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Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2

by snowman1989

March 22, 2019

Holy shit. :o I didn't think we'd ever get another Masquerade game, but here we are. The original game from 2004 is one of my all-time favourites, a cult classic with a moody environment, fascinating lore and moments of bloody horror. Though if you ever want to play the original, I'd recommend getting the modded patch because the game was released... half-finished and buggy as hell... how times have changed? :?

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Please Paradox, don't fuck this up.

Google Stadia

by CWS

March 19, 2019

So now Google is jumping into the gaming market with a cloud streaming platform, and their controller looks like a cross between a PS4 and Xbox controller.

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Thoughts?

System Shock 3

by CWS

March 19, 2019

I'm just gonna leave this here.

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Christchurch Mosque Terror Attacks

by snowman1989

March 15, 2019

It's been a while since I was here, and I wish it were under better circumstances. :cry: As you can tell from the title, Christchurch was just this afternoon the target for a co-ordinated attack on our Muslim community by white supremacists who invaded two mosques during prayer and opened fire with AR-15 assault rifles. One of the shooters was sick enough to film as he gunned down dozens of people. The current death toll is around 49, and may yet grow as many more are critically wounded. Bomb squads have also disabled several IEDs found in one of their vehicles.

This was a mass shooting the likes of which New Zealand has never seen before. It's also our worst ever terrorist attack, and before today I could only look at the Rainbow Warrior bombing that killed one person for past reference. I'm still not able to completely accept this just happened. This kind of thing just doesn't. Happen Here. I feel I needed to emphasise that. It doesn't. Happen. Here. We're one of the most peaceful countries in the world, far from any civil strife or foreign invasion. No emoticons or words can describe how I or anyone else is feeling right now.

Christchurch can't catch a break anymore. First an earthquake damn near destroys it, and now this!

"Our Culture of Contempt"

by CWS

March 3, 2019

Arthur C. Brooks has authored an interesting article in the New York Times (of all places) on a topic that's come up in our own discussions a number of times over the years. I have to admit, he makes a pretty compelling argument.

Arthur C. Brooks wrote:

Our Culture of Contempt

The problem in America today is not incivility or intolerance. It’s something far worse.

By Arthur C. Brooks
Mr. Brooks is a scholar of public policy and the president of the American Enterprise Institute.

March 2, 2019


I live and work in Washington. But I’m not a politics junkie. To me, politics is like the weather — it changes a lot, people drone on about it constantly, and “good” is mostly subjective. I like winter, you like summer; you’re a liberal, I’m a conservative. In the 2012 presidential election season, my wife and I had a bumper sticker custom-made for our Volvo that read “Vegans for Romney” just to see the reaction of other Washington drivers.

My passion is ideas, especially policy ideas. While politics is like the weather, ideas are like the climate. Climate has an impact on weather, but they’re different things. Similarly, ideas affect politics, but they aren’t the same. When done right, policy analysis, like climate science, favors nerds with Ph.D.s. And that’s me. For 20 years, I’ve been a professor of public policy and president of a think tank in Washington. (For a decade before that I made my living as a musician, but not the cool kind — I played in a symphony orchestra.)

But even a climatologist has to think about the weather when a hurricane comes ashore. And that’s what’s happening today. Political differences are ripping our country apart, swamping my big, fancy policy ideas. Political scientists have found that our nation is more polarized than it has been at any time since the Civil War. One in six Americans has stopped talking to a family member or close friend because of the 2016 election. Millions of people organize their social lives and their news exposure along ideological lines to avoid people with opposing viewpoints. What’s our problem?

A 2014 article in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on “motive attribution asymmetry” — the assumption that your ideology is based in love, while your opponent’s is based in hate — suggests an answer. The researchers found that the average Republican and the average Democrat today suffer from a level of motive attribution asymmetry that is comparable with that of Palestinians and Israelis. Each side thinks it is driven by benevolence, while the other is evil and motivated by hatred — and is therefore an enemy with whom one cannot negotiate or compromise.

People often say that our problem in America today is incivility or intolerance. This is incorrect. Motive attribution asymmetry leads to something far worse: contempt, which is a noxious brew of anger and disgust. And not just contempt for other people’s ideas, but also for other people. In the words of the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, contempt is “the unsullied conviction of the worthlessness of another.”

The sources of motive attribution asymmetry are easy to identify: divisive politicians, screaming heads on television, hateful columnists, angry campus activists and seemingly everything on the contempt machines of social media. This “outrage industrial complex” works by catering to just one ideological side, creating a species of addiction by feeding our desire to believe that we are completely right and that the other side is made up of knaves and fools. It strokes our own biases while affirming our worst assumptions about those who disagree with us.

Contempt makes political compromise and progress impossible. It also makes us unhappy as people. According to the American Psychological Association, the feeling of rejection, so often experienced after being treated with contempt, increases anxiety, depression and sadness. It also damages the contemptuous person by stimulating two stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. In ways both public and personal, contempt causes us deep harm.

While we are addicted to contempt, we at the same time hate it, just as addicts hate the drugs that are ruining their lives. In an important study of political attitudes, the nonprofit More in Common found in 2018 that 93 percent of Americans say they are tired of how divided we have become as a country. Large majorities say privately that they believe in the importance of compromise, reject the absolutism of the extreme wings of both parties and are not motivated by partisan loyalty.

So what can each of us do to make things better? You might be tempted to say we need to find ways to disagree less, but that is incorrect. Disagreement is good because competition is good. Competition lies behind democracy in politics and markets in the economy, which — bounded by the rule of law and morality — bring about excellence. Just as in politics and economics, we need a robust “competition of ideas” — a.k.a. disagreement. Disagreement helps us innovate, improve and find the truth.

What we need is not to disagree less, but to disagree better. And that starts when you turn away the rhetorical dope peddlers — the powerful people on your own side who are profiting from the culture of contempt. As satisfying as it can feel to hear that your foes are irredeemable, stupid and deviant, remember: When you find yourself hating something, someone is making money or winning elections or getting more famous and powerful. Unless a leader is actually teaching you something you didn’t know or expanding your worldview and moral outlook, you are being used.

Next, each of us can make a commitment never to treat others with contempt, even if we believe they deserve it. This might sound like a call for magnanimity, but it is just as much an appeal to self-interest. Contempt makes persuasion impossible — no one has ever been hated into agreement, after all — so its expression is either petty self-indulgence or cheap virtue signaling, neither of which wins converts.

What if you have been guilty of saying contemptuous things about or to others? Perhaps you have hurt someone with your harsh words, mockery or dismissiveness. I have, and I’m not proud of it. Start the road to recovery from this harmful addiction, and make amends wherever possible. It will set you free.

Finally, we should see the contempt around us as what it truly is: an opportunity, not a threat. If you are on social media, on a college campus or in any place other than a cave by yourself, you will be treated with contempt very soon. This is a chance to change at least one heart — yours. Respond with warmheartedness and good humor. You are guaranteed to be happier. If that also affects the contemptuous person (or bystanders), it will be to the good.

It is easy to feel helpless in the current political environment, but I believe that is unwarranted. While we might not like the current weather, together we can change the climate to reward leaders — and be the leaders — who uplift and unite, not denigrate and divide. Watch: The weather will start to improve, and that will make America greater. I am dedicating the rest of my professional life to this task.

Mr. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute and author of the forthcoming book “Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America From the Culture of Contempt,” from which this essay is adapted.

The Cat With Hands

by CWS

March 1, 2019

So this is an old (2009) YouTube short that famed director Guillermo del Toro is now promoting...hmmmm.

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Spider-Man: Far From Home

by CWS

January 15, 2019

First trailer.

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Counting Peter Parker, there are at least three established victims of the Infinity Snap in this trailer...soooooo...

What Music Are You Listening to?

by khouji123

January 7, 2019

Splender - I Think God Can Explain
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw0GiDHX6Q0&start_radio=1&list=RDfw0GiDHX6Q0[/youtube]

Technologies in Pets

by khouji123

January 7, 2019

What are the newest technologies for pets? For example, this pif-300 which is a Wireless Dog Fence, a system that will allow your pet freedom while keeping them safely contained within the boundary area and it is the ideal solution for anyone unable to use a traditional underground fence because there is no digging or burying of wiring the system can be set up in only a few minutes. How about you, do you have any idea for the newest technologies for pets?

Newbie here

by khouji123

January 4, 2019

Hello guys, Newbie here from Australia, please to meet you all. :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019

by CWS

January 1, 2019

This past year certainly took a heavy toll. I can't speak for anyone else, but personally, my life will be changing dramatically in the coming year...I can only hope, for the better.

Merry Christmas!

by CWS

December 25, 2018

Because it still can be.

Avengers: Endgame

by CWS

December 10, 2018

At long last, the follow-up to Infinity War has been revealed.

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...Thoughts?

My Mom.

by CWS

December 2, 2018

My mother, Leslee Smith, left us about three and a half hours ago. She left an unfathomably wide and deep void in this world and in the lives of her family, but she has gone ahead of us to Heaven, where we will all see her again one day.

Everything our family was, is, and ever will be, is all thanks to her.

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

by CWS

November 22, 2018

Today, and every other day, I'm thankful for my life, my health, my home, my friends, and my family, and for whatever time we all have left with one another.

If anyone wants to toss up a celebratory banner or something, feel free. :P

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