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About Kalbear

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    Liquor in the growler
  • Birthday 10/26/1974

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  • Location The worst BwB meetup area EVER

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  1. [BOOK & TV SPOILERS] The Expanse on SyFy

    Yeah. I think the intention was that they knew the Cant's flight path and space and knew that it'd be heading by there fairly soon, and planned accordingly. I don't think that that is nearly as clear. Especially since in the show it's implied the Anubis is near the shuttle when it's shooting at the Cant, but in the book it's hiding right by the Cant and is no where near the shuttle. The show implies that the Anubis is making a choice to not kill the shuttle, but in the book the implication is that it either didn't notice the shuttle or made a choice. 
  2. [BOOK & TV SPOILERS] The Expanse on SyFy

    I think that they knew they couldn't do 10 episodes and do LW without it being confusing as hell. So they figured out where they wanted to be - the Eros awakening (which sounds like some kind of Kama Sutra position) and then figured out where they needed to go based on that.  Which meant we got some filler that felt weird, like the Butcher of Anderson station bits, or the Kenzo/martian pickup part. Or stretching out them getting the ship back together in the second episode instead of them heading pretty much immediately to the Donny.  They also wanted to bring Avasarala in earlier, and that meant we got a lot of odd stuff with her. Perhaps they saw it as an opportunity to add her earlier given that they were going to do 10 eps anyway? I'm not sure.  I do kind of feel like the pace isn't great, though I think that it'll be helped tremendously if you binge it instead of the weekly episode viewing. I also think that they needed to make certain things a bit more clear - the Lionel Polanski thing was totally bizarre, as was them heading to the Anubis first (and that is another thing that they didn't need to actually do). Heck, I'm still a bit fuzzy on why the Scopuli was going to intercept the Anubis or even how that was found out in the first place.  I don't think focus groups are needed. I think they just need to tighten things up a smidgen. It is taking something like the arc of B5 season 1, with some more filler than desired and a lot of setup and backstory. I think with more eps and less backstory needed we'll have a bit more good pace.  I also think that one of the triumphs is the actual translation of the show. It doesn't feel cheesy or cheap most of the time. It doesn't feel cramped in a way that doesn't make sense (unlike Doctor Who, for example). The characters feel as good as they did in the books, and are rewarded quite a bit for knowing more about them earlier - especially Amos. 
  3. It's not part of the standup. It's just some person. See here for another shot. 
  4. Given how the caucuses work - where you have groups of people at roll calls and meetings and various agreements at the actual center - good luck getting anything that would resemble a recount.  The democratic party is really fucking up here. Yes, they should release whatever they have, but they should have been bulletproof anyway. The last thing the party needs is a scandal about voting being screwed up. 
  5. The hair blocks his psychic powers. They only found out later that it wasn't his hair that was blocking it, it was the head and shoulders shampoo. 
  6. I think there's been some weirdness on both sides. Sanders seems to have required that Clinton agree to debates right now - in March, April and May - as a condition for doing this debate in February. Clinton appears to not have pushed very hard for more debates until fairly recently, which makes strategic sense. 
  7. To be fair it's a picture of a cutout display at a movie theater. Not exactly the nicest fidelity, that.
  8. Sunday of the New Martyrs: Soviet Persecution of Theists

    Okay, fair enough. The spirits/theist thing seems like a null point to me, personally. If you are really quibbling that those who believe in spirits can be counted as atheists, I guess you're technically accurate? But it doesn't seem like a particularly good refutation. If you don't want to call them gods, that's cool, but for all intents and purposes they might as well be. But yeah, I used the shorthand of theism to mean 'belief in any number of superstitions that are not directly verifiable' vs. atheism meaning 'belief in nothing that is not verifiable'. Apologies; it was a reply on my phone.  Atheism (as I described above) isn't just 'less present' though - it's almost entirely and completely absent from societies until we get to the modern scientific age - and even then it's not a common ethos. Again, there exists not a single society on the planet that we have ever encountered or have record of which does not have belief in things that cannot be verified. Whether they are spirits, animism, gods, god - every culture we have ever seen has something. And not only is it something, it's a fairly deep, well-established set of somethings with rules and order and stories. These are even so common that they have common mythic story elements that are pancultural.  When that happens we think that this is due to genetic components about humans. This is likely not taught behavior. Now, we could be wrong about this - it's possible that everywhere on earth that we've ever seen someone came up with this on the fly, taught it, and it was just compelling enough to stick around the way that a doublemint jingle doesn't go away (though songs sticking in our head is also a genetic, natural thing). But that's not the likely scenario, and experiments on brain studies, twin studies and some other various studies seem to indicate otherwise as well.  Now, Karradin's experiences say that she feels like atheism is the right thing, and thus you contend that that's natural. But that's not a good argument either. Just because something feels right to you doesn't make it something that you're predisposed to because of genetics. A good example of this is food tastes, which are almost entirely taught to us - and taught prenatally, but are taught. There's no way to tell simply by an interview whether atheism is something that she is genetically predisposed to or not. I'm totally willing to believe that it is something genetic - one could argue that if you have a trait that gives stronger religious view, you can also have a lack of that trait that is recessive or turned off epigenetically, and that would make sense too. The evidence we have, however, is that if that trait (or lack of trait) exists, it's pretty uncommon. 
  9. Sunday of the New Martyrs: Soviet Persecution of Theists

      Natural as meaning having a natural source, instead of it being artificial or otherwise induced via technological or cultural means. I'm not ruling out that the notion of certain people being atheists isn't a natural origin as well. Both heterosexuality and homosexuality have natural origins, for instance. I think the mistake you're making is that you're assuming that if one state is natural, the other states are not.  That said it's my belief that atheism is a product of artifice, and that it takes a lot of mental energy for most people to fight the notion that there isn't something supernatural or beyond. That doesn't mean they can't do it - and it doesn't mean that some people don't fit this - but the common case is that humans want to believe in some form of religion.  So for instance - humans being embarrassed about breast feeding isn't a natural state. It's entirely driven by cultural values and is taught. Propensity for religion in humans is a natural state - humans are inclined to ascribe meaning to random events, anthropomorphize things, believe that things are the way they are for their personal enjoyment, and desire answers beyond themselves. It doesn't mean all humans do it - but it's a pretty common thing for humans to do, common enough that we can do brain scans of people and figure out fairly accurately how religious they are or they'll tend to be.  It's also possible that one of the reasons that humans are like this is because of essentially selective breeding. Most religions that work end up being pretty successfully intolerant of other belief systems. If you assume propensity for religious belief is a set of inherited traits, you can see that those with those traits might be more successful in society - more food, better societal investment, more reproductive success - and thus would pass that down the line or be more likely to do so.     
  10. Sunday of the New Martyrs: Soviet Persecution of Theists

    Natural doesn't mean universal. Deviations don't disprove it. 
  11. Why? I think that if he hadn't been as positive towards it it wouldn't have happened. So it wouldn't have happened without him. However, he's certainly not the person that should get the lion's share of the credit for it. Something can be a success in part because of one person's efforts but it not be their primary credit. Think about a punter in a football game - they might have made a good punt or two, and that contributes so you should give them credit - but they didn't throw TDs. 
  12. [BOOK & TV SPOILERS] The Expanse on SyFy

    We know that they're looking to cast Bobbie for season 2, so we'll be getting into book 2 pretty soon. My suspicion is that we're not going to get Ganymede exactly, and probably aren't going to get Prax. I think we'll get a combination of Dresden and the protogen resolution along with the Admiral/Errinwright resolution at the end of season 2.  I guess another way to go is getting Dresden now and Errinwright later, but I suspect that wouldn't be that satisfying for Avasarala's storyline. 
  13. [BOOK & TV SPOILERS] The Expanse on SyFy

    It's about an 8.
  14. Sorry, you're absolutely right. I was thinking of ACA, not this. 
  15. I think that without a lot of  the broad support in the states - support that Obama encouraged and grew - that it wouldn't have been a contest at the supreme court level.