Showing posts with label the thoughtful gamers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the thoughtful gamers. Show all posts

Monday, April 13, 2015

In Defense Of 'Crazy' Stay At Home Moms

We all know the trope of the 'crazy' suburban mom; you know,  the one who screams at her kids and husband all day despite being medicated to the gills with pharmacological agents and vodka coolers and while I have done my share of sneering at them to myself and others (shitty behaviour around kids is hard not to sneer at) I have been thinking a lot about these women and what might be at the root of the problem and I think that "they're just crazy" isn't fair and what really may be going on is totally not their fault but actually the fault of the way we engineered post-industrialization/post-agricultural societies.

If you travel back in time to say 50,000 years ago, what was the life of a mother like? Were they alone, separated into individual houses, or together as a community, dealing with everyone's' kids all at once?

It was the latter.

Assuming we all agree on this point, (and how can't we; I'm always right after all, right C-man? fuma!) what can we take from this? Well, it logically follows that evolving to raise kids in a community would lead women of future generations to basically needing said communities for support and ultimately, optimal mental health. So, separating into houses all along a street and living in their own little worlds with their kids and hubbies (when home from work) could possibly be setting them up for failure. Living contrary to ones' nature is a recipe for mental illness, right?

If we think about the nature of women, are they more oriented towards being solitary or in groups? I think we all know the answer. They are definitely wired towards being hive minded. Men are generally the more solitary creatures. So, in the interest of fairness here, is it really any wonder that once they are separated into individual homes alone with their kid(s) all day that they go "crazy?" They are living without the social support networks they evolved to need!

I always think/talk about how the way this culture is engineered is really bad for men, but I am starting to consider the possibility that it's bad for women as well. It's bad for all of us, I think. One day I'll stop being so lazy and really dig into this idea and post a detailed, cogent, thought out piece about it. I really think there's a lot about the way we are living that we need to rethink. I'm just so lazy.....damn culture's fault!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

10 Reasons Why Living Alone Is Awesome

Having gone from living with my parents for over 20 years to living with my fiance-turned wife for several years after that to now living alone for the last 3 years I can honestly say that living alone, at least for me, is by far the best. Here are some reasons why:

1) You can be as loud as you want

Want to play Mass Effect 3 in glorious 7.1 digital surround sound all night with zero guilt or need to consider someone else? Have at it!

2) Do your chores when you want to (or never). 

You can do them at your own convenience and pace, without ever being nagged or criticized.

3) Smokers can smoke in the house all they want if you don't care. 

I have friends who smoke and they were never allowed to smoke in the house before. Now? They can smoke in my basement all they want- this is especially great for them in the winter.

4) Sleep wherever, whenever and always uninterrupted. 

No one will hit you with "when are you getting up" or "why don't you come to bed, it's late?" If it's your day off and you want to sleep for 15 can!

5) No one but you eats your food. 

No more "who ate my taco? I was saving that!"

6) The temperature is set to EXACTLY your preference at all times. 

And NO ONE complains :) My house is 64 degrees this winter. Saving tons of money on heating and no one is telling me to turn it up because they are cold (meaning of course that I have to be too thanks).

7) If you play an instrument you can play whenever you want. 

I play the drums and nothing is more glorious than being able to just PLAY when I feel like it.

8) If you missed the lesson on sharing in kindergarten living alone is for you.

That family size box of overly sugary, diabetes inducing cereal? All mine, mine, mine!

9) Come and go as you please. 

Go out whenever you want and have no one to answer to (or ask).

10) Have people over anytime you want. 

There's never a time where you have to "check" with someone else. I can have an impromptu jam session with a guitarist friend, something that would have been nearly impossible before.

Living alone isn't for everyone, but for people like me, it's GREAT. Everyone should at least try it once in their lives.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

5 Ways To Improve A Legal System/The Law

1) Judge the law less by its effect on case by case situations and more so by its effect on society as a whole.

-Increase in the ability to file law suits was implemented, supposedly, to increase power held by "the little guy" and to 'check' the behaviour of the 'big guy.' Only problem is, this has had unintended systemic effects
-For example, the increase in medical culpability has actually diminished doctors' propensity to act, decreasing the quality of healthcare

2) Simplify the law.

-If the law is too complicated to internalize, people lose faith in the law
-The golden rule is and always has been a great basis for law

3) Re-humanize the law.

-Give cops and judges the opportunity to apply their discretion (like they used to be able to) so individuals are not swallowed up by harsh, unflinching laws meant to curb societal problems

4) Have the law informed by science, not emotion and propaganda. Evidence based law, like medicine. Especially drug laws

5) Refocus the law and associated punishments. What exactly is their aim and are we acting outside of it?

-If you're in court, looking at say 5 years in jail for a drug infraction and you ask the judge "who exactly did I hurt here?" and they have no answer other than "yourself" or "the law is the law" we have a problem
-We need to rethink prison and ask ourselves if it is really the only possible way of doing things

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Debate Tips #1: Rebuttal To Being "Entitled To My Opinion"

Two people engaged in a debate. One is challenging the opinion of the other. They go back and forth, point by point. Until it happens:

"Well, I'm entitled to my opinion."

When people say this, I think they're saying that they have the right to hold the opinion, content of the opinion notwithstanding. If so, I agree but that is basically a nonsense statement. I have the right to hop on one foot I suppose, but if someone points out that walking normally is more efficient and I, instead of engaging them on that point just say "Well, that may be but I have the right to hop on one foot" I might be right but I am also babbling and missing the point.

Address the actual content of the opinion, not your right to hold it.

That is all.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus 2- Ninja Race Mode Tips

So I have been playing a bit of the Ninja Race mode in Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus 2 on the Vita and I thought I would share some tips for this super fun, challenging mode. Note: I have been playing as Ryu, so these tips are (mostly) character specific.

-Lunar Staff is obtained after beating Chapter 1 in the story mode- do this first.

-The Lunar features quick combo kills using weak, weak, strong. This is much faster than square, square, triangle, shuriken cancel, triangle with the dragon sword.

-The Lunar is also fantastic for crowd control, unlike the DS. Standing neutral strong, either stand alone or chained into a combo is good, as is the standard weak, weak, weak, strong strong. A good one for quick limb detachments is chains starting with towards and square. This is a poke with range and power and like the other combos mentioned above it seems to grant some crowd protection in the same way that VF combo strings do. The dragon sword does not carry this advantage.

-The Dragon Sword does have the flying swallow, but it whiffs too much sometimes and therefore wastes too much time. There's no whiffing with the Lunar staff.

-Minimize ET/UT usage. Keep it to the purple essence or health if you don't need it. You'll definitely want to avoid using the green essence for them as green grants time bonuses. The white essence grants speed and power bonuses so try not to utilize that for ET's/UT's either, unless you're at max speed/power or you're in trouble.

-I experimented with both avoiding fights and taking them all on and what seemed to work best for me was a combination of the two- run until you group enemies together at a point where you're forced to fight and kill them as fast as you can. You'll get a feel for the best spots to do this as you try the course over after failing (unless you're amazing and do it in one go) but off the top of my head, I skip the first three regular ninjas and have them follow me, along with the first 2 dogs, into the bridge area where you're forced to fight the spider ninja. Then I grouped together the next batch with the big fight at the area before the archer section.

-Speaking of the archers, DO NOT BOTHER WITH THEM. Major time waster. Either fight the guys below while dodging arrows or take them all with you to the underground passage and kill them in close quarters (if you get far enough ahead you can no essence charge a UT, or at least an ET to soften them up (if you want).

-Plan on failing several times while you're learning the route(s) and strategy(ies). Unless of course you're god tier. At this point in my life I'm human tier, so it took me a good 10 tries or so to figure it all out. The time constraints are rough and leave little room for error. The most time I can recall having on the clock at once was somewhere around 2:40.

-Race 01: If you get to the first boss fight with less than 40 seconds on the clock restart. When I beat the course I believe I got to him with 1:10 or so left.

That's all I can remember atm.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Differences Between Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2- Which Do You Prefer?

* Unlocks are easier to get most of the time, but can't be quick unlocked via cheatcodes.
* there's a bigger difference in move-set per weapon.
* Umbran Climax is added, think Devil Trigger.
* Magic no longer drains when hit.
* Pulleys Butterfly now also constantly drains magic.
* Enemies no longer do surprise attacks at the start of a fight.
* Certain enemies will attack you in a cutscenes, if you press dodge at that point you'll start the fight with an extended Witch Time.
* Requirements for PP seem to be a lot higher and more tight.
* You can't reset to title-screen when you're looking at your ranking, so you can more easily screw up your rank.
* More costumes, like..a lot more.
* 'Serious Mode' from Bayo1 is gone during bosses.
* Few new abilities are added such as Charge Shots and a sort of Shoryuken move.
* Default Control scheme was changed, no idea why. Type B is the controls from the first game.
* Dodge animation was changed a bit.
* With the exception of truly broken setups that disallow rankings (Rosa + Climax Brace + Climax Brace 2), there isn't a big ultra move that kills everything in seconds.
* Online Co-op is now added where you can play as two male characters (Lumen Sage and Rodin).
* There's a lot less 'other stuff' when it comes to gameplay. The driving section is only a minute long and the flying section is a lot shorter as well.
* Levels are bigger with more room to explore.
* Lot more enemy types from what I'm noticing.
* Highest difficulty setting does NOT disable Witch Time
*The window to activate Witch Time is much more generous but it's balanced out by being slightly
shorter than the first and there are stricter PP requirements.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mass Effect 2 Element Zero and Side Quest Locations Guide


Omega Nebula - Batalla - Thunawanuro 7,500
Hourglass Nebula - Faryar - Daratar 6,000
Rosetta Nebula - Alpha Draconis - Aeia 5,000
Rosetta Nebula - Enoch - Mizraim 2,000
Rosetta Nebula - Enoch - Laban 3,000
Rosetta Nebula - Enoch - Joab 5,000
Far Rim - Dholen - Gotha 5,000
The Phoenix Massing - Salahiel - Ekuna 4,000
Hades Nexus - Hekate - Bothros - 2,000
Hades Nexus - Pamyat - Dobrovolski 5,000
Hades Nexus - Sheol - Gei Hinnom 5,500
Nubian Expanse - Kalabsha - Yamm 3,000
Caleston Rift - Balor - Caleston 5,000
Hawking Eta - Schwarzschild - Etamis 5,000
Pylos Nebula - Dirada - Siano 5,000
Pylos Nebula - Satent - Boro 6,500
Pylos Nebula - Satent - Raisaris - 7,000
Eagle Nebula - Relic Cluster - Planet Preying Mouth
Eagle Nebula - Amun Cluster - Planet Anhur
Eagle Nebula - Amun Cluster - Planet Sekhmet
Crescent Nebula - Lusarn Cluster - Planet Tarith
Crescent Nebula - Zelene Cluster - Planet Helyme
Hourglass Nebula - Osun Cluster - Planet Erinie
Hourglass Nebula - Ploitari Cluster - Planet Thegan
Titan Nebula - Haskins Cluster - Planet Capek
Valhallan Threshhold - Micah Cluster - Planet Farlas
Valhallan Threshhold - Micah Cluster - Planet Israfil
Valhallan Threshhold - Micah Cluster - Planet Kakabel
The Shrike Abyssal - Urla Rast Cluster - Planet Talis Fia
The Shrike Abyssal - Xe Cha Cluster - Planet Tosal Nym
The Shrike Abyssal - Xe Cha Cluster - Planet Zada Ban
Sigurd's Cradle - Decoris Cluster - Planet Sanctum
Sigurd's Cradle - Skepsis Cluster - Planet Watson
Omega Nebula - Batalla Cluster - Planet Nearog
Krogan DMZ - Nith Cluster - Planet Mantun
Minos Wasteland - Caestus Cluster - Planet Invictus
Caleston Rift - Aysur Cluster - Planet Arvuna


Planet______________ System ______________ Nebula
Taitus ______________ Talava System_________ Caleston Rift
Sinmara ____________ Solveig System________ Caleston Rift
Helyme _____________ Zelene System __________Crescent Nebula
Tarith _______________ Lusarn System __________Crescent Nebula
Neith _______________ Amun System __________Eagle Nebula
Gel Hinnom__________ Sheol System__________ Hades Nexus
Daratar ______________Faryar System__________ Hourglass Nebula
Zanethu _____________ Ploitari System__________ Hourglass Nebula
Aequitas _____________Fortis System __________Minos Wasteland
MSV Strontium Mule _________________________ Omega Nebula
Lorek _______________ Father ________________ Omega Nebula
Joab ________________ Enoch System __________Rosette Nebula
Sanctum _____________Decoris System __________Sigurd's Cradle
Franklin ______________Skepsis System__________ Sigurd's Cradle
Zada Ban ____________Xe Cha System __________The Shrike Abyssal
Capek _______________Haskins System__________Titan Nebula
Pylos Nebula__________Dirada__________________Canalus

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Kids and Drugs II

In my experience as a father of a 5 year old daughter there's nothing in life that more poignantly exemplifies the notion of things in life being both immensely beneficial and seriously detrimental than does having a kid. I have previously written about the downsides of having a kid before so I will just summarize some of them in bulletpoint:

-Tremendous drain on time
-Tremendous drain on resources
--Seriously, the time drain. I have to say it again because "holy fuck can I just have 5 min. alone?" is a common thought
-Being woken up at 6:20am with the lights being turned on, a kid jumping on you, being asked to play, etc
-In a span of 3 hours you might be asked 100 questions
-You have to play the same kids games over and over and fake enthusiasm each time
-You have to consider another person and physically take them with you whenever you plan to do anything
-Dealing with things like tantrums, crying, screaming, shit, piss, puke, injuries, spills (constant spills at certain ages), etc
-Just having to constantly be "on-" You're a teacher, a mentor, a guard, a babysitter, a cook, a cleaner etc all day long

Now, all that aside, all that shit you hear about parenting being the greatest, most rewarding endeavour in the world is (mostly) true. There are moments between her and I that are truly the happiest and most endearing of any in this life and I sincerely mean that. The feelings that your little one can engender within you are far and away better, more intense and more satisfying than any you can experience elsewhere. It always sounded ridiculous to me when I was younger but now I find myself experiencing it: I will sometimes think about her and I will feel myself starting to tear up (or feel like I am close to it). She is the greatest, sweetest, brightest thing in my life and I am completely dedicated to doing the best job I can so as to allow her to become a self actualized, competent, happy, free spirited, inquisitive, motivated human (and in all honesty, so far so good, but not solely because of me; she plays a huge role in it herself).

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Here's What They Don't Tell You About Having Kids (And the Love you feel for them)

Parenting, on a day by day, minute to minute basis is a LOT of work, both physical and mental.

"Oh, I know that," you say.

Do you? Do you really know that?

Imagine being woken up at 6:20am by a fully energized kid ready to start the day off with a wrestling match, or a walk to the park when all you want to do is sleep (but you cannot) so you get up and you start the day. By 1pm you've already made breakfast for two, wrestled, done artwork, watched a kids tv show or two, played outside, cleaned 3 messes, made lunch for two, been asked 1000 questions and pulled in 1000 different directions and have had zero time to yourself. By 1pm you're already halfway to being wiped out but she's not going to be in bed until 8pm and her energy is endless.....btw, if you want to go to the grocery store, good luck. It will take 4 times as long as it would without a kid, unless you make them ride in the cart (and even then they will still find ways to annoy-try to escape, try to grab things off the shelf, ask for everything they see, etc.).

And this is when they are a bit more self sufficient. Take this and add crying/screaming/tantrums for toddlers. Now does doing that over and over sound like something you would want to subject yourself to? It's really not all that fun, at least quite often. It's mostly just tiring, draining work and internally you're just wishing for some time alone. I can see why a lot of parents retreat into their phones, although I HATE that they do it, because it hurts the kids.

Parenting makes you an entertainer, a cleaner, a cook, a boss, a role model, etc.

Those moments that everyone talks about, those "OMG AMAZING MOMENTS" like the "I love you's" and the kisses on the cheek, they are just that-moments. Moments surrounded by hours of work. Everyone points to these moments but neglects to mention the day to day drudgery.

A drug analogy really holds well here. In fact (and this is where I lose people) I believe the 'love' we feel for our children is, as is romantic love, just a chemically induced state (oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin) which we evolved to feel in order to keep us from either abandoning or killing the little buggers. Just think about it: How successful would we have been as a species if we DIDN'T feel that love feeling for the screaming little buggers? And so if this is true, the "love" that we all speak of to justify being a parent (seriously, other dads I talk to agree about what it's like but then invariably go to the "ya, but I love him/her/them and when they give you that random hug it's all worth it!") is actually the 'trick' if you will, that nature plays on us to keep us committed to the kids. We romanticize the shit out of what I believe to simply be an evolved trick of sorts.

Now, that all being said, as they age things change and it can become less one sided and more of a real friendship/relationship rather than just a worker/recipient situation. My daughter is now 5 and she is truly a kindhearted, intelligent, funny and fun kid and the feeling of things being "work" is much less frequent (and intense) as it used to be. Chunks of the day really have become less like work and more just hanging out and having an honestly good time. For example, we'll go on nature walks along the water or in a nearby forest and during times like that it's all exploration, inquisitiveness, appreciation and bonding between the two of us. She is getting much better behaved and so even going to the store has become less stressful (some days, some days I still want to kill her) and as long as you mediate your feelings, have an open heart, treat them well, etc you can have a good time.

But even then it's still a LOT of work and a total drain on your once free time, so potential parents should THINK HARD about the day to day realities rather than just the "aawww moments." Those "aww moments" are a high and the rest of the day is spent doing the drudgery no one really talks about when you mention wanting kids.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Top Ten Divorce Lawyer Dirty Tricks

Top Ten Tricks of Scumbags Known as “Family Law Attorneys”

1. The bankruptcy trick.

Here is how it works……. In the property division portion of the trial, the “wife” and her life sucking leach will let you keep most of your stuff. You know, your classic cars and motorcycles, toys, property in your family for years, etc. {don’t worry, she’ll throw out all the smaller mementos of your life, in violation of the temporary order, to make the math easier} In exchange, you have to pay the princess a cash settlement based on splitting all the bills due minus the assets each person takes. Sounds fair, right? --deleted-- NO! What happens is that, shortly after the divorce, pumpkin declares bankruptcy. Now guess who is responsible for ALL the bills. Yes, you. The nice part is that if you declare bankruptcy to get rid of those marital bills, your ex sweetheart’s cash payout is not subject to the bankruptcy proceedings. Your credit is now --deleted--ed and you will have to pay her the cash the judge promised her. They will seize property (including bank accounts), garnish wages, etc. in order to help out the former Mrs. X.

Solution: What you need to do is make sure that you put on the record, say to the judge during the trial, “Your Honor, I stipulate to the property division as put forth by Ms. _______ ,and her counsel, with the following caveat: In the event that a party declares bankruptcy within ten years of the divorce, that party shall not be entitled to any cash settlement from the other and any payments made as part of a cash equalization payment shall be returned by order of the court.” Then smile and shut up. If they pull this on you, you need to have this on the record. The judge can agree with this or not, her attorney will flip out that you are on to this trick and certainly protest. Let him make an ass of himself or herself. When they finish, simply state that “to do otherwise is to open the door for a future civil case of unjust enrichment and I realize the court is busy and may not wish to reopen this matter, under relief from judgment statutes, at a later time.”

2. The “Magical Order” trick.

You’ll like this one. You go to court and get basically what you want, justice. Then a week or so later you get a copy of the proposed order. Well, holy --deleted--, the order has things that were never discussed or ordered or has it just plain wrong. This is definitely NOT what the judge ordered. How did this mistake happen? It isn’t a mistake. The other attorney knows that these things are usually rubber stamped by a judge’s secretary and they aren’t going through the transcripts to see if the lawyer accurately wrote down what the judge ordered. The judge has lots of cases to handle. In most cases, he will not remember, and will take the “scumbag attorney” at his word.

Solution:A week before the hearing, or trial, submit a “request for audio recording” of the action. If it is denied, and it is a one party consent state, tape the thing yourself secretly. Once they know you are on to this trick, by your request for a recorded hearing, they will be more “careful” when they word the order. When you get the proposed order, review it immediately. You generally have five days to object before it is made final. If it is wrong, make sure you object. If your objections are overruled, let them know that “the audiotape I possess clearly shows the order is wrong.” Threaten to contact your States attorney ethics board if you are being ignored. Be nice at first. Never lose your temper.

3. The Disappearing mail trick.

You can trust the one who agreed to “better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health”, right. No. You can’t. You get something in the mail that says basically “hey, you failed to show up for _______ (mediation, court hearing, required appointment, etc.). Since you didn’t care enough to show, we bent you over the bench in effigy and ass raped you. Have a nice day and --deleted-- off.” You think “well, I never got a notice of that”. How could I get the ass rape letter and not the initial notice ? It just can’t be. Sure it can. Little miss innocent simply knew when the original notice was mailed and had someone (bad boy, player, thug) intercept your mail. What? That’s not fair. Doesn’t matter. What does matter is that she got a default judgment, or something else to her benefit, because you didn’t show. And now the judge thinks you don’t care. He will not likely believe someone tampered with your mail and you probably cannot prove it anyhow. And now he is pissed off at you.

Solution: Get a post office box. Send registered letters, return receipt requested, to the court, child support agency, ex’s attorney if she is represented (or her if she isn’t yet) and EVERYBODY ELSE INVOLVED that formally notifies them of this change. Do not say why as it makes you look like a whiner. Just do it. Do it as soon as the action is filed. Check this PO Box every day.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Re: On Labeling Women 'Crazy' (Thoughts From a Discussion I Had)

I see both sides of this. women getting irrational and hyper emotional is pretty much a staple of female behaviour, so on that one I am with you guys 100%. On the other hand, there are guys (and girls, yes feminists, chicks do this too) who "gaslight" their partners by essentially doing shit and then denying it when the person reacts and then furthermore telling them that they are "crazy" or "oversensitive." They do this even though the person is right and that can really fuck with someone psychologically.

P.S. Just the word "oversensitive" alone should give you guys pause. Who determines what is an acceptable level of sensitivity? Are we really going to deny that a lot of guys act like dicks, or do something shady and then when the girl reacts to it they shut them down, not because the chick is wrong but simply because they don't want to actually have to consider their own behaviour or just "don't want to hear it?" Sure, a lot of the time they are being "crazy" and making a mountain out of a molehill, but let's not lose sight of the fact that a lot of people out there are horribly self involved and don't give a shit about other people especially if it inconveniences them to do so. That shit exists and I have even faced it as a male.

An example: person insults the other. Other person gets hurt and mentions it. First person says "I was just kidding, jesus. You're too sensitive!" Too? As determined by who? I see absolutely no pausing to consider the other person's feelings there, and that's because people are a) apt to assume everyone is wired just like they are and b) don't want to have to admit fault or actually consider their behaviour.

When it comes to this "acting crazy" thing, is that if you ask first, and their response is pretty well, crazy, then okay. Bitches be crazy. A lot of guys though, they don't even ASK. Just immediately write it off. "Oh, you're crazy, relax!" The author is just saying, "hey, why not investigate a little before writing them off? Sometimes you're writing off legitimate feelings." And btw, when guys do that, guess what that leads to over time? More "acting crazy" which they further chalk up to the chick being "nuts" and don't ever stop for a minute to consider their part. I can't understand how anyone can deny that this happens. It's super common, and not even just with guys/girls and romantic relationships. ALL relationships (friends, family, etc) are fertile ground for this. I myself have had this happen numerous times over my life. A lot of it because of my own parents and their abuse. Or friends in the past, being total dicks. I tell them how I feel about what they did/do and I'm just "too sensitive" or "making a big deal out of nothing." Not one second to consider their (shitty) actions or how I could be affected. Just quickly write you off and move on.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Irony is, They Aren't Teaching Girls Equality

They're giving them a complex about it. My daughter (she's 5) sang this part of a song this weekend for the first time "boys can *insert whatever action* and girls can too!" So she'll skip along and sing "boys can skip and girls can too!" or "boys can jump and girls can too!" etc. I asked her where she learned this song and she said it was at school last year (SK, she starts grade 1 tomorrow, which seems insane but that's for another topic). Now, on the face of it, this seems like a great message to be sending little girls. And my initial though actually was in this vein "oh, cool, they start early with the equality now, that's good." Something to that effect. I mean, a main focus of my parenting style is to avoid limiting her; encourage her interests and objects of curiosity- never repress them.

Not long after this though, my (fuckin unstoppable and often annoying) need to question goddamn fucking everything woke up from its nap and started the process. It's tentative conclusion? That this might be doing less teaching about equality and more introducing the idea of gender inequality, leading to an immediate (and gender wide) inferiority complex. The central question here then, if my goal is to find out if I am on the right track or not, is simply is there an inherent, ingrained idea of gender inequality amongst young children which necessitates this kind of teaching, or does the post feminism practise of teaching equality from a young age actually just introduce the idea of inequality in them and do the opposite of what it tries to?

What do you think?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Parenting Rules To Live By

My daughter is five. Here's a list of some of my parenting rules: (I try to stick to them as much as possible)

-If she gets dramatic/emotional to manipulate me into doing something, a) do not do it for her; b) call her out on it (with humour).
-No yelling or "spanking." There's no lesson that needs to be bullied into a kid in order to reach them.
-Say no but say it when it matters so it's not a pointless word that just starts battles.
-Think about her as a person. Empathize. Remember her age, remember her brain's limits. Don't just expect her not to be who she is because it's inconvenient or makes it hard for me to have control. Cut ego OUT as much as possible.
-Wrestle/playfight often. Don't go easy on her the whole time. Let her have some wins but mix in some moments of high challenge (build self confidence, teach her to overcome obstacles and stay persistent, increased physical strength and capabilities, exercise, bonding).
-Share jokes, and ask her opinion on things.
-Have fun
-Do things outside. Be in nature. Explore.
-Don't say no to things just because I, as an adult, no longer enjoy them. She's a kid, not an adult. If she wants to jump in a puddle, LET HER. Her shoes get wet, oh no! They'll dry, and she'll have a great childhood moment. Or, just have her take her shoes off. Think outside the box
-Like I said, think outside the box
-Question things, and have her do the same
-Try to show more than tell
-Share my love of learning and my awe of (and passion for knowing) the universe
-Engage her in things.
-Challenge her. Mentally and physically
-If she asks me to get her something for no reason other than laziness, decline. She can do it herself.
-If she tries to get something making sexy poses, point it out to her, and then ask her if perhaps there might be a better way. Never indulge it, but never shame her either. She did not choose her animal nature, so don't make her pay for it.
-If she falls, know the difference between real hurt and not so real. Attend to the first, handle the second with amusement and try to bring her into that frame. End result: hopefully she laughs off the not so bad ones instead of sits there vying for attention. (By the way, it worked. She "walks it off" and we talk/laugh about it or just keep playing. If she is really hurt I immediately know the difference and giver her the hugs and soothing that she needs.)
-TV isn't the end of the world, but don't have her in front of it for hours and hours either

That's good for now.

My goal is to have a confident, open minded, critical thinking daughter who isn't ashamed of her sexuality but doesn't wield it like a weapon. Ditto her emotions. It would be nice if she worked through problems, had some measure of self reliance and autonomy, and didn't just cry on facebook when something mild goes wrong. Nice, caring and empathetic but not a pushover and physically capable. Just an all around cool chick. Possible? I dunno. Signs are promising. She's a badass five year old. Then again she's only five. Grade one starts next month and along with it a year's worth of other kids and their influences. And those influences only grow with each passing year. For now I just do what I can.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I Attempt To Answer The Age Old Question "Why Am I Me?"

(If I wrote for some big site they would have made me title this "Why Are You You? Here's Why" but thankfully I do not (thankfully in this instance, not in general; let's not get crazy here) and as such it was titled something more appropriate/honest)

Have you ever asked yourself "why am I me?" "Why am I not someone else?" I certainly have. Many times in my youth and adolescence (and once or twice in adulthood) I have wondered to myself this very thing. At 32 years of age I found myelf pondering this once again but this time an anwer came, almost immediately actually. It's that immediacy that makes me think I might have it, but each time I get close to accepting that, I's like an eel escaping a predator's grasp- one second it's there and the next it's gone. I am just about to emotionally connect to the idea that I am right when suddenly I don't feel so sure and I start saying things like "wait, what?" and "No, wh- hmmmm....wait, what?"

Well, I am writing down my thoughts in the hopes that I can finally figure this out and maybe have a good discussion with somebody online.  I will do this as though I were responding to someone.

"Why am I me?"

Well, I think each "us" may ask why am I 'me' (as I have many times in my life) and I think the only real answer is you are "you" because when your parents procreated, your consciousness developed as a necessary result of that process. Each one of us is a 'me' and it's only after we came to be that we would even think to ask this question but the question itself is kind of pointless because rather than a consciousness being dropped into a body consciousness is the result of the biological entity processing information. If you weren't you there wouldn't be a you. In order for you to ask about yourself there must have been a you in the first place. If any conditions had changed, you would not have existed. Therefore, you are you because the conditions that made you were what they were. If your parents hadn't conceived you when they did you wouldn't be, well, you. So to say "why am I not someone else" is to essentially say "why am I, a thing that came to be as the result of my parents being together exactly when they were, not that other thing who is a result of totally different circumstances?"

I think the anthropic principle might be applicable here- the idea being that when one is examining the universe the universe MUST be congruent with that beings' existence and this congruence cannot be used as evidence for something in an argument as it would apply in ALL cases. So for example, if someone wants to point to the remarkable number of conditions that must have come to be exactly the way they are for life to be as we experience it now and use this as evidence for a god the only correct response to that is to point out that in order for life to be here things had to be a certain way, and would be so regardless of HOW it came to be, so you cannot point to this congruence between life and the universe and say "see, god!" If humans came to be 100% without any gods, things.....would be exactly the same, otherwise there wouldn't be an us.

This topic makes my head hurt.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Pissed Someone Off Up There......

So if you read this blog on occasion you may have noticed that I have not posted in the last 2+ weeks. Well, I have been an atheist for as long as I can remember but I think perhaps I have been wrong and there's a really pissed off god out there waving his godly staff of power in my direction. Here's what's been happening over in magx01 land. Try not to choke when you laugh at this bullshit.

-Air conditioning broke. Cannot fix right now (bad financial situation after the recent loss of a job contract)

Okay, no big deal. It's just me here so meh. I've been letting cold air in at night and keeping the place shuttered tight during the day. Windows open on the odd cool day. No wife to bitch and moan and make it sound like the world is ending so in the end, eh.

Then this happens:

Guy ran a red light going 80km/h and destroyed my car (a second car, the one behind me, hit me after I spun which is why there are two impact sites). I walked away with a smashed up left knee and nothing else so I cannot complain too much. It's been 2 weeks now and the knee is like 70-80% better already :)

Okay, so two shitty things, but both are not too bad in the grand scheme of things, right?

-Three days after the accident, I hobble over to my freezer upon awakening in the morning to get an ice pack to ice the giant swollen painful knee when I discover fridge/freezer is no longer working!!!!

Okay, now wtf. I'm a calm dude who takes a lot of shit in stride but even I had to yell out "OH COME ON!!!! WHAT THE FUCK NOW?!" (I did laugh after, but it was more of an anxious laugh than a truly legitimate heehaw laugh). Ugh, so I call the repair dudes and the come and fix it the next day. $140 which I really cannot afford right now but it needs to be done so I do it. I ice my knee three times that night and go to bed relieved, money issues aside. I wake up the next day, and I wal-wait, what's that sound? Oh, NO FUCKING WAY.....that's the noise the fridge was making before it broke (click buzz, click buzz). I go over to it, open it and.....

(wait for it)


At this point I just felt defeated. I call the repair guys, they come back the next day and the good news is they tore up my cheque and only charged me $60 instead (they took back the part they installed the day previous). The bad news? I need a new fridge. I spend several days hobbling back and forth between my house and my neighbours' to get and hand them food/drinks/ice packs they are storing for me.

-Insurance comes through on the replacement value of the car. The settlement they offer is fairly reasonable, thankfully. I'll be able to get something similar. They tell me the cheque will be here in 5-10 business days. Cool, right? I'll drive my rental car for now, the cheque comes and I go car shopping, buy something, return the rental. Right?

BZZZT. Wrong. The rental needs to be returned tomorrow. "But I don't even have the money yet, how can I buy a car? And how can I get there without a rental?" "Well sir, you can pay out of pocket for the rental." "Out of pocket? This happened because the guy ran a red light. He was charged for this. I was totally innocent and now I am being penalized? How is this in any way reasonable or fair?" "I agree sir, but there's nothing I can do."


Moral of the story: Don't lose a job/contract if you're an atheist because someone up there will choose that time to turn his giant magnifying glass on your tiny little life.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Self Help and Social Anxiety

The Problem I have with self help when it comes to social anxiety:

There is no answer.

The fundamental reality is that social anxiety and the lack thereof are arrived at by equal (and opposite) roads, and the only way one could morph into the other type of person is by having new experiences opposite to the old that would in effect, reprogram the person to feel differently around others. Can someone with SA work on it? Sure, and well have some agency over our own behaviour, but let's not invalidate years of learned behaviour. A person with social anxiety will only truly be cured through positive experience with others. Of course, one does have some room to self improve in ways that would give them a higher chance of having said positive experiences, and for that self help material can be useful, but not in the way it is advertised. it always seems to put the onus on the self while ignoring the fundamental fact that good experiences with others throughout ones life=confidence and vice versa. A non confident person can get there, sure, but it's like asking a confident person to suddenly feel anxious around others- it ain't happening unless the people around them suddenly start responding differently to them.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Man becomes Woman and Talks About Privilege

This is a post I saw on reddit (unfortunately I did not record the link when I saved this into my drafts) and thought it worthy of sharing. 

"I'm a woman, who......

Brace yourselves......

Used to be a man. There. I said it. So I know exactly what it's like to be a man, and exactly what it's like to be a woman. With that out of the way:

1. Men do not earn more than women. The Wage Gap is a myth that really does follow the Nazi's philosophy that "if you say a lie loud enough, for long enough, people will start to believe it". All you have to do is look up information freely available from the US Department of Labour and Statistics. The numbers are right there. Women do not earn less than men.

1.1 As a woman, I'm now earning FAR more than I ever did as a man.

1.2 In some parts of the country, women earn some 120% of what men make. But we'll never hear about those.

2. Men do not have a better chance of winning political office. Women simply do not run for office as much or as often as men, because it requires work they are not willing to do. Again, this is information freely available.

As a man, I could only be a doctor. If I were a male nurse, I'd be laughed at. If I were a male nurse's aid, I'd be laughed at even harder. If I were an orderly, I'd be a loser who just pushes brooms because he couldn't make it as anything else.

As a woman, I can be a doctor, a nurse, a nurses aid, OR an orderly, and at no point along the way am I laughed at or put down. In fact, I'm applauded the whole way through. Even if I want to stay at home, I'm still applauded!! Because now I'm a little home maker!

So is it any wonder that men MUST push themselves relentlessly to make it as CEOs, while women simply do not have to. And we wonder why there are more men CEOs.

3. Promiscuous behavior, you say? Check this out.

As a man:

if I went into a sex shop, I was a pervert.
If I walked by a playground, I was a pedophile.
If I looked at a woman the wrong way, I was a rapist.
If I said the wrong thing at work, it was sexual harassment.
If I tried to hit on girls, I was a pathetic desperate loser.

As a woman:

if I go into a sex shop, I'm an independent woman exploring her sexuality.
If I walk by a playground, I must be there to pick up my child.
If I look at a man the wrong... pfff come on! I can look at a man any damn way I want! I can tell him to go to hell and he has to applaud me for it!
If I said the wrong thing at work, I'm forgiven. All I have to do is pout and look sorry.
If I try to hit on men, I get men. I can have any man I want. I can hit on women too and it's still perfectly fine, because being gay is gross but lesbians are HAWT!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Syko Shadow and The N Word

This is a new blog series by contributing Thoughtful Gamers writer Syko Shadow called Syko Shadow and Friends, where each time I select a controversial and highly debated topic, give my piece on it, and hope to offer a different viewpoint than the ones that are more widely heard in the wild stupid world of politics and debate.

Today's topic is, as the title so succinctly suggests, the N word!

And by N word, I mean "nigger." (Chappelle's Show reference FTW)

Obviously, it's a bad word for a good reason. Since its inception, the word "nigger" has been associated with the oppression and racism towards black people that has defined the United States since before it became a nation. But for such a bad word, there sure is alot of debate over who can and cannot use the word, or its cousin "nigga" (or "nyugga" if you gettin' fancy), in modern society. Some believe that only black people themselves have any right to use any version of the word without fear of social backlash, some wish to see other races free to use the word to exercise free speech, and some want the word flat-out banned as it is a painful and vulgar word that nobody should WANT to use.

So where do I fit in all of this?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

About This Elliot Rodgers Thing. Look, It's Not Misogyny or 'Rape Culture' That's To Blame

There has been a ton of talk online since the shooting happened and most of it is centred around misogyny, rape culture and guys feeling entitled to sex with girls who are not interested in them. The mainstream media, bloggers, etc have been postulating about this stuff and the answers they put forth are almost always missing the point. It's really, really, REALLY simple and it's not about hating women or seeing them as objects.

It's ignorance of human biology.

We men (and women, but the focus for now is on men) all have a biologically imposed need for sex and the objects of said need are going to be largely the same (ie, 'hot girls') as the 'hot ones' are the ones that bear the indicators of good genetic material. You know, youth, symmetry, health, hip to waist ratio, etc*(see below). These guys don't lust after these girls because they think of them as objects that they have a right to; they lust after them because millennia of evolutionary imperatives compel them to. This is exactly the same type of compulsion that drives women to want to feel safe and protected with their man. Are these women viewing men as security objects? Oh, what's that? "That's different?" Okay, explain how without just implying that sex is somehow less valid a need than security.

Hmmm...silence. Odd.

Want a hint? Either we all view one another as objects (because we ALL want certain things from someone else) or none of us do and it's all a part of life. You don't get to pick and choose which needs are 'okay' and which needs are 'objectifying' people. Doing that is simply sexism; ironically the very charge you're levying against the guys for wanting sex (which you do too, right?).

Look, snarkiness aside, all guys want sex; the only difference is the Elliot Rodgers' of the world never get their urges satiated. Year after year of this resulting in them becoming enraged after years of frustration is understandable and NOT a symptom of rampant misogyny. It's simply frustrated biological urges manifesting in a terrible, terrible way.

The real answer is not gun control, blogging about rape culture or any of that other nonsense: It's education, better communication in our society regarding sex and relationships, a removal of the stigma against male sex toys and legalized and affordable prostitution for guys who cannot get laid but really need to. You'll never get rid of the urges, nor can you change the fact that some guys will never get said urges satiated. So what you do is allow them to legally and safely satiate those urges, thereby allowing it to be done without harming another person.

You'll never get guys to stop lusting after women. And to think if you just educate them about "women not being objects" they will stop feeling this way is really missing the point. If you think you can condition this into them then logically you could condition the girls to be into the guys they aren't into, right? I mean, men aren't objects and maybe that nerd is an excellent person- if only she could get past her culturally induced ideas about what is attractive, right?

Oh, what's that? Suddenly biology is a factor?

Make up your damn minds!

I'll end this with this thought: Even if he did view women as "objects" how did those women view him? As nothing. would you rather be sexualized or totally ignored?

*Right here is where the 'women as objects crowd' will get all excited and say "see! he's talking about them like they are objects as well." Here's something you all need to hear, so listen up: People have physical characteristics and it is these characteristics upon which they are judged by men when it comes to sexuality. This is much in the same way as THOSE SAME GIRLS JUDGE THE GUYS AS NOT BEING 'WORTHY' OF SEX. Either both sides are objectifying the other, or neither is. Pick one but stop putting the onus on the guys only. As i pointed out above, if you want to talk about sexism, it's actually here in this area, and it's against men. Women categorize men all day long but anytime they feel like a guy might be categorizing them suddenly there's an epidemic of men viewing women like they are pieces of non sentient meat.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Should Glory (Kickboxing) Abandon The Tournament Format?

I've been watching Glory kickboxing and while I am rather impressed with this new promotion, both in terms of the calibre of fighters in their roster and the quality of the shows they put on at such an early stage in their existence I think that the single day tournament format they employ might need to be reconsidered, the unique excitement and drama it brings notwithstanding. The tournament format is one of the reasons that I love Bellator MMA so much (although it's not a single day tournament) so I definitely do understand the reasoning behind Glory's use of it but after watching several of their events I am starting to question the wisdom behind the single day tournament format.

One of the things that has become clear is that a single day tournament is often times simply unfair. In almost every case, the fighters who made it to the final fight had totally different experiences along the way which invariably left one fighter in a much better position to fight than the other. Even the very best fighter in the roster could be in an underdog position, at least informally, in a fight against the last ranked fighter simply because his first fight went the distance (or close to it) while his opponent's fight ended within two minutes and as such he is undamaged and has a full gas tank while his opponent is battered and exhausted (or at least much further along the path to exhaustion than is his opponent). Clearly this would mean that the lower ranked guy will have a huge advantage over his opponent in the finals; isn't that statement alone enough to convince you that something is amiss? In this system a fresh fighter fighting a guy who is three quarters of the way to exhaustion right from the opening bell isn't a freak occurrence but a regularity. It's remarkably unfair.