Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The rule of conversation

So I was playing Saints Row the Third, and towards the end of the game my wonderful Russian protagonist fell into a rather humorous exchange with her partner in crime, Pierce:

Pierce: "We may die here! Is there anything you guys wanna get off your chest?" not exact quote...
Player: "I want to make love to Pierce in front of a live audience!"

Now it was a couple of days later that I started to wonder: "Why is it funny that she said that?" If my other, male, character had said it, (substituting Pierce for my female accomplice, Shaundi) no doubt it would have still been funny, but it would not have seemed an acceptable framework for the character. What I mean by this is that the assertion "I want to make love to Pierce in front of a live audience!" was an acceptable utterance from a character whose framework consisted of an Eastern European masculine-woman stereotype; while for my other character, a British-Cockney Male stereotype, this would have been degrading to his character.

My initial answer to this difference in attitudes could have easily boiled down to "Well, they're different types of people," but what really got me wondering was "Why does one particular character framework get away with retaining dignity in an utterance that another would not?" Don't get me wrong, the initial joke was definitely at my character's expense, but she still seemed to retain her dignity after the exchange.

At first I thought that it was a gendered issue, as overt displays of sexual attraction are more acceptable for women than men, (for example, the twilight phenomenon,) but I soon dismissed that as it seemed that the situation revolved around my character's personality as a whole moreso than her gender, and although her gender DID constitute a part of her personality, it did not define it.

Then... after a long hard think... I realised!

The nature of this statement, and the reason why my character got away with it, was symbiotic. Pierce was, to put it bluntly, a bit of a pushover; while the protagonist was a strong, leader-type. My previous comparison between my other, British protagonist, and his accomplice Shaundi, was flawed, as the two character personalities both constituted strong, independent types. The exchange simply didn't work between them because it was indicative of a power relationship, of which one could not exist between two similarly independent characters.

So all in all, what did we learn today?

When two people are having a vocal exchange, the rules of the exchange are indicative of the relationship between the participants, and there exist no 'ground rules' to which we can draw what is 'acceptable' or 'unacceptable' in any exchange.

In any case, I really wanted to use the word 'symbiotic' in the above paragraph, so here it is again:

The rules of any vocal exchange are symbiotic to it's participants.

There, said nicely.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Twitter and reporting abuse

You know, I've released that in order to bring content to this blog, all I need to do is subscribe to Change.Org, because the amount of shit which gets strewn into my inbox from that site is insurmountable.

Anyway, I'd like to draw your attention to this:

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/twitter-add-a-report-abuse-button-to-tweets?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=30126&alert_id=rAqEauaCCT_BQviOApRzQ

First I'd like to point out that I find it utterly hilarious that they shut down this woman's account. Granted, it may have not been the best decision on their behalf, but it tickled the irony gland pretty well, (we have one of those, right?)

Anyway, this is the bit that really got me:

"The report abuse button needs to be accompanied by Twitter reviewing the T&C on abusive behaviour to reflect an awareness of the complexity of violence against women, and the multiple oppressions women face."

"To reflect an awareness of the complexity of violence against women,"

Wait, wait. This woman was given rape threats via the internet, and suddenly this is a Violence against Women problem? Sorry, I only counted ONE WOMAN. Surely that makes this a "Violence" problem.

Oh wait, threats aren't even violent by definition. Here's the definition of violence:

"Behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something."

"Physical Force" pretty much sums it up. You can't be physical over the internet.

So this has nothing to do with Women, and nothing to do with Violence. Jeeeeeeeeez, these buzzwords are really getting out of hand...

Thursday, 25 July 2013

My Virtuous Self

I'm free; I spend very little money; I make my own clothes. Everywhere I go I meet many more men; I meet lovers and fighters and men near their quietus. I don't see the meek; I lack eyes for the soft. I call out to them: 'Come, draw your swords.' their timid selves wretch, so I beckon louder. "Whatever," I say, as they scurry away. The lost grow no wiser; their books make them misers. 

I love to read - I do it in trees; at those times, oh so rare, where I may do as I please. I'm scarcely alone; it's always adventure. To those who wish to live: I call you: enter! I've built my own boats, (actually, I stole them), but who's to know or care, once the wind makes it's knolls, and the sun casts it's flare? 

I've promised you nothing; yet I've given you everything. That nonchalant frown you always see. "Does he know what he has given to me?" I run through the wild; my freedom is scary. Will I run off? Oh, quite contrary. 

He cares for his acquaintance, he hurts them just a little. With reckless demeanor he patches up their wounds. Again he sets sail, oblivious to his wonders? 
A smile on his face; and that familiar narcissism. His most resentful quality. It makes him who he is. 

Rance01 Remake

Is now available for pre-order!


Purchasing from Getchu gives you a 'characater profile card' of a character whom I can not remember

Purchasing from sofmap.com gives you profile cards of Rance and Sill

and Purchasing from the Alicesoft store gives you::

"First year of Heisei specifications grated draw 
replacement package jacket"
And I have no idea what that means!

They're also selling a Rance01 calling card on the Alicesoft store; there's a chance that it will be included with the boxed edition (as was the case with Sengoku through to Magnum) but I bought it anyway because I was momentarily shortsighted by my excitement.

Monday, 22 July 2013

How I interpret the Rance Games

You know, when I first got into the Rance series of videogames, I'd often have my morality questioned by my peers. Shortly after discovering the games, I'd quickly developed this unshakable and devout loyalty to the series' protagonist: a man capable and committing of such atrocity and terror that any onlooker would ascribe to him the qualities of malice and evil without so much as an inkling of doubt.

But there was something more to this man. You see, even considering the innumerable acts of atrocity in his name: he wasn't a bad guy.

In fact, he was a very successful guy.

No. He was the superlative of success. The most successful guy.

He had an unrestrained narcissism, a carefree spirit, and a petty purpose for his days.

And perhaps the most amazing this about him was this: He didn't think about things too much.

His entire scheme of action was based around one principle: "If it works, do it."

This alone set him apart from any of hero I'd ever encountered. No longer were there the egregious moral dilemmas which plague the noble minded; this man couldn't even comprehend morality, let alone ponder it. It was beneath him, not out of arrogance, but out of apathy. He simply didn't care whether or not his actions were in any way right or wrong, he only cared that they benefited him. And while this may sound a reckless, criminal and volatile approach to the world, the true beauty of his worldview was that his exceedingly powerful peers, (those of whom it was in their power to have him sentenced to death at a moments notice), were forced to adopt, or at least tolerate, his audacity; for it was through his freedom of action that he was able to deliver the results they desired.

You see, Sengoku Rance is set in Warring States Era Japan; and Rance was winning the war. He, through demonstration, showed all around him that all you really need to do to get to where you want to be is to do a good job. And herein lies more beauty: That's all Rance did the whole game: do a good job. And he did it as was convenient for him; never once does he waste his time preaching ideological or philosophical values to his acquaintances, he has a goal and that's all that matters, everything else is a distraction.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Comment from a youtuber

These are not my words, these are the words I received from a youtuber known as slavetothedna02, on the topic of antinatalim
Having a child can only ever be a selfish, impositional, waste of suffering. Life's fundamentally broken
EFILists/Antinatalists put forth that pleasure is release of pain. Imagine a number line. At birth we are placed at negative -100. Pleasures make us feel less bad and take us from -11 to -80. We are born in need. We spend our lives going throughout the world trying to satisfy those needs. But nothing has intrinsic value. One would not see value in food unless they first were made to feel hungry. All pleasures are like this. They are false projections of value that temporarily satisfy us. This is their only value. In their ability to mitigate our pain and proportionally satisfy us. But life is a sum-zero game. If you played it perfectly so that the sentient being was completely 100% satisfied it would still be futile. The need is entirely contrived and entirely internal. We weren't designed to be satisfied. We were designed to be unsatisfied and insatiable to chase things for the sake of making us move in order to replicate. We're all chasing the neutral zero of nonexistence, and the nonexistent state of having no needs cannot be improved upon. Whilst you claim idealism, I think true idealism is raising one's standards and seeing how gamed we're being by a DNA molecule and questioning the validity of life and the wisdom in caging beings in bodies and stupid psychologies in the first place. The need is an indignity in and of itself. The question to ask is why was complete satisfaction ever denied from us in the first place? In order for our existence to be able to go anywhere or do anything there has to be a real need for it in the universe. Because there simply is no need for our existence we show up here and we're the problem. What can be accomplished? Nothing because there's no real need for accomplishment. The notions in our head telling us otherwise are all ego driven and stupid and squandering the real value which is the suffering. All of life should go extinct. Life is the fucking problem.

Monday, 1 July 2013

The World's Treasure

So. Like most of my random philosophical musings, this one started from a quote from Rance Quest.


"Girls are the world's treasure."

Now while on the surface this quote seems to scream sexism against men, I found I couldn't help but agree with it; and so began the perilous adventure to find out why.

Now the first thing I noted was that, coming from a male perspective, I held men and women to different standards when it came to respect. Now, this was not in the sense that I had a universal axiom that women were to act like X, while men were to act as Y; but that in the practice of my day to day life, I noticed that I would unknowingly hold certain attributes virtuous regarding my perception of men and certain other attributes virtuous regarding my perception of women; and it would be these attributes that I encouraged in people that I cared about.

For example, I would hold in considerable esteem a man who balanced the development of both his physical  and intellectual pursuits, than I would a man who favoured one over the other. This did not hold true the same with women, where I would place no weight on how the woman in question balanced her physical and intellectual attributes. Instead my focus in regards to respect would be on different qualities that the women may pertain, qualities of which I would likewise ignore if they were displayed in a man.

After observing and breaking down my set of prejudices towards the sexes I noticed that the type of man I gravitated toward offered me stability, while the type of woman I gravitated to offered me an emotional investment.

This led me to the conclusion that engagement with men was a necessity, but engagement with women was a luxury.

You see, (assuming stability to be valuable insofar that it is a necessary component of wellbeing,)  if men offered me stability, and women didn't, then what women offered me was something on top of that stability, something valuable insofar as it was luxurious.

So to say "Girls are the world's treasure," would be to assert that "Girls are (the most) luxurious thing," the superlative nature of this statement is based on an individual's perception of what women have to offer; in Rance's case, it is believed that the luxury of what women can offer him is superior to any other kind of reward. However, we must take heed to notice that Rance is praising "Girls" as luxuriously valuable, and not "Women"; this distinction is what changes the statement from a sexist one, to a sensible one.

You see, if an Adult has the potential to be luxurious, and luxury is valuable, then it follows that each Adult we come across will be either a valuable Adult, or not a valuable Adult. In the case of a Child, every Child does not have the potential to be a valuable Adult, but has the potential to become a valuable Adult. It is from this that we can draw that Children are valuable, not because they are inherently valuable, but because they hold the potential to be nurtured into something valuable, which an already fully grown Adult does not; therefore, it is more likely that a Child become valuable, than a Adult be valuable.

So when Rance says "Girls are the world's treasure." What he means is:

Women have the potential to offer superlative value (According to his values)
Every woman is either valuable or not valuable (According to his definition of value)
Girls can be nurtured into either valuable or not valuable women (According to his definition of value)
The development of a Girl can be influenced
Therefore: Girls, raised correctly, have a greater potential to offer superlative value than women do

"Take better care of yourself."