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Messages - honk

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: Today at 01:47:26 AM »
The twitter comment was specifically talking about television networks

That's odd, because I would have thought that "CNN, MSNBC and the Big 3 TV networks" would in fact refer to CNN, MSNBC, and the Big 3 TV networks.

That page you linked as your evidence is featured on neither the front page of or Having a page for it hardly shows that it is being treated in the same manner as the Trump Impeachment. You can go there yourself and see that it is wrong that it is being treated in the same way.

If you go to and search for "impeachment" you see some non-featured links to "Fact check: Republicans make false, misleading claims at first Biden impeachment inquiry hearing" and "Republican witnesses directly undercut GOP narrative at impeachment hearing"

On television the Trump impeachment was also treated with as much importance as a major terrorist attack, that everybody just had to know about, which it is clearly not in the case of the Biden impeachment.

You're changing the subject. This tweet is claiming that CNN is blacking out coverage of the Biden impeachment inquiry, not simply that it's downplaying it or not treating it as momentous as Trump's impeachment. That's not a simple misunderstanding or a poor choice of words; that's a blatant lie.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: September 28, 2023, 11:42:16 PM »
It would have taken you two seconds to check this with a Google search and confirm for yourself that it's absolutely untrue. CNN has a page with live updates to the story:

MSNBC has also plenty of articles about what's happening on their website - they're making no effort to be neutral, but they're still covering the subject. I don't usually watch the news on TV, but I think I can still say with some confidence that I'm sure they're covering it too. Don't listen to right-wing grifters. They're liars.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« on: September 23, 2023, 04:36:57 PM »
I still don't agree with Crudblud, and I think he's being a bit pedantic in his last response to me, but I'm willing to let it lie rather than seem like I'm swooping in just to get the last word or whatever. Maybe one day I'll corner him on IRC and get a better chance to explain to him how objectively correct I am. Anyway, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to bring up Dunkey's review of the game. He's being awfully harsh on it. It's one thing to compare it to From's other titles as a starting point, but he returns to that point again and again seemingly as evidence of how bad the game is. Most games are far easier than Soulsbornes. Most games can be played with a minimum of focus once you have enough experience with the gameplay and familiarity with the levels. That doesn't make them bad. I guarantee you that the next Mario game that Dunkey raves about will be a lot easier than AC6. Anyway, if you just don't like what you see of the gameplay, that's fine, but if you'd otherwise be interested, don't let yourself be put off simply because Dunkey said that the game wasn't very good.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: September 20, 2023, 04:06:37 AM »
There aren't going to be any debates for the Democratic presidential primary because Biden has no real competition. Even if they held a debate, Biden wouldn't attend. Why would he legitimize and potentially boost fringe candidates like RFK Jr. and Marianne Williamson by debating them? It's all well and good to say you don't want Biden to be the nominee in a general sense, but for that to mean something, you also have to have someone specific who can replace him. If no serious Democratic candidate will step forward - and none have - then Biden will have to be the nominee.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« on: September 19, 2023, 08:22:06 PM »
Okay, we'll just agree to disagree on the tutorial boss. I had never heard of anyone not using melee attacks to stagger the boss, but I probably just suck at the game. I'm more concerned about the lore stuff, because you're saying a lot of things that just aren't backed up by the game:

The game makes it pretty clear that Coral is a resource that exists on Rubicon, and that various factions make or want to make use of it for different things.

No, it doesn't. You can piece together the basics of what Coral is after a few missions, but that's not the same thing as having been told from the beginning. Your knowledge does not apply retroactively.

Other characters don't assume you already know what it is, and again most of them either don't care if you know anything, don't want you to know anything, or hardly know anything about it themselves.

This flies in the sense of common sense. Characters regularly say things to you like "Intercept this corporation excavating the Coral in this region," "This place has been untouched since the Fires of Iblis," or "The PCA have shown up, get rid of them." These lines would make no sense or be outright confusing to anyone who doesn't know what Coral, the Fires of Ibis, or the PCA are, respectively, and nobody would talk like that to anyone they think doesn't know about them, because again, why would they want to confuse you in your orders?

In this way, the game puts you in 621's shoes from the very beginning...Since the story is almost exclusively told through your interactions with those factions

This whole total-immersion idea is simply wrong. Throughout the game, we see a number of conversations that Walter has with other characters (particularly Carla) that 621 clearly isn't present for, which are in fact our first indication that Walter is keeping something secret. We also get a few cutscenes that do give us some very straightforward exposition about what's going on in a broad sense with the corporations and their struggle for Rubicon, and it would have been entirely consistent with those to also include a cutscene at the start of the game telling us a few basic details about Rubicon, Coral, the Fires of Ibis, and the current war. Finally, there's the very structure of the game itself, and how the NG+ system shows you how both the story and specific missions change based on the decisions that you make. The game absolutely puts some distance between the player and 621, and it's definitely done on purpose to help the player understand the story to a degree that 621 never could over the course of any one given playthrough.

Incidentally, I think your assessment of Walter is pretty harsh. Yes, he has his own agenda that he isn't telling 621 about, and yes, he would sacrifice 621 just like the other augmented humans he's worked with, but he doesn't view them as a "hound" or a mindless tool to be kept ignorant at all. His secrets are very specific ones - namely, the true nature of the Coral and his ultimate plan for it. Otherwise, he's free with his information and quick to brief you about whom you're fighting with, whom you're fighting against, etc., and he lets you choose rather than give you orders whenever you have your choice of missions or face an important decision in the middle of a mission. It wouldn't at all have been out of character for him to tell you a little bit about the basics of Rubicon and Coral at the start of the game, although, like I said, From had other options for providing exposition than just dialogue.

As for Déraciné, yeah I've never really heard anything about it either. It was a very small project and I think VR was still more or less in its infancy at the time, so I don't doubt very few people played it. Apparently it debuted with around 3000 sales in Japan, which is very small for an exclusive from a well known studio on a popular console in an extremely console dominated market.

VR is a dying fad. Sad!

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« on: September 16, 2023, 07:27:50 PM »
I didn't say "just keep doing the exact same thing until you get it right" so I'm not sure why you brought that up. In any case, the boss isn't about "git gud", it's literally just "apply the techniques we have shown you already". It's like teaching a child about basic shapes and then, as a test, handing them a square peg and making sure they understand that it doesn't fit into a round hole.

But this is so broad and generic that it tells us nothing useful. You could use it to describe - or defend - any game's tutorial elements, no matter how dubious they are. Let's be more specific here. There's basically only one way to beat the tutorial boss, right? You have to close the distance and use your melee attacks to stun it, leaving it vulnerable for you to do some real damage to it. This is far from an ideal strategy, as the boss is fairly mobile, can "outrun" your assault boosts by flying away from you, and regularly travels out of bounds where you can't follow it, but nevertheless, that's really the only thing you can do. And this never happens again. You are never forced to fight a boss one specific way and with one specific build again in the game. In every other boss fight, and in fact in every other mission save for one (mercifully free of a boss fight), you're entirely free to modify your mech how you want with the equipment available to you. So this boss fight is a bizarre, entirely unique experience as far as boss fights go, not at all representative of the experience or in any way preparing players for what comes next.

It’s quite simple. Most characters and factions you encounter don’t know really anything about coral besides its capacity for weaponisation. The characters that do know about it have their reasons for concealing that knowledge, but more broadly you aren’t really told much of anything because of how the world sees you. You aren’t seen as a person, they call you a dog or a hound and they mean precisely that. You exist to follow orders as far as they’re concerned, and the less you know about what you’re doing or why, the better. As Walter says, “it’s just a job 621. All of it.” There is no conceivable in-universe reason for anyone—besides Ayre, who sees you as something more than just a tool, and who does actually tell you quite a lot about the nature of the coral—to give you information beyond what is strictly required for you to do the job.

I'm not saying that either 621 or the player should right off the bat know all the arcane secrets of Coral or Rubicon, but they should know the basics. 621 should already know them - not have to be briefed on them by the other characters, but already know them (which the other characters seem to assume they do, anyway) - and the player should be told them via exposition. The game never tells you what Coral is, which is about as basic a detail about this setting as you can get. When I say "the game," I mean the game in its entirety, not simply the other characters in the game, and when I say "you," I mean you, the player, not simply 621, the player character. Can you piece it together after a few missions, sure, just like if you miss the first twenty minutes of a movie you'll probably still be able to figure out who the main character is and what the conflict of the movie is about. That's not the same thing as timely, effective exposition.

Also, while it’s true that even less detail than usual is given regarding the PCA (Planetary Closure Authority), it’s pretty unambiguously Space NATO. They established a hold on Rubicon some time after the cataclysm to keep the coral-hungry corporations and other groups from gaining access to Institute City and the coral convergence.

I somehow messed up the name in my second post, despite getting it right in the first one. It's Planetary Closure Administration. Derp. Anyway, there's nothing unambiguous about them being Space NATO. That's just a guess on your part. A sensible one that I'd agree with, but still just a guess. It wouldn't have been difficult to include a quick explanation in the game of who they were to save us the trouble of having to guess. Incidentally, you know which faction isn't a complete mystery? RaD. Because with them, the game actually took the time to explain who they were. Instead of just saying, "Oh, look, here comes RaD, doing RaD things," they included a few lines of dialogue introducing us to them. That's all they needed to do. Ideally, I'd prefer a codex full of information that the player can peruse at their leisure, because I like lore lore lore, but they didn't really need to include that to do their job as far as exposition goes. They just needed one or two lines at the right moment to give us context for what's going on.

I think one of the great strengths of the game is that the amount of gear available lets you tailor your mech almost perfectly to a design that suits how you feel comfortable playing. If a tank with heavy weapons is what suits you, go for it. I personally found the tank leg parts difficult to control, so I went with reverse-jointed legs for high evasive capability.

My AC is better than yours, though! I'll kick your ass in PvP! What weapons did you use? I used dual gatling guns (DF-GA-08 Hu-Ben) and dual stun needle launchers (VE-60SNA).

It isn't named in-game but the Divine Dragon uses it, complete with projectile attacks.

That's not good enough! It should have been a proper usable sword for the player. Even Ninja Blade had that, and that's the game you'd get if you asked David Cage to make Devil May Cry. I have heard that Déraciné also doesn't have that sword, but as far as I can tell, nobody has ever actually played Déraciné, so there's really no way to confirm.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« on: September 12, 2023, 04:02:50 AM »
The tutorial boss is a crash course in the game’s design philosophy, which is basically: adapt or die.

That design philosophy is so vague as to be bordering on useless. Like, I could say the same thing about Super Mario 64. The abrupt transition from the wide-open Bob-omb's Battlefield to the largely vertical Whomp's Fortress, a level full of narrow spaces and moving platforms, provides a severe early lesson to the player: adapt or die! Seriously, though, the tutorial boss is nothing like the rest of the game. There's only one feasible way to beat it, and the player has no other option if they're having trouble than to git gud. That's objectively just not how the rest of the bosses play out. It's not until several levels after the tutorial that you're presented with another boss, and by then, you have plenty of options to switch out parts and weapons or even try a new strategy. I won't claim to know exactly what this game's design philosophy is, but it certainly isn't "just keep doing the exact same thing until you get it right."

From the start you are in the dirt, a nameless dog scavenging the wrecks of other mechs for a licence to operate on Rubicon. The boss at the end of the first mission shows how precarious your situation is, you aren't special and you can be wiped out at any moment by any of several powerful forces for whom you aren't even yet a means to an end. That is the nature of the setting, and the game constantly reminds you of that. Friendships and alliances are fleeting, you follow the money, and your next job might be to kill the people who gave you your previous job.

The impersonal nature of the job is partly why the story is told the way it's told. Most of your contact with the rest of the world is mediated by Walter, you never see anyone face to face, you only hear their voice. Everything is at a slight remove, even "close" acquaintances can never reach out and touch you, emphasising the dehumanisation of the setting. It is only after encountering Ayre that you begin to gain another perspective, but even so you don't have your freedom, you aren’t a person, which is what Walter ultimately wants for you, the freedom to choose for yourself, even if it means that you have to kill him to do it. I found the story very engaging as the central mystery began to deepen, and I was moved by the ending I chose, which I felt had a well earned sense of pathos.

I should have been clearer about this in my previous post, but I think the story itself is fine. It's really just the lore and background details I take issue with. The biggest example of this is Coral. The game's plot revolves around Coral, literally every faction in the game is primarily motivated by Coral, and every character in this setting knows all about Coral and how important it is. And yet the game never actually explains any of this to the player. Sure, you'll eventually piece it together as the missions go by, but that doesn't retroactively mean that the game's exposition was effective all along. The same thing applies to the Fires of Iblis. And the PCA is especially galling, because it's never made clear who exactly these guys are - before, during, or after the entirety of the game. There is no narrative benefit to this game being vague and uncommunicative on basic details regarding the setting that every character knows and the player should also know. They could have begun the game with a cutscene giving the relevant information, they could have given the player a codex to peruse, or they could have worked the details into the game's early dialogue. Again, this is a minor point overall, but it's still a misstep on From's part, and I'm convinced that it came about because they just figured that what worked well for the Souls series and its related games would also work well for this game - much like the tutorial boss.

I don't think the game demands you to run a heavy build at all, but sure you can tank your way through encounters if that's your preference. I played through the game with a light, highly mobile build mostly using various types of shoulder missiles and shotguns, and usually a melee weapon. I found that it was better to try to evade (and I do mean evade, there's no i-frame dodge rolling here) incoming damage than tank it because the repair packs are extremely limited per try. Unlike the Souls games you can't add extra charges to your healing, adding to the sense of danger in each encounter. The level of customisation incentivises experimentation in a way that no previous From Soft game has, especially given that you can change your entire build mid-mission if you die after hitting a checkpoint. I think the devs did an excellent job making sure that each part has its trade-offs, though shotguns are a little bit overpowered. I'm wondering if there will be a balance patch around the end of the month, although From Soft already said that the PvP is a simple extra feature, not a core focus of development, so maybe they’ll just leave it as is.

Looking back on my post now, I was definitely generalizing. It was because of Balteus that I joined Team Tank and never looked back. I lost to that boss at least twenty times with a light build because I couldn't avoid enough of its constant barrages of attacks to stay alive for very long. I then switched to a heavy tank build and took the boss down on my second or third try. It was like flipping on a light switch. It may be my lack of skill with a light build that led to me dying so much at first, but it certainly wasn't my incredible skill with a heavy build that led to me then beating the boss with relative ease - it was the fact that using a heavy build was simply a far easier and more effective way of handling that fight. So I will maintain that boss incentivizes a heavy build, but I never really took the time to try experimenting with other builds for the rest of the game, with the one exception being the Ibis battle. You cannot tank its attacks no matter how much of a beast you've created, so I had to slim my build down and use the wheelchair treads to give me the speed to evade its attacks.

Sekiro (which is their best game btw)

This is Metal Wolf Chaos erasure and I will not stand for it!

Sekiro doesn't even have a version of the Moonlight Sword! How hard could it have been to work that in to a game about a swordsman?

Science & Alternative Science / Re: NASA’s Latest Moon Actors
« on: September 09, 2023, 02:13:14 AM »
Nah, I don't buy it. A conspiracy spanning centuries with no genuine motive in sight just isn't feasible to me, and I'd need more evidence than the fact that a number of these historical astronomers were members of a silly club to convince me otherwise.

What are you talking about? Are you saying that you think heliocentrism is just a coincidence and there is no organized conspiracy associated with it?

Heliocentrism not being a coincidence and there being no organized conspiracy associated with it are not mutually exclusive. None of the astronomers from hundreds of years ago were starting from scratch. They all believed the earth to be round, and the false conclusion of heliocentrism naturally followed from this false premise. There is no reason to suppose that they were intentionally lying rather than simply being wrong about the nature of our world, just as the vast majority of people throughout history have been wrong about the nature of our world.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« on: September 08, 2023, 09:20:05 PM »
While I agree that it's a fun and entertaining game, it's definitely From's weakest game in years. It simply doesn't meet their usual standards. To me, the biggest issue is the frankly enormous difference in difficulty between the missions and the boss battles. The missions are mostly fairly easy, while the boss battles are generally pretty tough and intense. It's jarring and dissonant whenever a leisurely mission suddenly gives way to a demanding boss fight, and I can't see how it works in the game's favor. Speaking of which, I honestly think that the tutorial boss battle is kind of bullshit. A key element of this game is the ability to design your mech how you want and thereby choose how best to tackle missions. But in the tutorial, you're stuck with a shitty loadout and you're stuck with having to fight the boss in one specific and very awkward way. It's more frustrating than it is properly challenging, and it doesn't help that this boss regularly flies outside of the area limits while continuing to shoot at you (and melee attacks are essentially required to defeat it). From's tutorial bosses work well in the Souls series and their similar games (apparently the accepted term for From's Soulslike games is Soulsborne? I thought that was just a dumb synonym that arbitrarily singled out Bloodborne as apparently being the only other game similar to Dark Souls in the world, but whatever), but it doesn't translate well into this game.

The level of customization available for your mech is incredible, every weapon and mech part looks awesome, and theoretically this game should support a number of playstyles that rely on mobility and firepower to different degrees. In reality, however, going with a heavy, high-firepower build is strongly incentivized, especially when it comes to the bosses. Battles tend to be visually chaotic, reliably dodging the constant hail of enemy attacks is extremely difficult, and light builds have severe weight restrictions on the weapons they can carry, limiting their ability to use the heaviest and most powerful ones. I'm not saying that it can't be done, only that dancing around the bosses and slowly chipping away at their health is significantly more difficult than smashing through them with a powerful tank, and I have no doubt that most people playing this game are going with the latter option. I don't know if this dichotomy was intentional on From's part, but it stands in stark contrast to their other games that support a number of very different but all entirely viable playstyles. Still, I appreciate the wide variety of possible builds, even if most of them simply aren't practical.

Another holdover from From's other games that doesn't work well in this one is how it handles its story and lore. It's fine when you're in a desolate, ruined world and there's a mystery of what this place is and how it came to be this way in the background as you fight to survive. This game, however, rather than taking place "after the end," is set in the middle of a war involving several different characters and factions, the events of which the player character soon gets caught up in. In other words, there's no reason why this game should be vague and cryptic about what should essentially be "common knowledge" among everyone in this setting (undoubtedly including the player character), but it is. What is Coral? What is the Fires of Iblis? Who are Balam Industries and Arquebus Corp? Who are the Rubicon Liberation Front and the Planetary Closure Administration? From should have just put a codex into the menu option for the player to fill themselves in on what's going on. Being vague and cryptic with the lore works for the Souls series. It doesn't work for a game like this one with a more straightforward narrative. It's a minor issue overall, though.

Still, the game is a lot of fun. Even a lesser game from From is a lot better than the games from most other devs.

Science & Alternative Science / Re: NASA’s Latest Moon Actors
« on: September 08, 2023, 01:22:06 AM »
The Freemasonry connection is almost certainly a red herring, though.


Nah, I don't buy it. A conspiracy spanning centuries with no genuine motive in sight just isn't feasible to me, and I'd need more evidence than the fact that a number of these historical astronomers were members of a silly club to convince me otherwise.

Science & Alternative Science / Re: NASA’s Latest Moon Actors
« on: September 06, 2023, 09:13:26 PM »
The oldest and best proof of the Earth's flatness can be seen by looking out your window. The Freemasonry connection is almost certainly a red herring, though.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 01, 2023, 02:44:13 PM »
truth is a complete defense to defamation. i keep being told that there are veritable mountains of proof that the election was rigged. giuliani certainly has access to that so-called mountain. and sharing that evidence would take him off the hook for having to pay potentially millions of dollars in damages.

so once again, a member of trump's inner circle has a direct interest in proving to a court that their claims of election fraud are true -- are given the chance to do so -- and then do not even really try.

Believers will just latch onto lines like "didn’t adequately respond to subpoenas for information" and assume that Giuliani is being penalized by a biased court on a technicality. That's how they rationalize the dozens of failed lawsuits over the supposedly stolen election.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: August 26, 2023, 03:26:55 PM »
He has lost weight, but he's definitely still well over 215 lbs, and there's ample photographic evidence showing that he's no taller than 6'1 at the very most.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: August 26, 2023, 02:29:58 PM »

Trump is no longer the president, and so his height and weight are no longer something that the public has a right to know, but this is still pretty funny. We'll have to wait for him to be actually convicted and imprisoned before his measurements will be recorded by people who won't lie for him.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: August 26, 2023, 02:26:16 AM »
I'm skeptical on that line of argument. I don't think a judge can just take it upon themselves to officially declare that Trump has taken part in an insurrection or rebellion without him first being convicted of something similar in court. I guess we'll see what happens.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: August 25, 2023, 06:09:43 PM »
Again, it is to the benefit of the establishment if any of these cases are successful, as each is a fundamental attack on the First Amendment. The Bill of Rights is the actual target of progressives.

That's not what we were talking about, but in any case, it's not true. Trump isn't being prosecuted for exercising his freedom of speech, or for saying that he believes that the election was stolen. His alleged crimes involved speech, but so do many crimes. Is it an attack on freedom of speech to prosecute a mob boss who orders a hit? To prosecute a blackmailer who threatens to reveal damaging information about someone? To prosecute a spy who passes classified information to someone he knows isn't cleared for it? Likewise, it's not an attack on freedom of speech to prosecute Trump for asking other people to rig the election in his favor, nor for illegally retaining classified documents and showing them to people he knew weren't cleared for it.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: August 25, 2023, 04:58:33 AM »
You guys know that you don't actually have to post if all you're going to do is sling insults? Anyway:

Trump could be caught on camera molesting a child and it wouldn't dissuade his voters, so it's not surprising that prosecuting him also won't dissuade his voters. Thankfully, that was never the purpose of prosecuting him.
Horseshit, if Trump wasn't running for president, there would be no prosecution, period, end of sentence.

You know it.

God knows it.

All god's children know it.

Why? What exactly is the benefit of prosecuting Trump in purely political terms? It doesn't stop him from running. It doesn't make him less popular. It doesn't shake the faith of his supporters - entirely the opposite. And it gives him an excuse to play the victim and a whole new crowd-pleasing topic he can bring up at debates and rallies. If anything, being prosecuted is an advantage for Trump politically. So why would the establishment try to prosecute Trump if it's accomplishing the exact opposite of what they want? Hell, why would they keep on doing it with each new indictment when they can clearly see that the previous ones haven't worked?

There's also a common corollary to this sentiment that suggests that the timing of these indictments is suspect, and that rather than being worked on for years by prosecutors, they were actually just quickly fabricated and whipped out of the establishment's ass in response to Trump taking the lead in the race. But this logic doesn't really hold up if you think about it at all. If you suppose that the establishment has the luxury of getting to pick and choose when to present these indictments, then doing it when Trump is enormously popular among Republicans and well on his way to capturing the nomination is the exact worst time they could have chosen. It would have made far more sense to indict Trump when his popularity and sway among Republicans was at its lowest - for example, after last year's midterms, when Republicans blamed him for their losses and many of them publicly started talking about washing their hands of him and embracing DeSantis instead.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: August 21, 2023, 04:08:42 AM »
It doesn't appear that any of this is doing much to dissuade Trump voters.

Trump could be caught on camera molesting a child and it wouldn't dissuade his voters, so it's not surprising that prosecuting him also won't dissuade his voters. Thankfully, that was never the purpose of prosecuting him.

Trump's supporters trusting him more than their own friends and families is sad and pathetic, but again, not surprising.

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