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Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’

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The Puerto Rico work is one of just a handful of studies assessing this vital issue, but those that do exist are deeply worrying. Flying insect numbers in Germany’s natural reserves have plunged 75% in just 25 years. The virtual disappearance of birds in an Australian eucalyptus forest was blamed on a lack of insects caused by drought and heat. Lister and his colleague Andrés García also found that insect numbers in a dry forest in Mexico had fallen 80% since the 1980s.

“We are essentially destroying the very life support systems that allow us to sustain our existence on the planet, along with all the other life on the planet,” Lister said. “It is just horrifying to watch us decimate the natural world like this.”
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EDIT: And yes, Sci - she was a fan of Freddy. But she distinguishes herself as it's choice in lieu of endemic to our natures if one becomes "powerful".

Ah I'm not familiar with either her or Nietzsche - could you distinguish them more if you get the chance as I am not sure about this sentence due to my ignorance of this topic. Thanks!

You haven't read Nietzsche? Your usage "will to power" is a title to one of his books, The Will To Power ( not an actual book in that it's a collection of notes compiled by his sister after his death ). Read The Antichrist, it's not long and it's a nice glance on his thinking - he is considered history's greatest critic of philosophy and religion ( until R came along  ;) ), broke new ground in breaking from traditional Judea/Christian cosmology. The English translation of the last page of The Antichrist is banned in America, but can still get it in the original German ( I had a college student translate it for me - it's quite a treat, which is saying something coming from a Christian such as myself ). If I can find it on the internet, I'll post it here. The Nazi's leveraged Fredrick's works in developing their positions ( some, such as myself, say they corrupted it - Fredrick was witnessing such a thing and had to declare his contemplation were not about people, but belief and parishioners should be left alone ). I've said too much, check him out if you have the time - intense, even by today's standards. He differs from Rand in that those "who are great", successfully become powerful "have it in them", while Rand claims it's "free will", a choice each of us to become "better". Nietzsche's discussion of "the herd" is still referenced ( mostly unknowingly, it's part of the popular conscious now ).

He was the first to coin, "we all get our 15 minutes of fame", but in his day it wasn't about "famous", but more we each at times in our life come close to greatness, but something inside our pathology prevents us from going further and becoming truly great. Only the very few go all the way.
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RPG Discussion / Re: Sufficiently Advanced Diceless RPG
« Last post by TaoHorror on January 17, 2019, 02:39:37 am »
Yeah, we can go with the sci-fi rules. I'm in!
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RPG Discussion / Re: Sufficiently Advanced Diceless RPG
« Last post by sciborg2 on January 17, 2019, 01:25:35 am »
Sci-fi most likely, unless people really want to play the rules that are still in development for the magic stuff.

That said don't want to promise too much quite yet, gotta take some time to really make sure I understand the rules and how a game would go.
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EDIT: And yes, Sci - she was a fan of Freddy. But she distinguishes herself as it's choice in lieu of endemic to our natures if one becomes "powerful".

Ah I'm not familiar with either her or Nietzsche - could you distinguish them more if you get the chance as I am not sure about this sentence due to my ignorance of this topic. Thanks!
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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TTT Chapter 3
« Last post by TheCulminatingApe on January 16, 2019, 09:09:27 pm »
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... when the hot winds chased the clouds to oblivion, they simply followed the forage, always searching for the wild herbs and short grasses that made for the best meat and milk.
This pursuit always caught someone, particularly those who were too greedy to cull wilful animals from their herd.  Headstrong cattle could lead an entire herd too far afield, into vast tracks of over-grazed or blighted pasture.  Every season, it seemed, some fool returned without horse of cattle.
Cnaiur now knew himself to be that fool.
I have given him the Holy War

Various notables are in the council chamber in Caraskand, including Akka
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The sorceror, that woman-hearted buffoon whom everyone thought dead...
, and the Great Names
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... now little more than counsellors, and they knew it...
For the first time in their lives they stood upon trackless ground...

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...What would they do, the devout and self-righteous alike?  What would they do now that their hallowed scripture could talk back?

Kellhus has
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... given them dominion.  Over their doubts.  Over their most hated foes. He had made them strong.
But how could lies do such a thing?

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Unlike the Inrithi, he [Cnaiur] did not stand within the circle of the Dunyain's deceit.  Where they saw things from within, he saw them from without.  He saw more.  It was strange the way beliefs could have an inside and an outside, that what looked like hope or truth or love from within could be scythe or a hammer, things wielded for other ends, when seen from without.
Tools.

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The Inrithi, Proyas had told him once, believed it was the lot of men to live within the designs, inscrutable or otherwise, of those greater than themselves.  And in this sense, Cnaiur realised, Kellhus truly was their prophet.  They were, as the memorialists claimed, willing slaves, always striving to beat down the furies that drove them to sovereign ends.  That the designs - the tracks - they claimed to follow were authored in the Outside simply served their vanity, allowed them to abase themselves in a manner that fanned their overweening pride.  There was no greater tyranny, the memorialists said, than that exercised by slaves over slaves.
But now the slaver stood among them.  What did it matter, Kellhus had asked as they crossed the Steppe, that he mastered those already enslaved?  There was no honour, only advantage.  To believe in honour was to stand inside things, to keep company with slaves and fools.

Saubon will not march to Shimeh.  Caraskand is his.

Conphas tells them that the whole thing is a fraud.
Kellhus puts him in his place
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"... you don't know whether to offer the same pretence of submission that you offer your uncle or to discredit me with open words.  So now you deny me out of desperation, not to to prove to others that I'm a fraud but to prove yourself that you are in fact my better.  For an obscene arrogance dwells within you, Ikurei Conphas, the belief that you are the measure of all other men.  It is this lie that you seek to preserve at all costs...

...To preserve your pride before me, you must endure the shame of lying.  You must conceal who you are, in order to prove who you are.  You must degrade yourself to remain proud.  At this moment you see this more clearly than at other time in your life, and yet still you refuse to relinquish, to yield to your tormented pride.  You trade the anguish that breeds anguish for the anguish that breeds release.  You would rather take pride in what you are not than take pride in what you are...

...Shame is a stranger to you, Ikurei Conphas.  An unbearable stranger"

Conphas speaks his contempt for the others and leaves.  Kellhus commands him to halt.

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"... Pride is a sickness... For most it's a fever, a contagion goaded by the glories of others.  But for some, like you Ikurei Conphas, it is a defect carried from the womb.  For your whole life you've wondered what it was that moved the men about you.  Why would a father sell himself into slavery, when he need only strangle his children?  Why would a young man take the Orders of the Tusk, exchange the luxuries of his station for a cubicle, authority for servitude to the Holy Shriah?  Why do so many give, when it is so easy to take?
But you ask these questions because you know nothing of strength.  For what is strength but the resolve to deny base inclinations - the determination to sacrifice in the name of one's brothers?  You, Ikurei Conphas, know only weakness, and because it takes strength to acknowledge weakness, you call your weakness strength.  You betray your brother.  You fresco your heart with flatteries.  You, who are less than any man, say to yourself, 'I am a god'"

Cnaiur is for a moment 'inside'

The Nansur are to disarm and march to Joktha to take ship home.  Kellhus knows they have conspired with the Fanim.

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The Dunyain simply culled the wilful from his herd

Proyas is thinking on what has come to pass
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What had he been thinking?  How could he, a man who had meticulously hammered his heart into the very shape of piety, have come so close to murdering the God's own voice?
The thought still dizzied him, struck him nauseous with shame.
Conviction, no matter how narcotic its depth, simply did not make true.  This was a hard lesson, made all harder by its astounding conspicuousness.  Despite the exhortations of kings and generals, despite the endless lays, belief unto death was cheap.  After all, the Fanim threw themselves against the spears of their enemies as readily as the Inrithi.  Someone had to be deluded.  So what ensured that that someone was someone else?  Given the manifest frailty of men, given the long succession of delusions that their history, what could be more preposterous than claiming oneself the least deluded, let alone privy to the absolute?
And to make such obvious conceit the grounds condemnation... of murder...
In all his life, Proyas had never wept so hard as he had at the Warrior-Prophet's feet.  For he, who had decried avarice in all its forms, had proven the most avaricious of all.  He had coveted nothing so much as the truth, and since truth had so roundly eluded him, he had turned to his beliefs.  How could he not when he'd spent a lifetime abasing himself before them, when they afforded him such a luxury of judgement?
When they were so much who he was.
The promise of rebirth was at once the threat of murder, and Proyas, like so many others, had opted to kill rather than die.

Proyas can see halos around Kellhus' fingers.

Cnaiur knows Proyas has been set by Kellhus.  Cnaiur is to remain in Joktha - to kill Conphas.  Culled from the herd.

Iyokus is in a grove surrounded by Chorae bowmen.  There are great stone dolmens there.
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...Such remnants, he thought, were the metric of ages, the pilings of the present. They spoke of a time when no Caraskand had encompassed these hills, a time when his own ancestors had ranged the endless plains beyond the Great Kayarsus.  To lay eyes on such monuments, he knew, to truly see them, was to understand the terrifying of dimensions of what had been forgotten.

Another sorceror approaches.  Achamian.  Kellhus is not there.
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"You were deceived," the Mandate Schoolman said...
..."He's given you to me, Iyokus.  The Warrior-Prophet.  I asked for vengeance.  I begged.

They fight.  Sorcerous combat.  The Gnosis is the stronger.

Cnaiur rides out into the hills.
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He was no longer of the People.  He was more.  There was no thought he could not think.  No act he could undertake.  No lips he could not kiss...  Nothing was forbidden.

He dreams of Serwe, and then she is there.  He catches her in a clearing.  Her face flies apart - a skin-spy.  The Synthese arrives.
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"Old," the tiny face said in a reedy voice.  "Old is the covenant between our peoples."
Cnaiur stared in horror.  "I belong to no people," he said blankly.
A vertiginous silence.  It peered at him with an avian canniness, as though forced to revisit certain long standing assumptios.
"Perhaps," it said.  "But something binds you to him.  You would not have saved him otherwise.  You would not have killed my child"
Cnaiur spat.  "Nothing binds me"
It craned its tiny face to the side, bird-curious.
"But the past binds us all, Scylvendi, as the bow binds the flight of an arrow.  All of us have been nocked, raised and released.  All that remains is to see where we land... to see whether we strike true."

It knows about Moenghus - how?

Cnaiur thinks his hunt is over.  But the Synthese tells him he has been moved, nothing more.

Akka comes to Ximenus, who is very drunk.  He gives him Iyokus' eyes. Xin puts them into his own sockets.  He still cannot see.
Poor Xinemus.  Both tragic and pitiful.

Blinded, Iyokus comes back to Eleazaras.
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"The words," Eleazaras hissed.  "Do you remember the words?"
In sorcery, everything depended on the purity of meaning.  Who knew what blinding might do?
"Y-yessss."
"Then you are whole"
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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TTT Chapter 2
« Last post by Dora Vee on January 16, 2019, 04:23:33 pm »
So, the judge decides? :D
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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TTT Chapter 2
« Last post by Wilshire on January 16, 2019, 01:24:04 pm »
They DID suspect that she was guilty, but because of how US law is, any doubt means acquittal. That's in accordance with the law.
reasonable doubt (or is it "shadow of a doubt"). Which is to say, the biggest bully in the room decides your fate.
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Philosophy & Science / Re: The Benefits of Optimism Are Real
« Last post by H on January 16, 2019, 12:55:16 pm »
I am probably in the running for "least optimistic human being alive" in reality.  I'm also not at all very mindful, generally, not am I what I could typify as particularly confident.

Thing is, many events are somewhat ambiguous, in the sense of how you should necessarily react to them emotionally.  If we follow the line of reasoning though, that meaning if a function of focus, then we can see how focusing on the "negative" will necessarily lead you to a negative interpretation of more events.

Depressive realism is an actual thing.  Blissful ignorance is too.  The key is finding the right sort of balance between the two.
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Philosophy & Science / Re: The Benefits of Optimism Are Real
« Last post by MSJ on January 16, 2019, 07:53:53 am »
I'm not saying I walk around with a smile on my face, thinking that will make the world right. Or, that if I just look on the bright side, the best will come.

Example. Two guys tasked to do the same job, a truly horrid job, pick one there are many. Person A goes with the attitude that it needs done no matter what, so digs in and get it done. Person B bitches and moans and complains the whole time. Hating his shitty circumstances life has handed him. Who do you believe gets done faster and does a better job? Hence, a positive outcome.
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