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Everything posted by Garage_Rubin

  1. So, uh, Venezuela. Several shady governmental and paramilitary things going sideways at once. Just throw in a rogue AI and it's pretty much a Gibson novel. Cheers, Patrick.
  2. That may be so, but you seem to like people a lot more when your mom's not talking your ear off. Cheers, Patrick.
  3. Well, it is phenomenally ugly, to me. But I can see a bit of a `Metalhead' aspect to it, a specific kind of ugliness. Cheers, Patrick.
  4. For you, xen0critter. Cheers, Patrick.
  5. Cotton Candy Viking Poodle [My friend collects / restores / customizes dolls.] Cheers, Patrick.
  6. The Ugly Shirt. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/evj9bm/adversarial-design-shirt-makes-you-invisible-to-ai
  7. https://www.orionsarm.com/ This is great -- a grand sweeping space opera of a community world-building exercise, which spans thousands of years. Looks like it's still under development too. As with Wikipedia, you can get lost in the cross-references and wander around in this thing for days. Of particular interest is the number of extinct species, fallen empires, derelict ships and other artifacts, some of which are many milllions of years old. It aspires to cover a truly inhuman time-scale. I'm not sure if `space opera' has the right connotations, because they strictly limit themselves to the physically possible. Cheers, Patrick.
  8. Makes me wanna ride off and raid some hapless peasants. PS: Cheers, Patrick.
  9. He needs to fade into obscurity, and never be taken seriously again. That man lives for the attention, the power, and the admiration of his base. Take that away and he'll crumble into a broken old con-man in an orange jumpsuit, which is what he already is [except the jumpsuit, so far]. At least I hope he ends up in jail, and spends the rest of his life there. Cheers, Patrick.
  10. Just a brief blurb. People underestimate the culture shock, returning to a familiar place. Gone to Ground The first night back was the hardest. The sky was clear; I saw stars. In the daytime, the sky was a pale robin's-egg blue. The world had a ceiling -- although the open spaces, the massive scale of it all, were amazing to me. The fresh air didn't taste metallic. There was a spring in my step, partly from higher oxygen content, partly because I actually weighed less here. It felt like I could run a mile without even breaking a sweat. Little things, like a bench designed to the exact specifications of a human ass, stairs of the perfect size and steepness for my feet to walk on, were a wonder. I became acutely aware of the crosswalk buttons, set at exactly the right height for my hand to reach out and press one. But mostly, it was the freedom to move in any direction. I wasn't locked-up in a ship, didn't need one to breathe. This was my natural habitat. Still, when all that freedom got to be too much, the artificial enclosure of a mall sheltered me, its overall fakeness reassuring. This was only my first day back, after all. Besides, I did have to buy a few things. I spent more time than necessary, marveling at the signage and commercial logos, all of which were immediately legible to me. The colours, the composition of things, their proportions -- doorways, displays, light fixtures, light switches, the building itself -- all of these were made by human beings, for human beings to use. And there were human beings in the mall, lots of them. I tried not to stare at the people. I probably didn't pass for normal, not even for one second, wandering around gawking at everything. There were funny looks, but most avoided eye contact. No one approached me, and I wasn't ready for that yet anyway. The basics of commerce conversation were more than enough. I bought a few essentials and moved on. All in all, it was a pretty good day. But at night I looked up once, and for a moment that bottomless sky truly scared me. I saw stars. Beyond those still, angular lines of rooftops, there was a gaping hole in the world, and beyond that the endless vacuum of space. Where's the glass? Where's the shielding? Where's the fucking hull? It wasn't until my lungs burned and my heart pounded, that I noticed I'd stopped breathing. It wasn't until a moment later, by deliberate act of will, that I could finally get some air. Like that first time swimming with a snorkel, as a kid, the hardest part was realizing I could still breathe with my face in the water. There was air to breathe, although my senses told me otherwise. There was air to breathe. That was not a hull breach, despite looking exactly like one. Cheers, Patrick.
  11. Feeling down about several things. One of Dad's friends nearly drank himself to death a few months ago -- much like that ex-girlfriend who nearly drank *herself* to death several years ago. Same result; he's in a care home, physically healthier now than when Dad came by to give him a ride somewhere, and found him unable to speak or get up. But short-term memory and cognition are dodgy at best. He's not going to get much better. That must be hard for someone who's always been the sharpest guy in the room, and usually the biggest. Honestly, he was sometimes a bit arrogant about Knowing What's Best, to the point where I'm not sure how he'll manage without that edge. I hadn't answered Dad's email about this until today, and felt guilty about that. As said, it reminded me a lot of Mz.Self-Destruct, and beyond that I just didn't want to know. Someone I'd seen a lot of lately, and really enjoyed her company, is not looking for a boyfriend. I still enjoy her company, but friends come and go; couples make a different sort of commitment to each other. I don't particularly care about getting laid, but I don't want to die alone. I sure as fuck won't die of alcohol poisoning. The other night I talked to an old friend I'd kind of accidentally on purpose hooked-up with last year, a rebound fling after leaving her man. Rather, listened to her for a while [she's going through a lot right now], couldn't get a word in edgewise. No comfort there. She is and has always been a great friend, but the whole call I was nodding and smiling and thinking, No, no, no. I love you dearly but we are not compatible. You are not The One. It breaks my heart to say so, but there it is. And finally, to the best of my knowledge, Keith Flint is still dead. Cheers, Patrick.
  12. Reminds me of the Suit, for some reason... Cheers, Patrick.
  13. Did a double-take when I saw this... Cheers, Patrick.
  14. Alrighty then! Cheers, Patrick.
  15. Meanwhile, in Mongolia... Cheers, Patrick.
  16. Mind if I repost this, with attribution? Cheers, Patrick.
  17. "Walktopus" Octopus Candle Holder by Scott Musgrove. Cheers, Patrick.
  18. So, what you're saying is, contact sports aren't a new thing? Cheers, Patrick.
  19. First, predation is *very* different from aggression; carnivores are basically just trying to make a living, not show their prey `who's boss'. Meanwhile with [healthy] aggression, the intent isn't even to hurt, let alone kill. It serves to resolve social conflict and clear-up heirarchical ambiguities. Thus highly competitive friends can remain friends and sparring partners [and hunt cooperatively, for that matter], by coming to see each other as equals, falling into a stable `hero&sidekick' orbit, or -- best of all -- switching dominance depending who's better at what. Second, warfare is a bit of both, so it's not a natural fit for most. You have to fuck people up to some extent, to make decent soldiers out of them -- jointly increase their `team spirit', selflessness and social cohesion with insiders, while also *decreasing* their ability to see outsiders as human [reduce them to `prey' basically]. A soldier afflicted with empathy won't shoot the enemy, but a soldier without empathy won't do shit for anyone on their own side either -- so both are useless. Third, modern humans suck at hunting for lack of practise, basically [like you said]. Cat's who've been raised indoors kind of suck at it too, btw, because mice and birds are *way* more perceptive than a ball of fluff on a string. ;-P Some examples... * If you've seen cats playing together, you know it's only `practise hunting'; they *always* stop short of killing each other. * If you've seen cats hunt, you know it's *not* playful; it's dinnertime. * And if you've seen cats fighting, you know it's not playful *or* homicidal. It's `fuck off', basically; neither wants the other animal to stick around, not for playtime or for dinnertime, just go away, now. Cheers, Patrick.
  20. What was this doing in the game thread? Anyway... Apologies if you've already seen this on FB, I just can't seem to shut up about these guys. They're awesome. 🙂 Cheers, Patrick.
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