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Messages - Shasarak

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1
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Re: Detect Evil
« on: April 09, 2021, 08:40:12 PM »
All these philosophical points about objective morality are ultimately pointless because even if we grant that such a thing exists (either literally in the real world or hypothetically in a fantasy) the reality still remains that we as humans are incapable of understanding or agreeing upon WTF “objective” morality really is, so there can be no practical way to implement it in terms of the game.

This applies to objective reality as well. If you want a definitive statement of existence, you ain't gonna get it.

Quote
You can claim “objective morality DOES exist in this fantasy world, because ‘fantasy’—CHECKMATE!” all you want, but that still doesn’t give us an adequate guideline we can consistently use to effectively define WTF “evil” is without risking disagreements at the game table or running into inconsistencies caused by our own human limitations. So the notion that objective morality can hypothetically exist in a fantasy world is pointless. We still don’t have the tools to properly assess it.

I imagine for 99.9%* of players, the standard alignment descriptions put forth in the rulebooks handle 99.9%* of the cases.

*Numbers pulled out of my ass.

In my experience those numbers tend to fall apart the moment the LG paladin wants to kill the goblin babies* or fleeing orcs**, and the player feels justified (cuz "evil"), but I don't (cuz "complex notions of morality"). However, if we reduce "alignment" to just "cosmic forces/factions", such as "Light/Good/Law" (Angelic) or "Darkness/Evil/Chaos" (Demonic), then playing a morally questionable paladin out to vanquish all creatures of "Darkness"--by any means necessary--becomes a viable and completely black & white alternative, entirely within the purview of their faction.

*Something that's happened a few times over the years.
**happens all the time.

**Those Orcs were not fleeing, that was a tactical withdrawal.

2
covid-19 is extremely deadly to seniors, but it's still severe and sometimes deadly to adults of any age - much more lethal than the common cold in every age bracket. We don't even need to consider classification that is disputed. Just look at the overall mortality of 2020 compared to other years. The under-65 group still has a very elevated mortality. There are a huge number of increased deaths.

Source: https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mortality-covid

This is shown as a percentage compared to previous years. As a percentage, the rate has gone up highly for all age ranges. The absolute lethality of covid is highest for 85+, but they already have a high death rate.

According to my sources the mean weekly death rate was 11% lower during 2020 then compared to the 2015-2019 average.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32647-7/fulltext

That's for New Zealand, not the United States. If you go to my link and switch countries to "New Zealand", you'll see the corresponding age data. New Zealand took very strict controls early on to prevent the spread of covid-19, and has had only around 2000 known infections ever.

Below is what your link says, though the highlighting is mine.

Quote
First, according to data collated in The Economist, New Zealand's reduction in mortality contrasts with the international experience of excess mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, the reduction in deaths is substantive. Across weeks 13–42 (ie, during and after lockdown), the mean weekly death rate was 11% lower than in 2015–19 (123·4 deaths per million population vs 138·5 deaths per million population, p<0·0001).

More on New Zealand:

https://www.contagionlive.com/view/how-did-new-zealand-control-covid19

Of course it is from New Zealand.  Maybe if you guys had tries using masks and lock downs then you could have gotten a 11% death reduction as well.

3
Overwhelmingly, both scientists and governments agree that covid-19 has more lethal power than a nasty cold, and that vaccination against it is a good idea.

More lethal power than a nasty cold for who?

If you are 80 years old.

More lethal power than a nasty cold for everyone. covid-19 is extremely deadly to seniors, but it's still severe and sometimes deadly to adults of any age - much more lethal than the common cold in every age bracket. We don't even need to consider classification that is disputed. Just look at the overall mortality of 2020 compared to other years. The under-65 group still has a very elevated mortality. There are a huge number of increased deaths.


Source: https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mortality-covid

This is shown as a percentage compared to previous years. As a percentage, the rate has gone up highly for all age ranges. The absolute lethality of covid is highest for 85+, but they already have a high death rate.

According to my sources the mean weekly death rate was 11% lower during 2020 then compared to the 2015-2019 average.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32647-7/fulltext

4
Overwhelmingly, both scientists and governments agree that covid-19 has more lethal power than a nasty cold, and that vaccination against it is a good idea.

More lethal power than a nasty cold for who?

If you are 80 years old.
I am aware of at least seven healthcare workers that I have worked alongside that have died in the last year from Covid. The youngest was 36, the oldest 61. These are people that I knew by name and interacted with, not just names on a list. In the case of three of them, I have met their families as well. I am only aware of one similar death in the last 10 years from the flu (back in 2016), and none from a cold in that time.

What about the people that you were not aware of?  How many of them died from the Flu?

5
Overwhelmingly, both scientists and governments agree that covid-19 has more lethal power than a nasty cold, and that vaccination against it is a good idea.

More lethal power than a nasty cold for who?

If you are 80 years old.

The spouse I invented in my head has an immunodeficiency, so the vax at home is mandatory.

I just imagined that you got the vaccine so your spouse is going to be OK!

6
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Re: Detect Evil
« on: April 08, 2021, 11:07:05 PM »
Edit: Don't take this too seriously. I was amused by the timing of our last two posts, so I'm poking fun.

What have you done with the real Pat?  ???

7
Overwhelmingly, both scientists and governments agree that covid-19 has more lethal power than a nasty cold, and that vaccination against it is a good idea.

More lethal power than a nasty cold for who?

If you are 80 years old.

8
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: Covid, the "lockdowns" etc.
« on: April 08, 2021, 12:57:41 AM »
Well don't stop now, tell us all about all the different people who'll knife the guy. Get weird if you have to, really dig deep.

There is always one asshole bringing a knife to a gun fight.

Probably Irish too.

9
I guess that means there is more Trump vaccine for me then.

Of course the way that the stupid ass government is rolling things out, that will be in six months.

10

Well that explains a lot.  No wonder you imagine that Jordan Peterson would be against gathering with your friends to fight Dragons.

Of course, he might see roleplaying games as being in the "petting cats" category, too. I dunno.

That fits your train of logic I guess.

11
Yeah, thats me, 3e is old school.  :o

And the greatest edition of D&D. 8)

I agree with that.  None of those crazy non-fighting "mercenaries" in 3e for sure.

12
Why would you have a hireling and not bring them into the dungeon?

How are they going to earn their GPs by sitting outside?

Actually thats exactly what some are supposed to do. Sit outside and guard the camp, or wait for the all clear and then come in and help haul stuff out.

D&D has had various types of hirelings from edition to edition.

Some are just to guard your stronghold. Or camp.
Some will come along into a dungeon. Others will flat out refuse as that is not their job.
And some are just NPC adventurers who are not hirelings.

BX and AD&D I think did the best job of defining who will and who will not go delving.
B had Retainers, these were a cut above men-at-arms and soldiers and could and would go along into the dungeon.
X added Specialists and Mercenaries. Neither of these go along into the dungeon.
And Keep on the Borderlands has quick rules for hiring men-at-arms at the tavern to go along.

You have a Mercenary that you can hire to not go into a Dungeon.

I'll take "Things that never happened" for 10 points.

Those mercenaries were specifically hired to guard the keep/stronghold/wizard's tower while your character and their friends were off adventuring. The specialists were for building your keep/stronghold/wizard's tower. My copies of B&X seem to have gone walkabout for the moment, but the rule is there (this is the 1979 version of Basic and Expert D&D, so if you're one of those kids who thinks 3rd ed D&D is old school, you could be confused).

Yeah, thats me, 3e is old school.  :o

13
Why would you have a hireling and not bring them into the dungeon?

How are they going to earn their GPs by sitting outside?

Actually thats exactly what some are supposed to do. Sit outside and guard the camp, or wait for the all clear and then come in and help haul stuff out.

D&D has had various types of hirelings from edition to edition.

Some are just to guard your stronghold. Or camp.
Some will come along into a dungeon. Others will flat out refuse as that is not their job.
And some are just NPC adventurers who are not hirelings.

BX and AD&D I think did the best job of defining who will and who will not go delving.
B had Retainers, these were a cut above men-at-arms and soldiers and could and would go along into the dungeon.
X added Specialists and Mercenaries. Neither of these go along into the dungeon.
And Keep on the Borderlands has quick rules for hiring men-at-arms at the tavern to go along.

You have a Mercenary that you can hire to not go into a Dungeon.

I'll take "Things that never happened" for 10 points.

14
For background on me, my training on Modernity, Postmodern thought, and Radical Orthodoxy is from the point of view of Theology, which will make pure philosophers cringe, but whatever. So here goes:

Peterson has made comments like "I am a classic British Liberal" and "I admire Kant's approach to ethics", which seem innocuous enough, bit of name dropping, but whatever. Until you realize that Kant's Critique of Pure Reason includes an argument that is structured as follows:

"If a man comes to you and hides in your house from his mortal enemy, and his mortal enemy comes to you and asks where the man is so that he can kill him, what should you do? The answer is to give the first man to the second man. After all, you cannot be sure that the second man will kill the first, but you *can* be sure that you will be falling into error by lying."

The simple argument (elementary, trivial, and obvious) extending "a man" to  "a Jew" and "his mortal enemy" to  "the Nazis" gives you my statement.  (8th of his 12 rules)

So, then what about Peterson and dragon slaying?

The key is not the pizza and diet coke. The key is that you are gathering with friends. "You must slay your own dragons", right? All of Peterson's work is concentrated on the individual, and to be blunt, himself and his own place in the world. Friends are defined by their utility to the person, not for their own selves. If someone else is getting more out of an experience than you are, you need adjust things either up or down so you are either equal or ahead. I freely admit that I may be extending Peterson's argument beyond his actual intent based on arguments that his fanboys have made, but that is the gist of what I get from him.

Which brings me around to Postmodernism and what I mean by it.

The Modern project is based around an examination of the relationship between the Self and the Universal. The Enlightenment kicked off modern thought by trying to reject claims to particularity and set up a Universal Truth, whether empirical (based on observation) or rational (based on internal thoughts). But as time wore on, it became evident that Truth -- with a capital T -- was harder to pin down than that. Kant tried, the Existentialists tried, modern theologians tried (much as I love Karl Barth, it's clear that he's preaching to the choir), but it became clearer and clearer that rather than Truth, what the Modern project was uncovering was Utility. There are folks who have embraced that, and late-stage Modernity still rolls on around us, seeking out what will give us the most useful stuff, or the theories that will prove the most useful in predicting phenomena.

Postmodernism discovered that Modernity had turned to utility and rejected that. The postmodern effort has been described as "a radical turn to the Subject" where all that is important is the self -- "If it feels good, do it!" is a postmodern slogan. The key to understanding postmodern stuff is to understand that in the postmodern view there is no objective or universal truth, there is only lived experience. 

One of the tools of the postmodern effort, in fact it's primary tool in postmodern Theology, is the small group. People gather together, hopefully with a variety of backgrounds but a common theme, and discuss their personal experiences and explore both their own and each other's interior life around that theme. The lived and shared experience is the point of the exercise, but those experiences then can be shared with others to form a cascade of understanding other people's experiences and perhaps seeing things outside yourself and your experiences and incorporating them into your own world.

Small groups/breakout groups in meetings are a postmodern thing. AA (and it's relatives) uses postmodern methods. And RPGs are the first form of entertainment where you explore the shared experiences of beings that not only don't exist, but that you crated within the small group of (hopefully!) friends so that you can entertain yourselves and tell stories about your experiences later -- I call that a truly postmodern endeavor and hobby.

Of course, that also means that catpissman telling you about his character in the local gaming store is expressing a high form of self-actualization. ( :P )

Well that explains a lot.  No wonder you imagine that Jordan Peterson would be against gathering with your friends to fight Dragons.

15
My google fu is terrible or else the "mainstream media" aren't admitting it...but Project Veritas just got the NYT to admit in court that they are opinion and not verifiable fact.  The video I'm watching had an opinion piece from the Washington Examiner which I imagine is not up to snuff for the resident dipshits.
It was a repudiation of what some like to call the 'clown nose' technique pioneered by Jon Stewart, among others. 'Oh, we're just voicing our opinions, not delivering a blatantly slanted report on something we don't like!'.

Ruling can be found here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/20518694-order_denying_motion_to_dismiss

It's one thing to deliver opinions and editorials. But the NYT article was very much in their news section, and trying to hide behind 'opinion' was just pathetic.
It would have been even more pathetic if they had declared that no reasonable person would have believed it as their defense.

Ah yes, the famous Rachel Maddow defense.

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