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On “No One Ever Died From a Lack of Playing Board Games With Their Mother

Maybe reply "all with the same man, but not from the same woman" just to see what she does...

On “Ryan Adams, Fandom, and Tolerating Bad Behavior

Here's the thing: Libertarians aren't upset by people being "cancelled". They're upset when they're told that certain people shouldn't be cancelled even though they're doing the things that get other people cancelled. They're upset when they point out the things that someone is doing and are told that it's complicated, that there's a history, that they have to understand, that it's punching up and not punching down, that it's important to foreground minority voices.

On “Ryan Adams, Fandom, and Tolerating Bad Behavior

The Pharisees were the original Social Justice Warriors, and the Apostles the original Chapo Trap House.

On “X-Wing Miniatures Isn’t Just a Game, Its a Community

The boxes have clear fronts and you know exactly what ships you're getting; there aren't "chase figures" or rare units with boosted stats. While there are improved versions of some ships (and, as jason points out, packs you can buy with ace pilots and such) those are also obvious and you know what you're getting (and the game tries to balance those, so someone can't just buy a full squadron of Jedi and plaster the dudes who can only afford TIE fighters with jabroni pilots.)

On “That Time I Played a Game and Liked It

I really like the modern theme of cooperative boardgames. Not everybody is equally able to approach competition with equanimity, and when the competition has a human face that leads to seriously hurt feelings.

That said, a friend pointed out that the assumption is that in a typical four-player game each player will win 25% of the time, and that means that four-player cooperative games are balanced such that the players lose three-quarters of the time...

On “Weekend Plans Post: Taxes

"Which might even be reason to be paranoid about how easy it is now."

I've heard people say that one of the biggest reasons for the ramp-up of tax code complexity in the '80s was the proliferation of inexpensive electric calculators that put complicated math within reach of any Senator's office staff, so they could suddenly figure out how much money they were losing...

On “The Classy, Modern, and Forgotten TwixT

heh. perhaps the earliest example of a Game Engine? (today we have Unreal Engine, back then then was a 24x24 pegboard...)

On “About Last Night: Democratic Debate Live From Las Vegas

Buttigieg: "He also has a weird habit of being so smooth with the perfect answer every time, but when someone hits him he just sort of blinks it off."

This was pretty much what happened in the first debate, where he told us that he was very very sad about Eric Logan being shot, and very very sad that the police chief didn't fire the cop, and when asked "why did you, as mayor, not immediately fire the police chief", he blinked twice and reiterated how sad he was that Eric Logan had been shot.

On “Thursday Throughput: Leap Year Edition

[ThTh9] the explanation I've seen is that countries with less gender equality don't treat STEM as a prestigious occupation; the Men do Important Man Jobs like Lawyer and Doctor and Banker and Politician. Countries with enlightened and inventive populations recognize the value of STEM, and therefore treat it as an Important Job, which of course must be done by Men...

On “Corn Dog: The Beef Wellington of Common Folks, On a Stick

As someone on a blog pointed out, the basic idea of Working Class Food is "processed meat remnants wrapped in carbohydrates in such a way that you can eat the whole thing with one hand while walking back to work", and corn dogs definitely fit that.

On “Gone With the Wind: The Great American Feminist Novel

and it does seem to be a really common result of a youth spent reading YA that people just can't figure out how to deal with "villain protagonist" stories.

On “Dawkins Sticks His Foot In It…Again

eh. I'll quote my comment from earlier: when someone says "it works, except for (thing) that makes it not work", the very first thing they're saying is that it works.

Like, "humans have long generational times!" okay, so it's a long project, doesn't mean it's impossible. "it's hard to identify the proper subjects!" mandatory genetic screening at the whole-country level. "de novo mutations happen!" okay, so add "produced a de novo mutation" to the list of things that you screen for in your "these genetic profiles should not have children" law.

I mean, if you want to say that something is impossible, then you need a better reason than "because we don't want to", because once someone comes along who does want to, suddenly it's not impossible.


And tying back to discussions here, about books, where some are saying "this book made me feel bad and that means it's a bad book and there can't be anything good in it" or "the people that this book is about are bad and therefore the book is bad".



You realize that’s eugenics

You just said “good” to eugenics


"What’s wrong with just accepting that you and I can’t resolve this and deferring our opinions to those who really have skin in the game?"

hey remember that thing where Jaybird tries to talk about abstractions and hypotheticals and you guys get all mad at him for refusing to Pick! A! Single! Real! World! EXAMPLE!

and now here he is picking a single real world example and you're saying "well whuh whuh whuh we can't really talk about that here because the people it directly affects aren't around"

and it looks like maybe all along the reason you wanted him to pick! a! specific! etc. is that you wanted to say "well your specific example involves actual people who aren't present and can't offer their insights and that means I don't have to address anything you brought up , upside-down-smiley-face"

On “Very Stable Genius Predictions

It's gonna be 2004 all over again, they'll have a tremendously-disliked President and a popular populist candidate rapidly rising in the polls and they're gonna say "you know what we should do? Pick some rich old white dude whose entire campaign platform is I'm Not The President. That'll definitely get the butts in the booths come November." And they'll get hammered, and it'll be Four More Years, and it'll go down in history as yet another time the Democrats bricked a lay-up.

On “Dawkins Sticks His Foot In It…Again

"So you read “progressively destroys nerve cells (neurons) in the brain and spinal cord” and still didn’t have enough information to form an opinion?"

"This can’t possibly lead to a good place since you are excluding the very stakeholders of the issue."



"And how tainted this subject is, precisely because of eminent people like him dancing around it, instead of engaging in a good faith discussion of medical ethics."

oh I get it, this is really about ethics in medical journalism


Lots of horrible things "worked", in the sense of "achieved their stated primary objective". Prohibition worked; there was almost no drinking while it was in effect, and even after Repeal there was less drinking than there had been before. Stalin's agricultural policies worked, in the sense that the places where he put people had more agricultural output than they had previously.

They didn't work well, and there were all kinds of awful side-effects, but to say they didn't work is not true, and that's what makes the argument against them hard. Because "it worked, but not as well as we wanted" can have all kinds of excuses and re-plans and "if only we fought harder" things, and arguments that it didn't work are easily countered by pointing to the fact that it did.

On “Gone With the Wind: The Great American Feminist Novel

I mean, it's just very odd to me that someone might so externalize their emotional reactions that they'd consider a work of text to be morally questionable because of the strength of their feelings about it.

If you wanna say "well you're just a fucking lizard, you have no emotions and think they're stupid, you aspie trash" y'know, I do have strong feelings when I experience media, but they're from me. The media might be trying to inspire them but whatever happens is something I brought to the table. If something makes me feel sad in a way that I don't like then I just don't watch that movie again but there's no moral judgement in that.

I also question the value of declaring media to be apologia for this or that odious attitude. It's the same conversation we had with Gone Girl (oh, and by the way, if you guys want more women writing for this site and a wider range of voices then y'all got a funny fuckin' way of showin' it). "The antagonist in this work is someone whom IRL-bad-people also consider an antagonist, therefore we must criticize this work lest we be considered IRL-bad-people-adjacent". And maybe this is part of the Separate The Icky Squicky that I consider important, and that it seems like some people cannot do; this transitive-reasoning that's so popular these days, where Gone With The Wind portrayed a racist plantation-owner as the protagonist of a story and that's bad and that made us feel bad and we can't keep from assigning those bad feelings to other people who make us feel bad.


" There was a page or two describing her ride through the city (Charleston?) where I felt so disgusted by the writer, and at myself for having all these complex excuse for wanting to keep reading, that I literally threw up."


I had a post here and I deleted it because it was mean, and I had another post and deleted it because it was mean, and wrote a third post and deleted it because it was mean, and I'm wondering whether it's possible to not be mean to someone who has such a panic attack over reading a book that they throw up.

On “Saturday Morning Gaming: Like Where’s Waldo, But For A Computer

The thing that annoys me about FTL is that if you want to win there's kind of only one loadout to take to the final round -- lots of lasers, a defense drone, and a teleporter with a tooled-up boarding crew. These are all hard counters to the enemy flagship's abilities and they make the fight pretty much a by-the-numbers affair; but without them, the flagship will smash you flat.

I kind of wish they'd added in some optional way to soften up the flagship before you fight it; maybe if you went on quests or missions in the final sector then you can "free up friendly ships" that go attack the flagship for you, and then when you fight it there's already some damage done. Random damage would be in keeping with the roguelike nature of the game; but you could even have it be optional, like "as the last Rebel ship explodes, you receive a hailing signal from an Alliance cruiser. Thanks for helping out! We'll go on to hit the flagship while you resupply. What should we target? 1. Weapons 2. Shields 3. Engines 4. Systems" (and then it starts with damage to weapons / shields / engines and helm / drones or teleporters or oxygen)

On “A Moral Imperative

I think my comment here has stood the test of time.

On “Wednesday Writs: SCOTUS and Almighty God Edition

The dairy farmers do kind of have a point in that if you call something "milk" then consumers will probably expect it to be Basically The Same Thing As Milk in terms of nutritional content, and if it isn't, then that can cause trouble. (to bring it to an odd place, I'll cite Orwell, talking about the "tinned milk" and "condensed milk" sold in Britain after World War II, which was basically cornstarch Kool-Aid but people thought it was an okay substitute because it said "milk" on the label.)

Is this something that needs an actual law? Heck no. But it's not as though this is pure anticompetitive regulatory-capture bullshit. It is absolutely the case that people would sell watered-down paint as "diet milk" if they thought they could get away with it.

*Comment archive for non-registered commenters assembled by email address as provided.