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Jul. 12th, 2018

My thoughts on the ANet firing JP drama

DISCLAIMER: In case it needs to be said, this post is 100% my own opinions, and does not represent any other person, organization, or cause.

cut walls of text )

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Nov. 18th, 2016

Food for thought

Was directed to this article from reddit and found it an interesting read. But, I don't think I agree with all of it.

The thing is, the article comes into the argument from the POV that the original political beliefs that STTOS was created with must be the objectively correct one against which all subsequent movies, spinoffs, and reboots are measured against. But I don't think that's true, either in terms of real life or in-universe.

Meta-texually, times change, and the prevailing political view, and what is considered objectively "right" changes as well. For a drastic example, just go back a century or a millennia back in time to anywhere on the planet and compare the accepted common morality against modern day mores.

More relevantly, TOS reflected the ideals of a generation who was still coming off the victory of WWII and still confident in the superiority of the USA/capitalism/democracy versus the USSR/communism. In contrast, TNG came after the post-Vietnam and counter-culture disillusionment with those same values. DS9 dabbled even more deeply into realpolitik and modern cynicism (thank god it didn't go full grimdark like so many other franchises did). And Voyager... ok I have no idea what Voyager was supposed to be.

The thing is, is any one of those POVs more "correct" than the other? TOS Kirk's "liberty or death" attitude is a strong sentiment certainly, but where does it cross the line between humanism and manifest destiny? Is it really an "universal truth" outside of US political rhetoric? And, looking at the modern world and where it's headed... will it still be an "universal ideal" decades into the future?

Still, it would be nice to see the question itself explored in-story, somewhere. That's probably not happening in the reboot movies though. Maybe the upcoming Discovery series. Eh. Maybe.

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Oct. 27th, 2016

Fandom is awesome

Because of posts like this.

Warning: 20,000 words of mental gymnastics that actually makes a creditable case for the STXI reboot and the mainstream Trek shows/movies to actually occur in the same universe. Destruction of Vulcan and all. I am impressed.

Summary )

TL;DR: Future!Spock lied, Past!Spock tried, Future!Kirk survived, and Romulus died.

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Trek hot topics

I guess one thing that I'll give for the reboot Trek films is that they've inspired a new generation of fans into the general franchise. I'm seeing a fairly large demographic range on various reddit threads and so forth, which is cool...even if sometimes rage-inducing.

Take this thread on reddit speculating on how the major races in ST would view homosexuality. My god, the number of people who immediately jump to "Vulcan's wouldn't approve because having sex without making babies is not logical" makes me want to *stab* something.

In case anyone cares, I personally feel most Vulcans wouldn't care, in the way that they're already closeted heterosexuals who mentally treat the whole topic of sex as anathema and taboo, so any closeted or non-closeted homosexuals wouldn't even stand out next to that. I feel that they also wouldn't "logically" equate sex with reproduction, since their biology is literally screw or die. If someone screws another person of the same gender or alien or whatever for the purpose of *not dying*, why wouldn't that be "logical"?

As for reproduction, I feel that modern Vulcans would prefer to do family planning "logically" outside of pon farr, which means they can essentially have babies by mail if they feel like it, and the whole thing can be "logically" divorced from the mentally taboo subject of pon farr, not to mention optimized for scenarios such as race-rebuilding in the reboot universe, or general population planning in the prime universe.

Another topic that comes up a lot is the Prime Directive. Generally, a lot of people are critical of Starfleet's non-interference code. Granted, there are also a lot of controversial (and sometimes baffling) on-screen depictions of the PD, such as why it even applied to the Klingon Civil War during TNG given the Klingons were a empire of technological parity to the UFP.

But IMO the core idea of it was based on the anti-colonial sentiments that followed WWII, and the stricter interpretations of it in TNG onwards was influenced by Vietnam. The "White Man's Burden" is an incredibly tempting slippery slope, and it's quite visible from how much that is evident in the criticisms against the PD.

I think it also helps that for me, I've also seen the POV of the recipient of such "well-intentioned intervention", which characterized China in the 19th and 20th centuries. I've read many alt-history fics by probably-Caucasian authors covering those time frames, and inevitably when they get to China, it's "and now our uber-wanked alt-UK/USA/Russia/Germany/etc. will now civilize the corrupt/powerless court or lawless/savage warlords of China by reprising the Alliance of 8, seizing more concession areas to civilize modernize..." ...And then I want to stab someone, again.

*long breath* Back to Star Trek. Occasionally, though, there are well written posts that don't immediately get my hackles up on behalf of intervention. This one is a very relevant modern day example.

In my honest opinion, I am actually fine with the stricter Prime Directive as it's shown in TNG (and as it applies to primitive societies, not advanced ones!) a Starfleet directive. (I'm less impressed with some of the rhetoric that the various characters use when discussing it, whether for or against breaking it for any specific episode case.)

I think that the formal "rule" should be "don't intervene". HOWEVER! It should still be within the prerogative of the individual captain to break that rule if the captain felt an exception should be made. HOWEVER! The captain should also be fully aware of the fact that they will then have to justify any intervention before a court martial panel. If they are indeed justified in their intervention, they will have to prove it.

This will allow there to be an form of automatic legal protection of less advanced planets from potential well-intentioned colonialism. It will also allow exceptions to be made in exceptional cases such as when the alternative to intervention is extinction. Further, it will give captains who are tempted by "White Man's Burden" an extra impetus to pause and really think before they act.

If they still feel it's a cause they are willing to potentially sacrifice their career for... well, that means they would have done it anyways PD or no. And this system would give Starfleet a way to quickly weed out captains who are wrong about their intervention, while retaining those who are able to make a valid case. In other words, the person choosing to intervene should bear the full burden of consequence for that intervention.

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Aug. 9th, 2016

Ancient Chinese

This is pretty neat. I didn't know ancient chinese had so many rolling R's.

Y'know...usually in time travel or crossover fics to settings in ancient eras never consider the dialect barrier. Of course it's so you don't want to bog down the plot. But still...

Other awesomeness:

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May. 16th, 2016

The Sokovia Accords

I still couldn't find anything online about the actual contents of the Accords aside from that one page which appeared in the trailers. I suppose it's a good idea not to show it so that movie watches wouldn't nitpick the thing to death instead of enjoying the movie itself, but still, that prevents me from nitpicking the thing to death. =P

Also, it seems that even internally, Marvel isn't very consistent about what the Accords do. Pretty sure movie canon takes precedence over TV canon though.

Anyway, I found this article online which pretty much explains a lot of my feelings about what we do know of the Accords, better than I can. Of course, this would be in a realistic USA in a realistic of course that wouldn't include the MCU. -_-!

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Apr. 2nd, 2015

Elvish telepathy

Huh. I always thought the long range telepathic communion betwen Elrond & Galadriel in LOTR (and then Gandalf and Galadriel in Hobbit) was something PJ made up for the movies. Well, the contents of the meetings probably were, but the mechanism at least was not. Apparently the ability itself is book canon. See Ósanwe-kenta. Also several fandom discussions.

snip quotes n stuff )

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Dec. 23rd, 2013

We don't want the girls

Paul Dini: Superhero cartoon execs don't want largely female audiences


Just. What.

I don't even...what is this BS...

A more calm and knowledgeable analysis of the marketing economics that's probably behind this idiocy.

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Mar. 30th, 2012

Humanity, the krazy engineers *snerk*

I wonder, if aliens saw these, would they be impressed, horrified, or amused?

Mar. 13th, 2012

This is why we can't have nice things

Why hardcore gamers are part of the problem, not the solution. =(

Nov. 30th, 2010

For my own fangirling

Interesting analysis of the characters in BLD. I especially like some of the stuff in the comments.

Analysis comparing the two major roles played by my favorite actor... and the fiery rebuttals thereof. XD

Analysis... and flamewar? - ok, heated discussion, of the various 仙凡 couplings in BLD, focusing on 瑶姬

Article and discussion of Purity!Sues in BLD.

Oct. 28th, 2009

被雷鸟... T_T

So as a matter of curiosity I was googling for slash references in Chinese history, and I stumbled on this link.

Remembers 《宰相刘罗锅》
*is ded*

More articles...
中国古代同性恋排行 - Lots of examples from Han; a bit from Song, Ming, Qing. Surprisingly little from Tang, despite the fact that it was a really sexually liberal dynasty...
古代中国为什么要盛行“男风” - Article in last comment.
古代“男风” - Seems to mostly concentrate on pre-Tang

Oct. 23rd, 2009


Yes we all know that Journey to the West is a political commentary. So no big surprises on the numbers here. It's still some interesting info. And gotta admire the JttW geeks who took the time to compile it all.

Jun. 6th, 2009

Cracked Lists

Because my internet is still not liking GW at the moment, I spent some time reading the endless articles at - that place is as addictive as tvtropes can be. Anyways, some gems that I wanted to share:

9 Words That Don't Mean What You Think

8 Awesome Cases of Internet Vigilantism

7 Stupid People Who Sued the Scientific Method

6 Insane Discoveries That Science Can't Explain

5 Most Baffling Sex Scenes in History of Fanfiction

9 Awesome Places to Have Sex (and the Horrific Consequences) - wonder how many bad fics have run afoul of these? :P

Aug. 19th, 2008

A tourist's view of the new Beijing

Written by an Associated Press journalist. Covers mainly the day to day stuff in Beijing rather than Olympics oriented. Looks like it's being updated daily. I found it hilarious.


Note that the most recent entries are added at the top. So it may seem disjointed if you try reading it top to bottom instead of bottom to top.

I love the bit about getting his haircut from some overpass volunteer guard. "...I asked him, mainly through gestures, to do me." *snicker*

And the bit about Chinese men liking to roll up their shirts in the heat. (My dad does that at home sometimes too... -_-)

EDIT: HAHAHA! This one is hilarious too. Poor hockey teams and their mismatched undies. BWAHAHA.

Aug. 11th, 2008

Definition of "fake"

It's no surprise that the western news services will find any excuse to nitpick anything with the Beijing Olympics.

And then you gotta wonder. "If that was faked, then what is this? Hallucination? Conspiracy?" *rolleyes*

Aug. 10th, 2008

I am not alone (in hating NBC)

According to yahoo's news entry, NBC withholding live Olympic events from west coast viewers - it's not enough that NBC is only broadcasting SOME events "live", as well as liberally cutting time out of said broadcasts to fit in commercials, those events will only be "live" for the East Coast. *stabs* I especially love the 3000+ replies echoing disgust at NBC's broken promises, incompetence, and general stupidity.

Here's some other news entries from Silicon Valley Insider - NBC Olympics: We Don't Care If You Hate Us, You're Watching USA-China Basketball On Tape Delay, NBC Lawyers In Panic Mode, Scrambling To Stamp Out Internet Olympics Feeds, Olympic Committee Outraged About USA Fans Watching Live Online, Sends Takedown Notices.

On a more helpful front, here's two more articles from SVI - How To Watch The Beijing Olympics LIVE On The Web -- Even If NBC Doesn't Want You To, YouTube At The Olympics: Exclusive Video You Can't Watch

Aug. 7th, 2008

Hypocritical *#&*($

Right, because China is so evil for enforcing censorship on their interwebs, so much that Washington called in google, yahoo, and Microsoft and yelled at them for helping the "commies" and told them to go write up a set of internet anti-censorship standards. So explain to me why NBC is responsible for causing IP filters to block people from outside China from watching the Olympics (international event, no less) on webcast? Because censorship in the name of politics is evil and censorship in the name of greed is A-OK, amirite?


On slightly happier topic, add to the list of possible (remaining) webcast sources.

Jul. 16th, 2008

Western aesthetics in fantasy/gaming

Idealizing Fantasy Bodies is an interesting article on the most popular/successful western style MMO and how it reflects western aethetics and gamer psychology.

I would love to see a similar study done for eastern games/aesthetics, and then compare the differences.

May. 7th, 2008

Article on a typical Asian MMOs

Or, to be more precise, a western viewpoint to an Asian type MMO. It would be interesting to read the original Chinese and see how much of the tone matches up, I think.

I actually found some of the comments more interesting (and less biased :p)... Eg. "An MMO such as ZT Online is no different than countless other MMO's like World of Warcraft or EVE Online. They all seek to exploit superficial aspects of Human Nature."

Feb. 22nd, 2008

Future of gaming?

Interesting article on virtual transactions based online gaming - actually, interview transcription. It's dated July 07, so fairly recent in terms of the technology.

Speakers are:
John Blakely of Sony, who as far as I can tell, owns the only ingame selling/buying service that didn't go defunk for a popular MMO (see Station Exchange for EQ2, though I hear they're closing that in favor of a third party deal...)
Mark Jacobs (VP EA, Studio GM EA Mythic) - no idea who he is
Raph Koster (President Areae) - no idea who he is
Erik Bethke (CEO GoPets)
Matt Firor (moderator)

I have to admit though I that I find it hard to follow who's saying what and has what opinion. But I do get the impression there's several conflicting opinions in there. @_@

Nov. 30th, 2007

Rant response...

Background: ANet had a promotion for a GW Bonus Mission Pack - if you spent more than $30 in their online store between early July and the end of Oct, then you would get a set of bonus mission stuff with some unique rewards come Nov. The promotion was slapped in huge letters on the login page of the game with links to the info so I don't see how anyone could have missed the info on how to qualify, etc. Now that the BMP has come out and the people who got it are waxing poetic/gloating over the pretty rewards from the bonus missions, the forums have started to overflow with vitriole/flamewars from the people who didn't get the BMP for some reason or other. After reading some of the same old arguments over and over, I thought I'd vent my response here...

caution: rant )

Finally, on a lighter note, here's a compilation snagged from a forum on the reward equipment from the bonus missions (the BMP should be available on both accounts, I think). They're all max level, blank inscriptions, auto-customized to user. I like the skins for the Tengu weapon line. The Tengu staff reminds me of Tripitaka's 三藏 (was that what it's called?). The Undead spear reminds me of a 方天画戟. And the Tengu scythe & hammer looks vaguely CLAMP-ish. ^^

Aug. 20th, 2007

Autocamp 2000

Hilarious article this time. Don't I wish I had one of these to do my MUD'ing for me. ^_^

And yeah, I think that the bot will probably appear a lot more human/intelligent than some actual "human players" in MMO games.

Interesting article....

Actually a speech transcript by Michael Crichton, titled "Aliens Cause Global Warming".

Interesting in a, "I can't tell if you're totally serious" kind of way.

Jul. 23rd, 2007

HP (bashing) summaries

In the same vein as the summary/spoilers cashew linked to for HP book 7 (I haven't worked up the motivation to actually go to the store and read the actual book), I found another author who did similiar treatments for several other HP books. These are much longer, chapter-by-chapter analyses, but still somewhat amusing to read. :)

Listed in order of being read/written by the author

Half Blood Prince main page

Prisoner of Azkaban
Chapter 0&1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Sorcerer's Stone
Chapter 0&1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Deathly Hallows
Chapter 0&1 2 3 4 5 ...tbc

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