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Result in thread: World Maps
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20th Nov 2017, 8:21 PM #1
Dodom
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This thread reminded me that had a 3-D model of my planet to finish, I did that today, here's a view from space:

Youtube link
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Result in thread: The Backfire Effect
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19th Nov 2017, 5:19 PM #2
Dodom
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Not to intrude in the immediate exchange, but I have some thoughts on the general subject:

1) People can be tricked by their own mind into disbelieving new information because in most case, the same process allows to detect lies and errors. What we can do to avoid dismissing good information too often (I don't think 100% accuracy is possible) is remember how solidly we know the things we think we know.
I'll be more critical about a weird biology fact than a weird history fact, because I put more weight in my previous biology knowledge, but then I'll be less forward about sharing or drawing conclusions from the history fact, because it doesn't connect as solidly to my general understanding and I could be reading it wrong.
And yes, I can think of cases where I'd disbelieve a direct observation. Like, if someone said gravity is a hoax, and released a rock only for it to hover in the air, I'd wonder what the trick is long before considering that gravity could be a hoax.

2) Format matters. I have a conspiracy theorist coworker who loves to "challenge" others' beliefs, mostly by yelling, accusing them of being weak/cowardly/sheeple, asking questions then laughing and shaking her head two words into the answer, and handing out URLs of seven hours long videos that prove the NWO conspiracy behind it all. Well, if I listened to her all the time, she could eventually teach me a couple of things I don't know, but no human attention span can take the whole thing in and sift for the few nuggets of reliable information, I'll want sources that get to the point. And that don't yell at me while we're at it.

2a) That ties in with credibility too. If that same coworker told me of some mind blowing new fact that happened to be entirely true, I would not take it as seriously as if someone else said it. Same applies to online sources, even the ones who try. Think of your average blog: it's not all lies, in fact often the author tries to be reliable, but they don't have the resources and time to guarantee it. So you can use them to point you to interesting information, but you'll only actually believe them if what they say is consistent with what you already know, otherwise, you'll want a more solid source.

3) People only research topics as far as they're interested in them. If you told me a bunch of juicy gossips about pop stars' fashion sense, it'll be your job to show me why any of them matters. Otherwise I won't believe, disbelieve, or remember them. I don't think I'm defective for not caring about everything.

4) School, popular culture and media love to say "listen to all point of views and then make up your mind" but I consider that grossly insufficient. If I listened to all points of view on the best way to test for a copper alloy's quality, all I'd have to make up my mind is which party is more eloquent, because I don't have enough competence in the matter to weight the relevance of their arguments. If I truly needed to form an opinion on it, I'd be in much greater need of a basic understanding of the matter, of basic textbooks and vulgarisation articles, than of taking sides between experts' approach.
Which does suck, because there are issues that are hard work to grasp, but affect people in everyday life and is fodder for politicians, so there is pressure to take position whether you understand it or not, and in that context, it's easy to be tricked into taking someone else's position without really knowing why.
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Result in thread: World Maps
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18th Nov 2017, 3:03 PM #3
Dodom
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Oooh I have one!

Heart of Stone's planet - still haven't made up my mind on a name:
[spoiler]
Image: http://membre.oricom.ca/dominiquet/temp/Pierre.png
[/spoiler]
The latitudes are weird because I drew the land mass before giving any thought about the projection, and the habitable zone (in green) is around the south pole, slightly off-center because winds.
The area in yellow is one where humans can survive, but colonies couldn't become self-sufficient, people can stay for mining as long as food and essentials are shipped in. The outer yellow area is under too much extreme weather and heat, while the inner one is desertic. The un-highlighted area is a hot, stormy hell. The equator is hot enough that when the sky clears, sunlight is enough to bring the lakes to a boil. Only research robots ever go there.
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12th Nov 2017, 6:52 AM #4
Dodom
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Bolderousness:
Historical accuracy is great. Let's not confuse ourselves here. I think the lapse in communication is I'm looking at this argument at a censure of a Thanksgiving holiday in the context of a thread made to call Thanksgiving "Racist Turkey Day," and I think Dodom is looking at a progressive bigger picture sort of thing that's unbiased toward holidays.


I don't know if you just happened to skip the part of my posts where I addressed this (twice) but here goes nothing: no, I do not think a holiday is the time to discuss history in depth. I think the best thing to do is remove the idealised reference to colonialism from the setting, it's not necessary for enjoying the food, gathering, religion... The truth takes more time and focus than fits in one (busy) evening, it would probably not serve it well to attempt. Just don't fit a convenient lie in its place, that's all.
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11th Nov 2017, 3:19 PM #5
Dodom
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I've just been reminded of a thing:
If I know the author to be an edgelord, a troll or generally a dummy. Even if they don't express it in the comic, whenever they get close to a sensitive topic part of my mind will go "*groan* here it comes" and break the immersion.
Webcomics are a medium where the product is close to the creator. It's easier to look past what Lovecraft wrote in The Conservative than what Thunt wrote on Twitter.
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11th Nov 2017, 2:51 PM #6
Dodom
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It was never meant to be an analogy of history, it is an analogy of a single issue. A simple, unambiguous issue: that rewriting the past to think of yourself (or, in this case, of a group you're arbitrarily associated with) as having been nicer than you really were is insulting to the people you were not so nice with. Whether they've been angelic perfect victims or kicked back at some point doesn't matter, this isn't about what happened, this is about how what happened is being retold for your comfort rather than for truth.

The imaginary action used as an example was deliberately disconnected from the current case so there wouldn't be political or emotional baggage attached to it. I wrote the "bad guy" part in the first person so you wouldn't feel accused. I can't toe around your feelings more delicately than that. I can't simplify it further. This is the most basic, nonthreatening level I can get. If you need it further dumbed down, it'll have to be from someone else.
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11th Nov 2017, 9:16 AM #7
Dodom
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MissElaney:Dodom, I gotta say I take issue with how oversimplified your summary is because it takes away everybody's agencyy.

It's more like:

[cut for length]


I disagree. My analogy aims to summarise the following:
An interaction happened, some good was involved but the bad greatly outweighted it, and wanting to rewrite it to make the good part define it is insulting to the victim. Overly complicating it would not improve it.

I don't see why it's so terrible to aknowledge historical revisionism. Thanksgiving isn't even the worst part of it, it just happens to be the part this thread is about. Elementary school tells us a clean, guilt-free version of history, a pretty picture where settlers and Natives both gained from each others and the bad things were either misunderstanding, or both sides' fault except ours. The classical American thanksgiving lore merely reflects that narrative, it wasn't invented just for it, which is why my opinion is that people who enjoy a familial feast holiday can do that without endorsing the baggage behind it.
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10th Nov 2017, 6:04 PM #8
Dodom
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What it's putting in a positive light isn't the Natives, but an idealised version of Natives' relations with settlers. Colonisation did not happen in a happy, mutually beneficial way, and it's not paying anyone justice to pretend it did. You can have your turkey without the historical revisionism, just like atheists can still have Christmas.


Maybe I could try a lighter comparison for people who don't see how revisionism is racist?

Ok, so we both meet at Dunkin's. We introduce each others and decide we're chill. After ten minutes, I start kicking you in the crotch. Then I sort of settle down, and after a while we get on speaking terms again. Then I start telling everyone how well we got along at Dunkin's and act hurt if anybody points out that it was only true the first ten minutes. Would you think that's being nice to you? Denying your actual experience for what I'd prefer to think of myself is not respecting you, you'd be right to feel insulted.
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9th Nov 2017, 6:35 PM #9
Dodom
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Ah come on people, that's just bad faith arguing.
Thanksgiving has massive pro-colonial overtones, and while it doesn't go saying "genocide is great", it does say "what genocide? No genocide here!" and that's totally not cool. The Canadian version is more separated from the American historical origin and is more religion oriented, but the romanticisation and whitewashing of colonialism has still made their way into the traditions.

Image: http://blog.23snaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Activity-Village-Colouring-Page.jpg


You can celebrate it while ditching the historical revisionism angle, but it doesn't mean it's not part of the general tradition.
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9th Nov 2017, 6:04 PM #10
Dodom
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It's not unique, a lot of people use family reunions as a captive audience to act their worst while nobody wants to be the one who ruins the party. People have to put up with them if they want to save face in front of the whole family, and somehow acting like a complete ass is not as bad as someone telling them that they're being an ass.
I had a creepy uncle* who fondled avery available little girl on every family reunion, but he was drunk and calling someone a pedo would ruin the dinner, so nobody said a thing. The only times I remember people getting mad was when I put out his cigarette because when he held me on his lap it freaked me out how close to my face he was waving it and I put it out not to get burned, and one time he very insistently "joked" that a nursing mother let him "give [the baby] cream for dessert" and she didn't let him hold the baby. His gross pedo things only ruined dinner for a couple of kids, while drawing attention to his gross pedo things ruined it for everyone.
So yeah, some people are at their worst for holidays, because they know people will stick around no matter how vile they get, and anyone objecting will be the bad guy.



*: He eventually got caught because he was a firefighter and during one call in winter, a girl had exited the house insufficiently dressed, and he offered to let her wait in the truck in exchange for a hand job.
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"Healthcare PSA - please don't do that.", 9th Nov 2017, 4:48 PM #11
Dodom
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Please don't do that.

Someone has their citizenship and has access to health care, which is fine. But their relative doesn't and they're sick! Oh no!
I completely understand why you would do this. You want them to get better, even if they can't pay for private health care. All it says about you is that you have a heart. Seriously, it's against the law but we can't be mad:
Your sister looks enough like you that she can get in on your ID, she gets the medicine she needs, who can tell?
Well, if your sister had some infection and only needed antibiotics, nobody will know. Anyone can get an infection, and if your next medical doesn't show a trace of it, well it's expected, infections are supposed to go away!
But some times your sister gets blood tests done. The test results go in your file. Again, some tests will just reflect her immediate health status and it's normal that they change after one got better. But you know, not blood type. You get caught when her blood type is recorded as yours - unless you're lucky and it's the same. And you know, blood type errors can kill you.
Look, we double-check before giving transfusions, that's why you'll get caught instead of killed. But that double-check exists to exclude lab errors or the nurse misidentifying the blood tube (happens way too often!). You lose that fail-safe if you let someone else's results end up on your file. It's dangerous.

Please don't do that.
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7th Nov 2017, 4:08 PM #12
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In stories I read, my limit isn't in number of pairings but in how prominent they are. They can be a healthy part of a character's development, but sometimes they take way more space than needed. I'm not interested in ten pages conversations where it's all cooing over one another and not actually learning anything about them, the setting, or anything. Maybe you felt very emotional drafting this conversation, but to the reader, it just throws the pacing into the toilet.

In stories I write, there'll only be significant intrusions of romance if I have somewhere interesting to take that subplot. If I had finished Fairy Dust, Weg and Ellen would have gone places (dark, awful places) but the other pairings might have gone unnoticed because their relationships were not related to their connexion with the plot, they're just in the background.
In my next story, I'm not planning any romance at all. Of all the main cast, none has a personality that's very compatible with romance, it'd take pretty contrived plots for it to happen, so for that story, one romance would be too many.
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5th Nov 2017, 7:22 PM #13
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I'll repeat what I said a long time ago: when character growth is sudden, permanent and gratuitous.

The example I gave before is a prince who must save his kingdom from an evil dragon, but he happens to be terrified of dragons.
It happens all too often that the prince goes out seek out the dragon, is paralysed with fright, but once the dragon threatens him/a generic damsel in distress enough, he has the motivation to not be scared of dragons and fights efficiently and not only permanently lost his fear of dragons, but will also never be slowed by fear ever again.
While it would be so much more interesting to make his fear a serious obstacle that he has to take into account in his strategy. Should he find a way to get rid of the dragon without fighting it? Can he fight it from a distance? Can he work on his self-control so he can trust himself to fight on even if on the inside he's shitting himself? If getting rid of his fear is necessary, can we see him work on it, instead of it just happening when he needs it badly enough?



And while we're at bad character growth, can we talk about pop-psychology a little?
I've had it up to there with people who think they can bully people and call it "exposure therapy" or whatever, because in the movies there's no form of cruelty that doesn't heal or strenghten the victim.
Or PTSD giving people supernatural combat reflexes. If someone is violent, PTSD will make them more likely to lash out, but they won't be in an emotional state that makes them super effective, more like panicking.
Or people having an epiphany and turning their life around without any fumbling or struggling with old habits or needing new life skills they just haven't learned before or wanting to keep their social circle even though they'll be pulling them back to their previous lifestyle. No, the only thing holding them back was not wanting to change hard enough, and a person or event comes along and convinces them and boom, new person!
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3rd Nov 2017, 3:24 PM #14
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Another factor is that competing products can have wildly different quality while looking the same. Suitcases and other bags pretty much always look sturdy, yet half of them will disintegrate with little use. Higher price doesn't guarantee it'll last.
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31st Oct 2017, 4:14 PM #15
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There are times where unrelatable/nonsensical villains work.

Dolores Umbrage was already mentioned: we don't need to know how she ended up becoming that way, because we all encountered abusers of the sort in real life, it doesn't take explaining to believe in them.

Some excellent weird villains were the ones in Kim Possible. They had nicely built personalities (in a goofy sort of way) but their motives weren't often clear. Dr Drakken seemed like a boy in a man's body playing villain, and acts more on whims than on his stated world domination goals. Jr Jr Sr and Jr Jr Jr were just irresponsible rich people with an energy inefficient pleasure island, but after Kim tells them they were mistaken for villains because their lifestyle consumed as much electricity as a doomsday weapon, they just realise "Hey, we totally can afford to carry out evil plans!" and go on because they can.

I'm also fond of Grossology's surreal villains. Grossology did not get nearly as popular as it deserved, it was edutainment done right! The villains are closer to embodiment of natural phenomena than people. Insectiva felt bad for how little care is given to insects (fair) so she wants to subjugate humanity and make insects rule the Earth (what?). A few do make sense as persons, but for the bigger part, the show is about explaining the science behind bugs, farts and slime, and the villains are sort of a human form for them so they can be talked to.


Now back to characters that do make sense, one thing that makes me like a villain is if their background is original. It's ok that some are disturbed and broken, real life villains often are, but it's overdone. Sometimes, well adjusted people choose to hurt others with no delusion at play. Most of Spiderman's villains are crazy/broken/not in control, but King Pin is a rational man who loves wealth and power and calculated that what he was willing to sacrifice for it included other people. He'd be uninteresting on his own, but among Spiderman's neurotic foes, he stands out.

Edit: One sentence was confusing, I rephrased it.
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24th Oct 2017, 2:35 PM #16
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If you still want that scrambled together feel, since the setting allows for teleportation, it can have other futuristic elements, so there could be online vendors selling DIY spacesuit kits, and Youtube videos showing more or less reliable cheaper alternatives.



@ Chippewa: This book looks neat, I might just get it!
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16th Oct 2017, 3:09 PM #17
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Authors who preemptively deflect criticism always convince me that they don't really care about producing quality work. "I know I'll get hate from the PC crowd" and variants thereof mean "I didn't want to put thought into my message or delivery, but it's not me, it's you."
It's not just about messages. Pretending that readers who point out bad anatomy don't understand cartoonish styles to get out of admitting one's art needs work applies too. Any demand that the reader lower their standard to fake the comic being good.
Now I'm okay with asking for readers to overlook given weaknesses, like "I know the dialogue sounds awkward but this is the best I could phrase it," amateurs and beginners deserve a little indulgence, it's not trying to shame readers into pretending it's good.

Another thing, one that is milder but will still stop me from reading a comic is if it starts too strong. Like the first chapter has a dozen important characters interacting at once. I don't know them yet, I don't want to need to study the dialogue to sort out who said what. You can lead on an action scene if that's the first impression you want, but please keep it simple.

Also if the art style makes it hard to tell characters apart. I'm ok with b&w, but one of its downsides is that it compounds sameface syndrome. I experienced it myself, characters who look different in one's head can end up pretty damn similar once turned into lineart (I was lucky this didn't happen on my main characters, it could have been any of them since I hadn't foreseen it). It's worst if the cast has multiple "pretty girl" characters. We tend to default to a conventional "pretty" face and the slight variations an artist adds can be too small to tell from the lineart's expected imprecision. It sucks because I know the artist didn't want that to happen, but it can make the comic hard to follow.
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13th Oct 2017, 1:21 PM #18
Dodom
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Cooke:This is not a bad thing by the way. Sometimes that's how the work is intended.


I'd expect if a work is meant to mislead, the author isn't going to complain that it did.
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11th Oct 2017, 5:27 PM #19
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Most of this thread seems to be pretending that author mouthpiece characters aren't common, or that it's up to the reader to guess what the author meant when the writing is bad.

Characters who are depicted as being wrong can be made as obvious as one likes. Disney's Gaston isn't controversial, and in the context of a movie for children, I'd even say he's excellent: Look, a bad guy can be popular, charismatic and get half of town to agree with any nonsense he says! Keep an eye out for guys like that kids, they'll try to manipulate you too!
On a spectrum of "showing the villain's thought process without endorsing it" and "totally an author avatar", it's on the first extreme.

It's harder to find an example that stands out for the other extreme because frankly, author avatars/bad writing are common.
But just to have one, Stan and Kyle from South Park are usualy the mouthpiece for the show's official "common sense" point of view, where caring for anything will automatically lead to grotesque extremes and the world would be so much better if people all agreed to be apathetic. Outside scenes where they just react to the plot or display some naiveté to characterise them as kids, you can generally count on them to speak for the authors.

So come on, every variant of that spectrum exists in the wild, and demanding that the reader always guess where you stand is lazy. For readers to accept that your character's views are their own, you have to at least allow suspension of disbelief to happen, and going "how dare they not read it like I meant it!?" doesn't make me optimistic about it.
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5th Oct 2017, 2:07 PM #20
Dodom
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I only have two gems. The amber was given by a friend so it'd be rude to regift it, and the sodalite is currently being used by my pet. She may never let it go.

I'm afraid I'm not in a gem giving position. :(
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