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I realise I missed this one, somehow :D

 

Subject #14 - Legal drinking age

 

Well, first of all - the Americans have got it wrong. What a surprise - that coming from me! Hehe. :D

 

If you don't know what alcohol is and how to handle it responsibly by 18 - to start at 21 is already too late. If you do follow the letter of the law and stay teetotaler until that age and then suddenly you're free - you are more likely to go and misuse it and ruin your life.

 

Of course - that is an example of a law which is universally ignored and broken, so most people in America have experience with alcohol at earlier ages.

 

In Russia, there was a brief period when the USSR Government decided to mimic the US and raised the limit to 21. It never stopped me from getting my hands on a drink. Only added those "lawbreaking" thrills to the whole experience. If anything - money (student's budget) and the availability of the boose were the limiting factors for me - not age restrictions.

 

By far more important than arbitrary age limits is education and culture.

 

There are two distinct cultures of alcohol consumption and they exist in every country, regardless of limits.

 

One - drink to get drunk. I despise it. It is plebeian in the most derisive of meanings. This "culture" is what fuels the consumption of alcopops and cheap boose. It is what "pub crawls" are made of and what brings all the puking mind-fucked teenagers onto the cities streets in the small hours of the night. Ibiza, Benidorm are synonymous with that.

 

The other is when people drink for the pleasure of taste at least as much as for the pleasure of intoxication. This is the one I subscribe to. I am lucky to be born and raised in a family belonging to that culture. I was given very small amounts of wine and beer since I was young, so there was no mystery for me in it. When I reached my teens - and had a few adventures, I was never admonished for the fact of drinking but only if I didn't manage my limits properly. And I was exposed to wide variety of drinks - wine and beer and liquors and spirits. Always with food - learning which drink goes with which food...

 

That is not to say that even if one drinks for the emjoyment of it and not to get plastered there will never be a problem... I had my share of excesses - especially as it takes time to learn one's limits and even thereafter, it's possible to sometimes forget yourself and drink too much... And whether or not you become an addict, an alcoholic - is also largely determined by your genetics.

 

But comparing these two cultures and looking back at my own life experience I'd say - the one No.2 has way more benefits to it than drawbacks. And I'll drink to that! :D

 

And for those who never had a drink but want to try it - my word of advice: don't start with alcopops (RTDs for our Australians here?), cocktails or similar stuff where the taste is designed to hide and mask the nature of it. That is a sure way of getting the wrong end of the stick with alcohol.

 

Start with wine, try all - white, red, rose - and remember not to drink it like soda - just one small sip at a time and only do it with a suitable food on hand. I could give a myriad more tips and suggestions but I think I'd need a separate thread for that :lol:

 

Regards

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I must be the only one in my class who started drinking at 18. Everyone else started the party at least a year early. I don't want to experience being shitfaced drunk. I can't bear to think of the awkward things i'd say once alcohol starts telling my brain what to say. Like you said, a small sip of wine is a good place to start. Learned that the hard way after drinking clear gin mixed with lime, thinking it's Mountain Dew. Thought my mouth was on fire because of that. If you wanna start on cocktails, start with a screwdriver, but with less vodka. In both cases, take it in small sips.

Welp, now what?

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I barely drink, at all. It actually has far less to do with any kind of hoighty-toighty moral high ground that might cite and more to do with the fact I'm a complete lightweight when it comes to alcohol. I was never that receptive to peer pressure as a teenager, and now I'm in my mid-twenties going on thirty I'm honestly quite comfortable not drinking. Last month during New Year's eve I drank two cans of Strawberry & Lime Kopparberg and even that made me feel unwell. I've been drunk (or some state closely approximating it) twice in my entire life, neither experience is anything I'd like to repeat. I just angry and ill. Plus with my barely reigned-in and generally foul disposition towards most people, I cant imagine drink is going to help me make friends... :P

 

I guess I have a somewhat contemptuous attitude towards binge drinkers. I'm all for defending individuals liberties and lifestyle choices with the understanding they aren't ruining anyone else day, but I find to hard to defend the conduct of people who purposefully go out to get shit faced by drinking to excess. Let me make it clear I'm not against people with a serious love and appreciation for alcohol, there are plenty of communities around ale, cider, wine, etc that have a serious passion for their product and still manage to behave like respectable human beings.

 

I'm not really sure if an age limit of any kind will really help a cultural habit that is endemic. Even if we except that young people (between fifteen to twenty-one, say) are generally more likely to overdo drinking and behave less responsibly whilst doing so, the underlying bingeing culture in England isn't going anywhere.

When close friends speak ill of close friends

they pass their abuse from ear to ear

in dying whispers -

even now, when prayers are no longer prayed.

What sounds like violent coughing

turns out to be laughter.

Shuntarō Tanikawa

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I'd like to ask people's opinions on something...

 

Subject #20 - US Government Budget Estimates.

 

How many of us have heard news quotes about "House Committee on the Budget has released new numbers" concerning the US budget? (that should at least be everyone living in the USA) I'm wondering if you've seen this estimate: http://www.usdebtclock.org/cbo-omb-gop-budget-estimates.html

 

What's your take on the GOP skewing the numbers so drastically in their estimates? (and which estimate do you think is more accurate?)

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Problem with that subject is that nobody knows SHIT. XD And it's very limited to people who care about the US. :D Which doesn't include me, sorry. :P And since it's been almost a month and I've been a slacker, about time I post something.

Anyone can still reply to ^that if they want to. That's how this thread works. X3

 

Subject #21 - Supporting IT education:

Okay, so... apparently here in Australia, we're trying to find ways to get our kids and teenagers to be more interested in IT... mainly Computer Science and programming. I was a little confused by this, seeing as... we're in the technological age where we already have countless of students addicted to technology. Do we REALLY need to enforce people to start learning about programming? I thought we'd have PLENTY of people wanting to learn about that stuff! - Seeing as we're surrounded by the results of programming every single day of our lives.

But yeah, according to a bunch of teachers, there's been talk about involving programming-related activities even in Primary school, all the way down to Grade 1. How they're going to teach programming to 1st graders, I don't know. XD Good luck I guess.

But, do you think it's necessary to be making Computer Science a compulsory subject? Or do you think we should leave it as a subject to study that is for people's own interests?

"Ross, this is nothing. WHAT YOU NEED to be playing is S***flinger 5000." - Ross Scott talking about himself.

-------

PM me if you have any questions or concerns! :D

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Subject#21

That doesn't necessarily mean that most phone users have any interest in programming. That's like saying every book reader has an interest in processed paper and would like to go work at a paper mill. There's a huge gap between people who use phones and people who write code.

I'm not saying I started the fire. But I most certain poured gasoline on it.

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Well, I meant more as in when it comes to computers rather than phones. X3 Most people who are addicted to phones don't give two shits about how it's made. XD But I see so many of my friends and people who play video games and regularly uses the computer, wanting to learn more about it. Programming websites, trying to find ways to create their own game, attempting to make software to make their own lives a little easier. And thing is, it's so easy to learn how to program online anyway, what's a compulsory class going to do? If people aren't interested in it, a class based on the subject won't suddenly make people change their mind about their future career. :P A 16 year old girl who plays netball and loves to cook, most likely won't be bothered with working on computers and other electronics.

That's just what I think anyway...

"Ross, this is nothing. WHAT YOU NEED to be playing is S***flinger 5000." - Ross Scott talking about himself.

-------

PM me if you have any questions or concerns! :D

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Well, I meant more as in when it comes to computers rather than phones. X3 Most people who are addicted to phones don't give two shits about how it's made. XD But I see so many of my friends and people who play video games and regularly uses the computer, wanting to learn more about it. Programming websites, trying to find ways to create their own game, attempting to make software to make their own lives a little easier. And thing is, it's so easy to learn how to program online anyway, what's a compulsory class going to do? If people aren't interested in it, a class based on the subject won't suddenly make people change their mind about their future career. :P A 16 year old girl who plays netball and loves to cook, most likely won't be bothered with working on computers and other electronics.

That's just what I think anyway...

I agree, though now I am genuinely curious as to how programming would be taught to first graders. :P

I'm not saying I started the fire. But I most certain poured gasoline on it.

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Yeah... Teaching programing to 1st graders doesn't work too well, unless they also are teaching advanced math at the same time.

 

Really, they should be combining math and programming into one class, as nobody really uses math professionally outside of programming anymore.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Yeah... Teaching programing to 1st graders doesn't work too well, unless they also are teaching advanced math at the same time.

 

Really, they should be combining math and programming into one class, as nobody really uses math professionally outside of programming anymore.

My engineering degree disagrees with you.

I mean, granted, we generally use programming to handle the computational half of it, but you still need to know the underlying theory to be useful in the more research-oriented fields. That being said, having programming along with it can be useful for allowing students to test math concepts out themselves, although they will be somewhat limited to more discrete mathematics.

 

Subject#21

That doesn't necessarily mean that most phone users have any interest in programming. That's like saying every book reader has an interest in processed paper and would like to go work at a paper mill. There's a huge gap between people who use phones and people who write code.

 

I think a better analogy would be regarding car drivers and people who know how to fix a car.

Because knowing how paper is made can't really affect how you read, but knowing how a car works can be incredibly important for when you're driving and your car breaks.

And either way, it does imply that there is a greater need for programming knowledge.

 

I agree, though now I am genuinely curious as to how programming would be taught to first graders. :P

I'd imagine that the best method would be through highly visual game-based systems to help build the foundational understanding, rather than just throwing them straight into scripting.

That being said, I've heard of young kids actually taking to programming surprisingly well.

Heck, one of my coworkers has a kid that programs enough to be able to compare and contrast the feature sets of MATLAB and Python. But of course, that's not entirely typical. However, the question then is if that is due to innate intelligence vs. good teaching programs, but it at least indicates that it's possible.

I HAVE to blow everything up! It's the only way to prove I'm not CRAZY!

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We have the same thing here in the UK...

 

The way I see it - there is a growing and belated realisation in the Western world that we are losing competitiveness in IT, as well as increasing vulnerability of our computer systems to places like India, Russia, China, Africa FFS...

 

This is because a) programming is a subject that is increasingly easier to self-teach and so is accessible to people with very low incomes and very little capital, b) the Western users are getting increasingly dumb and spoiled in their using of the technology.

 

Thanks to Apple and the like, the workings of the machines are hidden more and more and the users are discouraged from controlling and understanding the functioning of the things they use.

 

Also, the software developers are now all going for the low hanging fruit of selling unready, unfinished software by calling it "SaaS Model" and, basically, ship out undertested code with the view of "updating" it later and, perhaps, charge the customer all over again for that. And the "walled gardens" further discourage the manufacturers from improving their code by stopping the users from trying competing software products.

 

The problem is clearly there, but the governments are trying to solve it in the usual incompetent governmental manner. By throwing things against the wall and hoping that something will stick...

 

I doublt this will work.

 

I don't think just putting every kid through the motions of slapping some high level canned script together will encourage many of them to look deeper into this thing. Usually, if you want to get more kids and young people interested in something - you need to show them a desirable future that they can achieve doing what you want them to do. I don't see much of that going on.

 

Regards

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I'd imagine that if it were to be taught to first graders, it'd be very subtle. If you remember, in Primary, you'd have physical representations of objects to use for the numbers, and move them around to subtract and add. It's highly unlikely they'd throw a first grader straight to the computer. I don't think a lot of parents would be happy with that.

"Ross, this is nothing. WHAT YOU NEED to be playing is S***flinger 5000." - Ross Scott talking about himself.

-------

PM me if you have any questions or concerns! :D

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Subject #22 - Audience towards Diversity

(This one's gonna be reeaal touchy. So if you're sensitive, get out. XD)

 

I'm mainly picking this subject because I'm kinda wanting to ask a question and get an answer for it, rather than know people's opinions for the fun of it. The question is, what would YOU do if you were creating something for a large audience... would you...

1. Feature all sorts of diversity, in colour, and sex, at the risk of pissing off the racists and homophobes.

Or 2. Keep diversity minimal as possible, at a risk of pissing off the people who go; "Why isn't there a black person in here, you rascist!!"

 

In the economy, nobody gives a shit if you're a lesbian, black or even a psychopath. XD If you buy their shit, they'll be happy. Film directors ain't gonna look at their movie view stats and be like; "Oh, 3,000 homophobes watched this, 50,000 white people watched this." No, it doesn't work like that. XD But, if you were in that sort of industry, creating content for readers/watchers/listeners... what would you do?

I'm asking this for my own benefit, really. :P Since I'm creating my comic thing, I'm wondering if I should go into the territory of creating I dunno, a lesbian couple or something. And really, at this moment in time, I'm just doing things for the views - not the diversity (YET!). But I don't know what's going to draw people in or turn them away more. More diversity? Or less? Or do you think it's even and I shouldn't give a shit about it? XD As far as my audience goes, I just want as many people as possible to like it. Once I have some solid steady digits, then I'll think about adding diversity. But that's just a plan. I dunno what'll be better for me when it comes to getting a wider audience. I mean, as far as I can tell, I don't have the statistics of how many racists there are, and how many "why isn't there this" people there are. But maybe ya'll know what I should do. :3

 

Feel free to expand on this topic too. This could go in heaps of directions. But I don't want any judgmental harsh shit! Not even against the racists or homophobes! We're civil dammit!

 

EDIT: Sorry if I offended anybody. :S I tend to do that.

"Ross, this is nothing. WHAT YOU NEED to be playing is S***flinger 5000." - Ross Scott talking about himself.

-------

PM me if you have any questions or concerns! :D

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I could make a long, rambling post here, but not at this time of night. :P

 

In brief, I think if you're aiming for diversity, do it in a way that doesn't give the message "Gosh, just look at all this diversity!" It's a bit like how a lot of chivalry now tends to be deemed chauvinistic (special treatment and such). Essentially, the fact they're not a white heterosexual male shouldn't be a significant part of the comic, unless you're using it as a core concept of the story, and the messages you want it to convey. One example is SMBC - there's a lot of different skin tones, as well as gay couples, but they're secondary to the joke he's making.

 

So, if the diversity is a background detail, it likely won't come across as contrived or obnoxious, which is definitely a good thing. Of course, prejudiced readers will see it and object, but members of the diversity will see it as a sign of acceptance. And the rest probably won't care as long as the story is good :P

I USED TO DREAM ABOUT NUCLEAR WAR

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I honestly couldn't give a good suggestion for you... I have no sense of 'racism'. I've known too many different people from too many different cultures, and befriended them, to have any racist tendencies.

 

The only thing I can say is, don't make it into 'diversity for diversity's sake'. Too many are doing so, and it ruins everything it touches.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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...don't make it into 'diversity for diversity's sake'. Too many are doing so, and it ruins everything it touches.

 

I agree completely. It's usually very obvious when some minority it brought in just for political correctness. And it really makes me cringe when I detect it.

 

So, for example - if you are depicting a strange fictional world - why would there be races like ours? I mean, there may well be different races but why would they be exactly like ours - white, black, asian?

 

Or sex minorities... These would easily be plausible but sex minorities take only a small fraction of any population - will always do. So, male gay couples - unless there is a plot point specifically requiring them - just suddenly appearing without a justification will feel contrived.

 

Lesbian... well, anecdotally, a much greater proportion of females are bisexual, so it should be easier to insert them into the play. It will also attract quite a bit of male audience too... :D

 

But if you do put any sex minorities there - please don't make it look as if it's all tolerance and equality and everyone lives happily ever after in a harmonious multicultural society. That is the most unreallistic thing that usually happens with the idea of diversity for the sake of it.

 

Regards

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So if I were to create a scene perhaps where some lesbian couple gets dissed by a bunch of people, that's not going to make my viewers all butthurt will it? :P Like, what if the lesbians are absolute bitches? XD But I'd probably be too scared to portray them as that and hated by the public because that can be seen as something else, and I don't want Tumblr on my ass. >.>

"Ross, this is nothing. WHAT YOU NEED to be playing is S***flinger 5000." - Ross Scott talking about himself.

-------

PM me if you have any questions or concerns! :D

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There can be a lot of interesting interplay in it all...

 

So, if the lesbians are getting picked on by the public - what of their dragons? Do they get along with other dragons? Are the dragons lesbian too?

 

I wouldn't make them to bitchy, though. Show them as underdogs - and there will be plenty of sympathy among the audience. But if they are not likable - it will just create a fight between LGBT and homophobes among the viewers... Or so I think.

 

Regards

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Oh my gosh, lesbian dragons. X3 That'd be cute.

But I guess that makes sense. Thank you. :D

"Ross, this is nothing. WHAT YOU NEED to be playing is S***flinger 5000." - Ross Scott talking about himself.

-------

PM me if you have any questions or concerns! :D

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