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    • If Everything Fails, Blame The Customer

      1 week ago

      yairzucker

      Recent trends in the video game industry seem to include the following vicious cycle:

      1. Company makes some questionable moves and shady business practices

      2. People complain about that

      3. "Vote with your wallets!"

      4. More brainless mobs than protesters buy the controversial games

      5. Company receives positive feedback and is unhindered by any backlash, resulting in no change for the better


      This includes but not limited to: increasingly suffocating DRM, always-online DRM for single-player games, splitting the game's content into DLCs before release, releasing buggy games, locking base content behind pay walls or arbitrary grinding. It also includes hyping games to the point where people buy more hype than the actual released product.

      And that's bothering me greatly.


      Every now and then, a No Man's Sky comes around and actually breaks the protective barrier of uncaring consumers, resulting in major backlashes and it puts the industry in some sort of perspective, where you go "Companies will now know they can't outright lie to their customers and deliver a different product than advertised!", and everyone feels accomplished. But... companies still advertise lies, and their games still sell stupidly well. And not only are the companies not worried, but they also get a new protective shield: a combination of shills, hardcore fans and just people who think everything needs to have an agenda behind it who ALL pull a collective ad hominem on the complainers.

      Instead of protesting that the game's developers are acting shady, the blaming finger is diverted at the protesters themselves.


      I'd like to bring up some examples of recent games that had controversies surrounding them, but all seems forgotten at the end of the day. And you know they'll sell like hotcakes, if they haven't already.


      First is Marvel's Spider-Man. You heard of the PUDDLES, I'm sure. There was an evident graphical downgrade between a certain gameplay trailer and the release, and one of the easier-to-see evidence was the reflections in the puddles on the ground, which were less detailed in the released game than in the trailer. In addition to that, people saw other graphical downgrades in shadows and lightings. Point is that there was a downgrade. And downgrades are unfortunately plenty in the gaming industry. First case I heard of loudly was Watch Dogs.

      So you'd think people would uniformly agree that there was a downgrade what with all of the evidence, right? Well, no. A vocal group of folks, between developers, marketing teams and just random easily persuaded individuals, started diverting attention from the issues of the downgrade and turned it onto the people who complained about it. "You must be really petty to go apeshit about some PUDDLES! Gamers are so entitled!"

      An absolute ad hominem, the illegitimate argument tactic of attacking the opponent himself instead of refuting his arguments. It's an ugly tactic, but it's been in use quite strongly. Instead of talking about WHY the game got visually downgraded, they all attacked the character of gamers as a whole, saying they're all nitpicky. Now might be a good time to remind you, the reader, that the gamers are the customers. In what other industry are the customers lied to in advertising then gets talked down at before buying the product? In what other industry will the customers STILL buy the product? I don't know.

      The game got raving reviews and showed great profits. So why should devs stop lying and blame their customers?


      Next up is Battlefield 5. I was hesitant of bringing it up, because as far as EA and their advertising team care, every time the game's name comes up, even in controversies, is good publicity. However, there's a point to be made here, and not about the game. I honestly don't care about the game. What I care about is the response to the controversy of HISTORICAL ACCURACY. The Battlefield brand, I became aware around BF3, prides itself on presenting realism. From graphics to sound design, it's supposed to look and feel real. In recent games of recent years, some shooters elected to add female characters to the multiplayer, for players who wish to be presented as such. I don't mind that, nobody should, really. It's not a new and revolutionary move, Unreal Tournament had female characters as well as bipedal space cows back in 1999. The issue that bothered people was that set in World War 2, the single-player campaign depicts a female protagonist fighting in the war. 

      I'm no history expert, but I'm pretty sure men fought that war. Women took part in it as nurses and drivers and other important supportive roles, but not as frontline gun wielding troopers. And this matter seemed to spark some dissatisfaction with players. Twisting history is wrong, be it for one agenda or the other, and is illegal in some countries.

      So people raised their voice. Not because "ooga no women allowed in my game" and not because "booga game is not a simulation of real life", but because the single-player campaign features a factually inappropriate casting for the protagonist. And the response? Seemingly the same group of devs, shills and easily persuaded idiots retorted with more insults at gamers: "You're sexist, gamers, you chauvinist pigs, can't stand to see a woman in a main role?" and "And RESPAWNING is realistic?". Both responses don't really respond to the issue at hand. The first insults the complainers and all gamers in general, and the second argues about game mechanics in multiplayer, which is not at all the issue. I think the second is called "straw man".

      Now, what good does that do? Insulting people instead of explaining yourself... That's just poor manners. Did the game sell well? I don't know. Like I said, I don't care about it, so I didn't check any news regarding its release. But it's EA. They've been selling shitty business practices for years.

      Achievement Hunter has a few members who are in the camp of the devs, shills and easily persuaded idiots, and that's honestly disappointing. Hiding behind the "progressive" mask, they just spew the same nonsensical and inappropriate responses to defend huge corporations that don't care about anything or anyone other than profits.

      And there's an issue there. If before I could assume the idiots were just outright shills pretending not to be shills, hearing the same idiotic arguments on the Off Topic podcast simply shatters this assumption. There are people THAT gullible, and they are among us.

      Fallout 76... Not much to say about it, as everything was said recently. The protective force field was pierced, like with NMS. People are angry at the buggy game. A 60 dollar Fallout 4 online expansion. Physical copies of the game have cardboard disks with a download code. No refunds. Beta players can't uninstall the game without buying the game. 

      And... the $200 collectors edition comes with a cheap nylon bag, instead of the advertised canvas duffel bag. Why? "Too expensive to produce, and the picture is just a concept picture, you shouldn't even be complaining in the first place". What's the compensation to prevent people from filing a class action lawsuit? Some in-game currency, valued $5, enough to change a hair style, so I heard. This is some outright false and misleading advertisement that gets scoffed off by Bethesda.


      This whole ordeal needs to stop. People need to stop licking corporate butts. People need to boycott companies who insult them, companies that see them as walking wallets with no dignity. The recent year's uproars seem louder and more frequent, but at the same time there are no real implications on sales figures.

      Here's to a new year of actual change for the better.

    • Of Ingenuity (Or Lack Thereof)

      7 months ago

      yairzucker

      Can people even find these journal entries nowadays, considering the current site's content-centered layout? Doesn't matter.


      On today's "Things That I Need To Get Off My Chest": More mobile phones awful trends. In the past I made an entry about my prediction regarding the future of mobile phones (something something new batteries technology that makes such a difference it turns phones without it to virtually obsolete). The market still hasn't reached that breakthrough, but despite assuming it would probably arrive some day, the market seems to be adamant to go in the wrong directions, lead by a company that covers its eyes willingly.

      I'm talking about being copy-cats, following stupid trends without critical thinking. In this current instance, Apple's notch.


      Sure, Apple's iPhone X wasn't the first to have a notch. Essential PH-1 had it before, but like with many other trends, they go under the rug until Apple does them. Apple pulled this horrible design choice, and now other companies follow suit. Everyone looking at it should see how much of an idiotic design choice the notch is. It reduces the screen's real estate and serves no real purpose. Only reason Apple made it was because they could do whatever they want and people would still suck it up. Apple is currently on top of the popular technology world's most idiotic design choices: a wireless mouse that has a charging port in its bottom, meaning it can only be charged upside down, an electronic drawing pen that can be charged only by being connected to a Lightning port, sticking 17.6cm out, laptops and phones that have so little ports you need dongles upon dongles to listen to music via headphones while charging your device. And they still don't go bankrupt because... people don't care. Or at least their customers don't care. I talked with a friend who bought an iPhone X, and his baseless responses gave off the impression he simply outsourced his thinking, and is just glad to have Apple dictate to him what he wants to do.


      Back on topic, notches are dumb. If you have a rectangular screen with resolution of X by Y, and you put on an X by Y sized picture/video/media on it, you'll see everything, every pixel of the original media gets displayed in its proper place. When you have rounded corners on screens, those corners get cut off, like somebody came with scissors and trimmed off the edges of the paper. When you have a notch, it's an other trapezoidish shape that gets cut off. These scissors work overtime. And you, as the user, won't see what's on those slices of paper that fell on the floor. Nobody likes it when they sit behind a tall person at the cinema, why would anyone cope with the notch?

      So why adopt this trend? Why not improve or... ignore it?


      For a damn long time, since the G2, I gave credit to LG for TRYING. They put their volume and lock screen buttons on the backs of their devices. It's not necessarily better, but it's different from the norm. While everyone has their buttons on the sides of their devices, LG tried something else. And they added the screen wake-up at a double tap function that since became a norm. It's cool and admirable. They kept their removable backs up to the G4, and made an even bigger innovative attempt with the G5's removable bottom. But while clever and unique, it wasn't done well enough, and the phone was considered a failure. And failures limit future decision making. The G6 was ordinary. No back buttons, no removable battery. And now the G7 is planned to have a notch. It might have a feature to hide the notch behind the notifications bar, but that's just more real estate that goes unused.


      OnePlus. They came into being in a metaphoric blazing fireworks show. They put out a demand-limiting plan that helped them moderate their supplies and keep their phones' prices low, while delivering surprisingly good hardware and software. They broke all stigmas associated with Chinese phones and formed invaluable trust between the western world with cheap Chinese phones. Their future releases were less impressive. Their phones fell into the more mainstream standards, but they still kept trying to be unique in some ways, be it by flashy VR announcements or special features.

      Still, their OnePlus 5 reveal talked about its intricate and unique design, which... looks identical to the iPhone. And the OnePlus 6? Currently leaked with a notch.


      Google is not innocent of copying bad design choices. The first Pixel phone's introduction openly mocked iPhone's lack of 3.5mm port. The second Pixel? No audio port and no mention of it. Nobody even mentioned the hypocrisy.


      It's mind boggling, really. I have no trust in the mobile phones market. While I expect battery technologies to advance at some point regardless of phones, I'm now certain no one would actively push towards it, because every company is stuck chasing Apple's tail, while Apple runs around in a random pattern. 

      Nobody cares enough to to put down their foot and state they will follow Apple no more, because that a risk, and risks often don't translate to profits. Only one who's allowed to take risks is Apple, because people will buy their products no matter how bad they are.

    • In Memory of Sharon, My Lost Dream Girl

      1 year ago

      yairzucker

      I'll start with saying this upright: It is a journal entry about a dream. I know some people don't care for dreams, so this is your opportunity to leave without feeling like your time has been wasted. There is no "And then I woke up", as dreams tend to morph and turn their plots in different directions, and this tale was not the last of its route.

      Now, this dream appears to have taken concepts from several movies. The first would be the recent and successful anime film Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa). If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend that you do so. The second would be Groundhog Day, which is older but also worth watching. And I guess 50 First Dates, which is recommended if you like Adam Sandler. 


      In the dream, I was in the shoes of a girl called Sharon. I didn't know her, but it was evident I overwrote her presence when I was put in her place. She was gone, and I was there instead. I felt obligated to continue Sharon's life, but I knew nothing of her.

      Sounds like a great start to my dream, but that was just the side-plot, one of those branches of a dream. Sharon had a mother, who was now MY mother. That mother was an awful person. She was bossing everyone and everything, and she didn't care for Sharon (or me) very much. Here's a drawing from a kids book called Tinkertank. I trust that you feel the same way about the character portrayed in it as I felt about the mother. When the dream took its fascinating sinister turn, the mother was my antagonist. She knew I am not who Sharon was, and she just wanted my

      captivity. Which brings me to my Groundhog Day and 50 First Dates influenced bit.

      I was stuck in a repeating day. And I had no recollection of previous instances of that day, though I was well aware of the looping itself. Now, assuming you've been stuck in the same day, starting each one from the same point, for countless days, how do you know that your actions are unique and original? "Surely, my line of thought is unique, it can't be that I took the same thought route and reached the same conclusions" you might think, but that very thought bothered me in the dream itself. What if the line of thought is by definition designed to have one thought trigger an other, and seeing the image of a cat while leaning on a chair and smelling a distant BBQ would bring up the realization you need a haircut, every time you experience this very situation? I was stuck in a repeating day, imprisoned in a way, with a mother who wanted me to remain imprisoned like that, and I had no idea whether or not I had any free will.


      So I did what Bill Murray ended up doing in Groundhog Day: I tried breaking the cycle by committing suicide. A bit of my mind pushed me to: 1. Not be discovered by the mother. I knew that somehow being discovered would let her put me back in the loop and give her some means to insult me. 2. Attempt at finding out new ways to die.

      But how do I know what is a NEW way to die, when I don't know what the old ones are? Given a countless amount of attempts, escaping the mother's high floor office by jumping out the window onto a lower building's roof probably killed me a bunch, but given enough attempts, it was inevitable to land safely in some. And so I jumped to the next roof and the next. I ended up "miraculously" safe and sound at ground level, after jumping off buildings. But I needed ways to kill myself, not to be safe. And who's not to say I haven't landed before and continued to the exact same location to die at? Nobody. There was nobody to tell me, nobody to guide me or to narrate me. It was just deranged me, in the body of a girl who no longer existed, trying to oppose destiny.

      I decided going to a fancy hotel's restaurant's kitchen and throwing myself into the meat grinder would be the way to go, but the dream continued afterwards, so I guess that didn't work either.

      The dream continued with me trying to run away with a couple of Sharon's friends, to try and find a unique path, as well as to learn about late Sharon's tale.


      It was a difficult dream. Writing it out raised questions about free will and destiny. It touched loss and strong negative emotions which are hard to describe.

      Glad I had the wit to write what I could down after waking up.

    • The Long Awaited Trip

      2 years ago

      yairzucker

      I've been to RTX 2016, you know? In my last journal entry, I talked about buying my RTX ticket. Well, I'm well beyond that.

      Around mid-June, I flew to Canada, where I joined my parents. We drove along the Rocky mountains, which were beautiful. I had a way too close of an encounter with a black bear, but fortunately it didn't react. Day 5 came out the day after my flight, and I watched the first episode while jet-lagged. Boy, what a terrifying experience that was. We drove from Calgary up to Hinton, and back in time for an Ingress anomaly satellite. I got a lot of walking done between the anomaly and the Mission Day the following day. I walked across downtown Calgary at least 3 times those days.


      The day after, I flew to Austin, Texas, where I stayed for a week, ending with RTX. At the airport I already came across a couple of Guardians and an RTX attendant from Holland, and I already knew it was going to be a big event. 

      It was hot. I mean, I heard people talk about Texan summer, and I thought I knew the heat from Israel, but it was something else. Whereas we have this level of heat for a couple of days, 5 max, the entire southern part of the United States experiences it for the entire summer. So I had to battle myself to go outside for touring and eating. I guess I landed on some poor food joints. Now, I'm not a food critic, but I'll say this: I didn't eat for close to 24 hours by the time I reached my motel room, and I got a recommendation for a diner nearby by the reception guy. As hungry as I was, I went to the Star Seeds Cafe and ordered buffalo wings and a hamburger. It was rather poor. The wings were sour to a point I wasn't sure they were made right, and the hamburger lacked in taste. Jimmy John's sandwich wasn't that much better. On the other hand, on the last day before RTX I came to Hoover's Cooking and it was a blast. I kinda feel bad I didn't get there earlier in the week, so that I could have tried more dishes.

      On the day before Hoover's Cooking, I walked to the capitol and did some Ingress missions going around it and down Congress avenue, ate a hotdog at Frank, as recommended by a local. That hotdog was so alien to me, I had troubles processing the taste, but overall I got out of there with a good feeling, though not quite full. I continued to walk to the convention center, for recon, ate at the small hamburger place on the other side of the road to the south of the convention center, which was pretty good, and continued to ride a train up north to meet up with Kyle, Ethan and Reid from the YouTube channel WhiteLightningHQ. Great guys, despite being occupied by boring stuff such as finding me a way back to my motel, it was fun.

      RTX came. In the motel, I already saw people with passes and shirts having breakfast. On my hike to the convention center, I saw people walking in that direction, and a nice attendant even pointed me towards the pass claim. The lines are my biggest complaint. Everything was a line. You want your pass? Stand in a line. Want to go into a panel? Stand in a line to go inside a room with a SECOND line. I wish I had a VIP pass.

      On the first day, my schedule wasn't very tight, and I felt like I wasn't getting the most out of the event. The hamburger place to the south was closed, and it just didn't feel like my day. The panels I did get into were pretty nice, though, which I think were only Achievement Hunter BTS and RWBY music.

      On the second day, I had such a good time, that day in my memory has a banner over it saying "IT WAS GOOD". I got into the RWBY panel I missed the day before, I got into the Day 5 panel. And the shining star of that day's incredible success was Jeff Williams' Freelance Orchestra, which was insanely fun. I sat next to a couple of RTX attendants from a country in South America which eludes me, the seats were great, and we had loads of fun. Day 2 of RTX was a success. Whatever I expected RTX to be, day 2 delivered. Just to illustrate, you know how RT's guys say RTX is the place where you can approach any attendant and make friends with them? The concert started with this quartet playing some obscure music, which got less and less obscure until they started playing the Halo theme, in which point you could hear the entire audience hum the theme's choir along with the music. It was, in a lack of a better word, magical. At that point, you knew you were surrounded by people who really DO share your hobbies.

      On the third day, I got straight into the booth hall to find the quartet from the concert, and buy their 4-track RWBY trailers' music cover CD for a friend who wasn't blessed to be present at the convention. I then continued to buy a T-shirt at the physical RT store whose line wasn't packed like in the previous days. I got the Very Fine Line shirt, which I sort of messed up like within the first time I put it in the washing machine with my hat. I got to Supergiant Games' booth to check out their new game, Pyre, and went on to the RWBY Chibi animation panel, which was a fun little thing, and the RTAA panel which turned out to be a panel you must go to in every RTX, which was a pleasant surprise.

      All in all, RTX was my first convention, and it was one hell of an experience. Totally worth it.


      After that I flew to Paradise, Nevada, and joined a tiny organized group to travel and hike around Utah's national parks including but not limited to Zion, Bryce and Arches. Monument Valley was also part of it, with a tour lead by Navajo people.

      It was rough, it wasn't something that fit my personality much, but overall I'm glad I tried it out and had the experience to take me out of my comfort zone and into some situations I would have gotten into otherwise. I could write so much more about his part of the trip, but I already wrote a lot already.


      After that was done, my tour guide gave me a lift to the Greyhound station in Vegas, where I embarked on a bus ride from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Washington DC. I mentioned that gap between Las Vegas and NYC in my previous journal entry, and that's what I came up with: a 3 days long bus ride to Washington DC, a 4 days long stay in DC, and an other shorter ride to NYC.

      The bus ride was awful. I won't blame Greyhound for it, their buses were pretty roomy, the seats were comfortable, and each seat had its own power socket for personal electronics. It was just too long, and some crazy woman on board was disturbing everyone's peace for 2 days straight. I have troubles sleeping on buses, and that woman did NOT help my situation. I got to Washington DC dead tired, at 4 something AM, and I had to wait until 11 to get my bed in the hostel I booked. Also, when I got to the hostel's neighborhood, I saw a taped off section of the sidewalk with two police officers who told me some guy was lynched on the street. After seeing splatters of what I assumed to be blood, I knew I had to spend the next 5 hours outside, and keep myself awake at all costs.

      I got into the hostel at 10am, slept on the couch for a hour until I got woken up and led to my bed, at which point I spent the following 24 hours sleeping.

      Out of the four days of my stay in DC, I spent 1 day sleeping, 2 days indoors because I was too tired and unmotivated to go outside besides getting food, and 1 day actually going outside to the white house, to the national museum of American history, to the national museum of natural history, to the Washington Monument and to the Lincoln Memorial. All on foot.


      After my unfortunate bus ride, I decided I won't be taking a bus to NYC, but a train instead. I ventured forth to the train station where I bought my most expensive train ticket to date, an express to NYC. Seated on the quiet cart, I had a pleasant ride, watching YouTube videos and anime. From Manhattan I took a subway to Brooklyn where I met up with a friend who took me to her home, where I stayed for the remainder of the trip.


      In NYC I had a mixed experience. When I went out, I went OUT. I took a subway to Manhattan, and roamed the streets, seeing what people say you need to see in NYC, mostly. Natural history museum was my first destination, but it didn't feel any better than the one I visited in DC. I then walked down to Times Square, and up the Rockefeller building. One day I got to Times Square's area and walked over to the High Line, which I highly recommend, then down to the WTC memorial site, then over and across the the Brooklyn bridge, into a crazy storm that engulfed the city. I watched the Broadway show The Book of Mormon with my host, and I completed many Ingress missions.

      On my off days, resting, without a key to the house I couldn't go out even to get myself lunch, or else I'd get locked outside and had to wait 4 to 6 hours until anyone got home. It was basically stay home or stay outside.

      By the end of the day, the hosting family was nice, and gave me a chance to speak some Hebrew in this foreign country.


      In terms of culinary experiences, I had more bacon than I even had, which didn't impress me. I had Subway sandwiches whenever I didn't know where to gamble my lunch on, and it was pretty good (Subway is no longer available in Israel). The ribs in Hard Rock Cafe in Paraside, Nevada, are incredible, and so is the chicken fried chicken breast at Hoover's Cooking in Austin, Texas. New York pizza is nothing special, really. I had pretty much the same thing in Israel, and I couldn't find anything unique about the ones I had in NY. It turns out I'm capable of having a salad for lunch, which is news to me.

      In terms of cultural experiences, Canada and USA are not so different. Americans love standing in lines. Handling money in the USA sucked. I met an aspiring Alabama dude with crazy dreams and weird beliefs about the world outside of the USA. I met a mentally unstable probably New Yorkish woman. I met a couple of black dudes who asked me to film them meeting at Times Square a focus on their shoes. I felt that the USA is so large and full of so many languages and accents, I wasn't so foreign and self aware myself.


      I will now proceed to upload some select photographs.

    • Video Comments - Hypocrisy and Censorship

      in Forums > Video Comments - Hypocrisy and Censorship | Follow this topic

      yairzucker

      Pretty much everywhere, where Rooster Teeth compare the comment section of the site and that of YouTube, they say how much more positive the site is. This can be easily seen in Achievement Hunter's Presented With Comment show. "This comment is positive? RT site. This comment is negative? YouTube." I didn't pay much thinking to this. I thought perhaps the community on the site is just more positive in general, and YouTube's community is scattered and varied, so comments lean towards a certain mindset.


      Since that show, I became a sponsor, or a FIRST member if you like, and got around to watch more of the content on the site. This new habit exposed me to the comment section of the RT site, and indeed it was extremely positive. So I left a comment here and a comment there. At this point, I should note that I believe in honesty and openness. Every now and then I'd come across a video which didn't tingle my funny bone, or a video whose plot made no sense, and I would make a comment voicing my displeasure. I wouldn't trash talk, I wouldn't insult or try to rally people against the video. At times I just asked for others' opinions, and more than often I'd make a constructive criticism. "This video wasn't as funny as the previous one" or "I don't get this video, what was its purpose?"

      And lo and behold, negative mods started latching onto my comments. "WTF?" "Noob" or "Lame" for a legit comment about the video we all just watched. Does having an honest opinion equate to being lame, or a noob? Apparently, that's what the majority of people on this site's comment sections think.


      I tried to ignore this phenomenon. I watched some videos until I got to an other one to which I wanted to comment with my opinion. But then I stopped. It took me a moment to wonder why I stopped, but then it hit me. The negative mods made me feel uneasy with voicing my opinion. I knew that if I'd say the least bit of a negative comment, justified as it might be, the blind and overly protective hoard of RT community members will try and discredit me, in fear of my comment hurting someone. And that felt like I was being censored by the hivemind.

      Yeah, sure, it might hurt someone, to hear that a certain production or a short came out worse than they expected, but they NEED to hear it to IMPROVE. You can't just stroke a creator's ego indefinitely, even when they fuck up. You need to tell them "Dude, I love you and your work, but you fucked up right there."


      A recent example is the "What Your Hat Says About You" short. This video is a sequel to "What Your Shirt Says", where Miles wore different shirts and described the wearer's character, while in character. It was funny. In the hat video, Miles moved away from describing the wearer, like the title of the short suggested he'd do, to just making impressions of people and referring to one hat while wearing an other (as if he just switched hats, instead of showing a person who regularly wears a specific hat). This video, plainly, got sidetracked too hard and missed the goal it set from the very title to the premise of being a sequel. So I made a comment. A witty comment, on which I put time and effort in writing using play of words and rhymes. In plain words it said "The shirts one was better, this one fell flat." and in the end I simply summarized it with "I didn't really like this one."

      Oh lord, forgive my hubris, for I thought I had a valid opinion as a free man in the world of freedom of speech! Why hast thou cursed me with the "-1 Lame" mods?

      Yeah. I expressed my opinion in a witty and clever manner, followed by a plain statement that was designed to not be insulting or enraging, yet this community couldn't accept a negative thought. All negative thoughts are purged from this site by the community's twisted sense of social standards.


      Why? You tell me. I decided to bring this to the forum, to hear the community's opinion about the community's opinions. I wish to have a civilized discussion and mayhap gain some insights.


      TL;DR: Why can't the site's community allow legitimate and negative comments?

      2 replies

    • Getting Ready

      2 years ago

      yairzucker

      It's been a long time. I forget the site, live my life, get my internets elsewhere... The layout has changed. Can't say I like it very much. I'm pretty sure journals had a preview button to see the entry before submitting it, and things are way more hard to find.

      So here's some update on what's up with my life and recent past.


      I'm done with my military service. Finished on July 30th. It's been three full years. It was hard, it was stressing, and it put me through many emotional tests. Some of said tests I passed, some just barely, and I've failed a few. It's difficult to pinpoint where exactly I did what, but let's say bursting into hysterical sob is barely passing, and trying to choke a guy is failing.

      On the better side, I've built some character, or at least solidified my own. Unfortunately, I didn't get into shape. I did do my job. Like I always said, before, during and after my service, in Israel's mandatory service you contribute 3 years of your life for the country. And that's what I did. I did it, I fulfilled my duty and my job, I took care of what I needed to take care of, as best as I could, and that is what counts.

      Sadly, on the day of my release, I was faced with a dumbfounding realization that people hardly care. It's not very surprising, you see, because of the sheer numbers of people going in and out, and the generalization of the population, the way everyone did or does that. I expected a pat on the back. I expected a high-ranked officer, or even my unit's commander to say thanks. But I was held by the nose in the last day of my service, forced to wait for an officer so new to the job, I didn't even know him, and eventually got the certificate that says "This guy has fully fulfilled his duty", with tons of spelling mistakes and typos committed by my previous commander. And I got this release card saying I did a lower tier of service than I actually did. It'd difficult to translate, or explain. Let's just say, instead of getting a metaphoric silver medal and a bouquet, I got a bronze medal and a withering collection of flowers picked nearby.

      I did get my hands dirty, and took a bus into Tel Aviv to get my metaphoric silver medal. I also filed an official complaint at IDF's complaint office, which is totally a thing. This office is like the number one fear of commanders. After the complaint office contacted my unit's commanders, they sent my previous CO (commanding officer. sure are a lot of commanders and officers in the military) on an incredibly hot summer day to my house to deliver me my corrected certificate - my metaphoric bouquet. The poor guy arrived dehydrated with a dead phone battery, and needed to return to the base. Yikes. So I brought him some cool water and let him charge his phone on a power bank while we chatted for a bit, before he took off.


      I took some months of nothing. Flew to Canada to visit some family. It was nice. I then began looking for my first ever normally-paying job. My plan was to finish my service, get a job, make a trip to the US, go to RTX, and then figure the rest out. So I looked for the job. Been to three job interviews, got accepted to one.

      My dog had succumbed to old age. One day my brother and his girlfriend took him for a talk, and Pooch kinda collapsed to the ground and refused to get up for several minutes, before standing up and moving on. About a month later, it happened again, but to my mother. Then again, and again to me. And then he just got home, sat down and could barely get up. We took him out on "walks" where we would carry him around in our arms, put him on a patch of plants, he'd shakily move a few steps, do his business, and we would carry him back up. It was sad. One day it was decided that it was time. We took him that night to the vet, where he was put down. It was sad. It still is.

      I started working. I looked for a computer-related job. Hardware. I got into a computer assembly line. It's a somewhat small Israeli company that was acquired by a large American one. The American company offers a dentist service of a sort, and it decided that the Israeli company with an oral scanner would make a nice addition. This scanner is designed and built in Israel, along with a matching all-in-one computer. I was in the assembly of this computer. Nothing fancy, didn't even do computery stuff except for putting the motherboard together. I just attached the different components to metallic scaffolding, so that other people would put them together in the computer's form. Then I moved on to the assembly of the scanner itself, which is different, and way harder. Everything is small, cleaning lenses of tiny particles and smudges is a very difficult task. I work in the dark with a bright shiny spot of light coming from an optic fiber. It's tiring. And it gets me a lot of money. I feel like Tom Hanks in Big, after he gets his first cheque.


      My dad and I made a plan for my trip. Israel-Calgary-Texas-Las Vegas-NYC.

      RTX tickets went on sale. In order to get the 5% discount, I started my free month trial of RT sponsorship, only to later realize I didn't utilize to get the discount. I ordered my fully priced weekend pass. I ordered my main flights to Canada and from New York. I booked a motel in Austin, and a trip in Las Vegas that goes to Utah's desert(s).

      I still have more to set and put down, more to order and to book. I still need to figure about 2 or more weeks between the desert trip and NYC. I want to meet people and see the United States of America. I'll go on a looong bus ride at some point.


      And when I get back home, I want to get back to getting my degree. I don't know if I made my mental switch during my service or not, but I hope I'll actually put the effort I need for this degree.



      Here's to the adult life.

    • 3 years ago

      yairzucker
    • Still Bothers Me

      4 years ago

      yairzucker

      I don't know precisely how I look like, or how I sound like. And so don't you.

      Let's start with the easy one. Everyone should know by this point their voice is different than the one they hear. By "this point" I mean the age of easy and common video and audio recording. Your voice goes in two different paths to other people's ears and to your own. Your voice and speech are created between your throat and the lips, including teeth, tongue, and several more parts I don't know the English names of. That voice goes out the mouth, travels through the air and into the ears of other living beings. Your voice also goes, at the same time, through the actual tissue of your head, maybe resonating an organ or two, and enters your ears from the inside. This distorts your own voice and makes your hear a voice that doesn't exactly exist outside your head.
      However you think you sound like doesn't matter. Most people have issues comprehending their actual voice, because it's alien to them. Completely natural. I once asked Fragger about it, and he gave me the following advice: record yourself, learn your "outer" voice, and you'll get used to it.

      So that's one. Now, for the next one which I just came to realize just a few months ago (I feel retarded for not noticing this earlier): Your entire self image of your face is mirrored. You know how you look like by looking into a mirror. Always. Nearly everything that has to do with organizing your face and head has to be consulted with a mirror. Everyone else sees you from the other side of the mirror. Everyone sees themselves from their side of the mirror. Every tiny detail you know so well that decorates your face and makes it your very own, is on the other side in the eyes of others.
      Take a picture of yourself, or ask someone else to do it for you. Look at those tiny details you know, suddenly out of place.

      Also, a few months ago I was told I had a birth mark on my nape (weird, never heard this word before). Just where I can't fucking see it. My entire life, it was there and I didn't even know.
      I asked some girl about it and she said it looks like someone slapped me really hard. Heh.


      I saw a TED talk about phantom pain by V.S. Ramachandran. Interesting stuff, check it out. The bottom line was that the brain has a self image of the body, and sometimes it simply can't comprehend changes in it. If your arm was badly damaged, and it hurt like a motherfucker before they had to cut it off, your brain may not comprehend the loss of the hand and might still continue to produce the pain feeling in a hand that no longer exists.
      What Ramachandran found out is that you could fool your brain into changing its self image. At first, he'd just put a mirror between a person's hand(s), and just by looking at the reflection of the existing hand in the missing one's place made the pain go away. After a few days of looking at the reflection of their hand, the self image would be so shaken the brain has nothing more to do other than accepting the change and adopting a new self image.


      So what does it say about ourselves if our self images are so basically wrong?


      P.S. My friend mentioned the mirror image issue is what makes people think themselves to be non-photogenic, simply because they can't see themselves in their own pictures.

    • 4 years ago

      yairzucker
    • Hope You Had a Lovely Christmas

      4 years ago

      yairzucker

      Say what you want about Jews, about how they're supposedly greedy and rule the world, but remember this: I've never had a Christmas. Ever. Not a single Xmas gift, no tree in the middle of the house, and no decorations.

      But I'm not resentful. I acknowledge foreign holidays with care an interest. Christmas sounds like a lot of fun.
      Your new year is next, right?

      By the way, before you say it, there's no such thing as getting gifts on each of the eight days of Hanukkah. I keep hearing this nonsense on TV. It's either an American-Jewish tradition, or just made up bull. I can't tell.

  • Comments (10)

    • DARI9602

      4 years ago

      Hi yair! How have been you doing? It feels like years since last time we talked and I'd like to know what you've been up to.

      • DARI9602

        4 years ago

        Most are not, at least as far as I know. But let's move this conversation elsewhere if that's what you want, I'll send you a message.

      • yairzucker Light

        4 years ago

        Hah! I guess it HAS been years. Or at least one full year. I'm still alive. We could move this messaging to the actual private messaging system of this site, so I could elaborate about the different stuff that happened lately.
        Nice to hear from you. From time to time I get to wonder whether or not the "friends" list on this site is still there.

    • sk8thewater

      7 years ago

      OH and i play minecraft also i saw you did and no one else in the group does

      • sk8thewater

        7 years ago

        I think lego hog might other than that no one in the main group does and idk about everyone els

      • yairzucker Light

        7 years ago

        I don't have a PS3 either. I have a PS2 and a PSP (the first version of it).
        About the Minecraft... that's cool. Are you sure nobody in the group plays Minecraft? That's strange.

    • sk8thewater

      7 years ago

      Hey im sk8 im the admin of the chat after dark group you havent seen me around cuz ive been on vacation but i try and get to know everyone in the group hopefully ill se you in chat. Or you can add me of Dr legendary on xbox if you wanna play.

      • sk8thewater

        7 years ago

        Lmao different country isnt a problem with me i play rugby with kids from England New Zealand and Ireland so the worlds a small place for me. I dot go to sleep till 3am est so i might see you. I wanna visit Israel some day. As for a real life portal gun forget helping people and causing problems id have soooo much fun with that! If you just wanna chat wall to wall im good with that seeing you dont have an xbox. If you have a ps3 i have one of those also (Playing videogames and staying up late that is the "secret life of an american teenager"

      • yairzucker Light

        7 years ago

        Oddly enough, I do not have an xbox, and my "after dark" is way earlier than the one most of the chat refers to.
        I live in Israel, my friend, which is in the UTC+2 time zone (7 time zones to the east from the PDT), so I go to sleep when the Americans start to show up, and wake up when the Americans start to go to bed.
        If you catch me on the chat, and find a conversation subject that I can relate to (apparently, coming from an other country and having no xbox eliminate a lot of topics), I think you will enjoy to chat with me. Just yesterday I had a fascinating argument against real-life portal guns.
        So... yeah. That's one me in a nutshell. ("Help! I'm in a nutshell! How did I get into this bloody great big nutshell? What kind of shell has a nut like this?" -Austin Powers) Nice to meet you.

    • Skirmisher56

      7 years ago

      Join the new No Pros Allowed machinima club.

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