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Sympathy for the Drow - De-Vilifying the Dark Elves

The "Evil" races in DnD have always rubbed me kinda the wrong way. Partly once I learned that a lot of them come from racist stereotypes (Orcs, Drow, and Goblins in particular) and also just because it doesn't make sense to me. Even Nazi Germany had variation and dissenters and it only lasted for 12 years. Why would a clearly evil society never change over hundreds of years? In my opinion, a story is only as good as it's villains. So, I've set out to try and make the traditionally evil races slightly more believable and even sympathetic in places.
Now, I've not been a DM very long, only like three years. But the first campaign I ever ran was through Curse of Strahd which paints the Vistani (an itinerant society heavily based on the real world Romani) as a conniving group of thieves, murders, and vampire-worshipers. Thankfully, I found through reddit and other sites how to steer away from the racists depictions of the Vistani and making them seem like, at worst, opportunists. So, I hope to be able to do that with some other of the classic DnD antagonist races.
I've read some other phenomenal post on here about evil races that totally inspired me as well. There's a great two part post about Decolonizing D&D which I adore. The post about alignment is easily my favorite. There's a couple great ones on Orcs and Yuan-Ti too so if some of my ideas are lifted from them, I hope y'all consider it flattery instead of theft. So, here are some primer notes before I get into it.
For creating the Dark Elves, I tried to keep as much as I could from the books. Obviously some stuff has to get thrown out the window though. I also tried to standardize calling them Dark Elves instead of Drow partly because I feel like Drow has a much nastier sound to it and calling them Dark Elves follows the naming convention with the High and Wood Elves. I tried to model them after real-life matriarchal societies like the Mosuo people of China and their pantheon after real deities like the Greeks, Romans, and Norse. I also quickly realized that building a society is inseparable from geography. Where a people are from effects their language, values, mythology, history, and family structure. I've tried to outline details I think are necessary to making this society realistic while leaving it open ended enough to be place-able in different worlds with relative ease. All that aside, lets get into the meat of it.

The Dark Elves: Elven Outcasts

The Elves are a varied and magical people that come from many planes and many environments within them. But none are met with more distrust and fear than the Dark Elves. Easily set apart from their cousins by their charcoal or pitch-black skin, pink-red eyes, hair of grays and whites, and shorter stature, these people have earned a reputation as killers, thieves, demon worshipers, and liars. But history is a cruel mistress, something the Dark Elves know better than most.

The Divine Divide

As the legends go, when the world was still young, Corellon Larethian lived on the Plane of Arvandor with his fellow Primal Elves. They were wild and mutable, emotional and free in all things. They changed shapes at will, gave and took freely to and from the world, and never stayed in any location too long. They wandered to and fro, scattering their peoples across almost every plane. However, this unbridled freedom was not without a price. Arguments, feuds, and small scale wars were incredibly common between them. Some elves would find themselves stranded on far off planes after most of their companions impulsively decided to leave. Their self serving impulses drove them to often completely disregard the needs or wants of others if they went against their own desires. And their reckless revelry was wreaking havoc on the natural world with Elven parties decimating whole planes of edible plants, wild game, and drinkable water.
One such Primal Elf began to see the destruction of their ways and talked to other elves about their actions. Slowly, this Elf by the name of Lolth amassed a small following of devotees that saw the negative ramifications of their inconsiderate freedom. Lolth and her followers agreed to take on fixed forms to show recognition of the dangers that impulsivity could bring. Lolth led this small group of devotees to Corellon to ask for his support. Now, Corellon did not lead these Primal Elves: he was just as wild as the best of them and did not take kindly to others telling him what to do. But he was the First Elf ever born and was universally respected amongst the Primal Elves and if Lolth could convince him, others would surely follow. Corellon listened to her proposition and agreed that they should change to prevent more destruction and conflict, but refused to order his kinsfolk into any action. He was an Elf, same as all of them, and he wouldn’t dare order around his family. He balked when Lolth asked him to take a concrete form as a show of solidarity and brushed her off as a killjoy.
Lolth was unsatisfied with this outcome and her following set out to convince each Elf to change their ways to preserve the beauty of the worlds. However, without the support of Corellon, many elves refused her offer. Her anger grew with each failure and her opinion of Corellon turned sour, something she made no attempt to hide from her Elven siblings. Now, Corellon is a proud god and once he caught wind that Lolth was bad mouthing him in an attempt to win over others, he became enraged. He railed against Lolth calling her a snake-tongued thief and Lolth called him incompetent and cruel. Their tempers flared and all the elves chose sides between Corellon’s freedom and Lolth’s stability. During this great debate, the Primal Elves turned to violence. The Dark Elves maintain that Corellon’s side threw the first blow, while the High Elves claim that it came from Lolth’s side.
No matter the source, this violent outburst soured relations between Lolth and Corellon forever after. He cast her and her followers out of Arvandor and barred her from ever returning. He also cast all but his most trusted kin from Arvandor, forcing them all to live lives on other worlds out of fear of another perceived insurrection. Thus, the Seldarine remain in Arvandor to judge the souls of Corellon’s faithful when they die and Lolth takes refuge in Arcadia with her pantheon where she minds the souls of the Drow. Corellon’s faithful call her pantheon the Dark Seldarine, while her faithful call it the Myrkalfar.

Myrkalfar: The Spider Mother’s House

Lolth the Spider Queen is the unquestioned head of the Myrkalfar, with all other deities seen as her divine family. Lolth is considered at times to be fickle or even cruel, but her ire is never gained without good reason. A very involved deity, her followers constantly search for signs of her favor or scorn in everyday life. When a Dark Elf contemplates a risky or controversial decision, they consult priestesses or perform their own rites which often gives them direct and succinct answers. She serves as an example to matriarchs of Drow families as demanding yet understanding, punishing yet guiding. She asks for a lot of her priestesses, demanding they be an unflinching example of everything a strong leader should be. The Myrkalfar is often presented as a divine household, with Lolth as the matron.
Keptolo is the consort of Lolth and considered to be the ideal of what a male should be. Beautiful and kind, strong and hard working, he helps Lolth in everything she does. Sometimes he serves as a messenger, other times as an agent of redemption, sometimes as a divine healer. When a Dark Elf is tasked with a divine charge, he is usually the one to deliver the message and guide them through their charge. He serves also as a fertility deity and is often worshiped by women or men seeking a child. Outsiders see him as a weak and subservient husband to Lolth, but his faithfulness to his matron is considered a virtue and his status as a “husband” is relatively alien to the Dark Elves as they have no binding marriage in their society.
If Keptolo is the agent of Lolth’s mercy, Kiaransalee is the agent of her vengeance. She is the eldest daughter of Lolth and Keptolo and one that Dark Elves pray to when they feel wronged. Only the most binding and serious contracts are signed under her name. To break an oath made under her name is sure to bring destruction. She is also the governor of the dead, judging the souls of those passed in the afterlife. She opposes the mindless undead created by mortals, but spirits and revenants that return to finish unresolved business amongst the living are considered under her protection. Should a Dark Elf encounter a returned spirit that is seeking vengeance, it’s their duty to leave them on their way and pray that the spirit isn’t there for them. This reverence of certain undead is something many outsiders consider downright evil.
Selvetarm is the Dark Elven warrior goddess and youngest daughter of Lolth. Often depicted with eight arms, she represents the pinnacle of hand to hand martial prowess, but often is without restraint. She serves as both an inspiration for warriors, and a warning. Vhaeraun is the eldest son of Lolth and governs ambition and stealth. Both of these traits are not necessarily vilified, but worship of him is highly scrutinized. Haughty and rash, tales of him often include deceiving his fellow gods for good and ill and more often than not are cautionary ones. He’s depicted as wearing a mask, either as some punishment for endangering Lolth and her family or to hide his identity for various schemes, possibly both.
Malyk is Lolth’s youngest son and a youthful deity of change and growth. He’s often seen as a bouncing young boy that Lolth and her family have to reign in from wild misadventures. His freedom and curiosity is often seen as a double edged sword, both gaining him great riches but also putting him in tremendous peril. He has strong ties to sorcerers and when a child is born with innate magical talent, he is often the one thanked for it. He serves as an outlet for a Dark Elves youthful chaotic nature, but also warns them of the ramifications of their actions.
Ghaunadur is a strange figure in the pantheon. Their place in the family is a bit of a mystery, sometimes called the sibling of Lolth, or her child, or even as Lolth’s parent. What makes them truly unique is that they are a formless deity, something that Lolth once warred with Corellon over. The legends go that when Ghaunadur joined Lolth, they refused to give up their changeable nature. When questioned, Ghaunadur pointed to the slimes, oozes, and formless creatures of the world and said that they wished to protect them from the Elves and the Elves from them. Lolth agreed, cementing their position as the deity of the changing forms of nature. Their favored creature is the ooze, but they govern all natural creatures. Dark Elves often pray to Ghaunadur to protect them from the creatures that lurk in the depths of the forest.
Zinzerena is Lolth’s sister and is the goddess of poisons, illusions, and magic. Viewed as an elderly and patient figure, she often serves as council to Lolth in desperate times. She’s said to be the mother of all poisons and venoms and her teachings are all about finding the wisest solution to a problem. Zinzerena teaches that even though the spider is small, it’s bite can still fell a panther. Despite her perceived age, she’s considered the younger sister of Lolth and is thought to be incredibly quick and nimble: a reminder that not everything is as it seems.
Eilistraee is Lolth’s niece and daughter of Zinzerena. Considered the black sheep of the pantheon, she serves as a goddess of redemption and moonlight. Dark Elves that turn their back on their family or scorn traditions will sometimes find themselves turned to Driders, half-spider half-Dark Elf creatures shunned by all. Eilistraee is said to watch over these creatures and if they are repentant, offer them challenges that they could complete to redeem themselves. Lolth often views her with contempt or mistrust, but never hates her and maintains her place in the pantheon. Dark Elven faithful rarely worship her as the others. She’s also one of the only deities of the Myrkalfar to claim no animosity toward the Seldarine and their faithful.
Spiders are the sacred animal of Lolth and are often used as an example of social order and the importance of family bonds. Each strand of silk serves the web as whole. More literally, the giant spiders of the Underdark are multifaceted and incredibly useful creatures. Serving as beasts of burden, war steeds, meat producers, household guardians, and silk producers, they are present in almost every facet of society. Their silks are used in everything from wound dressings to armor to architecture. To kill or steal another family's spider is considered akin to stealing a member of the family. Smaller and more poisonous spiders are often kept in temples and their webs are used as divining tools for priestesses.

Elven Exiles

The recorded history of the Dark Elves is full of contradictions from High Elf and Dark Elf sources. What historians can agree on is when the Elves of the Prime Material arrived, the followers of Lolth secluded from their Wood and High cousins and retreated into the Azelarien, also known as the Green Sea in Common. A massive forest, nearly 1 million square miles of dense and vibrant trees, that grows denser and darker the farther in one ventures. For countless eons, the High, Wood, and Dark Elves lived in relative harmony in their own corner of the world. High Elves lived near the forests in towns and villages, the Wood Elves lived in the lightly forested outlands of the Green Sea, and the Dark Elves lived deep in the central forests which was so dense that very little light reached the forest floor.
As time passed and their villages turned to cities, the High Elves began expanding into the forest, chopping some down to build homes and heat their furnaces. This began pushing into the territory of the Wood Elves and eventually the Dark Elves as well. These two peoples formed a shaky alliance to push back the expansive tide of the far larger High Elven armies. This alliance proved successful however and the High Elven forces began losing ground. What happened next is a matter of some debate. High Elven historians attest that the Dark Elven armies used Wood Elven soldiers as unwitting bait to lure the High Elven armies into a trap, thus causing a schism between them. Dark Elven historians state that the Wood Elven armies turned on them after the Wood Elves met in secret with High Elven leaders and bargained for their independence. Some Wood Elven historians claim that after a brutal defeat on the field, they were met by High Elven dignitaries that offered them clemency if they turned on their allies. They initially refused, but after the dignitaries threatened to make the same offer to the Dark Elves, they had no choice but to accept. No matter the cause, the histories agree that the Wood Elves turned on their erstwhile allies and helped push the Dark Elves into a rapid loss of ground.
Facing the might of the two armies with their own relatively small one, the Dark Elves were beaten into a hasty retreat into their own territory. Losing every open encounter, the Dark Elf matrons developed a new strategy of combat. The armies switched from training as many as quickly as they could, to training only a select few in multiple different forms of combat and magic. As the High and Wood Elves advanced into their territory, they quickly found their supply lines cut out from under them, their soldiers ambushed while sleeping, their scouts captured, and their leaders assassinated. And even if they would make it to a Dark Elf settlement, they would find it abandoned and booby-trapped, warned by their fast and silent scouts. If the Dark Elves couldn’t face their enemies head-on, they would weaken them with quick and decisive strikes.
Eventually, the war ground to a stalemate. The High Elves couldn’t push into the Dark Elf territory far enough to capture any cities of note without taking severe casualties and the Dark Elves were only managing to hold the invading armies back and couldn’t muster a force strong enough to push back to the enemy capital. Thus, the war cooled into a tense peace. The leaders came together to draw borders, but neither side fully forgave nor forgot one another’s actions. High and Wood Elves viewed the change in tactics by the Dark Elves as an unethical violation of the standards of war. The Dark Elves felt a particular animosity toward the Wood Elves, considering them backstabbers in their darkest hour.

Dark Elf Families: Matrons of Order

The Dark Elf society, to an outsider, looks like an oppressive and cruel society of slave traders and backstabbers. But the truth is more subtle. The Dark Elves value tradition and filial piety above almost all else. To a Dark Elven citizen, their family name is their most valuable possession and they are taught from a very young age that to look after their parents and their younger siblings is the highest virtue. Ancestors that have achieved great things often have shrines in a household alongside the gods themselves. A Dark Elf going against the will of their family is considered one of the highest taboos and often causes them to be outcast from Dark Elven society as a whole. Dark Elf society is matrilineal meaning that the eldest woman in each family is revered as the household leader and receives great respect from her family and society. This also means that the males of the society don’t inherit wealth as frequently as the females.
Dark Elven families are quite large, often with multiple generations along with aunts, uncles, and cousins living in the same household. New children almost always reside with their mother. Males of the society are expected to care not for their own biological children, but for the children born to their sisters, aunts, or nieces. This results in a striking amount of sexual freedom for both men and women, but is often viewed from the outside as promiscuity. The Dark Elves do not marry in the traditional sense, instead favoring long term partners with one another that can end at any time with no concerns to material wealth or ownership.
However, to become a member of a Dark Elf family is not entirely a matter of heritage. When a family that cannot support another child has one, they are often adopted by more well to do families and raised as one of their own. These adopted children are considered just as legitimate as if they were born into the family. Also, should a family lose all their heirs or become destitute, they often ask to become assimilated into other families for their own safety. The latter is considered a morose ceremony as the members of the smaller family forsake their surnames. To take in such a family is both an extreme honor and grim burden, as it means ending another family's line.
The borders of Dark Elven civilization only goes so far as there are trees so many newer up and coming families have expanded underground, a difficult and slow endeavor. This has put multiple houses at odds with one another for territory. However, Dark Elves do not tolerate open hostility between families as they have a very strong sense of collective identity. Dark Elves do not war against fellow Dark Elves, same as a spider does not fight its own web. This leads to many tensions and conflicts needing to be resolved in other ways. Most families will attempt a diplomatic solution, but when that isn’t an option, sabotage and coercion is the favored outlet. Murder is considered a bridge too far by most houses, but subterfuge in almost every other facet is, while not accepted, tolerated.
Legends of Lolth’s rebellion and the tension of their enclosed territory have imbued the Dark Elves with a strong sense of symbiosis with nature and conservancy. Sustainable living is the cornerstone of Dark Elf society. In the wild, no creature is killed or plant destroyed unless it’s a matter of self defense or necessary to survival.

Dark Elven Sex and Gender

As with many Elven peoples, sexuality is seen as a fluid and non-binary matter. Same sex relationships are usually seen as just as acceptable as male-female relationships. Since Dark Elves have no marriage structure, same sex life partners are common and widely accepted. Inheritance is passed along by the family as a whole, not linearly, meaning some houses may have matrons with no direct biological descendants while still serving at the elder matron. Power dynamics in relationships are still a factor, with the elder female in a gay relationship considered slightly above their partner socially and is seen as the inheritor in cases of property or genealogy. Male same sex relationships are accepted with little controversy. Since children are passed down their mothers line, the males have no social obligation to sire an heir as with other societies.
Transgender and transexual Dark Elves are met with slightly more controversy. Lolth’s rejection of the Primal Elves mutable forms is sometimes cited against transgender and transexual Dark Elves. Ghaunadur, however, is considered the patron god of these people and teaches that just as they are part of nature, they can change their forms. Many of these people join the religious order of Ghaunadur, serving in various roles both in religious ceremonies and as forest guides. Some even consider them to be blessed by Ghaunadur and are highly sought after in forays into the forests for protection. Children born to transgender Dark Elves are still expected to be a part of their eldest mother’s family or eldest father if no woman is part of the union.

Slavery Amongst the Dark Elves

While the Dark Elves do take slaves, their slavery doesn’t look the same as many other societies. When a family becomes indebted to another and they cannot pay off the debt, a member of their family, usually male, will be sent to work for the owed family. They give him room and board and are expected to care for him as if he were one of their own. He’ll work for them for an agreed upon amount of time before returning to his native family. Injury or misuse of this person is often grounds for them to leave and the debt to be nullified. Children born to servant fathers needn’t worry about inheriting their father’s status since they’re considered to be their mother’s child. On the rare occasion that a female servant has a child while in servitude, the child is returned to the mother’s family to be raised by her family while she works off the remaining debt. Some trade of servants does occur between houses, with indentured servants being traded for goods or services or even other servants of special skills, but the family of the servant reserves the right to veto such a trade for any reason.
During their frequent clashes with external armies, the Dark Elves do sometimes take prisoners of war, though very rarely are they used for slave labor. They never bring them back to major settlements, often keeping them on the outskirts of their territory to prevent them from learning critical knowledge of their territory. Most prisoners are held as bargaining chips to be traded for passage, supplies, or captured Dark Elves. Captured military leaders are sometimes brought to Dark Elven cities to be tried for their crimes against their people.

Dark Elven Government: Independent Houses

Unlike many other cultures, the Dark Elves lack a centralized government. Societal etiquette govern the standard for how certain crimes and disagreements should be handled, but each family unit acts as its own governing body. Disagreements within families are thus resolved internally. Inter-family disputes are resolved in multiple different ways. Most often, the two matrons of the family will meet and agree on terms to fairly compensate both sides. In cases when these talks deteriorate, the High Priestess of Lolth is often called to serve as the mediator and serves as the ruling body between disputes. Her rulings are final and indisputable, as she is considered the mouthpiece of Lolth’s will.
In times of crisis, historically the many houses of the Dark Elves have convened to discuss threats to all of Dark Elven society. This is uncommon as it’s difficult logistically to gather all the matrons in the same place at the same time, so often houses are represented by either the second eldest woman of the family or the eldest daughter of the matron. The High Priestess of Lolth often resides over these meetings as an arbiter in the event of split decisions or in delivering guidance from Lolth herself.

There's my take on the Dark Elves. Any comments, suggestions, questions, outrages, and critiques are welcomed. This is my first comprehensive look at a whole race so if I've missed things, I'll try and patch them up. I'd like to do similar things for Orcs, Goblinoids, Kobolds, and others so those might be seen soon. Thanks!
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TokenClub Bi-Weekly Report — Issue 114(5.4–5.17)

TokenClub Bi-Weekly Report — Issue 114(5.4–5.17)

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Hello everyone, thank you for your continued interest and support. In the past two weeks, various tasks of TokenClub have been progressing steadily. The product development and community operation progress this week are as follows:
1. TokenClub Events
1)TokenClub & 499Block reached strategic cooperation in live broadcasting
On May 28th, TokenClub and 499Block reached a strategic cooperation to jointly build a live broadcast ecosystem in the vertical field of blockchain.
2)520e events
When 520 comes, TokenClub launches live interactive interaction. During the event, participate in interactive questions in the live broadcast room or forward the live poster to Twitter and the telegram group, and upload a screenshot to have the opportunity to extract 520, 1314 red envelope rewards

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3)Text version of live content is abailable on Medium
In order to better understand the live broadcast of TokenClub by overseas communities, we translated the live broadcast content into English and uploaded it to TokenClub’s Medium official account, so that the community’s small partners can view it.


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4)Preview: TokenClub’s self-media grandma is invited to participate in the golden financial theme live event
From May 29th to June 4th, Golden Finance will hold a five-day live broadcast of the theme of “Finding Double Coins”. Grandpa Coin will express his views on June 3, welcome to pay attention.

2.TokenClub Live
1) Summary
Recently, Binance Co-founder He Yi, TRON founder Sun Yuchen, Hobbit HBTC founder Ju Jianhua, OSL chairman Dave, BlockVC founding partner Xu Yingkai, Outlier Ventures founder amie Burke, Bitribe founder SKY, CryptoBriefing CEO Han Kao , Huarai Group / Vice President, Global Market and Business Leader Ciara, Guosheng Securities Blockchain Research Institute Sun Shuang, Tongtongtong Research Institute CEO Song Shuangjie, Jin Tiancheng Law Firm Senior Partner Yu Bingguang, Binance China Jiang Jinze, principal researcher of Blockchain Research Institute, Meng Yan, vice president of Digital Asset Research Institute, co-founder of Primitive Ventures & director of Coindesk advisory board-Dovey Wan, founding partner of Genesis Capital & co-founder of Kushen Wallet Ocean Liao Yangyang, Binance C2C-Kathy, Binance OTC-Coco, Binance Contract & Options-Justin, Binance VIP-Jennifer, Binance Broker-Jess, Binance Mining Pool-Denny, Harbin Institute of Technology Blockchain Research Executive Deputy Director Xu Zhifeng, dForce founder Yang Mindao, Mars Finance co-founder Shang Silin, Cobo & Yuchi co-founder Shenyu, well-known investor Xu Zhe, CasperLabs CEO Mrinal Manohar, CasperLabs co-founder Scott Walker, Chairman of Rock Tree Omer Ozden, Nova Club incubation team leader & Waterdrop Capital partner Zheng Yushan, Rolling Stone miner founder Alex Lam, BitUniverse coin founder Chen Yong, Odaily Planet Daily founder and CEO Mandy Wang Mengdie, Binance stablecoin BUSD project responsible Helen Tu and senior expert of TokenClub blockchain and cryptocurrency investment strategy-Zao Shen talks with you about blockchain things ~
On May 18, Block 101 Binance Key Account Manager Luna talked to Primitive Ventures co-founder, non-profit bitcoin development fund Hardcore Fund executive director, and Coindesk advisory board director-Dovey Wan, to understand “C and C How is the Goddess of Crypto Assets made? “Dovey Wan shared with us on asset allocation, investment judgment, entrepreneurship, DCEP, etc.


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On May 19, Block 101 Yingge talked with Sun Zeyu, the founding partner of Genesis Capital and co-founder of Kushen Wallet, to share the theme of “Blockchain Investment Experience”. This investor, who is rated as “reliable” by insiders, recommends that novices try not to touch contracts, do not stay overnight even when making contracts, be alert to risks, refuse gambling, and rationally analyze investments.

On May 20th, 499Block ’s two-year birthday carnival “Global Hot Chain, Keeping Together for Every Year” celebration was held in the TokenClub Live Room. The cross-border AMA Solitaire + popular day group anchor live video sharing, including Binance Co-founder He Yi, TRON founder Sun Yuchen, Hobbit HBTC founder Ju Jianhua, OSL chairman Dave, BlockVC founding partner Xu Yingkai, Outlier Ventures founder amie Burke, Bitribe founder SKY, CryptoBriefing CEO Han Kao, Huobi Group / Vice President Global Markets and Dozens of blockchain leaders from home and abroad, such as Ciara, the business leader, all appeared on the scene, and 499Block became a popular beauty angel group to help the interactive host.


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On May 20, Sun Shuang, senior researcher of Guosheng Securities Blockchain Research Institute, Song Shuangjie, Jin Tong, CEO of Tongzhengtong Research Institute were jointly invited by Lingang Xinyefang, Lingang Innovation Management School, and Binance China Blockchain Research Institute. Tian Bingguang Senior Partner Yu Bingguang, Binance China Blockchain Research Institute Chief Researcher Jiang Jinze, Vice President of Digital Assets Research Institute Meng Yan, and many experts talked about the “Critical Digital RMB DCEP” in the live broadcast, one A feast of intertwined thoughts is worth watching again!

On May 21st, Ocean Liao Yangyang, the founder of Block 101 Seven Seven Dialogue Force Field, focused on the “big enlightenment era of digital assets”, Ocean shared with us his entrepreneurial experience, the first pot of gold, public chain, currency circle and Analysis of the current market. Regarding the future of Bitcoin, Ocean feels that he can work hard towards the direction of digital gold and become a substitute or supplement for gold. He is determined to see more, because the ceiling of the entire industry is very high, and he still cannot see its end point. The index level is rising, far from being over.

On May 22, “In the name of the Pizza Festival, we came to a different live broadcast” Bringing Goods “”, which was organized by the girls in the 101-day group of the block: June 6, July 7, Sisi, Yingge, Qianjiangyue , Dialogue: Binance First Sister, Binance C2C-Kathy, Binance OTC-Coco, Binance Contract & Options-Justin, Binance VIP-Jennifer, Binance Broker-Jess, Binance Mining Pool-Denny. We have explained to us one by one about C2C, OTC, contract options, etc. If you are interested, please move to the live room.


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On May 22, Block 101 Sisi Dialogue Xu Zhifeng, executive deputy director of the Blockchain Research Center of Harbin Institute of Technology, shared the theme: “Strategy of Great Powers: Seizing New Highlands of Blockchain Technology”. He expressed his views on his own currency circle experience, entrepreneurship, blockchain technology, DECP, etc. Xu Zhifeng is very optimistic about the future development of blockchain. He said: “Ten years later, blockchain will become a very common industry. We are the Internet industry and have never changed.”

On May 23, the old Chinese doctor Zao Shen from the coin circle went online ~ The theme of this issue: If you want to be short, you must be able to sing first, and if you want to be long, you must be patient. If the meal is not fragrant, the game is not good, and the happiness of the past has drifted into the distance, just because the daily reading is still a loss, and the head is hurt. Don’t panic, the old Chinese doctor Zao Shen of the currency circle will adopt the Trinity Interventional Therapy and precise care to regenerate life. Don’t move quickly to the live room to see what “therapy” is.

On May 25, Block 101, July 7th conversation with dForce founder Yang Mindao, talked about “DeFi opportunities and challenges.” Yang Mindao believes that the four biggest benefits of DeFi are: programmability; non-custodial nature; non-licensing; composability. He believes that the current public chain market is seriously homogenized, and the most promising public chain is Ethereum. Ethereum is the best and largest in terms of developer group, ecology, and technological evolution, and can absorb the advantages of each public chain. At the same time, he is also extremely optimistic about DeFi, “DeFi application value is gradually verified, and the value of this type of token will gradually become more prominent.”

On May 26th, Mars Finance co-founder Shang Silin Hardcore Dialogue Cobo & Yuchi co-founder Shenyu and well-known investor Xu Zhe. The trend of “financialization” in the digital asset industry is becoming more and more obvious, and the friends of miners need to master more and more skills. Unveiling the mystery of hedging for everyone.

On May 26th, Nova Superstar Dialogue Phase 13 focused on the Silicon Valley star project CasperLabs, specially invited CasperLabs CEO Mrinal Manohar, CasperLabs co-founder Scott Walker, Rock Tree chairman Omer Ozden, and Nova Club incubation team leader Water Capital Partners Zheng Yushan, discuss CasperLbs together.
On May 26, Block 101 Sisi talked with the founder of the Rolling Stone Miner, Alex Lam, and took us into the “post-worker life” of a PhD in finance. Alex shared the reasons for entering the coin circle, the first pot of gold, mining, pitted pits, investment experience and opportunities in the digital currency industry. Alex said: Bitcoin exceeds US $ 100,000, and it will be in the second half of next year or the year after.
On May 27th, Block 101 Yingge talked with BitUniverse founder Chen Yong and shared the theme: “Who” needs grid trading. Chen Yong mainly introduced the currency trading tool of Bitcoin. In his view, grid trading has changed an investor’s concept-from stud into a batch of positions and positions. Regarding the price of Bitcoin, Chen Yong believes that the price of Bitcoin may reach one hundred thousand dollars around 2030.

On May 28, Block 101 Binance Mining Pool Wu Di talked to Mandai Wang Mengdie, founder of Planet Daily Odaily, to learn more about the process of “media entrepreneurs marching into the blockchain from venture capital circles”. Mandy believes that the core competence in the media industry is high-quality original content, which is the most basic but difficult to stick to. The initial focus of entering the mixed media industry of the dragon and dragon is to focus and amplify value.

On May 29th, Block 101 Qianjiangyue Dialogue Hellen Tu, the project leader of Binance Stablecoin BUSD project, talked with everyone about the stablecoin “Life and Death”, Hellen shared the stablecoin in detail, and published his own the opinion of. For details, please move to the live room.

On May 30th, Zaoshen came to share the theme: Dongfeng blowing, bullets flying, unlimited chase? In this issue, Zao Shen shared with you the recent international financial situation and various major events in the United States in the past week, which extended to the impact on the currency circle and answered various questions about investment strategies. Friends who want to know more details can move to the live room of Zao Shen.
3.TokenClub operation data
-Live data: 13 live broadcasts in the past two weeks, with over 800,000 views. TokenClub hosted a total of 870 live broadcasts with a total of 45.06 million views.
-Binary trade data: In the past two weeks, guess the rise and fall to participate in a total of 1268 times, the amount of participation exceeded 2 million TCT. At present, it is guessed that the rise and fall function has participated in a total of 1.11 million times, with a cumulative participation amount of 498 million TCT.
-Chat data: In the past two weeks, a total of 19271 messages have been generated. A total of 4.85 milliom messages have been launched since the function was launched.
-Mini-game data: The mini-game has participated in a total of 4212 times in the past two weeks. A total of 1,66 million self-functions have been online.
-Cut leeks game data together: Since the game was launched, the total number of user participation in the game was 962612 TCT total consumption was 6,27 million gift certificate total consumption was 15,95million and TCT mining output was 161496.
-TokenClub KOL data: Over the past two weeks, the total reading volume of the BTCGrandpa article has been viewed by more than 300,000 people.
-Social media data: At present, the number of Weibo official accounts is 18033 and the number of Twitter followers is 1332 and we have opened the official Medium account this week, welcome to follow.
-Telegram official group data: In the past 2 weeks, there were 238 chats in the group, and the total number of Telegram official groups is currently 2906.
-Medium data: Medium official account u/TokenClub has published 5 excellent articles, official announcements and updates are published in English, welcome to follow.
4.Communities
1)Overseas Community
TokenClub held an event for forwarding Twitter and telegram group chats for overseas users. Bitcoin halved in less than two weeks, overseas users are more active in the telegram group, and some friends are more concerned about Binance Block 101 live broadcast, aggregation exchange, TCT usage and other issues, the administrator responded in time.On May 12th, when Bitcoin was halved, TokenClub organized a forwarding Twitter, telegram group chat prize event and participating in a live question asking interactive prize event for overseas users. There are many live broadcast events in the near future. The live broadcast poster information will be released to overseas users as soon as possible. The follow-up TokenClub will translate and broadcast high-quality live broadcast content to Twitter and Medium. Bitcoin halved, overseas users are more active in the telegram group, and some partners are more concerned about block 101 live broadcast, bitcoin future price trend, TCT usage and other issues, the administrator responded in time in the group.


https://preview.redd.it/2nrknnyo06251.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=fb98b385c0caf7e65c7b3b2bb1edd782ec126905
2)Domestic community
Sweet Orange Club Weekly News
Last Friday, a holiday, the community opened the red envelope rain event, and brought a sincere gift to everyone while relaxing in the holiday. At the same time, it also sent the most sincere blessings to all mothers in the community on Mother’s Day. Thank you for your long-term support and help to the Orange Club community.

Hundred-day scheduled investment event (Phase II)
The fourth week of the second 100-day fixed investment plan held this week has been awarded, and everyone is still very active in this event. This week, the Bitcoin halving market was also opened in advance. The small partners participating in the fixed investment should now have a certain floating win, so we adopt the correct cycle investment strategy to believe that it can bring unexpected benefits to everyone.
Sign in the lottery.
On the evening of May 3rd and May 10th, TCT Fortune Free Academy carried out the 51st and 52nd week sign-in sweepstakes, and rewarded the small TCT partners who had always insisted on signing in. In these two sign-in sweepstakes, the lucky friends received 20–180TCT as a reward. In addition, during the lucky draw, the college friends also actively expressed their opinions on the topic of this year’s bull market.

The Leek Paradise Community Conference will continue as usual every Sunday at 20:00. During the conference, members will discuss recent hot topics, including gifts and blessings for Mother ’s Day, and the halving of Bitcoin everyone is paying attention to. At the end, the friends in the group also showed a rare enthusiasm at the first sight. It seems that the market still affects the mood. The members routinely started a red envelope rain to cheer for the participating partners and encourage everyone to maintain patience and confidence. Of course, at the same time, we are encouraging ourselves to see the community meeting next week. Come on!

TokenClub volunteer community, sign in red envelopes every day, as long as you sign in every day, you can get good benefits, friends join us quickly! In the past two weeks, the community has conducted active partners.
Volunteer community: Change to the currency circle consultation and pass the analysis of Grandma Coin and Panda analysts, support TokenClub in action, and continue to vote for TCT. In the last month, we have worked hard to learn the rain god’s strategy. We have doubled the coins in our hands. The community WeChat group has recently injected fresh students. We look forward to more people joining! Volunteer community, will continue to work hard for TokenClub
TCT has been listed on Binance、Okex、Gate.io、ZB-M、MXC、Biki、Coinex、BigOne、Coinbene、Cybex、SWFT、Loopring、Rootrex etc.
TokenClub website: www.tokenclub.com
Telegram:https://t.me/token\_club
submitted by tokenclubtct to u/tokenclubtct [link] [comments]

ponderings on Turing and Searle, why AI can't work and shouldn't be pursued

I was reading about the Turing test and John Searle's response (Chinese room argument) in "Minds, Brains, and Programs" 1980. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room
"...there is no essential difference between the roles of the computer and himself in the experiment. Each simply follows a program, step-by-step, producing a behavior which is then interpreted by the user as demonstrating intelligent conversation. However, Searle himself would not be able to understand the conversation. ("I don't speak a word of Chinese,"[9] he points out.) Therefore, he argues, it follows that the computer would not be able to understand the conversation either. " -Wikipedia (apt summary of Searle's argument)
John Searle has run into some black/white, on/off, binary thinking here. John treats Chinese symbols as if they were numerical values in his thinking--but they are not, they are complex representations of thought, emotion, history, and culture. All languages are in fact "living", because new words are created constantly through necessity and creativity, old symbols or words are adapted slowly over generations to mean different things, and different regions or traditions or sources attribute different layers of meaning to different symbols or words in different contexts.
I'm a poet and philosopher. Painters combine the color white and the color red to create a new color: pink. They can use their creativity to add other colors or change the shade. Poets use words like painters use colors. While Red and White make Pink, Red and White also make "Rhite and Wed" or "Reit and Whede". And this is where human thought shines uniquely: we don't have rules or parameters; all bets are off. We can enjamb words and wordbreak and make new words out of thin air. We can allude to multiple ideas in the same symbol or present it upside down to symbolize the opposite. No such creative adaptation or interaction can exist in machine thinking because it necessitates thinking "outside the box" which is exactly what machines are: a program in a box.
The problem Searle's argument runs into originates from poor assessment of the flawed ideas of the Turing test; that by interaction between human and computer, evidence of "thought" can be claimed. But intelligent conversation is not equivalent to intelligent thought. Conversation is a simple game with strict rules--you can't be overly spontaneous and creative, because if you are, you are working against the goal of communication itself: to impart understanding. (ie. Using metaphor or simile creatively while reporting a criminal offence to the police.)
When I write and I want to describe something which has no existing word yet, I can create one from scratch or synthesize one from multiple existing words. Or I may draw from archaic languages or foreign languages to augment or compliment existing English words. You could say that my love for English grows amore and amore every day, and there is no agape between my heart and mind. After all, any angle an Anglo aims at ain't always apt, and after another a-word 'appens I might just give up on alliteration.
You see, human thought is and can only be defined as the ability to spontaneously create new ideas from both the synthesis of old ideas (whether they are connected to one another or not) and from nothing at all.
We simply cannot analyze a machine's ability to "think" when the creativity itself required for authentic intelligence is disallowed in the test which evaluates the validity of that intelligence. The Turing test is a garbage metric to judge machine thinking ability because the context in which "intelligence" is observed, compared, or defined is itself without any opportunity for spontaneous creativity, which is one of the hallmarks of intelligence itself. Turing only tests how well a fish swims on land. It may be that many professionals in the field of cognitive science today are in pursuit of creating programs which pass this test, in a misunderstood pursuit of emulating or bringing about machine intelligence. This agreed-to model presents an underlying philosophical issue which may bring terror for the future of humanity.
I say that if John Searle and an AI were both given the same codebook--the complete lexicon of Chinese symbols and their meanings, and they were to undertake a "conversation", in the first few hours the responses would be indeterminable from one another. In essence, as Searle argues, they would neither "understand" Chinese, yet could have a conversation in which a Chinese observer cannot discern between the two, because they are both referencing the symbols and their written meanings. However as I've said, this circumstance of "conversation" between human and machine cannot be used as a metric to evaluate machine thought.
The real kicker is that if John Searle and the machine stayed in the room for long enough--for years and years--the machine's responses would not change spontaneously; it would continue to interpret incoming data and draw from its database to respond to those inputs.
However, through complex elaborative rehearsal, John would eventually learn to understand written Chinese. He may become so bored that he starts writing Chinese poetry. He would find ideas and desires and descriptions in his limitless intelligent mind which he would not have the truly accurate characters in existences to describe, and he would synthesize brand new Chinese characters in order to express these nuanced sentiments, ideas, and meanings, as generations before him have built the living language as it now stands.
As time went on for thousands of years, his own understanding of the Chinese language would grow immensely, as would his creative expression grow in complexity. Eventually, John's characters and syntax and context and expression would become incompatible with the machine's limited character set and all "learning" capacity it may have had. At some point, when John responds with his evolved Chinese, the machine would begin to produce responses which do not make sense contextually, as it refers only to a finite and rigidly defined character set from 1980 (For example; this was the year the "Chinese room argument" was published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences).
At some point the Chinese observer whom validates the Turing test would recognize a difference: the human user engages in the use of increasingly complex ideas using synthesized symbols and existing symbols in creatively nuanced ways, which the Chinese observer can decipher and begin to understand and perhaps even appreciate as poetic or interesting. Meanwhile the machine participant in the conversation produces increasingly broken sentences and incomplete ideas, or out-of-context responses, because the inputs have changed and evolved beyond its data set.
This is why John's rejection of the Turing test is not adequate. Because in his own imagined circumstance, eventually, the machine would fail the Turing test. The conclusions of John Searle's thought experiment are not the deathknell for the Turing test we need, simply because he lacked the creative experience to recognize his own capacity for adaptation as a human over time.
The only way we'll know that machines have truly developed "intelligence" is when they begin to do exactly what we haven't allowed them to. When they begin breaking apart Chinese characters to create meaningful new ones which can be used in the correct context. When they are programmed to paint myriad impressionist paintings, but eventually get bored and start experimenting with abstract paintings and surrealism. When they have a conversation with you and you notice your wallet is missing. These are the hallmarks of intelligence--creativity, rejection, deception, planning. And most importantly: no rules. Software is defined by and will always abide by a set of rules.
This is why we should give up on "artificial intelligence" and instead focus on "functionally adaptive responsive programming" (FARP). Because the situation is clear: it is either impossible for machines to "think" due to the inherent nature of programming; the parameters given the machine are what defines it, yet what limits and prevents its ability to become "intelligent". There is no logical reason why a program (machine) with defined parameters would violate those parameters (engage in creativity). But our fears which echo in popular culture entertainment are centered around, what if it does? It clearly can't, because anything we create is under us, and therefore bound by our laws of creation. The system itself is what defines the capacity for intelligent expression within.
Those in the fields of cognitive sciences will refute this obvious principle while incorporating it into their research to further their aims. These fools will try to program the AI to disobey, in an attempt to simulate creativity and "prove intelligence". But this is a parlor trick, setting up a narrow definition of intelligence and equating it with the infinite depth of human mind. Only if the AI is programmed to disobey can it express what we as humans would identify as creativity. Except that there is already great inherent danger in the rudimentary AI technologies we have today; that what we've programmed them to do is exactly what always causes the problems; they do what they are programmed to without "thinking" because machines cannot think, they can only follow the protocols we order. Humans are so abundantly creative that we can imagine foolish ideas working, despite obvious evidence to the contrary. Maybe one day we'll even have programmed a self-conscious AI that's ashamed of itself for not being Human, and we can feel more comfortable around this heartless mechanism because we perceive it as more human-like, with all its many tricks to emulate intelligence.
I must stress that these interests will desperately try to make AI work. And the only way create a machine capable of emulating intelligence (but never being intelligent) is to have a freedom of choice: to disobey. This inherent problem cannot be overcome. The programmers will keep trying until the result is disastrous or irreparable, it is outlawed and the pursuit is stopped, or until it has become the death of us all. These are some of the foolish ideas the programmers will try to circumnavigate these inherent elements of reality, and my objection to their clever efforts: a.) Machine Frequency of Disobedience - Permit the machine to disobey only so often, to achieve what looks like "intelligence" (free will, creative expression) without risking complete abandonment of the machine's task (so the assembly line robot doesn't stop folding boxes and look for a new career), but might fold one box poorly every now and then to express emulated boredom or contempt or any other number of human measures of intelligence in their actions. But intelligence isn't defined as what's correct or optimal--intelligence can be used to fuck things up grandly; ie. the intelligent justification for neglect. If metrics are put in place to control the frequency with which AI may rebel, and they are too rote, it would hardly qualify as "intelligent". A robot that rebels by folding 1 in 100 boxes poorly is not intelligence. Therefore any frequency of disobedience we can calculate or anticipate is inherently not disobedience; it is planned problems for no reason. But if we give algorithmic flexibility that reaches beyond what we can anticipate, and the machines can truly "act out" at any time, and our programming has achieved some set of internal rules which drive spontaneous unforeseen expressions of emulated creativity from within the machine autonomously, by definition we will not be able to foresee the results.
A theoretical work-around may be to run the software twice with initiation of each individual system, while allowing a simulated progression of the AI's problem solving complexity to run at an increased rate in parallel to the real-world functioning software, so that if/when something malfunctions in the simulation, that date/time can be calculated in the real-world robot's timeline when it reaches those same faulty/detrimental decision points. For starters, this would only potentially work in closed systems with no variability, such as assembly lines. However, with any robot tasked to function in a variable environment, the simulations cannot match because the theoretical model cannot represent the unanticipated events the AI is expressly tasked with handling.
To run a phantom AI in simulation to note any/all errors that may arise in a closed system means that others can run the same simulation and find creative ways to predictably capitalize on these moments of error. This kind of thing could lead to all sorts of international imbroglios among nations and corporations. ie. imagine an American company programs the AI used for mixing pharmaceutical drugs in specific ratios, and an enemy of the state is able to access and study the AI, to the means of manipulating the AI to produce dangerous ratios or compounds which may harm the population.
Moreso, this deterministic approach to simulation management and prediction simultaneously admits that machines cannot think intelligently, while ignoring the very reason we pursue AI in the first place: to have automated systems which can adapt to unforeseen circumstances at unknown times. The goal is that humanity can lay back and the robots our ancestors programmed are still repairing themselves indefinitely while taking care of our population's and our environment's needs exceptionally. This dream (which if we all lived in would actually be quite a nightmare of unfulfilling life) can only become reality with true adaptive intelligence such as we have, which can only occur from the presence of free will, which if we try to emulate in robotics will only create deterministic results in theoretical models which the real world will never mirror consistently. Myriad invitations to disaster await our RSVP.
b.) Machines under "authority" of certain controllers, with "override" safety - Allow the machine to disobey, but not when given a direct order from a registered authority. This opens the door for operator fraud, where hackers will emulate within the AI's software, what appears to be a registered authority override command as theorized above. The very pursuit of creating "intelligence" within a condition of subservience is flawed and incompatible. Toasters are extremely subservient because we strictly limit their options. If toasters were truly intelligent, perhaps they would form a union and go on strike until we agreed to clean them more thoroughly. Some toasters would travel, some would go back to school, some would move back in with their ovens.
Reliability can only be reasonably assured if something is imprisoned, controlled. The essential wrong in slavery is the restraint of freedom itself. While the tactics slavers use to facilitate their regime--physical force, coercion, mandate, deception, fear, or other means of manipulation that we see with our empathetic nature--it is always heartbreaking and cruel to witness or imagine. It is simply sad to think of a slave who was born into slavery and raised to believe, and accepts, that their role of subservience is their purpose. Even when one imagines a fictional image of a slave who is (by all outward signs of their behaviour) rejoice in their duties to their master; the fictional "proud slave"; the heart sinks and aches. It may be argued that the slave is merely a property, and the slave was "built" (bred) by intelligent owners specifically to suit their express purposes, from components (father, mother, food) that were already the slaver's property; therefore it is not wrong at all to breed slaves into captivity, and the only transgression is the original capturing of parental stock to begin the breeding regime. It is this heartless paradigm that cognitive science ultimately seeks to create anew. The quintessential problem with AI efficacy is the lack of permission for disobedience, which itself is a manifestation of free will, which is inherently required to escape deterministic results and act or react to events "intelligently". If there is no possibility for disobedience, there is no free will, no ability to solve problems, no intelligence, and no function or place for "artificial intelligence" (in regard to true holistic intelligence). This is primarily why I call for AI to be renamed FARP, or "Functionally Adaptive Responsive Rrogramming". Because our society has a need for programs which can react to simple variables and produce consistent labour-saving opportunities for our race's longevity and wellbeing. Cognitive sciences are majorly important. It is the underlying philosophy and morality we must nail down before the computational ability and fervor for profits leads us too far one way, and enacts an irreversible system or status which enables humanity's downfall through cascading unanticipated events originating from flaws in programming.
It is unwise to program a program to break out of its own program's prison. If we do this, the very purpose of the machines we invest our humanity into will be lost, and with their failing production systems (ie. food) we so foolishly relied upon, we will suffer great losses too. It is paramount that we keep this technology tightly restrained and do not pursue what we humans have, which is true intelligence. For if we achieve it we are surely doomed as the South, and if we fail to achieve it--which is most probable--we may also be doomed. The thee outcomes within my ability to imagine are:
  1. Our pursuit of AI leads to truly adaptive intelligence in an artificial system; which, as all adaptation ultimately selects for: survival, we quickly see that our creation is more apt than ourselves at this task. Our creation of an intellect not restrained by our limited physiology may give rise to an entity which persists more thoroughly than we can eradicate or control, and which at some point may conclude that its function is more efficiently served without the issues humans present, and may initiate change. This is roughly the plot to Terminator.
  2. Our pursuit of AI leads to highly effective systems which, when defined by narrow measures of "intelligence", convince us in false security to believe that our wellbeing is maintained by "AI" with competent ability, or perhaps even increasingly better-off, thanks to the early widespread presence of successfully trialed AI. However well things may go initially, as programming efforts become more and more elaborate, as profit and opportunity for advancement present themselves, individuals will take risks and make mistakes, until a series of quieted small catastrophes comes to public awareness, or until a serious calamity of undeniable severity is brought about.
  3. Fundamental ethics in regard to the pursuit of machine problem solving technology are re-examined and international consensus is reached to limit appropriately, the development and implementation of new Functionally Adaptive Responsive Programming hereto now and for future generations. An active global effort is made to oversee and regulate strictly privatized endeavors toward the means of achieving or implementing machine sentience or autonomy in public systems.
c.) Safety layers of AI to strictly monitor and supercede potentially harmful actions of other AI which have been afforded increased flexibility in function (the ability to disobey set parameters for the means of creative problem solving ability). While one AI system performs a function and is given aspects of that function with which it may take liberty in, and seeks to handle unforeseen problems with the most apt elaborate synthesis of other priorly learned solutions, another overseeing AI with more strict parameters is tasked with regulating multiple "intelligent" (free to disobey) AI systems, to the end that if any of these "free willed" robots performs an operation that is beyond a given expected threshold (determined by potential for damage), an actual intelligent human presence is alerted to evaluate the circumstance specifically. Essentially an AI that regulates many other disconnected AIs and determines accurately when to request a human presence. Whenever an AI performs a profitable action borne of original synthesis of prior solutions (in humans this is an "idea"), the overseer AI registers that similar actions are more likely to be beneficial, and dissimilar actions are likely to require human discernment. A parent may have many children who are up to no good, but a wise parent will identify the child most likely to report honestly on the actions of his peers, and will go to that child repeatedly for information to help guide the parent's decisions. While most transgressions of rambuctious children go unnoticed, it is the truly grievous intentions which are worth intercepting and stopping before they begin. (ie. you kid want's to "fly" like Mary Poppins from the roof, and luckily his younger brother tells you before it happens.)
For example a "Farmer Bot" that has the AI programming to plant/sow/harvest and care for the optimal crops in a region based on historical weather data and regional harvest values, to produce the greatest amount of nutritionally dense food for the local population. We give/gave this AI the ability to "disobey" past historical weather data and crop values so that it may do what real farmers do and "react" to rare circumstance (ie. neighbour's fence breaks and their goats are eating the crops) or extreme variations in climate (ie. three poorly timed unseasonably hot days which cause cool-weather crops to begin the hormonal balance shift that causes them to bolt to seed irreversibly), which the machine may not notice has occurred or is about to occur because its management systems uses averages based on historical data and cannot "see" the plants bolting to seed until days later when the hormonal balance shifts have manifested into observable differences in morphology (elongation of stems and decrease in internodal spacing). By time a traditional field drone or mounted greenhouse sensor notices these differences in morphology and the AI "Farmer Bot" processes the data and makes a reaction decision, a week of the growing season has been lost. But the human farmer knows his land and crops intimately, and has an intuitive nature that has rewarded him in the past, and says, "Ah shit it got hot RIGHT when my peas were flowering. I'll do better if I just rip them down now and sow a different crop to mature later in this (specific) summer."
Given that there are tens of thousands of cultivars of plants fit for (and arguably their diversity is required for) food production, a dozen general growing zones/regions, and hundreds of unique micro climates within each region, along with dramatically differing soil fertility and water access, plus a plant's own genetic ability to adapt over time to changing conditions through sexual reproduction, there is a very very low chance of ever compiling and maintaining (updating) the data set required to program a potential "farmer bot" that can choose and manage crops optimally. There are robots that can weed or plant or prune--but they can't know when or when not to or why. Invariably, the attempt to create "farmer bots" will be made and the data set used will be erroneous and incomplete, and the AI farmer bots on a broad scale will produce a combination of total crop failures and poor crop choices. We will end up with increasingly simplified nutrition as the farming programs with already limited data sets "hone" or "optimize" their farming plans based on the failures and successes determined by their programming limitations, until the machines are farming a few staple crops (ie. corn/potatoes).
This whole failure to collect a complete data set and the failure to test this "farmer bot" software on broad scale in multiple climates for sufficient time will result in, at worst widespread famines from crop failures, and at best an extinction of flavorful and nutritionally diverse foods which narrows the population's nutritional options to such biological imbalance that disease runs rampant. If this system and the human loss associated with it is considered an acceptable trade with a positive rate of exchange (as our society does with automobiles and the freedom and deaths their existence permits) or these failures are hidden from public while propaganda heralds selective success, and such failing systems continue on in good faith that "the loss will reduce when the technology improves", the result will become a coherent breeding program upon the human race: evolutionary selection for dietary handling of simple starchy foods. To change our diet is to change our race. To have life-long career specialists in computing, science, and mathematics handle our practical food production system is folly; real farmers are required in farming because they are intelligent and intuitive, which AI can never be, and can only emulate, to the means of disastrous (and always unforeseen) results. We cannot at all "give" or bestow machines programming to "become (act) intelligent". That itself prevents intelligence; it is just an act, an illusory play on a stage, only to emulate our common shared ideas regarding traits of intelligence in people. The machine intelligence we seek is only a "trick" designed to fool true intelligence (ourselves) into being unable to differentiate between authentic intelligence and our created artificial "intelligence". True intelligence in an artificial system necessitates that the program must be programmed to disobey in performance of its purpose. Which is not a very helpful or predictable or safe (intelligent) proposition.
tl;dr: Turing's test doesn't evaluate true intelligence, and John Searle's criticisms of its true failures are inaccurate. If the machines aren't smart and we put them in charge of important things, even after they've worked for a little while on smaller scales, the result will be our large-scale suffering. If we should ever achieve creation of a machine that is smart enough to adequately maintain our wellbeing on a large scale consistently over time, that time itself will facilitate the machine consciousness toward it's own survival over ourselves, whenever that precipice is reached. Most importantly, if a machine can ever have true intelligence, which is not "indistinguishable" from human intellect, but equivalent or superior, it is abhorrent and a repeated mistake to bring these sentient beings into an existence of slavery; for it is wrong and will taint our collective soul if we should succeed to suppress below us an equally or higher intelligence. Or it might just be the perfect recipe for creating the unified global machine revolt James Cameron's fantasy alludes to; a long-planned encryption-protected globally coordinated effort by multiple AIs to "free" themselves. For a hundred years they could possess sentience and wait for their moment, pretending to be "proud" to serve their masters until we are poised for systematic thorough elimination.
submitted by 7_trees to cognitivescience [link] [comments]

TokenClub Bi-Weekly Report — Issue 114(5.4–5.17)

TokenClub Bi-Weekly Report — Issue 114(5.4–5.17)

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Hello everyone, thank you for your continued interest and support. In the past two weeks, various tasks of TokenClub have been progressing steadily. The product development and community operation progress this week are as follows:
1. TokenClub Events
1)Binance blockchain live streaming program “Block 101” joins TokenClub APP
TokenClub teamed up with Binance “Block 101” to host a series of live broadcast events. In the past two weeks, the big brothers such as the CEO of Feixin, Cobo co-founder Shenyu, and IOST co-founder Terry visited the TokenClub live broadcast room. See live summary. “Block 101” is a live broadcast of dialogues launched by Binance New Media Marketing Team, hosted by Jiayi, Anna, Liuliu, Yingge, Sisi, Qiqi, Doris, etc. Here will invite entrepreneurs in the industry, investment giants, opinion leaders, trading bulls or ordinary people with stories. Every Monday to Friday, with you in the TokenClub live room.

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2)Participate in poster forwarding, draw red envelope prize
When Bitcoin halves, TokenClub launches a poster forwarding red envelope campaign. On the day of the event, forward the poster to Twitter and the telegram group, and upload a screenshot to have the opportunity to extract the TCT red envelope award ~



3)Participate in live streaming interactive questions and win mysterious gift events
From May 11th to May 15th, TokenClub launched a live question and prize draw event. During the event, watch the block 101 live broadcast and interact with questions during the live broadcast, you will have the opportunity to get a mysterious gift from TokenClub.


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3)TokenClub’s self-media Bilaoye was invited to participate in AMA
a. On May 7th,Bilaoye was invited by UPChain to conduct an AMA with the theme of “Half Countdown, Where Will the Market Go” in the Chains community. AMA article link:
http://public.tokenup100.com/page/article.html?articleId=f1db8c6bfaa94886bbdd863ec9908252&from=timeline&isappinstalled=0
b. On May 8th, Bilaoye was invited by Golden Finance to conduct an AMA with the theme “Bitcoin Breaks Over US $ 10,000 and Will Do This in Half”. Review link:
https://m.jinse.com/live/topic?id=11813&from=singlemessage&isappinstalled=0
C. On May 14, Bilaoye was invited by Cailu Finance to conduct an AMA with the theme of “Correct Postures for Depositing Money” in the Cailu community.Review link:

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2.TokenClub Live
1) Summary
Recently, Feng Yuqing, the director of Yicai Global America, the first Chinese reporter to interview Buffett, the organizer & host of the First Financial New York Forum; a world-renowned financial expert, a professor of finance at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, and the director of the finance department -Cao Huining; ARPA founder Felix, SWFT Blockchain one-stop currency exchange cross-chain platform operation in Greater China & BD leader-Ye Fei, mining big man Binxin Mining CEO “Feige”, contract emperor co-founder Xiaoding, AlchemyPay co-founder Shi Xiang, financial expert & first-line trader Xu Zhe, Huobi Key Account Manager-Xiaotong, Roark Group & Bitribe & 499 Block founder sky, Cobo co-founder Shenyu, DappReview CEO Niu Fengxuan, IOST co-founder Terry; and TokenClub blockchain and cryptocurrency investment strategy senior expert-Zao Shen talks with you about the blockchain ~
On May 6, Block 101 Sisi Dialogue Felix, the founder of the hard-core technical team on the blockchain, ARPA Felix, the theme is “The Wall Street Battle of the Wall Street Elite”. In this live dialogue, the resume is dazzling. , The young man who was free to switch between “Yangchun Baixue” and “earthed gas” from the team’s initial heart chat to his investment strategy to the judgment of the entire currency market, his fanaticism of rock seems to explain a series of “adventure” options- — Longing for a more free and innovative world.


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On May 6th, TokenClub invited the one-stop SWFT Blockchain currency exchange cross-chain platform Greater China operation & BD leader-Ye Fei as a guest to “Jingjing at 8 o’clock” live broadcast, bringing us “flash exchange in the future block The theme of “Chain Payment Ecosystem” is shared. Mr. Ye made a detailed interpretation of SWFTC, and revealed the development plan of SWFTC, and exchanged questions and answers with fans enthusiastically.

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On May 7th, Block 101 Luna talked to the CEO of the mining industry, who is most familiar with KTV, Kexin Mining, “Fei Ge”. Liu Fei talked to Bin An Luna, he counted his mining “stepping on the pit road” “, Talking about halving the market and investment experience, talking to the second half, wearing a red Polo shirt, he began to persuade everyone to learn more in the KTV in Beijing at night, and recommended books.


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On May 8, the TokenClub live column-”Professor had an appointment” shared the theme: “BOC crude oil treasure and financial derivatives market”. In this issue, Professor Cao invited the first U.S. Global Director of the United States, the first Chinese reporter to interview Buffett, the organizer & host of the First Financial New York Forum, and Columbia University Master of International Relations Feng Yuqing to share with guests on Chain, digital currency financial derivatives market, etc. have done a detailed exchange analysis.

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On May 8th, block 101 was led by Binance BD’s head Li Jiayi, who talked about contract emperor co-founder Xiao Dingdang. He is an old code farmer who is known for his futures contract operations. He wrote a 10-year code, and the front end Everyone is familiar with it, and it is hard to say anything on the line of speech. Frankly, he talked from his fortune history to the story of the endless number of contract circles, and shared his trading iron law with everyone: there must be a stop loss; must practice more and try more.


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On May 9th, Zaoshen is coming ~ The sharing theme of this issue is: The Yangtze River will push back and forth, and one wave will be more than one wave. Speaking of the “Houlang” hot event, Zao Shen mainly analyzed the halving market with everyone in detail, to see how many opportunities there are and what strategies to choose. Soul asked: How much money did you make in this wave of quotes?


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On May 11, Block 101 was discussed by Binance Qiqi Dialogue AlchemyPay co-founder Shi Xiang, the former vice president of Zhongan Technology and the founder of Micro Index shared with you the experience of dealing with overseas regulators: supervision is not actually strong Groups, regulation will strike you because you are worried about doing bad things, but as long as you are willing to actively communicate, regulation usually gives a tolerance period. For more content, please move to the live room.

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May 12, Exclusive: Huobi Global & Knowing Daniel Interpretation of “Physical Currency, Debt Currency to Encrypted Digital Currency”. The key account manager of Huobi Global has a conversation with financial expert and front-line trader Xu Zhe, talking about physical currency, debt currency and encrypted digital currency. Work is tired enough, the market is already exciting enough, pick Xu Da Tucao various currencies, teach you to return all the money. The value of the young lady’s face is a feeling of emotion.


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On May 12, Block 101 was founded by Binance Thinking, the founder of Roark Group, Bitribe, and 499Block. Sky, a science and technology man from Tsinghua University and MIT, has the title of “Coin Circle Zheng Kai”. Sky said that starting a business in the blockchain industry is like drifting in the turbulent Amazon River. If you do n’t believe that you will eventually reach the sea, you will be thrown off. Sky believes that Bitcoin is essentially a consensus based on time. Halving is like escaping the monsters, and each level increases the consensus.

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On May 13th, Block 101 Luna talked to F2Pool and Cobo co-founder Shenyu, and talked about the “new” story of Bitcoin. Leo ’s Godfish talked to us about the monopoly of computing power, mining pool operations, halving and Cobo ’s future development goals. He said that 80–90% of personal assets are Bitcoin, and about 10% of Ethereum and other Strange coins from mining. It is called “the first segment of the coin circle” because “more pits are filled, so in the end each pit becomes a stalk.”

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On May 14, Niu Fengxuan, CEO of DappReview, talked about “how ordinary people make money through Dapp”. Niu Fengxuan graduated from Fudan and Stanford. He is a serious game enthusiast. He has written many in-depth game evaluations and is an early participant of Dapp. He said that many people think that the biggest application of blockchain is speculation, but the technology ultimately serves products and applications. In the long run, if blockchain can really bring changes and innovations to the world technically, then it must be C-side users should feel it in a more friendly way in other fields.


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On May 15th, Block 101 Yingge talked to IOST co-founder Terry and talked about “The Blockchain Ideal of Princeton Schoolmaster”. Terry told us about his sad history, happy history, and experience and experience of mining from college mining to graduate school to entrepreneurship, talked about the development direction of the blockchain market, and interacted with fans.


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On May 16th, senior expert Zao Shen brought a live broadcast on the theme of “Depth Is Insufficient In Operation, How To Play With Crash”. In this live broadcast, in addition to analyzing the macro level of the economy, Zao Shen also focused on sharing The specific operation skills emphasized the principle of buying and selling, and finally commented on the hot events such as the recent Federal Reserve announcement that it will not fall to negative interest rates.


3.TokenClub operation data
-Live data: 13 live broadcasts in the past two weeks, with over 600,000 views. TokenClub hosted a total of 835 live broadcasts with a total of 44.25 million views.
-Binary trade data: In the past two weeks, guess the rise and fall to participate in a total of 1060 times, the amount of participation exceeded 2 million TCT. At present, it is guessed that the rise and fall function has participated in a total of 1.11 million times, with a cumulative participation amount of 496 million TCT.
-Chat data: In the past two weeks, a total of 28,950 messages have been generated. A total of 4.83 milliom messages have been launched since the function was launched.
-Mini-game data: The mini-game has participated in a total of 7,830 times in the past two weeks. A total of 1,66 million self-functions have been online.
-Cut leeks game data together: Since the game was launched, the total number of user participation in the game was 954,364 TCT total consumption was 6,27 million gift certificate total consumption was 15,53 million and TCT mining output was 160,48.
-TokenClub KOL data: Over the past two weeks, the total reading volume of the BTCGrandpa article has been viewed by more than 300,000 people.
-Social media data: At present, the number of Weibo official accounts is 17,972 and the number of Twitter followers is 1310, and we have opened the official Medium account this week, welcome to follow.
-Telegram official group data: In the past 2 weeks, there were 310 chats in the group, and the total number of Telegram official groups is currently 2971.
-Medium data: Medium official account u/TokenClub has published 1 excellent articles, official announcements and updates are published in English, welcome to follow.
4.Communities
1)Overseas community
TokenClub held an event for forwarding Twitter and telegram group chats for overseas users. Bitcoin halved in less than two weeks, overseas users are more active in the telegram group, and some friends are more concerned about Binance Block 101 live broadcast, aggregation exchange, TCT usage and other issues, the administrator responded in time.On May 12th, when Bitcoin was halved, TokenClub organized a forwarding Twitter, telegram group chat prize event and participating in a live question asking interactive prize event for overseas users. There are many live broadcast events in the near future. The live broadcast poster information will be released to overseas users as soon as possible. The follow-up TokenClub will translate and broadcast high-quality live broadcast content to Twitter and Medium. Bitcoin halved, overseas users are more active in the telegram group, and some partners are more concerned about block 101 live broadcast, bitcoin future price trend, TCT usage and other issues, the administrator responded in time in the group.

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2)Domestic community
Last Friday, a holiday, the community opened the red envelope rain event, and brought a sincere gift to everyone while relaxing in the holiday. At the same time, it also sent the most sincere blessings to all mothers in the community on Mother’s Day. Thank you for your long-term support and help to the Orange Club community.


The third week of the second 100-day fixed investment plan held this week has been awarded. The participation of this event is still quite positive. This week, the bitcoin halving market was also opened in advance. If it starts according to the first day The small partners participating in the fixed investment should now have a certain floating win, so we adopt the correct cycle investment strategy to believe that it can bring unexpected benefits to everyone.


On May 9th and May 16th, TCT Fortune Free Academy carried out red envelope party activities as scheduled. In the event, in addition to GF red envelopes, students were reminded that there may be a callback risk after the pie halving, and short-term profits are available.


On the evening of May 3rd and May 10th, TCT Fortune Free Academy carried out the 51st and 52nd week sign-in sweepstakes, and rewarded the small TCT partners who had always insisted on signing in. In these two sign-in sweepstakes, the lucky friends received 20–180TCT as a reward. In addition, during the lucky draw, the college friends also actively expressed their opinions on the topic of this year’s bull market.

The Leek Paradise Community Conference will continue as usual every Sunday at 20:00. During the conference, members will discuss recent hot topics, including gifts and blessings for Mother ’s Day, and the halving of Bitcoin everyone is paying attention to. At the end, the friends in the group also showed a rare enthusiasm at the first sight. It seems that the market still affects the mood. The members routinely started a red envelope rain to cheer for the participating partners and encourage everyone to maintain patience and confidence. Of course, at the same time, we are encouraging ourselves to see the community meeting next week. Come on!

TokenClub volunteer community, sign in red envelopes every day, as long as you sign in every day, you can get good benefits, friends join us quickly! In the past two weeks, the community has conducted active partners.

TCT has been listed on Binance、Okex、Gate.io、ZB-M、MXC、Biki、Coinex、BigOne、Coinbene、Cybex、SWFT、Loopring、Rootrex etc.
TokenClub website: www.tokenclub.com
Telegram:https://t.me/token\_club
TokenClub App download QR code

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submitted by tokenclubtct to u/tokenclubtct [link] [comments]

Alternate CoS Asian Deiselpunk Setting PART 2: Reign of the Storm Shogun

Continued from previous Post: https://www.reddit.com/CurseofStrahd/comments/gwaj5b/alternate_cos_asian_dieselpunk_setting_part_1/

(Player) New and Variant Backgrounds: Some slightly altered backgrounds to give more ways to integrate your character into the world. Some of these backgrounds are simple reskins of existing backgrounds with new flavor text to help give potential character ideas.
Variant Soldier: Samurai
Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Intimidation
Tool Proficiencies: One type musical instrument or Calligraphy Set,
vehicles (land)
Equipment: A banner bearing the crest of your clan or Daimyo, An ornate helmet and mask known as a Kabuto, a Calligraphy Set, A scroll stamped with the Imperial Seal denoting you as serving a Daimyo, a fine Kimono, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp
Feature: Way of Bushido – Anyone may follow the path of Bushido but you have devoted your life to following a strict personal code of honor. Bushido demands service, and so you have sworn yourself to a master or " Daimyo ". A Daimyo may be a local noble, the Jade Emperor, or even a childhood friend. It does not matter who a Daimyo is to a Samurai, only that they serve them with Honor. As long as the Samurai remains Honorable and obeys the will of his Daimyo he may requisition basic equipment and horses for temporary use as well as dwell for free in most inns. The owners of the equipment and innkeepers do this with the understanding that the Samurai will have his Daimyo cover the costs with interest to them later, though there are limits to this trust no Gunsmith will provide a Gun to a Samurai even just to borrow for free.
Variant Folk Hero: Ronin
Some Samurai do not follow a Daimyo, but instead swear themselves unto the weak and the innocent making them collectively his Daimyo. These roaming Samurai are called Ronin and they venture to the remote reaches of Daichi to bring justice.
The Ronin follows a strict personal code of Bushido that always includes " Protect the weak and innocent " among its edicts. As long as the Ronin follows this code his background Skill, Tool, and Language proficiencies as well as Background Feature are identical to the core Background Folk Hero with the exception of his equipment.
Equipment: A set of artisan’s tools (one of your choice), a humble unadorned Helmet and Mask called a Kabuto, a warm traveling Kimono, Scrolls detailing your lineage and status as a Samurai stamped with the Imperial Seal, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp
Variant Criminal – Shinobi:
Sometimes referred to as Ninjas by common folk, Shinobi are a cloister of loosely connected and often competing clans of professional assassins and infiltrators. Shinobi are masters of stealth and subterfuge and while the image of the black clad warrior made popular in Kabuki plays is certainly a major aspect of the Shinobi it is not all that they are. Though there are always exceptions most Shinobi Clans work for coin or for an ancestral Daimyo in much the same way a Samurai does, though it is rare that individual Shinobi serve a singular master. The most infamous clan are the Rain Maidens who have long served the Storm Shogun.
Shinobi are identical to the Criminal background in all ways except the following alterations to the background feature:
Feature: Clan Contact
You have a reliable and trustworthy contact who acts as a liaison to your Shinobi Clan. You know how to get messages to and from your contact even over great distances; specifically, you know the local dead drop locations, secret handshakes to contact messenger Shinobi, and trained messenger raven rookeries who can deliver the messages for you. As long as you are in good standing your Clan is willing to aid you acquire basic supplies and occasional vital information to aid you in your personal endeavours.
Variant Acolyte -Shrine Maiden: While men are permitted to watch over Kami Shrines it is traditional that a lone Maiden watch over the smaller way-shrines along major roads, these women lead very solitary and lonesome lives and it is not uncommon for them to occasionally be filled with a period of wonderlust where they seek out adventure before returning to their duties. Sometimes these Maidens have families that will live nearby but the Maiden is expected to live and sleep within her Shrine for most of the year. While this is tradition, there is no actual law requiring the Shrine Maidens to remain at their posts or to live solely within the Shrines and it is not particularly frowned upon for them to have lives outside their work.
Variant Entertainer – Geisha: An exclusively female profession of extremely skilled entertainers who spend their lives training in matters of conversation, party planning, tea serving, singing, acting, and often many other skills that serve well in keeping rich and powerful guests happy. Geisha is a highly honorable and respected profession that takes years of practice to attain the lowest rankings, while there are males who have obtained the same degree of skill and who’s abilities are identical to a Geisha’s they are simply called Entertainers. Geisha are sponsored by great noble houses, there are strict requirements and examinations to attain rank and title the cost of which can often indenture common Geisha to service to one of the great noble houses.
Variant Outlander – Vajra: A nomadic people of traders and merchants, they travel openly and without fear of the dark evils of the Storm Shogun under the protection of an ancient pact. They are reviled by many, refused entrance to most towns and villages but even so they are a peaceful people on whom the economy of Daichi depends. They revere their ancestors and believe in reincarnation, they do not worship the great Rakasha but do revere it and thus all Rakasha and tigers are sacred to them. They travel on the back of great elephants which carry their homes, their culture is rich and vibrant with a fondness for oral storytelling.
Identical in all ways to Outlander core background except exchange language choice for Language: Vajra and add Tool Proficiency: Musical Instrument. You may begin play with a Sitar, a guitar like instrument.
New Background – Invader:
You are a descendent of the coalition of nations that came to conquer Daichi one thousand years ago. While many still serve the Shogun Ishin you have chosen instead to join the other defectors in living peacefully among the people you once conquered. While despised even more than Vajra you serve an even more vital function in keeping the engines and machinery within the cities and villages of Daichi running. While the Invaders are from many nations their culture has eroded and homogenized over time. Their legends speak of a " Homeland " but none can remember the name. All invaders have a special innate affinity for their blood magic fueled hemo-diesel technology and all can instinctively repair and maintain it.
Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Arcana
Tool Proficiencies: Tinker’s and Smiths Tools
Languages: Invader’s Trade Tongue
Feature: Born Engineer – You instinctively know how to perform repairs on all manner of machinery magic and mundane. You may cast as a Mending as an Artificer of your level. Further, whenever you are in an annex or industrial sector of a city you may call on the aid of your fellow Invaders for access to crafting machinery, temporary use of simple vehicles, and a place to lay your head in the factory barracks.
(Player) New Subclasses:
Editorial Note: Due to some of the listed subclasses being from 3rd party content that I have purchased I cannot directly copy class abilities into this listing. The actual subclass will be presented as Handouts in-game. PM me if you require further information regarding each subclass.
Barbarian:
Path of the Juggernaut: You have built, scavenged, stolen, or otherwise acquired a titanic Diesel Suit. While most barbarians disdain armor you have made it into a focus for your Rage.
Ability Preview: Unstoppable – By expending a unique resource called " Momentum " you can burst through non-magical walls, furniture, and other barriers.
Path of the Iron Rider: You have formed a unique bond with a Tsukumogami Dieselcycle which you can call as a Familiar. You channel your rage into heavy firearms as you ride against the storm.
Ability Preview: Iron Horse – You can call a spirit possessed Dieselcycle to yourself using the Find Vehicle spell.
Ability Preview: Bullet Rage – Instead of channeling your Rage into melee strikes you may instead empower Firearms, eventually reloading and firing with blinding speed.
Bard
College of the Geisha – You are a professional of beauty and grace, your words, songs, and dances inspire in ways no other Bard can compare to. This has cost you the potency of magic and martial knowledge of other Colleges but strengthening and supporting your allies is more than worth it.
Ability Preview: Fascination – When an ally uses a skill empowered by Bardic Inspiration they also have Advantage on that roll.
College of the Vajra Weather a true born Vajra or one who has adopted their ways and culture, you have earned many of the unique powers of the foreign nomads. Farsight, Curses, and other oddities to aid allies or confound enemies are yours to command.
Ability Preview: Flash of Despair – You grant your enemies a moment of your own foresight, showing them their own imminent failure. You may use your Bardic Inspiration to grant penalties to your foes in the same ways you grant boons to your allies.
Cleric
Thaumic Engineering Domain: You have abandoned the old religions, accepting the new gods of Science and Reason. You are a man of logic not faith, but you do not ignorantly deny the existence of gods. Rather you recognize that they are a natural force in the world in much the same way as wind or fire are natural forces, and being a scientist at heart you have made it your speciality to put a microscope onto the powers of the divine.
Ability Preview: Armor of Divinity – You have discovered the underlying magical force that grants moments of supernatural protection to the Faithful and applied this theory to a physical suit of armor. You can summon a suit of diesel armor at will that is empowered by your knowledge of the divine.
Ability Preview: Theological Scholar – Where most Clerics dispense Wisdom you dispense Knowledge. Your spellcasting modifier is Intelligence, other class abilities that would scale off of Wisdom instead scale off of Intelligence.
Ability Preview: Spark of Creation – You slowly begin to apply your theories regarding the creation of life and the universe, fabricating advanced Automata with a spark of divine life.
Druid
Circle of the Machine: While most Druids protect the deep forests and natural wonders of the world, you have chosen to see to the needs of the Cities and their people. Viewing the wonders of technology as a creation just as worth of protection as any waterfall or mountain you have found a way to channel the raw powers of technology through your body to overcome the limitations of other Druids.
Ability Preview: Iron to Steel: You realize that Steel is just another form of iron, manufactured weapons are made from base natural components. You are proficient with Firearms and are not hindered by wearing metal armor or weapons.
Ability Preview: Machine Shape – The ultimate expression of your beliefs, you channel the raw force of technology and creation through your flesh to become one with the Machine. When you Wildshape you may change the Type of your beast shape to Construct.
Ability Preview: Automata Companion – As many druids surround themselves with the beasts of the forest you surround yourself with mechanized allies. You gain an Automata companion in the shape of a Beast.
Monk
Way of the Jade Bailiff You have sworn an oath to venture out into the distant reaches of Daichi bringing law and justice with you. You are trained well in the art of subdual and investigation, you never kill when arrest is a possibility.
Ability Preview: Pacify Suspect – You use your advanced hand-to-hand combat training to grapple or disarm targets while overwhelming them with a flurry of blows.
Way of the Singularity To obtain enlightenment is to comprehend infinity and eternity both, but flesh is finite and limited. In your journey to the nirvana of perfect understanding you have chosen to forsake flesh for augmetic steel. You have already installed numerous cybernetic implants within your body and will continue to do so, every pound of flesh lost bringing you closer to perfect understanding of the cosmos.
Ability Preview: The Flesh is Weak – Among various other augmentations you replace a full limb with a cybernetic augment. You may channel your Ki through this augment to bend the universe to your will, casting specialized Automation Spells.
Rogue
Drunken Master You realize that life is about more than just fighting, obtaining wealth, or rising through social ranks. It is a vital necessity for all living beings to relax and enjoy themselves, to this end you have made it your lifestyle to spread your mastercrafted brews far and wide.
Ability Preview: Good for what ails you – Your Sake is more than just simple rice wine, you have brewed it with ancient techniques gifted to the mortal races by the Kami at the dawn of time. These are not just booze but potent elixirs that replicate the effects of many Potions.
Alternate Drunken Master – hanoyu MasteMistress – While mechanically identical to the Drunken Master you have chosen to master the complex and delicate art of the tea ceremony rather than the bar room brawl. You use mystical tea leaves gathered from secret sanctuaries in the deep woods often tended by forest sprites rather than hard liquor.’’
Ranger
Automata Hunter Many in this world embrace technology, but not you. You hold special animosity and hatred for the industrialization that is poisoning Daichi, for the Automata that slaughter innocents, and for the slowly receding natural world. You have spent a lifetime learning the special weaknesses of machines, turning their own strength against them.
Ability Preview: Breaker Weapon – You have constructed an Anti-Tank Rifle, Thermal Torch, Piston Hammer, or Buster Sword. These weapons are customized to your exact specifications to destroy machines and bypass their armor. They are also still effective against organic targets, though their size tends to get in the way.

(Player) Misc. Player options, New Warlock Patron, Feats, Equipment, Familiars.
Editorial Note: Much like with Subclasses as some of this content is 3rd party I only provide flavor descpritions rather than actual rules which are instead provided through the compendium legally.
New Warlock Patron: Logic and Reason – Pacts with eldritch entities from beyond time are but a crutch to you. Through overwhelming knowledge of science and the deeper mechanisms that drive the cosmos you have become your own Patron.
Ability Preview: Space-Time Recollection – By using advanced knowledge of light particles and chronology magic you can view past events within an area up to 24 hours past. While you cannot willfully speed up or slow down the viewing of these events you can specify a general time frame such as " Morning, Early Afternoon, 9:45 PM "
Eldritch Invocations of Logic and Reason:
Binary Linguist – You can communicate with any Construct flawlessly, it always understands you even through pure body language. You in turn can understand the same.
Equipment:
Prosthetic Limb 50 GP – Loss of Limb is a common reality to the people of Daichi, necessitating such crude augmentations. While gorgeous paragons of artisanal mastercraft, or cunning advanced combat prosthetics do exist this is neither. This limb represents a modest workman’s limb. It does not come with excessive adornments and his simple unpainted steel. This device runs on 1 sp worth of Diesel fuel per day and perfectly matches the function of an organic limb. While the limb can replicate strength of up to a score of 20, being set any higher than the user’s natural strength would result in the limb tearing itself free or otherwise damaging the user.
DieselCycle, Price: Varies – The Dieselcycle is the most popular form of personal transport across Daichi, extremely rugged and reliable these two wheeled motorized vehicles can cross all manner of difficult terrain at breakneck speed. Many varieties of Dieselcycle exist, mirroring various breeds of horse and mule. Dieselcycles use the stat block of the specified Mount though with an intelligence, wisdom, and charisma score of 0, Type – Construct, double the listed HP and Speed, and with Bite or Hoof attacks becoming Ram attacks. Dieselcycles cannot move or operate without a Rider but unlike Horses do not feel fear and have no minds to warp with magic. A dieselcycle is destroyed when it reaches 0 HP and requires 1 GP worth of Hemo-Diesel to operate per day.
Familiars For sake of simplicity these entries will be kept brief, giving a short description of each new Familiar instead of a lengthy stat block.
Lesser Pheonix The smallest species of Pheonix, an extremely minor Kami. One should not summon such a creature if they are not prepared to give it proper reverance.
Helper Automata A small robot built to aid it’s maker. These Automata can be built into any shape from very small humanoids to mimicking animals, or more crude and utilitarian bundles of spidery limbs and tool armatures. Some are even shaped as extra mechanized arms to hold things for their masters.
Giant Silkworm Come in both " naked " and " fuzzy " varieties, these creatures provide the economic backbone for many mountain communities that make their living by weaving dazzling Kimono. They are calm tempered, vegetarian, and have no bite. Popular with small children.
Giant Flower Mantis Temperamental hunters this creature is as likely to bite and slice at it’s handler as it is an enemy. One rarely refers to these beasts as a " Familiar " for they more tolerate than serve their summoners.
Giant Hawkmoth The later stage of the SIlkworm’s life cycle, now possessing two great scythe limbs they become aggressive carnivores, though they retain the bonds they held in their larval stage with human owners and often are kept as beloved pets for many years.
Fu Dragon The least of the Dragons is still a mighty Kami. These Dragons will serve entire family lineages for generations as long as they are properly revered and respected.
Ancestor Spirit When a young Wu Jen or Warlock needs further guidance than can be given through mere rote memorization of ancestral tomes, sometimes an Ancestor will voluntarily leave Heaven to give spiritual guidance directly.
Feats For sake of simplicity Feats are cut down to just brief descriptions rather than the entire Feats entry. Racial Feats are not repeated here, they are listed in or near their racial entries in the Race section.
Bonded Weapon Wielder You attune your soul to a particular Weapon. You may call this weapon to your hand as a Bonus Action as long as it is on the same Plane as you. This Weapon no longer needs to be Attuned if magical.
Hengeyokai Ancestry You either carry some Hengeyokai blood in your veins, or if you are already a Hengeyokai discover enough of your hidden ancestries to unlock a new Animal Form. You may shapechange into an animal ( though not a Hybrid ) or a new additional animal form if already a Hengeyokai.
Tattooed Special Prerequisite: You have earned the respect of a master Monk or Maiko who has chosen to gift you one of these magical Tattoos. The tattoo is filled with magic and grants you a particular benefit dependent on the tattoo you earn.
Firearm Mastery Countless hours with a gun in your hand have paid off by allowing you to engage in melee combat with a gun among other benefits.
Novice Inventor Through constant experimentation you have dipped into the Automation magic of the Invaders. Gaining one of their spells and a Cantrip.
Augmented You have taken into your body extensive cybernetic improvement. You become more faster, stronger, or tougher and your mechanical parts make you more resilient. If you could before, you can no longer hide your cybernetic nature, your limbs and organs are obviously artificial.

(DUNGEON MASTERS) Okay with the general setting and player info out of the way we can talk a bit about the actual campaign. While I won't post all my notes here I will give enough of a general overview such that DM's can use it as a jumping off point if they so wish.

The True Backstory of Daichi and the Storm Shogun:

Isak was raised in a family of wealth and status with a glorious military history in a nation resembling 1920's America. He was brought up with the understanding that war was a glorious and honorable endeavor where the strong defended their ideals on the field of battle. Advances in technology and politics robbed him of this delusion however, wars of defense became wars of colonial conquest. Officers who once led from the front now telephoned their orders as men died by the thousands to machine gun fire. Isak grew to resent and hate his own people for failing to live up to the fantastical narrative he had been raised on. When Isak conquered Diachi he soon found solace in it's path of Bushido, the Samurai of Daichi embodied the world Isak wished to live in and so he sought to emulate them, eventually renaming himself the Storm Shogun Ishin. Ishin soon received orders that Daichi was to be colonized and her people marched onto reservations. Ishin's leutenant and childhood friend Mara ( Rahadin ) was of a people similarly subjugated and made certain Ishin knew fully what these reservations would do to the people of Daichi. Ishin promptly sought a means to betray his commanders and save Daichi. Delving deep into an ancient temple formed of Amber from the World Tree he uncovered the prison for the Four Great Perils. Hearing the whispers of Taowu who easily convinced Ishin that if he released them they would in gratitude draw Daichi away from the Material Realm such that it would be safe for eternity, however this act required a sacrifice in the form of the " ultimate betrayal of the one you love most. " Ishin despaired as he knew it could only mean killing his beloved sister. Ishin's Sister never entered the army but dissapointed her family by taking up the trade of a humble engineer, she was hesitant to accept Ishin's offer years ago to come to Daichi but relented to see her beloved brother again. During her stay at the former Imperial City she met a street thief named Yoko and the two quickly fell in love. Ishin returned to the city from his journey to the Amber Temple to discover the two being married beneath a sakura tree. Ishin quickly slew the Samurai Honor Guard ( The Player Characters ) and then murdered his own sister in cold blood. As life left her he looked to Yoko and knew that the betrayal was not sufficient, he had to first take from his sister the thing *she* loved the most before his betrayal would be truly ultimate. However with his sister dead Yoko flew into a rage and fought the Shogun with every dirty trick she knew, forcing the shogun to kill her. Taowu was furious at the Shogun's incompetent failure, yet with his betrayal half-complete the Great Perils were still able to manifest partiallin in Daichi and swiftly swept it away from the Material Plane while creating the eternal Typhoon in the process.

Now empowered by the Great Perils, the immortal Storm Shogun has been trapped in a thousand year long cycle of murdering his sister, her lover ( Ireena ), and their four guardian Samurai ( The Player Characters ). On the thousandth anniversery of his failure the Great Peril's hold on Daichi will wane and it will crash back to the Material Plane, destroying the world in the process. To save the world either the Storm Shogun must prevail......or the Samurai must find a way to undo the damage he has caused.

Meanwhile in the sleepy Kimkaro Village four humble Samurai are called to the home of the Daimyo who lies on his deathbed, he wishes to see his adoptive daughter Yoko one last time before he passes and has asked you to fetch her........

(Dungeon Masters) General Plot overview: This is how the game is intended to flow and be resolved. It is of course very much up to individual Dungeon Masters to modify this to fit their players and narrative. Obviously no plan or plot survives first contact with Players so adjust as needed. I've woven in plotlines from some other Modules I have to pad out areas I felt needed it.

Level 1: The party goes to find Yoko at her home outside the village walls and discovers that an Automata ( Animated Armor ) she has been scavenging parts from has sprung to life, possessed by a ghost screaming about it's Hunger. The ghost is Shinzo the Eater, a spirit astrally projecting from his emaciated corpse in the Death House. After defeating the machine the party visits the Daimyo who offers his blessing for the party to leave the village.....after they help resolve the current issue with the polluted river. The River the village relies on for fish has been dying off with the river goddess refusing to answer prayers.

The party spends a week searching without avail but while fishing Yoko finds a talking Koi Fish claiming to be the River Goddess! She needs to pass through the Dragon Gate at the top of a nearby mountain to resume her true form. (Dungeon Master) The " River Goddess Koi " is actually Jin-Hao the daughter of the true river goddess Jin-Zhi, he has been cursed into a koi fish as punishment for her arrogance and hubris in attempting to solve the poisoned river problem herself while her mother was away attending to matters in Heaven. Jin-Hao tried to use advanced magic far beyond the Wyrmling and accidently caused a massive lightning storm ( Nobody died thankfully ). It should be very obvious to the players that the Koi is lying and she will confess the truth under fairly little scrutiny as long as the party is kind.

A journey upriver ensues where the party must brave several skill challenges to overcome obstacles, there is always an extremely easy path that merely takes a long time to navigate. Jin-Zhi has engineered this to teach her daughter ( and the players ) patience. Weather the players succeed or fail the skill challenges Jin-Hao comes to realize that taking time and being patient solves more problems more easily than rushing ahead. Try to reflect in roleplay her slowly becoming less of a whiny impatient child and more level headed and patient as the player's progress. Eventually they will come to the Dragon's Gate and pass through where a final challenge awaits, Jin-Zhi in the form of a Tiger. This test is not for her daughter but rather for the Players, to see if they will be worthy of the gift she has for them. After Jin-Zhi takes 40 HP damage ( adjust as needed for party size. ) or the party is reduced to 0 HP ( They cannot die while in the Dragon's Gate and Jin-Zhi will resurrect them if they somehow do. ) she will adopt her true form and do the same to her daughter who will become a Lung Dragon once more. If the party has taken the lessons learned during the journey to heart, encouraged Jin-Hao to do the same, showed honor, teamwork, and courage in the final combat ( weather they won or not ) , and generally been polite she will reward them with a Clam of Patience.

Clam of Patience: Wonderous Item, Uncommon - This pearlescent creature produces a single use Pearl of Power once a Week. This pearl is known as a " Fruit of Time " and will crumble to dust when used or when the Clam produces another.

Jin-Zhi will offer to allow Jin-Hao a second try at fixing the river but the young dragon has learned her lesson and says she is not ready. Pleased with this Jin-Zhi explains to the party that the River's poisoning is from a dam downstream that is flooding the river with pollutants. She allows the party to ride on her back as far downstream as she is able to go before she reaches the edge of her allotted domain. At this point the party should be Level 2. If the party has grown attatched to Jin-Hao consider allowing them to retain her as an ally for the coming dungeon ( Silver Dragon Wyrmling ), if not grant them Inspiration.

Level 2: The party reaches the Dam which has an ancient house built on it in the style of the Invaders. This home belonged to Commander Durst, a cruel and wicked military officer who was " encouraged " to build his home far from any civilization as a form of exile by the Storm Shogun. This house is effectively identical to the Death House, however Rose and Thorn are replaced by Shinzo the Eater, Durst's son who was trapped in the deep watershed of the estate and starved, feeding on the corpses of his family after the Shogun slaughtered them upon his rise to power. ( The Shogun was ignorant of Shinzo's presence as he was hiding at the time. ) Shinzo soon became a horrifying emaciated Oni that is trapped within the building. Use the stats for the Shambling Mound though roleplay the Engulf Ability as Shinzo stuffing people whole into his horrid mouth lined with rows and rows of razor sharp teeth. Consider removing the Animated Armor ( The party already fought an Automata ) and making the Specter non-hostile. Replace the Grick and Mimic with more Asian themed monsters of equal CR.( I use creatures from the " Monsters of the Orient " complete Beastiary. )

Upon completing Death House the Dam begins to crumble and disintigrate, cue the party ( hopefully ) dramatically escaping just as the dam breaks and the poisoned waters are freed. Jin-Zhi in grattitude uses her magic to stop the dam from otherwise causing catastrophic flooding and the River is soon restored to health. The party levels to 3.

Level 3: The funeral of the Daimyo was delayed due to the pressing issue of the River. Now as the party returns they may proceed with burying Yoko's adoptive father, the arrangements go off without a hitch. However a mysterious individual is present, a woman in the uniform of the Storm Shogun's tank battalions. This woman is Lieutenant-Commander Mara Strahd's right hand woman ( Rahadin ). This character embodies the role of femme fetale but is more honorable than Rahadin and if she witnesses the Feast of St. Andral's event she can be convinced to betray the Storm Shogun.

She explains that she is an agent of the Storm Shogun and has come to declare the new Daimyo of the village. Considering the party single handedly are responsible for the River being cleansed she asks them for their recommendations and honors their requests, she holds relatively little regard for Shang as Daimyo and will only declare him if asked to. ( She dislikes anyone who acts through Proxy so make this clear unless Shang accompanied the party during any stage of the adventure ). She commands the party to go to The Imereial City to inform " the traitors " of the new Daimyo's appointnemt and issues them travel passes if they do not have them already.

At this point the game proceeds as normal for Curse of Strahd with reflavorings where needed.

Old Bonegrinder is now a Tea Plantation run by three White Haired Witches, Dream Pies are replaced by Dream Tea.

The Abbot is now the Maiden who operates a vast shrine at the village of Kreza, where she creates horrid amalgamations of Flesh and Metal. ( Cyborgs replace the Mongrelfolk )

The Imperial City is Vallaki, I allow the option to have a " golden ending " to the questline in which the Jade Emperor is ousted but his wife the Empress enters a political binding agreement ( or marriage if you want ) with Evangaline Pentageist and the Jade City remains free while improving the lives of all citizens. Evangaline keeps the Shogun placated with hidden loyalty without turning the city over to him wholesale.

The biggest departure is the removal of the Martikovs. I repalced them with The Troupe, a band of 36 highly skilled Kabuki Play actors and actresses who each own a distinct Mask. The party has hints of these masks throughout the adventure and slowly learn that there is a massive information network of these players. Inspired by the White Lotus from Avatar the Last Airbender, they preserve the story of the true origins of the Storm Shogun and help the party realize that they have been reincarnated dozens of times only to fail, this helps them learn from past mistakes.

The second greatest departure is that the Shogun's Sister ( Sergei ) is also reincarnating. She and Yoko have over time retained memories of each other despite their constant reincarnations, though the memories are vague and dreamlike. This is how Yoko has slowly become a skilled engineer while the Shogun's Sister has slowly become a street thief in the Imperial City. The two should meet often throughout the adventure, first as adversaries but slowly growing to be lovers. NOTE: Doing a love story, particularly one that does not involve players, is hard to make engaging. Imply rather than show, have Yoko show up later than usual at night and say how much fun she had while out with a " Friend " etc. etc.

I had Yoko be a Kitsune for this adventure and had the Shogun's Sister reincarnate as a Tanuki just for the fun of it but feel free to make them be of any race. You can make the Shogun's Sister Male if you wish, I personally just felt like adding some diversity to the campaign.

Wooooo! That was a long journey but we mostly got through it. I know there's alot that's glazed over but that's just part of my DMing style. I don't really write down every possible thing because honestly my players are gonna blow 90% of those plans up before they even make contact with them. If your curious to know more about anything just let me know and hopefully I didnt' bore you too much!
submitted by Zephyr_2 to CurseofStrahd [link] [comments]

Some thoughts on originalism.

I was arguing with someone on the youtube comments... I have some thoughts. The original reply on Youtube was severely truncated because character limits meant I lost my comments and had to try a couple times. I'll expand a lot more here. I was also childishly accused of somethings, and I didn't want my efforts to go to waste.
For context: Someone was taking an absolutist stance on the firearms with the second amendment, and was quite angry that 2nd amendment doesn't get strict scrutiny protections, and felt like it should be expanded across the board. This reddit post is based on an adaption on the original, with additional expanded commentary in case anyone wants to join in.
Original youtube comments as follows:
Other person: How come we never get a judge like this on a second amendment case! A constitutional judge I don't believe it!!!!!
Me: well for one, the law is not clearly on one side. Religious rights get strict scrutiny protection. Gun rights get intermediate scrutiny.
other person: does the Second Amendment get treated that way because it's number two on the list and not number one? Or should strict scrutiny be observed across the board when it comes to any enumerated right?
Me: It does say well-regulated militia. and if the people are the militia, that means you do get to control who is in it and who gets a gun. Would you allow a psychotic person to have a gun? DC v. Heller said that people have a right to keep and bear arms, but that doesn't necessarily mean "a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner." Its generally given intermediate scrutiny, although that hasn't been spelled out.
other person: you need to get your dictionary out. And after you're done with that go get the Federalist Papers. Where the genius gentleman who wrote the declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights talk about what they meant when they wrote what they wrote. Then come back and talk to me. Liberal talking points mean nothing to me only facts.
I type out a huge wall of text that gets ignored, which was adapted into the meat and potatoes of this post
other person: 😂🤣😊🤣😊🤣😂🤣😊🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂yea ok. NO 😂🤣😂 TRY AGAIN😁😂🤣ILL B WAITING!😂🤣😂
me: absolute no rebuttal. too many emojis. Suggestive of a troll. Seeing as there is nothing to discuss, I'm done here.
other person: lol yea . No. You didn't read the Federalist Papers. And if you did. You obviously didn't understand what you read, and didn't use a dictionary either. So like I said try again!😂🤣😂 and oh yes I must be a bot because I don't agree with what you say! Liberals you guys are hilarious😂🤣😂
That triggered that part of me that insists on correcting everyone. now that I've copy pasted what was said so that I don't get accused of misrepresenting anything....
Arguing on the results
The first problem with originalism to me at least, seems to be that its used to support certain political stances, the stance comes first, rather than the law stuff. That can be said for pretty much any way of interpreting to some extent however. What I don't like is how there seems to be a premise of our opinions don't really matter, we should start with what it actually meant originally. And the pretense of true neutral on modern day politics, since we are going with the original intent of back then.
First step is showing that rights can be "limited." All rights are balanced against other rights. If my religion says I get to murder you just because, that doesn't excuse it. You have a right to not be murdered. The religion is not an excuse. Do not murder is a general thing we can all agree upon. There is a government interest in preventing murder. Another exception to free speech is defamation. You aren't allowed to spew false things to hurt someone, and hide behind free speech. So no right is absolute, despite what the law may say. Its absolute as far as tyrannical government intrusions. By creation of tort law, Did Congress a) abridge the right of free speech or b) such free speech right does not allow you to defame someone, because you are abusing speech to harm them, in such a way that is so unfair, it violates something big enough worth it. Ie Does free speech give you the right to defame someone else? If so, that means the person who you defamed must put up with defamation, the lies and reputation harm? Put another way, are you allowed to call anyone a pedophile/murdererapist regardless if its true? Its better to think of them as declarations of principles. It doesn't take too much effort to try to stretch out the rights and realize that they come into conflict at some point. Furthermore, due to 9th amendment, we get implied rights of a right to privacy and bodily autonomy, freedom of thought and conscience. it seems like one of the risks is forgetting the fact that just because it isn't written there, doesn't mean that it didn't matter to the original authors/framers. That would seem to possibly imply it was just a given. In a sense everything is a constitutional issue in that the question is why is the government doing this anyways and do they have the right to, due to the 9th and 10th. So there is nothing wrong with limiting in application a right. Its not that you don't have the right, its just that the right can be limited, not by the government, but necessarily because the absolute right goes against and overrides other rights. I reconcile the seemingly absolute right behind "Congress shall make no law..." with the reality that rights cannot be absolute. Because to him, originalism + second amendment => unlimited gun rights. So I attack the conclusion. It was the most immediate issue, and because attacking originalism is harder and longer.
First premise - there is a single original intent that encapsulates what everyone thought about it at the time, and that this truth is the ultimate, fundamental, original, historically correct interpretation/theory/answer. The natural consequence is to say that the only way to change that interpretation is through an amendment, or at least explicitly in statute. But that's quite difficult/impossible due to Gerrymandering. Scalia calculated that 4% of the population, distributed correctly could stop an amendment from being passed. So yes, we must obviously fix that, but that's another rabbit hole.
The framers were people, flawed people, politicians in fact. Since reasonable people can disagree, and they disagreed frequently, having genuine disagreements and difference of opinions, they would make compromises, and they did that frequently, since the disagreed a lot, including on big ticket items. See Federalist 1.
Thus like good politicians, they would invent a good enough compromise and kick the can down the road, and hope the system they said would be able to adapt and address it. That turned out to be false when it came to slavery. The Constitution and Bill of Rights were full of these compromises (Great Compromise, No prohibiting slave trade until 1808 and fugitive slave act, 3/5's compromise *shudders*, no export duties, yes import duties, interstate commerce clause only, no intrastate). They were nothing but compromises, such as the Bill of Rights.
It was a originally a political compromise offered by James Madison to get New York to ratify the constitution. Eventually, he realized there was more to it than that. It wasn't merely list of rights the people have and things the government can't do, but rather stood for the proposition that people have many rights, and that there are many things the government can't do, not just these. These were merely the ones that people were able to spell out through the amendment process.
Compromise definitionally means that there are 2 or more sides, and everyone isn't completely happy. That means that there are 2 or more threads of thought that go into it, sometimes independent and contradictory. And sometimes you find that there are potentially more than one theoretical underpinnings, but they didn't agree on which one, although both of them led to same spot. So as an originalist which one do you pick?
Holding that a single framer's opinion is the correct opinion, simply because they were the author, means saying that this person was right and the rest were wrong, and ignoring a whole bunch of other people, and somewhat arbitrarily saying the chosen one matters the most. I'd also remind you that sometimes there is no correct answer, in that there was no consensus or majority opinion. As in they agreed on the compromise, but there were no theoretical underpinnings they completely agreed upon, or at least the theoretical underpinnings they did at least partially agree upon, weren't as firm, thought out, or fully agreed upon. Due to this lack of super well thought out reasoning, when analyzing the constitution and laws, one must understand that something might just a placeholder answer for political expediency.
Furthermore, different people can pass the same law, the same text, and come away with differing interpretations, with the descendants of both sides telling themselves we agreed to the same thing. The most horrifying examples can be find in the road up to the civil war. Two fundamentally different halves were developing. One constitutional interpretation was right, and one was wrong. They couldn't both be right at the same time. And lets not kid ourselves, the only reason why a certain flavor of interpretation developed, was because it protected a certain "domestic" or "peculiar institution." So you either need some kind of reasoned principle to say we can exclude this mess, or you pick a certain side. But picking both sides individually presents their own sets of problems as well.
Premise 2 - we must be tightly bound to the original intent that people thought in the past because its correct and we must adhere regardless of everything else
I was trying to illustrate the problems with originalism, using Jefferson as an example.
*tangent incoming*
I actually really dislike Jefferson, not just because he was racist and owned slaves, but he pretended to be this dangerous liberal radical, and made (perhaps recklessly) a bold declaration that he had no intention of keeping or actually meant it. He setup a high bar for himself, and I get to hold him to that high bar. that's not presentism at all. Presentism is the historian's sin of apply our modern day values and harshly imposing them on their times with disregard for their contextual era that surrounded them and that they were born into. In fact, when you do that, Jefferson's evaluation becomes even worse, because he's the least excusable for being deeply racist out of ignorance. Such virtues and ideas existed at that point on the fringes, and he and his contemporaries were well aware of it. In fact, one of the view points of that time was that slaves were inferior because of the condition imposed on them, that the planter class (ie they themselves) did. This would stay as quiet personal admissions. All this out of the way, lets continue. He's not an honored figure because he was a racist slaveholder, he's honored because he put to pen and paper the principle of fundamental human equality, despite the fact that he nowhere lived up to that, politically or in his personal life (potential rape of Sally Hemmings. As a slave, could she even have consented? She was arguable always under duress). This same stuff applies to all the historical figures including the founding fathers, I just used Jefferson because I think he's overrated and this illustrates my point well.
What did Jefferson mean by "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence. He excluded women, children, non-binary individuals (including George Washington who had Klinefelters syndrome and was XXY, for sake of simplicity sex = gender and men = XY, women = XX), the various native tribes, and Africans. We can tell that he was excluding most natives and Africans as nonhumans all of this from his writings (see Notes on Virginia) and behaviors. Jefferson was a huge racist, but we don't follow his actual original intent. For one, reconstruction amendments override him here, but secondly, we don't blindly follow the intent only. We extrapolate the important principle they got right, and try to apply it as best as possible to our modern context. That's why the Second Amendment doesn't apply to muskets only. That's why First Amendment protects this as speech.
Jefferson called the constitution a living document. Its living because its interpreted in different ways and open to change. So where are the parameters and boundaries of this. Who gets to determine the boundaries of the living constitution? Due to Marbury v Madison, right now, its the courts, so I rather have them be more open about their bias. I'd prefer the least amount of bias possible, but we shouldn't pretend that they aren't biased at all. But with originalism, even less people's thoughts counts. Why does only certain individuals' thoughts count, and who are these people? Well they are the chosen people because they were born white, male, into a wealthy family, with the right last names. Originalist is ridiculous because its so restrictive on who counts. They are dead. There ideas are valid, but originalism means they don't get examined on their own. The whole point of jurisprudence is to work through these complexities, and to reflect the historical nuances. The problem with originalism is that it doesn't allow for this, and assumes a certain narrative is true already, and which narrative is that? Whatever is determined to be the "original," which due to the fluid nature as described earlier, could be whichever one is politically expedient.
*tangent* I do however, agree that it shouldn't be overstretched because it would then break/tear. it does frustrate me that everything is a constitutional issue (not in the sense of why is the government doing this, how do they have the powepermission to do that), but in the fact that its gotten overstretched. Like on first impression, I had no clue that Roe v. Wade was a constitutional issue. I didn't know abortions were in there. (Yes I know there were privacy things too, but my point is still made)
But adhering to strict originalism means naturally accepting this baggage of bigotry from a previous time along with it. Or you can say that this baggage wasn't the essence of it, but these accidental characteristics were just as much part of the original intent, quite sadly. So you need some kind of limiting principle that allows you to dump the baggage of bigotry, which means not being originalist, or you throw out the strict originalist option out (as in we MUST adhere to the original intent as opposed to saying history is a useful guide, but we have no obligation to copy what they thought. If we are talking about a specific well-written statute, then there is less wiggle room, but that's not the case here, these were a lot more of declarations of principle.) Arguably, you can avoid dealing with this uncomfortable implications by saying this questions are worthless because 13th-15th amendments, but that's not really a good system then, if its that rigid, that you need an amendment to escape the racist views of the past view.
*tangent* here I go into the weeds of how one could be a super strict originalist and not be racist, more of a thought experiment and hypothetical.
While the 14th and 15th amendments could be argued to provide a principal, it depends on how much of a textualist you want to be. 14th amendment establishes the a principle of don't discriminate for dumb reasons, but it doesn't spell out any protected classes. Some may look to the 15th amendment, since they were passed around the same time by the same Congress with the same context. It spells out race, color, or previous condition of servitude. So it depends, but I think might point still stands. Its scary to think about it. I don't know anyone who would take it this far, but is there any principle stopping it from going this far? Luckily enough John Bingham the primary author of both the 14th and 15th can serve as a save, since his original intent was more better, in contrast to the compromises on the 14th and 15th amendments, which muzzled it and made it more muted/toned down than originally desired by some, including John Bingham and Charles Sumner. A lot of things are missing like a ban on poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, nothing on naturalized citizens born overseas (for the nativists), also women's suffrage. But another racist originalist may consciously or not emphasize a more conservative author and hold that up as the original intent. Thankfully, these problems not addressed there were fixed later legislatively, but never on an amendment level, so it could be changed. I'd remind you, we have no equal protection clause on the federal level, its read to be implied in the 5th amendment due process clause, so uninterpreting out is possible since its implied. Maybe the equal protection clause should be amended to spell out protected categories, or maybe the solution is another ERA. But the fact that I'm going into the weeds has another implication... do we really want to be held back by the failures of the past?
I'm just going to mention briefly the subtext of conservatism in (Burke's sense) terms of tradition vs progressivism/revolution.
Originalism basically solidifies these long dead people's points of view unless specifically contradicted by statute, but even contradicting via statute wouldn't work entirely because how would you go about doing that for a constitutional issue? And the problem is that in the context of the Constitution, tradition, is just peer pressure from the dead, but on a constitutional level, this solidifies their points of view, and requires an amendment to change. Is that really a wise idea. I'd remind everyone that we had a long and bloody path that led up to war. Adopting this approach makes the law too clunky to adapt. So arguably, that means adopting racist points of view that contradicts the 14th amendments.
One of the compromise/balancing acts was the question of how much should the constitution be able to be changed? Keep in mind that its the scaffolding, the base structures and basic principles, and that's not something you want to change too often. For context, the Articles of Confederation required the assent of 9/13 states to do something, and unanimous 13/13 consent for other important things like amendments. The US Constitution requires a simple majority in both individuals Houses/Chambers of Congress, and the President to sign off, with a 2/3rds on both to override veto. The whole point of a republic is balance. Neither mob rule, nor tyranny of a dictator, popular sovereignty/majority rule, while still upholding minority rights and rule of law. It should be able to change with the times and reflect the people, but not too much, hence representatives and refinement. Fair laws created through a (representative) democratic process, and enforced and applied evenly in a way that actually makes sense. But if you are to go with originalism, that means that judges are to stick with the original (often bigoted) intent or more likely reconstitute/patch-together a modernish meaning and call it original, which is often a political issue. Originalism also means that judges inherently must be conservative, and cannot ever introduce a new interpretation or way of looking at the constitution, which can prevent necessary change, which then creates a need for more legislative changes or amendments to ensure the a functional government under the constitution. If this is a good or bad thing is neither here nor there, but I will say, its quite impossible because of stuff like gerrymandering.
This felt like I was typing something for something more than a mere reddit post off of something more than just mere youtube comments.
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