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Everything posted by Galactus

  1. The coup being defeated is a sign that US democracy isn't quite dead. *There being a coup in the first place* is a sign of it's weakness. Coups themselves are destabilizing, and even in cases of successful coups there were often failed earlier iterations. Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch is a good example.
  2. I think that's not *quite* Putin's beef with the US, but rather the sense that the US set up a rules-based order that it then choses to ignore, while at the same time preventing Russia from doing (what he views as) the same thing. The Iraq War was a genuine snub not because he cares about Iraq but because it showed clearly that the US wasn't treating Russia as an equal. (which, to be fair, it isn't, by just about any metric)
  3. I would like to point out that democracy *in general* isn't very old: Depending on how you define it, only about a century, maybe two if you stretch it, in most cases. And those are only a handful of examples, and often involves quite a bit of fudging to make the longest-ones fit into the definition of democracy.
  4. A combination of repression, and I think the very simple fact that while most chinese would probably agree that things aren't *ideal* they are "getting better", or at least not worse. Which is generally enough to keep a regime going: So long as things are on an upward trend people can suffer through a lot, it's when things are looking like they'll get worse people start to grumble. (see also: Putin's Russia)
  5. Something that Bret Deveraux brought up in his talk about WWI is how the ratio of value from capital investment vs. war has changed: In the middle ages investments gave relatively little benefits compared to just shanking some guy and taking his land, in an industrial society the basis has changed: Not only are economic investments more valuable, but the destructive power of modern weaponry means that unless the war is *extremely* lopsided, or you can offload the costs on to someone else, war just... doesen't pay. LIke, for WWI, it's not just a matter of not even the winners coming out ahead, but that there was *no practical way anyone (of the main belligerents) could come out ahead*. Obviously doesen't end war as a concept, but it changes the dynamic rather drastically.
  6. So are we going to do a watch together thing? Here? On discord? Somewhere?
  7. As a swede, if you're going to have children's books then I'd expect at least a nod to Jansson or Lindgren.
  8. I think most of the omissions are somewhat understandable, but no Pratchett just feels bizarre even within the context they seem to be working.
  9. Katarin personally can actually get her ice Guard cheaper than kossars, and get their MD up to 60, making them reasonably tanky halberd infantry along with their shootiness. It's pretty great.
  10. What. It does not take 2-3 hours. Like, 1 hour tops for me, and I've beaten it three times.
  11. After 5 years of waiting and losing 23 kg's I've finally gotten a time for the surgery to fix the hernia I got from my last surgery. Still kinda nervous since last time it was when my appendix burst and it got real bad, hopefully this won't be as much of a problem. The surgery is in Gällivare of all places though, which is a pain.
  12. My old dog (13 year old, completely deaf) has a nasty udder infection, it doesen't seem to actually hurt her (other than being annoying) but it's basically a fist-sized lump on one of her teat (as well as some smaller ones in the other ones) vet was basically "Well, she's too old to operate on, so just leave it as it is, try to keep it clean if it bursts (which it has once) and if she starts suffering we'll put her down." So that's sad.
  13. I do note, the Ukrainian ultras are somewhat unique becuase of when the options were "Your country is occupied by the USSR and invaded by the Nazis, do you fight A) The nazis The Soviets C) The Poles D) other ukrainian nationalists E) Your own jewish population or F) All of the above" they picked F.
  14. There's a big expansion of citizenship in the late republic with the Social War, and then in the mid-empire everyone gets made a citizen. (though in the meanwhile there's been a steady increase in the number of citizens from manumission, legionary service, etc.)
  15. While I do note that it's not an interpretation I share, the fact that the narrator is unreliable does in a sense cast doubt on everything in the book, including the idea that he is a pedophile. (and of course, as Nabokov points out, in a sense, he isn't, because he doesen't exist except as a character) That kind of reading kinda calls into question the very funadmentals of fiction, though.
  16. Where it gets complicated is that a lot of these changes; Economic, cultural and such. Start well before the empire "falls" and often continue afterwards. So eg. population decline is a hard one to judge, did population decline because the empire fall or did the empire fall because population declined? (or both)
  17. I've kinda felt the same way, I read the Deavabad trilogy and liked it well enough, but it was also.... lacking? Maybe it's just that I've grown more critical over the years and learned to see the flaws more clearly. I do find it interesting that I often have an easier tim enjoying bad books with a particular good thing than "good" books that are flawed, if that makes sense? Like if a book is good the way it is bad stands out, while if it is (mostly) bad but has some enjoyable bit, that enjoyable bit is what sticks with me?
  18. So, I'm about halfway through (I stopped reading for reasons and picked it up yesterday) and well... My immediate thought is "This is a bit TOO close to the french revolution" (or rather, the popular image of the french revolution) to the point where I could start matching characters, and that's a bit boring, let's see how he sorts it out.
  19. My understanding: Killing people with the One Power is relatively easy (people break) immobilizing them with air takes a bit more finesse. Its an option in relatively small numbers but you cant really immobilize an army the way you can blow them up. (and thats before you get into the varying strength of Aes Sedai when it comes to AIr, or any of a number of other limiting factors) I dont think we see anyone immobilizing more than a handful of people at a time? Also, the way the Oaths work they are to some extent, dependant on what the Aes Sedai themselves think, so eg. the Oath against lying does not actually prevent you from "speaking a word untrue", just deliberately doing so. So your ability to hedge around the no-weapon rule is dependant on the Aes Sedai in question being able to fudge it in her own head. (which yes, gives a paranoid sister more options, presumably)
  20. RE: Warders Another thing to remember is that Aes Sedai are pretty restricted in when they can use their channeling. Namely only when in defence of their life or their Warder, or against the Shadow. There is a scene later on where a bunch of Aes Sedai have to get up close in a battle because they have to actually put themselves at risk before Three Oaths lets them intervene.
  21. Funnily enough there was a bug in Rome 2 during port assault battles that sometimes elt your boats go on land (or rather clipping through it like some kind of weird moles)
  22. This feels a bit of a retcon, since at the end of TGT this is pretty much exactly what Simon says? (in general I feel like the sequel series kind of regresses a bunch of characters in order to create drama in the intervening period)
  23. While I think it's not *entirely* fair, Tolkien's kind of conservative-catholic ecologism has certain touchpoints with certain types of fascism, so that charge largely depends on how far you stretch "crypto-"
  24. Psychologically the characters change significantly. Frodo goes from an adventure-hungry youngster into a PTSD-scarred survivor. Merry and Pippin grow from rowdy troublemakers into leaders of hobbits. Sam grows into a hero. And people got he other way too, Denethor, Boromir, even Saruman (though his fall is on a bigger timeline) Gollum changes significantly, etc.
  25. Yeah, *characters* in LOTR change significantly. (and I don't think Moorcock even disagrees)
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