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  • There are a lot of people I disagree with that I don't think have nefarious motives. The guy who wrote that article is condemned by the way he arranged it, and it's absolutely obvious if you don't have preconceived notions.

  • @Bill said:
    it's absolutely obvious if you don't have preconceived notions.

    Mate, when your reasoning is "it'd be obvious if you were without bias like me", save everyone the bother and say God told you.

  • edited June 24

    @Bill said:
    The author of that article fooled you, Clme. The officer wasn't a green officer; he was an experienced officer on the job since 2011. The reason why he was just sworn in was because he was changing his place of employment. Notice how the author did his best to bury that fact. The reporter was doing his best, with malice aforethought, to stir up trouble. Bury the fact that it was an experienced officer. Bury the fact that the stopped car had just been through a gunfight.

    No, he didn't fool me. I didn't reread the entire article before posting two days later, so I had forgotten the bit about him being an officer in the region since 2011. That was my mistake, not the authors.

    You already know my problem with headline writers thinking clicks are more important than anything. Thats the other thing... In most cases editors write headlines, and the writers are lucky if they get input on it. (I don't know if that is the case here, but it is in general).

    When I posted about how this article was just an add-on to previously presented facts I did read the articles from the previous days though, and I believe my point still stands. Remember that these articles are written by a TV station and not a newspaper too. There is a difference between how a TV website and a newspaper website presents their data.

    I fail to see anything in there that would present inciting a riot. Honestly, if this article were enough to make someone get out there and start breaking things they were already on the way there.

  • Saw on twitter where someone who'd toured a detention center for immigrant kids said there was a poster on the wall: "If you work hard good things will happen". Maybe they thought "work makes you free" would be a little on-the-nose?

  • That's almost too apropos to be true... Shens without pics...

  • I apologize if anyone's favorite tags got deleted. I did a mass purging of the ones that looked spammy tonight.

  • edited June 27

    Interesting story from USA Today about how asylum seekers go through their process. At least up until May of this year.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/05/01/what-does-mean-seek-asylum-united-states/564262002/

    Most interesting bit to me was how the asylum seekers actually had a year to fill out their paperwork after they requested asylum at the border. Also note they couldn't legally look for work until 150 days after they submitted their paperwork, and they couldn't request citizenship until 5 years after asylum was granted.

    Even with that, many asylum seekers were ultimately deported. But their children were not separated from them. If they crossed outside of a recognized port of entry they were charged, but only with a misdemeanor in civil court which still allowed them to apply and not lose their children.

    (Also, for the record, Obama did not separate 3000, 7000, 750, or 90000 kids from their parents [depending on the meme and timeframe]. The children referenced in those memes either arrived unaccompanied, or else their parents were wanted for felonies).

    This article mentions how so many refugees are escaping gang violence, which ties into the MS13 tweets and speeches that our president has been giving. Yet what else was changed in May in addition to criminal charges instead of civil proceedings? That's right! Fleeing gang violence is no longer an acceptable reason to apply for asylum! Also, for some reason, neither is domestic violence. Hrm.

    In addition, you would think most of these people would be coming from Mexico but that is not the case. In 2016, 25% of them come from just three countries. Less than 1000 asylum-seekers came from Mexico. (see page 43)

  • Something for you to think about, while at work today: https://sniffpetrol.com/2018/06/26/did-you-lock-the-car/

  • edited July 23

    God damnit.

    What does Mueller have coming out this week that this shit happens on a Sunday night?

    Link to the original Trump tweet:

  • edited July 23

    @Clme said:
    God damnit.

    What does Mueller have coming out this week that this shit happens on a Sunday night?

    The Carter Page story has been growing legs over the weekend.

    But, to be fair... Iran poked the bear first.

  • Loose translation: "Manafort trial set to begin this week"

  • edited July 23

    HAH... I'd not read the full text of this tweet until Fen quoted it.

    "... YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH."

    He needed to add, "OUR WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH ARE BETTER THAN YOURS."

  • It's a good thing we didn't elect a woman who'd get all emotional.

  • Trump has an advantage over much of his opposition (I can't estimate what percentage) in that he isn't insane.

  • That is debatable at best.

    Also, nice of you to finally admit that Putin is not his opposition. ;-)

  • You can tell sane people from the way they go around saying everyone who disagrees with them is insane.

    Yup.

  • This is brilliant:

  • Was anyone indicted, arrested, or tried over the last few days? Seems that funeral drama and the sick McCain conpirators have taken up my entire news feed, bookface feed, and... well those are the only places I checked.

  • edited September 1

    @Clme said:
    Was anyone indicted, arrested, or tried over the last few days? Seems that funeral drama and the sick McCain conpirators have taken up my entire news feed, bookface feed, and... well those are the only places I checked.

    Well, there's this guy: https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/31/politics/w-samuel-patten-plea-russia-ukraine/index.html

    Guliani was out in the media with, "it's got nothing to do with us", which is somewhat disingenuous and beside the point.

  • I'm kicking around some ideas for a fantasy novel. One of the ideas is that anyone can become a wizard, mage, sorcerer, etc., but in order to do so they must go through an agonizing ritual that has a fifty percent chance of death if you are young and healthy. Your chances get worse if you are old or sick.

    Furthermore, once you become a magical practitioner, it becomes fairly easy to kill yourself if you aren't careful. Think falling while attempting to fly or drowning while trying to breathe underwater. Thus, a high percentage of beginners off themselves.

    Additionally, the more a given magical objective violates the laws of physics, the harder it is to accomplish. In other words, being a magician doesn't allow you to speak a few words in fake Latin and do whatever you want. Wondrous feats take a lot of practice and insight into just what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to throw a fireball, you need to understand how you are going to fuel it.

    On the bright side, becoming a practitioner does have some significant advantages. A big one is that it becomes easier to do things that don't violate the laws of physics and that you could otherwise do without magic. Losing weight and becoming fit become simpler, for example. Depression and anxiety are easier to combat. Cancer is more likely to go into spontaneous remission.

    The really big reward is that magicians can slow their rate of aging or even reverse it. After all, your body is designed to repair itself. Getting old is a breakdown of your body's natural healing ability. Magicians can fix or partially fix that breakdown.

    Note well, however, that there is a penalty for waiting until you are old or sick to attempt the initiation ritual: Your chances of living through it become lower than fifty percent the sicker you are. There is no free lunch. For instance, if you have a ninety-percent chance of dying from cancer, you roughly will have a ninety-five-percent chance of dying from the ritual.

    Now, my problem is that I have no idea how many persons would take the gamble to gain magical ability. Would the average person consider it as crazy as playing Russian roulette, or would he work out the expected value and decide it's a good deal?

    What are your guesses?

  • Kind of reminds me of a game plot where you had to drink some kind of demon/evil/etc blood, and in the rare chance you lived you gained extra powers for demon killing (and possibly a reduced lifespan as the powers drained your good life force). Damned if I can remember the game though.

    Anyway, I kind of like the idea. No wizard family/mudblood/etc thing going on. No wizard middle school with the wand jokes and sexual harassment by ghosts in the bath. Plus a potential for hatred from those that don't go through with the rituals if those that survive don't use magic to cure diseases and age in other people.

    The average person? I think there would be those that have wanderlust and would want to go for it. Also those that would go for it because they don't understand how hard it actually was after they completed the ritual. A few may actually try it just as an alternative to suicide...

    No matter what there would be those that despite their old age or disease would do it in desperation for regained youth or a cure for disease. An end to suffering either way.

  • @Bill said:
    Additionally, the more a given magical objective violates the laws of physics, the harder it is to accomplish. In other words, being a magician doesn't allow you to speak a few words in fake Latin and do whatever you want. Wondrous feats take a lot of practice and insight into just what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to throw a fireball, you need to understand how you are going to fuel it.

    I like the idea of being able to apply science and scientific principals into magic. The magic is an ability to manipulate space-time or the quantum world to achieve an end, for example. It sounds like that's the direction you're leaning... I would encourage that path...

    @Bill said:
    Now, my problem is that I have no idea how many persons would take the gamble to gain magical ability. Would the average person consider it as crazy as playing Russian roulette, or would he work out the expected value and decide it's a good deal?

    What are your guesses?

    In any society, there are always a subset of the population that are risk takers... A small percentage, but significant. There are lots of people in the world who think they are special unicorns who are invincible. A quick peruse of YouTube will provide you a long list of people doing ridiculous things for attention.

    There, of course, is a large percentage of the population who think the risk takers are idiots, dangerous lunatics or blights on society. This would provide you lots of opportunity for character development and/or plot points that explore the conflict between those who have risked life and limb to develop magical ability and those who believe that those have managed to successfully developed these magical abilities are not the types of people who you'd want to have such an ability. Perhaps, in many cases, they are right.

    Beyond the natural risk takers, you'd also have your desperate, destitute and terminally ill. Maybe the elderly, who figure that they haven't much time left... why not give it a try. People who haven't much to loose are going to be willing to try just about anything.

    This provides you more opportunity to explore tension between the young and reckless and the elderly, who develop abilities with a lifetime of wisdom.

    I think there's a lot of meat there to explore. Develop some compelling characters, give them a cohesive world to live in and come up with a good story to tell. Seems like you've got some good ideas to run with.

  • Thanks guys. I still need to come up a plausible fraction of the population that would take the risk. It will matter to the world building.

    The idea is that magic has spent a long time away but has now quietly returned. (Magic is an entity, by the way. It can help people achieve goals, but direct communication with human beings is expensive for it.) If a lot of people try to become magicians it could cause a population crash. Governments will be begging people to have more kids. There will be moral panic about the dangers of magic. Books and novels glorifying magic might even be banned. People still alive will feel like they are going through the black death.

    On the other hand, if people are more risk adverse, it might be more like the Vietnam War or AIDs. Everyone knows somebody who died, or knows somebody who knows somebody, but life goes on.

    The point that the elderly and terminal will be willing to take the risk regardless is well made. Even a couple percent chance of life is better than certain death. If even a half or a quarter of the elderly are willing to take the chance, numbers would be such that they might well be the largest fraction of new practitioners. One million elderly per year with a one percent chance of making it would yield ten thousand new magicians. And the social stigma would be a lot less compared to the fourteen-year-olds who try it.

    Of course, there will be a lot of teenagers who feel immortal who will try it. They are the most likely to be successful at becoming practitioners, but they are also the most likely to later kill themselves doing something ill considered.

    I'm pretty sure I would have tried it as a teenager given the chance. I felt lousy enough in my teens and twenties that it would have struck me as a fair gamble. Heck, it would probably strike me as a decent gamble right now, even though these days I'd have less than a fifty-fifty chance. I don't have anyone who is depending on me, and my family medical history is bad. Better to go for it before I become even sicker.

    How about those who are reading this? Would you have gone for it as a teen? If you have kids now, would you take the chance once they are grown, or would the chance of missing out on your grandkids be too much to risk? How about age seventy, when you would maybe have a five-percent chance of making it? Age eighty when you'd have one percent? Age eighty-five when you have a half percent. Remember, it hurts like hell whether you succeed or not.

  • edited 3:17AM

    @Rufus said:

    I like the idea of being able to apply science and scientific principals into magic. The magic is an ability to manipulate space-time or the quantum world to achieve an end, for example. It sounds like that's the direction you're leaning... I would encourage that path...

    I have a pet peeve about that. It bugs me when stories have science and magic both as known things, but for no apparent reason the one is rational people and chemicals and the other is emos and fireballs, and never the twain shall meet. In any decently thought-out world there should be no such thing as magic, because whatever's possible in that world would be considered science - if a world has fireballs, it should have grad students submitting papers to the Journal of Fireball Studies about how to vary the impact radius or whatever.

    If anything it would make sense to have a story where "scientists" fully understand fireballs and transmuting lead into gold, but are mystified by magnetism because none of their scrying spells affects it. And the plucky young emo heroine figures out calculus and everyone is all "wtf, she can predict the movement of the planets, that defies the fundamental law of conservation of mana, how can it be?".

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