Sunrider: Liberation Day – Captain’s Edition

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Steam Page

It’s back and better than ever!

So this is the sequel to Sunrider: Mask or Arcadius. Remember how I got the prequel? I had bought the sequel without knowing that it was a sequel? Didn’t seem right to play it and review it when I’m thrust into the water.Speaking of being thrust into the water – play the prequel first (it’s free). With that out of the way, let’s get into it.

Kayto Shields survived the battle via betrayals within the opposing PACT forces. However, bigger fish have joined the fray. It’s revealed that Chiaga Ashada (your forced love interest) is a prototype, essentially a clone in an army of clones whose sole job was to make you her husbando and use you to control the galaxy. Why it had to be you? I have no idea. Why was this plan so stupid? Still have no idea. Still, whatever, let’s roll with it. The story seems better crafted than the last time. Maybe it’s because last time was sorta “team-building”. Maybe it’s because it’s likely the middle of a trilogy. Whatever the case, characters have been established and now act within character a little better. If anything, Kayto Shields is the one that leaves character the most. It’s very disconcerting but it drives the plot along so okay.

Visual novel aside, Liberation Day fixes/exacerbates some of the problems of the prequel. In the prequel, combat was pretty much bunch your units up and push them along, using the shields by group up to keep damage low. Well now there are units that fire missiles that do splash damage. Gee thanks. You embedded a behavior in me only to make it now detrimental to my success! Argh! But they did give Kryska (<3) a drawfire skill, essentially a “taunt” that causes enemies to prioritize attacking her. Which is great. I believe in the prior game (I still have no idea) enemies prioritized units that killed in the prior turn. Which was really inconvenient when you used your sniper to destroy everything in one shot, but they had no defenses and no evasion. To deal with that I used to put my units with flak ahead of her so no one could missile her down. Now I just stick Kryska in front and have her take all of the hits. Buff her armor, use shields, she takes NO DAMAGE. Absolute cheese. They also took away the CG for each battle, thank goodness. That was the most annoying part of battle. Now things fly across the map in a style like when you turn off battle animations for Fire Emblem games. It’s great. Also: no crashes! How about that!

Captain’s Edition comes with the DLC [RE]turn stories. I won’t spoil these stories, but I do think that they are more amusing than the main story if you play them out. Of course, there’s a lot of overlap, which may lead to lots of skipping (also, you want to get all of the endings). I also think that they add some more depth to the main story, which is a plus.

Overall the game was a good experience, but get it on sale if you can. I seriously do not think it’s a $25 experience (the price at the time of writing). I think I got it for $10 and even that might be too much. Buyers be warned, there are I think 5 nudity pictures. Oh who am I kidding, that probably made you slap down the $25 right away. Still, I probably will wind up getting the trilogy because I am somewhat hooked on the game and want to see how the story ends. So good on you Love in Space. Good on you. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Sunrider: Liberation Day – Captain’s Edition

#BernieMustDisavow

Oooh boy. I want to ride the clickbait train because you know all 3 of WordPress readers are going to be paying attention to the Democratic Convention that begins on July 25th, 2016. However, I often take about a day to write blog posts (more precisely, it takes me about 3-4 hours) and I want to to get a quickie in for Philadelphia Predictions! So here it is.

First, DWS has to resign. She’s confirmed her resignation already so there isn’t much more to it. This likely hands her post over to her opponent, Tim Canova. An individual that Sanders himself has endorsed. Can we talk about endorsements while we’re here? Sure. Let’s talk about endorsements. Sanders has officially endorsed Democratic Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton (let me just pad my word count by using her full name and this aside). He has justified such a decision with a promise he made at the start of this entire cycle, in which he said that he will pretty much give up being an independent. Perhaps it’s better to say politically unaffiliated despite Sanders describing himself as a socialist… hmm. Anyway, he’s typically sided with the democrats in Congress, he’s caucused democrat, and probably voted democrat. Granted, democrats don’t own the right to ideals like gay marriage, as libertarians tend to have a similar view on it but with a different implementation. Sanders has promised to remain a democrat after this cycle which is pretty huge considering he switched his party to democratic so he could run for office under the democratic banner. Which to me smacks of using the party to suit his own needs but whatever, it’s not important and I’ve lost track of the original point.

So let me begin anew. Sanders endorsed Clinton saying (paraphrased) “Clinton on her worst day will be better than any republican candidate on their best day”. Which to me sounds like a pretty extreme claim. There’s a ton of dirt on Clinton throughout her political history. I find it difficult to believe that at her worst of times that she will always be better than any republican candidate. Of course, that depends on the candidate the republicans put forth but the blanket statement is what I take issue with. I really only see two viable ways of interpreting the statement. Either Clinton’s worst days aren’t that bad or the republicans are just universally worse. I’d like to believe Sanders meant the former but I truly believe that he actually meant the latter. He seems to take special interest against republicans. It’s like Sanders imagines republicans as British folk with a top hat and a french moustache wearing fingerless gloves. Let’s make the British bad guy eat an apple so he looks like even more of an asshole. Oy vey.

So now we get to the title of this post: #BernieMustDisavow. It’s a trending tag on Twitter (or at least until Twitter takes it down again and makes it no longer autofill again). The premise is that in light of the recent DNC email link showing that the DNC was somewhat conspiring against Sanders, that Sanders must take back his endorsement of Clinton. And it’s here that I make my predictions. The way I see it, there are X outcomes that seem likely.

The first and what I think is the most probable outcome is that Sanders does not disavow. He’ll take the emails like a man and just continue to smile and wave, smile and wave. If anything, he’ll do his damndest to avoid talking to anyone about the emails. Ironically one of his iconic quotes from this cycle is “Everyone’s tired of hearing about your damn emails!” and now it has come back to emails once again. It’s the circle of strife! Why do I believe this. I believe Sanders at this point will do everything in his power to make sure that Donald Trump does not get elected. That’s right, it’s not about getting Clinton elected, but making sure Trump doesn’t get elected. Sanders has voiced his concerns about Trump many times, even taking time to ask whether or not Trump is running for president or dictator during Trump’s speech at RNC Cleveland. Sanders has made it clear that he believes that the Trump campaign has been built on hate and fearmongering. Sanders has made it clear that he believes Trump would be devastating to the country. So disavowing Clinton would probably make Trump more likely to win. I saw an article suggesting that 50% of Sanders voters will not vote Clinton and that’s a sizeable chunk of Sanders voters. That’s around 6 million voters, which is the margin by which Obama won in 2012. (Of course, this is the United States where the parties run everything and the popular vote doesn’t matter).

And I actually find it really sad, because there is no winning situation for Sanders in this case. If he doesn’t disavow, he will be seen as cooperating with a corrupt system. If he does disavow, he makes that which he desires least that much more of a reality. He’s already receiving some backlash about endorsing Clinton in the first place, but if he remains relatively silent on this issue, it will only feed into the minds of the voters that much more. But realistically? This is probably his best move. Sanders has crafted his image quite well and even with the stains that he’ll pick up, he did manage to get some of his agenda put onto the Democratic party platform. So he can take the moral victory (if we’re going to call it that) of helping Clinton win and push the country towards his ideals.

What I see as the second most likely outcome is Sanders doesn’t disavow, for all of the reason stated earlier, but does take the opportunity to talk about a corrupt system within the Democratic party. But he has to word it very carefully. He cannot risk losing voters to third parties, or worse… Trump.

What I see as a third outcome but unlikely is that Sanders does disavow and tries to move towards the protesters that are already congregating in Philly for this convention. He has shut up about it for a while but he has been notorious for using national polls to say that he can beat Trump. He does this to gather the support of superdelegates (despite initially criticizing their involvement in the process). If he could gather enough superdelegates, he could override the pledged delegate totals (and as an extension, the popular vote totals) to get the nomination.

However, this is likely another lose-lose situation. In doing so, he will be overriding ‘the will of the people’ which he seemed rather keen on. Remember, he lost popular vote totals. He lost the pledged delegate totals. On top of that, he criticized superdelegates because he felt that they overrode the will of the people. If he were to convince these superdelegates to his side, he would be complicit in such an action. It would make him a very easy target for the republican party. Granted, Trump is also a bit of an “easy target” so that may not matter much. Still, Sanders would have the nomination and if those polls he cited came to fruition, it would give the Democrats another four years in the white house. With the upsurge of “progressive” candidates, Sanders and his “progressive” party would be off to a good footing to changing the nation.

Fourth, and this is the outcome that I personally want: my perfect storm – the superdelegates actually do it. The party does nominate Bernie Sanders. I honestly think that this is the DNC’s best move. I think that the party can hide behind all of the Clinton scandals and claim that she’s unelectable. Claim that for the interest of the party, that they had no choice but to override the will of the people and select Sanders. The party gets away with washing their hands of Clinton, Sanders doesn’t have to take too much of the fall from the decision, and the party gets the candidate that polls have predicted to win. I think that this is the best move for the party (and the best move to keep H. A. Goodman off suicide watch) because it may reinforce an idea that they’re willing to throw away corrupt candidates in the electorate. On top of that, we wind up getting that fabled Sanders vs. Trump debate that was all the rage earlier (I really wanted to see that). In fact, if you go through my posts, I actually wanted that debate long before it may have been a possibility.

Whatever happens, I’m sure there will be a great shitstorm inside and outside of the convention for me to laugh at. My main concern about the convention is whether or not violence occurs. I’ve criticized the Sanders supporters for this before but they’ve made Sanders out to be a christ figure. There is a cult of personality about Sanders. Whether he dies on the cross or is reborn in three days at this convention, the Sanders supporters outside need to remain calm and not hurt anyone. A violent outbreak at this convention will only hurt your cause no matter which candidate you support. The police in Philly are already requesting backup and taking preventative measures. Please, if you attend this convention, don’t hurt anyone and keep yourself safe. Perhaps buy a gun. Protect yourselves. That’ll be it from me though, thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

#BernieMustDisavow

The Physics of FitFlix

Ooooh, you knew this post was inevitable. Any science blog has to have one of these posts.

In our age of technology and rising rates of obesity, the question is often pondered as to how can we get people moving when they can just sit on the couch and watch TV? It’s a rather trying question that I’m sure doctors, fitness specialists, and game developers have been working on for a while. Go on the app store and you can find many Couch to 5k applications. I actually use one myself called Zombies, Run! I like Zombies, Run! because it sorta makes the running worth it. There’s a podcast playing behind you and that makes the run a little more bearable than hearing the weezing of your scrawny pale body trying to move more than 2mph. So now there’s this post flying around on the internet about what if you had a bicycle that was hooked up to your computer and you could use the internet to maybe watch Netflix if you could pedal the bicycle to power your machine. Seems fairly plausible, right? Let’s find out.

So how are we going to evaluate whether or not this is possible? Well, if you go through my past of science posts, you’ll see that there’s a common principle between them all (all two of em): Conservation of Energy. It feels bad that I keep coming back to this well but it’s one of the guiding principles when it comes to problems like this. So what are we looking at?

The first thing we want to do is establish how much energy would be necessary to power your computer so that you may watch Netflix (or your service of choice). And this is hard to pin down. Well, let’s start with the basics. We want to know how much energy your computer and modem use. According to MichaelBlueJay a desktop computer uses “about 65 to 250 Watts” and then we need to add another “20-40 Watts” for the (LCD) monitor. Griffith University seems to agree with the range somewhat, shifting the lower bound by 20 Watts. These are rather large ranges, and rightly so. The factors that go into how much power your computer consumes are the components and peripherals. So let’s just use the worst-case numbers. If you can do it for the worst-case, you can probably do it for the best-case. So we’re dealing with 290 Watts (250 Watts for the desktop computer, and 40 Watts for the monitor). Now we need the modem because that’s how your computer will be connected to the internet. And this is where I run into trouble. Because I usually don’t go beyond page 2 of Google when looking for sources. MakeItCheaper sounds like some random blog and it says 2-20 Watts (but the average is around 6 Watts). So I’ll continue with my worst-case scenario calculation but we may want to come back later and run the numbers again. So, the final total: 310 Watts.

A Watt is a Joule per second. Which means that every second we must supply 310 Joules to the bicycle. We also have to assume that every Joule we supply to the bicycle is sent to the computer and modem without any loss due to resistance in the wire… but hey, we’re working with idealized systems here. So how do we determine how much energy we’re supplying to the bicycle. If your exercise bicycle is anything like mine, it only has one wheel, or at least one main wheel. And if we just look at that one wheel, we have our problem solved. There’s an equation we know for the energy of a rotating object: Hyperphysics to the rescue.

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Normally, if we were considering a rolling wheel we’d have to consider its rotational kinetic energy AND its translational kinetic energy. But exercise bicycles are notoriously stationary, so we only need to worry about rotational kinetic energy. Now we get to the I and the ω. What do these two symbols mean?

I denotes the object’s moment of inertia. You can think of it like resistance to rolling. It’s the rotational analogue to mass, resistance to external forces. The moment of inertia of an object depends on some factors like mass distribution and how the object is rotating. It is for this reason that the moment of inertia is better described as a tensor, but I won’t get into that. Just know that it’s easier to rotate some objects (like a wheel) about certain axes compared to others axes. The symbol ω represents the angular velocity, or how fast the object is rotating.

We’ll begin with the angular velocity, mostly because I want to make an assumption on it. I want to assume a constant angular velocity comparable to what a user may do. The question you want to ask yourself now is: why? Well I do this for two reasons. The first is that it simplifies the number of variables that we’re playing with from three to two (moment of inertia will have two components, plus the angular velocity). And the second reason is because I want to simulate real life as much as I can. And I find it highly unlikely that the rider will go race pace while they watch their show. So I plan to use a nice, leisurely pace for my calculations. On the exercise bicycle that we have here, I can do about 60-70 RPM comfortably. Let’s split the difference and say that when you’re biking you’ll do an average of 65 RPM for the duration of your show. Convert that that RPS (rotations per second) and we get 1.0833 RPS. Not quite done yet though, as we need to convert that rotations per second into radians per second. That’s not difficult though. 1 rotation per second is 2π radians per second. So at the end of it all, our angular velocity is going to be: 6.807 radians per second.

For the sake of this calculation, I’m going to imagine the wheel of the bicycle being a thin hoop (not terribly unrealistic I hope). The moment of inertia of a thin hoop (again from Hyperphysics) rotating about its center axis is:

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With M being the mass of the hoop and R being its radius. This is where we have room to play with numbers. I have an infinite number of moments of inertia to choose from, and I have to narrow it down to one realistic one we can use as a baseline. But since we’re going with the whole “bicycle” motif, let’s use a standard bike wheel size. Let’s use the racing wheel sizes here. According the wikipedia, a standard size for the rim of the wheel is 622 mm. But that’s a diameter, not a radius, so chop that number and half and we get a 311 mm radius for our wheel. That’s .311 meters. I convert everything to these base units because I want the kinetic energy equation to yield Joules without any conversion. Now we’re pretty much done. I’ll solve for the mass of the wheel, and we’ll just guess as to whether or not you believe you could push that wheel that fast.

So, what are we doing? We’re going to solve our kinetic energy equation for the mass of the wheel.

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We know that we must supply 310 Joules per second, and we’re going to use a leisurely pace of 1.0833 rotations per second as our angular velocity. We’re going to be using a wheel of radius 0.311 meters. So let’s plug in our numbers and see what we get.

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That 69.1719 is the mass in kilograms. To put that into perspective, that’s about the mass of a healthy adult human male. That’s far more massive than any wheel you’ve ever used in a bicycle, so the chances are that you being able to rotate that wheel fast enough are probably slim.

But that was a worst-case scenario. Let’s try a best-case scenario! 80 Watts for the desktop (using Griffith University source numbers) and 20 Watts for the monitor. Oh, and let’s use 6 Watts for the modem (the average power for modems cited above). This gives us 106 Watts of power that we must provide, or 106 Joules per second.

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23.6523 kilograms isn’t that bad. That’s close to 50 pounds. That’s still quite massive though. That weight is comparable to… maybe a large dog? My chalkboard weighs 60 pounds so slightly less than that. Anyway I still think that’s unreasonable. That’s bench press material… for me (I am not a strong person).

We see that we lose a lot of energy by treating the computer and the monitor separately. What if we instead used a laptop? Using the MichaelBlueJay numbers, a laptop uses 15 Watts in its best-case scenario. Tack on another 6 Watts for the modem and we get 21 Watts. Plugging in those numbers, we get:

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4.686-ish kilograms, about 10 pounds. Which isn’t bad at all. 10 pounds is about how much my cat weighs. So I think this one is reasonable. I’d say that the best-case scenario for the laptop works fine. But I don’t like judging things on their best-case scenario. How about we use the worst-case scenario for a laptop. How about we use that 60 Watts for the laptop plus the 6 Watts for the modem.

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That’s about thirty pounds or a little less than the weight of a 32-pack of water bottles. Not sure if that’s reasonable. But I think somewhere in the middle we can get a feasible case for FitFlix working on your laptop. Especially since when I was going 70 RPM the machine told me that I was producing some 80 Watts.

So where do we stand? FitFlix doesn’t work for desktop computers. It’s plausible that it could work for laptops. What about TVs? Simple answer to that: do TVs or more specifically: do Smart TVs (requiring that internet connection) consume comparable power to a laptop? Well according to RTINGS it’s 35 Watts for my 36″ LED TV. If it were instead an LCD TV, MichaelBlueJay would say around 100 Watts. So the answer really depends on your type of TV. But for my TV at least, Fitflix would work out.

Of course, we’re all missing the obvious solutions of using a phone or table, which use vastly less power. So you could definitely power your phone and Fitflix. Depending on your TV you could watch TV and Fitflix. And it’s plausible that you could use your laptop and Fitflix. However, I find it unlikely that you could desktop computer and Fitflix.

That’s just my take on it. If I’ve made any mistakes in the physics or the math or you have some problem with my method, or maybe you have a better method, please let me know. I’m more than welcome to criticism. That’s all for tonight though. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

 

The Physics of FitFlix

Skullgirls

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Steam Page

Skullgirls is a game about girls fighting over the Skull Heart, an entity(?) (it seems sentient) which will grant you a wish in exchange for possessing you. It seems that the purity of the wisher plays a fact into how long it takes for the Skull Heart to fully possess you.

The game reminds me of Darkstalker in art and character design. Every (main) character is female, every character is sexualized out the wazoo, and it’s a 2D fighting game. It doesn’t feel particularly inventive, although there’s only so much you can do with fighting games. Maybe this isn’t a good genre for me to review. The character stories are rather lame. Divekick had better character story than this and it was literally a two button game. You dive, and you kick. (It’s quite brilliant, I highly recommend Divekick) The campaign for each character is fairly short (thank goodness). I had to watch a YouTube video to deal with one boss (on Normal mode no less, Christ) but other than that button mashing will get you through the game. And that’s the problem, isn’t it. Sure, learning the combos will make you competitive against real players but against the AI you can using a rolling pin and win. Of course… this was on Normal mode…

You start the game with six characters, you can unlock three more by completing the campaigns (which is a point against the game if you ask me). The forgivable thing about the unlocking process is that you have more fighters to choose from. If you could only use one fighter at the start or one fighter for some duration of the game, then I’d be a little more sore about it. Of course the campaigns are so short it doesn’t really matter. I had every character unlocked within an hour. That excludes the DLC characters, to which I say SHAME ON YOU. I already bought the game and now you want more of my money? No way Jose.

There’s really not much to review here. So the question is, do you miss 2D fighters with needlessly complicated command chains to execute special moves? Do you miss cutesy chicks? Do you like watching beach balls bounce about? If you answered yes to all of these questions, Skullgirls is for you.

Skullgirls

100% Orange Juice

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Steam Page

I have no idea why it’s named that.

I like to think that the title of the game is supposed to be 100% RNG because that’s what it is. Orange Juice (as I will call it for the duration of this review) is a card party game, similar to titles you may be familiar with such as Mario Party. But in reality? I think of it more like (and I hope I’m not dating myself with this reference) Trouble meets Uno. You chase three other players across a board while collecting stars and making people see stars. You have an objective to complete to ‘Level Up’ and once a player hits Level 6, they win.

The game itself is rather simple and easy to learn. I believe it’s implemented too much as an ‘Online only’ game. There is a single-player campaign but several shop items are limited based on player level. Which can only be increased by playing online. And I don’t review online games because I don’t like to review games based on community. Otherwise I’d have to say darling clever games like Undertale are complete trash, despite being okay maybe even good.

The characters are cutesy and nonsensical and that’s pretty much their entire charm. This isn’t a game you play for depth. The campaigns are ‘hijinks’ predicated on silly situations.

Let’s talk about the shop. It’s how you get more characters – you buy them. That’s not something that I like in games. I didn’t pay for this game to have to pay again to have more variety. I will note that I didn’t see anything in the game that seemed to denote you could ‘pay to win’ though I never looked at the DLC so who knows. In either case, I don’t think that there’s much value in this game. It’s not something that I would play but it might be a nice timekiller for you. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

100% Orange Juice

Your ‘Right’ to (Government Funded) Healthcare

EDIT: I had to rename the title to more accurately reflect the argument. I’m not saying that you have no right to seek health care as much as I am saying you are not entitled to services provided by another (beyond the government).

So there’s this idea that’s been spreading about for a while and it has really picked up steam since Senator Sanders started pushing for it in their “progressive” platform. That idea is the ‘right’ to healthcare and the ‘right’ to education. Today, I’d like to rain on some parades and explain to you why these are not rights. I’ll focus on healthcare but the same argument will apply to education as well.

Before we explain why something is not a ‘right’, let’s figure out what a ‘right’ is to begin with. The definition of right is this:

Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory – Wikipedia

I actually find this definition quite acceptable. Rights are important because they act as a guiding principle to the way you want your society to be run.

But where do we get our rights? I’d like to say we get our rights from the government because in one sense we do,but I don’t feel that’s entirely proper. Saying you get your rights from the government sort of distances you from how you obtained your rights in the first place. You could replace government with God and essentially have the same sentence. Are you familiar with the idea of the “Social Contract“? The philosophy is that people define their government, voluntarily giving up their power in exchange for protection of their rights. So put simply: we define our rights. Our rights are defined when we create this contract in which we give the government its legitimacy. In the United States, this contract is the Constitution.

What are some rights that we in the United States have that you may be familiar with. We have the right to assembly, the right to petition the government, the right to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the freedom of the press. At present, we have the right to bear arms but I’m skeptical of how much longer that will remain as Clinton moves towards the office and the ‘progressive party’ starts to get more involved with government. But that’s a complaint for another day. We have the right to an attorney. In fact, I’ll just list the Bill of Rights here because that’s really what it is. I’ll try to limit each right to a sentence if possible.

  1. The right to assemble, petition the government, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.
  2. The right to bear arms.
  3. A fairly antiquated amendment, I’d describe it as the right to your own home. Specifically, this amendment prevents the government from forcing you to put up soldiers in your home.
  4. Unreasonable search and seizure, you can’t be searched without a warrant.
  5. The right to a fair trial, and the right to not be forced to testify against oneself.
  6. Right to a speedy trial (you can’t have your trial delayed arbitrarily).
  7. Right to a trial by jury.
  8. Right to fair punishment (no ‘cruel or unusual sentences’).
  9. You have rights not listed in the Constitution.
  10. Powers not given to the government belong to the states or the people.

So if you live in the United States, you are guaranteed all of these rights. The 9th amendment is a ‘catch-all’ which is pretty much the founding fathers saying “We can’t list all of your rights, use common sense for the rest” or at least, that’s my interpretation. Do note that I am not a law in constitutional law, so my opinion is just that, my opinion. But do you notice any special about the amendments? They all seem to be focused on an individual. The main trend among these rights is that they don’t require unwilling parties (with the exception of the seventh). All of these rights focus on an individual’s place in the government.

The most important thing about rights is that they don’t trample one another. You have the right to be offended, and I have the right to offend you. However, you do not have the right to silence others from offending you, because such a ‘right’ would trample another right. Then you run into an issue of ‘which right is right’? Law seems to be a tricky business that I’m quite glad that I stayed out of. So every right is distinct.Do you pay for your rights? Through jury duty, draft (if you’re male), and taxes, essentially yes.

Now let’s talk about what a ‘right to healthcare’ would entail. A right to healthcare suggests that doctors would be required to operate on you regardless of how much you are willing to pay. A right to healthcare suggests that pharmacies would be required to provide you with drugs regardless of what you are willing to pay. You would be entitled to this service because of your place within the country. This, I don’t like. It infringes on the rights of the individuals providing that service. I have the right to charge what I want to charge for my product or service. You have the right to purchase my product or service, or to refuse to purchase my product or service. I have the right to my body and everything that entails. I own my lungs, my heart, my liver, my spleen, my everything. I also own my labor. I cannot be forced to provide labor if I am unwilling to. You can’t force Wal-Mart to hire me any more than you can force me to work for Wal-Mart.

If healthcare were a right, you would be infringing on the rights of the doctors to provide their labour in the manner that they see fit for the price that they see fit. You would be infringing on the right of the pharmaceutical company to charge the prices that they want for their drugs. Essentially, what I’m saying is if you want to make healthcare a right, you’d either have to trample the rights of doctors, or find a way to provide healthcare through the government through volunteers.

See, it’s a weird issue because it’s always framed in the way of costs. Do I mind taking a healthcare tax to provide healthcare to everyone? Personally? Not in the least. But do I mind requiring that healthcare providers provide healthcare regardless of their whether or not they want to for the prices stated? Absolutely.

The problem we are running into this election cycle, and by extension this generation, is the idea of entitlement. The millennial generation is a bunch of entitled children. Am I saying that they’re dumb? Absolutely not. I know several very hardworking millennials that I respect very highly. Do I think that millennials want free stuff or think that the Sanders plan would’ve given them free stuff? Absolutely not. I believe most millennials recognize that the money had to come from somewhere, and it would have likely come from them. However, what I do think is that millennials have a problem discerning their freedoms and whether or not they are necessary. Each year, as more and more students go through the college system which brainwashes the liberal bias into them, they become a little more authoritarian. When students are attempting to sign away free speech (I believe most Americans agree that the first amendment is the most important one) citing that they have the right to not be offended by others. They’ve also been a major push-back against the second amendment. Honestly I wish they’d care as much about the fourth amendment as they do about revoking the first because the fourth one is the one in trouble. Sure, the Supreme Court made the correct ruling that time, but the fact that police are breaking it is a sign of bad times to come.

The worst part is that I can see the good intentions behind the movement, right? Why would you oppose universal health care? Are you so greedy as to not want to help other people pay for their doctor visits and medication? It’s this idea of altruism that guides this hand. If you oppose this altruism, you get branded a bigot. “What? You don’t care that people are dying because they can’t afford healthcare? You must hate poor people”. Then you become a social outcast and who wants to become an outcast? But the problem comes in the way of ‘forced altruism’. If I want to give to charity, it should be on my terms, not someone else’s. Because it’s my money, my services, my property going into this act of charity. I recognize that it very may well be for ‘the greater good’ but that doesn’t mean that I give up my rights to satisfy it.

Wouldn’t a universal living wage be for the greater good? Like getting paid just to live (which I foresee as an inevitable outcome as automation becomes more and more widespread). How about homes? We have a ton of unused homes and a ton of space in the used homes. Wouldn’t it be for the greater good if every home in the United States took on a homeless person (or people, proportional to the size of the home) and gave them a place to stay? We would reduce homelessness! Unfortunately in doing so, you’ve forfeited the right to your property. And the worst part is – once rights are gone, once rights are surrendered to the government, they aren’t easily reclaimed. That’s why we must hold out against these oppressive movements as long as we can, and educate their proponents on the consequences that would arise if they were successful.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I recognize the goodwill, but reject the premise on the grounds that I enjoy my freedoms and rights. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Your ‘Right’ to (Government Funded) Healthcare

Police Brutality – The Myth

Update: Youtuber Sargon Of Akkad does a much better analysis of the statistics than I in this Youtube video. Please check that out if my attempt to explain the lack of bias is unclear.

Let me make clear that I do not in any way condone violent acts by officers in situations that do not call for it. I saw the Alton Sterling videos. I saw a man that appeared to be subdued get shot. In that same vein, I’m still going to exercise healthy skepticism until all of the details are in. That said, this event has brought all of the BLM wannabes out of the woodwork, so we’re going to set the record straight.

First, I’d like to direct your attention to two websites.

killedbypolice.net and The Guardian’s Police Fatality Counter

Isn’t The Guardian a British publication? Why are they involving themselves with the United States’ domestic issues? I guess the world loves to laugh at us gun nuts.

The numbers differ between the two, so we’ll use The Guardian’s numbers since they have a breakdown by race. 566 people have been killed by the cops in the United States. I wish that number were lower, but I don’t know the situations that led to every shooting. I don’t know if I would agree that each shooting was justified. So I won’t comment on it. The Guardian has the tab set to “Per Million (capita)” so it looks like Native Americans get the raw end of the deal followed quickly by blacks. I don’t like this type of comparison. Consider the following situation.

The population of Goldville is 100 people. 30 are Red, 70 are Blue. Crimes are committed entirely by Red people. Whatever the living situations of these Red people are, it just drives them to commit crime. Now Goldville has some cops, some Red, some Blue. Sometimes when they go out to stop the Reds from committing crimes, they shoot them. Sometimes the Red people shot by the Goldville police die. But since only Red people are committing the crimes prompting a police response, only Red people are killed by police. So 100% of police kills are Red people, but Red people account for only 30% of the population. So the natural conclusion is that the cops are racist for only shooting Red people, right? It would be, if you’re a Red Lives Matter activist. But it seems a bit of a poor comparison. Why would you ever expect a Blue person to get shot by the cops when the Blue people aren’t committing crimes that would prompt a police response? Seems batty to me.

So instead, we will do the following comparison. We will compare the percentage of people shot by race to the percentage of people committing crimes. This is a far more appropriate comparison. If we go back to my prior example, if 100% of crimes are committed by a race, and 100% of police fatalities are attributed to that very same race, it makes sense. So I found a table of crime statistics by race for 2013. This comes straight from the FBI so I would be inclined to trust that source. We see from the table that the arrests rates are as follows:

White: 69.8%
Black: 28.3%
Native American: 1.6%
Asian: 1.2%
Pacific Islander: 0.1%

(There’s also another column labeled Hispanic vs Not Hispanic. In which, Hispanic folk are 16.6% of arrests.)

You may have noticed that this adds up to 101% This is likely due to rounding errors in everything being given by the tenths place. Bear in mind that this seems to just be arrests. What we are doing with the following comparisons is assuming that no criminal gets away from the police. Realistically, this is false. Several people kill in a year but do not get arrested until several years later. However, for the purpose of demonstration, this will perhaps suffice.

Let’s compare the percentages of police kills by race.

White: 49.3%
Black: 24.0%
Hispanic: 15.5%
Other/Unknown: 7.1%
Native American: 2.3%
Pacific Islander: 1.8%

Now we run into the issue of ‘hispanic vs. not hispanic’. But let’s see if we can work around it. About 4.8 million arrests are in the hispanic set of columns. The question is whether or not that total (which we’ll call Total2) is a subset of Total1 (the number of arrest reported at the far left) or its own set of arrest, leading to a total of 14 million arrests in 2013. A Google search has led me to believe that they’re to be two separate totals with some kind of intersection of 2 million arrests. Which coincidentally enough is close to the number of arrests for drugs according to the DrugWarFacts.org link I used. But they also cite a different number of arrests compared to the FBI chart. But drug related arrests are accounted for in the FBI table. How inconvenient.

So long story short, my charts are far too different and I have 2 million arrests unavailable for comparison. Since hispanic isn’t included in the FBI table in the full range of races, I assume that ‘hispanic’ is split among what is listed in some way (after all, 2 million arrests are unaccounted for). My guess? The hispanic people are factored primarily into the white column. Why? Because The country is primarily white, so if there are mixed children, the probability of them having a white parent is much higher. Second (and this is anecdotal), latino folk can often pass as ‘white’ to a first glance. But they can also count as black-white mixed as well. In the case of mixed-race, I suspect the attribution to go to black. This is because there’s a culture associated with being black that’s often described as inspiring. Whereas the culture associated with being white is conquering countries and owning slaves.

For the purpose of demonstration, I will focus on black vs white in the following example. In our police kills by race percentage list, we have 22.6% of police killings locked up by hispanic and other.The country is 63.7% white, and 12.2% black (2010 census). If we split 75.9% of that 22.6% between the blacks and the whites, what do we get? Well first is that the black kill percentage goes up to about 25% which matches quite the 28% of crime committed statistic better. And the white kill percentage goes up to about 65% which is also comparable to the 70% of crimes being committed by white people statistic. Which turns out nicely, but again, this is all off of a guess of the ‘hispanic’ and ‘other’ distribution between whites and blacks.

So at the end of the day, I don’t see that much in the way of racism. If anything, Pacific Islanders get the raw end of the deal. Of course when we look at the actions cops take, there’s a ton of racism. Cops take 0.23 seconds longer to shoot black people. Cops are three times less likely to shoot unarmed black people. But that’s all based off of one study, so I don’t want to read into it too much.

Is there racism in the police force? Definitely. Is that a problem? I would not say so. I don’t have any problem with people holding racist ideals (or any ideals for that matter) if they don’t use those ideals to harm other people. I will trust a racist surgeon to operate on me just as much as I would trust a non-racist surgeon to operate on me. Because the racism shouldn’t be relevant to how well you can do your job. Even though the cops may hold racist views, it’s clearly not making them shoot more black people. Don’t hurt our cops. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Police Brutality – The Myth

Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius

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Steam Page

This is likely my last review for a few. I will be without a computer for a week-ish as it ships out to my new home. You know what that means… endlessly playing my 3DS while I wait to return to the internet! But yeah, I wouldn’t get my hopes up over a post for two weeks or something. A week without a computer and a week to play the next game. All that said, let’s get into this game.

This game was an accident for me. I had actually bought the sequel on sale without knowing that it was a sequel. I had a few guesses, namely that New Game gave me a laundry list of options and I’m like “Hmm… there’s an import button there to import an old save. This must be a sequel”. So I sought out the sequel, it was free so no harm, no foul. Then I played it.

This is a visual novel and tactical turn-based strategy game. I had originally hoped that it would focus more on the strategy game but as I played it, I realized that the battles were kind of a waste. They seemed only to artificially increase the playtime. In that same vein, they feel necessary due to the way that the story is written. It opens like a Star Wars movie.

The galaxy is on the brink of war. The Neutral Rim is slowly being taken over by the evil Empire PACT. The Solar Alliance wishes to remain neutral, but that can only be maintained for so long. War will break out, and planets will be massacred… (dun dun dun)

You play Kayto Shields which might be the dumbest name I’ve ever seen in a visual novel. Though another character is named Kryska Stares so… it’s a close battle. You were given the command of a ship called the Sunrider (roll credits). On the day of her field test, you are attacked and your field test has to be cut short as you run away from superior firepower. But before you go, you get to see Alderaan Cera blown up by their Death Star Legion’s powerful laser. After that, you can choose to fly the flag of your old military OR become a pirate. If you choose anything other than become a pirate, you probably hate fun. The rest of the game we follow Captain Shields and his quest to take revenge for his planet.

There’s also an ancient civilization that used to rule the galaxy. Everyone knows about them because they still exist today in a drastically weakened state. But the game makes this mistake and I hate when this mistake is made because I can very rarely find a good way to justify it. The mistake is in ancient civilizations having more powerful technology than ours today. Let me be clear, this is not inherently bad. There are people living on Indonesian islands today, which, should they ever join the civilized world and look through history, they’ll see that the United States completed an atomic bomb capable of leveling cities in 1945. The current year is 2016. Why is 2016 technology less advanced than 1945 technology? The key difference is the location. We’re comparing the technology of two different civilizations. Sunrider doesn’t do that. What you have is a civilization that used to rule the galaxy, they had an internal conflict, that got resolved somehow, and in that resolution all of this super fancy technology got lost. It just boggles my mind because I can’t come up with too much in the way of plausible justifications. And like in Valkyria Chronicle, I wonder to myself if it would not be more interesting to play in that war, rather than the one today. But who am I kidding, you and I both know that it’s just sequel bait. We’ll get that ancient technology in the next game (probably).

Also, terrible villains. Colonel Pork Chop was tasked with capturing the a high value target that happens to be on your ship. Pork Chop gets an entire fleet to surround you, there’s no way out. There’s a bounty on your head, so they tell their men to fire on you. When Pork Chop realizes that the target is on your ship, they tell their men to stop firing. Pork Chop’s men secure the target, bringing the target over to their ships, then VACATES THE AREA. WHY DID PORK CHOPS NOT BLOW YOU UP NOW THAT THE TARGET WAS NO LONGER ON YOUR SHIP? Christ, sometimes I wish that I could be the villain. We would get so much villain stuff done because I don’t make these retarded mistakes. By leaving you alive, Pork Chops practically assures a rescue mission attempt. Terrible villains.

I called it a visual novel because it plays out like one, and because I’m pretty sure that was the intent. The very first words you are greeted with as you turn on the game are ‘Love in Space’. Which sounds totally dumb yet endearing at the same time. However do not be fooled into thinking you get to pick your waifu. There are no waifus. The game does the thing where you dance around whether or not you’ll get a waifu like it’s going for the harem ending. Harem endings are very rarely done right because it’s really difficult to make everyone happy, both in game and out of it. So I distinctly hope that there is a canon ending, and it’s not terribly difficult to guess where it’s going but I don’t know for sure.

I’m not entirely sure your decisions change much of anything in the battles. I ran decisions back a few times and the only thing that seems to change is the text, not the result. For instance, when I was given a soldier from the Alliance, they were doing sketchy business on my ship. So I chose “Send them to the brig”. But battle broke out right after that decision. I reloaded my save, went back, chose “Trust them” or something and the battle still broke out! And I was able to use the soldier in both battles.

Can we talk about battles now? Let’s talk about battles now. Normally I take pride in being moderately competent in games. I always run on the default difficulty or one above the default difficulty because the chances of me playing a game twice are very slim. But this game made me turn down the difficulty. Holy smokes Batman, the battles are just way to hard! Maybe it’s because the battles aren’t well-tutorialized or something. You’re told that energy weapons are less effective against shields and kinetic weapons go straight through them. Simple enough. Energy weapons have longer range. I don’t see why they should if we’re in space, but go on. Kinetic weapons have horrible accuracy but higher damage. Okay. So that means I should use energy weapons until I close the gap and switch the kinetic weapons? Seems simple enough. ONLY THE GAME SPAM SPAWNS ENEMIES WITH SHIELDS AND THE SHIELDS STACK SO YOU DO NO DAMAGE.

Due to the shield stacking mechanic, it seems that the game wants to push you to keep your units close together. I’ve played a lot of Super Robot Wars, so I’m not used to that. I’m used to units that can go out and destroy everything and dodge everything (using proper pilot skills). So this was definitely a jarring change which may explain why I did so poorly. You do have a unit that can shut down shields and I eventually upgraded it to be able to shut down two shields per turn, but that only helps so much when you’re running against stacking three shields or more on top of each other. And then it becomes a real PITA when the enemies get units that can shut down YOUR shields and YOUR energy generation.

It feels like you’re punished way too harshly if you don’t know the proper way to upgrade your units from the get-go. Once I got a handle on things the normal difficulty was still too hard for me but I managed to bump it up a bit. The combat energy consumption and movements only makes sense for a hexagon map though. So good on the developers for a job well-done there.

My biggest complaint about the game isn’t the combat so much as it is the animations. They feel really clunky in transitioning from map to battle animation and back to map. Every now and again the game would also register my click on something that I did not click resulting in me using attacks that I did not mean to use. I tested this out and it seems like clicking near the borders of the hexagons does this which I guess is due to rectangular bounds for click regions.

Overall, the game was free so I can’t say that it wasn’t worth the money, only the time. And I feel bad because I really got involved with the story towards the end (even though I predicted the ending in some manner or another). The game comes with two routes ‘First Contact’ and ‘Mask of Arcadius’ but Mark of Arcadius seems to be the second half of the game. I didn’t play any battles but I had read all of the text before and the battle was that which I remember doing. After a few battles I stopped because I didn’t want to play the game twice. I don’t know if the rest of the battles are the same, and I’m not going to check. My guess is that if you select ‘First Contact’ you play through both scenarios, not just one. Is it worth it? Sure. I really got involved with the story towards the end, which is great because I have the sequel and am now hyped-ish to play it upon my return to the internet. But that’ll be a review for another day. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius

LiEat

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Steam Page

Wow, am I about to hand out another favorable review? Two in a row? I must be going soft. But it’s true, I did rather enjoy LiEat. I picked it up on sale during the anime sale and it has three LiEat games within it. So this review covers all three.

There are a lot of things that I have problems with when it comes to games. One of the biggest ones is ‘overstaying your welcome’. See, I don’t handle horrendously long games that well. Well… that might not be true. It’s probably better to say that developers don’t often make a long game a good one. I think this is driven by an industry standard in which long games = better games? Or perhaps you can charge more for a longer game, people might like to pay for a certain number of hours of playtime. But quite frankly, I think that’s a horrible justification for long games. That’s essentially saying that you made a game long to make the game long. It’s like padding on a woman, sure, it might make them seem more appealing. But at the end of the day you’re both disappointed. Ironically for the reason behind this game! Lying.

The game’s title is a very clever combination of the words ‘lie’ and ‘eat’. You will at some point in the game eat lies. Simple enough, right? Right. You play… well I don’t want to spoil the plot for this one so let’s just call them Dude and Efi. Efi is the dragon, she can eat lies. Dude is an information broker, but he seems to play detective. That’s where the lie-eating dragon comes in. You, the player, deduce what the lies are, and then eat them. You arrive at the scene. Something has gone down. You talk to everyone, gather clues, and then when you’re ready to do your deduction game, you’re given a few ‘lies’. Of the lies, there will be truths hidden. What this means is that you’ll have to use your notes and what the lies are saying to deduce which are actual lies and which are truths. You don’t want to eat the truth (apparently it tastes bad).

Combat is turn-based like every JRPG and their mum. But that’s not so bad because the combat doesn’t make up the bulk of the game. Combat is a fine method of progressing through a game, but it cannot carry a game. That’s where the rest of the game’s elements come together. LiEat has a magnificent aesthetic. It reminds me of Pokemon Gold and Silver era. It’s also kind of amusing when you realize how the art links together, but that’s probably just my gaming quirk. For instance, there’s a room with a giant eye in it. Really, it’s just two layers. A hole, and a background with an iris looking drawing on it. As you move through the room, the iris background moves with you, making it appear as though the eye is following you for creepy effect! Is that impressive? Not really. But it’s my blog and I’m going to squee over it because I think it’s awesome. The art style just really comes together. It has this Victorian feel to it… if I’m using that adjective properly. That header image? It’s not nearly representative of the game. Looks more like this

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Isn’t that art fantastic? And the music! The music is fabulous! The music really sells the theme. It’s classy, it’s silly, it’s spoopy, it’s whatever the tone needs it to be. And it’s amazing how I never noticed the transitions until I noticed the transitions. That’s not the way I meant to word that. What’s a better way to say this? I never noticed the transitions until it was apparent that the mood in the story had changed to fit it? Maybe the best way to say this is that I never noticed transitions. The music always fit the tone and you, the listener, could not distinguish when the tone changed because it’s just done that well.

The story is generally rather basic. You could likely tell how things were going to play out well in advance. And perhaps that’s the game’s intention. Each game (LiEat 1, LiEat 2, LiEat 3) started with some kind of storybook sequence. A myth, a dream, something like that. And you could tell how the dream applied when you started playing the game and talked to all of the characters to get a feel for the scenario that you were about to play. The dialogue is well-written, each of the characters are as interesting as they need to be for their involvement in the plot.

Of the three games, I think the second one was the one best made. The first one felt like the stretching of legs, to see if this game concept would work. The characters are so adorable how could this game concept not work? The deduction game in the first one is rather simple. I got the bad ending first because curious =(

The second game was where the writers really seemed to hit their stride. The setup was great, the characters were rather flaunty, and the deduction game (while still simple) felt more involved. It felt like more work had gone into it somehow. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s how I felt. And Efi just seemed to be on her game for funsies the most in this one.

I don’t think the third game had a deduction game, and this might be why I rate it second. I tend to favor the third game more because it ties together the threads of the first two games, but it didn’t have a deduction game and the method to getting the good vs bad ending seems a bit too simple, which I’ll spoil because it’s that bad. To get the good ending you need to be a certain level before fighting the final boss. That’s it. That’s not what I want for my story endings! I want some choice that I made earlier in the game to be more significant! But the story itself reveals so much about the characters in the game. And I was more invested in the characters in these games anyway. So I rate three below two for gameplay, but three above two for story.

The thing that wraps this up in a nice little bow is that it’s wrapped in a nice little bow. The game is as long as it needs to be. This is the way I like my games. Show up, get in, get out. It didn’t drag itself out for the sake of runtime. It didn’t drag itself out enough to make me lose interest in the characters. It had three short stories that it wanted to tell. It told these three short stories in a timely manner. And for that I applaud it. It’s self-contained, a lesson that I think more developers should take to heart.

At the end of the day, I highly recommend this game. At the time of writing it’s $2.39 on Steam. That’s like $0.80 per short story. It’s worth it, I promise you.

Artemis Hunt

LiEat

Washington Post Please

So it has come to this Washington Post. I can’t believe that it has come to this. I have known for a while that your writers have their own agenda to push and I respect that. I’ll still read it every now and again for a chuckle. Kinda like Salon or Slate, but with writers a bit more serious and to the point and not outrageously biased. But now you’ve come to this? Contradicting yourself in your own articles? Let’s take a look at this article. All quote boxes will come from the article unless otherwise stated.

So one thing to note is the title. “Men say they work more than women. Here’s the truth”. Such a title implies that women would work more than men. Otherwise, the title wouldn’t be worded in such a way. Otherwise, the title would be worded “Men work more than women” or something to that effect. So right off the bat, I’m assuming that this article is going to try to tell me that women work more than men. For people with an agenda of equality, such a statement should still pose a problem but whatever.

Since 2003, when government researchers started collecting the data, men have reported devoting more life to paid labor than their female counterparts. In 2015, employed men recorded working an average 42 minutes per day longer than employed women. Women, meanwhile, said they spent more time on housework: 2.6 hours, compared to the men’s 2.1 hours.

Huh. Actually looks like they forgot their agenda. So men do work more per day than women, and women spend more time on housework. However, men still work more overall. There are 60 minutes in an hour, and 42 minutes is 70% of an hour, or 0.7 hours. Women work 0.5 hours more than men on housework. So the net difference is that overall… men work 0.2 hours more than women (12 minutes). Unfortunately I don’t know what the housework totals are for, weekly or daily. I’m assuming it’s per day. So with men working 12 minutes more (on average) per day, over the course of a year men will work 73 more hours than women. That’s over two full work weeks! Oh, but you know that the author needs to push their agenda in the face of facts. So how do they negotiate this obstacle? Part-time employment.

“This difference partly reflects women’s greater likelihood of working part time,” the authors explained. “However, even among full-time workers (those usually working 35 hours or more per week), men worked longer than women — 8.2 hours compared with 7.8 hours.”

Ouch, do you hear the sound of a crumbling narrative? Part-time jobs are kind of like a double-sided knife. They tend to offer flexible hours but they’re not always a consistent set of hours. So maybe it is better to consider full-time employees. Except when you do that, it seems men still work 24 minutes more per day. Well then it’s open and shut, isn’t it? Oh no, it’s never that simple when it comes to dealing with people pushing an agenda on lies.

Let’s start with a few massive caveats in the Labor Department’s report. First, the researchers asked each respondent to log their own time. Nobody submitted manager-approved work hours, and research tells us one of the sexes generally tends to overestimate. Secondly, the survey didn’t measure productivity or efficiency. Workaholism isn’t necessarily a sign of value.

You know, it’s good that they worded it the way that they did. Otherwise they’d be caught telling a lie. The research they’re referring to suggests that men will overestimate their abilities and performance while women will underestimate their abilities and performance. I have anecdotes which suggest the same; however I believe the implication is that men would lie about how many hours that they worked. But it’s weird. They link to an Atlantic article which doesn’t suggest that men lie about the hours they work, just that men take more chances. Women hold themselves back. Which has pretty much been what the wage gap deniers have been telling people all along but ‘muh wage gap’. Why is the Washington Post trying to imply that men would lie about their hours rather than the more natural conclusion that men just work more? And then it states that the survey didn’t measure productivity or efficiency, which might be true. But that was never the point of the survey. The point was just to get a gauge on how much people work. When the data came out, men worked more. But that runs counter to your narrative, so now you’re stuck in a spot in which you need to find a way around it. So you go to “men lie” and “the quality of goods was never measure, women could be making goods the same quality or with better quality”.

You know, in science when there’s a lack of evidence for a hypothesis, we tend to discard that hypothesis. But not Washington Post. No, they continue to pump out clickbait articles which either try to slither around the truth or just outright lie. And I can’t help but feel that in the war of the sexes in labor, the only person that wins is the employer. With men and women competing harder, they can drive down wages and make promotions more competitive.

In one 2005 study, Carnegie Mellon economist Linda Babcock showed people clips of men and women asking for a raise, following the same script. Male viewers deemed the men’s negotiating style smooth, while women using identical words registered as too demanding.

See, I hate this. They cite ‘studies’ but they don’t cite the study itself, rather someone else reporting on it. They did it with The Atlantic earlier, and now they’re doing it to themselves (oddly enough). When someone tells me the result of a study, I’d kinda like to see the study. Of course the article they cite also just mentions the study, rather than citing the study directly. But it’s actually important that we see the study itself. Which I found here (Bowles, Babcock, and Lai). Though truly, the author of this page should’ve cited it directly if possible.

We also need to see how the negotiations went down. There’s more to communication in requesting a raise than just following a script. We in the educated community often refer to it as ‘acting’. What makes Will Smith a better actor than any arbitrary actor? If you follow the same script, either one of you can get hired for the next big movie, right? Wrong. It’s how you deliver lines. Delivering lines has more to do with tone and body language than it does with the lines themselves. When you look at the study itself, it’s Experiment 3, and the experimenters apparently told the actors to deliver the lines in the same manner.

During the rehearsal for the taping, we coached them to enact the script as similarly as possible to one another (e.g., by providing instruction on tone and pace of voice, etc.) – Bowles, Babcock, and Lai

But this apparently had its own host of problems.

For instance, women tend to smile more often than men. […] If the female actors’ behavior differed more between the no ask and ask conditions than did the male actors’ behavior (e.g., they smiled relatively less), then that would suggest an alternative explanation for any findings of interaction effects between the gender of the candidate and the ask manipulation. – Bowles, Babcock, and Lai

Just a note, ‘ask’ and ‘no ask’ refer to

Across the negotiation conditions, the candidates either accepted their compensation offers without comment (no ask) or initiated negotiations (ask). – Bowles, Babcock, and Lai

What do we find?

both male and female evaluators were less inclined to work with female candidates who initiated negotiations as compared to those who did not – Bowles, Babcock, and Lai

Yes. This was observed. However, what they also found that male evaluators were less inclined to work with female candidates initiating negotiations and that female evaluators were less inclined to work with male candidates. Which means there may be more at play here, such as physical attraction. The evaluator likely did not want to feel like they awarded a raise due to physical attraction, which leads to this effect. Which is likely why this was observed:

As shown by the means in Table 7, attempting to negotiate for higher compensation had no significant effect on male evaluators’ willingness to work with male candidates. […] However, the ask manipulation had a significantly negative effect on female evaluators’ willingness to work with male candidates – Bowles, Babcock, and Lai

Precisely. In fact, this effect seems to be higher for female evaluators of male applicants than male evaluators of female applicants! (looking at the table). This effect isn’t drastically higher, however it is higher nonetheless.

The evaluators were asked to evaluate the ‘niceness’, ‘demandingness’, and ‘competence’ of the applicants. They did this on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being ‘extremely’. So a person rated with a niceness of 5 is perceived to be more nice than someone rated with a niceness of 4. And what we do we find? Women were found to be ‘nicer’ to both male and female evaluators for both the ask and no ask situations. This is likely due to that habit women have of smiling more during the interviews, as noted earlier. Men were found to be more ‘demanding’ to both men and women in the no ask situation and in the ask situation. And the ‘competence’ seemed to be rather close with the exception of male applicants where women tend to find men drastically less competent. Weird.

We expected the competence thing (except for that one condition), because male and female applicants were given the same script and a same resume. So strictly speaking, they should be equally competent. The niceness and demandingness would come down to deliver, which, again, comes down to the acting. If we get anything out of this study, I think we should be getting “negotiate with the same sex (if possible)” out of it.

So in short, I don’t buy the fish, at least not wholly. Let’s go back to the Washington Post article

In the United States, women now financially support 40 percent of homes and tend to take on more domestic chores. They typically spend two hours and 12 minutes on daily housework, while men invest about one hour and 21 minutes into the home. – Washington Post

This is odd, because earlier it was stated that in 2015 men do 2.1 hours of housework per day, while women do 2.6 hours of housework per day. So which is it? Are you citing another study or statistic? Because you did not indicate that you were doing so.

It’s strange that in this day and age that I have to ask for quality articles from the Washington Post. I grew up listening to Sousa’s Washington Post March which (I assume) was commissioned for the early days of this organization’s publishing. The Washington Post March is iconic, everyone (well, not really but you know what I mean) can recognize it by its introduction! I’m just really frustrated with the news. I don’t get it all from one place, but what’s happening now is that I’m not looking for where I can get news anymore. I’m looking for where I can’t get news. Because I’m more concerned that the news I read is total BS from some nutter that found an editor to hire them than it being actual news. My time is valuable and even if I waste a lot of it looking at kittens, it doesn’t mean that what’s leftover to read about what’s happening today or what’s happening in science is not important. I’m just really disappointed. Anyway, thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Washington Post Please