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xzar_monty last won the day on November 21

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About xzar_monty

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    (11) Wizard
    (11) Wizard

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  1. To everyone, @Gromnir especially, perhaps: one of the most specialized things you have to do to get the Secret Ending is to talk to the ghost in the Ineluctable Prison AFTER you have done the boss fight. Now, is there anything at all in the game that would direct you to do that, if you haven't read the guidebooks and don't know about this in advance? I know that before the boss fight, you can hear heavy breathing at the spot where the ghost appears after the fight, but I certainly don't regard this as enough of a clue. So basically I'm wondering whether anyone would ever get to the Secret Ending without knowing about it before. Most of the other steps can be taken without knowing, but I'm not sure about this one.
  2. The Nobel Peace Prize is extremely interesting in that although you can have bad or irrelevant choices in other fields (like, for instance, Hermann Hesse in literature; not sure if there have been any total misses in the sciences), extraordinarily bad choices in the Peace Prize somehow damage the entire idea of the Nobel. I don't think there's ever been a worse choice than Kissinger, but then again, realistically there almost can't be.
  3. Fine -- it just might have been better for you to have said this in the first place instead of talking about a party "we" would be having, regardless of how you intended the "we" to be defined.
  4. Well, no. Putin is not a Saddam or a Hitler in that sense at all. Chances are that when Putin dies, nothing changes. He is the head of a certain kind of clan system (or whatever; someone else can almost certainly understand and elucidate it a lot better than I can) and not a dictator.
  5. Listening to a lot of Wagner once again. His overtures tend to be superb, just incredibly good. Sometimes it even feels like a bit of a letdown when the story and the singing begin.
  6. Finland, by the way, has now closed the entire border with Russia. It's not going to be interesting to see how things develop from here, because it's hard to believe that Russia would stop.
  7. How was that an escalation, though? (Assuming it was Putin.) On day 1 of the conflict, Putin's aim was to destroy the Ukrainian government, kill the president and take over the entire country.
  8. There is no question that the Pope is a world leader. As for these two conflicts now, by the way: I wonder if we can apply N. N. Taleb's mathematical logic of "that which has already lasted longer will probably continue to do so in the future, too" to answer the question of which problem[*] can be solved quicker: the difficulties in the Middle East or Russia's general duplicity. Using that logic, the problems in Middle East will resolve earlier, because they are not that old at all. [*] The use of this word obviously already implies a point of view.
  9. Kreml obviously has absolutely no fear of NATO, as evidenced by numerous decisions during the war. NATO also isn't a threat to Russia, which is also obvious. It would actually be quite interesting to know which percentage of Russians seriously regard NATO as a threat. Putin, quite rightly, doesn't, and neither do his generals and other allies. But the people? I'd love to know, but of course I won't.
  10. Depending on how you define "early portions", playing an Azata ranger, for instance, does give you a significant advantage, almost to the point of appearing unfair. Not to the point of choosing unfair difficulty, however, but still. I mean, high OB + animal + Aivu = power early on.
  11. As much as this may be offensive to some, I think it's interesting how we continue to witness the legacy of WWII in Germany's (certain kind of) staggering infirmity and Israel's unabashed brashness, neither of which are helpful at all. Now, I am not for a moment suggesting that this is all there is to it, but this is there, too, among other things. There's a similar historical tangent to Ukraine: back when the USSR collapsed, we were astonished at how bloodless everything was. But it wasn't. We were simply too close in time to realize that the collapsing hadn't ended yet, and its aftershocks hadn't even begun.
  12. They almost certainly won't -- and in case they do, things are going very seriously wrong on other fronts (literal and figurative) as well. However, Russia is clearly intent on creating havoc inside Finland, and it's also almost certain that we haven't seen much of it yet. It's not going to be pleasant. As one of our politicians pointed out yesterday, the current refugee situation hinges on the fact that Russia doesn't give a damn about any treaties or anyone's well-being, whereas Finland generally tends to be a decent customer and prefers to hold on to what has been agreed to. The downside of this, for Finland right now, is that the country is quite exploitable: start pouring in refugees so that they'll end up either in Finland or dead, and it's likely that Finland will try to absorb at least a significant amount of them. I think it shouldn't, but it likely will -- even if some of those people are Wagnerites, GRU folks or other people of the sort you really wouldn't want to introduce to your folks at home. Russia is also doing its very best to convince the Russian minority in Finland that all of this has everything to do with Finland being evil and none of it has anything to do with Ukraine. At the moment, it's impossble to gauge how well that project is going, but I'd be prepared to bet that most Russian natives in Finland tend to side with Russia, not Finland.
  13. Let us recall what the historian Timothy Snyder said: Russia's #1 import is corruption, and because it is incapable of improving the general situation inside its borders, it tries to weaken everybody else as much as it can. Apart from all other considerations, it saddens me to think what a petty way that is to spend one's time / life / whatever. For instance, how thoroughly cynical and joyless it has to be to work at a troll factory in St. Petersburg.
  14. I don't think there's any doubt about this. However, whether "public sentiment" had anything whatsoever to do with pulling out of Vietnam is a completely different question.
  15. Slightly tangential, but I was immediately reminded of this: There is a school of thought according to which the US ceased its campaign in Vietnam because it was hugely unpopular and caused such uproar among the public. There is another school of thought according to which the above had absolutely nothing to do with it and the US ceased its campaign because it became too expensive to maintain.
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