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The Heretic

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Everything posted by The Heretic

  1. The Heretic added a post in a topic PBS Crash Course Philosophy on U-Tube   

    Sorry, Mathsteach2, but it looks like this forum is dead. The last post besides your threads was in September.
    And the world has moved on.
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  2. The Heretic added a topic in Play   

    2016 NFL Week 3 Picks
    2016 NFL Week 3 Picks
    After two weeks, it seems that the preseason favorites like the Seahawks, Packers, and the Cardinals are not as good as we thought, and the class of the NFL mostly reside in the AFC (Broncos, Patriots, Steelers).
    Going 13-3 last week means I have nowhere else to go but down, right? Then again, we know nothing, especially when it comes to the NFL. Tyche, the goddess of Luck is at her most powerful when we are at our most confident.
    Thursday Game of the Week
    Houston Texans @ New England Patriots (+2.5)
    The Patriots are now down to their third string QB, Brisett, but will that even slow them down? Even up against a terrific defense in the Texans, led by the incomparable Watt and company? QB Osweiler remains unproven, and the Pats will confuse him to no end. He does not have the vision for accurate passing required to beat the Pats’ schemes. While the Patriots are underdogs at home for the first time in near forever, but they manage to win 9 of 12 of those games under coach Belichick.
    New England by 4
    Game of the Week
    Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3)
    The Bengals finally return home, but they’re now facing the defending Super Bowl champs, and their world-class defense with that topnotch blitz package. Hopefully the Bengals’ own defense will terrorize QB Siemian and control the game.
    Cincinnati by 1
    Tame of the Week
    Arizona Cardinals @ Buffalo Bills (+5)
    Although the Cardinals had a long flight, they are facing a weakened Bills team with shitty defense and uncertainty on offense after firing their OC. All the extra days will not change anything in their favor. The Cardinals seemed to rediscover their mojo last week, and should keep on steamrolling the rest of the way by going long early and often.
    Arizona by 9
    Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans (-1.5)
    The Raiders aren’t meeting expectations – their defense is incapable of stopping anyone. I expect the Titans to run the ball down their soft pliable middle and control the game with clutch throws from QB Mariota who can both run and pass well.
    Tennessee by 6
    Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars (even)
    After falling flat on their faces last week in San Diego, the Jaguars need to redeem themselves, rediscover their offensive form from last year. While the Ravens are 2-0, they haven’t really beaten anybody good so far. They had so much trouble covering WR Robinson last year. But in a tight game, go with QB Flacco to WR Wallace deep.
    Baltimore by 3
    Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers (-7)
    Yes, everybody knows the Packers have fallen short of expectations, and QB Rodgers doesn’t look like his terrifying self, having fallen below 100 in passer rating for the last 14 games. It looks like WR Driver, Jennings, and Nelson no longer can win in isolation and get separation. But they’re finally home and should force the Lions into a high scoring shootout. It will be Last Man Standing.
    Green Bay by 3
    Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers (-7)
    No rest for the wicked. After surviving a tough NFC North tilt with the Packers, the Vikings have to face the class of the NFC in the Panthers without their lead back Peterson, out with a knee injury. The key matchup is the Panthers’ offense versus the Vikings’ defense. QB Newton has to step up and succeed where QB Rodgers failed, and force the Vikings’ ultra aggressive defense to play contain. They won’t.
    Carolina by 4
    Washington Ethnic Slurs @ New York Giants (-4.5)
    The Giants have the perfect opportunity to seize control of the NFC East, and bury the Ethnic Slurs six foot deep. QB Cousins hasn’t looked like his 2015 self at all this year, and the rebuilt Giants’ defense will not give him a chance. Their corners are deep and savvy enough to neutralize the Slurs’ receiving corps. Moreover, will the Slurs even let their high priced cornerback Norman cover WR Beckham?
    New York by 4
    Los Angeles Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5)
    The Rams have yet to score a touchdown, and this will be 3000 miles flight for a morning game. The Buccaneers will be playing in front of their fans for the first time this year. The score will be close, cuz the Rams have a stubborn defense, but the Buccaneers will pull it off. QB Winston is still angry over that Delhomme he pulled last week, and the Rams do not have the required secondary to slow him down.
    Tampa Bay by 4
    San Francisco Forty Whiners @ Seattle Seahawks (-9.5)
    The Seahawks have only one touchdown in two games cuz they can neither pass-block nor run block. But the Whiners have the immortal Gabbert at QB and the Hawks are at home, at the Century Link where they become a different monster. Even with a one-legged QB Wilson.
    Seattle by 3
    New York Jets @ Kansas City Chiefs (-3)
    Both teams are similar that they have tough as nails defenses, powerful offensive lines, and QBs that don’t turn the ball over. But the Jets aren’t as good on the road, and it’s always tough to match the Chiefs’ energy at Arrowhead.
    Kansas City by 1
    San Diego Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts (-3)
    The Colts are still in hibernation, whereas the Chargers picked themselves up last week and destroyed the Jaguars. I expect a shootout, but the Colts are incapable of rushing the QB, or field enough healthy defensive backs, allowing QB Rivers time to decimate their secondary. QB Luck will have to come back against three excellent Chargers cornerbacks: Flowers, Verrett, and Hayward.
    San Diego by 3
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ Philadelphia Eagles (+6.5)
    The Eagles have surpassed all expectations in the first two games – thanks to rookie QB Wentz, and a stubborn defense. But they’re facing a powerful offense in the Steelers, who are fond of disguising their blitz, and that’s a death sentence for rookie quarterbacks. Moreover, there’s nobody on the Eagles that can cover WR Brown in the slightest.
    Pittsburgh by 4
    Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys (-5)
    The Bears looked godawful, no thanks to injuries – DT Goldman, QB Cutler, LB Trevathan, etc. The Cowboys OTOH have withstood their own injury problems nicely thanks to QB Prescott. They will force-feed RB Elliott & Morris the ball all game long, then shock the Bears with play-action passing to WR Bryant.
    Dallas by 7
    Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints (+3)
    Every divisional tilt is exciting, and even more so when one of them has their backs to the wall. In a high scoring shootout, I expect QB Brees to beat QB Ryan any day of the week and twice on Mondays. Too bad the Falcons have the best 53 players in this matchup.
    Atlanta by 6
    Shame of the Week
    Cleveland Browns @ Miami Dolphins (-10)
    Like the Patriots, the Browns are now down to their third string QB in Kessler. Unlike the Patriots, the Browns are a godawful team, and with a shitty QB in Kessler, they have no chance against the Dolphins’ stout defense in their home opener. QB Tannehill has enough weapons at hand to blow this game wide open.
    Miami by 9
    Last Week: 13-3
    Season to Date: 24-8
    • 2 replies
  3. The Heretic added a topic in Play   

    2016 NFL Week 2 Picks
    After going 11-5 last week, I feel good about 2016. Week 1 is usually the hardest week to predict, because we are still stuck with the results of the previous year, and incapable of deciphering the preseason. Onto Week 2!
    Thursday Game of the Week
    New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills (even)
    The Jets might have the best defense in the league, at this point – stocked with pass rushers in Williams, Wilkerson, and Richardson. QB Taylor won’t have the time to even scramble – OL Glenn is injured, WR Watkins is banged up, and the backups Kouandjio & Mills won’t make a difference.
    New York by 3
    Game(s) of the Week
    Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)
    Both teams are out for revenge – believe it or not. This will be a classic slobberknocker – both defenses looked good last week, and both quarterbacks had no problem with the long ball, blessed with talented receivers. The Steelers have an edge with their OL, and they may attack Geno Atkins, the Bengals’ swamp monster.
    Pittsburgh by 3
    Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings (+2.5)
    The Packers’ defense is quite good – thanks to a talented secondary with Randall and Rollins – and may be the best unit since 2010. If QB Rodgers gets a lead, that defensive backfield will become even more effective. Expect nothing from QB Hill.
    Green Bay by 3
    Tame of the Week
    New Orleans Saints @ New York Giants (-4.5)
    After a scintillating shootout last year, this time it should be different because the Giants have improved their run and pass defense. Vernon & JPP & company shoved around the mighty Cowboys’ offensive line last week. Moreover, the Saints miss Rankins – they gave up a 75 yard TD run in the fourth quarter last week. Expect the Giants to pull guards, run zone and establish the trench early.
    New York by 5
    Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots (-6.5)
    What a tough start for the Dolphins. After a 2 point loss in Seattle, they have to face a team that’s dominated them for the last decade or so. The Patriots are thoroughly competent on defense, and Coach Belichick will line up Sheard, Collins, & Hightower over the Dolphins’ weak right side all game long.
    New England by 4
    Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Racial Taunts (-3.5)
    The Cowboys will exploit the Taunts’ run defense by force-feeding RB Elliott 25 times or more. The Taunts will try to spread out the Cowboys with 3 or 4 wide sets and exploit the most favorable matchup – which is almost a given because Cowboys’ DC Marinelli likes a single high safety too much. But since the Taunt failed to apply pressure on the Steelers whatsoever, I expect QB Prescott to have all the time he needs to wait for WR Bryant to get open.
    Dallas by 3
    San Francisco Forty-Whiners @ Carolina Panthers (-13.5)
    Expect a physical donnybrook type of a game. The Panthers should try to manipulate ends Buckner and Armstead with misdirection and brute power. When the Forty Whiners stack the box with safeties, the Panthers will throw over them to Olsen and Benjamin. Nobody should expect QB Gabbert to keep up with big plays of his own.
    Carolina by 10
    Tennessee Titans @ Detroit Lions (-5.5)
    The Lions’ defense has to switch from a high powered passing offense last week to a physical smashmouth offense this week in the Titans. Luckily they have enough at hand: Ngata, Ansah, and Hyder, who should neutralize a ground & pound offense. Leaving QB Stafford to exploit that shitty Titans’ secondary.
    Detroit by 6
    Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns (+6.5)
    The Browns are recycling quarterbacks, while the Ravens are reviving their legendary defense. Backup QB McCown has the arm, but nobody to throw the ball to – the Browns’ receivers can’t get open. They need more than that against the Ravens, who will stop the gaps with gigantic DTs. QB Flacco can either gun it or hand it off to RB Stanley. But take the under – the Ravens are weaker on the road.
    Baltimore by 3
    Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans (-1.5)
    The Texans are still spitting mad about the last two losses to the Chiefs – one was in the playoffs and the other was a lopsided beating. The Texans’ defense will be at least tougher than the Chargers’ last week. They couldn’t stop the pass, but the Texans love it if opponents test their pass defense. Watt, Clowney, Simon, and Mercilus are ready.
    Houston by 3
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)
    The preseason Super Bowl favorite is on the verge of falling into a 0-2 hole. The Buccaneers are solid, led by the powerful QB Winston and talented WR corps, but the Cardinals should be even more fired up after last Sunday night’s near-miss. They should probe the Bucs’ offensive line for any weaknesses. Moreover, despite the fact that the Patriots’ defense is topnotch, QB Palmer had a clean pocket most of the time. I expect him to finish the deal this week.
    Arizona by 3
    Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Rams (+3.5)
    The NFL is back in LA after 22 years, but it’s still as shitty as ever. And now they’re facing the Legion of Boom? However, the Rams are angry after that embarrassing loss last Monday. Moreover, QB Wilson is hobbled by a bad ankle, and he’s facing DE Donald?
    Los Angeles by 3
    Atlanta Falcons @ Oakland Raiders (-5.5)
    This game depends on which defense can make stops. The Raiders had trouble with QB Brees, like almost everyone else, but they have the talent to bounce back, and unleash the rabid beast in DE Mack. The Falcons will stick to their cover-three and try to stop WR Cooper from big plays. But the Raiders have alternatives in WR Crabtree, Walford, or RB Washington.
    Oakland by 3
    Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos (-5.5)
    The Colts’ WR are solid, but they won’t be given a chance against the best secondary in the league. Moreover, the Colts’ OL is shitty, and here comes Von Miller! QB Luck will not have much time to make his reads, and he doesn’t have a RB to fall back on. The Broncos have a solid running game, so expect them to use it early and often against that mediocre Colts defense.
    Denver by 6
    Shame(s) of the Week
    Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers (-2.5)
    The Chargers have solid corners capable of handling the Jaguars’ WRs.
    They are proficient against fades and back shoulder throws, exactly what QB Bortles excels at. QB Rivers is familiar with the Jags’ defense – he sees it twice a year in Oakland’s defense.
    San Diego by 1
    Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears (-2.5)
    After a nice debut last week, can we expect more of the same from rookie QB Wentz in Chicago? At least Wentz has the easier job facing the Bears than QB Cutler has in facing the Eagles, and that ferocious front four.
    Philadelphia by 3
    Last Week: 11-5
    Season to Date: 11-5
    • 2 replies
  4. The Heretic added a topic in Play   

    2016 NFL Week 1 Picks
    (this was posted/emailed yesterday)
    Welcome back to yet another season of mayhem, madness, and mendacity, as well as mediocrity.
    Thursday Game of the Week
    Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos (+3.5)
    From the most decorated, experienced, big-game QB in league history to a blank slate in Trevor Siemian? Up against a bloodthirsty defense in the Panthers? Still stewing from that surprise upset loss in the Super Bowl? However, the Broncos’ defense is still stout, and still built to stop powerful running teams like the Panthers. Their cornerbacks Talib & Harris don’t need help covering the Panthers’ receivers, allowing DC Phillips to stack the box.
    Denver by 3
    Game(s) of the Week
    New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals (-6)
    The most amazing skill Coach Belichick has is to determine what another team does well, and then neutralize it. Now, the Cardinals have a weak cornerback, so expect the Patriots to expose that. Their OL can protect interim QB Garoppolo, even from the powerful Cards’ defensive front. Luckily the Cardinals are at home.
    Cardinals by 2
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ Washington Ethnic Slurs (+3.5)
    The Steelers have the greatest collection of talent at receiving since the Greatest Show on Turf in 2000. Even if your secondary stops them, the Steelers can just run the ball with either Bell or Williams. The Slurs, a solid team in its own right, will not be able to keep up, and they failed to develop a running game in the preseason.
    Pittsburgh by 6
    Tame of the Week
    Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans (+2)
    The Titans are strictly a running team, with inside bangers Murray and Henry, but the Vikings’ front seven, deep and talented, is designed to destroy lines and stop Rbs.
    Minnesota by 3
    San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs (-7)
    The Chargers seem to have located a running back in Gordon, but can they run on the deep and stout defense in the Chiefs? At Arrowhead, in week 1? Moreover, can the Chargers stop runners? The Chiefs are too well-rounded to stumble this Sunday.
    Kansas City by 10
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons (-3)
    In the preseason, QB Ryan seemed to have trouble throwing with accuracy or power. His confidence is gone. Worse yet, his old coach Mike Smith is the Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator.
    Tampa Bay by 1
    Green Bay Packers @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+5.5)
    The Jaguars look like they’ve turned it around, but they still have to win the games that count. Worse yet, they are facing the best QB in the league with a stocked roster at his disposal. This should turn into a classic shootout.
    Green Bay by 3
    Chicago Bears @ Houston Texans (-6.5)
    It won’t matter if QB Osweiler is legitimate, cuz he’s facing a shitty secondary in the Bears. Plus their offense has been shitty all preseason, and now they are facing an angry JJ Watt and a great defense.
    Houston by 4
    Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens (-3)
    The Ravens are reviving – QB Flacco is healthy, deep threat WR Perriman is back, and WR Wallace looks like his old self. The Bills will not be able to slow down such a dynamic offense, not without their bellwethers in Williams and Dareus.
    Baltimore by 9
    Oakland Raiders @ New Orleans Saints (-1)
    The Raiders are a preseason favorite, given their depth and talent, but their inexperience will still be a problem. Especially going on the road and at the Superdome. They are facing an offensive genius in Coach Payton, who’s had plenty of time to scheme DE Mack and company with his platoon of weapons.
    New Orleans by 7
    Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets (+2.5)
    The Bengals are a strong team, based on a stout offensive line. But they will not be able to handle the Jets’ devastating DL (Williams, Wilkerson, and company). Moreover, their superstar CB will leave the Bengals’ WR Green on Revis Island.
    New York by 3
    Miami Dolphins @ Seattle Seahawks (-10.5)
    QB Wilson will run circles around the Dolphins’ defense, and exploit their coverage into touchdowns. It won’t be close.
    Seattle by 11
    New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (+1)
    The Cowboys have a rookie-friendly offense for their new QB, Dak Prescott: if the safeties are stacking the box, make the right read and a quick toss. If they’re two deep, hand it off to superstar-in-the-making Elliott. The Giants are still figuring it out with a new coach and a new system, and $200 million makeover.
    Dallas by 2
    Detroit Lions @ Indianapolis Colts (-3.5)
    Even though Megatron is retired, the Lions will still be able to move the ball and score. Moreover, there’s nobody on the Colts’ defense capable of slowing them down.
    Detroit by 3
    Shame(s) of the Week
    Cleveland Browns @ Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5)
    From top to bottom, the Eagles are more talented, but they lack experience in the most important position – QB is rookie Carson Wentz. The Browns aren’t much, but they’ll be more prepared with QB RGIII on a mission.
    Cleveland by 3
    Los Angeles Rams @ San Franciso Forty-Whiners (+2.5)
    Sweet. Fancy. MOSES! The NFL has decided to inflict their worst matchup on a national audience!
    Expect RB Gurley to dominate the 40 Whiners, after they remove his pre-season bubble wrap. The terrific Rams front will not let QB Gabbert any time to make any plays.
    Los Angeles by 2
    Last Week: 0-0
    Season to Date: 0-0
    • 2 replies
  5. The Heretic added a post in a topic How did you get here?   

    That was my thread/post, and I hope you enjoyed it enough to read the book.

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  6. The Heretic added a post in a topic Introduce yourself here...   

    Hello Valus! Unfortunately you've signed on a board that's nearing its date of extinction, and will not find much activity here beyond the occasional spam. We do have a large collection of topics to review, so feel free to revive one or two. But do not expect much activity.
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  7. The Heretic added a post in a topic What books are you reading now?   

    Holy Frijolies, it's been near 2 years since I last updated what I'm reading.
    I've read too many to recount since then, so I'll just mention what I am eyeballing:
    Just finished High Rise by Ballard, and am now reading a collection of his short stories. Quite a pleasant read, and somewhat kicking myself for not reading him before. Also reading the following: Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, Solaris by Stanislaw Lem, An Alien Heat by Moorcock, and Star Maker by Stapledon.
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  8. The Heretic added a post in a topic Is Daenerys the Villain of Game of Thrones?   

    I suspect the HBO adaptation will go for a more conventional ending than Martin will in his books, given that they've diverted some from the original books so far this season. When the plot is rich and dynamic in the show, they stick to the original, but when they fall back on safe formula, that's when the showrunners Beinoff and Weiss are going off the script - likely for reasons of advancing the plot(lines) to a solid resolution(s), but that is for an entirely different thread.  
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  9. The Heretic added a topic in Extend   

    Is Daenerys the Villain of Game of Thrones?
    It has been a while since I posted on Game of Thrones, or more accurately, A Song of Ice and Fire. As we start winding down on Martin’s epic, a small but fast growing sector of the fanbase is giving credibility to this notion: Daenerys, the Mother of Dragons (and a bunch of other honorifics) is the true villain of the story. We already have the obvious candidate in the Night King, but recent episodes, as of Episode 6, has Daenerys taking a heel turn in her declaration of conquest. She’s made these claims before, but always with a qualifier – to free the slaves of Slaver’s Bay, to restore her House of Targaryen, etc. Now it’s just strictly conquest for the sake of conquest.
    However, despite this new possibility, I suspect it’s more complicated than that. There is no true villain of the story, much like how there’s no such thing as a villain in real life. The reason I think this is the case is due to George Martin’s true goal – subversion. He is more than just a fantasy writer – he writes with a historical angle, as well as a deconstructionist one. On top of the various tropes of heroic fantasy, Martin is also writing with the inspiration from the War of the Roses, which means his epic should be understood as a commentary on history AS fantasy. Martin is more interested in demonstrating how power works in politics, as well as how history is told and then mythologized in a way that reduces the violent, complicated series of events into a linear narrative. What the characters are told and what they eventually find out (Bran’s green-seeing, and Tyrion’s careful sifting of the records) is more indicative than the obvious interlocking of the tropes themselves in Martin’s overarching narration.
    If we take the historical backdrop of the War of the Roses as a guideline to the Song of Ice and Fire, then in order to decipher the ultimate endgame, we must look at the result of the history: The Tudor period ended in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
    If Daenerys is the analogue of Queen Elizabeth, then the endgame of the Song is the unification of all humanity that overcomes the existing politics of discord and elimination of the White Walkers. After all, Elizabeth did institute a Golden Age by reigning for over 40 years, survive the Spanish Armada, and build England from a petty kingdom to a global empire.
    However, I suspect A Song of Ice and Fire is no conventional fantasy epic because it is a subversion as well as a deconstruction, which means we should expect nothing but a nihilist ending, that Daenerys’ rule will require brutality and compromise – the very thing she tried to avoid. In order to be a ruler, she will have to move from a conqueror to a morally conflicted ruler in the end. There will never be such a thing as a just rule or ideal society in Martin’s epic.
    Moreover, no matter how we construct history, no matter how great our ideals are, or how perfect we build society, there’s only one true power in the universe – death. The very power that is free of the pain of life, always fated to violence and pain. All the existing philosophies in Martin’s epic, as well as our own are all constructions that give meaning to patch over this underlying truth – the void.
    The popular thesis that requires mapping a structure with a classic villain on the reality of history is the futile attempt of man, trying to cope with existence. But there is no god of mythology controlling the fate of our characters, ourselves – except the god of nothing.
    Valar Morghulis.
    • 2 replies
  10. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2016 NBA Playoffs Picks!   

    Posted this at last night:
    My 2016 Finals pick.

    If the Cavaliers utilize LBJ and Love in the post against the Warriors, exploit their advantages, they will control the tempo and rack up fouls, they can steal the series. If LBJ or Love get off to a good start in the first quarter, then the Cavaliers will be very competitive. However, if LBJ refuses to post up or pass out of single coverage to three point shooters, they’ll get cooked. The best strategy against great three point shooters is to force them to play defense and make them play physical against bigger and stronger guys, their shooting percentage will drop. If the Cavaliers try to match the Warriors’ Lineup of Death, they’ll get swept. Therefore, they must play to their strengths, use their size by slowing the game down and punish the smaller Warriors inside. LBJ must be a post up guy, score 40 or throw it back out for the three point shooters if the Warriors double him, because they have nobody who can defend him inside, and nobody to slow him down in the paint when they go small. If Love or LBJ are posting up, they must have Tristan Thompson crash the boards from the other side of the paint.

    The Warriors’ main adjustment is to go small, and wait for the other team’s coach to panic and try to match them. That is what doomed the OKC Thunder. If the Cavaliers stick to their bigs, let LBJ play in the paint, that’ll be the biggest factor in the series.

    It's just too bad that the Warriors are an all-time great team, and the Cavaliers are coached by a rookie, and LBJ is the 21st century version of Wilt Chamberlain.
    GSW in 7

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  11. The Heretic added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    What Peter said. Here are a few relevant links, all recent: (Washington Post uses the word Fascism)  (The Year of the Political Troll - The New Yorker) (The Dangerous Acceptance of Donald Trump - The New Yorker) (Is Trump a Fascist? A historian of fascism weighs in)
    Fun Fact. The French term "fachosphère" denotes the fascist internet. I wonder what's DCD is up to, since they closed his xenophobic account.  
    People like William Gibson who lived in Greece under the Colonels, and Spain under Franco knew what fascism was. That is why the term "fascism" used to describe any US political reality was hyperbolic, until Donald Trump. Gibson claimed this is 100% American fascism.
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  12. The Heretic added a post in a topic Movies i've seen...   

    Captain America Civil War review
    Last night, I took a fellow comic book fan to watch it. Although the only available tickets were the 3D showing, we had a great time. The theater was packed with serious film aficionados – something we all need when watching an event film like CACW.
    My biggest take away from the film: its meticulous attention to detail, and beautiful craftmanship. The conflict was logically reduced to personal matters, and how progressively polarized it became, making us incapable of taking a clear side and hold it doggedly throughout. More importantly, the film easily exceeds the original comic book crossover from 2006, because the writer Mark Millar shoved every character into ultra-alpha males of excess. But the film's nuance refused to allow the easy path of taking sides between accountability and liberty.
    Camerawork was topnotch, and the story was told through quite imaginative selection of locations. The global feel of the story came through.
    Best new character: T'Challa. What a motherfucking mofo, what an introduction to a kick ass character. I was familiar with the character, but now, his film shot up the “must see” list. All the returning characters got their moments to shine, nobody got the short shrift. Ant-Man's giant surprise, Spider-Man's return to Steve Dikto roots, so on, and so forth.
    I'm far more confident in the Russo brothers' handling of the Marvel Cinematic Universe than I was with Joss Whedon, who seemed overwhelmed with Avengers Age of Ultron.
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  13. The Heretic added a topic in Play   

    2016 NBA Playoffs Picks!
    It's that time of the year again. Who else caught that 60 point curtain call last night by Kobe Bean Bryant? Or the Golden State Warriors' record-breaking 73rd win? What a time to be alive.  
    Onto the picks:
    Western Conference
    Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors
    Not only did the Warriors sweep the Rockets 3-0, by an average margin of 12.3 points, they are also the Latest and Greatest Team of All Time. The only thing left for them to accomplish is a dominant playoff run, something they failed to do last year. The Rockets are much worse this year than last year, where they were promptly outclassed in the Western Conference Finals 4-1. James Harden is a good scorer, but he lacks leadership qualities necessary for a champion, and Dwight Howard is long past his physical prime, incapable of dominating longer than in brief spurts.
    GSW in a sweep: 4-0
    Memphis Grizzlies @ San Antonio Spurs
    Not only are the Spurs well-rested, loaded, proven, and hungry, they also have controlled the Grizzlies since that shocking first round upset in 2011. Moreover, neither Conley nor Gasol the Younger are suiting up, and the Grizzlies have fallen ass-backwards into the playoffs, having coughed up 12 of their last 14 games.
    SAS in another sweep: 4-0
    Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder
    Should be an interesting contrast of styles between the athletic, iso-heavy Thunder and the veteran, systemic Mavericks. However, Westbrook and Durant will exploit the Mavericks' subpar man to man defense, force them to collapse repeatedly. Although Mavericks coach Carlisle is one of the 5 best in the NBA, and facing a rookie college coach in Donovan, he can only do so much with a vastly inferior hand.
    OKC 4-1
    Portland Trailblazers @ Los Angeles Clippers
    PG Chris Paul has largely owned his opposite number, Damian Lillard, and will continue to neutralize him with the Clippers' superior pick and roll defense. Even if the rest of the Blazers flourish, they need Lillard to overcome the more talented Clippers. However, Blake Griffin has not rediscovered his old form after missing half of the season with his leg injury and the suspension.
    LAC, 4-2
    Eastern Conference
    Detroit Pistons @ Cleveland Cavaliers
    Surprisingly, the Pistons do match up well with the Cavaliers: they have enough forwards to control LBJ, and a terrific defender in Caldwell Pope to terrorize Kyrie Irving. Plus the only Cavalier capable of slowing down the emerging Pistons giant, Drummond, is Mozgov, a benched guy who's lost his confidence. But LBJ has returned to his dominant MVP form in recent weeks.
    CAVS, 4-2
    Indiana Pacers @ Toronto Raptors
    The Raptors have prevented George from scoring 20 points, limiting him to 20 of 65 FG attempts in four regular season games. Despite being a veteran of the playoffs, George must step up to give the underdogs a chance. The Raptors are still trying to get that playoff monkey off their backs, having failed to win a series since the Vince Carter days back in 2001. They are capable of matching up any lineup - be it small or big, and throw enough bodies at George all series long. However, if the Raptors' guards, Lowry and DeRozan don't perform at peak levels, they could be sent home early again.
    TOR, 4-1
    Charlotte Hornets @ Miami Heat
    Two dramatically different teams. The Hornets prefer playing faster, pushing the pace. But the veteran Heat play better defense, and have more isolation scorers in Johnson and Wade, which is absolutely necessary in the playoffs. If the Hornets can keep the Heat spread, and keep their passing snappy, they can steal the series.
    MIA, 4-3
    Boston Celtics @ Atlanta Hawks
    Both teams are elite on defense and play at a fast pace, but the Hawks have the two best players in Horford and Millsap, who will dominate the inferior Celtics frontcourt. Moreover, the Hawks are far more battle-tested in the playoffs, having won series, while none of the Celtics have even won a single game. Coach Stevens is brilliant but he'll be offset by an equally capable Coach Budenholzer.
    ATL, 4-3
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  14. The Heretic added a post in a topic Movies i've seen...   

    Batman v Superman
    I just posted this on the Pajiba review of said film:
    Saw the film last night, so here's my official review:
    Grew up reading comics, and was pleased by the recent superhero surge, so I came in with moderate expectations, despite the negative word of mouth.
    Watched it with my Dad and older sister, also a fan of comics. Within 15 minutes, my Dad got up and left. It was already bad at that point.
    The good? Acting was plausible, special effects were decent, the fight scenes itself were rendered properly, but they went a tad bit overboard with the slo-mo effects. Wonder Woman was a nice scene-stealer, and I hope to see her film made by a more competent crew. Yup.
    The bad? Sweet Fancy Moses. Znyder is utterly tone deaf. The horribly contrived script.
    All in all, WB studios tried way too hard to create something utterly alien to their distinguished competition, Marvel. And in the process, they forgot how to make a decent film.
    The sad thing? Znyder regressed to Watchmen levels in his cannibalization of great comic lore (The Dark Knight Returns, Death of Superman).
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  15. The Heretic added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    FWIW, it was an old thread from 2011, but the OP decided to perform necromancy and resurrect it in light of the next president of the United States, Darn Old Trump.  
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  16. The Heretic added a post in a topic Anna Karenina and Tolstoy   

    Reading is a far more demanding activity than watching films, because you have to make a greater effort to follow the writing and utilize your imagination by envisioning the world of the story. Watching requires much less brain power and effort; therefore reading literature should never be considered as passive as watching something on the screen, even if it is the same thing content wise. 
    Moreover, great literature allows you to engage with a dramatically different person from a different time, of a different slice of life. The reductive imagery of Television or film shrinks that ability and forces you to accept certain aesthetic choices you yourself would've conceived on your terms if you read it instead. 
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  17. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2016 NFL Super Bowl thread   

    Game summary: the Broncos absolutely pulverized the Panthers 24-10. The Panthers were no slouches on defense themselves, with Ealy and Kuechly on one side, but Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware on the other side got the 2015 MVP rattled.  
    The Panthers were down 6 with five minutes to go and they had the ball. Result? A failed run on first down. A failed pass attempt on second down. Von Miller put the MVP out of his misery with his second strip-sack of the game. And that play was quite telling: the stripped ball was loose on the ground, with guys scrambling for it... QB Newton's eyes were clearly fixed on it, but he didn't even try to dive for it in the scrum. The Broncos scored their first offensive touchdown a couple plays later, and that was the ball game.
    Congratulations to Manning for the Elway-like perfect retirement.  
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  18. The Heretic added a post in a topic How did you get here?   

    Philosophy of science? My condolences.  
    Welcome to the sleepiest forum on the Internet, regardless   
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  19. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2016 NFL Super Bowl thread   

    Aye I will be cheering for the Denver Broncos tomorrow at the SB party. I eagerly anticipate a close game, like last year where no lead was safe until the clock read 00:00. 
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  20. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2016 NFL Super Bowl thread   

    Super Bowl 50 pick
    Carolina Panthers vs Denver Broncos (+5.5)The aging, battered Gunslinger on his last legs vs the young, brash, athletic MVP favorite? I doubt anyone could've weaved a more Hollywood-ish narrative between the Super Bowl quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Cam Newton.  But the key matchup is between the Broncos' defensive line and the Panthers' offensive line. The Broncos have the best pass rush in the league, spearheaded by twin unholy terrors in Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, and enough depth (Shaq Barrett, Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson, Vance Walker) to keep the defensive line fresh and violent for 60 minutes. However they'll be facing a very stout offensive line: the Panthers tackles Remmer & Oher haven't given up a sack the entire playoffs and the guards Turner & Norwell are both above average. Even if they can't contain the Broncos' relentless pass rush, QB Newton is powerful enough to shrug off would-be sack artists and make the throw or scramble for the first down. While the Broncos' excellent secondary won't have much trouble with the mediocre Panthers' receivers, Newton will buy time & make just enough plays.  Second key matchup: the Panthers' defense vs the Broncos' pedestrian offense. The Panthers are almost as good on defense as the Broncos, and they'll be led by tackling demon LB Keuchly & Thomas Davis, a great instinctive middle backer who reads QB, jumps on weak passes, and covers sneaky slot receivers with relish. The Broncos' offensive line is solid, but they will not be able to control the line of scrimmage to generate a running game. Although the Broncos' receivers are clearly superior to the Panthers' corps, the stubborn Panthers' defense will pressure Manning long enough to force him to second guess himself.  It will be close, and the Broncos might have a lead in the fourth quarter, just because Manning is a first-ballot Hall of Fame legend. But MVP Newton will make enough clutch plays and seal the game for the Panthers' first championship in franchise history. Carolina, 20-17 
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  21. The Heretic added a post in a topic Movies i've seen...   

    I expected nothing less. However. William Gibson was so impressed with Chappie and has been trying to promote it on Twitter like a shameless PR firm:
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  22. The Heretic added a post in a topic Movies i've seen...   

    Admittedly, numbers for film is a lazy way of doing reviews, but they denote my overall impressions. To be fair to these films, I should put some more effort in reviewing them - at least the good ones like Interstellar and Birdman. 
    American Sniper was pretty underwhelming, and proof that the insular nature of Hollywood has gotten worse over the years.  
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  23. The Heretic added a post in a topic Movies i've seen...   

    Perhaps this thread should be revived. Here are the films I've seen over the last 12 months:

    Birdman 9.5
    Kingsman 8.0
    Ex-Machina 9.0
    Chappie 7.0
    Avengers Age of Ultron 8.0
    Mad Max Fury Road 9.0
    Ant Man 7.5
    Jurrasic World 8.0
    Inside Out 8.5
    Mission Impossible Rogue Nation 8.5
    The Martian 9.0
    Tomorrowland 6.5
    Terminator Genysis 6.5
    American Sniper 6.0
    Man from UNCLE 6.5
    American Ultra 6.0
    Focus 7.0
    Maleficent 6.0
    Exodus Gods and Kings 6.0
    Star Wars TFA: 7.5
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  24. The Heretic added a post in a topic 2016 NFL Super Bowl thread   

    I suspect the Broncos' defense will hold the Panthers' offense to around 20 points. The question is whether the Broncos' offense is capable of scoring 20 or more.  
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  25. The Heretic added a post in a topic Movie: The Martian, co-worker impressions.   

    Indeed. The Martian, while an excellent film that doesn't cheat plot points with magic, is true science fiction for this reason alone: 
    Every person making important decisions about the mission is scientifically literate. This was one of the main tropes of the classic, Hugo Gernsback-styled space age scifi from the 50s. 
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