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  1. I do kind of hate discussing serious topics in the Lounge, but this is the best place to put this without starting a new thread. I don't think I can justify a new thread, though, and it's a Monday with no submissions, so it's quite around here anyway. I'm leaving Reading Excuses. To clarify, it's of no fault of any one particular member here nor is it cumulatively your faults. To put it briefly, something has come up which I feel necessitates my leaving of Reading Excuses, so I shall take an indefinite leave. I still plan on continuing writing, of course, and everyone here has been a great help. I've been a sporadic member for a few years at least, and even then, I feel my writing has been improved tremendously. Thanks, all of you for the perspectives I've gotten. I know I can be a bit rough around the edges when it comes to clashing viewpoints, but I think I've gained a better understanding of you all. I'm not going to name names, but if you've ever critiqued my work, or even if I've critiqued yours, I've learned a lot. And, while I won't be a member anymore, if any of you want the resident hard sci-fi nut pouring over your settings, feel free to shoot me an email at the email address I use for RE. I won't mind, trust me. May your quills stay sharp, your paper crisp, and your inkwells continually emptied. aeromancer.
  2. @aemetha That's an awesome overview of the situation. I agree with everything you say. The only thing I add is that I didn't even think about any of this regarding Veil for the reasons you stated. However, now Shallan seems to be building a separate personality as an immediate response. As you say, there's nothing wrong with it now. But I smell foreshadowing, and where there's foreshadowing, there's theorycrafting to be had! But, anyway, thanks again for the overview. Please stop bringing up the DSM-V. Please. I see method acting cropping up as a defense for Shallan's behavior. Here's the thing. Method acting is unsafe. Dangerously unsafe. Studios have psychoanalyst on payroll to help the actors use method acting, and there's still numerous horror stories of method actors which do not need to be mentioned. Now this does not mean that the common everyman using psychology tricks like assuming a different role for public speaking, or the like is a bad thing. (I'd be a hypocrite, seeing as I'm using a different role [aeromancer] for my public speaking [the Shard]). But the level that Shallan is doing it is a completely different level than you or I do. I know that a certain Soul Forger can swap between personalities with no consequence, which makes it seem fine, but said Soul Forger doesn't have them all in her head at once. I'm not hoping that Shallan goes insane by any means. I don't particularly dislike her and an illusionists with more than one personality can be very bad.
  3. Just to quickly jump into this conversation, upon further review, I think it might be deliberately ambiguous. It doesn't quite fit into either Pattern or Brightness Radiant perfectly, which is odd because a good author like Brandon wouldn't leave such a statement without a tag. Unless, of course, this was a deliberate move on his part to see what the fanbase assumes, but even I'm not going to assume that. (Okay, I might. Fine. I think it's deliberately vague, and it's going to be nailed down when the published book comes out.) I would disagree with that. Freud has some infamously horrible theories, but I kind of feel that they're all people talk about, and not all the actual contributions he made, like the idea behind the id, ego, superego which lead to the rise of Jungian psychology. Aminar mentions the DSM, which I deliberately left out. I would prefer if the DSM-V (current version) stay out of this, because unless you know how to use it, you can use it to diagnose anyone with some disorder or another. (I follow several classics signs of being a psychopath, by the way.) I can't expressly disagree with this, but that because we're not really disagreeing. You categorize Shallan's behavior over PTSD. Yes, all of Shallan's behavior stems from a central trauma, which is what PTSD is, but the behavior that I'm focusing on, multiple personality, is a coping mechanism use to deal with stress, and is not typically the behavior that people assume with PTSD, but is a result of it. It's quite possible (unfortunately) to go insane as a result of trauma, which seems to be what Shallan is doing. I would also agree that if Shallan could avoid summoning her Shardblade, she'd be fine (well, not fine, but as fine as you could be repressing those kinds of memories). Problem is, Shallan doesn't have the luxury of having that trigger, should she chose to be a Knight Radiant. If what you're saying is true, it's kind of worse than my prediction of sustained multiple personalities, because triggers could cause a relapse, which would be bad. Anyway, thanks all for the response. I don't have a good track record with some of my character analysis in the past, so I'm glad to see this works well for the most part.
  4. Shallan Davar is insane. Now, I know the first reaction of many of you would be to point out that, yes, of course she’s insane. It’s a requirement for the Knights Radiant. I mean, after all, Syl says in Words of Radiance that’s how they [Knights Radiants] all were, silly’ to Kaladin’s complaint that he was ‘broken’. None of current Knight Radiants that we know of (Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, Renarin, Lift) are shining examples of perfect mental stability. Also, in Shallan’s defense, she is guilty of both patricide and matricide, so you can’t expect her to be perfectly sane, can you? Which is fine, I don’t. Kaladin's an emotional wreck. Shallan's an emotional wreck. It’s a requirement for the Knights Radiant to have undergone some form of mental anguish. So, why am I talking here? Well, simply put, Shallan’s insanity is getting worse because she’s a Knight Radiant. Whereas Kaladin is getting better, Shallan is just getting worse as a direct result of her Ideals and her Surges. Let me explain why I think that. As revealed in Chapter Fifteen of Oathbringer, Shallan cannot emotionally use her Shardblade because of the truth she was forced to admit for her Second Ideal, that she killed her mother with Pattern. Therefore, to get around the emotional scars, Shallan creates a new personality, Brightness Radiant, to fight in her place instead. Now, while this may seem innocent enough, and one could argue it’s no different from the pen names that we Sharders use on the Shard, it’s not. Not at all. To explain why, let’s take a step back and talk about the human mind, more specifically psychology, more specifically Jungian psychology, most specifically archetypes. Carl Jung, based on the work of Sigmund Freud, claimed that the human mind is made up ‘archetypes’. Now, I’m just going to skim the basics, feel free to look around for a more in-depth analysis elsewhere on the internet. I also must admit to having a cursory knowledge of the subjects, so if you know more and I made a mistake, I apologize. Archetypes can be described as the building blocks of personality. A person is composed of dozens of these ‘archetypes’ each slightly modified and relating together differently to create the full spectrum of personality. This is why we have many common character types across many civilizations stories. For example, there’s always the ‘warrior’, the ‘hero’, the ‘wise man’, the ‘mentor’ (which sometimes overlaps with the ‘wise man’), etc. These form a ‘persona’ or your exterior personality. From this chapter, it’s kind of clear that the alternative personalities Shallan is creating are based off of these archetypes. This makes sense, as character archetypes are one of the basic tools of all writers, so it’d be natural to create personalities using them. Veil seems to be based off the ‘trickster’ archetype, and ‘Brightness Radiant’ seems to be based of the ‘knight’ archetype, perhaps with a handful of ‘stoic’ thrown in. It’s a bit early to tell for sure. The problem now arises that Shallan is separated from these archetypes of hers. Brightness Radiant speaks like Shallan is a different person, and Shallan can’t wield her Shardblade at all. They''re separate. In Jungian psychology, this is a huge problem. In Jungian psychology, one of the reasons for insanity comes from the idea that these archetypes aren’t lining up. In order to treat mental disorders, Jungian psychologists will attempt to have the subject comes to terms with themselves, ending in catharsis. Now, this should be what the Ideal of the Lightweavers force Shallan to do, but it's not, because of it's own Surges. Shallan can’t ignore the truths of her paths, so she must come to grips with them for an eventual catharsis. But she isn’t. She’s using her Surge of Illumination to create these false personas that are Veil and Brightness Radiant. But by doing so, she’s locking herself out of catharsis and forcing her emotions aside to where she won’t have to deal with them. By using Veil and Brightness Radiant, Shallan is repressing her weakness and flaws. She isn’t trying to be fixed. She’s just trying to create an illusion that she is. If this continues, Shallan might get even worse, possibly developing multiple personalities, which would (I must admit) make for a fascinating read. Anyway, these are just my thoughts on the subject, and I have an unbearable tendency to overthink things. I would love to hear the rest of your thoughts on this.
  5. Thoughts As I Go: Pg.1 - The intro paragraph is a bit much exposition. Also, street advertisements would be useless against self-driving cars. The only time I’d ever look out the window is scenery, otherwise I’d be reading a book, or something. Pg. 2 - Eh. Gridlock. I’ve seen schematics for purely self-driving highways, and they completely eliminate gridlock. I mean, they have plans for eight way intersections with no traffic lights. It’s mind-blowing. Pg. 4 – What happened to Walmart? Pg. 6 – I’m running a blank on why A can’t get access to the data. If she works for a car company, they should be able to get the data. If, for some reason, the car company isn’t allowed to use the data, what she’s doing is highly illegal. Pg. 8 – The politics here are a bit choppy, to say the least. The toll road problem is easily fixable (i.e., don’t program toll-less routes, or put out more tolls.) The real problem is a popularity dip when you take people’s cars away from them. Pg. 12 – Ah. What do cars run on, if not fuel? Electricity from nuclear plants, presumably. Water is also an option, though I’ve never seen a realistic model for hydrogen-powered cars. Pg. 14 – I’m not sure how or why this would solve a gridlock problem. Gridlock (pure gridlock, anyway, discounting accidents or road blocking) happens because there are too many cars trying to get from point A to point B. Self-driving cars avoid that because they can drive faster than humans, and can also connect to a central grid which uses massive algorithms to avoid too many cars in the same space. The road-reading tire trick would avoid accidents and stop erratic human drivers who are mucking around with the system. This would be a solution if gridlock was caused by irrational human driving patterns (like behaving illegally, etc.) which you might have meant, but I didn’t get the foresight for it. Overall, I really enjoyed this. Despite the fact that my mountain of criticism seems to the contrary, I’m only criticizing the physical execution (because I’m a nerd when it comes to programming of any kind). Everything else is great. The character depth itself works well for the story, A’s relationship with her father serves as a good catalyst, they both come across as real characters with depth. I particularly like how the stepmother doesn’t show up, because the dynamic works perfectly as-is, and another piece would only complicate it unnecessarily. The story doesn’t work much for the theme of 'cleaner and climate friendly' as-is. There are things you could empathize a bit more to make it workable. Aside from using alternative to gas (which you shoehorned in), you could mention that there are less cars overall on the roads (because travel is faster), less total travel time, so less energy consumed. You could even throw in a line about how the city plans to move the road system underground if gridlock becomes an absolute zero, and the entire surface could be used for parks.
  6. @Paracosmic_nomenclator Thanks for the grammar edits. Last of the three options. Tsaph also get's Destiny's abilities which include rewriting it. (It's why she could come back to life). It's not a bad thing, per say, Rune just doesn't believe humans should have access to that much power. So she kills them. Thanks for the positive feedback. Thank you. It's good to be back. The dialogue was worse before. Far worse. You'll have to trust me. That aside, I've taken a look. The dialogue could definitely use more edits. Will do. Ah. Ven is lying when he says 'white flower', because he doesn't want rumor of it's power to spread. This can probably be made clearer. Will do. The way Ven walks away is quite simple. T is a young human female, with very little physical activity. She probably needs around a thousand kcals of energy per day. Ven, an adult male human in very good physical condition, can easily expend five thousand kcals worth of energy in an hour. In other words, in twelve minutes, Ven can supply her with a day's worth of energy. With a perfect transfer in place, Ven can feasibly just pump energy in her body constantly with the only repercussions being that he needs to eat more steak and has less endurance than he previously had. Solid trade off. The limiting factor (and what exhausts Ven) isn't the energy transfer - it's the mental focus required to mantain it. Ven lasts about three seconds, giving T a total of six minutes. Math is fun. Page eighteen isn't worth reading, it's really just an expodump to explain the deus ex machina. It also contradicts other things elsewhere (which you might have read - I can't remember where I ended up putting it) so I'm going to have to rewrite that somehow to. With the whole 'consequences' thing - this I could actually use some help. I'm terrible at killing off characters. I've managed it once, and that was when the plot railroaded it down my throat. Also, essentially no one in the main cast of this story can die, except should they be hit by Rune's Axe (which doesn't happen). So, assuming that I'm not going to be killing anyone, do you have any ideas for throwing in a sense of reality to this? It's a pun. It's always a pun. I don't make mistakes, I just make increasingly worse puns. Now, I'm going to cherry-pick some of your points. For pun. I suppose when you think water, you think liquid. When I think water, I think dihydrogen oxide along with it's assorted chemical properties (it expands upon freezing, for starters), which is why I felt the need to specify liquid. Especially considering that solid water ('ice' is term, right?) isn't a focus for life, it's actually a focus for death in synergistics. I was experimenting with onomatopoeia to see the reaction I would get. I'll keep the first cough, lose the rest, then. Here's the thing with Sa emotions. The normal spread of emotions I would pick for this are the five stages of grief. Thing is, in order for Sa to be a Host, she needs to be solidly in the fifth stage, acceptance. Acceptance, is calm and rational, it's not an emotional stage. Although, now that I write this, the way to use emotion in Sa would be to have her flashback to the first four stages. Thanks. I reserve the right to give a six year old a naive and optimistic world mindset. Even an exceptionally precocious six year old. The dialogue itself needs changing, you're right about the fact that Ven needs to explain himself better, but I don't think I'm willing to change Haley's mindset. In a nutshell: This is a good foundation for something longer. Now that I look this over, yeah. It really could use another five thousand or so words. Thanks for the support. Yes in spirit, no in reality. The previous Des took an axe to the neck which wiped him from existence. Yeah, @Robinski mentioned similar points. If I stretch this out and flesh it out more, would you guys be interested in reading this again? Really? You can't just drop a line like this. What's illogical about my fighting? *looks over* Oh. Everything. Like why doesn't Rune doesn't take her axe out in the first place? Point taken, but I think I'll keep it the way it is. @rdpulfer Thanks for the feedback as well. The ending sequence needs to be changed, so there's that. I will also make sure to flesh out Rune's entrance. Originally, she actually had a POV, but I took it out to make the 5k limit. The vibe I'm getting is that I tried fitting a square peg into a round hole half it's size.
  7. Thoughts As I Go: Pg. 1 – That is one horrible guard. I can see why anyone else would be more expensive because this falls into the category of ‘friends like these, who needs enemies?’ Pg. 2 – R is humming? Is he a thief? I mean, the bluff was decent, but he got caught by an amateur, and now he’s deliberately making noise. Pg. 3 – The vaulting trick is cool. Not going to lie. It’s well done and executed too. The only thing is, R lands on grass, yet his staff lands on stone, which no one hears. Pg. 4 – I’m not invested right now to care about what’s going on, because I have no idea what’s going on Things are hinted to, sure, but I have no idea about anything, save that R apparently wants to kill people. Notes: Well, it’s a start. The action scenes are well done, and you have no hesitation of spreading hints everywhere about a greater plot. That’s good. The problem is that nothing is explained as of yet. I don’t know R’s motive. I don’t know if he’s a hero or a villain. I don’t know what Shades are or Passions. EDIT: Locpicking! Well, you do seem to have information, but it's about mostly modern locks. Middle Age locks functioned a bit differently. You had a spring holding the end of a metal bar inside the lock (like a zip-tie lock, if that makes sense to you), and the key itself would compress the spring to allow the bar passage outside the the lock. My advice? Just give R a skeleton key.
  8. Thoughts As I Go: The ‘at the time’ line you use at the beginning frames the story as being a retelling, but this isn’t consistently kept up in the narrative. Pg. 2 - Stone walls through me for a loop, until I realized they were actually in a hollowed out asteroid. Except asteroid are made of metal. Stone is porous, generally, to some degree. Bad idea for a spaceship. Pg. 3 - I’m not sure why they’re crying wolf when a botanist’s emblem is on the side. I mean, plants need air too. It’s probably a tree, isn’t it? Pg. 4 – The assistant goes through kind a mood whiplash from amused to suspicious. Pg. 5 – I actually think the thought process of ‘how to kill’ should fits well with Ed’s character. Good tangent. Pg. 6 – The parentheses segment is a bit awkward Pg. 7 – Okay I’m going to go all ‘Hard sci-fi nerd’ here. Skip this bit if you want. Relativistic speeds are impossible for a ship with a meter-thick asteroid hull. Even if the asteroid was made of an extremely dense and hard metal (like say, a hypothetical osmium-tungsten superalloy), at relativistic speeds, the stray molecules hitting the ship have the inertia of near-lightspeed. Remember, Newton’s Third Law: every action has an equal and opposite reaction. At relativistic speeds, the molecules won’t just leave radiation. They’ll leave mini-nuke craters And should something like a micrometeor come along – well, let’s just say it’s not hard to clean up messes in space ‘cuz there’s always a vacuum. Put inertia dampers on the exterior. Force shields. Deflector plates. Something. Pg. 12 – A cooking blog? I just … It’s fine, technically. Fleshes the character out, breaks the stereotype. I just … this isn’t Hard Sci-Fi. It's breaking my wonderful immersion of ship parts and zero-G. Pg. 13 – You can’t hear a cricket in a storm. Overall: I’m going to save this until the second part.
  9. It's been a while since I submitted. I'm still working on short stories, and this is another one. One of the characters might be familiar, Rune, who was the protagonist of 'Quenched in Flames'. On an aside ,I think this is the only time I was thankful for the word count limit. I had to seriously tighten up the dialogue to fit under cap. On a further aside, yes, I'm aware the title is a terrible pun. We're Sanderfans. We're allowed to make terrible puns. Anyway, I'm looking for any and all comments you could make, but focusing on the build-up and character interactions would be good.
  10. Anyone mind if I submit this Monday?
  11. Thoughts: S starts of the chapter incredibly defensive and withdrawn. This indicates really strong verbal abuse (like ostracizing), but the text isn’t as clear. The sole taunt is in regard to ‘running out of bones’, which isn’t as harsh as S’s reactions suggest. The river is infested with piranhas, anacondas, and alligators. That’s a lot of predators. Also, the boat captain missed a helpful tip. Never dip your fingers in gator-infested water. They will mistaken it for fish and will bite your fingers clean off. T’s reason for dunking S is never really explained, the only explanation I can cobble together being that T thinks it will label S as a non-guild member. Side note, baling out the boat is mentioned, but the reason why the boat is taking on water is never fully mentioned. As far as worldbuilding is concerned: Hints keep cropping up that this society is on the cusp of the industrial revolution. This being the case, guilds are going to become endangered, if not extinct. This makes for an exciting backdrop. I’m looking forward to see how this develops. Further comment: You keep having S correlate the two parts of ‘Woodcutter’ and ‘Daughter’. One is the issue of S’s mother’s legacy, the other being the issue S’s phenotype. I do understand that the lineage is matrimonial in this society, but they are separate issues, as evidenced by the fact that S dealing with being a Woodcutter while rejecting the ‘Daughter’ aspect would make a strong plot, as would S accepting the Daughter but rejecting the Woodcutter. Your plot has S rejecting both, but it’d be nice to see S deal with each one separately. S’s character is more fleshed out in this version than the previous. I’m given a much better insight into S’s motivations.
  12. As I go: The narrative shift to diary in the middle of a short is a bit jarring. It shifts the reader’s mentality. Also, E’s faith isn’t consistent. His speech follows the pattern of a devout, but his thoughts and emotions lie elsewhere. If E truly believed that the recruitment process was divine, why would he consider it barbaric? Also, he’s consistently portrayed as doubting the testing process, which is odd of it is part of his religion. If it isn’t (it’s kind of implied that the priests chose to do this) then this fate is no worse than the death penalty. It’s find for a man of the cloth to doubt the death penalty, but that’s not directly what he’s doing. The confession scene is well done, it makes me think you’ve read a firsthand confession. I’m no expert on this subject, but all the emotions that T describes himself experiencing as an accurate depiction of real life abuse. The priest also does a good job of acting like a psychologist, though my Jungian-fueled psychoanalysis would chalk up his change in behavior to guilt rather than a 180 redemption shift. Like I said earlier, I’m no expert in this subject (and I do not wish to be), so take all that I say in this paragraph with a grain of salt. The T and Y conversation is done as well as the earlier talk. The only problem I have with it is it makes me feel that T wasn’t as bad a parent as he claims he is earlier in the story (which is entirely possible that he’s lying earlier, out of a guilt complex). The final conversation is interesting. I assume that T can see E’s dream somehow because … reasons? Well, that aside, we again come to E’s faith crisis. The dialogue here is a good inverse of the earlier confession, but it overlooks the fact that E did it to a few other hundreds. I’m not sure this makes for a more satisfying ending then the Y waking up. Overall: This is an emotionally complex piece that you did justice to. A lot of dialogue, but none of it was tedious or just exposition. Well done.
  13. Thoughts: Pg.1: The ‘junk-desk’ chair makes an odd contrast to what’s clearly some form of a military program, along with rooms which are essentially bunkers. This gives me the feel that it’s a program working on little funding, like a last-resort program, or such like that. Pg. 2-3: Protagonist swaps to being ‘terrified’ after not being terrified in the opening sentence. The President line is a good way to introduce gravity of the situation early in a book, but it could a better reason for being pulled out, perhaps by having protagonist being obstinate to an nth degree. Pg. 4-5: Backstory is introduced alongside protagonist’s motives. As an aside, from the text, WWIII has been ongoing for 11 years. That’s an awfully long time to have a war assuming there are nukes involved. Even with ludicrous technology advancements, military will almost always give credence to offense over defense, so I hope there’s a thorough explanation eventually as to how Earth isn’t a radioactive fallout zone. Pg. 6-8: The writing is a bit awkward here, especially when the guard is brought up. We also get an explanation of why swords are still in use, and a lot of exposition. Pg. 9-16: Fight scene. I find it somewhat surprising that the protagonists haven’t undergone any form of hostage rescue training, which (from my understanding) is done is special forces everywhere. Also, I’m thinking aliens when the guard transforms. I mean, it’s nothing a human would ever do to another human, and looks like in requires alien super genetic altering know-howTM. Also, point of order. Katanas are short. They’re around three feet of blade, usually smaller. I’d recommend an iaido blade, if you want to stick to Japanese weapons, and a bastard sword overall, because they‘re far better than either iaidos or katanas. For the future of this character, really short sword will be either a gladius, dirk, or wakizashi. Pg 17-18: As much of a cliché as ‘business-suit-stranger’ is, I’m intrigue. I’m going to assume this is good alien race. Overall, there are a few flaws, but nothing a little polish couldn't fix. I think the door-locking part of the fight scene was well done, it shows us the main character isn't just stubborn and dislikes obeying rules he deems foolish, but he does genuinely want to help people, adding a bit of complexity, which can easily be expounded further on. The setting was also intriguing, as it gives way to many possibilities, of which I'm assuming aliens. It's a good start to a novel.
  14. As I go: Aside from using a painfully common expletive to induce first-sentence-shock, it’s a good start. When you mention aged hands in the second paragraph, along with a ‘wizard’ title, my first thoughts go to palmistry and divination, not age. Also, when you mention the ‘mere days’ line, it does little to bookmark the time T and L have spent together, which is implied (later) to be at least a few years. That aside, the character structuring is good. I’m given a picture of T grappling with getting old age. L’s backstory and motivations are no doubt more complex, as hinted to in the scars (which was a nice touch), but there is a consistent sense of her acting in character, a former slave turned companion-esque character. Overall: I can’t shake the feeling that the set-up and ending is slightly incongruous. The ending is a sweet and heartwarming sacrifice, very O’ Henry-Gift-of-the-Magi, as it were. The set-up doesn’t match that, it’s a master-slave relationship which is hinted at to be a bit more husband-wife. It’s a good set-up, but I feel a clean ending isn’t a good cap, as it were. I think L might benefit from being a bit more ambiguous at the end, or he relationship established positive at the very beginning.
  15. mumble, mumble they are two very separate things, it'd be nice to discuss this further, actually. I mean, we are a writing group, so separating what meaning context gives a word and connotation gives a word would be useful. Got that out of my system, let's discuss AI. That is a possibility. Definitely the other study you mention has a result which is based off of selection bias, but I'm not quite sure about this one. I've seen some very convincing arguments for physiognomy, but at the same time, as writers, we know you 'can't judge a book by it's cover'. Now, the study doesn't go in-depth as to the how they selected the criminals (they mention a confidentiality agreement) and the list of crimes they mention definitely leave cases which can be open for bias. They also (unfortunately) don't list the web-spider tool they used to gather the non-criminal photos, as I would have liked to know the margin of error for the non-criminal pictures, but alas. I'm not sure I like the thought of hundreds of people being charged as criminals solely based on a judge's bias. Even if you wanted to assume, say 10% of the criminal set as being innocent, but wrongly profiled, the discovery still stands. In particular, I'm very interested in the fact that attention was drawn to the greater facial variance in the criminal set than the non criminal set, I think that a wealth of information can be gleaned from repeat testing in that area. I'll have to keep an eye out for this, and hopefully the research continues. Thanks for showing me this, it's not every day I come across these articles. I'll take the flak for this, it's not simple. I said this statement as a response to a worry about corrupted algorithms. Corrupted algorithms are easy to fix. The root cause, a bit trickier. What I mean when I said simple is that, relative to a human, computers don't have a intrinsic bias, or what humans call a bias. Given a corrupted data set, computers will learn the wrong algorithms, but it only takes a few keystrokes (usually) to reset a learning algorithm back to its default state, or (better yet) just delete the algorithms and start over fresh. The clean data set is where the challenge lies, but that's a human problem to create it, not a computer problem. Moving onto more recent discussion: (I really need to spend more time on the Internet. Or much less.) @Ernei For what it's worth, I agree with most of what you say, especially your point on perceiving individuals as a whole, rather then the individuals they should be perceived as. A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. It's one of the cornerstones of the American criminal justice system. And I cannot believe I'm defending Richard Spencer, but I am going to do it. Let me make this clear: In America, we the people do not use physical violence against people we disagree politically with. Even if the people you are calling Nazis (presumably the alt-right) were Nazis (and they are not), they are protected by the American government to spread their ideals. The way you counter the spread of ideas is by fighting on the intellectual level. You should never punch a Nazi. "Violence is the last refuge of cowards." - Isaac Asmiov