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Get Ready for Punchline!

First Comics News - Sat, 02/08/2020 - 14:33

Coming Your Way in Batman #89, Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3, and Beyond!

A brand-new DC villain set to play a major role in Batman’s life is already generating buzz and press interest…but who is Punchline? Writer James Tynion IV has teased her appearance in a few upcoming issues, but as of yet we don’t know much about the brand-new character! Here’s the breakdown of where you’ll be seeing her ahead of Batman #95’s “Joker War” storyline!

The mysterious new villain pops up on February 19 in a one-panel cameo in Batman #89; art by Guillem March and Tomeu Morey:

One week later, Punchline makes her full-on debut as the Joker’s latest—and deadliest—henchwoman in Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen#3; art by Steve Epting & Javier Fernandez with color by Nick Filardi:

For a closer look, check out character designs by Jorge Jiménez! You’ll find his artwork in Batman #90 on March 4 ahead of the launch of “Joker War” in May!

Finally, a sneak peek at Stanley “Artgerm” Lau’s variant cover for Batman #94, on shelves May 6!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

(5e) The Song of the Sun Queens

Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 02/08/2020 - 12:11
By Shane Ivey Arc Dream Publishing 5e Level 2

The adventurers have journeyed uncounted miles to the vast plains of the Sunlands. A merchant in a faraway city told them that a great treasure rests in an ancient, cursed ruin called Juakufa. Where can the ruin be found? What is the nature of the supposed curse? What dangers lurk along the way? What are the Hyena Giants? And what were the mysterious Not Heres? The adventurers may learn all that from the people who abandoned Juakufa long ago. But first, they must survive being guests of the Sun Queens.

An average rating of 4.5 on DriveThru?!? You just KNOW this one is going to be good!

This forty page adventure uses about twenty pages to describe, I don’t know, six encounters? Maybe? The rest is appendix and pregens. It’s got an Africa theme. It’s a fucking mess of a mess, almost incoherent in how the adventure is laid out.  

So, Africa theme. They ride around zebras. No joke. They hunt ostriches. They all get together to sing and dance for your entertainment. Yes. That’s right. No joke. Also, the friendly queen in the adventure wants to have sex with you since you’re an exotic foreigner. And she claws your back “during an intimate moment.” So, creepy African stereotypes and creepy sex shit. A perfect combo for your lighthearted D&D game. [For what it’s worth the African guy here at work says that the African version of “Everyone in Africa rides zebras” is that the streets are made of gold in the US. Immediately upon residence you become rich.] Ok, weirdo shit out of the way, there’s more than enough disgust with this adventure outside of these elements in order to call it bad, so, non-issue. [Oooo, what if it WAS a really well written adventure/good adventure, but was FULL of creeper stuff? What then? “The Supreme Court does not deal with hypotheticals, Sir!”]]

There’s some “you heard about a ruined city full of treasure” thing, but the adventure starts with the party on the plains of Africa and in the court of these two queens. Kind of. It’s hard to say. It’s ala a mess. There’s some description of the queens and their court and how they hate each other, and then an ostrich hunt. There’s no real “Arrival” or anything. It’s just got background on the “the Sunlands” and then launches in to “The Ostrich hunt” where your on the plains with the queens and a bunch of africans hunting ostriches. It’s jarring. There’s no pretext at all. Just: hey! Here’s scene one of the adventure and it’s not an introduction!” 

Another example of this sort of “things not said” issue follows immediately. The hunt is attacked. Now, the party is out riding zebras catching ostriches or out int the field kind of “beating” to drive them. The hunt is then attacked, the ostriches anyway, but some, I don’t know, bird monster things. But the SCENE is an advisor running up to the queen saying that the hunt has been attacked by some Ghjkdfgdfhgdef. Whatever, some foreign word that the adventure keeps dropping the fuck in because it thinks that I, the DM, wants to keep track of this shit in my head. That shit is for the players, not the DM. Anyway, the dude is yelling that a Ghdkfghdk is attacking the hunt. The hunt that is RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.  That YOU ARE A PART OF. Do you now see it? The queen responds: “is it a HKDJHDDD?” No, bitch, it’s right there, look! Does it look like a Hhdjfhjdkfd?” Ok, so, not fair to the queen, it’s not her fault, it’s the designer and editors fault. It’s their weird kind of disconnect where it almost seems like two different people worked on this and a third blindly put it together without marrying the two writers content. And the fucking adventure does this REPEATIDLY. It’s a basic continuity issue. 

Good news though, you do get XP is you are good-aligned and save someone in the hunt. Yeah for enforced morality by the DM! I guess if you want to play D&D then you’ll play the fucking game the way this designer wants you to and FUCK YOU PLAYER if you deviate? 

There’s more singing and dancing by the happy africans and then the queen sleeps with the exotic foreigners.

You go visit a few villages. The locals sing and dance for you and tell you that you should leave all your gear with them since you are going to die anyway when you get to the ruined city.

The adventure is linear, with  a brief walk up a mesa, getting attacked by gnolls. Err, giant hyena people. The maps all fucked up and doesn’t show the encounters in the right place, one of them being off to the side. I guess no one cared to fix that mistake? Up top there’s a fortress. I GUESS that’s the ruined city you were looking for? It’s never mentioned that it is? Or that it’s your destination? I thought it was just a side trek, but no, it’s the object of your quest. Inside is a ruined keep with about, I don’t know, 25 rooms? Al are unnumbered, undescribed except for four. Three of those are just some dream sequence stuff where you hear a voice in your head and maybe a will o wisp does a hit and run. The last room has a devil in it for you to kill. Yeah! You freed the land from the curse and laid some ancestors to rest so they can be reincarnated as elephants! You get 120gp in coins and two objects worth a total of 65gp! I guess it was worth that ten day journey to get here. Plus that trip to Africa. How long was that boat journey here, and how much did it cost?

Anticlimactic bullshit, that’s what this is.

This thing has a couple of decent ideas. A ruined land/forbidden zone under a curse is a classic trope. WIll o’the wisps representing the souls of dead people is nice, as is their nature of just being on the outskirts of the scene/vision in the ruined fortress. All but one leave you alone, and he’s a bad guy/traitor, or, was, in real life.  A devil on a throne in the middle of te ruined fortress, sending you dream visions in your head, taunting you, while these dead people wisps float on the periphery, in a ruined and blasted Forbidden Zone? That’s great! 

It’s just terrible as implemented. It’s linear, essentially an empty adventure, ham handed in its culture use, and an INCOHERENT MESS when it comes to scene transitions. And I haven’t even mentioned it’s reliance on the “long text paragraph” to relate information; perhaps the most common sin in all 5e adventures.

This is $5 at DriveThru. The preview is four pages long, but only shows about two pages of text. You do get to see the intro. Literally “you journeyed here and are at the court.” And you get to see the transition to the ostrich hunt. So, VERY representative of the writing you’ll get.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/283114/The-Song-of-the-Sun-Queens-5e?1892600

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Angel of Sadhill A superhero/spiritual thriller,An interview with creator Petterson Oliveira

First Comics News - Sat, 02/08/2020 - 09:05

First Comics News: Firstly, I wanna say thanks for doing this Petterson Oliveira If I may, can I ask you for some background information? Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

Petterson Oliveira: No problem. Thank you so much for having me. I was born in Brazil and lived there until my family came to Florida when I was nine. So, I kind of grew up in two places.

1st: Are you a writer, artist or both?

Petterson: I am both.

1st: Who are some of your creative influences?

Petterson: There are so many! Some come from comics like Todd McFarlane, Brian Stelfreeze, and Alan Moore and others from films like David Lynch, Melville, and the Wachoski siblings.

1st: If you could hang out with any creator who would it be and why?

Petterson: I would hang out with any creator famous or otherwise, but Brian Stelfreeze gives the best portfolio reviews, and he’s really generous with his time when it comes to young artists who need the right advice about their art. And he seems like a great mentor so I’d grab a cup of coffee with him… and Lee Weeks lol he knows magic.

1st: What are you reading, watching for entertainment?

Petterson: Whenever I have “free time” I read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon, for comics I buy the Walmart 100 page-DC books, The Shadow and I’m always looking for Mr. X comics from the 80s. On Netflix, I like shows like Sabrina, Saint Seya, Bojack Horseman, and I’ve been watching Dirty Dozen over and over as I work. audiobooksnow.com with your fans about that experience?

Petterson: The Kubert school was an intense three years of my life where I learned so much and I met wonderful artists, mentors, and fellow collaborators like Chris Puglise whose colors make my book come to life and Al Urrutia who is my editor and an insatiable cinephile like me. I say intense three years because it’s just that, they give you a ton of work so you have to learn how to manage your time. It’s two classes a day so ten classes a week. If you’re fresh out of High School with no job you can manage pretty well, but I was working at Starbucks, volunteering at church and doing the Kubert school at the same time. So, I had some mini panic attacks in my second year there lol

1st: You manage a site called The Art of Nosrettep. (I assume is Petterson spelled backward) Gotta say that your art is amazing. The fans can check it out here at this link Facebook.com/The-Art-of-Nosrettep

Petterson: Thank you very much. Yes, Nosrettep is my name backward and it means the dream builder.

1st: Tell me Petterson are there any works you are especially proud of?

Petterson: Yes, my first comic gig was a four-page comic about kids dealing with siblings that are in the spectrum of autism/special needs. It’s called The Adventures from my World. Its very mind-opening and a bit sad. Although my art has much evolved since then, that story still holds up to me and I’m proud to have worked on it.

1st: Do you mind telling the readers about The Angel of Sadhill comic you are currently writing and drawing. You call it a superhero/spiritual thriller, that’s a very interesting choice of words can you share with the readers a little about the story.

Petterson: The Angel of Sandhill takes place in Brazil where I was born. It combines Iron Man with the crime thriller City of God. The main character has to bring peace to the most dangerous neighborhood/favela in Brazil called Sadhill by fighting corrupt police, drug dealers and maintain his sobriety. It’s a superhero genre because there’s a guy wearing a weaponized suit, it’s a spiritual thriller because something called The Whisperer reveals itself to the main character through the suit.

1st: Who is on the creative team with you for The Angel of Sadhill?

Petterson: The creative team is made up of myself on story and art, Chris ‘PUG’ Puglise on colors, my wife Bercy ‘Noel’ Oliveira on letters, and Al ‘Hombre’ Urrutia as editor.

1st: You are currently raising funds for the project through Kickstarter. I have posted a link for anyone who wants to help.

Kickstarter.com/theangelofsadhill

Are there any projects you would like your fans to know that was not covered in this interview?

Petterson: I am working on several projects right now but all of them are shrouded by secrecy.

1st: Petterson are there any people or groups you would like to acknowledge and give a shout out to that we didn’t mention in this interview?

Petterson: Shout out to everyone who still read, makes and love comics.

1st: Thanks once again Petterson Oliveira for this amazing interview. It was my honor and pleasure to talk with such a talented creator.

Petterson: Thanks again for having and helping spread the word.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

POWERS IN ACTION #4 preview

First Comics News - Sat, 02/08/2020 - 08:29

POWERS IN ACTION #4
Writer(s): Art Baltazar
Artist Name(s): Art Baltazar
Cover Artist(s): Art Baltazar

SUPLEX and DOGPLEX must face the evil SUPLEXIANS when they come to retrieve their…dog? That’s right, fans! The Suplexians are here to take back the powers and the dog that belongs to the world of SUPLEXIA! SUPLEX is forced into a fight to the finish! The loser must give up the powers or leave Earth forever! Will our hero be banished? …or does SUPLEX have a chance to defeat the evil TRIO from space? How does the HERO SQAUADRON play into this? Join us for the epic conclusion to the first mini-series story arc!  Based on the vintage super hero creations of famous cartoonist Art Baltazar! AW YEAH!

32 pgs./ E / FC                   $3.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

VAMPBLADE VOLUME 10: BACK IN BLACK preview

First Comics News - Sat, 02/08/2020 - 08:23

VAMPBLADE VOLUME 10: BACK IN BLACK
Writer(s): Jason Martin
Artist Name(s): Winston Young, Marco Maccagni, Boo Rudetoons
Cover Artist(s): Brao

New season! New costume! New space-time continuum!!

Thrust into yet another alternate dimension, Katie Carva must not only navigate life in 1994, but also life inside the body of her alternate reality twin!! One thing remains constant for Vampblade… you never know what will happen next!

Collects issues 1-4 from season four (ongoing issues 38-41) of the hit Danger Zone series.

96 pgs./ M / FC                   $14.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

ZOMBIE TRAMP #67 preview

First Comics News - Sat, 02/08/2020 - 08:19

ZOMBIE TRAMP #67
Writer(s): Vince Hernandez
Artist Name(s): Marco Maccagni
Cover A – Marco Maccagni Regular Cover
Cover B – Marco maccagni Risqué Cover (limited to 2500)
Cover C – Igor Chimisso Variant (limited to 2000)
Cover D – Igor Chimisso Risqué Variant (limited to 2500)
Cover E – Marcelo Trom Artist Variant (limited to 2000)
Cover F – Marcelo Trom Artist Risqué Variant (limited to 2500)

Angel Lynch and allies find themselves at a crossroads of power—do they continue to grow their army of supernatural undead Roman soldiers, or return to a life on the run from three opposing forces trying to kill them? And oh yeah—a mysterious new figure from Angel and Deborah’s past returns—but is he a friend or foe?!
Retailer exclusive covers are available, please contact bseaton@actionlabcomics.com.

 

24 pgs./ M / FC                   $4.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

After the Horsemen - Coming soon!

Two Hour Wargames - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 23:35
Coming later this  month. After the Horsemen, our Post-Apocalyptic set of minis rules gets an update. Eight years ago it made it's debut. Check out these Battle Reports.Out of Luck
El De Barge
The Originals
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Your First Look at Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIANS #5 From BOOM! Studios

First Comics News - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 21:38

Discover the Shocking Secrets Hidden within the Halls of Brakebills in March 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 7, 2020) – BOOM! Studios is proud to reveal a first look at THE MAGICIANS #5, the final issue of the brand new original series from New York Times bestselling series creator Lev Grossman with award-winning writer Lilah Sturges (Lumberjanes), acclaimed artist Pius Bak (Firefly: The Sting), colorist Gabriel Cassata, and letterer Mike Fiorentino, an all-new story in the world of The Magicians, featuring the next generation of magic practitioners and rule breakers, available in March 2020.

As the true reason behind Brakebills welcoming Hedge Witches comes to light, the students realize that they are in even more danger than they realized. With their terrible secret bound in magic and blood, the students and adults are all heading blind into the coming storm.

THE MAGICIANS #5 features a main cover by artist Qistina Khalidah, along with a tarot card variant cover by artist Alexa Sharpe (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

THE MAGICIANS is the newest release from BOOM! Studios’ ambitious Archaia imprint, home to graphic novels such as Bolivar by Sean Rubin; Mouse Guard by David Petersen; Girl in the Himalayas and New World by David Jesus Vignolli; Jane by Aline Brosh McKenna and Ramón Pérez; Persephone by Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky; and licensed series including Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation.

Print copies of THE MAGICIANS #5 will be available for sale March 4, 2020exclusively at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the nearest one) or at the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from content providers, including comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and Madefire.

For continuing news on THE MAGICIANS and more from BOOM!, stay tuned to www.boom-studios.com and follow @boomstudios on Twitter.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

NOTHING CAN STOP THE JUGGERNAUT IN NEW SERIES FROM FABIAN NICIEZA!

First Comics News - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 21:35

New York, NY— February 7, 2020 —Fabian Nicieza will be launching a new Juggernaut series this May with artist Ron Garney! Amidst all the smashing, Juggernaut will be trying to find his new place in the Marvel Universe and the series will explore his outlook towards mutantkind’s new status quo that Jonathan Hickman introduced last year in HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X.

 

“That basically instigates the entire story. Having been X and lost, what does Cain become now? After years of back and forth and madness and sadness, he had become a member in good standing of the X-Men, and then while he’s away dancing in Limbo, mutantkind gets everything they could have ever hoped for… and Cain can’t be a part of that,” Nicieza told IGN. “How he reacts to that rejection becomes the exploration of who he is going to become without the one thing that — for good and bad — has defined him for most of his life.”

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Eggspectations & The Arneson angle - Dave Arneson, & David J. Ritchie's DA2 Temple of the Frog - Old School Lovecraftian Occult Tech Influences - Cha'alt/Godbound Campaign Commentary

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 21:22
"Try to imagine this. A windowless room with just one exit. Inside it are people dressed in some hazmat suit like the ones we see on the crime scenes in some popular TV shows. These people have arranged the room, furniture and all, even some little animals, some pets. Then they go away, closing forever the only exit, so that they are certain nothing and no one will leave the room. All has beenNeedleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Rise Above

The Rational Man - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 19:44

I received this comment on my January 29, 2020 livestream of Rational Male 101:

I think Rollo is talking about an idea that I’ve read about before in Thomas Sowell’s famous book Conflict of Visions. One side of the spectrum says that humans are very animalistic despite their capability of rationalizing otherwise, and human nature must be constrained by laws and social processes (such as constraining hypergamy). The other side of the spectrum says that humans are entirely capable of overcoming their Darwinian natures through intentional decisionmaking and must be unconstrained in order to flourish. Everyone lies somewhere between the two. I assume most men here lean more toward a constrained vision.

Nature vs. Nurture is a constant theme in the Manosphere. Yes, it’s a constant theme throughout most natural sciences, but it’s a paradox that’s going to always pervade intersexual dynamics. And mostly because people’s belief sets are rooted more in one or the other. Personal responsibility versus biological determinism is an issue that defines what our perspectives are on a great many things; not just intersexual dynamics. This isn’t an issue of politics or even worldview. There are plenty of believers in our human capacity to rise above our personal circumstances and evolutionary dictates on both sides of the political spectrum. For every hardline Trad-Con espousing the virtues of the human spirit and freewill superseding our physical conditions there is a left-leaning humanist who’ll conveniently agree that humans aren’t beholden to what some inconvenient science says if it aligns with their belief set.

Most “old order” ideologies today are struggling with relevancy in what I called the age of “new order” thinking or our New Age of Enlightenment. This new order understanding is the result of the unprecedented deluge of information we now have access to in this millennium. Not only is it this new influx of data that’s challenging the old order ideologies, but also the accessibility to it that old order thinkers can no longer keep pace with.

The response to this influx of information requires us to parse it out like never before. In predictable human fashion most people will make a hard turn towards the old order dictates that used to be able to explain harsh truths to us adequately enough for us to move on to other things. Thus, we see the global Village return to an interest in old religions, shamanism, metaphysics and tribal superstitions (and a lot of Chick Crack) today. That’s not to say that some of these old order institutions never had merit. A lot of what new order data presents to us can be confirmed by old order beliefs and wisdom. What we used to take on faith can now be confirmed by new order information. But this is also problematic for old order believers. It’s never a comforting thought to be confronted with what you had thought was sublimely metaphysical actually being something that can, in fact, be quantified. Yes, your religion was correct about some things, but those things are no longer the magical articles of faith they once were.

But We’re Better Than That, Right?

The Nature vs. Nurture debate is really a polite proxy for the war between two perspectives – Determinism vs. Freewill. While questions of consciousness and personal philosophies are outside the scope of this blog, what is in scope is how these perspectives define the way we approach our understanding of innate mating strategies, long term relationships, forming families and raising children.

As I mentioned early, determinism feels wrong to both kinds of believers. When ever I debate the harsh realities of how Hypergamy works, not just for our species, but most of the animal kingdom, I’m invariably met with the question of whether or not Hypergamy is ‘Good or Evil’. There’s always a want to qualify what’s really a natural dynamic. Is a pack of wolves evil for bringing down a caribou to feed the pack in the dead of winter? It all depends on who you’re rooting for I guess.

The ‘sphere’s contemplating these scenarios are nothing new. Considering the moral implications of the uglier aspects of Hypergamy is just one easy example among many other naturalism vs. moralism dilemmas in Red Pill praxeology. Empiricists will explain the dynamic in the hope that knowing about it, and how it works, will lead to better predictive outcomes. Hypergamy works thusly X-Y-Z; now plan accordingly and build a better life upon that predictive model. Believers on the other hand will absorb this data and look for moral equivocation:

They believe that the goal of debate is to establish what is morally better, and what everyone should do. They argue about what is right.

The Believers vs. The Empiricists

On a recent video I did with Rich Cooper and Dr. Shawn Smith one point of debate was whether or not the idea of Hypergamy should be used as a “predictive framework” for understanding intersexual relationships. The topic of our discussion was the merits of Hypergamy in its expanded, robust, definition and whether it’s a reliable metric to compare people’s relationships (married and dating) against. As you might guess a lot of Red Pill awareness centers on Hypergamy; it’s why I continue to stress it even when my detractors lie about my interests. It’s really that important.

But as we we’re debating the ins and outs I posed another question to Dr. Smith, “If Hypergamy is not a reliable predictive framework for understanding intersexual relationships, then what is a better one?”

I wasn’t being facetious, nor was I trying to hit Shawn with a gotcha question; I genuinely wrote this question down in my preparatory notes for the show. If not Hypergamy, in its expanded definition, (that describes women’s innate mating strategy) then what is a good outline by which we might judge women’s (and men’s) motives, incentives and behaviors with respect to their mating strategies.

Do women even have mating strategies defined by their innate, evolved, natures? Or are their sexual, reproductive decisions purely an act of cognitive will, as defined by their socialization? If 100,000 years of human evolution didn’t shape women’s reproductive strategies, then what are we left with that explains the commonalities we see women using (with our new order data gathering) in their mate selection and breeding (or aborting) habits? Is it entirely freewill and personal choice? We’re certainly meant to believe it’s “her body, her choice” and the decisions are an extension of her cognitive will.

Yes, I get that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. The possibility exists that it’s both nature and nurture affecting women and men’s mating strategies – and certainly choice is involved in the outcome of those strategies. I’m more inclined to believe it’s both, or at least we want to believe our conscious decisions are what’s pulling the strings. I’ve been in all the livestream debates when we asked the question, “Do women have agency?” and if not then are we our Sister’s Keeper? The more moralistic a guy is usually the more he’s likely he is to include women’s lives to his list of masculine duties and personal responsibilities.

The underlying assumptions in all these accounts is “Aren’t we better than this?”

As reasonably rational, self-aware creatures, with what we presume is freewill and a liability of personal responsibility for the choices we make when exercising that freewill, then haven’t we evolved above all our base impulse? If not, then shouldn’t we have by now?

Every day I harp on about the fallacy of the Blank Slate that most old order thinkers can’t seem to disabuse themselves, but if we are in fact “above it all” then the fallacy of the Blank Slate, as well as the notion that we might ever be influenced by our evolved natures is all a moot point. If our conscious selves are in fact better than our evolved natures then the variables of evolution are rendered meaningless. All that matters is the self and developing our consciousness to rise above our conditions.

Our conscious minds are capable of overriding our innate natures. We can, sometimes do, kill ourselves by not eating. A fast or a hunger strike is something we can consciously do as an act of will. A sense of righteousness and virtue can get mixed into that conscious and our will supersedes our innate nature (we get hungry and need to eat or we die). It doesn’t change the operative physical state that our bodies need certain things. We often commit suicide as an act of will or the conscious act of our depressive emotional state. Again, will (however it’s defined) overrides our physical conditions, but how much of what we believe is our willpower is uninfluenced by the same physical conditions, environment, upbringing, socialization and personal circumstance that we hope to rise above?

Very soon, perhaps within my own lifetime, we will be able to genetically engineer humans. In 2018 a Chinese scientist broke codes of ethics to create the first gene-edited baby. The science, if not the technology, is already here. The possibility exists that human beings, through sheer force of will, can custom engineer our physical states to conform to what our ideologies would tell us is preferable. If you’ve ever seen the movie Gattaca you’ll understand the implications of this technology. It’s this author’s opinion that we are living in a time when the ideologies we subscribe to today will affect the ethics of what we engineer into the humanity of tomorrow.

Gattaca is science fiction, but the philosophical questions it poses are very real now. From a objective, humanist perspective this raises a lot of interesting questions. Should we engineer-out of humanity “diseases” like Down’s Syndrome? What about sickle cell anemia? If a gay gene is ever discovered (I don’t believe homosexuality is genetic), should we edit it out of humanity to ensure “normal” heterosexual human beings in future generations?

The Chinese scientist who broke the rules of ethics was reprimanded for his experimentation. “When the news broke, peers in China and abroad condemned him for manipulating life’s building blocks using a relatively untested gene-editing tool.” But why? Chinese official declared his experimentation illegal. It’s entirely possible that a new race of superior humans could be engineered to be better ‘adapted’ to live longer, be smarter, more immune to certain diseases, possibly eradicate some disease and make for a stronger human species. Why would it be wrong or unethical to strive for “perfection”?

Have we not elevated our will above our physical limitations? Or are we using our physical conditions as an implement of our will? We’ll find out soon, but our ideological bent and the ideas of what right and wrong is most certainly influenced and defined by the realities of our physical selves.

Rise of the New Order

This was a comment from Jack about the rise of the New Order:

Rollo, the digital age has ruined us. Culture and pop culture today move at an alarming rate, what was hip now won’t be in the next year or month, society has never moved this fast and as a result the new way is merely a day away from being the old way. The demon’s out of the ring now, no turning back, and there’s no real way to deal with the modern age.

If you are not born into greatness, or utilizing the vast knowledge of the net to surpass everyone and stay there, you get nothing. It’s now the same way with women, previously, our worlds were smaller and hypergamy wasn’t as out of control. There were checks and balances, God and church being two of them, shame was a motivator for keeping women in check as they don’t understand loyalty like men. Now, they have infinite access to all top men, with upwards access to all jobs, and no reprecussions for acting in their very best interests and base instincts at all times. This shrinks the dating pool dramatically to only a few desirable mates because they value themselves so highly. So, if you’re not a natural at flirting with women, or learned how to do it through you and the many other “red pill” men out there AND CAN KEEP THAT ON 24/7 WHILE DOING IT BETTER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE, you will get nothing or lose what you have.

It’s almost all risk no reward for modern men unless you’re alpha”, and even then you’re not safe. Women will always want more and better, so if you’re not constantly 100% on at all times, you lose. If Jeff Bezos and Johnny Depp aren’t safe despite their fame and fortune, what does that say for everybody else? It’s exasperating as a modern man, you have to be and do too much to compete on the global market, as a man younger than you I don’t know if you can understand how daunting it is to have to be everything all at once and it STILL not being enough. You can’t even stay established anymore, if you’re not constantly putting out content, you fall to nothing again and have to start from scratch.

Your competition as a red pilled man, are other men armed with this knowledge, and it will get harder as time goes on with more men are forced to adapt this way of thinking or give up entirely. The new system forces you to constantly adapt faster, and better than all of your peers, or die instantly. There is no rest, no reprieve, no time to catch your breath, either you constantly innovate and improve on the new or you simply don’t eat. I cannot understand how this can keep up when this new “enlightened” era leaves the majority of the male sex in the dumpster.

That being said, without men such as you or Dalrock, established constant fonts of content for this, the kind of thing men need to hear, there will be no direction for men in the coming years. Yes, someone might come along eventually to replace you and the groups you represent, the thought even, but the men like you are very much buoys and lighthouses to keep those of us drifting in the digital age’s ocean from sinking. Without that, we’re all absolutely lost. Without guys like you, it’ll be even harder to aggregate that information and even try to compete or establish relevance. So the destruction of Dalrock’s work means setting those of us who wish to live and fight for a better life back several years, which none of us can afford. Many of us have learned partly, or greatly from you and men like you, whether that’s connecting the dots or having the entire mind opened. So wether or not he wants to delete everything, his work must press on for every one of us who wants a chance to survive in this.

While I’m flattered to be considered one of the pioneers of understanding intersexual dynamics from Red Pill perspective, I can entirely relate with the sentiment of perpetual vigilance. “If [insert male celebrity] can’t make it in today’s sexual marketplace with today’s women then what hope does the average guy have?” is a common MGTOW refrain. I understand men’s desire to just throw in the towel and accept one’s sexless fate. We now live in a Global Sexual Marketplace. The old order rules for the localized sexual marketplace that the last 3 generations of men still expect to work for them today are a thing of the past. And this is only one symptom of the rapid expansion of technology and its effect on our cultural narratives.

For all the alarms we’d like to raise about humans’ genetically engineering future generations of humans, the effects of the meta-scale social engineering experiment that is gynocentrism are already here. Men have always formed adaptations to the realities of solving their reproductive problems, but never have a generation of men had to adapt to so rapidly a changing environment. And it’s only going to get more complex as we move forward.

Today’s men have few options available to them in our present state. Most of us will continue to keep pace and attempt to see the signs of ways to best advantage what comes at us in the sexual marketplace, and really life in general, until we can no longer keep up. Evolve or die. Keep pace with the trends and stay sharp enough to look ahead and leverage what you can based on an objective assessment of what human beings really are. Stay sharp until you no longer can. Hopefully, if you’ve wisely conserved and protected your resources during that time you’ll have some security until you die. If not, then you can expect to fall prey to the next generation of vultures who see your nest egg as their source of revenue.

Or you can give up. You can do just what’s necessary to survive in a system that passed you by and console yourself with complaining about how degenerate and unfair it is. And you’ll be right on both counts because that’s where you are. Old order thinking is very comforting, and it will be until there are no more old order thinkers – replaced by a succeeding generation of new order thinkers who themselves will be swept aside by new order thinkers.

More and more we’re going to see a return to the old order religions, metaphysics and tribalism as the generations that cannot keep pace with human advancement seek meaning and consolation. As a result we’ll also see a new virtue signaling and ego-investments in the power of the self, freewill and mindful consciousness. The Trad-Cons of today are already here and the more ‘spiritual-but-not-religious’ social justice adherents apply their own brand of magical thinking, but for the same reasons. The effect is the same – the retreat from competing in a globalizing system that, sooner or later, will outpace us all.

And like all other aspects of this rapid advancement, even this retreating demographic will be coopted and commercialized by savvy ‘players’ who are still keeping pace. Formalizing the retreaters, organizing them, catering to their idiosyncrasies, all will be big business for those who learn to sell consolation (if not hope) to those who think they’ll never keep up.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Google Maps: online interventions with offline ramifications

Malwarebytes - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 19:24

The places where online life directly intersection with that lived offline will be forever fascinating, illustrated perfectly through a recent performance piece involving Google Maps, a cart, and an awful lot of mobile phones.

Simon Weckert, an artist based in Berlin, Germany, showed how a little ingenuity could work magic on the ubiquitous Google Maps system. Turns out Google hadn’t accounted for what happens when 99 phones go for a relaxing walk down the streets of Berlin. The system was fooled into believing the world’s most aggressive traffic jam was taking place. Let’s see how it happened.

How does Google Maps help with traffic?

Back in the day, Google Maps dived into the world of traffic sensors to get a feel for how commutes and directions were impacted by traffic patterns.

In 2009, they made use of crowdsourcing, and phones with GPS enabled sent anonymous data allowing Google to figure out how vehicles were moving and where any traffic jams happened to be. The more people taking part, the greater the accuracy and benefits for all.

Things kept on moving, and in 2020 it’s a combination of sensors, user data, and satellite technology to keep things keeping on. You’d think a trolley of phones would be no match for this elaborate weave of crowdsourced mobile pocket power and additional data sources.

You would think.

Maps versus trolley

Imagine our surprise when one large jumble of phones trundled its way toward disruption heaven, proudly announcing 99 cars were not going anywhere anytime soon. Whatever failsafes Maps had in place, it simply couldn’t figure out shenanigans were afoot.

https://youtu.be/k5eL_al_m7Q

Streets formerly flagged as green (all clear) would suddenly show as red (traffic jam ahoy), with the knock-on effect of rerouting cars to other roads which may well have been free of cars but would now feel the impact of people trying to avoid the trolley hotspot. I think my favourite part of this story was when the trolley rumbled right past the Maps office. Chaos, then, but artistically done. Not the first time though…

Mapping out an artistic tribute

Art being used to make a point about technology, Google, and even Maps itself is not uncommon. Last year, an artist made use of their Google account to upload weird and wonderful pieces of 360 degree digital art using Google Business View. Sure, you could use it to give potential customers an in-depth look at your eatery before venturing inside—or you could generate chaotic mashups and loosen up the clinical aesthetic of vanilla Google Maps instead. The choice, as they say, is yours (unless someone says “no” and removes it all).

What could cause user generated content to be removed from Maps? Funny you should ask.

When does art become vandalism?

Maps may make use of crowdsourcing to great effect, but crowdsourcing alone is one consistent method to ensure chaos in the end. A few years ago, enthusiastic cartographers had the ability to make edits to Maps using the Map Maker tool. If you had a nice tip or a cool landmark you felt warranted closer inspection, you could add it manually to the map. This was one way to help out in regions where mapping hadn’t taken place, because even Google couldn’t be everywhere at once.

Other users would check and verify before edits went live. If you eventually gained enough kudos from the rest and your edits were constant and legitimate, you eventually bypassed the need for others to make sure you weren’t doing anything problematic.

Step forward, someone doing something problematic. 

Slowly but surely, people started to play pranks on the system and post a variety of spam and other nonsense. It’s possible Map Maker may have carried on if the dubious edits had been small, unnoticed, and otherwise unlikely to end up front page news.

On the other hand, this could happen and Map Maker could be thrown from the highest of cliff edges, never to return. Some features of Map Maker have made their way into regular Maps, but sadly this was lights out for the genuinely useful tool. If I could draw a 300-foot “RIP Map Maker” onto the side of a digitised mountain in the Himalayas, I would, but this written tribute of ours will have to suffice.

Getting down to business

Maps locations for businesses have also been exposed to shenanigans over the years, and not all of it confined to Maps exclusively. Whether it’s restaurant owners going out of business because of wrongly-listed opening hours, or Google+ (remember that?) listings directing hotel chain visitors to third-party websites generating commission, the conflict is nonstop and the repercussions can be enormous for those hit hard. If you’re not online much or familiar with the technology involved, then you have almost no chance of setting things straight.

Trouble in other realms

It isn’t just Google Maps beset by these antics. Other major platforms run into similar issues, and if the platform doesn’t provide the mapping tech directly, then the pranksters/malicious actors will simply go after the third-party suppliers instead. Mapbox found themselves facing a terrible edit, which worked its way into Snapchat, the Weather Channel, and others.

For as long as the ability to make use of the wisdom of the crowds (or, in many cases, the lack of wisdom) exists, these disruptions will continue to happen. A surprising amount of services we take for granted can’t really function well without an element of trust granted to the user base, so this isn’t exactly the easiest to police.

Sure, some of the shenanigans are lighthearted and may occasionally be quite funny. Some of these methods for gaming the system could also be profoundly troublesome and cause maximum discomfort with a little bit of effort.

On this occasion, at least, we can be content that the end result is “cool art project makes us think about online/offline interaction” and not “someone’s drawn a rude picture on the side of the Empire State Building.”

We make no guarantees about next time.

The post Google Maps: online interventions with offline ramifications appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Neapolitan Twist Cowl

Moogly - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 16:00

The Neapolitan Twist Cowl features two gorgeous yarns held together for a super warm and luxurious neckwarmer. Soft to the touch but stiff enough to stand up to the coldest winds, it’s a free crochet cowl pattern on Moogly! Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links; materials provided by Yarnspirations and Furls. Neapolitan with a Twist...

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The post Neapolitan Twist Cowl appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

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Categories: Crochet Life

I’m Head of the Class! I’m a Pop by Lar

Looking For Group - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 14:30

Like in 2016, Pokémon came in big and then totally went away, to be replaced by the next popular cool thing. In the case of February 2020, that new cool thing is avatar art in the style of Funk Pops! […]

The post I’m Head of the Class! I’m a Pop by Lar appeared first on Looking For Group.

Categories: Web Comics

Gretel & Hansel

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 12:00
Oz Perkins' Gretel & Hansel is based on the fairy tale, but is a different story in many ways. This blogpost will contain some mild spoilers for the film.


Like most fairy tales, Gretel & Hansel takes place in a vague time period that is not the present or recent past. Also like many fairy tales, the place is vague, though it definitely has a old world feel about it. The film has none of the lush atmosphere often present in fairy tales, however. This isn't Sleepy Hollow or even Company of Wolves. Instead, it has the post-apocalyptic spareness of The Road (though it reminds me more of McCarthy's as yet unfilmed The Outer Dark). It's woods are gray rather than verdant. It's habitations are rundown and depopulated. The only place that looks really lived in is the house of the witch, and well, she's a cannibal.

Gretel and her little brother stumble through this wasteland, accidentally take psychedelic mushrooms, and are eventually bedeviled by a witch or witches--a child, a mother, a crone. Where this version differs from the traditional tale (well, besides all the stuff described above) is that this is Gretel's tale, or the tale of how the Gretel & Hansel duo split. The Witch sees something of herself in Gretel and is looking for an ally. There is no gingerbread house. No trail of breadcrumbs to lead our heroine back home.

Like Perkins' previous horror films it is a bit of a slow burn, so it may seem sluggish if you are looking for more jump-scares. Fans of The VVitch should find a lot to like.

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 11:00

www.knittedbliss.com

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week How to ask a busy person for advice- and actually get an answer. Ever wonder what happens to your checked luggage at the airport? If you have trouble trying to stop a negative thinking spiral, these are great techniques for thought-stopping. An interesting topic for discussion- Penguin Random

The post Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Mechanisms of the Gods & Appendix N - Old School Lovecraftian Occult Tech Influences - Cha'alt/Godbound Campaign Commentary

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 07:24
The  Mighty Servant of Leuk-O which first appeared in OD&D Eldritch Wizardry doesn't have any of the back story that appears in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second edition book The Book of Artifacts. I've been doing a ton of thinking & dealing with several folks today who wanted details on my  Cha'alt/Godbound campaign specifically on what's happening in Las Vegas. Why has the warp Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

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