Sunday, May 17, 2015

Open Letter To Chair Entertainment

Dear Chair,

(never thought I'd ever type that particular sequence of words)

I am writing to you today to ask a favour of you. You see, your company developed one of the absolute best video games last generation (no, sorry, not Undertow). The game to which I am referring is of course Shadow Complex. Shadow Complex was easily the best Xbox Live Arcade game at the time of its release, and in this (not so?) humble gamer's opinion, still is (maybe tied with Geometry Wars and Puzzle Quest but I digress). Let me tell you a little story:

I have been gaming since the late 80's. I grew up on all of the same games you all (hopefully) did. Namely (duh), platformers, shmups, adventure games and beat em ups. You all probably have your favourites from these genres, and many of them will likely differ from mine. However, one thing we definitely have in common is a love for the old school archetypal game designs of the eras bygone, one of the most prominent, and criminally (yes, criminally) underused being the so called “Metroidvania” (“Castleroid” to some, but they are from the wrong side of the tracks, so we can do as the government does and simply ignore them) design. Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are the two most well known games of this type, but of course there are many more (just not enough). Clearly, you fine people noticed this travesty and decided to capitalize on the oversights of others far less badass than thou and release to the world a brand new game using this game design philosophy.

So, on August 19th, 2009, you released Shadow Complex and the response from both gamers and critics was overwhelmingly positive. The sales were great (despite that unfortunate little trial version exploit that you wish we would have forgotten (we didn't, but I bought the game, so don't worry)) and Chair Entertainment (now a subsidiary of Epic Games, ching ching!!) was on the map. All well and good, but how do I fit into this story, you ask? Well, I am glad you did. See, to make a longer story long, I, as I stated earlier, have been gaming since the late 80's, and while I still love gaming, I definitely fall into the rose tinted glasses nostalgic old school gamer camp. Games, for the most part at least, just do not satisfy, excite, challenge or engage me the way they used to (with few exceptions) (Bayonetta, anyone?). And then you came along and holy **** I was 12 years old again! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

This Culture is Insane

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Conversation On Agnosticism vs Atheism

OU812 wrote:
It staggers the mind, if you think about it, that so, so many of our 'enlightened, intellectual' class pass by the label of Agnostic in order to proudly label themselves Atheists. Why not be content with being Agnostic if you, as an intellectual, cannot prove any conclusive position on this point? It seems calling yourself an Atheist is a cheap and easy way to secure an appreciation of your intellect - in certain circles, anyway. I am not using this as a means of starting a theological debate, but to me, the lack of consistency exemplifies, so blatantly, human failings. Would any Atheist 'intellectual' conclude that there is no life on other planets simply because there is no proof that there is?
Gnosticism deals merely with knowledge, not belief. That's where theism comes in. Everyone is agnostic, since NO ONE knows for sure. Saying you're 'agnostic' is a nonsense statement in a sense since it says nothing about what you believe. Even the most religious person on earth is agnostic, no matter what they say. So when someone asks if you believe in god(s) if you're one of those people who shrugs their shoulders and thinks "I dunno" that's not what they asked.

The right answer (and this is where people start getting annoyed and whatnot but it's just true) is that you don't currently hold a positive belief in god, aka you're an agnostic atheist. If you think 'I dunno' when someone asks if you believe in god you're definitely not a theist......which makes you an atheist. There's no third middle option. That middle option people think of is actually the answer to a separate question (do you KNOW a god exists).

Theism= belief in a god.
Prefix 'a' denotes the lack of something.
A-theism= the lack of a belief in god.

Gnosticism= knowledge of god's existence.
Prefix 'a' denotes the lack of something.
A-gnosticism= the lack of knowledge of god's existence.

Two different things. It's not agnostic or atheist; those are two different answers to two different questions. I am an agnostic atheist.

OU812 wrote:
That may be accurate in a literal sense, but i don't think most people, particularly those in the public eye who voice their opinion on the matter, go any further into the definitions of atheist, agnostic and believer/theist than as I had originally argued. That would certainly make sense since I believe those in the forefront of politics and popular culture, the opinions I am hearing and evaluating, are the pseudo-intellectuals Sowell so elegantly swipes at in his books.
You, Sowell, and those like you are all making the same mistake. Let me quote you to show you what I am talking about:

OU812 wrote:
Now both believers and non-believers require the same level of proof to come to their conclusions -- none. It is the Atheist, however, who claims the intellectual high ground for his position, ridiculing those who disagree.
The problem with this is that the burden of proof is always on those making a claim. The axiomatically correct stance in any case of the asserted existence of some thing is the null hypothesis until proven otherwise. This position should only be changed to belief/acceptance of the claim when sufficient evidence is given to them by those making said claim. So, in the case of the existence of a god, the human who says "hey, a god exists" to a second human, or a group of humans, must then prove that this is true. Much like the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court case, the god believer must demonstrate to the people he is preaching that the god in question exists and he must do beyond all measure of reasonable doubt. If they fail to do this, the 'atheist' is holding the correct position- that of disbelief. He need not defend this disbelief nor is it correct to accuse him of holding a faith based position. It is in fact the philosophically correct one.

Sowell is wrong and imo, he just gets off on writing off the atheists as angsty pseudointellectuals. It's lazy.