Underlore

I have an Adri, your argument is invalid.

The Meatcup Debate

2013-04-23 11.26.01

“I want a meatcup.”

“Yeah but there aren’t that many left and I don’t want you to run out.”

“What’s so bad about running out if you not giving them to me is the same result?”

“Ok, fair point, but I don’t want you to take them all for granted because you get too many.”

“Do you take rice and pasta for granted?”

“Damn you.”

“The red one,  I want a red one today.”

Hindsight

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We can know some things about life in advance. Truisms and cliches. But steeped in truth nonetheless. It might be wise to try and draw up a list of the most qualitatively important ones and then build a worldview around obviating them that wouldn’t cost a culture its fitness for extreme long term survival.

A quick example is the notion that hindsight is 20/20. The lesson there is not to shrug and endure, but to think about the future, but to try and see the world in such a way that it’s ok to go back and admit you made mistakes, if that’s all that’s keeping you from being happy or better off.

We have this misguided intolerance of mistakes where we share the impossible effort of never making them. Instead we should be honest with ourselves that mistakes will inevitably be made and try to profit from them.

They can be compensated for. Not erased, but at least leveraged towards the future. Don’t try to avoid them wholesale, as that’s a fool’s errand, but to embrace the utility they may provide. Embrace the liberation that brings.

This doesn’t make you devoid of culpability for lousy choices, but it prevents you from doubling down on bad bets trying to pretend you never bet in the first place. (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Sunk_costs#Loss_aversion_and_the_sunk_cost_fallacy)

If your intentions were good from the beginning, if you at no point were trying to hurt or exploit anyone, if you made the best and kindest decision available to you at the time, then why should you feel any regret or accept any blame?

Only if you knowingly made a decision that had to be utterly correct and could have been avoided, or was malevolent in some way, should you embrace any feeling of wrong doing.

This speaks to the lack of wisdom in vengeance. The best decisions more or less are in my opinion the ones that permit adaptation up to and including being rescinded.

So don’t hurt people, because you can’t unhurt them later if you’re wrong. Don’t disable anything you can’t repair if needed.

The Problem with “Hardcore” Gamers

hardcore-gamer

For starters I reject the term “hardcore” as it sets up a false dichotomy. It implies casual gamers are “soft” which in a community of 99% males means weak. I prefer the term tryhard because that’s what they do and what they want to force everyone else to do. To try hard. To be punished for failing to try hard.

Quite simply the problem with them is that it’s not enough for them that we openly admit the high points of a given game. If we complain at all, if we don’t obsequiously adopt their bizarre work ethic mentality towards gaming in its entirety, they literally act like we’re a bad people.

Casual gamers on the other hand are perfectly fine to let tryhards play however they see fit without judgment. What I judge, is being judged. In this sense tryhards need to effing relax.

If you complain about a game being too hard they say “It’s supposed to be hard.”  They respond as if you’re complaining about chess being hard. Never mind that chess by definition is ultimately the most casual of games. That doesn’t stop international competition chess from being a thing.

Chess is how it should be done. I can play any variant of chess I want. The tryhards have no power there. The less power you give them the better a game, and the game’s community is.

Catering to tryhards is a mistake because, as with chess, catering to casuals would not prevent them from enjoying fierce competition gaming, it would only prevent them from having the power to deny casuals the same right to play and enjoy.

Catering to tryhards makes people like them feel justified in literally hating people like me. This does not occur in casual game communities. It is a direct boot camp, cultist, Stockholm syndrome style reaction to a hateful unforgiving game setting.

There is some seriously dark psychology in play here. Tryhards behave a fair bit like religious extremists or fascists of some stripe. No joke. I firmly believe if they had the option of hurting me and getting away with it over this ideological difference, they’d do it.

But see, I wouldn’t hurt them. Casual gamers generally wouldn’t, expressly because they are casual. Honestly, even if I had a magic button that would just low voltage zap them, I wouldn’t even do that.

What I am opposing is the effort to make a game into a religion. Which is what tryhards more or less do. They elevate this stuff to religious extremes and the devs encourage it for the money and the rabid worshipful fan base.

They are cult builders and that’s clearly bad. IPL abolition would solve this problem because it would suddenly be legal to reinterpret and translate the holy texts, by which I mean it would be legal to fork the code.

They often say we have plenty of easier games to play, as a prelude to telling us take it or leave it, stfu or gtfo. But they have the overwhelming majority of other games to go play as well. Again, this is part of the problem.

A badly coded game is a “challenge” too, and plenty of inept devs hide behind “challenge” as an excuse for being lousy coders. (Evil Dead on the Dreamcast springs to mind. Worst controls ever I think.) Ease of use in the application market on the other hand is usually an indicator of skill. Not so for game devs. Because of tryhards.

There are tryhard equivalents in the software community too, to be sure, plenty of Linux types get all miffed and ideological about not making GUIs or clones and the like, but they aren’t as common as the gamer version by any stretch of the imagination.

Hard core gamers and games are unilaterally exclusive. They’re like the gaming version of racists. The games which cater most to tryhards, are also not coincidentally, the most rigid and unchanging. The most resistant to modding and inclusiveness. The most brimming with smug hate in the communities. The most rife with the sheer loathsomeness of greed and obsession when money is on the table, as in the case of Starcraft and Counter Strike.

On the other side, a causal game with a nice open mod system could be as hard as you want it to be without excluding others wholesale. (Again, see Chess.)

In short: Give casuals what they want, and we can all play how we like. Give “hardcore” gamers what they want and only they can play how they like.

Obviously, our desires are the more inclusive and more ethical. Tryhards should be ashamed of themselves by any rational ethical measure.

Everything I ask for in any game would be implemented ideally as an option/setting. My wishes being granted would not impact tryhard play at all. Casuals are not the problem here. Tryhards are.

 

Addendum 2016-01-24 0608 AM:

It is a constant source of rage for me because I see in them mirrored the same psychologies that allow some of humanities most shameful actions.

The entire software market is a toxic meme in my view. The notion that one can own an idea to me is dangerous lunacy on it’s face. And these people are the shock troops of that lunacy.

Ever since the early 90s when I washed up on the shores of the Internet in IRC chat, it amazed me that the first thing I found in what was essentially a shared lucid dream, the concept of hierarchies.

When I found out that rooms had operators that were literally placed above everyone else in the name list, I was floored and instantly began asking why?

“Oh well it’s to prevent this abuse or that.”

“Then why not bake that into the code of how rooms work?”

“*awkward silence followed by ban for violation of rule 32f/b Never Question Ops*”

Tryhards in any debate almost always first fall into an attack pattern of “Are you too stupid to read the rules?” Followed by “It’s just a game, the devs own it, you should be grateful for the opportunity to lick their boots, because other devs are even worse.”

And that shit sounds way familiar out here in the real world. When business owners first objected to the civil rights movement it was on the exact same private property my yard my rules argument.

Everyone sane and ethical scoffed, but virtually no one scoffs in the gaming world at the exact same logic. Gamers have no rights, and tryhards defend this lack of protection with all the vehemency of the Tea Party Movement.

I swear the gaming/software market has deep seeded the youth of America with these toxic memes and it’s all we can do to keep up on weed patrol at ground level.

 

See also:

http://underlore.com/why-devknights-exist/

http://underlore.com/its-not-just-a-game/

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/CasualVendetta

UBI as a Compromise on Reparations for Slavery

On the subject of reparations, I have something to say that I haven’t heard anyone else say.

Context.
1. Assume that people of color are oppressed to this day because of the damage done by slavery.
2. Assume the point of reparations is to address that early damage.
3. Assume that others profited and continue to profit unfairly from that oppression.

Ok. So, you want to address this in an economic way that’s fair and viable and ethical.

I think a progressive tax and a UBI (unconditional basic income) accomplishes that goal. And it has the added bonus of not being by definition racist in the way that affirmative actions are. This seems counter intuitive but here follow along for a second. After all if it’s not a special effort made in favor of a specific race how can it qualify as reparations? In the same way that a given policy can disproportionately impact a given race without having to expressly specify a race anywhere within it. The same way a flat tax disproportionately hurts the poor despite being by definition totally even mathematically.

A UBI provided baseline income would have diminishing improvement effect as you climb the economic ladder. Hedge fund guys are not even going to notice the tiny bump in income their UBI check would provide, thus the fairness price paid in letting rich white guys collect the same reparations check as descendants of slaves, is offset by the fact that by the very virtue of being rich, there is no effective improvement to their lives.

Also it will be offset by the fact that on balance they’ll be paying way more then they are getting expressly because they are overly wealthy.

This means a UBI by definition is a smart bomb for poverty. It self selects and self adjusts its impact by the very metric we all agree on is the metric of most relevance: degree of poverty.

A UBI check to a homeless man is literally life changing. So to of anyone else economically crushed for any reason, including damage done by systemic racism of the present or the past. The more damage done, the more a UBI will help. Automatically and instantly the people most aided are those most currently crushed. And as they rise, the help done diminishes until they reach a point of economic sufficiency where they begin paying into the system instead of extracting from it.

The more oppressed a group actually is, the more the UBI helps them over others who don’t need it. No bureaucracy required. No debate over who gets what is needed. No one decides.

The only debate is how much to give, and at what rate to tax. That’s all. Two figures.

The other end of the spectrum is the progressive tax to pay for it. In this context a progressive tax is as much a smart bomb as the UBI is. It has the opposite effect as you go up the economic ladder. The more advantage you are granted for any reason up to and including profits from systemic racism, past or present, the more the progressive tax will take from you, and the more you can afford to have taken from you without impacting your actual quality of life.

See here for my primary post about the UBI:

http://underlore.com/one-possible-solution/

Inspired by this video:

Social Darwinists Headed for Extinction

Quick note to cutthroat types. Your days are numbered.

You monied types have two choices psychologically, buy the job creator style myth of the owner class, or watch your own ethics callous over from repeated abuse.

History is on my side. The march of history and the ascension of humanity has always been away from brutality and so called social Darwinism. What is the thing that Europe, and the United States, and China have in common? Confederation. They were all essentially separate nations or states that learned that it’s better for everyone to work as a team.

We have been on a steady march, along with the rest of life, towards unity, because it works.

From amino acids to Pando, from Lucy to the United Nations the clear and obvious fact of life is that working together pays better than screwing eachother over and making excuses about it.

The Ayn Rand crowd only exists because the rest of us permit it. You may well live out your life as an exploitative agent in the meantime, as many corporate apologists and Horatio Alger types will, because clearly it’s a slow march and we have a long way to go, but don’t pretend for a second that’s the future because it is quite obviously the past.

The only thing that would give your kind a substantive future would be a catastrophic setback.

_”We must not allow a mineshaft gap!”_

See also:

http://underlore.com/libertarianism-is-camouflage-for-republicans/

Black Voters and Bernie Sanders

Bernie will have the black vote when it matters and here’s why.

I know no one wants to talk about this really for fear of being misconstrued as implying that blacks as a voting block are ignorant. However, the root of Bernie’s problem with the black electorate at this stage is ironically a consequence of everything he’s trying to fight.

Blacks and most others frankly at this point haven’t on average looked into who to vote for yet because they know it’ll be a trivial decision to make and because they on average are too busy or disenfranchised to engage in what is at its point essentially the politico version of fantasy football.

At this point the election is a first world problem for the majority of those 61% of people that didn’t vote last time. For the moment, and only for the moment, most people have more pressing matters to attend to.

Not having the time to inform yourself of the reality of your choice in an upcoming vote is by definition a bigger problem the more disenfranchised your group is because then you have bigger and more real problems to deal with day to day expressly because of systemic racism or other forms of oppression.

When you are worried for example about being shot by the local police walking down the block to buy groceries, assuming you can even afford them, you’re not going to have a lot of time or inclination at first to wiki Bernie vs Clinton and their voting records. This does not make you stupid, it makes you human.

Sure it might be unwise as a group to disengage, but individually (and here is the critical part) this early, it’s essentially a waste of time. But again, be honest, this really isn’t as complicated an nuanced as the media (both mainstream and alternative) how long would it take anyone browsing to decide which is the candidate for them? We all want to sound smart, but really a choice like this takes no more than 30 minutes of searching.

There’s also the general impact of austerity measures especially in republican states on political awareness. Schools generally are in third world shape in this country and they only get worse in oppressed communities. But again, that doesn’t matter much in this specific context because of the internet and the penetration of smart phones into every level of society.

All this is in my opinion why there is this perception that Bernie isn’t doing well among minorities, blacks in particular. It’s ultimately an illusion.

This will all change the moment the primary begins because he’ll win Iowa and New Hampshire and the news will be forced to name him and the busier more distracted of the black electorate will, by virtue of it no longer being a first world problem, will inform themselves on their upcoming choice.

And when they quickly find that their choice is between a woman who accepts money from the private prison lobby and says whatever she thinks is expedient at the time, or a man who walked with King and was arrested fighting for the civil rights movement, who has not deviated from his message of equality and true progressivism in decades, they’ll make the intelligent, self serving, and compassionate choice.

See, the thing about low information voting is about the price in time of acquiring that information. The opportunity cost is the deciding factor here. As the day of the primary gets closer and closer in each state, a moment will be taken by each person who isn’t totally disconnected or prohibited from participation even indirectly, to confirm or deny what they already believe, and they’ll find Bernie’s revolution waiting for them, instead of SSDD not worth the wait inline come election day.

The issue of who to vote for in the primary will for each person stop being a waste of precious time. It then stops being a trivial day to day hobby horse race, and it starts being something real that matters today. And that only means millions of people discovering Bernie and coming to #FeelTheBern

I believe that essentially all it takes to turn the average black Hillary supporter into a Bernie Sanders’ supporter is 30 minutes on a smart phone and an open mind. Call me sappy or naive but I’m pretty sure open minds and smart phones are still ubiquitous in this country, no matter what the news tells us.

Also, primary voters are by definition more engaged than general election only voters, and engaged voters Google who they are voting for. Any progressive that shows up has a great chance of being behind Bernie than any of these polls can predict. Unless they are online, and the online polls show a landslide coming because there are no spoiler effects in play. It’s perfectly safe to vote Bernie. Indeed, given his performance (compared to Hillary) vs Trump and the other republicans, he’s the safer vote.

This election is defined by populism. That will include the dismissal of the main stream media by the electorate. The same anti establishment populism that caused this race to boil down to Trump vs Sanders also is present vs the six company news machine we all know by now has been lying to us for decades.

Mark my words, Bernie is essentially going to sweep the primaries barring outright election rigging.

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