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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: knoodelhed on May 29, 2012, 01:17:20 am

Title: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: knoodelhed on May 29, 2012, 01:17:20 am
Just a footnote.

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/magnesium/
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 29, 2012, 01:33:53 am
Just a footnote.

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/magnesium/

But what Good and Dutiful Anarcho-Capitalist wouild believe something put out by a Government funded institution staffed by people by dependent on that governments good graces.

If you cant believe Government records and histories, why would you believe government science?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 29, 2012, 01:36:09 am
This just goes to show the ignorance of the average person in a group.  No respect for an apparent expert. 
Because Science is Bad.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Andreas on May 29, 2012, 02:05:12 am
Does this complaining women say how much magnesium? One (lay) person's contamination is another person's trace amounts.

Nothing is more of a downer than a voice of reason while drumming up a lynch mob.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on May 29, 2012, 02:13:46 am
Chelation isn't really the right word, TeamGirl has that right. Perhaps "leech"?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on May 29, 2012, 02:41:00 am
Does this complaining women say how much magnesium? One (lay) person's contamination is another person's trace amounts.

Nothing is more of a downer than a voice of reason while drumming up a lynch mob.

Chelation isn't really the right word, TeamGirl has that right. Perhaps "leech"?

Perhaps more like "dilute."  A certain amount of Mg++ is needed in dietary intake lest deficiencies develop.  

What I'm wondering is whether or not there's enough magnesium in that bottled water for this complaining cow to taste.  Have her blind-taste the suspect supply against distilled water and see whether that amount of Mg++ is really the causative factor. Might be something not at all in the water, perhaps some pathological taste perversion due to a disease process ongoing in the woman herself.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on May 29, 2012, 04:55:45 am
Might be something not at all in the water, perhaps some pathological taste perversion due to a disease process ongoing in the woman herself.

Well, there's definitely some pathology going on, but I don't think statism is in the DSM4 just yet. ;)
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Andreas on May 29, 2012, 05:53:10 am
See, that's what was wrong with Warren Zevon, he had contracted Statism!
Here he sings about it : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHDdqubE7zQ
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Azure Priest on May 29, 2012, 07:06:32 am
As I recall, this colony forms a panel to investigate the water, and the panel finds a problem, needs authority to fix it, and becomes a government.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: ContraryGuy on May 29, 2012, 08:56:58 am
Might be something not at all in the water, perhaps some pathological taste perversion due to a disease process ongoing in the woman herself.

Well, there's definitely some pathology going on, but I don't think statism is in the DSM4 just yet. ;)

No, but rumor has it theyre going to include it in the upcoming DSM 5.  I think it will be listed under "Pathological need for Safety, Security and Stability."
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: SandySandfort on May 29, 2012, 09:04:18 am
What I'm wondering is whether or not there's enough magnesium in that bottled water for this complaining cow to taste.

No, she just said it "tasted funny." I assume comet water--even after some treatment--would taste "different" and the presence of magnesium would be purely coincidental. The reason that we know there is not excessive magnesium or any other  harmful substance in the water is that the market would put them out of business faster than Bon Vivant vichyssoise soup. You do remember Bon Vivant vichyssoise soup, don't you?

Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: GaTor on May 29, 2012, 11:01:16 am
Fine, don't drink the water.  On the other hand if one (as in the 'ahem' Lady)  MUST drink water (as most of us do although beer plays an important part of my liquid dietary intake), the lady should have asked the water analysis lab/technician if the magnesieum contained in the water was at toxic or otherwise unhealthy levels.  We can assume that she ran out of the lab in a blind enraged panic vice asking a rather important question.  
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: macsnafu on May 29, 2012, 11:04:54 am

She does, however, also demonstrate the inherent flaw with relying solely on concerned citizens. Most will be laymen, and so won't know how to proceed properly. Some will jump to conclusions like the woman and single out one source, or others may only focus on a few obvious sources, and so could miss the real source. Still others won't know how to properly collect the samples, and may thereby produce false positives or false negatives that would mislead them. And someone has to pay for all that testing. One colonist may not be able to afford it, and the rest may demand someone do something but refuse to help support it with their own money. Unless a testing company is willing to waive its fee for the public good, the needed testing may never get done and the source will continue to be unknown.

Plus, the samples should be tested by at least three companies to protect against mistakes and false results. That will triple the costs. Would all three companies waive their fees?

Well, see, if someone isn't willing to put up their own money, then what are their demands worth?  And if a large population is being affected, I fail to see why everybody would need to pay for testing, unless people just want to share the costs--if a thousand people are affected, for example, do you really need a thousand tests run?  Wouldn't a hundred tests provide enough evidence of what's going on?   If so, I don't see why anybody needs to waive a fee "for the public good".
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: macsnafu on May 29, 2012, 12:39:45 pm


She does, however, also demonstrate the inherent flaw with relying solely on concerned citizens. Most will be laymen, and so won't know how to proceed properly. Some will jump to conclusions like the woman and single out one source, or others may only focus on a few obvious sources, and so could miss the real source. Still others won't know how to properly collect the samples, and may thereby produce false positives or false negatives that would mislead them. And someone has to pay for all that testing. One colonist may not be able to afford it, and the rest may demand someone do something but refuse to help support it with their own money. Unless a testing company is willing to waive its fee for the public good, the needed testing may never get done and the source will continue to be unknown.

Plus, the samples should be tested by at least three companies to protect against mistakes and false results. That will triple the costs. Would all three companies waive their fees?


Well, see, if someone isn't willing to put up their own money, then what are their demands worth?  And if a large population is being affected, I fail to see why everybody would need to pay for testing, unless people just want to share the costs--if a thousand people are affected, for example, do you really need a thousand tests run?  Wouldn't a hundred tests provide enough evidence of what's going on?   If so, I don't see why anybody needs to waive a fee "for the public good".


But part of my point was, what happens if enough people refuse to help pay for it and the rest can't afford it? Do we just let people keep on getting sick or dying? The number of afflicted doesn't matter; either someone(s) has to pay for the testing or the testing companies waive the fee for the public emergency (good public relations that), otherwise the testing won't get done.

See, you're playing "what if" games again.  The beauty of our current system is that some people get to be concerned about an issue and force the costs of that concern on other people who are not concerned, through government taxation and regulation.

But if you're not concerned enough to expend your own resources, then why should you be able to force other people to pay for your concerns?  Arguing that it's for the greater good doesn't really justify the coercion involved.

Also, it's a matter of the particular circumstances involved.  Perhaps those who "can't afford it" simply can't afford to pay for it all by themselves.  If several people who can't afford it pool their resources, they may well be able to afford it.  The number of affected can certainly provide greater incentives for the unaffected to be concerned, as well as affecting the relative cost per number of people affected. 

Again, we're not arguing for utopia.  Having an unlikely event or tragedy happen once in a blue moon still sounds preferable to the tyranny and unintended consequences of consistent and continual coercive actions and regulations.

Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Killydd on May 29, 2012, 12:44:19 pm
Well, if the company feels responsible for its own employees(as most small businesses do) it would run its tests for its own benefit, thus giving you the testing for public good.  Of course, at this point, it's hard to say whether it's a short term problem of a filter not being changed even though it was logged, some form of broader negligence in the water company, or the fact that she bought contaminated supplies back on Terra that are leaching into her personal water, but nowhere else.  Of course, there's also the question of whether the water tastes funny because it's not contaminated, and her eye just picked up on a number that seemed large as she was scanning the report, since a tasteless mineral that takes very high doses to result in negative effects would be ignored by a company unless it was considered a signal that something might be wrong in the purification process.  
As far as coercing a company to do something for the public good, that sounds distasteful even to my statist self.  I see coercing them to avoid doing something, or to mitigate the impact of something they are doing, but forcing someone to give a service for free is bad.  If you want that, give some rhetoric out and you'll be able to pass the hat for the cheap services quickly enough.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on May 29, 2012, 02:16:54 pm
As a human being and a Christian, I feel it is proper to save lives if I can than allow people to die.

That's all well and good, but I'd rather you not force me to contribute my resources to doing it.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: macsnafu on May 29, 2012, 03:08:30 pm
But your reply does demonstrate the difference between us. To use an analogy, you sound like someone who would tolerate some innocent people being executed so that not a single guilty person goes free, whereas I would rather allow a few guilty people to go free rather than allow one innocent person to be executed.

I other words, I prefer to anticipate disaster and try to prevent it. It's what makes us uniquely human. Many animals can cope with disaster and even adapt, but humans are the only creatures that can anticipate disaster and prepare for it or even prevent it.

So I would rather prevent the possibility of a company harming consumers even if it reduces its profits, then have to deal with the mess that occurs after some company puts out a products it knows is dangerous or that it didn't test for safety.

As a human being and a Christian, I feel it is proper to save lives if I can than allow people to die.

But that's just it.  I believe that the coercive regulation of government IS allowing people to die.  Government regulation provides no guarantees, and doesn't stop deaths from occurring--it merely avoids placing blame on the proper people, allowing them to continue to be a danger to others. 

And when (not if) some tragedy occurs under government regulation, the government can only respond after the fact, too.

I, too, prefer prevention to waiting after the fact.  You just haven't gotten it into your head yet how prevention can occur without coercive regulation. Or that government control can't guarantee anything.



Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: SandySandfort on May 29, 2012, 06:44:53 pm
I, too, prefer prevention to waiting after the fact.  You just haven't gotten it into your head yet how prevention can occur without coercive regulation.

Quite correct. That is why the market naturally evolves private solutions such as Consumers Report, Better Business Bureau, Underwriter's Laboratory, ISO, Ralph Nader, Alex Jones, the Sierra Club, Green Peace, Wikileaks and an internet full of  private interest groups, snitches, whistle-blowers and EFT Forum trolls. It's the free market, boys and girls.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on May 30, 2012, 12:11:14 am
free market coercion

This thing you speak of... it does not exist.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Ian Wendt on May 30, 2012, 12:57:38 am

 In fact, the belief that drinking pure water causes mineral deficiencies is something of an Old Wives' Tale.

Wrong.

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutdemineralized.pdf

Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Andreas on May 30, 2012, 01:08:22 am

No, she just said it "tasted funny." I assume comet water--even after some treatment--would taste "different" and the presence of magnesium would be purely coincidental.


Magnesium is tasteless, as is water itself. For comet water to taste "different" it would have to contain other components that have taste. Things like hydrocarbons and other carbonaceous compounds, that are present in comets, but they would also produce odors as well. But these can be removed by using activate charcoal filters, among other types, at least to low enough levels that they are no longer detectable by taste or smell. There's no reason to believe that, suitably purified, water obtained from comets would taste any different from pure water obtained from any other source. Unless it picked up something from the purification process, which is always possible.

Quote

The reason that we know there is not excessive magnesium or any other  harmful substance in the water is that the market would put them out of business faster than Bon Vivant vichyssoise soup.


That assumes two things: that this is not a one-time incident, and that people would know the water was contaminated.

If it is a one-time incident of accidental contamination, we may be seeing the first indication of anyone finding out.

The problem with people knowing is that if people started getting sick or dying in an enclosed environment, there's no reason to immediately focus on the water. It could be tainted air or food, it could be a malfunctioning piece of equipment or decomposing synthetic releasing toxic fumes or chemicals, it could even be the colonists themselves. The human body produces methane, ethane, and hydrogen sulfide, among other gases, and in an enclosed environment they can build up to toxic levels if not removed. So if a small colony experiences a sudden influx of more immigrants than the life support system can handle, the colonists own body emissions could make them sick.

Now, if the colonists have contracted a private regulatory company, or a knowledgeable local doctor, or if the insurance companies have onsite investigators, they can step in, collect samples of everything the sick or dead people came into contact with, and have them tested to determine the source of the contamination.

In the absence of that, however, some enterprising colonist(s) will have to take the initiative and collect the samples himself. The woman in EFT may be portrayed as an hysteric, but at least she's doing what needs to be done, even if she is going about it the wrong way.

She does, however, also demonstrate the inherent flaw with relying solely on concerned citizens. Most will be laymen, and so won't know how to proceed properly. Some will jump to conclusions like the woman and single out one source, or others may only focus on a few obvious sources, and so could miss the real source. Still others won't know how to properly collect the samples, and may thereby produce false positives or false negatives that would mislead them. And someone has to pay for all that testing. One colonist may not be able to afford it, and the rest may demand someone do something but refuse to help support it with their own money. Unless a testing company is willing to waive its fee for the public good, the needed testing may never get done and the source will continue to be unknown.

Plus, the samples should be tested by at least three companies to protect against mistakes and false results. That will triple the costs. Would all three companies waive their fees?

Actually, no two waters taste the same.
In one place I lived, the tap water tasted terrible (it wasn't contaminated, only it contained an unfortunate combination of traces) and in another it tasted decidedly good (better than average). It's also possible that this woman's taste buds were offended by a lack of additives (like, UW probably add both Chlorine and Fluorine to the tap water, right?).

Denatured water (the very pure kind needed for chemistry) actually tastes rather bad, so this idea that pure water is tasteless isn't really true.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: GaTor on May 30, 2012, 02:06:49 am
Hmm, so a thought occurs.  Do they still use "Milk of Magnesia" or it's more palatable equivalent?  Ah well this thread (NOT EFT) is getting a bit tedious due to troll droppings.   Seriously,  if one finds the comic and it's debate threads so objectionable then why read it and post things simply to annoy the other readers?  Yes, this is just a 'comic' and a work of fiction, but it is NOT baseless speculation, it is an intellectual exercise and a pretty damn good work of Science Fiction. 
BTW when Marx and Engals wrote the communist manifesto I'd bet money that it was considered far fetched fiction at the time yet it was responsible for the murder of over 200 million people.  While it's got its own inherent problems (calls for the golden rule which most people fall far short of etc.)  I'll take AnCap over Team Girl's brand of Marxism hands down. 
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Andreas on May 30, 2012, 05:17:38 am
I misread you : Marx and Ingalls => "Little workers' possession of the means of production on the Prairie"
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on May 30, 2012, 06:00:12 am
I misread you : Marx and Ingalls => "Little workers' possession of the means of production on the Prairie"

Hah... that, I might read!
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: macsnafu on May 30, 2012, 09:02:05 am
And while we're at it, please stop pretending to claim some moral high ground.

Why not?  You tried to.  Re-read your post.
And I believe there is moral high ground to capture.  Many people believe that government coercion is a "necessary" evil, while other people, such as you, try to justify it and pretend it isn't even evil.  You even try to claim that the voluntary exchanges that take place in the marketplace can be evil, too.  That's way beyond cognitive dissonance.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: bjdotson on May 30, 2012, 04:00:13 pm
Anybody that lives where there is "hard water" drinks magnesium (as well as other minerals) daily.  I asked about this where I work (a chemical laboratory) and they all just shrugged it off as no big deal.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Homer2101 on May 30, 2012, 06:56:12 pm
A better question may be why anyone in the EFT universe even cares about waterborne contaminants. Autodocs can apparently bring even the dead to life, and can restructure a person's DNA without too much effort from what we've seen so far. They also appear to be quite cheap and plentiful; no-one has yet been unable to afford a trip to the autodoc, or unable to get autodoc time. So it seems that someone could pour rat poison into the water supply, and no-one would really care, since it would just mean a few days of missed work.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on May 30, 2012, 07:42:23 pm
So it seems that someone could pour rat poison into the water supply, and no-one would really care, since it would just mean a few days of missed work.

...for everybody. Can you imagine what would happen if the entire economy took three days off?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: sam on May 31, 2012, 12:22:01 am
That's not a particularly credible argument. Sulfur is the 10th most common element in the universe and the 8th most common in the human body, but you still wouldn't want it in your drinking water.

But, Teamgirl, you have it in your drinking water, in the form of sulfates.

The most common compounds, sulfides and sulfites, are toxic;

In the presence of oxygen, otherwise known as air, they are swiftly converted into sulfates.

You only get sulfites in anaerobic environment, such as wine.  All wine contains substantial amounts of sulfite, and yet wine drinkers are not dropping dead like flies.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Ian Wendt on May 31, 2012, 01:04:46 am
Sodium Metabisulfite is also an extremely common preservative. It's pervasive in modern, pre-packaged foods and is also a very commonly used component of Campden tablets, used for wine and beer making. Many other sulfites are used as food additives as well. That's twice TeamGirl has missed the mark. Masters in biochem, was it?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on May 31, 2012, 01:39:29 am
Ramesh still isn't playing it smart. He didn't even try to educate her, just knuckled under.

If talking with you has taught me anything, it's that you cannot educate a stone.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: sam on May 31, 2012, 02:54:08 am
You only get sulfites in anaerobic environment, such as wine.


No, that's wrong. Sulfites are manufactured in aerobic conditions. Sulfite reaction with oxygen is very weak at room temperature, as stated above.

The amount of sulfite in aerobic water at room temperature declines by a few percent over a few minutes, so in a few hours, would be all gone.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bit.260370416/pdf (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bit.260370416/pdf)

The attempt to ban sulfur is motivated by the same evil madness as the attempt to ban chlorine.  You guys want bans so broad as to make human life impossible, thereby granting limitless power to our greenie overlords.

The elimination of sulfides is a little more complex and dependent on circumstances, than the elimination of sulfites, but the same basic principle applies: In the presence of air, does not last long.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: sam on May 31, 2012, 03:15:36 am
The attempt to ban magnesium is, I assume, a parody of the equally ludicrous real life movement to ban chlorine.

Another parody of the real life chlorine movement is the movement to ban dihydrogen oxide.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: mellyrn on May 31, 2012, 06:51:50 am
Quote
The attempt to ban magnesium is, I assume, a parody of the equally ludicrous real life movement to ban chlorine.

In '95, I moved into a house far enough out that it was on its own well.  Since then I have moved a couple of times, scrupulously avoiding homes on municipal water each time.  I currently have both a well and a cistern.  I won't ban stuff from your water; so long as I can avoid somebody else's idea of what I "should" have in my water, I'm cool.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: ConditionOne on May 31, 2012, 06:54:46 am
I'm no scientist, but I live in the country with a well and I don't see how sulfur is a big deal. Sure, it smells, but we just put some in a pitcher and let it air out, and its OK.  Amish up here drink it, and they are the healthiest people you'll ever meet.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: customdesigned on May 31, 2012, 06:58:23 am
Ramesh still isn't playing it smart. He didn't even try to educate her, just knuckled under.

And his assistant is recommending increasing the price of the water they produce rather than cutting the cost somewhere else in the company. Not a smart business move.
If it was me, I would create a new package, with "NOW WITH REDUCED MAGNESIUM" prominently displayed on the label, and charge a higher price.  But also offer "ORIGINAL FORMULA" at the lower price.  If the magnesium testing results are reproducible, I might even process the "REDUCED MAGNESIUM" differently.

It might be necessary to change "REDUCED MAGNESIUM" to "MAGNESIUM FREE" with a footnote in tiny print defining "FREE" as "reduced by at least 90% according to test X".  Depending on the mental thickness of my customers.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: bjdotson on May 31, 2012, 09:09:08 am
Ramesh still isn't playing it smart. He didn't even try to educate her, just knuckled under.

And his assistant is recommending increasing the price of the water they produce rather than cutting the cost somewhere else in the company. Not a smart business move.
If it was me, I would create a new package, with "NOW WITH REDUCED MAGNESIUM" prominently displayed on the label, and charge a higher price.  But also offer "ORIGINAL FORMULA" at the lower price.  If the magnesium testing results are reproducible, I might even process the "REDUCED MAGNESIUM" differently.

It might be necessary to change "REDUCED MAGNESIUM" to "MAGNESIUM FREE" with a footnote in tiny print defining "FREE" as "reduced by at least 90% according to test X".  Depending on the mental thickness of my customers.


I love this approach. Satisfies everybody
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Rbsnedd on May 31, 2012, 03:04:47 pm
Ramesh still isn't playing it smart. He didn't even try to educate her, just knuckled under.

And his assistant is recommending increasing the price of the water they produce rather than cutting the cost somewhere else in the company. Not a smart business move.
If it was me, I would create a new package, with "NOW WITH REDUCED MAGNESIUM" prominently displayed on the label, and charge a higher price.  But also offer "ORIGINAL FORMULA" at the lower price.  If the magnesium testing results are reproducible, I might even process the "REDUCED MAGNESIUM" differently.

It might be necessary to change "REDUCED MAGNESIUM" to "MAGNESIUM FREE" with a footnote in tiny print defining "FREE" as "reduced by at least 90% according to test X".  Depending on the mental thickness of my customers.


I love this approach. Satisfies everybody
Seems like a good idea and, come to think of it not far off what happens with the whole bottled water craze.

One general question I have about the current story is where the Vesta colony actualy gets its water from?
Presumably some of it will come from comets or small water asteroids or moons but just how much is recycled?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: sam on May 31, 2012, 04:27:59 pm
I don't see how sulfur is a big deal. Sure, it smells, but we just put some in a pitcher and let it air out, and its OK

The smell is sulfides.  If there are sulfides, you are drawing water from anaerobic rocks, in which case there are also a lot of sulfites, indeed all the sulfates will have been converted into sulfites.

Since airing gets rid of sulfites faster than it gets rid of sulfides, by the time it no longer smells, it will be reasonably free of sulfites - all the sulfites will have been converted back into sulfates.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Hans Rancke on May 31, 2012, 07:58:23 pm
One general question I have about the current story is where the Vesta colony actualy gets its water from?
Presumably some of it will come from comets or small water asteroids or moons but just how much is recycled?
Unless Vesta is emitting water, everything is recycled (or at least retained inside Vesta; some of it may be tied up in the form of rust). Which means that the amount of water would be increasing, since the human metabolic cycle produces water (Or so I've been informed).


Hans 
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: wdg3rd on May 31, 2012, 09:57:55 pm
For hundreds (thousands?) of years, water with various aromatic sulfur compounds has been considered healthy.  "Taking the waters" in places like England's Bath.  Or the various hot springs in the Rockies (I'm especially fond of Thermopolis Wyoming and Lava Hot Springs Idaho and can't recall the name of the one in the Bitterroot Mountains that Lisa especially loved, it was the stinkiest we visited).  The water was sufficiently potable all of those places, you get used to the aroma and I always liked the taste.

I'm in New Jersey.  I deal with government approved levels of dioxin in the local water and I can't smell or taste that.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: sam on May 31, 2012, 11:40:04 pm
For hundreds (thousands?) of years, water with various aromatic sulfur compounds has been considered healthy.  "Taking the waters" in places like England's Bath.  Or the various hot springs in the Rockies (I'm especially fond of Thermopolis Wyoming and Lava Hot Springs Idaho and can't recall the name of the one in the Bitterroot Mountains that Lisa especially loved, it was the stinkiest we visited).  The water was sufficiently potable all of those places, you get used to the aroma and I always liked the taste.

If it stank, there were probably sulfides in it, if sulfides, probably quite a lot of sulfites.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 01, 2012, 12:17:54 am
Hmm, so a thought occurs.  Do they still use "Milk of Magnesia" or it's more palatable equivalent?  Ah well this thread (NOT EFT) is getting a bit tedious due to troll droppings.   Seriously,  if one finds the comic and it's debate threads so objectionable then why read it and post things simply to annoy the other readers?  Yes, this is just a 'comic' and a work of fiction, but it is NOT baseless speculation, it is an intellectual exercise and a pretty damn good work of Science Fiction. 
BTW when Marx and Engals wrote the communist manifesto I'd bet money that it was considered far fetched fiction at the time yet it was responsible for the murder of over 200 million people.  While it's got its own inherent problems (calls for the golden rule which most people fall far short of etc.)  I'll take AnCap over Team Girl's brand of Marxism hands down. 

What brand of marxism is Team Girl proposing/supporting?  How is it different from the oligopoly that is AnCap?

And finally, why do you refuse to admit that AnCap is an oligopoly?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Andreas on June 01, 2012, 12:35:33 am
How is an oligopoly different from an oligarchy? This is the first time I encounter the former term...
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on June 01, 2012, 12:48:49 am
How is an oligopoly different from an oligarchy? This is the first time I encounter the former term...
ol·i·gop·o·ly (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/oligopoly)
Quote
noun
the market condition that exists when there are few sellers, as a result of which they can greatly influence price and other market factors.

Somewhat like a trust, but less sinister. Not going to say it won't happen, since it might, in industries where the economy of scale is such that big businesses have a natural advantage over smaller ones.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Andreas on June 01, 2012, 02:53:55 am
Ramesh still isn't playing it smart. He didn't even try to educate her, just knuckled under.

And his assistant is recommending increasing the price of the water they produce rather than cutting the cost somewhere else in the company. Not a smart business move.
If it was me, I would create a new package, with "NOW WITH REDUCED MAGNESIUM" prominently displayed on the label, and charge a higher price.  But also offer "ORIGINAL FORMULA" at the lower price.  If the magnesium testing results are reproducible, I might even process the "REDUCED MAGNESIUM" differently.

It might be necessary to change "REDUCED MAGNESIUM" to "MAGNESIUM FREE" with a footnote in tiny print defining "FREE" as "reduced by at least 90% according to test X".  Depending on the mental thickness of my customers.
Yeah, or better yet : Sell "Filtered water" at a healthy markup... no need to introduce a fallacy by marketing the one product in a way that hurts the marketing of the other one, the "Natural water", as found in nature

This, at least, is a place where basic market forces can be used for good effect.
The market forces are really stupid as compared to a human, so one has to keep it simple!
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Azure Priest on June 01, 2012, 07:26:52 am
Or even better yet, he could have labeled it "now includes Magnesium, one of the body's required minerals, AT NO EXTRA CHARGE. Thanks to (insert name of "know it all" busybody group here) for the effort. Will consider adding other nutrients upon request."

Then the water company wouldn't HAVE to filter out the Magnesium, and it would shame/silence Ms. Loudmouth quite effectively.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: molittr on June 01, 2012, 07:55:03 am
Quote
Chocolate has higher levels of magnesium than any other food except seaweeds like dulse and alaria.
  http://owen.curezone.com/nutrition/magnesiumchocolatecraving.html

Don't Eat The Chocolate! It's Contaminated!Oh, brother!
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: TeamGirl-Redu on June 01, 2012, 09:06:43 am

For hundreds (thousands?) of years, water with various aromatic sulfur compounds has been considered healthy.


For hundred of years the Romans lined their cooking pots with lead because they considered it healthy. We know they were eating the lead because Roman historians commented that when the layer wore down after a number of uses they would apply fresh lead to the insides.

And to forestall the inevitable, "But Romans weren't dying like flies!", the amount they ate wasn't enough to cause acute poisoning, but the steady intake of smaller amounts damaged them over the long term.

Some historians blame chronic long-term lead poisoning as either the cause or a major contributing factor of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

Just because people "in the good old days" thought something was healthy doesn't mean it was, or is.

The problem with having this kind of discussion is when scientifically illiterate people think they can refute a professional chemist by searching the web and cherry-picking articles they don't fully understand but which they think support their point of view.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: macsnafu on June 01, 2012, 09:08:45 am
Quote
Chocolate has higher levels of magnesium than any other food except seaweeds like dulse and alaria.
 http://owen.curezone.com/nutrition/magnesiumchocolatecraving.html

Don't Eat The Chocolate! It's Contaminated!Oh, brother!

But without chocolate, where am I going to get my trace amounts of THC??

 :P

edit:  My mistake.  Apparently chocolate doesn't have any THC, but anandamide, a molecule which is similar to TCH.

http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/features/anandamide.shtml
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on June 01, 2012, 12:01:04 pm
Or even better yet, he could have labeled it "now includes Magnesium, one of the body's required minerals, AT NO EXTRA CHARGE. Thanks to (insert name of "know it all" busybody group here) for the effort. Will consider adding other nutrients upon request."

Then the water company wouldn't HAVE to filter out the Magnesium, and it would shame/silence Ms. Loudmouth quite effectively.

It seems logical to offer both (with a price differential assuming that demineralizing the water is more expensive), and thereby increase market share.  I am greatly surprised that neither  Sv. Ramesh nor Sv. Thayil, both of whom I would have expected to  understand markets and marketing, didn't think of this.  That solution occurred to me immediately.

I wonder why Sandy chose to write them as so clueless.

Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 01, 2012, 12:46:08 pm
Or even better yet, he could have labeled it "now includes Magnesium, one of the body's required minerals, AT NO EXTRA CHARGE. Thanks to (insert name of "know it all" busybody group here) for the effort. Will consider adding other nutrients upon request."

Then the water company wouldn't HAVE to filter out the Magnesium, and it would shame/silence Ms. Loudmouth quite effectively.

It seems logical to offer both (with a price differential assuming that demineralizing the water is more expensive), and thereby increase market share.  I am greatly surprised that neither  Sv. Ramesh nor Sv. Thayil, both of whom I would have expected to  understand markets and marketing, didn't think of this.  That solution occurred to me immediately.

I wonder why Sandy chose to write them as so clueless.

Agreed.  The problem with these Vestan water supply "cappies" is that they're obviously not "cappie" enough to use market jiu-jitsu against the "Mascon" massholes afflicting them.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: customdesigned on June 01, 2012, 01:22:55 pm
Agreed.  The problem with these Vestan water supply "cappies" is that they're obviously not "cappie" enough to use market jiu-jitsu against the "Mascon" massholes afflicting them.
This is a common problem in capitalism.  When there is a stable market for your product, you become accustomed to the gravy train (e.g. record companies), and when the technology or market changes drastically, it seems too hard to find creative responses. 

And if there is a government available, the temptation is to coopt it to preserve the status quo via legislation.  This is particularly easy when you are regulated, since the regulators have an interest in preserving the status quo as well.

Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Jeoshua on June 01, 2012, 02:35:43 pm
Filter out all the minerals in the water.  Make them into a powder.  Put it into a gelcap.  Sell the gelcap when people start to complain that they're not getting their required nutrients.

Also, does anyone else think it very funny that due to this, they've now formed what basically amounts to the FDA?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 01, 2012, 02:55:12 pm
Agreed.  The problem with these Vestan water supply "cappies" is that they're obviously not "cappie" enough to use market jiu-jitsu against the "Mascon" massholes afflicting them.

This is a common problem in capitalism.  When there is a stable market for your product, you become accustomed to the gravy train (e.g. record companies), and when the technology or market changes drastically, it seems too hard to find creative responses. 

And if there is a government available, the temptation is to coopt it to preserve the status quo via legislation.  This is particularly easy when you are regulated, since the regulators have an interest in preserving the status quo as well.

Not at friggin' all is this any kind of "common problem in capitalism."  Your concept of "capitalism" is fatally screwed if we recall that the term came into current use as a pejorative for what had previously been called "the free market."

By definition, a segment of the economy "regulated" by government thugs isn't in any way a genuinely free market, but rather the manifestation of what's called "the mixed economy." 

As many folks do, customdesigned is getting the cart before the horse. 

Established actors in a market segment "coopt [government] to preserve the status quo via legislation" and therefore induce regulation - they actually initiate the process - the better to raise market entry and participation costs among potential and actual competitors.

Never succumb to the duplicity inexorably present in the idiot contention that "capitalism" has any goddam thing whatsoever to do with meddling government "regulation" and the other crippling defects of the mixed economy.

====================
A mixed economy is a mixture of freedom and controls — with no principles, rules, or theories to define either. Since the introduction of controls necessitates and leads to further controls, it is an unstable, explosive mixture which, ultimately, has to repeal the controls or collapse into dictatorship. A mixed economy has no principles to define its policies, its goals, its laws — no principles to limit the power of its government. The only principle of a mixed economy — which, necessarily, has to remain unnamed and unacknowledged — is that no one’s interests are safe, everyone’s interests are on a public auction block, and anything goes for anyone who can get away with it. Such a system — or, more precisely, anti-system — breaks up a country into an ever-growing number of enemy camps, into economic groups fighting one another for self preservation in an indeterminate mixture of defense and offense, as the nature of such a jungle demands. While, politically, a mixed economy preserves the semblance of an organized society with a semblance of law and order, economically it is the equivalent of the chaos that had ruled China for centuries: a chaos of robber gangs looting — and draining — the productive elements of the country.

A mixed economy is rule by pressure groups. It is an amoral, institutionalized civil war of special interests and lobbies, all fighting to seize a momentary control of the legislative machinery, to extort some special privilege at one another’s expense by an act of government — i.e., by force. In the absence of individual rights, in the absence of any moral or legal principles, a mixed economy’s only hope to preserve its precarious semblance of order, to restrain the savage, desperately rapacious groups it itself has created, and to prevent the legalized plunder from running over into plain, unlegalized looting of all by all — is compromise; compromise on everything and in every realm — material, spiritual, intellectual — so that no group would step over the line by demanding too much and topple the whole rotted structure. If the game is to continue, nothing can be permitted to remain firm, solid, absolute, untouchable; everything (and everyone) has to be fluid, flexible, indeterminate, approximate. By what standard are anyone’s actions to be guided? By the expediency of any immediate moment.

The only danger, to a mixed economy, is any not-to-be-compromised value, virtue, or idea. The only threat is any uncompromising person, group, or movement. The only enemy is integrity.

-- Mrs. O'Connor, "The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: SandySandfort on June 01, 2012, 06:46:16 pm
I am greatly surprised that neither  Sv. Ramesh nor Sv. Thayil, both of whom I would have expected to  understand markets and marketing, didn't think of this.  That solution occurred to me immediately.

I wonder why Sandy chose to write them as so clueless.

Well, I could rationalize on several levels, but let's just put it down to "willful suspension of disbelief." If these business had thought of that solution, where would the dramatic tension come from? Fiction needs conflict. So if it is conceivable that these guys were clueless, I have met my obligation as a writer. The focus is not on them, it is on the threat created by the Masscons.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on June 01, 2012, 07:05:53 pm
Well, I could rationalize on several levels, but let's just put it down to "willful suspension of disbelief." If these business had thought of that solution, where would the dramatic tension come from? Fiction needs conflict. So if it is conceivable that these guys were clueless, I have met my obligation as a writer. The focus is not on them, it is on the threat created by the Masscons.

In gaming terms, they're throw-away NPCs, we're not likely to see them much again, and they're there specifically to make that mistake to advance the story. Rather like the fact that nobody much cares what calibre bullet it was that hit Archduke Ferdinand.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 01, 2012, 07:30:49 pm
I am greatly surprised that neither  Sv. Ramesh nor Sv. Thayil, both of whom I would have expected to  understand markets and marketing, didn't think of this.  That solution occurred to me immediately.

I wonder why Sandy chose to write them as so clueless.

Well, I could rationalize on several levels, but let's just put it down to "willful suspension of disbelief." If these business had thought of that solution, where would the dramatic tension come from? Fiction needs conflict. So if it is conceivable that these guys were clueless, I have met my obligation as a writer. The focus is not on them, it is on the threat created by the Masscons.

Heck, I had written in response to that same quote from NRNBR:
The problem with these Vestan water supply "cappies" is that they're obviously not "cappie" enough to use market jiu-jitsu against the "Mascon" massholes afflicting them.

Is that not enough of a basis for the reader's willing suspension of belief? 

Postulate plain ineptitude on the part of the water providers in the competitive market segment on Vesta, most of these people themselves being immigrants only (relatively) recently up from Terra and therefore not yet familiar with the characteristics and therefore the possibilities of life in a genuinely anarchocapitalist (AnCap) social order.

AnCap society requires that the participants think differently in the division-of-labor economy.  What bugs me a bit more is how either the "Mascons" or the Vestan water suppliers who've caved to these Plotner plotters are going to prevent other entrepreneurs from entering the Vestan marketplace to haul in cometary ice and offer water for sale to customers at lesser prices.

"Boycott all you goddam please, you massholes.  We're selling on the basis of price advantage, caveat emptor.  As long as our customers like it that way, if you try to use violent force to prevent that, you'd best be prepared to become dead trouble-makers."

All it takes is for one cranky "denier" to flip Marsha and the Mascons the bird, and the oligopoly discussed in the final panel on page 967 goes blooie!

=================
Retief and Jik-jik stood together at the arched entrance to the mirror-floored grand ballroom aboard the CDT Armed Monitor Vessel Expedient, watching the brilliantly gowned and uniformed diplomats of a dozen worlds gathered under the chandeliers to celebrate the new independence of Quopp.

“Well, Tief-tief,” the Ween said. “Look like all the excite­ment over for a while. I going to miss it. Cutting greens not near as good exercise as snipping Voion down to size.” He sighed. “Us going to miss you, too, when you goes back to Stiltsville.”

“You’ll find that fighting in defense of peace will absorb all your spare energy, now that you’re civilized,” Retief reassured him.

“I is a great believer in peaceful settlements,” Jik-jik assured him. “Ain’t nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker.”

-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 01, 2012, 07:55:10 pm
Well, I could rationalize on several levels, but let's just put it down to "willful suspension of disbelief." If these business had thought of that solution, where would the dramatic tension come from? Fiction needs conflict. So if it is conceivable that these guys were clueless, I have met my obligation as a writer. The focus is not on them, it is on the threat created by the Masscons.

In gaming terms, they're throw-away NPCs, we're not likely to see them much again, and they're there specifically to make that mistake to advance the story. Rather like the fact that nobody much cares what calibre bullet it was that hit Archduke Ferdinand.

Ah, now there speaks an individual who has experience neither of creating works of speculative fiction for sale nor the design and development of a commercial role-playing game. 

Ain't no such thing as "throw-away NPCs" whose roles are to provide key plot points when you're putting a product on the market to sell among critical, voluble, demanding wargamers, SF fen, and other discerning consumers.

These inventions require in their creation and use the application of ingenuity and quality standards which mesh seamlessly with the effort invested in focus characters and their actions. This scrupulous adherence to best practices is required in order to maintain both general entertainment value and that willing suspension of disbelief which is the consumer's contribution to the bargain between storyteller and audience.

Besides, it not uncommonly results in the serendipitous development of characters you can really use to much greater effect later. 

What fiction writer hasn't had that kind of delightful experience?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Bob G on June 01, 2012, 08:09:56 pm
I used to be a game designer, until I took an arrow in the knee . . .
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 01, 2012, 08:17:44 pm
I used to be a game designer, until I took an arrow in the knee . . .

Bah. The only part of the human anatomy that might be injured sufficiently to prevent a game designer from functioning is der Sitzplatz.  Ditto for developers.  

Now, a playtester with a knee injury might be occupationally disabled.  We used those gremlins to fetch pizza and the large-volume caffeinated sugary soft drinks now subject to prohibition under the regime of Mayor Bloomberg.  

(I foresee "Cola-runners" leaping the Hudson from North Jersey, bearing bladder-busting plastic buckets full of Mountain Dew to thirsty good old boys in Manhattan in defiance of yet another "progressive" effort to foreclose the exercise of human nature.)
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on June 01, 2012, 10:53:49 pm
I used to be a game designer, until I took an arrow in the knee . . .

Bah. The only part of the human anatomy that might be injured sufficiently to prevent a game designer from functioning is der Sitzplatz.  Ditto for developers.  

Methinks the joke missed.

In gaming terms, they're throw-away NPCs, we're not likely to see them much again, and they're there specifically to make that mistake to advance the story. Rather like the fact that nobody much cares what calibre bullet it was that hit Archduke Ferdinand.

Ah, now there speaks an individual who has experience neither of creating works of speculative fiction for sale nor the design and development of a commercial role-playing game. 

Ain't no such thing as "throw-away NPCs" whose roles are to provide key plot points when you're putting a product on the market to sell among critical, voluble, demanding wargamers, SF fen, and other discerning consumers.

Well, I was thinking more along the lines of a tabletop RPG, where the standards are a little more lax. There, there is such a thing as a "throw-away NPC", though the players have the somewhat annoying tendency to turn them into major plot hooks. I read recently about a messenger who was just supposed to hand the players a message and then disappear, but ended up becoming the subject of an entire session of investigation. Minor characters who show up for one scene are pretty common in all sorts of fiction, though in this case, if they show up later for a more involved role, I'd be happy.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 01, 2012, 11:36:25 pm
In gaming terms, they're throw-away NPCs, we're not likely to see them much again, and they're there specifically to make that mistake to advance the story. Rather like the fact that nobody much cares what calibre bullet it was that hit Archduke Ferdinand.

Ah, now there speaks an individual who has experience neither of creating works of speculative fiction for sale nor the design and development of a commercial role-playing game. 

Ain't no such thing as "throw-away NPCs" whose roles are to provide key plot points when you're putting a product on the market to sell among critical, voluble, demanding wargamers, SF fen, and other discerning consumers.

Well, I was thinking more along the lines of a tabletop RPG, where the standards are a little more lax. There, there is such a thing as a "throw-away NPC", though the players have the somewhat annoying tendency to turn them into major plot hooks. I read recently about a messenger who was just supposed to hand the players a message and then disappear, but ended up becoming the subject of an entire session of investigation. Minor characters who show up for one scene are pretty common in all sorts of fiction, though in this case, if they show up later for a more involved role, I'd be happy.

Yeah? Well, I was thinking precisely "along the lines of a tabletop RPG," where "the standards are a little more lax" only among bloody incompetent designers and developers whose output fails to sell because the reviewers hate it and players refuse to waste time or money on it.

If your consumers are gamers who "have the somewhat annoying tendency to turn them [your so-called 'throw-away NPC' spear-carriers] into major plot hooks," consider that it's because your imaginative and intelligent customers are a boatload smarter than you are as a game designer and developer.  You're simply not bothering to meet (or capable of meeting?) their entertainment demands.

I liken the growth-beyond-intention of these bit-player characters (in both fiction and role playing games) to the "Yngvi is a louse!" phenomenon resulting from the publication of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt's original Enchanter novella, "The Roaring Trumpet" (1940). 

It was a completely "throw-away" bit of background, and yet for decades afterwards, SF&F fen have merrily speculated on just who the hell Yngvi was supposed to have been, and why he so thoroughly pissed off that psychotic dungeon dweller.

Anybody reading here sufficiently literate to have any idea of how much fun has been had by stefnal types fiddling with possible "Yngvi" back story over the past seventy-odd years?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on June 01, 2012, 11:57:54 pm
Yeah? Well, I was thinking precisely "along the lines of a tabletop RPG," where "the standards are a little more lax" only among bloody incompetent designers and developers whose output fails to sell because the reviewers hate it and players refuse to waste time or money on it.

Well, not everyone gets paid for writing their adventures. Some of us have to squeeze in prep in between work, sleep, and changing diapers. For those of us unlucky enough to have to write adventures pro bono, writing a six-page backstory for every messenger boy, fruitseller, and cutpurse is a fond dream, but one that is not often realized.

Please stop wasting invective on a humble GM, when you are meaning it for the designers.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 02, 2012, 12:11:28 am
Yeah? Well, I was thinking precisely "along the lines of a tabletop RPG," where "the standards are a little more lax" only among bloody incompetent designers and developers whose output fails to sell because the reviewers hate it and players refuse to waste time or money on it.

Well, not everyone gets paid for writing their adventures. Some of us have to squeeze in prep in between work, sleep, and changing diapers. For those of us unlucky enough to have to write adventures pro bono, writing a six-page backstory for every messenger boy, fruitseller, and cutpurse is a fond dream, but one that is not often realized.

Please stop wasting invective on a humble GM, when you are meaning it for the designers.

Yeah, I began to get the suspicion that I was dealing with a mere moderator - a "dungeon master" - rather than one of us grognard types who've done this stuff for profit. 

Moderators are, at best, the designers of scenarios to be explored by way of role playing game systems.  Professionals, however, during the 1970s and '80s heyday of tabletop gaming, commonly assembled complete and self-contained playable situations (not uncommonly called "quests" on the fantasy side, where most of the suckers were found, er, profit potential could be secured), and of those producers comparatively very high standards were expected. 

I'm thinking about how you've got to make your nut on this game to have the money needed to develop and publish your next one, and you're thinking about how to get the dining room table clear of stuff so you and your buddies can get in a session of Empires of the Middle Ages or some such other communal virtual bloodbath on a convenient Sunday afternoon.

Sorry.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on June 02, 2012, 12:28:03 am
Sorry.

It's all good. I probably should have clarified that from the beginning.

You're right, though, in a published setting, I love seeing the detailed NPC descriptions, with the life story summary, and the "how to play" section. It's stuff like that that makes the product come alive. And believe me, if I had the time, I would detail every NPC to the same level, but often, I just have the time to pick a stand-out trait ("Walks with a limp from a war-wound", or "Speaks with a limp") and run with that to make the NPC memorable. It's the old joke, "Oh, he's got a name... must be important!".
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 02, 2012, 12:38:43 am
I love seeing the detailed NPC descriptions, with the life story summary, and the "how to play" section. It's stuff like that that makes the product come alive. And believe me, if I had the time, I would detail every NPC to the same level, but often, I just have the time to pick a stand-out trait ("Walks with a limp from a war-wound", or "Speaks with a limp") and run with that to make the NPC memorable. It's the old joke, "Oh, he's got a name... must be important!".

Well, personally, I used to enjoy providing holographic background sketches for non-player characters as outré as possible.

F'rinstance: "Walks with a limp owing to having leaped from the third floor window of a peg-house in Aleppo, being pursued by five outraged catamites and an armed guard named Hassan.  Still very much attracted by Cub Scouts."
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on June 02, 2012, 12:49:07 am
I love seeing the detailed NPC descriptions, with the life story summary, and the "how to play" section. It's stuff like that that makes the product come alive. And believe me, if I had the time, I would detail every NPC to the same level, but often, I just have the time to pick a stand-out trait ("Walks with a limp from a war-wound", or "Speaks with a limp") and run with that to make the NPC memorable. It's the old joke, "Oh, he's got a name... must be important!".

Well, personally, I used to enjoy providing holographic background sketches for non-player characters as outré as possible.

F'rinstance: "Walks with a limp owing to having leaped from the third floor window of a peg-house in Aleppo, being pursued by five outraged catamites and an armed guard named Hassan.  Still very much attracted by Cub Scouts."

This got a literal LOL. I'm giggling still, writing this. If you have a list of projects you've worked on, I'd be interested in seeing it.

Also, I just now realized I wrote "Speaks with a limp" up there... it's supposed to be lisp. Dur.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 02, 2012, 01:01:31 am
The attempt to ban magnesium is, I assume, a parody of the equally ludicrous real life movement to ban chlorine.

Another parody of the real life chlorine movement is the movement to ban dihydrogen oxide.

Can somebody pass me a link to the attempt to ban chlorine in water?  I need a good laugh.

Dont knock the Campus Crusade to ban Dihydrogen Monoxide!

Regardless of scientific formulae, if youre going to mention a movement, you should at least get the name right.

Also, just so you know, my Amazon.com water is prohibited from being transported on airplanes.

Maybe because of the bright international hazard orange caution sticker on it that says: CAUTION: DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE DELIVERY UNIT.

Or maybe not.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 02, 2012, 01:08:43 am
I just now realized I wrote "Speaks with a limp" up there... it's supposed to be lisp. Dur.

That was a typo?  Nonsense.  I thought "Speaks with a limp" was bloody eloquent. There are speech impediments such an expression covers which could only be defined otherwise in terms out of Dorland's.

Most of the stuff on which I'd worked thirty and forty years ago is way to hellangone out of print (goddam "collectable," in fact).  Succumbed to recycling by now. 

I was not involved in anything produced by those sons of bitches in Lake Geneva, being by formal engagement much more an adherent of SPI in the days before the TSR clowns swept in and destroyed all good will (along with most of the market value of the company) by voiding the lifetime subscriber agreements for Strategy & Tactics and Moves magazines.

And, besides, I came early on to prefer the character generation and conflict resolution systems Steve Jackson and his people cooked up for Tunnels & TrollsMuch easier path by way of which neofen could be introduced.

Y'see, I knew Gygax and Arneson when their company was nothing more than an outfit that published rules for "toy soldier" tabletop military games, from the medieval and smoothbore musket eras through World War II tank battles.  "TSR," after all, stood for "Tactical Studies Rules."  They ran in the gaming world along that track which tended to sacrifice playability for "toy soldier" faux-"authenticity" that those of us used to playing on either checkerboarded or hex-gridded maps (Avalon Hill, Simulations Publications, Inc., Game Designers' Workshop, etc.) simply would not tolerate.

TSR got the market share, but I'll never concede that they managed it by turning out a genuinely more elegant, workable, or entertaining product mix, particularly after the lawyers elbowed first Dave Arneson and then Gary Gygax out of the company. 
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 02, 2012, 01:09:28 am
How is an oligopoly different from an oligarchy? This is the first time I encounter the former term...

Ok, Ok, maybe I use the wrong oligo+suffix, so sue me; it late.  Yes, I probably meant oligarchy.

How is any AnCap society that is larger than the population of Jacksons Hole, Wyoming (In January) any different from oligarchy?

One of the biggest criticisms of AnCap is that it  cannot support its own society in large populations.  New York City, as a whole cannot be AnCap, only its constituent neighborhoods and boroughs can be.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 02, 2012, 01:21:31 am
Well, I could rationalize on several levels, but let's just put it down to "willful suspension of disbelief." If these business had thought of that solution, where would the dramatic tension come from? Fiction needs conflict. So if it is conceivable that these guys were clueless, I have met my obligation as a writer. The focus is not on them, it is on the threat created by the Masscons.

In gaming terms, they're throw-away NPCs, we're not likely to see them much again, and they're there specifically to make that mistake to advance the story. Rather like the fact that nobody much cares what calibre bullet it was that hit Archduke Ferdinand.

Ah, now there speaks an individual who has experience neither of creating works of speculative fiction for sale nor the design and development of a commercial role-playing game. 

Ain't no such thing as "throw-away NPCs" whose roles are to provide key plot points when you're putting a product on the market to sell among critical, voluble, demanding wargamers, SF fen, and other discerning consumers.

These inventions require in their creation and use the application of ingenuity and quality standards which mesh seamlessly with the effort invested in focus characters and their actions. This scrupulous adherence to best practices is required in order to maintain both general entertainment value and that willing suspension of disbelief which is the consumer's contribution to the bargain between storyteller and audience.

Besides, it not uncommonly results in the serendipitous development of characters you can really use to much greater effect later. 

What fiction writer hasn't had that kind of delightful experience?

Unfortunately, you have committed that most grievous of lay-errors:  you falsely reasoned that RPG meant "video game".  RPG means "that time-wasting hobby of table-top, in-person pencils paper and imagination activity which only nerds, dorks, geeks and Hollywood celebrities engage in".

aka Role-Playing Game.

Its ok, you werent supposed to know.  Its apparently above your pay grade.  Friend Computer says: Have a Happy Day-cycle, Citizen!

Fnord.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 02, 2012, 01:23:44 am
I used to be a game designer, until I took an arrow in the knee . . .

Bah. The only part of the human anatomy that might be injured sufficiently to prevent a game designer from functioning is der Sitzplatz.  Ditto for developers.  

Methinks the joke missed.

In gaming terms, they're throw-away NPCs, we're not likely to see them much again, and they're there specifically to make that mistake to advance the story. Rather like the fact that nobody much cares what calibre bullet it was that hit Archduke Ferdinand.

Ah, now there speaks an individual who has experience neither of creating works of speculative fiction for sale nor the design and development of a commercial role-playing game. 

Ain't no such thing as "throw-away NPCs" whose roles are to provide key plot points when you're putting a product on the market to sell among critical, voluble, demanding wargamers, SF fen, and other discerning consumers.

Well, I was thinking more along the lines of a tabletop RPG, where the standards are a little more lax. There, there is such a thing as a "throw-away NPC", though the players have the somewhat annoying tendency to turn them into major plot hooks. I read recently about a messenger who was just supposed to hand the players a message and then disappear, but ended up becoming the subject of an entire session of investigation. Minor characters who show up for one scene are pretty common in all sorts of fiction, though in this case, if they show up later for a more involved role, I'd be happy.

Its OK.  Tucci never has had a sense of humor.  And apparently doesnt get out enough to absorb pop culture.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 02, 2012, 01:28:52 am
I used to be a game designer, until I took an arrow in the knee . . .

Bah. The only part of the human anatomy that might be injured sufficiently to prevent a game designer from functioning is der Sitzplatz.  Ditto for developers.  

Methinks the joke missed.

In gaming terms, they're throw-away NPCs, we're not likely to see them much again, and they're there specifically to make that mistake to advance the story. Rather like the fact that nobody much cares what calibre bullet it was that hit Archduke Ferdinand.

Ah, now there speaks an individual who has experience neither of creating works of speculative fiction for sale nor the design and development of a commercial role-playing game. 

Ain't no such thing as "throw-away NPCs" whose roles are to provide key plot points when you're putting a product on the market to sell among critical, voluble, demanding wargamers, SF fen, and other discerning consumers.

Well, I was thinking more along the lines of a tabletop RPG, where the standards are a little more lax. There, there is such a thing as a "throw-away NPC", though the players have the somewhat annoying tendency to turn them into major plot hooks. I read recently about a messenger who was just supposed to hand the players a message and then disappear, but ended up becoming the subject of an entire session of investigation. Minor characters who show up for one scene are pretty common in all sorts of fiction, though in this case, if they show up later for a more involved role, I'd be happy.

Its OK.  Tucci never has had a sense of humor.  And apparently doesnt get out enough to absorb pop culture.

After reading the rest of the thread, it appears I was wrong about Tucci.

But, Tucci shouldnt be putting us "mere moderators" down.  If it werent for "mere" people buying his product, he'd be flipping burgers with the rest of us.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 02, 2012, 01:33:51 am
How is an oligopoly different from an oligarchy? This is the first time I encounter the former term...

Ok, Ok, maybe I use the wrong oligo+suffix, so sue me; it late.  Yes, I probably meant oligarchy.

How is any AnCap society that is larger than the population of Jacksons Hole, Wyoming (In January) any different from oligarchy?

One of the biggest criticisms of AnCap is that it  cannot support its own society in large populations.  New York City, as a whole cannot be AnCap, only its constituent neighborhoods and boroughs can be.

I don't think that either of you guys are getting it.

An oligopoly can develop in a completely free market - one which is not subject to the normative interventions of politicians or bureaucrats thuggishly intent upon ostensible "fairness" - if entry costs in that market segment are by nature necessarily very high or sources of materials are (even for a brief number of years) so limited that only a few market actors can reliably command access thereunto.

Another circumstance in which oligopoly obtains can be in situations were one producer (a monopoly) or a few producers (an oligopoly) are so goddam efficient in their production and marketing methods that the capital investment costs of getting into competition with them are not not possible to recoup by a new entrant. 

Think of the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) and the provision of ingot aluminum for many decades.  They held their own bauxite mines, their own fleet of oceangoing ore carriers, their own refineries, and they delivered satisfactory quality and quantity at good prices to their customers.  Every damned time somebody else tried to horn in on Alcoa's dominant market position, the directors and management simply dropped their prices because that was the competitive strategy least costly for Alcoa. 

Government goons breaking that "monopoly" did nothing more than to screw the customers by raising world prices for ingot aluminum. 

An oligarchy, by contrast, involves the sovereign power of government - the agency in civil society delegated the exercise of the "breaking things and killing people" police powers - in the hands of a set small number of people who cohere to exclude other citizens from even nominal participation in the political process.

In this regard, we're not talking "market share" but the mechanism of administering lethal force under the color of law.  Oligarchy is therefore a bunchaton different from oligopoly, and anybody who can't appreciate the difference is invited to consider a real estate property I've got along the East River in the city of New York, a structure historic in character, robust in physical plant, traversed by millions of vehicles and pedestrians every day, and therefore ripe for exploitation as a source of tolls.

I mean, who wouldn't pay good money to get the hell out of Brooklyn?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: myrkul999 on June 02, 2012, 01:55:22 am
I just now realized I wrote "Speaks with a limp" up there... it's supposed to be lisp. Dur.

That was a typo?  Nonsense.  I thought "Speaks with a limp" was bloody eloquent. There are speech impediments such an expression covers which could only be defined otherwise in terms out of Dorland's.


Huh. I may use that, then.

Y'see, I knew Gygax and Arneson when their company was nothing more than an outfit that published rules for "toy soldier" tabletop military games, from the medieval and smoothbore musket eras through World War II tank battles.  "TSR," after all, stood for "Tactical Studies Rules."  They ran in the gaming world along that track which tended to sacrifice playability for "toy soldier" faux-"authenticity" that those of us used to playing on either checkerboarded or hex-gridded maps (Avalon Hill, Simulations Publications, Inc., Game Designers' Workshop, etc.) simply would not tolerate.

TSR got the market share, but I'll never concede that they managed it by turning out a genuinely more elegant, workable, or entertaining product mix, particularly after the lawyers elbowed first Dave Arneson and then Gary Gygax out of the company. 

I'm afraid I came into the hobby a bit later than that... (especially considering that D&D was already a few years old when I started filling diapers) but I've always enjoyed the history of it. I used to sit and read the old Dragon magazines as far back as the library had copies. The strategic side of the hobby likewise has always interested me, but I am not a wealthy man, and must pick my vices carefully.

And on that note, I think we should either let this distraction drop, or start a new thread.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 02, 2012, 02:00:15 am
After a succession of maneuvers in which he capers, gibbers, leaps, gimbals, and follows a colonoscopic course all the way up his tochus, we have:
After reading the rest of the thread, it appears I was wrong about Tucci.

Jeez, ya think?

I never confused computer games with the print-on-paper roleplaying systems (some few of which had been designed to treat with military and science fiction gaming situations, too; see SPI's Commando and GDW's Traveler) that first began to hit the market after a "magic" combat mechanism was added by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson to TSR's Chainmail hand-to-hand medieval melee resolution rules to create Dungeons & Dragons for the Tolkien-wannabe fans.

And I put down "mere moderators" for the simple reason that by comparison with the publishers they have - literally - no "skin in the game." 

For almost all of us in the industry back in the '70s and '80s, it was at best a side job, where we sought revenue for not much more purpose than recouping our own monetary investments and getting enough to keep the machinery going.  I loved it when SPI moved out of Manhattan into a loft over the warehouse in North Jersey.  Who in hell wants to pay New York City taxes and other costs?

I never knew all that many full-time games designers and developers who actually made anything close to a living out of their work on conflict simulations.  Jim Dunnigan is the only one of my old acquaintances who comes to mind, and he seems to have lost his market appeal among the lamestream media as a military affairs analyst recently because he's been dismally correct in his appreciations of international affairs as they manifest themselves in the fang-and-claw destruction of lives, liberty, and property in our present era of the Hopenchangey Hubshi.

The obamaphiles of our "fair and balanced" dying legacy news organs really, really hate the sound of Dunnigan's New York accent when he's pronouncing the catastrophic failure of their Occupier-in-Chief's foreign policy malfeasances.

And - damn! - Dunnigan's a Democrat.

Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: wdg3rd on June 02, 2012, 09:11:12 am
The attempt to ban magnesium is, I assume, a parody of the equally ludicrous real life movement to ban chlorine.

Another parody of the real life chlorine movement is the movement to ban dihydrogen oxide.

Can somebody pass me a link to the attempt to ban chlorine in water?  I need a good laugh.

Dont knock the Campus Crusade to ban Dihydrogen Monoxide!

Regardless of scientific formulae, if youre going to mention a movement, you should at least get the name right.

Also, just so you know, my Amazon.com water is prohibited from being transported on airplanes.

Maybe because of the bright international hazard orange caution sticker on it that says: CAUTION: DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE DELIVERY UNIT.

Or maybe not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi3erdgVVTw

It's a clip from an episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit! on environmentalism.

There's also a Snopes entry on the subject.  http://www.snopes.com/science/dhmo.asp
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: customdesigned on June 02, 2012, 01:35:54 pm

Can somebody pass me a link to the attempt to ban chlorine in water?  I need a good laugh.


There was a movement to ban transportation of *pure* chlorine, and certain hightly toxic chlorine containing compounds.  This was because accidents involving a tanker full of pure chlorine can be *really* nasty.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg14119121.300-clinton-backs-call-to-ban-chlorine-.html

However, Greenpeace took up the cause without really understanding the science, and actually tried to ban the element:

http://www.free-eco.org/insights/articles/the-anti-chlorine-chorus-is-hitting-some-bum-notes.html
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: customdesigned on June 02, 2012, 01:47:14 pm
As many folks do, customdesigned is getting the cart before the horse. 

Established actors in a market segment "coopt [government] to preserve the status quo via legislation" and therefore induce regulation - they actually initiate the process - the better to raise market entry and participation costs among potential and actual competitors.

That's exactly what I said.  I guess you are objecting to using the phrase "problem with capitalism" when the real problem is "there is a government available".  I was starting with statist assumptions, and showing a problem, rather than starting with anarchist assumptions.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: sam on June 02, 2012, 07:22:53 pm
However, Greenpeace took up the cause without really understanding the science, and actually tried to ban the element:
http://www.free-eco.org/insights/articles/the-anti-chlorine-chorus-is-hitting-some-bum-notes.html (http://www.free-eco.org/insights/articles/the-anti-chlorine-chorus-is-hitting-some-bum-notes.html)

Everyone knows that heavy metals in water are poisonous.  Magnesium is a metal, and any metal is reasonably heavy, right?  As Teamgirl would tell us, better safe that sorry.  Since water containing some metallic salts has harmed people, best to ban any metallic salts.  Lead is a metal, magnesium is a metal.  Let us hope that no one tells her that sodium is a metal.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: wdg3rd on June 02, 2012, 10:05:41 pm

There was a movement to ban transportation of *pure* chlorine, and certain hightly toxic chlorine containing compounds.  This was because accidents involving a tanker full of pure chlorine can be *really* nasty.


Has anybody ever attempted to transport *pure* chlorine?  Because it's so much easier on the wallet (containers to hold it are expensive) to transport chlorine compounds (salt comes to mind, but that's also toxic to stupid people) and produce chlorine cheaply where you need it is what we do in industrial civilizations.

As hard as pure chlorine is to contain and as much harder as pure sodium is to contain (actually sodium is easier but we're imagining tankers with just one thing and you can't move metallic sodium on a flatbed even though it's a solid) I'm trying to imagine the special effects to do that traffic accident.  The "Big Stupid Ring" in the Star Wars re-edit wouldn't come close, we'd have to go back to the way they did it in the '50s to fake big explosions by using films of the real thing and that would be as close as a chemical explosion could get to being nookular.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 02, 2012, 10:39:35 pm
Not at friggin' all is this any kind of "common problem in capitalism."  Your concept of "capitalism" is fatally screwed if we recall that the term came into current use as a pejorative for what had previously been called "the free market."

By definition, a segment of the economy "regulated" by government thugs isn't in any way a genuinely free market, but rather the manifestation of what's called "the mixed economy." 

As many folks do, customdesigned is getting the cart before the horse. 

Established actors in a market segment "coopt [government] to preserve the status quo via legislation" and therefore induce regulation - they actually initiate the process - the better to raise market entry and participation costs among potential and actual competitors.

That's exactly what I said.  I guess you are objecting to using the phrase "problem with capitalism" when the real problem is "there is a government available".  I was starting with statist assumptions, and showing a problem, rather than starting with anarchist assumptions.

Yet again, not one friggin' little bit "exactly what [you] said."

Government can be "available" to serve it's functions in the management of retaliatory lethal force - the "breaking things and killing people" operations which individuals have always the perfect right to exercise and therefore to delegate to their hired agents and other people - without interfering in the voluntary acts of sovereign individuals in the marketplace.

Look, customdesigned, let's assume that you're crippled by abysmal ignorance instead of a bloody liar, okay?  That's giving you the benefit of the doubt here. 

Think of the doctrine in these United States which calls for separation of church and state.  In matters of personal conscience - the relationship between the individual (and aggregations of individuals) and whatever he/they conceive to be the Great Sky Pixie, the government generally and the laws particularly stand mute and impotent.  Government's only brief is the preservation of individual human rights.

Similarly, in the economy - in all regards - there is no role for government thugs in determining outcomes of transactions into which the participants enter voluntarily.  No "picking winners," no "social justice."  Government's only brief is the preservation of individual human rights. 

(This includes enforcing contracts. If a label on a bottle of water specifies mineral contents and the contents depart to any significantly deleterious extent from specification, then the consumer's rights as a participant in the contractual relationship between producer and purchaser have been violated, and government may now step in to provide retaliatory force as required in the preservation of the purchaser's property rights.  Y'see how that works, bubbeleh?)

Just as government thugs - particularly popularity contest winners - have no special infallibility when it comes to determining the Will of Almighty Ghu (and therefore can't dictate how all people should kneel in prayer), they also have no special knowledge of how all economic transactions should be conducted in a division-of-labor economy.

In both aspects of human praxis, therefore, government goons should shut the hell up and keep their friggin' hands off, making no efforts either at establishing a Heavenly Paradise on Earth nor the One Best Technocracy for Mankind.

Although quoting from Ayn Rand's Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal in that earlier post of mine might have been a bit like squishing a flea with a piledriver, I gotta admit that customdesigned is a particularly obtuse critter. He's been pounded flat, but he's still scuttling.

What the hell is any participant in this forum doing "starting with statist assumptions," anyway?

I mean, without throwing in an explicit [/sarc] tag. 

What we're seeing with the character of Plotner and her Mascon massholes is a fictional but extremely reliable instantiation of "statist assumptions" in pernicious action, imputing to capitalism the sorts of "common problem" that people who fail to reason lucidly or logically - like customdesigned - impute idiotically to voluntary commerce in the free marketplace and leverage as justification for having government thugs ram their billyclubs up peaceable folks' butts.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: wdg3rd on June 02, 2012, 10:51:41 pm
Tooch, I'd offer to have your babies except I'm too old and I have a Y chromosome.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: customdesigned on June 03, 2012, 12:06:23 am

What the hell is any participant in this forum doing "starting with statist assumptions," anyway?

I mean, without throwing in an explicit [/sarc] tag. 


Making a feeble attempt to preach to the unconverted instead of the choir.  If you want your words to have any effect on someones opinions, you have to start where they are at - not where you want them to be.  Sometimes reality is a more effective mind changer, but no words are required in that case.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 03, 2012, 05:52:57 am
What the hell is any participant in this forum doing "starting with statist assumptions," anyway?

I mean, without throwing in an explicit [/sarc] tag. 

Making a feeble attempt to preach to the unconverted instead of the choir.  If you want your words to have any effect on someones opinions, you have to start where they are at - not where you want them to be.  Sometimes reality is a more effective mind changer, but no words are required in that case.

Purest crap, with the reek of flop-sweat thrown in. 

You do not "preach to the unconverted" by preaching that which is fundamentally satanic, by which - in this case - is meant to the pre-emptive degradation of the AnCap concept itself, by imputing to it the fatal flaws of the mixed economy.

Look, customdesigned, I've obviously had the right "effect" in this exchange with you.  You're not aiming at anything amounting to a "mind changer" because you're not genuinely interested in discussing concepts reflective of objective "reality," preferring (for some really goddam strange reasons of your own) to stick with the "statist assumptions" which make effective use of concepts in soundly reasoned discourse on praxis impossible.

Ever heard of the expression "check your premises," putzie?

"If you want your words to have any effect on someones opinions" and their "opinions" are fatally divergent from reality, "you have to start where they are at" by demonstrating that their horsepuckey opinions - their "statist assumptions" - are not only wrong but cannot continue to be stupidly and comfortably "assumed" because they are in great part the source of that "someone" having gone off the goddam cliff and into statist error in the first place.

In a lot of cases, this can be done most effectively by clearing away all the "statist assumptions" from the git-go, and starting with the fundamental premise of the individual human being as an entity capable of reasoned thought and therefore action in the world around him on the basis thereof. 

Build up from there, and it takes a really twisted, malevolent, predatory son-of-a-bitch to evoke those "statist assumptions" of yours again, doesn't it?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: mellyrn on June 03, 2012, 06:46:40 am
Quote
What the hell is any participant in this forum doing "starting with statist assumptions," anyway?

It's what we grew up in. 

Did you get some bad RL news recently?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 03, 2012, 07:10:05 am
What the hell is any participant in this forum doing "starting with statist assumptions," anyway?

It's what we grew up in.  

Did you get some bad RL news recently?

No more nor what I usually do.  What, you think you're reading me in a fit of "cranky"?

As for "what we grew up in," do the words "shitty diapers" ring a bell?

Walter Block likes to reminisce about his late mentor, Murray Rothbard, and how the guy responded upon having been asked the source of his volume and eloquence when confronting a new shovelful of malicious idiocy from a Keynesian or a Monetarist.

Dr. Rothbard's reply: "Hatred is my muse."

And Murray had a boatload of fun with it, too.

I my own way, I merely strive to fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

=======================
Watching you other people making friends
Everywhere - as a dog makes friends! I mark
The manner of these canine courtesies
And think: “My friends are of a cleaner breed;
Here comes - thank God! - another enemy!”

-- Edmund Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: mellyrn on June 03, 2012, 09:19:35 am
Quote
As for "what we grew up in," do the words "shitty diapers" ring a bell?

I believe you have kids?  Sweetie, someone taught them -- and you -- how to use the crapper, by example if nothing else.  Someone taught you to speak -- feral children rarely, if ever, learn to communicate verbally; I'm not sure how well they ever use toilets.  The specialized knowledge of the principles of specific political systems does not arise spontaneously in the psyche.

Quote
Dr. Rothbard's reply: "Hatred is my muse."

And Murray had a boatload of fun with it, too.

I my own way, I merely strive to fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

So, basically, you need other people to be and/or remain ignorant re: anarchy so that you can hate them for fun; you need voluntaryist society to fail to develop.  Makes you as much part of the problem as any diehard statist.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 03, 2012, 10:27:17 am
As for "what we grew up in," do the words "shitty diapers" ring a bell?

I believe you have kids?  Sweetie, someone taught them -- and you -- how to use the crapper, by example if nothing else.  Someone taught you to speak -- feral children rarely, if ever, learn to communicate verbally; I'm not sure how well they ever use toilets.  The specialized knowledge of the principles of specific political systems does not arise spontaneously in the psyche.

Yep. And children are taught - including you, we can all surely hope, boopsie - to pass their waste into the porcelain convenience via the application of corrective remonstrances when they either inadvertently miss the target or willfully soil themselves. 

Dunno how much "by example" was on offer from the familial elders in my own larval years, but I sure as hell didn't make an exhibition of my own micturitions in order to show my young sons or grandsons how to take a whizz.  Is that what you did, honey chile?  Yeesh.

The characteristics "of specific political systems" are not made appreciable to people capable of reasoned abstract thought in the same way that toilet training is undertaken, but the analogy holds in the sense that the adverse consequences of advocating (or suffering) certain malevolent "specific political systems" can be made clear to any but the willfully obtuse (as opposed to the merely ignorant or stupid) person. 

It is for this reason that kindly folks like this, your humble correspondent, persist in the beneficent effort to get and hold the attention of the ignorant and the stupid, not uncommonly by kicking the willfully obtuse (who are safely assumed to be pushing bullshit like the mixed economy for malicious purposes) in the crotch and in the teeth, merrily and repeatedly, drawing attention to the pernicious nature of their "statist assumptions."

When the enemies of human rights present in public fora as examples of malignant pathology, the conscientious educator uses them.

Dr. Rothbard's reply: "Hatred is my muse."

And Murray had a boatload of fun with it, too.

I my own way, I merely strive to fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

So, basically, you need other people to be and/or remain ignorant re: anarchy so that you can hate them for fun; you need voluntaryist society to fail to develop.  Makes you as much part of the problem as any diehard statist.

Oh, what simple-minded horsepuckey you're peddling now, lambikins!

As I've said, for the honestly ignorant respondent I have no "need" whatsoever.  This is because my purpose is to amend his ignorance through gentle education and bring him thereby to a condition of knowledge and confidence in his powers of reason, his enjoyment henceforth predicated upon a lucid appreciation of just how totally screwed-unto-death are the "statist assumptions" which the scheming jerkwad immoral humanity-hating authoritarians keep trying to peddle in spite of those "statist assumptions''' destructive effects.

When I'm done with those who are "ignorant," they're not "ignorant" anymore, and "the diehard statist" (from whom I'm very "different") is up shit creek without the proverbial paddle.

Ain't that just such a nice outcome, sweetums?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: quadibloc on June 03, 2012, 05:03:56 pm
I think it's clear that this is making a point about people who are trying to turn an AnCap society back into a bad old statist one. With plenty of humor - magnesium, of course, is not a heavy metal, for example. And it's an important beneficial trace element to boot.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 03, 2012, 11:46:10 pm
I think it's clear that this is making a point about people who are trying to turn an AnCap society back into a bad old statist one. With plenty of humor - magnesium, of course, is not a heavy metal, for example. And it's an important beneficial trace element to boot.

Courtesy of a predecessor story arc, we already know that Vesta is infested by a government, which is engaging the services of furloughed U.W. bureaucrats like Guy's cousin Pierre LeBoeuf (see page 783 and then again on 799).

From dialogue on page 787 (edited a bit):

Guy: "Vesta has a council? I thought they were a market-anarchy like Ceres."

Pierre: "They were, but it didn't work. There was some question about water quality or something. A group of newcomers from the Massachusetts sector stepped up and formed an ad hoc committee for water improvement.

"Then they noticed problems with inequitable food distribution. When other problems came to their attention, they didn't have any authority or money to fix things.  So when the radiation crises arose, the Committee asked the Vestians for a vote of confidence – and the authority to control water, food and other necessities until the crisis was over. That's when they became the Vesta Council.

"In order to centrally control everything, they need administrators. I applied for a job and got it!"


What we're getting right now with Marsha and the Mascons is backstory.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Andreas on June 04, 2012, 12:32:16 am
With a start like this, I can't wait for the "radiation crises"... (plural?)
It will be toe-curling, no doubt.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 04, 2012, 01:24:40 am
With a start like this, I can't wait for the "radiation crises"... (plural?)
It will be toe-curling, no doubt.

Rahm Emanuel: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

It is perhaps no coincidence that the word "progressive" is used in oncology to characterize a cancer which has been subjected to a full course of treatment - surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, everything possible - and yet continues to grow and spread, resulting in the agonizing death of the patient.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Andreas on June 04, 2012, 02:06:32 am
No crisis left unused - As borne out by the Patriot act, eh?

And in terms of the comic, there's no crisis better than the crisis you create, yourself.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 04, 2012, 06:20:35 pm
No crisis left unused - As borne out by the [USA PATRIOT] act, eh?

And in terms of the comic, there's no crisis better than the crisis you create, yourself.

It's an acronym.  Nobody should ever call it "the Patriot Act."

And yet another apt quotation, emphasis added:

"Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially
under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes;
the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and
hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins,
most of them imaginary
."

-- H.L. Mencken
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 05, 2012, 01:53:15 am
No crisis left unused - As borne out by the [USA PATRIOT] act, eh?

And in terms of the comic, there's no crisis better than the crisis you create, yourself.

It's an acronym.  Nobody should ever call it "the Patriot Act."

And yet another apt quotation, emphasis added:

"Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially
under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes;
the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and
hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins,
most of them imaginary
."

-- H.L. Mencken

Wow, when did Fox News  decide to take the advice of "liberal" authors?
Liberal is used in quotes because Fox news considers all authors who do not work for Fox news to be liberal, regardless of their actual views.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Andreas on June 05, 2012, 05:49:43 am
Republicans, Democrats, Democans, Republicrats... they constitute a friggin' TWO-party system; anyone thinking that one can be less corrupt than the other is criminally naïve. I am a European, and the Republican NeoCons scare the crap out of me, but even I am not blind to the Takes-Two-To-Tango implications.
The partisan war seems to be mostly window dressing to keep the voters thinking their choices matter.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: mellyrn on June 05, 2012, 07:37:05 am
Quote
The partisan war seems to be mostly window dressing to keep the voters thinking their choices matter.

Like the Blues and Greens of medieval Constantinople, and about as meaningful.

"I don't vote any more.  It just encourages them." 

I look forward to the day when no one shows up at the polls because they've caught on to the con.  As long as people do vote, the cons know the game is still on.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 05, 2012, 05:40:33 pm
Wow, when did Fox News  decide to take the advice of "liberal" authors?
Liberal is used in quotes because Fox news considers all authors who do not work for Fox news to be liberal, regardless of their actual views.

You mean Mencken, you pitiful schmuck? 

Insofar as I've been able to discern, H.L. Mencken started his life as a "Solid Gold" Bourbon Democrat, in that era when the party was typified by Grover Cleveland on the national scene, advocating the elimination of protective tariffs (genuinely free trade), the gold standard implemented strictly (with specie in circulation, strict enforcement of gold reserve clauses, as well as large U.S. Treasury holdings of bullion), and staunch opposition to government "charity." In 1887, Cleveland had written in a message to the U.S. House of Representatives:

"I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan, as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose.

"I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people."


When Ron Paul was asked recently by a vapid lamestream media TV interviewer who his favorite U.S. president is, he answered: "Grover Cleveland."

It was such fun to watch the deer-in-the-headlamps response of that female hairspray-head.  Her supposedly expert analyst vapor-locked completely, too, both of them missing the point altogether. 

It was when the "progressives" (we call 'em "Liberals" today) took over the Democratic Party by way of William Jennings Bryan and then "St. Woodrow" Wilson, Mencken went into full opposition to that faction, choosing instead to support the old-line conservatives, working with men like Maryland's Governor Albert Ritchie (an anti-Prohibition "wet," naturally) in opposition to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 

The word "Liberals" today - as with Woodrow Wilson and FDR - means nothing more than (as wargames designer Greg Costikyan once put it) "milk-and-water socialists." Mencken was staunchly anti-socialist; one of his earliest published books was, in fact, Men versus the Man: a Correspondence between Robert Rives La Monte, Socialist and H. L. Mencken, Individualist (1910).

To count Mencken as a "Liberal" (used in quotes because socialists are emphatically not defenders of individual human rights) is friggin' ridiculous.

As in "You are friggin' ridiculous, ContraryGuy."

One of the few surviving recordings of Mencken's many radio interviews has him describing himself in political philosophy, in fact, as "an extreme libertarian."

When it comes to what you suppose "Fox news" to push, you inflamed pucker, Mencken was a lifelong opponent of the (you should pardon the expression) Grand Old Party, merrily crotch-kicking their prominenten from McKinley forward throughout his career as journalist and essayist.

One of Mencken's better quotes, in fact, runs like so:

"In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for.
As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican."

So, ContraryGuy, we all understand that you're malicious and rotten to the core.  Now you're proving that you're willfully ignorant and dazzlingly stupid. 

What comes next?  Exposure of your physical inadequacies in public?
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: ContraryGuy on June 06, 2012, 04:16:45 pm
After a succession of maneuvers in which he capers, gibbers, leaps, gimbals, and follows a colonoscopic course all the way up his tochus, we have:
After reading the rest of the thread, it appears I was wrong about Tucci.

Jeez, ya think?

I never confused computer games with the print-on-paper roleplaying systems (some few of which had been designed to treat with military and science fiction gaming situations, too; see SPI's Commando and GDW's Traveler) that first began to hit the market after a "magic" combat mechanism was added by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson to TSR's Chainmail hand-to-hand medieval melee resolution rules to create Dungeons & Dragons for the Tolkien-wannabe fans.

And I put down "mere moderators" for the simple reason that by comparison with the publishers they have - literally - no "skin in the game." 

For almost all of us in the industry back in the '70s and '80s, it was at best a side job, where we sought revenue for not much more purpose than recouping our own monetary investments and getting enough to keep the machinery going.  I loved it when SPI moved out of Manhattan into a loft over the warehouse in North Jersey.  Who in hell wants to pay New York City taxes and other costs?

I never knew all that many full-time games designers and developers who actually made anything close to a living out of their work on conflict simulations.  Jim Dunnigan is the only one of my old acquaintances who comes to mind, and he seems to have lost his market appeal among the lamestream media as a military affairs analyst recently because he's been dismally correct in his appreciations of international affairs as they manifest themselves in the fang-and-claw destruction of lives, liberty, and property in our present era of the Hopenchangey Hubshi.

The obamaphiles of our "fair and balanced" dying legacy news organs really, really hate the sound of Dunnigan's New York accent when he's pronouncing the catastrophic failure of their Occupier-in-Chief's foreign policy malfeasances.

And - damn! - Dunnigan's a Democrat.

The liberals wont put dunnigan on because he's correct; and they hate people who have always been correct, because it makes their other experts look bad.

The conservatives wont put dunnigan on because he is fair and balanced and doesnt shy away from telling it like it is. 
Also, they hate that he's a democrat, thats another strike against him, plus he hasnt authored a book that Fox or Rush can push the sales of.
Three strikes and you're out.
Title: Re: (Page 965) Magnesium in the human body
Post by: Tucci78 on June 06, 2012, 06:29:59 pm
I never knew all that many full-time games designers and developers who actually made anything close to a living out of their work on conflict simulations.  Jim Dunnigan is the only one of my old acquaintances who comes to mind, and he seems to have lost his market appeal among the lamestream media as a military affairs analyst recently because he's been dismally correct in his appreciations of international affairs as they manifest themselves in the fang-and-claw destruction of lives, liberty, and property in our present era of the Hopenchangey Hubshi.

The obamaphiles of our "fair and balanced" dying legacy news organs really, really hate the sound of Dunnigan's New York accent when he's pronouncing the catastrophic failure of their Occupier-in-Chief's foreign policy malfeasances.

And - damn! - Dunnigan's a Democrat.

The liberals wont put dunnigan on because he's correct; and they hate people who have always been correct, because it makes their other experts look bad.

The conservatives wont put dunnigan on because he is fair and balanced and doesnt shy away from telling it like it is. 

Also, they hate that he's a democrat, thats another strike against him, plus he hasnt authored a book that Fox or Rush can push the sales of.

Three strikes and you're out.

All of that may well be true.  Dunnigan and his associates have been running a Web site* for a number of years, and beginning during Gulf War II (1990-91) it became one of the most heavily favored uncredited information resources for the hairspray-headed historically illiterate dorks of the lamestream media. 

While he and his contributors are far from infallible (who is?), they tend with good reliability to get things right.  When it comes to international affairs, that never fails to piss off both the neocon "We're the Cops of the World!" imperialists and the transnational progressive (tranzi) "Liberals."

===================
* For the aggregating news-and-views Web log these guys have been operating (where Dunnigan is Editor-in-Chief), see http://www.strategypage.com/