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Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 2) 810

by Remus Shepherd (#46767593) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

What you call 'spiral dynamics' sounds a lot like Machiavelli's theory of political history, which he laid out in his book The Prince.

Machiavelli postulated that Monarchy tends to devolve into an aristocratic and oligarchic Tyranny, Tyranny is supplanted via revolution by Democracy, Democracy eventually (and inexorably) falls into Anarchy, and Anarchy is solved when one person rises to lead the masses and forms a Monarchy.

History is cyclic. The question is whether we can break the cycle, and do we want to. As powerful as the security state has become, we're likely to break the cycle by spawning an eternal Tyranny instead of a sustainable Democracy.

Comment: Computable? Simulatable? (Score 4, Interesting) 199

by Remus Shepherd (#46661861) Attached to: P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe

Hmn. This sounds as if they are trying to prove that the essential nature of quantum mechanics is not computable. I wonder, if they framed this research another way, if it could solve the question of whether or not the universe is a simulation. (I suspect not, it might just indicate that classical and quantum objects are simulated in different ways.)

Comment: Question: How to un-screw up a Windows Install? (Score 0) 353

Years ago I built a computer with all the right ingredients, an SSD, a good graphics card and CPU, enough fans to aerate a 747, etc. I made one major mistake. When prompted by the Windows 7 installer whether I wanted 32 or 64 bit operating system, I chose 32. I have a lot of legacy software (most importantly an old version of Photoshop) that I was worried would not work on a 64-bit OS.

That one decision has severely limited my computer. Most noticeably, it caps my RAM at 4 GB. The SSD drive has helped by providing swap space.

How can I undo this? All I can think of is to cleanse the drive and reinstall -- a hell of a hassle.

(Don't advise me to change to Linux, I have too much Windows software on this PC. I have a separate Linux machine.)

Comment: Re:And it costs almost as much as a new game... (Score 1) 166

by Remus Shepherd (#46586221) Attached to: <em>Diablo 3</em> Expansion <em>Reaper of Souls</em> Launches

'Content' includes many things -- storyline, enemies, zones, and *character build options*. Being able to replay the game using an entirely different strategy is a form of additional content. That's what I love most in these type of games.

PoE has that in spades, at least through the first one or two difficulty levels. (At high levels, only a few strategies are viable, which is why the game starts to get more tiresome.) It also has enough storyline lore and enemy diversity to be consistently interesting. (I disagree with your comment about PoE exiles having no backstory, by the way. Ask the Scion about her husband sometime.)

D3 has more enemies and more storyline, but there are almost no character builds to speak of. You choose a class. Every character of that class has the exact same skills, and they all do the same thing, and if there are slightly different builds it's free and easy to switch between them. That means there are reduced strategic options, which means less replayability.

Comment: Re:Too Little Too Late (Score 1) 166

by Remus Shepherd (#46576931) Attached to: <em>Diablo 3</em> Expansion <em>Reaper of Souls</em> Launches

The developer *claims* to have listened to criticism, and *claims* to have fixed the game.

By not purchasing the 'fix', the players are sending the message that 'We Don't Trust The Developer Anymore'.

How do they regain our trust? If things actually are fixed and the developers are actually listening, word of mouth will eventually filter down to those of us that hold a grudge. It will take time.

Comment: Re:Nope. (Score 4, Interesting) 166

by Remus Shepherd (#46576867) Attached to: <em>Diablo 3</em> Expansion <em>Reaper of Souls</em> Launches

D3 character builds were set by the game design and are very limited compared to D2 character builds.

In D2 I had a crossbow-using Necromancer. That's flat-out impossible in D3. A Witch Doctor (the D3 Necro class) can't even pick up a bow, if I recall correctly.

They severely limited player choices, while giving them free respecs. This destroyed replayability. A character of any class in D3 plays the exact same as any other character of that class. (Or could after a quick respec.) This is a fundamental problem with D3 that the expansion doesn't fix.

It does sound as if the expansion fixes the loot/drop rate fiasco, at least. That's a separate issue, and one that is more important to some players.

Comment: Re:And it costs almost as much as a new game... (Score 4, Interesting) 166

by Remus Shepherd (#46576807) Attached to: <em>Diablo 3</em> Expansion <em>Reaper of Souls</em> Launches

Through Normal difficulty, Path of Exile is an amazing game. The character build paths are numerous and distinctive, the item/gem mechanics are interesting, and the skill tree is a genuine work of art. It beats D3 soundly.

But after the end of Normal, PoE starts to seem a little lackluster. I finished Normal at level 35, and I won't see any random maps until the end of Merciless at about level 65. So that's 30 levels -- and two full playthroughs -- to go with no new content. Add to that the fact that character builds that worked at level 35 will probably fail at high level, and specific unique items may be required for high-level builds. I just don't feel compelled to stay with the game. The high-level PoE game looks very intimidating and not very fun.

That's not to say D3 is any better; it's still grinding the same content with very little fresh loot. And D3 (plus the expansion) is expensive while PoE is free. I just wish there was more to do at high levels in both games. Adventure mode sounds like a step in the right direction.

For casual players who don't intend to play through either game the expected three times, I heartily recommend Path of Exile. The new D3 content doesn't make up for the flaws in D3 -- the characters, skills, and combat mechanics are still poorly designed and lack the appeal of D2. PoE has that appeal, plus some innovative charm of its own.

For the heavily invested type of player who loves the grind...I don't know which to recommend. I'm not that type of player.

Comment: Re:Sexist much? (Score 1) 187

No supervillain named 'Madam' would be pretty enough for today's comic readers. A 'Madam' doesn't have huge yet perky breasts or a tight bottom that she can bend to point at the reader while also looking the same way.

At most, we'd get something like 'Mammatha', or maybe a 'Mammoth Girl'.

Comment: Re:It's data, and it's a science, so... (Score 1) 139

by Remus Shepherd (#46409107) Attached to: 'Data Science' Is Dead

As an addendum, the day I put 'engineer' on my resume is the day my career is over. My degree is in theoretical physics. I have zero engineering background or training. I'm a scientist, and I can't compete with engineers for engineering jobs, nor do I want to. I've spent decades keeping the word 'engineer' off my job title and resume despite stupid managers trying to tack it on.

Comment: It's data, and it's a science, so... (Score 1) 139

by Remus Shepherd (#46409065) Attached to: 'Data Science' Is Dead

Um, I'm a calibration scientist. My job is to pick through data and look for errors, which I then correct. I'm a scientist, not an engineer, because the data and its errors are from real physical processes. (The data I work with comes from multispectral satellite instruments.)

If I can't call myself a 'Data scientist' on a resume, what term should I use? Approximately zero jobs are available for a 'Calibration scientist'.

The first version always gets thrown away.

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