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Frozen Feet

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Posts posted by Frozen Feet

  1. Originally Posted By: Sarachim
    Originally Posted By: Enraged Slith
    Honestly, if you aren't interested in reading what he has to say, then you don't have to participate in the discussion.

    I might be interested in what he has to say, but believe it could have been said more succinctly. Respecting the time of the people who read what you write is both good sense and good manners.

    The reason why it is so long is that I find the topic to be deceptively complex, and thought it important to explain my observations thoroughly lest my arguments come to look like strawman versions of themselves.

    Originally Posted By: Brocktree
    But you can't create and sustain any meaningful changes in a child, if you don't first change adults. Given that adults have agency over their behaviour, I only think that it is reasonable that *they* change, before expecting children to do likewise.

    But the problem with this kind of thinking is, it easily leads to waiting till everyone are adults, which is part of the issue I've observed: Naturally, adults need to change, since they're the ones teaching children, but since the time of learning for many of the children is now as well, they need to be involved in the process too from the get-go.

    Again, I have to stress that some things are learned better at early age. Let's consider an unrelated example: language. The natural formation of basic vocabulary and linguistic skill takes place during 4 and 7 years of age. Kids absorb language through observation, even multiple languages, much better than older people. Adults have significantly more trouble to become native speakers in a new language than children.

    Sometimes, it really pays better to start straight with the kids, rather than their parents.

    Originally Posted By: Metatron
    The only reasons I check this forum are for BoA and long lectures on physics, discrete math, and advanced scientific research.

    I mostly skip posts by newer members because they don't contain any useful information.

    Such a good thing I'm not a new member, then. tongue

    Also, where are all the sociologists when you need them? frown
  2. I agree with you regarding adults. However, children lack the same agency over their own actions. *Adults* need to change and improve their own behaviour, before they can demand likewise of their children. Otherwise it is the old 'Do as I say, not as I do'.[/i]


    True, but there's a point after which it's easier to change the kids than it is to change adults. Some things need to be learned early, or at least are learned easier then. The change pretty much has to take place simultaneously.

  3. It's certainly possible. There was also a severe economic recession between 1990 and 1993, which would've coincided with the early childhood of people my age. The people I lead now would've been living a period of economic growth during theirs.


    But such causes and effects are not insular to Finland, which is why I'm interested of how widespread such phenomena are in other industrialized countries. As noted, in China and Japan at least some similar things are happening. I'm not sure USA is untouched by it either.

  4. A very good point, Randomizer.


    Besides, to a reclusive kid like I was, being send to a room wasn't a punishment, it was heaven-sent. Indeed, I often locked into my room myself when I got upset. (Lack of my own room and ability to do that has been driving me crazy ever since.)


    Which is why I guess my mother has always favored nagging - total loss of peace and privacy through incessant whining. Oh well.

  5. Originally Posted By: Dantius
    Now that I think about it, you're right. Sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly nostaligic, I look back upon my childhood and think "Wow, I might have been successful if only my parents had beat more manners and blind obedience to elders into me instead of encouraging critical analysis of others based on their personality, intelligence, and traits, instead merely doling out respect based on age, social status, and wealth!"

    Discipline, courtesy and responsibility are not opposed to critical thinking. If anything, once properly taught, they reinforce and encourage each other.

    It would be one thing if kids I lead actually analysed what I said and rejected it based on some rational reason. But that's something they don't do. Rather, they're being contrary just because.

    Thinking critically of a teaching situation, it's impossible for the teacher to teach anything if you constantly make him stop. To properly assess whether it's worth it to listen to him, you need to give him a chance to make his case and demonstrate that he really is more skilled than you are.

    And you also have to be able to analyze yourself and your own behaviours, and how they seem to others; realize that you're not infallible or above criticism yourself.

    There's a school of parenting pretty much based around "let kids do it, since kids are kids". As agreeable as that may sound, kids who are never challenged, crtiticized or made to deal with consequences of their own actions, don't learn to do that. Which leads to problems when a situation requires them to.

    Originally Posted By: Brocktree
    Frozen Feet, you mentioned that children are given far less responsibility than they were in previous generations, and I whole-heartedly agree. You explain this observation as the children not being able to handle that additional responsibility. I disagree.

    Not quite. That's how the issue superficially seemed to me, but as I tried to point out, it's only one side of the coin.

    Children are less apt in taking responsibility since we don't teach it to them, and when as a result they become worse at taking responsibility, we give them even less. It's sort of a vicious cycle.

    Originally Posted By: Brocktree
    There is nothing wrong with the children today. They are simply victims of an inherently sick society. When you provide children with challenges, additional responsibility, and express your confidence in their abilities, then they will achieve. Unfortunately, society babies kids to such a degree that they never get an opportunity to test their will and strength of character.

    Society is its people. If a society is sick, it's because the people are sick. Any fault you can assign to society, is ultimately fault of (some of) its people.

    Indeed, I think the way of externalizing responsibility of issues to "the Man" is one of the signs that people are becoming less apt in taking responsibility for themselves.

    Yes, there are situations where the environment around you makes it impossible for you to fix things; real cases where things really aren't your fault, and you can do little to change them yourself. But when that attitude becomes the default towards any obstacle, when people start thinking that it's always someone or something else instead of them that has to change, there's a problem.

    Originally Posted By: Dintiradan
    Hey Frozen Feet, welcome back!

    I was never away, I just didn't have anything to say. tongue

    Originally Posted By: Dintiradan
    I don't think there's any real difference between myself as a teenager and teenagers nowadays. O tempura o mores and all that. I do agree with you that teenagers nowadays are different from teenagers a century or more back. Like you say, schools are treating teenagers like big children when they should be treating them like young adults. Yes, teenagers (and people in general) grow faster when given more responsibility. On the other hand, back then you had "children should be seen and not heard" and overzealous applications of "spare the rod and spoil the child". We've got to find the happy mean between the two.

    I agree, we need to find a golden middle way. We might be letting our kids off to easy now, but we must be wary of making things too hard for them too.

    I touched on Japan lightly earlier, and they're a good example of things going too far. The school system is really draconic, requiring one to study real hard from early age, and failing to meet its expectations makes it really hard to get a job as well as putting a big social stigma on a person; it's always you who didn't work hard enough.

    Hikikomoris, people who fall into isolation and pretty much live in their rooms outside of society, are treated as freaks; but are they really failures, or is the enermous burden placed on them by the society just too much? From what I've read, Japanese society is really reluctant to consider the latter on a high level.

    But on the other hand, we can't be too wary. We have to get past a kneejerk reaction of "let kids be kids!" and so on. When it's too cold, the reply to anyone proposing to turn up the heat can't always be "don't, you might set something on fire!"

    Originally Posted By: Dintiradan
    As for the teenagers in your troop giving you a hard time: That might just be due to you being that much older than them. They're more likely to push their boundaries with an obvious authority figure than someone closer to their own age. If the difference is only a couple of years, you're more of a respected peer than a boss. Again, you have to balance between adult guidance that is occasionally required and self-leadership.

    This is how I though first as well; I'm older, so I'm not "one of them" anymore. But while it's a part of it, it's not enough to explain it all. As noted, I've not been observing only the kids I lead, but the kids lead by my friend as well.

    My friend is a wanderer (17 years old), leading Rangers (between 13 and 15); the same people who, under the old program, would've taken responsibility of my Adventurers (between 10 and 12).

    So she's only a few years older than them and very much "one of them" too - but her subjects are as bad towards her as mine are towards me. On a glance, it's very easy to agree that giving them the responsibilites imposed by the older program would've been a bad idea.

    Pretty much all adult leaders in our troop agree that 9 to 15 year olds are acting more childish than they did 10 to 20 years ago. As noted, it'd be easy to chalk it up to nostalgia, but I feel the phenomenom is too strong for adult bias to explain it.

    Originally Posted By: Dintiradan
    Discipline in the military: Heh. I have a friend who was in the Reserves, and we would constantly debate about whether the military life taught you to be able to react quickly, or just trained to follow orders mindlessly without thinking. We eventually agreed to disagree.

    Sounds like a false dichtomy to me. Military life teaches both. More to the point, it teaches to react quickly and without thinking to given orders, which is a really valuable trait in life and death situations. (When you hear "Take cover!", it really doesn't pay to first see if a grenade is really coming; when someone is punching you, the block needs to come instinctively from muscle memory or it will be late.)

    It also teaches them to different extents in different fields. The big joke however is that the leader is supposed to give legal and correct orders. Abusing your authority and obedience of your men was highly frowned upon and adviced against. It was made clear to new conscripts that they can and should actively refuse illegal orders.

    My disgust towards the army during the latest stages of my conscription was sparked by the observation that the conscripts themselves often ignored key parts of that thinking, subverting what could've been a working system and turning it to a horrific mockery of itself. The peer leaders (one of which I was) did not explain to new conscripts the finer details of military law and then exploited their ignorance to take vengeance on them for how their own peer leaders had exploted theirs, out of some really perverted sense of "fairness"!

    Again, I have to stress that this disgust was caused by other conscripts, the grass-and-ground level portion of the organization. I can't, with good conscience, put the blame on FDF and its professional members. They really tried to make us not do it. Our captain personally held a lecture to us about not repeating mistakes of our own leaders to severe the vicious cycle.

    So the problem wasn't with military values or practices; it was the selective ignorance of them by the ordinary members of the organization, fueled by a really petty concept of justice.

    Originally Posted By: Dintiradan
    For the record, I still don't understand how polishing your boots help you notice machine gun nests simply because you're now more attentive to details, but whatever.

    I don't either. :-D I do understand how it'd teach you to look after your own stuff, though.


    As a sidenote, I find it funny how so many people started talking of physical discipline, when I barely hinted at it. By discipline, I refer to all sorts of it.

    For example, in the army, the extent of physical discipline allowed was extra marching and running laps; anything beyond that required authorization from professional leaders. The most common form of punishment was removal of freedoms and making the garrison a bleak place: if someone fooled around, it meant no more TV, shorter evening breaks, getting back home later during weekends (extended workdays, in other words), having to eat outside, extra cleaning duty, or some such.

    Kindergarden level stuff, basically.

    It occurs to me writing this that some parents, even if they tried to discipline their kids in these ways, couldn't make them work since they aren't home enough to supervise and enforce them. Hmmm.

    On another note, I'm not a proponent of spanking, punching or otherwise beating or directly causing pain to children, ourside proper martial arts training where it's necessary. Of all sorts of physical discipline, I'd like to encourage grabbing children and holding them in place, or picking them up and carrying them away. (In a way that does not cause them agony unless they forcefully resist.) It works for dogs and tiger, it ought to work for us. >=D
  6. I'm not familiar with that quote, but I'm not sure I grasp how it relates to the subject.


    Even when life's purpose is life itself, most living creatures will be concerned about quality of that life.


    Society is, more than anything, dependent on the mutual goodwill of its members. This requires an extent of courtesy, discipline and willingness to take responsibility; otherwise, society will collapse, and fail to fill its purpose: To make life better for its members.

  7. Every old generation has probably looked at younger ones and though something along the lines of "at least we never...", in response of their juniors doing something seemingly stupid. It's easy to contest such opinions as nostalgia clouding their judgement, and often that's just the case.


    However, observing the kids I lead in scouts now to the ones I used to, I'm feeling that maybe there's some basis to it after all; that younger people really are getting more awful than they were even just twelve years ago when I started scouting.


    Who am I talking about? I'm mainly talking about kids ranging from 9 to 15 years in age, but I feel many of these observations carry on to adults as well.


    What's the source of my experiences? I've been given leadership duties from the time I was 13 and am 22 now; during my "career", I've gone from leading prepubescents as an adolescent, to leading other adolescents as an adolescent, to leading adults as an aduls (during my military conscription), to leading prepubescents and adolescents as an adult, so I feel I have some idea on how people of different ages act towards authority.


    How are they worse? This is best summarized as them not having discipline. They have no respect for authority; they don't just disagree with orders, they don't consider them logically at all, as if being contrary for the heck of it; they simultaneously want to do what they want without taking responsibility or facing consequences. For a single person trying to organize entertainment for a group of such people, such an attitude poses a serious obstacle.


    So what made me think of this? A program change in our troop that took effect last fall. In our prior organization, 7 to 9 year olds were Wolf Cubs, lead by an adult leader; 10 to 12 year olds were scouts, lead by 13 to 15 year old leaders who'd stay with their groups throughout; 16 to 18 year olds were Rovers and were lead by their peers, and could be given responsibility for other troop duties, such as arranging camps. Anyone above that was just "an adult", and could be tasked with leading cubs or organizing high-level troop functions as opposed to the weekly activities that were mostly responsibility of the younger divisions.


    In the new program, 7 to 9 years olds are still Wolf Cubs and are still lead by adults. But from there on, things get very different. 10 to 12 year old are Adventurers, but are still lead by adults; 13 to 15 year old are Rangers, lead by Wanderers between ages 16 and 18. Rangers occasionally take responsibility for Adventurers, but only under supervision and agreement of older leaders; Wanderers are arranged in groups and their members take turns leading Rangers; 18 to 22 year olds are Rovers, peer-lead, and can be given responsibility for other troop duties. Only people above 22 really count as adults in the program, despite bar of legal maturity being set at 18 here in Finland.


    As you can see, age of people leading activities and taking serious responsibility got upped by a good few years. The given reasoning was that the duties and responsibilities posed on adolescents by the old program were too great.


    It sounded like a decent justification. Looking at our then-current Adventurers (who I lead) and our then-current Wanderers (who my friend leads), it was easy to agree that the old program wouldn't have worked; as noted, they are and were awful in taking responsibility of themselves, it really wouldn't have suited to give them responsibility of each other...


    ... but wait a second. Why did the old program work with us (me and my friends) back then?


    Why is it harder for me, as an adult an all-around more experienced person, to command and control a bunch of 10 year olds, than it was when I was 13 and doing the same thing?


    This got me thinking about the causes and effects of the program change. Responsibility is one of the big themes of scouting here, so why was granting it delayed? What has changed in half a generation?


    Some thoughts I have on the issue:


    It seems to me that in industrialized countries, the boundaries of childhood have been pushed further and further. As I've read on the subject, it has dawned to me that the idea of distinct childhood is pretty modern. Once upon a time at 12, you were expected to move away from home to your working place; by 16, you were "a man" by standards of society if a boy, and married while pregnant with your first child if a girl. People were expected to take responsibility much earlier, and children were seen more as "little adults" than something starkly different.


    Contrast with modern Finland: you don't have full criminal responsibility before the law until you're 15. You aren't legally considered an adult until 18, and you only get last adult rights at 22. Education is compulsory up to 17 years of age, meaning people rarely enter job life before that. This has lead some to take the stance that all minors (people below 18) are effectively still children, with little regard for how developed they are physically and mentally. At the age of 22, I regularly meet people, not just those older but those younger as well, who refer to me as a "boy" or a "brat", with nothing as basis but prejudice, even when they know how old I really am.


    At the same time, I've heard of studies that imply environmental conditions (better and greater amounts of nutrition, chemicals affecting hormones, etc.) are causing children to reach and pass through adolescence faster.


    So, kids are frowing up faster, but they are treated as kids longer. Ergo, there should be an increasing number of physically mature specimens in the newest generations who are not treated as adults even though they should be able to handle.


    Could this be stunting their emotional growth? I've heard a lot of talk about egoistic (even narcistic) behaviour and apathy towards taking care of public endeavors among people of my age and younger. This seems to point towards the answer being "yes".


    It's easy to rebuke me by saying "but think of the children!" It's easy to look at our past and think that our children being able to be free from care longer is a good thing. But for the above reason, I actually think we're letting them be too free for too long. Modern life rewards, or at least allows, childish behaviours well past the point where our youth really should start learning to fend for themselves. This leads to problems later down the line, where there's no-one to take responsibility for them anymore. The trend needs to be reversed to an extent.


    It'd also be easy to look at rebellious adolescents and say "well, they're teenagers, that's to be expected". But yet another study I've seen allusions to claimed that the "hormonal teenage monster" is a fabrication, specific to highly industrialized countries. There is no distinct period of teenage rebellion among oriental societies.


    What's the difference, then? It might sound stereotypical, but oriental societies put a much stronger emphasis on tradition, respect of authority, and discipline. Their children don't rebel, because they've been taught that the society has expectations from them, which they better not betray. (Of course, going too far to that direction has its own problems as well, as seen in Japan; hikikomoris, people who fall into isolation from society because they can't fit the mold.)


    Of course, due to influence of major occidental cultures, younger generations are starting to adopt their values and opinions, leading to the same problems arising. Interesting case is, I think, in China: I recall them having a whole new word for pampered people born as the result of one child policy. Having gotten undivided attention of their parents, they tend to have higher sense of self-worth, justified or not.


    From Japan, I've heard horror stories of young parents murdering their children, and even their own parents, on the basis that they were "not given tools for coping with the situation". Supposedly, due to hardships of the past, when Japan underwent rapid economic growth people were keen on sparing their children from the toils of the past; it seems some went too far, leading to pampered people who are so out of touch with taking responsibility for someone else that they panic when they're faced with the prospect.


    What to do to fix the situation? Well, there's one more trend that needs to be reversed for that to be possible. Teachers in schools and other places are given less and less means and resources to discipline children, while at the same time facing increased supervision and critique from the part of their parents. While intentions of the parents are often good, they're just trying to protect their special snowflakes, in practice they are interfering with teaching. As grim as it sounds, teachers need more leeway to be harsh towards their students.


    And, since they are their main teachers in a lot of things, parents need to be harder towards their kids too. In what way?


    I believe the answer(s) can be found from the realm of martial arts, and the military.


    First of all, a bit of irony about the militay (Finnish Defence Forces, to be specific). Throughout middle-school and vocational institute, my teachers tended to remind us (me and my class) that we were not in a kindergarden, and really should own up to our own actions. This is to say, they had neither tools, time or patience to teach us basic courtesy, they were expecting us to already have a grasp of something so simple.


    Years later, in the army? Much of our early training consisted on things like learning to greet properly, making our own beds, keeping our own [censored] safe and clean, and going to sleep early.


    From day one, it became clear that to some conscripts, these things were something new.


    In hindsight, it would've been much, much better for the army and for my whole education up to that point if those things had been taught in the 1st grade of elementary school.


    Coincidentally, in Japan for example, teaching those things is part of the tradition.


    Okay, I guess that's enough ranting. Your thoughts?

  8. I got introduced to D&D by the Red Box basic edition, whatever its numeral designation might be. Out of the various RPG systems I grew to the hobby with (fun fact: first RPG I played was Cyberpunk), it came to be my favorite. AD&D I didn't get acquianted with beyond few computer games. I got back to D&D with 3rd edition and the SRD, played some, but now I don't really use it due to how clunky it is. Really, it's the most bloated mockery of a rules system I've taken time to, eh, "learn".


    These days, I fill my D&D needs by playing a roguelike called Incursion (based on 3rd ed. rules), and Lamentations of the Flame Princess, which is a shameless retroclone of early D&D - just streamlined considerably, and doing away with magic item arms race completely.

  9. Originally Posted By: FnordCola
    So...animals, and even other humans are also ineffable? In that case, why is divine ineffability a distinctive or meaningful quality? We've essentially defined ineffability/incomprehensibility away to nothing if any being that is not the self in question has that attribute.

    Yeah, just like saying heat has no meaning because everything has it... oh wait.

    It's a matter of scale. Ineffability is a relative quality - one's ability to speak of the word is directly proportional to one's vocabulary and knowledge of the world. Some things are harder to describe or know than others. As a sidenote, it's never been my argument that all things are ineffable - just that the quality is no way unique to hypothetical entities.

    As far as I'm concerned, divine ineffability neither has or needs any other quality to set it apart. How meaningful it is entirely contingent on the matter at hand. Sometimes, admitting that you can't tell why things happen is fundamental to progress.

    My original gripe with your statement came from the fact that you gave way too much weight to a singular attribute being human, and/or too little weight on what omniscience implies. My argument is that from the viewpoint of non-omniscient operator, you can't make informed assessments about the morality of an omniscient entity; the gap in knowledge and perspective overshadows any ostensible similarity in basic psyche. This, in my mind, justifies the "strange are the Lord's ways" argument.

    Unless you yourself start reaching for omniscient levels of knowledge, the best you can hope for is whatever the greater entity happens to tell you. If one accepts, say, the New Testament as such revelation, then that's it. The God tells you he's a loving person, and you aren't in the position to second-guess him.

    You could always assume that he's lying - which is why I think the New Testament stresses its apocalyptic nature and importance of faith. You can always choose to not have faith and assume the worst - I've yet to see a world-view that isn't robbed of meaning at the face of such nihilism.
  10. Nope. I'm saying God is a mystery, for many of the same reasons several animal behaviours are a mystery - our ability to understand them based on what we know is constrained by what we don't know.


    Consider how several animals see a broader spectrum of colors than humans do. An animal might react completely differently towards two objects that are outwardly similar to humans based on information only it knows or notices. Its emotions might be describeable in human terms - its mannerism might reflect love or hatred, for example - but the reason why is lost to the human observer.


    In a way, I am arguing animals are ineffable, to an extent. We can't put into words stuff the we aren't aware of. For ages, humans have operated on wholly mistaken conceptions of several species, due to unknown factors they didn't even have means to know.


    It should be obvious how this reflects to an omniscient god, or any other superhuman being, really. Just because it has the same basic psychology as you doesn't mean you'll be on the ball of everything it's going to do and why. Otherwise, what would be the point in poker?

  11. Re: Jealousy being a "human" emotion:


    So what?


    Animals have been proven to be capable of many emotions previously thought to be solely human. Many of them are even ubiquitous. Yet still, reasons why some (even familiar) animals act like they do eludes us.


    You might as well say sight is a human quality. There are many other creatures that see, yet they remain mysterious.


    Just because part of a whole is familiar, doesn't mean the whole is familiar. To an extent, God of abrahamic faiths makes himself and his will known in their religious texts. It's still easy in the light of his purported qualities to say we don't, and can't, know why he acts the way he does.

  12. My answer to why world has misery: God is an artist, and everyone knows true art is tragic. What, you say that doesn't make sense? Well, it's not supposed to, cause everyone knows true art is supposed to be incomprehensible as well.


    I don't consider problem of evil to be strongest case for atheism, because it's not a problem at all if God (or gods) are even a little less than all-knowing, all-powerful and all-benevolent.


    (Also, "atheism while admitting gods exists" is accurately called misotheism (hatred of gods), apatheism (apathy towards gods) or dystheism. )


    (Also also, true art is offensive and sticks it to the man, which explains why there's people hating god.)

  13. Reading this thread, I feel atheism is applied too broadly. It's a feeling I have often, really. The kind of atheism mostly discussed here, the kind which is concerned with proof or evidence, would be more accurately called "skeptical atheism", or perhaps "rational atheism" in my opinion. (Yes, the implication is that there are unskeptical and irrational atheists. That's why I feel the need to make the distinction.)


    Atheism is just "disbelief in or denial of God or gods". It doesn't tell anything else of the belief set held by a particular atheist. Atheism isn't even necessarily areligious - some sects of buddhism, for example, count as atheistic. (Others count as miso- or apatheistic, taking the stance that whether or not there is God or gods, they are useless to the salvation and enlightment of human beings.)


    As such, there could indeed be an atheist whose creed does require him to preach his own views, to the same extent a Christian might be "required" to preach his. For example, some "militant atheists" (as I've heard them called) consider religion detrimental to human reasoning, and thus systematic purification of such delusions is necessary. To such a person, advocating atheism is an important facet of their beliefs.


    *cough* I think that's it for my tangential ranting for today.


    On other things, I often get the same feeling as FnordCola about atheists "losing something". Generally, it's the dismissal of cultural and narrative wealth based on religion, because they're founded on "wrong" things. It's like religious nature of some things makes them "invalid" for their attention - which might cause them to miss aspects of history, culture, or just good stories.


    Fortunately, not all atheists are like that. Especially within roleplaying communities, I've met people who are atheistic yet very interested in religious and mythological practices - in general, it makes them more understanding (if not mora accepting) of such things, and ironically enough many have been better versed in them than many actually religious people. (Maybe because they don't have a burden of "tainting" their faith? Who knows?)

  14. Originally Posted By: upon mars
    First rule in self defence: Do not attack.

    Not as set in stone as you'd think. If someone is acting threatening, throwing the first kick to buy yourself time to run away can be recommendable, or even ideal. Even humans have the habit of "puffing up" and trying to look very big and intimidating when they get angry. Fortunately, this leaves their torso and gut wide open. A fast kick there to deflate them can be invaluable for an escape.
  15. Sure, knives have utility. I often carry one with me too. But try carrying one to a bar or a restaurant, let alone using one for self-defense. I wouldn't be surprised if the former is downright illegal in many places, and the latter is much likelier to incriminate you.

  16. Originally Posted By: Lier Beneath the Silent Skies
    Buy a knife.

    Fun stuff.

    Or don't. Bringing weapons to a fight is often a quick way to escalate things, and can make the legal repercussions exponentially worse. Plus, you are rarely allowed to carry weapons to places where most common self-defense situations arise, and for those same situations they represent a way too high level of force. Some form of pepperspray might be worth it, but even that requires a license in many places.

    Your best bet is to take self-defense courses, and practice jogging so you can run away better. It shouldn't be too hard to find a MA club that focuses on modern self-defense. In a pinch, military, traditional or competitive martial arts can work too, at least better than being completely clueless.

    Interesting tidbit: statistically, a person with who hasn't been in any prior self-defense situations but has practiced contact sports (such as ice-hockey or American football) comes out as the "victor" in most common self-defense situations about 66% of the time. A martial artist who hasn't been in any prior self-defense situations only wins about 33% of the time. However, the sportsman doesn't increase in performance for subsequent self-defense situations, while the martial artist becomes 90+% likely to "win" in following situations. (Source: Fighter magazine)

    For the record, most common self-defense situations are bar room brawls and drunken fights that break out in cab lines at saturday night.

    Personally, I've practiced goju-ryu karate for three years now, and had basic courses in krav-maga and military close combat. I can't vouch for effectiveness of any specific techniques, but I do know it has made me more fit and more alert of my surroundings.
  17. Dragging items has to go. Just make it so that key + mouse click moves the item to right location at once. Also, auto-arranging inventory! Moving those little icons around manually is just so clumsy.

  18. At least here in Finland, the myth of "all hunters are callous murderers!" is a bit funny, since to get a hunting license you have to go through a course called Ethical Hunting.


    As for the moral difference between cattle and prey - I've heard some vegetarians claim that if everyone had to butcher their own meat, no-one would eat it. This based on the fact that an urban person isn't much involved in preparing the meat, and might not interact with livestock at all. I guess the belief is that the experience would be so shocking as to make them disavow meat, and indeed I've heard some stories of this happening.


    Obviously, it can't be true, cause there are people (like me) who are perfectly willing and capable of killing animals personally to eat them.


    Point is - there's a very different level of personal involvement, and obviously a different mindset is required.

  19. I believe the "humanitarian" concern about hollowpoints was due to, as mentioned, them causing much more grievous injuries than ordinary bullets when they hit. People were fine about a direct shot killing someone, but not so much about a bad shot killing them or maiming them horribly.


    On the flipside, hollowpoints are legal for civilian use due to their utility in hunting. A hollowpoint creates a much larger wound channel, making it much more likely to kill instead of just grievously wounding the animal.

  20. Originally Posted By: Play within a movie in a book

    All of them are interesting, although I think Nathalie the cheerfully murderous sorceress is the fan favorite.

    ... is it wrong that after, like, five minutes of interacting with her, I want to grab a hold of her and shout "WHAT THE **** IS WRONG WITH YOU GIRL!?!"
  21. Fun fact: many of us foreigners type much better English than native speakers because we're more self-conscious of our language and worried of being misunderstood. wink It sometimes leads to funny cases like this, where a fluent writer is apologizing for a mistake that's only apparent to him or herself.

  22. I'm not convinced this will have much influence. Osama went from living legend to a martyr in the eyes of his followers, yay! Did the guy actually do much during his manhunt? Did killing him deny other terrorists a valuable contact or resource? I've not been following news surrounding him too closely.


    But if those are not true, then this was an empty victory. What is gained is just a few brownie points which are mitigated by revenge strikes from angry extremists. Yay!

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