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Ben No.4

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  1. A few things to consider here. 1. “Virtue signalling” is literally all the constitutional court can do (which basically is what pmp10 already said) as it lacks any enforcement mechanism and therefore has to rely on the wilful cooperation of all other actors. That being said, the German constitutional court enjoys a great deal of trust in Germany, in fact more so than parliament or government (sadly only in German: https://www.lto.de/recht/hintergruende/h/bverfg-ethik-kodex-vertrauen-bevoelkerung-erhalten-politik-wirtschaft-einfluss/), so it’s decisions hold weight. It is also worth nothing (as pertains to pmp10‘s argument) that the court in fact can set binding goals and bindingly (is that a word?) demand legislative action. Of course, in theory, the legislative doesn’t have to follow the ruling. Then again, in theory, no one has to follow any law. 2. When comparing Germany to China and India, we have to take into account population size. Doing that, we can see that Germany both emits (https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/co-emissions-per-capita?tab=chart&time=1945..2017&country=DEU~CHN~IND) and consumes (https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/consumption-co2-per-capita?tab=chart&country=DEU~CHN~IND) significantly more CO2 per capita, at least at this point in time. Of course, Germany has the greatest influence over itself. It is therefore not unreasonable for German institutions to focus on Germany itself, with China and India (and the US) being, in certain respects, secondary considerations. But do see below. 3. Consumption can be regulated, even if the goods in question are produced outside of Germany (this point, insofar, also addresses the question of outsourcing CO2-intensive jobs). The German government has proposed a supply-chain law (https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-en/search/supply-chain-act-1872076), which is expected to pass soon. This too is a direct result of “virtue signalling”, as a previous decision reached by the EU council upped the pressure on Germany to enact such a law (https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/eu-council-agreement-supply-chain-law-ups-pressure-germany-follow-suit). While the focus is mainly placed on working conditions and the effectiveness of the proposal must be questioned considering the lack of strong sanctions for companies breaking the law (https://www.socialeurope.eu/germanys-proposed-supply-chain-law-a-glass-half-empty), this basic means of legal action (supply-chain laws) could be used to great effect to address issues of pollution as well. Additionally, it is reasonable to assume stricter regulation in Germany would send strong “virtue signals” to other European countries and the EU as such, making similar regulation there more likely – which would be significant, considering the EU’s economic global weight. Gorth is of course correct in pointing out the extreme degree of willingness in German politics to cooperate with China and accept working and environmental conditions there. VW’s production sites in Xinjiang (https://www.google.de/amp/s/amp.dw.com/en/volkswagens-uighur-problem/av-55579947) stand out as exemplary of this. However, this does not undermine the importance of the court ruling but rather enhances it, as the government is bound by the court’s decisions and insofar forced to enact stricter regulation. In this context, it is worth noting that some of those who brought the issue before the court were not German, but in fact from Bangladesch and Nepal. The court recognises the principle right of everyone, including foreigners in foreign countries, to have their interests respected by the German government and legislative. In this case, this means an ability to demand sufficient environmental action. The degree of that is another question. But indeed, supply-chain laws, if written well (which currently does not seem to be the case), could make such law suits significantly easier. In essence, 3. addresses the what you brought about not buying high pollution goods. It is in essence a valid and important argument, my only point being that we must recognise the fundamentally societal nature of the issue. Appeals to individual behaviour ultimately accomplish little. As for the issue of traffic, I’d intuitively agree that far reaching reform is necessary, that inner-German flights definitely and inner-European flights probably can and should be scrapped in favour of cheap and clean alternatives, probably trains. Alas, I know little about infrastructure.
  2. Hi, I am the author of the guide. As you can tell, I lost my original account (to be precise, I forgot the password and no longer use that mail). It has also been quite some time since you and especially I have really been on these forums (obviously), so I don’t know wether you will ever read this. It is worth a shot, though. Let me wholeheartedly thank you (and everyone else) for your kind feedback. I’ll be perfectly honest, I regret not finishing the guide. But I am very glad it is of some use. Of course, the forum provides very rich discourse and in-depth information on basically anything; still, I wish I had at least written something about everything basic. Hell, even the way I went about it was very naive, I’ll be honest. I wrote the entire thing in the forum’s editor and I am 99,9% sure I didn’t make any notes or drafts beforehand. Alas, life goes on. It’s not like the guide keeps me up at night either. I’ve been getting back into PoE every now and then, and recently more intensely (which is why I’ve been browsing the forums more... I’ve been concocting a four-elements-monk, or at least trying). There is something very special about playing a game for so many years, especially during such a formative time in life. I believe (though I am not sure) I bought the game rather close to release. I was still in school then and would be for quite a few more years. These days, I’m studying law at university and living in my own apartment (which I am extremely privileged and grateful to be able to). I’m glad to report I got somewhat better at working on things. On the other hand, I am still extremely disorganised. Energy comes and goes in waves that I lack the capacity to control. The Lockdown made it worse as well, as this mode of living makes it rather easy to really indulge this schedule-less style of work. In this respect, I dread the day my university actually opens up (but mostly, I look forward to it). But enough of the rambling. Still, I’d like to think that if I were to write such a guide today, I’d go about it in a more organised way and produce a more complete product. Certainly, one with better language and less goddam spelling errors. I owe an enormous thanks to the regulars of this forum. Looking back, can’t say I always provided content of the highest quality. But I most definitely had enormous fun, which I am very glad about. I cannot thank you all enough for providing me with the space to discuss a game near and dear to my heart. Special thanks go out to Boeroer, who still seems to be around. I also want to especially thank AndreaColombo, JerekKruger, Raven Darkholme, Jojobobo, Algroth and Slack83er, all of whom made the experience wonderful. Shoutout also to Harpagornis. I don’t think we ever interacted (or at least not often), but your stuff was great fun. Much thanks also to those who were there but that I have forgotten about. Lastly, I was lucky enough to visit Krakow two years ago, truly a wonderful city.
  3. For an entirely different, but hugely important topic: climate change. The German constitutional court ruled in what can only be described as a landmark decision that the hitherto efforts of the German legislative to combat climate change were insufficient and ordered the parliament to draft newer, more far reaching laws. This decision mainly rests on two legal considerations. Firstly, Article 20a of the German constitution (the “Basic Law”) states that the protection of the natural environment is a core aim of the state. Secondly, the court views more drastic measures as a necessity to protect the freedom of citizens in the long run. As it recognises the insufficiency of Germany’s current efforts in combatting climate change, it argues as follows: inaction now leads to a worsening climate crisis, that would in the future make counter measures necessary. These however would be much more extreme than anything that would suffice if measures are already taken now. Therefore, citizens’ freedoms, when future generations are taken into consideration, will be much better preserved and protected to strong action now. As Germany is a central player in the EU, the decision is likely to have a far reaching impact. A short report on the decision and it’s context can be found here: https://verfassungsblog.de/the-constitution-speaks-in-the-future-tense/ The courts decision itself is, of course, in German. But the courts press statement has been officially translated to English: https://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/EN/2021/bvg21-031.html
  4. It always seemed to me that the chance to petrify an enemy was quite a powerful feat. Now it’s been some time, but I’m looking to get back into the game. I plan on playing a monk, and I noticed no builds toying around with the greenstone staff as the main weapon for a monk. Am I overestimating its power or overseeing something else?
  5. I’ve only skimmed through the thread here, but it seems to me this post can be considered less straight out pro police-state/anti-protesters than some others here. And still, I take mayor issue even with what is being stated here. “When you attempt to murder someone, you are no longer a protester. You are an attempted murderer. You have crossed a line and do not deserve any protection.“ We ought to consider what is being stated. Why does being an attempted murderer - more precisely: being charged with attempted murder - mean that one does not “deserve any protection”. There’s been various comparisons of the US and the PRC. One key difference, it seems to me, is that in the US, there are (at least in theory for all) laws and processes to protect precisely that person, the alleged attempted murderer. Rather than the police establishing guilt through establishing fact. ’Course that doesn’t really apply with such a trigger happy police force. It seems dubious what a presumption of innocence in court (as difficult as it is with the jury system) is worth when the police force don’t seem to act on it. But more generally, being accused of attempted murder is not a situation in which one seizes to “deserve any rights”. Quite the opposite, facing such a serious charge is a situation in which ones rights ought to be strengthened and their realisation ought to be ensured, be that through an unbiased judge and jury, through a capable defense, and whatever else deemed necessary to ensure that the accused can fully realise his right to a fair trial. I understand the situation is heated and any political commentary is likely filled to the brim with emotion. But I also think it is very dangerous to be so ready to deny the most basic principles of the rule of law simply out of (understandable) outrage.
  6. A late reply, but a reply anyway. I’ve been thinking about the same thing... I didn’t end up delving into it deeply, so I won’t be able to give you a detailed guide. And I’m only returning to the game. But take it as food for thought. The summons can be very great. Phantom and Ogres are, for example, great fun. See if you can find some synergies between your chants and your summons... you could, for example, test wether Sure Handed enhances the attack speed of the worms. There’s is also a chant that makes moving characters leave a trail of ice, that could be fun if applied to a summon. Both of these chants come relatively early, so you’ll see if the basic notion works out for you. The beauty of a pure summon chanter is that the only stat you need is intellect, and so you have an enormous freedom. Turn it into a tank if you wish too. Since Dexterity is also quite useful (quicker summons), you could also opt for a ranged DPS build, or a sort of ranged CC using certain Weapons: Stormcaller, used on a changer, can trigger Thunder Rolled like Black Waves. Borresaine (?) can stun on Crits. I’m sure you can find others. In PoE 2, Rods (I believe) have a blast modal, which means you could go for a ranged interrupt build. Such a ranged CC/Summoning Chanter would opt for high Dex, Per and (especially) Int. Sure Handed would be a bread and butter Chant. Alternatively, since you’ll be at the back a lot, you can specialise in buffing chants. This would make your changer tripple use: Weapon CC, Summoning Damage and Chanting Buffs. Again, its all theory. Food for thought, not more, but something at least.
  7. Not to say that “games cause violence”, just looking for some nuance. Not to throw my full weight behind GD, but rare is the phenomenon that relies on a single cause. And thus, even though it undoubtedly is a major contributing factor, it seems doubtful wether widespread availability of guns is solely to be blamed for the high gun violence in the US. What certainly holds true - as far as I’m concerned - is that games are always embedded in a surrounding culture. So let us look at that that culture. One things that stands out the me is the lack of female shooters. Just googling for a few seconds, pew research tells me that 62% of US gun owners are men. So gun possession seems to be gendered, and same for gun culture: whereas 43% of gun owning men consume gun-related media, this holds true for only 33% of gun owning women. Furthermore, while 43% of these women use a gun for sports, 58% of the men do so. Now, these obviously aren’t enormous differences, but they are there nether the less and actually quite distinct. This is the article: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/29/how-male-and-female-gun-owners-in-the-u-s-compare/ What of gun culture carries over the pond? I mainly see movies and, especially, video games. And it doesn’t appear to be particularly far fetched that games can and do cater to, portray, and thereby strengthen an image of make heroism linked strongly with physical violence, aggression and, often, guns. This seems to hold true when looking at the player base: Around 5% of Shooter players, around 25% of RPG players (both notoriously prominent in their depiction of violence) are female - so not a lot. https://quanticfoundry.com/2017/01/19/female-gamers-by-genre/ So am I saying video games cause mass shootings? No, definitely not. Such a statement is ridiculously oversimplified to the point of misleading. And while wide availability of guns is certainly a big factor in the facilitation of violence, there seems, to me, to be a strong interplay with gun culture (and that of violence) in its promotion. And if this were the case, then those producing culture might feel the incentive to critically examine what they themselves portray as heroic and why. Naturally, no single game can cause or change such a culture beyond its own relationship to it. It doesn’t have to, either. A great example of a more mature, nuanced treatment of violence is in pillars of eternity: When you infiltrate Raedrics Keep, you can slaughter your way through the halls of the fortress. Yet Raedric will tell you that these people merely worked on a payroll. What hit harder for me personally was that some of the guards, when spoken to after the mission, tell you that your actions will not be forgotten by them. The moment stayed with me. And these small nods towards what violence can actually mean are often rare in video games.
  8. Ben No.4


    Gottfried Benn: Ein Wort Ein Wort, ein Satz -: aus Chiffren steigen erkanntes Leben, jäher Sinn, die Sonne steht, die Sterne schweigen, und alles ballt sich zu ihm hin. Ein Wort - ein Glanz, ein Flug, ein Feuer, ein Flammenwurf, ein Sternenstrich - und wieder dunkel, ungeheuer, im leeren Raum um Welt und Ich. My attempt at a translation. German enables constructing words, which can’t be replicated in English, so keep that in mind. A word, a sentence -: from ciphers emerges recognised life, sheer meaning, the sun is up, the stars remain silent, and all spins towards him. A word - a shining, a flight, a fire, a flaming throw, a starly lining, and dark again, monstrously, in the empty space around the world and I.
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