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Comment Re:War time (Score 1) 90

I think the best way I could describe it is: most people, but specifically those under 30-35, consider DPRK as some kind of media fantasy. It exists to them, but they've never been touched by it. Seoul is a huge, rich, confident city and it seems almost (tragically?) comical how close it is to the northern border. But I think that the vast majority of people go about their lives with barely a second thought to what's up there, except when something big happens.

Then the deep seated nationalism of South Koreans shines through (sometimes alarmingly). The shooting of an unarmed 53 year old woman at Mt Kumgang (that I had the honour of visiting two years previously), and the sinking of the Cheonan are the two most recent examples. The invasion drills I mentioned above consisted of sirens, people in yellow uniforms seemingly appearing out of nowhere, and all traffic and pedestrians brought to a standstill. The whole thing would last a couple of minutes, and it was pretty eery each time it happened. These kinds of things, combined with the National Security Law as in the article, make the thought of DPRK and the threat it actually poses ever-present, if not immediate. The nuclear threat is alarming, sure, but I think most South Koreans are aware enough to know that it's still technically unlikely, and also... the Americans are still there, lots and lots of them. The deterrence against North Korea right now is very serious.

I'm cautiously optimistic that there will be some kind of reasonable outcome to this standoff in the long run, perhaps 30 years from now. Koreans tend to think of re-unification as inevitable, and they're in no real hurry considering how much it would cost them. They've been invaded and fought back numerous times in their history, and in their collective heart (and that's quite a collective) they feel it's a matter of time.

Or at least, that's the way I've interpreted all this as well as an outsider can.

Comment Re:War time (Score 1) 90

I'd agree with you if you argued that they are not at war in any practical sense, but they are indeed "technically" still at war. The Armistice Agreement was signed, but by its terms it's a ceasefire that is ongoing until "a final peaceful settlement is achieved."

Regardless, if you think I'm being pedantic, as someone who lived 30 minutes from the border for many years and participated in invasion drills every few months, I can tell you that reality is far more complex than technical definitions.

Comment Re:Logical fallacy in assuming drugs help (Score 1) 878

It's sad to think that the word meditation would be so easily associated with religion; for me, it's almost the opposite. Instead of looking outward for answers provided by those powerful enough to spread their particular brand, we can look inward and find truths that make sense to us on an individual level. Meditation, or at least my personal understanding of my own practice, is a chance to step back from one's self.

And that's exactly what a lot of drug use is about too. I've smoked a lot of pot in my time, and I've had some significant realizations and objectively good ideas. I've also fooled myself with a lot of bullshit epiphanies that become almost laughable in the light of day. Ultimately though I'm glad that I had the curiosity and maturity to expand my mind, and do so on my own terms, starting at an age where I understood the consequences.

The trick, at least for me, has been to take lessons that I've learned from drug use and meditation, and apply those to my day to day sober life.

In terms of the article: I'm not a programmer, I spend most of my days writing and using language. If I tried to do that under the influence, I may come up with few gems of ideas, but mostly it would be a muddy, confused mess. I'll just reserve such introspection for idea generation, not for actual work.

Comment Re:SimCity makes sense online (Score 1) 274

Fair enough, if that was the case.

But who's to say that SimCity wouldn't have gone online without such interference from management? I can think of a number of ways a SimCity experience could be improved (albeit with complications) by bringing it online. Can't we assume there are game designers who may agree? Who are we to assume that the current SimCity design team doesn't agree? I can't comment on the Sims, as it never appealed to me, but since SimCity 2000 I have wanted to be able to play a persistent set of linked cities with my friends. I think it's fair to say I'm likely not the only one who feels that way - whether I'm in the majority or not, I don't know.

I get that this article is a chance to dump on EA management - and there are plenty of reasons to do so. I simply wanted to say that regardless of the motivation behind SimCity going online (and I don't think we agree on whether that motivation comes from a design or management decision) I think it's a good one.

Comment Re:SimCity makes sense online (Score 1) 274

You have the same platform here as I do to express your opinion. If that opinion is that you don't think SimCity should go online, then by all means say so.

I said I was happy it will be online; I'm not sure how that suggests everyone else has to feel the same way. But perhaps you just want to be confrontational hmm?

Comment Re:Yeah, I'm a snob, so what? (Score 1) 584

If that's true, then that's embarrassing and completely unintended.

I'm just a regular guy who happens to like a certain type of coffee, and I get tired of people making fun of me for it, calling me a coffee snob. I suppose the public transit and thrift store comments made it sound like I was trying to be "hip" but I was really just trying to show how you don't have to be rich to enjoy certain luxuries. I take the bus because I can't afford a car (car ownership in Vancouver is a ticket to poverty) not because it's the cool thing to do.

Oh shit, I said I live in Vancouver... now I must truly be a hipster!

Comment Yeah, I'm a snob, so what? (Score 2) 584

Each morning I drink an americano, which is one or two shots of espresso with hot water. I could drink brewed coffee, but I would just rather an americano.

This makes me a coffee snob, as I'm constantly reminded. However I also take public transit, shop at thrift stores, and don't own an iPhone - so to each their own!

Comment Concepts versus skills (Score 5, Insightful) 1086

It's not necessarily the actual math skills that are important - it's the understanding of the concepts behind it that will increase your understanding of any kind of process, job, or task - programming being one of them. Knowing what the area under a curve means is probably more important than knowing how to calculate it.

I don't use calculus or any kind of advanced algebra in my day to day work (in communications, far from programming) but I'm sure glad that I understand the basic concepts, thanks to a first degree in engineering.

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