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  #1  
Unread 8th of April, 2010, 23:55
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Pointless useless threadlessness

Because BRR asked so sweetly.

Edit: This is a visitor's thread that also doubles as an off-topic nonsense thread.
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Last edited by treehouse; 4th of May, 2010 at 04:09.
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  #2  
Unread 11th of April, 2010, 17:35
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Man! I wish I hadn't missed out on the recruitment thread for this! I was in Leadpal's RoTRL game when it started then subsequently fell apart. I loved the flavor of the setting and his way with a well-ran and structured game. You are lucky to have him as a co-DM treehouse.

If ever a spot frees up let me know. I will be lurking in the meantime.
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Unread 21st of April, 2010, 01:08
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“ Originally Posted by elmer_jok # Man! I wish I hadn't missed out on the recruitment thread for this! I was in Leadpal's RoTRL game when it started then subsequently fell apart. I loved the flavor of the setting and his way with a well-ran and structured game. You are lucky to have him as a co-DM treehouse.

If ever a spot frees up let me know. I will be lurking in the meantime.
”
Huh, I thought I responded to this...

We'll definitely keep you in mind if anyone drops out, EJ.
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Unread 30th of April, 2010, 05:12
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Hmm, I missed this too. If ever we do need a new player, I'll vouch for you, Jok.
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Unread 30th of April, 2010, 15:18
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Hmm. This is quite interesting. Also wish I'd managed to jump in on this.
Co-DM'd by tree and LP? Huzzah.

Add me on the waitlist for in 2 or 3 years when this has cooled off and you feel like reinvigorating it and need another couple players.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 02:49
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“ Originally Posted by Explosive Cheese # I have to read Brave New World for English class. My attitude towards the book is not constructive; I'm not really letting myself enjoy the good parts, as I'm too wary of the message, and the context from which it was created. Much as I'm glad that for the first time ever I'm reading an SF book as part of my standard literature curriculum, I would have preferred a different subgenre. I really don't like dystopia fiction much, cause the themes tend to be too preachy (sometimes delving into downright aesops, as in The Machine, by... crap I forget the author's name). Still, it's giving me plenty of food for thought while depressing me. So I take it in smaller doses than I usually read, and gain a net benefit for having read it. ”
Brave New World is fantastic, I have a big poster saying
“ Alpha children wear grey They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfuly glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able …" ”
Above my desk.

Such a great book, you're a terrible person for not being thrilled like a schoolgirl at the prospect of not only reading it, but reading it being some kind of assessed element.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 03:49
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...is that sarcasm? You sound... overly enthusiastic, in a way that I usually associate with sarcasm while on the interwebs.

I actually did enjoy Brave New World.
And by "enjoy" I mean "I disagreed with it but enjoyed reading it anyway."
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 03:59
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“ Originally Posted by Tashalar I'm getting the feeling this game needs a thread of useless pointlessness to talk about any- and everything.

Therebye we can keep focused on the game in the OOC and one doesn't have to search for longish periods of time for what people asked or posted. The time we win, EC can use for reading books. Just sayin'...
”
Be careful what you wish for.

All off-topic conversation now goes here.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 03:59
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No, no. I really liked it.

I'm curious what you disagreed with though. I really liked that it's a functioning utopia, just one that is unobtainable. The cost is just too high. Nobody here wants to live there.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 04:40
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I've read two chapters so far; depressing, but has given me much fuel for my various idealistic viewpoints. I'm fairly certain being a pseudo-intellectual comes with the age territory, so you might hear something like that out of me now and then, although I will try my darndest not to (as per the rules).

“ Originally Posted by Mercutio # See, I like most dystopic future, including Brave New World, 1984, Slaughterhouse Five, Equilibrium, Brazil, et al. ”
Out of those, I've only read 1984, and Slaughterhouse 5. I enjoyed Slaughterhouse, but I don't exactly see it as dystopic future fiction. I just read it as a guy literally displaced in his memories; much more fun that way.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 04:50
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“ I've read two chapters so far; depressing, but has given me much fuel for my various idealistic viewpoints. ”
If you find the first two chapters depressing, you're going to hate the ending. It's such an over-the-top tragedy that it's almost hilarious. Still, I really liked the book for the same reason as BRR.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 04:57
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To be honest, I don't even know for sure why I find it depressing. It's not just the ideas of a lack of individualism and choice; I can enjoy discussions on those. There's something about the tone or attitude that bothers me, and I'm not sure what it is.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 04:59
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See, for me, Brazil and 1984 are your classically horrible distopias. They're places I don't want to live, for rather obvious reasons.
Brave New World... it's not like it's a bad place. Everyone's happy. If I lived there, I would be happy, flat out, unless I lived on the reservation.
Alphas, Betas, etc, are all perfectly happy, and in a very balanced and stable way.

The only people that are unhappy are the few Alphas who've managed to realize that something's wrong. Some of them end up unhappy (the true poet who writes jingles), but others go to the island for creative introvert types. Assuming the island actually exists, and isn't just some euphemism, I really don't see where the problem is, except for a handful of odd margins.
The savage is a little whiny bitch.
“ "'In fact', said Mustapha Mond, 'you're claiming the right to be unhappy.'
'All right then,' said the Savage defiantly, 'I'm claiming the right to be unhappy.'
'Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen to-morrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.'
There was a long silence.
'I claim them all,' said the Savage at last.
Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. 'You're welcome,' he said."
”
The ending does depress me, but I don't think it indicates a fundamental problem with the society. It's not as if it's worse than what we have now.
More control, leads to smaller margins of suffering. There are still people who have a bad deal, but there are significantly fewer.

I'm not going to advocate moving towards it, I can't imagine how we'd actually get there, and an incomplete execution would be horrible, but if it ever somehow we got to it I wouldn't be gunning for it to be torn down.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 05:00
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I came very very close to writing my undergraduate thesis on dystopian 20th century literature with my focus being on Brave New World, 1984 and A Clockwork Orange. I just couldn't get it off the ground.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 05:15
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zachol, I can see where you're coming from, and agree with it, and that's why I'm depressed. I realize that I'm hardcoded to like individuality and strife, as things that produce progress at the expense of happiness, and then I read something like this, which I intellectually agree with, but simply can't accept interally, and the realization of that limitation depresses me. I think.

I would add though, that we as humans seem (from my perspective as a 17 year old) to have an inbuilt mechanism for balancing content with one's place and a drive to better oneself, in the aging process. From what I hear, as we get older, we grow more content with the status quo. We better ourselves early on, and earn our later happiness from that. For this reason, I don't see the need to make everyone always happy. This would also remove some of the adaptability of humans, which is potentially a bad thing. *Shrug* My views are a work in progress.

...Crap, I was supposed not to get into long-winded philosophical posts here...
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 05:16
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I think I'm still at an idealistic stage where I think that state control of peoples' lives isn't categorically a bad thing.
In practice, it always will be, because humans are always fallible, but the bad part is how the system will always end up leading to suffering, not the control itself.

When I was younger (like, eight), I had discussions with a teacher (well, tutor-babysitter person) about communism. She said that communism wouldn't work because the people in charge will always end up abusing that power; if not whoever sets it up or his successor, then eventually someone will come to power that will.
Young idealists see an idea and call it good and try to set it up, but they don't really know what they're getting into.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 05:28
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I agree that in the forseeable (read: next few centuries, at the very least), humans will definitely continue to be too fallible for a system like this. I do think however, that state control, and careful balance of that control among many individuals, has improved dramatically over time, with obvious ups-and-downs, but generally moving upwards. I don't think it is necessarily out of the realm of possibility that state control of some sort might one day become viable.

Also, about that thing about the Savage; while perhaps his viewpoint is exaggerated, I do believe that some unhappiness must be present for us to give happiness any meaning. We define things like happiness in terms of contrast; without the bad, I don't see how there could be good. Just neutral. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's also not necessarily a utopia. And, being who I am, I prefer interesting life to no bad things at all.
Crap, that came out much more eloquent in my head.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 05:32
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Ah, but that's the great thing about BNW, that's BRR's quote. We can achieve happiness by looking down on others. They, in turn, look down on their inferiors, and so on, until we get to the lowest class, who are too stupid to be anything but happy.
It's not as if we need the gammas for work. We could just have a small clan of alphas being the only humans, and have any manual labor done by robots, but in that case we would just have a neutral, unsatisfying life.
But in BNW, we have the contrast for happiness without that contrast actually involving any unhappiness. We've cheated the system.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 05:35
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...That's actually pretty fucking brilliant. Damn, there goes my equation: The sum of all happiness must be equal to zero. Unless it gets rerouted somehow? Eh, screw it.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 05:53
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This is about the gerbil things earlier: I now know what the deal with Richard Gere and gerbils is. I now also wish I could forget it. Curiosity may not have killed the cat, but it sure did emotionally scar the cat.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 07:24
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Did I not tell you explicitly to NOT look it up?

In any case, being the resident classical liberal/modern libertarian type, I am a firm believer that the innate human right to self-determination is more important than any individual or collective human desire for happiness. I believer it is completely selfish to desire forced happiness at the cost of individual freedoms. I would honestly rather have some people suffer while others prosper than have everyone living the same lives.

You can boil that down to the negative side, if you choose, and say, "You would rather trample on someone's happiness than curb your freedom." Or you could boil it down to the positive side and say, "You would rather each person be able to determine their own happiness and path to said happiness than to force everyone into a middle of malaise." I choose the latter boiled-down phrasing, obviously.

But if dystopic future is our future, you bet your damn boots I'm going to be the one in power abusing my authority, because the alternative, in my mind, is indistinguishable from Hell.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 12:01
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I think the problem is that, for me, I think of it as "if I could have been born there and have no memory of my current life, I would choose that, but I would not otherwise choose to enter into it now as I currently am."
I value personal freedoms, but I think that's only because I've learned to value them; if I could somehow have never been exposed to the concept, I doubt I would miss it.
Which is a really incoherent view. How would the me that would be born there (without any memories of real-me's life) actually be "me" and not just... someone else, born there?

...actually to be honest if I could somehow become an alpha I'd go for it, even in my current state. Although this is more a case that my honest self-determinating (that's... not a word...) desire is something along those lines, rather than any actual admiration of the idea of an alpha in itself.
My point still stands that if I could somehow become, say, a gamma, and not retain my memories, it... wouldn't necessarily be bad. Possibly. Although the idea of losing my memories... again, that wouldn't really be "me."

This still isn't at all practical, and I also don't think it will be practical even in the remote future. We'd need to somehow manage some committee and overturn ruleship to some very, very well documented autonomous AI, one that, once set, couldn't be altered by people in the future to a significant degree. Which has all of its own massive problems.

Anyway, feels like we're getting into politics now. I almost wrote a post about my political views in a more concrete, practical sense, and nobody wants to go there.
So... maybe on to something more trivial? Like, say... does anyone still rent movies from a brick-and-mortar place?
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Last edited by zachol; 4th of May, 2010 at 12:09.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 13:48
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Gah, we already survived the plague of copy cat threads. Why do you bring this down upon us again, why?
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 20:14
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“ Originally Posted by itches # Gah, we already survived the plague of copy cat threads. Why do you bring this down upon us again, why? ”
Shhh, don't fight it.
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Unread 4th of May, 2010, 22:10
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“ Originally Posted by zachol # Anyway, feels like we're getting into politics now. I almost wrote a post about my political views in a more concrete, practical sense, and nobody wants to go there.
So... maybe on to something more trivial? Like, say... does anyone still rent movies from a brick-and-mortar place?
”
I nearly wrote a post saying we were drifting to close to politics, before I decided to just continue the drift. Suffice to say that I agree with zachol's point-of-view for the most part, and let's move on.
I think the last time I even rented a movie, was like, over 5 years ago. At least.
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