:

The common thing I hear is that people believe them to be less harmful to one’s health. Whether that’s true or not I’m highly suspicious, but I doubt they could be any worse than a normal cigarette and they certainly reduce litter, so I’m all for them.

They’re certainly better for third party health, as you’re not breathing in someone else’s smoke, and the compounds that do escape with their breath, dissipate far more rapidly than with smoke. For the user, meh, it’s debatable. In theory they are, but there are some practical complications.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / E-cigs and vaping directly linked to cancer.

Originally posted by RollerCROWster:

I dont get why people start smoking in the first place.

Peer pressure usually. They see the ‘cool’ kids smoking and wish to emulate the cool kids, so they pick up smoking among other emulations. Or someone at home smokes and they pick up the habit from them.

Sometimes it’s recommended as a way of dealing with stress or long periods of tedium – this seems to be, from talking to more than a few, the reason cabbies tend to smoke.

The problem is of course, once you start playing around with an addictive substance, it is often rather difficult to stop. Especially if you’ve been addicted for some time. Your brain chemistry alters to accomodate it.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / E-cigs and vaping directly linked to cancer.

It’s just a study pointing out there are minute traces of formaldehyde in the inhalant.

It points out that how heated formaldehyde reacts in the respitory tract is at present an unknown, and speculates that it might be a vector for increased tissue damage including a possibility of cancer.

It’s not a link between e-cigs and cancer, but merely a speculation that the accidental creation of formaldehyde by the vaporisation process might be causing tissue damage of various types. As a side-effect, precious little of the chemical is likely to be present in the exhale, and that’ll dissipate rapidly as it cools.

Personally, such a result doesn’t bother me. It indicates that the chemical composition of nicotine cartridges requires altering, but beyond that, I don’t see a problem.

If I’m not mistaken, the vaporizers operating at a lower voltage do not appear to produce the same degree of carcinogen.

You’re not mistaken. It appears to be an issue from unintended chemical reactions of the base constituants of the cartridge when they’re overheating. Change the constituants (remove the glucose) or reduce the heating level and you solve the problem. Either would work, though you’d need a new binding agent without the sugar.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is there a limit to the number of concievable ideas?

Originally posted by cromagin2:

Clearly, they were designed that way.

Sortof. It’s much more to do with the physics governing the flow of electric current.

If our brains were created by a sentient designer, they stand as proof that that developer was completely unintelligent, rather deranged and highly schitzophrenic, putting highly effective structures into part of the brain, and then imagining their presence in the rest, and not bothering to actually put any more in where they would make a difference.

The human brain is in a nutshell, extremely poorly ‘designed’ with multiple points of failure even at the lowest level. It looks exactly like it was cobbled together by random chance, and works as well as it does, despite said design rather than because of it.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

Re: My name. Just Vika is fine, Pete. The two are supposed to be separate words anyways. I just had a brain-fart moment back when I created the account and forgot about underscores.

Re: The actual argument. In many ways the sandbox nature of this site is glorious. Personally, it’s what I love aboutthis place, that any topic on any subject (within reason) is fine. But then I’m biased, as I’ve been able to monetize ideas that developed here. (That will bias anyone.) But they were ideas that I would never in a month of sundays have stumbled into in my usual work. I can solve them with my usual work, but it’s not the point.

Forums where we’re all experts in related fields are handy, and I’m a member of a few. But, they create something of a blindpoint, because of their very nature. We all understand the basics of what can be done, what cann’t be done and why, so we never think to explore the edges of that space, for fear of looking like a fool. In a free-for-all sandbox like this one, there’s no such danger, because so many of the participants are truly ignorant about what can and cannot be done, so they ask idiotic questions or make idiotic postulations without knowing that they’re idiotic. Yes, the ideas are almost always truly idiotic, but sometimes they morph into something interesting, quite by accident.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

I wouldn’t say it is beyond help, especially since users stillactually wish to be here, and to contribute. I’ve seen other communities where usership was also highly anonymous, and yet a real sense of community was formed. MUDs are good at that, so was TinyMush. So are most communal virtual environments (although they fracture, obviously). It’s not the lack of full ID that’s the problem, but the lack of any real direction or hard-and-fast rules with real consequences that’s causing the headches here.

Most of us old-timers on the forum are used to frankly, getting our own way with no real come-uppance if we push too far over the line. As a result we’ve all become a bit sloppy at noticing where that line actually is. Some more than others, but we’ve all done it. Whereas a newer user without the volume and gestalt of clout we’ve accumulated over the years, does not have anywhere near as free a reign, and when they try to copy how we’re behaving, it all comes unstuck for them.

EDIT: Apparently my spelling is ‘beyond help’ :P

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

What I believe would work better is identifying ways to encourage desired behavior (rather than looking at ways of restricting undesired behavior). The two aren’t mutually exclusive, of course, but too much restriction would threaten to reduce activity without providing encouragement for new, articulate contributors.

The problem is we already know we have users who will point blank refuse to alter their behavior from what have been identified as highly destructive patterns. So, any solution that doesn’t carry a big stick, is doomed to fail right out of the gate.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

It’s really not an ad hominem. Your honor, the prosecution rests. The defense is destroying itself :)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

They’d have to be sane and dependable as well Crow. So that, I’m afraid, rules you out :P

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is there a limit to the number of concievable ideas?

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

Absolutely. That’s job security and a pretty good case for not writing anything down.

We’re at very different ends of the spectrum then, as for me, it is absolutely yet another reason to invest heavily (time & money) in attempts to successfully build a long-term interface between brain and inorganic hardware. When my brain ultimately fails, I have absolutely no wish for everything I know to go with it. Too much knowledge is lost civilisation-wide when we lose great minds. If we cannot savethe minds, at least we can work on saving the knowledge.

If one believes the 10,000-hour premise, I’m curious how we train our brains to see connections where others don’t. Perhaps this is what makes some people “deep” thinkers, or more philosophical than others, or atypically capable at math.

Different brains have a greater density of connections in different specialised areas. They are literally hardwired to have innate strengths in these areas. You can overcome it to an extent through hard work and dilligence, but those with a greater raw biological headstart will always find it easier to pick up and utilise elements of related tasks.

Those dendrites probably start as a trickle and thinking is difficult or confusing. In time those trickles become steady streams, then raging rivers. The paths become practiced and well-marked.

Close. The dendrites don’t move a great deal (and when they do, they’re moving regardless of information flowing or not). However, the engrams that use a particular synapse? That’s a different story.

The synapse is the bit at the tip of a dendrite, where the actual mechanism for information transfer occurs. Basically, if we boil it down, it’s the mechanism whereby two specific dendrites connect and a charge flows between them. (It’s more than that, but it’ll do for simplicity’s sake).

So if multiple engrams are using the same pathways, they’re crossing the same synapse over and over again. This forges a permanent connection between the two dendrites, that persists even if the signals stop coming. This is also why it’s easy to fall back into old habits, even if you haven’t done so in years. The path weakens through inactivity, but it never completely fades away. If a charge doesn’t know where to go, taking a weak but existing conduit is always going to be preferable to forging a new one from scratch.

Is brain exercise in one area at the expense of exercise in others? As we become smarter at math, do our language skills atrophy?

No. The two skills you mention are in radically different areas of the brain. Abstract math skills come from the cortex, whilst language comes from an area in the baseof the midbrain.

If the brain does require more neurons for a particular task than are present, they will always come from the pool that aren’t involved in any activity, rather than from those who are already productive elsewhere.

What are the limits of or constraints upon our intelligence?

Now you’re asking questions beyond the current state of neuroscience. That one, I cannot answer satisfactorily.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

Well, more than 2k words are occasionally required, albeit rarely. Still, if you’re going to write that much, at least make the effort to encourage people to read it.

A pet peeve of mine is when people decide they haven’t written enough and so go to wikipedia, grab an entire wikipedia article or large section of an article wholesale and slap it down in the middle of their post. You can usually identify it immediately because they’ve left the footnote links in, and the writing style dramatically changes. But it’s slapped right in there, sometimes multiple times.

Far, far, FAR worse though is when someone decuides to be passive-aggressive inside a long post. Partially it’s on topic, then suddenly there’s a direct insult thrown in to a newbie, or another reg, or two, or three. They’re buried 800+ words in, so the mod’s unlikely to find them, but they’re there, and sometimes in great numbers. It’s not even ad hominem attacking, but deliberately singling individuals out for attack.

Flagging it doesn’t help, as it’s too much text for the moderators to read, or they’re playing favorites or something because the post stays and gets unflagged no matter how many times it is flagged. Something has to be done to address the problem. If it means setting a max wordcount on replies, then it’s extremely irritating but understandable, if only to stop this open sniping at named posters midway through a post.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / PotUS' SotUA

Is there a discussion to be had here? You certainly haven’t stated what about this you wish us to discuss.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

At least he said it in the same thread where the discussion took place.