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Clueless Northman

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  1. French is harder, but of course it's easier to practice French than Latin. But then, you merely need to be able to read Latin, not to understand spoken Latin or to actually write or speak it. And even there, ancient Greek is tougher - same for Hebrew or Sanskrit, if only because they're farther away from current European languages. Of course, decent knowledge of English, Spanish or Italian (or even better, all three) helps a lot for French as well as for Latin (and knowledge of French helps for Latin, or the reverse). As for me, if time wasn't an issue (something close to impossible considering all that I'd like to do), I'd go back to dust off my Latin and Greek and would improve my Italian and Spanish. That would be in all cases building up on what I already learned and the bits I've managed to keep over the years, because honestly I've no idea which other languages I'd pick if I had time - too many to choose from and I've no idea which criteria I should rely on to pick new ones, though trying a non-Indo-European one would be interesting.
  2. It's way too early to consider Malthus a failure, alas. Wait until the century is over. Heck, as far as I can guess, wait until half the century is over, and see how "well" we're doing. Earth being finite with finite resources, that's a no-brainer. It only appears NOT to be a zero sum game if you look at a smaller scale. But as you pointed out, even when the whole economy seems to grow for most and not be a zero-sum game, it's only growing because we're depleting resources whose reserves aren't taken into account in the evaluation. Once you do it, you see that mankind's footprint and its share of Earth's total resources is increasing, which means every single yeare we're leaving the rest of the natural world - all the plants and the other animal species - with less to live with than the year before. This can only end terribly for most involved - specially for mankind and the most advanced vertebrate species. That's the main reason why we're in such a shitty economic situation across the West right now: the people have forgotten that absolute and essential truth: the wealthy only fear physical harm and death. As long as you're just protesting, as long as you threaten them with fines, they won't give a fuck. People have to shoot a few CEOs and mob-lynch a few boardrooms before they're taken seriously and the average people's economic situation at long last get better. I'm not hypothesizing how many will have to be taken down and give them the benefit of the doubt, that a few dozens body bags would be enough to make them understand things have to change dramatically, but I obviously won't rule out we might need to go full 1793/1918 and literally wipe out the top 1% (and most probably the bulk of the political class, which is their subservient lackey). That's right, we saw it happen in post-WWII Western societies. But that's over. The multi-millionaire who argues that way now would be booted out of his firm by his board unless he owns most of his business and would be considered a lunatic by his peers. More crucially, it would only be an individual move, not a class / group decision that would involve the vast majority of CEOs, shareholders and the like, so the impact on society would be close to 0. Unless such a behaviour is forced on them, this is a prisoners' dilemma, and we know there's no way to solve it the right way when there are so many prisoners involved, left to their own devices.
  3. You mean, the socio-economic system that has turbocharged climate change and environmental destruction to the point that mankind's survival might nearly be in the balance? A great success, without any doubt. As far as I am concerned, capitalism is absolutely incompatible with mankind's survival. If it's allowed to exist for too long, it will doom us all without any possibility of survival, and must therefore be brought down fast. As for sociopaths, I don't think there's any country with 3-4% of its population in jail, which would be the case if we decided to wise up and to lock up the bulk of the psychos and sociopaths who are destroying our societies and our world. And even within countries with high jail population, many of them are still not sociopaths, so we're not nearly close, not even in the US (but then, a look at Wall Street or Congress would disprove the illusion that US is good at taming sociopathy). This! What's sorely needed right now is that the most powerful countries should shut the fuck up and stop bothering the rest of the world about what they're doing, about their political and economic systems. Let them be. Stop interferring. Stop sending propaganda there. Stop bribing their elites in any way. Stop plotting coups. Let every country decide on its own, and don't complain if you're not happy with the decision, and most importantly, don't put any sanction on them "because reasons" and let them be.
  4. Been on Steam since 2010. Here are the top dogs: 1 - Crusader Kings 2 - 430 h 2 - Skyrim - 380 h 3 - Civilization V - 270 h 4 - Civ VI - 210 h 5 - Witcher 1 - 170 h (yes, I did play it thrice entirely...) 6 - Age of Empires II - 150 h 7 - EU IV - 150 h 8 - Stellaris - 140 h 9 - Deus Ex Mankind Divided - 120 h 10 - Total War Rome (1st one) - 110 h 11 - Mass Effect 1 - 110 h 12 - KOTOR 1 - 100 h 13 - Dishonored 1 - 100 h 14 - Deus Ex Human Revolution - 90 h 15 - Planetside 2 - 70 h 16 - Disco Elysium - 70 h 17 - Jade Empire - 60 h 18 - Age of Empires III - 60 h 19 - Company of Heroes 1 - 60 h 20 - XCOM Enemy Unknown - 50 h Though obviously there are plenty of games that I played more than 50 h that aren't here. Some like BG 1/2, Starcraft or Morrowind are on CDs, some are MMO like WOW, some are on GOG (Age of Decadence, Fallout 2) or freebies from Epic Store (Subnautica, some Assassin's Creed). Some are games I just downloaded from other places (no, not pirated, just old freeware/shareware games from the 90s, or the earlier Paradox games from GamersGate). Some are so old I don't even have a computer to play them and don't have the disks anymore (say Sid Meier's Pirates! on good old Comodore-64).
  5. Indeed. Ukraine (just like Belarus and Kazakhstan) didn't control the nukes. They couldn't use them. They hadn't the codes. The nukes were just stationed there, but were still wholly under Moscow's control. Besides, the West would've let Russia take back its nukes even without the Budapest Memorandum, even without the guarantees. The guarantees weren't there to convince the West that Moscow was the only able to control the nukes, it was to make it easier for the 3 former Soviet republics to let go of nukes they couldn't use. Still, goes to show that Russia is just as bad as the USA when it comes to respecting a treaty, when it doesn't suit them anymore.
  6. For a starter, Musk wasn't exactly keen at seeing if Russia could actually shoot down or disable a sizable part of Starlink's fleet. Of course, this also goes to show that no country and no sane US agency should've allowed Starlink or similar project to be put in motion. Sending 40.000 satellites in orbit just so people can stream porn is pure madness, considering it was already quite crowded in some places with less than 15% of that in space. It's like some fucking psycho actually wants to see Gravity happen for real, and ensure we won't be able to send outer-Earth-orbit missions for the rest of the century. Then, considering that there's plenty of reports of Ukrainian soldiers stating that Starlink was a major help and was a key element in 2022 in resisting then pushing back Russian army, allowing them to coordinate and to share intel with US-based analysts in real-time, then getting advices on what to target, it's quite a bit ridiculous of Ukrainian leadership to shit on Musk - Starlink didn't single-handedly saved them last year, but it was a very important element in their very survival.
  7. Things mght have begun to change a bit during the interwar, but until the WWI settlements, French was the diplomatic language. Ataturk spoke and negotiated in French, for instance. That said, I think French was some kind of prestige languages during 2 different eras. The obvious one during and after Louis XIV, and before that during the 13-14th centuries when France was the major European power, in military, culture, wealth and overall population. It took the combined effects of the devastation of the Black Death, the disruption of international communications and the beating and humiliations of the Hundred Years War to reduce France's (and French language) prestige. I also had a good lauch reading War and Peace, when some Russian duke or archduke had to learn Russian during in 1812 , because only being able to speak French was becoming unwise and actually unsafe in Moscow.
  8. Considering all the moves of the last 36 hours will basically ensure Twitter's fast and sudden death, I'm still wondering a bit, because it smells like sabotage. I'm not sure Musk would just like to burn 44 bio of investment like that, which is why I wonder if he's that delusional. Well, he probably is, but such a lack of common sense and business acumen would be tremendous in one of the 2-3 wealthiest dudes around. Though it's still possible - unlike SpaceX, where Musk can fuck around as much as he can and still get basically bailed out, Twitter is not a piece of end-level military-grade technology that the Pentagon (or CIA) would pay for.
  9. Nitter worked a few hours ago. Guess Twitter managed to block it now. I used to check someTwitter accounts on both sides of the war, to have some limited insight into what's going on, and what they're thinking and saying about the latest events, to get some reasonably reliable info and to check how bad propaganda can be out there. Besides a few other non-war-related accounts of course, a few official ones for instance. I'm not sure if it's Musk's decision or the new CEO's, but this is absolutely suicidal. People who never bothered to get a Twitter account aren't going to get one now, they'll just move on. I should thank them for improving my productivity at work
  10. "Innovative" is moot by the mere fact that people have been down the 3-times deeper Challenger Deep more than 60 years ago.
  11. Exactly my opinion when I read earlier this major league asshole was saying "Safety is overrated, if you fear any risk, you'll never leave your bed". Well, he got exactly what he deserved. With luck, this will actually help push people to consider safety. and actual risk assessment. Some parts of the right-wing (though not only there of course) seemingly love Nassim Taleb, and I guess he must have a field day reading about this deadly debacle. Still, thankfully for them, it's probably been a very fast death, and hopefully they didn't see it coming (at least not for long). Had the CEO not been in the sub - which proves, imho, that he was actually terribly dumb as well -, the level of cheap cost-cutting and the ridiculous way they approached tech and went for making big bucks for grotesquely low cost would've made me consider this an even more brazen "let's steal from my fellow uber-wealthy" scheme than Madoff's.
  12. Yup, but after the crash, they were on solid ground, with water and could breathe air without any support. I hope this terrible accident will make people take more seriously the risks of going to Mars, and even moreso of setting up a Martian base, specially all the suicidal fools who signed up for that one-way trip from that dodgy firm some years ago. Because this is how they're all going to end: either dying fast in some catastrophe or dying slowly and horrifically due to some sudden illness, food, water, air or power shortage. I wonder if those who paid for that kind of trip were aware of this. Odds are that they were fed some bullshit. Still, the CEO was in the sub; he was sharing the risks.
  13. No way I would enter such a thing. Way too packed inside, with no way out, no communication. Pure madness imho. Then, they paid 250K $$ to do that tour. Sounds like a way to scam the 1% that went horribly (and expectedly) wrong. Still, I hope they died suddenly and fast, staying there for several days in such small space before slowly dying like those poor dudes in the Kursk way back then, that's horrible.
  14. Which is the case of all 3 kids - they're terrible and make stupid decisions and moves as soon as they're trying to grab the crown, whatever their few qualities. Thinking of it, they could've done decent work, had they all been senior staff level but not the top dog, working together for someone with real brain and vision, that could rein them in. Something possible only if they're not billionaires due to dad's pile of $$. Or maybe, as Hearofice said, they're all pretending to know stuff and faking it all, and by sheer luck they manage to hit it sometimes. Sure. Still, Tom is by far the worst offender when it comes to word salad, imho. It always made me wonder what he'd actually done before meeting Shiv, but I have to assume he did have some serious office position in some serious place before.
  15. Was it WaPo or NYT who basically stated their own "anonymous" inside official sources said Ukraine did it? For the record, I'm 99.9% sure Ukraine wasn't involved at all - makes no sense, they definitely didn't have the means or know-how.
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