John

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Everything posted by John

  1. Alright guys, I'm pretty sure my attention span has gotten a lot shorter since I last used to post here. I just skimmed this thread real fast, so listen up 'cause I'm about to drop some raw **** on y'all: [b]1. Immovable object/unstoppable force[/b] The question is flawed. For an object to be immovable, it would have to have infinite inertia, meaning it would have to have infinite mass. By the laws of this universe, that can't happen. Same thing with an unstoppable force, which would require infinite energy. So really, it boils down to the question "can God do what can't be done?", which is an illogical question that can't be given a logical answer, whether positive or negative. It's like saying, "If KFC twelve piece bucket, Oregon backlash swimmingly? CHECK AND MATE, SIR." On the other hand, I guess it's plausible that he could create a universe whose laws would somehow allow for both immovable objects and unstoppable forces, but that hardly makes for exciting debate on either side. NEXT. [b]2. Can God be both all-powerful and good if there is evil in the world?[/b] If we're talking about the Abrahamic God and the Biblical definition of "good" (aren't we always? Doesn't this get boring for anyone?), then yes. But let's talk about that definition for a moment, which I'll estimate as stating that something is "good" if it is, ultimately, sooner or later, somehow pleasing to God. The idea that God loves humans--maybe the most important in the Bible--pushes us towards our next conclusion, that loving God is good, and from there that humans having free will is good, and from there that obeying his commands is good, and from there that being generous, loving others, not punching people (generally)... the whole moral system as espoused by the Bible, is good. The point is this: that moral system is not the definition of "good" that we are arguing about; it is a derivation of that definition that exists expressly for the benefit of human beings. To one degree or another it most certainly reflects the character of God, but [i]it does not apply to God[/i], nor is he restricted by it. So no, he's not evil for allowing evils to occur within humanity even though he could stop them. [i][Fair warning: I'm about to get all preachy on you, but I'm not trying to "convert" you via emotional appeal or whatever. I'm just making a case for my side of this oh so dapper, gentlemanly debate, and emotional value is deeply connected to the logic of this case. If this just ends up making things messier in the coming posts, then know that that wasn't my intent.][/i] God sees further and deeper than us. He knows the people who, according to the Bible, he "knit together in the womb", he knows the pain of women who were raped, impregnated, and then shunned from their culture for it; he knows the pain of children who were forced to become soldiers and now get headaches if they go too long without seeing blood; he knows about the billions of people who would be murdered, many in his name, during the short lifespan of the world he created; he knows about the billions more who would wriggle out of screaming women's vaginas, live for 60 or 70 years, and then die without ever once having heard about him. He knows and feels all of this. He knew it and felt it before he kickstarted the whole thing off with a few words, and, unless you want to argue that God's memory fades over time, he will always know and feel those things, even into the coming age of "heaven" when apparently all of his followers will be sitting on clouds and playing Kenny G songs on our harps. And yet, having counted the cost, he decided it was all worth it. So yes, in the end, there is no apparent contradiction between the notion of an all-powerful god and that god embodying the Judeo-Christian notion of "good". But! Let's go just one step further: God decided that this universe is good, "but is it the best possible universe? Couldn't he have done better than this?" Excellent question, thank you for asking, but I don't have an answer. And neither do you. God knows more than us (read: everything), but even if he doesn't exist, we still don't know enough ourselves to even begin to make a call like this. Maybe every other alternate variation on this universe really would have been worse than this one; maybe the existence of this amount of suffering really [i]is[/i] exactly the amount we need to "build character" or whatever. Or maybe it's not. Maybe God could've created a universe that had both free will for humans and absolutely no suffering, but he chose not to because he has an even bigger plan that literally can't be comprehended by the human brain (not that his current one as mentioned in the Bible really can either, but that's neither here nor there). Logic falls apart at this point; it doesn't work on this level, it wasn't supposed to, and pretending it does is irrational and just leads to really dumb internet arguments. Oh man where did this wall of text come from. I DON'T WANT TO BE THIS ANYMORE. EDIT: Just realized that this was indeed just an epic necro. All the same to me though, I guess. Sup Baron.
  2. Here's a video I made in my After Effects class last semester, given the task of making a ten-second countdown. It's pretty simple, but I still like it alright: [url]http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1275815413984&subj=1187910724[/url]
  3. [quote name='Sangome'][FONT=Microsoft Sans Serif][SIZE=1]I personally do not care if it is "unoriginal", especially since "originality" is something very hard to achieve in this day and age, when practically [I]everything[/I] has been done at some point or another.[/SIZE][/FONT][/quote] And yet every major entertainment industry still manages to consistently release products that are more than just a dense pile of cliches. Except Broadway (BOOM, roasted :bdance:). Not every movie needs to focus on a brilliant storyline and engaging, well-rounded characters in order to be quality entertainment, and most of them don't. But the backbone of any narrative film is still the narrative itself, no matter how much focus is placed on style or other concerns. In the same way that the production values need to be at least high enough for the audience to be able to visually and aurally discern what's happening on the screen, the narrative needs to at least be strong enough to pull the viewer into the world of the film and draw their sympathies in whichever direction the filmmakers desire.
  4. Awful writing and characterization has turned me away from many Japanese games that were probably otherwise really fun. The World Ends With You is definitely the worst offender here, not only in terms of just how bad the characters and dialogue were, but just how muchof it there was, and the fact that you can't skip [I]any[/I] of it. I couldn't even trudge through the first in-game week of that crap before I stopped playing. Stupid characterizations and over-the-top anime-style animations (as well as all the grinding) kept me on the edge of quitting for most of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, even though it was otherwise a freakin' sweet game. Advance Wars: Dual Strike suffers a similar problem, but that game is just too awesome for the heinous writing to stop me from playing. Besides, its dialogue is generally skippable. Of course, sometimes non-Japanese games suffer the same fate with me. I got past, like, the first level of God of War before I said, "This is stupid. I'm not a thirteen-year-old," and quit. It baffles me that I seem to be the only person in the world to hold this opinion. On the other hand, one thing that I find fascinating is how the Japanese treat the English language. I'm not talking about Engrish, but often when they're giving some creative work an English title or name, they just put together weird combinations of words, usually not even making any grammatical sense, that a native English-speaker would never have thought of. The band name "Melt Banana" is a good example of this.
  5. Gaming

    Well, I'll give 'em one thing: the Nintendo of this console generation has definitely made speculation a lot more fun. The DS managed to make a perfect harmony of innovation and traditional fun, and that allowed developers to go in a ton of different directions (and go they did). It'll be hard to trump, but I think those guys have got it in 'em. But really, part of me kinda wishes that this information hadn't even gotten out yet, because it's so little to go off of that all it does is drive me mad trying to make something solid out of it.
  6. [quote name='Stephanie'][SIZE=1]So my boyfriend is planning a surprise for my birthday and apparently ALL of my friends are involved. I'm frightened but incredibly curios. @_@[/SIZE][/quote] I think I feel you. I once had a surprise birthday party where my dad covertly had all of my best friends come over, despite the fact that a lot of them didn't really associate with each other at all. Room full of high schoolers who are barely acquainted + nothing to do but sit around + parent hanging around in the next room + host who is just very bad at parties and party-hosting = awkwardness. Fortunately, I found an air compressor and brought it into the room, which kinda got things kickin'. That's a party tip I'll keep to my grave.
  7. [quote name='Sara'][FONT=secret font!][SIZE=3]You probably hated Beanie Babies, too, didn't you? :rolleyes:[/SIZE][/FONT][/quote] I liked Beanie Babies as a kid, I don't hate [I]Avatar[/I], and I'm sure you know what I actually meant in that post.
  8. [quote name='Lunox'][FONT=trebuchet ms] Ah, backlash. It's a wonderful thing.[/FONT][/quote] I guess I'll try to be more impressed by the same stuff other people are impressed by from now on...
  9. I'm strictly a t-shirt and jeans guy, and it's what I wear pretty much everywhere unless the situation strictly calls for another style of dress (showering or sleeping, for instance). I've also got long hair simply for the fact that I never felt like getting it cut (although on some days it does look kinda cool, depending on its mood). In most areas of my life, I almost always tend towards the practical and simple rather than the fancy because I think it's more personal, sincere, and humble. Also, makeup weirds me out so much. It's not exactly a dealbreaker or anything, but any amount of it (even just some eyeliner) makes a girl look significantly less attractive to me. Even the concept of it is weird--that women should alter their faces with all these crazy liquids and powders so they'll feel more attractive; I've heard it quite aptly described as "real life Photoshop". By saying this, I don't mean to sound condescending to people who wear makeup or to imply that it's wrong to do so, I'm just expressing my personal quirks on the matter (although I do think you should consider how right I generally am about everything and act accordingly).
  10. [quote name='Sara'][FONT=secret font!][SIZE=3]What did you have to break down? I feel like this must be a typo, but I can't figure out what you actually meant. Peg?[/SIZE][/FONT][/quote] I think "breaking down a leg castle" is what the kids are calling hip-hop dancing these days (which would make sense given the increasing consolidation of science fairs and urban dance competitions in today's schools). [SIZE=1][COLOR=Silver] [COLOR=White](That was a really bad joke and I apologize to all of you.)[/COLOR][/COLOR][/SIZE]
  11. Valentine's Day was definitely at its best in elementary school, when it revolved around getting to put sweet-*** decorations on a paper sack and have it filled up with candy.
  12. On a scale of "mildly upsetting" to "I am putting you on my ignore list", how weird is it that I am reading this thread right now? Wait, don't answer that.
  13. Gaming

    Some people call it an RPG because they're too lazy to type the "A" at the beginning of "ARPG". A few call it an FPS because they don't know what "FPS" stands for at all.
  14. [quote name='James'][FONT=franklin gothic medium]Ironically, you could boil most movies down to the above formula. Some of the greatest movies of the last few decades have also been incredibly formulaic.[/FONT][/quote] Using a formula is one thing, but what we have here is the same method that highschoolers use to avoid getting caught for plagiarism in their essays. Just sayin'. Also, I don't know how I forgot about this, but "UNOBTANIUM". Did Cameron just put that in the script as a filler term and forget to search-and-replace it later or something?
  15. rotlung, you just invalidated anything you've ever said and anything you ever will say. I mean, talk about unpardonable sins...
  16. [quote name='Lunox'][FONT=trebuchet ms]The point is, Cameron put a pretty neat spin on an old story[/quote] A [URL="http://www.instantrimshot.com/"][COLOR=Gray]tailspin[/COLOR][/URL], maybe. [/FONT][quote name='Lunox'][FONT=trebuchet ms]To those who dismiss the quality and creativity of the visuals/special FX-- um...like, lol. I don't even know what to say. Either your brain doesn't function properly and doesn't find breathtaking landscapes/fascinating plant life beautiful or you were pissed off by all the neon. idk.[/FONT][/quote] Everything looked predictable, like something you'd see in an alien motivational poster or hotel room.
  17. This still doesn't top "sea kittens".
  18. As everyone has said, the narrative elements are cliche. I had heard that before I watched the film and thought I was prepared to deal with it; it's usually pretty easy for me to sit through mediocrity. But this movie [I]really[/I] upped the ante in that respect, so much so that at some points I actually had a hard time not stepping out of the theater for a break. It simply cannot be overstated how [I]painfully[/I] generic the plot and characters are. However, telling a good story was never the ambition of [I]Avatar[/I]. Like any well-behaved Hollywood blockbuster, it's a big, cash-fueled spectacle meant to stun and bedazzle audiences, and it does a decent job of this. The visuals look realistic enough, but let's face it: Jurassic Park came out in 1993, set the benchmark for CG realism, and, despite astronomical advances in computing technology, hadn't been surpassed in over fifteen years. Maybe this movie finally did that, but they're waaaaay too late to be commended for this. The art direction wasn't bad, but it wasn't all it was hyped up to be. Lisa Frank doing prog rock album covers. I think the one aspect of the movie that's actually commendable are the action sequences. I felt that they were fun and well-paced, in stark contrast to the modern standard set by Michael Bay's indecipherable epileptic fits of jump-cuts and whip pans, and I was actually getting excited during the battle scenes in spite of myself. I think time will treat the film well, though, and it may even make for a fine cult film when the pains of the crappier elements of the movie have been dulled by ten or twenty years.
  19. Asking for gift cards or cash is [I]unacceptable[/I]. "Practicality" has no part in Christmas gift-giving and gift-getting.
  20. I don't do wishlists for Christmas. I think it kills some of the Christmas Magic if you can look at a present and know what's inside, and asking people for specific items also inevitably gets my hopes up, so even if I get some great gifts that I didn't ask for, I'll still have a twinge of disappointment since I didn't get some of the things I [I]did[/I] ask for. Still, I'm told I'm hard to buy for, so for the past two years I've sent out a short list of themes (e.g., "liquids", "facial hair", "things MacGyver would use") that my family can interpret as they see fit to find gift-buying inspiration. Half of them usually just ignore the themes, but they can't really complain that I didn't send out a list. :d This year's haul included (but was not limited to): - A custom-made tartan mustache pillow from my sister - A USB turntable (magnificent. I've got so much unlistened vinyl sitting around since my old record player kicked the bucket a while back.) - A case of delicious pineapple soda, which only my brother from Austin can get ahold of A good year.
  21. Thanks in large part to the indie game explosion of the last few years, more and more excellent, free games are being developed today, and I think it's high time we have a thread about them. So go ahead and tell us what you've been playing for free lately, be it web-based, desktop, mobile, or whatever. (And be sure to post a picture too, because every thread's better with pictures.) [IMG]http://www.g4g.it/g4g/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/spelunky_01.jpg[/IMG] [B]Spelunky[/B] ([URL]http://www.spelunkyworld.com/[/URL]) This is a great little platformer released about a year ago that centers around exploring procedurally-generated caves, collecting gold, stealing idols, saving dames, and killing cave creatures. The controls are tight, the art is wonderful, and the difficulty level is just right, but what really ties it all together is how well the procedural-generation algorithm works; it's so polished that it never really traps you in a spot you can't get out of, and the gameplay elements work so well together naturally that when they're thrown together (somewhat) randomly, you'd swear some of the clever situations you face were designed by hand. Impeccably polished, mercilessly addicting.
  22. Gaming

    Iji is excellent. I really need to play it again, as I only finished it once (and I played psychopath style, lol). I don't think anyone else would see this comparison, but I think the game plays a bit like a 2D Deus Ex, in terms of combat pacing and upgradability. I'm also fond of the Chzo Mythos games. [IMG]http://www.smarrone.com/arcade/media/icons/ngame.jpg[/IMG] [B]N[/B] ([url]http://www.thewayoftheninja.org/[/url]) N is not only my favorite flash game of all time, but one of my top three or four favorite games, period. The fact that it was made in flash and yet is so taut and responsive is impressive, and the powerful, minimalistic art design hits me right in my aesthetic-bone. But what really gets me is how the developers made so much with so little. All you can do is run left, run right, and jump, there are only a small handful of enemies and terrain objects to choose from, and the level design is restricted to a pretty small square frame, but they still made [I]hundreds[/I] of unique levels that cover a wild variety of playstyles and gameplay dynamics. I've never seen anything quite like it before or since.
  23. I could go either way on anonymity, but if I had to choose, I'd say I'm for anonymous rep since it might make for more fun forum conversation. And let's give it up to Petie for making all the gears turn so this can work. Well done, m'boy. [IMG]http://web.mit.edu/ryangray/Public/Gnus/thumbs_up.jpg[/IMG]
  24. Here's how I've always seen karma systems work: you see a post, you react to it, you hit the karma up/down button next to their name. The page auto-refreshes, their karma has gone up or down. I've never heard of this business about leaving a message, but if that's the only type of karma plugin we could get, then it could work. [quote name='Petie'][COLOR=Blue]only the person leaving the rep and the person receiving it can see it. Reputation comments are not publicly visible regardless of whether or not they are left anonymously. [/COLOR][/quote] I can see why it was done like this in a regular karma system, as those are more judgmental and maybe people ought to know privately why they've been praised or condemned publicly. But I don't think this feature has any real function in the lighthearted good/evil system we're talking about implementing. Maybe if the comments were public it'd be fun to read through and see the silly things people said, but if it's just one person privately telling another person why they deemed them good or evil, it could be... [I]weird[/I]. Not to mention, having to type a message every time you just want to rate someone as good or evil could deter participation in the system.
  25. [quote name='CaNz']if people didn't like them the networks wouldn't put so many on the air... I personally am getting addicted to talk shows... especially Craig Fergison.[/quote] Craig Ferguson is so wonderful. Television needs a lot more earnest people like him.