Underlore

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Category: Ethics

Pawnshop of Exile

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For the past month or so I was giving path of exile another chance. And it may have been fun longer term if I wasn’t essentially playing by myself. But I am, because real community is discouraged with two exceptions. Broken trade patching, and paying guilds.

The reason I don’t post this directly in a community controlled area is because the very fact that I’m saying something unflattering would no doubt call forth the “git gud” devknights. I know I’m not alone but all the people that agree with me already left or are wisely silent.

The only reason I stayed this long and write like this is because I’m a reformer and I hate running away from a fight.

Exploitation in any context makes me sick. And sooner or later I write about it.

Maybe in the distant future being honest about this stuff now will have a hand in some changes down the road. But I highly doubt it because the entire gaming industry is dogmatic and exploitative.

Two things have driven me off this time around.

1. There is only hardcore mode.

Hardcore across the gaming universe is a name for a mode where you are punished for dying. Since “merciless” (named thus because being mean means being cool) is the default difficulty by any rational measure, and since you are punished for dying in merciless, the entire game is hardcore by default.

This has all sorts of rigid control freak consequences. It renders all choice an illusion.

You play in an approved way or your character doesn’t progress, end of discussion.

I’d like a normal mode of play. Why have two hardcore modes? For the same reason we have two rethuglican parties. To serve the 1%. Because money, that’s why. They only want hardcore players because only hardcore players care enough about a game to constantly spend money on a game.

Every other kind of player is to be driven off because they are filthy poor people. They exist in devminds to be exploited. “Free” just means bait.

2. Pawnshop of Exile

In an effort to sell stash tabs and further please the overpaying, tryhard, gambling addicted, OCD, twitch streamer, base, they’ve intentionally broken the trade system, and kept it broken to keep the established (legacy?), cash paying, game rich… game rich, and cash paying.

If it was easy for normal players to efficiently engage in item/currency (and therefore account) progression, then there wouldn’t be the army of broken character serfs and plebs everywhere to make the game rich and paying feel special enough to keep paying.

This is obviously the intent given the trivial fees paid by vendors for even unique items.

The very absence of a money changer vendor is conclusive proof that they want the economy in exactly its current state, which is to serve the cash paying grifter class and fleece everyone else.

Had I posted this in the community one of two things would happen: The mods would delete it, or they’d simply encourage the devknights to dog pile hate me as an example to silence future dessent.

Here’s what would never happen:

Majority agreement or anything approaching even a hint of reform in favor of players generally. Because at the end of the day this isn’t a democracy. This is an autocracy. Players have no say, and anyone who tells you different is either deluded or selling something.

Game universes are all rethuglican pipe dreams. This is because devs are autocratic fops by nature that want to patent the vowels when they grow up and be IPL aristocracy. That’s what happens when you genuinely believe you deserve to be paid to infinity for a single act of work.

The trade system is intentionally broken to increase profitability for GGG, and “git gud scrub” is the encouraged response type to any systemic complaint, legitimate or not.

As a non cash paying player you have one purpose. To lick paying player boot. You exist to provide contrast and somehow improve their experience either as a gatherer or as a victim.

You are the serf that is perpetually stuck some distance from endgame viability until made a charity case by a cash or promotion (twitch streamer) paying player.

The point of the entire industry is to pay the publishers/devs and fleece the players. This is true of every closed source game. And POE is no different in that regard.

Everything that happens in the POE universe is about that one goal. If you think there are ANY other considerations, you are a fool.

The most successful games are the one that lie about that most effectively.

“I’m your friend! I’m here for YOU! I’m doing YOU a favor!” Said every merchant in history prior to behaviorally proving the exact opposite.

Update: 2016-08-12 0607 PM Atlas of Worlds

Oh boy more stuff I’ll never see because I don’t play one of the OCD created dev’s pet builds.

More items I’ll never own because I hate running a pawn shop and refuse to exploit players less informed than myself.

More trade chat price checks and 4chan in EVERY window because no moderators and no trade system.

More hilariously impossible to acquire items unless I’m already obscenely wealthy or a huge exploitative dick to scores of players I’ll never even speak to.

More items to walk past because unless I’ve bought 90 stash tabs I can’t make anything like efficient use of anything.

More solo grind in a handful of maps because experience scaling forces me into a hyper narrow zone for myself while making it punishment to help others or be helped.

More reasons for in game and real life rich to have an infinitely better time at the expense of everyone else because right wing fantasy and totally needless social darwinist economy.

Wake me when there’s an auction system so normal players don’t get ripped off by not knowing how to price rares.

Wake me when there aren’t a thousand arbitrary nerf exceptions to gem combinations making it impossible to free form a build into the endgame.

Wake me when /b/tards don’t utterly rule global chat 24/7.

Wake me when a player can actually fully play the game without a dozen third party tools and pages.

Wake me when the community will do anything other than literally pay in either time or cash to defend the people exploiting them.

And now?

More comments from boot licking game rich, dev knights, and even paid streamers and their minions ever so quick to leap to their lord’s defense and blame ANYTHING wrong on the player.

Tell me about how the poor street urchin devs have to feed their doe eyed pack of children.

Tell me how patent monopolies on the gaming equivalent of literary tropes through feats of doublethink and mental gymnastics somehow equals more culture despite literally illegal modification and participation.

Tell me how technically I could get rich enough to have an actual END game character saving up 40 billion scroll fragments and how that makes everything about the game economy just peachy.

If it weren’t for my guild this game would be utterly unplayable. But gee thanks for making that pay to win as well.

Tryhard dev knight dog pile and proof that the community is a mass of dev worshipping bootlickers, eager to rubber stamp anything that squashes casual players and preserves the obscene wealth of the OCD/pawnshop/cash burning class, in 3… 2… 1…

I won’t be seeing your replies. Yay for mute thread.

Pants of exile.

Pawnshop of exile.

And yet this hateful exploitative piece of shit is the best there is on earth.

See also:

Why Devknights Exist

 

The Right Wing

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The Right Wing: Children of all ages asking as crassly as possible, why is anything other than their needs their problem.

Society already recognizes that entire school of thought as inhuman and parasitic. It’s an obvious appeasement reaction in the face of the 1%. It’s stockholm syndrome. You know you can’t beat them, so you internalize their lies in a futile effort to join them.

“Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups. Everything else is commentary”

The neocon/4chan/Ayn Rand attitude is simply the natural consequence of the altruistic groups rising to power, in turn being attacked and torn down from within by the selfish groups.

But whatever, I have no illusions. You’re all beyond the reach of reason. It’s all about dogma for you. That’s why you’re all here white knights for a redpill asshole fat shaming as an argument against sharing.

An argument in favor of the idea that we are all ants and that the ideal human future is one of eternal drudgery and service to the 1%.

I’m speaking to the historical record, I’m not speaking to any of you.

http://underlore.com/bait-and-switch/

Is being too late really so bad?

July 2016 was the hottest month in recorded history

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What are your thoughts given that we’re probably already hit runaway climate change? I mean there are dozens of posts out there full of stark data on this subject.

I gotta tell you… Honestly I feel better. There’s a dark cynicism to that feeling, but it’s like this:

We’ve had nuclear power as an option for decades. We instead chose to embrace fear and greed. For no good reasons.

If the climate has reached the tipping point, then the damage is in a sense already done. And there’s a freedom in that.

We no longer have to tell the third world they have to wait to embrace a better western style of life.

Nuclear advocates have tried in our ways, as hard as we could, to wake up the species. We failed. We failed vs liars, fools, and the 1% but we were on the right side of history, are on the right side. There’s comfort in that.

With China and India embracing nuclear it seems like we’ll eventually get there, but avoiding climate change is no longer the priority since that ship has sailed.

I feel like that gives us time. I can’t help but feel like it’s better to do it right than it is to do it fast, if it’s a choice. And it kind of is now. We don’t have to deploy nuclear at top speed now. It would be nice if we did but it’s no longer as urgent. At this point it’s a hail mary pass.

Now it’s just about all the other advantages. The space probes, cancer cures, desalination, and lifestyle upgrades for the billions of lives directly impacted by Chinese and Indian energy policy.

I think I like the idea of selling hope for a high tech future instead of fear of climate change. They are better at selling fear than us anyway. One whack job with a book accomplished more socially than we ever did.

But now it’s about what nuclear can do to make climate change survivable.

I hate to be topical and trivial but winter is coming, and the new fire will get us through. Climate change means centuries of new weather and new ecology. New york city will flood. Drink that in. No pun intended.

See, I think part of why I feel ok about it is because this will force us to change things, and fixing climate change was essentially all about keeping things from changing, which given how screwed up things are, never sat well with me. My whole world view’s hope production centers on change.

I despise how things are. Change is badly needed, and there seems a definite upside to it being more or less imminent.

I feel like it’s more opportunity than threat here. It’s like a coming slow motion war. A true world war with an enemy we can truly feel good about fighting.

Perhaps we need this reminder as a species that nature not our ally. It’s a blind machine that frankly would compost us literally without thought. And now we get to find out if we’re really capable of freeing ourselves from it.

We need to close the loop. And we can. And soonish on global weather time scale, we’re going to have to. I think I like the idea of having to invent new forms of life to survive. I like the idea of converting nuclear silos into nuclear vertical farm robots. I like the idea of growing cloned meat instead of cows. I like the idea of humanity finally embracing the new fire.

There’s a huge political I told you so coming down the line here and we might well be able to parlay that into a substantive compassionate shift in human policy. And I can’t help but feel hopeful.

I could see this ushering in the end of neocon libertarian thought. Profit above all else has driven us literally over the edge. It’ll finally be time to take the wheel from the selfish and let the compassionate ones drive.

I can’t help but feel like we’re already seeing it. Something changed long ago and politically humanity is catching up. I feel like ISIS and Brexit and Sanders and Trump and Corbyn etc etc all came from the same source. The same titanic shifting under our feet.

As I see it there are two real drivers for change in human history: Environment and technology. Everything else stems from them imo.

I feel like the massive political changes of the last decade were likely sourced by climate change. And while some of those changes have been bad, I think there’s a pretty clear trend towards the good. The future of humanity seems united in the direct of change we’d like to see.

It is only the old and the foolish and the pathological screaming for austerity and death and torment and exile and all the right wing blames for victims.

All the political craziness to me smacks of desperation on the part of the more cruel and dismissive elements of humanity. Their way of life is approaching the end of its literal viability.

They are rats cornered on a sinking ship.

The future no longer belongs to them.

Pardon the grandiose tone, but… The time of the Apex is upon us.

We’re going to have really start doing what we were born to do in order to live.

Insects survive because they adapt to the environment. We survive because we change it. It’s time to start changing it on purpose and with commitment.

I say we start by wiping out the mosquito via genetic engineering.

BLM and a Defense of Riots

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In response to a conversation a friend and I had about BLM’s relationship to rioting I am writing this post as a kind of general statement of opinion.

There’s plenty to criticize people for. But blaming BLM for riots isn’t reasonable because It’s not like BLM are the Illuminati. The entire existence of BLM is a response to a lack of power. And without power there can be no responsibility.

So first we must think about what BLM is and isn’t actually capable of.

They don’t have the power to start or stop riots.

So knowing that, questions spring to mind. Should BLM denounce them, encourage them, or stay silent on them? Knowing they can’t prevent or cause them. Are riots justified?

In my view BLM is automatically an ally of any one who feels the police have become an oppressive, regressive, violent mafia. I’m not saying they think that, I’m saying anyone else who thinks that should see BLM as allies.

In terms of political strategy, if BLM were a monolithic organization, which it isn’t, I don’t think they should denounce rioting because if they did, and riots happened anyway, it would expose that weakness and set them against any elements of the community that have (perhaps rightfully) concluded that the time for peaceful response is at an end.

If you start to think of the police as an invading army, rioting becomes a rather merciful option.  I can’t help but think that if the police here acted like the police in those areas towards my community’s children a riot would be the least of their worries.

Essentially I view riots as warning shots preceding open revolt. And open revolt has to be on the table if we expect to effectively negotiate with the state. Which is what all activism is.

This is a huge part of why I think anti-gun progressives are outright foolish. It’s like starting a game of chess by asserting that violence is wrong and banning the use of pawns.

Some describe a riot as a kind of political or economic cannibalism, as burning “their own” city. But how do you define your city as opposed to your prison? It isn’t their city when their lives are ruled by people that don’t even live there. And that’s true of all of us so long as 62 people own half the planet.

If anything a riot is the burning of a company shanty town. And let’s be honest, they aren’t that destructive anyway. A few fires, a smashed car, and some rubble in the street. They aren’t a hurricane.

Mostly they are symbolic, and a great way to force the police and the press to show their true colors, which as Gandhi has shown us can be quite effective political currency.

I could see it being described as burning collaborator businesses that demonstrably don’t care about them. Business in my view rarely helps a community. First of all the vast majority of it is corporate, which means it’s parasitic and corrupting. Corporations clearly own the press and the government, that’s the root of the problem. Rioting to destroy corporate business interests in my community seems on paper like an extremely valid response.

And don’t talk to me like jobs are inherently a good thing. They aren’t.

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that what BLM fights for is 100% justified. Cops keep getting cleared and acquitted for killings that are often on video. If there is no legal recourse, and the economy is completely unresponsive to both activism and political engagement, then a riot is a reasonable next step in my view.

Tell me things aren’t bad enough to justify revolt in the streets and I’ll tell you you’re not paying attention.

Even if BLM denounces rioting, I would not. Rioting is a valid compromise when trying to avoid a revolutionary civil war.

If that war happens, it will be the police who history shows declared it.

See also:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-lives-matter-violence-cops_us_55e77d82e4b0c818f61a9de8

If not now, when?

9/11: Rhetorical Poison

I make it a point not to discuss my position on 9/11 because the entire debate is rhetorical poison.

It’s like a land mine for your credibility. I step over it.

The result is the same either way. Assume for a second it was as they say an inside job. Or assume it’s the other extreme, exactly like the official story. Same result. Same tragic deaths. Same insane policy. Same wasted opportunities.

It’s the modern JFK. The results will be much the same. No matter what really happened, no amount of likely evidence will convince either side to switch sides.

If it was an inside job all proof of it is gone by now. If it wasn’t, no amount of what’s left will convince the opposition. The smoking gun is paperclips by now.

Honestly even the death toll isn’t relevant when you step back. How many civilians did the American military kill last year? The drug war? Treatable illness? Hunger? Etc.

What would proving it and having a massive public trial that turns out exactly as they want actually accomplish? How likely is the best possible outcome? Will it ever be worth 3000 lives? Is that even possible?

I just think the whole thing is worse than pointless. I think we can go back once we can afford to. The time to do something meaningful in any but the historical context is over.

Clearly it’s a massively significant historical event and thus is worthy of study, but the fact is there’s a reason why we basically leave that study to people bent on self-marginalizing.

Even if they are right and the goal is noble, there are more pressing issues.

Every one ethical and sane already all basically agrees the war on terror is a human rights catastrophe, the war in Iraq a gargantuan mistake, a decade and a half of hard experience has taught us the folly of this path and the informed are already committed to changing it, for the most part.

We manufactured Osama and we manufactured ISIS, and either they engineered 9/11 or they ruthlessly exploited it, and either way they are responsible for an unfathomable number of deaths, plus or minus 3000.

The best thing to do now is avoid all such things in the future as best we can and oppose any logic which dismisses the suffering and death of others.

Why don’t republicans love China?

Because Bernie Sanders I see a lot of bullshit about China coming out of the right wing types these days.

It’s a republican wet dream as far as I know. There’s like no real social safety nets, there’s no real environmental regulation, nothing like an actual minimum wage, nothing like real privacy protection, a de facto slave trade, obsessive cultural worship of the past, no unions, no real justice system just a lot of arbitrary executions and censorship and militarized police, huge and belligerent actual military, institutionalized sexism, it’s financial systems are a deregulated bubble factories thick with corruption and insider trading, the list is endless. Not to mention they are the direct or indirect obvious beneficiaries of every trade pact on the planet. Trade pacts which the right wing ADORE.

It’s like if Fox news ran a country. China seems the end product of libertarianism. Socialism for the corporations and oligarchs, and heartless individualism for everyone else. Which is exactly what all right wing policy demands. That’s the entire point of starve the beast, since Reagan.

Literally the only difference between China and a theoretical right wing utopia is no government enforced Christianity, and maybe a few differences of label. Functionally they seem nearly identical to me.

The very term libertarian BEGAN as a corporatist lie. A philosophy tailor made to justify pro business regulation and deregulation. And isn’t that what China is now? Just a massive corporation with a bunch of wholly owned subsidiaries with the entire populace in the role of employees?

Links:

http://www.alternet.org/visions/true-history-libertarianism-america-phony-ideology-promote-corporate-agenda

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-08-28/republicans-misguided-china-bashing

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