Devi Parikh not Devil Parikh.

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Surprised pharmacies are giving anonymous callers information on schedule 2 controlled substance stock over the phone at all (but otoh stimulants are relatively low-DEA-attention-grabbing risk). DEA trying to limit telehealth is probably to prevent or clamp down on apps that are transparent pill mills for C2s, people doing this for Adderall probably sped up the process but narcotics are probably more the focus there with it being relatively unfortunate that stimulants are caught in that blast. As a retail pharmacist I'd tend to be on the side of being okay with this inasmuch as I'd prefer there be as many barriers to people abusing C2s as necessary.

Not usually into CCGs but made a note-to-self to give it a download tonight. Kinda booked solid on games now but will try to give it a go by the weekend. Any plans to drop it on Steam et al or trying to avoid attaching it to a platform?

re: calendar as to-do lists, there's some things I do like this but it's definitely insane to do it for everything down to "watch X show at Y time". I use it for a couple recurring weekly/monthly chores; Google calendar lets you set stuff up as reminders and it's often wonderfully cathartic to click the "done" checkmark on 'em.

I remember having already made the "efficient dating market hypothesis" joke before in reply to some of @yashkaf's Twitter thoughts on the subject.

(Also, where are you stuck in Elden Ring/do you want some pointers?)

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Re: stimulants, an article in NPR (I think) claimed that a DEA source said the drug companies had not used their allotments of the precursor chemicals, so the gov did not authorize more. But the companies are blaming the government for the shortage. Seems like just more corporate/big pharma artificial scarcity to me, the companies know there are a lot of new diagnosis of attention related disorders, they are just trying to jack up the price of their drugs (and prop up the sales of slower selling non-Adderal drugs since people are forced to use those more now). Its the new insulin. Nothing to see here just capitalism at work.

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* Yet another liberal comparison between north and south which completely ignores one of if not the biggest differences between the north and south: RACE! They do the same thing with literacy, crime etc, and all of these trends almost perfectly correspond to racial composition differences. The differences between blacks and whites generally >> differences between northern whites and southern whites.

* Maybe wokeness has peaked. Or maybe academics have been so brow beaten and the most unwoke academics already fired or censured that there's far less low-hanging cancellable fruit to pick from, and you have to make more radical demands when you cancel someone. Far from being a victory for the anti-woke, it shows you how powerful and successful wokeists are. If this view is correct, their power isn't waning, there's no more (easy) worlds to conquer.

*Not thinking that lab leak matters is peak anti-science liberalism. I cannot comprehend actually believing it doesn't matter. It's just the most purely partisan, ideological dismissal of reality imaginable, and its coming from people who make a religion out of claiming to be 'pro-science', and it shows you what an absolute propagandistic joke their obsession with countering 'misinformation' is.

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I thought Elden Ring's open world design clashed with the strength of the Souls' series play style: intricately laid out levels/set pieces that you are forced to "git gud" at, overcome, and experience the resulting catharsis. Some of this gameplay loop manifested in criticism of original trilogy as a "dark hallway simulator". However, there was always that next bonfire or lamp when you completed that segment of hallway.

Elden Ring's expansiveness takes away this satisfaction, and while it is an amazing game, I don't think I will replay it twice as I did with the Souls series and Bloodborne.

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Mar 6·edited Mar 6

"The main game I’ve been playing is Elden Ring [...]I’m not so great at it, so I’m struggling, and running into a wall where I don’t see where to go other than fighting bosses, and I’ve run out of ones I know how to beat while levels are starting to give diminishing returns. Git gud, I guess."

AH, finally, I can give you some useful information!

So, yes, "git gud". But what does that actually mean? It means a few things:

1. Learn when to panic heal. While it SEEMS like bosses have so much more health than the PC, that's only true if they deny you your flasks. As it turns out, most bosses are semi-competent at flask denial, but once you figure out the safest times to heal, your health bar is defacto as big as theirs is.

2. While a common piece of advice is "don't get hit", that's only true if you want to be in the top 0.1% of Soulsborne players. You can trade hits. You can even tank a hit from a DPS canon like Maliketh. The most important part is to make sure your damage trades are good. If you deal 10%, and they deal 50%, that's ok if you have enough flasks.

3. If you don't want to be in the top 5% of Soulsborne players and just want to (eventually) win, use the summoning bell. Make sure you've upgraded your favorite summons with Roderika. Some good ones: three wolves, omenkiller, mimic tear, and Latenna. Experimenting with the different summons is part of the fun!

4. Levels are actually only a small part of your character's power (this is why Level 1 runs are possible). Using a weapon with reasonable stats, a good moveset and reasonably upgraded is like 50% of "levelling" in this game. Having enough/powerful enough flasks is like 20%. The rest is your actual level that you increase with runes and random gear. (Protip: Just Bloodhound's Fang can get you 80% of the way through the game.) Use your levels to get Vigor to >= 40, Endurance to >= 20, and all other stats mainly to make sure you can equip the right weapons and cast the spells you care about.

5. Once you know how to read the boss, congrats: you've unlocked Easy Mode. The problem is many bosses are incredibly opaque to read because of subtle and random variations in their attacks and how they chain them. On top of that, Elden Ring bosses are explicitly designed to punish panic rolling. Another issue is the fucking FromSoft camera. For some fights the only way to get used to this annoyance is reps.

Lastly, if you "cheat" and find a YouTube tutorial on dodging Waterfowl Dance, no one will judge you. That is not playing on easy mode. It is still an unbelievably difficult optional boss and you still have to correctly execute the dodge.

Oh and before I forget....

O you don't have the right, o you don't have the right, by the way you don't have the right, o you don't have the right.

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Tried Emergents. Here's some feedback:


1. The visual art is nice.

2. Really good that it doesn't start shilling NFTs before taking you to the game.

3. Good variety of cards.


1. The Home screen seems useless in the menu. Why not start straight at the play screen?

2. The audio is kind of bland. Playing Hearthstone or Artifact your ears get constantly delighted - big selling point for me.

3. I hate the wildcard mechanic. Way too much RNG for my taste. Primary reason why I'm not going to play the game.

4. Seems to drain battery REALLY fast. Took my Macbook with M1 Pro from 70% to 15% in like 2 games.

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Oh, no way! Been reading your articles for a while and somehow missed that you worked on Emergents. I invented bonding curves (can read the history of it here: https://medium.com/@simondlr/bancors-smart-tokens-vs-token-bonding-curves-a4f0cdfd3388) and glad it's still being used in Emergents. :)

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I know they're not your most popular content, but I really enjoy your game reviews, so thanks for including those!

I started playing Storybook Brawl and Marvel Snap thanks to your previous posts and really enjoyed both (I also bought This Merchant Life but haven't had a chance to play it yet).

Monster Train is probably my favorite deckbuilder (I've honestly been enjoying it more than Slay the Spire). I bought the Last Divinity DLC when I was around covenant 15-20 and the game started feeling stale. I probably wouldn't have played much further without the DLC, but the with the DLC it felt fresh enough to push all the way to 25, so definitely worth buying. I agree with you that enabling the DLC too early probably makes the base game worse though.

I also hated the Last Divinity final boss having purify at first, but over time I realized that the final fight is about a lot more than just the boss itself (the waves are extremely strong and probably account for most of that fight's difficulty), so status-based strategies can still be viable if they help you kill the waves quickly to get to the boss.

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A game comment. The only deck builder game I've played is Slay the Spire. (On your recommendation.) It was OK but I wasn't very good. (Hard to figure out a strategy.) Any way I loaded emergents and played through the learning stuff. I then went to play, and... I don't have a deck. So I have to build one? I went to watch the videos on deck building. The audio was terrible, I couldn't understand a thing. So I stopped playing. I don't want to have to read through ~50 cards to see what I want.


Better beginner help. (fix deck building audio)

Maybe more simple games, contests where you introduce a few new cards in each game.

Build some starter decks for beginners.

Maybe put some videos on youtube?

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FYI something's off with the link under 'Super Bowl ads were actually pretty good', seems like the url is just some sentence fragment

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