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Messages - honk

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: June 13, 2021, 01:13:45 PM »
An investigation that just happened to be focused on two of Trump's biggest critics in Congress and their families, and one that spanned years despite never finding any evidence. Uh huh. Yes, I'm sure we can take them at their word that this was a very sincere investigation and not a partisan fishing expedition ordered by a president with a long history of inappropriately using government resources for his own private interests.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: June 12, 2021, 01:49:12 AM »

A pathetic display of openly partisan corruption. I also like how this flies in the face of Trump's repeated assertions with virtually every new negative story about him that they were all lies and the sources the journalists referred to didn't exist.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: June 06, 2021, 04:03:36 AM »
This is such a weird sidebar. From the top, mocking Trump for losing weight is goofy. The man needed to lose some weight, he managed to do so, and he's definitely healthier now for it. He doesn't look bad in that picture because he's "gaunt" (he's not); he looks bad because he's an awful dresser, has a shitty hairdo and nauseating fake tan, and is in general a very physically unattractive man. Basically, the same reasons he's looked bad all his life.

Responding to criticism of Trump's looks by comparing Jill and Melania's looks is of course entirely irrelevant, but while we're on the subject, I'm not impressed by Trump having bought himself a trophy wife, nor by his long history of paying for sex. "Having money" is not a personal quality, and "spending money" is not a talent or skill. It's a point I've made before, but it's remarkable how much Trump's fanbase praise him for superficial "manly" attributes that he clearly doesn't possess at all. He's vain, foppish, and obsessed with his appearance. He's obese and physically weak. He's quick to take offense and complain. He never takes responsibility and regularly blames others for his mistakes. He's never served in the military, faced personal danger, or even so much as worked a day of manual labor in his life. And of course, no woman will touch him unless they've been paid or provided for. Nothing about Trump is tough, macho, or badass. He is the least manly president this nation has ever had.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trans athletes
« on: June 04, 2021, 08:36:09 PM »
Describing transgender people as simply having false beliefs on par with thinking you've been visited by aliens or you are the messiah is a crude oversimplification. Transgender people simply have a different gender identity to their biological sex. It's not something that's "right" or "wrong," it's just how they are.

Incorrect. There is a right and a wrong. The sex of living mammals has a biological definition. If you saw that a dog with male genes and organs who enjoys being mounted as if it were a female, and claim that it makes the dog a female, then you are wrong by definition.

I'm not talking about sex; I'm talking about gender identity.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: June 04, 2021, 08:32:34 PM »

lmbo hilarious if true.

here's how trump can still win.

There's nothing hilarious about this, and I don't believe for a second that Trump really thinks he'll be reinstated. This is all part of his strategy to maintain his political relevance, a strategy that has so far been enormously successful. Since losing the election and crying foul, Trump has solidified his dominance of the Republican Party, endeared his base to him all the more, and raised over two hundred million dollars. There's no dignity in being a sore loser, and it's easy to mock Trump for that, but he's not delusional or desperate. He knows exactly what he's doing, and it's a very smart move.

Wrong. He just posted again today.

He still releases statements on his website, but the "blog" feature on it, "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump," has been removed. It looked like this:

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trans athletes
« on: June 04, 2021, 07:57:23 PM »
You can call it whatever you want, but the phenomenon is very real. There are millions of people who feel the way they do, and they're not going to just "snap out of it" or go away no matter how certain you are that scientifically they shouldn't exist. We can either treat them with compassion or continue to marginalize and isolate them, and I feel that making appeals to scientific accuracy is a very poor justification for the latter, especially when the burden placed on society and individuals for "pandering" to them is such a trivial one.

This argument hinges on making compassionate treatment and bending to delusion equivalent. Schizophrenic patients are treated with compassion and medication but at no point is other parts of society expected to bend to their schizophrenic beliefs. We do not recognize them as messiahs or take their remarks on aliens or the CIA seriously. Why then, must delusions from supposedly 'transexual' people be treated with such gravity? If a man believes he is a woman or if a woman believes she is a man, then he or she is mentally disordered. The treatment is not and should never be to just play into their pretending. No other mental disorder is treated by playing into the patient's delusions, why is this one any different?

Describing transgender people as simply having false beliefs on par with thinking you've been visited by aliens or you are the messiah is a crude oversimplification. Transgender people simply have a different gender identity to their biological sex. It's not something that's "right" or "wrong," it's just how they are.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trans athletes
« on: June 04, 2021, 03:38:36 AM »
So I’ve just decided that I identify as a woman so can I go into the women’s locker rooms now? What do you mean no? Don’t you oppress me.

It's interesting how skeptics always seem to take it for granted that support for trans rights goes hand in hand with a credulous acceptance of anyone acting in bad faith as long as they say the magic words. I have absolutely no problem with using some common sense when allowing claimed transwomen into women's spaces. Saying "I identify as a woman" doesn't make you trans, and neither does wearing a wig and a dress.

I’m not convinced that pandering to people’s psychological issues is helping them.

You can call it whatever you want, but the phenomenon is very real. There are millions of people who feel the way they do, and they're not going to just "snap out of it" or go away no matter how certain you are that scientifically they shouldn't exist. We can either treat them with compassion or continue to marginalize and isolate them, and I feel that making appeals to scientific accuracy is a very poor justification for the latter, especially when the burden placed on society and individuals for "pandering" to them is such a trivial one.

It should be utterly illegal to prevent a person going through puberty and mucking about with their development whilst they are children. You do not know your own mind as a child and should not be able to consent. If you can't consent to sex until you are 16/17, why is it you can consent to being castrated and filled with hormones at the age of 10? That's some pretty fucked up liberal logic right there.

This does not happen. If there's one piece of misinformation above all that needs to be corrected, it's this. Children who believe they may be transgender are not given life-altering surgeries or chemical treatments. At most, they receive puberty blockers in their adolescence to delay - not permanently prevent, but delay - the effects of puberty until they're old enough to make a decision about how they want to live their life. It's not always perfect. I feel awful for the woman in the article you linked, but she was seventeen when she began taking male hormones, and twenty when she had her breasts removed. She wasn't a brainwashed child. Wherever there are major medical procedures, there will be people who undergo them and later regret doing so. I don't think that's an effective argument for getting rid of them altogether.

Also, here is a good article that details much of the science behind all this, as well as the rules and procedures for treating trans youth. A lot of this is admittedly specific to America, but I would be astonished if things were especially different in any other Western nation.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trans athletes
« on: June 03, 2021, 04:22:46 AM »
Holy shit, leave trans people alone. Let them be addressed with the pronouns they want, let them use the bathrooms they want, and let them have their sports. These are real people who are trying to live their lives with dignity. Let them have that. You don't have to date them or have sex with them if you don't want to. Just let them live their lives without excluding them or marginalizing them. Whatever twinge of unease you might feel about their existence or whatever intellectual duty you think you have to "debunk" them simply doesn't compare to the moral imperative of not treating your fellow humans as second-class citizens.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Jeffrey Epstein is Dead
« on: June 02, 2021, 02:38:45 AM »
I look forward to finding out who told them to “take the night off”.

What makes you think you will?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Oh hey, its China
« on: May 28, 2021, 10:08:27 PM »
Nobody is teaching anyone that one race is superior to another. ::)  Just like the War on Christmas, the supposed cancelation of Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss. the nonexistent upcoming ban on hamburgers, and at least half a dozen other examples from the last couple of years, this is just another nonsensical cultural boogeyman that Republicans have dreamed up and then furiously railed against to rile up their base, because they apparently don't want to campaign on actual issues anymore. My guess is that the teachers objecting to this aren't worried about actually violating the law, they're worried about being accused of violating the law by a conservative politician or activist looking to boost their career by publicly flogging them.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: May 26, 2021, 04:10:56 AM »
Why hasn't Trump been re-inaugurated yet? This is taking way too long.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Jeffrey Epstein is Dead
« on: May 26, 2021, 04:09:40 AM »
I mean... there is video of them sleeping ssssoooo.....

I'm aware. Like I said, I'm sure they were told to slack off for the night.

And yes, I do think that's their reaction.  Well not specifically just "I'm just gonna do what I've been doing for the last 2 years cause why change habit?"

Like stack said, if this inattentiveness was normal for them, then I'd agree it would be less suspicious. But the story and the court filing don't say that, and I feel like it would be an obvious follow-up in the investigation to see if these two had been skipping work on other nights, as well as an obvious thing to mention if it turned out that they did have a habit of ignoring their prisoners.

Honestly, they could have been paid to ignore the screams or to let them in.  But the payment would have been found.  I mean, no sense in getting paid alot of money and not use it.  These are prison guards, not criminal masterminds. 

At best someone in a guard uniform disabled the camera, snuck in, and killed him.

You're overcomplicating things. All the guards needed to do for this conspiracy was look the other way. There'd be no sense in involving them deeply by explicitly telling them what to ignore or having them let an assassin in. It was probably someone on the inside who did the deed while the guards were off doing their own thing. And yeah, I doubt they were paid. They were probably just encouraged to take the night off, and then left to hold the bag in the morning when they discovered Epstein's corpse. If they start making noise, they'll be the ones found hanging dead in a jail cell next. It's much safer for them to just take the lenient sentence they've been offered so that the powers that be will be rid of this embarrassing case as soon as possible.

Or he killed himself (as is the story) because his fate would be torture and suffering for himself and his loved ones by both the prisoners and any "clients".

Would it necessarily have been, though? Epstein had wriggled his way out of punishment before, and although there was a lot more scrutiny on his case this time around, he still had plenty of cards left to play. He had enormous wealth, he had political connections, he had tremendous legal talent at his call, and most importantly of all, he almost certainly had scandalous dirt on some of the most powerful and influential people in the world. Those are the people who were in the most danger when Epstein was arrested, and they were also the ones who benefited the most when he died. I don't believe that they just got lucky and Epstein decided he'd rather kill himself than try to sell out some of them in exchange for a more lenient sentence. Nobody is that lucky.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Jeffrey Epstein is Dead
« on: May 24, 2021, 05:30:31 AM »
So no conspiracy: Just lazy/bored/tired people.

Of course you'd be gullible enough to actually believe that. ::) Come on, you really think that the reaction of these guards when a prisoner as high-profile (and known to be possibly suicidal) as Epstein was given into their charge was "Okay, let's slack off tonight?" Bullshit. They were told to make themselves scarce for the night. Maybe they were paid, maybe they were threatened, maybe both. Receiving such a light sentence for their negligence makes what happened look even more suspicious. It's probably a carrot to accompany the stick of potentially ending up like Epstein.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: May 19, 2021, 02:25:17 PM »
(on the notion of the joke)

Trump wouldn't have made a joke in that exact way, though. He'd most likely phrase it as a general comment about how great it would be if he could kill journalists. And he wouldn't say it to the journalists directly, but to his fans at a rally. The cheering crowd would scream their enthusiastic approval, at least one crazy person present would begin making their own plans to murder journalists, and Trump onstage would bask in their admiration. Afterwards, he would deny ever making the controversial comment to begin with, and after a few days, either he or his staff would dismissively say it had been a joke.

After taking a few months off, I finally returned to the game and have now beaten it. I unironically agree with most of what Dunkey said in his review. Even setting all the bugs and glitches aside - and the bugs and glitches are easily the game's biggest problem - this is still an enormously flawed game, far more so than I would have expected from the developers of TW3. The combat is mindless busy work, as putting just a few levels into your primary skill makes it easy to curb-stomp almost anything the game can throw at you, unless you have the bad luck to step on a mine or stand next to a gas tank someone shoots at. The driving is awful. The motorcycles aren't too bad, but literally every car in the game handles like dogshit and feels very bad to drive. Traversing Night City is a chore sometimes, too. It's full of these super tall fences that you can't jump over and fenced-off roads that you can't drive onto and just annoying little obstructions in general that force you to take long roundabout routes to get to wherever you're going. Something that happened quite a bit was that I'd warp to a spot that on the map looked to be right next to my objective, but when I spawned there, it turned out that the warp point was on top of a tall building that I couldn't jump off of, or the objective was surrounded by a huge wall with the only entrance being a good distance away from me. The badlands don't have as many obstructions as the city proper, but they compensate for that by making the already-shitty vehicles handle even more poorly when off-roading, so you'll constantly be bouncing and rolling and spinning out as you try to drive to your objective. I'm not saying I should just be able to teleport to wherever I want to be at all times and have the game served up on a silver platter to me, but it's just a pain in the ass to constantly have to be spending several minutes running to your objective because the game forces you to go so far out of your way.

And here's something that really baffles me. When you've completed most of the main story and reach the point of no return, then, and only then, do you unlock the questlines for Rogue and Kerry. Rogue only has a couple of quests, but Kerry has seven. And all of these are punctuated by waiting periods of several in-game hours, and in some cases whole days. (Granted, there's an option to skip time, but there's no way that repeatedly skipping 24 hours of in-game time was the intended playstyle.) Bear in mind, at this point in the main quest, V has realized that his time is very limited, and the story is about to reach the climax. I have to ask, why? That's not rhetorical. I seriously want to know why this game holds off on introducing you to a very lengthy optional questline until you've literally reached the point of no return in the main story. It's such weird, confusing placement.

There is a bright side to the game, and it comes in the form of its story and setting. For all my complaints about the world's lack of responsiveness and difficulty in smoothly traversing it, Night City is beautiful, atmospheric, and reflects a level of detail far above and beyond what most devs are willing to put into their games. It's things like the intricate designs of the vehicles, the weapons, the bars, the diners, and the different parts of the city, like the sleek and luxurious high-rises, the working-class neighborhoods full of dingy little shacks, and the seedy red-light district. Interaction is minimal and the AI obviously leaves a lot to be desired, but at least in terms of atmosphere and visual design, Night City is easily the most impressive city I've seen in an open-world video game. The story is also great, as I think pretty much everyone has already agreed. V is not the foul-mouthed edgelord the trailers portrayed them as, and I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that there's a ton of potential for character development for players who are so inclined. Character development that's actually acknowledged by the game's narrative and dialogue, I mean, not stuff that only exists in your head like "after a profound religious experience, my hunter dedicated his life to the service of Talos and began training as a knight." The supporting cast are similarly strong. They're not one-dimensional quest dispensers, but characters who feel like real people with their own personalities, needs, and goals. And the romantic relationships you can begin with certain characters are genuinely very nice. Panam is best girl.

In closing, Cybermeme reminds me a lot of Bethesda games. It's flawed to such a degree that I'd hesitate to call it an unambiguously good game, but I loved playing through it, and I'm sure I'll do so again in the future, although subsequent playthroughs will definitely be a lot less completionist than this one was. I really wish the game had cut down on the number of assaults/reported crimes and given us more interesting sidequests instead.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: May 08, 2021, 12:51:29 AM »
If the letter shown in this article is accurate, then describing it as "wow look at how cool I am!" or "a message relating to other matters" simply isn't a fair description. It's a direct, straightforward attempt at taking credit for the money being sent to Americans as part of the American Rescue Plan, which Biden did sign into law. It's inappropriate for inclusion in government relief, but is otherwise entirely typical politicking.

Regarding Trump, his name being directly on the checks was essentially designed to cut out the middleman of the government in people's minds. The message is less "the government is sending me money, thanks to Trump," and more "Trump is sending me money." When we receive a check, we generally expect to see the name of the person who's paying us money on it. By putting his name on the checks, Trump was trying to imply - not state outright, because that would be a ridiculous lie he'd quickly be called out on, but imply - that the money was coming from him personally. Even though virtually nobody would actually think to themselves, "Yes, Trump himself is sending me money from his personal bank account," people would still automatically associate Trump's signature with him being very generous with his own money, without explicitly spelling it out to themselves.

I definitely agree that Biden's letter is especially pathetic in light of his administration having made a point of stressing that he wouldn't be doing anything as egotistical as putting his signature on the checks, which I hadn't known about before this discussion. Bragging about their humility could only have been appropriately followed up with the most humble government in bailout in history, which this certainly was not. Really, the Biden Administration should just stop comparing itself to its predecessor altogether. It's such a low bar.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: May 06, 2021, 04:42:23 AM »
Could you elaborate on that? I fail to see the difference - both carry the exact same implication, and were done with the same intention. The main difference, it seems, is that orange man bad. Other than that, we only have the small difference of Trump trying to get his name on the cheques, and Biden trying to publicly announce how much he doesn't want his name on the cheques because he's so much better and purer than Trump.

Biden's letter contains information that is clear, correct, and relevant, but inappropriate to include in that context. Trump's signature, however, doesn't communicate any information, and so feels manipulative, like a psychological trick to try and make people associate their check with Trump without actually making a logical case for why Trump deserves credit for the check. To put it another way, both presidents took advantage of sending out these checks for their own political gain, but Biden was upfront about it while Trump did it in an underhanded way.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: May 05, 2021, 08:22:59 PM »
I think there's an appreciable difference between the president including a self-congratulatory letter with the check and insisting that his own signature be on the check itself. The letter is ethically dubious, but putting Trump's signature directly onto the checks as if he was personally paying for the bailouts was fundamentally dishonest.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: May 03, 2021, 09:30:15 PM »
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was a mixed bag for me. I don't really feel like writing a big review for it, because a lot of the show just felt like passable, forgettable filler. My biggest issue was the main antagonist. I get what the show was going for by making the leader of a terrorist group and the face of the resistance to global resettlement so young and physically slight, but her actress simply didn't have the charisma or gravitas to make it work. She never once came across as a leader or a visionary, and turned in a very dull, milquetoast performance. The first episode was also a pretty rough start to the show. It didn't really have a story so much as it had a series of seemingly unconnected events just sort of happening, and the big action scene up in the sky was an awful mess of shitty CGI and frantic cut-cut-cut-what's-even-happening direction. But Sam and Bucky are a fun pair, I'd like to see more of Walker in the future, and I appreciated the social commentary and deconstruction of the Captain America figure.

One more thing - and I am unfortunately going to go into "plot hole" territory for this - Sharon's heel turn isn't a bad idea for a character that's so far been nothing more than a bland obligatory love interest for a character no longer active in the franchise, but her actions over the course of the show don't really make much sense if she was the Power Broker all along, especially in the third episode. Why does she put a bounty on Sam, Bucky, and Zemo for killing her people when she was the one who did it to protect them? Why does she spend the whole episode fighting bounty hunters to protect them when she was the one who placed the bounty in the first place? Why does she give the trio access to her most valuable employee when she could have easily gotten any information they needed from him herself? Why, despite the vast resources supposedly at her command, does she spend the remaining episodes doing precisely nothing until the final confrontation, and finally make her move by personally jumping into the middle of a heated battle to say to Karli, "Aw, c'mon, work for me again?" Was that her master plan all along? Obviously there's no way for me to prove this, but I strongly suspect that her turning out to be the Power Broker was a last-minute decision for the show.

And having typed out the above paragraph, I decided to look it up, and I'd say this (link is spoilery) is near-enough confirmation my theory is right.

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