Jodian's Blog

My brain says these things sometimes...

 
What if the old ignorant worker you're dying to see retire is replaced by an even more ignorant young person?


Well, if you're here reading this I'm going to assume you've already broken Rule #1. That being, DON'T. Conspiracy theorists are devout in their belief that they are right and the universe is wrong. Nothing you say will ever change their opinion. But here you are, stuck in a conversation with one, so what do you do?

Rule #2: Don't argue. As just stated, a conspiracy theorist is devout in their belief. It doesn't matter how much evidence you have backing your side, they will always find some way to denounce it as some kind of government (or otherwise) misinformation. It doesn't matter that their own evidence may come from a government source as well, or a leak from someone who used to be in government, they'll believe that evidence (no matter how ridiculous) before they believe yours. Which brings me to...

Rule #3: Don't buy the evidence. The reason that conspiracy theorists are so good at building followers is because their conspiracies always contain a hint of truth to them. They'll take some true situation, like a Doctor quitting his job or a statistic without context, and they'll build their entire argument around that information. The best conspiracy theorists will use multiple sources, such as these, to make their argument. That said, the reality is there will always be a massive amount of information out there, for those who actually fact check, to debunk the conspiracy theorist's claims.

Rule #4: Let them think they have the high ground. Going along with my second rule, the only true way to get out of a conversation (aka argument) with a conspiracy theorist is to make them think they're winning and you're backing down. Don't take it to heart, you're not "losing" the argument, in your mind you have to realize that you've already won and are now just trying to get out of talking to the nut. The key here is not to agree with what they say, but don't disagree either. Make them think they've put you in your place. You and I both know you're just playing their ego against them, and that's all that matters. Eventually they will stop talking and you can walk away confident knowing that they're the idiot.

Rule #5: Don't take anything they say to heart & let them ramble. This rule is a two parter for a reason. Conspiracy theorists like nothing more than feeling that they're right and someone else is wrong. But we already know they aren't right, you (and all the experts backing you) are. So instead of violating rule 2 and continuing a pointless argument, you have to deal with a little bit of arrogance from the conspiracy theorist. They'll likely make some kind of off-handed remark about how you should keep your mouth shut, or they'll go discuss your "loss" of the argument with another person. That's fine, let them. Both you and I know that they're the fool, and that's all that matters. Others will also likely smile and nod, while acknowledging in their own heads that they're a fool too. So be happy that you outsmarted the conspiracy theorist and use their arrogance as a celebration of that victory.

So what happens if you don't know you've entered a conversation with a conspiracy theorist? Well, odds are you'll know immediately. You likely walked over to them with some kind of news information that made you happy, and in your excitement you went and opened your mouth to them and were met with instant backlash. It's going to shake you for a second, honestly, but you'll get over it.

Conspiracy theorists have a few things in common, so if you're around them regularly (like at work or hanging out with mutual friends) they should be easy to spot. Some of their defining traits are;

- They have strong negative opinions about all authority figures.
- They'll usually be fairly self-centered.
- They don't trust the media (then again, who really does?)
- Their day-to-day conversations usually involve conspiracies.
- They rely on their own opinion rather than fact checking.

So there you have it... In a nut-shell, that's how you deal with the conspiracy nuts out in the world today.


Today, while dealing with a thread of anti-vaxers, I came upon a commonality that seems apparent in the group. Every last one of them is self-centered. Let me expand on that.

Like most people, I was one of the first ones in line for a vaccine when the opportunity arose. Even then, my first thought wasn't that I needed the vaccine to be safe. It was that I needed the vaccine to prevent the spread, to keep my loved ones and my customers safe. Today that's proven fact, with only 1.1% of Covid cases being in vaccinated individuals. That matches right up with the 98% effectiveness of the vaccine. Go figure! The other 98.9% of cases are either those who were only partly vaccinated, or completely unvaccinated, with the latter making up over 88%. This is proof positive that vaccines are effective, so what's the problem?

Again, it goes back to the self-centered attitude of anti-vaxers. The majority of their arguments have to do with their rights. They have the right to not be vaccinated. They aren't worried because they're in good health. They feel mandatory vaccines are an infringement of their rights. It's always about them. They don't care about the 80 year old grandfather of 6 they might infect while asymptomatic. They don't care about the 20 year old immune-compromised cancer patient they could infect while asymptomatic. They only care about themselves... Their rights. Their decisions. It's kind of pathetic.

Going right along with this, they also have another thing in common. While defending THEIR rights they fail to acknowledge the rights of others. They complain because a business won't serve them due to them not being vaccinated, even though that's well within the rights of the business owner. Then, out of spite, they actually comment that the business is somehow going to close because THEY can't shop there. As if they're the only thing keeping that business afloat. Talk about an inflated sense of self-importance. Shopping in a store is a privilege, not a right. Working out in a gym is a privilege, not a right. Going to a concert is a privilege, not a right.

What it all comes down to is choice. You choose to not be vaccinated, you're also choosing to not do the things that only vaccinated people are allowed to do. It's not discrimination. It's YOUR choice.





Coming from a border community, that being a community that borders the United States, we end up getting a lot of cross-border news content. In fact, stations like CNN and Fox are a regular part of our TV lineups and most of our radio stations are US based. That said, there's one thing I've always found interesting about the news media coming out of the US. It's heavily biased. This isn't news, ironically, but it does show an interesting side to US politics. But I digress...

What brought me to this topic today is that I was innocently browsing YouTube yesterday, somewhat bored, when I came across a news title that caught my eye. I wasn't expecting much because I already know the reputation of Fox News, but I clicked it anyway. The article was about the growing number of Covid cases in Southern states like Texas. Honestly, within about 5 minutes I was sick to my stomach.

The reporters were broadly attacking Mexican immigrants for the increase in Covid cases and within that first 5 minutes I had heard more racist comments than I honestly have heard over the past year by this so-called "panel of experts". Frankly there was no proof put forth, nor did they take into account that states like Texas have flat-out refused to take preventative measures to stop the spread of Covid by their own American population. It was a flat-out racist attack, by a NEWS AGENCY, and couldn't have been explained as anything else.

I did what any conscious-mined citizen would have done and reported the video for hate speak and racism. But with this kind of open-racism in mainstream media it makes me wonder how the conscious of your average American is twisted by this kind of behavior. How much of today's civil unrest and hate crimes can be directly blamed on media influence, and why aren't these media groups held to higher standards? There's a big difference between suppression of the media and defending human rights against racism.

Now, in no way am I giving the other half of the spectrum (that being CNN) a free pass here, but I've honestly NEVER heard the blatant racism and hatred that I saw promoted by that "news" broadcast on Fox News. They should be ashamed of themselves, and Americans should demand better.


Being an online gamer, specifically one that thrives off the co-op experience with family, it often boggles my mind when I see some games that scream for multiplayer co-op and find them single player only. Somewhere along the development cycle either a single individual or a team got together and said that multiplayer would take too long, or be too difficult, or wouldn't fit the game and us co-operative players are just left holding empty bowls going "Please sir..." A few games that fall into this category, and some brief input on how multiplayer fits their style, are listed here. If you don't care to read the list, skip down;

Subnautica - The whole premise of this game is that you escaped from a doomed ship and ended up on a water planet. While there you get messages from other crash pods indicating there are other survivors, and even some of them mention that multiple people were in their pods. This already sets the lore for multiple people to be in YOUR pod, or found elsewhere around the world (maybe they have their own starting pods). There is really nothing stopping this game from being a shared experience, even the in-depth story would support it. In fact, there's a fairly buggy multiplayer mod that shows the game benefits from a co-op experience.

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - This is another game that's setup from the get-go for you to have a cooperative experience. You start in a cart with other characters, on a path to a shared future. Why not allow players to escape the city together, choose their side, and then enter the world? Even if the host is the "Dragonborn" while the others remain support characters, it would still be a major improvement to the game experience. Again, there's a buggy multiplayer mod to show this game benefits from the experience.

Fallout 4 - For this entry, see Skyrim. It's virtually the same thing. Intro that's ripe for sharing with other players, and an open world. One player, likely the host, is the "son" while the other player(s) are support characters. Easy.

The Sims 4 - This goes without saying. For a game that's basically a life simulator to offer only a single-player option, where you control everyone, really doesn't meet with the whole "life simulator" aspect. Again, there is a mod for doing this, but it's fairly buggy and very in-depth to setup.

Now I hear some of you reading this spouting the same old argument I always hear whenever I talk about adding Co-Op to a game that's been developed for single player. It would cost too much. It's too late in development. It would be too much work. To that I say, "bullshit".

First of all, the developers already know their software and have full access to the source code. Thus they can implement multiplayer co-op easier and quicker than all of these hacked multiplayer mods, which work (sorta). Secondly, the fact these co-op mods exist at all is testament to the fact that players want it. Third, developers put out patches all the time so why can't one of those patches include multiplayer content?

Personally I think developers are afraid to admit they made a mistake. They don't consider adding multiplayer co-op because they don't want to admit that they were wrong. Plain and simple. Has nothing to do with the work or an actual business-related decision, because if anything sales would increase and grab those who didn't buy BECAUSE it didn't have multiplayer. So that's the only thing I can come up with. These games, which scream a desire for co-op multiplayer, have none simply because the developers are too prideful to admit their mistake in leaving it out in the first place. Or the developer just doesn't know how, in which case they're simply too proud to admit they need help doing it.

In any case, the argument can be put to bed. We're going to use trial (court of law) logic here and point to one little fact. Let's see John Q Public vs SCS. That's right! The developers of the hit games Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator. For years there had been development on a multiplayer system for Euro Truck Simulator and, while it wasn't perfect, it was very well received. It had it's issues, like not everyone in your convoy could grab the same load so you'd have to plan loads properly to get everyone driving to the same place. But it could be done. There were a few downsides though. There was no way to run your own server, players could easily "troll" other players by crashing into them, and there was no other traffic in the world other than your fellow truck drivers (which made for some boring driving).

Then SCS came in with a bombshell announcement that they would be adding actual co-operative multiplayer to the game itself! As of version 1.14, of both games, you can now have up to 8 players running convoys! Co-operative multiplayer is fully supported including the ability to host your own games, invite only those you want, pick the SAME jobs, and even leave traffic active so you lose nothing from the solo experience! Each driver has their own trucks, own garages, own money, and can hire their own company drivers as well. What an amazing thing!

So, to those companies out there who say "It's too late in development" or "It would be too difficult to go back and add it", I point you to SCS and simply say... "They did it. Why can't you?"


So the border closure is extended another month, and I get to again watch a completely insincere clown on TV pretending that he actully cares for Canadians. All throughout this pandemic that's been his catch phrase, "protecting Canadians", and he's said it so much that you can now see right through it. It's like when a person lies to you so many times that you can actually see right through it and know what they're saying is a lie.

At one point during his question period someone actually came forth and confronted him about a plan for the border reopening. He danced around the topic quite nicely, again playing sympathetic, and you know what? The caller called him out on it! Asked him to answer the question instead of dancing around it. He then shifted to a "blame game" throwing the provinces under the bus and saying they were behind the border remaining closed. Wait, the border is Federally controlled. How do the provinces have any say in a plan for its opening and closing? What a joke.

People are suffering. Canadians and Americans alike. There are groups, just on facebook, made up of over 11 THOUSAND who are displaced from their loved ones by this border closure. I, myself, am also in that boat. My girlfriend and I will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary without having ever seen each other in person. Her children already consider me a better dad than their actual dad. I've missed a graduation. I've missed their birthdays. I haven't been able to be with them during rough patches they're going through. This is absolute torture, and our government has no sympathy. NONE!

Mr.Trudeau is always showing up on TV with a look of compassion. He has no compassion. He's always talking about protecting Candaians. He doesn't care about Candaians. He violates his own quarantine laws constantly, he's been caught doing so. He gets his medical advice from a doctor who is so inept that, at the start of this whole pandemic, she said masks weren't necessary. Now she's overcompensating so heavily to make up for that mistake that we continue to suffer. This is unacceptable! We are experiencing the "Berlin Wall" of our time and it needs tore down.


With a long history of gaming behind me, there are quite a few games I love to go back and revisit. You know, those games that stick with you. Some of those games in my past were massive multiplayer games, or MMO's as they're known. While these games had, literally, thousands upon thousands of players I would often play them solo or in a very small group. To me, it was more about the game experience.

Inevitably, MMO's come with one major flaw. Eventually all MMO's get shut down. In my past there were some absolutely amazing games that eventually met that fate. One of the big ones I loves was Earth and Beyond. The galaxy was so amazing to explore and a lot of fun to experience. The Sims Online was a fun social experience that I actually never got to experience as it shut down just before I had the ability to join it. Another of these games was City of Heroes, which was an amazing experience of character customization and hero roleplay. Star Wars Galaxies was yet another game that just blew me away and reached the end of it's life far too soon. All of these games have two things in common. First, they were shut down. Second, they've all been resurrected by server emulation.

Emulation is basically the process of creating a back-end server that can function just like the official servers used to. This is often done by reverse-engineering data that was captured while the official servers were still running. The legality surrounding emulation has always been questionable, but to a gamer like me that doesn't matter. What's more important to someone like me is protecting games of the past from being relegated to oblivion. Every time an emulator is created, one more game is saved from the abyss. That said, emulation comes with it's own dark side.

All of the emulators, for the games I've mentioned, have been kept and held privately by their creators. They push the community to support their single server with donations and that is the limit of what they allow. They don't provide the servers for public use. They don't provide access to the software. Nether you, or I, can run one of these servers. It's as if the corporations are back in operation and the threat of shutdown once again exists. Will these operators make the software public if they don't get their income to keep their server running? Will they do as the corporations did and hold back their server when they shut down? Are these games still doomed to the abyss? Who knows...

I hope and pray that one day these emulator creators, who were so bent on saving these games from the abyss, realize that putting all your eggs in one basket is a very unsafe practice. You'll always have your purists who will continue to return to the "official" server, and donate to the cause, but you don't want that to be the only option there is... I fear for the day when one of my beloved saved games once more vanishes into darkness.


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