Blog Archive

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fate Kalied Liner 3rei blu-ray released:

There's a caveat though, it's only in 720p.  I think I'll hold out for a 1080p release.  What's the use of a low definition blu ray?

Meanwhile, I finished Ghost Writer in the Sky and have returned to Baccano.  I've reached episode 30 of Macross 7, and it really is getting bad now, just like I remember.  And I'm to song 292 out of 683 in my grand music melee.

The Grand Music Melee has had its fair share of trouble.  I've discovered seven additional FF songs that are the exact same as some other song on my list just with a different title and time length.  Now my FF to 'other' ratio isn't balanced at all.  FF has eight fewer songs than 'misc.', and who knows how many more of these stupid repeats I'll find from here on.  I thought I'd successfully weeded these mistakes out during the previous contest, but I guess that was naive.  This time for sure, though, I won't let any doppelgangers through.

There's also the traditional problem of two songs being bad early on, and then two songs who are great going up against each other after.  I've had to constantly put my thumb on the brackets and delete songs that 'won' in order to help out songs that 'lost,' for the sake of greater musical quality.

This doesn't render the 1 on 1 system completely obsolete.  It's important to give me razor sharp focus on each song when I'm comparing them directly against each other like this.  There are also a lot of competitions that are decided fairly without any issue.  It just means that a true grand melee would be too heartless, when the goal isn't a fight, but the ultimate music list, which is what I definitely see shaping up before my very eyes as this contest moves along.

Once I run out of FF songs compared to 'misc.' songs, I'll drop the head to head aspect and just put in the best remaining songs that haven't gotten in yet from either list.  So long as I keep the list to 683 entries, I've kept the 50% death rate that a head-to-head competition implies, and that's good enough.  (Hopefully I can keep that execution rate up.)

There's only 1 chapter left of Hayate no Gotoku before it ends.  The series is nearly 15 years old, yet nothing is permanent in this world.  The #4 manga of all time, the highest ranked manga to have an ending, is reaching its perfect conclusion -- not too quickly, not too slowly, but capturing everything that needed to be said and saying it all perfectly.

Akame ga Kill!, the #3 manga, doesn't look like it will be ending anytime soon.  Not only is Zero going strong, but there's even hints that a sequel manga might be in the works.

Saki, the #2 manga, proceeds in a very deliberate manner.  There's a million spinoffs that don't look to be ending anytime soon as well.

Fairy Tail, the #1 manga, will probably end in a couple months.  All of its spinoffs have already ended, but they haven't been translated yet, so to us English speakers, until everything is fully translated, Fairy Tail will never technically end.  But for Japan at least this will be a twelve year saga finally coming to a close.

Fairy Tail's latest chapters have been mesmerizing.  Zeref has become an even more personable character than before, an incredible arch-villain worthy of the #1 story of all time.  Whenever Mavis and Zeref interact the story just starts throwing off sparks it's so brilliant.

I dearly hope the Fairy Tail anime resumes, but you'd think they would have done so already given that there's no way the tv could catch up with the manga before the manga ends at this point.  It also doesn't make much sense to resume the anime after the manga is already over, because then the anime can't possibly help out the manga sales anymore.  Mashima said a 'new project' was in the works, but maybe that plan has been scrapped, because there just doesn't seem to be any movement in that direction and time is running out.

If Fairy Tail really did get animated all the way to the ending, it would be the #1 anime of all time as well as the #1 manga.  It has the length of Naruto, One Piece and Dragon Ball but without any of the problems.

Even so, Naruto, One Piece, and Dragon Ball right now are shows with proper endings, extreme length, and very high quality arcs sprinkled throughout.  Keeping them out of the top 10, or even the top 5, is like resisting the pull of gravity.  Every week they come out with more episodes, solidifying their cases yet further, and it doesn't look like this will stop for any of the three anytime soon.

Is 2017 just the year of everything good coming to an end?  Is this the end of the world or something?  Well, not if Suka Suka has anything to say about it.  An all new series by an all new author that can hang with the best, debuting just now in 2017.  It's probably even better than Youjo Senki.

Eromanga Sensei was a known quantity, I knew it would propel 2017 to greatness, but Suka Suka came out of total left field.  So long as there's shows like this still appearing out of nowhere every season, the future has nothing to fear.  We can make up the giant holes Hayate and Fairy Tail leave behind.  So these stories can rest in peace, knowing that dragging them out any further wouldn't help anyone, with the knowledge that they've done their part and now it's time to pass the baton.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Video Game Music Grand Melee Redux:

Version 2.0 is looking a lot better than the first time around.  Important changes were made so that things would flow more smoothly:

First, I flipped FF Tactics over from the FF side to the 'misc.' side.  This very nearly equalized the number of songs on both lists, so that a head to head competition could become possible.

Second, I discovered five FF songs which were in fact repeats of each other, just with different titles and playing times.  Once I took those five out of the equation, lo and behold, the two song lists were almost equal -- 682 to 683.

Third, I ordered the songs on both lists by time instead of album.  This allowed me to randomize who would be going up against whom -- no FF4 vs. Chrono Trigger disasters are possible, because playing time really has no correlation to which particular game it was, on either side.

Randomizing via time instead of the 'shuffle' command allowed me to keep a tight hold on which songs have played and which haven't.  Each song directly follows the previous one, so I can keep careful track of which songs have played and which haven't, whether the 1 to 1 fight is both on the same page (like lining up a scantron), and whether my 20 star playlist has the proper number of entries given where I am on the competitor lists.

Currently I'm on song 128 on both sides, and my 20 star music list has 128 songs, so everything is proceeding perfectly.  128/683 = about 1/5 of the way through.  So this might take a few more days.

Fourth, I play one song from the FF list, followed by one song from the 'misc.' list, and whichever one I prefer of the two is the one that graduates to my 20 star list.

Fifth, if a song from either side is just a remix of another song, it auto loses against a real song from the other side.  I want all the best music, not 100 versions of my same favorite song.  If I want to listen to the same song over and over again, I'll just put the original version all the others are based off of on repeat.

Sixth, if the song is just a remix of a classical music song, it auto loses against a real song, because if I wanted to listen to classical I would just put the original classical song on.  This applies a lot to early FF music for some odd reason.

Seventh, if both songs in a competition are no good, and later on both songs from a competition are great, I reserve the right to eliminate both songs from the no good contest and include both songs from the great contest, in the interest of maximizing the 20 star list's quality.  I haven't had to actually use this option much though, things generally work out even without any tinkering.

With FF Tactics switching sides, you would think the competition would be rather even, not just in having the same quantity of songs on either side, but also having a 50-50 chance of winning for either side, but that's not the case.  FF is still clobbering the 'misc.' side just like before.  Well, the grand melee is yet young, so who knows, maybe 'misc.' will make a comeback.  Tales is the weakest performer of all, it's virtually no help to the 'misc.' side.  But the grand melee is yet young, maybe that result will also change.

While the grand melee rages on, I can also read Xanth's latest book, Ghost Writer in the Sky, and then finish the remaining translated Baccano.  Killing three birds with one stone.  I've been working for years to get to the point where I could host this grand melee, so there's no way I was going to let it end so messily.  This time I'm doing it right, and the result is going to be a spectacularly good list.

Great Article at Breitbart Lays it all on the line:

Breitbart is officially a platform for the alt-right:  http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/04/23/5-scientific-facts-the-science-march-refuses-to-acknowledge/

Breitbart is the 29th most trafficked website in America, and it just said five forbidden truths in a single article.  It threw down the gauntlet today, smacking down the LGBT agenda, feminism, race denialists, IQ denialists, and environmentalists all in one go.

This is an article I would have been proud to write.  This is full on Nazi.  Because you have to understand, if these facts are accepted, certain moral conclusions must be drawn from them, and those political, moral conclusions which emerge naturally from the above list of facts are all Nazi Germany.

Even if Breitbart doesn't connect the dots, any sane, thinking person, upon looking at those facts, could easily do so in their own mind.  There's simply no reason not to be a Nazi if this article is true.

And Breitbart just exposed these facts to hundreds of millions of readers, something no alt-right website has ever managed to do.  This is the most important news article ever written, because of its chance to convert millions of people, in a single moment, to full on Nazism.  If Breitbart just spent the last ten years building up a readership all so that it could unleash this one article to its unsuspecting readers and evangelize them all, then they are mad geniuses of the highest order.  They just put Amren, Vdare, the Daily Stormer, Stormfront, Steve Sailer and every other website to shame, because they just spread more truth to the people than every alt-right website ever managed combined.

I'm so proud of Breitbart having the courage to step up to the plate and fearlessly tell the truth, even when it's not PC.  Even if Trump is turning left, if Breitbart, which is Trump's base, is turning right, America is getting healthier by the moment.

The same can't be said for France, where Le Pen couldn't even win the first round, despite France being the target of a full on terrorist war that slaughtered hundreds if not thousands of French over the past few years.  I guess these people prefer to die like ostriches with their heads in the sand to the very end.  Typical Europeans.  Nothing can kick them out of their ennui and make them want to survive.  Political parties have offered them the opportunity for decades, and yet the people stubbornly refuse, like a bunch of Titanic passengers who don't feel like getting on the lifeboats even as the ship sinks underneath them.

There is a sickness in Europe that really cannot be explained, that even the Anglosphere doesn't share.  Trump runs America.  Canada and Australia and New Zealand have a strict, merit based immigration policy.  The UK voted for Brexit.  Eastern Europe knows better than to put up with Ottoman crap.  But when you get to France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Benelux, and Scandinavia, it's just absolute hopeless stupidity, with zero signs of life, no matter how bad it gets.

I suggest any healthy whites who remain in those countries to move to America, Eastern Europe, Russia, or even South America.  Western Europe is dead.  It doesn't even have the will to jail criminals or deport terrorists.  It's just supine as the waves of darkness pour in year after year after year.  The rest of the white world could really use your help.  Millions of additional conservative voters injected into still living countries like Trump's America could save our republic.  Focusing our energy in one place so that there is at least one white haven on Earth is the best strategy for all of us -- South African whites, are you listening?

In an effort to squeeze out any additional songs I could so that no worthy entry was missed, my 10 star playlist is now 1370 songs, 769 FF and 601 non-FF.  It does feel like a 20 star grand melee like I initially planned is still possible.  Suppose I include FF tactics in the non-FF group?  That would make it 687 vs. 683.  It's not even unreasonable, given that FF Tactics has more in common with Ogre Battle than the rest of the FF series.  The four remaining spots can just go to whoever's lucky enough to not face a competitor at the very end.

The natural injustice of an unseeded contest will mean that some good songs will fail to reach the 20 star list even while many worse ones succeed.  But it's not such a huge tragedy, given that these songs will still remain in my 10 star list, ready for listening whenever I desire.  Now I can enjoy the thrill of competition like I originally planned, and create, at least overall, an even more select, elite playlist than the one I already have.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

586:

At least for now, I've finished my first draft of the 'misc.' portion of my 10 star music as well.  It came in at 586 songs out of 1485, a pretty drastic reduction.  For some reason my music player didn't play all the songs, so I had to manually direct it to good ones it had previously missed.  Which means there might be more good music I accidentally left out, which I'll have to address eventually.  But pretty much I got everything I needed.  The very fact that a song is forgettable means it can't be that vital to inclusion.

The grand total stands at 1355.  It could go up if I find more songs, or it could go down if I tire of the songs that did make the cut.  But for now it's 1355.  Well below my announced goal of 1485, so it looks like I really did succeed in a brutal, over 50% cut of my previous music lists.

It also goes to show that Final Fantasy still reigns supreme.  Even when all other games team up against it, FF is still responsible for more total good music than all of them combined.  At least the other side put up a respectable fight.  I was worried it would be a total slaughter, which would have meant my year of listening to Tales music was a complete waste.  Luckily that didn't happen, and a lot of Tales songs stand on an even basis with FF.

From start to finish this grand melee was a total mess, nothing worked as intended, but the end result is still a playlist full of good songs, that's half the size of the original, so oh well.  I think I'll take this as a glass half full ending.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

768:

I started with 1350 Final Fantasy songs and reduced that down to 768 for my 10 star video game music playlist.  That's a 43% reduction in size.  I might be able to cull additional songs but I've actually reached a pretty good size already.  This means I can focus on the 'everybody else' side of the equation now in good conscience.  The goal was to reduce my playlist size by half, and I pretty much met that goal on the FF side.  I'll likely be able to do the same on the misc. side.  If I don't, oh well, close enough.  I not only reduced the size of my playlist by a large margin, I also made sure to keep all the best songs, thus ensuring I didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater in a fanatical attempt to meet execution quotas.

One surprising and sad fact I learned from this -- Nobuo Uematsu is all washed up.  His FF XIV music was pathetic compared to even FF X, much less the classics from IV-VI.  Even FF X already felt weak compared to FF IX, you could really just see him slipping over time.

I have more FF XV music in my 10 star playlist than FF XIV, despite the fact that FF XV is written by some no-name woman who's never even composed for FF before.  FF XIV was a massive game, with 71 song tracks to choose from, but it still couldn't produce any hits.  I complained about FF XV not having Uematsu to compose the music, but even if they'd given him the job he wouldn't have been able to achieve it.  He's over the hill and would've just ruined the game if he had tried.

I have to wonder if the reason why FF XIV was so poorly received in the first place was simply because no one liked the music.  That may be why 'Realm Reborn' threw out all of Uematsu's music and hired a new composer to make a new score.  It's almost unprecedented for a game to be published, then scrapped, then completely remade.  Maybe that's because it was unprecedented for Uematsu to compose such a poor soundtrack for Square.

Don't get me wrong, Uematsu is the best composer in the world.  It's just that all legends eventually weaken via aging, and FF XV was when Uematsu hit a wall he couldn't possibly climb, which is why they handed the baton off to someone new.  I can no longer criticize the decision because in hindsight they were 100% right.  But where does that leave future FF?  It's not like FF XV had a soundtrack comparable to even FF X's.  So what is FF without good music?  Luckily for now they're remaking FF7, so they can just use FF7's music.  But I see no future for the franchise beyond that.

Meanwhile, I finished Baccano 18 and am now, supposedly, on the climactic volume 19.  Though how any climax is possible so long as Fermet is alive is beyond me. . .

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Economy is Failing Regular Americans:

The top .01% of Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 90%.  In addition, median household wealth has decreased by 40% since 2007.

Most of the wealth held by the bottom 90% is illusory -- unfunded pension funds, unfunded social security and medicare benefits, and houses they live in so can't afford to sell.

Millennials  make way less money than baby boomers did when they were the Millennials' age, and owe way more in debt.

Any attempt to redistribute wealth to the lower classes will only result in consumer price inflation, undoing whatever the government attempts to do to help.  Only by having all the money locked up in phantom assets has the massive money printing of the government not resulted in massive inflation, the moment you try to turn that printed money into actual goods and services it will evaporate like morning dew in the desert.

The only way to improve the plight of the poor is to lower costs.  That's the holy grail.  If the same amount of money currently chasing goods and services were redistributed more evenly, that would not result in inflation, so a citizen's dividend that results in less government spending than the previous model is fine.  But that citizen's dividend only helps if basic goods and services are affordable.

The way to lower costs is to decrease regulations which increase the price of doing business, decrease crime and corruption, decrease taxes which would immediately result in lowered prices in exact proportion, or invent a more efficient method to deliver the good or service than what we had before.

Computer chips and oil businesses have found an amazing variety of ways to continuously increase efficiency and thus lower costs for consumers.  Oil is half the price it used to be, even though we are steadily climbing up the difficulty curve of accessible oil finds.  That's just fantastic.  The PS4 was cheaper than the PS3 despite being a more powerful gaming console.

But prices need to keep dropping until no one experiences material hardship in this world.  That's the end goal, and we aren't nearly there yet.  Everyone should have food, clothing, shelter, health care, clean water, the internet, literacy, leisure time and entertainment to fill up said time, amenable temperature ranges, privacy, no loud noises, safety, a place away from pollution or bad smells, quick and easy transportation options that can whisk them wherever they want to go, phones so that people can communicate freely and keep track of each other's locations when they're trying to meet up, electricity, sewage, a bathtub, etc, etc.

There is simply no reason anyone should be undergoing unnecessary hardships, whether it's pain, being pestered, being degraded and soiled, or simply being deprived of the opportunities to live a happy life, by being able to go places, meet people, see things, make friends, widen their horizons, and so on.  I'm not asking for anything special, in America all of this should be plentiful and natural.

The problem isn't that I'm asking for too much from life.  The problem is the basic prices of these goods haven't dropped like they should -- in fact most of them are rising.  How can people afford a decent existence if it keeps requiring ever greater funds to reach?

Why is the price of housing, a 10,000 year old technology, going up instead of down?  Why hasn't the price of constructing a house dropped by half, like oil has?

The answer is overpopulation.  Cities are so crowded that even tiny apartments are ridiculously expensive, and the congestion of traffic makes it nigh impossible to get anywhere once you're out of said apartment.  Infrastructure maintenance and development can't keep up with the ever increasing demand.  And where is all this overpopulation coming from?  Open borders immigration.  The natural birth rate of the people who used to live here was below replacement.  Housing prices would have dropped in the natural flow of events, but that option was taken from us by a government which refuses to even enforce its own laws.

And since the people allowed to immigrate to America have high crime and terrorist attack rates, our safety is steadily diminishing instead of rising, and it costs ever higher sums to live in a 'safe' neighborhood where you can walk your dog without being raped and your kids can go to school without being bullied.

The cost of health care is unnecessarily burdened by immigrants and minorities who lead unhealthy lives, shoot each other on a daily basis, and then amble into the emergency room to be treated free of charge, or with subsidized health insurance that taxpayers have to fork over.  25% of the cost of medicare goes to diabetes treatments, an entirely preventable illness if these stupid poor minorities would just stop stuffing their mouths every day.



We can't lower costs when we have open borders immigration for the type of people who drive up the cost of housing, health care, education, crime avoidance/prevention/punishment, drugs disabling millions into death spirals of addiction, unemployment, homelessness and crime, transportation congestion, etc.  We could all live in nice temperate climates like California if the population were simply low enough.  But instead people are trying their best in muggy Texas, Florida, the deserts of Arizona, freezing Minnesota, Michigan, New York, etc.  Why?  Because the price of real estate in nice places with good views and good year round temperatures has already all been bought out.  Not even millionaires can afford to live anywhere nice anymore.

If we don't control costs, there's nothing we can do to help the poor.  Any attempt at redistribution of additional money that isn't already being redistributed will just lead to inflation, because the providers of these goods literally don't have any more supply, which is why everything is too expensive already.  If you try to jumpstart supply by providing a bunch of fake, printed dollars to people who will then increase demand, prices will naturally rise to put things back into equilibrium.  All of these goods are already allotted to someone somewhere, so increasing bidding on them doesn't help any.  If there were a way to produce more goods that people wanted while still doing it at below the price of production, businesses would have done so long ago.  Since they haven't, providing people fake money to buy more goods with is essentially just demanding businesses start providing goods and services at below the price of production, a quick way to drive all your businesses into bankruptcy, at which point no goods or services at all will be produced.

So yes, by all means, help out the poor via deregulation, lowered taxes, and less government spending on moral hazards like health care for people who brought about their own health problems via their own bad habits.  But unless you shut down immigration none of it matters.  First off, the overwhelming expense of accommodating all these new peasants is simply backbreaking, which leaves nothing left to spare the native poor.  Second off, all these new immigrants vote democrat, which means they will undo any cost saving measure you attempt to put in via good governance.  Everything is futile unless you can stay in power and keep regulations and taxes low so that businesses can actually go about doing their jobs.

Meanwhile, Yuuki Yuuna's latest oav was phenomenal.  Of course, I knew it would be good because I already read the book it was based off of, but it was even better than I dreamed.  Voice acting, music, animation, color, it just adds a whole new dimension that the written word cannot match.  Anime truly is the ultimate art form.

I'm about halfway through Baccano 18, another bad book, like all 1930's books other than the original flying pussyfoot storyline.  Flying Pussyfoot + 1700's is good, but all the rest of Baccano is awful.  The next time a new good light novel series appears, it's replacing Baccano on my hall of fame list.  I have to read something while conducting my video game grand music melee though.

In said melee, I'm nearly done listening to all the FF songs.  Once that's over I need to carefully compare the songs to see if they aren't really just remixes of each other.  They have different names and playing times, but often they all share the same melodies.  If I can just narrow that down to only the best version of said melody, I could cut endless superfluous entities from my meant-to-be-perfect playlist.  Of course, I'm not averse to two songs that are very similar if they both stand out as great for different reasons, I just don't want to be tricked into listening to a strictly inferior version of another song just because I really like the original, superior tune.

Only once I've narrowed down my FF music as much as possible will I move over to the other side of the board and focus on 'everyone else.'  Hopefully the combined list will stay under 1485 if I do this right.

I'm about halfway through Macross 7 and it's still fine.  I guess it was the second half that really dragged down the show's quality. . .

New Game out in Blu-ray:

Another series, another blu-ray fansub.  This time by [tjardo].  Since half of New Game was already released in blu-ray, tjardo gave us the gift of the other half all at once.  There's no particular need to rewatch New Game yet, it hasn't even been a year since it aired, but it's nice to have waiting in reserve, and most importantly now is the time it's most likely to be well seeded.

Meanwhile, I finished Hyouka volume 6, currently the last volume of Hyouka.  It was pretty good, though I can never solve the mysteries until Oreki explains the answer to me, leaving me always feeling stupid.

With that, all the extra translated novels I found via the novel updates website have already been cleared.  Now I'm back to Baccano.  At least the newest Xanth book (Ghost Writer in the Sky) is out, though, so I have one more book-that-is-not-baccano left to look forward to.

The Baccano novels have been so uninspiring that I no longer even wish for an additional anime season of it.  It's just a bunch of crazy people going around doing crazy things for crazy reasons.  There are a lot better shows that could be made instead.

P.S.  Yuuki Yuuna's 2nd ova has been released as well.