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Posts posted by metadigital

  1. Try the local chicken vindaloo when you get there.


    Stay away from the traffic in New Delhi.


    Don't take the train.


    An elephant has right of way.


    Stay safe :thumbsup:

    The train in India is better maintained than the British rail system. Even if it were to derail (which isn't likely), all the passengers riding on the roof of the carriages will cushion the crash. :lol:"


    Traffic is dangerous in any country (Italy has twice the automotive fatalities of any other European country, for example); it's just that in a developing country the back-up system is less robust. I.e., if you get injured or ill, the hospital system is very hit-and-miss. (Private health cover that pays for immediate transfer to your home country is worth the expense.)


    As for what to see, see everything. Zahiruddin Muhammad (Babur) famously pronounced that the tide of Islam would not sweep away the hundreds of millions of Hindus, calling the event "the meeting of two oceans". The Moguls (Akbar) established toleration between Hindu and Muslim with a set of common, transcendent beliefs, whereby members of either faith would benefit from the others adhering to their faith. (Shah Jahan commissioned the famous Taj Mahal, a work of art (well, it was primarily a mausoleum) to celebrate this cultural merger, in which the distinct attributes of both Hindu and Muslim architecture can be seen.)


    Buon voyage.

  2. I would have thought there would be more countries trying to join the Union.


    Interestingly, the EU is mid-decision about the admission of Turkey. As Michael Palin pointed out in one of his recent tv visits there, Turkey is a vast country (larger than any other single European nation in the EU). More interestingly, her neighbours are Iraq, Iran and Syria ...

  3. I like the way Pop thinks. However, I disagree that the long term villain is best layered and complex. I say this to modify why he's saying, not completely argue against it. I think the long term antagonist structure (I use the phrase "antagonist structure" to refer to a system that allows for multiple villains and complex relationships between them) is best layered and complex. Aside from characters like Irenicus where you peel away to uncover the whole plan, there's also the possibility of organizations, formal and informal, that you peel away to find out the whole plan of the organization as well as the head of it. It's a relatively common mechanic. The main difference with what Pop is saying is that it leaves room for a mustache twirler at the top of the antagonistic structure.


    I want to think of a good example of this but the main thing going through my head is Xenogears. While Xenogears had a very complex antagonist structure with Grafh, Miang, Deus, Shevat, Cain, the Gazelle ministry and the lot. Deus is ultimately the prime villain, however without the relationships with all the others it could have been quite dull. I wish I could think of a more popularly known example of a complex structure of villains that worked.


    However, I think as an example, Deus works incredibly well as "meaningful evil."

    I think the example you are mentally in denial about is Red and Black Xenomorph colonies!11!!!one!!1eleven!!!een!!!uno!!


    Gary Oldman's Dr Smith character in the 1998 Lost in Space film is a good example of meaningful evil ... he even gives a little speech about it. :thumbsup:


    Edit: the Paladin trilogy (well, he only wrote two) of modules for NwN featured the "I am a Paladin doing good -- oops I just did evil" mechanic.

  4. Dirty Harry is strong on Chaos ... meaning that he serves Law by any and all means possible, including illegal and unlawful ones (like torturing Scorpio in the sports field to find where he hid the body of the teenage girl he kidnapped, killed and raped, for example). The end (smiting evil) justifies the means.


    Law believes that following the law at all times is the best way to spread good (sort of a rephrasing of Buddha: There is no way to happiness [goodness], happiness [or goodness, for this metaphor] is the way). The stereotypical Paladin will always follow the rules, even when evil may gain some advantage by this, notwithstanding. So even though a Paladin might come across a civilization of peacable undead creatures living in harmony with each other and their underdark neighbours, that Paladin must smite the undead no questions asked.


    There is a difference between Good and Evil; you are struggling because there is no embodiment of pure good or evil in our reality. Causing hurt to others for no other reason that to gain some sick personal thrill is generally regarded as evil regardless of the perpetrator and victim, for example. (Read Zimbardo's latest book The Lucifer Effect, which is subtitled Why Good People do Evil for an excellent definition of evil, as well as a thorough discussion on the power of situation forces to affect individuals, especially in novel scenarios.)


    Perhaps a useful way to examine the various facets of Good, Evil, Chaos and Lawfulness is by considering the mixed alignments, like Chaoric Good (the person who is prepared to bend the rules to gain the most good) and Lawful Evil (people who may be trapped into behaviours because they are rules).

  5. thingies = grommets

    my name is meta and I am obsessive-compulsive about my smudges

    the Raptor is no longer the fastest drive; the model that beats it is one of the latest generation high-density platters, so it also brings the dollar-per-GB ratio down to about a third, too, so you can get a bigger (half a TB), faster drive for less $/GB.

  6. It is certainly true, especially for the web, that *nix wins hands-down, though; the major drawback is that you will need to know how to configure the security after updating the kernel to the latest version.

    I would like to point out that building a custom kernel is rarely needed. In fact, it is often recommended to stick to default kernel version that is shipped with the distribution. Security updates are be distributed automatically by the distribution vendor.


    I am not quite sure what exactly do you mean by "configure the security" when it comes to the kernel. If I get you correctly, this is also a non-issue. Kernel upgrades do not affect user-space programs settings, and the kernel itself needs little configuration.

    I was referring to the configuration process. People used to autosetup might find the initial setup a bit daunting.:)

  7. what these guys are saying, the difference over non-relativistic distances, such as terrestrial experiments as your example, would be undetectable by standard means...

    Just a quick "hear hear" to this thought ... the laws of physics only start to show their limitations at their limits ... hence super-massive stars, etc.

    i'm not sure what to take of this. does this mean the red-shift as originally proposed by hubble is correct (hubble actually believed in a sort of "tired light" theory, not the standard galaxies in recession theory)? it'll be interesting to see how this works out, if at all. i am skeptical as well.

    Not sure either, though I am pleased to have some more data (even and especially if it doesn't agree with existing theories). The recession speed of galaxies sufficiently distant from us start to stretch the whole "expanding space" model to its breaking point, methinks. The most distant object seen (a QUASAR) must be travelling away from us at better than a third the speed of light ... again this is the fabric of spacetime stretching, so there would be no physical clues, but it does pose some significant questions. Like will the expansion speed of the universe keep accelerating (if that is indeed what the red-shift of the emitted light does actually indicate)?

  8. Just curious here. How many books are you guys reading at any one time? I guess I have a limited attention span because I usually read one at a time, but never more tha two.

    I always buy books that interest me as soon as I see them in a bookseller (in addition to any that I am recommended through friends or literature), so that I have a collection from which to choose when I am ready to begin a new one. I can have many open at once, though this is less likely now than previously owing to the speed with which I now read (which is due to my renewed focus on reading through dedicated time during a typical day). I do have a couple open at the moment, though.


    I just finished The Five Families. Suffers from a lack of clarity and accuracy (there are frequent self-contradictory statements through-out the book, which is not helped because the author's style is more episodic), though perseverance through to the epilogue reveals that perhaps the author knows this.

  9. Virtual disease and real stupidity

    An epidemic of "corrupted blood" that spread through the popular multiplayer online game World of Warcraft in 2005 has opened researchers' eyes to the potential of online games as testbeds for a real pandemic. Game manufacturer Blizzard Entertainment introduced the infection, carried by a monster called Hakkar, as a challenge to elite gamers. Alas, the virulent contagion escaped its confines and spread to the game's densely populated virtual cities, killing thousands of players' characters despite quarantine measures: Some players entered quarantine zones for a look-see and left, unwittingly taking the disease with them. Researchers reporting their findings in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases told Reuters they hadn't anticipated the "stupid factor."




  10. I haven't found a Kubrick film I don't like, and I've seen all the ones you just mentioned. (I did walk out on Eyes Wide Shut in the cinema, though ... it was too long a film for me with Kidman and Cruise ... but then the couple separated and I re-analyzed the film and I saw more in it, namely their separation was etched into the film and Kubrick captured it.)


    2001 is not a film, it's a tonal play. Part of the challenge he faced in making the film was that the book dealt with such unfilmable concepts (how do you show proto-humans gaining the spark of insight, without dialogue or a voice-over?) ... Clarke was baffled by the desire for a sequel to his book (an updated epic that he named after Homer's work) ... how do you

    write about the next ®evolutionary step for humans when the book ends with the birth of a new species?



    See Spartacus.


    Coincidentally I saw the trailer for the new Rush Hour 3 and it looked pretty good (and I wasn't impressed with the first two ...)

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