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Everything posted by IFR

  1. Are we talking about an ideal cure, 100% effective, the fungi will not adapt around it, perfect distribution, no side effects, high potential of repairing society so it eventually achieves a utopia, etc.? I think so.
  2. All right. To answer this dilemma we should set up a probability distribution on the likelihood of an effective cure being found as a result of the experiment. The best way to determine this probably would be to email Neil Druckman or Craig Maizin, let them know that we need a probability distribution on their fictional scenario to inform a debate. Failing that, I suppose one could develop some kind of Bayesian analysis from whatever information one could gather or infer on the efficacy of post-apocalypse experimental medical procedures, the ability to mobilize a cure successfully and maintain the supply consistently, etc. This prior information would help in evaluating the dilemma. From then we can nitpick on the issue of what likelihood is the tipping point. I suppose on one extreme is that there's no likelihood and the Fireflies are just experimenting on Ellie for fun, and on the other extreme is that the success of the experiment is a virtual certainty. It will probably be somewhere in between. But the corollary problems still exist: how effective is the cure, how sustainable is the structure to manufacture and distribute the cure, what are the side effects of the cure, must the cure be administered in some humiliating fashion (eg suppository), etc. A lot of unknowns have to be hammered out before I can really answer you.
  3. I'm not going to answer that! You'll say I'm wrong, and it will be just my luck the thread will then close, and it won't be worth it to go through the effort of starting a new one just to make a retort. And the rule of debates is that they who have the last word are the victors, so won't I feel silly then.
  4. Oh, it's funny because I chuckled repeatedly. EEAO excited a lot of eyerolls from me, so it's not funny. I feel like this is something we can successfully debate out, until one of us finally acknowledges that our own reactions to either movie should be ignored and concede that objectively speaking one of these movies is funny and the other isn't.
  5. While I wasn't amused by the screwball humor in Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, I found Banshees of Inisherin to be hilarious throughout. Even the premise makes me smile (a guy so desparately wants out of a friendship he threatens to mutilate himself with each further interaction, and the other guy is so desperately clingy he simply can't accept the situation, no matter how clear it becomes that the first guy is absolutely serious ). It wasn't my favorite McDonagh movie (I think In Bruges and Three Billboards were better), but it was a pretty fun movie. And I very much preferred the tone to EEAO. If the humor and tone of Banshees was transplanted into EEAO while keeping the general concept, then I probably would have loved EEAO.
  6. I quite like this take. I cannot say that I'm impressed by the argument of the power of a parent's love. To me this sounds solipsistic: that one's emotions from a parental attachment compromises any utilitarian interests (utilitarian from an anthropocentric point of view, of course). And to me this is intended to be a trolley problem. People are right to argue that as presented in the context of the show, it's a poorly stated trolley problem, but that's clearly the intention of the dilemma.
  7. One of the sequence of scenarios in the trolley problem involves pushing a rotund individual off a bridge to stop the trolley in its tracks - murdering the rotund individual to save five other individuals.
  8. I couldn't answer you there, because I don't hate when other people enjoy something, I just tend to be very open about not liking something. I suppose I do not like when enough people enjoy something I don't like that it becomes the dominant form of entertainment (superhero franchises, for instance). But generally I support other people liking things, even if I don't myself like them. Particularly a movie like this, which I will admit is a distinct effort in moviemaking. I support the idea of EEAO, even though I dislike the execution and am baffled by the extent others like it.
  9. It's interesting to see the near-unanimous praise for EEAO here. I was deeply underwhelmed by the movie. I found it to be pretty silly nonsense, with some occasional moments that were legitimately funny. Kind of something on par with Airplane. There was nothing about it that struck me as profound, and I absolutely hated the prodigious heaping of sentimentality and weepiness the movie kept lathing out.
  10. In that case you should be in the pro-Cordycep camp and celebrate Joel's actions and the annihilation of the human species. Humans actively suppress the needs of every neighboring living being, which is the many.
  11. Pretty decent ending. Like others, I felt that the concluding episodes were weaker than the beginning episodes. The scenes that take place before the apocalypse and Bill's episode were the strongest moments of the series. Some of the over the top moments did belie the otherwise grounded approach to the show, always when it was necessary for Joel and Ellie to confront overwhelming odds. The CG zombie horde in episode 5 was one instance. Their escape from the cannibal camp was another. This culminated with Joel - who had up to this point been presented as a somewhat hobbled old man who lost his edge - suddenly with the power of love becoming a Marvel superhero, sharpshooting his way through an army of Fireflies. But overall the strengths of the show made me overlook some of the sillier elements. Of the recent shows, I think House of the Dragon - despite its flaws - was a better series. Better Call Saul and Andor remain the clear winners as the top seasons of the last 12 months.
  12. Tried watching Slow Horses. Perhaps it's due to watching the Alec Guinness George Smiley miniseries first - which are immensely engaging and impeccable in every way - but I found this series to be a pedestrian effort. Tedious, implausible, and more veering towards the absurdly sensationalist Homeland approach. Occasionally humourous, at least, but it's not enough to keep me watching. What a waste of Gary Oldman's talents.
  13. I watched it and enjoyed it quite a bit. The action is over the top and characters are always hyper dramatic, and there's never anything remotely subtle in their interactions, but it is a great story. I look forward to the end. Hopefully it is the end this time, and not Attack on Titan Final Season Final Part of the Final Part Part One.
  14. Fair enough. I personally would think it's insulting that someone deems a happy ending the only one suitable for me to handle to the extent that they would modify a historical work, but I will acknowledge that there is definitely more of a social impact with respect to racism. I won't agree that this is sufficient to alter historical work, but this is of course a subjective stance. Whether racism is relevant in a work is entirely an opinion. One might argue that the attitude itself is relevant as a portrayal of those times. But as you immediately point out, there is a line for you personally where the merit of the material may outweigh the potential sensitivities to that material. Which is also an opinion (one I agree with). That's why I tend more towards the absolutist side of modifying a work for moral considerations. Morality is an opinion (regardless of if one is so emotionally anchored to whatever given moral code that it feels like it ought to be objective). If one opinion is given dominance such that no other opinion is allowed thought, I view that dynamic as highly vulnerable to exploitation, however innocently such a dynamic may start.
  15. Both are cynical commercial ploys to reinvigorate interest in classical works. In either example, the work is being updated to suit the modern audience's perceived sensitivities. The impact of unhappy endings were apparently stark for audiences then, which prompted modifications to make the work more appealing. I presume that you view depictions of racism as quite different in impact to an unhappy ending in a Shakespeare play, but such is the context of our times now, where you of course are encouraged to be more sensitive to racist depictions than unhappy endings. Opposition to racism is a moral imperative, after all, whereas unhappy endings are not currently considered problematic by the thought police...for now.
  16. One could use the same justification for the modifying of Greek art and literature that had any "overly" sexual or homosexual content. Or giving Shakespearen tragedies happy endings. Etc. To suit the works for a modern audience. I find such approaches equally objectionable. I agree with you that social issues are rarely binary, but I would dispute that in these particular examples, and the example of Ian Fleming and Roald Dahl's works, that expurgation is an appropriate response to outdated content. As many have pointed out, this is doubtless a commercial gimmick to incite controversy and draw attention back to property whose sales may be dissipating, but nevertheless I personally find the trend worrisome. What about Martin's works in a couple of decades? Perhaps publishers will radically modify character behaviors and actions to be less "objectionable" to a modern audience. One can argue that the difference is that Ian Fleming seemingly endorsed the racist sexist attitudes, whereas it's clear that Martin is merely depicting these attitudes, but perhaps the "moral" viewpoint in the future will be that depiction itself is objectionable and such portrayals must be modified. This is by no means a slippery slope, but a natural continuation of this attitude of moral policing.
  17. One can be opposed to racism while still being against the expurgation of historical literature that doesn't align to whatever subset of values you currently subscribe to. The idea that one's personal beliefs of right or wrong are so rarefied and enlightened that it's acceptable to police what ideas are allowed for other inferior minds to be exposed to is not a viewpoint I will ever be comfortable with.
  18. It seems that James Bond books are also being edited so they no longer distress the delicate sensibilities of certain audience members.
  19. Estimated animal death toll from Ohio train derailment tops 43,700. This is updated from the previous estimate of 3,500. Also, residents near Ohio train derailment diagnosed with ailments associated with chemical exposure, including bronchitis.
  20. In the short term, this is true. I speak of a plausible future, which I think many are strangely opposed to, either because they believe AI, regardless of how advanced it becomes, cannot compare to natural human creativity, or they object since they find such a thought of the superior AI creator disturbing.
  21. Maybe not right away, but rebooting is such an obvious way to make money with minimal creative effort. I would be shocked if a reboot never happened.
  22. There are three entire threads dedicated to Rings of Power, which is...well, one shouldn't use the word atrocity lightly, and yet atrocity is wholly insufficient as a description for the experience of RoP. I bet you Warner Brothers could not only reboot LotR, they could update it for a modern audience a la The Witcher (ie fundamentally rewrite the story into a nonsensical mess) and it would still enjoy a large audience, including folks here. Many would even declare they approve of the changes. Quality is entirely irrelevant. Brand familiarity and marketing are generally what is important.
  23. I anticipate that Marvel and DC can be used as a model for the general process of this new thing at Warner Brothers. Initially the fans will grumble. Then Warner Brothers will reveal their new movie, which very likely will be a reboot of Lord of the Rings, or some familiar character origin story. The grumbling of fans will intensify. Why it's preposterous! Why can't Warner Brothers do something interesting or original? Then Warner Brothers will start marketing it. Trailers and behind the scenes footage will be released. Suddenly the fans are excited again. Hey, maybe a reboot/origin isn't such a bad idea? Warner Brothers could do worse! The release date nears and suddenly fans can't wait to see it. That recent trailer looked really well done! The movie is released and is an abomination yet makes hundreds of millions of dollars. Fans are outraged. The movie's awful! The fans grumble among themselves that they saw it coming a mile away, that's why they only went to see the movie once (ok, twice). The reboot/origin movie is successful enough that it gets a sequel. Fans grumble. The last movie was horrifyingly terrible, but if Warner Brothers improved a few details, this sequel could be good....
  24. Just watched the latest Pitch Meeting on Ant Man, which I believe is the only way to watch a Marvel movie without immediately wanting to defenstrate oneself off a very high building.
  25. It's an unfortunate problem now, but I think it may ultimately provide some long term benefits. There's nothing sacrosanct about art, and I find the belief that there's something uniquely elevated and creative about how the human mind produces ideas to be fairly absurd. Art is an individual experience, and being able to custom tailor stories to our own taste will be a good thing. Want something rife with symoblism, literary references, oblique phrasing, while also delivering a message and theme that aligns with your own moral philosophy? AI certainly may be a means to produce it, and with improvement may exhibit a talent indistinguishable to the individual reader from something human produced. And unlike certain authors who may go for years laboring over every detail of their work to uncertain benefit, AI can immediately disgorge the desired work. Will it put human authors out of business? Absolutely, but such is the way of technical progress. If they can't stay competitive with AI, then why should society subsidize them? Still, even with the current advancements of AI, this state of optimization is probably a good long ways off.
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