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Happy Ent

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About Happy Ent

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    Godfather of the Weirwoods
  • Birthday 07/01/1968

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  1. Thanks for noticing. I assume the authors are playing tit-for-tat. Whenever I voice a careful criticism of the way they treat their fictional flora on this forum, they just hit back harder next time. They should expect a perfectly spherical anomaly of green tentacles to appear in their living room next time. And after that: in their bedroom.
  2. I took some time rereading parts of Abaddon’s Gate (and also book 7), trying to slowly make sense of the history and mechanics of Romans and Goths. Here is an excerpt from AG(3), where Miller shows Holden the summary of the previous war: Speculation 1 (fallen stars) A star “falling” or “flickering and failing” means something different to the Romans. The stars themselves in question didn’t explode or vanish. Instead, the Roman consciousnesses inhabiting those systems were switched off by Goth attacks, in the matter we’ve already seen in Sol system in book 7: Black sphere appears, and all consciousness is simultaneously switched off for a minute or two. Effect on Romans: the local consciousness of that star system just dies, the “node” of that network (an entire solar system) becomes invisible to the rest of the Roman hive mind. So, from a non-Roman perspective, those systems were alive and well. Frog analogues continued their quacking, photosynthesis went on like nothing happened. But everything connected to the Roman hive minds, including the Romans themselves, but also their technology, was switched off. Ilus is a good example of a “fallen star”. Speculation 2 (Roman counterattack) Here’s what the Roman’s did in the quoted passage, using the mechanism we’ve seen in TW(8). When system X “falls”, the Romans go to the system on the other side of the sphere from X. call it X'. System X' is evacuated, and the matter inside system X' is rearranged into a neutron star, which is spun so as to point towards system X. This seems within Roman capabilities. Then the weapon is fired at will towards X. We see exactly this happen in TW(8). The result is to tear the target system atom from atom. (As a side effect, the gate closes.) What I like: This explains where the energy comes from. I like it better than having the Alien Ring Station itself shooting entire star systems with “radiation and heat” enough to kill suns. In the Holden movie it just looks as if the station does the shotting. But what we see is the gamma burst of a collapsing neutron star on the opposite site of ring space. If true, the Human colony isolated in TW(8) is of course gone, since the star went out. (In the physical sense. Not in the Roman sense.) What I can live with: Why are there still trigger-ready neutron stars around? Well, why not. The Romans were in a hurry, I guess they built a bunch of those, managed to fire 3, got burned for it, and then switched strategy. What I don’t quite like: I still don’t quite understand why the neutron star in TW(8) fired, or rather: why protons were formed in that system. Was this an unintended side effect? Did the Goths know what would happen? Was it their intention? In my speculation, the star-killing and gate-collapsing event in TW(8) is an unintended side effect just based on weird alien space physics. The “tit” from the Goths – their angry reaction-and-escalation to the bomb ship – was their consciousness- and matter-removing attack into ring space.
  3. Rubin is pretty good at letting his guests speak, which I find courteous. His disinclination to push back on things he disagrees with is very deliberate (at least that’s what he says). I think the result is pretty solid. I agree that it would be lovely if he had an unapologetic leftist (such as me) on the show. Maybe we can suggest that for his fan interviews. Also: arboreal perspective. It would be very long, though.
  4. Waking Up with Sam Harris EconTalk NPR Politics Slate Political GabFest Rationally Speaking The Rubin Report
  5. I’m less overwhelmed by the fighting scenes than many others. I understand the limitations of budget, but the infantry skirmishes always feel like brawls, not epic battles between trained soldiers. Otherwise, a fine hour of television. TV-Stannis is not book-Stannis (who is calm and stubborn, not fierce), but it worked here. I think Tywin’s final line could have been something better, instead of having him state the obvious, that they won. That’s beneath Tywin. He should have scolded Cersei for sitting the in throne, or something. “Why is not King Joffrey sitting the Iron Throne?” The first Castameres (in the bar) was musically competent and proper for the period. Loras seems be become a composite character of Loras and Garlan.
  6. Oh. I apologize. Actually, I managed to convince myself than an earlier starting post was eaten by the SQL server, which is why I resubmitted after some hours of waiting. But your instructions are clear. Sorry.
  7. is rooting for Mexico

  8. Thanks for the link

  9. Let me add another perspective to this: Part of the current criticism of the Wikipedia pages is valid. They do indeed lack sources. They would improve a lot if somebody added these sources. Everybody would win. Problem: Nobody maintains these pages anymore. So nobody is going to add those sources. Why? Because the activities of this very board. We have now become more than just a not-attributing, lazy, copycat. Now, we make it even worse As I’ve said before, the main contribution so far of Wikipedia-external wiki-activities has been a dilution of resources. It has manifestly not increased quality. To put it starkly, lots and lots of pages have been copied from the good Wikipedia-editors’s work, with very little payback. It’s as bad as I feared several years ago. And now it’s even worse: the original, content-rich material is going the way of the Dodo because the community is excited about something else, something new and fresh (just like a few years ago!) So now, with the imminent death of really good Wikipedia content, this monster has finally eaten the parent that birthed it. I am not impressed. (If the monster had produced lots of amazing new content, the case would be completely different!) Will the Wars page ever be festooned with sources, in any of its myriad copies? No. Would it be if we had continued editing Wikipedia? Yes. Am I wrong? Show me. I’m happy to be convinced. But I’m just ranting and not contributing. Sorry for that – I imposed a ban on myself for editing non-work related material on Wikipedia some years ago, and won’t change that.
  10. Ah. Good thinking. (Assuming this works – sounds like it to me.)
  11. Well, for his sake, I hope you’ve done your homework on this. As far as I can see from the page footer, all your content is released under GFDL. I’m far from an expert in these matters, but to my untrained (but paranoid eye) this looks like a contradiction.
  12. Great stuff. Could you point us to the agreement you got from Amok for this? We’ve tried something like that for a long time at Wikipedia.
  13. Don’t forget Tourneys in A Song of Ice and Fire, my own attempt at pushing the Wikipedia notability envelope as far as possible. I understand. My point, several years ago, was that we don’t seem to have the volume of contributors to even keep an articles on the major characters alive. Birds nesting in the Red Keep are a pipe dream. One of the conclusions of wikiing is that infrastructure is easy. Content is hard. Put up a new wiki, and some enthusiastic geek will immediately start constructing Categories of pages, and build navigation boxes, and stubby articles for Septas of a Song of Ice and Fire. He will then step proudly back and leave the playing field to the mere mortals who he thinks are eager to fill that scaffolding with Good Content. But that’s not how it works. Ever. It works by mere mortals producing Good Content. If and when the Good Content overflows its own article, somebody can start thinking about infrastructure. So far, that seems to be the only way that collaborative content production actually Gets. Stuff. Done. Content is Hard Work. So if and when the Birds in the Red Keep of a Song of Ice and Fire actually threatens to overflow the lenient boundaries set by the Wikipedia content policy, them maybe we can think about doing something about the pressing need for a new outlet. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. At all. The “board wiki†did not much else than copy existing Good Content from Wikipedia and massage it a bit. Very little new content was added, and certainly not much that couldn’t have existed perfectly well under Wikipedia. (Not that such content could not conceivably exist. The board wiki would be a good home for a speculative, collaborative timeline, for example. Such a think could not exist on Wikipedia.) So the board wiki is a good proof of my point: infrastructure (in this case, a fresh wiki with different policies than Wikipedia) is easy. But infrastructure doesn’t lead to content. But if the next two or three years prove me wrong, you’ll find a big and happy smile on my face. Get writing, folks!
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