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About Arakan

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    In Memoriam Mycah
  • Birthday 05/28/1981

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  1. Arakan

    German politics xth attempt

    @Notone allright, I get it you dont like the CSU. I am very sorry but I have to tell you that your perception bias doesnt allow me to have a serious discussion with you about CSU policies. You pick some random examples and define everything with that. makes no sense, at all. This is not how inductive reasoning works. And your not very subtle accusations that the CSU is somehow "ausländerfeindlich" is ludicrous.
  2. Arakan

    German politics xth attempt

    You could add Stoiber :))). He was respected in Bavaria for making a good job but never loved. Too sullen, too much of a smart ass, lack of humour, too thinskinned .
  3. Arakan

    German politics xth attempt

    @Jo498 even though I disagree with many things Lafontaine (and Gysi) said, I always respected their intellect and rhetoric capabilities. Both have very analytic minds. But while Gysi could argue with charme and humour, Lafontaine was always too sullen (a bit like Stannis) and had the unsavory attitude to show his opponents his contempt too openly when he deemed them "stupid". As one can imagine you make a lot of enemies this way.
  4. Arakan

    German politics xth attempt

    the main outcome of the election in September: another Great Coalition with a slightly stronger SPD thanks to the Schulz effect. AfD somewhere in the region of 10-15% depending what will happen until September. Another attack like in Berlin might push the AfD towards 15%. FDP? absolutely no idea. they might make the 5% hurdle but maybe not. Anyway the party as it is now is irrelevant so or so. I know that the Germans on this forum are in average quite left and do not like the CSU, even put them in the same corner as the AfD. my opinion is clear: that is nonsense. The CSU is - 100% democratic - pro Europe - pro Euro - pro helping people they are socially conservative and this is why people have a problem with them. And yes Seehofer is sometimes a bit populistic but don't forget: he is pro solidarity and community. Comparing him with rightwing demagogues is not only unfair but malicious.
  5. Arakan

    Tolkien 2.0

    One could make the case that the "eternal" enmity of the Haradrim and Easterlings towards Gondor/Numenorean culture is the is the result of a very deep-lying sociocultural PTSD, resulting from the experience of Numenorean imperialism. To apply a real world example: the anxiety of Eastern European states towards Russia due to the fact that the ruling elite in Russia till this day glorify the imperial days, from Peter the Great to the Soviet Union (less applicable examples: France, UK, Spain due to their relatively low power projection capabilities towards their former colonies). Yes, Sauron manipulated them but he walked on already fertile grounds. Yes, I also now that in the case of Umbar (and presumably other Haradrim realms), Black Numenoreans and later the losers of the Gondorian Civil War constituted the aristocracy, at least partly. But IIRC according to Tolkien, they soon became culturally integrated.
  6. Arakan

    Alien: Covenant

    Yeah. I quite like Alien 3, the special edition version to be precise. With regard to Alien Covenant...the trailer looks so absolutely and totally generic, that I expect an absolutely and totally generic movie. Not bad, not fabolous, basically like frozen pizza... The movie will have good atmosphere and cinematography, this is where Ridley Scott excels but I do not expect a good, original story. With few exceptions this was never Scott's strong point. IMO of course. Though I will always be thankful for Alien and Blade Runner.
  7. Arakan

    Atlas of Ice and Fire

    I expanded on this in a thread in General, with many many statistics . I will mark you. In short: it's not a question of plausibility but of necessity given the size GRRM chose for the size of the Free Cities
  8. 1) Oh don't get me wrong, gangrene is quite a downer, especially back then when there was no antibiotics. To be wounded, whether with blade, arrow or bullet, was more often than not a death sentence, unless you were lucky enough to stop gangrene by cutting off a leg or arm (remark: I read somewhere that during the Napoleonic Wars 50% of all the battle wounded that anyway a few days to a few weeks later). But TWD is set in the 21st century so antibiotics is available and death by gangrene takes its time. 2) your theory sounds reasonably well, i.e. it's the best possible explanation but then again if the virus is by default dormant unless it is "activated" by a bite (however small), cutting off a limb very soon after the bite shouldn't have any effect. I mean it's ridiculous :)). 3) actually the whole virus thing is a symptome (hohoho) for TWD in general. As long as a good story is told and the acting keeps you emotionally invested in the characters, you don't ask too much questions. After all we are speaking of a zombie show and suspension of disbelief is mandatory. But, god beware, when this deflector shild cracks, you cannot but realize how stupid and plain ridiculous so many things regarding the setting and general worldbuilding are. Unfortunately season 7 was that moment for me, I simply cannot suspend my disbelief anymore. The show is stupid, the actually good basic story idea poorly executed and I am bored. I almost get nostalgia when I look back at season 1 but the producers have unfortunately chosen a different path...
  9. Well, I was expecting this answer . But then it would be simple gangrene. Wouldn't kill that fast (by far) and antibiotics is still around. Somehow it started to bother me. In the Romero movies people at least "died" from the zombie virus. Good enough for me. Anyway, that was it for me. This season was so unbelievable boring that I lost all interest to continue. I am very sure that Season 7 will be remembered as the season when TWD jumped the shark. It really is a pity because JDM is such a great actor but the writing, the pacing, it's simply horrible. I don't doubt that TWD will continue for at least another 3 seasons, the producers will milk that cow until the very last drop, but that's about it. If the producers ever had the ambition to tell a good story, that is gone. I guess TWD will die a slow death and will simply fade away one day. As I said: till the last drop...
  10. Arakan

    Ranking Tarantino

    1) Pulp Fiction 2) Reservoir Dogs 3) Inglorious Basterds 4) Kill Bill (1+2, one movie) 5) Django Unchained 6) The Hateful Eight 7) Death Proof 8) Jackie Brown Pulp Fiction far and above the number one. 2-4 very close, 6 and 7 also very close. 8 by far the "worst" movie (but still good).
  11. Question: is it ever explained why people who are bitten by zombies almost instantly die? It cannot be the virus as everyone is infected. So what is it? Somehow it seems to make absolutely no sense.
  12. Arakan

    Atlas of Ice and Fire

    Hi Werthead, first of all your blog is great stuff. I am a bit of a pre-modern demographics nerd and so your entries about the population of Westeros and the Free Cities (aka Western Essos) catched my attention. As FNR already made some good points regarding Westeros I would like to focus on Western Essos. In general, I think given the population you attribute to the Free Cities proper you underestimate the overall population of Western Essos quite significantly. I would like to focus on Volantis and Braavos in this post. Volantis "empire" 1. Volantis proper: 1.0-1.2 million 2. Other urban areas: 1.2-1.5 million 3. total: 6.2 million With figure 1 I can agree, also with your estimation of "other urban areas" though only when this includes not only the population of the three mentioned towns but the overall urban population excluding Volantis proper. I think it is perfectly reasonable to assume that there are more urban settlements. So let's go with 2.4 million urban population. But I have a problem with the total figure because this would imply a rural population of only 3.8 million people or an urbanization rate of almost 40% and I think you know that this is way off the mark! To give a little bit of context: Italy at the height of the Roman Empire is estimated to have had an UR of 20-25% which itself is huge (standard pre-modern: 5-10%) and was only sustainable due to massive food imports from all over the empire (esp. Sicily and Egypt). When we take this in context even 25% urban population for the Volantis "empire" seems too much because this would imply that a large percentage of their grain has to be imported. I ask: from where outside the Volantis territory? This leads me to the conclusion that the overall urbanization rate of the Volantis empire could be in the best case somewhere between 15-20% (and this is assuming a high vertility of the land along the Rhoyne at least on the level of the Nile). That leaves me with following figures : 1. Volantis proper: 1.2 million (your figure) 2. OUA: 1.2 million (your figure) 3. Rural population: 9.5-10 million 4. Total population: 11-12 million (which gives us an UR of roughly 20%). Coming to Braavos... Here you give the following figures: 1. Braavos proper: 0.8 million 2. Surroundings: 2-3 million If the surrounding population would imply this is all rural I would agree with 3 million (but as minimum) but this begs the question: are there no other urban centres in the Braavosi "empire"? In my opinion this would be a wrong assumption. Logic and historical real life examples would suggest that there is quite a lot of urban population outside of Braavos proper, especially given the size of the controlled area. Quite likely less than in the case of Volantis but still somewhere in the region of roughly 50% of Braavos proper (Volantis had a factor of 100%). Furthermore I expect less fertility around Braavos and North-Western Essos than along the Rhoyne which implies more rural workforce needed to cultivate relatively more land. I would thus suggest the following figures: 1. Braavos proper: 0.8 million (your figure) 2. OUA: 0.4 million (my estimation) 3. Rural population: ca. 6 million 4. Total population: 7-8 million (which gives us an UR of 15-17%). This gives us for both, Volantis and Braavos, a population of 18-20 million compared to your estimation of 9-10 million :). 20 million seems a lot? Actually it's not ;). Compare this to the Roman Empire around 200 AD which had one "million city" with Rome, one city in the 300-500k ballpark with Alexandria and two cities (Carthage and Antioch) in the 150-200k ballpark. The best of the rest of Roman cities where all around 50k. And that Empire had 60 (!!) million people. I have not the time right now for the other Free Cities but all in all it is absolutely safe to assume that the combined population of the Free Cities is at least on total Westeros level, likely a bit higher, i.e. in the 40-50 million ballpark. If that seems too much well then GRRM should have made his Free Cities smaller ;).
  13. Arakan

    Goodkind 54: How to Revive a Dead Dick

    Goodkind's sword of truth is the biggest trash I ever read (first 3 books anyway). But curiously enough he was quite popular in Germany 15 years back because he wrote "grown up" fantasy not "childish" fantasy like Tolkien.... God those people were fucking annoying.