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361  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Megaupload seized / shut down on: January 23, 2012, 11:16:17 AM
Yeah, I've seen Gaiman's opinions on this. It's definitely worth watching (I listened again) as I think it is a great example of the other side of the argument - aka the "pirating doesn't cost sales" argument.

However I'd also suggest two things:

1) There is a significant difference between people lending books/games to each other and somebody going in to a bookstore, stealing the book, and xeroxing it thousands of times and making money off the copies.

2) Giving books away = advertising. Gaiman is a savvy guy taking advantage of how he perceives the "pirating" market is working. If folks want to do that of their own volition, that's their choice. It should also be their choice, however, to decide NOT to do that.
362  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Megaupload seized / shut down on: January 23, 2012, 11:06:25 AM
I work on software for a living and really DOn'T care if people pirate stuff.

Fair enough.
363  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Megaupload seized / shut down on: January 23, 2012, 11:05:48 AM
Pirating music has almost zero effect on the creators of it. You can't prove otherwise, unless you go with the logical fallacy of, "every illegal download is a lost sale."

I've heard this time and again and agree that the argument is not provable.

However the other argument is still stealing. If you steal a loaf of bread from a grocery store that was going to end up in the trash tomorrow anyway, it is STILL STEALING even though the store didn't lose a sale. You can argue about whether or not that means it matters from a moral and philosophical standpoint, asking whether there is a victim in that instance, but it is STILL STEALING.

Look I'm the last guy that's going to say corporations are being horribly victimized in some really meaningful way by this - I think more independent study is really needed on the effects - but I'm sick of people pretending that what they are doing isn't stealing just because nobody can prove there is an actual victim beyond any shadow of a doubt.

My gut says you can't get something for nothing - there are always consequences. But gut ain't worth much. What we do know is that if you steal something, it is 100% certain that nobody is getting compensated. Except in the case of places like Megaupload where the people getting compensated are the people doing the stealing. I just fail to see how that can possibly be a good thing.
364  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Megaupload seized / shut down on: January 23, 2012, 10:45:17 AM
It's a strange universe we live in where folks who have brazenly made truckloads of money (Kim Dotcom made $42 million according to some reports) off of blatant stealing and money laundering on a massive scale become staunchly defended... but that's the crazy world we find ourselves in with Megaupload.

I'm a card carrying member of the EFF and make my living writing software and those guys and anybody who pirates games/music can burn for all I care. Megaupload is particularly heinous when you consider the lines of business that appear to have been laundering money through them also. Megaupload going down in flames is absolutely a good thing at face value, but I agree there are some disturbing legal issues regarding HOW it has been pulled off that people need to be aware of.

Still though, it was smart to go after Megaupload because their activities go way beyond any kind of rational defense. The methodology used behind the seizure and arrests? That definitely warrants skepticism and a closer look.
365  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Your First Ebay Purchase... on: January 20, 2012, 10:07:54 AM
First thing I bought was a copy of the World of Synnibarr tabletop RPG. I had heard it was hilarious reading and couldn't find a copy anywhere locally. It has polar bears that shoot laser beams out of their eyes.
366  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan's Games of the Year 2011 Thread on: January 11, 2012, 05:02:01 PM
I don't play as many rpgs as I used to due to time constraints, but I managed to play a couple mentioned.
Bastion and To The Moon were both wonderful. Great music and stories matter a lot to me, and both of these rocked.
I still don't understand all the love for incredibly difficult(so I have read over and over again) games like Demons Souls. Are that many of you just that awesome at games? Do all the people who laud the greatness of Dark and Demons Souls actually play through the whole thing? To be honest, I just get a feeling of bandwagon jumping with these games. Were "supposed" to like them because their hardcore, and only the elite can beat them. From a non-difficulty standpoint they sound pretty awesome to me. I just wish they had a "you suck at games" setting for guys like me. Or would that defeat the point?

You're not alone on Dark Souls. I struggle horribly with it due to my terrible skill level. Yet, despite that, it is hard not to really appreciate what they accomplished with the game and so I still had it as one of my top RPGs.
367  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Ocean Marketing / Penny Arcade on: December 30, 2011, 01:11:15 PM
A different take on it: http://kotaku.com/5872042/a-beatdown-where-no-one-threw-the-first-punch
368  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Christopher Hitchens dead at 62 on: December 20, 2011, 01:13:59 PM
This is a separate argument and I didn't want to threadjack (but I'm probably doing it anyway) - but I do think there is at least some merit worth investigating to the POV that peaceful resistance by itself can't always work. You mentioned Desmond Tutu for example - a good example of a peaceful protestor but he becomes even more appealing in the face of the violence that he was contrasting at the same time as his own rise to authority/prominence (the Soweto riots for example). Was it just Tutu's peaceful protests that helped end apartheid, or did the violence play a role? Was it only Martin Luther King that provided a catalyst for change, or was it his own peaceful philosophy combined with more forceful leaders like the early Malcolm X?

I don't actually know the answer. I'm not sure anybody does. But I at least suspect that these things are complicated enough that all kinds can play a role in change to the same end. You may not like Hitchens' style and hey, honestly I didn't really either, but I do think it is a mistake to throw everything a man has to say out with the man himself. That's not rational thinking, and in the end what Hitchens demanded from himself and others was rational thinking. I think you could argue that he often failed to deliver that due to his abrasive style, and he was sometimes too willing to let his message get lost in the shouting. But I also think it is a mistake to qualify it as a categorical "wrong".
369  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Christopher Hitchens dead at 62 on: December 20, 2011, 11:03:04 AM
Ah, my bad. I do suppose that came off with a bit more vitriol than was necessary -- and certainly embarrassing on my end, considering. I do stand by what I said, even if I exhibit the same flaws -- I certainly don't like them in myself. It's a bad, old habit of mine, being a grump and frequently finding myself the devil's advocate. I usually try not to be too aggressive, but I can see here that I've been quite insensitive. My apologies to anyone who did find it a bit of a shove in the ribs.

Bah, no worries. Hitchens always was a fellow who could get the blood boiling. In fact, if I step back, maybe this is one of the truest reflections of his legacy. :-)
370  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Christopher Hitchens dead at 62 on: December 20, 2011, 10:38:49 AM
I was referring to the potential irony in calling a guy who just died "an arrogant waste of a mind" and a "voice of hatred and malice" whose any possible good he did in life was "far outweighed by his own ineptitude". The tone being applied is precisely what you are decrying.

I also just question bringing it up in this particular thread. The person who posted clearly stated they were "bummed" about Hitchens' death. I personally would not choose this thread to bring up my personal opinions about why I thought the guy was an asshole in a thread clearly intended to serve as a place to celebrate whatever perceived good he was able to accomplish. You absolutely have the right to do so, I just question the taste involved.

Basically the "Wow" came solely from my surprise at the post's tone and content and had absolutely zero to do with Hitchens at all.
371  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Christopher Hitchens dead at 62 on: December 20, 2011, 10:11:41 AM
I'm still trying to process it. I can't figure out if choosing to make this post was somehow intentional verbal irony, plain old point scoring, or a genuine attempt to instigate some discussion about the possible flaws of Hitchens' worldview/debate style.

I just know I wouldn't want you speaking at the funeral of anybody I know. :-)
372  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Christopher Hitchens dead at 62 on: December 20, 2011, 09:48:27 AM
I prefer Dawkins much of the time. I found Hitchins to be an arrogant waste of a mind, most of what I read or heard from him. That may be an unpopular position, but I stand by it. Far, far more intelligent and even-minded men have contributed more deeply and effectively to the body of human philosophy, and in much the same field he did.

My problem with Hitchins is not that he's an atheist, nor an anti-theological zealot, but that he was altogether a hypocrite and a religious bible-beater of a particular brand. I have no patience, nor liking for those kinds of people. At least his bond companion could admit not only when he was wrong, but that he could be wrong. For me, Hitchins was little more than the model person he most hatred: Seductive, irrational, and selfish.

No voice of reason there, merely a voice of hatred and malice. Whatever good he may have said or written was far outweighed by his own ineptitude. Rest in peace, Chris, and if there is life again, I hope you come back with a bit of humanity in you.

373  Site Related & More / RPGFan: Site / Re: Is it possible to subscribe using RSS feed to ONLY reviews? on: December 19, 2011, 03:24:25 PM
FYI - for anybody who is interested in this type of reviews only feed, you can now get it here: http://rpgfan.com/news/feeds/reviewrss.xml

Thanks for the suggestion!
374  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast Thread on: December 07, 2011, 06:00:17 PM
This helped. :-)
375  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast Thread on: December 07, 2011, 04:48:08 PM
That worked fine for me. Very much enjoyed it!
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