The Exigent Duality
Political Anachronisms - 08:19 CST, 1/07/23 (Sniper)
Remember when I wrote about the "Video Game Critic" forum being cringey regarding politics? I have a family member who is similarly out-of-date: he hasn't the foggiest idea how to even turn on a computer, so he gets one hundred percent of his "news"-- and has for decades-- from the primary Murderapolis newspaper, the "Star and Tribune". It's even the paper edition: he must be one of about four people for whom they still run the actual presses.

It's almost anachronistic talking to someone like him about politics, because his only source of information has kept him so bubble wrapped in this weird reality, where every single headline and article is carefully crafted to drip-feed a certain world view into him. Roughly, they keep him stuck in the 1980s-era battle lines, because they completely ignore today's Democratic party. Every so often I drop some little detail in a gentle, casual way: "Did you hear about that city in England where liberals are banning you from driving to different neighborhoods to counteract cow farts?", or "Did you see the new books Democrats are promoting about kids describing mommy's wet pussy?", followed by his head exploding out of total shock. It's entertaining to pierce the bubble once in awhile.

In any event, I stripped wallpaper and re-painted the kitchen a couple of weeks ago. I covered the floors using papers from stacks of old "Red Star and Tribune" issues, most of them from 2016 and 2017. It was slow going laying down those papers, because I couldn't stop laughing at the articles! Here is just a tiny sampling-- and not cherry-picked either, this is representative of one hundred percent of what people like my family member are being fed as "reality":

  • Some sob story about "Refugees from Myanmar" (?). Aren't refugees only allowed to enter the nearest country-- why and how did they go over the ocean?? Who paid for that?
  • "Don't kick us out!", sad looking foreign woman in picture. Marxists love rent controls as a tool to destroy "capitalism", that's the vein for stories like this one. It's all about audience conditioning.
  • "Trump proposes tax on Mexican imports". Oh boy, I thought, let's read down... sure enough: "Why that will hit consumers!!!"
  • "We are part of nature, even when we try to stand apart". Weird hippie crap, conditioning people to accept external combustion cars and eating bugs. This newspaper has a lot of this junk, even a whole section sometimes it seems.
  • "3M refuses to pay for clean water!!" Greedy corporation narrative, more Marxist agitprop.
  • 270 lbs woman decides to stop trying to lose weight, weight "not the only measure of health". I wonder if she's even still alive.

In other news, I was able to land one of these 4070 Ti cards from Newegg right when they went live. For a while I actually had a 4080 in my cart-- but in the end of I went with the lesser card: even though I can afford the price difference, out of principle I object to paying $1300 for a video card, for Pete's sake. I know costs have gone up, but I'm sure Nvidia has massive margins on these new cards, simply because their primary competitor in AMD is down to freaking 10% market share.

Speaking of them, I wish I had a crystal ball and could see how FSR 3 will perform, and how widespread will be its adoption: for just ~$150 more I could have bought a 7900 XTX, which is a significantly faster card than what I got in raw rasterization, plus it has a whopping 24 gig. of VRAM, versus the measly 12 gig. in the 4070 Ti (a limitation I'm somewhat worried about in fact). But Nvidia's ray tracing support when combined with DLSS 2 and even 3's new "frame generation" is so far ahead of AMD that it's a bit embarrassing. FSR 3 could change that, but I didn't feel comfortable going in the AMD direction based on nothing but "hope".

And besides all of that, Richard Leadbetter showed some benchmarks which sold me on the 4070 Ti: in Cyberpunk 2077-- which supports ray traced everything, including shadows, ambient occlusion, global illumination, and reflections-- this card does reconstructed 4K at an average of 67 fps using DLSS 2. And that game is almost a worst-case scenario in terms of how it pushes hardware generally, with ray tracing settings maxed out. He also amazingly showed this card up against a PlayStation 5! In "A Plague Tale: Requiem" with identical settings, the PS5 gets 36 fps-- this new card gets 80 without DLSS, and 105 with. And that's in a brand new game with cutting edge visuals, the likes of which I don't think we'll progress much further.