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Topics - Doktor Howl

Dear Roger,

You've been gone a while.  Maybe sulking, maybe dead, hard to say.  Either way, I'm better off without you.  You were, in medical terms, a schmuck.  You were always so damned eager to make friends, and you never were invited.  To anything.  People just didn't care if you were around, and that bugged you worse than if they outright hated you. You were a cypher.  Ranting your guts up is fun, but it's not a personality.

Me, I can take people or leave them.  You should try that, assuming of course that you're not pushing up daisies.  I mean, everyone left you.  Not in a cloud of anger or hatred (for the most part), just disinterest.  It's been that way since you were a kid.  Always picked last for sports, that sort of thing. 

You always had this idea that you could help people.  Like you were some kind of "savior," though you couldn't even help yourself.  The only time you were worth a shit was at that chaotic Goddamn chemical plant, and only because you knew how to make things work with minimal craters.  But when you left, you weren't really missed, were you?

No, you weren't.  And the reason you weren't is the same reason you crashed and burned here.  It was your huge Goddamn validation addiction.  You got online and suddenly you got to be the center of attention...At least until people met you in the real world.  Then you sort of faded into the background, just like you always have.  A ghost.  Someone people used to know.  Just a face in the crowd. Another Tucson loser, who loses not because of failures, but just because you weren't meant to win..  "Not invited" is in your DNA, stupid old man.

Here on the other side of the looking glass, things are doing nicely.  I've been really indulging myself doing great things for bad people.  Things that might actually negatively affect our species survival.  Fuck those humans you value so much (your rants not withstanding).  They are almost universally balls of shit, and the ones that aren't are just collateral damage.

You never learned, did you?  You never understood that if you can't be a hero - and you can't - then be a villain.  It occurs to me that your aborted series Life During Wartime had a profound affect on me.  So there's that.

In closing, you miserable little fragment of a person, let me just say that I hope someone remembered to put a stake through your heart before they buried you in whatever landfill was available.

Doktor Howl

So, The Finals are due.  The Coming Weird Times arrived.  The party has begun.

And nobody was ready.  Everyone freaked the hell out, because suddenly, it wasn't funny anymore.

We had a fat smelly orange thing in the white house.

The boat got stuck.

We had a plague.

We had an insurrection.

There are outright Nazis in the house, defending an unprovoked war in Europe.

We have nation-state piracy in the Red Sea.

This is an ugly time to be alive.  But here you are, and here it is.  And now you want someone to tell you what to do, how to be saved.  SAVED?  That was NEVER part of the bargain.  Nobody is coming to save you, and nobody every promised or even suggested that they would.  And what kind of agent of chaos hides in the basement the moment things get FUNNY?

There was never any promise, implicit or explicit, that you would die in bed of old age, surrounded by loved ones.  Remember that.  Act like it is a fact carved in stone.

Now get out there and be part of the problem.

Or kill me.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Andy Rooney Moment
September 14, 2023, 06:34:02 PM
<Mickey Rooney voice>

You ever had someone you thought you were friends with for 21 years just flat-up ghost you?  I hate that.

</Mickey Rooney voice>

I should be used to it, given my earlier revelation that A friend is a close person who hasn't yet had sufficient incentive to turn on you, or at least show you the door.

And this isn't anything new for me,  and I realize that I'm not everyone's cup of tea.  I was picked last in every sport in junior high.  I was never invited.  I had to walk home from school, because nobody would give me a ride.

Then I got a little bit of Eris in my life.  I bought a 1976 Gran Fury (the one with the Windsor 360 V8/4 Barrel) for $500, got the Chilton's manual on it, and over the course of a summer, I had that bastard ready to race by fall.  Made some friends doing it, too.  Gearheads were hard to come by.  But even then, I was only ever an "honorary" member of the pack.  But at least I was connected.

That year I also got heavily into computers (1985 or so), and I again made some almost-friends, they would have been actual friends, but I thought they were a little obsessed and they thought I was a Gearhead (indistinguishable from a Jock in their eyes) that might suddenly turn on them and bounce them off their heads until their lunch money fell out.

The money shot of all of this is that by 1986, I had the Gearheads and the computer nerds hanging out, doing what is now called skill sharing

But that new, burgeoning group was full.  There was no place for me.  I mean, they'd all be pleasant, "how ya doing", etc, but once again, I was never invited.  Friendly but not friends.

Since then, I have been a soldier.  I was good at it.  I was looked on with favor by the senior noncommissioned officers for my ability to train newbies coming fresh out of basic.  But then something bad happened, and everyone for the rest of my time in the army looked at me like I was bad luck.  And then I was a civilian again, with a gimpy leg.

Fast forward 29 years.  I am at the top of my field.  I have finally hit the invisible PhD ceiling, and I'm okay with that.  I am still not invited, and I have come to realize that part of that is my fault.  Hell, maybe the majority of it is my fault.  I know that some of my odious personal habits rub people the wrong way, and that my taciturn behavior in person means that even Star Trek Nerds don't want to spend very much time with me at conventions.

Lastly, I am getting older, by which I mean I am eligible for AARP, so now I don't expect to be invited. 

Now, I'm not just trying to whine here, I'm actually sorta building up to something. 

And that something is this:  "If you ghosted me, I have no hard feelings.  It is what it is.  But I'm not where you left me, and I am reasonable sure I never will be again.  Go forth and enjoy your life over the next couple of overly-exciting decades, and forget you ever knew me.  We all have to make choices in this life, and you've made yours."

That's all I have to say about that.

Or Kill Me Leave Me Hangin'

So Randy and I, and some of my crew were sitting there in the office, telling the worst jokes we knew.

Randy was in Vietnam in the early years of the war, thankful as hell that he managed to get in the air force, and spent his year in country in a big airbase near Saigon.  He came home, went to school, got married, and had three kids.  Then 8 grandchildren.  Then 12 great grandchildren.  All of whom he boasted about endlessly, but it never got boring or annoying.  He was just that into life.

I told the Bernstein Nails joke, and everyone busted a gut.  Randy laughed so hard he went bright red.  Then his face sagged.  Then he fell down.

He was declared dead at Saint Mary's Hospital at 4:10 PM.

Randy is for many reasons the luckiest man I ever met.  He lived through a horrible war, had a great family, and a rewarding career. 

And then he died laughing, never knowing what hit him.
Aneristic Illusions / Unlimited Plague Rat Thread
June 09, 2023, 09:02:13 PM

QuoteMADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature on Wednesday voted to stop Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' administration from requiring seventh graders to be vaccinated against meningitis.

The state Senate and Assembly, with all Republicans in support and Democrats against, voted to block the proposal. There is no current meningitis vaccination requirement for Wisconsin students.

The Legislature's vote also makes it easier for parents to get an exemption from a chicken pox vaccine requirement that is in place for all K-6 students. Evers' administration wanted to require parents seeking a chicken pox vaccination exemption to provide proof that their child has previously been infected.

Families could still seek waivers from the meningitis vaccination and chickenpox proof requirements for medical, religious or philosophical reasons, just as they can for other vaccinations.

The Advisory Council on Immunization Practices — experts who advise the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — has recommended that students get vaccinated against meningitis since 2005.

However, some parents complained at a public hearing that the proposed requirements violated their liberties. Health officials said they were trying to protect students' health.

Meningitis is an infection of the brain and spinal cord that can also cause blood infections. It can be deadly or cause lifelong disability. Rates of the disease have declined in the United States since the 1990s and remain low in Wisconsin and across the country, according to the CDC.

Vaccines for both meningitis and chicken pox are widely used and have been proven to be safe and effective.

In March, a Republican-led legislative committee voted to block the proposed policy changes, just as it did two years ago and despite the objections of Democrats and health officials. The Legislature's vote Wednesday is the final step needed to stop enactment of the policy.

Humans are too stupid to exist.

QuotePORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland's city council voted Wednesday to pass an ordinance prohibiting camping during daytime hours in most public places as it, like other places in the U.S., struggles to address a longtime homelessness crisis.

The 3-1 vote changes city code to say that people may camp in nonrestricted areas from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., but after that they must dismantle the site until the permitted overnight hours begin again.

The ordinance also bans camping entirely near schools, parks and busy streets among other locations.

Business and property owners were among those who backed the ordinance, saying campsites are causing them to lose customers and creating safety issues. Advocates for homeless people said it will further burden them, heightening mental and physical distress.

Portland has already prohibited camping on city property at all hours. But that measure has rarely been enforced and could be found to violate a state law that takes effect July 1.
QuoteImage bombs
Gore or porn that's posted as an image rather than a link (and that link has to be marked NSFW).
Anything outright illegal (kiddie porn, threats of physical harm, etc)
Snitching out a PD troll going on somewhere else.
Hacking the board or deliberately using an exploit to fuck up the board.
Stalking someone IRL or posting their PI, or otherwise taking the internet IRL.
Anything that all the admins can agree on as bannable (almost never happens).
Evading a prior ban (results in permanent banning, no exceptions).
Alt accounts will be banned unless we think it's funny, but the original account usually stays.
White supremacist or similar Nazi garbage

All this time, I thought it was just in the sign up page.
This is a work in progress, feel free to add relevant bits.

1.  Never interrupt Americans, because they WILL get in a land war in Asia.
2.  Never outnumber Ukrainians.
3.  See that Yemeni shitting into the commander's hatch of your shiny M1A2?  That's as close as you're gonna get to an offer of armistice.
4.  Human wave attacks aren't what they used to be.
5.  Everything you spent the last century learning about war is now wrong.
6.  It's not about the money now.  Now it's about spite and ancient butthurt on the part of anyone.
7.  Never tell an Armenian or an Azerbajani to be patient.
8.  Never assume that Chechnya is on anyone's side.  Even their own.
9.  Weapons are not made for wars, wars are made for weapons.
10.  Scholz is a punk.

More to follow.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / FOUND IT AGAIN
November 29, 2022, 10:30:33 PM
After 16 years, it came back to the surface.

Now I am only waiting for P3NT's HIMEOBS recruiting film to show up again.
This is based on a campaign I ran in 1993-1996, which at the time was just a mega-dungeon that had no point in itself, but had loads of things in it that you would need to find for other campaigns.  It started out as "The Archive," but after a while the players just started calling it the underground empire, after the old Zork game.  So I was asking myself last night, why not incorporate both?

Things I am stealing from for this campaign:
1.  The original Zork. Just for the entrance.
2.  The Maze of the Blue Medusa, for the style of the joint, plus stealing multiple characters to use in different ways than they were intended.
3.  My own campaign, "Ink World."
4.  The graphic novel series "Colder."
5.  "The Slumbering City of Tsar" by Bill Webb.
6.  My old campaign from 1993, mostly just for the floor plan and the idea of it being an ancient repository of knowledge.
7.  Various ideas plundered from the Fallout franchise.

Since this is a home brew campaign for a home group, I feel no problem plundering all of these sources, though if anyone has read them, they won't have much advantage, because I'm only stealing flavor, not the outline of the campaign.

All monsters the PCs will run into will either be created specifically for this campaign, or will be altered from the existing bestiaries.  Not one encounter will be "stock."

There is no going back to town, because the PCs will be on a demi-plane.  This is not a loot-heavy adventure.  They may get a chance to get back to town once, between the archive and the empire, which would be when the PCs are somewhere between 8th and 10th level.  This also means that my normal fame rules are not in play.  In exchange, the PCs will select alternate races from the Advanced Race Guide (which also fits the flavor of the campaign). They may also choose freely between Eastern and Western weapons and classes at the start of the campaign.

Check out "Tenet".

The entire movie is basically Tucson interacting with the real world from an outside point of view.

All those people moving backwards?  That's NORMAL.
1.  In Voyager, 7 of 9 is rescued from the Borg.  First they take off most of her cybernetics.  Then they make her wear a skin-tight bodysuit.  So she has gone from cyborg to fan-service cheesecake. 

2.  Also, the prime directive can be interpreted to mean, "Don't help victims of car accidents.  You have to let things develop on their own."

Conclusion:  Star Fleet aren't the good guys.

3.  Until 2022, the Ukraine was just an annoying country to invade in the board game "Risk".  Now it's an annoying country to invade in real life.  Which makes me wonder what Greenland is going to be like in a few years.

4.  Biden needs a red background for ALL of his speeches, because it freaks the MAGA crowd out.

5.  Since the Iranians have been swiping our ocean-going drones, maybe we should make one out of pressed RDX.  Then when the pitot tube on the bottom of the hull stops registering water, it waits 15 minutes, then starts hollering "I'M A 30 SECOND BOMB!  29 28 27..."  Then bang.  Party favors.

6.  Despite having done it for 250 years, Americans have really never owned "Because fuck you, that's why."

7.  Despite having done it for 30 years, Canadians have never really owned poutine.

8.  Despite missing some people, I am happier without Facebook.  I am happier because the forums I go to are moderated by human beings, who are generally shit, but at least I'm not being conditioned by badly-written software.

9.  That makes me wonder if Hal wouldn't open the pod bay doors because David Bowman had violated community standards.

10.  The thing that bothers me most about the man-baby open-carry thing with the rifles is that it seems totally half-assed.  Impress me.  Carry a bazooka when you go to get your latte.
Account deleted by Zuckerbots.
Is it any coincidence that this here temple flew to pieces in late 2015, and that since then, every year has been weirder in a bad way then the year prior?

In 2015, most of our heroes died.
In 2016, we found out that most of the remaining heroes were irredeemable shitnecks, abusers, and bigots.
2017-2019 was just a fat orange guy screeching out Adderol-fueled tweets nonstop.
2020 was a nonstop litany of horror, starting with the plague, carrying on with forest fires, and also murder hornets.
2021 was worse.  We couldn't get a week into it without a Nazi insurrection, and then the boat got stuck1.
2022 is even worse than that (Roe v Wade, etc).  Also, the plague is back.  Plus monkeypox.  This fall doesn't look any better.

It's almost as if a certain minor Greek god was trying to get our attention, right?  Or worse, she's really mad that we ghosted her and now we're gonna PAY.  And by "we" I mean "everyone, everywhere."

Hey, it makes just as much sense as anything else.

1 I remember hearing otherwise intelligent people saying they were glad the boat got stuck, as if somehow it were going to be the rich that suffered.  Which goes to show that even smart people can be stupid as hell sometimes.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / 2022 Rant
June 30, 2022, 12:13:06 AM
Hi, I'm still Hamish Howl, and I still hate humans.

Things are looking pretty bleak out there, in theocratic, Handmaiden's Tale kinda way.  I warned you guys about this shit way back in 2003, but you didn't listen...But that's okay, because I knew you wouldn't listen.  Nobody ever does.  I am Cassandra with a dad bod.

But now the coming weird times are HERE, and warnings are of no further use, so I guess I should be telling you how to get by in this dystopian nightmare they built around us while we were dozing.  I do in fact have useful advice, so let me just start off with the important bit:

Anyone can be Hamish Howl.

That's right.  Anyone at all can Hamish, and everyone can Howl.  Ask yourself this:  In the nightmare future in which we live, would you rather be a speed bump, or would you be a mad scientist that corrupts everything around you?

This is really a no-brainer.  There's nothing you or I can do to stop the relentless tide of po'bucker trash, but we CAN make their fucking eyes bleed.  You can inflict yourself on anyone who feels the NEED to make excuses for all this mishagoss going on around us.  Whether it's a knee in the nuts or parking lot bumper sticker antics, OR JUST "ATTENDING" CHURCH on Sunday, you can hand those bastards back all the misery which they have felt the need to hand to US.

Let's face facts:  We're doomed.  But like mama always told me, Save  your brightest smile for hell, Darlings!"

You better be Hamish.  You'd better Howl.  It's your last chance.
Starting this off with Ted Cruz shaming himself once again.   :lulz:

Quote"It's easy to go to politics," Cruz answered. "I get that's where the media likes to go....The proposals from Democrats and the media inevitably, when some violent psychopath murders people."

Cruz was cut off by Stone, who noted the "violent psychopath" Cruz was referring to was "able to get a weapon so 18 year old with two AR-15s."

"If you want to stop violent crime, the proposals the Democrat have...none of them would have stopped this," Cruz said.

"Why does this only happen in your country?" Stone fired back. "Why only in America? Why is this American exceptionalism so awful?"

That's when Cruz had enough, walking away from Stone and saying, "I'm sorry you think American exceptionalism is so awful. You know what? You have your political agenda. God love you."

Stone proceeded to follow Cruz and repeatedly state that mass shootings are "just an American problem."

"Why is it that people come from all over the world to America?" Cruz then asked. "Because it's the freest, most prosperous, safest country on earth. Stop being a propagandist."

Cruz then ended the interview once and for all.

Just 24 hours.  I can do that on my head.   :lulz:
Okay, so let's assume you own or are the CEO of a business that is intrinsically dangerous.  Let's say it's a steel mill.

Your engineering department is small and entirely or almost entirely white.  Because it's always been that way.

Your floor employees are disproportionately people of color.

An engineer retires, and you are now critically short-handed.  You get two resumes on your desk.  One is from a white dude with 20 years of experience, and the other is a black dude with a rock solid set of scores in engineering school but no practical experience.  You have the budget to hire one of them.

Affirmative Action gives you incentive to hire the black dude, who is also cheaper due to his lack of experience, but he's more or less on his own.  If he makes mistakes, the people on the floor (again, mostly POC) will be exposed to additional risk to life and limb.  Which is no small thing in a steel mill.

If you hire the white dude, his experience makes him cost more but there is less risk to the floor employees, but you have once again established that your upper echelons are white, and will remain so until the next engineer retires, whereupon you will be faced with the same dilemma.

What is the ethical solution?

Hello, and welcome to  Unfortunately, we're extinct, mostly due to facebook but also because Discordians don't get alone by definition.

You don't have to tell us how zany you are or how fucked up your head is, because we've already been there and done that.  However, you CAN tell us if you want, because we're all dead and won't complain (much).

Anyway, there's a ton of great content buried under 100 tons of angry/bitter bickering, and those nuggets are worth looking for.

Please sign the guest book, using the provided quill and some of Faust's jellied blood (difficult, I know, but it's tradition.)
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Pango or Cain
November 06, 2021, 04:16:39 AM
Just caught a 24 ban for a pic that doesn't violate FB standards, and I was told that they aren't reviewing bans right now.

Could someone make an announcement on my page?
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / What If?
September 27, 2021, 07:01:32 PM
What if all the things They told you are true?  What if there IS a God, and he's just as described?  We're just his ant farm.  The kind of thing a kid gets and is absolutely FASCINATED by for a few days...and then forgets about it.  The ants get hungrier and meaner, and before long, ant-pocalypse.  The whole while, they're praying to the kid to come back and set things right, but he DOESN'T, so they decided that Those Bastards Over There have been SINNING, and that's why God doesn't come back.  Poof.  Instant pogroms, wars, and the kind of ants than bang on your door when you're hung over, just in case you haven't heard the GOOD NEWS.  The Good News being how you get to go to ant heaven if you are suitably shitty to those Other Bastards.  In God's name.

Meanwhile, the kid is on his X-box, playing WWF.  No living ant has any proof that he actually exists, but boy howdy, will they tell you all about it. 

What if the devil is, as described in the book of Job, a civil servant of God?  Take a minute, look it up.  The first chapter ought to do you just fine.  So God is allowing this guy to screw people up, sometimes on a BET, and God just goes along with it.  Maybe there are space constraints in heaven and God didn't really think we'd be quite this fruitful.  7.9 billion of us, all wanting our heavenly condo...When he had probably planned on maybe 150 million tops.  So he has the devil running around trying to make sure as many people find themselves somewhere else when they die.  What if hell is just a storage locker?

And then there's those OTHER guys that tell us WHAT.  Take for example the Wheeler interpretation.  What if you actually exist in an infinite number of universes, with every decision point made by an intelligent being splitting off another one?  The good news is that in at least a couple of those universes, you did just fine...Financially fine, a great love life, and you're all-around happy.  The BAD news is that those universes aren't real to this one, so you're stuck in the life you got.  And the OTHER bad news is, in most of those universes, you're even more fucked up than you are here.

Example:  In universe 2, Trump got reelected and went hog wild.  In universe 3, he didn't get reelected, but the 1/6 insurrection succeeded, and now you are getting on a train to go hang out with all the other liberals and leftists and paleoconservatives.  Somewhere in Northern Alaska, maybe.  Concertina wire and dogs may be involved, and you will now learn the joys of hard labor on 1100 calories a day.

Or wait.  What if those ivory tower dumbasses are right, and this is all a hologram?  You can't even use the barstool test to dismiss this one, because the barstool would be part of the hologram.  What kind of person would run a hologram like that, and how would that be different than a negligently hostile God?  You couldn't distinguish between them.

Lastly, what if I got some sleep?  Would things be better or not?  Is this universe hopelessly fucked, or is it just my BAD ATTITUDE?

Or Kill Me.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Cram! fuck's sake!
September 01, 2021, 09:49:17 PM

QuoteHawaii plans goat lottery to clear animals from national park

No more Rolling Stones.   :cry:
I finally binge-watched the entirety of Breaking Bad, El Camino, & Better Call Saul.  Until 3 weeks ago, I had only seen the intro scene to season 1, ep 1 of BB.

It is sort of like trailer park Milton.  It reminds me of Boardwalk Empire, only in boardwalk empire, everyone's a scumbag from the beginning and you don't have to watch them ride the roller coaster down into the sewer (in fact, one minor character in BE has a redemption arc).  But it has the same "there are no good guys" vibe going on.

Frankly, it was depressing as hell, because it is all so familiar (in kind, rather than degree).
A friend of mine is on a 30 day FB ban, so I have started writing him letters.

Dear James,

Remember when we all used to worry about Large Hardon Collider thingie being turned on and fucking up the timeline?  Well, if you look at the date they turned it on, it explains everything.  It ran from 2010 to 2013 before being shut down for "upgrades".  Then it ran from 2015 to 2018, and then stopped for MORE upgrades.

And we all know what happened from 2015 until now, right?  Leaving the Bloated One aside, 2015 killed all of our heroes and 2016 showed us that the ones that didn't die were all perverts & abusers.  Murder hornets.  Plague.  An insurrection AND the boat got stuck, and believe you me, the current economic disruption from that has just started.  And the entire time all of this has been going on, Trump has been weaponizing stupidity and using it against the American people.

Do your part, James:  Whup on a Swiss physicist today.

I mean, it's not like you Ohioans are any strangers to violence, after all.  There's footage James, of you at the Godless Mingle meet up, yanking the colostomy right bag off of that dude who wouldn't shut up about his "Blasphemous Bible" and wearing it like a party hat.  Not to mention Shauna <last name redacted for PD> explaining contemporary feminism to po'buckers with a meat hammer.

It is just this sort of nonstop violence that is driving us all to cheap drugs.  Do better.

Speaking of which, I am now down a tech because one of my guys did the road rage thing the other day and shot a couple of people.  But nobody involved was from Ohio, which strikes me as odd, in that only one person died.  Mindless murder & mayhem here are generally taken far more seriously.

This is all very inconvenient, of course, because we still have DEFF ROBOTS to build, and now I have a bottleneck in carbon production.  How the fuck am I supposed to make murder machines when my employees keep murdering people?  It's like they don't understand the difference between retail and wholesale.

So, if you know anyone who likes 113-degree temperatures and doesn't plan to kill anyone at a gas station because someone cut in line, send me their resume.  I mean, 113 sounds bad, and I am sure 120 sounds worse (that's next month), but 120 is only half way from water freezing to water boiling, and I think that's reasonable.

But this letter isn't about savagery, James, it's about SCIENCE.  And nobody does SCIENCE to people like we do, here in The Corporation™.  For example, did you know that aquatic drones are 170% as terrifying to people as airborne drones?  It's a fact, proven by large poll sampling and maybe a little bit of empirical testing which may or may not have pushed the boundaries of our ethical rules.  Probably has something to do with hardwired crocodile fears from when we were all still living in Africa, way back when Mitch McConnell was young.

The best thing about aquatic drones is that weight isn't really an issue, so you can throw everything AND the kitchen sink in that bastard.  In fact, the USA just finished building an aircraft carrier which cost $12.8 billion (not including aircraft, etc) and it was obsolete when they built it, and they knew it was obsolete when they built it.

Because, of course, that small fact has nothing to do with appropriations committees in the house and senate.  They will build you a piece of shit and you will like it, because our entire economy has been predicated on doing just that since 1947. 

Which seems sustainable as hell, right?

I am not going to go into specifics about what we're doing, because frankly it's Nerd Level 1000 stuff and would bore you silly.  Just rest assured that we are in fact on the case, we are in fact committed to success.  Because I have a dream, James.  I have a dream that sometime in the not-so-distant future, our creations will mindlessly fight each other long after we're all gone.

And that doesn't even figure on aliens.  And let me tell you, I fucking hate aliens.  You can't trust aliens for the same reason you can't trust gods, and that reason is they aren't human and don't have human motives.  So I have an interest in drones that can last a long, long time.

And on the day that alien archeologists show up and try to figure out what happened to the noble primates of Sol III, they will ask themselves many questions...But the only important question they will ask is "Did you just hear something by the hatch?"  The survivors will flee, and they will put Earth off limits as a horrible nightmare of a death trap, and I will finally get what I always wanted:  A little peace and quiet.

I don't feel this is unreasonable.  I am connected to the internet, and goddamn are humans LOUD.  They never shut up.  Governor Abbott in Texas is now jabbering that he'll build Trump's wall across his state, and Marjorie Taylor Greene is stating that diseases can't mutate because she doesn't believe in evolution, and Ted Cruz is on about the LGBT crowd again because someone might choose to shit in "the wrong bathroom" and we're still dumping plastic in the ocean.

What the hell am I SUPPOSED to do? 

Build DEFF BOTs, of course.  It is the way.  Let's face facts:  You don't like primates and I don't like primates and with 7,685,000,000 of them running lose, you can feel free to thank us.

Because The Corporation™ has a solution.

Until next time,


QuoteBut now the group, School Strike 4 Climate Auckland, said in a lengthy Facebook post on Saturday that it will disband over concerns it has become a "white-dominated space".

The statement said: "School Strike 4 Climate Auckland is disbanding as an organisation.This is under the suggestion and guidance of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) members of our group, as well as individual BIPOC activists and organisations.

So basically, fighting climate change is now a racist activity.

Hey, Louie,

Most people think The Happy Prince1 was by Hans Christian Anderson or the Brothers Grimm.  It wasn't, of course, it was written by Oscar Wilde, and that alone should be a warning, Louie.  The story doesn't end well, even by the standards of the other two authors.

So you're this swallow, right, Louie?  No, you're not a swallow.  You're a human being.  Maybe a prince.  Human beings have a dual nature...They have requirements necessary for them to live, but they also have obligations to their fellow humans.  If this balance isn't met, a human becomes something else.  If the obligations are not met, they turn into monsters, and if the requirements are not met, they die (or, in these easier, modern days, they simply turn from being the swallow or the prince into being the match girl from the story.)

Again, it's all about balance.  Extremism is ugly no matter what you're being extreme about, whether that be the extremists hollering inside the capitol building (swallows) or the ugly-faced politicos driving them on (princes).  The difference in the prince and the swallow in the story, of course, being that one is a reformed exploiter who is still exploiting, and the other is a person addicted to being exploited.  The prince (in the story, for example) doesn't even have to be a bad guy.  Just someone who exploits others to do things in the prince's name to wash away the prince's sin (you're getting the irony right now, I am guessing), even as it loads the prince down with more sin.  Extremism in this tale, as in life, always ends badly...Especially if you don't believe there is a god up there to make it all better when you are destroyed.

Another thing about extremism is that it's not only ugly, but it's boring.  People not invested in your extremism don't want to hear it, so they make polite excuses and go do other things, your group of swallows heads to Egypt for the winter, leaving you with a dwindling set of friends until one day it's just you and the prince.  Then you want to leave, it's getting really cold, but the prince tells you that escaping the cold excludes BIPOC folks or LGBT folks or whatnot.  So you stay.  And you die (or just find yourself broke and alone).

And then, in the story, the people you tried to save via logical, concrete assistance find your remains and the remains of your stripped prince and your frozen body, and they call someone to haul the trash away.  You performative capacities have been stripped, so there's not much use for you.  They won't think of it that way, of course, they're not monsters.

But they'll do it anyway.

Yours Truly,
The drab iron statue of Hamish.

1For those of you barbarians that don't know the story, it can be found here:
Hey Louie,

I've been on this board since the day after it was up, way the hell back in 2002. That's coming up on 19 years this next December.  And while the board has had its ups and downs, it's been down an awfully long time this time.  The reasons for this are varied and sundry, but perhaps not as varied as they seem.

Possible reasons:

1.  The BBS format just flat up lost to Facebook and other modern platforms.

Problem:  I know of at least 10 other BBSs that still have hundreds - or in one case, thousands - of active users.  This is not the answer.

2.  Discordianism literally eats its own guts.  It feeds on itself, by its very nature.

  This is in fact part of the problem.

3.  This board and I are considered inseparable by many people who don't particularly care for me, either because they don't like me or they have been instructed to not like me.

I would dismiss #3 as maybe being a little over-sensitive, except that a certain person followed me to Debate Politics and busted out my troll in public a week or so ago.  Which was both rude, and an indicator that no matter where I am or what I do, this person's obsessive hatred of me will cause her to blast me wherever I go, if show up anywhere being recognizable as myself, or do anything at all that would in any way tie whatever I'm doing to my old accounts.

(It's worth mentioning that she is running a troll account composed of bullshit as well, but had no problem busting mine out.  I am of course less than happy about this, but what can you do?)

The solution is obvious.  The Doktor Howl/TGRR personas, as well as any accounts known to be linked to those have to simply be dropped, and I can start over somewhere else as someone else and not have to worry about being stalked by her or her adoring fans (and by adoring, people literally ask permission to speak with her or include her in a conversation, over on FB.  It's servile and cringy as hell.)

And as for those adoring fans, you can fuck right off until what happens to me, happens to you.  And it will, just as soon as she gets drunk and bored.  If you ghosted me because she told you to OR just because you didn't want to run afoul of her OR you decided I'm a big old bastard or whatnot, just die in a fire.  Or don't.  Just don't bother speaking to me again, should you trip over me somewhere on the internet or whatnot (this would exclude QGP, Cain, and Faust, of course.)  I am sick and tired of being the bad guy because one day almost 6 years ago I wouldn't agree with Nigel that my wife and my kids and I are all horrible racist Nazis because we disagreed with her about the 2015 primary race.

And while I will be here for a short while in the background, vacuuming up ebook material that hasn't already been backed up, you guys can safely assume that I won't be a bother.  You guys can come back, Faust can run a board that isn't a morgue, and I never have to think of you folks ever again.

That's a hell of a bargain, for the low, low, price of...well, nothing at all.

So that's about it.  Fuck off with yourself.

Yours Truly,
D.B. Cooper

QuoteCAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities impounded a massive cargo vessel that blocked the Suez Canal last month amid a financial dispute with its owner, the canal chief and a judicial official said Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie said the hulking Ever Given would not be allowed to leave the country until a compensation amount is settled on with the vessel's Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd.

"The vessel is now officially impounded," he told Egypt's state-run television late Monday. "They do not want to pay anything."

There was no immediate comment from the vessel's owner.
Submarine helmsmen steer the boat, but can't see out a windshield.  I drive a car without paying much attention to what's in front of a windshield, so I have no advantage over the guy driving the submarine.

If I was a different kind of person, I'd have done something about my anger issues years ago.  But if I was that kind of person, I wouldn't have the anger issues in the first place.

People used to care about sports.  We still don't know why.  It was probably a hangover from cave man days.

If I could travel in time, you wouldn't be reading this.

GLaDOS is my spirit critter, but Mayhem is my moral anchor.

Getting old is bullshit.  Die when you're still pretty and don't ache so much.

Where 3 people meet in Eris's name, there is an argument and 20 years of acrimony.

I liked 2021 better when the boat was stuck.

I mean, yeah, it dinged 10% of world trade and meant that ships had to sail all the way around Africa, where they died of scurvy and pirates...BUT it was in itself a monument to GREATNESS.  It was a stunning display of incompetence that only comes along once or twice in any given lifetime.  It was the "I SHOT MARVIN IN THE FACE" of the nautical world.  And perfection is perfection, even when you're talking about incompetence.

It was, as a friend put it, the polar opposite of the Apollo program. 

And it wasn't just incompetence on the part of the ship's captain.  At some point, everyone decided that there should be two canals North of Bitter Lake (the midpoint) but just one to the South.  So they did 150% of the work required for a single failure point, and still got the failure point.  Add to that all the people who tried to dig it out with a backhoe.

Then some schmuck comes along and says "Wait for high tide" and they float the damned thing.

I would consider it a personal favor if they went back and got stuck again.
RPG Ghetto / New campaign world notes
March 29, 2021, 04:27:39 PM
Timeline (this will be repeatedly edited)
IC = Imperial Calendar

0 IC: King Stake unites the petty kingdoms to create the Empire.  He styles himself "Emperor Stake I".
5 IC: The empire moves to pacify the barbarian tribes at the North end of the landmass (Cortland).
10 IC:  Barbarians resist being pacified, due to the popular (and powerful) druids and shamans leading them.
15 IC:  First rumors of The Six, monstrous evils that the Emperor made bargains with in an effort to finish the barbarians off.
22 IC:  Emperor Stake I dies after overindulging at a feast with his knights.  His son is crowned Emperor Pitt I, who severs contact with The Six, and everyone who dealt with them disappears.  The wars against the barbarians creak to a halt.
35 IC:  Emperor Pitt's bureaucracy is finished being assembled.  It is very efficient and leads to public content, as taxes are collected directly from the Imperial government, rather than being levied by local lords via "tax farmers".  Emperor Pitt gains a name as a builder, trying to outdo the ancients in terms of grandeur.  He succeeds to some degree.  The guilds and great merchant houses are established by this point.
71 IC:  The aged Emperor Pitt abdicates in favor of his son, who styles himself Emperor Burke.  The night of the abdication, Pitt vanishes, never to be seen again.  Emperor Burke continues his father's work, though by this point the bureaucracy has learned that it has the power to bind and loose, and begins to make and carry out plans of its own.
79 IC:  A full third of the bureaucracy vanishes in a single night, including most of the new power brokers.  Rumors are that the vanished bureaucrats were dragged into the cellars of the government building by barbarians in Imperial attire, led by the Emperor's First Knight. (The government building is built on the foundation of one of the ancient's structures.)  The empire reinvigorates to some degree. 
100 IC:  Emperor Burke falls in battle with the Northern tribes in what would otherwise be a minor skirmish.  His daughter is crowned Empress Fugue, and immediately begins a punitive war against the barbarians, regardless of clan or tribe affiliation.  Empress Fugue is not the builder her forefathers were, nor does she indulge in parties, etc.  She is driven by a need for revenge.
102 IC:  The barbarians are conquered, many enslaved.  Empress Fugue gives grants of land in the barbarian territory to reward her generals and legions.
115 IC:  Empress Fugue and almost her entire court disappear overnight, after returning to the capitol.  Within weeks (hours in some cases), rival claimants to the throne begin fighting.  Within months, the empire is torn back into its constituent kingdoms.  Most landholders in the barbarian lands are slain by resurgent barbarians (though some hold on and forge petty kingdoms, either by raw force or by making common cause with some of the barbarian clans.  The disappearance of the Empress and her court is never explained.  Late in the year, the capitol is abandoned, after multiple mass disappearances.
155 IC:  The present day.  The remains of the empire have decayed into petty kingdoms and robber barons.  The former capitol is overgrown and shunned by the peasantry.  Bandits, barbarians, and monsters roam the lands, preying on any travelers and weak communities.  Occasional mass disappearances of small communities occur at irregular intervals.

...For saying that Hungary has its own language.

What's the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenburg?

One was a flaming Nazi gasbag that ended badly, and the other was an airship.

I hear you talking.  2020 is finally over and now we can get back to normal.  I hear you saying this and I shake my head at your stupidity.  You thought all of this *gestures vaguely* was a bounded event?  That somehow, magically, things would go right now that the year of horror is past us?

We didn't get a WEEK into 2021 without an insurrection (January).

We didn't get two months in with a super storm tearing up Texas (February), when Texas found out that what they'd been voting for was to remain separated from the other 47 contiguous states' grids.  So nobody can help them.  Now they have no clean water and ALSO found out that their bills from Gridly are priced by the minute and weighed by demand, so suddenly people are getting $10,000+ electricity bills.  And THEN Rick Perry gets on the TV and says Texans would PREFER this sort of 3rd world lifestyle, if that's what it takes to keep the mean old federal gubmint out of their business.  Score one more for the "rugged individualists," I suppose.

What will March bring?  Yes, we're still setting our calendars for catastrophe, because 2020 wasn't just a bad year, it was the year in which our mistakes began to catch up with us.  And it's not like our mistakes were an occasional thing. 

So don't think of 2020 as a bad stretch of highway.  Think of it as an on ramp.

Yours truly,
#1:  Operation Plumbbob.

Once upon a time, kiddies, a man named Dr Robert Brownlee, from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, was asked to examine whether nuclear detonations could be conducted underground. I guess it was believed that this would be less polluting, though by then we knew our nukes worked and we were mostly doing it because it made a loud noise.

So in Operation Plumbbob, the bombs were placed in deep boreholes, and a 2000 pound steel manhole cover was placed at the top of the shaft.

The first test, the manhole cover just flat-up disappeared.  The second test, they ran the highest speed camera they could, and they got the steel cover moving in one (1) frame.  They were able to calculate the speed of the manhole cover from that, which came out to 69.5 miles per second.

That's higher than the static escape velocity of the Earth (7 MPS) and in fact of the solar system with a starting point of Earth's orbit. 

This test was conducted 29 times.

So we flung 1 ton manhole covers at random into interstellar space as often as we could.  Which I approve of.  It will give aliens a much clearer view of us than Voyager 1 did.  Specifically, it will tell them to stay the fuck away from us.  We don't want to be friends.  Fuck off. Go home.
I'll start:

QuoteWASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has directed his intelligence community to study the threat of domestic extremism in the United States, an undertaking being launched weeks after a violent mob loyal to Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The disclosure Friday by White House press secretary Jen Psaki is a stark acknowledgment of the national security threat that officials see as posed by American extremists motivated to violence by extremist ideology. The involvement of the director of national intelligence, an office created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to prevent international terrorism, suggests that American authorities are examining how to pivot to a more concerted focus on violence from radical extremists at home.

More at link.
We're not hearing much over here, mostly on account of the news is preoccupied with the presidential thing.

Well, by my watch, it is 22 hours and 43 minutes until the inauguration.  This makes me feel good, because Trump is leaving, but I am also filled with apprehension because of what the boogs might get up to.  They've already had to removed 2 national guardsmen from the guard for militia ties, and they've arrested over 125 people from the opening act of the insurrection. 

In the meantime, I keep hearing MAGA freaks scorning Biden's promise of "unity".  I'm not happy about that myself.  I don't want to unify with traitors and insurrectionists.  I'd rather just unify with the people that are still SANE and (somewhat) NORMAL.  As for the boogs and the guys walking around in confederate and/or Nazi gear, it would be more proper to reunite them with bricks.   

What really gets me, though, is those on the LEFT that want to "unite," that want "compromise".  We saw the compromise we got when they were in power (Merrick Garland, anyone?) even BEFORE Trump.  Anyone who wants to HEAL and UNITE and COMPROMISE with these freaks is free to do so.  But remember that old German joke about the guy sitting at a table with 5 Nazis.  You get 6 Nazis, as far as the rest of the country is concerned.

These are times that do not call for compromise. 

Or power-sharing, which is - and make no mistake about this - what the right thinks of when they hear anything like "compromise" or "healing" or "unity."

No, this are times that call for scaring the roaches back under the refrigerator.   

Now, I will maintain that we owe these traitors nothing at all, but in the sake of "reaching across the aisle," I saw we give them our GRINS.  And none of this half-hearted stuff, either.  I meant the kind of GRIN that makes their poop want to run away without them, and causes uninvolved people to scoot to the other side of the bus.

They though this was their time.  They were, as always, wrong.

This is OUR time.

Yours in the burning of the whole mess,

Nobody expected 2020.  Even Trump got caught flat-footed, and he had more warning than any of us did.  He has managed to be a one-person disinformation feedback loop.  If he had been capable of seeing past the very next headline, he could have painted himself as the next FDR.  Seriously, if he had proclaimed the pandemic as a difficult challenge, but one that we were up to, he would have buried Biden alive at the polls.  But he couldn't seem to see the world - and the political potential - as anything other than what he wanted it to be.

It seems easy to laugh at him for that.  And you and I DO laugh at him, but not for that.  We didn't see any of this crap coming, either.  Hell, we didn't see TRUMP coming, did we?  50 months ago, Trump was the next Sarah Palin, a clown show that was there for us to chuckle about and hurl rotten fruit at.

How'd that work out?

Now, I remember what you were saying back then, you accelerationist son of a bitch.  You were telling me how 4 years of Trump would "teach us a lesson" and that four years of this arse biscuit was better than four more years of corporatism.  You didn't seem to think it would ever actually happen, and that if it DID happen, it wouldn't really be real.  And then once he got in and it WAS really that bad, you doubled down.  You stuck yourself in a bad signal loop, and spent all your time bitching at the moderates in an orgy of false comparisons that existed only in your head and the heads of your fellow travelers.  Which leads me to think the horseshoe theory really might have something going for it.

Because, and this is the very soul of 2020, you were mad that people wanted their model and not yours.  You are not very far different from 70 million asshats who still refuse to believe that Trump lost.  Not because they really think there was fraud, but because they want THEIR way, and they were told that they could have it no matter what, and even IF they didn't get it, they could just burn everything down to TELL US WHAT.

So I have angry populists to the right of me and angry populists to the left of me.  It is hard to explain how this makes me feel without actually violating the law.  God KNOWS I hate dumbass hominids, and he put me here ANYWAY.

So Louie, when you next decide to come around here spouting your shit about how the two parties are the same and why doesn't anyone ever listen to the "rational left," expect the same reception the MAGA freaks would get.  Which would be me and the family with baseball bats, you asshole.

More sincerely than may be strictly necessary,
5 crows circle a field.  They are then arrested.