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Everything posted by Fez

  1. Sure. Except that falls into the "impossible" category. The student demand goes beyond stopping direct investment in Israel/Israeli companies (which the University doesn't do anyway— except building a student center in Tel Aviv that the protesters also want cancelled) and is instead that Columbia University not invest in any company that does any business with Israel or even any index fund that includes those companies. Which means they don't want the endowment fund to be invested in the stock market at all; something the university will never do.
  2. Setting aside the merits or concerns about the protests, my main issue is that protesting on campus is basically pointless and just wastes people's time. The student demands are either impossible for the universities for achieve or doable but wouldn't have any impact on Israel. They'd be much more impactful protesting at congresspersons' townhall events and outside their district offices. Or, in the case of the NYC-based students, protesting outside the mayor's office or city council; since the NYC government has much larger economic ties to Israel than any university. The only thing you achieve protesting on campus is smug self-satisfaction. And potentially intimidate Jewish students.
  3. I don't think its 2 huge games. I'm pretty sure it's one huge game (described as being even bigger than BG3) and one smaller game. Sort of like how Rockstar worked on Max Payne 3 and GTA V at the same time.
  4. There was an article about this last summer: https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/08/04/trump-criminal-cases-prison-secret-service/ And, as of then at least, the consensus was that no one had a plan in place yet to handle it. However, just because there are logistical challenges, doesn't mean it would be impossible for Trump to be incarcerated. He would absolutely never be anywhere near a prison gen pop though.
  5. Right, they will. My point is just that they need a Speaker simply for the actual mechanics of passing a bill. Which might be impossible if they ditch Johnson before then.
  6. They will need to act to avoid another government shutdown on October 1. That's so close to the election that the politics get really screwy and I suspect most Republicans will have no desire for a fight. But they'll need to have a speaker to actually get a bill through and it was never clear (AFAIK) if an acting speaker could do that.
  7. Hope this does well for them. Steamworld Build was a flop and led to the publisher "putting on hold" a game called Steamworld Headhunter. https://www.gamedeveloper.com/business/thunderful-says-steamworld-build-underperformed-reveals-it-s-looking-to-sell-headup
  8. They already do: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_attacks_against_Israeli_embassies_and_diplomats
  9. I wouldn't be surprised if a few close US allies under our nuclear umbrella started looking into the feasibility of developing their own weapons after Trump made a whole lotta statements while President saying the US shouldn't defend our allies. But I doubt any of them actually have any yet, both because a nuclear weapons program takes a long time to spin up and because I think they would announce they have them as soon as they do. The only country I could at all imagine might have nuclear weapons but keep it secret would be Japan, because it would actually be against their constitution, much of their population would disapprove of it, and it would unnecessarily antagonize China to announce it. But its known that as early as the 1960s there were Japanese government white papers arguing that tactical nukes at least wouldn't be unconstitutional and their PM at the time told LBJ that Japan should have nukes if China does. So maybe they do have something. Even if they don't right now, they have missiles and literal tons of plutonium and highly enriched uranium already, so they probably could put some together very quickly if they needed to.
  10. Chrono Trigger is a lot of fun, but I'd certainly agree that its been surpassed by a number of games since; and mostly retains it's place on a lot of lists simply from how great it was comparatively at the time. There are some '90s RPGs that have better writing than most games even today (e.g., Planescape Torment) but are often janky in the actual gameplay. The only '90s RPG that I think completely stands the test of time is Final Fantasy Tactics, which I believe still is the king of its niche of turn-based, grid-based tactical RPGs. But note that, other Mass Effect 2, all the games I mentioned are less than 10 years old.
  11. BG3 is pretty on-rails, so how much do you actually roleplay? You can certainly skip a lot of content, but you don't actually have a ton of choices besides whether to do a quest or not. There's a lot of gameplay options of how to complete the quests that you do, but the end result is generally the same. The one big exception is how the Druid's Grove resolves in Act 1, where there are numerous branching options. However, even there the outcome basically boils down to whether you have access to the Tieflings in Act 2 or not (and Minthara's fate). There's not really a true "evil path" through the game, just a good path and a good path with less content. Which means, it comes down to how you define roleplaying. A game like Disco Elysium blows BG3 out of the water in terms of truly playing a character that can take different options through the game. A game like Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous beats BG3 in terms of character build roleplaying. A game like The Witcher 3 or the Mass Effect trilogy beats BG3 in terms of playing as a defined character going through a set narrative. A game like Cyberpunk 2077 beats BG3 in terms of the mechanical expression of gameplay (i.e., all the different ways you can resolve combat encounters). Don't get me wrong, I love BG3. But I don't think it is best in category for any of the ways you can define roleplaying. It's a very good RPG in many different ways, and it may be the actual best ever in cinematic quality, but its hard for me to see how its the best "in terms of what it's genre is trying to achieve".
  12. There are certainly benefits to MJ legalization, and the old system was very screwed up. But anyone claiming weed is harmless is being willfully obtuse. Here's just a few of the studies finding health risks: https://repositorio.uloyola.es/bitstream/handle/20.500.12412/4656/Theblindmenandtheelephant.SystRevCannabisHealth.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y https://purehost.bath.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/242102875/Cannabis_potency_review_Clean_version.pdf https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Valentina-Lorenzetti/publication/340444978_Adolescent_cannabis_use_cognition_brain_health_and_educational_outcomes_A_review_of_the_evidence/links/61448dff519a1a381f672643/Adolescent-cannabis-use-cognition-brain-health-and-educational-outcomes-A-review-of-the-evidence.pdf Is it as bad as heroin? Certainly not. It's probably not even as bad as alcohol (though that's more because alcohol really is quite bad for you). This isn't to say prohibition is correct. But cannabis isn't harmless either, yet many people (and state agencies) have treated it as such since legalization occurred.
  13. Yeah, it is remarkable how badly New York bungled its regulatory scheme and enforcement mechanisms for cannabis legalization. They're basically the case study for other states to review what not to do. They probably aren't the only state that screwed it up, but they are certainly the most visible.
  14. Hmm, interesting. Generally I've gone with what my favorite release at the time was, rather than retrospectively what I like the most now. Though that isn't possible for the first 5 years or so. 1987: Sid Meier's Pirates 1988: Super Mario Bros 3 1989: SimCity 1990: Super Mario World 1991: Civilization 1992: Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 1993: NBA Jam 1994: Final Fantasy VI 1995: Chrono Trigger 1996: Civilization II 1997: Final Fantasy Tactics 1998: Xenogears 1999: Sid Meier's Alpha Centuri... I guess. This is kind of an impossible year 2000: Final Fantasy IX... maybe? Another impossible year. Going back, I'd only want to play Baldur's Gate 2. But, in the moment, I played a crazy amount of FFIX and loved all of it. But also the Tony Hawk games (1 and 2 both came out) and a ton of others. 2001: Final Fantasy X 2002: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind 2003: Dynasty Warriors 4...I suppose. I kinda didn't play most games from this year. 2004: World of Warcraft 2005: Civilization IV 2006: Gears of War...sorta by default. Another year I mostly skipped. 2007: Mass Effect 2008: Saints Row II 2009: Dragon Age: Origins 2010: Mass Effect 2 2011: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 2012: Mass Effect 3... but only barely. So many awesome games. 2013: Bioshock Infinite 2014: Dragon Age: Inquisition 2015: The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt 2016: Overwatch... incredible how much the game/sequel has fallen in my opinion 2017: Hollow Knight 2018: Pathfinder: Kingmaker 2019: Disco Elysium 2020: Hades 2021: Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous 2022: Elden Ring 2023: Immortality... for the very specific reason that it was one of the few games I've been able to play together with my girlfriend. And we had a great time. More traditionally, it'd be Baldur's Gate III. It's interesting to see how much my tastes changed over time. When I was younger I loved JRPGs and strategy games and now it's very rare I'd go to those genres. And after 2015, I almost totally disengaged from the AAA space. There have been a handful I played and enjoyed beyond Elden Ring and BG3, most notably Control and Cyberpunk. But vast majority I ignore because I know I'll be disappointed.
  15. He was polling in first place that spring, which may very well have been enough to overcome the "wasted vote" concern that usually sinks 3rd party bids. Your own state's experience with Jesse Ventura shows what can happen if a 3rd party bid gets enough momentum going.
  16. Unicorn Overlord is a really fun Vanillaware game on Switch (and maybe PS5?) I've ben playing. It's like Ogre Battle 64 in that it's a tactics game where you don't actually control your units in battle. Instead you are programming them (similar to the FF12 gambits), equipping them, and deciding which ones go in which formations. And then you see how it plays out. It starts simple, but gets complex pretty quickly. Unfortunately, if you know what you're doing, it's pretty easy. The AI units don't take nearly enough advantage of the options available. Also, the story is very basic. But the artwork and music are top notch. There's lots of little touches to the gameplay loops that are very satisfying. And fully optimizing your formations can be very fun, even if it's kinda unnecessary.
  17. Well yes, certainly. Ground up is the only way to achieve lasting change. But that's boring and everyone wants to ignore that. I will say though, I think Perot 1992 shows that with the right stances and in the right circumstances, a 3rd party presidential candidate can have a real shot. If his campaign hadn't had such a bizarre July that year (including him briefly dropping out of the race), he might've actually won. He was certainly the polling frontrunner in May/June.
  18. Especially since, to have any chance at all, a third party candidate would need to have pretty much the exact opposite stances of what these groups want. They always want the mythical reasonable Republican (read: not too social conservative, but otherwise bog standard). Whereas an actually effective third party candidate would be some populist hybrid of all the positions that these groups hate (e.g., calling for high taxes on the rich and shutting down the border); basically Trump 2016 with some tweaks to appeal to Democrats more and further differentiate from the generic Republican running.
  19. I believe that's still pretty buggy though, since it's not really intended. Stuff like Halsin and Minthara sharing an overlapping tent in camp because they have the same location.
  20. I do think Democrats are in a really good position to take the House back, and I think Biden is a little better than 50-50 to win re-election, but the Senate is a real tough nut to crack. Could Democrats get the clean sweep (minus WV) and keep a 50+VP majority? Sure, but I don't think the odds are in their favor at all right now. However, if Biden wins and Democrats keep the House and are at 49 Senate seats, I could see a situation where Murkowski finally does flip sides in exchange for enough goodies and in the name of avoiding total gridlock. But we'll see. I do think polling is basically totally broken right now, which is why I'm a bit more bullish than some on Biden's chances. But, without reliable polling, it's real hard to make any sort of informed forecast as to how things will go.
  21. Sort of, yes. They can't easily force him to do things, but they can easily force him to not do things. Withdrawing troops from NATO bases costs money for instance, and Congress could include a rider in the appropriations bills that no funding may be used to withdraw troops. This is the exact tactic Republicans used to stop Obama from closing Gitmo. Granted, there is the wrinkle of how far Trump would try pushing his pardon power; e.g., ordering the defense secretary to illegally provide funding to withdraw troops and then pardoning him. Though that does run into the potential barrier of the military being supposed to ignore illegal orders. Also, I do think there's 5+ SCOTUS votes to reinterpret presidential pardon power if Trump tried being that much of an outright dictator.
  22. Decided to give honor mode a shot, and am trying to avoid anything truly cheesy to beat it. I also still want to do most of the content, rather than rush through things. So far I'm level 5 and just wiped out the Goblins. I think so long as I don't get too greedy, I'm probably in the clear the rest of the game now that I gotta the powerboost of extra attacks and 3rd level spells. Just gotta delay certain fights until I'm over-leveled (like Auntie Ethel). The one tight spot so far was fighting the goblins outside the shattered sanctum at level 4. I got over-confident and tried taking on everyone at once without any real prep. Ended up having 3 party members die and had to have Astarion drink the triple-distance jumping potion and escape far enough away so he could flee to camp and pay Withers to bring everyone back.
  23. Depending on how things shake out, Democrats could straight up have the majority and just make Jeffries Speaker (albeit only until a few special elections in safe Republican seats wrap up). Right now, if nothing else changes or really unexpected things happen, from April 30 to May 21 the Republican majority will be down to 217-214. There's been ongoing rumors that another couple House Republicans are already planning to resign soon. If there's a new round of chaos because of a move to vacate the speaker, it's not that hard to image a couple more than that calling it quits and all of a sudden Democrats have a 214-213 majority or thereabouts. And since special elections take time to organize, they could potentially have that majority for a month or two. Fantastical? Sure. But not actually as crazy unlikely as it sounds.
  24. I know referencing movies is hackneyed, but I'm reminded of that part in Kingdom of Heaven where the crusaders are laughing at "those sorts of Christians" who actually try following Jesus' teachings. Anyway, good to see everybody.
  25. Depending on where the decimal points are, that 52-47 may mean that Catholics voted slightly to the left of the country as a whole. Certainly better than 2016, when they went 52-44 for Trump. But that's the only time they were pretty out-of-sync with the overall vote this century. In 2012, they went 50-48 for Obama, 2008 was 54-45 Obama, 2004 was 52-47 Bush, and 2000 was 50-47 Gore. While white evangelicals are the biggest problem, it's really all Protestants that are an issue. Even in 2008, McCain won them 54-45. If the Reformation never happened, Democrats would probably never lose another election. (Hi everyone!)
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