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Comment Re:*confused (Score 1) 1719

Thanks, for someone who knows next to nothing about guns that is helpful for context.

That said, I think this lack of knowledge underscores why this conversation is so difficult. People like me just don't get it. We can't understand why anyone needs a gun that isn't for hunting, or why anyone would need a gun that fires that many rounds, regardless of calibre. Self-defense is another thing, but the vast majority of us Canadians have never been faced with a situation for which we'd need a gun to defend ourselves; it's almost unimaginable.

If the gun rights crowd can calmly and rationally explain to the rest of us why it's so important that automatic weapons be available, then maybe this debate will stop being so polarized.

Any words that I've used incorrectly - assault rifle, automatic weapons, high-powered - or in a way that makes it seem like I'm changing my argument, are unintentional. Again, I'm just an outsider looking in, feeling bewildered.

Comment Re:*confused (Score 1) 1719

While I appreciate your argument, you also seem to be polarizing the debate. You say that gun control is not the solution, but rather you should be providing more help to folks with mental problems.

Why isn't it both? Why can't you restrict access to ridiculously powerful firearms and provide stable, long-term funding for mental health? Why can't America as a nation decide what kinds of weapons are useful tools and what kinds are simply used for killing multiple people efficiently, and find a reasonable balance between gun rights and public safety?

I know that many Americans love to tell us all that guns aren't the problem, but from the outside looking in - they're a significant part of the problem. Pretending that the American gun culture is healthy and innocent of blame seems tragically blind, selfish, and shortsighted.

I'm one of your northern neighbours, so you're right: I don't spend my days worrying about getting shot. But due to human compassion, I worry about other people getting shot. I simply can't understand why freedom to own a weapon trumps everything else.

Comment Re:I'll go ahead and say it (Score 1) 1719

I did a double take on your post, thinking - wait, do I know those names too? Sure enough I did a search and they were indeed players of Stick in the Mud.

I haven't played in about 15 years, but I spent countless hours with those wonderful people. Call me "Rain" the guy who, as a teenager, wrote the "Haunted House" zone that's still in game.

Great to hear that Stick in the MUD had such a positive influence on your life. It did a lot for me too.

Comment Re:Maps hullabaloo overrated (Score 1) 279

Outside of that, how many people REALLY own iPhones and ride the bus?

Maybe in America, but here in Canada (specifically Vancouver) most young people and their smartphones get to work either by transit or bicycle. Not only because it's much, much cheaper but also because it's easier and it's considered cool. I have a 45 minute commute with my iPhone for $124 per month, as opposed to a 40 minute commute with my hands on the wheel for upwards of $500 per month (car payments, insurance, gas, and parking).

I hope someday the same becomes true where you live.

Comment The films being monitored (Score 1) 172

From the court documents, here's the list of films that they were looking for:

Generation Um⦠(2012)
Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2010)
True Justice (The Complete First Season) (2010)
The Third Act aka The Magic of Belle Isle (2012)
The Good Doctor (2011)
Rosewood Lane (2011)
Another Happy Day aka The Reasonable Bunch (2011)
Killer Joke (2011)
Escapee (2011)

Comment Re:L.A. rush hour == climate change (Score 1) 352

That's exactly why I voted for that option, even though I think it was meant as a joke.

Redesigning our infrastructure and economy to be more sustainable is far more preferable than driving ourselves into the ground and needing to escape the planet sooner than we would have to otherwise. I'm all for space exploration, but let's not forget about our own backyards.

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.

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