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Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning June 29th, 2020
Good Saturday afternoon to all of you here on StockMarket. I hope everyone on this sub made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and is ready for the new trading week ahead. Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning June 29th, 2020.
Fragile economic recovery faces first big test with June jobs report in the week ahead - (Source)
The second half of 2020 is nearly here, and now it’s up to the economy to prove that the stock market was right about a sharp comeback in growth. The first big test will be the June jobs report, out on Thursday instead of its usual Friday release due to the July 4 holiday. According to Refinitiv, economists expect 3 million jobs were created, after May’s surprise gain of 2.5 million payrolls beat forecasts by a whopping 10 million jobs. “If it’s stronger, it will suggest that the improvement is quicker, and that’s kind of what we saw in May with better retail sales, confidence was coming back a little and auto sales were better,” said Kevin Cummins, chief U.S. economist at NatWest Markets. The second quarter winds down in the week ahead as investors are hopeful about the recovery but warily eyeing rising cases of Covid-19 in a number of states. Stocks were lower for the week, as markets reacted to rising cases in Texas, Florida and other states. Investors worry about the threat to the economic rebound as those states move to curb some activities. The S&P 500 is up more than 16% so far for the second quarter, and it is down nearly 7% for the year. Friday’s losses wiped out the last of the index’s June gains. “I think the stock market is looking beyond the valley. It is expecting a V-shaped economic recovery and a solid 2021 earnings picture,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. He expects large-cap company earnings to be up 30% next year, and small-cap profits to bounce back by 140%. “I think the second half needs to be a ‘show me’ period, proving that our optimism was justified, and we’ll need to see continued improvement in the economic data, and I think we need to see upward revisions to earnings estimates,” Stovall said. Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, said she expects the recovery will not be as smooth as some expect, particularly considering the resurgence of virus outbreaks in sunbelt states and California. “Now as I watch what’s happening I think it’s more likely to be rolling Ws,” rather than a V, she said. “It’s not just predicated on a second wave. I’m not sure we ever exited the first wave.” Even without actual state shutdowns, the virus could slow economic activity. “That doesn’t mean businesses won’t shut themselves down, or consumers won’t back down more,” she said.
In the second half of the year, the market should turn its attention to the election, but Sonders does not expect much reaction to it until after Labor Day. RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Democrat Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by 10 percentage points, and the odds of a Democratic sweep have been rising. Biden has said he would raise corporate taxes, and some strategists say a sweep would be bad for business, due to increased regulation and higher taxes. Trump is expected to continue using tariffs, which unsettles the market, though both candidates are expected to take a tough stance on China. “If it looks like the Senate stays Republican than there’s less to worry about in terms of policy changes,” Sonders said. “I don’t think it’s ever as binary as some people think.” Stovall said a quick study shows that in the four presidential election years back to 1960, where the first quarter was negative, and the second quarter positive, stocks made gains in the second half. Those were 1960 when John Kennedy took office, 1968, when Richard Nixon won; 1980 when Ronald Reagan’s was elected to his first term; and 1992, the first win by Bill Clinton. Coincidentally, in all of those years, the opposing party gained control of the White House.
The stocks market’s strong second-quarter showing came after the Fed and Congress moved quickly to inject the economy with trillions in stimulus. That unlocked credit markets and triggered a stampede by companies to restructure or issue debt. About $2 trillion in fiscal spending was aimed at consumers and businesses, who were in sudden need of cash after the abrupt shutdown of the economy. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both testify before the House Financial Services Committee Tuesday on the response to the virus. That will be important as markets look ahead to another fiscal package from Congress this summer, which is expected to provide aid to states and local governments; extend some enhanced benefits for unemployment, and provide more support for businesses. “So much of it is still so fluid. There are a bunch of fiscal items that are rolling off. There’s talk about another fiscal stimulus payment like they did last time with a $1,200 check,” said Cummins. Strategists expect Congress to bicker about the size and content of the stimulus package but ultimately come to an agreement before enhanced unemployment benefits run out at the end of July. Cummins said state budgets begin a new year July 1, and states with a critical need for funds may have to start letting workers go, as they cut expenses. The Trump administration has indicated the jobs report Thursday could help shape the fiscal package, depending on what it shows. The federal supplement to state unemployment benefits has been $600 a week, but there is opposition to extending that, and strategists expect it to be at least cut in half. The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 12.2% from 13.3% in May. Cummins said he had expected 7.2 million jobs, well above the consensus, and an unemployment rate of 11.8%. As of last week, nearly 20 million people were collecting state unemployment benefits, and millions more were collecting under a federal pandemic aid program. “The magnitude here and whether it’s 3 million or 7 million is kind of hard to handicap to begin with,” Cummins said. Economists have preferred to look at unemployment claims as a better real time read of employment, but they now say those numbers could be impacted by slow reporting or double filing. “There’s no clarity on how you define the unemployed in the Covid 19 environment,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “If there’s 30 million people receiving insurance, unemployment should be above 20%.
This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:
The economy is moving in the right direction, as many economic data points are coming in substantially better than what the economists expected. From May job gains coming in more than 10 million higher than expected and retail sales soaring a record 18%, how quickly the economy is bouncing back has surprised nearly everyone. “As good as the recent economic data has been, we want to make it clear, it could still take years for the economy to fully come back,” explained LPL Financial Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “Think of it like building a house. You get all the big stuff done early, then some of the small things take so much longer to finish; I’m looking at you crown molding.” Here’s the hard truth; it might take years for all of the jobs that were lost to fully recover. In fact, during the 10 recessions since 1950, it took an average of 30 months for lost jobs to finally come back. As the LPL Chart of the Day shows, recoveries have taken much longer lately. In fact, it took four years for the jobs lost during the tech bubble recession of the early 2000s to come back and more than six years for all the jobs lost to come back after the Great Recession. Given many more jobs were lost during this recession, it could takes many years before all of them indeed come back.
The economy is going the right direction, and if there is no major second wave outbreak it could surprise to the upside. Importantly, this economic recovery will still be a long and bumpy road.
Nasdaq - Russell Spread Pulling the Rubber Band Tight
The Nasdaq has been outperforming every other US-based equity index over the last year, and nowhere has the disparity been wider than with small caps. The chart below compares the performance of the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 over the last 12 months. While the performance disparity is wide now, through last summer, the two indices were tracking each other nearly step for step. Then last fall, the Nasdaq started to steadily pull ahead before really separating itself in the bounce off the March lows. Just to illustrate how wide the gap between the two indices has become, over the last six months, the Nasdaq is up 11.9% compared to a decline of 15.8% for the Russell 2000. That's wide!
In order to put the recent performance disparity between the two indices into perspective, the chart below shows the rolling six-month performance spread between the two indices going back to 1980. With a current spread of 27.7 percentage points, the gap between the two indices hasn't been this wide since the days of the dot-com boom. Back in February 2000, the spread between the two indices widened out to more than 50 percentage points. Not only was that period extreme, but ten months before that extreme reading, the spread also widened out to more than 51 percentage points. The current spread is wide, but with two separate periods in 1999 and 2000 where the performance gap between the two indices was nearly double the current level, that was a period where the Nasdaq REALLY outperformed small caps.
To illustrate the magnitude of the Nasdaq's outperformance over the Russell 2000 from late 1998 through early 2000, the chart below shows the performance of the two indices beginning in October 1998. From that point right on through March of 2000 when the Nasdaq peaked, the Nasdaq rallied more than 200% compared to the Russell 2000 which was up a relatively meager 64%. In any other environment, a 64% gain in less than a year and a half would be excellent, but when it was under the shadow of the surging Nasdaq, it seemed like a pittance.
The US equity market made its most recent peak on June 8th. From the March 23rd low through June 8th, the average stock in the large-cap Russell 1,000 was up more than 65%! Since June 8th, the average stock in the index is down more than 11%. Below we have broken the index into deciles (10 groups of 100 stocks each) based on simple share price as of June 8th. Decile 1 (marked "Highest" in the chart) contains the 10% of stocks with the highest share prices. Decile 10 (marked "Lowest" in the chart) contains the 10% of stocks with the lowest share prices. As shown, the highest priced decile of stocks are down an average of just 4.8% since June 8th, while the lowest priced decile of stocks are down an average of 21.5%. It's pretty remarkable how performance gets weaker and weaker the lower the share price gets.
It's hard to believe that sentiment can change so fast in the market that one day investors and traders are bidding up stocks to record highs, but then the next day sell them so much that it takes the market down over 2%. That's exactly what happened not only in the last two days but also two weeks ago. While the 5% pullback from a record high back on June 10th took the Nasdaq back below its February high, this time around, the Nasdaq has been able to hold above those February highs.
In the entire history of the Nasdaq, there have only been 12 periods prior to this week where the Nasdaq closed at an all-time high on one day but dropped more than 2% the next day. Those occurrences are highlighted in the table below along with the index's performance over the following week, month, three months, six months, and one year. We have also highlighted each occurrence that followed a prior one by less than three months in gray. What immediately stands out in the table is how much gray shading there is. In other words, these types of events tend to happen in bunches, and if you count the original occurrence in each of the bunches, the only two occurrences that didn't come within three months of another occurrence (either before or after) were July 1986 and May 2017. In terms of market performance following prior occurrences, the Nasdaq's average and median returns were generally below average, but there is a pretty big caveat. While the average one-year performance was a gain of 1.0% and a decline of 23.6% on a median basis, the six occurrences that came between December 1999 and March 2000 all essentially cover the same period (which was very bad) and skew the results. Likewise, the three occurrences in the two-month stretch from late November 1998 through January 1999 where the Nasdaq saw strong gains also involves a degree of double-counting. As a result of these performances at either end of the extreme, it's hard to draw any trends from the prior occurrences except to say that they are typically followed by big moves in either direction. The only time the Nasdaq wasn't either 20% higher or lower one year later was in 1986.
In the mid-1980s the market began to evolve into a tech-driven market and the market’s focus in early summer shifted to the outlook for second quarter earnings of technology companies. Over the last three trading days of June and the first nine trading days in July, NASDAQ typically enjoys a rally. This 12-day run has been up 27 of the past 35 years with an average historical gain of 2.5%. This year the rally may have begun a day early, today and could last until on or around July 14. After the bursting of the tech bubble in 2000, NASDAQ’s mid-year rally had a spotty track record from 2002 until 2009 with three appearances and five no-shows in those years. However, it has been quite solid over the last ten years, up nine times with a single mild 0.1% loss in 2015. Last year, NASDAQ advanced a solid 4.6% during the 12-day span.
Tech Historically Leads Market Higher Until Q3 of Election Years
As of yesterday’s close DJIA was down 8.8% year-to-date. S&P 500 was down 3.5% and NASDAQ was up 12.1%. Compared to the typical election year, DJIA and S&P 500 are below historical average performance while NASDAQ is above average. However this year has not been a typical election year. Due to the covid-19, the market suffered the damage of the shortest bear market on record and a new bull market all before the first half of the year has come to an end. In the surrounding Seasonal Patten Charts of DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ, we compare 2020 (as of yesterday’s close) to All Years and Election Years. This year’s performance has been plotted on the right vertical axis in each chart. This year certainly has been unlike any other however some notable observations can be made. For DJIA and S&P 500, January, February and approximately half of March have historically been weak, on average, in election years. This year the bear market ended on March 23. Following those past weak starts, DJIA and S&P 500 historically enjoyed strength lasting into September before experiencing any significant pullback followed by a nice yearend rally. NASDAQ’s election year pattern differs somewhat with six fewer years of data, but it does hint to a possible late Q3 peak.
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Micron Technology, Inc. $48.49
Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Monday, June 29, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.71 per share on revenue of $5.27 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.70 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.40 to $0.70 per share. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 29.00% with revenue increasing by 10.07%. Short interest has increased by 7.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 8.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 0.9% below its 200 day moving average of $48.94. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 11, 2020 there was some notable buying of 46,037 contracts of the $60.00 call expiring on Friday, July 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.4% move in recent quarters.
General Mills, Inc. (GIS) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.04 per share on revenue of $4.89 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.10 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 69% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 25.30% with revenue increasing by 17.50%. Short interest has decreased by 9.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 7.8% above its 200 day moving average of $54.91. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, June 24, 2020 there was some notable buying of 8,573 contracts of the $60.00 call expiring on Friday, July 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 6.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.0% move in recent quarters.
FedEx Corp. (FDX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.42 per share on revenue of $16.31 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.65 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 61% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 71.66% with revenue decreasing by 8.41%. Short interest has increased by 10.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 43.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 7.6% below its 200 day moving average of $140.75. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 25, 2020 there was some notable buying of 1,768 contracts of the $145.00 call expiring on Thursday, July 2, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 7.7% move in recent quarters.
Conagra Brands, Inc. (CAG) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.66 per share on revenue of $3.24 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.69 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 66% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 83.33% with revenue increasing by 23.99%. Short interest has decreased by 38.3% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 6.4% above its 200 day moving average of $30.68. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 11, 2020 there was some notable buying of 3,239 contracts of the $29.00 put expiring on Thursday, July 2, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 10.8% move in recent quarters.
Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.91 per share on revenue of $1.97 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.12 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 53% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 13.57% with revenue decreasing by 13.69%. Short interest has increased by 20.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 25.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.2% below its 200 day moving average of $178.34. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, June 9, 2020 there was some notable buying of 888 contracts of the $195.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 3.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 5.7% move in recent quarters.
Capri Holdings Limited (CPRI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:30 AM ET on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.32 per share on revenue of $1.18 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.34 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 39% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.68 to $0.73 per share. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 49.21% with revenue decreasing by 12.20%. Short interest has increased by 35.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 56.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 44.0% below its 200 day moving average of $25.67. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 4, 2020 there was some notable buying of 11,042 contracts of the $17.50 put expiring on Friday, August 21, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 10.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.7% move in recent quarters.
X Financial (XYF) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 5:00 PM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.09 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 25% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 55.00% with revenue increasing by 763.52%. Short interest has increased by 1.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 1.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 37.7% below its 200 day moving average of $1.47. Overall earnings estimates have been unchanged since the company's last earnings release. The stock has averaged a 4.9% move on earnings in recent quarters.
Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:40 AM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.14 per share on revenue of $809.25 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.09 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 42% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 51.90% with revenue decreasing by 14.60%. Short interest has increased by 48.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 23.4% below its 200 day moving average of $110.25. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 9.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.2% move in recent quarters.
Methode Electronics, Inc. (MEI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.77 per share on revenue of $211.39 million. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 45% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 24.19% with revenue decreasing by 20.53%. Short interest has increased by 6.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 1.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.0% below its 200 day moving average of $32.97. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 18.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.1% move in recent quarters.
UniFirst Corporation (UNF) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.17 per share on revenue of $378.28 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.25 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 44% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 52.44% with revenue decreasing by 16.63%. Short interest has decreased by 2.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 14.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 8.4% below its 200 day moving average of $186.14. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. The stock has averaged a 7.0% move on earnings in recent quarters.
The Sun Rises as Usual: My thoughts on the enactment of the national security law in Hong Kong
July 1st, 2020 shall be remembered as the day Hong Kong completed its second Handover to China. A strong sense of despair clouds over the city as Beijing nuked us with the National Security Law (NSL). The thought of losing the authenticity of Hong Kong forever is ingrained in many of us. The same day, the sun rises in the east as usual.The rule of thumb to survive this era of turmoil is to maintain control of your mental state. Remain unflappable by the ongoing absurdity. You live your life at your own pace with no restrictions. And that is how you win in society, at the workplace, on campus, and in marriage. As to how we could achieve that, I hope my two-cents would give you some ideas. The officials expected us to be overwhelmed, terrified, and occupied by NSL. Nevertheless, the clauses of the law have never been the main course of this extravagant meal. What truly awaits for us is the complete makeover of the Hong Kong ruling. Abolishing the standard procedure inherited from British Hong Kong, rationality and logical decision-making are soon replaced by the ambiguity of the authoritarian “rule of law” of China. Hong Kong has lost its place in the globe at the mercy of NSL; that is, to show a lucid message: Beijing could withdraw the “One Country, Two Systems” principle however it sees fit. Moreover, it is the re-education training CCP set up for Hongkongers to make them know their place and accept the “Mainland ideology,” which includes tolerating laws and regulations that are more “lenient” to serve the Chinese political agenda. Placing the national interests in heart, it is farewell to “Rule of Law,” and the common understanding of right and wrong and dos and don’ts. This is the textbook example of authoritarian ruling. Perhaps people would be seeing some form of democracy and freedom; however, those were merely decoys in which the supreme power vested afar. 23 years after the Handover, pro-Beijing population remains small by default. The young generation rebukes Chinese identity even more than before. The enactment of NSL indicates the failure of CCP’s strategic approaches to entice Hongkongers. If the regular and United Front approaches failed through, they might as well execute eradication instead. It may appear as China is calling for enticement, but the underlying measures/gimmicks are showing something else. The grand Unity of Mainland and Hong Kong is nothing more than a hoax. In this new Hong Kong, measurements taken to appease public backlash or allow people to express their frustration toward politicians or policies are stored in the past. Furthermore, the Hong Kong government has adopted more extreme approaches—severing Hong Kong into the pro-democracy camp and the pro-Beijing camp; bringing back Cultural Revolution tactics to effectively counteract dissentance; and activating 24/7 monitorization of the population. The propaganda of the CCP regime is to increasingly disintegrate the mutual trust between people by ratting and spying. Building the new norm where the civil society crumbles and espionage is normalized. People with malicious intent may find this new world rather exciting. Without the checks and balances or supervision in the system, the escalating waves of purging the “impure” in the next 2 years are anticipated. The hostile public opinion of Hong Kong toward Beijing’s decisions have always been a throne in the flesh for the ruling party which led to it prioritizing the disunification of the Hong Kong civil society in the following 2 years—gathering the elites from all professions, alternating the policies of media regulations, reforming education to be more CCP-interests-oriented, and emphasizing the governmental compliance of all departments for effective executions of the new laws. The small population that is most affected by NSL would be those who are in the “Four Black Categories,” including the influencers and KOLs. The two major key points for Hong Kong government’s guidelines are “rule by law” and “always have the national interests at heart.” Regardless of NSL, Public Order Ordinance(POO) per se or any other laws could be used to incriminate the dissidents. Even a world-renowned Chinese artist such as Ai Weiwei was accused of Tax Evasion. Apolitical celebrities with millions of fans and could also be targeted; e.g. Fan Bingbing. Over time, people would adapt to self-censorship. As their minds slowly die of a thousand cuts to circumvent trespassing the political “bottom-line”, it includes avoiding dissenting the propaganda and minimizing exposure that may attract unwanted attention. Oddly enough, if you were to be a tourist, you probably would not be able to capture the post-NSL nuances of this hollow Hong Kong. You would see all business continue, stock market arises, and the real estate market thrives as usual. It is as if the script written for the second Handover would play out successfully, as long as the basic needs of Hongkongers are satisfied. Amidst of this turmoil, Hongkongers wouldn’t need me to elaborate more; however, we should ask ourselves if there is something else that we could do. Do you still remember how we were like before all of these occur? What are the options we have aside from obeying to the laws, immigrating out of our homeland, or starting riots? How should we live in the middle of this mess? From the anti-extradition law protest to the ongoing movement we have today—disregarding the variations in the slogans—we are a part of the global transformation which is beyond politics and may very well be a segment of the fourth industrial revolution. Moving forward from now, with AI replacing brain-power taxing positions, it would be unlikely for anyone to have a stable job and their retirement secured. With that being said, we are facing a tomorrow where people could no longer rely on a singular path for career planning. The younglings are determined and flexible about making chances. They are independent individuals who seek for autonomy in life without relying on governmental entities, pro-establishment units, and consortiums, for their survival which tie into a global trend. The “ultrastable system” of the good old times Hong Kong is in the past. The young generation is calling for “Laam Chau.” (self-destruction to counterbalance Hong Kong government) Acknowledging the fact that enduring injustice would not secure any job positions, the young generation tends to take on entrepreneurship and minimizing their political dependency. Many friends started talking about immigration. A decade ago, the media were hyping the topic regarding whether or not I would be immigrating to Singapore. I have been repeating myself—the concept of immigration is obsolete. Over the past year, would you say that the overseas Hongkongers contributed more to the movement or the apolitical Hongkongers? Even if we hold multiple citizenships, travel around the world, send our children to study abroad, or hold investments in another country, what would it matter? Any of those would not affect our Hongkonger identity. When online classes are given remotely on Zoom, would it matter if you are in Hong Kong or in Congo? The physical location of Hong Kong shouldn’t tie us down. We should sever ourselves from the idea of leaving or staying and make the world our home. By stitching the virtual world to the real world, we are undefeated by constant change. To me, that is what Hong Kong really is. All censorship from the authoritarian regime have one in common; that is, the oppressions could never be reasoned with the Common Law. If the pro-democracy anthem, “Glory to Hong Kong,” is prohibited to be sung on campuses, what about the 80’s Cantopop hit, “Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies” or “Blowing in the Wind” which both hint liberation in the lyrics? As the movement slogan, “Five Demands, Not One Less,” was banned, could the protesters express their dissent by raising their hands to point out 5 and 1 or having the number 5 and 1 written over their tops? Does everything related to the number 5 and 1 need to be a politically sensitive topic? Could we still talk about the Labor Day that falls on May 1st? The rebellious ideology is embedded in the mind of Hong Kong protesters, as people have witnessed the incompetence of our government on a daily basis. This movement has been embodying innovation in various ways. No extra commentaries are needed. This is the true essence of “be water.” Similarly, Poland and the Czech Republic in the 60s were under greater oppression than what we have been seeing in recent Hong Kong; however, “life always finds a way.” We now live in a globalized world where “colluding foreign forces” is unnecessary, with the help of our overseas brothers and sisters to amplify the pro-democracy messages to the international community. We shall acknowledge the fact that dwelling on the past does no one any good for sustaining this movement. You could be someone who lacks the courage to venture out of the comfort zone, refuses to adapt to having multiple careers, resists leaving the physical location of Hong Kong, fears to put on a yellow helmet (a pro-democracy symbol), and chooses to be enslaved by the ruling party. Even if you are a Blue Ribbon ( pro-established or pro-Beijing person), as long as you are not a part of the most extreme 20% of the deep Blue Ribbon community, I say you are still a very valuable asset to Hong Kong. In this NSL-enacted Hong Kong, you should give it some thoughts about what advantages you hold that the “new Hongkongers” cannot offer. If you cannot answer this question, then no matter how patriotic you are, you will be eliminated in the next wave of selection. “Survival the fittest.” Even in Chinese companies, they still need Hongkongers to do the due diligence for them. In bureaucratic institutions, the Chinese would still need someone with a creative spirit and an international perspective while putting on a nationalist front. Many have expressed their concerns toward the implementation of “Indoctrination” in Hong Kong, including some of the pro-Beijing parents. By sending their children to non-state-owned schools, their actions speak louder than their words. The new trend of education has confirmed that the traditional classroom model inherited from the 19th century Prussian teaching is outdated. Through big data, the teaching materials are personalized for individuals; moreover, students may build up their unique libraries of knowledge via their personal experience and curiosity. Regretfully, the new Hong Kong under authoritarian ruling embraces a rigid education system where syllabi and marking scheme is key to grooming the next generation of nationalists. The instructors would be under surveillance, school principals would bend to state-interests policies, and households would monitor each other for anti-government speeches or actions. Apparently, CCP would not succeed in brainwashing anyone with these educational reformations. Perhaps, Tik Tok may be more effective. Personalized education is an irreversible global trend. The authoritarian Hong Kong could butcher education but it could not prevent people from adapting to other alternatives. I would like to believe that the younger generations would harness the power of the internet and seize the opportunities given by an international community that has become more amiable to Hong Kong. NSL’s main target is those who are “in collusion with foreign forces. How ironic is it to see how the strong connections between Hong Kong and the global community came back to bite per se? I recall reading from a research report, stating that on average every 1 out of 3 to 4 Hongkongers have connections overseas—overseas relatives, holding foreign qualifications or degrees, overseas working experience, having international investments, or having work contacts with foreign employees. Hongkongers have been colluding with the foreign forces before NSL made it a crime. The 2020 Hong Kong is suffering from cultural discontinuity created by the conflicts between the Chinese authoritarian system and the Western democracy system. Soon enough, “mass surveillance enabled by Big Data” vs. “A.I. regulated by privacy concerns” could be a multiple choice question for all Hongkongers. As long as Hongkongers are connected to the global network, we shall not lose our resilience against oppression. To sum it up, Hongkongers have incorporated the world into “the revolution of our time.” March on and be water. The world we are facing is no longer black and white or binary of any sort. We may not reap what we sow. This is a long-term fight that requires us to be resourceful, as well as being mentally and physically prepared. You may ask if I have ever wanted to leave Hong Kong. Ironically, since my 18th birthday, I have never stayed in Hong Kong for so long. The past 6 months, aside from pandemic, I have been sentimental toward this land. My profession and residences require me to travel a lot of places. I hardly stayed in Hong Kong for long as I made that decision deliberately 10 years ago. Now you may understand where I am coming from. Thus, I would not change for this NSL-enacted Hong Kong. I would not stay to make a statement, nor would I leave this land to make a stance. To my dear friends out there, my piece of advice has been the same—live like a digital nomad and have your footstep stamped locally and globally. No need to start from scratch. You may join a community that is well-established. Should I self-censor for my safety? I’ve never been an editorial writer. My rationally words and videos are merely personal expressions of a Hongkonger. I honestly can’t get any more cautious. I am the same Simon Shen, now and always. We should not take any form of harassment or attacks personally. Before the extradition law and the NSL, CCP had been effectively silencing dissents by sending them on one-way trips to Mainland China (i.e. Causeway Bay Books disappearances). The regime needed no bills to aid its attempt of kidnapping those who dare to voice up. Hong Kong has fallen too fast that no one bothers to attack or criticize the kidnaps. There is no such thing as making something less absurd by talking about it more. The systematic oppression of Hong Kong’s civil freedom does not only come from the without but also the within; especially when nowadays all we could talk about is “safety” and “survival.” It is exactly what CCP wanted for us to believe—we are trapped and our lives depends on our compliance. Hongkongers are being tested for our resilience. If we couldn’t pass this challenge together, how could we stand up tall as proud Hongkongers? As to making ends meet, I’ve always believed that the global Hongkonger network is a large enough of encomany to support, expand, and give back to Hong Kong. We are all at its mercy, including me becoming a KOL. Within the Hongkonger community, I wish to be more practical and strategic; especially, in terms of elevating our quality of living. CCP is extremely calculative and different from us. It is my deepest belief that when the world sees how irreplaceable Hongkongers are that is the day when we can anticipate change. Before then, we will keep a low profile and prepare for this long battle. Do expect the next two years to be a long rollercoaster ride with plenty of ups and downs. Hongkongers will only thrive through the hardships. Buckle up, winter is coming.
Turley is framing this issue as a binary option, but that ain't necessarily so. IF federal government returned to the original Constitution, all would be well as the mucking Feds would get their hooky noses out of local affairs, let the states settle up in campitalist fashion.
Medicare and Property taxes destroy the middle class.
The middle and upper middle class, along with small business owners carry the majority of tax burden for medicare. Meanwhile the scam that is medicare siphons all of that money away into investment firms and retirement accounts. It's a clear generational conflict where the elderly have voted for benefits for themselves at the cost of everyone else. But even more than that, the money doesn't actually reach people and is lost into medical markups by hospitals and pharmaceutical firms. Property taxes disproportionately affect the upper middle class and middle class while they don't even take up 1/3 of the money earned. Both of these are bullshit gimme handout politics that only serve to pay their way into insider contractor scams and investment portfolios, while voted in by geriatrics and 18 year olds who want to be taken care of but carry no income. In reality they're destroying the middle class and the working age generations, starving them of opportunity in life and in political representation. Funny how Japan and the US are hyper successful economically, but the middle class is still overworked and can barely raise 2 kids if any. Funny how both of them have huge suicide rates in 40-50 year old males. Funny how both have little to no political options because the politics are dominated by either geriatrics and 18 year old who have no idea how ineffective government programs are and force us into a binary of pay for free everything or just destroy all support systems (except medicare). I'm all for a strong support system for those down and out, but these handout politics are bullshit and don't help the poor either. They all go into contractor schemes that charge 300% markups because some geriatric has a friend in politics. Then siphoned away while "construction" takes 2 months to fix a 1/4 of a mile of road and a vitamin pill costs $500. The middle class is at fault too. They refuse to vote in their own self interest and tend to vote for more handouts to other subgroups because it's "moral" lmao.
A few interesting answers: Q: How many different pets are currently planned to be in the game? A: cats and dogs, depending on how lonely you get in prison you can get a lot more, a pet rock for example Q: will I be able to seduce the Pope? A: Yes, and there's a special event for it Q: are non-crusade 'Great Holy Wars' (if that's still the name for other religions) also modeled on the Holy Fury crusade system? A: Yes. Q: Do you have a funny bug encountered while developing the Lifestyles and Perk trees to share? A: (So I'm not one of the people working on it, but) My favorite tale was that nudists could get events about how much to spend on updating their wardrobe. Emperor's new clothes, indeed. ___ Q: Will it be more simple than CK2? A: no Q: will there be single barony city states only beholdand to the Emperor? A: Baronies are always held either by the count, or a baron under the count. So only barons in counties the emperor hold will be beholden directly to the emperor. Q: How varied are the Romance / Elope / Seduce events? They were a little repetitive in CK2, do they vary more in CK3? A: The events are very varied between the different schemes. I also like to think that the internal variety is quite significant. You'll definitely feel the difference depending on who you're romancing or seducing! Q: Hi! Will the tribal goverment that used to be nomadic in ck2 have any difference from other tribals? will the game represent some difference between them? A: Nomads will not exist on release; realms that were nomadic in CK2 will be tribal. Q: Will there be a way for modders to create fortresses that cannot be passed without taking them first? A: That is not planned. Q: With the livestyles conveying huge boni to the character how viable will we be to interact with mechanics outside of the current chosen lifestyle A: You'll still be able to interact efficiently with any system that isn't specifically unlocked by the lifestyle (such as Absolute Control or Befriend). It helps a lot to have the lifestyle, though! Q: Will more lifestyles be able to be created with mods? A: It is very easy to mod in more lifestyles, focuses, and trees. Q: Will the game speed options be similar to CkII's? A: Yes, speed ranges from 1 to 5. These roughly match the CK2 speeds. Q: Will you give Harold Godwinson the right amount of troops this time so that he doesn't get stomped William or Hardrada? A: I hope we've got it right so there's a real competition! He's still fighting an uphill battle facing off two powerful invaders at once, though Q: whats the feature you are most excited about that isnt in CK2 A: The lifestyle system is my personal favorite. Q: Is the Romance scheme available for same-sex targets with the right orientation? A: Yes, you can use romantic schemes on people whose orientation matches your gender. Q: You mentioned one ability which would notify you when your ruler is one year away from death. Does this mean that there will be a hardcoded lifespan (with the exception of illness, assassination, battlefield accidents, etc)? How will this work? A: no it’s not a hard coded life span, it’s still random but the alert just is us being sneaky and delaying the outcome of death instead of having hard coded timings Q: With the Learning Lifestyle with a Medicine Focus can you discover herb based contraceptives, (spermicide) to have lovers with a lower chance of bastards? A: We have something similar to that, but it's not specifically tied to the Medicine Focus Q: Hi, CK3 devs! I was wondering: will different cultures or regions tend to have different troop compositions, or will it only be dependent on buildings and such? A: Some men at arms are cultural, and the AI will tend to have more of those. Q: Will AI focuses be chosen at random or will for example, an AI character in a relatively peaceful part of the world be less likely to chose martial focus while characters in wealthy parts will be more likely to chose stewardship? A: AI's will choose focuses based on their education and personality, less so based on their region. Q: Will there be any minigames? A: no Q: You guys are awesome, thanks for making this game :slight_smile: A: Well thank you. You'll all be fantastic human beings if you pick up and play it. Q: Last chat session, it was mentioned that everywhere on the map was playable on release, but also that merchant republics would not be playable on release. Does these two statements contradict each-other, or will you be able to play as feudal Venice? A: The statement about "everywhere" was playable is a bit misleading in that manner. It's supposed to mean there are no regional restrictions based on religion like at the release of CK2. However republics will not be playable in CK3 at release (in vanilla). Q: Do the Lifestyle focuses generally play out the same way for every character ala. CK2? As in, you get a largely similar series of events every time and it ends with a trait? Or will you have a significantly different experience between characters even following the same lifestyle tree? A: The traits are unlocked by the perk trees themselves, rather than events. That also means you don't have the semi-linear progress Lifestyle events had in CK2. Instead there's a huge pool of possible events for all Lifestyles Q: what playable religions will we get at launch with no expansions? A: all of them Q: Will there be any new playable government types? A: We will talk about government types in a dev diary next month most likely. Q: is ck3 gonna have a different system for traveling over (neutral) land? Crossing borders etc A: That is not planned Q: Is King Jadwiga of Poland (1373-1399) in the game? As a female king she's pretty unique so it'd be fun to play as her A: There's no start date that late. Q: There will be any kind of Naval Battles? A: not for release, maybe one day who knows Q: if you reach age like 60 or 70, how many perk and tree you complete inside the lyfestyle? A: A single tree generally takes a few decades, so at this point you'll likely have finished about two trees Q: what made you pick a giant eyeball to represent Martial - Authority? A: :eye: Q: How is vassal interaction with the liege compared to CK2? Is there still a favor system and with laws and council power? A: The favor system will be replaced by the more involved hooks system. There will be laws that govern your vassals and succession laws. Q: Will the Learning focus trees have some impact on your ability to create custom reformations/heresies. A: Yes, in a major way Q: Can you elope with soulmates or does it only work on regular lovers? Basically I want to know if you can romance someone and then later elope with them. A: Being Soulmates can have a massive impact on the success of an Elope Scheme, so it's actually a really good idea to romance them beforehand! Q: Can you try to romance anyone you could try to seduce? A: Yes, but the Success Chance factors will vary greatly depending on their personality Q: Is there anything different added in terms of tyranny? A: There's also a dread system, letting you intimidate people into subservience. Q: how long do you expect a tree to take to complete, will children be able to begin the tree or have any impact on them? A: A tree takes a few decades to complete. Only landed adults start on trees, though upon landing we simulate them having had a lifestyle up to that point and add perks based on that Q: Is there any benefit to switching lifestyles or is it always best to follow one tree A: it depends on your situation in game, you might know you’re going to war in your future plans so should switch over to the martial trees to get some perks before your grand conquest etc Q: I've noticed in your map of Italy that a lot counties(or in the case of CK3, baronies) are missing from CK2, such as Trapani and Amalfi. To me, this leads to the map having vast open provinces, even though the popularity of mods like the Historical Immersion Project has shown that players prefer the polar opposite. I might be mistaken since this is an early version of the map and it might change upon release, but in case not. What is the main reasoning behind this reduction of provinces in Italy? Has it to do with preformance issues, or is it a way to make it more approachable to new players or something else entirely? A: Did I fail to answer this on my previous try? Anyways, the map is in continuous development along with the game, but our key priority is to have a map that works well with out new on-map holdings Q: Will there be multiplayer available on release? A: yes Q: Is it possible to nudge your children towards a specific lifestyle or is the AI completely autonomous in choosing one? A: Your children will heavily tend to go for the Lifestyle corresponding to their education, which you have full control over as their guardian. Q: will immoratality be a trait in ck3? A: Immortality will be supported for modders, but will not be in the vanilla game on release. Q: What's the youngest can you be to start a lifestyle? A: an adult Q: since only rulers use the lifestyles system, what happens when a ruler loses his land? A: They will stop progressing in their lifestyle until landed again. Q: Do lifestyles unlock decisions like how choosing the learning focus in CK2 allowed you to go on a pilgrimage, for example? A: Some Perks unlock decisions, but there are no decisions that are unlocked by just having a lifestyle, the way some were in CK2 Q: Will having multiple lovers affect your stress level in a more significant way? In ck2 one could easily have 20 lovers or more giving a child almost every other week without it affecting your health too much, but in real life that would turn most people insane? How would a scenario like that affect the player in ck3? A: there are events around how man lovers you have and keeping them and it effecting your stress yes Q: Will raising tribal armies depend on Prestige like CK2 or will it depend on something else like Control, Prowess, etc? A: The levies will have a gold upkeep. Men at arms will cost prestige. Constructing buildings will cost both gold and prestige. Q: Just as a matter of opinion: do you feel as though it's more beneficial to focus on one or two perk trees to the exclusion of the others, or to mix and match different perks from different trees as needed? A: That's highly situational; sometimes mixing and matching makes more sense, other times focusing on your education's matching lifestyle makes more sense. It all depends on what you're trying to do. Q: With the AI choosing their lifestyle focus based on their education, how much control will we have in what education trait children end up with? A: You set the education focus for your children, so you have great control Q: Is there going to be changes to how Gavelkind works? A way to have less bordergore A: There will be a future dev diary touching this subject. Q: Is there going to be some kind of hunting options to compensate that it's not a Lifestyle? A: you will be able to take a decision to go on a hunt like in CK2, it’s primarily a stress outlet for your character Q: Does Groomed to Rule perk give the 1-3 skill points to all your children or only to the ones who are born after you take the perk? I noticed it gives more points than Sound foundations which specifically gives 1 point to all living children. A: all of them, it applies retroactively Q: You've added "Soulmate", does "Lover" still exist for less than licit relationships? A: yes lover still exists as a relation as well Q: Can a Chivalry focused man acquire their homosexual Soulmate via the tree? A: Yes. Q: Do the amount and/or types of Men-at-Arms regiments available to recruit change as the game goes on? A: Yes. Q: A filled-out skill tree seems really powerful from these dev diaries. How does the game play out when so many characters are so powerfully specialised? A: It offers different courses of action when playing as different characters. AI characters will naturally be noticeably better at the stuff they specialise in, but that also means they by extension have weaknesses relative to other characters with other specialisations Q: if your character lives long enough(beit through immortality or some other means), can you collect multiple lifestyle traits(such as both seducer and scholar) or are you stuck with one lifestyle trait per character at any given time? A: You can have multiple lifestyle traits; that's common even without immortality. Immortality can be modded in, but is not in the vanilla game. Q: Will bisexuality/asexuality/other sexual attractions be modeled in CK3 (rather than the homosexual/not homosexual binary in CK2)? A: yes Q: can i sacrifice people for the bloodgods? A: Depends on what gods No comment until the religion DD Q: What defines the unit model of a troop on map? A: Currently the model depends on the quality of the troops and the culture. Q: Will there be any way to see what lifestyles and perks another character has chosen, besides seeing if they have the trait from the end of a tree? A: Yes, you can inspect anyone's lifestyle trees. Q: how will lifestyles and educations work if you end up as a landed child? Is it relatively simple like Ck2 or are there new systems there to play with? A: Only adults have Lifestyles. The education system is slightly different than in CK2, but not much more complicated Q: Can/will members of your family leave your court and seek out titles on their own? A: Yes, if they are not close in line to inherit something, they can become wanderers. Q: Can you romance close family members? Would be nice to ... er ... forge a strong bond with my siblings/children before I put them on foreign thrones. A: Yes Q: To what extent can a liege influence the lifestyle trees/traits that his/her vassals pick? A: You can't influence your vassals to take specific lifestyles Q: since the hunting event got brought up, will that not be genderlocked this time? I always thought that was a bit at odds with many historical cultures of the time period A: There's no gender lock on it in CK3. Q: In CK2 many decisions are hardcoded (declare war, propose marriage). Will these systems be more transparent or moddable in CK3 (such as enabling modders to add gay marriage or change the factors for AI acceptance)? A: these actions are a lot more in script now, some parts still have hard coded tie ins to use special interfaces etc, but all the conditions and effects can be worked with in the script and acceptance factors changed Q: will there be tribal specific lifestyles? A: No. Q: Will women be attracted to homosexual men in CK3 and vice-versa? It does not make much sense for the other gender to not be attracted, unless the homosexual inquestion has been found out and been a public scandal about and even then, non-existent attraction from the other gender to the homosexual individual is not realistic. Is it deemed to OP to receive attraction opinion bonuses from both genders? A: Attraction doesn't consider the sexuality of the target character, only your own. Heterosexual women will get attraction opinion increases towards homosexual men, but not the other way around Q: Mortal Adoration perk makes lovers less likely to want to murder you and they may save you from murder attempts. Does the benefit also apply to soulmates? A: Yes Q: It was mentioned that only landed characters can choose/have a lifestyle progressing. How does this work with randomly generated characters? Do they only spawn with an education trait and never with a lifestyle trait? A: Characters that become landed get their lifestyle progress simulated, and will get perks based on their age and how the AI would've selected perks. Q: Are Merchant Republics going to be playable from start or will they come with a DLC? And is it goint to be a playable normal Republic government? A: As said before they will not be playable at release, and we don't have any details yet about after release. Q: With so many bonuses and perks included in the lifestyle system, how much character potential will remain in their basic stats? A: A lot will still be determined by a character's basic stats Q: Can we upgrade our retinues quality? A: More info on this in future DDs Q: can I still accidentally contract syphilis(the great pox) from putting my sausage where it doesn't belong(even though syphilis didn't exist in Europe before columbus)? A: keep your sausage in a safe place and you’ll be fine Q: will ck3 at launch have Holy Fury style crusades or base ck2 style crusades? A: CK3 crusade mechanics are heavily inspired by Holy Fury crusades. Q: How realistic is your character's seduction ability? As some random Countess, can I secude the Pope, or the Byzantine Emperor? (despite him being in love with his wife?) A: Tier differences affect success chances for succession, so it's harder to seduce above your station. You can definitely seduce the Pope or Emperor if you're good enough, though, no matter how lowly a Countess you are. Whether that's "realistic" or not really comes down to your real-life seduction abilities, I guess Q: were there any lifestyles that you scrapped in development? what were they and why did you scrap them? A: not full lifestyles but the effects of some perks were changed, generally when they would’ve been to bad for performance or taken too long to implement compared to their value Q: Will it be possible for modders to add other variables that affect character appearance and clothes (such as fantasy races)? A: yes Q: Will there be options for forcibly accelerating progress through the lifestyle skill tree? A: Only by using the console. Q: Will your lifestyle choice reset when you're locked behind bars like in ck2? A: No. Q: With Marriage and Children being such a huge focus in ck3 and something the ck2 players are obsessed with anyway, will the genetics see an upgrade from the "only father and mother" approach ck2 had? A: Yes, more of this in a future DD Q: I found to my surprise that none of the Diplomacy lifestyle trees is about dealing with vassals. Considering that in CK2, the most important effect of the diplomacy ability was to keep vassals happy, I'm rather surprised that there is no lifestyle tree dealing with that. The closest thing we have is, in fact, the Administrator tree under stewardship. Does that mean that in CK3, stewardship will determine vassal opinion, rather than diplomacy, and, if not, why is it that a stewardship lifestyle rather than a diplomacy one grant bonuses to vassal relations? A: There's a bunch of stuff in the Diplomacy Lifestyle that helps you maintain your relationship with your vassals, such as friendships and general opinion bonuses Q: Will it be possible to force a landed member of your family (e.g your heir) down a certain lifestyle tree? A: No Q: I get that ai will decide according to the education, but how will they pick between the three trees? A: A mix of randomization and weights where it makes sense. E.G., a lustful character is significantly more likely to pick the Seduction tree. Q: What are the lifestyle icons that weren't covered by the DDs? A: If you're referring to the picture including the Lifestyle traits, there are some more traits in there that you get by other means than the perk trees. Mostly depending on what you spend your life doing! Q: Do people still get released from your dungeon after you torture them by default? That's one thing that bugged me in CK2 and though there was a game rule for it, it disabled achievements. A: No, they don't get released after torture. Q: In CK2 there are rare cases when one realm could control holdings in another realm's county, (which would actually give you a casus beli on the rest of the county) when this happens in CK3 will it be reflected on the borders since baronies are now visible on the map? A: In ck3 barony titles will always have their related county as their liege. No exceptions. Q: Instead of asking a question I want to give my compliments to whoever came up with the Gallant perk tree and the Romance and Elope scheemes in particular. Eloping especially will not only be useful for gaining claims, but will also be a great tool for creating interesting narratives. Good for gameplay and RP, well done. I'm excited to play a gallant knight now when in CK2 I tended to stay safely inside my castle while others died for my ambitions. A: thanks for the kind words! :pray: Q: will there be blood effects after combat on portraits like in ck2? A: No Q: "Control" was also mentioned as, like, some kind of trait you have over a county in your realm? Does that depend on like, how much the vassal in charge obeys you, or is it more like, a new way of describing how likely the townsfolk are to revolt against you? A: Control is a county-level attribute that influences the levies and tax the county provides. It slowly trends towards 100%, but is reduced by occupation, conquest, and some events. Q: will there be nicknames tied to completing branches? A: No, you'll get your lifestyle trait. There are some Lifestyle events that can lead to nicknames, though Q: Will we see any pop culture or other references in CK3 like CK2? A: yeah... some... Q: Will there be different semi-random tactics that will be used during a battle like in CK2? A: The combat system has been completely reworked for CK3. Q: What is the highest developed province at start? A: Constantinople, closely followed by Delhi, Rome, Cordoba, etc. Q: Will it still be possible to take prisoners as consorts (assuming your religion/government allows those)? A: yes Q: Are you able to seduce your wife/husband with seduction? A: Yes, you can make them your lover or soulmate. Q: Are there certain lifestyle events you will only get if you are of a certain culture: for example: can choosing the seduction tree have consequences for Christians that it won't for Pagans? A: It's heavily dependent on your Faith's view on Adultery. If it's not a crime, then the events have different outcomes, for example. Q: Since family is becoming a bit more involved can you (as head of the family) get family members too do certain things. Like marrying someone your want or declaring war on specified targets etc? A: Not marrying someone specific (unless you're responsible for them), but there are numerous new ways of interacting with your house members if you're the house head Q: Can new, unlanded characters spawn in the world with a lifestyle trait? A: Yes, and wandering characters can accrue them Q: With there being fewer courtiers then in ck2, will there also be fewer possible spouses to choose from? (I want my genius spouse though! :smile: ) A: there are definitely still a lot of character, just less directly at court and more as guests and wanderers around the map Q: When you have 2 sons, one is a genius and one is an imbicile. Will you be able to murder one of them so you can choose your heir? Or are we unable to kill our own children like in Ck2? A: certain traits may allow you to plot to dispose of your children Q: Will there be any way to disown children, without resorting to murder? A: Yes, there's a Dynasty Head interaction to Disinherit members of your dynasty Q: what is the most shockingly immoral thing the game has 'encouraged' you do while playtesting? A: Just yesterday I wrote up a bug that had the reproduction steps "Murder your child son and heir. Then murder your other child son." That's just the most recent thing, though Q: Will we be able to customize the outfit,hairstyle, etc. of our characters mid playthrough? A: Yes Q: will it be possible for us to adopt kids/orphaned child courtiers if our characters are childless? The adoptee would then have to gain legitimacy on their own once their new parents pass, or something along those lines? that could be pretty cool, although I'm not sure if it is historically accurate. A: There are no adoption mechanics. Q: Do we get any hints as to what the new religions in the game will be or not until a later dev diary? A: Not until later. Be patient! :wink: Q: Followup question: Will it be possible to force unlanded prisoners into marriage? In CK2 religions with consorts could already do that in two steps (take prisoner as consort, marry consort), so this would just level the playing field between religions. A: you can recruit prisoners, if they accept, and then once they are your courtier you can marry them Q: Will raised levies require only gold for support or shall there be any kind of supply mechanic? Will besiegers starve due to lack of food for instance? A: We do have some supply mechanics. Q: will there be event chains similar to the robin hood one in ck2? will they have special interactions based on your current branch/tree? A: there are longer event chains in the game, but they are not going to necessarily tie into your lifestyle though Q: will yazidi finally be seperate from the muslim religion group? A: Yes it will! Hopefully we can explain more after the religion DD Q: It seems as if the Stewardship - Duty lifestyle bleeds over quite heavily into Diplomacy. Is this sort of crossover intended? A: Yes, there being a bit of overlap between lifestyle is intentional; see for instance the romance options in Chivalry, while Seduction still exists. Q: Will the level of stress affect ai behavioudecisions? A: sometimes yes, depends on what they’re trying to do Q: Do any lifestyles interact / conflict with each other? For example if I choose a more pious lifestyle along with one focused on torture / dread? A: you can pursue both if you choose to Q: Modders can put their own (maybe non-human) 3D characters into the game switching the originals? They can make changes on the looks of the original models by hand and not just facial hair but the complete face? A: yes portraits are fully moddable Q: The diplomacy/alliance system will be the same as CK2? A: It's similar to CK2. Q: Will there be unique clothing or appearances for certain important historical characters? A: We will assign specific appearance to some important historical characters. But they will generally use assets that other characters could also use. Q: What effects the likelihood that your character will be targeted for seduction by others? Will there be ways for you to manipulate or entice favours your lovers, especially if they are powerful rulers? Will your lovers be able to manipulate you in-turn? A: There will be some ways, yes, but you'll have to wait and see exactly how Q: What area of the game are you most excited to show off or proud of? A: that varies a lot per developer! So the cop out answer is all of it depending on who you ask :wink: Q: In the game there is a perk that allows the formation of an Alliance without marriage is there a away too receive more than one? A: Yes, for example there are alliances formed by event outcomes.
1500-2000 CAD video and audio editing PC [first build]
What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
running Linux, and not Windows
video editing (kdenlive, MLT); currently just 1080p HD, but might do 4K (and beyond) editing in the mid-term future, as higher res recording becomes more mainstream (but 4K support is not a must-have for now)
audio production, DAW, audio editing (ardour)
high-res image editing (GIMP)
compilation (building apps from source) (gcc, clang, etc.)
no gaming for now, but don't want to be completely disappointed if I want to do some basic gaming in the next 5 years; would be okay with 60 fps, 1080p HD and moderate graphics settings
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
2000 CAD after taxes and shipping
around 1750 CAD before taxes and shipping
prefer not having to use mail-in rebates, but can be convinced if 50 CAD or more can be saved on any individual part
would be happier with 1500 CAD after taxes and shipping, but can accept that that may not be possible
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
would like machine now
willing to wait up to a month for completion of research, shopping and shipping
would appreciate advice about looming release dates which would be beneficial to wait for; but bear in mind that Linux compatibility is a must, and cutting-edge-ness can work against that (lack of support or drivers)
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
motherboard, with Ethernet
HDD: at least 2 TB, good balance between GB/$ and reliability
modest video card (low- to mid-end price)
budget case, but am okay to spend moderately for quality or longevity (e.g. better air flow)
mid-range power supply
No need for:
cooling accessories beyond 50 CAD unless there would be significant benefit relative to my stated use cases, or part doesn't come with stock cooling
wireless networking, though I guess it would be good to be able to stick in a wireless card in the future
keyboard, mouse, headphones, speakers
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
shipping to Canada
am okay to receive parts from anywhere in the world, but do not want to risk buying from disreputable sellers (risking problems with packaging, shipping, defective products, or outright fraud); and do not want ridiculous shipping times like over 2 months
am willing to pay 10% more to avoid disreputable sellers
strongly prefer ordering online (considering current COVID situation, it may be the only option anyway)
prefer buying from amazon.ca, or any other a single online vendor; willing to consider splitting shopping between multiple vendors to save 33% or more on any part; am okay to pay a bit more for the convenience of ordering from single online vendor
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
keyboard (USB or PS/2)
mouse: Roccat Kova
monitor 1: Samsung SyncMaster T240HD (HDMI and DVI connections)
monitor 2: Samsung SyncMaster TA550 (HDMI)
audio through standard 1/8" jack (can use 1/4" too)
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
no desire to experiment with overclocking or similar hardware tweaks unless they're dead easy, require no extra tools or equipment (soldering iron, glue, paste), and have very little risk of damaging parts
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
Linux compatibility/support of all components is an absolute must
strongly prefer not needing binary blobs for device drivers, but can reluctantly accept that; am willing to pay a bit more to choose between comparable parts to get open-source drivers
would like to keep costs down by making the SSD small, using it only for OS and executables, and whatever is frequently accessed -- I'm thinking 256 GB is enough. If 128 GB could save me more than 40 CAD, I could live with that, maybe?
at least 12 GB RAM, but see Extra Info, below
strongly prefer to have open RAM slots available to increase RAM in future
would like multi-monitor support, but can live without if there's a good reason, like saving more than 100 CAD
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
case size and form factor of parts don't matter to me beyond wanting to save money by choosing cheaper sizes and form factors
don't care too much about style, but wouldn't mind spending up to 50 CAD more to choose a stylish case over an ugly budget case
prefer black and darker colours
would take any colour or style if it would save 30 CAD or more on any given part with comparable specs
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
No Windows needed (or wanted!)
Extra info or particulars:
This is my first build. I have been using prebuilt PCs up to this point. My current PC has lasted me some 7 or 8 years, and it has specs like this: Intel i7 870, 12 GB RAM (started with 8 GB), 1 TB disk (started with 500 GB), Radeon HD 5770 (started with onboard Intel graphics). As you can see, I've been able to get by with old hardware for quite some time. I am hoping to have my new system last at least 5 years with next to no upgrades. If anything, I'd just add more storage and more RAM as my needs grow. So I am looking to buy parts closer to the "current or new" end of the spectrum than the "cheap but old" end. If future-proofing or infrequent PC upgrading (every 6-8 years) is not a good idea, I'm open to hearing why. I'm looking to get a new system primarily to address these needs:
faster processing (rendering) of video editing
video editing: be able to preview edits with effects turned on instead of off (because the system can't keep up and the preview buffers or is choppy)
lower audio latency enough to be able to play and record MIDI live (8ms or better, ideally 5ms or less)
faster compilation (I'm running a from-source distro, Gentoo)
comfortably edit large, high-res images in GIMP
reduce or eliminate swap thrashing (due to filling RAM) -- between Chromium (Chrome), GIMP, kdenlive and ardour, I hit my RAM ceiling regularly, and am often closing tabs and apps to "make room" before opening something new
more storage for audio and video work (I realize that's a bit irrespective of the system, since external storage is affordable and readily available)
I am able to buy all parts on amazon.ca. The shopping cart comes to 1769 CAD before tax and shipping, 2011 CAD after. Would like to shave a few hundred off that, if possible, but can keep that grand total if it makes sense. Ordering almost the same items from MemoryExpress gives a total of 1515 CAD before tax and shipping. 1543 at NewEgg.ca. I chose the processor and RAM amount with the above use cases in mind. Like, I think I can get by with just 16 GB RAM, but I figure that it's less than double the cost to double to 32 GB, and that should future-proof a bit. More RAM will also let me parallelize more compilation jobs/processes/threads (thereby decreasing build times). Out of all the parts, I feel pretty ignorant about what video card to get. As described, my GPU needs will be modest (I've been living with Radeon HD 5770 for years, after all), so it's with this part that I hope to save some money. If factors like GPU-motherboard or GPU-CPU compatibility or affinity are a factor, please advise. I'm also undecided about x570 motherboard vs B450. The cost difference is significant.
I was arguing with someone on the youtube comments... I have some thoughts. The original reply on Youtube was severely truncated because character limits meant I lost my comments and had to try a couple times. I'll expand a lot more here. I was also childishly accused of somethings, and I didn't want my efforts to go to waste. For context: Someone was taking an absolutist stance on the firearms with the second amendment, and was quite angry that 2nd amendment doesn't get strict scrutiny protections, and felt like it should be expanded across the board. This reddit post is based on an adaption on the original, with additional expanded commentary in case anyone wants to join in. Original youtube comments as follows: Other person: How come we never get a judge like this on a second amendment case! A constitutional judge I don't believe it!!!!! Me: well for one, the law is not clearly on one side. Religious rights get strict scrutiny protection. Gun rights get intermediate scrutiny. other person: does the Second Amendment get treated that way because it's number two on the list and not number one? Or should strict scrutiny be observed across the board when it comes to any enumerated right? Me: It does say well-regulated militia. and if the people are the militia, that means you do get to control who is in it and who gets a gun. Would you allow a psychotic person to have a gun? DC v. Heller said that people have a right to keep and bear arms, but that doesn't necessarily mean "a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner." Its generally given intermediate scrutiny, although that hasn't been spelled out. other person: you need to get your dictionary out. And after you're done with that go get the Federalist Papers. Where the genius gentleman who wrote the declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights talk about what they meant when they wrote what they wrote. Then come back and talk to me. Liberal talking points mean nothing to me only facts. I type out a huge wall of text that gets ignored, which was adapted into the meat and potatoes of this post other person: 😂🤣😊🤣😊🤣😂🤣😊🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂yea ok. NO 😂🤣😂 TRY AGAIN😁😂🤣ILL B WAITING!😂🤣😂 me: absolute no rebuttal. too many emojis. Suggestive of a troll. Seeing as there is nothing to discuss, I'm done here. other person: lol yea . No. You didn't read the Federalist Papers. And if you did. You obviously didn't understand what you read, and didn't use a dictionary either. So like I said try again!😂🤣😂 and oh yes I must be a bot because I don't agree with what you say! Liberals you guys are hilarious😂🤣😂 That triggered that part of me that insists on correcting everyone. now that I've copy pasted what was said so that I don't get accused of misrepresenting anything.... Arguing on the results The first problem with originalism to me at least, seems to be that its used to support certain political stances, the stance comes first, rather than the law stuff. That can be said for pretty much any way of interpreting to some extent however. What I don't like is how there seems to be a premise of our opinions don't really matter, we should start with what it actually meant originally. And the pretense of true neutral on modern day politics, since we are going with the original intent of back then. First step is showing that rights can be "limited." All rights are balanced against other rights. If my religion says I get to murder you just because, that doesn't excuse it. You have a right to not be murdered. The religion is not an excuse. Do not murder is a general thing we can all agree upon. There is a government interest in preventing murder. Another exception to free speech is defamation. You aren't allowed to spew false things to hurt someone, and hide behind free speech. So no right is absolute, despite what the law may say. Its absolute as far as tyrannical government intrusions. By creation of tort law, Did Congress a) abridge the right of free speech or b) such free speech right does not allow you to defame someone, because you are abusing speech to harm them, in such a way that is so unfair, it violates something big enough worth it. Ie Does free speech give you the right to defame someone else? If so, that means the person who you defamed must put up with defamation, the lies and reputation harm? Put another way, are you allowed to call anyone a pedophile/murdererapist regardless if its true? Its better to think of them as declarations of principles. It doesn't take too much effort to try to stretch out the rights and realize that they come into conflict at some point. Furthermore, due to 9th amendment, we get implied rights of a right to privacy and bodily autonomy, freedom of thought and conscience. it seems like one of the risks is forgetting the fact that just because it isn't written there, doesn't mean that it didn't matter to the original authors/framers. That would seem to possibly imply it was just a given. In a sense everything is a constitutional issue in that the question is why is the government doing this anyways and do they have the right to, due to the 9th and 10th. So there is nothing wrong with limiting in application a right. Its not that you don't have the right, its just that the right can be limited, not by the government, but necessarily because the absolute right goes against and overrides other rights. I reconcile the seemingly absolute right behind "Congress shall make no law..." with the reality that rights cannot be absolute. Because to him, originalism + second amendment => unlimited gun rights. So I attack the conclusion. It was the most immediate issue, and because attacking originalism is harder and longer. First premise - there is a single original intent that encapsulates what everyone thought about it at the time, and that this truth is the ultimate, fundamental, original, historically correct interpretation/theory/answer. The natural consequence is to say that the only way to change that interpretation is through an amendment, or at least explicitly in statute. But that's quite difficult/impossible due to Gerrymandering. Scalia calculated that 4% of the population, distributed correctly could stop an amendment from being passed. So yes, we must obviously fix that, but that's another rabbit hole. The framers were people, flawed people, politicians in fact. Since reasonable people can disagree, and they disagreed frequently, having genuine disagreements and difference of opinions, they would make compromises, and they did that frequently, since the disagreed a lot, including on big ticket items. See Federalist 1. Thus like good politicians, they would invent a good enough compromise and kick the can down the road, and hope the system they said would be able to adapt and address it. That turned out to be false when it came to slavery. The Constitution and Bill of Rights were full of these compromises (Great Compromise, No prohibiting slave trade until 1808 and fugitive slave act, 3/5's compromise *shudders*, no export duties, yes import duties, interstate commerce clause only, no intrastate). They were nothing but compromises, such as the Bill of Rights. It was a originally a political compromise offered by James Madison to get New York to ratify the constitution. Eventually, he realized there was more to it than that. It wasn't merely list of rights the people have and things the government can't do, but rather stood for the proposition that people have many rights, and that there are many things the government can't do, not just these. These were merely the ones that people were able to spell out through the amendment process. Compromise definitionally means that there are 2 or more sides, and everyone isn't completely happy. That means that there are 2 or more threads of thought that go into it, sometimes independent and contradictory. And sometimes you find that there are potentially more than one theoretical underpinnings, but they didn't agree on which one, although both of them led to same spot. So as an originalist which one do you pick? Holding that a single framer's opinion is the correct opinion, simply because they were the author, means saying that this person was right and the rest were wrong, and ignoring a whole bunch of other people, and somewhat arbitrarily saying the chosen one matters the most. I'd also remind you that sometimes there is no correct answer, in that there was no consensus or majority opinion. As in they agreed on the compromise, but there were no theoretical underpinnings they completely agreed upon, or at least the theoretical underpinnings they did at least partially agree upon, weren't as firm, thought out, or fully agreed upon. Due to this lack of super well thought out reasoning, when analyzing the constitution and laws, one must understand that something might just a placeholder answer for political expediency. Furthermore, different people can pass the same law, the same text, and come away with differing interpretations, with the descendants of both sides telling themselves we agreed to the same thing. The most horrifying examples can be find in the road up to the civil war. Two fundamentally different halves were developing. One constitutional interpretation was right, and one was wrong. They couldn't both be right at the same time. And lets not kid ourselves, the only reason why a certain flavor of interpretation developed, was because it protected a certain "domestic" or "peculiar institution." So you either need some kind of reasoned principle to say we can exclude this mess, or you pick a certain side. But picking both sides individually presents their own sets of problems as well. Premise 2 - we must be tightly bound to the original intent that people thought in the past because its correct and we must adhere regardless of everything else I was trying to illustrate the problems with originalism, using Jefferson as an example. *tangent incoming* I actually really dislike Jefferson, not just because he was racist and owned slaves, but he pretended to be this dangerous liberal radical, and made (perhaps recklessly) a bold declaration that he had no intention of keeping or actually meant it. He setup a high bar for himself, and I get to hold him to that high bar. that's not presentism at all. Presentism is the historian's sin of apply our modern day values and harshly imposing them on their times with disregard for their contextual era that surrounded them and that they were born into. In fact, when you do that, Jefferson's evaluation becomes even worse, because he's the least excusable for being deeply racist out of ignorance. Such virtues and ideas existed at that point on the fringes, and he and his contemporaries were well aware of it. In fact, one of the view points of that time was that slaves were inferior because of the condition imposed on them, that the planter class (ie they themselves) did. This would stay as quiet personal admissions. All this out of the way, lets continue. He's not an honored figure because he was a racist slaveholder, he's honored because he put to pen and paper the principle of fundamental human equality, despite the fact that he nowhere lived up to that, politically or in his personal life (potential rape of Sally Hemmings. As a slave, could she even have consented? She was arguable always under duress). This same stuff applies to all the historical figures including the founding fathers, I just used Jefferson because I think he's overrated and this illustrates my point well. What did Jefferson mean by "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence. He excluded women, children, non-binary individuals (including George Washington who had Klinefelters syndrome and was XXY, for sake of simplicity sex = gender and men = XY, women = XX), the various native tribes, and Africans. We can tell that he was excluding most natives and Africans as nonhumans all of this from his writings (see Notes on Virginia) and behaviors. Jefferson was a huge racist, but we don't follow his actual original intent. For one, reconstruction amendments override him here, but secondly, we don't blindly follow the intent only. We extrapolate the important principle they got right, and try to apply it as best as possible to our modern context. That's why the Second Amendment doesn't apply to muskets only. That's why First Amendment protects this as speech. Jefferson called the constitution a living document. Its living because its interpreted in different ways and open to change. So where are the parameters and boundaries of this. Who gets to determine the boundaries of the living constitution? Due to Marbury v Madison, right now, its the courts, so I rather have them be more open about their bias. I'd prefer the least amount of bias possible, but we shouldn't pretend that they aren't biased at all. But with originalism, even less people's thoughts counts. Why does only certain individuals' thoughts count, and who are these people? Well they are the chosen people because they were born white, male, into a wealthy family, with the right last names. Originalist is ridiculous because its so restrictive on who counts. They are dead. There ideas are valid, but originalism means they don't get examined on their own. The whole point of jurisprudence is to work through these complexities, and to reflect the historical nuances. The problem with originalism is that it doesn't allow for this, and assumes a certain narrative is true already, and which narrative is that? Whatever is determined to be the "original," which due to the fluid nature as described earlier, could be whichever one is politically expedient. *tangent* I do however, agree that it shouldn't be overstretched because it would then break/tear. it does frustrate me that everything is a constitutional issue (not in the sense of why is the government doing this, how do they have the powepermission to do that), but in the fact that its gotten overstretched. Like on first impression, I had no clue that Roe v. Wade was a constitutional issue. I didn't know abortions were in there. (Yes I know there were privacy things too, but my point is still made) But adhering to strict originalism means naturally accepting this baggage of bigotry from a previous time along with it. Or you can say that this baggage wasn't the essence of it, but these accidental characteristics were just as much part of the original intent, quite sadly. So you need some kind of limiting principle that allows you to dump the baggage of bigotry, which means not being originalist, or you throw out the strict originalist option out (as in we MUST adhere to the original intent as opposed to saying history is a useful guide, but we have no obligation to copy what they thought. If we are talking about a specific well-written statute, then there is less wiggle room, but that's not the case here, these were a lot more of declarations of principle.) Arguably, you can avoid dealing with this uncomfortable implications by saying this questions are worthless because 13th-15th amendments, but that's not really a good system then, if its that rigid, that you need an amendment to escape the racist views of the past view. *tangent* here I go into the weeds of how one could be a super strict originalist and not be racist, more of a thought experiment and hypothetical. While the 14th and 15th amendments could be argued to provide a principal, it depends on how much of a textualist you want to be. 14th amendment establishes the a principle of don't discriminate for dumb reasons, but it doesn't spell out any protected classes. Some may look to the 15th amendment, since they were passed around the same time by the same Congress with the same context. It spells out race, color, or previous condition of servitude. So it depends, but I think might point still stands. Its scary to think about it. I don't know anyone who would take it this far, but is there any principle stopping it from going this far? Luckily enough John Bingham the primary author of both the 14th and 15th can serve as a save, since his original intent was more better, in contrast to the compromises on the 14th and 15th amendments, which muzzled it and made it more muted/toned down than originally desired by some, including John Bingham and Charles Sumner. A lot of things are missing like a ban on poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, nothing on naturalized citizens born overseas (for the nativists), also women's suffrage. But another racist originalist may consciously or not emphasize a more conservative author and hold that up as the original intent. Thankfully, these problems not addressed there were fixed later legislatively, but never on an amendment level, so it could be changed. I'd remind you, we have no equal protection clause on the federal level, its read to be implied in the 5th amendment due process clause, so uninterpreting out is possible since its implied. Maybe the equal protection clause should be amended to spell out protected categories, or maybe the solution is another ERA. But the fact that I'm going into the weeds has another implication... do we really want to be held back by the failures of the past? I'm just going to mention briefly the subtext of conservatism in (Burke's sense) terms of tradition vs progressivism/revolution. Originalism basically solidifies these long dead people's points of view unless specifically contradicted by statute, but even contradicting via statute wouldn't work entirely because how would you go about doing that for a constitutional issue? And the problem is that in the context of the Constitution, tradition, is just peer pressure from the dead, but on a constitutional level, this solidifies their points of view, and requires an amendment to change. Is that really a wise idea. I'd remind everyone that we had a long and bloody path that led up to war. Adopting this approach makes the law too clunky to adapt. So arguably, that means adopting racist points of view that contradicts the 14th amendments. One of the compromise/balancing acts was the question of how much should the constitution be able to be changed? Keep in mind that its the scaffolding, the base structures and basic principles, and that's not something you want to change too often. For context, the Articles of Confederation required the assent of 9/13 states to do something, and unanimous 13/13 consent for other important things like amendments. The US Constitution requires a simple majority in both individuals Houses/Chambers of Congress, and the President to sign off, with a 2/3rds on both to override veto. The whole point of a republic is balance. Neither mob rule, nor tyranny of a dictator, popular sovereignty/majority rule, while still upholding minority rights and rule of law. It should be able to change with the times and reflect the people, but not too much, hence representatives and refinement. Fair laws created through a (representative) democratic process, and enforced and applied evenly in a way that actually makes sense. But if you are to go with originalism, that means that judges are to stick with the original (often bigoted) intent or more likely reconstitute/patch-together a modernish meaning and call it original, which is often a political issue. Originalism also means that judges inherently must be conservative, and cannot ever introduce a new interpretation or way of looking at the constitution, which can prevent necessary change, which then creates a need for more legislative changes or amendments to ensure the a functional government under the constitution. If this is a good or bad thing is neither here nor there, but I will say, its quite impossible because of stuff like gerrymandering. This felt like I was typing something for something more than a mere reddit post off of something more than just mere youtube comments.
Looking for porter to help me carry my emotional baggage. (Part r4r, part lonely heart, part life story).
Prologue: Hello reddit! I’ve got issues. I have never done this before, nor do I have any idea what might come of it, but I can tell you that this is probably just as much (if not moreso) an introspective essay as it will be lonely heart ad. I’m somewhat at the point in my life where I need to scream out into the void, and I hope that my honesty will net me just enough cosmic karma to get me out of this hole which I’ve been so unceremoniously dumped into. So, strap in; you're in for some u/rubyoobieoobie length shit. I’ll leave you with a TLDR for now (because I’m not so callous as to make you scroll to the bottom for it): I have been to 49 states, flew to France for a date, solved a decade-old problem in microbial biochemistry and astrobiology, and am the dictator of my own country. I also have insurmountable trauma from my past (and only) relationship, but I still have deluded myself into thinking there is a hope, a person, a way in which I might someday move on and be happy again. For those who want to know now, I am a 24-year-old non-binary, assigned-male-at-birth individual in search of someone whom has the patience necessary to deal with the above. Also, potential trigger warning for sexual trauma in Chapter 2. –––––––––– Chapter 1: Who I currently am. I’m quite an abnormal fellow. Growing up as the autistic homeschooler of some shut-ins will do that to you, but there was always something about me that was especially aberrant. Skipping rapidly over two decades, a few highlights include attending an Online High School run by an Ivy-League university, becoming a high-school dropout, then starting college at 14 and graduating at 19. However, all magic requires a tradeoff, so I report not having a friend until I was 15 and not having more than two simultaneously until literally 2018. In many ways, I almost wish I hadn’t been homeschooled and was held back academically. I’m certain that, were my upbringing different, I would have been a nerd or geek. I could have learned to play D&D or magic the gathering, I could have liked Naruto, I could have become a gamer or learned to code. I am by no means cool or normal, but I have always lacked any sort of peers or social niche. I do not like sports, but, with equal fervor, I do not like fantasy novels. Both cause a lack of associations. I’m not necessarily lonely for friends – I do have them, and quite a blissful plenty, now – but this does show that, for reasons mostly beyond my control, I have always been somewhat of a loner. My life, as it currently is, started when I fled a certain situation (pin in that). I moved from the west coast to New York City for a biotech job at a coveted research institution in 2017. I was so overwhelmingly hopeful because, in addition to fleeing trauma and making a good career move, I was moving out from my parents and ready to start my life anew in what had been billed to me for years as Millennial heaven. Brooklyn! Williamsburg! Dumbo! Midtown! Astoria! Tribeca! New York City had been built up in my mind as the place to make it as a young, urban-minded professional. Now, I must make a disclaimer: I was not a country boy heading into this. To that point, I had lived in 8 different cities in 4 different states, most of them major places, so I was quite familiar with how cities should be like. Apparently, New York, however, is not. I hated that place. Trash, everywhere. Stations, crumbling. Inexcusable income disparity, half-assed parks, wretchedroads, and absolutely no scenic beauty whatsoever. I devised a 45-minute lecture on why The City (as it’s called) sucked so much. Suffice it to say that Chicago is the clearly superior American megacity, followed by Toronto, Denver, Seattle, and Austin. My whole life, growing up on the west coast (where cities ascribed to the novel idea of attempting to benefittheir citizens), I had heard of people who claimed that “all governments are bad, bureaucratic, and inefficient.” I had always dismissed them as crackpot old kooks, but, having experienced New York City for what it was, I all of a sudden can understand how someone who had lived their whole life in such places could come to think that way. But the thing that made it most unlivable were the people. Especially at my job, but also pretty much throughout the whole region (Providence to Wilmington, in my estimation), the people were overly obsessed with “social coding”. Though an irritatingly imprecise phenomenon for me to describe, it is basically that people have a much more stringent set of acceptable social norms and shun you more harshly for being individualistic. The west coast is significantly better at encouraging you to “let your freak flag fly” (otherwise known as being genuine and honest with yourself). But the situation was significantly worse for me, specifically. You see, for lack of a better term, I am a psychopath. I don’t mean it in a negative context, per se, and, while I do quite frequently play the role of a narcissist for sake of metahumor, I don’t actually mean people ill will, nor do I callously disregard the well-being of others. It’s just that, due to the quirk of my aberrant neurochemistry and antisocial upbringing, I have always been generally inept at empathy. I am very social, outgoing, kind-hearted, and incredibly humorous – don’t get me wrong – but I can just as much be oblivious to social cues or the tacit desires of others. This peculiar mix leads my personality to be best described as the bastard child of a foursome between Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka, Psych’s Shawn Spencer, Scrubs’ JD, and Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon. I truly mean well and am pure of heart; to that end, I’ve spent much of my life acquiring coping mechanisms to be a better, kinder, more sympathetic person and friend. But, for one reason or another, I was ill-equipped to deal with that most fetid breed person known to man: the “Lawn Guylander”. This all culminated in a moment of crisis, but which I have come to look back on as the “Poughkeepsie Epiphany” (because, ever so creatively, I was driving thence at the time I had it): for almost a year, I had been putting an exorbitant amount of effort into playing the part of this overly social person, but was failing catastrophically. No matter how hard I tried, I could not meet people or make friends, much less find a partner. My coworkers loathed me, but in a way which they all looked down on me as if I was a defective human whom they didn’t care to humor one bit (one of the most vindicating moments was when a postdoc joined the lab from San Diego and he was similarly abhorred at the social climate). One day, I had a realization that there wasn’t a single person in the world who knew when I woke up, nor a single person that would care if I didn’t. That was a painful day. So, my Poughkeepsie Epiphany was that I could continue struggling to play the social game and end up cripplingly lonely, or I could be exactly as lonely as I would be otherwise, but be genuine to myself – no matter how anomalous that might be – and actually be happy with who I was for so doing. This is when I started to become crazy, and quite proudly so. If there was an idea that was absurd in scope but was a completionist goal, I did it. I started road-tripping with an epic fervor (I knocked off 8 remaining states from my list, mostly New England, to get me to 49 [pin in that]). Road-tripping and adventuring is now a major aspect of my personality, and I have since accrued over 11,000 saved places on google maps (my poor, poor phone starts to melt whenever I open the app for navigation). Over the remaining months I had in New York, I rode every line of the New York City Subway end to end. I taught myself military time, metric, the NATO phonetic alphabet, and the nations of the world. Whenever I would go to bars, instead of socializing ineptly, I would open my backpack and yank out a massive tome such as (initially) a book on the AOL-Time Warner Merger (“something which one cannot read whilst sober”) or (later) Penn State, an Illustrated History (did you know we had a branch campus in China?). Sometimes, people would look over at me as the shockwave caused by the massive thwack of the volume hitting the bartop rolled by, and I would proudly adopt the facial expression of “Yes, I am that weird, and I don’t give a damn.” To be sure, I was still cripplingly lonely, but I was, for the first time in my life, happy. I also began devising an escape plan. I decided to rapidly accelerate my life plans and apply for graduate school years ahead of what I had intended. Come January, I got interviews at three Ivys: Penn State, Duke, and Columbia. It was no contest. Duke sux balz and felt like an incompetent department living in the shadow of their medical center while also having the misplaced haughtiness to think they deserved equal recognition (also, I didn’t want to go to a place where the yearly tuition was more money than I had ever earned in my entire life to that point). Unlike Duke, Columbia actually had some quality research going on, but there was only one professor I was interested in and the department felt like it was out more for its own reputation than to actually support its graduate students. Penn State, however, stole my heart. Though painfully rural, the town felt like a very tiny big city. The university was friendly and earnest, the students were fun-loving but not reckless, and it’s one of only two universities in the country to offer a Dual-Title Ph.D. in [Home Field] and Astrobiology, a subject which I had always been enthralled by. As a concrete comparison, Columbia had just acquired three Cryo-Electron microscopes and was showing them off to us, but they were shared with thirteen other research institutions in the New York Metropolitan Area. Penn State, on the other hand, had one Krios, all to itself, which had been installed four years earlier. I have since confirmed that Penn State clearly puts its money where its mouth was and does its damnedest to support its scientists in producing world-class research. So, slightly over a year after moving to New York, I was ready to start my life over again – but, this time, I had the mindset to do it correctly. At risk of turning this too much into an autobiography, I’ll cut short the narrative. In the two years since the Poughkeepsie Epiphany, though, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon. Partly out of my passion for storytelling and humor, and partly as a way to stake out my own identity in this world, I’ve latched on to certain oddball stories that most exemplify this newfound sense of self which I’ve acquired. Since they are a significant part of my personality and do an excellent job of portraying my uniquely blusterous metahumor, I'll share a few of the most notable:
I’ve been to 49 states:
When people ask where I grew up, I respond that I’ve lived in 10 different cities in six different states, and have been to 49 (some people also ask if my father was in the military [no], or, once, witness protection [I am not at liberty to disclose whether this is true]). The one remaining state is Oklahoma. I am really debating just buying plane tickets to Oklahoma City for a weekend just so that I can say I’ve been to all 50. To justify my trip, I could go on a tour of why white people are so horrible by visiting the Oklahoma Museum of the Native American, the Oklahoma Museum of the African American, and the Oklahoma Museum of the Gay Cowboy (all of which, to my knowledge, are real places). Woohoo! A trifecta of oppression! However, if I were to actually visit Oklahoma and do this, I would then lose this marvelous and witty conversation topic about which last state I have yet to visit and what I would do while there, so it’s a serious cost-benefit analysis that I must weigh.
I am the Dictator of my own country:
This is probably much less interesting than you’d think. There’s a rather... unique hobby out there of people who (for the most part) tongue-in-cheekily secede from their parent countries to form ultra-small monarchies or banana republics. In my case, I thought that the most reasonable and considered response to the Trump Presidency was to give up on the entire country and secede to form my own. I’m going to build a wall and make America pay for it! This is also actually more legitimate than you’d think, too, as I was invited to and attended the United Micronations, the second-largest meeting of nations in the world (the “largest” organization is in New York, I think. I really don’t pay too much attention to it). As a result, I ended up forming a federation, making several alliances, and maintain regular contact with several other micronationalists. On the domestic front, I made both my roommates sign a 37-page, 42-clause, 17k-word Cohabitation Agreement (á la Sheldon), which, among other things, has reservations for Spots, a flag, a legal system, time travel, and gives me power of attorney over them (you’d be surprised; they both signed it voluntarily, without complaint, and after having read it in its entirety). One might add that they do not pay rent; I levy taxes. Finally, I attempted an infiltration of the local Civil War Reenactors (they have a cannon!) to help me in my ongoing war against the local recycling agency for gross ineptitude, but, for some incomprehensible reason, a bunch of old, white, rurally-inclined men didn't take so kindly to my opinions on conservatism and modern politics. I am convinced that this is merely a marketing issue, and we are workshopping new slogans for our planned invasion of the adjacent curb and sidewalk.
I flew to France for a date:
The story I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for. I met an undergraduate here and went on two dates with her, but then she did a semester abroad in France. It was going somewhat well; we were texting every day, and this was the first meaningful person I had actually gone on a date with since... things (pin in that). I quickly ran the numbers, looked at my schedule, and then came up with a hair-brained scheme. You see, I grew up in Florida, so a significant part of my childhood was consumed by theme parks. Sparring you a lot of details, two of the parks (Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Universal Studios) originally opened under the auspices of special-features theme parks, a de-immersive experience where they show you how the movies are made. In the past decade, however, both parks have been moving towards more immersive experiences, where the only common factor among the attractions is that they are all based on intellectual properties that just happened to be movie franchises. This started to feel like a real loss when I learned that the Backlot Tour and Lights, Motors, Action at Disney were being bulldozed for sake of Star Wars: Galaxy’s edge, the former of which was a very important ride to my childhood, and the latter of which was something that I always wanted to see. Lo and behold, a little research revealed that both of these attractions were intact at Disney Studios in Paris. So, a date in the South of France, personally-important theme park attractions in the north, TGV connecting them, and, oh, yeah, duh, it’s Paris, that’s justification in itself. I planned it out meticulously. For the week leading up to the trip, I would get up, go to work, and go to bed an hour earlier every day (the trip was only going to be three days, so any jet-lag-induced napping would have had an alarmingly high opportunity cost). Then, on the day of the flight, I woke up just before midnight, had breakfast at a favorite bar at closing time, went in to work, and left for JFK by noon. Ten hours of globe-trotting later, I arrived on the Mediterranean coast and proceeded to mispronounce everything. The date in France was supposed to be our third. What traditionally happens on the third date? Now, let it be known that I would NEVER be the type of person to demand sexuality from anyone, but, you do have to admit, flying 20% of the circumference of a planet is a pretty grand gesture, is it not? I mean, you can’t get a much grander gesture before you literally run out of planet. So, for this third date to take place and for me to not get laid is pretty empirical proof that I am quite irrevocably unfuckable. My next plan is to start looking for dates in Bangladesh (or Oklahoma), because that’s as close as you can get to antipodal (a perfect 50% of the planet's circumference) as you can get from here. Oh, and those two attractions at Disney Studios, not kidding, they were closed ahead of schedule a week before I arrived. Now, I’m not asking for pity at all; don’t get me wrong, I had a blast! It’s Paris, godsdamnit! But I prefer to view this trip in the narrower, funnier, yet sadder context of the two busts above because it helps me to better come to terms with the parts of myself I dislike. As I often say: “I could either laugh or cry at myself. I’d rather one than the other.”
I returned from France with a Motorcycle:
Although France girl never worked out (I don’t think I made a fool of myself or anything, but, remember, I am legitimately inept at this), the trip to France did have a lasting impact on my life in another way. I am an avid bicyclist for a variety of reasons: staying active, helping the environment, and it’s flying like superman at ground level when [safely!] dodging in and out of undergrads. Now, while strolling down the lonely streets of a certain city in the South of France, I encountered one particular bicycle rack with about 25% regular bicycles, about 25% electric bicycles, about 25% mopeds and scooters, and 25% fully-blown motorcycles, all chained up side by side. Having a doctor as a parent, I spent my entire life thinking of motorcycles as hooligan deathtraps, but, here, I was seeing them for the first time in the context of something I had already made an important part of my life. Upon returning home (by the way, you already know my disdain for New York Shitty [sic] and Wrong Island [sic], so imagine the gutwrenching heartbreak of arriving there after just having spent a weekend in Paris[!]), I arrived at the parking lot, looked at my car, and counted room for four extra people that I didn’t need (because I had no friends). Thus, in my feverish road-tripping, I was hauling around an unnecessary 1.96 tons of extra material – with a dreadful gas mileage to boot! – killing the planet as a result. The next few days were spent obsessively investigating this newfound world which I had heretofore disregarded. Ever since being gifted my car and spittaking at its gas mileage, I always wanted another, more environmentally-conscious vehicle. However, living in the so-called Pennsyltucky, electric vehicle charging stations are fairly sparse in their deployment. Also, I didn’t want to buy a true replacement vehicle, as I am too poor. I was more targeting a hyper-environmentally-conscious vehicle which I could use for my luxury adventures, and then still have the old, reliable gas-guzzler for when I needed to haul around a couch or power through to Virginia. Motorcycles, as I found, have an average of 56mpg, 2.5 times better than my car. But, now, I was starting to find my way into the culture of motorcycles, something which, on the whole, I find myself violently at odds with. As the joke I tell goes, most motorcycles aren’t actually built for long-distance exploring, like what I already did in my car. Most of them are dirt bikes, with basically bench seats, or sport bikes, which require you to hunch over and lean your stomach on the gas tank. Not very comfortable for long treks. There are only two types of bikes made with comfort in mind: the sport-tourer, which I ended up getting, and the cruiser, which is made entirely out of chrome, handle-bar mustaches, and racism (or homophobia, depending on my audience). Needless to say, I prefer the former. For those interested, I ended up with the Yamaha Tracer GT. In addition to (proudly!) having only one piece of chrome (the downward-facing exhaust) and being sexy and futuristic as all futhermuck, it is functional, having two panniers (saddle-bags), each capable of holding four half-gallons of Berkey Creamery ice cream (ask me how I know). Skipping over many of the specifics of how I chose this particular model regarding my choice of motorcycle, a big figure in motorcycle news opened his review of the Tracer with “It’s not often I ride a motorcycle and walk away with existential questions for the readers.” For those who have been following along, this quote is the exact thing that I latch on to as part of my newfound identity as a blissful lunatic.
The Semester of Hell and solving a decade-old issue in microbial physiology:
So, come the end of my first year as a graduate student, I started to look towards my second fall semester. The only thing I had to do was my qualifying exam, the really big, month-long exam that determines whether or not you can stay in graduate school. But that was only during November, so, overall, it was going to be an empty semester. Then I learned that a big-name professor in microbiology was retiring, and the last time he was going to teach would be that fall. So, I signed up for his course. After all, it was supposed to be an empty semester. Then I learned of a prestigious grant that I could apply for, so I decided to take a grant-writing course. After all, it was supposed to be an empty semester. Then I got an email from the department, saying that they needed more TAs for Freshman Biology lab. I had to TA as a requirement of my program, so I might as well get it out of the way now. After all, it was supposed to be an empty semester. Then, in July and August, I made an incredible discovery that solved a problem in microbial physiology that had been around since 2009 (pin in that). I spoke with my PI, and he said we could power through and probably get a paper out in under a year. I told him I wanted to do that. After all, it was supposed to be an empty semester. Well, as you can now see, it wasn’t a very empty semester, was it now? To great surprise, I survived, but not unscathed. On average, I worked 60-70 hours a week, though some of it was partially my own doing (for example, my term paper for the bacterial physiology course had seventy citations, even though it was only required to have ten). One “highlight” was TAing. Apparently, my students thought my quiz was so hard that they called the university police on me (I’m not exaggerating; we had to pursue academic integrity violations. It was a debacle). I joked that, with each subsequent class period, I became more and more sympathetic to the antagonists of teen dystopian novels; maybe it is time to build a floating elitist city in the sky and leave the rest of the planet to shit, after all? Now, I’m certain that many of you are curious as to the contents of my discovery. I can’t exactly speak freely, as the manuscript is in review, but, even if I could, it would be waaaaay too complex and jargony to be comprehensible to the lay public (and this is already going on long enough). Suffice it to be the simple version: A particular class of protein had been known in microbes for a very long time and is involved in pretty much everything, from simple feeding to complex infections. In certain bacteria, this category of protein is modified in a certain way, and people always thought (for over 40 years) that this modification was a transport signal. However, a decade ago, a research groups, perplexingly, discovered these modified proteins in a bacterium that didn’t have th modification-making enzyme. This left two major questions: if not for transport, what was this modification for; and, what is the enzyme that makes the modification in all the other bacteria? I solved the latter question by spending four months looking through the entire genome of the original bacterium and finally finding the modification-making protein, and I’ve spent ever since trying to characterize it. The paper should be published sometime within a month or three (the current coronapocalypse is a boon for manuscript-preparation). Additionally, the previous graduate student in the lab to me made an interesting discovery regarding the genetics of the modification-making enzyme, and my next paper will expand on their work to determine the actual function of this modification. These proteins and their modifications are important because (on the applied side) they belong to major pathogens and could be a target for treating infections and (on the basic side) we have indications that they are part of a planetary-wide stress put on bacteria during evolution (hence, my astrobiological machinations). –––––––––– Chapter 2: Where I came from. Now we have to get into how I got to this point. Suffice it to say that I have a lot of sexual trauma. In 2014, when I was still an undergrad, I met whom I called then my soulmate. They were beautiful, fun, perky, and adventurous. They were my first relationship and we took each other’s virginity in a tent after a romantic picnic. But, sadly, less than a year in, things started to go off the rails. I came out as polyamorous. The way I have best found to describe it is when you ask a parent which their favorite child is. All parents worth their salt will say “I love each of my children in their own, unique way.” Such is the same with me. At the time, I had feelings for some of my other friends; but! mind you! they were in no way enough to ever consider ever leaving my soulmate. It was simply such that I had my one, my true, my only, but I didn’t want that to have to mean I tell all other people in my life “Bah! You mean nothing to me because of the ambiguity of my relationship status at the time you met me.” I also had quite a complex from growing up so antisocially and isolated. This was a time in my life when things started to look up. Pieces were finally starting to fall into place, I had some friends and acquaintances, and people actually cared for me. It was thusly then that I realized I was polyamorous, but in mostly a loving way, not necessarily as a swinger or horndog. So, I came out. In any other situation in the world, this might have not been as catastrophic. However, there were certain things about my soulmate which I knew not at the time that caused not just my relationship, not just my life, but my reality to crumble. You see, they grew up in an incredibly abusive situation, and the only way they knew how to act was to throw away every part of themselves for the people whom they loved. Whelp, that meant “forcing” themselves to be polyamorous for me. They devised a ridiculous plan where they would go out and sleep with lots of people to become okay with the idea of nonmonogamy. Needless to say, this was a batshit crazy idea, but they didn’t tell me their true feelings of how traumatizing this would be for them, and I decided to trust them that this is what they knew would be best for them and that it would all work out in the end. What can I say? What is love if not supporting your partner? I honestly thought it could be okay. However, as you might guess, it was not. The main issue came from all their mental instability that they had hidden from me for so long. They became quite dissociative and hid it all from me. As such, they tried to compartmentalize their sexual exploration away from our relationship, making me less involved. In short, I was supposed to be their monogamous “safe space” while they did all this terrible shit to themselves. Understandably, this backfired. Rather than it being a collaborative, supportive, gentle, loving exploration, it became dishonest, filled with deceit. They lied to me about doing things with people and about not doing things with people. They made up stories of fuckbuddies and hid some of the real people they were fucking. All the while, I was starting to lose my grip on reality, because, here they were, getting to do all the things I had always wanted, practically rubbing it all in my face, while barring me from having any part of it for myself. It was tortuous. Highlights include them fucking my brother for four uninterrupted hours, and kicking me out of my bed and bedroom to fuck a nine-inch cock while I made them breakfast, then not allowing me to enter until they had finished. When I learned that they hid that they were flunking all their classes in college, I snapped, and nothing was ever the same again. That’s not how you treat your soulmate. It was supposed to be us against the world, but they weren’t acting like we were a team. In retrospect, I was heartbroken for well more than half of the time we were a couple. The entire last year we were together, I was depressed beyond description. I would come home from work and I would have so little energy that my personality would just melt away. I was devoid of existence. I would sit on a couch, and stare away at nothingness for hours on end. To my credit, my ex would cover me in a blanket, put dinner on my lap, set the iPad in front of me, and put on an anime. I know they truly loved me because they did this for over six months, without complaining. However, I was simply too broken. Things reached one fever pitch after another. I could always tell that something was wrong, that, as hard as I tried, I was never actually getting through to the person inside. It all felt so superficial. I always knew they were hiding things (not just sexual stuff, but, more simply, their own wants and desires, their simple, everyday preferences). They were there, but not present. So, faced with a soulmate who wasn’t sharing their soul, trauma most insurmountable, and no other options, I did the only thing I could: I accepted a job across the country in New York and fled the width of a continent. However, as you already know, things didn’t get better. I couldn’t get a date for the life of me; I was – and am – too oddball. That I’ve had only one relationship and that it imploded quite catastrophically does not predispose me to self-worth or experience with dating. I am very intellectual, but a dullard at socialization. Hell, I never even learned how to make out. To boot, I have all this trauma which will take years to move on from. Last christmas, my now ex reached out to me, and we talked pretty much every day for four months. Since I left, they managed to somehow actually succeed in making themselves polyamorous, whereupon they proceeded to date and fuck my now (former) best friend, then leave them to date and move in with their boss from work, whom is over a decade older than them. They were in this relationship for over two and a half years, and we’ve been apart for three. Talking to them again has been rather tortuous, as I’ve been treated to such lovely details about their sex life while being, once again, excluded from it most royally. So… yeah… that’s been fun. And people wonder why I have such a boatload of trauma. After misery peaking once again, I realized that we had come to an impasse: I cannot move forward from the past without them, and they don’t want me back until I’ve moved forward from the past. Such is where things were last left, and I have no indication that they will ever change meaningfully from this. Now, I want to make clear that I am not at all looking for any sort of statements regarding how I should forget about them and move on. There is so much more nuance than what I can describe here, and I’m not completely without blame either. Although I do not think I fucked up anywhere near as apocalyptically, I did hurt them, too. Nor do I necessarily hate them, either. Though what they did was incredibly, world-endingly hurtful and stupid, it was not done with malice. Time has only made me more sympathetic to their situation, and, thus, their actions. In short, their parent was incredibly abusive, and they also were terrified of losing me, so they were drunk on fear and thought that they needed to act in major ways to keep me. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely think that what they did then and have done since has ruined my life, but I understand why things happened the way they did and I don’t love them any less. I mean, I did say they were my soulmate, didn’t I? That has to count for something, doesn’t it? Seriously, though, I wish so badly that I hated them for all they did. That would make it so much easier to move on. I still identify as polyamorous, so this has the unpleasant side-effect of freezing my emotional development on the matter in place. In my case, I could be happily married for a decade and still be nowhere nearer to being able to move on from this ex, so it’s not like having any new sexual or romantic conquests will actually help me to move on from them. And, before you suggest, I already have a therapist, and she’s very nice. So, since I’ve just spent ten pages telling you about three years of failed efforts to move on, comments or messages saying “move on, dude” will not be looked upon kindly. –––––––––– Chapter 3: Where I want to go. So, as you can now see, I am the literal incarnation of damaged goods. I still really don’t know where I am going to post this, but my story is complicated enough that one part is inseparable from the other. If I’m posting this on a subreddit for sexual searches, you’ll need to know why a simple hookup is not on the table at all; conversely, if I’m posting this to a subreddit in search of romantic partners, you’ll need to know about my dreadful sexual brokenness and resulting insecurities up front. Either way, I’ve now managed to waste the time of two groups instead of one; how overachieving of me! At this juncture of my life, I’ve somewhat come to terms with the fact I won’t ever be getting the tools I need to move on from my ex (something for which I them somewhat resent). However, if it wasn’t made abundantly clear heretofore, the acquisition of another compatriot is the taddest bit flummoxing for me. In short-form, swiping-based dating app formats, it is far too easy to disregard my numerous quirks as simply that, not scars from a lengthy, complicated, demoralizing battle against a society which I am physiologically incapable of understanding. Oh, and the global coronapocalypsemageddonocaust has slightly impacted my ability to partake in social events wherewithin people might be met. In truth, I am not necessarily the sexiest person in world. I’m a tad bit overweight, but I both wear it well (being absurdly tall helps) and am actively trying to change it (I’ve taken up running [surprisingly enjoyable!] and have lost ~10kg). I definitely don’t think I have an ugly face or anything. But I don’t think that’s actually my problem. In the event that it hasn’t been blindingly obvious up to this point, I am not your average cookie. In stark brief, I attended the Stanford (yes, that one) Online High School, dropped out, started college at 14, graduate at 19 with honors, and am now a Graduate Fellow (one step above student) at an Ivy-League university (expanded definition, fight me). As such, the way in which I go through my life is fairly cerebral. To those whom understand not my eccentricities or the subjects of which I speak, I am perceived as talking down to others. However, it is simply the way in which I approach the world, and I am wholly oblivious in the moment of how I could be perceived as such. So it is thusly that I here myself find, holding on to the dreadfully unrealistic hope that being honest with the world about myself will earn me the possibility to find another soulmate, but one not programmed to shred what little sanity I have left. Here goes hope: Regarding my location, if you hadn’t figured out, I live in central Pennsyltucky – 9 miles from the geographic centerpoint of the state, in fact. However, as I tell prospective students, while Penn State is in the middle of nowhere, it is half-way to everywhere! That, combined with my adventurous proclivities, opens up (literal!) horizons, dramatically. I can easily make it in a day trip to anywhere within Pennsylvania (though I love Pittsburgh!) or anywhere in the Megalopolis between Trenton and DC. At a slight stretch, I can also reach NYC, Upstate, Ohio, or, maybe, West Virginia. I am definitely open to meeting people from outside my immediate drive-shed – especially since pretty much all dates in the COVID-19 era start with Zoom, anyway – however, since I’ve been to so many places, front-of-the-line priority will be given to those from places I desire to explore more, including (in order of decreasing preference): Colorado, Northern California, Minnesota, Michigan, Arizona, Texas, and Vermont. If things develop, I both have the means and inclination to successfully conduct an LDR until I finish graduate school in 3-4 years. Regarding the type of partner, while I am genuinely pansexual, I seem to be mostly romantically attracted with feminine-presenting people. Though, were I to have my druthers, I’d prefer you to be busty, at least moderately height-weight-proportional, and similarly tall, I affirmatively believe that it’s more how you use what you have than what you actually have, so I will always choose the average slut over the prudish bombshell. Other than that, I remain open minded to people of pretty much all walks of life. Speaking of, for reasons that I hope are quite evident, I am a taaaaaaaaaaaad delicate in my sexuality. I used to be slightly dominant, but am definitely not anymore. I am almost in the realm of gentlefemdom. Please do be understanding that it’ll take some time (and, most likely, lots and lots of crying. I just want you to be sexually open yet patient enough that I could slowly grow back into my sexuality. Actually, that’s part of what I’m most hopeful for in a new partner. It would be really nice to have someone that is strong in their sexuality, and acts very openly with it, but is patient and loyal enough to not make me worried or scared. Someone who would, say, impulsively strip for a hike or skinny-dip, but wouldn’t pressure me to do the same if I wasn’t in the right headspace to do so. Romantically, well, that’s a more complicated issue. I still identify as polyamorous, and I wouldn’t expect total devotion from my partner, but this is assuredly a difficult area. I think I would be benefitted by a period (likely 6-12 months) by monogamy, just so that I can recover enough to a functional level, then we can slowly and safely open up the relationship (with group stuff happening well before metamours). Just please be careful with my heart. It’s already taken so much of a beating, and I don’t know how much more it can handle. –––––––––– Epilogue: So, yeah, I guess that’s me. If you’ve made it this far, I at least thank you for doing so. I’ve been emotionally isolated for so long that it’s nice to just be acknowledged by other people. I know the likelihood of anything meaningful coming from this is quite, quite low, but this is part of me trying to move forward from the people that hurt me so cripplingly. I definitely come with some baggage, but I hope I’ve shown you who I am and that I at least have the potential to be good again. I shall leave you with my dating profile. Hopefully this will show you the sonderous story that goes into only but a few words: “I find humor in everything and live for adventures. Highly sarcastic, hot-sauce-addicted, somewhat queer molecular and astrobiologist. Pro: I’m genuine. Con: -ly crazy. Looking for a porter to help me carry my emotional baggage.”
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