Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Thursday, September 28, 2006

My take on... D&D Online Stormreach

This is very preliminary so I'll make it quick.

After my first evening of the 7 day free trial my verdict is: VERY GOOD, KEEP IT UP!

It was very quick to register, my cable modem got a workout downloading the 1.7 GIGABYTES of data to start, and then I waited another half hour for it to update after installation on first run. Thereafter, smooth, no crashes, pretty straightforward.

Single biggest problem: movement controls. I HATE those mouse+keyboard systems ala Doom and always have. That will never change. The ubiquitous nature of twin joystick gamepads is something they needed to take into account for a first person/third person ghost run around game like this. Why is it that the only game making proper use of a gamepad on a PC that I've yet tried is Rayman 3? One stick to control camera, another to move, several buttons to control and fire and jump. This game cries out for gamepad compatibility. I'll have to try creating a Logitech profile for this game.

As I said, VERY GOOD. I intend to buy the full game by the end of the trial. Seems worth it for the sheer amount of things to do. There's literally a quest around every corner.

My take on... Neverwinter Nights

I picked this up after seeing it on the shelves at a mall store. I'd recently gotten into playing games again when they were to be found at Best Buy for $2.99 to $5.99. Demon Stone, Silent Hill 4, so on. Not too shabby. One of the games was Baldur's Gate II, Shadows of Amn with Throne of Bhaal and I liked them a lot. They were somewhat complex to the uninitiated but I got used to them. I beat Demon Stone in two nights of after work play by the way. I highly recommend it.

Anyhow, I decided to try out Neverwinter Nights after seeing a blurb in Baldur's Gate II that you could import characters from there to Neverwinter Nights. Well, they did plan it at the time. Didn't turn out that way. They figured that since the initial module reset your character to level 1 and no inventory, why bother? Still, it would have been nice for the modules that didn't reset it. They didn't consider it at the time.

So I bought the Diamond edition and eagerly tore into it.

Whoa. Nice game. Magic weapons easily gotten, good armor, decently matched enemies and a storyline not too insulting to my intelligence.

So I beat the first adventure, finishing at level 16. Played into some of the others like Hordes of the Underdark and then went on to Infinite Dungeons and have since downloaded and installed the newest one. Go check it out for yourself, I won't tell you anything, not even the name. Two words though: rideable horses.

If you want more, just search out the site hosting tons of player made modules. I personally recommend Dances With Rogues, a really well done ADULT module centered on a female player character.

Yeah, it's short, so sue me. I never said this would be a big write-up, just my take. That take is: BUY NEVERWINTER NIGHTS. PREPARE FOR NEVERWINTER NIGHTS 2 COMING AT THE END OF THIS MONTH.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A couple things that caught my attention...

Jack Thomspon still sucks. Like this wasn't a no-brainer. One wonders when someone will come up with a game where the target is to assassinate the most ambulance chasing lawers with a stunning likeness of Jack included. Thompson you moron, Pac Man was considered GAMBLING in my home town and by local ordinance they banned arcade game playing by those under eighteen. So we rode our bikes from our (somewhat) nice suburb into the nearby nasty drug and gang infested city to play instead. Did I turn into a gambler? No. Did I become a monster for all the blowing up and shooting things during decades of playing? Did I become a murderer because I play AD&D? Or a Satan worshipper? Self-righteous fuckers never understand and only help spread the idea that we aren't responsible for ourselves whatsoever and need someone to think for us. No thanks, I can think for myself.

Smokers less well treated than other parents? Yup. I grew up with a father, stepmother, stepfather, and sister who all smoked cigarettes. I smoke pipes and cigars. Did they cause this? Fuck no. Anti-smokers encouraged me. If there's anything I hate, it's being told by totally obvious hypocrites what to do and what not to do in a patronizing "you're too stupid to think for yourself" way. Tell me porn is wrong? Well, I'm downloading that bisexual orgy video. Drinking is wrong? I'm cracking a 40 my man. Tell me I can't smoke? I'll puff in your face. If they wanted to convince me not to smoke, self righteous assholeness was not the way. Come to think of it, that's one of the big turnoffs I see in the environmental movement. Not surprising that they and the left in general are so well liked by people who can't wait to wallow in hypocrisy themselves like youthful twits who dress in black and whine and moan all day about the lack of niceness in the world, but treat other people with discourtesy and rudeness at the mall. Not me. When I saw some anti-semitic claptrap the other day, I immediately thanked G-d I married into a Jewish family. Tomorrow, I think I'll spend lunch smoking and revving my gas guzzling SUV's engine while farting methane. After that, I'll go home and eat a 2/3 pound burger and burn some leaves and inhale the smoke. Fuck off you self-righteous twats.



Global Warming Caused By Man?

According to this Yahoo news article, we are now nearing the warmest point we've seen in one million years. Of course, Earth HAS been warmer, much warmer over its FOUR BILLION plus year history. Not just during the hellish earlier phases either. Are CO2 levels being caused by man? Going by the venerated Vostok ice cores, used as and when convenient by the chicken little global warming brigades, I'd say not. Check it out for yourself. Note the graph on this Wiki page.

Note the regularity of the graph? Did mankind somehow send CO2 back in time to cause previous spikes? Or could Earth simply have a regular cycle of CO2 buildup, washout, and rebuild? Oh no, we can't consider that. We are the supreme creatures of the universe and all that happens must somehow be caused by us. Look for continued attempts to find a link between mankind and the SE Asian tsunami, Mt. St. Helens, and extragalactic supernovae for that matter.

EDIT: This just in! Whoa, when did we, mankind, cause this one? Did we send nuclear waste to the sun? Did the Enterprise make a booboo? Oh, that was TV. Right. Nevertheless, look for blame to be laid on the avaricious west and straight white Christian male hegemony. Save the sun!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Today's Long Lost Post

The Alliance for Sweden wins the Swedish general elections. This sounds better than the Alliance for Fresno winning, so... good job. Well done.

In another dramatic turn of events, the Pope recently referred to a more than six hundred year old interfaith religious discourse which trotted out the FOURTEENTH CENTURY idea that Islam was a violent faith. Taken aback, aghast, and otherwise flustered, Muslims around the world gave the response that this was not true. They were a religion of peace, and if the mention by the Pope wasn't taken back, throats would be slit, Rome and the Vatican would be destroyed, and all infidels would drown in a sea of their own blood. We of the Unified Effort for Equal and Identical Fighting Against Conformity welcome them to the Not Getting the Point Club. They join our other major religious member, the born again Christians seeking to stop killing at abortion clinics using firebombs to kill everyone at the abortion clinic.

In the area of music, tastes and brain power continue to lessen. Not content with allowing Metallica to obliterate all of what little artistic credibility there was in Bob Seger's original version of Turn the Page, which included a fleeting shot of Ginger Lynn Allen shoving the business end of a dildo up her nether regions, the music world now gives us Disturbed covering Genesis. You may begin your betting pools on when Alien Ant Farm will cover Eye in the Sky.

Let this be a lesson. Quiet ignorance of Murray Head is not a solution to that damn song and if we'd only been a little less negligent, maybe this could have been avoided.

In closing, I wish to put in my two cents on the old question, What is America's favorite pasttime? The number one pasttime is avoiding responsibility. The number two pasttime is excoriating everyone else for the first one.

Astronomy Picture of the Day