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Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




Technically a metatextual thing but it gave me a good laugh:

The Lathe of Heaven by Le Guin takes its title from a quote from one of the great philosophy texts of all time:

Zhuangzi posted:

Those whom heaven helps we call the sons of heaven. They do not learn this by learning. They do not work it by working. They do not reason it by using reason. To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment. Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven.

She used a translation by James Legge, from 1891, and that's taken from the header to chapter 3. What she didn't know at the time was that Legge was not the most...technical translator. Joseph Needham, one of the giants in the history of technology, one day told her that Legge had hosed up, lathes weren't around at the time. Still, sounds great in English.

In the actual content of the book it did hit me pretty hard and pretty good to see some real, serious philosophical discussion between the two main characters, who both had serious positions at play around "what do you do with power." They both have positions I've seen among my peers on the left and the book takes seriously those positions and how they'd react to superpowers.

muscles like this! posted:

Not exactly blew my mind but I do find it interesting how in the Murderbot book series it portrays a future where there is still pop culture and people still make and watch TV shows.

The thing that hits me in Murderbot is that the titular Murderbot has really no relationship to sexuality or gender and this causes some mild confusion from the people around them, but no real hostility. There are people who view the Murderbot as disposable for other reasons but people just deal with their total asexuality and agenderism and for some reason it kind of breaks my heart that that surprised me.

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twistedmentat
Nov 21, 2003

What's a war hero got to do to get some lubrication around here?



mind the walrus posted:

Not the thread for it, but Insurrection is really terrible and I'll go to the ground on that. It was well-received at first and it's very inoffensive when you first watch it, but its awfulness is insidious. The more you let it sit, the more the little things add up and the worst it gets. It's a lot like "Man of Steel" in that regard. I'd honestly cite it as the real turning point for when Peak Trek ended and never recovered.

I haven't seen Insurrection in years so i am probably forgetting a lot of details, so you're most likely right. I watched Jesse Gender's ranking of Trek Movies video today and she ranks that near the bottom, one of the things that she points out that makes it terrible is that Picard only goes Rogue once he realizes he might get some age appropriate lovin' from the Baku lady.

Two related things, i was rewatching 2001 after watching a video that got really into its meaning and something I realized is that when Bowman is walking down the access corridor in the Jupiter 2 he very carefully steps on black panels, which is because those are velcro and he has velrco on his boots so he can walk in the parts of the ship that don't have gravity.

Related, The Expanse does really cool stuff with gravity. They have a ready made excuse not to have the actors floating all the time, with the magnetic boots, and that lead to one of the coolest an creepiest shots in the entire series. Mild spoilers, but an UN ships crew goes nuts and everyone starts killing each other, and there is a shot of a hallway with dead crew still in their magnetic boots dead, just floating in the zero G, lifeless.

Sarcastro
Dec 28, 2000
Elite member of the Grammar Nazi Squad that

twistedmentat posted:

I haven't seen Insurrection in years so i am probably forgetting a lot of details, so you're most likely right. I watched Jesse Gender's ranking of Trek Movies video today and she ranks that near the bottom, one of the things that she points out that makes it terrible is that Picard only goes Rogue once he realizes he might get some age appropriate lovin' from the Baku lady.

I saw it in the theater when it came out with some friends. We were in college at the time, and had made some homemade pot brownies beforehand that in retrospect were significantly more potent than I could handle. I 100% completely forgot that I'd seen the movie until months later. That's how lousy it is.

That said, I rewatched it for the first time at some point semi-recently, and it wasn't as awful as I'd (not) remembered. Still dumb, and the "tee hee puberty again" stuff was ridiculous, but it had its moments. Now I'd definitely put Nemesis below it.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Sarcastro posted:

I saw it in the theater when it came out with some friends. We were in college at the time, and had made some homemade pot brownies beforehand that in retrospect were significantly more potent than I could handle. I 100% completely forgot that I'd seen the movie until months later. That's how lousy it is.

That said, I rewatched it for the first time at some point semi-recently, and it wasn't as awful as I'd (not) remembered. Still dumb, and the "tee hee puberty again" stuff was ridiculous, but it had its moments. Now I'd definitely put Nemesis below it.

Counterpoint: Nemesis has a really good space battle that makes the rest of the film well worth it. Insurrection has NOTHING that makes the rest of the film well worth it.

Cobalt-60
Oct 11, 2016

Over time, random factors add up. What is chaos in the moment becomes systemic over time and space. As data accumulates, a pattern emerges.



I choose to believe the "Picard is in the Nexus and the last 3 films are his imagination going wild" theory. First Contact was great, but Insurrection was a wet fart and Nemesis just feels cobbled together. If anything,t hey prove the Picard Show isn't good Star Trek.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006



twistedmentat posted:

I haven't seen Insurrection in years so i am probably forgetting a lot of details, so you're most likely right. I watched Jesse Gender's ranking of Trek Movies video today and she ranks that near the bottom, one of the things that she points out that makes it terrible is that Picard only goes Rogue once he realizes he might get some age appropriate lovin' from the Baku lady.
The example SFDebris points out-- and his review is great incidentally you should watch it-- is that during the production the writers got a note from the studio questioning the fundamental questions of the movie: why are we meant to be sympathizing with the Ba'ku when they're not even natives of the planet, hoarding the magic healing bullshit? These are the studio people. The money people. The "don't care if it's art or even good, as long as it gets us paid in the end" people. They saw the holes right away.

What will always steam me is that there's a really great version of the same story where you make the Ba'ku less sympathetic and lovely production-wise, and basically make TNG: Civil War with the crew split and fighting each other.

But alas.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

low vis




mind the walrus posted:

The example SFDebris points out-- and his review is great incidentally you should watch it-- is that during the production the writers got a note from the studio questioning the fundamental questions of the movie: why are we meant to be sympathizing with the Ba'ku when they're not even natives of the planet, hoarding the magic healing bullshit? These are the studio people. The money people. The "don't care if it's art or even good, as long as it gets us paid in the end" people. They saw the holes right away.

What will always steam me is that there's a really great version of the same story where you make the Ba'ku less sympathetic and lovely production-wise, and basically make TNG: Civil War with the crew split and fighting each other.

But alas.

I sometimes wish Michael Pillar's original idea for Insurrection, outlined in Fade In made it to production instead of him getting talked out of it by basically everyone around him. It sounds like it would have been a lot more interesting than the finished product we got was. It was basically Heart of Darkness in space, and the Col. Kurtz stand in who was in control of the magic healing bullshit planet was an exploitative unsympathetic rear end in a top hat and Picard has to go rogue to stop him.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




The goddamn Star Wars prequels managed to land 'the people who appear to be doing good are ultimately doing bad things' and that seems to be too much for a lot of people. You know what, a lot of people including myself drag Lucas for a lot of things with the prequels, some of which I quite back up, but can't say he wasn't daring.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006



Ghost Leviathan posted:

The goddamn Star Wars prequels managed to land 'the people who appear to be doing good are ultimately doing bad things' and that seems to be too much for a lot of people. You know what, a lot of people including myself drag Lucas for a lot of things with the prequels, some of which I quite back up, but can't say he wasn't daring.
In hindsight even his begrudging pandering with baby Boba Fett in 2 and Chewbacca in 3 was nothing compared to what we'd get in 7 and 9. Don't get me wrong those movies still suck hot rear end, but it's a lot easier to pat them on the head for trying in 2021.

nine-gear crow posted:

I sometimes wish Michael Pillar's original idea for Insurrection, outlined in Fade In made it to production instead of him getting talked out of it by basically everyone around him. It sounds like it would have been a lot more interesting than the finished product we got was. It was basically Heart of Darkness in space, and the Col. Kurtz stand in who was in control of the magic healing bullshit planet was an exploitative unsympathetic rear end in a top hat and Picard has to go rogue to stop him.
Really anything would have been better than the movie we got.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Attack of the Clones did manage to provide a shitton of things to build on, which the EU took to with aplomb, and that's definitely far more than you can say with the prequels.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


I played X-Wing Alliance for the first time a couple years ago, and I was really hit with how at the beginning it was a really sincere depiction of just a family running their little business out on the frontier in the depths of space. Like I've never cared about space trading games before, but it really got me into the mindset, checking on the depot of storage containers, picking something up, and moving it somewhere else.

The Azzameen family is all the way in the middle of nowhere and the younger members are stir-crazy, but it's also evident that while they seem humble from not having any of the luxuries of civilized space, the family is fairly well-to-do, which is why the elders of the family are so hesitant to risk everything. They've got a whole space station and at least 4 ships big enough to live in. They've even got a family crest. Which is also what ranching families out on the frontier could be like as well, rustic surroundings, but people go out to live that life because you can make a lot of money and living out in the country is cheap. The game had a lot of atmospheric texture even if the story wasn't as spicy as Tie Fighter and so much of the game left contemporary audiences unimpressed because it paled in comparison to Rogue Squadron.

That game also taught me how cool ball turrets were, because if you have a gunner then you can focus more on flying while just keeping enemy ships in the gunner's range of fire (or try to keep enemies sandwiched in the space where multiple turrets overlap). MK-09 felt more like a useful teammate than any of my squadmates in any of the other games.

mind the walrus posted:

In hindsight even his begrudging pandering with baby Boba Fett in 2 and Chewbacca in 3 was nothing compared to what we'd get in 7 and 9. Don't get me wrong those movies still suck hot rear end, but it's a lot easier to pat them on the head for trying in 2021.

Really anything would have been better than the movie we got.

You'd really have to compare more with C-3PO and R2-D2, who are the more contrived and extended cameos in the prequels. That scene where R2-D2 sprouts rockets isn't quiet as egregious as Leia magicking herself out of space, but it comes close.

twistedmentat
Nov 21, 2003

What's a war hero got to do to get some lubrication around here?



I have to get props for Lucas having Palpatine's plan being really clever; create a crisis that causes one of the few major military powers in the galaxy to rise up, continue to feed that crisis so more and more factions join together. Then use your public position to respond to the crisis you've created and get an army of completely loyal soldiers AND put your mortal enemies in control until the right time. He destroys anyone who could challenge him, both the Jedi and the forces that made up the Confederacy, gets the best apprentice out of it and can rule with what can be argued to be a legal mandate.

He could have had Palpatine win because the heroes are idiots, but actually put some thought into it.

RBA Starblade
Apr 27, 2008

Going Home.



Games Idiot Court Jester


twistedmentat posted:

I have to get props for Lucas having Palpatine's plan being really clever; create a crisis that causes one of the few major military powers in the galaxy to rise up, continue to feed that crisis so more and more factions join together. Then use your public position to respond to the crisis you've created and get an army of completely loyal soldiers AND put your mortal enemies in control until the right time. He destroys anyone who could challenge him, both the Jedi and the forces that made up the Confederacy, gets the best apprentice out of it and can rule with what can be argued to be a legal mandate.

He could have had Palpatine win because the heroes are idiots, but actually put some thought into it.

I mean, the heroes are pretty stupid too, p so that helped

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





twistedmentat posted:

I have to get props for Lucas having Palpatine's plan being really clever; create a crisis that causes one of the few major military powers in the galaxy to rise up, continue to feed that crisis so more and more factions join together. Then use your public position to respond to the crisis you've created and get an army of completely loyal soldiers AND put your mortal enemies in control until the right time. He destroys anyone who could challenge him, both the Jedi and the forces that made up the Confederacy, gets the best apprentice out of it and can rule with what can be argued to be a legal mandate.

He could have had Palpatine win because the heroes are idiots, but actually put some thought into it.

I just wish he could have put somewhat MORE thought into it so the movies could have told that story better. And also a better form of that story.

Finger Prince
Jan 5, 2007

"I think he's watching us..."

"No, it's just the Mountain Peeks."
(Source)



It suddenly occurred to me the other day that that Tom Cruise movie Edge of Tomorrow is essentially a roguelike.

Mazerunner
Apr 22, 2010

Good Hunter, what... what is this post?


Finger Prince posted:

It suddenly occurred to me the other day that that Tom Cruise movie Edge of Tomorrow is essentially a roguelike.

isn't a big part of roguelikes the randomness?

Mazerunner fucked around with this message at 02:26 on Apr 19, 2021

twistedmentat
Nov 21, 2003

What's a war hero got to do to get some lubrication around here?



Finger Prince posted:

It suddenly occurred to me the other day that that Tom Cruise movie Edge of Tomorrow is essentially a roguelike.

Now I want a cut where every time he dies, the Dark Souls YOU DIED thing appears.


Sanguinia posted:

I just wish he could have put somewhat MORE thought into it so the movies could have told that story better. And also a better form of that story.

Not going to deny that, all the kid friendly moments and pointless action scenes that just go on too long.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Mazerunner posted:

isn't a big part of roguelikes the randomness?

Yeah, it's more a soulslike.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006



I wouldn't even say a Souls-like, it's more of an NES game given how little he ultimately changes his loadout and strategy.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


What's weird is that Dark Souls is actually lets you keep more after deaths as most opposed to other video games where everything is reversed and you go back to your last checkpoint.

Just it does it in a way that makes players extra anxious and aware of the repetition.

Paddyo
Aug 3, 2007


In Dune, after Paul kills Feyd, Princess Irulan steps forward thinking that she is the prize that's been won. Paul blows past her and prostrates himself in front of Chani, and Jessica whispers this into Chani's ear:

"Think on it, Chani: that princess will have the name, yet she'll live as less than a concubineónever to know a moment of tenderness from the man to whom she's bound. While we, Chani, we who carry the name of concubineóhistory will call us wives."

The props and FX were cheesy, but I've always thought that the actors in the 2000 SciFi channel version of Dune were incredible in that scene. The look between Paul and Chani just carries so much weight.

Cross-Section
Mar 18, 2009



SlothfulCobra posted:

I played X-Wing Alliance for the first time a couple years ago, and I was really hit with how at the beginning it was a really sincere depiction of just a family running their little business out on the frontier in the depths of space. Like I've never cared about space trading games before, but it really got me into the mindset, checking on the depot of storage containers, picking something up, and moving it somewhere else.

The Azzameen family is all the way in the middle of nowhere and the younger members are stir-crazy, but it's also evident that while they seem humble from not having any of the luxuries of civilized space, the family is fairly well-to-do, which is why the elders of the family are so hesitant to risk everything. They've got a whole space station and at least 4 ships big enough to live in. They've even got a family crest. Which is also what ranching families out on the frontier could be like as well, rustic surroundings, but people go out to live that life because you can make a lot of money and living out in the country is cheap. The game had a lot of atmospheric texture even if the story wasn't as spicy as Tie Fighter and so much of the game left contemporary audiences unimpressed because it paled in comparison to Rogue Squadron.

That game also taught me how cool ball turrets were, because if you have a gunner then you can focus more on flying while just keeping enemy ships in the gunner's range of fire (or try to keep enemies sandwiched in the space where multiple turrets overlap). MK-09 felt more like a useful teammate than any of my squadmates in any of the other games.

I was replaying the early parts of the campaign recently and only now have I realized that Uncle Antan had likely been selling out your family to the Viraxo and the Imps from the very beginning. Most of those tutorial missions revolve around mysterious security leaks and sudden ambushes, and they're never totally explained. Meanwhile Antan's back home, condescendingly going "gee you never know who you can trust these days" in the debriefings. Jerkass.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Paddyo posted:

In Dune, after Paul kills Feyd, Princess Irulan steps forward thinking that she is the prize that's been won. Paul blows past her and prostrates himself in front of Chani, and Jessica whispers this into Chani's ear:

"Think on it, Chani: that princess will have the name, yet she'll live as less than a concubineónever to know a moment of tenderness from the man to whom she's bound. While we, Chani, we who carry the name of concubineóhistory will call us wives."

The props and FX were cheesy, but I've always thought that the actors in the 2000 SciFi channel version of Dune were incredible in that scene. The look between Paul and Chani just carries so much weight.

So much about Dune owns.

Pennywise the Frown
May 10, 2010



Upset Trowel

Cross-Section posted:

I was replaying the early parts of the campaign recently and only now have I realized that Uncle Antan had likely been selling out your family to the Viraxo and the Imps from the very beginning. Most of those tutorial missions revolve around mysterious security leaks and sudden ambushes, and they're never totally explained. Meanwhile Antan's back home, condescendingly going "gee you never know who you can trust these days" in the debriefings. Jerkass.

Does that game work on modern systems ok? How does it hold up?

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

low vis




Pennywise the Frown posted:

Does that game work on modern systems ok? How does it hold up?

It's up on Steam and Good Old Games now along with the rest of the LucasArts Star Wars collection, and there's a really great mod, The X-Wing Alliance Upgrade Project that's been working for 20 years now to keep the game up to speed with modern standards. Between those, yes it really holds up.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


I think the biggest hill to get over is the fact that it was really made for a joystick, so you both need to buy a joystick and develop an entirely new set of muscle memory to use it. But if you like it, there's a number of other dated games to play as well.

But I'd really recommend playing Tie Fighter instead because it's both a more detailed plot and a much easier starting point because you start without having to worry about shields and that gives a smoother difficulty curve.

And buying on GOG I think might be better because they have some level of dedication to making sure your game works on your computer that Steam doesn't seem to have.

Pennywise the Frown
May 10, 2010



Upset Trowel

Purchased.

I actually want to try Tie Fighter first. I played that game right when it came out and was just blown away.

edit: gently caress you need a joystick for TF. I played this game with my mouse back in the day. I mean I have one, I just didn't want to use it.

Pennywise the Frown fucked around with this message at 23:50 on Apr 21, 2021

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Get Freespace 2 while you're at it. Might be the one space sim that can topple TIE Fighter.

Sarcastro
Dec 28, 2000
Elite member of the Grammar Nazi Squad that

Sanguinia posted:

Counterpoint: Nemesis has a really good space battle that makes the rest of the film well worth it. Insurrection has NOTHING that makes the rest of the film well worth it.

A fair point, but for whatever reason after rewatching both for the first time(s) since they'd originally came out, I still hated Nemesis more.

indigi
Jul 20, 2004

picture me workin McDonald's!
I'd rather pull a mac on you
sorry Ms. Jackson, but I'm packin


Pillbug

idk what book it's in since I only know about it from a review, but there's a planet with sentient plants on it that humans arrive to try to colonize that has like 1.25g. they've all been prepared for that, but after a couple days all the characters are complaining that their balls and breasts hurt because the sensitive bits of our bodies aren't built to have sudden, persistent, additional weight placed on them and there's no way to train for it. that's something I hadn't ever considered and it sounds like it would suck poo poo

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


indigi posted:

idk what book it's in since I only know about it from a review, but there's a planet with sentient plants on it that humans arrive to try to colonize that has like 1.25g. they've all been prepared for that, but after a couple days all the characters are complaining that their balls and breasts hurt because the sensitive bits of our bodies aren't built to have sudden, persistent, additional weight placed on them and there's no way to train for it. that's something I hadn't ever considered and it sounds like it would suck poo poo

G is stored in the balls

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Double

Zesty
Jan 17, 2012



https://i.imgur.com/Plob0Uu.mp4

sajobi
Feb 6, 2015

Close the world, Open the nExt

This is not a little moment. But the entire book Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon is a mind blowing experience.

frogge
Apr 7, 2006




I'm playing through Subnautica right now and all the little details they add in the documents/voice logs really build that universe well. The thing that blew my mind was early on when you catch and cook local fish- the PDA/helper AI tells you to not turn your nose at it because humans have ate cooked meat for millennia instead of vat-grown nutrient paste blocks. Like of course food is gonna be different in an interstellar civilization when you might not have the space for a giant rear end ranch on a starship.

Mazerunner
Apr 22, 2010

Good Hunter, what... what is this post?


frogge posted:

I'm playing through Subnautica right now and all the little details they add in the documents/voice logs really build that universe well. The thing that blew my mind was early on when you catch and cook local fish- the PDA/helper AI tells you to not turn your nose at it because humans have ate cooked meat for millennia instead of vat-grown nutrient paste blocks. Like of course food is gonna be different in an interstellar civilization when you might not have the space for a giant rear end ranch on a starship.

I haven't play subnautica, but isn't there a hypnotic fish that will 'speak' to you in the voice of the AI, saying poo poo like "go clooossseeerrr, touch iiiitttt, don't resissstttt"

frogge
Apr 7, 2006




Yes, it's a predator fish that wants to eat you using it's psychic abilities.

twistedmentat
Nov 21, 2003

What's a war hero got to do to get some lubrication around here?




Battle of Scarif is probably the best space battle in Star Wars.

frogge posted:

I'm playing through Subnautica right now and all the little details they add in the documents/voice logs really build that universe well. The thing that blew my mind was early on when you catch and cook local fish- the PDA/helper AI tells you to not turn your nose at it because humans have ate cooked meat for millennia instead of vat-grown nutrient paste blocks. Like of course food is gonna be different in an interstellar civilization when you might not have the space for a giant rear end ranch on a starship.

I was thinking about this when developing the backstory for what I've been trying to write for ages. Humans going into space are not going to take cows and chickens with them. seeds and bulbs and such are a much better food source. If the planet they're going to isn't suitable for crops they can grow them hydroponically until it becomes possible to grow them on the planet. You could not rely on local food sources, we evolved eating certain things and on an alien world where life may take entirely different forums it might give you the Hershey squirts every time you eat something, or worse. This eventually just turned the humans who colonized space to just culturally become sorta vegan. Even after they find animals that are safe for humans to eat they just keep eating plants.

twistedmentat fucked around with this message at 22:56 on Apr 24, 2021

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

low vis





Something I noticed watching that gif is you can see the transport fire up its engines to make the jump to lightspeed, but it smashes into the Devastator just before it can accelerate, probably because its NaviComputer's safeties engaged when it detected the ship in front of it. If the Star Destroyer came out of hyperspace like even half a second later than it did, it would have been Holdo'd into oblivion and probably taken out the Death Star then and there with its shrapnel.

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Polaron
Oct 13, 2010

The Oncoming Storm


frogge posted:

I'm playing through Subnautica right now and all the little details they add in the documents/voice logs really build that universe well. The thing that blew my mind was early on when you catch and cook local fish- the PDA/helper AI tells you to not turn your nose at it because humans have ate cooked meat for millennia instead of vat-grown nutrient paste blocks. Like of course food is gonna be different in an interstellar civilization when you might not have the space for a giant rear end ranch on a starship.

I've always liked the codex entry that mentions your wetsuit is actually some hypertech environmental suit, which neatly explains why you never have to worry about the bends.

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