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  2. I think Gared could have told Ned exactly what he saw. But Ned, as many others would, dismissed it as nonesense and didn’t think it worth troubling his brother with the ramblings of a Mad deserter
  3. A week of snowboarding in Austria wasn't as enjoyable as I hoped. It was pretty warm and snow was pretty wet which was a bummer. Also, I messed up my ankle a bit on the fourth day and had to take a day off from the slopes until it felt a bit better. I think I won't be going snowboarding in March anymore since this is the third time I've had the same issues with warm weather and wet snow in the Alps. The ankle should be fine now so training should resume starting tomorrow.
  4. Seriously though, if this is a conflict which has been waged since time began the real protagonists are likely to be far more deeply embedded than Captain Pugwash or anybody else, rather we need to be keeping an eye on those who have been promised, because whatever has been prophecied its unlikely that they will be following the script
  5. Indeed, although Bran "sees" real things at the outset, it is still only a vision and more abstract as he "rises" higher. Although that vision contains what may be important clues, as in the House of the Undying it should not be taken literally and may actually be deceptive. He sees the familiar activity in Winterfell itself - presumably a true picture He seas [sorry] the galley and the approaching storm - which we [and later presumably he] will learn independently to be true So when he sees the dragons and more importantly is told he must do something about the Heart of Winter that's got to be true too - hasn't it?
  6. If the horn works, it works, that’s all there is. But I think the Qartheen really do hate dragons and didn’t want to have any to begin with, and this might be older than their contact with Valyria, reaching back into the Long Night or the Great empire of the dawn. We’re kind of invited/encouraged to dislike the Qartheen because they’re not great to Dany, and while I think all kinds of doubts about the Undying are fair (and they also seem to be distrusted by the other Qartheen), i’m not sure the Qartheen themselves are in the “bad camp” just because they think Dany’s dragons are “a terror, a flaming sword above the world” and want to stop her. They’re not exactly wrong, ya know? We love Dany, but dragons are unmatched monsters and they really shouldn’t exist. If the Qartheen history hides some juicy tidbits, it might well be something about how they remember that the entire Long Night and the messed up seasons is tied to dragons (either because that’s how/when they were created, or because the Long Night was caused by someone wanting to stop the original dragonlords). In either case, dragons are likely essential to the “original sin” that messed up the world. That’s what I mean by saying the Qartheen may genuinely not have wanted to bring more dragons into the world, and the Undying are now reacting to what Dany has done.
  7. Didn’t realize. I can do Wednesday but don’t think I checked it.
  8. So it's not lazy and has meaningless the other half of the time ? Hm, have to think about have one a bit. Yes , It is conceivable that in the distant future, we may end up having less freedoms for reasons beyond our control and that is not a pleasant possibility to contemplate .
  9. I just watched this episode. I so dearly hope that this version of the book becomes a smash hit, utterly crushing the other in sales. And long-term effect. I will buy it for my kids.
  10. And now he's a rapist. The anti Stark troop men are indefatigable.
  11. Today
  12. I've been very lazy and just read the first page so far.So if this has been mentioned already,my apologies. We have a connection between Ser Shadrich's sigil and the Reed's oath they swear when they arrive at Winterfell. First I can't find anything to connect to; "I swear it by Iron and Bronze". But the bendy brown and blue symbolizing the lands and rivers he's crossed do seem to resonate with; "I swear it by Earth and Water". The white mouse with red eyes- "We swear it by Ice and Fire".
  13. Yeah, but I addressed that earlier by saying it's the stuff that really matters that is the hardest to protect. I meant everything linked to your job, with a professional profile that includes your home address, your bank details, your social security number... etc. I don't care that much about the Facebook or the wargaming stuff tbh. Perhaps we aren't exactly talking about the same things here. Like a foreign power starting to interefere in the political life of our countries? I don't have much hope either tbh. Yeah, I get that it might seem paradoxical. I was writing articles about the Patriot Act fifteen years ago and explaining to people that none of their information was secure, that they had to be careful about digitalisation and all that, and I'm still outraged and appalled by what's happening today. I think I genuinely didn't see mass profiling being that useful. I remember thinking mostly about individual information at the time, but not about the way it could be compiled and weaponized. The "what's to be done, anyway" was referring to the fact that it's difficult to protect your digital information. Like, I could use TOR, but that doesn't change the fact that my email account can be hacked. I guess what I was thinking last night was that you can reduce your internet footprint, but you're powerless to protect information that you give away to your employer, your banker or your doctor, because it's up to them to have the right security (which they don't). At the end of the day, I'm more afraid by the fact that banks, doctors and universities have digitalised everything than by what I tell Facebook. In the first case, I was never given a choice and I know their security is rubbish. Where this is going -I guess- is that even when you know about this stuff, it can, and should, still shock you. Just a few months ago I was lecturing people on NSA and FBI surveillance techniques, discussing stuff like PRISM, Echelon, Carnivore, and FISA warrants and scaring the shit out of everyone in the room. So perhaps on some level I'm more comfortable talking about all that when I don't feel concerned, perhaps I approach it all from a perspective that's way too academic, or perhaps I genuinely believe that we have to fight for the meagre safeguards that we still have by thinking about these issues as we cast a vote for this or that politician.
  14. So this is what passes as "clever" in Kentucky? Cute. That was one hell of a disappointing loss, though I don't think that we deserved to go far in the tourney based on how unevenly we played this season. At least we won the championship last year, and we weren't the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed. I'll take whatever I can get.
  15. Sensible gun safety restrictions, are not something responsible gun owners should fear. since sensible gun safety restrictions / laws would mean that guns not in use or in the owners direct control (eg in a holster on the person) are locked safely away where children and others cannot access them. Yes I know people need to be able to access their guns instantly in the unlikely event that a Terrorist Swat team storm your home and it could happen at any moment. But if your Gun is not at the very least in the same room as you, then it will do you no good in the unlikely situation you need to star in your very own action movie. If the parent in this situation had been a responsible gun owner then their 9 year old Son would not have been able to access your Gun without your knowledge (and direct supervision) while in another room and your Daughter would still be alive. Even if you don't want to restrict the access to guns in any way, please at least make it so Gun owners are responsible for their guns at all times, and mandate some basic gun safety laws.
  16. With regard to Corbyn and the election, I could (and almost did) go into detail about how and why the idea that Labour's performance was a personal triumph for Corbyn isn't supported by the evidence, complete with citations, but honestly that would just get us into a serious derail. Suffice to say that, to the extent that the result lent Corbyn some momentum (heh), he's squandered it. Labour are level at best in the polls, Corbyn's approval ratings are underwater (comparable to Theresa May's), and his political positions are unclear (can anyone explain what a 'jobs first Brexit' is or how it's different to the Tory position?) All of which is to say, sorry, I don't think Photoshopping his hat has really undermined what would otherwise be a winning position.
  17. Which of the Seven Kingdoms expressly have not had queens?
  18. Come again ?
  19. If I'm still around when global warming gets real bad, I'm going to the Koch Brothers house, so I can sit in their air conditioning and drink up all their water. And I'm inviting everyone to come with me.
  20. I get having to use the internet for your job, but that’s not the same as a personal profile that we are talking about. Hobbies are entirely optional. I have internet dependent hobbies too, so I get it, but it is optional. As for the time/money angle - it can be done, yes even for people with families and jobs. Maybe I have a different perspective as I grew up without internet. My parents still write checks and buy stamps, so it’s possible. It’s not as convenient, obviously, but it’s possible. Lots of people live off the grid because it’s important to them for whatever reason. They draw their lines differently than you and I do. All I’m saying is that if something is convenient, there’s a price to be payed and people (in general) happily gave up personal information for the convenience and entertainment value of it all and trusted that things are ok because if it was bad, there’d be laws against it, right? I guess that’s the point. There’s every reason to fight it and try to hold companies and governments accountable for best practices, but the genie has been out of the bottle for a long time now. I don’t see how it can be put back in the bottle without a lot of political will and, frankly, I have about zero hope for that. I honestly think that something a lot more catastrophic than micro-targeting and harvesting will have to happen before enough people find their voices and be loud enough to make officials/companies even think about getting serious about it instead of band-aiding the problem. And on a personal note, I don’t know that you weren’t outraged about it before the CA stuff, but your earlier quote about it happening faster than anyone imagined, or ‘what’s to be done about it, really?’ Made me think you were one of the people who might have been surprised at where this all led. And I might be wrong, but your two stances of ‘what’s do be done about it?’ And ‘if people accept this as the new normal, no one will fight for it’ don’t seem to square.
  21. Well you do realise that the real villains behind all of this are not the Tree-huggers, or the Red Lot but the bankers
  22. The "slippery slope" argument is lazy and meaningless half the time. The line isn't easy to draw but if your individual freedom affects thousands of other individuals in a negative way then it might be a good idea for society to have a debate about it. Lastly, I didn't say I necessarily welcome the evolution that I foresee. My statement was matter of fact. I'm content to live in this day and age.
  23. No. I literally cannot do my job without the internet. Most of the admin stuff is done exclusively through the internet ; come to think of it it's probably not even legal but it's a grey area and that's the way it is. And a significant amount of what I do on a daily basis requires the internet as well. Even my hobbies include many elements that are done exclusively through the internet. Finding a wargaming partner or a tournament is done through the internet exclusively, and I'm into TV shows and comics that can be found on the internet only. Not to mention spending way too much time on internet forums. Then there's also the matter of the things that are not only "super super convenient" but that would take an insane amount of time, energy, and sometimes money to do offline, making them impossible to do for any standard individual with a job and a family life. You seem to be forgetting that many of us have jobs and hobbies that depend on the internet. Some of them didn't even exist a couple of decades ago. There may be full data on individuals right now but it's illegal and there are ways to fight it. But if we start considering these things as the new normal then no one will fight for them anymore. I don't have the time to get involved in that kind of stuff (though come to think of it, I kind of do, actually... ), but the least I can do is support the people who do. Lastly... How do you know I wasn't outraged before? I'm outraged by various things almost everyday. I like to think it's why I'm good at my job: I'm fighting for what I believe in.
  24. Big Brother is watching you.
  25. @Here's Looking At You, Kid Maybe. But keep in mind that they are not similar situations. In Volantis, there's the Triarchy and other slavemaster to persecute rebel slaves who killed their master (the same way Westerosi Lords deals Night's Watch's deserters). At sea, where the captain is king, the "throne" can be easily usurped and the "kingdom" can dock where slaves could be out of reach of retaliators (places like Braavos, I mean).
  26. Margaery Tyrell David Tennant
  27. Has ever been a politician successfully sued for anything like that? One does not have to go for difficult to prove non-local effects like climate change. There are far more obvious things like (in Germany) the failed Berlin Airport, the Stuttgart Train station, billions to save corrupt bankers (or even worse, bad financial speculations by the official responsible for the finance of cities or local districts) and I don't think anyone was ever held legally responsible. It was rarely tried and if then it usually was not successful.
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