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rotting sea cow

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Posts posted by rotting sea cow

  1. On 7/31/2020 at 8:31 PM, SansaTakingUpNeedle said:

    Of course, all this travelling took some weeks, but Lady Dustin says herself that she and Willam were married for some six months when Ned called his banners, so I don’t think a few weeks matter. What matters is that they wed before Ned married Cat, maybe even before Brandon died! So marrying Ned instead of Brandon wasn’t a real option for Barbrey Ryswell even before those events, so Lord Ryswell found another match for his daughter. (But of course, they might have thought about the possibility when Brandon’s betrothal to Cat was announced – that was when Cat was only 12, and Brandon and Barbrey weren’t that much older!)

    So, Barbrey already has one less reason to be pissed, having never actually been betrothed to Ned or something similar.

    I don't see the problem here

    Brandon was betrothed to Cat for years before the Rebellion. So, Barbrey hoped to marry Ned instead, but she never could. Her father made the choice for here. The timeline doesn't matter here. Second. Ned was in the Vale when Brandon was murdered and it took him a while before getting into the North, being smuggled to the Three Sisters by fisherfolk first and then to White Harbor.


    On 7/31/2020 at 8:31 PM, SansaTakingUpNeedle said:

    And actually, I don’t think Brandon taking her maidenhead is such a big problem either: When Roose Bolton tells Theon about Northern houses and clans still practicing the first night, he doesn’t list the Ryswells or the Dustins, but he says that “where the old gods rule, old customs linger” (ADWD, Reek III) and, as we will see again later in this essay, Lady Dustin is a big fan of Northern tradition. So losing her maidenhead to her (future) liege lord mayhaps wasn’t that unusual for her, and given Brandon’s reputation she and her father couldn’t really expect him to marry her because of it.

    No. These "traditions" apply to the common folk. No lord in his right mind would go around deflowering the daughters of vassal houses or demanding the first night' right. Something like that would quickly turn into rebellion.

  2. 41 minutes ago, Kyll.Ing. said:

    On the other hand, it has been mentioned elsewhere that the five-year gap wasn't actually a plan worked into the story from the outset. I have a sneaky suspicion that's only halfway true. I'm starting to hypothesize that the story GRRM had envisioned for some characters involved a gap, while it didn't for others, and that much of the current trouble stems from trying to reconcile this disparity. Like, he might always have envisioned Sam to study at Oldtown for a few years, while Jon had a busy few months with the Others and Stannis struggled with his war in the north, with no immediate concern for how one story would have to happen in a much shorter time frame than the concurrent ones. Maybe a "we'll deal with that problem when we get there" approach to storyline inconsistencies is what's making progress so difficult. 

    There are a number of characters that would have benefits from a few years gap. In particular Bran, Sansa and Ayra could have a more realistic training timeline. Same with Sam. Similarly the degradation of Theon might be more realistic. Rickon could have grown and maybe forgotten who he was.

    Some characters are feasible to put them through such a gap. Tyrion might wander for years in Essos before reaching Dany. Brienne endlessly trying to find Sansa and we could have met her exhausted and disheartened.

    On the other hand the gap would have played havoc with Stannis, the North, Dorne and the Iron Islands. Five years of doing... nothing?

    Similarly after five years, you would think that Dany, Jon and even Cersei would have a clue about governance, so their falls would have been harder to explain.


    41 minutes ago, Kyll.Ing. said:

    Hmm ... or rather, the question is, if that isn't it, then what else could it be? If the problems aren't rooted in chronology, it's difficult to envision what would take so long otherwise. 

    There is certainly a problem syncing Dany's timeline with the rest of the characters. I do wonder if that is the main problem or there is something else.

  3. 6 hours ago, Rubicante said:

    He should just make AFFC and ADWD non-canon.  If you look at the first three books, they form a decent enough trilogy without any further follow up.


    3 hours ago, Kyll.Ing. said:

    Heh, I've toyed with that idea in my head too. I wonder if it would be easier for him to finish the series by starting over from a previous point and undoing some of the knots made in the past two books.

    I disagree. The plots "screw-ups"* were done in the ACOK/ASOS era and that forced the plot in AFFC/ADWD.  The most notorious one is there was no preparation for the five year gap and had to be cancelled. This has still consequences in TWOW, see for example the Mercy chapter, which plainly needs a change on certain things.  

    Feast&Dance are from a certain point of view transitioning books, where GRRM moved their characters around where the plot needs them, both geographically and emotionally.

    So, it's the other way around Feast&Dance untied many knots, but probably some remain. In particular Dany is still too far away from Westeros.

    Edit: I put screw-ups between "" because, they aren't bad plotting, the story in ACOK and ASOS is very good, but that of course had consequences for other ideas that GRRM had at that point.



  4. 10 minutes ago, Zorral said:

    If I were you in these matters of privacy invasion, surveillance, unwarranted investigations, fake accusations of criminal behavior etc. -- we will do far better to be combatting the varieties of legislation carried out in Texas and upheld by the Supreme Court concerning guns, abortion, targeting women, and everybody else who isn't raging hate-filled, white, violent racist and anti-vaxxer.  They've literally instituted a bounty for anybody who wishes to go after a woman to punish her and anyone who helps her.  This is another version of the vile 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, that pushed the north over the edge, and the south got the war of conquest for slavery it had been agitating for, for decades.


    You have no idea how much I agree with you and that's another reason why these things should never be implemented. What today is being used to exclude the non-vaccinated, tomorrow can and will be used to prevent women to have an abortion or to persecute gays or whoever those in power think is the enemy. We are living in a world where disruptive technologies can cause enormous damage to human rights. See this new Australian law, passed within 24h amid the lockdown. Or the Apple initiative to protect children. Or the IMF proposal to use your internet history for credit ranking.

    Countries really need far stronger institutions to keep check on those initiatives and have a vision on how can be misused before using them.

    Regarding the Texas law, yes, it's aberrant.

  5. 17 hours ago, Rippounet said:

    I believe you underestimate the magnitude of the paradigm shift here.

    Ending planned obsolescence (broadly defined) means a combination of three things:
    - Corporations in many sectors will barely make a profit (footnote here: this means the financial sector pulling out of them at least).
    - There will be fewer large for-profit corporations in these sectors (small local ones may still be profitable though -especially if they offer repair & recycling services).
    - There will be fewer jobs overall. This one isn't even only linked to less production  - it's happening anyway.
    The combination of these three things means a different society, with very different priorities and rules/laws.
    I'd say the end of planned obsolescence alone means UBI is required - there aren't enough jobs for humans anymore.
    And then you add to that the end of all wasteful and polluting activities... Well, that's a lot of jobs lost.

    Just a short comment here. What you are describing is very focused on the situation in developed countries, while a lot of common material goods (like a refrigerator) are not readily available for a good fraction of the world population. There is still a huge market for manufactured goods if we can find a way to increase these people's incomes.

  6. 9 minutes ago, Filippa Eilhart said:

    I wonder what will happen when the vaccine passes begin to expire? Will the EU recommend boosters then? Or give up the passes altogether?

    What do you think?

    Do you think they will quickly give up such wonderful social tool? Probably first it will be expanded for boosters, next for other vaccines and maybe for other things. It will be merged into your digital ID and linked to your bank account. Not unlike the Chinese social credit.

    Sorry if I sound bonkers to you, but things like that are being suggested.


  7. 14 minutes ago, Zorral said:

    3) hospitals force people onto ventilators so they can make more money out of the hoax that is covid;

    In Germany btw there is an investigation because some hospitals apparently inflated the number of COVID ICU patients. That high number was btw used to justify the last "emergency-brake" lockdown. I might misremembering some details and I cannot find the link right now

    But I come to say. What in the sevens hells in happening in Israel? More than 20 thousands cases registered today. The death rate doesn't look too good either despite high vaccination rates in the risk populations.


  8. 18 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

    And now I see a story about Australian pharmacies reporting an uptick in prescriptions for Ivermectin showing up. And it’s usage has swept across Latin America and India.

    The first time I heard from Ivermectin was from Bolivia mid 2020. Drug cartels were quick in start trafficking and adulterating this and other drugs (HCQ, etc).

    18 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

    And speaking of India, a story popped up in my Google search that attributes the huge drop in Delta cases to the use of Ivermectin. If you are giving hundreds of millions of people Ivermectin and the cases drop dramatically, someone should actually pay attention, shouldn’t they?

    I don't give much credence to this reports. India just had a huge wave, with some people estimating up to 2 millions of deaths, far below the the official count. This means 200 millions infected assuming the standard IFR, maybe more if we take into account that the Indian population is overall younger. Waving is a completely normal phenomenon in epidemics as is related to social behavior, heterogeneity and super spreading individuals.

    The fact that many countries are using the drug (Peru still uses btw, it's impossible to forbid something there) is another thing that should be look with attention and maybe concern.

  9. What the supporters of the vaccine passports (not the proponents, I'm talking of the common folk) don't get is they aren't happening in a vacuum. We are living in a world with increasing surveillance and decreasing privacy spaces. You will soon have digital identity, digital money, digital health status, etc, which can be linked together in a straightforward way. There are proposals to even link your internet activity to your credit ranking.

    and as @The Anti-Targ well said, they are at best a risk mitigation to control the infection rates. If you think that because everybody around you is vaccinated you are safe, you should well think again.

    These are two long articles by knowledgeable people that discuss some these these things. I reckon I didn't read them fully.




  10. This popped up in my news feeds

    Two senior FDA vaccine leaders step down as agency faces decision on boosters


    Following the trail, I got the following


    A former senior FDA leader told Endpoints that they’re departing because they’re frustrated that CDC and their ACIP committee are involved in decisions that they think should be up to the FDA. The former FDAer also said he’s heard they’re upset with CBER director Peter Marks for not insisting that those decisions should be kept inside FDA. What finally did it for them was the White House getting ahead of FDA on booster shots.


    A very bad signal. This is what happens when politicians think that a pandemic is too important to be left in the hands of scientists.



  11. I haven't kept a look in this thread so it might be repost


    We generally assume that the world is becoming a better place every year. But when it comes to individual freedoms, the opposite is true. Most studies show humanity is now less free than several years ago.

    20 years ago we had decentralized Internet and a relatively unrestricted banking system. Today, Apple and Google censor information and apps on our phones while Visa and Mastercard limit what goods and services we can pay for. Every year we give up more power and control over our lives to a handful of unaccountable corporate executives we didn't elect.

    Most of us willingly carry tracking devices – our phones – and allow corporations to use our private data to target us with content that keeps us distracted with low-quality entertainment. Unlike 20 years ago, we are now surrounded by surveillance cameras, which in countries like China use AI to make sure nobody can hide.

    In 2017, China overtook the US as the largest economy in the world by purchasing power, showing the world that individual freedoms are not required for economic development. Looking at China's success, more countries become authoritarian, curbing essential human rights such as freedom of speech, movement and assembly.

    Who is going to fix it?

    The most active and creative minds of our generation are too busy playing in the rapidly shrinking sandbox called "free enterprise" or producing digital content to keep everyone else glued to their devices for longer. The rest seem to be too distracted with the abundance of cheap digital entertainment to critically assess the trend and take action.

    Watching this, I wonder what will become the legacy of our generation. Will we go down in history as those who let free societies turn into dystopian nightmares? Or will we be remembered as those who defended the freedoms that previous generations fought so hard to win?




  12. You might find this story interesting as it's related to the title of the thread.


    I know that ivermectin is being used in some countries but I never knew of an official program. Does it work? Derek Lowe thinks not.



  13. On 8/29/2021 at 12:06 AM, Lord Varys said:

    The vision refers to a lie that Daenerys is going to slay - either literally or figuratively (say, by existing and being the savior/persons others claim to be) - meaning the king without a shadow is Stannis, and nobody else.

    The cloth dragon is Aegon



    On 8/29/2021 at 12:06 AM, Lord Varys said:

    and the third vision is unclear.

    It might be Euron. Who/What else?

  14. On 8/27/2021 at 8:42 PM, Fragile Bird said:

    The mRNA vaccines are built around a spike, is there a vaccine that uses more than just a spike, one of the non-mRNA ones? Could they possibly work better long term?

    As others said. There are inactivated virus vaccines. The Chinese vaccines for example (Sinovac and Sinopharm) but they are less effective than mRNA/Vector vaccines. I don't think there are studies comparing the long term protection of them. In the case of mRNA vaccines (particularly Pfizer) the studies are more complete and while the decline of the protection is partially explained by the drop of antibodies there is another important aspect that basically the B-cells, etc stop maturing after a point in comparison to the infection.

    Other countries are also producing such vaccine. India has the Covaxin and they claim is actually quite good against Delta (https://www.medindia.net/news/covaxin-shows-high-efficacy-against-delta-plus-variant-202567-1.htm) putting the reason partially on a novel licensed adjuvant.


    On 8/27/2021 at 9:31 PM, Zorral said:

    The Cuban one -- made for alpha -- isn't working against delta.  Yet another reason that for the first time ever the majority of Cubans have lost faith in the government and the Revolution and no longer support it -- as have so many of we long-time supporters in other countries.  

    The price of hubris. The Russian and Chinese both offered very favorable terms to Cuba to co-produce their vaccines, something that Cuba has spare capacity to, and they rejected the offer.

    Now, to be honest. All vaccines are having some trouble with Delta. My pet theory is because intramuscular vaccines do not induce a strong immune response in the upper respiratory track and Delta is able to reproduce like crazy there before being crushed by the immune system. This makes the the need for intranasal vaccines quite urgent.


  15. 1 hour ago, The Anti-Targ said:

    82 cases in Auckland today, the same as yesterday. This is the first day there hasn't been a day on day increase in Auckland. A glimmer of hope that the peak has been reached.

    The other day I saw a Jacinda Arden showing a map with the distribution of the cases. There were spread out all over the northern island. This makes this outbreak more difficult to control. The government is threatening with tougher measures. I hope they also come with support for the most vulnerable, which is an aspect that has been neglected during these measures and in the end making them fail.


  16. 12 hours ago, Mudguard said:

    I think he also said that the Taliban were responsible for screening people before they arrived at the US manned checkpoints at the airport, so I think it's very possible that there are ISIS supporters within the Taliban.  Not one, but two suicide bombers got through the Taliban screening.  Is that the result of poor screening methods, or were they allowed in by a supporter?  The fact that the Taliban freed all the ISIS fighters, bomb makers, planners, etc. that were locked up in prisons suggests that the Taliban isn't really that against ISIS, or at a minimum, that some factions within the Taliban aren't against ISIS.

    Given the chaotic situation it's probably very hard to run a proper screening.

  17. 10 hours ago, Arakan said:

    These are the kind of generalizations which are, to put it nice, not good. Opium Production reached record levels under the watch of NATO and the US. 90% of worldwide opium production comes from Afghanistan, under the watch of NATO and the US. Unfortunately one cannot add pics here…

    Afghan Opium Production (page 5)

    Maybe the Taliban will continue the opium production because money talks, or maybe not because it’s haram, I don’t know. But one cannot deny that they almost eradicated the opium growth in 2001 whereas under the watchful eyes of the CIA it grew and grew. 

    Not to forget that Hamid Karzai himself was knee-deep involved in the drug trafficking, with his brother being the Narco lord of Afghanistan.

    there have been constant complains from nearby countries calling NATO to control the crops. Russia in particular has been very vocal, even claiming that the drug is being used as a weapon against the country.

    What the Taliban will do with that, will strongly depends on the access to cash to run the government. It's pretty clear they are trying to portray themselves in the best possible light for that reason, so international funds can be released giving them time to bring investments from China and elsewhere.


  18. 1 hour ago, Filippa Eilhart said:

    for me the 2nd Pfizer shot was just marginally worse than the 1st. After the 1st I only had a sore arm, after the 2nd I also had body aches for about 2 hours. But that's all.

    I didn't have much reactions with either dose. Some arm pain, some headache, maybe a bit of fever, but the first dose left me for weeks very tired, with bad mood and with difficulties to concentrate. It weirdly ended some days after the second.

  19. 6 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

    No new cases in Wellington today. I think that's the first time there have been no new cases since the first Wellington case was reported. So that's a good sign that all cases are contained within the households of the first few cases. Auckland has another 1 day high with 70 new cases. So the peak has not been reached there yet. Time to start being a little bit concerned about containment because we should start to see daily cases start to decrease. Today should be the peak if people are doing what they should be in the lockdown.

    Is there a word regarding who are the infected and where is happening? From what we have seen around the world, once the virus start to circulate among the most socially disadvantaged members of the society, it gets very difficult to control without going full China in terms of respect for the people.


  20. 1 hour ago, Altherion said:

    This is not quite true. For a little over a decade, the US has been conducting an interesting experiment to see how much money can be injected into the economy without causing inflation. It worked much better than anyone could have expected: the money flow started under G.W. Bush and really went full steam under Obama (for the Great Recession) and then Trump (for the pandemic) without any abnormal inflation whatsoever (it was near the 2% target as recently as 2020 and spring of 2021). However, it's clear that this cannot go on forever: if enough money is injected, there will be inflation (imagine a stimulus of $50,000 per person or something like that) and in fact over this summer we've finally seen inflation rates of over 5%.

    I'm not economist and neither I know the details of the living standards in the US, but I have the impression that prices have increased sharply in other areas, instead of showing up in daily products. For example, housing prices have increased a lot around the world, with associated investement typical at blame. College tuitions have also increased in US as far as I understand, same with health insurance. I'm unsure if they are typically included in inflation statistics, but the burden of the increasing live costs is being felt around the world. 


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