• 60 Posts
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Joined 10 months ago
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Cake day: June 29th, 2023

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  • My point though is that you talk about all of that as if it’s some sort of chore.

    To me, it’s a lot of the fun.

    I rarely even get to the point of having to stop and weigh choices in my inventory, since every time I come across something new, I have to stop and check it out and try to figure out what it is and what it does and what sort of advantages or disadvantages it might have. I enjoy that. So all along the way, I’m figuring out what I want to or think I should keep and what I want to or think I can get rid of, and not because a finite inventory demands it, but because that’s part of the point of playing in the first place.

    Broadly, you’re asking if other people actually invest the time and energy to sort out how to play complex games. I’m saying that we not only can and do, but that that’s a lot of the point. That whole process of sorting things out is a lot of the reason that we play in the first place.


  • Yeah - I just jump in and wing it.

    At the risk of inviting the internet’s wrath, when people talk about the difference between serious gamers and casuals, this is the sort of thing they’re talking about.

    “Serious” gaming involves a particular set of skills and interests, such that the person is willing and able to just jump into some complicated new game and figure it out. And it’s not just that “serious” gamers can do that - the point is that they want to. They enjoy it. They enjoy being lost, then slowly putting the pieces together and figuring out how things work and getting better because they’ve figured it out. And they enjoy the details - learning which skills do what and which items do what, and how it all interrelates. All that stuff isn’t some chore to be avoided - it’s a lot of the point - a lot of the reason that they (we) play games.

    You talk about your inventory filling up and then just selling everything, and I can’t even imagine doing that. To me, that’s not just obviously bad strategy, but entirely missing the point - like buying ingredients to make delicious food, then bringing them home and throwing them in the garbage.


  • The way it made me really think about how truly expansive space and time are really made me think that “that’s not impossible to think that there is a 11th dimension being that has some agenda that we cannot understand.”

    Absolutely.

    But that’s not what I’m talking about.

    I’m talking about making the leap from recognizing that such a being could exist to believing that such a being does exist. That, to me, is so bizarrely irrational that I can’t even work out how it is that people apparently actually do it.





  • Digital, no contest.

    I’m an old guy and I’ve been buying and reading books for most of my life. I own thousands of them, filling up shelves and stacked on tables and cluttering everything, and that’s even with the bulk of them in boxes in my garage. I love them and I love being surrounded by them, but they’re a chore and a burden.

    And I have a collection of almost as many ebooks, all in a few GB on a tablet.

    So ebooks win on space and convenience.

    As far as the actual process of reading goes, they’re pretty close to the same, but ebooks have a bit of an edge. I have no issues with a screen, so words on a screen or words on paper are pretty much the same. Physical pages though are bound along one edge and flexible and generally at least subtly curved, while a screen is perfectly flat and evenly lit. Also, on a physical page, I’m stuck with whatever typeface is there, while with an ebook, I can scale it to whatever I want or even change the font or colors or whatever. so ebooks win there too.

    And while I’m reading an ebook, I can search the text for any term or character name or phrase, so I can refresh myself on things or find a particular passage or whatever without laboriously thumbing through the pages, and I can switch over to a browser anytime to get background for anything or just look up a word.

    And when I finish or drop an ebook, I can just tap the back arrow to go to my shelf, or switch over to an app or browser and go online, and find another one.

    So… yeah. I really don’t think there’s one single thing that physical books do better than ebooks, other than serving as decoration - filling space on shelves.







  • The implication here is that anarchists are relatively common on the fediverse, and if so, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen this idea expressed.

    But the thing is that I am an anarchist, and I’ve been keeping my eyes open, and I haven’t seen any other anarchists here. LOTS of authoritarian leftists, ranging from naive social democrats to full-blown “submit or die” tankies, but not one single other anarchist.

    So are you actually trying to say that anarchists are common here? And if so, where are they?






  • Technically, no - there has never been a truly communist society. They’ve all really been communist in name only.

    In order for the society to be truly communist, property must be communal - that’s the fundamental requirement.

    And in order for property to be truly communal, all must have an exactly equal right to it, or more precisely, an exactly equal right to share in control of it.

    The moment that hierarchical authority is introduced, control over the society and its property is tied to that authority. The right to exercise control over property is vested not in the people communally, but in the system by which authority is designated and exercised - the state. And that means that for all intents and purposes, regardless of any claims to the contrary, all property is actually owned not by the people, but by the state. And that is not and cannot be communism.






  • Your opening point about advantage reminded me of a story I read years ago. It was in some dense Russian tome - I want to say Brothers Karamazov, but I don’t know and don’t remember. Anyway, it’s not mine.

    Once there was a farming village in a valley, Their lives were generally peaceful, except for every few years, a band of ruthless bandits would ride down out of the mountains, sweep through the village, kill a bunch of men, rape a bunch of women, steal everything they could, and ride back into the mountains.

    Then the village would rebuild, and after some hardship, replenish their crops and livestock and supplies… then the horsemen would ride back down, kill, rape and steal, then ride away.

    This went on for many years, until the time that a different band of horsemen rode down from a different part of the mountains, and they killed, raped and stole, then rode away.

    Then, shortly thereafter, the customary band of horsemen rode down, only to find the village devastated and everything they intended to steal already gone.

    When they found out what had happened, they realized that that could not be allowed. They lived lives of ease through killing and raping and stealing, and they weren’t going to give that up, but they couldn’t do it if things continued that way.

    So they struck a deal with the villagers. The villagers would provide them with everything they would’ve stolen if they could’ve, and in exchange, they’d not only stop killing and raping them, but make sure these other horsemen didn’t kill or rape or steal from them either.

    And the villagers, wanting only to live their lives as unmolested as possible, reluctantly agreed.

    And thus was government born.


  • So to not have an institutionalized authority that coerces people to follow the rules, you first coerce (or even kill) the self-serving fuckwads.

    No - you explicitly do not. It’s impossible to get out of the trap of some claiming the power to nominally rightfully force the submission of others through some claiming the power to nominally rightfully force the submission of others.

    The only way it can come about is if humanity evolves into it - grows the fuck up, collectively as well as individually.


  • Over the short term (in an historical sense), that’s certainly the case.

    I just mentioned on another post that I liken it to individual growth. Just as individuals can and often do mature to the point that they no longer need or desire a mommy and daddy, so too can our species as a whole mature. And I believe that, if we don’t destroy ourselves along the way, we not only can but will.

    But even if we don’t destroy ourselves along the way, yes - that’s still many, many, MANY generations away.


  • It can never be achieved

    Why not?

    If an individual can outgrow a need for a mommy and daddy to watch over them and tell them what to do, then so can a species.

    But yes - for the relatively short term (in the anthropological sense), such a system is effectively impossible, so yes - “the goal should be to get as close to it as possible.”

    And in fact, the only way that it can be achieved is incrementally, as ever more individuals reject the whole concept of institutionalized authority. Eventually, a point should be reached at which the view that it’s illegitimate is so widespread that those who claim it will no longer be able to exercise their claim.

    Or to put it in simplistic and not-really-accurate terms, the claim “I’m the President of the United States” will be as ludicrous as the claim “I’m the Emperor of the Universe,” and will be treated with the same disdain.

    We will never achieve total post scarcity.

    I agree.

    The extent of the universe as a whole might well be infinite, but the extent of the resources to which humans can have access most assuredly is not.

    We can never eliminate institutions of authority

    I disagree.

    I not only think we can - I think that unless we destroy ourselves first, we inevitably will.

    Again, it’s akin to an individual outgrowing the need for a mommy and daddy, just on a broader scale.

    For example, we can never eliminate the police force, as there still would be some sociopaths who we would need protection from.

    Except that the police are ever more likely to BE sociopaths than to protect us from them.

    That’s the exact problem I mentioned in the last post - hierarchical authority effectively rewards and thus selects for sociopathy.

    People with morals, principles, integrity and/or empathy will have things that they’ll refuse to do.

    Psychopaths don’t have those constraints - if so inclined, they’re willing to do absolutely whatever it takes to get what they want.

    So all other things more or less equal, psychopaths actually have a competitive advantage in hierarchical systems.

    Which is exactly how and why “power corrupts.”

    So in conclusion, am I right in considering the communist utopia as a singularity?

    Roughly, though it would be more accurate, if less appropriate to this STEM-obsessed era, to call it an “ideal.”


  • As is generally the case, only a relative few have enough power to actually do something meaningful, and as the winners of the countless battles that had to be fought as they crawled their way up whichever hierarchy to the top of which they now cling, they tend to be ruthless, self-serving, dishonest, amoral and entirely heartless, hiding behind a convincing-enough veneer of principles and integrity.

    So as is generally the case, the world can be roughly divided into those who could do something but won’t. those who would do something but can’t, and those who aren’t paying attention, for whatever reason.