Monday, February 19, 2018

I really wish MS hadn't made Ninja Gaiden Black backwards compatible.

I was FINALLY over my addiction to Ninja Gaiden. I was enjoying all sorts of new games and new genres. After over 1000 hours of Gaiden I thought I had it licked. I played the Tom Raider reboot (and sequel). I played Bastion, A Tale of Two Sons, The Walking Dead, Torchlight, Fallout. Skyrim, Doom, GTA V, XCOM, Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid: Samus Returns, Castlevania LOTS, etc. I replayed the Mass Effect trilogy. I started playing the Dragon Age series. Origins was AMAZING. DA2 was fun. Inquisition was daunting but engaging and I was maybe thirty hours in when I got a message from my buddy. "Dude, Ninja Gaiden Black is playable on the Xbox One and it looks/runs amazing!" "Cool....but I played enough of that on the original XBox and the 360. Plus NG2, Sigma, 3, Razor's Edge, Sigma Plus, Sigma 2 plus, the NES trilogy.....okay might as well boot it up to see how it runs...."

Now, 2 months later I forger what I was doing and where I was in Dragon Age. The story is fading in my mind. The characters, the lore....all fading. I eat sleep dream Ninja Gaiden. I beat Normal. I beat Hard. I'm almost done Very Hard. Master Ninja is next. Approaching 20 million Karma in Mission Mode.....might as well chase 30 million since I never got there....and if I do, well screw it why not go for 40?

I have played maybe 8 hours of other games in the last 2 months. NHL 16 with a friend, and Rainbow Six Siege/Overwatch for a few hours each since they were free to try for the weekend (Overwatch is AWESOME.....Rainbow Six is good but 1, 3 and Black Arrow are still the best imo).

Today I have the whole day to myself. The kid is with the ex wife. Great time to get back into Dragon Age, right? up Ninja Gaiden.

I wish I believed in a god so I could pray for help cause I think I'm like a guy back with his abusive ex- I know it's bad for me and everyone is telling me so but the sex man....the sex is just unbelievable.

Friday, February 2, 2018

My Daughter's First Words

I have a daughter, much to her chagrin (mine as well). She's 4. Cute as a button. Bright. Not a big fan of mine. In fact, l can still hear her very first words as though she was saying them at this very moment.....

She had been trying to speak for a while, making those babbling sounds that sounded as though they wanted to be words but had no idea how to become them; unrealized potential uttered by an idiot savant in a diaper. She had come very close on a few occasions, once even possibly saying "mommy" but it was too hard to call so we decided not to officially declare that as her first word, opting instead to wait for something that was undeniably a fully articulated English word. And then it happened. She had been playing with her blocks, seemingly unfazed by any of the events surrounding her, when all of a sudden she looked up at her mother, then myself, then her mother again, dead in the eyes, and whispered, softly but very clearly, with the inflection properly placed at the last syllable of the word to denote the asking of a question, "Why?"

If she'd had the ability to, she would have said "Why him, Mommy? Why?" but still, the question she was asking was very clear to us both, and unfortunately for her there was, and still isn't, a sufficient answer. I guess the best I could ever hope for is to just stay out of her way as much as possible and try really hard not to ruin her now or embarrass her later.

Poor thing. You never do get to choose your parents after all.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

There is no "Real You." There is no "Real" Anybody.

Ever hear someone say something to the effect of "I thought I knew him/her but obviousdly not-she/he really revealed who he/she really is that day in that one moment. 20 years of knowing them (well, thinking I did) and it all goes away in an instant. How could I be so blind? Or were they just lying the whole time?

Maybe you have said something like that yourself.


The deeper truth that a few philosophers, neuroscientists and psychonauts know is that there is no "real you." There is no "real anybody." All there is is tendencies governed by momentary situational factors. You might not see a certain behaviour in someone until 20 years into a relationship and this is not because they are hiding the "real them" but because the specific set of circumstances in play at the time of the behaviour had not existed in that exact form at any other time.

A pedestrian example is irritability when tired (which many people share). A "nice" person may be great 23 hours a day but a real shitbag between 7-8am. Which one is the "real them?"

A less pedestrian example is a self proclaimed (and seemingly objectively so) pacifist slapping his girlfriend in the face eight years into their relationship during a really bad fight. He had never, EVER shown any signs that this was possible nor had he ever hit anyone else in that eight years- wow, I guess you just don't know who someone "really is" even if you think you do. You had not seen that behaviour because those exact circumstances had not yet come into play. Not once before had you ever been in a major fight following infidelity and the death of his mother and found yourself making an egregious, incredibly hurtful comment about his other's death. And it's possible you may never see that type of reaction from him again. So which one is the "real him?" The "pacifist" or the (duhn duhn duhn) "abuser (#metoo)?"

Answer: It's all him.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Temporary Insanity" Is a Legal Term But Not A Valid Psychological Concept

This is a short summation of the circumstances surrounding the first ever implementation of the legal defense known as "temporary insanity:"

George Reimus built a massive bootlegging empire during prohibition. His wife was by his side during his ascent to becoming a major kingpin and he provided her with anything she ever wanted.
Reimus gets sent to prison for a short 2 year prison term. He left her in charge of his entire empire while he was incarcerated. She was his soulmate and he trusted her completely, without hesitation.
His wife starts sleeping with a new man. Within 6 months, she sold all of her husband's assets, stole all his money, and filed for divorce.
Upon his release, George was driving to his divorce hearing when he spotted his wife in another car. He forced her car off the road, then shot and killed her. He immediately turned himself in and admitted to the murder.
At his trial, he pleaded temporary insanity and won. He said this afterwards: 
It was a duty I owed society. She who dances down the primrose path must die on the primrose path. I'm happy, this is the first piece of mind I've had in years - George Reimus

The problem with this defense is the fact that it's simply not real. 

"Temporary insanity" is a legal term but isn't at all a real psychological phenomenon. In fact, in reality, there is no sanity or insanity or even a "real you." There are just moment to moment brain states which are a result of biological, chemical, physiological, environmental, etc factors.

That guy wasn't "temporarily insane." His behaviour was the end result of a specific set of factors which were in play the moment he saw his wife; the reason he had never acted that way before was simply because he has never been in that situation before. Just like when an otherwise "friendly dog" attacks someone. They aren't insane in that moment; they were acting on circumstances that hadn't been in play prior to that moment.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Another "Sexist" Warning to Women about Drinking to Excess

Article: Anti-drinking ad in university women's washroom blasted for being sexist"

My take on this nonsense that seems to be so prevalent these days? Simple:

  People too readily validate their kids' emotions from a young age; that combined with a lack of philosophical education (logic, reason, forming arguments) leads to this stuff. It's vital to teach your kids to a) challenge assumptions (others' and their own) and possibly more importantly, challenge their own emotional states. Not every moment of sadness, anger or depression (or in this case, 'offense') is reasonable or based on valid assumptions and if they don't learn to challenge them or push through/ignore them (at times, not always obviously) then they end up being like this- unreasonably offended/emotional and then acting upon this shaky foundation.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Advice To Potential 'Self Help Gurus' ('Life Coaches', Marriage Counsellors, Sex Therapists, etc)

There are often two paths when it comes to advice about life, yet in cases where this is true, the path that is followed is the one that is perceived as the sole option, as those who follow this path are blind to the existence of the second, and more importantly, correct, path. For example:

Let's say the advice in question is regarding a married man, self described as "happily married," who is guilty because even though he loves his wife and the marriage is great he can't stop wanting to sleep with other women. He doesn't act on it this desire, but he feels it. Often. Now, the path most travelled, seen to those taking it as the only path (they're wrong) is the sit down/discuss the relationship/examine the self/spice up the sex life with the wife path.

If you want to really help people, stay away from that path. The people on that path are playing in a matrix of socially approved and spread ignorance they just don't see (or they do but they deny it because it is threatening to them in some way). There's a second path, at that path is truth. Real truth. Often politically incorrect truth. So, in the example above regarding the husband with the wandering eye, the second path would be the that's natural/there's nothing to worry about/and p.s your wife does the same thing path.

Stick to the second path and you'll draw the ire of the masses but you'll also be truly helping people and what could be nobler than that?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Problem With Media Reports On Studies About Video Game Violence

We've all read the headlines. "Video Games Lead To Violent Behaviour." "Video Games Cause Immoral Behaviour In Teens." "Video Games Lead To Aggression." The question is, are the conclusions drawn in these reports backed up by the science they are reporting on? My contention is that they absolutely are not and I will use a recent study to demonstrate where they are going wrong.

The study in question, conducted in Italy and published in the online journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, looked at how violent video games influenced post play morality in teenagers. The researchers recruited 172 high school students (aged thirteen to nineteen) and separated them into two groups. The first group was tasked with playing a violent video game. The second group was given nonviolent games to play. After both groups played the games, they were directed to complete a logic test, and every time they achieved a correct answer they were allowed to remove a raffle ticket from a bag. The teens were left alone in a room to do this, and upon completion of the study the researchers found that those who had played violent video games prior to taking the logic test were eight times more likely to remove more than the one raffle ticket from the bag when they correctly completed a section on the logic test.

The authors noted that the teens who showed signs of 'moral disengagement' were the most affected by playing violent video games. Moral disengagement is the ability to remove oneself from the normal rules of morality in certain situations because, in the view of the people who show this trait,  morality does not apply in certain situations. The teens with this trait were much more likely to steal after playing a violent game. A nonviolent game did not trigger as large a discrepancy between the two groups.

A study like this is perfect fodder for one of those media frenzies mentioned earlier. According to the study, the teens, especially those who score highly on "moral disengagement" scales were more likely to take extra raffle tickets; to steal, essentially. At the very least, to cheat. Not good, right? Obviously the violent video games are having a negative effect, one that was not seen to the same degree in the group that played non violent games. Seems like an open and shut case on the face of it. Except it's not. At all.