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Messages - Pat

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The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« on: October 19, 2020, 08:01:00 PM »
I know that many people do not like Michael Moore and sure he looks like the archetypal old fat racist white man and on the other hand his movie Planet of the Humans makes some interesting points regarding "Green" energy.
I despise Moore, but Planet of the Humans sounds interesting. I might have to give it a watch.

1,000 Nights and Le Mort d'Arthur are also bizarre, because if you include them, why not include Beowulf, as someone already mentioned? Or the Song of Roland, which is even more magical. Journey to the West? Even Dante's Inferno? And why stop in the Middle Ages? How about Ovid's Metamorphoses? The Illiad and Odyssey? The Mahabharata? The Kalevala? The Mabinogion? Or go all the way back to the dawn of writing, because the epic of Gilgamesh seems just as good a fit.

At what point do you draw a line and say this is where fantasy starts? If you go by standard convention, there shouldn't be anything earlier than the 19th century, because the modern genre of fantasy is generally considered to start with either Ruskin or MacDonald. So those two relics make it feel like the panelists don't even know how to define the genre.

I think Donaldson's Thomas Covenant is an obvious miss. When I think of top 100 fantasy novels of all time, a lot of that is influence, and the first two Thomas Covenant series were hugely impactful.
The Thomas Convenant series were popular, but I don't see them as particularly influential. The Land is a fairly genetic fantasyland and doesn't have the depth of someone like Tolkien, and Donaldson's writing isn't as poetic or clever as a Beagle or Zelazny. His strength is generally characterization and a willingness to feature a very difficult protagonist that doesn't even fit the standard anti-hero patterns. But I don't think that's been widely imitated. He also deconstructed some fantasy tropes, but that's common; I don't think Covenant is an inflection point.

What is so striking to me is the shift after Rothfuss. It was as if they said, "OK, now we need to represent diverse authors and ignore any books by white men. OK, let's throw in one...David Mitchell?"

I'm not banging the drum for the poor, neglected white male. I just wish we could come to a point where we actually judged the books on their own merits, rather than which intersectional boxes can be checked off.
I didn't notice any shift at Rothfuss, but his book is the 55th on the (chronological) list, and the most recent book I've read is American Gods (#51) -- and every other book I've read is in the first 30. Which means I'm familiar with roughly 2/3rds of the first 30 books on the list, but only 1 of the last 70.

You probably hit the nail on the head when it comes to tokenism, but it's remarkably unwoke in other areas. (McCaffrey alone would elicit cries of "problematic".) Melan also has a point about the list favoring fantasy for girls, though that's just one strain -- for instance, despite being written by a woman, the Earthsea books that made the cut are clearly aimed at boys.

Two of the panelists, NK Jemisin and Tomi Adeyemi, have three books each on the list. Imagine being a well-respected fantasy author and realizing that you have three books on a list at the exclusion of Lord Dunsany, RE Howard, Michael Moorcock, Stephen Donaldson, Patricia McKillip, etc. How could you sleep at night?
Adeyemi only has 2. Gaiman is the other panelist with 3 on the list, though he's somewhat more deserving (but not 3/100 deserving). And your list isn't full of obvious misses -- Donaldson is a better writer than many people give him credit for, but he's not a top 100 fantasy novels of all time better, for instance.

Flipping through, I've read 19/100, and 0 of the books on the list after American Gods. I don't think I've even heard of the vast majority.

It's a terrible list, but is this supposed to be some culture war-related outrage? Because it doesn't seem to fit. There's the Christian parable (Narnia), old school books that would be considered "problematic" (1001 Nights, Le Morte d'Arthur), the books that LeGuin had to recant because they weren't feminist enough, Robert Jordan's male eye, and even Anne "tentpost" McCaffery. It's extremely heavily weighed toward children's books, has a lot of popular books that are more notable for the number of volumes sold rather than the quality or the writing, and manages to include 1 to 3 books by every single author on the judging panel which I'm sure is a reflection of their timeless virtue not tasteless self-promotion.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: President Trump has Covid19
« on: October 15, 2020, 02:34:27 PM »
Call me a gold bug if you wish but the only way I see out of this is ditching fiat and going back to some sort of asset backed.  Doesn't have to be gold or silver but those are traditional.  It'd mean smaller growth but at least it's not pixie farts.
There's nothing wrong with gold, there's a reason it's been the currency of choice for most of the history of the world.

But all we really need is something that would prevent the government from fiddling with the monetary supply. Because that's how governments tax people without their consent (no legislation needed), it's what has allowed the government to fund even more by borrowing obscene amounts at obscenely low interest rates, it's a wealth transfer from the poor to the rich and led to the stagnation of wages since the 1970s and the booming stock market over the same period, and it's also the cause of the boom and bust cycles.

A cryptocurrency would work just fine. Anything that makes it impossible for the government to print more buxs.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: President Trump has Covid19
« on: October 15, 2020, 07:32:01 AM »
Of the three numbers, it's closer to $250 trillion. That's a bit higher than the US fiscal gap, which is the real debt, because it includes future commitments. Governments toss people in jail for not putting what they've promised to pay on their balance sheets, but ignore it when it comes to themselves. And in that regard, the US is much worse off than other major economies.

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Re: Forgotten RPGs
« on: October 14, 2020, 06:30:28 PM »
Agent 13 is one I have. I think I read two of the novels. It seemed like there were more, but they were already obscure even 25 years ago.
I liked the Agent 13 novels, they were good basic pulp stories. Whatever else was going on, Frank Dille was a decent writer.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: President Trump has Covid19
« on: October 14, 2020, 01:51:02 PM »
Trump and Warren Buffet have pretty much negated concerns about the laughable national debt. We're never paying it back and since the Treasury can print money, we could literally print a pile of $1 Billion dollar bills and throw them around like funny money. Or the USA goes bankrupt which certainly would happen if (or when) we balkanize.
If we start printing $1 trillion dollar coins (the actual proposal), then the dollar is going to quickly lose its reserve status. And the debt is going to become a problem if interest rates ever rise. The US is in a trap.

I am also wondering what the Telemundo polls really means in voter reality regarding the Latino voters when 67% said Trump won his debate and 74% said Pence won his debate.
One of the weirdest things about the current politics is the continued affiliation of black and latino voters with the blue tribe. There was a poll recently that looked at Democratic voters, and basically said they all look alike across most demographic groups -- except for black voters, who are far more conservative and traditional, and agree with the rest of the party on almost nothing.

Blacks have been a weird fit for the Democratic party since the 1920s, when the blacks shifted en masse from the Republican party, who gave them freedom and supported their political activity (all pre-New Deal black elected officials were Republican), and defected to the party of the KKK and institutionalized racism in return for the promise of some scraps. Which they apparently really needed, because they jumped despite all the policies FDR put in place that excluded blacks from most of the New Deal.

Same is true with latinos, who tend to be macho, catholic, and believe in traditional families and gender roles. They're both natural fits with the red tribe, and not even the libertarian wing of the red tribe -- they're much closer to traditional conservatives. The recent hyper-focus of the blue tribe on gender, intersectionalism, abortion, and all the things they hate and want to have nothing to do with must be causing some strains or fractures, but I haven't seen much sign of it in the news. Even the black shift toward Trump has been tiny, so far.  The question is whether they'll keep on holding on, and only slowly bleed voters to the red tribe, or whether it will become a torrent.

Media and Inspiration / Re: Wonder Woman 84 Trailer
« on: October 13, 2020, 07:24:00 PM »
2: I am surprised we did not see an attempt to revive drive ins.
That's been happening. Farms, museums, kiddy attractions, and other entertainment venues have been doing drive-in movies. It's improvised modifications of existing facilities, and event-driven, aimed at drawing in crowds when social distancing and limited capacity makes indoor events less viable (and less profitable), rather than new stand-alone drive-ins. But that makes sense, because the lockdowns are supposed but to end at some point, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to make a big capital investment in something that will fade away in a few months. I can't vouch for how widespread it it, but I've seen it in multiple parts of the country.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: President Trump has Covid19
« on: October 08, 2020, 05:09:54 PM »
I'd say a bigger problem is the zeitgeist. When there's a problem, whether a novel disease, an economic downturn, or any of the social justice issues, how many people think it's the government's job to fix it? Almost all of them. And while it's stronger on the left, no politicians on the right have seriously tried to shrink the federal octopus. We're more than a century into the growth of central government power, so it's the default mode of thinking.

It's also the source of many of our problems. The solution to an increasingly polarized society isn't to increase the power and control of the majority over everyone else. It's to decentralize, to stop trying to solve every problem at the federal level, and to let states and local municipalities decide what's best for them.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« on: October 08, 2020, 10:30:06 AM »
Clap louder for Tinkerbell,. Pat!!
You're a fucking idiot.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: President Trump has Covid19
« on: October 07, 2020, 07:55:55 PM »
People should have a say in elections based on how many of them there are. That's a fucking fundamental of democracy. If a group has a low population nationally, then they have a limited say in the elections. Asian-Americans are even more of a minority than rural Americans, for example. By your logic, Asian-Americans are prevented from having any say in national elections because of their small numbers. But they accept that they are a minority, and aren't whining that they need special extra representation or they will quit the country.
Except that's not how it works. If you're a minority position, you have zero say in a winner-takes-all election, unless you happen to be a swing faction and manage to trade your votes for some scraps. That's why the US is not just a democracy, but a constitutional democracy based on a limited, decentralized government. That means there are some basic rights and privileges that can't be taken away, no matter how tiny a minority you belong to. And when the government was small and it's scope limited, that meant that 51% didn't have the power to institute totalitarian controls over the 49%. Decentralization meant even if you're a tiny a minority, you could go off and found your own community somewhere and live by the rules you prefer, without nosy nellies forcing you to live your life by their standards. These are all fundamental to American democracy, not the idea that the 51% in power can do anything.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« on: October 07, 2020, 05:58:06 PM »
Wow. Watching Pat and deadDMwalking spread FUD for Biden and the Democrat Party is like watching the theater audience clap for Tinkerbell to not die.
As usual, you're a fucking idiot who can't even read. I was questioning the narrative that Biden won the debate.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« on: October 07, 2020, 04:32:04 PM »
Not exactly an impartial source, but Vox summarized some results.
Quote from: CBS survey of respondents in battleground states
Overall, 48 percent said Biden won the debate, while 41 percent said Trump won, and 10 percent said it was a tie. As CBS elections and survey director Anthony Salvanto pointed out on air, this was pretty close to the support for each candidate going in.
Which is almost the definition of a wash. Results are more tilted when it comes to impressions:
Quote from: Same
Kabir Khanna of the CBS News Election and Survey Unit also points out that 42 percent of debate watchers said they thought worse of Trump afterward, and 24 percent said they thought better of him. In contrast, 32 percent said they thought worse of Biden, while 38 percent thought better of him.
CNN and SSRS also conducted an instant poll of debate watchers, and they found a more lopsided margin in Biden’s favor. Sixty percent of their respondents thought Biden won, while 28 percent thought Trump won.
I looked at that poll, their audience skews Democratic so there's an inherent bias.

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