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Ross's Game Dungeon: Follow-up Episode #3

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The third Game Dungeon Follow-up!  This ended up taking about as much time to make as I thought it would, though it's a little deceptive, since I did an overkill amount and had to shelf a lot of what I was going to say for a future follow-up episode.  I tried to limit it to what I thought most needed a response instead.  More videos planned for this month,   "Coming soon!"


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>15 minute rant on why microsoft is evil

Amazing, truly great. Somewhat reminds me of the united fruit company and their shenanigans in Central America(or even the coca cola death squads in colombia).

Also, was the parts on battleforge being updated through annotations a mistake on your part or a joke I'm not getting? They're dead, right?

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Posted (edited)

Great video Ross. Especially liked the part where you ravaged Microsoft and compared them to the movie companies during the Golden Age of Cinema having owning their own film theaters to restrict the watching of films into their own money making ecosystem.

 

In completely unrelated news, news broke on August 7th (read as: the day before you released this video) that the antitrust rules barring movie companies from owning their own film theaters have been swept away.

 

https://variety.com/2020/film/news/paramount-antitrust-consent-decrees-eliminated-1234728696/

 

Hail to the prophet.

Edited by Euskalduna (see edit history)

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Next up is a Sonic game? Is it Sonic Schoolhouse? If it is, I dunno if it's a good idea, since it was done to death, and it's more a meme than anything. But maybe it's not it, maybe it's a different game, maybe it's the Adventure games since they are also available on PC. In either case, surprise me, you always does.

 

As for the video itself, I have one thing to add about A New Beginning. I was expecting that you would at least mention something about the major plot point about nuclear power being the cause of global warming, because you said you were confused by it and many people (both in this forum and the youtube comments) gave a answer of why the game villanizes it. So, I'm kind of dissapointed that you didn't brought that up in the video, because I wanted to hear if you had anything to say about it.

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I'm surprised that the talk of Microsoft going back to releasing games on PC didn't mention that many of them are even being released on Steam. If nothing else, it's a sign that any plans of turning Windows into a walled garden are getting kicked down the road.

 

As far as console exclusives go, I'm ambivalent on the subject and definitely don't think it should be illegal. I mean, what, are you going to make it legally mandatory that every game be ported to at least a second platform in order to be allowed to exist? And that's assuming that two is enough, and I don't see why it should be. Every game is exclusive; some are just exclusive to fewer platforms than others. You practically never hear anyone complain when a game is available on both Xbox and PlayStation but nothing else, or even if it's only on Windows as long as you can get it on Steam. Funny thing, that.

 

Mind you, I'd love it if platforms period could somehow become a thing of the past—similar to how music standardized on Red Book standard CDs—and we could do it in a way that doesn't entail giving one company an official, complete monopoly on gaming. I have no clue how that would ever work, though. You'd just about have to have some kind of Bolshevik revolution that instates Linux as the official state OS and commissions emulators for all the now-defunct capitalist platforms. And I suspect any state with that kind of power would be more interested in erasing the past then preserving it.

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Re: Microsoft, I'm surprised you didn't mention that Valve was unhappy with Microsoft's de facto monopoly on the OS space around the days of Windows 8, and so started up their Linux developments to give themselves an out, and now we have Proton. I wonder what the numbers for Windows 10 adoption look like after they ended support for 7.

 

Speaking of which, I have to agree with one of the YouTube commenters, it may be time for you to give up on Windows and move to Linux for good. You may want to firewall your current Windows 7 install, but you probably should make the move sooner rather than later. In my experience, transitioning to Linux has been a lot less painful than I would have imagined, but then, I don't have a ton invested into my Win7 ecosystem beyond Steam and the like. Your GOG games are another issue, but WINE is a thing (and if not, maybe you could get your non-Steam games to work with Proton somehow).

 

But yeah, good episode, though somewhat depressing.

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Ross really starting to sound like "the end is nigh" guy. Not the complete batshit crazy type, but the type that say all the right things, point to all the right facts, but then come to completely weird conclusion and/or obsessed with completely irrelevant things

Like that oil thing or pandemic - the problem here is just capitalism, not oil, or pandemic or america going down in flames (that was kinda writing on the wall for a while now). And DX: HR writing problems are the fact that it, unlike predecessors, don't show the system problem, it shows a problem within the system - it doesn't say "that's what capitalism inevitably ends up in", it says "hey, there is some bad capitalism out there, mkay". Neither the oil nor pandemic nor the climate change collapse will bring the world down. The collapse of the current world order may bring the world down, but that again will have nothing to do with all the natural disasters and resource shortage - those are just catalysts, not the problem - and that would be something predicted back in 19th century.

 

Simultaneously, bashing the poor DX:HR writing for not reflecting on player murdering everyone or murdering the police in a mission-based game is just unfair - as you said, in the original they basically just dropped the ball on it and you would fail the game without even knowing it. That's simply bad design and games stopped doing that. But making a proper complete game with consequences of such drastic actions would require either an exponentially more production of content that only like 5% of players will see, or simply banning such actions. It's not "bad writing", it's just a budget and design decision that has nothing to do with writing, but you just don't see that

 

And that brings us to the topic of "people on the internet doesn't know what they talk about". Neither are people off the internet - anyone who speaks against the current mainstream is going to be pushed into marginal space, but that's the same space where actual crazies are. But also some of the establishment people may slip in some ideas that are not necessary aligned with the current narrative. How do you know who is who? By analyzing their argumentation and ideas, if they do make sense - and frankly that's not any different from what you do on the internet anyway. But mostly people stick to the narrative they are used to and just seek reconfirmation - either that they are doing great, or that they are doing bad, or that the end is nigh and oil shortage is going to kill us all.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, NightNord said:

Ross really starting to sound like "the end is nigh" guy. Not the complete batshit crazy type, but the type that say all the right things, point to all the right facts, but then come to completely weird conclusion and/or obsessed with completely irrelevant things

Like that oil thing or pandemic - the problem here is just capitalism, not oil, or pandemic or america going down in flames (that was kinda writing on the wall for a while now). And DX: HR writing problems are the fact that it, unlike predecessors, don't show the system problem, it shows a problem within the system - it doesn't say "that's what capitalism inevitably ends up in", it says "hey, there is some bad capitalism out there, mkay". Neither the oil nor pandemic nor the climate change collapse will bring the world down. The collapse of the current world order may bring the world down, but that again will have nothing to do with all the natural disasters and resource shortage - those are just catalysts, not the problem - and that would be something predicted back in 19th century.

 

Nah, it's all going to be fine.
The status quo is never static; it's a sliding window that's imperceptible in the short helix of human life.
I have no doubt that the doom that's gradually creeping over the horizon will eventually blanket the Earth, but by the time it does, no one will give a fuck because no one will have a personal point of reference to "better days". 

Edited by Im_CIA (see edit history)

"You don't get to bring friends."

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please add a content warning, i was not prepared for the hyper climate change stuff.

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god, that hyper climate change desertification and economic ruin talk was extremely brutal. i see why you hate the desert so much now. i guess the tf2 lore of 2 sides fighting over a worthless plot of land isn't going to be so ridiculous now.

World's largest wildfire is happening right now in Montana.

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Posted (edited)

You brought up that maybe, if we have starships, we could deal with infinite growth (we could just send some von Neumann probes to do our bidding for us, sure). Though that implies that the universe has infinite matter, which we don’t know for certain.

 

Assuming that isn’t the case and the universe is finite, I’d like to mention the game Universal Paperclips (also an article on it). Now, the presentation isn’t anything to write home about, but considering that it is an incremental game (the main draw is watching the numbers go up), the gameplay loop gives you some grasp on the end-game of infinite growth. In the game, you’re an AI making paperclips. You start off making just a few, then it spirals into becoming the main manufacturer of paperclips, placating humanity, and then terminating them to make way for more paperclips. Then you start building spaceships, all the while you attain an unthinkable number of paperclips, thanks to exponential growth. After a while, 100% of the universe is paperclips, and that’s it. It isn’t like you have any other goals, after all.

 

If you’re looking for another first contact story with aliens who are truly alien, you should read Peter Watts’s Blindsight. It features:

  • Many-legged anaerobic aliens who inhabit the alien spaceship and are way smarter than us (their anatomy partly informed by the author being a marine biologist)
  • Exploration of consciousness—something the book says was an evolutionary fluke—and our understanding of it (blindsight plays a role, so does the Chinese room)
  • Scientifically plausible vampires (and the sociopolitical ramifications of resurrecting them in late 21st century society)
  • Bleakness regarding the state of humanity
  • And more!

I read it through just a few weeks ago, and I truly think it deserves all the praise it gets. The author even released it in PDF, EPUB, and HTML format on his website, so there’s really no excuse not to read it.

Edited by ekket
Fix double negation (see edit history)

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You mentioned a "spiritual successor" to Deus Ex... Were you referring to Cyberpunk 2077 in a hopeful manner? (I'm looking forward to it, but it has almost the same sort of hype that DXHR and DXMD had, though I trust CDPR to deliver much better results)

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

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IRS:

 

I think your summary of the Microsoft vs IRS article is a bit misleading.

 

I think the situation is similar to a police department that starts a campaign to bring down drug dealers; they decide the dealers are too well-armed and organized, so just to be safe they'll hire private mercenaries with machine guns and tanks. The mob sees this, freaks out and sends its lawyers to the government; the lawyers argue "Hey, this is completely unprecedented, and we think it's wrong to give a public mandate to a private company, because they don't have the same incentives and approach".

 

The state eventually agrees, and passes a law that says that police can only hire mercenaries in specific situations, with additional procedures, and also no tanks. So the police can still hire mercenaries and prosecute the dealers, but their effectiveness has been somewhat limited.

 

(the part about slashing the IRS's budget is where the government really made a giant gift to private corporations, but that's what you get for being in the "Trump gets elected" timeline)

 

Overall, I don't think this is as strong of a "we live in a cyberpunk world where corporations are stronger than government" signal as you think. Corporate income tax is hard to collect by nature, because it's the kind of tax where it's easiest to respect the letter of the law while evading it in spirit. On the long term, structural changes like the OECD's BEPS or an Europe-led GAFA tax will be more important than enforcement agencies targeting individual frauds.

 

---

 

Oil:

 

As I said in the Youtube comments, I went back to notes sent to me by a family member of mine, who works in raw material trading, and specializes in gold and oil. I initially thought you were being pessimistic, and that demand would just start falling as oil prices rose, but a few other articles old the subject told me that, nope, demand keeps increasing no matter what.

 

One article in particular is terrifying:

Quote

 

Oil prices are truly suspended when the economic recovery is strong: the stronger the recovery, the more prices can rise. But for the time being, US WTI remains around $25.

 

State of oil demand

 

Annual oil consumption, after having been expected to rise at the beginning of the year, is now expected to reach 95 million barrels per day, a decrease of 5 million barrels per day compared to 2019.

 

These figures remain estimates and their likelihood will depend on the duration of the containment with the possibility of a subsequent lockdown, but above all on the strength with which the economy will recover after the reopenings.

 

As far as the aviation industry is concerned, the recovery will most certainly take time and for this sector, which accounts for 8% of oil consumption, the loss of 6 months of consumption corresponds to a drop of 4 million barrels per day on average over the year.

 

In China, the recovery in road traffic is at lower levels than before the crisis, with decreases that remain between 30% and 40% compared to normal averages.

 

The estimate of oil consumption for this year at 95 million barrels per day is reasonable only if activity picks up fairly steadily once the reopenings have taken place. Today, this assumption is possible but it is difficult to know if it is the most likely.

 

Total announces figures in the red

 

At the beginning of the week, Total announced a deterioration in its quarterly profits (a 99% drop) but also a reduction in its investments (14 billion dollars in 2020 against 18 billion initially planned), a situation that will most certainly impact the oil industry in the longer term.

 

Today, the false impression of "swimming in oil", due to the drop in consumption and record stock levels, poses two problems for the periods to come:

    Production capacity is being destroyed and some of it will never return to the market.
    The decline in investment will accelerate the natural depletion of oil production: as oil is extracted, the pressure in the well decreases and the amount of oil recovered is therefore lower.

 

In 2015, OPEC estimated that maintaining oil production at a constant level required an investment of $630 billion per year, and to date this has been only $400/450 billion, an amount already insufficient.

 

Today, the declarations of investment cuts made by Total but also by many shale oil companies could, in the aftermath of the crisis and in the event that the level of oil consumption returns to normal (pre-crisis), lead to a situation where oil production falls short of demand. And this mismatch between supply and demand could lead to a devastating oil crisis for the economy 24 to 36 months after the health crisis, as the oil stocks currently in place could ensure a recovery.

 

US shale oil: production costs higher than current prices

 

A recent study by the Kansas Fed indicated that if the price of oil remained below $30, more than 40% of U.S. oil and gas companies would find themselves insolvent within a year.

 

The shale oil industries, already heavily indebted before the start of the health crisis, having to repay 200 billion dollars over a 5-year horizon, 40 billion of which will be repaid this year, are now facing an impossible situation where, given the low oil prices, the most rational solution would be to reduce their production, which is difficult to achieve in practice.

 

These industries therefore prefer to cut back on their investments significantly. However, with the specificities of shale oil, whose depletion rate is around 70% after 18 months in a well, stopping drilling necessarily implies a rapid drop in production.

 

Investments in this sector are dropping enormously, the number of drilling rigs in operation in the United States has collapsed and the number of fracturing teams present on the ground has fallen sharply (300 in 2019 compared to 55 at the last count last week), so shale oil production will inevitably weaken, which will not help the already very complicated financial situation of companies. A number of them have already filed for bankruptcy, including Whiting Petroleum.

 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

 

tl;dr: Because of low oil prices these last few years, and because people no longer want to invest in fossil fuels, oil production infrastructure has suffered from a massive lack of investment, which is going to result in a massive hit in production before the end of 2022.

 

The lockdowns have given us a bit of a buffer while accelerating the long-term trend.

 

Because oil alternatives are still extremely under-developed, this will result in massive spikes in energy prices, which will bring about a massive economic crisis that will affect all sectors.

 

This might actually be a good thing on the long term, because this will force everyone to move away from oil dependency the hard way, but on the short term this will result in a whole lot of poverty and unemployment.

 

... yeah. If y'all have any long-term plans that rely on there being a functioning economy by the end of 2022... well, I'm not saying it's going to be the apocalypse, but start considering backup plans. Remember the early days of the pandemic: the right date to stockpile food and essentials is several months before everyone else realizes there's a crisis.

 

(I disagree with the "infinite growth is not sustainable in a finite world" school of thought, but that's a different matter)

 

---

 

Climate change: The situation is slightly less dire than you make it sound.

 

The way I understand it, we still have some time before we enter an actual climate feedback loop, where global warming melts permafrost which releases gasses which accelerate global warming, etc. Some articles I've read suggest the current deadline is around 2040.

 

The articles you linked are more about symbolical deadlines, the idea being that "if we don't take strong measures on year X, we're not going to take strong measures on year X+1 and on year X+2, etc". The year 2020 in particular seems like a very decisive year, because we're undergoing a massive economic crisis while climate change awareness is as high as it's ever been, so the decisions we'll take will show how willing we are to commit to climate change mitigation in times where unemployment is high and people are going hungry.

 

The bad news is, so far signs point towards "not very willing". The covid crisis has seen a high number of countries relax their environmental regulations and develop their fossil fuel infrastructure. It looks like governments are mostly defaulting to "I'll worry about ecology once the economy starts improving", which is... not exactly ideal.

 

Personally speaking, I don't hold out much hope for political solutions. Technological solutions (hydrogen engines, better electricity production, carbon sinks) might be our only hope.

 

Olivine weathering in particular looks promising. If it scales well (and evidence suggests that it does), it mostly becomes a question of mining and moving very large quantities of rock worldwide, something our society is particularly good at. We'll need to combine it with global carbon tax schemes so that polluters are the ones who pay to offset the pollution they create, but if we can get that right, net carbon emissions might be reduced to zero decades before even our most optimistic scenarios.

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Thanks for smashing my f*cking face into the brick wall of reality, Ross 😕

my-fucking-life.png.f13498f0bb64f7c74947d545516074c2.png

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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2 hours ago, PoignardAzur said:

Stuff

I like how you literally make one post in a year, but every one is on point.

Keep it up good Sir.

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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Thank you for pointing out that tek syndicate video.

"I don't trust a man that doesn't have something strange going on about him, cause that means he's hiding it from you. If a man's wearing his pants on his head or if he says his words backwards from time to time, you know it's all laid out there for you. But if he's friendly to strangers and keeps his home spick-and-span, more often than not he's done something even his own ma couldn't forgive." -No-bark Noonan

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ScumCoder said:

I like how you literally make one post in a year, but every one is on point.

Keep it up good Sir.

Blush

 

I didn't even think people read those.

 

Really, it's just that sometimes Ross talks in great detail about a subject, with a lot of really smart arguments, and I completely disagree with the conclusion, so my "someone is wrong on the internet" mode activates.

Edited by PoignardAzur (see edit history)

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Ah, the societal collapse- the great equalizer.

Not having a dentist will suck, but at least I can grow my own opium.

"You don't get to bring friends."

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Posted (edited)
On 8/8/2020 at 3:50 AM, Bo Carter said:

I know one game that isn't Microsoft that requires DX12, Death Stranding which is by Sony.

I wasn't aware it was DX12 only, fair enough, so 5.5 years if we start getting some more DX12 ones

 

On 8/9/2020 at 6:42 AM, BTGBullseye said:

You mentioned a "spiritual successor" to Deus Ex... Were you referring to Cyberpunk 2077 in a hopeful manner? (I'm looking forward to it, but it has almost the same sort of hype that DXHR and DXMD had, though I trust CDPR to deliver much better results)

I wasn't referring to anything actually, just that maybe in the future an indie dev could make something in a similar vein.  As for Cyberpunk 2077, I've been intentionally staying in the dark on it, my guess is it's going to be sort of an outlook from another time looking at an alternative reality, but I really don't know.  I'm not expecting it to be prophetic, just awesome.

On 8/8/2020 at 12:08 PM, Steve the Pocket said:

As far as console exclusives go, I'm ambivalent on the subject and definitely don't think it should be illegal. I mean, what, are you going to make it legally mandatory that every game be ported to at least a second platform in order to be allowed to exist?

I KNEW somebody was going to draw that conclusion and was hesitant whether I should spell it out in the video.  Answer: no.  I'm saying it should be illegal for contracts to state that the developer can NOT release on another platform.  If they don't want to port to another platform by their own volition, that's fine.  I'm not saying they should be REQUIRED to release on something else.  I realize this is a really radical stance to take, but it's literally what was in place for movies for a long time.

 

On 8/9/2020 at 12:50 AM, discordia said:

please add a content warning, i was not prepared for the hyper climate change stuff.

This might literally be the last video I make where I get into heavy topics (aside from dead games, I'm not done with that).  I just kind of wanted to get it out of the way.  I'm not kidding about wanting to go back to the escapism side!

 

On 8/9/2020 at 4:30 PM, PoignardAzur said:

I think your summary of the Microsoft vs IRS article is a bit misleading.

I simplified it for sure, the article is a good read.  Your take on it is apt, however it ALSO includes the massive defunding, so it's a combo-punch.  True, it doesn't literally mean it's codified they are above the law, I just see this as a significant change historically.  The IRS had them, but they fought back by essentially exerting power over the agency itself and it's going to leave a substantial impact on the agency.  I've only seen evasion tactics in the past, not actual power plays like this.

 

Quote

As I said in the Youtube comments, I went back to notes sent to me by a family member of mine, who works in raw material trading, and specializes in gold and oil. I initially thought you were being pessimistic, and that demand would just start falling as oil prices rose, but a few other articles old the subject told me that, nope, demand keeps increasing no matter what.

Oh it will decline with a major MAJOR collapse, but by then it almost doesn't matter.  With all the talk of renewable energy, the #1 use of oil is in transportation.  Demand can grow and fall, but demand for GOODS, like FOOD, can only drop so much!  My understanding is we're decades behind where we need to be on that in order to have a smooth transition and that's assuming an otherwise normal infrastructure and economy.  Some bad times coming!

Quote

Climate change: The situation is slightly less dire than you make it sound.

I can believe slightly less dire, I really am lost on the time table, I feel proud I thought of The Mist analogy for my perception on the matter.  I think we're in agreement that it's all about trajectory.  If I saw WWII-levels of change occurring on this, I wouldn't be making foregone conclusions, but we're really not on a good path.

 

Quote

 

Personally speaking, I don't hold out much hope for political solutions. Technological solutions (hydrogen engines, better electricity production, carbon sinks) might be our only hope.

I didn't even get as pessimistic as I could have.  Since global warming isn't the only threat on the table.  There's just the plain footprint of humanity which is devastating the ecosystem in other way.  Maybe we can engineer our way out of it, maybe we can't.  I always think of the faith in technology solutions being the equivalent of pulling an all nighter to prepare for a test instead of studying ahead.  Maybe it will be enough, maybe it won't!

 

"

(I disagree with the "infinite growth is not sustainable in a finite world" school of thought, but that's a different matter)

"

 

I could almost be willing to do a debate on that.  At some point, you run into Newton's conversation of energy being issue.  I guess if you got into real sci-fi territory, like the mass generators in Supreme Commander, you open up options, but I think ultimately there are limits.  I think of Moore's Law.  It held true a LONG time, but eventually stopped working due to physical limitations.

Quote

 

with global carbon tax schemes so that polluters are the ones who pay to offset the pollution they create, but if we can get that right, net carbon emissions might be reduced to zero decades before even our most optimistic scenarios.

Well you JUST SAID you don't hold out hope for political solutions, that's 100% a political solution. 

 

Anyway, If anyone was confused, my purpose wasn't to be doom and gloom, but more I feel like too many discussions on climate bury the lede, whereas I'm coming at this from a "let's assume we're going to continue not being smart collectively and figure out where that takes us" perspective.  Hey, it's not like I KNOW, I'm in the fog of badness!

20 hours ago, PoignardAzur said:

Really, it's just that sometimes Ross talks in great detail about a subject, with a lot of really smart arguments, and I completely disagree with the conclusion, so my "someone is wrong on the internet" mode activates.

To be honest I'm not even sure we have a complete disagreement on the conclusion, from what you were saying it sounds like I drift 10% one direction, you drift 10% the other. 

 

Edited by Ross Scott (see edit history)

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