Saturday, December 20, 2014

in the snow on Christmas morning

Sad news, Alastair has passed after a battle with cancer.

He will be sorely missed. He lived, loved, gave his best to all he did. I am honoured to call him friend. His family has been very grateful for the support of his online friends and community through this difficult time.

I shall be lowering Caledon flags to half staff this evening in his memory.

Fair winds, dear old friend, and may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Desmond Shang, Guvnah
Independent State of C
I...I can't say any more than that. He was a friend, and there was thought and time enough that we said our goodbyes before he departed, still hurts. I will miss him deeply.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

masters in this hall


Properly, it's "how DO I UNBIND companions", and "for sell(ing)", but hey. Also, I am suddenly reminded of exactly why I stopped playing Neverwinter for a while. This kind of nonsense.

[Zone] Luusi Loyalar@thegcbacon: you dont
[Zone] Dara Wizard@essexuk: you cannot
[Zone] Ecthelion@oshikawa: i did not think you could unbind them
[Zone] Raven Shadowmane@kickaya1: once your companion is bound you cant sell it.

Pretty much. Once you name your companion, that companion is yours. You can't "unbind" it from your account or from that character. You can throw it away...but that's all you can do.

[Zone] Ermack@leozagaglia: shit
[Zone] Treyd Lightfoot@bailey2409: nein nein nein
[Zone] Ermack@leozagaglia: no way to unbound them ????

Nope. Thanks for playing.

[Zone] Ermack@leozagaglia: i wanna selll a brain companion
[Zone] D'Vanthsgrup@cagedrat: then you shouldn't have equipped it
[Zone] Luusi Loyalar@thegcbacon: then you should've used your brain earlier
[Zone] Heal@jeremieuserx2: ouch

Deserved, though. I mean, okay, if it's his first companion, maybe, but still.

[Zone] Nexus2@nexusmmo: how to use my invation skill?

Your...what now??

[Zone] Ermack@leozagaglia: 100.000
[Zone] Ermack@leozagaglia: i sell brain for 100.000
[Zone] Heal@jeremieuserx2: emack if you equipted it i cannot purchase it

"Equipped". Also true. Why doesn't Ermack understand this?

[Zone] Nexus2@nexusmmo: how to use my invation skill?

Again with this.

[Zone] VeryShy@litehands: cntrl,i

Oh, derp, I get it now--you mean how do you invite people to groups or parties. Right, okay, for some reason that slipped right by my comprehension.

[Zone] Zaketrin@dazorglub: you can"t sell bound stuff
[Zone] Ermack@leozagaglia: no way to sell to other player ?????

Nope, we've covered this. Move on.

[Zone] PaixDesAmes@bettyboop83: do yu think your brain so valuable

Oh, there are so many ways to answer that...

[Zone] Heal@jeremieuserx2: not if you double clicked it, no
[Zone] Zaketrin@dazorglub: that's what bound does
[Zone] D'Vanthsgrup@cagedrat: you equipped it, it is bound to you, you are stuck with it, get over it
[Zone] Ermack@leozagaglia: you faind it for 200.000

"Faind" it? What does that even...are you still talking about selling the damn thing?!?

[Zone] Krazed@thykrazyone: so...what do we do with gold now?
[Zone] D'Vanthsgrup@cagedrat: pile it up, take a nap on it
[Zone] Zaketrin@dazorglub: buy 100 of each kit and potions
[Zone] Trissynda Tor'Ana@lirithiel: give it to the poor
[Zone] PaixDesAmes@bettyboop83: buy potions and things for crafting
[Zone] Zaketrin@dazorglub: also that ^

Indeed. Though gold's more useful than people realize; at least, if you like running with lots of potions or you're into the crafting system. Then it's massively useful, and not having gold can seriously cramp your day.

[Zone] Heal@jeremieuserx2: look on the bright side emack, you have a buttstallion companion now!
[Zone] Ermack@leozagaglia: i cant read sorry repeat


Okay, first, what's a buttstallion? I looked it up, and...yeah, there's nothing in Neverwinter that can do...that, so...I'm confused. But second, Ermack cannot read? Yet he's playing in a text environment where the only means for folks to communicate is through writing the words that stay, and then reading them. And he can't read?!?

He can't be serious.

[Zone] Luusi Loyalar@thegcbacon: I lay naked on my gold and taunt halflings that want some
[Zone] Mettyk@cagedrat: that's so metal

Well, gold is a metal...But that would be amusing. (Especially playing a Dragonborn, which are the dragon-sided new race in Neverwinter.)

[Zone] Ermack@leozagaglia: i will kill mi brain

"My". And right, because that's the perfect response to a companion you discover you can't sell after you made it yours. Idiot.

[Zone] Ursula@olechos: do it ermack and stop plaing

Or at least stop whining.

[Zone] Ursula@olechos: without brain it will be hard

I don't know, I'm not entirely sure he has a brain NOW, so...

[Zone] Ermack@leozagaglia: for you that sais stoip playing , try to stop playing you and try to loose your virginity ok ??

"Says", "stop", "lose"....gah. And I'm not even going to try to translate that. Ermack's just made of utter fail, start to finish.

[Zone] Ermack@leozagaglia: thanx for positive responses and fuck you all others bye
[Zone] Zaketrin@dazorglub: trying to unbind some bound stuff is like trying to gain virginty

"Virginity". Dear gods, please, learn to spell.

[Zone] The Hound@faxquo: good luck with that [Zone] VeryShy@litehands: lol
[Zone] Mockery@geeh77: can anyone give me 2 gold please

And off we go again.

children of the earth, arise!

More cookie recipes! First up, thumbprint cookies, two ways (but with room for many more creative variations), followed by chocolate sables, peppermint cheesecake cookies, traditional "Yule Log" and molasses crinkle cookies, and a very vintage recipe I haven't run across in years, it seems: raisin criss-cross cookies.

In other news, if you're into creepy sealife, I came across a lovely video of an anglerfish in action. It's either awesome or disturbing beyond all reason, considering how well you handle a fish with more than half its total body length being mouth.

Some days, I'm deluded into thinking I'm a rational person. This may not be one of those days.

[03:48] [Kxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx]: The Lord of this planet spoke to me once , it was two words ,, He said ,, ' No Mercy '
[03:48] [Txxxxxx Exxxxxxxxx]: O.o
[03:48] Emilly Orr blinks and wonders where that came from.
[03:48] [Kxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx]: me
[03:48] Emilly Orr: Yes, but in relation to what?

It was a serious question--I was massively confused. We'd been discussing lucky boards and Midnight Manias at stores that catered to implants (mostly Lolas Tangos, as I recall), and then this happened.

[03:49] [Hxxxxx Dxxxxx]: - I'd have been more worried if it has been The Lord of this univers - I coulldnt care less about Elvis...
[03:49] [pxxxxxx Fxxxxxx]: o.O
[03:49] [Kxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx]: The Lord of this earth , or did I stutter ?

No, you didn't stutter, dear, you're just not making any sense.

[03:50] Emilly Orr: Ah, okay, let me dumb this down for you. What do you mean?
[03:50] [pxxxxxx Fxxxxxx]: oh boy, one of those days
[03:50] [Kxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx]: you cant dumb that down any further

I guess not, but it still doesn't make any sense. Us: *random chatter, store sales, MM board postings* Her: *DOOM! BOW YE DOWN BEFORE THE LORD!* Us: Uh, what??

[03:51] [Txxxxxx Exxxxxxxxx]: flashes her tits and jiggles them in annoyance.
[03:51] Emilly Orr: Let me take it from another angle, then--to which Lord are you referring?
[03:51] [Hxxxxx Dxxxxx]: *shrughs* I have the Utmost respect for The Lord - what I do not respect are people trying to pull *their way* of believing over everyones head like a too-small hat!

Absolutely, which was another problem I had with this sudden intrusion from the religious side.

[03:51] [Kxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx]: there is only one
[03:51] Emilly Orr: There is only one *to you*.

I'm sticking by that.

[03:51] [pxxxxxx Fxxxxxx]: This is not the platform for this topic
[03:51] Emilly Orr: It's really not.
[03:52] [Txxxxxx Exxxxxxxxx]: there are religion groups , lots of them
[03:52] Emilly Orr: How does this relate to implants, freebies, or implant clothing?

After that she shut up. Again, this was completely out of the blue, so I still have zero reference as to what she was getting at in the first place, and why she so urgently wanted to pass on "the message" in an implant freebie group!

In more depressing news...whilst offline, I received this message from the Inspirational Mental Health group:
people are upset that I am walking away from no longer donating myself. But how can I continue to donate and give of myself when I have absolutely nothing. If you really love the community, if you really want to support, if you really believe in the mission and vision, just join the VIP group. I can't any longer donate of myself unfortunately. I no longer have the means to do so.

So I logged onto the grid and read the notecard sent in a later message:
Don't donate to any organization that helps stop stigma or raise awareness. WHY in the world will you support these people?

Who gives a dam if they make a difference!!! Just don't donate. Let everyone commit suicide because they don't have a place to go to. Let everyone feel like crap because they have no one to talk to. Let everyone just suffer because who gives a dam, life is just too crappy to even believe things can change and be better.

Don't raise awareness, don't educate and don't support. Yep!, that's right! Hide all your materials and be greedy as hell and don't share it.

Don't share it with people who might be suicidal. Don't share it with people who might be in need. Just keep all your materials in your inventory and be greedy! It's amazing to live this way! Doesn't feeling greedy feel amazing?

Don't help out and volunteer with people who are trying to make a difference. Your life sucks anyways! How dare you believe that you are worthy and can help someone else? How dare you even for a second think you can possibly hear someone out and make a difference? Taking 2 minutes of your time to listen is just not for you.

Don't bother to say thank you for materials that do help you and change your life. Why? You deserve countless of hours of research, personal experiences, and work other people put in to give you something for free!! If they gave it for free, why should you say thank you? They can go to hell! Grab what ever it is and forget about gratitude. Who cares if they worked as slaves for FREE to serve you and help make your life better. That's not your problem.

Don't spend your money on materials that can help better your life. Nope! Just spend in on prim clothes, virtual world homes, and all the virtual luxury you can buy. Spend it on things that keep your life crappy. What else can make you feel better? You deserve to keep complaining about your same symptoms and life. Who cares if you don't change? Who cares if there is a possibility of a better change? This is your life and this is what you choose so be it!

Oh you are offended by what I am saying and my advice? Sadly, 95% of the people in a mental health community ARE these people.

Why is it that people chose this instead of wanting to be the change they wish to see?

Sadly, we can't raise awareness and educate without others joining in. We can't made a difference without others being involved. And we can't make a difference when others don't support.

This is a very! hard decision. VERY!

But I have realized my worth and value. I have donated countless of hours to this community for 3 years plus and have gained a lot of experiences that I now take that with me into real life. I realize that the contents I share have value and can change a person's life for the better. I have seen the materials being used by the 5% of people that do donate, that do say thank you, that do support, that do believe in a change....and they have gotten results!!

I know what I can give. I know that the materials shared can help change life for the better. I know that it brings results!

This is why I am moving on to where I am appreciated and valued. I am focusing 100% on the VIP Group ONLY. I am also launching a project in RL soon. This project will help millions of people while I don't go undervalued. I will also be able to help continue the work we do.

I want to thank you to the 5% of you that do and/or have donated to support this project of raising awareness, educating others and providing resources to those in need. I want to thank those that have listened to others. I want to thank those who have giving of themselves completely, realizing that this is the way to end stigma and discrimination. I want to thanks those who have supported us in one way or another.

If you would like to join the VIP group, here is the link {insert: leads to SL group link}

If not, I understand and wish you well in your journey. I am grateful to have met you all and I am thankful for the times shared ♥

Inspirational Mental Health, once known as Mental Health Awareness Retreat has reached over 5k people around the world. It has educated many people and raised mental health awareness. It has provided resources and information and peer to peer support.

Thank you for having been a part of this wonderful community.

Joshuan Banx
Now, I'm leaving his in-world name on the blog because he's been a passionate advocate of healing in all spaces--RL, SL, anywhere. I first ran across Mr. Banx while he was running a hunt to benefit mentally ill homeless people. I decided at the time to join his group, and while I don't always participate, there have been a lot of thoughtful, helpful discussions over the months I've been active in the group. He turns no one away, so there's a lot of diverse voices, from the depressed to the bipolar and beyond.

But I've never taken a class, and, while I have donated to the land fund, it hasn't been often. Why? Because I'm currently facing two (to me) severe issues:
  • I don't have a steady stream of Lindens to play with at present, and
  • I'm pretty severely depressed, for a variety of reasons (lack of Lindens being the least of them)
The first means I don't have much to donate; in fact, most of the 'shopping' I've done in world for the past six months has been garnering freebies and going on hunts. It's the second that's pulled me into hermit state, though, made me very uncomfortable around other people most of the time, and largely kept me out of world consistently.

And I won't lie: at first, the tone of the initial group notice made me want to post everything and explode in unwarranted rage. Because as with any serious case of depression, there's anger in the mix, and venting it inappropriately is typical for the ailment.

The thing is, I've been honestly sitting here, processing these statements, trying not to go off half-cocked, and I've realized a few things.
  • Whether I had Lindens or not, I could have foregone a L$25 Tuesday offering, or a heavily discounted mesh dress I wanted to attempt texturing, and saved up those minimal Lindens to toss to the retreat land.
  • He's right in that--while he's not specifically talking to me--I kind of fit into that largely self-involved 95% of group members: I haven't been talking a lot in chat, I haven't taken a class since the reorganization, I haven't donated in a few months to keep the land open, even when Joshuan was asking for donations on a nigh-weekly basis.
  • I've never even bothered to join the VIP group.
That last one has a very specific reason, how'ver: to join the VIP group, it's a steep (and, at this point, sheerly unaffordable) L$300. Now, in practical, RL terms, that's about a US dollar's worth, market fluctuations notwithstanding. It's not an insane--no pun intended--amount to ask for, and there are benefits that come with that--discounted class prices, members only materials and library (informational notecard) access, occasional exclusive group gifts, and at-home study worksheets for personal growth and self-therapy.

And I get why Joshuan's upset, I really do. I'm not the only one who's hung back; I can't even say that I had the best reasons, considering those I've spoken with in group chat who have far more compelling issues than I do at present. And while there's still a wounded, tender part of my psyche that is treating this as a personal attack, I'm also owning my complicity in frustrating Joshuan to this point: because as he said, I'm not the only non-participatory group member. And five percent of a group supporting the entirety starts to get really old after a while. I've been there; I understand.

So, I'm posting this. If you have issues you'd like to work on, and you have more free Lindens than I do, consider joining the VIP group. Joshuan is a caring, compassionate guy when he's not tearing his hair out, and overall, the group members are supportive people who do not judge. Plus, he's working on taking his self-therapy and peer support model off the grid and into RL, starting with Facebook and a set of personal speaking gigs at various locations he's been doing over the past few months. Which seem to be going pretty well, from what I've heard.

So...for now, I can't get further involved. Does it mean he's disbanding the non-VIP group? I don't know, and today, after a round of calls between various medical offices and various paralegals, I'm too tired to find out. I'm sure one way or another, all will be revealed, for good or ill.

After that, I feel the need for kittens.

There you go.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

ring out, Solstice bells

Is it possible to bring back ancient sounds? Musician Stef Connor thinks so, and she's going to do it on a reproduction of an ancient golden lyre. I can't wait to hear what she comes up with.

While we're on the New Scientist site, have a phenomenal picture of the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. It's apparently the third largest hot springs in the world, after Boiling Lake in Dominica, and Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand, which is the world's largest.

In other news, people will always find a way to be short-sighted. The newest astronomical craze is something called the CubeSat, which are tiny, cheap, box-shaped satellites, easier to launch than larger satellites, with a (supposedly) planned obsolescence factor which will bring them down in twenty-five years. However, with no oversight committee on design, some of the tiny satellites have been launched with no built-in decay, resulting in cube-shaped disaster potentials overhead. Some collisions have already occurred; and no one knows quite what to do from here, with literally hundreds launched by universities and hobbyists every year.

No space in a small apartment? No problem. Hang your bed from the ceiling.

Have some sour cream cut-out cookies. Also some flourless chocolate cookies. And while we're here, for the white chocolate fans, I found white chocolate-dipped ginger cookies and white chocolate-dipped cranberry/oatmeal cookies. I also found a pretty good gluten-free gingerbread cookie recipe. And to round things out, why not try some eggnog sugar cookies?

Tragically, Stella Young is no longer with us--she died earlier this week--but this excerpt from her TED talk is genius. "I'm not your inspiration, thank you very much." And it's true--disability is not there just to inspire the able-bodied. Disability is a condition, not a motivational effort. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and often, our bodies need support to continue to exist. These are medical aids, not badges of honor.

I saw this today at the Arcade gacha event, when I went back to pick up the rest of the gifts under the tree. Fantastic reflections on this ornament, and the absolute beauty of it? If you have Materials enabled, it's probably even better--this is just flat SL photography, no Windlight, no special settings of any kind.

(I also really adore the token "A" on the tree. Pity they're not selling those, though I may hunt around for a similar mesh alphabet set, because that would be kind of awesome as wall art, too.)

Sad but true. More later!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

in the bleak midwinter

We are well into the Advent season now, and if you haven't been following along, there's still hope. The owner of IM Capped has put together an expansive list on the topic. There may be revisions as time goes on, and stores drop out or add later-in-the-month Advents, and you can always check to see if there's been a revision by returning to the store or the blog.

Speaking of things seasonal, the Arcade (yes, I know, I know, it's always so crowded) currently has a holiday tree smack dab in the center of all the chaos. And, if you manage to fight your way to it through the lag, there's a grand collection of presents underneath it for the taking. I wish you joy of accomplishing this; I've crashed twice trying!

Speaking of things seasonal off the grid, have some snow cookies. And some cinnamon stars.

Marvel may not be able to bring all their characters back under one roof, so to speak, but Stan Lee may have hinted at reunification efforts. It'd be fun, but terribly complicated to nail down.

Have some happy hamsters.

"Go on..."

Les Sucreries de Fairy is getting into mesh in an adorable neo-Victorian way:

Retailing for L$200, copy/mod, five standard mesh sizes, PLUS the headband, the choker, and the beribboned gloves. Darling. If I had the L$200, I would buy it on the spot.

Santa's obsession is leather? Since when?

More to come, as I slowly drag myself back into blogging...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

who cares about little boys who talk too much?

Yeah, no.

Apparently, happiness is a warm hammer. Who knew?

Does sunscreen harm coral reefs? Surprising answer: yes.

The Tower Bridge in London is now glass-bottomed. Why? Got me. Because people look like little ants that far above the ground?

This is fascinating: Hogewey, near Amsterdam, has no walls, no bars, no gates. The patients stay because it's where they live. They have shops, salons, entertainment options--and houses furnished terrifyingly accurately to the periods they best remember--the 1950s, 1960s, or 1970s.

It would be like a time warp. The caretakers of the patients pose as gardeners--ubiquitous, but non-threatening.

Scientists are planning to clone a woolley mammoth, based on a collaborative project that has merged enough active DNA strands from enough different mammoth discoveries to warrant a successful effort--potentially. The bigger question: is this a good idea? What are we going to do with a woolley mammoth once we have one?

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most impressive directors of animated film we have. Tomorrow, those who have the tech can get three of his best works on Blu-Ray, for HD glory never seen before:

Kiki's Delivery Service

Princess Mononoke

The Wind Rises

Considering each of these is worth seeing in standard, in HD they must be truly epic.

Sixteenth-century cosplayers? Some of these are seriously impressive. I'd like to see more of the series.

Painter, illustrator and photographer Hannah Rothstein designs Thanksgiving meals to be reminiscent of the work of famous artists. To be fair, it never would have occurred to me that Mondrian would use gravy as a separation medium, or that Pablo Picasso would shatter the plate, but they're all interesting takes on the concept.

In the meantime, for another take on food as art, how about hand-knitted food? You can't eat 'em, but that doesn't mean they don't look good enough to try.

While the Paris Longchamp Grand Prix races were far from a casual event, between 1910 and 1920 they were enough of a draw that photographers took both posed and casual shots of the fashions for public view. Some of the looks are quite stunning.

Going back a bit earlier, how about some cabinet cards from burlesque dancers in 1890? While of course much of the attire is part and parcel of the times in which they lived, still, some notable things stand out for me. For example, Ella Chapman's stockings (or tights, it's hard to tell): are they sequined or actually beaded? That sounds stunning visually, but uncomfortable to wear. Though Minnie Marshall's jacket dress is something I'm seriously tempted to attempt remaking.

The one common motif they all have is that they look like strong women, not merely curvaceous, but actually powerful. While curves were in, and corsets added to that impression, the overall sameness of their legs, the size of their thighs, bespeaks to a specific style of dance that must have, at the time, been nigh unto universal. One wonders who trained burlesque dancers, and how? Obviously they could act; many could improvise and were gifted comediennes; but it's that specific musculature on their legs that makes me wonder how they trained.

For vintage photography buffs, the earliest known photograph to feature a recognizable human being was taken in Paris, France, in 1838, by Louis Daguerre. Yes, that Daguerre, the invention of the daguerrotype, a specifically-processed, silver-plated sheet of copper that could engrave images via gunpowder flashed into a shadowbox, essentially. It was a great step forward for the time as a process, but how did this image capture the human figure?

Simple: he stood stll long enough. There are many, many unseen people, horses, carts and carriages in that photograph, that we will never see, because their movements meant they were out of frame before the exposure time ended. This one man, however, was having his shoes shined, and thus held his position long enough to be captured for posterity.

There was a secret message in Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch that even he never realized. History is strange.

Having never heard the term "thundersnow" before, I gleefully announced it to Miss Neome--who, since she grew up in Wisconsin, knows this as an everyday word. Oops. Well, it's new to me, and it landed in Buffalo, New York, to the tune of seventy inches. Eep.

I love John Malkovich for these. Especially the recreation of Dorothy Lange's famous Dustbowl photo. (If you haven't seen the original, compare it: it's a stunning recreation.)

And finally, have some NYC camouflage. That is all.

So, I haven't been here for a while. It wasn't my intent to abandon blogging, and I seriously regret that I missed blogging any of the haunts this year, because while this October was fairly dismal overall, there were some standouts that were worth blogging. I didn't do that.

Not necessarily interested in going into the reasons as to why, because past a certain point, this blog becomes a confessional, and I'm trying to avoid that. In large part due to the fact that it was so very much a confessional for the grid in its early days.

I'm going to leave it as "struggling with personal issues" and work harder on blogging more frequently--even if they're likely all going to be clip posts for a while. At least it will get me back in the habit, because it's a habit I really don't want to lose.

Monday, September 22, 2014

drops of pain hit the ground

Neverwinter currently being under attack, most of the time I'm on the battlefield. Today's chatter was on...well, it started on dragons...

[Zone] Lolthissia Virmilion@kinkizzle: dragon plox

For those who don't know, she means "please".

[Zone] Freedom@cherriesman: the dragon is dead

[Zone] LeeBee@o0l0oo0l0o: i got 1 hit on the dragon
[Zone] Lolthissia Virmilion@kinkizzle: oh noes ;n;
[Zone] Malie@drevanias: dragon in 48
[Zone] Lolthissia Virmilion@kinkizzle: ty malie

Instance #48, Malie means.

[Zone] Darkness@rathlian: dragon at #36
[Zone] Pandemic Apocalypse@greypandemic: #56 dragon just popped with 19 minutes left
[Zone] Valareos Draconrouge@Valareos: I hate that teargetting bug

Valareos means "targeting". What he's saying is that the hit box on the dragon enemies is variable, and annoying. While any player can hit a dragon with AoE attacks--"area of effect", those spells/abilities that send damage into a specific area, not simply to one or more individual targets--to hit a dragon specifically, the best way seems to be to generally aim between the shoulder blades, where there is no dragon to be found. The only other way to hit the dragon, to date, is to log out of the instance and log back in. Which takes time and is even more annoying.

[Zone] Sune@constancenoring: halectrizar just hit me for 27k damage, ouch...

Ooh, I haven't seen Halectrizar yet. So you will know, this is Halectrizar:

I'll try to pull these over to an image host in a day or so, but for right now, this and Glaxenheim the Pale below come from the Forgotten Realms wiki page.

[Zone] Dakota Tarin@baocat: nothing like being reminded... it's a dragon.

So true.

[Zone] Sune@constancenoring: #54 up
[Zone] Jim@jimnarious: dragon #73
[Zone] Whisp@puff2009: having fun?
[Zone] Brixton@Brixton-Blitzhacker: I am purinas new Dragon Chow

To be fair, all the dragons on the battlefield are Greater Dragons. They are big, they are bad, they cover easily HALF of the center battlefield bowl...and they eat us like chips, so yeah.

[Zone] Otto@throsbi: your not the only one lolo
[Zone] Dakota Tarin@baocat: New formula! 10% more dwarf!
[Zone] Signar Shadowdagger@zanthesninja: its a good thing drow are not tasty
[Zone] Signar Shadowdagger@zanthesninja: we are kinda burnt

I don't know about burnt. Drow are something...maybe they're more like exotically spiced?

(The above image comes from GameGeex, but is an official promo image from Neverwinter itself.)

[Zone] Kel@thejondude: dwarves are the potatos of the dragon food chain, earthy and goes with everything
[Zone] Dakota Tarin@baocat: and bitter. takes a lot of sugar to off set em. or fey, in dragon chow.
[Zone] needy@deathrise2: lol good one
[Zone] Dash@deadphoenix3: idk, I like my elves well done. *wonk*

Well done, indeed.

(All other images are mine, with three of my in-game characters.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

I don't know, where have my senses gone?

Permadeath. It can be an uncomfortable concept for many, a confusing one for others. In most RPGs--whether or not they have an active roleplay element--permadeath is still an odd affectation, if it's seriously established at all. To many of us, it's only a strong concept in games that are specifically coded for permadeath. In games where life or death is entirely up to each player, it simply doesn't make sense to many of us--because "dying" is simply a condition of advancing in the game, and we always come back. Right?

Well, there's at least one fellow on Neverwinter seeking to change that.

[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Looking for members to start NW's first permadeath guild, whisper for info.
[Zone] One-eyed Jack@jimbrov: wtf does that even mean
[Zone] PVPsucks@luapmaharg: troll on permastealth?
[Zone] One-eyed Jack@jimbrov: permastealth is annoying but ultimately ineffective
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Looking for members to start NW's first permadeath guild, whisper for info.

So, meet Legend. As this was happening in Zone chat, and he could have literally been anywhere in Protectors's Enclave--or elsewhere, out of the main city, even--I have no idea what his character class was. I'd be willing to bet it's either Great Weapon Fighter, or Guardian Fighter, but even that doesn't even matter. What does is his intent: he wants to start a permadeath guild in Neverwinter.

As you'll see, this was largely met with derision, but before that, it was met with total confusion.

[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Looking for members to start NW's first permadeath guild, whisper for info.
[Zone] One-eyed Jack@jimbrov: you lose so much offense to pull it off you're basically only going to be able to pick off DCs...everyone else you'll just run away eventually
[Zone] 'Silvia'@calizarian1171: hehehe
[Zone] One-eyed Jack@jimbrov: I call permastealths mosquitos
[Zone] One-eyed Jack@jimbrov: annoying, but ultimately harmless
[Zone] Deecun@tryfoosty1: Till you get malaria
[Zone] Deecun@tryfoosty1: or dengue fever

Essentially, they'd misconstrued what Legend said entirely, from "permadeath"--the permanent, nonrecoverable death of characters--to "permastealth", which is an attribute of Trickster Rogues, their ability to invisibly sneak up to another player, backstab them, and sneak away again, having never been seen.

[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Looking for members to start NW's first permadeath guild, whisper for info.
[Zone] Crumb@docjake: permafukk you
[Zone] Crumb@docjake: guild spamming scum
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Looking for members to start NW's first permadeath guild, whisper for info.
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: That sounds really bad.
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: The permadeath guild thing
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: It's gonna catch on, it's a niche community ;)
[Zone] Derpy@durrdedurr: He won't be spamming much longer
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: How do you even
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Looking for member to start NW's first permadeath guild, whisper for info.
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: Do you delete your lv 60 character because it died?
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Yes, Sandra.

And there's the rub--in a game like Don't Starve, for instance, all the items the character finds to protect and defend themselves are found in game--in chests, in hovels, in item drops, wherever. The only investment is the cost of the game--and perhaps, the machine to run it--and your time.

Conversely, in an MMORPG like Neverwinter, there's some serious money, real-world money, invested in your character by the time you reach level 60. You've perhaps bought companions, gear, crafting items, keys to unlock chests--there's ten thousand different ways to chip away your finances in an MMO, even one without a monthly subscription fee.

[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: That sucks lol
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: or join another guild.
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: You won't have to delete you just won't be allowed to keep that char in the guild.
[Zone] Miss H.@lihin23nihil: you need to enforce deletion or wahere's the danger
[Zone] Miss H.@lihin23nihil: join another guild. like yeah w/e
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: Don't see the point of joining the permadeath guild in the first place
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: Since you -will- eventually die
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Honor system Miss H, if you don't want the PD experience, don't bother.
[Zone] Calaeron@rversant: I guess its for Roleplay
[Zone] Triselbur@triselbur: And how exactly would he "enforce" deletion?
[Zone] Miss H.@lihin23nihil: nor me, but if you are going to do it. do it properly or what's teh point

Indeed, that's one of my questions, but seriously, as there's no mechanism for enforcing character deletion, as Legend said, it would be entirely by the honor system. So, invest the time and money, delete your character when you die, and start all over again...or invest the time and money, and then drop a guild you may find helpful and fulfilling. Neither seem particularly attractive options.

[Zone] Miss H.@lihin23nihil: 'we're kinda hardcore guild'
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: We do not enforce deletion. That char will no longer be in PD guild.
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: Again what's the point in joining that guild?
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: Everyone has their character die at some point so it sounds just dumb
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: For players who want a hardcore experience that's all.
[Zone] Hex SixKiller@fangredwater: u mean for players who r not nubs
[Zone] Miss H.@lihin23nihil: Sandra, don;t think that guild is for you. I wouldn't overthink it :)
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: Hardcore. mfw
[Zone] Cym@gruntled1: so, just how would you know if someone died?
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: That too lol
[Zone] Miss H.@lihin23nihil: they would have been deleted and no longer exist I guess
[Zone] Gorn@direworf: yeah join that guild spend lots of money on your char, get perfect vorpals, artifacts vs vs... and then when you die, go ahead and delete yor character... I would like to see that :D

I don't see it happening that often, to be honest. But he seems to be in earnest...and, at least for this hour-plus interchange, quite vocal.

[Zone] Phaeton@m3ta11ic: What if the guild was doing a boss and wiped?
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Then we would reroll.


That can't be...You can't be serious.

[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: Lol it just sounds like an overall bad idea
[Zone] Miss H.@lihin23nihil: no no no. you transfer all the good stuff off your char before deletion silly

Save for, many items come in bound to that particular character, and cannot then be transferred, even to another character on your account.

[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: "hardcore" my ass
[Zone] Miss H.@lihin23nihil: no real risk need be involved
[Zone] One-eyed Jack@jimbrov: there isn't, Sandra, and infact, as far as gear goes, the best gear is crafted and bound, you can't buy it if you wanted to
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: No, every character must start at level 1. You are not allowed to quest without a guild member. PvP deaths do not count, but you can not level with PvP. No items will be carried over, if your character dies you lose all items.

The hell you say. No. No player is going to do this, ever. Seriously, no one. Why would they?

[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: What if they run out of AD
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: It may not be for you, but there are players who want that permadeath experience.

Why? Why do people want this?

[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: What's the penalty then xD
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: If they want permadeath experience they don't need a guild to enforce it.
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: They can just delete their character when it dies.
[Zone] Cym@gruntled1: people that want permadeath play diablo, not a p2p game
[Zone] One-eyed Jack@jimbrov: wtf does that even mean? permadeath?
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: You delete character or leave guild if your character dies
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: Dumb as shit to base a guild on that
[Zone] One-eyed Jack@jimbrov: oh...rofl
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Well keep on hatin I will still be here trying to find like minded players :)

Good luck with that. I don't see it being a huge thriving guild, though.

[Zone] Cym@gruntled1: once again, how would you track whether or not someone has died?
[Zone] Miss H.@lihin23nihil: would be better to just make it a drinking game.
[Zone] Alain Hawklight@jdt1: but they may want to be in a guild of people that are like minded, why keep trying to belittle the guy?
[Zone] Miss H.@lihin23nihil: in PVP you die, you take a shot
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: That's why you can't run alone Cym.
[Zone] Cheesy Warlock Heals@cheesy211: drinking permadeath mmm lol
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Plus honor system.
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Why join a PD guild if you want to cheat?
[Zone] Thom Urthadar@rogue277: my RH hasn't died ever xD

I find that hard to believe, frankly.

[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: What's the point in it, even if there are likeminded people?
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Just play the game you know.
[Zone] Cym@gruntled1: you know this game is based on solo leveleing right? no one's gonna party to level

Well, there's no reason to get hostile, Rhiannon.

[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: People who want a permadeath experience can just do that on their own and delete their character when it dies. Why would you need a guild to enforce it for you?
[Zone] Hex SixKiller@fangredwater: but the quests r soooo borin - they will party after lvl 1 :D
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Permadeath has not been achieved in this game I'm about to make it a thing. ;)
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: There is no other guild like us. :)

No, that I can definitely believe is a true statement.

[Zone] Runeweaver@psyb3rtr011: With Lag being a factor, Permadeath is not fair.
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: There's a reason for that, Legend.
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: It's because it's a dumb idea.
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Runeweaver then PD is not for you ;)
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: Such condescending attitude. Much wowe.
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Okay Sandra thanks for your opinion :)
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: So much condescending, very coolkid

Really, save for a couple of interchanges during this, everyone stayed fairly calm and more or less reasonable. Considering permadeath can be such a divisive issue in the gaming community, that's actually a good thing. I think.

[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Looking for members to start NW's first permadeath guild, whisper for info.
[Zone] Thom Urthadar@rogue277: rp would be fun in this game.
[Zone] Runeweaver@psyb3rtr011: Legend, you get me wrong. I am an Old Skool PnP Gamer, and think Perma death should be the norm. That said, that is in a PnP environment, where the DM has some influence on the results
[Zone] Miss H.@lihin23nihil: then proceed to sacrifice 2 goats, 4 chickens and a tub of ice cream to whichever dark gods you worship
[Zone] Sandra Baltar@jokerjackie: Runeweaver, he's not looking for input, he made that clear.
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: PvP deaths will not count in our guild, but will not be allowed to level ;)
[Zone] Hex SixKiller@fangredwater: whats a permadeath guild? -_- just dun sing the bird song like peter griffin ...
[Zone] Fey@user4035: so stupid
[Zone] nessa@blindopodo: is a guild that kills you in real life :D That is not what it is.

[Zone] SrPontes@leonus15: We cant level at lvl60 anyway

Also untrue--while there are no levels gained after level 60 in Neverwinter, additional points for spells and abilities, and additional rewards can be earned through the usual means.

[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Looking for members to start NW's first permadeath guild, whisper for info. [Zone] Mach@charkulls: NO CRAPP I KILLED YOU TWICE IN PVP LAST GAME AND YOU HAD NO DEATH ON SCORE BOARD AT THE END ...SHARE THE HACK LEGEND
[Zone] Rhiannon Morrigan@pharunmizzrim: legend, i am now out of time to call you stupid for today. I'll be back tonight or tomorrow to remind you that you AND permadeath are retarded.
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Good night Rhiannon.
[Zone] Legend@xsvlegend: Take care.

So...that's where we depart from tonight's conversation. I suppose it ended as well as it could, but there's still massive resistance to the main concept in the first place. And who can blame them? People who invest in things want to retain those things, be those things homes, jewelry, sweaters, or that really pretty unicorn mount that can outrun spirit wolves.

I still have no idea how one would mandate a permadeath guild, in a virtual game environment where permadeath does not exist. But that's not my problem, I'm not joining.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

set straight our frantic path

So, it started with a player seeking a guild...

[Zone] Nidhegg@sevothtarte89: looking for a pvp guild cuz... ya know, pvp... and all that jazz
[Zone] Rango@addison2013: grace
[Zone] Rango@addison2013: hardcore
[Zone] Rango@addison2013: 1 more ?
[Zone] Grace@adventuressgamer: ok

Basic interchange in Zone chat: player one seeking guild, player two responding to earlier posting on an upcoming dungeon run, player three agreeing to send player two an invite for the run. Simple. Basic. Right?


[Zone] Nidhegg@sevothtarte89: lf pvp guild pliz
[Zone] Mustang Sally@cunnyfunt101: Hardcore PvP guilds wont touch you till you're at least 16k

Generally true, but I really don't like Mustang Sally's user name. It's just on that edge for being a reportable offense for me. Still debating whether I will, in fact, report it as against ToS.

[Zone] Nidhegg@sevothtarte89: i never said a hardcore guild
[Zone] Nidhegg@sevothtarte89: i just said pvp

Right. It was Rango that mentioned hardcore anything. And speaking of Rango...

[Zone] Rango@addison2013: -Sanctuary- Is the Best Guild with the most knowledge on Neverwinter Look them up if you speak english !
[Zone] Rango@addison2013: -Sanctuary- Is the Best Guild with the most knowledge on Neverwinter Look them up if you speak english !
[Zone] Rango@addison2013: -Sanctuary- Is the Best Guild with the most knowledge on Neverwinter Look them up if you speak english !

Yes, back to back, three exact same advertisements for a new guild.

[Zone] Nemain Morrigain@Reiyichi: welcome to my ignore list Rango
[Zone] Come Hither@kyafox: oh geez.
[Zone] paradox@maestroeternal: yet apparently they don't know enough not to spam
[Zone] Grace@adventuressgamer: bitcches gonna bitcch
[Zone] Cael@raphaziel: grace bytch
[Zone] Xaphomet@redeyedjedi5990: you can turn the filter off instead of typing like a fucking moron

And while that's also true, wau, this escalated quickly.

[Zone] Cael@raphaziel: doing bytchings
[Zone] Faps To Ponies@passionbreeze: bittches gonna bittch about bittches bittchin
[Zone] Cael@raphaziel: no xapho
[Zone] Cael@raphaziel: its cool type like a deficient
[Zone] Bulk@kebabnchips: u %$&^ $&%^

And keep in mind, you wouldn't see the curse words transcribed as actual words, so Bulk must have literally typed symbols over actual words for that. Why?

[Zone] Mar Leaf@marleaf1: good to see i didn't miss anything interesting while i've been gone
[Zone] Jaiklin Kraum@slandermalice: nope same troll assholes on here
[Zone] Pepo-kun@pepinopulus: HOLAAAAAAAAA
[Zone] JBebo@jbnle: EPIC LOL

Yeah, it never really seems to change.

[Zone] Lariziah xxx@oshoona: Little Bitches should be Skinned and hung up at corner Square and then skinned again

...Wait, WHAT??

Dude, that's just uncalled for.

[Zone] Lariziah xxx@oshoona: with a spoon


[Zone] Kalkin@x3lkalkin: nice desensatization there

Yeah, really.

[Zone] Kalkin@x3lkalkin: good luck with that
[Zone] Lariziah xxx@oshoona: Luck?
[Zone] Naurim@arkanarge: wow
[Zone] Lariziah xxx@oshoona: lol
[Zone] Lariziah xxx@oshoona: i have just begun

Oh gods, why? Just stop.

[Zone] Lariziah xxx@oshoona: look i was going to take easy on you but you had to get all fuking Heroic

I don't understand this. Saying "good luck with that" after Lariziah's extremely offensive retort was "Heroic"?? HOW??

[Zone] Lariziah xxx@oshoona: you know what Happens to Heroes?

Well, that depends. In books, they either triumph or die horribly. In Neverwinter, heroes ride out, die, come back, ride out again. Or are you referring to something else, Lariziah?

[Zone] Nepenthe@almightybizzo: oh god fear Lariziah xxx :P
[Zone] Nepenthe@almightybizzo: he's not going to go easy on you any more
[Zone] Nepenthe@almightybizzo: right?
[Zone] Lariziah xxx@oshoona: ill show Badd ass Mother fukers
[Zone] Nepenthe@almightybizzo: oh yeah? bring it
[Zone] Nepenthe@almightybizzo: lol 10K gs Lariziah xxx...i'd eat you for breakfast nomnomnom
[Zone] Lariziah xxx@oshoona: lol

I b'lieve I mentioned this before, but just to briefly touch on it again, "gs" stands for "gear score", which is the total "rating" of your armor, protective clothing, enhancements, and weaponry. On my main level-60 character, I have a touch over 16K as a gear score, and that's considered low. 10K gear score won't even allow you to set foot in Valindra's first dungeon.

[Zone] Naurim@arkanarge: cuz when are u gunna be close enough to use a lantern on a bad guy
[Zone] Naurim@arkanarge: they have to be in ur range
[Zone] Praxus@Perilaxe: mondays

For the international set, yes.

[Zone] Lariziah xxx@oshoona: i"m in the mood

Oh, give it a break. The bluster isn't impressing anyone.

[Zone] Lariziah xxx@oshoona: cutt your Head off and Gutt your momma and stick you back in


[Zone] Lariziah xxx@oshoona: so bring it

Thankfully, no one took him up on his baseless offer, and conversation moved on to other things, but this was just vile. I can't even say Lariziah sounds that angry; he sounds reasonably calm, all things considered...but considering he's talking about skinning women and raping players' parents with severed heads, the fact that he sounds calm is seriously unnerving.

Basically, he's a nitwit, but the level of threat, from nothing to skinning people, was shocking. At least to me.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

it gets so hard sometimes to understand

Continuing from the first part, we're picking up with binkey's reply to Matt Sierra:
"From an evolutionary point of view, humanity has been practicing monogamy for no time at all. That and the fact that as a species we're actually not very good at it, makes me doubt that it has had much of an effect on us as a species at all.

Anyway, your arguments are all just conjecture. If you can demonstrate your position with any evidence, I'd be interested in studying it more.

There is also a big difference between arguing for same-sex marriage and arguing for polygamy. Banning same-sex marriage is fundamentally unequal. You are saying that one group of people is allowed to do something that others cannot (marry one person of their choosing). There is nothing unequal about a law against polygamy. That law is applied equally to everyone.

Fundamentally though, I'm not sure I understand I get your economic argument. If you were arguing against the state sanctioning of all marriages, I would get it. But fundamentally you are saying 'Yes, I understand that banning same-sex marriage is unfair, but allowing it would cost me financially, so I'm opposed to it.'

There was a huge financial cost involved in getting rid of slavery, but eventually people recognized that it was fundamentally wrong and stopped doing it. As a species we have a much more solid and much longer tradition of slavery than we do of restricting marriage to being between one man and one woman, but no one (at least no one reasonable) would argue that because of that, we should go back to it."
I agree. And I also love how often Matt's sneaking in that polygamy reference, as if he's thinking we're going to start equating same-sex marriage with polygamy, oh teh shock and horror.

Matt's response:
"'If you can demonstrate your position with any evidence, I'd be interested in studying it more.'
lets see what happens when traditional marriage is let go of by a culture:
if a society does not support same sex marriage i dont see anywhere near the same repercussions. im not saying that im against seeing evidence for same sex marriage to be equally beneficial to society. but at this point i have not
His argument here seems to be "See? Japan allowed gay marriage and look what happened!" Except, that's nothing close to what happened. While there are, yes, gay relationships in Japan, for the most part few talk about it. And they have nothing to do with actual marriages among the population. What that article discusses is not homosexuality, but delay--in specific, that Japanese people are choosing to defer marriage until they're more financially stable, and concentrate on their careers in the meantime. As Japan thinks in terms of what happens decades after the now, in economic and sociological terms this is kind of a big deal. But it has nothing to do with same-sex pairings at all. Invalid argument. Next.

From Ella Mongrella:
"What's the difference between paying benefits for a straight couple who can't have kids of their own and a gay couple? Lots of straight marriages are childless."
Excellent question. Matt's response:
"weather taxes increase or not wont change weather the government gets less income or insurance companies get less money from same sex couples. it wouldnt make sense for married couples to file jointly if they ended up paying more. im not saying that same sex marriage will be a detriment to society or even that it will not have a net positive effect but to say that it has an equally good effect on society as traditional marriage is at the least unproven and therefor shouldnt just be blanketed with the same benefits. tax and insurance benefits are not a 'right' they are a 'privilege' that that the government should carefully weigh who to distribute to, rather than dole out so as not to hurt peoples feelings."

First off, that would be "whether", not "weather", but how exactly, does that work in Matt's head? The government and the insurance companies get less money from same-sex couples? Why? Sure, currently, without formalized gay marriage in many states, same-sex couples do not suffer the 'marriage penalty' on taxes that heterosexual couples do--but by and large, they pay more because they're having to do everything by proxy that married couples get by fiat. Tacitly, the case can be made that for certain benefits, overall taxation might go down, but with the increase in marriages overall, taxation would stabilize at a higher, more consistent rate. Also, issues of partner death or illness, joint holdings of assets, and child-rearing would gain strong protections--which in turn would likely lead to more consistent taxation payments. He's just wrong on all counts.

From Ela, again, in a Google+ response:
"'tax and insurance benefits are not a "right" they are a "privilege" that that the government should carefully weigh who to distribute to'
So you are actually saying that gay couples should be denied a 'privilege' that straight couples can have. You're not making yourself sound any better.
He's really not.

Matt's response to that:
"yes, which is to say the same tax and insurance benefits that a single person like myself would experience. traditional marriage fulfills a vital role that same sex marriage or single people like me do not or at the least have not been shown to. would you actually say that single people should be denied a privilege that same sex couples should have? why shouldnt me and some random person just be able to file jointly or why cant i be covered by some random persons insurance benefits just because im not married? (protip: because it's dumb to just give out benefits so that people dont feel excluded)"
That's...pretty dumb as an argument, actually. Moreover, nothing does stop him--beyond filing feels, court costs, and hours of booked time with an estate lawyer--from filing jointly with another random person. It is possible, legally, to gain nearly every benefit of "traditional" marriage in contract law, because--guess what--"traditional" marriage as it is currently interpreted in the United States is contract law. Moron.

There was more back and forth arguing, mostly about taxation and insurance costs, but Matt steadily lost coherency, so I'm done with him.

Peter Peterson said:
"You know Hank, the fact that you don't understand the Anti-Gay point of view is why you are unable to effectively argue against them and change their point of view. To actually change someone's point of view you have to understand why someone believes something and the context of the situation rather than just throwing your arguments at someone. People don't believe in Gay Marriage because they believe God hates it. They don't understand that attempting to ban it is the equivalent of voiding the right of freedom of religion, or if they do they likely believe that to allow Gay Marriage is not upholding God's laws/values, and they must uphold God's values regardless of what laws are put forth in our Constitution.

Remember that Christians (Catholics & High Church Protestants in particular*) are often told stories about Martyrs sacrificing their lives to fight the government for the Glory of God, so the 'Government/Constitution says you can't ban it' argument won't be overly effective.

Similarily, Christians (Low Church Protestants and Evangelicals in Particular*) are heavily entrenched in their beliefs and the culture surrounding their beliefs, so attempting to challenge the underlying biblical beliefs are, while possible, quite difficult.

Merely deflecting their arguments in a hostile fashion will simply make them see you as a non-believer and cling to their beliefs even more. Instead you must see the world from their view, and work to change that view in the issue you want to change it in.

Unless you just want to 'win' an internet debate, which I would argue is impossible since the other side usually runs away screaming 'I CANT HEAR YOU' after hours of arguing, if that was your ultimate goal.

*For reference, the "High Church" Protestants are generally considered to be Lutherans, Anglo-Catholic Anglicans, Presbyterian, Methodists and Calvinists occasionally while "Low Church" Protestants are considered to be Baptists, Pentecostals, Evangelical Anglicans, and most of the smaller Evangelical & Liberal churches. However, the line is a bit fuzzy; there are some low-church Lutherans and high-church Evangelical churches, though the latter is much rarer than the former."
I think Hank's point was more that, however tenacious the "traditional" religious types are about this, that our government as a whole should not allow themselves to be swayed by religious interests. (Which is hard, because they are so annoyingly vocal, EVERYWHERE, right now.) That whole separation of church and state is kind of a big deal to many of us, and seeing it chipped away year by year is hurtful. We are more diverse a population than the fundamentalists care to understand--they just want things to go their way. (But the problem inherent in that is even among hardcore fundamentalists, their perceptions of 'their way'/'the RIGHT way' to do things varies WIDELY.)

From Isabel Greene in response:
"f you can find a place in the bible where it says that god doesn't like gay people. i will applaud you. :P And I agree that it's impossible to argue it w/o understanding their view point, but i also think that this country is supposed to have a separation of religion and state and that anti-gay marriage laws clearly violate that in most cases. YES there are arguments about how having two of the same sex parents can be bad for a kid, but a) not being married doesn't mean they can't have kids, so it doesn't matter, and b) there's not a lot of good evidence to support that."
There are passages that are widely interpreted--which is the key word, here--to reference homosexuality. What's problematic about all of them is that, as the NALT Christians Project clearly points out, what we understand today as homosexuality--and heterosexuality, for that matter--didn't exist in the times in which the Bible was written. It's mostly Paul in various letters in the New Testament giving specifics, anyway, about what constitutes abhorrent and un-approved behavior for other Christians, and nowhere in anything that he writes does he ever, not once, refer to a happy, committed gay relationship as sinful or against God. What he does reference, and often, is the behavior of Roman statesmen, who were the main oppressors of the emerging Christian faith at the time. And what were Roman statesmen mainly known for? Having sex with their slaves as a diversion. Anyone who is enslaved cannot give consent, even if they are not morally opposed to what's being asked of them. They are enslaved, forced to another's will, and thus lack agency in any way. Plus, many of the preferred sexual slaves of choice were young boys, which adds on a whole separate layer of non-consensuality.

The Bible, through the writings of Paul, rightly, I think, condemns these forced "relationships" as against God for various reasons. But these relationships have nothing to do with homosexuality as we understand it now. So this entire line of thinking is wholly specious and without merit.

From Andrew Whythe:
"If somebody wants to marry their brother?
spamvicious in response:
"That's illegal because it would be incest, regardless of their gender."
Andrew's reply:
"Yes it's illegal - but if they want to. You're not supportive of marriage equality?"
Here's the thing about marriage equality, Andrew, and it's the same argument that can be made for incest, bestiality, and polygamy (not that these things are related, just listing other proposed 'married states' that usually crop up in Christian arguments). If something is illegal for all citizens, then it's not something that impacts equality. Everyone's already equal in that no one is allowed to marry their siblings, marry goats, or marry groups. How'ver, the fact that a man can marry a woman, but a man cannot marry a man (or a woman a woman) in some states means that they do not have full equality. Does that make sense, Andrew, or do I need to dumb it down further?

Jocelyn Bowling
"That is illegal more for the factor of mutation that would come of the offspring over what the person 'wants.' Incest creates medical issues that are purely avoidable, which is why it is made illegal."
Absolutely. To which Andrew replied:
"And homosexuality does not? The point is, it's inconsistent to forbid (thus far) incestuous or pedophiliac, polyamorous etc. marriages and enshrine this one."
Err, no, because incestuous and pedophilic relationships are already illegal, and that's not likely to change. And while I, personally, would like polyamorous relationships to be legalized, I can cope that the majority of people do not want them to be, and since--again--polyamorous relationships are not allowed marriage rights for all citizens, there's no inequity involved.

Jocelyn in reply:
"Homosexuality cannot biologically produce offspring so thetefore no, homosexuality does not give potentially deadly preventable diseases to babies. Sorry."
And it's true. While, at some point in the far future, we may be able to genetically engineer two sperm or two eggs to create reproductive ability, in a lab, I'm fairly sure it's never going to happen "in the wild", so to speak. So she's right, there.

Andrew in response:
"The life expectancy, incidence of STDs, alcoholism and other things are way higher in the homosexual community. And who are you to tell people who want to marry their sister (and vice versa) that they can't, what sort of bigot are you."
Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were just an idiot. Turns out you're a troll. Right. Done with you, too.

From Sara St. Clair:
"Also in a homosexual relationship both people know what they are getting into and any children adopted or surrogated will be okay. But in a brother and sister relationship the child that may be produced has no way of controlling the brain defects and other diseases you have a chance of forcing on them. This is why it's wrong because it is literally genetically wrong."
A very good point.

From Kaci Smith:
"Marriage should be between two people who love each other. A man and a woman marrying that arent in love is worse than teo people of the same sex marrying... A few decades ago marrying outside of your race was illegal. For example an African American could not marry a white person. It was also illegal for a black person to drink from the same water fountain as a white person.. To most of us these laws seem ridiculous, barbaric and unconstitutional yet not allowing same sex couples to marry is ok.. In a few decades people will look back at how same sex couples are treated and have the same thoughts that we do about how African Americans were treated in the past. They will wonder how and why so many ppl were so ignorant and full of hate... Ill never understand why ppl believe same sex couples getting married will harm them. Even if youre a Christian you should believe that God is the one and olny person who can judge them and if God believes same sex couples are a sin then he will deal with it. Just because Fred and Bob get married and have sex it doesn't mean everyone in the world is going to hell.... If anything thr bible says ur suppose to love all of Gods creatures not just the ones who have sex with the opposite sex... In my opinion religion breeds more hatred than love and acceptance... Who Bob, Fred, John, Jacob, Ashley, Amanda, Victoria, Suzie etc decide to have sex with and or marry is nobodies business except the person they decide to marry or have sex with... Sex before marriage is also a sin and yet 97% of Christians have premarital sex.... Stop judging others and pointing out their "sins" and pay attention to your own sins... Religion is one thing ive spent years studying and disliking... The more I learn, the more i dislike it..."
Also a good point.

stfwho responded:
"the right to marriage is not the same as the right to drink water. The act of drinking water wasn't created specifically for linear reproduction and raising of offspring. Marriage was designed to be between a man and woman specifically because of the awesome power that men and women have when they combine their lives and their sex organs. One man and one woman have sex, and a life is created that they both need to stick together to nurture and raise. Two men have sex, and they walk funny the next morning. One of these could really NEED marriage, the other just needs lube. That's really the only logical reason to say marriage should be exclusive to heterosexuals... it's their ritual that works well with their superpower of creating life. Gay people should have all the same rights as regular people. It's just that marriage itself isn't so much a right as it is a ritual and practice based on a need for an answer to a sexual issue. Thank you for your time."
So, from your perspective, only those who can breed should be allowed to marry? What if the heterosexual couple can't? Or doesn't want to? Would you have the government force sexual testing on all potential marriage partners? And what happens to children who are orphaned, or abandoned? Are you saying because they weren't born into a household with a man and a woman who fathered and gave birth to them, specifically, that they don't matter?

They continue:
"Ever wondered why it's a sin to have sex before marriage? Cuz it creates chaos and disorder. If everyone waited until marriage, we would never have any bastards or abandoned single mothers or kids whom the mother doesn't know who the father was. All of that is because of sex. Why is the only legitimate reason for divorce in the bible sexual infidelity? Because if your wife sleeps with another man, your sexual exclusivity is broken. That would lead to confusion as well. Now of course all of these things are of course going to be broken by everyone, but the rules do make perfect sense from a mathematical view. That's why marriage exists; in a perfect world, we'd have perfect order, and an incredibly big part of that would be the whole practice of marriage. It's where the next generation would come from. Raised by their biological parents in a nuclear family setting. That's why marriage is so special and that's why it isn't just about love and feelings. It has a practical purpose that was designed for a reproductive couple. If you think marriage is all about love, why has arranged marriage been a normal thing in the world far longer than our modern idea of marriage?"
So, in a perfect world, they're saying, everyone would wait until they were old enough to marry (impossible), there would be no rape (ludicrous, considering the rape statistics), no incest (REALLY ludicrous considering that one in EVERY four women in the US has been sexually abused or raped), and only single, virgin men would marry single, virgin women and immediately begin to raise children for the coming generations. That's...that's baffling to me, just how wrong-headed that is.

Plus, arranged marriage everywhere had nothing to do with love or reproduction--it had to do with property rights and estate wealth. Virtually everywhere you look throughout history, it was a trading game. In India, the family of the bride traded the bride--a burden on the family economically, but a valued unpaid servant--for economic gain, thus supplanting that servant to both increase the family's coffers, and potentially buy another servant to take her place. In Western Europe, plots of land typically were retained--though not legally "owned"--by women, and by marrying them, men gained legal rights to their holdings, and thus, any economic gains received. We see this pattern over and over, and it has nothing to do with babies in the least.

From steve cannon:
"Marriage was originally about property rights. The woman became the property of her husband and all her property became his. Marriages were arranged so that property would be kept in families. Marriage assured that the children of the couple would be the "legitimate" heirs and bastards wouldn't be able to inherit. That's what marriage was about in the earliest years, not love or God, property. If procreation were the goal, people who were barren would not be allowed to get married (like older folks who can't have kids and people who marry but decide NOT to have kids), only folks of child bearing age with the ability to have kids would be allowed to get married. Before you start talking about biology and morality, get your facts straight (sic)."
Yes, exactly, thank you for echoing my points.

From Henry Wallace:
"If you're talking in a mathematical point of view, the best way to create a 'next generation' is where one man has several wives because a man can produce sperm on a daily basis but it takes 9 months for women to produce babies. This means that if one man were to have, say 5 wives, he would be able to produce 5 babies every 9 months rather than one. Maybe Islam got it all right...."
As strange as that would make America, and as much as people on all sides of the issue would carry on about it, from a purely biological point of view, he's not wrong.

From Granticus3000:
"It is against my religion to allow gay marriage. Marriage is meant for a man and a woman, that's how God made it. I don't expect everyone to believe in my religion and I know many people don't believe in my religion, but that doesn't mean I have to support gay marriage. Really that argument is being hypocritical, it's saying that not every believes in your religion so we should not base laws on it, but we should allow gay marriage because I believe in it. Not everyone believes in gay marriage so stop using that argument, it's hypocritical!
Thank you, Granticus, for completely missing the point of the entire video. Ffffft.

And while I was willing to go on into part three, I think you get the point from here. Gay marriage remains an incredibly divided issue, and the closer religion's a part of the mix, the more the other side just fails to hear anything clearly.

This country abolished slavery because we felt it to be wrong--but not just morally wrong; it was economically and sociologically wrong, as well. It took several years of struggle before full rights were granted to blacks, including both the right to marry citizens (of any skin color), the right to enter establishments owned and operated by white people, the right to serve in the military...the list goes on. And there are still hardcore, defiant racists to this day who feel this country made the wrong decision.

Now we have gay marriage, another situation where one sector of the population is being restrained from full legal rights to marry and engage with other citizens in chosen contractual obligations, and while great strides have been made, these types of attitudes are exactly why we're having the struggle in the first place: because again, it's not just a moral issue, it's an economic and a social one, as well. In the end, I think we will look back as a society and realize how pointless this all was, and how much easier it would have been if we'd just allowed it in the first place.

everybody knows what you will say

So, Hank Green of the Vlogbrothers put this video out in May of 2012. I still think the points are sound, though, and I've also decided to transcribe it, for reasons that will become obvious later.
"Morning, John! A rather...complicated morning, John, because stuff's been going down this week...As you know, the state of North Carolina, where our parents live, just decided to just outright ban gay marriage, like stick it in the Constitution--

"Opposing gay marriage is not a viewpoint that I understand, and I know that this video is going to piss people off, but I don't care anymore. This isn't a political issue, it's just deciding that we're going to treat some citizens of our country differently than other citizens. That's wrong!

"So I want to go through some of the arguments that I hear, and why they're crazy.

[Onscreen flashes "Why Can't Gay People Just Be Committed Without Marriage"] "'What's the big deal, why can't gay people, just, you know, have a party and say they're committed to each other? Why do they gotta come in on our thing?' IRRELEVANT! This isn't complicated! If some people can get married, and other people can't, then that's wrong.

"TWO!" 'But..God...'"
[Onscreen flashes the same two words] "Marriage can be a religious thing. It can also be a secular thing. And guess what--not everyone in the world is of the same religion. Preventing gay people from getting married is not an expression of religious freedom, it's an expression of religious oppression. Because in the religion of the gay people getting married, presumably their god thinks it's okay, and you are oppressing them.

'But...the Bible...'"
[Onscreen flashes the same words.] "The Bible is not a legal document. Our country was founded upon the idea of a separation between church and state. The Bible is also very explicit on the rules of farmers selling their daughters as slaves. It may be not the best document to base our laws on. 'Gay marriage would undermine the institution of marriage.'" [Onscreen flashes the same words.] "This is a thing that I've named, I've created a name for it in my head, because I see them all the time. I'm calling them 'hypothetheories'."

"So a hypothesis is a question that you ask. You say, 'I wonder if gay marriage would undermine the institution of marriage?' That's a hypothesis, that you can then go out and test, in any number of ways. And then, if you confirm that it is true, that it explains the phenomenon, then you can eventually convert that into a theory. If you skip the middle step, and just assume that you have a true-statement-of-fact 'theory', then you have created what I call a 'hypothetheory'!

"I could make the exact opposite hypothesis, and it would be just as valid, because it would have just as much testing behind it! I could say that not allowing people who love each other to get married, that is undermining the institution of marriage! That that seems like a valid thing; now let's go test it!

"So stop saying this as if it is truth! Because you just made it up and you're like, 'Oh, that makes sense to me! Why does that make so much sense to me? It does, whatever, it must be true! It makes sense!' And you know why it makes sense? Because of the biggest actual complaint that people have about gay marriage, which is 'It's unnatural'."
[Onscreen flashes the same two words.]

"'It doesn't feel right to me.' And maybe to you, it doesn't seem right--because we build our worlds, we build the rules of the world that we live in; that's how we understand this place. And I think to a lot of people, it feels like this is a big, messy, grey world, and at least, there are some sharp distinctions. Like the distinctions between genders, and sexual orientation, and those are just lines that shouldn't--they should be always be hard lines. But saying that that simplicity is 'natural' is idiotic, because the most natural thing in the world is complexity, and gender, and sexual orientation, are proven over and over again to not be firm lines. The whole world is
grey, and if you just appreciate that, if you understand it and appreciate it, then it's beautiful.

"But if you try and spend your whole life fighting against it, then you're going to be bitter about the world actually being more complicated than it is, and you're going to make other peoples' lives less awesome. Which is exactly what this boils down to. Because there are a hundred arguments against gay marriage; you can come up with--with all kinds of hypothetheories, and just spout them off, and people will say 'nod nod, yes yes yes'. But to me, there's only one argument that matters for gay marriage: that all people in our country should be seen as equals in the eyes of the law. So North Carolina, and all of the thirty other states that have passed laws like this, you better check yourselves. Because we can't live in a society like that, and call ourselves Americans.

"John, I will see you on Tuesday."
Now, some of the dimensions, state by state, have shifted in this debate, some states going further, some states retracting, but that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the comments that Hank Green got after posting this video.

From Matt Sierra:
"so im not really against same sex marriages having the same rights i just dont want to pay more for taxes and healthcare because they are getting the same benefits as opposite sexed married couples, i haven't really seen anything that shows that same sex marriage or polygamy having the same benefits to society as one man one woman marriage. im certainly open to seeing data that shows polygamy or same sex marriage to society but at this point I'm not convinced."
I'm wondering what's wrong with supporting all marriages the same way? If two people wish to marry, raise children, share a home together, get involved in joint tax returns--who's Matt (or anyone else) to say that they can't do just that? Again, that creates a sub-class of citizens, and to date, the only real sub-class of citizens we have that's likely not to change is the criminal class. (And there are even some arguments that, after a set number of years back in society without further criminal behavior, their full citizen rights should be restored.)

How'ver, in reply to that, Nimulos Maltibos asked,
"What benefits do you mean? Children? Check the orphanages. Other than that I don't get what you could mean by benefits, care ot enlighten me?"
Matt answered:
"no, because man/woman married couples are better able to pass on favorable genes they have evolved to complement one another and society so as an example there is a domesticating effect that women have on men that lowers crime rates and increases a drive to work and produce. i dont think that most of the societal effects that opposite sex marriage have are as easy to quantify but the ability to adapt and pass down complementary traits are not something that same sex married couples have. we dont give tax and insurance benefits to married couples because they are some sort of inherent right, it's because we know from history that societies do better when there are more opposite-sex married couples."
...Right. A "domesticating effect". Tell that to the girlfriend of the Florida man who dreamed his girlfriend was cheating on him, so spent the entire day after he woke up beating her. Not kidding, this happened. "Domesticating effect", my ass.

In a Google+ comment, ShadoWolf0913 stated to Matt:
"I'm sorry, but by "favorable genes," I have to assume you mean heterosexual genes (which is not simply a genetic thing, anyway), because that is THE only difference between gay and straight people. Otherwise, people are people, regardless of whether they like men, women, both, or neither. A male/female marriage, assuming they do decide to have a child (which many do not,) certainly doesn't mean that child will have "better" genes.

A gay couple can be quite beneficial to society in terms of children by adopting orphans/unwanted kids and raising them in what can be as much a loving, dedicated family as any other. Those children, once grown, can offer every bit as much potential to society as a child raised by heterosexual parents. Should gay couples receive the same benefits as straight couples? I don't see any reason why not. Just because two men or two women cannot physically produce a child together doesn't mean they are less useful to society than a man/woman match. (There are also options like surrogacy to consider. A gay person, assuming they don't have a medical problem that would prevent it, would be in no way unable to reproduce if they chose to. Sexual orientation does not affect fertility, nor the quality of a person's genes.)

That wives somehow have an effect on men that "lowers crime rates and increases a drive to work and produce" I'm not even going to get into, except to say I think that's a pretty sexist statement that isn't backed by any statistics I have personally seen, and which implies only men commit crimes and won't/can't stop or be productive unless they are married to a woman. If nothing else, there are plenty of female and married male criminals out there."
Exactly. Witness Zach Wahls' rather passionate defense of being raised in a non-traditional family, in which he states unequivocally that being raised in a caring, loving environment by his two mothers gave him the moral compass he has today.

Matt goes on:
"I'm not talking about an opposite sexed couples ability to have kids but their ability to provide a greater chance of passing on favorable genes and reducing the chance of passing on negative genes through natural selection. because of this a man and a woman are more likely to complement one another then two men or women or one man or woman or one man and several woman etc. this is why we give tax incentives to married couples but not single couples or polygamy couples even though there is nothing to make me believe that polygamy is any less valid to a secular society than man-woman marriage or same sex marriage. im totally fine with same sex couples having the same benefits for having kids but also the same marriage benefits as polygamists."
That's actually the first thing he's said I agree with, that all marriage constructs should be equally valid, but again, that's not the point. I'm wondering where he's getting this "favorable genes" theory in the first place. In 2013, Bjorn Carey published an article on the livescience blog about the developing rules of sexual attraction, as perceived by heterosexuals. The big three? Symmetrical features (visual perception), a specific hip-to-waist ratio in women (a subconscious understanding of the potential levels of energy to care for offspring, plus her ability to easily bear children), and scent (which comes down to gut-level olfactory perception of pheromones, which we have zero conscious control over). But here's the thing--these are rules for heterosexual people. Are there rules for homosexual attraction?

Well, sort of. For gays, it mostly comes down to olfactory perception, in initial studies from 2001 and 2005. Later, in 2010, a study of Samoan homosexuals posits that "unaffiliated" (at least genetically) men involved in non-reproductive relationships with other men still substantially aided the children of heterosexual couples to whom they were related.

Which is all well and good that there may actually have been an evolutionary reason for same-sex affiliation to evolve, but again, doesn't give me any understanding of that "favorable genes" argument. Either my Google-fu is failing, or he's holding a completely irrational belief set.

In answering someone else's question, Matt replied:
"'What do you mean by "favorable genes," exactly?'- the way that men and women are different in such a way that they complement one another, though it is possible for two men or women or men and women in a polygamy relationship to exhibit slimier traits, to expect them to inherently would go against what science can observe about us. i havent seen anything to show same sex marriage to be anymore valid or useful than polygamy as such i dont want to pay more for health insurance or taxes because they pay less. what makes me less entitled to similar tax or health insurance breaks as a single man?"
I'm going to go out on this limb and assume he meant similar traits, not slimier ones, but even so, that doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Matt again:
"'If I were making the laws, I would probably allow it because if people find happiness with that kind of relationship, that's their business and not mine' it is my business though because i am spending more on taxes and healthcare. what makes those more worth the benefits then my choice to be single? society is where it is because of the classic male female dynamics of society, i do believe that men and women are different and complement one another. men tend to be more explorative but without the feminine drive for stability social structure and justice would not develop, for example. if all were masculine society would not develop, if all were feminine the race would die in its infancy. we needed that dynamic and that is why the roles developed."
So basically, in spite of everything else he's said, his objection is that he'll take a larger hit in taxes as a single man? What? Because the same argument could be made if heterosexual society--the marriages he's claiming to defend--generates a great upswing in marriages suddenly. That same tax hit would happen. Is he against that, too? Or just the "gay ones"?

From a Google+ comment by binkey:
"You say 'there is a domesticating effect that women have on men that lowers crime rates and increases a drive to work and produce'

"This sounds like another "hypothetheory". What evidence do you have that women have that effect on that men at all? Even if you show that men who are married to women are less likely to commit crime and more driven to work, you have to remember that correlation is not causation. It could be argued that the reason for this discrepancy is that women are just more likely to marry lawful, hard working men, than they are to marry lazy criminals.

"Assuming that you prove that it is actually women having a "domesticating effect" on the men they marry, you would have to show that a man marrying another man or a woman marrying another woman would not have the same effect. To do that you need married gay people, but if gay marriage isn't allowed then how could you do that study?

"You say that heterosexuals are better able to "pass on favourable genes." But the fact is that heterosexuals are also better able to pass on unfavourable genes. Besides, reproduction is not impossible for homosexual couples. I live in Canada where same sex marriage is legal* and I know a lesbian couple who through a sperm donor were able to have children of their own. Sure the children don't share genes with both parents, but I don't see how that would interfere with their ability to raise the children. They seem to have managed to pass on their favourable (and perhaps some unfavourable) genes just fine.

"* So far I haven't noticed a big any effect on the taxes I pay. In fact the tax rate has gone down since gay marriage was made legal—not that I'm suggesting a causal link."
Which are also great points--there is nothing that stops two gay men from fathering children, or two lesbian women from giving birth to them, but actual infertility or a complete lack of desire to raise kids in the first place. It's a specious argument to insist that just because a couple cannot breed, they cannot marry. That also leaves out a great chunk of marriages among the infertile--who may or may not know that at the time of their marriages--as well as marriages occurring later in life, where childbirth may no longer be possible due to age.

Matt starts going off the rails here:
"he point was because our species has such a solid tradition of monogamy and solidarity, that i think a man and a woman will be prone complement one another in such a way that i wouldn't expect a polygamy marriage or incest or same sex marriage to. not that those forms of marriages cannot but that on average they won't be as complementary and useful to society. im not opposed to seeing evidence to the contrary but im not just going to be ok with giving people special benefits that i dont have access to because of my choice to be single on some vague principle that all marriage should be treated the same."
Wait. Okay, first, what's a "prone complement", I don't understand that term. But second, who mentioned incest?? While the rules are growing lax in some states regarding the marriages of first cousin to first cousin, which I personally find fairly creepy for genetic reasons, there is no state that allows incest to occur--let alone incestuous marriages, which is what I think he's leading up to implying.

We're moving on to part II.