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Feedback On Simcity Gets User Banned From EA Forums

RCC42 Re:Was it EA..... (386 comments)

Yeah, we want to put in individual controls for each kind of disaster in the options menu before you start a new game. So you can control the frequency and intensity of meteors for example.

I realize that some people play the game as a challenge, to see how much crap gets thrown at them and to try to overcome it, but other people sort of want to build the perfect colony. We're designing the game with disasters strongly in mind, so while I wouldn't recommend turning them off it would be possible.

about a year and a half ago
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Feedback On Simcity Gets User Banned From EA Forums

RCC42 Re:Was it EA..... (386 comments)

You nailed it,

Terminus is thematically inspired by Outpost 1/2. The number of problems with both games could fill a small book, but from a standpoint of imagination and /potential/ gameplay there is a lot to love, and love it I did. When I played Outpost 1 the game created a need that I never knew I had for that kind of grand city-sim in space, unfortunately Outpost failed to actually /satisfy/ that need it had created, so after years (NINETEEN YEARS) I'm trying to make Terminus to fill that void that Outpost initially created.

There are other inspirations, either for piecemeal mechanics (Alpha Centauri's social policy system has a parallel in Terminus for example) or for other gameplay mechanics. And with the abundance of hardware and software prowess available today the game is not technically difficult to make, allowing even an indie studio like us to tackle it.

about a year and a half ago
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Feedback On Simcity Gets User Banned From EA Forums

RCC42 Re:Was it EA..... (386 comments)

Thank you muchly!

Be sure to let people know about it too, everyone who's seen it seems very keen but we are lacking coverage so far, so every view really helps us out.

If you liked the Douglas Adams reference see if you can spot the Carl Sagan theme in our first update video: http://youtu.be/KakpodIR0O8

(Hint: it's not very hidden)

about a year and a half ago
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Feedback On Simcity Gets User Banned From EA Forums

RCC42 Re:Was it EA..... (386 comments)

To be fair, people *are* trying new things in the city builder genre, it's just not EA and Maxis doing it.

For example I am working with a small team to produce a city-builder that takes place on hostile alien planets. Lots of storms, caustic or absent atmospheres, earthquakes, fires, population control... sort of a Simcity meets FTL: Faster Than Light type game.

You can learn more about it here where we are crowdfunding to make it happen: http://www.indiegogo.com/terminusgame

Full disclosure: yeah it's my game and this is self promotion, but it's directly relevant to the discussion.

about a year and a half ago
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In Brazil, Trees To Call For Help If Illegally Felled

RCC42 Brilliant (130 comments)

Elegant solution to a complex and difficult situation, made possible by technological advance. This is progress (and what slashdot is all about)

about a year and a half ago
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School Shooting Prompts Legislation To Study Violent Video Games

RCC42 Re:The rest of the world plays the same video game (1168 comments)

You also neglect to mention that the weapons are issued to civilians who have undergone military training. This is not like turning up at Walmart and buying a semi-automatic.

Hey that's a really good idea. Why not restrict gun ownership in the US to members of the militia? So you have to join the militia and receive training on proper gun ownership and the responsibilities of being in the militia before they let you have a gun. Doesn't that kind of more closely follow the intent of the constitution, you know, the whole 'well regulated militia' bit?

Hmm, I guess hunting rifles could be acquired without being a member of the militia since hunters will probably never give up their rifles, and a bolt action hunting rifle is not exactly an UZI anyway.

about a year and a half ago
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Professor Cliff Lampe Talks About Gamification in Academia (Video)

RCC42 Irritating audio (123 comments)

Okay two main problems with the audio:

The interviewer breathes loudly into the microphone while the interviewee is talking. It's kind of gross.

Secondly, when the two different scenes are mixed together (interview and in-class video) the speaking in one distracts from the other.

about a year and a half ago
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Star Wars Fans Plan Full-Size Millennium Falcon Replica

RCC42 What will they think of next? (129 comments)

Let me know when they build a full-scale replica of the TARDIS.

about a year and a half ago
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Kickstarter Games: Where They Are Now

RCC42 Re:Not to disparage anyone... (97 comments)

A lot of kickstarter (and indiegogo) projects already have funding or development costs raised through other sources, using the kickstarter as publicity as well as extra funds raising. In many cases the games in question are being made anyway, the kickstarter is just security or feature expansion.

That said, some of the low-funding-goals kickstarters are done by 'ramen and coke' developers who want so badly to make their games they are willing to live on breadcrumbs and hope while coding. These are people so desperate to make games they pay themselves next to nothing so they can get it done.

Not saying it always turns out rainbows and sunshine for all involved parties, but it's accurate.

about a year and a half ago
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Do Recreational Drugs Help Programmers?

RCC42 Re:Logical fallacy in assuming drugs help (878 comments)

I agree with you in sentiment but wanted to point out that there is nothing inherently religious about meditation. A lot of religions have meditation as a component but a lot of religions also have specific clothing, chairs, tables, buildings and other trappings, but textiles and architecture aren't religious by nature either.

about a year and a half ago
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Why Are We So Rude Online?

RCC42 Re:Human Psychology (341 comments)

And you are so ready to declare these people monsters? The people in the Milgram and Stanford experiments, every military man and woman following orders? 60% of the population, amoral beasts? Any viewpoint founded on the idea that the majority of human beings are evil is nauseating and no rational argument could touch such a belief, I won't try.

about 2 years ago
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Why Are We So Rude Online?

RCC42 Re:Human Psychology (341 comments)

I can say with certainty it is evil. But it's not universal. Milgram only found that about 2/3s were willing to do so in his experiment. Thoreau put the proportion at less than 1 per thousand square miles. It's rare, but there are good people out there. Perhaps you prefer to think it's universal to feel better about your own tendencies?

The way a moral human being deals with moral conflict with authority is to resist in every practical way. You can choose your battles to be effective, but submission is never an option. We all have the moral responsibility to question authority at every juncture, and we can never abdicate it ever.

You seem to be speaking from an ideological standpoint. I don't know how involved your examination of the source of your 'certainty' about normal human behaviour being evil is so I can't really offer a counterpoint since you didn't present an argument to counter.

I agree with you in that authoritarianism is a wrong and that those with power should justify it and its use, but I do detest your accusation about my character and my tendencies of which you know nothing, and I suspect I would disagree with your solutions to the problem of misused power as well.

about 2 years ago
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Why Are We So Rude Online?

RCC42 Re:Human Psychology (341 comments)

The mere act of shedding moral responsibility itself is evil. That's the problem with your analysis.

Shedding of moral responsibility and burdening an authority figure with it is an observed universal human behaviour. If it's 'evil' or not I cannot say, but the behaviour exists. It's the way we respond to situations of moral conflict with authority.

about 2 years ago
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Why Are We So Rude Online?

RCC42 Re:Human Psychology (341 comments)

The Milgram experiment shows us not that people are inherently evil, malicious or spiteful but that in the right social context people will follow an authority figure's instructions even if it overrides their normal moral response.

What exactly is the difference? If you substitute an authority's conscience for your own, you are inherently evil. It is this reaction that is responsible for the great majority of evil in the world.

The sickest psychopath in the world is capable of killing a few dozen people on his own. But a psychopathic leader is capable of killing millions. All that extra blood isn't really on the hands of the leader, it's on the hands of those who chose to follow that leader. Those who thought obedience was the best thing. That's where true evil comes from.

I don't see how this is complicated at all. Authoritarianism is evil, and most people are authoritarians. Ergo, most people are evil.

One of the interpretations of this behaviour by Milgram himself: "the essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to view themselves as the instrument for carrying out another person's wishes, and they therefore no longer see themselves as responsible for their actions. Once this critical shift of viewpoint has occurred in the person, all of the essential features of obedience follow".

And in this case I agree with Milgram, if it is the case that people shed moral responsibility and adopt the aspect of a tool, instrument or cog in the machine when dealing with an authority figure demanding they do something they find personally amoral then it seems to me to be a defence mechanism to protect and preserve their own moral viewpoint as the other alternatives are:

1. Defy the authority figure, possibly be fired, suffer a court martial or be shot depending on the situation
2. Change your moral beliefs to match those of the authority figure

Since, I would argue, most people have a preference for not being shot and an affinity towards good moral thought and behaviour they can't reasonably choose 1 or 2 and so are left with:

3. Shed moral responsibility for the action and leave that responsibility to the decision maker and authority figure.

It shouldn't be inferred from the Milgram or Stanford experiments that all humans are evil given the right circumstances, but rather, that given the right circumstances good people can do evil or amoral things.

about 2 years ago
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Why Are We So Rude Online?

RCC42 Re:Human Psychology (341 comments)

The reason is very simple, if somewhat disheartening. Take a look at some of the literature on human behavior, particularly the studies on the "banality of evil" (texbook scenarios are the Milgram Experiment and the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment).

The sad truth pointed out by both of those studies is that approximately 60% of us -- all of us, even those of us who claim to be, and act like, normal ethical people in polite society -- will commit acts of cruelty upon another human being, even to the point of delivering potentially lethal electrical shocks to someone obviously in distress, if the social sanctions against it are removed.And those were both cases in which the victims had voices and (in the latter case) faces by which the perpetrators could witness the suffering they were causing.

In short, the majority of people will be cruel, spiteful bullies if they believe they can get away with it. For me, a good example is (oddly) watching how people treat pigeons (??): they're harmless, no more dirty than, say, hoboes, and live around us. But they are negatively viewed as carriers of disease ("rats of the skies" is such a cliché, and what's so bad about rats, anyway?), and most people wouldn't think twice about trying to scare them and threaten to cause them harm. It seems a bit melodramatic, but I often wonder why a person would want to be mean to some random harmless animal. I think, sadly, that it's because most people like being mean, and just need a venue to get away with it.

The Pinochet regime in Chile figured this out pretty quickly: you don't need to make people commit acts of cruelty against their will. All you have to do is provide a venue for cruelty without consequences, and the people will come out of the woodwork of their own accord. And Facebook/YouTube/your local news station's comments section are just such venues.

Don't be so pessimistic!

The Milgram experiment shows us not that people are inherently evil, malicious or spiteful but that in the right social context people will follow an authority figure's instructions even if it overrides their normal moral response. The origin of the experiment was as a response to the question of if Nazi soldiers were responsible for their actions in war or if their superiors should be held accountable.

The Stanford prison experiment showed that when given a 'role' such as prison guard people will begin to 'act' as befitting their role, behaving as they think they should behave and becoming mentally trapped by the subjective experience of the situation as opposed to the objective reality.

The truth is as always more complicated than 'people are just evil'. It's a matter of context and the situation we find ourselves in as much or more than base nature and upbringing are concerned.

But don't just trust me, keep and open mind and investigate for yourself. As a matter of fact the two linked Milgram and Stanford studies are VERY interesting reading!

about 2 years ago
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The U.N.'s Push for Power Over the Internet

RCC42 Re:Results of ITU control... (326 comments)

My guess is that if the ITU is given power over the Internet, at least some of the following things will ultimately happen:

  1. Partitioning of Internet-connected computers into "clients" and "servers," with special registration required for "servers." Note that right now, any computer connected to the Internet can act as either a client or a server, regardless of how it is typically used; I suspect that the ITU would ultimately change that.
  2. Requirements that computers have unique identification, or at least that computers acting as servers be uniquely identified. Anonymous servers (e.g. Tor hidden services) would be rendered illegal. Procedures for shared hosts that allow multiple services to be run on a single system would likely be developed, with each service having a unique identification that is related to the identification of the host.
  3. A requirement that computers acting as servers refuse to communicate with computers in countries whose governments object to such communication. This is already a requirement of amateur radio i.e. a ham cannot communicate with someone in a country whose government objects to such communication, as per ITU rules.
  4. Key disclosure requirements for communications sent over the Internet i.e. international law enforcement agencies would be able to demand that anyone reveal secret keys. Hushmail-style backdoors would likely be mandatory in services that provide end-to-end encryption for users.

There needs to be a +1 Terrifying.

more than 2 years ago
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Researchers Try To Identify the Intelligence Gene

RCC42 Re:Wonder if this could lead to new medications... (254 comments)

Imagine a pill you swallow in the morning with your breakfast, that stimulates a few genes and gives you a 10 - 20 Pt IQ-boost for the rest of the day, so you are extra sharp in your work, in meetings & presentations, in an examination, and so on... Or, if you were born IQ challenged (quite a number of people are in every society), a long-term medical treatment that, over the years, boosts your IQ to average level, or perhaps to even above-average level... A medical cure for being under-powered in the brain department, in other words. That could really change some people's changes in life. Being of below-average intelligence is a handicap that lasts a lifetime and often results in low personal-income, and being sidelined/rejected/excluded by the smart people.

The obvious problem is when you take that same principle and apply it to 'sub normal', normal and advanced people equally. If they all have 80, 100, and 120 IQ respectively prior to treatment then afterwards they would have 100, 120, 140 IQ respectively. Yes they would all be improved but the difference remains. Of course I want to point out that IQ scores are a relative thing anyway, and there is no 'objective' IQ value. The average IQ will always be 100, it's just measured based on the rest of the population.

The real issue however arises if you develop a treatment that has a multiplier effect. If you develop a drug that has an effect of 50% increase in intelligence (let's simplifier to IQ for now) then the person with 80 IQ is left with 120, the person with 100 is now left with 150, and the 120 IQ individual now has a score of 180. Prior to treatment there was only a 20 and 40 point difference for the lowest IQ individual compared to the normal and advanced individuals. After treatment the distance has grown to 30 and 60, *increasing* the relative differences in intelligence.

This is of course a massive oversimplification and relies on theoretical assumptions of what can be done to the brain and mind through pharmaceutical or other treatment. I have no idea what the truth would be like, but I think it is important that we look at what it *could* be like.

more than 2 years ago
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Is It Time For Hacker Scouts?

RCC42 Discrimination Issues (186 comments)

I just wanted to mention that the Boys and Girls scouts of America do not allow homosexuals into leadership positions, youth or adult.

Moreover they completely bar atheists and agnostics from membership of any kind.

Support them if you so desire but do so with full awareness of what you are supporting.

more than 2 years ago
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Gut Bacteria Can Control Diabetes

RCC42 Find it, eat it (271 comments)

Like all things in life, the solution to this problem can be found through eating (beneficial gut bacteria)

more than 2 years ago
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Judge Dismisses 'Other OS' Class-Action Suit Against Sony

RCC42 Microwave analogy (403 comments)

This is exactly analogous to purchasing a microwave which, two years later, has its firmware updated to remove the defrost feature.

Judge is stupid and megacorporation is evil, news at eleven.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Water Found on Mars

RCC42 RCC42 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

RCC42 (1457439) writes "The opportunity rover has found evidence of liquid water once flowing on mars through the discovery of gypsum, a mineral that can only be formed in the presence of water.

Though other evidence in the past has suggested at highly acidic water on Mars, this is the first evidence for water with a pH suitable for life as we know it."

Link to Original Source

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