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  1. mikeman

    How much longer can Trump/Trumpism last?

    >>" Is 'E pluribus unum' really a despised concept to most Americans? I haven't been to the US of A, but judging from what I hear and see from afar, and my various chats with Americans, not really, no. Most Americans of course are supporters of capitalism as they have always been, and rarely care about the plights of the rest of the world, as they always have not cared. Even the self-professed "democratic socialists" a-la Sanders that have become popular lately don't really care if their "universal healthcare" is paid by imperialist super-profits. It's just that, during the course of the 20th century, they have been forced, as the rest of the world, to establish *some* kind of welfare state for their population and regulations in order not to have a freaking revolution in their hands by a completely destitute segment of the working class whose life would become insufferable under the increasingly intense contradictions of capitalism. New Deal was probably the classic example of that. What Buffo calls "collectivism" is simply welfare capitalism. He of course predictably mentions 1913 as the year "America died" or whatever - you know, the year when the awfully evil 16th amendment about federal income tax was ratified, and shifted some of the burden from the poor to the rich. Welfare capitalism is in reality a magnificent achieventment of capitalism - by giving some crumbs and safety nets to the working people, especially to be used in times of the "slump" that inevitably follows the "boom" periods, it managed to remain on top, by lessening the contradictions that, if left unchecked, would lead it to collapse. Capitalism did what Marx never predicted it could do: it reformed itself in order to survive the new conditions, and it has. It's very simple really : if you want to remain in power, you have to change and reform when you need to, not pretend you can play the game with the same rules it was played 150 years ago. Other than that, USA is, by any sane standard, an extremely individualistic society. Curiously, there is a movement that believes that they should not have done even the minimum reforms that they did, and they should not even have established the minimum welfare state or anti-trust laws that they have, because, idk, it removes the incentives for hard work or innovation or some such - basically rabid ideologues that profess they believe in capitalism, yet leave it in their hands and they would cause USA to implode within 10 years, precisely because they are ideologues that have no concept of "you have to change when needed in order to remain the same". As a socialist, sometimes I wonder if I should support them for that reason, but then I remember accelerationism rarely works. And also, you know, we have that little pesky problem of climate change to deal with, which libertarians don't like thinking about, since externalities is something their ideology isn't really equipped to deal with, so let's just ignore it and/or wait for John Galt to invent a Total Recall-like atmosphere machine or something. Anyway, Hitchens put it best IMO "I have always found it quaint and rather touching that there is a movement in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough."
  2. mikeman

    The Battlefield V "Historical Accuracy" Controversy

    RivieraKid confuses "objective criticism" with "reasoned criticism". "Reasoned criticism" is when you give actual reasons on why you think X piece of art is good/bad, and it's obviously more valuable than "I loved it" or "I hated it". "Objective criticism" just doesn't exist. No, you can't say Taken 1 is "objectively" better than Taken 2 because it has objectively better choreography and pacing. By the same token, Taken 2 "objectively" portrays team-work(father-daughter fighting the bad guys) better than Taken 1(just dad) and I think how team work is portrayed in movies is more important than choreography. There. What you fail to understand is that, even if I "objectively" manage to rank individual factors of the movie/book/whatever, the weight I assign to them is still subjective. By my standards, literally all Star Wars movies suck balls, and I can do a pretty good job arguing why. Sir Alec Guinnes agrees with me too. https://io9.gizmodo.com/5974242/alec-guinness-thought-star-wars-was-fairytale-rubbish-and-harrison-fords-first-name-was-tennyson Orson Welles thought Bergman sucked, and gave reasons why. Bergman thought Welles sucked, and gave reasons why. They both thought Godard sucked, and gave reasons why. Godard loved both of them, and gave reasons why. There's no objective in art. http://flavorwire.com/200745/the-30-harshest-filmmaker-on-filmmaker-insults-in-history
  3. mikeman

    The Battlefield V "Historical Accuracy" Controversy

    At this point, may I remind everyone that BF1 had the freaking Iron Man Mark 1 suit in it and, while people did point out that it was unrealistic, they didn't start a #notmybattlefield campaign. Somehow I can't stop laughing when reading this. I can only hope this is a 12-yrold kid, otherwise we have a problem.
  4. mikeman

    Communism 2.0

    Ehm, that's pretty much how it worked in the USSR. There *were* people in charge of running individual enterprises, of course, directors, managers, etc, but their status and bonuses where determined on how well they delivered the goals that the central planing agency(Gosplan) set for them. And those plans were supposed to be designed in order to benefit the people as a whole(provide use value to them), with all enterprises working together and not competing. I mean, you say "continue operating their private business but motive would not be profit driven but value driven". But if that's true, then you don't really *own* a private business which you run with the goal of making money, in competition with other private businesses whose goal is also to make money, you are just a manager-employee of the state(call it what you like, society/commune/whatever) that runs an enterprise whose objective is to create use value for society, and you are rewarded with certain perks if you do your job well.What kind of "owner" are you if you let others dictate what the goal of your business is(provide use value and not make profit?) I mean, without money and the market, who exactly determines your "status" if not some kind of state? As I mentioned...that's pretty much how things worked in the USSR. I also don't understand what you mean by "business won't be constrained by financial resources". So say I want to start a business that produces a whatchamacallit, who exactly determines that I should be given offices, equipment and personnel to operate my business, instead of the same resources being given to another guy that wants to start producing a different whatchamacallit? Is it determined based on what would be more beneficial for the economy as a whole? By whom? And who exactly determines(since we have no money) that I have done a good job operating the business, so they can reward me with my "higher status"?
  5. mikeman

    Communism 2.0

    Then you're not attractive, or you're extra creepy IRL. Nothing to do with money. Nobody cares how much you make on Tinder. It's a hook-up app. Lol I like the turn this thread took. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Back to the topic : People that are saying "this point system looks like currency" miss at least 2 differences. 1) Points don't circulate. 2) You can't buy the means of production(capital goods) with those points, only consumer(final) goods. As for incentives, I think most people *would* actually go to work if it meant a larger apartment, nicer furnitures, more luxuries, etc. At least enough people that, combined with automation, there wouldn't really be a problem of not enough people working.
  6. mikeman

    Communism 2.0

    Oh quit complaining. Capitalism at least gave you Tinder. If you are actually attractive, just sign up there and you can get laid as much as you want
  7. mikeman

    Communism 2.0

    If we're talking about the real world here, really the biggest problem you face is that you start with the assumption that the "means of production" are now publicly/socially owned. Which means...what? That you have made a revolution to seize them from their current private owners? Or are we assuming that the current owners see your idealized blueprint, realize it's the most rational/moral scheme, and give up their property willingly? Somehow I don't think it's gonna happen... But anyway, let's assume some kind of revolution has taken place in a country and now the means of production of wealth *are* socially owned. I really see 2 options here: 1) Improbable : The majority of the population of this country(or countries) agrees social ownership is the way forward and is left alone - both from internal and external enemies. In that case, I don't see much use of such idealized schemas such as yours - the organization and questions about who and how decides the resource allocation will be figured out by the workers democratically, and it may vary from place to place. We don't really know what it would be like, and we don't need to. It's not like capitalism was designed by some professors in Florence in the 16th century and was put into implementation. There will be failures and there will be setbacks and trial-and-errors, but since there is no strong opposition either from inside or outside to the institution of social onwership, there's no rush, we can make errors. By that I don't mean the workers will do random things until something works - of course much thought will be put into this and many economic literature will be written that analyzes the situation, finds errors, proposes solutions, etc(always inside the boundaries of socially-owned means of production). 2) Most Probable : There *is* strong internal and external opposition from remaining capitalists that will try to wreck the new economy because it hurts their interests. In which case workers have very little time or space to "experiment" with their organization. The country will probably fall-back to some kind of ad-hoc bureaucratic central planning, with all the pros and cons that come with that. This system will be reformed from time to time in order to make it more efficient, but really since the economy is "under siege", there are many limitations to what you can actually do. Still, ideas/schemas like yours exist(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_economics), but my opinion is that, like I said, don't have much to do with the real world. As a "proof of concept", they might be useful though.
  8. mikeman

    The Battlefield V "Historical Accuracy" Controversy

    It is true that what is needed is for well-meaning people "of the other side" to be educated. It's a tricky thing, to be able to figure out which people are well-meaning but not sufficiently educated, in which case you try to reason with them, and which people are just stomping their feet and not willing to give an inch, in which case we're just going to accept we're opponents. And in the end, for many people it's not a case of ignorance, but of colliding interests. In which case this isn't only about difference of opinions, but, sadly, antagonism. You can't do anything about it than clash. This goes for every pressing matter, up to, say, climate change, which pretty much decides the fate of the planet. It's not a "difference of opinion" that causes, say, the fossil fuel industry to deny the science here. It's just that their interests are hurt. You can't educate them, because education is not the issue here. But you can educate many well-meaning people, as I said, whose interests actually lie on "our side". And many people are pointing out that we're not doing a very good job at it. I've heard repeatedly from people that are actually organizing in the streets, for example, that this "SJ" jargon has gone too far and that there is a problem with vocal individuals that seem to enjoy the posturing and the grandstanding just a bit too much. Phrases like "check your privilege" or "it's not my job to educate you", for example, may have started with good intentions, but they're so overused at this point that they're blocking the educating of people that may be actually be won over to "our side". You can't start yelling at each and every one, with the same stock phrases, that doesn't have the experience or has read the exact literature that you have.
  9. mikeman

    The Battlefield V "Historical Accuracy" Controversy

    @Gian-Reto : I think you're being too pessimistic. If you look at history, it always proggresses pretty much like that, with "messy", flawed steps, with sides clashing, each side having its own flaws, hyperbolic rhetoric, contradictions, in-fighting, etc. There is really nothing new under the sun. The "slapfest" you see in the media? It was happening during those movements in newspapers and pamphlets and soapbox speeches in the streets. No movement, big or small(French revolution, suffragettes, abolitionism, civil rights) that today we hold as something positive that shaped the world we live in, was perfect. Far from it, actually. There will always be a certain "irrationality" in them. Of course, the desire to contain it as much as possible is a valid one...I just don't think "total neutrality" is the answer here. I mean, at the very least, at least there are no literal guilottines this time around.
  10. mikeman

    The Battlefield V "Historical Accuracy" Controversy

    In deed, I also wonder, what on earth the comrades are doing? Hollywood has made a metric ton of WW2 movies, and by now I know Omaha beach better than my kitchen sink, yet not one movie about the Battle of Stalingrad, which, cinematically speaking, would make for the most spectacular, balls-to-wall action ever seen in the silver screen? Yet...nothing! Well, only "Enemy at the Gates", but that was French-British production. Just how hard is it to infiltrate Hollywood and convince one of those liberal bigshots to make a movie about the biggest, bloodiest battle in all of WW2, which will also probably sell like crazy? I mean, yeah...the comrades don't seem to be very good at the whole "ideological subversion" thing after all.
  11. mikeman

    The Battlefield V "Historical Accuracy" Controversy

    I guess I'm in the mood now to talk about the game itself for a bit...from how I see it, there are 2 main points of complaint : 1) The trailer feels too arcade-y and cartoonish. This, I think, is a perfectly valid criticism. I'm not a big fan of BF series or military shooters overall(I love FPSes, but as I said the DOOM kind), but from what I know BF always positioned itself as the more "serious" from the "big 2", the other one being COD. 2) There's a woman in a british squad. This is ridiculous. Who. Fucking. Cares. Yes, so let's say devs/executives sat around the table and said "you know what, the audience is growing, more and more women are playing the game, let's add one female character". All the whining about "historical accuracy"? Wth? They didn't show an entire batallion of women charging, just one. I could make up a backstory for her in the spot. I don't know, she isn't actually in the british military, the actual squad found her stranded in a war zone, she was always a "tomboy" and a "badass" dreaming to fight, so she "forcefully" tagged along until the men accepted her as one of their own. There. I mean, it *could* happen. Are you happy now? Are you going to say that this particular sub-sub-sub-plot never actually happened in any of the battlefields of WW2? Is that what's keeping you awake at night? Please! Yes, okay, it is a contrived plot device in order to have a female character in the game and expand our audience. So what? They also found a way to put Matt Damon in the Great Wall in order to please chinese audiences that wanted a big hollywood star. Whoop-dee-doo.
  12. mikeman

    The Battlefield V "Historical Accuracy" Controversy

    @Gian-Reto, I hate to break it to you, but the "all sides have pros and cons and are flawed" is not really the terrific insight you think it is. We already know that. Everybody knows it. Everytime I hear someone proclaiming "all sides have their flaws" as if they have made some insightful remark I can't do nothing more than restrain my yawn. It's literally nothing more than a truism that adds absolutely nothing to my knowledge of the situation. The Standard Model is flawed, and also Flat Earth theory is flawed...thank you very much. The question is which side is closer to evaluating correctly the situation, as much as it can be correctly evaluated given the tools we have. Otherwise we might as well accept that the world we live in is un-knowable and all we have are clashing "narratives", all equal to each other, and all we can do is maybe pinpoint the flaws in each one and call it a day, content with ourselves of how impassionately and "rationally"(the quotes are there for a reason) we can look at the matter and not side with anyone or anything in particular. We all know that each side engages from time to time in hyperbole, but that comes with the territory in enganging with social and political issues. But that doesn't mean that all sides are equally close or further from the truth. Case in point : Do you think that for non-white people, racism is still a problem, and that sexism is still an issue for women? Do you have a stance on the matter?
  13. mikeman

    The Battlefield V "Historical Accuracy" Controversy

    This is going to be a long post. It's pretty clear to me what is happening, but not everyone might agree. But one can gauge the situation just by looking at the election results, not only in USA, but in Europe as well. The post is not really about the game either, but about the group that's causing the fuss, and it's a "known" group - or rather, it's a subset of a much larger group, the subset being the one that, amongst other things, plays games. If you ask me about the game itself? Personally I have come to the conclusion that the whole military genre thing is disrespectful and almost irredemable from the get-go; you take the most horrific wars in human history and you package them nicely as entertainment to sell for profit. Let's play virtual laser-tag in occupied Poland and rocket-jump ourselves in the forests of Viet Nam. No, Bob, you're never going to be "respectful to the real human stories"; are you effing kidding me? If you were being respectful you would just refraing from gamifying freaking world wars. Just admit what we're doing and move on. Anyway. I still play those games from time to time(though give me Serious Sam and DOOM every day of the month, if we're talking about shooters). I also make them, because, well, I gotta pay the bills, so I don't claim any moral high ground in this. Whatever. It is what it is. I don't think such a "thing" can be made more or less "proggressive" by adding female avatars in it; but in any case let's say that in some tiny way it makes women gamers feel more accepted. Anyway, as I was saying, my post is mostly about the reaction to this thing and the group that's causing it. It's pretty clear that there is a segment of population(mostly in the USA, but also in Europe, mostly white men, but not entirely) that feel that they're under attack. If we don't understand that, we can't understand their behaviour and reactions to seemingly silly things like videogames - so I repeat; they feel they are under attack. Obviously the extremely dangerous element in this situation is that the same people are in reality those with the most power. Or, at the very least, they are very large in number and in the kind of a middling position - they're probably not the true "elites", a-la Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos(cosmopolitans who long ago stopped giving a shit about such outdated concepts as "Nation" or "Family" which the middle class is obsessed with), but they're not proles or immigrants either. White middle class men mostly. Though they do have the support of a segment of the "elites" too. Let's call things as they are - most of it has to do with feminist and anti-racist movements that have gained popularity(especially online) during the last years. Now, those guys believe that racism/sexism, if they ever existed at all, have been solved entirely - not completely sure when, maybe when women got the vote, maybe some years after MLK was assasinated, maybe when Obama was elected, etc. Now, their logic goes, if sexism and racism have been solved and we already have equality, then obviously the agenda of those feminist/anti-racist movements is not equality/liberation, but supremacy. Supremacy of black people and supremacy of women. An alternative "explanation" is one that Kavig Kang gave - it's a foreign(soviet) conspiracy aimed at destabilizing the nation(this is mostly US-specific, obviously). This is a very real fear. At this point, they have been conditioned to be extremely hyper-sensitive to anything that smells "affirmative action"-ish to them; it's a sign that behind this thing there are people with an agenda of a supremacy of black women. I'm not joking btw. This is real. We will never understand these people unless we accept that, in their mind, they are, as I said, under attack. Racism and sexism have been solved, they think; we have equality in the West - why do these movements exist unless it's for Supremacy? In their mind, unless they make a stand, we will go from the equality we have now to a supremacy of black people and women, Now, they mostly only react to this when it smells, like I said, as "affirmative action". For example, most of them don't have a problem with Tracer - it feels "natural", non-"forced". OTOH, they can(or think they can) "smell" that behind the decision of putting a woman in a WW2 setting there is something more insidious going on, something that is supposed to tip the balance, and again - if we have equality now, and the balance is tipped, won't we end up with supremacy? Don't believe me? This is one of the very first early videos of one of their "gurus", some thug that started "innocently" enough and has ended up now shouting in the streets of Britain that the "Rivers of Blood" speech will come true. It's actually pretty amazing - at the moment(2014) of his posting those kinds of videos, and while I was a 30+ something that considered myself sufficiently politically educated and at least able to snuff out fascists fairly quickly, I thought he was just a misguided guy. It's amazing and terrifying at the same time to watch his trajectory, which is the trajectory of many like him - it's purely reactionary fear that if they don't make a stand NOW, they will live under a black woman supremacy in the future(female bosses that threaten to put his wage into a "reperation fund") . I only put this video because at this point he's extremely influential, at least online, and a typical example. You can cut it with a knife in this video, this masochistic fantasy of his that he tries to use in order to convince himself that he's being attacked by those below(but he actually considers them to be both "above" and "below" at the same time - look at Point (8) in the Ur-Fascism link) and thus is forced(and justified) to go on the offensive, the primordial fear that gives rise to reaction and fascism(or as Umberto Eco called it, Ur-Fascism or Eternal Fascism), and yet at the time I missed it. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/
  14. mikeman

    A Common Thread

    The thing is, it's not like there's not a grain of truth in what Kavik Kang says - as part of the designing team of SFB it's possible he has significant experience in designing games and is actually competent at it. From the wiki page : ---- Star Fleet Battles was inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming, Arts, & Design Hall of Fame in 2005 where they stated that "Star Fleet Battles literally defined the genre of spaceship combat games in the early 1980s, and was the first game that combined a major license with 'high re-playability'."[15] In his 2007 essay, Bruce Nesmith stated "No other game in hobby game history so completely captures the feel of ship-to-ship combat in space than Star Fleet Battles. The fact that it does so in the Star Fleet Universe is icing on the cake."[1] ---- Brush Nesmith, btw, is one of those table-top designers that the industry "never hires" apparently, except Bethesda did and he made, oh, you know, those small obscure games, Daggerfall, Oblivion and Skyrim https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Nesmith And what do you know, the main designer of Morrowind and Oblivion(and I should also mention Amalur, which was pretty excellent despite its unfortunate commercial failure) came from tabletop-game fame too, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Rolston The whole thing about the game industry not "paying its dues" to the tabletop industry is nonsense anyway - perhaps the most famous book about the game industry is "Masters of Doom" and a good portion of it is dedicated to describe how the id guys spent all their free time playing D&D games with Carmack as DM - "Quake" was one of the characters in one of those games. And it's not like nobody ever hired Kavik either - he's the designer of Sinistar Unleashed. So all in all, there is a grain of truth in what he says - having worked on SFB should be condidered some serious credentials when it comes to be hired for a space game. My guess is he's actually probably knowledgeable and competent enough when it comes to designing games, but terrible at presenting himself, his ideas, incredibly off-putting attitude, and probably impossible to work or even converse with at this point. You woudn't be able to have him sit down and explain his ideas to the rest of the team without making speeches that make Fidel Castro's look like 30-second commercials. (As to the purpose of this thread - my impression is that Kavik really actually enjoys all this process - this is a venue for him to vent. And...we are bored. Better than nothing... ).
  15. mikeman

    A Common Thread

    The important question is...can Rube be used to power robot communism?
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