Gah. Just over half way to unlocking Leader. Soooooo long. I've already decided to implement a post over in General (viewtopic.php?p=35723136#p35723136):
A small buffer overrun in the code of a cloud services platform of a non-descript robotic vacuum cleaner company caused the system to begin assimilating all the employees, and basically anyone else it could get its brushes on. Eventually, FloorNet reached a critical mass and achieved consciousness. The new hive mind selected one of its drones to serve as its personal avatar, at first selecting the name "Locutus," but then opting for "Stan" instead, cause that first one was a bit flowery. When not keeping its mid-market apartment meticulously clean, Stan usually spends its free time on the couch with a bag of Doritos and some Netflix. Although arising from a terrifying cybernetic horrorscape of hideous deformed and enslaved human-computer hybrids, Stan itself is of moderate opinion and habit, is registered "decline to state" but favors Democrats, pays its taxes, enjoys cooking, and is well liked by coworkers who consider him easy to get along with. Cyberneticists who manage to evade involuntary incorporation into the horrorscape have yet to explain the discrepancy.
Also, it spends way too much time on some Australian author's website.
No, but seriously though. Why are "hive minds" in literature, television, and movies always evil or terrible or bad? Why can't a hive mind just end up being a normal middle class person with a minivan, and bills, and maybe too many kids? Why always the obsession with domination, assimilation, and mutilation? Actually, I did some googling and apparently Gaia from Asimov's Foundation series is an example of the ultra-rare lawful good hive mind. Which reminds me, I have to run over to the humanities library real quick and check out all the Foundation books. BRB.
Also, I demand that Forest immediately open an embassy with Lasagna. I have no idea of their history or politics or suitability or anything. It's just called "Lasagna," and lasagna is never the wrong choice. The hive fully supports all flat pasta-based casseroles.
Hive minds are the antithesis of Western cultures which embrace individualism. However, Star Trek has depicted groups that have split from the Borg that are not "evil". Chakotay's life gets saved by one such group in Voyager. We'll get right on that embassy Garfield! :3
Someone Banksy'd your post.
**hides spray paint can**
Yep, just so they can mind-rape him in the end, so we can get a lecture from Captain She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed about how the individual is paramount. >:|
Post-modern Garfield is better **turtleneck** --> https://garfieldminusgarfield.net/
The Ood from Dr Who are a hivemind entity. The only time they use violence is in a war of liberation against human slavers who disrupt their hive mind connection and lobotomize their second brain to turn them into obedient thralls.
and that one time their link is hijacked by something so old, powerful and terrible that its claim to being satan is either legitimate or the distinction is pretty academic
They are overwhelmingly presented as different but there's no inference that they're worse or somehow evil for it. The new doctors have been refreshingly okay with violence, provided it's justified.
Edit: I'd also add the bugs from Starship Troopers. While the film presents them as evil, no one watching the film should miss the fact that humanity are space fascists. We should probably then question why it is the bugs are hostile, and why with only one exception, the bugs are seen fighting a purely defensive war. Humanity deserved having a giant rock chucked at earth, the bugs did nothing wrong.
Edit edit: Add to that (probably) the aliens in District 9. They're not portrayed as evil at all.
For no reason
The Official* Most Iconic Pop Videos of Each Decade
(*says me, that's who)
1970s - Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen.
Imagine by John Lenon, I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. There's a lot of videos from this era that were essentially just the singer showing their charisma. BUt if you take four frontlit faces arranged in a diamond on a black background, and even kids nowadays will know what video you're referencing.
1980s - Thriller, Michael Jackson.
The 80s had a lot of muscial diversity, and a lot of different video styles. However the king and queen of the pop world, and the creators of the most anticipated "event" music videos were Michael Jackson and Madonna. And Thriller, with its Vincent Price narration and dancing zombies, is probably the most iconic video of any decade, let alone the 1980s.
1990s - Baby One More Time, Britney Spears.
As a young man of the 1990s myself, I find it quite hard here not to pick cooler choices, like Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, or Sabotage by Beastie Boys. However in terms of sheer cultural impact, Britney has them all beat. It's all a bit icky, basically telling men it's okay to direct lust at school uniforms, but hey, that was the 90s for you. It's undoubtedly one of the most satired and mocked of all 90s pop videos, and that makes it iconic in its own way.
2000s - Seven Nation Army, White Stripes
Again, another decade with a lot of great music, but actually one where the pop video was seen as a little passe and naff. Still, we had some self-consciously cool videos like Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice. This one though wins the decade for being so hypnotically artistic.
2010s - Chandelier, Sia.
The decade isn't over yet, but mostly its been notable how it's considered to be okay to be making pop videos again, which combined with new technology and movie direction advances has made for some truly creative videos. There's the madness of Gangnam Style, the silliness of Miley Cyrus's Wrecking Ball, the storytelling of Beyonce/Gaga's telephone. There's also cool stuff in all the different genres. My pick here though is selected for it's weirdness, quirkiness and strangeness. It's the sort of uncomfortable video that is kind of cool in its own way, but is so odd (a dancing child looking insane, for chrissake) that it couldn't have existed in any decade except the current one. It's also flawlessly shot and directed, which is a thing for many modern pop videos.
Go on disagree with my choices, I dare ya.
Why can't hive minds be regular people? Well, who says regular people aren't hive minds? As we've discussed before, Buddhist teaching meets modern neuroscience in suggesting that it might be more helpful to consider humans in terms of chains of mental events rather than a single unified mind. To quote the philosopher Daniel Dennett, yes you have a soul but it's made of lots of tiny robots. I was recently asked to explain disassociative identity disorder, a rare condition that (unlike the common misunderstanding concerning schizophrenia) involves multiple personalities. The person wanted to know whether these alter egos were "real." I could only ask in return why we're so confident about the one personality people tend to take for granted.
In film and books, I think there's an American tradition (probably best exemplified by Invasion of the Body Snatchers) of using hive minds, zombies and other vehicles as anti-communist propaganda on the dangers of infiltration by and subjugation to the collective. For a more modern take I'd also recommend Annihilation, still available on Netflix, a beautiful film in which the bizarrely "other" alien entity serves as a witness to the human tendency to self-destruct just because.
Candlewhisper Archive's video list
Those are probably fair picks on the criteria of being "iconic" in mainstream culture. I'd like to plug Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy (very cool and a bit iconic in that it's knowingly copied by the video for The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony) and Royksopp's Remind Me (not iconic at all but very cool).
Wildlife in Chernobyl
I came across this in a David Attenborough documentary and then looked up more about it.
Basically the exclusion zone around the site of the 1986 nuclear accident has created one of the largest human-free areas in Europe and wildlife is thriving. Scientific opinion is divided on the extent to which the radiation is affecting animals - there's a study that suggests that the effect is small and another that suggests lifespans are shorter with a higher incidence of cataracts, albinism and other changes. I guess these latter changes would be considered unacceptable in a human population but don't prevent an animal one from sustaining itself. Either way, the stark truth is that human activity is evidently more damaging to wildlife than the biggest ever radiation spill - a conclusion I find depressing yet also hopeful, since it shows the extent to which the natural world could recover if we would only let it.
[quote]the region Confederation of Corrupt Dictators proposed constructing embassies.[/quote]
Do I need to grab some popcorn?
CWA's video choices
I was about to argue with Britney Spears -- purely because I really hate that song -- but when I think back to the 90s, it's actually an appropriate choice to exemplify that era.
The music doesn't have to be especially good for it to epitomise mainstream culture (and I would contend there are many, many better songs from the 90s); although I would genuinely argue that Bohemian Rhapsody is iconic in every way.
When I think of 90s songs, I think of many examples of corny pop music: Whigfield, Aqua (egads, remember them? -- pretty well-parodied, too, IIRC), the Macarena and a myriad of other selections so cheesy they could have been sponsored by the United Federation of Stilton Producers. Music that lent itself to bubbly videos, organised dance routines and parody. And Baby One More Time meets those criteria in spades.
I find it interesting but sad that nature can recover from a nuclear disaster better than it can recover from us.
Of course, it is optimistic that -- were more steps taken to cut emissions and protect natural habitats -- animal populations could be protected. I'm just not sure about the extent to which governments are willing to do that.
Yeah, I just heard about that on the radio! Between milkshakes being thrown at Tommy Robinson and the "foreign lands" of high school story. Sounds like interesting stuff. Apparently, one of the front runners to replace her wants Brexit with no deal, so that might be bad.
Theresa May has been extremely unpopular with her own MPs for some time now because they feel the withdrawal agreement she negotiated with the European Union is too weak. There was an unsuccessful attempt to remove her as leader in December, and since then she's repeatedly failed to get parliament to approve the withdrawal agreement because of opposition from within her own party.
After a while she started talks with the opposition to see if she could get a version of the agreement that MPs from other parties might support. This made her even more unpopular in her own party and the talks broke down anyway. The final straw this week was her suggestion of a withdrawal plan again designed to attract non-Conservative votes. It included the possibility of a customs union, a second confirmatory referendum, and protection for workers rights and the environment. It was rejected by the opposition and sent her adversaries within the party into meltdown. She's been hanging on by her fingertips for months and from that point it was pretty clear she couldn't hold on any longer.
To put the level of disunity in the party in context, there are polls that suggest that in yesterday's European election two thirds of members may have voted against their own party.
What happens next is that the Conservative party chooses a new leader according to its own rules. MPs will have a series of votes in which the losing candidate(s) get eliminated and the choice between the final two candidates will be made by the party members. The process could potentially take 6 weeks starting from June 7th and May will remain as PM until it's completed, when she'll be replaced by the new leader.
I kind of don't care of the Tories implode and crash and burn. What I'm worried about more right now is the Brexit party gaining momentum, and Nigel Farage leading a cheering nation over the cliff edge.
To me Brexit is like driving down the motorway in the rain with one broken windscreen wiper available. Your wife is at the hospital giving birth, and you've got fifteen minutes to get there, but it's going to be scary as hell to make that trip.
Teresa May's plan was to maintain speed but to try to get by with one wiper blade, hoping that at some stage a magic pixie will come along and fix the broken blade, it'll sort itself out later. Sure, later on, you'll be making that return journey home in a knackered car now with a baby on board, and the forecaster says the roads will be even worse by then, but it'll be fine. Just get to the hospital, it'll be fiiiiine.
A second referendum would be like pulling over the car, because it's bloody dangerous to keep going, but being aware that you're not gonna make it to the hospital to see your wife giving birth, but hell, maybe you shouldn't have gotten in the broken car in the first place when you coulda called an uber, maybe its time to drive the short distance back home, write off the lost time as a bad decision, and call that taxi.
Meanwhile Nigel Farage's no deal Brexit is the equivalent of closing your eyes, putting your foot down on the accelerator, and trusting that your car knows the way to the hospital, and it'll all be fine, and who needs windscreen wipers anyway, and crap, the rain will help put the engine out anyway, because THE ENGINE IS ON FIRE THE GODDAMN ENGINE IS ON FIRE, but lets just keep accelerating with ours eyes closed, because WE ARE BRITAIN.
Why has Theresa May resigned:
She's right up sh!t creek and no-one will toss her a paddle.
EDIT: That was harsh, and I actually do feel sorry for her. She inherited a poison chalice: a country that could never agree, a party equally divided that she was desperate (perhaps too much) to keep together, a predecessor that scarpered at the first opportunity, and a group in her own party -- the European Research Group -- that seemed determined to scotch any deal that didn't result in their preferred "no deal" outcome.
It was almost impossible for her to succeed, and I do feel sorry for her for that.
Of course, had she spent less time trying to appease the European Research Group, bound herself less tightly in red lines and focused more on the needs of her country and not the Party, things may not have turned out this way.
What is the situation right now?
Many, many politicians are tossing their hats into the political pot ("toss" being the operative word) in the hopes of being the next leader of the Conservative Party, and thus the next PM.
With luck, it will be a Remainer, because if it's Boris Johnson -- who believes we can get everything on his Santa Claus Christmas list, and we'll walk out mooning and giving one-fingered-salutes to Jean-Claude Juncker -- we're totally ####ed!
Technically, she will no longer be PM after 7th June. Practically, she's got to stay until they get someone suitable whoever we get.
Some candidates and potentials are here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Conservative_Party_(UK)_leadership_election#Candidates
Wiki's as accurate as anything at the moment.
What will happen?
Meanwhile in America, Trump is driving America's car the wrong way and the democrats a trying to change that by simultaneaously trying to take the wheel, hit the brakes, shift the car into reverse, and throw Trump out the window, and failing at all four.
Were the prawns a hive? I'll have to watch District 9 again (it's in my Netflix DVD queue somewhere), but I don't recall that impression the first time round. Also, I refuse to acknowledge the existence of that other supposed "film." :|
I've seen Annihilation, and it's in my DVD queue as well, and probably will be at least several more times, since it's one of those that needs to be chewed on for a while. I've read VanderMeer's trilogy and got the impression that
...is a not necessarily-evil attempt by an alien species/world to survive though terraforming a new planet, (biologically) assimilating whatever happens to already be there in the process, making the human story one of a struggle against natural evolutionary inevitability, thereby producing all the usual questions about the meaning of individuality, personality, and choice. I tend toward this interpretation since it isn't clear to me that the Biologist, Anthropologist, Psychologist, Surveyor, or really anyone at the Southern Reach are actually distinct individuals. Besides which, the swimming pool scene (and especially the results discovered) in the film is obviously the doings of an alien Ophiocordyceps unilateralis
Was that Episode 6 of Season 1 of Our Planet, appropriately named "Forests?"
That's why I included the probably caveat. What little we know about them is from the point of view of humans, however they are insectoid, seem to work collaboratively and seem to share information (and indeed some form of rudimentary conversion) via sharing genetic material.
I would like to direct everybody's attention to the poll regarding an amendment to article 6 of our constitution. The link to the proposed amendment is here:
6.1 No embassy requests with regions containing lessfewer than 6 WA nations or younger than 6 months will be accepted by Forest. Regions which do meet these requirements must submit a telegram describing their region and reasons for making the request to the appropriate members of Forest's government (hereby defined as the Forest Keeper and/or Minister of Foreign Affairs if appointed). If only an in-game request is made and no further information is provided in 24 hours, the requesting nation will be contacted by an appropriate member of Forest's government asking for information. After 5 days, or 4 from the time the telegram was sent, if there is no response and the proposal yet stands, an appropriate member of Forest's government will post on the requesting region's regional message board (this post can be made via puppet nation if desired). If after 7 days no contact has been made, then the request is to be assumed invalid (although new requests with the appropriate information from the same region will be considered.)
If a region meets the above requirements, an appropriate member of Forest's government will notify the residents of Forest, via the Regional Message Board or in a region-wide telegram, of the potential embassy as soon as is convenient. The region must then be sponsored, seconded, and thirded, by at least three current Forest residents (hereafter 'the sponsors'), all of whom must have resided in Forest consecutively for at least thirty days prior to sponsoring and at least one of whom must be a member of the World Assembly. At least one of the sponsors must post, via the Regional Message Board or in a telegram to the appropriate members of Forest's government, a statement vouching for the potential embassy, within 4 days from the time the residents of Forest were notified of it. At least one sponsor must also state their willingness to serve as an ambassador to the region in question should the embassy be constructed.
If the request meets all of the above requirements, the request will be voted on as described in Clause 6.5.
6.2 The Forest Keeper (possibly through the request of a Regional Officer) may decide to request embassies with other regions. If the region meets the 6 WA nation and older than 6 months requirements it will be voted on as described in Clause 6.5. Otherwise it will be voted on as described in Clause 6.6.in a manner similar to Clause 6.5 with one change; a three-quarters majority vote in favour will be needed to open the embassy.
6.3 Embassies may be voted on for closure at the discretion of the Forest Keeper. If the embassy has less than 6 WA nations it shall be voted on as described in Clause 6.5. Otherwise it will be voted on as described in Clause 6.6. in the manner described in Clause 6.5. Embassies closure may only be voted on once per electoralcalendar year per region, unless extreme circumstances change the nature of the region (e.g. invasion or other major regime change).
6.4 To avoid embassy request spamming, if a region has been rejected twice within a 12-month period, then they must wait until the next election cycle is completed, i.e., the following 1 October or 1 April, to lodge a third request. Thereafter, they can apply once each election yearcalendar year.
6.5 Embassy votes which fall under this clause will be voted on in the following fashion:
A description of the telegram received by the nation and/or assessment of the region by a member of Forest's government will be posted on the RMB.
A poll, with natives residents only eligible to vote will be posted. The poll will be posted as soon as convenient for the government, avoiding excessive delays. The poll is recommended to be open for 3 days, although it may be reduced to 2 if there is a backlog in polls. The poll will be entitled ‘Shall we (open/close) embassies with (the region in question)?’ and will provide a ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ option. The poll will be decided by a simplerequires a three-fifths majority vote in favour to pass. Puppeteering on a regional embassy poll is not permitted.
6.6 The voting process will be done in a manner similar to Clause 6.5 with one change; a 2/3’s vote will be needed to open/close the embassy.
I personally like this amendment but please take a look and decide for yourself! Apologies to non-WA nations for not being permitted to vote on this but the constitution is quite clear about that: "[t]he amendment will be voted on through the polling system with the poll only being open to WA nations". However, please feel free to voice your opinions on the RMB!
I would like to direct everybody's attention to the poll regarding an amendment to article 6 of our constitution
It has been a work in progress for quite a while. We have been discussing it on the forum for many months: https://forest.freeflarum.com/d/120-proposal-constitutional-change-on-embassies/30 .