[Q&A] Questions you want answered (D&D Edition)

Reviving for the new D&D:
-ask or answer questions better suited for D&D than EE
-not intended as a debate thread; if people want to debate a particular issue feel free to create a new thread for it.

and I'll start us off with a question while I'm at it;

From an environmental standpoint do we have a workable estimate on how many nuclear explosions it would take to cause catastrophic global environmental changes / mass extinctions etc?

context: Mainly I'm curious if we know how far we could fall down the nuclear war rabbit hole before demise was inevitable just due to too much nuclear winter or whatever else. There are sources estimating how many it would take to completely destroy a given size of land but I'm thinking irrevocable extinction level environmental changes are well before that point.

I think that human extinction would take most of the existing arsenal. Humans and other species have a way of surviving even extreme events; just look at the area around Chernobyl. Unless we literally blasted each inch of the Earth - which we can do today with extant bombs - I believe the species and many ecosystems would survive.

krev82 wrote:

From an environmental standpoint do we have a workable estimate on how many nuclear explosions it would take to cause catastrophic global environmental changes / mass extinctions etc?

Recent computer simulations determined that an exchange of 100 nukes in the 15 kiloton range (Hiroshima-level yields) would mess things up considerably for about 25 years.

The researchers predicted the resulting firestorms would kick up about 5.5 million tons (5 million metric tons) of black carbon high into the atmosphere. This ash would absorb incoming solar heat, cooling the surface below.

The simulations hint that after such a war, global average surface temperatures would drop suddenly by about 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius), their lowest levels in more than 1,000 years. In some places, temperatures would get significantly colder — most of North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East would experience winters that are 4.5 to 10.8 degrees F (2.5 to 6 degrees C) colder, and summers 1.8 to 7.2 degrees F (1 to 4 degrees C) cooler. The colder temperatures would lead to lethal frosts worldwide that would reduce growing seasons by 10 to 40 days annually for several years.

The ash that absorbed heat up in the atmosphere would also intensely heat the stratosphere, accelerating chemical reactions that destroy ozone. This would allow much greater amounts of ultraviolet radiation to reach Earth's surface, with a summertime ultraviolet increase of 30 to 80 percent in the mid-latitudes, posing a threat to human health, agriculture and ecosystems on both land and sea.

The models also suggest colder temperatures would reduce global rainfall and other forms of precipitation by up to about 10 percent. This would likely trigger widespread fires in regions such as the Amazon, and it would pump even more smoke into the atmosphere.

That's one way to fight global warming!

How do I introduce a new member to my campaign of level 15 PCs?

Errr...

krev82 wrote:

From an environmental standpoint do we have a workable estimate on how many nuclear explosions it would take to cause catastrophic global environmental changes / mass extinctions etc?

Definitely. I used to work with a guy whose job at Lockheed was to run nuclear holocaust survivability scenarios. I have no idea if any of this work is accessible by the public, though. I'd guess not.

Mixolyde wrote:

How do I introduce a new member to my campaign of level 15 PCs?

Errr...

Introduce new characters without violating verisimilitude, replacing a dead character, or ask in the GM thread.

I've noticed a trend amongst the amateur conservative commentariat (Republican or otherwise) where enormous effort is devoted to drawing equivalencies on every possible political action and outcome between the democrats and the GOP, with the apparent desire to enable a 'well, they're both as bad as each other' shrug that allows them to continue voting not-liberal in good conscience. I don't seem to see anything like it from progressives but it's a very common catch-cry of the disenfranchised, so my question is are conservatives more likely to just give up on the system entirely than shift their vote, and is this observation symptomatic of that behaviour?

krev82 wrote:

From an environmental standpoint do we have a workable estimate on how many nuclear explosions it would take to cause catastrophic global environmental changes / mass extinctions etc?

We do know that number, and it is zero.

We've already caused catastrophic environmental damage, likely irreversible, and we are in an age of mass extinctions as I type this.

Good point, Jonman, although the point of nuclear weapons is that they greatly speed the process...

Robear wrote:

Good point, Jonman, although the point of nuclear weapons is that they greatly speed the process...

Well, if you wiped out all Humans, you'd actually slow down some processes. And the ecosystems would reboot eventually.

DC Malleus wrote:

I don't seem to see anything like it from progressives but it's a very common catch-cry of the disenfranchised, so my question is are conservatives more likely to just give up on the system entirely than shift their vote, and is this observation symptomatic of that behaviour?

Then you're not looking very hard - note the left-wing glossing over of Clinton's extensive financial contacts with Wall Street. Conservatives, like liberals, will continue to vote for what they see as the least bad option, which will continue electing a series of bad options.

(And note that I'm a libertarian, and thus firmly in the "all are bad options and just two sides of the same coin" camp.)

I don't think Clinton's Wall Street contacts were glossed over. They were, after all, all over the news, and they were used in political speeches and attack ads against her. I think it's a matter of how far she'd take the issues they want her to push. Given the choice of two politicians, both of whom have extensive financial supporters, the idea is that the one who believes in less regulation is likely to remove useful restraints along with the hindering ones. Not that Clinton would have been perfect, but there was a strong likelihood she'd leave more consumer protections in place than any Republican candidate.

But she was also a big backer of TPP, which was concentrated evil in a can.

She wouldn't have lied so egregiously (and stupidly) as Trump, and I have no doubt that she'd be more competent, but actually better for mainstream America? I'm not sold. She was, and is, a tool of Wall Street.

Trump's an even bigger tool, in every sense of the word, but he's so bad that Genghis Khan would look better. (probably literally, not figuratively; Genghis, whatever his other traits, was supremely competent.)

Malor wrote:

But she was also a big backer of TPP, which was concentrated evil in a can.

She wouldn't have lied so egregiously (and stupidly) as Trump, and I have no doubt that she'd be more competent, but actually better for mainstream America? I'm not sold. She was, and is, a tool of Wall Street.

Trump's an even bigger tool, in every sense of the word, but he's so bad that Genghis Khan would look better. (probably literally, not figuratively; Genghis, whatever his other traits, was supremely competent.)

Not seeing how that doesn't mean Clinton would have been better for mainstream America than Trump.

It's Žižek's argument: Hillary stands for inertia, a continuation of cold war politics, pretending to be socially progressive. Žižek wants revolution and change and didn't think Clinton would deliver it.

Plus Žižek thought that Trump winning would mean that the Republicans and Democrats would have to rethink themselves. I'm not really seen a lot of evidence of that on the R side. (And that Trump wouldn't introduce fascism, so I guess we'll get to see if he's right about that...)

But Zizek's also in favor of honest hostility between the rulers and ruled, as part of cultivating that revolution. As he puts it, when the propaganda came out of Moscow to communist citizens, most folks were complying in practice, but also working hard not to get in trouble for laughing about it in public.

My guess is that Slavoj's got some serious nostalgia.

So... apparently Trump wants to not only get DAPL going, but also bring back the Keystone XL pipeline.

Two questions:
1. Didn't the liberal/progressive party of Canada basically cancel the Canadian half of the pipeline?

2. Going along with that, does the Keystone XL pipeline even DO anything with the literal OTHER HALF of the pipeline missing?

Demosthenes wrote:

2. Going along with that, does the Keystone XL pipeline even DO anything with the literal OTHER HALF of the pipeline missing?

Pisses off liberals

Tanglebones wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

2. Going along with that, does the Keystone XL pipeline even DO anything with the literal OTHER HALF of the pipeline missing?

Pisses off liberals

(But somehow, doesn't piss off the GOP with its pretty broad interpretation of imminent domain usage.)

Clarification, does it do anything for the carbon energy companies that want it built without the other half?

I've read that fallen oil prices / competition from natural gas has basically made the Keystone pipeline pointless for the foreseeable future -- but of course that won't stop the Republicans from ramming through something that Obama opposed.

So here's my question: at what point do you guys think a celebrity crosses the line from merely having some friendly ties to Trump to being a full on supporter of him and his policies? And for that matter, does supporting Trump as a celebrity mean you're a white supremacist/islamophobe/bigot or at best an apologist for those things?

Asking cause that's pretty much how I feel about Tom Brady this morning, but a lot of Facebook friends are saying that's unfair and I shouldn't make the Super Bowl political. So seriously I'm asking for a gut check here.

jdzappa wrote:

I shouldn't make the Super Bowl political.

All entertainment and culture has some element of the political in it. Sports are certainly not exempt. Being able to put politics aside to enjoy entertainment without thinking about the politics is a privilege, not a right.

jdzappa wrote:

So here's my question: at what point do you guys think a celebrity crosses the line from merely having some friendly ties to Trump to being a full on supporter of him and his policies? And for that matter, does supporting Trump as a celebrity mean you're a white supremacist/islamophobe/bigot or at best an apologist for those things?

Asking cause that's pretty much how I feel about Tom Brady this morning, but a lot of Facebook friends are saying that's unfair and I shouldn't make the Super Bowl political. So seriously I'm asking for a gut check here.

I mean, if you want to be annoyed at Tom Brady, check out his quote on how he hasn't been paying attention and he tries to focus on the positive... why is there something bad happening? Tom Brady basically outed himself as the literal embodiment of White/Male Privilege prior to the game.

That said, supporting Trump... you're either a racist/homophobe/sexist/etc... or don't consider those a deal breaker. Those are your two options at this point.

I decided not to make the Super Bowl political because that fourth quarter would have been too emotionally exhausting otherwise.

But yes, everyone above is right: everything is political. I think that most people just want to be left alone to get on with their lives. Given that there's a rather significant amount of people who can't do that right now, insisting that they should do that is itself a political stance.

Thx for the gut check all. I was getting a lot of hell on social media and being called a sore loser for calling out Brady's beliefs. The attitude was "der you're just a libtard hater whose just jeally." Brady should be using his big platform to stand up to Trump's worst excesses, specially since his wife is an immigrant.

I do try to separate the celebrity's political or personal views from the "work of art" when I can, assuming the work isn't directly reflective of those views, but sometimes I just can't because sometimes just seeing or hearing about that celebrity will make me think of the viewpoint and then the negativity just enters in and I'm then unable to enjoy the "work of art."

It's one reason why I try not to get too involved with learning about celebrities and their personal lives in a lot of cases. I'd rather just not know anything about them whenever possible. If they're really scum (beating up girlfriends, etc.), then I don't particularly care to give them my support because it's just not something I can mentally get past easily once I find out about it.

Is there any research or scholarship into why Native Americans haven't taken up terrorist behaviors against the United States. I am always struck by the similarities in how the US treated its native population and how Israel has treated the Palestinians, in what is essentially government-sanctioned slow genocide.

I am not an expert, but the major differences seem to be the differences in the time periods when the atrocities took place, and the Native Americans lack of an external nation-state backer helping to instigate violence.

It just seems like in today's climate it would be so easy and almost understandable for Native Americans to seek revenge or change through violence, but they don't, and I have always been curious as to why they don't, but other groups do.

Seems like an interesting topic for a thesis to me, but I am not a sociologist.

I mean, if you ask the police and the private mercenaries they hired, the Standing Rock protest was treated as terrorism. And that their social media posts are terrorism against banks.

I assume you mean recently, because there's plenty of 19th century violent events, though many of the ones I'd classify as terrorism were perpetuated by the settlers against natives. There were retaliations by both sides, of course, but off the top of my head the lone agents acting without the support of their government tended to be white settlers upset by things like how they weren't allowed to build houses on land that was explicitly forbidden to them by treaty.

For the 20th century, there's the Osage Murders--wait, no, that was white people jealous that the natives suddenly had oil money.

A bit closer to what you meant, the FBI treated the American Indian Movement as terrorists at incidents such as the siege of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Though AIM is usually classified by everyone else as a civil rights group that among other things exposed the Bureau of Indian Affairs' secret forced sterilization project in the 1970s and occupied Alcatraz.

You might also recognize some big names in asymmetric resistance, Mixolyde. Here's one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geroni...