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Nocturnal Creature
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#51 Post by Nocturnal Creature » 01 Apr 2009 20:30

Seems like you failed at understanding what I was implying.

Let me put it real simple for you - game is only a game. When I say playing a game has no relevance, I mean that is has no significance from a perspective that values living outside made-up imaginery worlds. And I'm not saying that these MMO's don't have any effects. On the contrary. They have too many effects and impacts on peoples life. However, opposite to what you just said, listing social circles as a positive effect, I fully disagree with you. I've seen people with severe addictions to MMO's. People substitue their lack of real social relationships or, after finding communicating on internet easier, replace most of their real life people relationships with their MMO ones. Nothing positive about that. I've seen someone quit his job because of guild raid schedules. However, I quess a problem doesn't exist as long as the people having it doesn't understand he has it. Or mayby it isn't a propblem after all then.

Now, excuse me and carry on with your fruitful debate. I'll be back in few years again.
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Led Guardian
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#52 Post by Led Guardian » 01 Apr 2009 21:17

Nocturnal Creature wrote:Nothing positive about that. I've seen someone quit his job because of guild raid schedules. However, I quess a problem doesn't exist as long as the people having it doesn't understand he has it. Or mayby it isn't a propblem after all then.
Good and bad is all perspective. Saying that there's is nothing positive about what this person has done presupposes that your ideas of positive and negative are universal. So if he doesn't think it's a problem, is it? There are people who make a living just off of playing MMO's and selling virtual gold and profiles.



And money has no "real" existence. Its value is all in your head. Literally.
'Nowhere has this renunciation of man's transience been more joyous or uplifting than in the medium of airport carpets.'

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#53 Post by Kankra » 02 Apr 2009 07:29

Nocturnal Creature wrote:And I quess some philosophical view would see the things you do in a virtual world more futile than the things you do in real life. And if your philosophical view disagrees with it, try spending few weeks eating food only in your virtual world. You'll get the idea of what I mean then. And no, "real life" here doesn't include your virtual world actions. To "real life" it just qualifies as sitting on your butt in front of computer with no other relevance whatsoever.
What is "more futile"? Futile is an adjective whose superlative makes no sense at all.

I don't see a point in your post other than the obvious statement that virtual food doesn't sustain me in real life (orly), so...

Just to reiterate: There is no significant difference to playing an MMO, and talking to people in RL.

And on the grand scale, almost no human actions or any person's existence matters in any way, compared to the number of people alive. Imagine you were dead: what would that change, and how would it significantly change the lives of more than 2 people for more than 5 years?

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#54 Post by Palantyre » 02 Apr 2009 17:57

Nocturnal Creature wrote:Seems like you failed at understanding what I was implying.

Let me put it real simple for you - game is only a game. When I say playing a game has no relevance, I mean that is has no significance from a perspective that values living outside made-up imaginery worlds. And I'm not saying that these MMO's don't have any effects. On the contrary. They have too many effects and impacts on peoples life. However, opposite to what you just said, listing social circles as a positive effect, I fully disagree with you. I've seen people with severe addictions to MMO's. People substitue their lack of real social relationships or, after finding communicating on internet easier, replace most of their real life people relationships with their MMO ones. Nothing positive about that. I've seen someone quit his job because of guild raid schedules. However, I quess a problem doesn't exist as long as the people having it doesn't understand he has it. Or mayby it isn't a propblem after all then.

Now, excuse me and carry on with your fruitful debate. I'll be back in few years again.
People quitting their jobs because of a game isnät a problem of games and gaming, it's the problem of those who did it. The game didn't make them quit their jobs, THEY did.
And as for the social circles, who says that online socializing is less valuable than that in "real life"? The people on the other end of that network are just as real, sitting on a chair in front of a keyboard and screen. Hell, I have many really good friends I have met online, who are all very valuable additions to my life. Several of them I also see in person from time to time, some just live too far away. Out of my three romantic relationships so far, two have started online. (and the one that didn't was pretty short-lived and crappy.) Granted, none of that happened in a game, but I have enough experience of online gaming that I can say it just as well might have.

So yeah, for some people internet and/or gaming addiction is a real and serious problem, but that doesn't mean there could be no positive effects to a whole big lot of others.
And The Lord said unto John: 'Come forth and receive eternal life'.
But John came fifth, and won a toaster.

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t.a.j.
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#55 Post by t.a.j. » 02 Apr 2009 20:10

Palantyre wrote: People quitting their jobs because of a game isnät a problem of games and gaming, it's the problem of those who did it. The game didn't make them quit their jobs, THEY did.
That's just a bit too easy on the other side of things. There is a problem with boring, estranging jobs that people cannot find satisfaction in, simple because in the end they are meaningless. They pay the bill and some rich people get richer when you do them, but that's about it. On the other hand you have the game with all it's successes, the social world it opens, with people that like, maybe even admire you, that is full of satisfaction, of emotional significance.
Reducing this to simple blaming people is shortsighted.
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They say that there's a broken light for every heart on Broadway.
They say that life's a game, then they take the board away.
They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story
Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret...


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#56 Post by Kankra » 02 Apr 2009 21:58

Temptations are everywhere, but it's still in the hand of each person himself. Instead of blaming the temptations, one ought to blame the person's weakness, and that weakness should be overcome, not the temptation removed/censored/destroyed...

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#57 Post by Joost » 02 Apr 2009 22:05

Kankra wrote:Temptations are everywhere, but it's still in the hand of each person himself. Instead of blaming the temptations, one ought to blame the person's weakness, and that weakness should be overcome, not the temptation removed/censored/destroyed...
The most suitable reply to this post is in the post right above it:
t.a.j. wrote: Reducing this to simple blaming people is shortsighted.
As I would put it myself: blaming is too simple in a lot of cases. It reduces behaviour that is symptomatic of flaws in society as a whole to erratic behaviour by individuals. Of course individuals are erratic in a lot of cases, but I would much rather live in a society that is able to deal with humanity's flaws in a decent way, rather than a society that demands flawless behaviour of humans -- which is something humanity will never be able to reach.

Just attacking the symptoms, rather than attacking the underlying framework, will in the end be ineffective, as there will be new humans later on, who will probably exhibit just the same flaws, because they come forth from the same society.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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#58 Post by Palantyre » 02 Apr 2009 23:25

I didn't actually mean it as blaming anyone. Just saying that in the end, people make their own decisions. And as Tex said, those decisions can be influenced. And I'm not even saying those decisions are necessarily bad: Hey, if your job sucks and you'd rather just play WoW and you're happy with it, then go ahead.
Just saying that at the end of the day, it's still your decision, not Blizzard's or even your guild's.
And The Lord said unto John: 'Come forth and receive eternal life'.
But John came fifth, and won a toaster.

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#59 Post by Joost » 02 Apr 2009 23:37

Palantyre wrote:I didn't actually mean it as blaming anyone. Just saying that in the end, people make their own decisions. And as Tex said, those decisions can be influenced. And I'm not even saying those decisions are necessarily bad: Hey, if your job sucks and you'd rather just play WoW and you're happy with it, then go ahead.
Just saying that at the end of the day, it's still your decision, not Blizzard's or even your guild's.
You can use this line of reasoning to advocate the legalization of all kinds of recreational drugs (including ones that in almost all cases have severe consequences to the user, such as heroin). After all, by legalizing them you are taking an area away from the criminal circuit, and in the end, it's the people's own choice whether to destroy their own lives by starting to use heroin, or not doing so.

Would you advocate something like that as well? (Personally I wouldn't go as far as legalizing heroin, but still quite far when it comes to legalization of drugs)
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

::.: Homepage .::. last.fm .::. Facebook .::. Flickr :.::

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End Of An Era
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#60 Post by End Of An Era » 03 Apr 2009 00:20

IMO it's always a risky business to ban or legalize things. These laws are in most cases to protect the people who can't protect themselves, but where to start? where to stop?? too difficult for me, glad i am not in charge of that :P

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#61 Post by Palantyre » 03 Apr 2009 00:38

Joost: No I can't, because of the very consequences you mentioned. Games don't have that horrible consequences.
I think it's pretty common sense that reasonings and justifications for some things don't work with other things.

EDIT: Some corrections because I misread at first.
And The Lord said unto John: 'Come forth and receive eternal life'.
But John came fifth, and won a toaster.

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#62 Post by Kankra » 03 Apr 2009 07:55

I'm a fan of blaming people if they have fucked up. Makes decent people humble if it's fairly put. Everything else is just pussyfooting around the issues. Yes, oh yes, heroin is awful, but the person who takes it is to blame, not the opium farmers in Afghanistan or the dealers in the back streets. What IS indeed shortsighted is to say "humans are inherently flawed, so it's wrong to blame the individual". That's just this tolerant feel-good psychology stuff that gives people easy excuses for their fuck ups. Oh, the poor rapist was bullied in school, and his parents never love him. He still did what he did, made the conscious decision to do it, and should get the punishment and blame for it.

Trying to shift the blame from the person who is causing the issue to other people or circumstances is just cheap. It's f.e. this ridiculous attitide I get at work. Some workmate of mine fucks up, I tell my boss what's happened, he answers: "But why didn't you... ?" "Why didn't you solve the problem for your workmate and fix everything and why did you not this and that, and why didn't you step in and repair everything?" Hey ho, boss, that is not the fucking question. Because it's not my fucking job, boss. I dunno how they get this shitty attitude, but everybody who comes to the managers in my company with problems that have happened always gets these questions. Instead of focussing on the cause of the problem, the person who came to the manager with it is suddenly the focus. I'm not a babysitter. If a person asks for help, he gets it, but I sure won't clean up other people's mess pre-emptively.

It's every free individual's own responsibility to live his life in a decent manner. If somebody falls into temptation and sticks with it, against all attempts to help him, he's deserved the outcome. What's this desire to save everybody's soul, however undeserving it may be? How will society ever savour a strong individual and evolve toward being more independent and self-sufficient if we have the attitude that humans are inherently flawed and this excuses them and their actions in any way?

Strong, good humans are not flawless. They do fuck up. But they don't lean back and spread the blame around; instead, they accept it, and clean up the mess.

What were we talking about again? A person quitting his job to play WoW? Entirely his problem. A doesn't matter a single iota if the job sucked, if he has no girlfriend, if his mom died in his infancy, etc etc. He made the conscious decision to do what he did, probably against the warnings or comments of people around him. What he gets is what he deserves. I work 8 hours per day and still play an MMO for 30 hours per week. Anybody quitting their job and blaming the game for his social/financial downward spiral to do what I do while working will only get my scorn.

We need role models. We need strong individuals showing us a strong way of handling life and life's problems. We need people who clean up their own mess instead of squatting in it. We don't need people playing WOW and smoking weed from unemployment aid and getting away with it - because people run around with their feel-good psychology that the circumstances are to blame, not the individual.

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#63 Post by t.a.j. » 03 Apr 2009 08:42

While I would advocate a healthy dose of "I did it.", I would recommend a more relaxed attitude to "You did it.". The first helps you navigate your life, the second is just blaming. Nothing against responsibility, but the way you put it, it sound very ideological.

Furthermore, something to make one think: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamenta ... tion_error

Certainly made me reconsider the individualistic idea of man. It is, I think, a liberal illusion. I have tried since then to make myself see the situation and not the person as the relevant cause of behaviour.
http://www.gedichtblog.de
They say that there's a broken light for every heart on Broadway.
They say that life's a game, then they take the board away.
They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story
Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret...


Still the goddamn Batman.

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#64 Post by Kankra » 03 Apr 2009 09:08

t.a.j. wrote:While I would advocate a healthy dose of "I did it.", I would recommend a more relaxed attitude to "You did it.".
I am totally and entirely for people (A) doing the former and learning from it, instead of others immediately hammering on people who made a mistake. I just have a problem with people (B) hiding behind situational excuses and taking no personal responsibility -- or other people providing excuses in a fundemental approach. Hammering (B) people with the blame finger is justified... the question remains whether they'll learn from it. But that's another issue.

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#65 Post by t.a.j. » 03 Apr 2009 09:21

Kankra wrote:I
How will society ever savour a strong individual and evolve toward being more independent and self-sufficient if we have the attitude that humans are inherently flawed and this excuses them and their actions in any way?
We are not self-sufficient. You are not. Barack Obama is not. We life in a world of vast, unspoken interdepences and we cover it up with the myth of the individual and his freedom and responsibility. And at the same time, we use that ideology to make us every less free, ever more dependent on the faceless many that we will never see or hear or talk to and mostly likely never know of. I don't know how I can do this, how my internet connection or my computer works, my central heating is done by a machine I haven't build and that I couldn't repair if it broke. I depend for my food supply on the availability of a job or other source of income, that I cannot provide for myself and on the massive machinery of human action that keeps the supermarkets stuffed. Even if I became an entrepreneur and started my own business, I'd still be as depended on others, who do their business to supply me and customers, who will support me. No matter where I go, others have been before and build the roads whereon my car runs or the tracks for the train that moves through jungles of organization and cooperation along a schedule through our cities. There are people in India, whom I've never seen but on whose work I depend to get my own done. I could go on and on like this but I think the point is starting to come clear: Nowhere is that strong individual to be found, but in our minds. We imagine him, because he cradles to our need for self-worth and importance as he goes about covering up our dependencies. We are not individuals who happen to cooperate, we are social beings first and only by being social beings, we can be individuals.
We need role models. We need strong individuals showing us a strong way of handling life and life's problems. We need people who clean up their own mess instead of squatting in it. We don't need people playing WOW and smoking weed from unemployment aid and getting away with it - because people run around with their feel-good psychology that the circumstances are to blame, not the individual.
Most of all, we need to get away from the idea of strong individuals and into the habit of thinking about us as just people. Like other people and massively dependent on them. Then we can also be strong, because then it will be ok to make mistakes again. Because when everyone is looking for the liberal hero, who in great rationality and self-responsibility shapes his own life in the right way, admitting to mistakes is the most stupid thing you can do. The ideology of the individual does not promote any kind of realism about yourself, but it puts you into the illusion of grandeur, of independence, of self-reliance. Heroes don't make mistakes and since you will be held fully responsible for anything you do, after all, the context doesn't matter, it's people and personalities that make choices - ask any assessment center - you should try anything to make things not be attributed to you. Because if you fuck up it's YOU that is to blame. And that can mean losing your job, losing your illusion of power, losing your woman,...

So if you really want people to admit to their mistakes and have a realistic opinion about themselves and what they do, take away something from their burden of responsibility, don't add to it.
http://www.gedichtblog.de
They say that there's a broken light for every heart on Broadway.
They say that life's a game, then they take the board away.
They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story
Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret...


Still the goddamn Batman.

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#66 Post by Kankra » 03 Apr 2009 09:53

Our terms clash. You interpet what I wrote with the terms you're used to or interpet in a different way than I do...

Self-sufficient:
You: Impossible due to dependency on others through economic specialisation
I: Individual can solve probems mostly by itself, searches for solutions through its own motivation or asks for advise or help otherwise. No economic issues involved.

Independence
You: ?
I: People who don't (as first step) rely on others to help them out, but who try to solve things by themselves.

Strong individuals
You: ?
I: people who admit mistakes and strive towards not committing them again. People who will not put off decisions because they might pick the wrong way.


---

The moment I encounter a person who doesnt admit his mistakes, I dub him as asshole or weak person. Coincidentally, a very skilled and experienced person does less mistakes and thus needs to admit to much less mistakes.

I am sure I could/should have used other terms, but atm people at work are interruping me every 2 minutes....

(nice example, isnt it)

edit: Just to throw in a confused example, I absolutely despise the trait in some humans to ask somebody else to solve their problems instead of trying it themselves. This happens to me, in computer games, usually from women who f.e. ask me how to do a certain quest. These pampered individuals are so used to put in no effort and just persuade others with an easy smile to solve their problems, that they're unwilling to find out stuff by themselves. I, on the other hand, have a great reluctance to ask for things I could have found out by myself because I believe that the less I pester other people with issues I could have solved myself, the better it is in the end for all parties involved: I will have learned something, and the others won't have had to spend time to feed me.

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#67 Post by Joost » 03 Apr 2009 13:07

Kankra wrote:Independence
You: ?
I: People who don't (as first step) rely on others to help them out, but who try to solve things by themselves.
But this seems to be exactly the point where interdependence comes into play. Why should you 'try to solve things by yourself'? All kinds of people, from ordinary people to top politicians and scientists, depend on other people to solve things for them. You may like it or not, but the principle of letting other people solve some of your things is a foundational principle of the very society we live in.

We simply live in a world full of specialization, where some other people are probably better at solving some of your problems than you yourself are. I do not say that to deny personal responsibility.

If my television stops working, and I have established that it is not a problem I can fix by just pressing a few buttons on the remote or connecting some cables to the television, I can try to solve that problem by myself, even though I have no training at all to repair televisions, and doing so will probably lead to a lot of frustration and may just have a bad outcome altogether. Or I can bring it to the store, allowing the repairman to do the job he's good at, allowing myself to focus on the stuff I am good at or, alternatively, spend a nice evening without television with some beer and friends. As you see, in this case 'letting other people solve your problem' leads to a better outcome for all parties involved.

Of course, burdening other people with your problems, or neglecting your responsibilities, is another thing, and indeed a thing I too disapprove of. And it probably was much rather that, rather than a scenario of me having my television fixed, that you had in mind. But in the end, if we take it literally, becoming 'self-sufficient' or 'independent' as you wrote it, is neither realistic nor desirable. And the very idea of an economy by itself centers around the idea of delegating tasks to other people -- letting other people solve stuff for you -- for a suitable compensation that you are able to give (directly or indirectly) because there are other things that you are good at. The idea of an economy, and the idea of self-sufficiency or independence, are in my eyes almost mutually exclusive. This goes for any type of economy, not just for market economies that we know now but also for planned economies, economies based on trading goods/gifts, etc.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

::.: Homepage .::. last.fm .::. Facebook .::. Flickr :.::

Kankra
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#68 Post by Kankra » 03 Apr 2009 13:35

I entirely agree with you Joost about the TV argument. If I take that as example, the point I'm after is somebody who buys a new TV and then doesnt want to learn how to program the channels. Or who buys a VCR and then doesnt want to learn how to program it to record a late night show, but instead always asks somebody else to program it for him.

The borderline is imo at the point where a person (A) is not willing to do a (recurrent) task but instead coerces somebody else (B) into doing it for him, while it would take (A) less time to learn and carry out the task himself in about the same time than coercing (B) each time for it. From a rational pov, this is inefficient since (A) is wasting time. People usually do this out of laziness and the inertia about learning something new.

As programmer, I am totally oblivious about cars. I am glad I can bring it to a garage to get it fixed if need be. A world where I had to repair/craft everything by myself would be horribly ineffective and annoying.

But in any case, I didnt intend to bring up any economical issues. I was strictly talking about character traits. Interhuman relations/communcation. Etc.

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#69 Post by Joost » 03 Apr 2009 14:27

So basically with a strong-willed person you mean someone who is just willing to investigate things by himself, rather than letting others solve every little problem for him. Not someone who reinvents the wheel over and again by wanting to do everything by himself, but rather someone who is willing to push the limits and achieve self-improvement through learning and effort. Not someone who is completely independent or self-sufficient (because that is just impossible in this world), but someone who does not just depend more on other people than can reasonably be expected from someone?

In that case, I agree with you.

As for the heroin addict: I would put the responsibility with him as well, but obviously, when trying to face the issue of heroin addiction, just blaming the addicts and stopping right there is not really going to solve the problem. You have to look into the role of society as well, and investigate what society can do (e.g. through education or legislation) to prevent this problem.

I believe in individual responsibilities, but also in a society that enables those responsibilities. Women anno 2009 are a lot more strong-willed in your sense, in general, than women were a hundred years ago. Why is that? It's a direct result of emancipation, because somewhere in the last century a process in society got started that enabled women to defend their own rights. Anno 2009 the position of women ain't all that bad anymore, but we still have to be wary of ongoing issues of emancipation. Here in NL, for example, there is at the moment a higher crime rate, and there are lower education levels, among citizens of Moroccan descent. While I believe that street criminals of Moroccan origin should carry the responsibility of their misdeeds (if they engage in criminal behaviour, they should receive proper punishment, rather than "they can't help it, they're from a disadvantaged background"), I also believe that there is an underlying social process, and that those social issues have to be addressed (through emancipation and empowerment) to solve the problem.

I guess that, in the end, is what I mean with "reducing it to an issue of 'blaming' is too simple". I don't want to take responsibilities away from individuals, I just want to point out that - in my opinion - there's more to it than just individual responsibility.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

::.: Homepage .::. last.fm .::. Facebook .::. Flickr :.::

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#70 Post by Led Guardian » 03 Apr 2009 17:24

You've all made very good points, and sadly, there isn't anything more I want to add. I guess I came in too late. Oh well.

Anyway, this can all basically be summed up by "balance." Find some medium between doing everything yourself and relying on others, depending on the situation. Same with blame. Always understand the situation before you blame or punish someone.
'Nowhere has this renunciation of man's transience been more joyous or uplifting than in the medium of airport carpets.'

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#71 Post by Kankra » 04 Apr 2009 17:29

Emancipation is exactly the point. I've always disliked how the word is used - chiefly for women to achieve the same rights as men - and I've also always disliked many of the buds of emancipation (not giving women the same freedom of choice, but rather enticing and forcing them into positions better paid or higher up). Like the woman quote (no idea what that is in English) - a certain percentage of seats in an instituation or comitee being reserved for women. This is a discrimination against men, not emancipation. As a sidenote, somebody said emancipation is currently achieved more by femalising men instead of women demanding same rights or pushing into formerly men-only positions.

I've also always liked the image of Lucifer emancipating from God's command, and being cast down into Hell for that although Lucifer never did anything atrocious until then, he just questioned being controlled by not having any free will.

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