Life has been conspiring to inspire me, and a few more posts are getting prepped. In the meantime, here are a few more bits that don't deserve a long treatment.
First, Men of the West has picked up some of my posts, and will do so in the future when my articles fit their needs. It's a site I've regularly kept an eye on as they cover a broad range of subjects from the practical to the philosophical relevant to men without getting all squishy like Art of Manliness does all too often. I'll be trying out the orange chicken recipe.
Second - related to the recent post on Schuyler Hernstrom and the #shortstorybookclub, Alexandru at the Dacian has an excellent interview with him. Sky is a great guy, and an excellent author who writes unique and compelling stories.
Walker's Retreat covers the latest Tex Talks Battletech segment on the history of the clans. While other channels have done overviews of BT lore and mechs, few have been as insightful and outright funny as the Tex bits.
Seriously, this man and his pals has done more to sell BattleTech than Catalyst Game Labs has and CGL should be cutting him a fat check for doing their marketing for them.
He's right. While the starter set is OK, simply trying to figure out what is the "current" set of BT rules if you want the same scope as the original Battletech and Citytech game and expansion, complete with mech construction, is a pain in the ass. The Harebrained studios game is an excellent adaptation of the original tabletop tactical game as a game, though it has issues.
- Pandering to the woke crowd. This includes token gender pronouns, as well as a bridge crew so inclusive that your character is the only potentially white guy there. There are even nods to body positivity, but thank god you're not the only fit one.
- The AI enemies always, always fight to the death, without any sensitivity to retreating when losses get too high to replace. On the other hand, having to rebuild even one mech per outing starts getting financially painful.
- Since the computer is relatively dumb, it often throws twice your weight of mechs at you. Not as difficult when you have a battlefield you can draw them in in small clusters, but several scenarios pit you against 8 mechs at once without any room to maneuver. See above re: "fight to the death" and economics.
- The evasion system can be gamed when you're massively outnumbered - you actually lose movement bonuses by getting attacked. As a result it doesn't matter how fast your scout unit moves, by the time six or seven mechs get done playing with it, almost everything hits. See the above on scenario design and the number of small boards that afford you no maneuver while outnumbered 2:1 or more.
You can generally avoid or overcome the above in the single player game, but the "fight to the death" aspect throws my suspension of disbelief a lot. Fortunately in two-player gamees the boards aren't that tight so gaming the evasion system isn't abused as much.
Someone needs to sell Battletech, and CGL isn't doing so by more than a technicality.
On the media side of things, the Didact takes a look at the implosion of Batwoman. Imagine my shock. He's also got an excellent writeup on how the lack of enforcement of the law actively undercuts law.
The governors in question need to understand something very clearly. When law enforcement units supposedly under their command refuse to enforce the executive orders - they aren't even laws, they are just orders - then that is a direct breakdown of the chain of command that cannot be fixed by simply firing people and replacing them with yes-men.
That represents a much more serious breakdown of societal trust than politicians can fix. What we are looking at is essentially an acceleration of the collapse of government authority. And if William S. Lind and his fellow 4th Generation Warfare thinkers are correct, this in turn means that we will see those same governors become ever more desperate to hold onto power.
I'd noted in the past that all those images of animals flocking into suburban and urban areas told of several things that the "see what we could do for nature if we wanted" crowd were ignoring. One is that it required a vastly reduced number of people running about, and the only way to make that permanent without a significant portion living indolent on the others - a toxic mess both ways - was to eliminate them. Of course, for some greenies, that is a feature. I wish I was kidding. Peter Grant points us to what happens when the people don't permanently go away, and now the rural and third-world populations need to survive with reduced or no industry and tourism. Especially relevant is the number of game preserves that finance anti-poaching on the back of needed managed culling.
I know that part of the world. The only income - I repeat, the only income - in the area comes from tourism to the Okavango Delta, one of the greatest game reserves in the world. It's an almost unbelievably beautiful place, one that I hope to visit again before I die . . . but the people living there must compete with wildlife to survive. As long as they derive income from tourists, that's not a problem. Take away the tourists (as has happened over the past couple of months), and it's a different story. I'm willing to bet that those 56 elephants were probably poisoned, just as poachers in Zimbabwe have used cyanide to poison elephants in nature reserves and steal their tusks. If it's a question of "we eat our crops, or the elephants eat our crops", the elephants will go to the wall.
I get that conserving our environment is part of keeping us healthy, but there are literally people who think it's horrible to kill alligators or crocs hanging around a golf community, and look at you funny when you say "predators in people places are bad, they need to go." As I mentioned earlier, there are those who side with animals over people, period, and ignore the fact that we are predators and meat eaters. Okja, by the same director who won an Oscar for Parasite, is one such vegan screed, though it doesn't go as far as elevating other predators over us.
Finally, Adam looks at a review of To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolfe and finds Karens, even before they were a meme. That said, I think that part of the problem was reading anything from the literary crowd at all, especially a darling of the current feminist death cult. The other is, of course, that it was Virginia Woolf - though that overlaps with "darling of the modern, especially feminist - literary death cult". Far too many book clubs full of cat ladies and near-cat-ladies eat this shit up.
Of course it was trash. Off the top of my head, there are few I can offer as worthwhile. One is Atlas Shrugged, but she does spend a lot of time doing romance tropes badly, and the one good point she makes is hammered home over and over and over again. The other is the Dark is Rising and related books by Susan Cooper.