Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

Open Wide Our Hearts: Thoughts

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Wednesday February 20, 2019 at 17:17

Below are some of my thoughts on the pastoral letter against racism “Open Wide Our Hearts” found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/upload/open-wide-our-hearts.pdf
While reading the letter is not necessary to understand my comments, I recommend at least skimming it for context. In overview:

  • I support the substance of the letter in so far as it calls us to recognize the common dignity of all humanity before God.
  • I oppose the letter where it draws more from the tainted wells of identity politics and non-normalized statistics than it does from the Holy Scriptures.

The first oddity is the definition of Racism as “Racism arises when-either consciously or unconsciously-a person holds that his or her own race or ethnicity is superior, and therefore judges persons of other races or ethnicities as inferior and unworthy of equal regard.” and then quickly declares “Racist acts are sinful because they violate justice.” I agree with this statement, but would agree even more if the words “his or her own” were replaced with “one particular”. Sadly, this will cause problems later on in the letter.

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Arguments for Tyranny

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Monday February 11, 2019 at 14:35

I’ve already made several forays into the realm of the nature of proper governance. Here’s the most extensive of them:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/19rbQXwCG7az5DCV4Gc6YpIm-Vk1ZuunlRor0_407Gy8/edit?usp=sharing

Which was itself heavily informed by the writings of one Frederic Bastiat, some of which passages I have commented on here:

http://blog.hawkbats.com/index.php?s=bastiat

But in this article, I’d like to explore a few unusual arguments, take them to their extremes, and hopefully gain a better understanding of the nature of political power. Because political power is an evergreen source of contention, mainly because it is all about contention. Politics is about who should be on our side whom we should always defend and opportunistically admire, and who should be on the other team whom we should always despise and opportunistically destroy.

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Critical Damage and Random Numbers

Posted in Articles,Other by Ziggy Sunday February 10, 2019 at 21:25

So I was thinking about critical hits, where some attacks do much more damage than others. Normally, this is just a 2x or 3x bonus. But what if you wanted occasional 30 or 200 times the damage? And what if you wanted to use this system for more than just damage? City sizes and skill checks and so forth. The random number generator would need to be on a continuous scale, instead of occasional discrete bonuses.

And more importantly, how would you balance this? It wouldn’t be fair if critical attacks greatly boosted DPS. Or if skill checks that were bursty gave an advantage.

So, basically, I wanted a random number generator with a consistent average value, and a variable range, without going negative. For simplicity, I used an exponential system. So, if the variance is 2, you can get numbers anywhere between 1/2 (0.5) and 2, with an average of 1. Or, if the variance is 471, you’ll get values between 1/471 (0.0021231…) and 471, but the average value will still be 1.

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