Computing Forever takes on the EU(starting with Richard Dawkins)2/2

2:50 “It is not difficult to do some basic research[]”(Computing Forever)
Sometimes it works to look at the sources someone uses for his arguments.
https://youtu.be/omlGfwLC2Lw

These are Computing Forever’s named sources.
1 The sun.
2 An article by a pro-Brexit writer, written for a news website called Heat Street, a libertarian source. The article is otherwise unsupported.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_Street
look up : Lukas Mikelionis to get to know the writer.
3 Above article(point 2) is in itself is based on a article by a former UKIP politician writing for the daily mail who cites no sources and is otherwise unsupported.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janice_Atkinson
4 Infowars, a website run Alex Jones, a man who is a libertarian and a  conspiracy theorist.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Jones_(radio_host)

None of his named sources are supported by credible sources like:
http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com/2012/12/17/the-best-english-newspapers/
I don’t mean that they do not support him. I mean even if they support his claims he doesn’t mention them.
Above link is just an example. Go look for yourself.Check this man’s sources and claims.

Note that Computing Forever hardly uses any credible source even if these supports his claims.
He uses the Guardian once, only to cite a biased interview of a former Greek finance minister who can hardly be viewed as being objective.

Here is a detailed breakdown:

00:00
CF opens  with an article on Theresa May and Scotland that comes from the sun.
The sun is a tabloid paper with a pro-Brexit stance.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sun_(United_Kingdom)
It is also not considered a reliable source.
http://www.djsresearch.co.uk/MediaAdvertisingAndPRMarketResearchInsightsAndFindings/article/The-Sun-Crowned-Most-Read-and-Least-Trusted-Newspaper-by-UK-Poll-00886
No other sources support this article.

00:45
She wants to slowly forget about it.”
An unsubstantiated statement by CF.

1:10
The Eu “[] is an anti-democratic superstate.
Anti-democratic:Unsupported claim.
Superstate: Unsupported claim.
It is not a state:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union.

2:05
So many scientists seem to be against leaving out of self-interest.
Unsupported claim.

Note:there are however sources that support this claim, but CF does not use them. He simply fails to back up his claims even if he can.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jul/07/brexit-is-also-a-vote-against-the-elitism-in-science
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-the-science-community-says-no-to-brexit/
http://www.nature.com/polopoly_fs/7.35380!/file/Brexit%20survey_full%20results.pdf

2:10
Now I am not saying that is the reason Dawkins is against Brexit, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was.

It can be easily found that he is. Did Computing Forever even look?

Twitter:
The #Brexit vote makes me seriously doubt the existence of any sort of human evolution
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/richard-dawkins-eu-referendum-brexit-david-cameron-a7059201.html
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/richard-dawkins-brexit-catastrophe
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/29/eu-referendum-parliament-leaders-david-cameron-david-mitchell
https://richarddawkins.net/?s=brexit

2:40
Basic research how the EU operates

a) First mentioned article: 6 Time EU bosses who sneered at the electorate.
This is written by Heat Street, a libertarian news agency by a pro-Brexit writer. He ends the article with: “Vote Leave to wipe the smirk off their faces”

Point by point:

1) Euro parliament president: Referendums for “mentally weak”, “like Nazis”


The underlying source is an article by Janet Atkinson in the daily mail. She mentions no sources and no other sources support what she says. She was a UKIP politician and therefore can be assumed to be a Brexit supporter. More about her here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janice_Atkinson
As it comes to nazis it was Schulz who was being accused of being one.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Schulz
See the incident with Godfrey Bloom.
And
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/tory-mep-provokes-uproar-with-attack-on-nazi-eu-776748.html

2)“Decisions taken by the most democratic institutions in the world are very often wrong.
Jose Manuel Barroso 2010
This is an often quoted statement and seems valid enough. Context hard to establish.

3) Rompuy: “But we do it anyway.”
http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20140429_01087318
Not accessible, so hard to establish context or validity. I am Dutch so I can read the Standard. Can’t access the page without becomming a member.

4) “Britain belongs to us.”
http://www.itv.com/news/2015-06-17/martin-schultz-britain-belongs-to-the-eu/
Quoted out of context if you look at it as Schulz says the UK belongs to the EU(not us) as it is part of it.
But the writer conveniently overlooks Schulz saying that Britain is free to suggest changes as any other member state can at 1:10 into the interview.

5)Juncker: “PM’s listen to voters too much.”
Quote:
“Elected leaders are making life “difficult” because they spend too much time thinking about what they can get out of EU and kowtowing to public opinion, rather than working on “historic” projects such as the Euro, he said.

6)Trade Commissioner: “I don’t take my mandate from the European People.”
This is quoted by John Hillary in his article. He is an opponent of TTIP for which the Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is responsible. She has denied saying this.  See controversy:
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/i-didn-t-think-ttip-could-get-any-scarier-but-then-i-spoke-to-the-eu-official-in-charge-of-it-a6690591.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecilia_Malmstr%C3%B6m

b)”Greece Is A Scapegoat For The Disintegration Of The EU”
http://www.theguardian.com/business/ng-interactive/2015/apr/29/the-austerity-delusion
Based on an interview with the Former Greek minister of Finance.

c)Hate speech code.
Unsourced, so here are the sources Computing Forever fails to mention. Read for yourself.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/31/facebook-youtube-twitter-microsoft-eu-hate-speech-code
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-1937_en.htm

d)ELITE WILL USE MIGRANTS TO DESTROY EUROPEAN LABOR
http://www.infowars.com/elite-will-use-migrants-to-destroy-european-labor/
This is an article in infowars.
It is run by Alex Jones.
He is a conspiracy theorist.  
I can confidently say he is a crackpot. The aritcle is written by Kurt Nimmo, but based on what Alex Jones thinks(see associated movie on website).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Jones_(radio_host)
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Alex_Jones

3:50
“(sarcastic) We should just listen to our politicians? They can never be corrupted, biased or plain wrong on any issue?
What he seems to claim is that he doesn’t trust in the democratic process with which the country is organized.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_the_United_Kingdom

4:44
I can’t believe that I bought two of his books.”(about Dawkins)
Apparently, books get only credible when the writer agrees with you in everything even if the books discuss unrelated subjects.

5:25: “Where have I heard this before?“(on a second referendum)
From Nigel Farage.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nigel-farage-wants-second-referendum-7985017

6:15 : False dichotomy: it is referenda or dictatorship and nothing in between.
Yet, he refuses to vote a second time in the Irish 2009 one.  https://youtu.be/pZ9fxpmM1lA?t=66

6:20 “you are anti-democratic to the core.”(to Dawkins)
Dawkins is undemocratic because he says that the decision should have been left to an elected parliament and he proposes a second referendum.
Computing Forever doesn’t like this.

6:25 “Ireland and France were asked again for the Nice and Lisbon treaties because the EU doesn’t care for[].”

Referenda are not enforced from the EU. In fact the democratic elected parliaments and governments have to initiate and approve them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amendments_to_the_Constitution_of_Ireland
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Referendums_in_France

7:50
I will always respect you.”(about Dawkins)
Look back at 4:44 where CF wonders why he bought two books from Dawkins.

And that is the end.

What it all boils down to is that you are watching a video that uses as sources articles from the sun, heat street and infowars, twitter and the like. And biased interviews.  The only credible source he mentions is the guardian. Otherwise his statements go unsourced or unexplained.

Computing Forever takes on the world 1/2(starting with Thunderf00t)

Computing Forever takes on people like  Richard Dawkins and Thunderf00t on his YouTube channel.https://youtu.be/pZ9fxpmM1lA

Oh… Who are these guys you might ask?

This is Richard Dawkins:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkin

This is Thunderf00t:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Mason

I ran into Computing Forever when he called out Thunderf00t in his video.

What struck me was that he says this about Thunderf00t:

“These arguments he makes in the video come from a place[]of speculation, hearsay, emotion,[] none of the rational empiricism[]. It is just a series of cognitive biases throughout.”

So.. well. Maybe he is right. I thought.

And what do I discover?

That you can say about Computing Forever:

“These arguments he makes in the video come from a place[]of speculation, hearsay, emotion,[] none of the rational empiricism[]. It is just a series of cognitive biases throughout.”

You do not believe me?

Read on:

On the 15th of June Computing Forever publicized on the Undoomed channel his criticism of Thunderfoot’s stance and arguing against a Brexit.

The video started out with Computing Forever stating at 00:45 about Thunderf00t that

“These arguments he makes in the video come from a place[]of speculation, hearsay, emotion,[] none of the rational empiricism[]. It is just a series of cognitive biases throughout.”

Next Computing Forever goes into criticism on the arguing of Thunderf00t. And to a point his arguing can be taken as valid, even when you don’t agree.

But the Computing Forever uses this video to launch his own arguments for a Brexit and one would expect that after launching that hefty dose of criticism he would be sure to not make the same mistakes.

And does he not make the same mistake?

Let’s see him argue for the Brexit(which is more: why I am against the EU).
Starting 10:15. 

The UK will lose its own sovereignty.
Computing Forever does not elaborate how that would come about. He just makes it a matter of fact statement without backing it up with any source, link or proof. You either believe him or not.

So I did the work he forgot to do, and if you read the Wikipedia on sovereignty you will see that it can not be lost. It is either given away or taken by force:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereignty
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acquisition_of_sovereignty
If Computing Forever wanted to argue the UK would be suckered into losing its sovereignty, then he is free to do so. But he doesn’t. He just states it as a fact.But it isn’t a fact. It is speculation on his part.

10:17: The EU wants to have its own police force.
Another claim by Computing Forever that goes unsourced.
So again I looked it up.

There is no proof to be found on the internet. So if he has any proof it would be nice to be supplied with that proof, otherwise: it is hearsay.
There is Europol:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europol
“The agency has no executive powers, and its officials are not entitled to conduct investigations in the member states or to arrest suspects. “
There is a European gendarmerie which is an intervention force operated by five nations and has nothing to do with the EU.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Gendarmerie_Force
What sources I can find are like these:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1360785/What-the-EU-really-wants-now-is-its-own-police-force.html

10:18: Its own rule of law.
Computing Forever accuses the EU of trying to get its own rule of law.
Whatever does he mean?

Rule of law: “the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws.”
The EU already has a rule of law. Or does he mean he rather has no rule of law?
He might mean something but he does not tell.

An  own constitution.
It is true they tried to have a constitution and I think that someone argued that the legal arrangements already in place are a de facto constitution. However when it was attempted to have a constitution this was blocked by the French and Dutch.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_establishing_a_Constitution_for_Europe

We will see further into the movie how emotional he reacts when it comes to the Irish referendum.

Become the  United States of Europe.
No sources that such is occurring or planned.
So here are some sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Europe
So according to the polls held there are more people for than against it. If he wanted to support his case,he could have pointed to this poll. But he didn’t.

The EU is profoundly undemocratic.
It would be very nice if he somehow can explain why it is undemocratic. But he doesn’t.
What sources keep track of democracy are focused on countries.
Here are some sources that he might have given.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_deficit_in_the_European_Union
http://internationaldemocracywatch.org/index.php/european-union

We can continue on to the slightly skewed representation of the Irish referendum where Computing Forever becomes pretty emotional.

To wit: he is exactly like he accuses Thunderf00t to be.

It doesn’t make him wrong, it is just that:

00:45 “These arguments he makes in the video come from a place[]of speculation, hearsay, emotion,[] none of the rational empiricism[]. It is just a series of cognitive biases throughout.”

To be continued….

 

Sign of Life: Lab-coat fallacy

Perhaps it already exist in one place or another.. but I am introducing a new fallacy called lab-coat fallacy. Lab-coat fallacy is created to me in disrespect for a person called John Morris Pendleton and actually in honor of Logicked who called him out for pretending to be a scientist on spurious credentials and wearing  a lab-coat for pretense.

Deductive logic
Scientists wear white lab-coats.
John wears a white lab-coat.
John is a scientist.

In movies of Carl Baugh Morris is even called a professor. I am amazed that people, professing to be guided by moral principles like the christian ones, just lie.
This should not be translated to: people who are christians lie by default. Just these guys like Pendleton and Baugh do.

Inductive logic
Scientists have been known to wear white lab-coat.
John wears a white lab-coat.
John might be a scientist.

Lying for jesus can, to my mind, only be done if one doesn’t belief that jesus or god exist. Hence, from my standpoint these guys might just be bad atheists in disguise, knowing very well that whatever they say will have no consequence at all in the after life, because there will be non.

Abductive logic
John is wearing a white lab-coat.
White lab-coats are sometimes worn by scientists.
John might conceivably be a scientist.

These people are far from honest and decent atheists like Amon Ra, Logicked,  Mister Deity,  Matt Dillahunty, Richard Dawkins, Darkmatter2525, Thunderfoot and the like. Some might want some kind of money, but they do not to lie to you because of it, but basically because they are passionate about people and need some money to do what they do.

Moronic logic
John thinks scientists are god deniers.
John pretends to be a scientist by wearing a lab-coat.
John becomes a god denier.

I have no specific favorite but if you want my opinion of the smartest atheist out there on you tube, my vote is for Tracie Harris.My second vote would be for Jen Peeples who goes down to the human level. I am happy that two women like them are on you tube showing that they can be as smart and concerned as any man.   Mind you, I don’t want to make Jen into a lesser version of Tracie. That would be very unfair to both of them.

 

Stefan Molyneux! Because paying taxes sucks!

freeloaders3

Philosophy is like lighting a room with cigarettes: not very practical and possibly unhealthy(and it makes you smell bad).  It is a bit of a forced statement, but it reflects how I feel after having seen some philosophical discussions. These discussions tend to become quoting contests in which the one who can quote the best or the most wins the contest. And I suck at remembering quotes, that is why I prefer to make them up myself.

I guess that philosophy might have it’s uses, but it can be used to reason the non-existent into existence and that is why it sucks as well. The apologist William Lane Craig gives a showcase example of reasoning a fictitious being into existence.  It his god of course, not yours(because only his god can be reasoned into existence). A philosopher isn’t required to give proof, he is just required to string words into sentences that sound okay. It is why religion likes to don the cloak of philosophy, because in philosophy, like in religion, anything can be said and nothing needs to make sense because nobody can agree on what sense is..

Another example is the ‘philosopher’ Stefan Molyneux. He is styled as an anarcho-capitalist or styles himself that way. Molyneux strikes me as a spokesman for the disgruntled members of the lower middle class and those teens who think Ayn Rand’s writings are pearls of wisdom. While the teens might eventually grow out of their fantasies, the disgruntled ones are condemned  to perpetual wailing because they have to pay taxes each and every year and everyone knows: paying taxes sucks..

In anarcho-capitalism the state is evil because it amasses wealth and power and gives that to a selected group of people who use it for their own selfish goals. These people are called politicians and they are as dangerous as the Illuminati are and probably in league with them! Therefore the state should be abolished. Those who hold to Ayn Rand’s writings will readily agree because Rand sees the state as parasite limiting progress.. And of course a lot of tax payers agree as well, because they don’t want to pay taxes and without a state you don’t need to pay no taxes. Cause you know: paying taxes sucks!

Of course, someone must have asked at one moment: “but who is going to take care of all the stuff that the state does?”
“Like what?” (insert condescending tone).
“Like education, research, exploration of the universe(nasa), firefighting, policing, health care, the furtherance of the common good, protecting the weak, feeding the poor, disaster relief, providing justice, maintaining the infrastructure, settling disputes, sponsoring art, protecting the environment, protecting historical sites, making sure that the coin in your hand is worth something tomorrow and..”
“Capitalism!”
And there is the solution. The free market will arrange everything through the never failing system of supply and demand all perfectly organized and overseen by companies who are, of course, pinnacles of talent promotion and efficiency. And so the people don’t have to pay taxes anymore because the free market will take care of everything that you paid taxes for. So you don’t need to pay taxes anymore cause: paying taxes sucks!

But even the likes of a Molyneux realize that unbridled capitalism might not solve everything and so they start reasoning things into existence. First they come up with voluntary organisations that will regulate the market based on voluntary participation and arbitration.  Next they give limitless self healing properties to the free market in which the consumer, well informed through the internet, will punish those companies that  fail to meet standards by no longer buying from them. Companies will deliver these services off course against cut-throat prices thanks to the power of the internet and all will be well, so we don’t need to pay taxes. Cause you know: paying taxes sucks!

Happiness becomes a commodity and profits and margins become the main principles for making decisions. And if you  fall by the wayside because you happen to be too poor to pay for education, too ill to work for your money, too crazy  to make sense or just someone who can’t keep up with the rat race: though luck, live is a bitch. I don’t  care as long as I don’t have to pay taxes! Cause paying taxes sucks!

“But uh…, what happens if  that someone then is going to get a gun and rob you or goes on a killing spree? To get the things through violence?  Who is going to prevent him or her from doing so?”
And now Molyneux turns into an advocate of the  extreme interpretation of 2nd amendment: everyone gets to have a gun. And he sees firms and organisations of armed people protecting each other, protecting of course, not robbing or blackmailing or racketeering.  Not like those gangs do, but benevolent voluntary organisations of the kind that you have never seen in the course of history.  Thus society becomes an armed society in which anyone can be shot by anyone, especially when they suck or nobody is watching or they are outgunned a hundred to one. Is that the wild west? Yes.. But who cares… as long as I don’t have to pay taxes. Cause paying taxes sucks!

“But what happens when a foreign country makes use of the now largely disorganized organisation of this country?”
“Army!”
“What?”
“We have an army of volunteers to protect us against foreign aggression.”
“Just like they had at the start of the American Revolution?”
“Yes!”
“Like that army made up of local militias that was unable to defeat the English until it was reformed into the continental army?”
“Yes!”
“So why would that work now?”
“Because of the internet.”
“Say what?”
“Because the internet makes everything different.”
“I see.”
Of course anarcho-capitalists will play the internet card again and again.
“Who will prevent those abuses that unbridled capitalism caused in the 19th century such as working days of 14 hours or more?”
“The internet!”
“What about the abuses that now occur in some countries where some people and even children are treated as no better than slaves?”
“The internet!”
“What if a company pollutes a place and pays off people or just moves elsewhere rather than cleaning up or changing their production methods?”
“The internet!”
“What if companies form a monopoly?”
“The internet!”
Monopolies are a cause for reasoning things into existence. Both Molyneux and Ayn Rand follow two tracks:  they attack government and babble. Rand goes on a tangent arguing that it is governments that cause monopolies and she finds ample proof in history.  Of course she does. History is full of bad behaving governments(and companies). When however she has to argue how this not will happen  with a truly free market economy she has only on thing to offer: trust me on my word.  And so does Molyneux. You see, as much as Rand and Molyneux give examples of how monopolies were caused by states or the law,  they can not give you any proof that a free market prevents them, because there has never been a free market economy such as they want: one without state interference, and therefore they have no proof to offer. And if they can argue a perfect system into existence based on zero proof then any system, including those that did exist and failed(communism, absolutism and fascism) can be declared to be perfect by downplaying the parts that are not.  So just take their word for it because when you do you no longer need to pay taxes. Cause you know….Yeah, you know the drill.

It is funny that the internet actually started out as a government project. Would a company have been able to do it? Let’s have that answered by Neil deGrasse Tyson when he is talking about space exploration.  He is asked in his reading about his book on the video: The History and Future of NASA and Space Travel: Neil deGrasse Tyson – Space Chronicles (2012) whether private enterprise could have done it and he answers that private enterprise requires investors who want to see a return of investment that can be quantified. And the frontier of (space) exploration poses unquantifiable dangers to investment and therefore will scare away investors.  Exploration has always been something  that governments have done and  companies come in after to reap the benefits.  Nothing wrong with that, but that is the way it has worked and not the other way around. Be sure that anarcho-capitalism will not be a way to the stars: there is no profit in it. But who cares about the stars anyway.. as long as you don’t have to pay taxes.
Would the internet have come about without the state? It might have, but it also very likely it wouldn’t.

There is no perfect system because every system can be abused, twisted and corrupted because every system is a system made by fallible humans, but people want to find this self-healing perfect system(so they don’t have to pay taxes) and the likes of Molyneux  cater to that desire by dreaming up perfect systems out of thin air. It is perfect, because it hasn’t existed and thus has not been tarnished by reality. And it will never exist. It is a philosopher’s stone.  That is the power of philosophy. It creates things that do not exist: gods or stateless non coercive societies based on market capitalism.  And history be damned! For history sucks. Just like paying taxes does.

Did I tell you I was an historian?


molyneux

Between real and depiction of real : Coca Cola, identity and avatars

nerit-insilico-5 copy
Merit at Insilico: The blue ant bar.

 

“Dick’s stories typically focus on the fragile nature of what is “real” and the construction of personal identity.” (Wikipedia: Philip K. Dick)

A few week ago I borrowed some books from the public library. It has been a long while that I visited a library, but of late I found that I sleep better when I read. Even though our library is small, it is still a fascinating place, for you can roam around and run into books that I might have never rented or bought, but captured my interest and can be read without any extra cost. One of these books was a book about  the coca cola. Now I am not interested in coca cola as a business, but I was interested in its use of imagery.  Coca cola is a product, or even more: it is the concept of a product. And it uses pictures to bring this to your attention.
I have always been interested in pictures, when I was young a drew landscapes devoid of civilization. It is still something I like to make. When you see a picture, it invokes a certain feel or an idea. A dark forest gives you a certain feel, a busy street another. These feelings are almost universal, which is handy for that allows us to communicate via images.
Some time ago I made a post about Magritte’s pipe. He said it was not a pipe, because it was a depiction of a pipe and not the pipe itself.
I think this is a rather restricted idea in that the thing is just a thing and there is nothing more to it.  If this were true, advertisements would have no use for they  try to invoke a certain feel and in that way get you to buy the thing that is advertised. Although it is true that an advertisement is also a means to tell that a certain product exist and it  is more then a way to present the object for sale. That is the task of a catalog and not an advertisement.
There is a gap between a thing and how it is presented. But not only between a thing, but also between people and how they present themselves to be. Advertisments are a way to bridge that gap, but stories are another way. And in another way is the use of avatars in Second Life.

At the start of the advertisement you see a picture of my avatar in Second Life. Here are two more:

tau-imani-1a copy
Taubie
tau-profile-teen-yrseke-trudy-1
Shared look…

In Second Life you can change your avatar as you feel fit and with each look another way of yourself is presented. These static picture do not even show the effect of the way a avatar moves. This can have an even bigger effect. I second life I have to main avatars: one is called Merit, the other is called Taubie. They have each a distinct look, but they also have shared looks.  Each looks creates a new kind of identity.
Nowadays the looks are more and more shared looks.

A company like Coca Cola has to establish a idea of itself, to cloak itself and it’s product in a look. Let’s have a look Coca Cola identity.

coca-2 copy

One of the first ways to advertise was to paint you advertisement on a wall. They were ready bill boards. This is what you see above. There is an old picture to the top left. And the lower two are more recent pictures although this does not mean that they were newer. Many wall paintings were walled or plastered over, to be rediscovered decades later because of renovations. Very early Coca Cola used a certain color scheme: red, white and green.  Red stood for energy, white for purity and green for freshness. This is what the book I have says, it is called: The sparkling story of Coca Cola:an entertaining history including collectibles, by Gyvel Young-Witzel). It seems to me that green was dropped after some time, the books does not mention it, but you can see that in the pictures.

Notice another interesting detail that you see on the wall. It lists the price. For about five decades the price of a glass or one bottle of Coca Cola was fixed at  five cent. This means that any rise in cost could not be covered by a rise in the price. A sudden increase in cost had to be covered by the Coca Cola itself, which could only reduce costs by producing less and firing staff. There were even moments in the history of the company that it almost went bankrupt. In the first world war there was a great shortage of sugar because a lot of merchant ships were needed for shipping soldiers and supplies to Europe. Sugar was mostly imported and without the ships to transport sugar Coca Cola could not meet demand. Another moment was in the thirties when the price of sugar rose at a rapid pace.

coca-5 copy

Coca Cola was a soft drink and in the early days of it’s existence it was sold via what was called soda fountains. This was the name for the softdrink dispenser as well as for the establishment itself. The syrup extract of Coca Cola was put into this machine to which water and carbon dioxide was added. This was served in a glass for the price of five dollar cents.
Soda fountains as establishment disappeared towards and after world war II. Or rather, they turned into dinners and lunch rooms. At the time of the prohibition they became more popular and Coca Cola profited from that development as well.
A soda fountain dispenser was the center of the soda fountain establishment. There were therefor often embellished.
Next to Soda fountains bottles were developed to sell soda drinks somewhat later.

coca-1 copy

The reason why bottles started to become important can be seen in the pictures above. It was not uncommon for people to stop at a soda fountain to have a glass of Coca Cola. However with the introduction of the automobile more and more people wanted to take such a drink with them on the longer rides. Hence people wanted to have a bottle. Note the signs: a glass or a bottle costs five cents.
Another interesting this is the amount of text that was used in early advertisements.

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We now come to Coca Cola’s identity. Coca Cola displayed their product with women. From very early on Coca Cola published a calender showing women. Sometimes they did not even drink Coca Cola. A sample of this can be seen above.  Apparently Coca Cola was convinced that displaying women had a positive effect on the sales. One of the nice side things about the above pictures is that you can see how the clothes change. This was not only because of a change in clothing style, but also a change in morals. The one on the right is actually not from Coca Cola itself, but one of the bottle companies. The writers of the books remark that this was probably not endorsed by Coca Cola and done by the bottling company on their own account.

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Over time women get a more equal depiction. To the right we see a picture of Aretha Franklin.

Now the depiction of Coca Cola with healthy and young women was no doubt a conscious advertisement strategy. Associate a product with attractive, young people and people might be more inclined to drink it. Mind you.. this does not say they did not use other depictions to advertise their products, one should have a look at Norman Rockwell’s works. Here is one example.

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Rockwell came to work for Coca Cola in the thirties and he introduce a kind of Tom Sawyer look. It was an idyllic world. Although the boy figure looks poor, it also breathes the mood of the countryside, with is’t slow easy pace of live, with nature and people relied on each other through good and bad times. The dog was a symbol of loyalty.

Rockwell’s influence was no doubt remarkable especially when he was hired to paint Santa Claus. The combination of the two, and the use of the colors of red and white was a great find.

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Santa Claus was another welcome concept used to advertise Coca Cola. After the 1929 crisis any good news and happiness was welcome. And Coca Cola is not shy to admit it helped shape Santa Claus into what it is nowadays. From the angle of advertisement it was perhaps a brilliant find. Well maybe too brilliant, as Santa Claus has become disconnected from Coca Cola and stands now on his own two feet. Still it was a great find.

A company like Coca Cola exist of make belief. It has to conjure up an idea that make their product attractive to you. One set way was to link their product to young, attractive and popular people. In the thirties Norman Rockwell had a roll in developing another vision: the Tom Sawyer look and Santa Claus. The image of Santa Clause has become so defined nowaday that we can hardly belief that he was more or less developed in the thirties and mostly by Coca Cola.

This manipulation of ideas is probably something to be impressed by, but also a bit daunted to.  It seems that it might be possible to create imaginary things and make them part of culture. We have Santa Clause, shaped by Coca Cola and Norman Rockwell. And we have a thing like Valetin’s day. Things that were developed partly in a desire to increase sales. Of course this only works when people accept the idea. Still it is a sobering thought how fast something can become part of culture.

When gravity becomes beautiful

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In reply to: Towards more aesthetic forms of cryptography by B. Skoric

Whenever one wades into the stream of a discussion surrounding an article one is called upon to add value to the premise that caused said article into existence. If not,  a wise man would say; silence is golden.This seems to point to the observation that wise men could be affluent if they held their tongue and perhaps – the other way around – that rich men would be wise or rather they could be if they practiced what wise men preached. But I do not hold to such ideas as I am no lover of objectivism and besides: it is not the subject under discussion. What is under discussion is the assumed aesthetics of higher levels of cryptography.
 Now I am not much of a cryptographer but – in my pretense to be an artist – I think that aesthetics might be a terrain on which I  feel at home enough to add something of value. Indeed: a lot, given that I live most of the time on the edge of destitution. And, as it bears out, I noticed that the more I say, the poorer I become. This might probably be the reason why wise men make poor politicians.
Aesthetics, to explain to those who missed out on the finer points of advanced education, is the experience of pleasure through beauty (As an aside:this is not the same as sex, although I grant you that ugly people can have sex, it will never get to be a thing of beauty, regardless of how much glasses of scotch one downs). The premise of Skoric’s article is that the more complex a certain discipline becomes, the more it tends to get infused with an aesthetic element. Taken to extremes this might mean that a discipline gets so intricate that it becomes synonym to beauty. Or actually: it becomes beauty and only beauty at that..
But is this what really happens?
Let us take a pure random example as a case in point: warfare. Warfare is a simple discipline. It is aimed at destruction. Which is the simplest thing one can do as even a new born baby possesses the ability to break things, as parents all over the globe can attest to. Over time the means and ways of waging war have become more complex, yet the aim is still the same: destruction. Sometimes warfare can be beautiful, but that has nothing to do with means nor the methods used. Nor has it anything to do with the outcome. It is the simplicity of destroying that matters. And this simplicity is seen by some people as a thing of  beauty.
So can one really say that complexity is correlated to beauty?
I have my doubts.
It is my belief that things have an inherent beauty of their own and it is not complexity nor simplicity that makes them beautiful. Cause and effect are swapped around in Skoric’s article. A thing is beautiful and sometimes complexity and sometimes simplicity brings that out in the open.  It is therefore not that something is beautiful because it becomes more complex, it was already beautiful and complexity revealed this to be enjoyed. In this case, complexity removes the veil that hides the beauty inside.
It can therefore also be said that when something becomes more simple, it becomes more beautiful. It is exactly what an abstract artist like Malevich showed to us. His painting of a  black square shows a black square on a white background..it was the simplest of things and to some the utmost thing of beauty.
Simple things can have you experience pleasure: they are aesthetic. Simple things are uncomplicated and through their simplicity can be depended upon. Like gravity. There is nothing complex or intricate about gravity. Gravity is as solid as a rock. Push something of a ledge and it will fall with the same acceleration towards the ground below. Q.E.D. Like the apple that never fell on Newtons head, but would have if he had been sitting under a tree from which an apple would have fallen at the exact same time and spot where he had been sitting if he had been sitting there on that spot at that time under that tree. Just hold on to that image. In fact that apple would have fallen twice.. once on his head and then bounced of his head and fall towards the ground a second time. And all that falling would have been done at the same acceleration. Newton showed that there is no mystery there. Gravity is as simple as things can be. And every time I see gravity at work I thus experience joy. Just like Newton. Gravity is a thing of beauty.
Merit Coba
Str to gt wuzzy nw
Sources:

State of Decay: Breakdown: ten tips for playing the dlc

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Updated 11 January 2014!
Removed some typo’s and errors added some new I am sure.
Added some things to tips.

 

Hey, welcome to my post about Breakdown, the downloadable content for the video game: State of Decay.

In this post I will experiment with fragmentary story telling. And who better then to have that taken care by my nekos!

First off it might be handy to give a general idea of what the post will contain.

1 Three differences as compared to the basic game.

2 Ten tips that might be useful to remember.

3 And something else I forgot. Oh yes.. a commentary of sorts…

But first let me introduce Krisp. She is in the picture at the top..Krisp is a neko. For those who do not know exactly what a neko is let me tell you.. neither do it. Literally Neko is Japanese for cat and in a certain context it is used for a hybrid of a human with cat. A human with cat features so to say.. like ears, or whiskers or a tail. However, being completely inaccurate as someone pointed out, a Neko is sometimes used me to mean any human animal hybrid.  So Krisp is a neko because Krisp has cat teeth, cat claws, cat shoes(sometimes) and a nice fluffy tail.

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This picture shows the new things that make breakdown different from original game: heroes, levels and new goal(s).

While in the basic game survivors were also important, in Breakdown they are even more the focus of the game. When you begin the game you choose a random hero(the first time), start the game and run! For you are alone.  During the game you will be able to have more survivors join you and here in this there is a slight difference from the basic game. In the basic game most survivors came either via predefined quests or the occasional random quest. In Breakdown the most important source for companions are enclaves.  You will find that you are now actually able to gain their trust and recruit them after a while.

Secondly, Breakdown has levels. And I do not mean levels of the survivors, but levels of the game. Each level is slightly harder then the next. This is achieved by making the zombies slightly harder, spawn more, and spawn more special zombies, while at the same time, resources are harder to find and, especially, vehicles are harder to find. There are even levels where there are just a few vehicles to get. With each new level, you also start a new map. The only thing you will take with you from a previous game is a small group of survivors, their inventories and the supply.

Thirdly Breakdown has no story line.. hence the goal of the game is a simple one: find the recreational vehicle, repair it and then go next level. Sounds boring?
I thought so too.. but each and every level is slightly harder then the one before. And to make it more rewarding they threw in achievements, so that you have something to strife for.

So now the ten tips with their explanation below.

1 Bring a buddy.

2 Ready the RV.

3 Home, sweet home site.

4 Use your outposts!

5 Neighbors are your friends.

6 That vexing supply locker.

7 Take care of your cars.

8 Boom!

9 Guns guns guns.

10 Hand to hand.. choose your skills wisely.

————

1 Bring a buddy.

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Maybe you are a very exceptional fighter, but even the best fighters will tire eventually and it is a though job surviving on your own at higher levels.  Searching items in houses might be tedious task is you are continuously interrupted by zombies. Your survivor will break off the search to confront the zombie and you have to start the search again after it is killed. So bring a buddy to watch your back.

Buddies can be recruited in various ways. You can pay 100 influence to have on over your fellow survivors to tag alone. This has some disadvantages. It costs 100 influence and the survivor will leave the moment it is severely wounded, sick or  you accept a quest(the latter not always: sometimes they leave and sometimes they don’t).

Buddies can also be recruited as part of a quest. Most quests give you one buddy that stays until the quests is finished. The advantage is that it does not cost you influence and the survivor tags along even if severely hurt or sick. There are three disadvantages: the game does not save while your are on a quest,  you can not move a home site and you can not change to another avatar as long as you are on a quest.

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2 Ready the RV.

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Eventually you want to move to the next level. Readying the RV is a requirement.  
But first you have to find it! Unless you want to search the map for the RV you probably better of waiting for Lily to tell you where it is. She will do that within an hour of real time play. At the first level you only have to do one thing: fueling the RV.. but on higher levels there are more things needed. With each repair or preparation you need influence and materials. In all you will need 30 fuel, 30 materials and 10 medicine to prepare the RV on higher levels. Oh and some repairs require a lot of time and also some extra things that you are required to find.

The RV can only hold a small amount of survivors. In total eight, but there are two catches:. One of them is  that you have to take Lilya along(and Lily is not a playable character).  And when you take the full compliment of seven survivors along , one of them will get lost on the higher levels( this is changed now: on higher levels it seems the max characters you can recruit is six but you do not lose one anymore.). Who gets lost seems to be a bit random although my experience is that it is often one last one’s you assign to go with the RV. And the one you play will not be killed.

A word of advise. When you find the RV you do not need to get out of your car to have it added to your home site. Just driving along it is good enough. It is even advisable not to get out of a car as the RV seems to be a spawning point for zombies. Also be aware that when you are on a quest and you find the RV during this quest, it will not be added to the home site! And also, when you have a companion with you it will leave as if you accepted a quest.

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3 Home, sweet home site.

When you start on a new map, except for the first, you will be out in the open. So you have to find a home site sooner or later. Although there are seven home sites in the game, the choice is actually limited. The three biggest one’s(Fairgrounds, Trucking Warehouse and McReady) you can not get as you lack the materials and people to choose them. McReady Farm can only be picked from the start  at the first levels, but once you start to loose a survivor you will not have enough people to claim it. The two smallest are not really an option as they are too vulnerable. Unless of course you like that sort of thing. It comes down to either hold out in the open till you have enough people (McReady only needs one more survivor to the basic seven) or to either occupy Savini or Kirkman.  I prefer Savini as it is located in the town Marshall, where most supplies can be found, is protected from the rear and one side and comes with a watch tower. Also it requires only a few outposts to make it safe.

4 Use your outposts!

Outpost have a lot of useful functions. It creates a zone where no zombies will spawn, it will destroy a horde of zombies, it gives you access to your home site inventory and it generates materials for it. If you occupy one of the bigger home sites, you usually can have one or two spare outposts that you can move around when you explore further out, thus having a place where to stock up, fall back to, or put items you found.

5 Neighbors are your friends.

In Breakdown neighbors are even more important. They are a source for new survivors, quests, a way to get rid of excess items and  create a kind of  safe zone.  Especially handy will be their use to get rid of items that you can not or do not want to store in your own supply locker. In addition sometimes they even sell things you might have a shortage of, like bullets.

6 That vexing supply locker.

You will soon start to notice something annoying about your supply locker: it is limited in the amount of items it can contain. Since the supply locker travels with you from level to level. -that is from map to new map-, with it’s content intact, you will run into this problem again and again because you need to create influence by finding new items and storing them in the supply locker. This is where you neighbors come in. Their supply lockers are a way to get rid of excess items. However these supply lockers are limited as well so eventually they will be full too.

Now all of this would not be such a problem if the game did not automatically add items to your locker every once in a while. So even if you take out the cheap or worthless items out of your supply locker, the game will generate new items, some of which are cheap and worthless items. The only way is by taking them out and replacing with more expensive items..

On top of this the game will also top off certain items contained in your supply locker. Bullets, for instance, will be topped off at sixty. The same goes for snacks. It seems the game limits snacks to six. So stocking up on bullets and such is only possible for a short while otherwise you have to remove any excess and store it in the inventories of your survivors.

7 Take care of your cars.

Unless you like to leg it through fields full of zombies you probably value your car simply because you move around a lot faster. Cars are  vitally important and you will find less and less of them at higher levels. Since cars are also spread out over the map, retrieving the few ones that are on the map can be a tedious and dangerous task.  But you have to. This means that you might consider building a workshop(at least a basic one) or moving to the trucking warehouse, which is has a  full fledged workshop built-in.

Most cars are located in and around Marshall and I found that Marshall always seems to have at least one car.  I also found that when you do not have enough cars near your home site then the game sometimes gives you cars at your home site. How this exactly works is not known to me as it has only happened a few times.
14-01. When you move your home site the game will move the cars sometimes. I have moved my home site only twice during the games and in both cases the cars were moved the next day as well. Hence you do not need to get the cars you leave behind. However I think only the cars that are actually in the parking spots are moved. 
In addition the spawning of cars when you have none seems to spawn random new cars.. At first I thought it would a selection from the cars you drove past of occupied, but recently I tested this and non of the cars I actually drove past or sat into were moved. So they game seems to spawn new cars and not take the cars that are already in the game.

Big cars, like the modern pickup, are handy for using a cross country shortcut between Marshall and Spencer’s Mill.  This saves you a lot of driving over the road. This shortcut begins at the Tartan Mart that is located on the south-east side along the road leading to Marshall(see picture below).

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8 Boom!

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Gradually, when you go through the levels and discover it is getting harder and harder and resources decline, you start to appreciate the little things that did not really matter in the basic game.  Here are a few.

Gas-tanks are everywhere and they come in handy when a shed or another building is inhabited by a group of zombies. The blast kills everything except for the tougher freaks(Big Un and Feral) outright.. even through a wall. Watch out with cars though… they get destroyed too. The blast might attract nearby zombies, but not as much as firing a gun or an artillery barrage.  Funny detail..they reappear when you move away.

A nice weapon to have is a grenade launcher. They come in two versions: the one shot grenade launcher and six shot one. They both fire the same grenade. The great advantage of the grenade launcher is that you can actually fire a grenade inside a building. This makes them very handy for cleaning out infestations. Grenade launchers are rare finds. However the most likely place to find the six shot version is at the military camp in front of the fair grounds.
14-01: There are three stashes, one in the back near the fairgrounds and two near the entrance that is across the road where the crashed helicopter is. 

Of course the weapon of choice is the petrol bomb or Molotov cocktail. In state of decay there are a lot of them around and they are very effective too. You can wipe out a horde of zombies with one. Not only are there many to be found(some house have wine cabinets, that provide up to nine molotov cocktails) but also the game will generate them for you.
14-01: When you explore you will find fuel. Breaking down fuel will turn them into three of four Molotov cocktails. 

9 Guns guns guns.

You will find a lot of handguns like revolvers and pistols in the game. Equipped with a silencer most hand-guns are decent weapons. It is wise to equip you adventurers with different caliber guns so you will not run out of bullets because as said above: the game tops of the bullets at 60.  Revolvers and shotguns are weapons that can not be silenced and as a consequence they will attract zombies when fired. The exception seems to be the .22 caliber. which seems to attract less attention. .22 caliber gun are not very effective. I seldom use guns on ‘normal’ zombies but reserve them for the screamers and  bloaters, but considering that the game tops off your bullets you might use up bullets if you have too much.

To find the better types of guns or even military grade guns see the maps below.

10  Hand to hand.. choose your skills wisely.

Most of the time you will fight  the zombies with hand-weapons. During their use you will gain experience and once you gain a certain level you can choose a skill to enhance combat or be stealthy.  Most of these skills do not seem to do too much, but my preference is to use bladed weapons and pick the  skill that cuts of the legs of a zombie at random. The other option: decapitation offers up speed for a certain kill.. however in the higher levels you the delay usually results in a zombie grabbing you. If possible pick survivors with the power house skill as it increases their critical hits.

11 (Hey wait.. that is not ten?) Flow of the game.

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Perhaps a final tip is to pay attention to the flow of the game.  The game has moments that there are many zombies and hordes spawning and moments that there are non around.
Here are some observations:
– At night there are more zombies around than during the day.
– Around dusk, dawn and noon it seems there are far less zombies.
– Zombies have a tendency to spawn after you have arrived at a certain place. Sometimes there is a delay in the spawning that you can use  to quickly enter a place.. grab stuff and run before the game starts to spawn too much zombies. However this can also work to your disadvantage: sometimes a place seems to contain only a few zombies.. but a few minutes later more will spawn…a lot more.. An example of place where this is likely to happen is the Grange.
– When you are required to go to a place and it is crawling with freaks you can force the game to remove them by driving around a bit. When you are far enough away the game will remove spawns. However there will be new spawns.. so it might not solve your issue.

12 (Hey?) Quests and other assignments

Whenever you built a facility or repair a part of the RV there is a chance you have to find something to finish the job. Lily will tell you where to look on the map. I found that you are likely to find these items at any place you search. However it looks like that the places Lily designates have a higher chance to give you the object. But diligent searching at other places have almost always resulted in finding these objects.

Another interesting thing I found is that when you are assigned to hunt a particular freak you are instructed to locate it at certain place. I found that finding and killing a freak of the kind you are assigned to hunt at other places sometimes is enough to resolve the quest.
14-01: This seems to be the case for bloaters and ferals. The armored zombie quest is usually for a swat zombie and that seems almost only to be spawned for the quest. I do not know for big uns as I try to avoid them.

Be aware that with the hunt quest your companions will leave the moment the quest is resolved. This might mean that they leave you to face any remaining zombies. Sometimes they will help you fight, but as often as not they leave you to face the music alone.

Okies..

Now for some closing comments.

I like state of decay as it offers a combination of resource handling, character management, leveling and so on. The game does not compare to a big commercial game. This should also not be expected as the game is made with far less budget and market for about a third of what a main stream commercial game costs.  All in all Undead Labs, the maker of the game did a decent job.

Handy maps…

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Trumbull valley map.
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Trumbull Valley.. best places to find guns. Guns shops and police station in blue. Military camp sites in green.

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A state of mind 2: who needs the government anyway?

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Screenshot - 10_27_2013 , 9_14_56 PM
The Night of the Living Dead has a kind of dark humor for at the end the hero of the movie gets shot by these vigilantes because they think he is a zombie. In the end titling you see vague pictures in the background that show what they do with the bodies. It is a kind of reminiscent of nazi practices as you see the people using meat-hooks to drag the bodies to stack them high to burn them. The corpse of the hero is among them.

In the previous installment of a state of mind we ended we the guys we see above. We see them hunting down the zombies in the Night of the Living Dead. So how about the government? What are they doing?

Screenshot - 10_27_2013 , 7_25_01 PM
Almost any interpretation of the zombie apocalypse has to deal with this. How do you explain away..
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these guys(and girls for that matter)
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or these..
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or this?

Of course anyone who tells a story of a nation like the United State being overrun by undead has to somehow explain how these undead can gain the upper-hand in face of the violence that the United States can bring to bear. Even considering that a substantial part of the men and women of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies are turned into undead themselves.

But an explanation is actually seldom given simply because when one starts to explain, one has then to fight fire with fire, because once one starts to reason one will find that most of what is happening in zombie tales is quite unreasonable. The best solution to this problem is thus to say nothing about it at all and merely mention that the government was unable to deal with the crisis.

And thus one gets pictures like these:

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An abandoned tank in the street. The mighty power of the army culled. A block of useless steel. There is a corpse of a soldier on the tank to underscore it even more.. it will be shown in close up with birds picking at it.. Just in cast you do not get it.
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and there is one inside… but this soldier is not quite dead though.
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Rick is actually a police officer himself.. and when he enters the city a burned out police car and a downed helicopter symbolize the inability of the government to maintain control of the situation. The movie makers love to scatter helicopters about.
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Another picture to show that the government was unable to deal with the crisis. It is curious that the building seems to be blackened as if it has been shot at. One wonders who would have the temerity to shoot at the United States army in the United States? Did you notice the helicopters?
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The law in State of Decay is represented by these guys. Sheriff Carl and judge Lawson. The sheriff seems a bit out of his depth, but then.. it is the zombie apocalypse!
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The courthouse  in Marshall is where the last remains of the local government is holding out. Which is about the only representation of the law enforcement agencies in the game. Incidentally it gets attacked during the game by zombies and the two leading figures, sheriff Carl and judge Lawson, die during the attack. The powerlessness is illustrated by the fact that the two guard towers never seem to be manned throughout the game and you can get attacked even right in front of entrance of the building and nobody comes to your aid even though there are two heavily armored guards  inside the building right behind the entrance.
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The US army is in most movies and stories often just ineffective..but in State of Decay its role is even nefarious.  In addition to throwing refugees out on the street without offering protection, the game almost suggest that the US army was actually the cause of much of the nastiness in Trumbull Valley.
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While it is not exactly told, it is laid on thick that the army was actually aware and probably let this happen. I can not recall the US army being depicted this black(but see below: the stand). A new trend maybe?
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Erik Tan, disillusioned soldier, tells us that the US army blocked off the pass leading out of the valley. Not only are we told about this, we are also told that they left many of their men behind unattended and uncared for. Something which is quite strange for an army that got drawn into a extended battle in Mogadishu because it did not want to leave behind men who were in a helicopter that got downed. In fact there seems to be a point with the US army to not leave (their) people behind. Might just be politics though.. as nay-sayers would say.
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In zafehouse diaries, a text based zombie apocalypse game, the military makes one appearance and is defined as a threat. “New dilemma — Outpost. Players of No Survivors have a new threat to watch out for. A group of ex-military troops may set themselves up inside a location in town, along with a nice cache of weapons and equipment. “
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In the stand the military is responsible for the extermination of humanity by failing to contain a tweaked version of the flu. During the story the army gets to be a symbol of oppression as it goes to extremes to contain the disease and citizen unrest. Eventually the government disappears because they are no longer needed for the story and we are left to watch a rag-tag band of religious fanatics fighting it out with another band of religious fanatics. One is ‘good’ and the other is ‘bad’. The good guys are the ones we see the most, oh and they have the pretty women. Just so you know. Personally I like the bad guy better when he was this black bird.
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In the crazies it is actually cops versus army as a plane-crash turns everyone in a village into crazies, except for the handful of survivors of course. The army tries to contain and remove any evidence of the disaster by any means, including using Apache Longbow choppers. This one fails to spot the police car in full daylight.

Basically the governments  sucks. If they do not cause the disaster, their might is usually ineffective against it  and often more directed against the rest of the population and survivors in particular. Cops seem to be a bit in between, but regardless of their attitude, they are simply ineffective as a force. Instead they become often survivors, if they do not turn into zombies. This climate, this state of mind pervades almost all movies, books and games. It even contaminates political thinking.  But if you think companies are any better….

Screenshot - 11_1_2013 , 9_33_50 AM
The mighty Umbrella Corporation in Resident Evil can not control the outbreak of the T virus despite using soldiers, poison gas en a nuclear bomb. Well, the bomb is actually dropped by the government in the game, but in the movie it is the corporation itself that deploys the weapon.

But do not fear! We are about to reveal a secret.

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Irony is that the biggest adversary of the zombies and other rotting undead is never mentioned. It is mother nature.. and in particular this little critter. Producing itself in the millions it will have a field day with all the rotting flesh around.
In a warm sunny climate a rotting body will be gone in a month. The best way to survive the zombie apocalypse is just to sit it out and have the flies do their work. provided the zombies stick to the rules! Of course they don’t.

State of decay(for pc) 2: tips and tricks

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An introduction

Originally I had one long post that contained all, but I decided to split the post into separate items. This is the tip and tricks part.

Tips and tricks

So next follow some tips and remarks and if you are the kind that likes to suffer discover everything yourself then by all means: stop reading.

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Cars!

There are all kinds of cars in the game but  for durability the one in the two pictures above is the best one. The modern pickup, as the game calls it, is a big monster that can run down several hordes and show nothing for it.. ok.. a dent or two. All other cars break down far too soon.

When you leave the ranger station in the introduction game you will ride towards in  the Church of the Ascension and just before you enter the village Spencers Mill there is a car accident scene of two cars crashed into each other. To the left side you see a modern pickup parked.  Get it. Get all the modern pickups you can get your hands on! For you need a lot of them as you have one that you use and the rest will be repaired while you are squatting hordes.

Cars will be repaired slowly when you park them near your home base and you have at least a workshop. According to the rules only the car in the car space, but curiously enough any car parked nearby the Snyders trucking warehouse would end up repaired overtime.

Do not park too many cars near your home base.. I did once and one disappeared because someone took it out for spin and never returned it. At Snyders I got this event when I had eight cars parked around it.

The modern pickup has two disadvantages.. it is a big machine that can not move easily around in close spaces and it is not the fastest car,  although it is not the slowest car either.

Be aware that cars are zombie magnets. They will gather around your car while you are out doing missions or exploring a house.

Cars have a horn.. Press Q and it will make a loud noise. This is very useful during missions in which you have to lure away zombies or draw out zombies into the open.

(Update November 2013)
Be careful with driving cars cross country or over uneven terrain. The physics in the game are somewhat unpredictable and it could mean your car will end up belly up.. and you will be ejected and find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere.

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The first modern pickup you encounter is to the left in the picture. There is a catch because when you get close zombies will spawn. No worries though.. you have three people to deal with them: Marcus, Maya and Ed.. oh and Ed might look in a bad shape,  but he still can swing a bat around quite well.

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Outposts(and resource gathering)

When you acquire the first home base(the Church of  the Ascension) you still can not do everything you need to do. Noticeably you can not establish an outpost.  This option comes available after doing the first survey mission Lily gives you and before the Mission: Survivors. And you can establish an outpost via the Radio Assistance which is called using the LEFT ALT button.

Outpost also create resources. They work as follows. They will create 3 resources of the kind you see displayed on the map and only the first one. Even if more resources are shown it will just create three of the one that is shown on the map. To do this it needs 1 material.  When there are no resources left an outpost creates 3 ammo. You can also have 3 materials created in an place that has materials, which also cost 1 material for a net result of 2 materials. For the Trucking warehouse the cost of eight outposts is eight materials.. with which you can produce 24 resources so you gain 16 resources. It is one of the reasons I prefer the Trucking warehouse.

Note that turning a place into an outpost makes all items and resources in that place unavailable for gathering. So remove as much items as you can before you turn them into outposts. (Update: October 2013) a recent test shows them to be available.. which might have been due to a patch or a bug so now you can move items from the store you turned into an outpost into the store.
(Update November 2013)
In some blog posts it was suggested that resources re-spawn. The idea was not take all the items inside a container. Eventually new items will show up. I have run a few test games leaving items behind(mostly things like fire-crackers and  dolls.) I have yet to experience any regeneration of items. In fact items will simply disappear and buildings will be marked with nothing left and there will be no containers.
IMPORTANT: containers that have resources inside them will only disappear when you empty them of their resources. So these resources will not disappear during the game like items will. But mark this: buildings will be marked with nothing left even when they still contain resources. Thus the marking on the map that there is nothing left is about items.. and not about resources.

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Homebases

(change)

Homebases are the places where your group of survivors hide out, where you can stash supplies and equipment and repair weapons and cars. Most home bases have slots available to create a workshop, garden, watch tower and the like. Some of these can be upgraded. Some of these repair your cars, others you can use to make medicines and yet others allow you to make ammo.

There are several potential home bases available. The State of Decay wiki neatly lists them so you can select the one you like to have. I have played twice now and choose the Snyders trucking warehouse both as it is the biggest available early in the game, has a lot of space to store goods, can have up to eight outposts and can be easily defended by four outposts or even three. The other you can use around the map to create safe havens.

The option to relocate a home base appears only after your get the Mission: Home Away From Home. This mission will appear as part of the first quests but the real trigger is not clear to me.

A relocation does not cost the materials that are mentioned, it just requires you to have that many. So when you need 50 materials to have a home base relocated it will not use them.

Update(november 2013)

After some testing I observed the following in the game in regard to home bases..

In the game there are seven potential home bases. However the options are much more limited than this might suggest.

Choosing which home bases seems to have no impact on the resource needs. It does not matter if you choose a big home base or a small base.. they cost the same.. What makes a base more expensive is that daily resource costs seems influenced by what you build, your equipment, the amount of survivors and cars you have. Since a bigger home base has more slots to build it eats up more resources when you use them.

The Trumbull valley fairgrounds is  not a great option as it is only available later in the game after you have progressed on the army story line. This progress is somewhat unpredictable but in any event it is only available later in the game. The fairgrounds are actually not even a much better option then the trucking warehouse as it has hardly more building options. In addition because it is late in the game you either have to hold back on building and reserve materials for when you move towards the Fairgrounds or you have to waste resources on builds that you have to redo at the fairgrounds. Also the one time I moved to the fairgrounds I lost 50 materials.. so it is not true that moving does not cost materials. But there might be a reason as my move was from the Church of Ascension to Savini towards Fairgrounds.. it might be that either having to many resources caused this loss of materials or that a second move might have caused this.
There are even more disadvantages to the Fairgrounds. It is pretty distant from most places.. so gathering resources mean you have to travel a lot and considering that both bridges have obstacles(and one on both sides!) it is a hassle to get around fast. Also the town near the Fairgrounds lacks resources and items to boot. In fact  the entire office block at one side if the town is empty.

The Alamo is a small home base in the center of Marshall and it is almost no improvement on the Church of Ascension in regards to space and building options. It might be a base of someone who wants to play a hard game as it is basically open to all sides and you probably need all the four outposts it allows to cover the approaches to the base or see it constantly invaded by zombies..  It is therefore only an option for someone who likes a challenge.

Kirkman and Savini are on the same level and can be seen as the next step after the Church of Ascension and the Alamo respectively.  However Savini is probably the better option because it is located at Marshall while Kirkman is located at Spencer’s Mill. Since your game starts in Spencer’s Mill, it is likely that by the time you can relocate a home base you will have exhausted most of the resources in that village.  In addition most the middle game story-lines take place in Marshall and thus you would be required to travel a lot.  Next to that, the Savini place can be protected by just three outposts.. allowing you to use the other three as moving bases, while Kirkman is open to all sides and thus needs more outposts to protect it.

The McReady Farmhouse is the next step after Kirkman and Savini but has two big disadvantages.. the first is that you can not protect it with outposts like you can with the others and the other is that it is in the middle of nowhere with only a few roads.. Thus you will be travelling a lot.

The Trucking warehouse is probably  the best option overall. However there are a few issues to be aware of.  First.. the zombies are in the final release more dangerous than they were in the pre-release.. Hence it is imperative to make an outpost in the storage shed at it’s backside.. otherwise be prepared to see a lot of zombies filtering in from the back. Also it is probably wise to cover the whole front with outposts. I estimate that about four would be enough to protect the whole and this includes the one at the back. I you turn the petrol station near the bridge into another outpost you probably have a pretty save place. This still leaves you with three outposts that you can put anywhere you want.
There are even more reasons for the Trucking Warehouse and one is that it comes with an upgraded workshop. This can not be upgraded again or changed into a weapons workshop, but the fact that you do not have to spend 25(or was it 40)  materials on an upgrade means you save a lot. Because it has many slots you can build almost everything except for one thing. I usually do not build a training area(see below picture).

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Snyders Trucking Warehouse, personally my favorite.
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McReady Farmhouse is smaller then the Warehouse and more vulnerable as you have just one building near that you can turn into an outpost. 

Influence and fame

Influence is simply the currency of the game. You gain influence by doing missions or getting resources and items.

Influence will be limited by fame. You can have more influence than fame though, but that influence will drain away slowly. And remember the game keeps on running even when you are not playing. So eventually your influence will be reduced to fame.

Fame itself can be increased by doing missions.

One trick to prevent influence from draining away is using some of your community members to store items. These can be turned into influence later on.

Another way to manage your in influence is to stick to companions you get via missions and not recruit a special companion..Usually there are enough missions to go provide you with one, or even two, companions..

Missions

Missions come in two kinds: plot based missions and random missions. The first are fixed missions that you get when certain conditions are met and usually one follows the next.

Random missions are almost all aimed at killing of zombies or saving or protecting someone’s butt from zombies. There are only a limited set, so you will see them being repeated a lot during the game.

Random missions are on a timer, meaning that they will expire after a while. Plot missions are often not on a timer, except for one involving The Law. When a mission expires it usually has a negative effect on moral and might cause one of your members to disappear. Might, because I have never had this experience, but then I let missions involving community member seldom expire.

Be aware that when you team up with someone as part of a mission (of both types) that someone might leave you to hang out to dry the moment the mission is over regardless of what condition you are in or how many zombies are around. This can leave you to face a bunch of zombies alone without a car near. So  make sure that you always got a backup plan to get out. I always make sure a trusty modern pickup is parked nearby, but remember: they attract zombies so you might have to fight some to get to it.

It is wise to listen to Lily(the girl that speaks to you over the radio) for she sometimes give you advice that you better follow. So when she says to gear up.. gear up!

Companions

After a while you will be able to recruit other people to head out with you for 100 influence. This is a good investment because you can easily get them back by scavenging. Since you can switch between your companions when they are friends, as long as they are not tired or hurt, you can use them to store more equipment.

There are a few things to take note of.

When you accept missions of others companions might leave. Especially in all plot missions they leave the moment you accept and they can even leave the moment you just clicked the mission area on the map. Also survey quests makes them often leave you.
(update November 2013)
In some occasions the companion you recruited will leave when accepting a mission in, some case they do not. I have not find a predictable pattern.

Many missions give you a companion for the duration of that mission. Since most missions end after reaching a certain area(returning home for example) or killing a certain group of creatures you can take these companions along until that condition is met. While you can not do other missions with this companion or switch characters, you can take  these free companions with you to protect you while you scavenge, establish outposts and relocate bases.
(update November 2013)
In quests where you are ask to hunt a certain special zombie or to clear away an infestation the companion you get during that mission will leave you at once when the goal has been reached. This might leave you suddenly without any help. This can be annoying and dangerous.

There seems to be a catch in the game in that the more companions you have with you, the more zombies are generated around you. So having a companion around can be a bit of a mixed blessing.

(Update November 2013)
When you have to go home quick or find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere, you can deal with the situation by switching to another character. Your old character will walk home, but there is no worry about him or her being hurt. Those characters are invulnerable.

Freak zombies

Freak zombie are special zombies. There are five types: armored zombies, rotter zombies, big uns, ferals and screamers.

Armored zombies are basic zombies but armored. Guns have little effect on them unless you shoot them in the face. Otherwise they just take longer to die.

Rotter Zombies are the type of zombies that explode in a cloud of toxic gas. Keep your distance from them and shoot them in the belly. Do not drive a car into them as you will get thrown from the car and the car is unusable as long as the cloud is in it.

Big Uns. Big and slow. although it can charge for a shot distance. A big un or juggernaut is very tough and very strong. The easiest way to kill it is to throw molotov cocktails at it. Four is usually enough to soften them up to be killed. Probably a grenade launcher might work as well,  but I have not tried that.

Ferals. Nasty, tough and fast, They might be mistaken for normal zombies. They jump around quickly and pounce on you. Once they have you in a hold it is hard to break it. They can take a lot of punishment.. perhaps as much as an armored zombie. However they are prone to be bashed to the ground with blunt weapons. Just keep bashing them.

Funny enough they have a predictable pattern of jumping. When you drive at them with a car they jump to the side and when you immediately swivel the car into the direction they jumped the car usually will intercept the feral in mid jump as it tries to go for your car door. It is surprisingly easy to kill with a car.

I also noticed that shooting it in the head from a distance will work too as it just seems to ignore you pumping it with lead until it is dead.

Screamers are by far the most annoying zombies. Screamers are often the center of an infestation and usually come in pairs. They scream to stun you and attract other zombies(hordes even). Usually they are protected by a large group of zombies.  The tactic is to lure the protecting zombies away and then shoot the screamers in the head. If you are handy with molotov cocktails that will work too. A grenade launcher worked also in once case. Cleared them out in no time.

Guns

Want a party? Bring a gun.

Guns come in all sizes, but break down in four categories: pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns.

Pistols and rifles can be silenced, revolvers and shotguns can not.

There are also grenade launchers in the game.

Making loud noises attracts zombies, hence firing un-silenced guns will get you their attention.

Interestingly the revolvers and shotguns usually make the most noise. On the other hand, they do usually more damage.

Getting automatic or specials weapons is hard task. There are only a few places where you stand a chance to find something special, which is the police station in Marshall, where I found automatic shotguns and grenade launchers, and the military camp up north that gave me a machine gun and a military grade grenade launcher. The loot seems to be random so you might find nothing much and the military camp is only available late in the game and swarming with freak zombies.

Later on in the game you can buy a few guns from others, but they are a basic selection probably to make sure you at least have the option to get them.

My experience with guns is that they only useful in special cases, but not as an option to replace hand to hand combat. For one; guns make loud noises that attract nearby zombies and in fact the game seems to generate zombies when you make a lot of noise(and a lot of them to boot, especially later in the game).

In addition there are no magazines in the game. Bullets are stored in your inventory as separate items and you can have 30 bullets per backpack slot. This means that even if you find enough bullets you can not really go on a killing spree unless you keep close to an outpost. In addition a gun can only be reloaded when you stand still and I found that when you need to reload you never get around doing that unless you can have something that keeps the zombies at bay, like standing on a platform or behind a barricaded window.

Next to that: zombies can take a lot of bullets unless you aim at the head. I found that at time a pistol with seventeen rounds could be as effective as a machine-gun with a hundred rounds. Just head shot them.

Shotguns are good weapons for rubbing out a horde if you keep your calm. You need to have them really close and then unload it at head level. What remains can be killed off by hand. Shotguns are especially handy when zombies are forced to use a narrow opening to get at you, like a window or a door.

Grenades, grenade launchers and Molotov cocktails

Thrown grenades and other incendiary weapons are handy to kill groups of zombies. Throwing needs to be trained though. The aim in the game makes you overthrow your target so you need to get a good feel of how to throw.  Molotov cocktails are somewhat better than grenades because grenades make a lot of noise.

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Grenade launcher in action
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Grenade launcher in action
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Grenade launcher in action

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Gathering and using resources and items

There are many places where you can find resources and items. Mostly they are inside buildings, but sometimes you can find them in fields and thickets.  There is a certain pattern to them. Sheds and construction sites will have resources and fuel, stores will have food, guns shops and the like will have ammo. Normal houses can have anything, but tend to lean to medicines and food. Fields have food.

Searching resources takes time. And usually it generates zombies nearby. They might not always find you though. The search time is reduced when your wits level increases.

When you search a house you can find two types of things: resources.. which is usually called a stash,  and items like weapons or bottles of pills.

Resources can be taken with you. You do that by pressing E and hold it down. Be aware that if you remove all the resources, the place will only generate ammo if you turn it into an outpost. You can only take one resource with you at a time and it makes you encumbered and you need to deliver it to your homebase. Items can however be dumped in outposts.

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I do not know if items become available again after you remove the outpost.Another unknown thing is if a house that is not researched in total will keep on generating items. I got the feeling that certain houses I searched, but not in total were searchable again.

A very important thing to be aware of is that when you leave items to be collected later that they might disappear. This is actually pretty logical. Some other group of survivors might have taken them.

Note also that you can not put items from your backpack into the containers you search. It is one way only.

Game pace

The game is relentless and it keeps on going even if you are not playing. During a play session, the only way to pause the action is by going in to the menu, but even if you do that a long time I noticed that you will find things have changed the moment you return to the game. So going into the map to get your bearings will not stop the game and therefore make sure you are at a place where you are not suddenly attacked by zombies.

Game saves

Normally there is just one save and with each event or mission the results are immediately saved into the save game. Hence you can not normally reload to a previous state after having your favorite character killed.

However on the pc you can locate the save game and copy it to another place. So if your favorite character is killed, you can copy the old save back to the original folder. This can also be used when you play the next day and you find the results to unfavorable. Just close the game, copy the backup again and see what the result is.

Not that you must be either in the main menu or have closed down the whole game before copying the old files.. otherwise the game will just write over these old files.

The save game is located here:

On a 32 bit windows computer:

<drive you installed the game>:\Program Files\Steam\userdata\108132632\241540\local

On a 64 bit windows computer:

<drive you installed the game>:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\108132632\241540\local

Night, day, dawn, dusk, noon.

Night is the nastiest time. There are more zombies roaming around and they are much harder to spot. Since light seems to attract them as much as noise, having your lights on will alert nearby zombies. Especially inside buildings you have a hard time to see what you are fighting. Zombies do have distinct glowing eyes, but who is counting those when you are busy clubbing them. The day and night cycle in the game in based on an one hour real time scheme. These represent in game days. The daily resource need as shown in the game for the needs of your home base are real time need. That is what one real day will require.

During the dark it is hard to see zombies.. the radar will not always reveal them until they are on you…so it is not 100% reliable. Which is a good thing really
During daylight you can see the zombies by eyesight.. the radar does not always show them. Wrecks blocking the road are also not shown on the radar.

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During the day the streets can look devoid of zombies. Do not be fooled though: linger at a place and you soon find more an abundance of zombies spawning around you.

Neighbors & Other survivors(Update November 2013)

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Neighbors.. this lot is lives at The Grange
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The Wilkersons… never mind about them.

One activity to do in the game is to gather survivors and deal with those that do not join your group.  Gathering survivors to join your group is a double edge activity. More people means you have more player characters to play with, but they also are more mouths to feed and more beds to fill. More player characters are nice as usually a few of your group will be tired, hurt or sick.

There are basically three groups of survivors. Those that are plot related like the Wilkersons, The Army, The Law and The Grange.  There are a few survivors from the Law that will join you after a certain plot related event, but the others will never join you. I have heard that the Wilkerson might join you if you pursue a certain route in the plot line.. but I have never tested this as I simply do not like them and they are way out in a zombie-horde infested place. In all it is too much bother to try and curb their favor.

The second groups are those that will join you.. these usually come available as missions like a group of survivors asks to join you, or a stranger located or survivor activity reported. These will join you at the end of the mission.

The third group never seems to join you.. These are invariably announced as neighbors, have their own base(called enclave) and  they are random groups that suddenly appear. I have never been able to have them join me. I even tried with one that had complete trust, but they did not want to join. Usually these enclaves of survivors disappear. They seem to get assaulted the whole time until they eventually die.  Sometimes they give you barricade missions and sometimes the dead survivors leave rucksacks behind you can take home.

SL: Why do fashion models look unhappy?

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A cool jumpsuit from Gizza for half the price. I really liked this look, so I had a hard time not smiling. My other me, Taubie pulled some stuff from the inventory. Like the old factory, a couple of cars and containers.

I was recently reading a post on the blog of the SL Enquirer.

It was about the latest summer fashion.

They all showed people looking very smart and  unhappy.

I wondered why people who looked so  pretty did not look happy.

Why did they not smile?

I was not the only one on the internet.

So I browsed around the internet to find some answers. I added some of my own.  I tried to make some fashion pictures of my own.

Maybe this post is just a way to show off my pictures.. 😛

It was fun to create these shot, although I am not sure if they captured the right mood.

Here is what I think:

Smiling is a delicate expression that can have good effects when well done, but also bad effects when smiling goes wrong, here is why:

– If your smile is fake or perceived as fake the effect is actually the reverse of what is intended: it repulses.

– Not smiling is sometimes seen as cool and can create a desirable image. This depends on the situation and the people involved.

– Some people have weird smiles or bad teeth. While the latter is somewhat unlikely in high fashion it still is a factor.

– The default facial expression of people is actually not to smile. Look around you. When people are not communicating with others they don’t smile. They don’t look sad either though.

– As an extension of the above: smiling is communicating. It therefore draws attention away, which might not always be welcomed.

– Some models might actually be unhappy, tired, stressed or scared and thus not in a mood to smile. Or not even able to.

– Smiling can give a false image. It might give the idea you are laughing at the situation, audience and outfits you are wearing.

– Smiling can cause wrinkles.. which might make people look older. This can be an unwanted effect.

A smile well done might actually be a great plus, but you need all the right factors to be in place. Since a catwalk, for instance, is generally a very stressful affair, the choice not to smile seems a more logical and safe choice.
These are my two cents.. maybe you can add some of you own.

Here is the post from the sl enquirer : http://www.slenquirer.com/2013/06/summer-time-in-second-life-what-shall-i.html

And another fashion post : http://www.slenquirer.com/2013/07/beach-wear-for-2013-tea-couturier.html

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Another outfit from Gizza for half the price. I thought this look fits well with the fast car Taubie found in her inventory. Almost everything is from Taubies inventory. Except the trees. They are mine.