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Everything posted by Arcesious

  1. Oh boy... Well, you can probably expect some pretty strident counter-debating on this from others.
  2. There is one fallacy that always irks me whenever I hear it, though I know not what to call it. Essentially it goes like this: Person A says: "It was much better back in [insert years], everything's getting worse and worse, people had more common sense in the past." And that's the fallacy. Common sense never was more common in the past. Tribal warfare, feudalism, the dark ages, the crusades, racism, war over pointless things, civil rights... There were always criminals in the past too. I've heard all to many times how back in the past, you could leave your doors unlocked safely, unlike today. Not true. Crime was just as bad back in the 60's and other years as it is now, albeit in different ways. There are no golden years, but it's never been that bad. You'll find that if you take every single event in history into account, everything is a gray area, and there are almost no black and white/good vs evil contrasts. Politicians today have a huge weight on their shoulders. Take anyone who fancies themselves an economy expert, and put them in the place of an influential politician, and I'd like to see them do a job any better than said replaced politician, whilst having to deal with lobbying, politics, and other annoying factors that would get in the way of the best possible solution to the given issues. As Achilles once told me, a lot of economic plans look good on paper, but don't really work too well in application. But what do I know, I'm a super-idealistic optimist.
  3. I thought that google had decided to stop censoring its service in China. That may or may not be a rumor, but I know I heard it somewhere. The thing is, no matter how hard China or any other censor-happy country tries, information will get through. There are already plenty of internet proxies running all over China, and the Chinese government can't hope to stop them.
  4. The Nobel prize has been, as is obvious, a useful tool for political influence - as has been seen when it was awarded to president Obama. To China's politicians, the Nobel prize being used in this way may mean nothing, as Norway can't really hope to have much influence or control over a country like China. China will be slow to change, but this prize might go a long way towards improving civil rights there. The unfortunate thing is that no country can hope to 'force' China to respect human rights like some democratic countries do - China's just to powerful. The changes have to come from within China.
  5. That makes a lot of sense, actually. There is no need to adapt if we can make our environment adapt to us. Since natural selection doesn't work out very well in human culture since our species is so mixed up everywhere, mutations don't work well. Still, I would bet that we might see a slow/slightly increase in average intelligence/better memory over time, possibly. Also, we may see a loss in average muscle mass due to the lazy lifestyle modern society presents, as well as future society. Also, a tan skin color becoming the most common may happen in not too long of a time. But skin color changes won't a mutation, I suppose, rather just a mix of dominant and recessive genes controlling pigmentation. The other changes I thought of are less likely.
  6. One thing that's piqued my interest of late has been considering the human foot when compared to what it would have been is we trace back our origins to the diverging point of early hominids. If you look at your foot, you'll notice how little use the toes are for anything other than balance now. We don't use them like we do our hands. But then look at our closest relatives - they use their feet for the same purposes as their hands, and they primarily walk on all four limbs. The toes in our feet hardly ever see any use anymore except for balance - unlike our close relatives. This suggests to me an interesting idea - what may our feet look like in the far future, after many more generations, assuming our species survives that long? A lot can happen in several thousand to a hundred thousand years. Due to how intermixed our species is, all minor mutations eventually now get shared, as its is very unlikely that our species will diverge in the future. At this point in time, genetic alterations are not possible, and they present considerable ethical issues. A person can be born with a minor mutation - such as above-average webbing between their digits, among other mutations, and these things are usually quickly changed by surgery to make said people exactly like everyone else. But that doesn't change the genetic code. If said person with those mutations were to procreate - the mutations could get passed on, either dominantly or recessively. A person could even have mutations of this sort hidden recessively in their DNA, dormant - the mutations never showing itself until a generation to several generations later. Or, the recessive gene carrying the mutation may disappear entirely over several generations. We can't be certain. But this suggests an interesting topic to discuss. Plainly, how do you think the human body may change in the far future, after enough generations of time? I can think of several possibilities - some toes in the feet may become commonly seen as fused together, and having 5 separate toes may become rare eventually in our species. Shoes could also have a slight effect how our feet evolve in the future - as shoes are not natural, and in fact, shoes teach you to walk improperly - which for most people is not harmful, though it is generally not a good thing that we've been doing to ourselves. I found this link interesting on the matter of how shoes effect our feet in my research of the matter: http://nymag.com/health/features/46213/ Other things I could see happening in the future to our species are as follows: -Eventual loss of the coccyx -Possible changes to dental structure due to our dietary habits -Changes in digestive systems: some loss of ability to process hard to break down foods -Loss of vestigial organs due to deleterious mutations -Generally tan skin color throughout our species becoming most common, as darkly pigmented skin is a dominant gene -Further body hair loss -Less average muscle mass -Increase in average intelligence, better memory -Some toes become commonly seen fused, fallen arches in feet become more common -Muscles in hands typically have quicker reacting muscles, fingers may become longer The thing with our species now is that those with unfavorable mutations don't die out like normal evolution would suggest. Both favorable and unfavorable mutations will likely be seen in our species in the far future - anything from better memory to weaker immune systems could occur. What do you think of all of this? What hypotheses do you have about how our species may evolve in the far future?
  7. I'm no economist, but as I understand it, risk is profitable. These ups and downs in the stock market can be a good thing. I kind of like capitalism because its like evolution. But on a social level that's probably a bad idea. I have noticed some compelling arguments about how the wealthy top percent of the US controls a ridiculous amount of the wealth though... Just how dependent upon government will this nation become? In some ways, I'm glad to see the government having such little control over the economy, but in another way I'm sad to see such crazy exploitation of the system, and would like see a more decisive, controlling government. History seems to show that no 'perfect' solution lasts for long - all empires fall, eventually one extreme flips over to the other. To me, free-market capitalism seems like its the perfect way to run an economy - due to its ability to grow. But at the same time it has such great consequences to the common man and the world. I can't make up my mind about things, it seems.
  8. It's a good idea, but are the people that will be marching actually moderate? If you're moderate/independent like me, you wouldn't be so strongly opinionated about the government to be part of a march. I have seen enough extreme liberals and extreme republicans for a lifetime though. My opinions cross over both sides. For example: yes to gay rights, no to legalization of marijuana, etc, etc. I like the idea being socialism, but I think that capitalism is a more progressive system of economics - so I agree somewhat with republic-leaning economic policies, but also like the idea of a balanced, stable economy. You could call me a moderate, near-independent liberal.
  9. It may be overhyped but its still full of epic win. I've only begun to play it (halfway through campaign), and its challenging even on Normal in campaign. But that's mostly because I'm terrible at FPS games. Graphics are epic, action is awesome, cinema is great, its more challenging (but not as much as the first Halo was) - just get the game already! You're going to love the Sabre level...
  10. I got this thread idea from a dream. It's a lot like those other fun forum threads - corrupt a wish, one word at a time story, etc, etc. Basically, it goes like this: For example, I take the word spoon. The first poster says spoon, and then the next poster has to rename spoon. I'll rename it to 'harbleglarble'. The next poster guesses what a harbleglarble is - anything other than a spoon. The poster after that could guess something as random as Will Smith, and then the process repeats so on and so forth. You can choose anything and everything - any person, any place, any object - and rename said thing to something completely random. I thought that this would be a fun, creative thread that we could do, and I hope the idea is original. I'll start out. The word is: Czechoslovakia
  11. Go ahead and let religious institutions not have taxes. Its not really a big deal. Besides, religious institutions do provide a great deal of charity anyways. I suppose that on principle of fairness many would like a taxing law passed to tax religious institutions, but IMO, the whole issue should just be left alone.
  12. I played through it and beat it as a mage. Then I got awakening and beat that. Pretty fun, but I never liked the influence/approval system. I was kind of sad to see that the graphics weren't as good as modern 360 games usually are. Characters, creatures, most effects and areas in the game are good, but at least in the case of the Brecilian forest, I was very disappointed to find it so under-grown. It would have been great if they had done a masterpeice of a forest like what I've witnessed is possible in Halo 3 (Arrival mission) and Fable 2 (Brightwood Forest). I'm just saying, a lot of areas in the game seemed kind of plain and devoid of scenery. I hope to now challenge myself to beat the game as a solo rogue on nightmare. I heard its possible, but not easy.
  13. I can let the listing of TFU and Oblivion go by, but how dare you include Halo in the list? ODST was an epic failure, yes, but the rest of them were pure awesomesauce my good sir. *crosses arms and has angry face* [/bungie.net member rage] Why??? It was awesome! Except for the part where the Joker didn't win the movie. [/batman supah fandom] Well I guess I can let this get by - it doesn't suit everyone's tastes I suppose; though I highly disagree. I entirely agree. I gave it a fair chance to see if any of it was any good at all, and after gruelingly watching at least half a dozen episodes each for a bunch of different popular shows (bleach, naruto, inyuasha), I've come to agree that I don't see the point of anime. Every character has some poorly written sob-story history, everyone wants to kill each other every other second, everyone is all smug and arrogant about themselves, and noobs get into these impossible battles and somehow always win by some sort of secret power they pull out at the last second/uberhax. So predictable, so terribly written. Avatar TLA was good though. The only good one I've ever seen. Well.... I'm not as opinionated about this one but I would have to disagree.
  14. Well whoever has more money wins, usually. Big corporate monopolies find yet another way to make more money, which is good for the economy. If it happens, I suppose it can't be THAT bad. It may inconvenience many people in some respects, but I assume that eventually everyone would get used to it, and things will level out for everyone. Still, its not a welcome change to be suggesting.
  15. Many of the things I would have said have been taken already... Twilight, Modern Warfare 2, Religion, Dr. Who etc, etc. Ok, now there's a bunch of new, horrible shows on Sci-Fi that get promoted as if they're amazing. Ghost Hunters, Sanctuary, Caprica, Ghost Whisperer - its all crap. Except for Stargate Universe - that one is awesomely done. It is well enough living up to the godly standards of pure awesome that SG1 and Atlantis set forth. Then there's the History channel with all that Nostradomus crap with a bunch of sorry excuses for 'scientists' that they interview that are promoting it. There's more I bet I could think of but I'll leave it at that.
  16. Leave the internet alone, its fine the way it is.
  17. In Dragon Age Origins, Leliana always yells 'AAAAAHHHH!!!' (worst battle cry ever) whenever a battle starts. It's really annoying. I never liked her anyways (dunno why specifically, her personality just irks me), so I never talk to her nor have her in any party, EVER. In fact, I might just not let her even join the group at all in my next game. In Star Wars the Force Unleashed, Kota always says 'Pull down that star destroyer!' and the way he pronounces 'Destroyer' sounds a bit distorted , which really gets on my nerves. It sounds like 'Destr-oo-y-er' or something. There's also 'Do a barrel roll' and 'You must construct additional pylons' in two other games. XP
  18. I remember when I beat oblivion and the expansion. It was pretty fun, though the leveling system is broken. It was very, very hard to get 100 in every attribute (trying to get a +5 increase to three attributes per level is takes a lot of time and patience), but with carefully planned and calculated training, you can do it. The game is so big that I never managed to complete all the side-quests. Most of them, I hope though. I got about 450 hours of gameplay out of it before I finally got bored.
  19. Jae you are absolutely correct - you say everything in your post on this matter that I would say in mine.
  20. I'm trying to make some roughly close estimates on the resources that a multi-galactic empire of a certain size and level of technology would possess, which is relevant for a detailed background story and perspective view that I want to include in a story I'm writing. Suffice to say, I could use some help and advice as for the matter of designing such an empire for the story. (My 'Cataclysmic Infinium' story was the predecessor to this one. I think the problem I had before is that I had not yet figured out the entire plot structure and order of events before I tried to write it, and had not thought enough about character development, just throwing a bunch of random characters into the story to fill in where needed, too many characters at once for me to give any one of them any distinction. But that's besides the point - I'll provide what I've figured out so far, and I'd appreciate any suggestions or corrections you all might have. (I won't give much of the plot away, mostly because I don't have much of a plot right now - only ideas.) ----- The story takes place starting in the year 31503 CE, and humanity has spread throughout several galaxies besides the Milky Way: Sagittarius, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, and partially into the Andromeda Galaxy. The only thing I've calculated so far is a hypothetical population number by 31503, which I did like this: Assuming an unchanging rate of population growth between 2010 CE and the year 10000 CE of roughly 2.5% per year, the population would reach 54,052,350,000,000. I calculated this this way: 6,600,000,000 x (1.025 x 7990). This assumes that sometime in the near future, humanity develops at least near or slightly above FTL speed travel capability, and utilizes that ability to expand its population to as many planets as are suitable to colonize in the surrounding galaxy. Next, I've assumed that following the year 10,000, the population would skyrocket to a 7% per year increase as biological immortality becomes possible, and technology undergoes a revolution that allows a new, much faster form of FTL travel. I've calculated this using the following formula: 54,052,350,000,000 x (1.07 x 21503). This equals a grand total of 1,243,647,819,793,500,000 - a little bit above 1 quintillion. First, I want to know if someone can confirm if my math there is roughly close, or if I did it entirely wrong. Now all I need is someone's 'expert' knowledge on the matter of such an empire's size and resources. 1. How many planets would such a population need? This figure requires accounting for the fact that Earth would be the center of the Empire, and colonies closest to it would be the most densely populated, the farther out you go, the less dense the population gets. 2. What would be the industrial power of such an empire? By this, I mean to ask - what would be a good guess as to how many ships would there likely be of various different levels of size? Such as: Fighters/Bombers/Shuttles - up to 20 meters in length, Corvettes/Frigates/Freighters - from 25 to 250 meters in length. Cruisers (most common) - 300 to 500 meters in length Capitals/Dreadnaughts - 600 meters to 3 km in length Supercapitals/Juggernaughts/Destroyers - between 4 and 35 km in length Hypercruisers - between 40 and 300 km in length Monoliths/Titans - between 500 and 2000 km in length (most likely as space space stations) Behemoth/Colossus - 3000 to 100,000 km in diameter (most likely built as spherical planet ships) I don't know whether or not the last two orders of magnitude on ship size are even within the constructive ability of the empire I've described though. I would guess that the majority of people in a empire this size would occupy jobs pertaining to mining and mass-construction, service jobs being the minority of the workforce. Also, I'm wondering about how much agriculture and artificial cloning would be required to feed such a large population as well. I may come up with more questions, but that's all for now. As I said, I want to give the reader a good perspective on the setting of the story, so if you have any ideas for me to consider (ideas as to how such an empire would compensate for 'time' dilation, how trade and infrastructure would need to be set up at this scale, how would government need to be organized, etc, etc.) Sorry for any spelling or grammar errors.
  21. I don't understand why its such a big deal. Race is irrelevant. That, and the animated series was an American show.
  22. Star Trek: First Contact. Very good movie, very inspiring.
  23. Simpsons did it! Erm, I mean, V for Vendetta did it. I dunno, such a scenario seems to me to be completely implausible no matter how much you fill the plot with deux ex machina explanations.
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