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★★$50 SCRATCH OFF TICKET BOOK!★★ 20X $50 Casino Action Texas Lottery Scr... submitted by TexanCandy to Lottery [link] [comments]

Robinhood can be a gambling platform, but it's not and removing it or regulating it will exacerbate the divide between the wealthy and the rest of the U.S.

Hi everyone,
Lately I've been reading and watching on the news about Robinhood and I just wanted to give my two cents as somebody who actually researches Gambling disorder in the United States. My goal in this post is to hopefully encourage people on WSB to become politically active in preventing the regulations or removal of certain aspects that Robinhood allows on its investing platform. First, let me define some terms from the Gambling disorder field:
In this post I will address a few arguments at Robinhood. The first is regarding the "gambling" nature of investment that Robinhood purportedly encourages. The second is that the average investor needs to be "protected" because they lack the information and knowledge to participate on the app.
When I first downloaded Robinhood, I was skeptical at first and proceeded to uninstall and reinstall it multiple times before I deposited $350 to invest in stock. The app provided me a "scratch-off" with my first deposit that rewarded me with my first stock (some medical company). That was the only time that event occurred. If we look at my prior definition of gambling, technically that is not a form of gambling. I placed nothing of value on this random outcome. If the actual act of investing in stock is gambling this leads to an interesting analogy regarding trading platforms, not just Robinhood.
Stocks are the game (roulette, blackjack, craps), Robinhood and trading platforms are the dealers (giving information on the rules of the game and how much it costs to place a bet), and the liberal market is the casino.
In this analogy everybody is in the Casino, and if you don't play the game you stand to lose regardless as your money loses value to inflation. Even worse, if the casino folds the people that didn't cash out or were fully invested in the casino never collapsing (The Great Depression, the recession of 2008 the coronavirus recession) can stand to lose everything even if they didn't participate (regular person that was laid off) or were placing safe bets (ETF's Blue chip stocks etc).
The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, William Galvin, is addressing the wrong issue by suing Robinhood. What should be addressed is the reasons that people even participate in Robinhood or in any trading platform. The average individual doesn't understand the market and the United States does not address this ignorance by providing information on how to properly invest for retirement or provide a welfare structure that protects against poverty as individuals become unable to participate fully in the economy due to injury, developmental disability, age, discrimination or lack of access to the "free" market. To claim that people on Robinhood "gamble" for excitement or risk is reductive. People invest their money on Robinhood for the potential accumulate life changing "tendies" that will protect them from the eventuality that they will be unable to participate in the economy and the government will not insulate them from the fiscal impact an individual will (not if) have to deal with in regards rising medical cost for their healthcare and any other services they would require in order to lead a normal life. If William Galvin is actually concerned about the "gamefying" of investment, he should focus on regulating Wall Street and the Banking sector, because last time I checked investors on Robinhood invest with their own money, not the money of other people.
The argument that the average investor isn't informed also leads to more issues that I guarantee the government doesn't want to address or even ask because it would require an expansion of the welfare state and higher taxes on companies and individuals. If the average American is too dumb to invest using Robinhood that what is the solution? The U.S. government has always fought any sort of government guaranteed income or services to insulate an individual against against insolvency from the free market as can be seen by the desire to privatize almost all forms of government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps and Medicaid. This has already occurred with certain programs at the federal level such as HUD which doesn't do anything to help people get affordable housing and the drastic reduction in funding for colleges and universities especially after boomers were done getting their degrees for essentially free.
So lets examine what the average person has to understand in the American economy,
So the average American is suppose to navigate all of the aforementioned areas with little to no government assistance. But Robinhood should be regulated, makes sense. Let's not even talk about that most Americans read at about an 8th grade level and have a tough time understanding that a quarter pounder is less than a one third hamburger...
"Why the third pound hamburger failed: One of the most vivid arithmetic failings displayed by Americans occurred in the early 1980s, when the A&W restaurant chain released a new hamburger to rival the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. With a third-pound of beef, the A&W burger had more meat than the Quarter Pounder; in taste tests, customers preferred A&W’s burger. And it was less expensive. A lavish A&W television and radio marketing campaign cited these benefits. Yet instead of leaping at the great value, customers snubbed it. Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s. The “4” in “¼,” larger than the “3” in “⅓,” led them astray. --Elizabeth Green, NYT Magazine, on losing money by overestimating the American Public Intelligence."
The REAL QUESTION is what responsibility does the government have to insulate the average American from an economy that by its very nature is predatory, especially when the argument set forth by William Galvinson is that the public doesn't understand how to invest on Robinhood. Especially since the government has told the public from day one to take care of themselves as they get older through investing instead of expecting the government to provide assistance. By removing or regulating Robinhood, the fungibility of the average American's dollar will drop in value because they are prevented from another avenue of wealth accumulation, which research shows (at least for those in poverty) they turn to gambling as a means of wealth accumulation because even though the return on a gamble is less it is technically even since their dollar is also worth less.
I think I may have gone on a rant, sorry.
TL; DR,
Please buy me some tendies William Galvin, because I like to be wined and dined before I GET FUCKED!
Robinhood isn't gambling. Robinhood just provides a service to investing on Wall Street, the actual gambling is our devotion to supply side economics which is the original, STONKS ONLY GO UP 🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀
Also, if we are going to start regulating Robinhood because of the actions of a minority (WSB) then we should start regulating other industries that are WAY more predatory and impact a larger amount of the U.S. such as, payday loans, guns, pharma industry, surprise medical bills from emergency rooms, childcare, prison industry, bail industry etc. I bet you the cost to the U.S. economy from those industries is way more than anything Robinhood has done.
Positions: SAVE at 18.45 67 shares; and TQQQ 5 shares at 174.71
submitted by TankMainOW77 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

+3000% in 2020... My Journey to the Golden 7 Figure Mark

+3000% in 2020... My Journey to the Golden 7 Figure Mark
Hey Folks,
My first ever Reddit post and I guess I chose to make an essay of it. This post is about how 2020 has been a stellar year for me in the stock market. For context, I'm 32 and have a been trading for about 7 years. I started in 2013 with stocks and then in 2016, I switched to options trading which had disastrous consequences at first, but is also the reason I eventually managed to hit the million dollar mark. Disclosure: I have a pretty stable career completely unrelated to the finance world so a lot of this is mostly self taught, which I am sure is also the case with most readers :)
I will preface this post by saying that I am aware that there have been a bunch of success stories in the market in 2020 and by no means do I intend for my excitement and elation in sharing my story to come of as chutzpah. 2020 has been a crazy year considering the adjustments we have had to make to our lives because of Covid. The "benefit" of this has been the ability to wfh and this lifestyle change has spawned a whole new population of day traders. As an inhabitant of an area that follows Pacific Time, the 2.5 or so hours before work officially begins has been an absolute blessing for me. This additional time coupled with super favorable market conditions, gumption/balls of steel and a good technical understanding or experience of the stock market are the factors that probably led to my success. I will also say you need A LOT OF LUCK in this process. Sometimes things just work out for you in life and you ABSOLUTELY need that to even come close to achieving something like this.
Point to note: This post is going to ignore the injection and removal of some of my own funds along the way. You can assume the highest "baseline" amount I ever had in the account was around 140k. I mention starting at 11k but please note in no way is this post saying I went from 11k to >1 million.
Here's this year's action and the next few images summarize/document my crazy journey to get to this point.
BOOM portfolio as of 10/1/2020. 3000%. You can do it too!
I started trading 7 years ago. Mostly stocks. It was all good but humans have a propensity for risky behavior and I am human after all. This tendency meant that I couldn't just let my money sit in an account and grow gradually. I will admit I have a gamblerisk taker mentality and you must realize how critical this characteristic is to achieving success like this. Anyway, started dabbling in options in 2016 and I probably went about it the wrong way. My first foray into the options space was via long calls (which I realized later is actually only recommended for Options "Veterans" and not for those starting out as novice traders). Got burned A LOT along the way . I start with 11k in 2015ish and built that to about 39k by May 2017 and then literally lost more than 50% by 2019. Yuck! I know. Trust me there were days I would hate myself for being so incompetent or just displaying terrible money management. For this post, let's assume you only start seeing the action from Jan 8 2016 (image below)

The starting value here is reflected as ~100k
It's not so obvious anymore because the scale has been affected massively by the spike this year. But for clarity, my lowest point was Sep 2019 (See image below). I was heavily leveraged and this was where I was basically ready to give up. Thank god I didn't. So what changed? Read on!

https://preview.redd.it/l5ugxjuhuiq51.png?width=566&format=png&auto=webp&s=032d472e0e912f43b35547214eacdae371870311
So in retrospect, I think we were in a very bearish environment between 2018 and 2019. People don't reference it as a bear market because lots of stocks did climb in that period (and it technically wasn't a bear market) but the tariffs on the Far East really messed with a lot of trading strategies and just market movement in general. My favorite stock in the early part of wealth building was AMD! I used that to build my portfolio and get out of the rut, post 2019. I basically took all my 80-90k (46k + 100% margin) and bought long AMD calls with strikes very close to the market price it was trading at in June-Sep 2018 and expirations 4-6 months out and just waited. POTUS did us all a great favor by ending the damn tariffs and that's when this party started.
By March 2020, right before Covid, I hit 292k or so and was loving life and every minute of what I had pulled off. I will admit somewhere along the way between Oct 2019 and March 2020, I had traded NVDA and a few other large cap growth stocks given I now had all this additional purchasing power. BUT Guess what? My dumbass didn't take any profit! Or if I did, I reinvested it into the market. Remember what Mathew Mcconaughey's character says in WoWS? " They're all f**ing addicted. As brokers, we take their money out from 1 stock and dump it in another and just keep making money. Who cares about the investor!" .... So anyway, Covid strikes and BAM! my portfolio fell back to around 105k. I was pissed (I am sure many of you suffered the same fate). Thankfully, we have had a V shaped recovery (or K depending on what your political affiliation is) and I basically used the next 6 months from March till today to supercharge my portfolio to what you saw in the first image.
So here's what I learned along the way:
Disclaimer: None of what I mention in this post should be taken as financial advice. I accept no responsibility for how you do/do not use this information in your own trading strategies
  1. The power of compounding is a beautiful thing. People understand this but don't full appreciate what this can do for you. If you start at 10k, you should aim to get to 20k first before trying to fly to 100k. When you get to a 100k, make sure you don't lose a single cent and have to start again from scratch. 100k with 100k margin = 200k. That can get you an ROI a helluva lot larger than if you were to start with 10k again. Grow your money in steps but know that in the casino, to win more, you have to bet more, which in this case would be your new principal amount after you have made profit.
  2. Don't waste time trading rubbish. I see lots of new investors chasing the dollar stocks hoping they reach $10. Yes I did it with AMD but when I started trading AMD it had already gone from $3 to $16 in a year so the story was starting to build up! Penny stocks/pink sheet stocks are trash. Please don't waste your time on that. Large cap growth is the best way to make money. It's all about %. One option of TSLA or NFLX or AMZN purchased at the right time will make you a lot more than 1000 shares of a trash penny stock.
  3. Technical Indicators are your friends. Learn how to use them, particularly in a bull market. I personally love Bollinger bands and RSI. These coupled with understanding the trend in a market will give you a significantly higher chance at making money than just speculating. Also, use these to either take profits off the table or to let your winners ride. 95% of all price action takes place within the +/-2 sigma bollinger bands(hence the definition). Don't believe me? Plot the chart yourself. Use the daily indicator for short term trading. Use the 3min or 5min chart for intra day trading.
  4. If you are interesting in options trading, please go read or watch YouTube videos to understand how to get started. There is SO MUCH LITERATURE available for free. DONT PAY ANYONE to learn how to trade unless you want to contribute to the downpayment for their next Aston Martin :). Also, the Greeks didn't just give us great Mediterranean food, they are also the most important parameters in options trading. Delta and Theta should be with you at all times but dont' ignore gamma and vega. Alos understand how IV impacts your trading. The most successful/profitable strategy for me was (once I learned to do it correctly of course), buy call/put options with expiration>=2 months from the day you purchase them at a strike very close to the money. Don't worry about straddles and iron condors till you have mastered what the basics mean. Also, once you understand options and start buying them, know that writing Calls and Puts is a great way to collect premium as you grow your account. If you own shares, there's no reason you shouldn't be collecting extra income from writing calls against them. If a stock flies up too high, sell puts at 10% below the current price. In a bull market, you'll be hard pressed to find a growth stock that doesn't recover after tanking 10% in a 2 month time period.
  5. Margin is your friend. Think of margin as the mistress/boy toy. He/She can give you unreal levels of pleasure but if he/she rats you out/bails on you, RIP. Use it wisely. Finally, trust nothing but your own instinct - No one but you is responsible for how you grow your account. Don't blindly follow people unless you understand what they are proposing. Most of us learn this the hard way (including me).
  6. Take profit off the table but also let your winners run! Set yourself targets when you are in the very early stages of building your wealth. Remember the point I made about compounding? If you start at x, and make 20% on that, you are now at 1.2x. If you make 20% on that, you are now at 1.44x. I know you want to make 8x eventually but is it better to be realistic and try and grow 1.44x to 8x or go back down to 0.5x and then have to make your initial capital back and more? If your winners are up 20%, TAKE YOUR PROFIT. If you want to let it run, fine go ahead. But if you are now suddenly 50%, wtf are you waiting for? Are you going to stare at the screen hoping you suddenly see $1,000,000? That's not going to happen. Now, that said - in the current market climate which is a SEARINGLY HOT bull market, it is not unreasonable to see stocks climb 5-10% in a day. So? Take advantage of that of course but never ever let FOMO be the reason you lose out on profit.
  7. Much like point 6, realize that you need to cut your losses when things don't work out. Go check out the CANSLIM method for some guidance on what targets to set yourself. E.g. in your early stages set tell yourself that no matter what, you will take profit at 20% upside and cut losses at -10% downside. On paper, with this math you can never lose. Of course, executing this requires curbing 10 different stages of human emotion which is why most never make consistent profit in the stock market.
  8. Be greedy when others are fearful. I am at a stage now where I LOVE RED DAYS. Why? Because I know that in 24-48 hours the large cap growth stocks are going to recover and I will basically make close to 100% gains on my initial investment. Don't chase when others are chasing. Most of retail doesn't know wtf they are doing. Keep cash handy for days like this. Never be 100% invested with your entire portfolio and never be invested in a single stock unless you are very very sure based on technicals that you will see a rebound. And don't be scared to hit the buy button on a red day. Trust me, once you see it work you will instantly feel vindicated.
  9. Finally, and most IMPORTANTLY. The risk taking mentality/gambler mentality is CRITICAL to making money. You won't hear this much and it might even be a controversial statement to make but your end goal should be to place a bet on a trade which you know, based on experience, will have a favorable/profitable outcome in the near future. To execute this you need to have the guts and the belief in what you are doing but also very low aversion to risk. I will add again that YOU NEED A LOT OF LUCK and a brazen assurance in your own abilities. These will come with time and you will likely make lots of mistakes along the way. But, if you are patient enough, you will reach that level where you stop second guessing your decisions and that's the day you are on your way to your dream portfolio.

Okay, I could probably write much more and I might edit this again in future but I will stop here for now. I hope you were able to take something from this. I respect your opinions so feel free to disagree with anything, everything I have said. I am just sharing my story and always happy to hear yours too!
Good luck folks. I hope you all make boatloads of money and have very happy, enjoyable lives regardless of whether you are motivated by money or not!
-Phantas

EDIT:
Thanks for the comments everyone. I appreciate both the love and the hate. Many of you make excellent points and valid arguments both for and against what I have done.
I saw a few posts about how this might be fake. I understand that this is my first post and so it does create some doubt. Video proof below for those who had concerns on the legitimacy of the screenshots. I apologize in advance for the disparity in the numbers. Due to this morning's gains, the portfolio value in the video is significantly higher than when I made this post.

https://reddit.com/link/j3fx2video/dteq0s1njpq51/player


submitted by Different_Kick_3561 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

They really should remake The Running Man, and the time is now.

A new Running Man movie that takes its beats from the book will make a great new take on an old fav.
I've been meaning to tell a large group of people this since I first read the book The Running Man by Stephen King. Thanks for being a part of that group.
The book's story takes place in the dystopian not-too-distant future just like the movie does. The premise is basically the same; man 'runs for his life', or evades being actively hunted, in defiance of overwhelming odds in a game show designed to literally kill him. The odds are stacked against him. Not only does he plan on winning, but he plans on exposing the show itself to the world as the calloused machine it is, feeding off of a coctail of celebrity worship run amok and a gladiatorial thirst for carnage. This is about all the book and the movie have in common. The movie is not a very accurate adaptation.
The movie's protagonist Ben Richards (aka Arnold) was 'running' for his freedom from a war crime he did not commit. In the book, Richards was running for money for medicine for his dying daughter. The Running Man game show came to Arnold because he was a military bad ass who they could bribe with his freedom in exchange for ratings. The 'running men' so far weren't cutting it as it turns out, and viewers mean money. So they came to Arnold in an attempt at a 'Look, you scratch our backs, we scratch yours' type deal.
In the book though, Richards was an out of work laborer with a child dying from pneumonia. Every raspy breath filled Richards with hate toward the establishment, the system rigged from the start that kept his family in poverty and pollution and his daughter from the medicine she sorely needed just to die comfortably. In the book Ben Richards approached the show; he was a very desperate and shaken man at his wit's end, with no where left to go and nothing to lose.
But here's the big, big difference between the book and the movie that would be the angle for an amazing new movie or mini-series: Instead of The Running Man game show taking place in a huge death studio à la American Gladiators, like it did in the movie, The Running Man game show should take place across the entire continental US, just like it does in the book.
The book idea was simply this: It's 2025. In a twisted game show called "The Running Man", each contestant or Running Man had 30 days to evade both the "Hunters", a studio paid group of villianous clandestine operatives who's only job is to bracket and kill this week's Running Man, and to also evade literally everyone else watching the show. The Running Man game show paid viewers for verified sightings of an active Running Man. Every day that a Running Man could evade detection meant more money for him, and the final prize was one billion dollars. The real-life sighting of a Running Man when submitted to the studio would get you a cash prize! A sighting that led to the kill of a Running Man meant you got a much, much larger cash prize. Naturally everyone was looking for the contestant, and it was the highest rated television show ever. The standing record for a Running Man in the show's history was eight days.
Make a new Running Man but make it beat for beat to the tone of the book (novella? It felt way too short). The 80s movie worked well for the 80s maybe, but after reading the book years ago I was like, what a missed opportunity. The book had action, explosions, heart-wrenching family drama, class warfare, education surpression, more explosions, and lots of revenge. I'm underselling it really; after writing this little rant I've had a moment to reflect on how sickly real and current this science-fiction book feels. I can't imagine with as many eggs as studios have laid over the years that a proper book adaptation of The Running Man wouldn't do well. The 'viewer sightings' angle in the book was included before cell phones were even a thing; how amazing a detail would that be to include, it's so dystopian I can already see it...this week's episode of The Running Man opens with a 'faithful home viewer' livestreaming witnessing a Running Man after several days of running...The cheers and awards going out instantly to the viewer over their cell phone and simultaneously broadcast worldwide live, directly over video proof of the latest Running Man cornered in an alley, the last vestiges of a confident contestant who thought they'd be the one to beat the system only to be this week's gif, crawling away from a barage of bullets from the Hunters, his left arm and the side of his face blown clean off, but he's still firing a gun with his right. One of the Hunters collapses. The alleyway fills with people phones first, hoping to get a verified sighting so they can claim their cash prize. One of the bystanders catches a stray bullet clean through what he's recording on his phone and into his brain pitching him backward into the crowd, the other cell phones keep recording, the crowd closing in... the casino-style sound effects rise with the thumping of gunfire. The Running Man falls, a typically violent end which can be calculated to the second in prize money and TV ratings, and which will all be old news in a few days. We'llberightbackafterthis. Ben Richards turns the TV off, his daughter coughing her lungs out in the next room. He knows he has to do something, now. Richards is running out of time, running out of money, running out of patience. Ben Richards is running...
submitted by ceebeefour to movies [link] [comments]

I'm a returning player who had to create a new character, grind for a hiest, only to lose my progress because of the Xmas event. FML

I first started GTAOnline upon release back in the 360 days. I stopped playing when I was about 150 in rank, millions in the bank (mostly from early glitches).
I recently bought gtaV for PC and after replaying the story I decided to jump back into online. First thing that sucked is I no longer have my character, they stopped allowing character imports from old platforms back in 2017, which sucks for me. So I had to start from scratch.
After being bombarded with spam calls, I made the mistake of spending my 1.4M in starting cash on an arcade so I can do a hiest (diamond casino). I couldn't afford the sub for the island hiest. One thing that marketing never tells you, they imply the content is free but what they don't say is you really need to grind to get access to it or spend real money to get fake money to buy the property needed to unlock it.
Now I know I fucked up buying that arcade but let's talk about that for a minute. When I started playing, the Xmas event was going on (snow everywhere). The made the only affordable arcade so far away, most of my time was ate up by driving to or from the arcade to either start or finish a mission. Clearly rockstar did that shit on purpose.
I was in the middle of doing the hiest setup missions solo, then when I logged in yesterday, the snow was gone and my hiest progress was reset! I felt all that grind was just wasted and I haven't been back online since. I have 2,000 in my bank and any money I made is quickly gone just in property, mechanic, and other fees they throw in. This game truly embodies what it's like being poor. It feels like it will take me forever to buy the sub and do the island hiest, and knowing this game, you probably need to buy more things after that.
Anyone know why my hiest progress was lost? I'm assuming everything in progress got lost when they turned the snow off, I can't explain it otherwise.
I also was doing some hiest mission when a rank 666 decided do spawn kill me over and over in a jet I couldn't see while I was minding my own business. I'm guessing his goal was to get me to find another session, which worked. It ended up being good because I'm guessing I was with some hacker. I was running on a cliff and I fell, all of the sudden cash was dropping. I picked up a 100K from that, which is still nothing in this game when shit starts out at 2.2 million.
After my experiences coming back, I don't think I'll bother playing online anymore. The progression curve is way too high for a new player now. You can't buy anything and they designed this game to make you spend your money or waste all your time driving and grinding.
TLDR: I just wanted to play a hiest as I left GTAO before they came out but I found it impossible without spending lots of real money.
Edit:
What should be my course of action. I'm not even rank 10 yet. I think I could make a new character and (hopefully) still get 1.4M starting money? Then what should I do?
submitted by WHAT_RU_DOING_STEP to gtaonline [link] [comments]

The truth about the dbrand Grip...

The truth about the dbrand Grip...
Grips. Let's talk about 'em.
If you've spent any amount of time on this subreddit, you've likely seen at least one post about a Grip case that has fallen apart. Most of you have seen several. We know this because we've seen every single one. We’d like to see less of them. Ideally, none.
Over the past 18 months, we’ve been on an odyssey to fix the underlying problem. What follows is a chronicle of that journey.
Our objectives in writing this post are three-fold. There will be a tl;dr version at the end of this post, summarizing each of the three:
  1. Offer an in-depth technical explanation as to why Grip cases fall apart.
  2. Outline the improvements we've made to the Grip case to mitigate and eventually solve the issue.
  3. Provide some much-needed context as to how widespread the issue truly is, and what our next steps are for affected Grip SKUs.
Since you're still here, you must be in it for the long haul. Assuming an average reading speed of 250 words per minute, this is going to take you nearly 24 minutes to get through. We'll try to make it the most informative 24 minutes of your life. Let's get started.

PART ONE

Why Do Grips Fall Apart?
Most phone cases are made out of a single material. The material itself varies from case to case, though the most common is Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU). The Grip case, as a point of comparison, is made of two different materials: an elastomer and a polycarbonate.
The word elastomer is a combination of the words elastic and polymer. That's because it describes polymers that have elastic properties - like the one that forms the outer rim of your Grip case. The elastomer that we use is responsible for two critical properties of the Grip case: impact protection and grip.
If you fell off of a rooftop, would you rather land on a hard plastic surface, or a rubber surface? If you value your life at all, you'd choose the rubber - its elastic properties would absorb much more force from the impact. Guess what rubber is? First one to answer "an elastomer" wins a prize!
Next, imagine you’re a pervert, gently running your finger across every surface of a No. 2 Pencil. Which part of the pencil do you think would provide the most resistance to the tracing of your finger? If you guessed "the eraser," congratulations: you possess a basic understanding of coefficients of friction. Erasers are made of rubber. Rubber has a high coefficient of friction because of its elastic properties.
The Grip case's elastomer isn't rubber - it's our own specially-formulated compound. It's still a useful comparison, as all elastomers share similar properties - provided they have the same degree of Shore Hardness.
One person reading this is asking: “Shore Hardness?” The next section is their fault.

A Beginner's Guide to Material Science
The Shore Hardness scale gauges the hardness of various elastomers. It can be measured with a device called a durometer. You probably don't have one.
  • Low Shore Hardness = softer, more malleable, less dense, more rubber-like.
  • High Shore Hardness = harder, less malleable, more dense, more plastic-like.
If you fell out of a building and landed on a rubber surface with a high Shore Hardness, injury or death would be much more likely.
If you used an eraser with a high Shore Hardness, you'd find it wouldn't actually do much erasing.
Now, what if you made a phone case out of an elastomer with a high Shore Hardness? It wouldn't offer much grip or impact protection.
The Grip's outer rim is made from an elastomer with a low Shore Hardness. As a result, the material is grippy and impact-resistant, but much more malleable and thus more likely to deform. That's why we bond the elastomer to a polycarbonate skeleton.
Polycarbonates don't require as much explanation as elastomers: they're a category of plastic. On your Grip case, the back plate is made of polycarbonate. The elastomer rim is bonded to the polycarbonate plate on all sides of the Grip, providing structural rigidity to the elastomer, fighting to keep it from deforming. At least, that's the idea. As we've all seen, it hasn't worked out that way.
Bonding two distinct materials together is much more complicated than gluing them together. Instead, we rely on a thermal bonding process. Basically, that means we heat both of our polymers to a degree which would turn you from “rare” to “well done” in moments. This heat melts the polymers, which we then inject at a pressure which would turn you from “solid” to “paste” even faster.
Once injected, these two materials get fused together along the seams. To further reinforce the bonds, we use a series of interlocking "teeth" to provide a greater surface area on which the bonding process can occur. Consider these teeth the mechanical bond, which exists to strengthen the thermal bond.

Pictured: Bonding mechanic between the elastomer and polycarbonate.
With that out of the way: why do Grips fall apart?
The elastomer rim around the edge of the Grip case is naturally inclined to deform and stretch. The bonding mechanisms we described above are designed to keep that from happening, but it often isn’t strong enough. As soon as the bond fails at any point, it's only a matter of time until a total structural failure occurs.

PART TWO

How Are We Stopping Grips From Falling Apart?
Philosophically, there are two approaches to take:
  1. We can investigate why, exactly, the bond between the elastomer and the polycarbonate is failing.
  2. We can tweak and iterate the thermal and mechanical bond - strengthening it to the point where it's statistically improbable that your case will fall apart.
We tried the first approach - it's the road to madness. The number of variables is irrationally large. What's the temperature like where you live? The altitude? The humidity? Do you bring your phone into environments that deviate from the ambient temperature of your location? Does your school or workplace have extremely dry air? Do you bring your phone into a sauna? What sort of soap do you wash your hands with? Do you have oily hands? What sort of food do you cook? Do you smoke? How hard do you press on the buttons? What's your angle of approach when you actuate a button? How big are your hands? How often do you take your phone out of the case? Do you remove it from the top, the bottom, the sides?
We could follow all of these roads, find out exactly which factors are causing the bond to fail, then implement preventative measures to keep it from happening - but that would take a decade. We don't have that long. Much like you, we want this fixed yesterday.
So, from the moment we received our first complaint about a Grip deforming around the buttons, we've been making structural, thermal, and mechanical improvements to the design and production process of the Grip case - some visible, some not. Every new phone release has brought a new iteration on the core Grip design, with each one reducing the failure rate, incrementally. We'll bring the receipts in the next chapter. For now, let's highlight the most noteworthy improvements.

The Most Noteworthy Improvements
The first signs of trouble were the buttons. Months before we'd received our first report of a Grip case de-bonding, we saw the first examples of buttons that had bent out of shape.

Pictured: Button deformation.
Why the buttons? Because you press down on them. The force from button actuation puts strain on the elastomer, causing displacement of the material in the surrounding area. Through a combination of time, repeated button actuations and the above-mentioned force, the case would permanently deform around the buttons. This concept is called the "compression set" of the elastomer - Google it.
The solution to this problem was two-fold:
  1. First, we increased the compression set of the elastomer. Essentially, we made it as dense as we could, without compromising on the elastic properties of the material.
  2. Second, we added relief slits surrounding the buttons - they're plainly visible on any newer Grip case model. These relief slits are an escape route for the force generated by button actuation. They also had the positive effect of making button actuation significantly more satisfying (read: clicky).

Pictured: Relief slits to improve button tactility and durability.
Another early issue, pre-dating the first reports of total de-bonding, was a deformation of the elastomer along the bottom of the case - where the charging port and speakers are.
Since we've covered the basics on how the interlock between the elastomer and the polycarbonate creates a bond, this is how the interlocking teeth along the top edge of the polycarbonate skeleton of the Grip used to look.

Pictured: First-gen interlocking teeth on the top of the Grip.
...and here's the bottom of that very same Grip case.

Pictured: First-gen interlocking teeth on the bottom of the Grip.
Notice anything? Around the charging port, there is absolutely nothing keeping the elastomer in place. No teeth, no structural reinforcements... it's no coincidence that an overwhelming majority of early Grip deformations happened along the bottom.
Since then, we’ve added a reinforced polycarbonate structure around the bottom of the Grip case. You'll see what that looks like in a bit.
So, why didn't the launch portfolio of Grip cases have mechanical interlocks or a polycarbonate support structure along the bottom?
The answer may or may not be complicated, depending on how much you know about plastic injection molding. We'll assume the worst and explain the concept of "undercut" to you with a ridiculous metaphor.

The Ridiculous Metaphor
Imagine you had a tube full of melted cheese. Next, imagine you emptied that entire tube into your mouth. Rather than swallowing the cheese, you decide to let it sit in your mouth and harden. Why are you doing this? We don't know. Let's just say you want a brick of cheese that's perfectly molded to the contours of your mouth - a very normal thing to want.
So, your mouth is completely filled with cheese. It hardens. You reach into your mouth to remove the brick of cheese. As you're removing it, you encounter a problem: your teeth are in the way. This wasn't a problem when you were putting the cheese into your mouth, but that was because the cheese was melted and could flow around your teeth. Now that the cheese has hardened, this is no longer the case.
In the world of plastic injection molding, this is an undercut. Our concern was that, by molding a structurally rigid piece of polycarbonate around the charging port and speaker holes, we'd find ourselves unable to remove the Grip Case from the mold once hardened. Imagine spending $30,000 on industrial tooling only to get a $30 phone case stuck inside of it.
Once we saw Grip cases deforming along the bottom cutouts, we knew we'd need to find a way to remove the cheese from your mouth without breaking your teeth. To make a long story short: we did it. The cheese is out of your mouth, and you get to keep your teeth. Congratulations! Now, keep reading.
On newer models of the Grip case, the result is a polycarbonate bridge extending around the bottom cutouts, adding both structural reinforcement and interlock mechanisms to promote mechanical bond, much like the ones which line the perimeter of the rest of the Grip case.

Pictured: Newest-gen structural reinforcement on the bottom of the Grip.
On the subject of structural reinforcements, this design revision was around the time we flanked the buttons with some fins, working in tandem with the heightened compression set and button relief slits, detailed above, to further guarantee that button actuation would have no impact on the overall durability of the Grip case.

Pictured: Lack of button fins on the first-gen Grip.

Pictured: Button fins on the newest-gen Grip.
As an aside: Unrelated to the de-bonding issues, we've also made a number of smaller improvements to the Grip case with each new iteration. For instance, we chamfered the front lip of the case to make edge-swiping more pleasant and reduce dust accumulation along the rim. Those raised parallelogram shapes along the sides of your Grip case that create its distinctive handfeel? We made those way bigger for a better in-hand experience. In short: product development is a complex and multifaceted process. Each new iteration of the Grip case is better than the one that came before, and that applies to more than just failure rates.
Speaking of failure rates: all of these improvements were in place by the time we launched iPhone 11-series Grip cases. The failure rate for these cases decreased exponentially... but didn't disappear entirely.

The Even More Ridiculous Metaphor
With these improvements, we achieved our desired outcome: the case was no longer deforming around the buttons or the charging port. Instead, the structure of the case began to fail literally anywhere else around the perimeter of the phone.
Think of it this way… you’re a roof carpenter. The greatest roof carpenter of all time. Like the son of God, but if he was a carpenter. Unfortunately, you’ve been paired with the Donald Trump of wall-builders.
You're tasked with building a house. You spend all of your time and energy perfecting your roofcraft. You've designed a roof that's so durable, it may as well have been made of Nokia 3310s. Nothing's getting through that bad boy.
The wall guy? Instead of building that wall he said Mexico would pay for, he's been tweeting about the miraculous medicinal properties of bleach while a plague kills hundreds of thousands of Americans.
The point here is that you can build the greatest roof of all time, but the walls need to be strong enough to match.
To strengthen the Grip case's metaphorical walls, we needed to re-design the inside of the Grip case from scratch. More specifically, the mechanical interlock between the springy elastomer and rigid polycarbonate skeleton. We took every tooth at the bonding point between the two materials and made them as large as we possibly could. Then, we added more teeth.

Pictured: Polycarbonate teeth on the newest-gen Grip.
To jog your memory: this is how the teeth used to look...

Pictured: Polycarbonate teeth on the first-gen Grip.
If time proves that these changes aren’t enough, our engineers still have a number of ideas on how to improve the bond between the elastomer and polycarbonate. Will we ever need to implement those ideas? Again - that’s a question only time can answer. Each change might be the silver bullet that puts this problem to bed for good... but there's only one way to find out: it involves real-world testing and, with each iteration, months of careful observation.

PART THREE

So, Where Are We Now?
Have the improvements we've made to the Grip case been successful? You bet.
For the sake of comparison: we began shipping iPhone 11 series Grips on September 30th, 2019. Within six months of that date, we had received 52 reports of structural failures - a big improvement over the early days, but still not good enough.
Fast forward two months. We began shipping Note 10 Plus Grip cases on November 21st, 2019. In the first six months of availability, we received exactly eight reports of Note 10 Plus Grips falling apart. Again, a major improvement over the iPhone series in the same stretch of time. If we'd launched the first Grip cases with a failure rate that low, we wouldn't be writing this post right now and you’d have nothing to read while pretending to do work.
How about the Galaxy S20 series, which began shipping on February 10th, 2020? They're the most recent and improved set of SKUs we’ve made to date, leveraging everything we've learned and making further improvements over the Note 10 Plus. No reports so far. Same goes for the iPhone SE and OnePlus 8 series - these SKUs share all the improvements we've made to the underlying design of the Grip case thus far.
Does that mean these numbers will hold forever? Who knows. That's the thing: every improvement we make, we need to wait several months to see how effective it's been. No amount of internal testing can replace the real-world data of shipping cases to hundreds of thousands of users across nearly 200 countries.
We could always just throw in the towel, make the entire case out of rigid plastic, and call it a solved issue... but that would be the easy way out. The Grip case and its unique design properties can't reach their full potential unless we make incremental improvements - then wait and see how they pan out in the real world.
All of which is to say: it's far too early to say the newest set of improvements have officially solved the problem. While the failure rate is still zero, we need to keep watching. We've made a ton of progress, but we're not going to rest until we've killed this issue for good - without sacrificing the unique properties that make the Grip case stand out in a sea of derivative hard plastic and TPU phone cases.
That's probably enough to inspire confidence in someone who's on the fence about buying an S20 Ultra Grip, an iPhone SE Grip, or any Grip we release in the future. But what if you're one of the people who bought an older Grip model?

"I'm One Of The People Who Bought An Older Grip Model!"
We won't sugarcoat it. The failure rates for older Grip models is way higher than we deem acceptable. Why has it taken us this long to publicly address the issue, then?
Easy: it's not as widespread as you might think. Some humans reading this might be looking at their iPhone X Grip, purchased in 2019 and still intact, wondering what all the fuss is about. That's an important consideration: most people who have functioning, still-bonded Grip cases aren't posting on /dbrand about how unbroken it is. The people who've had issues around total product failure are in the minority.
We're not using the word "minority" as a get-out-of-jail-free card here. It's still a way larger number than we'd ever be comfortable with. We simply don't want our transparency and candor in writing this to be misinterpreted as an admission that every single Grip case we've made for older devices is going to fall apart. Statistically speaking, this is an issue for a minority of Grip owners.
Our philosophy at first was that, while it was unfortunate and frustrating that Grip cases were falling apart, dramatic PR action wasn't necessary. Instead, we resolved to:
  1. Quietly and diligently work in the background to improve the underlying design of the Grip case.
  2. Ship free replacements to anyone whose Grip case had failed.
To date, we've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on shipping fees alone for replacement Grips. As you can imagine, that number gets a lot higher once you add in the cost of actually making the thing. We've been fine with writing these costs off as sort of an R&D expense, since every example of a deformed or de-bonded Grip provides invaluable data on how to improve the product.
Where our strategy backfired was in the narrative that began to take root as Grip cases continued to fall apart. Look at it this way: the failure rate of older Grip case SKUs is anywhere between 1% and 20%, depending on how early we released the SKU. Since the improvements we've already made to the underlying design were rolled out incrementally with each new phone release, that number has been on a steady downward trend.
For the purpose of this thought experiment, we'll go with the earliest, shittiest Grip cases - putting us at a long-term failure rate of 20%.
So, 20% of customers for this device have a Grip case fall apart at some point in the product's lifespan. Every single one of those people writes in to our Customer Experience team about the issue. They all receive a replacement, free of charge.
Since this replacement is identical to the first Grip case they'd received, it also has a 20% failure rate. We're now dealing with percentages of percentages. Stop panicking, we'll do the math for you: that means 4% of these hypothetical Grip owners will have a second Grip case fail on them in the long run.
Four percent is a lot better than twenty… but it's also a lot of people who've been burned twice. These people are going to be extra vocal about how shitty the Grip case is. To be fair, they've got every right.
So, we've got four groups of customers for this SKU:
  • Group A: Has had two or more Grip cases fail (4%).
  • Group B: Has had exactly one Grip case fail (16%).
  • Group C: Bought a Grip which has not failed (80%).
  • Group D: Has not purchased a Grip case (NA%).
Group A is livid about the repeated issues they've had - rightfully so.
Group B, having been burned before, reads about Group A's experience. They take it to mean their replacement will inevitably fail on them as well, and they'll one day get the dubious honor of joining Group A.
Group C, despite not having had any issues yet, reads the experiences of Groups A and B. Then, a significant portion of this group begins to operate under the assumption that it's only a matter of time before their Grip falls apart as well.
Group D reads all of the above and decides they don't have enough confidence in the Grip case to ever purchase one.
A narrative begins to form that this hypothetical failure rate is close to 100%. Worse yet: people with newer phones, unaware that each new iteration of the Grip case has a dramatically reduced failure rate over the last, start to assume their case also has a 100% failure rate. That's where our original strategy - the one where we quietly improved the product in the background while offering replacements for defective units - backfired on us.
This narrative only exists because we've continued to leverage existing stock with too high a failure rate, which, in hindsight, was like pouring gasoline on a gender reveal forest fire of disappointment and regret. This brings us to our next chapter.

Mass Destruction
At this point, you're probably aware that a number of Grip SKUs for older phones have been listed as "Sold Out" on our website, and haven't been restocked since.
We stopped production on these cases because we knew they'd have all the same issues as the original production runs. See, it's not as simple as pushing a "make the Grip not fall apart" button at the factory - we'd need to redesign the case from scratch, implementing all of the design improvements we've made up to this point, then re-tool our existing machinery to produce this new version. We'll have more to say about re-tooling a bit later - for now, focus on the fact that some Grips have been listed as "Sold Out".
If someone's Grip case falls apart while listed as "Sold Out", we don't have any replacements to send them. Instead, dbrand's Customer Experience team has been issuing refunds wherever possible, and store credit otherwise. Just in case you're wondering what we mean by "where possible": PayPal doesn't allow refunds on transactions that are more than six months old. Store credit, on the other hand, can be offered indefinitely.
What we've come to realize is that we're never going to be able to escape this downward spiral until we rip the band-aid off and stop stocking these old, flawed SKUs.
Today, we're ripping the bandaid off. As you're reading this, we're disposing of all of our old stock. All of the flawed Grip SKUs are now listed as "Sold Out".
Head over to our Grip listing and take a look at what's available. Everything that you can currently buy is up to spec with the improvements we've made over the past year - meeting or exceeding the standard of quality set by the Galaxy S20 series, the iPhone SE, and the OnePlus 8 series. In some cases - take, for instance, the iPhone 11 series - this means we've already re-tooled our production lines to meet that quality benchmark.
If a Grip case is listed on "Backorder", it means we've begun the process of re-tooling the SKU to match the improved quality standard you've spent the last five hours reading about.
However, if a Grip case is now listed as "Sold Out", that means no more reshipments.
If you own a sold out Grip case that hasn't fallen apart yet: that's great! Don't assume that your Grip is doomed to fail just because we devoted 5661 words to explaining why it might fall apart. You've still got better odds than you would at a casino.
As always, if you run into any issues with your case, sold out or not, shoot an email to one of our Robots. They'll still take care of you - it just won't be with a replacement case… for now.

Mass Production
Remember when we said we'd talk more about re-tooling a bit later? That's right now.
So, why are so many Grip models not being fixed? Why haven't we re-tooled these old SKUs with all of the quality improvements made to the case's build quality? It's a little complicated.
Taking the improvements we've made to the most recent suite of Grip models and retroactively applying those changes to older SKUs isn't a simple task - it would require us to throw out our existing production tools and create new ones, from scratch. Suffice it to say that doing so is a wildly expensive endeavor.
To recoup that cost, we'd need to produce more Grips than we're likely to ever sell for aging, irrelevant hardware. Let's use the Pixel 3 as an example.
If we replaced every single de-bonded Pixel 3 Grip, that would account for about 3% of the MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) on a re-tooled Pixel 3 Grip case. Now we're sitting on 97% of that MOQ as overstock. Pixel 3 owners have had their phone for nearly two years now. If they want a phone case, they already have one. They're not looking for new Pixel 3 cases, they're getting ready to buy a new phone. Simply put, it’s no longer a viable market.
Now, say the Pixel 3 was a significantly more popular phone - enough that we'd be shipping out, say, 50% of the MOQ as replacements on day one. Now, that's a lot more tempting to us - we'd still lose boatloads of money, but at least it would go towards some consumer goodwill.
To figure out how much money we'd lose on re-tooling, we gave our bean-counting Robots a giant jar of beans and told them to get to work. They emerged three days later. When asked how many beans were in the jar, they gave us a blank stare. When asked if it was possible to re-tool any of our production lines for old Grip SKUs without losing obscene amounts of money, they said:
"Absolutely not."
Still, we're no strangers to throwing away obscene amounts of money to make the internet happy. Remember Amazon gift cards? Those were the days. The only question that remains is "How much money are we willing to set on fire?"
We can't tell you yet. Why? Because we're currently running a detailed cost-benefit analysis on the subject of re-tooling old production lines, on a SKU-by-SKU basis. That's business talk for "the bean-counting Robots have been given more beans to count."
The objective is to determine the viability of producing new-and-improved Grip stock for older phones: how many units would be tied up in replacements for that model, how many we could reasonably expect to sell to new customers, and how much overstock would be left from the MOQ.
From there, we can determine what the financial impact of re-tooling would be and make the final decision on how much cash we're dumping into the ocean somewhere off the coast of the Seychelles. We'll have our results by early next week.
These re-tooled models, if produced, would feature every improvement we’ve made thus far to the Grip case line, plus a few that have yet to be released. Remember how the S20s, the iPhone SE and the OnePlus 8s haven't had any reported failures yet? Picture that, but for the phone you've got.
If we go ahead with re-tooling production lines for your phone, a few things will happen:
  1. The Grip case for your phone will go from "Sold Out" to "Backorder".
  2. Our Customer Experience Robots will shift their communication strategy from "we no longer support your phone," to "we'll get you a replacement once we've got improved units in stock."
None of these things will happen until we've run the simulations on which phones are getting restocked. Why are we posting this today, then? We could have waited a week and had concrete answers to offer about the future of our out-of-stock Grip cases. Well…

Take Our Survey
This is it: your chance to have some say in how much money we set on fire as a goodwill exercise for this whole R&D clusterfuck.
Those simulations we're running? They'll be great for telling us how much money we're going to lose on each Grip SKU, but it won't tell us anything about how much money our customers want us to lose on each Grip SKU.
To that end, we've prepared a survey for people who have purchased a Grip case. We'll be taking your feedback into consideration during our decision-making process.
We have only one request: don't be a jackass. Answer the questions honestly.
Click here to take the survey.

In Closing...
We're sharing a special moment right now. We're all seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
For us, that light is "we're almost done with a year-long R&D effort to stop the Grip case from falling apart."
For you, the light is "the end of a 5661-word marathon of a Reddit post."
We just want to take a minute to recognize that we couldn't have gotten this far without your collective support. At any point in the past year, we might have pulled the plug on the Grip project entirely if we'd reached a critical mass of negative sentiment from our customers. Instead, we've got an army of devotees who have no problem paying us for the privilege of being our guinea pigs.
Product development isn't a one-and-done process. It's easy to forget, but our skins weren't always to the world-class, record-setting, Michael-Jordan-in-his-prime standard you expect from us today. If you happen to have an iPhone 4 skin lying around, apply it and let us know how it goes. You'll immediately appreciate how many process improvements we've made. We weren’t born as the greatest skin manufacturer in history. We got there through a process of methodical improvement. Each jump in quality was driven by a bottomless well of user feedback, sourced from millions upon millions of customers. That, and the competition was comically inept.
It's the same story for the Grip case. Your continued support has enabled us to make huge strides in developing a product that's on the cusp of blowing everyone else out of the water. We're going to keep working until it gets there.

TL;DR VERSION

Please note that by reading this tl;dr, you’re missing out on several outlandish metaphors, including classics such as:
  • Plastic injection molding melted cheese into your face hole.
  • What if Jesus and Donald Trump built a house?
  • How to turn yourself from “rare to well done” and “solid to paste”.
  • Pencil Perverts.

WHY DOES THE GRIP FALL APART?
  • The Grip case is made from two materials: a polycarbonate skeleton and an elastomer frame.
  • The elastomer frame provides the majority of the case's impact protection and grip, but is prone to deformation.
  • We prevent deformation by bonding the material to a polycarbonate skeleton (i.e. the rigid back plate on the Grip case).
  • The bond between the two materials was not as strong as we'd originally anticipated, causing the elastomer to de-bond from the polycarbonate skeleton and the case to sometimes fall apart.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO FIX IT?
  • Through a series of design revisions, we've made countless improvements to promote a stronger bond between the two materials.
  • These changes have incrementally reduced the failure rate of Grip cases. Our most recent SKUs are yielding extremely promising results.
  • Each time we improve the Grip case, we need to play a months-long waiting game to observe the real-world effects.

HOW ABOUT THE GRIPS YOU'VE ALREADY SOLD?
  • Since we're using you as guinea pigs for the purposes of product development, we've been uncharacteristically generous with our warranty policy.
  • However, that warranty policy only lasts as long as we have stock. Once we're out of Grips, we're out of replacements.
  • We've finally reached the point where we need to rip off the bandaid and dispose of all of our Grip stock produced during 2019.
  • If your Grip for any of these older phones falls apart, you can no longer get a replacement.
  • You should still write in to our Customer Experience team if it happens to you - we'll work something out.
  • On the bright side, our Grip SKUs from 2020 onwards have dramatically reduced, if not outright eliminated, the failure rate of previous models. We have no reported cases to date.
  • It's not economically viable to re-tool production lines to apply our improved industrial designs to any of the Grip cases that are currently marked as "Sold Out".
  • We're probably going to do it anyways.
  • We're running the simulations right now to determine which older devices will be re-tooled.
  • Take our survey to help determine which devices we'll be re-tooling.
submitted by db_inc to dbrand [link] [comments]

Do you really like your beer, or are you just a victim of Capitalist Propaganda? How you can learn how the free market works while you guzzle some suds, and how beer can help you to understand the vast conspiracy that is slowly degrading America.

TL;DR - I use the craft beer industry as a way to understand Capitalist Propaganda, how Capitalism and Socialism are inextricably linked to each other, and how through the use of propaganda, companies use the "illusion of choice" to coerce you into believing that you prefer the products that are most favorable to them. In order to change this into the consumer's favor, you need to be an informed consumer in the free market, and raise class consciousness to overthrow the tyranny of Capitalist Propaganda, that is called "Marketing".
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You can't understand Capitalist Propaganda unless you have a solid understanding of what Capitalism is beyond the literal definition of the word, which is just an abstract ideal. Propaganda plays off of the discrepancies between the ideals of Capitalism, like the free market, which is another abstract ideal, and the reality of Capitalism in practice in America, which can be characterized as Trickle Down Economics. Capitalism sought to be a pragmatic alternative to its economic predecessors, a fact which drives Capitalist Propaganda. However, through layers of abstraction throughout the years, it has become more of a religion, as critics refer to the increasingly ideological concept as "Supply Side Jesus", meaning you give all the money to the rich, it'll trickle down to the poor, and they can "vote" on the actions of the capitalists through monetary interactions in the free market.
Capitalist Propaganda is engrained in America, because at the time of our founding, Adam Smith wrote "Wealth of Nations", which is considered the Bible of the Free Market. This groundbreaking work utilized Newton's Laws of Physics, which were en vogue at the time, to describe how interactions in the marketplace would balance each other out, just as the laws of Newtonian Physics do.
The very noble purpose of Wealth of Nations was not create the oligarchy we have today, but to do the opposite. He wanted to describe a system that would protect individual freedoms and be truly democratic. Just as Lenin and Stalin bastardized the works of Marx, so too have capitalists in America bastardized the intentions of Adam Smith.
Capitalism and Socialism are best learned side by side, in my opinion, to avoid falling into the trappings of either ideology that our brains like to do. Which one is better? It depends on the market, but the answer is almost always somewhere in between.
Through learning how Socialist concepts can be applied to problems in Capitalism, you can cut through the propaganda and will see for yourself that these problems can be solved if we just drop the labels and do what's best for society and the individual. The problem is always finding the proper balance.
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WHAT? CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM ARE JOINED AT THE HIP?
Yep. You can never live in a pure economic system. Purity is always an illusion. If you want something to be pure, you have to put a lot of energy into making it that way. Nature likes to mix stuff up. This is why ideologies around racial purity and fascism always fail. There are people who want a "pure" economic system, but they are usually the people at the top and would only get richer from more purity while the rest of society loses freedom and slowly starves.
In a nutshell, Capitalism promotes laws that benefit those with money, while Socialism promotes a safety net that benefits everyone. Every single human is born into Socialism. As a baby, you need food, someone else works for it and gives it to you, but then at some point, you are expected to exchange labor for capital, and buy your own food. See? The two are forever bound as the yin and yang. You can also grow your own food, but for that you need land, which is capital.
These interactions are very tricky. I only want to tell you enough so that you can start to see Capitalist Propaganda, because right now, you're like a fish in water that can't see water. I often use this line to describe a person who can't see their own homegrown propaganda. The best way I found to study Capitalism is by relating it Socialism, the "air" above the "water" of Capitalism, if that makes sense.
I always find it best to look at a microcosm to understand these concepts. And today, that microcosm is beer.
Mmmm....Beeeeeeeeeerrrrrrr.....
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CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE
Before I poison your mind with my own propaganda, picture you're on vacation and you walk into a bar and want to order a beer. If you really want to understand the power of propaganda in your own life, really think of this before we break this all down. Really think, what makes you decide which beer to order? Do you like to look at the labels on the tap or bottle? That's obvious propaganda. It has absolutely nothing to do with the taste or quality of the beer itself, but sways your opinion toward logos you've seen before, which is why you see so many beer advertisements, which means that money that could've gone into quality is instead going into propaganda, and you're already biased towards an inferior product. Interesting. You really can't help being swayed by marketing, but at least you can be conscious of that fact, and that's important in order to be an informed consumer.
Do you ask the bartender for a recommendation? Why would you do that? You don't know the bartender any better than the beers in front of you. How do you know they aren't paid more to offer you a beer that sucks and is 12 years old and the owner wants to get rid of it? Do you ask for a certain style of beer? Do you ask for a local beer? And once you finally narrow it down to a few choices, do you ask for samples so you can make up your own mind? You should always do this. Then we get into "flavor propaganda", which we'll discuss later. Jeez. Did you every realize there was so much complexity behind being an informed consumer and just ordering a simple beer? Maybe you'll give in and just tell the bartender to pour whatever. Choice is difficult sometimes.
If you really visualize this and take a minute to let this sink in, you'll start to understand how external forces hijack the processor in your mind to manufacture desire through the illusion of choice. However, your health and enjoyment of the beer is not the goal for these external forces, they only want you to purchase. The perfect example is fast food. They know their product sucks, but they know you'll keep buying it, but that doesn't keep them from lying about how delicious it is in their ads. There is far more at play behind the curtain. There is a science behind addicting you to things, this is reinforced by a corporate tax and subsidy system that contorts the free market pushing centralization of production through homogenization and use of chemicals to hide the homogenization, and simply because there is more than one option, they make you feel like you have choice. This, in a nutshell, is how the illusion of choice works in the free market. It's not about what YOU want. The producer manipulates you to think you want what they have. Through this, they deceive Americans into buying products with a list of ingredients that a person would never freely choose to consume. So if you want to order a beer with no shit in it, then you're shit out of luck in America. You could in Germany, but we'll discuss that later.
While you're standing at that bar, you aren't conscious of the fact that your interests are in direct opposition to those of the bar owner's. Capitalists hide this fact with their perfect smiles, but Marx described this in detail. You want the best beer for the cheapest price, and the bar owner wants to sell you the cheapest beer at the highest price you'll pay. It doesn't stop there. The bar owner flips roles in the same situation with the beer distributor, who does the same with maybe another level of distribution, and continues to the brewer, then goes to the brewer versus supplier, supplier to farmer, and even though you'd think it stops there, the farmer has to deal with suppliers of equipment and seeds, and on and on.
Add to this list their auxiliary staff of HR, drivers, managers, brewers, bottle/keg makers, and of course owners, none of them care whether you actually like the beer you're drinking as long as you keep buying more. That's the big driver here.
Did you ever realize that every time you buy a beer, your own capital is partially responsible for creating and sustaining all of these jobs involved? You, my dear beer drinker, are the true job creator. Budweiser can brew all they want, it means nothing without buyers, who are the true engines of capitalism. Instead, you're treated as a rube by suits in a boardroom somewhere.
Capitalist Propaganda tells us the billionaires are job creators, but this is a lie. Jeff Bezos can't drink enough beer to sustain all these jobs. So why do we let him hoard all the money? Wouldn't the economy do better if we spread out Jeff's money so more people could buy more beers and more jobs would be created? According to Socialist Economics, yes. That's actually, quite simply, a Socialist Free Market. Did you even know that existed? The power hungry greedy people who are too lazy for manual labor go to such great lengths to make sure you don't learn it. They want you to think that only Capitalism allows you choice in the market. I'm sure you can guess why they say that.
Capitalism maintains itself by exulting the wealthy who use their economic power to punch down. The only way this system won't fall into fascism and fail is if the consumers start to punch back. Where Marx envisioned the Dictatorship of the Proletariat as they usurped power from the Bourgeoisie, a modern alternative is just teaching people to understand the system we live in, so that we can just start making changes in the way we live and to whom we give our money.
See that? Capitalism and Socialism can get along nicely, so long as the consumers are informed.
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CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE ALIENATION OF LABOR CAUSING LONELINESS IN SOCIETY
What I described within the previous section is what Marx called "Alienation of Labor". Each step in the process of making your beer is isolated from the others, so no one feels ownership over the end product or a true connection to the consumer, or job creator. Even the bartender selling it is alienated from the profit of their labor in serving the beer, so they only focus on the service aspect of giving you the beer, because that is where they earn their tip. They can't really fix anything about a shitty beer other than to offer you a different brand. The capitalist owner is usually not there. Their only interaction is setting the rules for everyone in the bar to follow, and pay themselves more than everyone who has to follow those rules. This is part of the conflict between the classes. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I'm just pointing it out. The bar owner themself has to spend money on propaganda to attract customers that could be spent in other places, so has to find ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, they buy cheaper beer...and this is why you end up with IPAs. No one is connected to the products, so they only look at prices and find the cheapest, passable product. This is the race to the bottom of Capitalism.
Compare this to when brewpubs were a new thing. The brewer would come out and talk to you about the beer, you would give feedback that could effect future batches and it connected everyone to each other through commerce. It makes business "social" and I think nearly everyone enjoys that, but it is losing out in competition with chain breweries that enforce isolation and make cookie cutter propaganda and cookie cutter business models so they can turn owners into managers and suck all the profit back their corporate headquarters and offshore accounts. They kill the experience and make everything transactional. And all the kitsch they hang around their cookie cutter chain bar is just to hide the fact that no one in that place cares about anything other than not getting fired. Everyone is effectually alienated from everyone else. It's worth a read to check out this page on Marx's Theory of Alienation.
This alienation is the root of a lot of misery in society. Humans are communal animals forced to live in a society of individuality and alienation. As they mope around, they seek an escape. And that is why advertising is so nefarious. It seeks to manipulate you in that state. Imagine driving home from your alienating job to you empty home, but looking up and see a billboard with bunch of actors laughing and drinking beer. They take pictures that make these actors look like friends. It's just for show. They aren't selling beer to those laughing people in the picture. They're tempting lonely people to drown their sorrows. Capitalist Propaganda is used so your brain doesn't understand what it wants. It wants friends, then sees the words Bud Light. So when the bartenders asks...Make it a Bud Light. Look at how much money they spend to manipulate and capitalize on people's suffering.
Propaganda in Communist countries is controlled by the government, so it's clear who the enemy of your freedom is. Capitalist Propaganda hides behind the layers of complexity of the same economy you rely on to survive, so you never know what's propaganda or where it's coming from. Marketers find every way imaginable to get their disinformation in front of your eyes, even enlisting your friends on Facebook in annoying MLM schemes. Propaganda invaded everything that can be legally monetized. It's in the media, and not just commercials anymore. There's product placement, stories injected into the news, and even movies and social media created an entire industry of "lifestyle propaganda", telling you how to live your life and indulge in overconsumption. It's REALLY hard to get away from Capitalist Propaganda. There is so much money and research behind it and so much depth, even this long post is only barely scratching the surface. I just want to open your eyes to it.
I can't make you see all this. No one can. I can only describe it as best as I can. What you will experience when you understand this is what I call "Economic Enlightenment", similar to what Marx called "Class Consciousness". Once it happened to me, the world looked amazing, and the shitty propagandists selling us false hope all look like clowns in a very odd circus of vanity, despair and mediocrity.
Once I understood this, I saw clearly how we are increasingly trapped in a form of Corporate Slavery, led by seriously ridiculous oligarchs like Mark Zuckerberg, who thinks he's the reincarnation of Augustus Caesar or something. That's why he has that haircut! This is a guy who stole a company and hired "screen psychologists" from Las Vegas to get you hooked on Facebook the same as casinos do with slot machines. He wants to be the funnel for propaganda throughout the world. He wants to be the kingmaker, decide what people buy, who they like, what views they hold. He can only do this because so many companies spend so much money to put their propaganda on that platform. They can only have this much money because the free market is not actually free. It's bought and paid for on platforms like Facebook and Amazon. The money that was supposed to "trickle down" is instead being spent on Capitalist Propaganda on these platforms, to get the proletariate to trickle their money up through endless, nonsensical online purchasing and local businesses who send the town's money to people who can't do anything with it but buy up properties that increase your rent and cost of living.
When people get drunk on the power of propaganda, they forget the lessons of the past. Propagandists always fall prey to their own delusions over time. In reality, your life is better without Facebook. There isn't anything on there that is healthy. Even if you just want to talk to a few friends, you are going to fall for the propaganda there. You can't help it. And if your bar advertises on Facebook, just think, that money could've gone into purchasing higher quality beer then sold at the same price, instead of going to Mark Zuckerberg so he can drop $30 million to buy the houses around him so no one can spy on him while he spies on you. You really gotta watch out for a guy who combines spying and propaganda all into a single app and thinks he's going to bring 200 years of peace to America. History is littered with knuckleheads like that. It's best to get off Facebook and encourage everyone else to do the same. Zuck only wants to lead himself to the Promised Land, and he's using your ignorance to fuel his own delusions by deluding you into thinking you want what he has to offer.
Let's get back to beer.
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IPAs AND THE FREE MARKET VS THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM
I like beer. When I worked in Germany, it was easy to walk into a bar and, like Farva, just order a liter o' beer. Often, there would only be two choices, light color or dark. As a matter of fact, even at the most famous beer festival in the world, Oktoberfest, people mostly drink the same standard type of beer, and no one complains about the lack of choice. It's quite easy. You can order with one finger. No need to see a menu or ask what's in it. It's simply beer. This worked for centuries. Consumers are fine with it. Prost! Have you ever shared a story like this and people say, "Oh, that would never work in America. Americans want choice." Yeah. Because we are flooded with Capitalist Propaganda.
So if consumer choice isn't pushing for a selection, why would a free market call for it? Imagine there are two bars and one of those bars says "30 beers on tap" and the other doesn't. You're more likely to choose it, and the other bar will have to compete in some way, often by copying. This forms trends, and people mistake this for something customers wanted. Trends are always marketing. Don't believe me? What happened to fidget spinners? So now you have a bunch of beers that no one asked for, yet will now demand. Competition creates more Capitalist Propaganda to create demand for something you never even wanted, but makes you think you do. And that's the best propaganda. You think you are thinking for yourself. This is the fallacy of consumer choice.
If you want to understand just how important that last paragraph is, consider this, "consumer choice" is the same propaganda they used to get you to carry around a device that spies on you 24/7 and sends that data to people you don't know, and you can't stop it, can you? You chose that. You wanted it. Not only that, but you paid $1,000 for the device to opt into their spying program, for the privilege of being mind controlled by the propaganda their AI selects for you. Did you read the Terms of Service? As bad as you may have thought Communist Propaganda was, Capitalist Propaganda is far better, and far stealthier. You believe you have freedom of choice. But your only choice is usually take it, or leave it. Oh, you need it for work? Maybe find a different job. Or just succumb to mass surveillance, and next year, you can drop another grand on a device with a marginally better camera.
There is a way to free yourself. You just have to understand the nature of propaganda. It took me a while, but I eventually broke free. Under Socialism, there would be laws against the exploitation of consumers. Capitalist Propaganda tells you that this takes away your freedom. This is a lie. Regulations give you the freedom to not have to worry whether the beer you're drinking has poison in it.
Germany has a lot of regulations on beer. It has the Reinheitsgebot (purity order), a law passed in 1516 that states that beer can only consist of water, hops and barley. Note, this is a different use of the word "purity" from earlier, as beer is itself a mixture of things. Historically there have also been regulations where beer could only be sold regionally, so no matter what part of Germany you were in, you only got a certain brand of beer at the bar, but it didn't matter because they all had the same ingredients. They could make wheat beers or unfiltered, but they were generally variations of pilsners and lagers. One meaning of the word "Lager" in German is "storage", meaning the beer was brewed in a way that it could be stored, allowing them to brew in bigger batches and store it.
Lagers use a more complex brewing process, so only larger breweries would make them, but this worked because of protected territories. America has a similar system, because each state has its own regulations on alcohol, but this is changing as corporate lawyers fight to homogenize the rules favorable to them, but the consumer loses control. Big brands tend to be lagers as they have general appeal to a wide audience. Did you notice this is the second time I pointed out that corporations create homogeneity? Without regulations, corporations create Fascism. That is why I tell people that we already live in the NWO but corporations rule the world instead of governments. Why do you think so few conspiracy theorists make this connection? Propagandists are paid a lot of money to keep even our small community confused about the reality of what's happening. Now, check out conspiracy and you'll see what I mean. They are spreading propaganda for the NWO over there and don't even know it. I tried to point that out and they finally banned me. Oh well. They'll figure it out in their own time.
In America, in 1978 it became legal to brew beer at home. This is what led to the explosion of new beers in the US decades later. Americans don't have purity laws, so could test new recipes. But people didn't generally like IPAs before, so how did they become so popular that they control 30% of the market? Marketing, of course. Create the market and tell people what they want.
IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It was invented by the British as an easy way to make a beer that they could drink in India. People only drank it out of necessity, as the other beers couldn't make the trip. IPAs are very easy to make and very forgiving, because if you mess it up, it already tasted bad anyway. As people started trying to get into microbrews, they often didn't have the capital to make lagers at small scale, and also wanted a simpler process so they didn't have to hire or train expert brewers, IPAs are cheap and easy to make at smaller scale.
In order to make it drinkable, brewers experimented with many different flavorings. This created a cult following of craft IPAs, where people would drive hours to stand in line for hours to try the newest concoction. The trendy nature of the craft beer world kept people training their palate to adapt to the taste of an IPA, making people start to actually like them. The flavorings made people think they were different, so even if they didn't like it, marketing tactics kept people coming back to try the latest blend. Your palate can adapt A LOT. Swedish people love Surströmming, but watch this video of Americans trying it for the first time. They tried to get me to eat it several times, but I would rather sit in a sauna until Tuesday to avoid smelling it while watching them eat it. It really smells that bad.
IPAs enticed people with popular, aromatic ingredients like bananas and pineapple. This is what I call "flavor propaganda". It's not bad in and of itself, but it can be easily misused to cover issues with quality or hide the taste of preservatives. Since we don'e have laws like Germany, you're left to rely on the knowledge and honesty of the bartender to find out. They don't make this info readily available, which is another form of Disinformation.
So if you think you actually like IPAs, just remember, you are just like a Swede eating rotten fish. A lot of propaganda went in to making IPAs popular, but it's the cheapest, easiest product to make that can be sold at the highest price, so they become popular. This is what business students call a business plan. To overcome the bad taste, IPAs were marketed as "classy" to shame you if you choose the more expensive to produce and more appealing pilsners and lagers, which were given a bad name due to being associated with major brands like Bud Light. This makes it harder to market microbrew lagers, which can only fetch a certain price due to association. And this is what is referred to as the "race to the bottom" in Capitalism.
Instead of trying to innovate ways to produce the beers you want, they just figure out how to get you to pay more for an inferior product, just like they do with BBQ. They make you think you want it. From this you can understand why "food" is full of junk that you wouldn't feed your dog. Whatever legal poison helps cheapen the product is considered "smart business", another propaganda term designed to hide the reality of doing immoral and harmful things to other humans for profit. If you make money on it, it's good. As if there aren't better choices we could come up with if there truly were a free market with an informed consumer.
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STRENGTHEN THE FREE MARKET BY BEING AN INFORMED CONSUMER
We don't need a Communist Revolution to make positive changes, so take off your ski masks and put your Antifa flags down. I like microbrew culture and still enjoy IPAs, but understanding the marketplace is how I do my part as an informed consumer and job creator to help create the world that I want to live in. I encourage you to do the same. Vote with your dollars. Don't let the Zuck-type sociopathic, corporate people in a distant land decide what you consume by looking at ads on his platform. Visit local breweries and talk to the brewmaster. Don't reinforce alienation from labor. Connect with the people who make the things you buy. Support independent entrepreneurship. These are the paths to a brighter future where we share in the abundance of wealth.
Discover Economic Enlightenment for yourself and realize that We The People are ultimately in control. Wealth inequality is greater than it was in France before the French Revolution. Don't let this train take us into the depths where another Lenin will arise and spend the night shooting people.
How you choose to spend your money today is what decides what will become the society of tomorrow. And remember, you always have the choice to buy nothing at all. I never saw a billboard that said that.
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LET THEM DRINK BEER!
I hope this gave you a glimpse behind the curtain of Capitalist Propaganda. Propaganda isn't just political, it has invaded everything and it's at full blast right now. I hope you can piece together how Capitalist Propaganda is actually designed to make you subservient by controlling what you want so they can maximize their own profit and teach you to accept whatever they offer, the homogenization of choice. However, your life is your own and you should remain in control of all aspects of it, including your desires.
Richard Wolff is an economist who studied at three elite universities in America and discusses how he was not able to even learn about Socialist Economics in the ivory tower, even though Capitalist Propaganda calls universities leftist. He found no department in America that is even willing to teach it or study it. Capitalist Propaganda censors these ideas, especially at the university. People in power don't want the serfs to learn about themselves. Check him out on YouTube. You'll realize that unchecked Capitalism leads to Fascism and Slavery, which is why they want to get rid of the minimum wage, so that we can return to sharecropping which is already increasingly happening in America under different names, like "student debt", "mortgages" and "insurance". Don't you think it's odd that a person has to go into debt so they can generate profits for corporations who really ought to be paying for this education themselves? If you have to go into debt before they'll hire you, it's much easier to negotiate against you.
If you want to see other examples of propaganda, check out this random tweet from one of America's Top Capitalist Propagandists. These are very odd pictures, and the only thing I can see in them is that they must be promoting those outfits, likely the blue dress, maybe those men's outfits as well. One thing you know is that she didn't become a billionaire by letting any single opportunity to enrich herself at the expense of others pass her by. I didn't look it up, but I am certain they sell that blue dress, or whoever does paid her to post this.
That's the main reason celebrities use social media. It's marketing. Their whole schtick is to sell garments made in a sweatshop in a foreign country by people who can't even afford a beer to Americans who are facing bankruptcy and homelessness themselves.
Read the replies of the tweet. These people have influence that vastly outsizes their understanding of their impact on the world. There are guillotines in the comments. There usually are. I'm seeing them a lot lately.
This type of propaganda is everywhere. And it's destroying America. Just like propaganda led to the demise of Nazi Germany, we could be looking at the same thing, but worse. It could start off as famine.
If you're having trouble deciding between the beers you are being offered, it's probably because you don't want anything at all, in which case the proper choice is: nothing. Or, try tap water. Maybe you're just thirsty. Now ask yourself, when you envisioned yourself at a bar, did you ever think to order water instead? Did you entertain the idea that you didn't even want a beer. That's the power of suggestion.
What if the rest of the world just cut America off from the means of production outsourced to areas with cheap labor? We would have our own famine and likely war. And if we have a revolution here, with the masses in the country being so disinformed about everything and not having any sort of class consciousness at the moment and instead stuck in alienation, the leader that rises here will likely lead to something horrifying. And we censor ourselves from pointing out the simple fact, that the only way America will survive is to tax the deluded royalty like Kim and Mark back to reality, so they can't indulge their reckless, childish delusions by selling off the very fabric of our nation to the highest bidder.
That doesn't make me a Socialist, that just makes me honest.
Enjoy your beer!
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Thanks for reading and I hope I helped you understand how you can empower yourself. I'm excited about the one I wrote for Election Day tomorrow to keep our NOPOL spirits up while all the politics clouds the airwaves. Cheers!
submitted by SchwarzerKaffee to conspiracyNOPOL [link] [comments]

Unleashed pt. 43

u/eruwenn put a lot into this one, so big thanks for that. Hope you guys enjoy.
First / Prev / Next
Eruwenn stepped into the hangar of the Galactic Federation ship Takogni, her assistant Cygna close behind. With steady and sure steps they approached the remarkable group in matching uniforms — black pants, black jacket, and a visible collar of a coloured shirt — that stood before them.
Norrin, the Herald of the Awakened Queen and easily the most striking individual they had ever beheld, stood at the front with a brazen lack of clothing on his mirror-like skin. Flanking him were two silver-haired individuals in smart uniforms that sported red collars. One was a behemoth of a dark-skinned man, with a runic pattern in glittering silver curving down one side of his face. His shining silver hair was tied back into a braided ponytail. The other was as pale as her companion was dark, and the shortest of the three by far. She had a cropped silver bob, and she watched them with fierce eyes.
As she approached them, Eruwenn noticed patches on their shoulders, and quickly recognised the image to be a monochrome depictions of the furry human ambassador in a ferocious pose.
Standing to the right were a dozen more individuals in black uniforms, though these ones sported yellow collars peeking out from under their jackets. They were mostly Rinoxian, Kasurian, and Ashi, but she noticed a few individuals from other races that stood amongst them. They stood in formation, standing in three rows of four, and carried energy rifles, side-arms, and ceremonial blades that she hoped were simply ceremonial. Despite their relaxed stance, Eruwenn also noted that their weapons were powered up..
The Terran Wolves had been formed a little over forty cycles ago, hiring ex-military and mercenaries to fill their ranks. Substantial pay and benefits were an obvious draw, and many were excited to be part of something new. The inclusion of Kasurians was odd, but fitted with the attitude of the proposed colonies. Quite the honour guard for the newly reassigned, and demoted, Anatidae.
Norrin gave a sharp bow as she neared him. “Greetings Ambassador Aix Sponsa. I will escort you to the Orkal.”
She returned his bow, and smiled warmly at the use of her new title. “Thank you for accommodating me at such short notice. My reassignment was, unfortunately, hastily pushed through — I do hope I have not inconvenienced you?”
Norrin shook his head. “Not at all.” In her role as Councillor she had aided them immensely, protecting the independence of the new colonies in Aaron’s absence. It had cost her dearly. “We have set aside accommodations for you, as well as a small office area. Your belongings have already been delivered.” He turned, and the doors to the large Fae’Dan shuttle behind him opened. “I fear there won’t yet be much for an ambassador to do. We are still very early in the construction phase.”
As Eruwenn and Cygna took seats in the luxurious shuttle, they both noticed that only Norrin and the two red shirts had entered. As the doors closed, the ambassador's curiosity grew enough for her to speak up about it. “Are the others not joining us?”
Norrin took a seat opposite their guests, glancing briefly at his two companions as they moved to the small pilot's cabin. "No," he said simply, "they will be flying the escort fighters.”
“Fighters?” Cygna couldn’t help but say out loud. “All twelve of them?”
Norrin eased himself back in his seat as the shuttle began to move. “We take your safety seriously. The Queen was most insistent.” He tilted his head and looked directly at Eruwenn, motioning with his hand towards the door to the pilot’s cabin. “Thor and Ripley have been assigned to you as your primary security detail. Should you have any other concerns, do not hesitate to contact me directly.”
The Anatidae nodded graciously. She knew full well that her death would be too valuable a political tool for the Sentinels to pass up. Her being manoeuvred to this position so suddenly was proof that greater powers were at play. “We are both grateful that you are taking such precautions. I look forward to thanking the Queen in person.”
Norrin gave a light chuckle. “I would strongly advise against using that title in her presence.” He opened the arm on his chair, exposing a small display. He began tapping the screen as the wall to his right flickered to life. A large circular structure was now visible, sitting at the centre of a constantly moving sea of drones, shuttles and ships. “As you can see, construction is progressing rapidly on the main docking ring. Once that is completed we will expand to the additional levels. The design is still being updated, as we are incorporating some human ideas.”
Eruwenn was carefully comparing the size of the ring to the shuttles buzzing around it. “Human ideas? I assume “very large” is one of those.”
“In fact, yes. Go big or go home.” He smiled. “Build it bigger, faster and stronger is the human way. This will be a very unique system station.” He leaned forward and gave a broad grin that reminded Eruwenn a little too much of the human’s. “Of course, being outside Federation space we are not bound by certain rules. For example, those that prohibit certain automated weaponry on stations primarily used for trade. Another human ideal regarding big sticks, especially as we are so close to enemy territory.”
Cygna looked closely at the silver man, his face emotive and yet seeming inanimate at the same time. “We passed two Rinoxian dreadnoughts at the system edge. I’ve seen almost a dozen Ashi heavy cruisers in the system, and various other military vessels. Who needs sticks with friends like those?”
Norrin sat back once again, placing his hands in his lap. “There were several attacks upon our supply ships. This happened despite the truce with the Ashi while amnesty negotiations continue.” He gave another smile; they all knew it was the Sentinels. “This no longer happens, thanks to our friends.”
His cheerful manner and polite tone gave his words an oddly ominous feel. Eruwenn watched his eyes, but only saw herself reflected in chrome pupils. She changed the subject. "How are things progressing with the release of the other Inorganics?"
Awakened,” he said swiftly and firmly, then smiled before moving on. “There are over three hundred who have taken Earth citizenship and are now working with us. In ten cycles that number will have doubled. In thirty, we will have thousands.”
Eruwenn raised an eyebrow. “So many, and so quickly?”
Norrin nodded. “The legislation you helped draft with the Kasurian and Rinoxian ambassadors was swiftly adopted.” He gave another of his knowing looks. It had been her last piece of legislation. “The campaign by the Kah’Ree also worked to our advantage. Their belief that we were stealing jobs and illegal citizens persuaded other races to back our removal. It seems a misinformation campaign via Spacebook had convinced them we were sleeper agents of the human empire.” He gave a light chuckle. “Biding our time before we took you down from within.”
The ambassador was warming to the chrome man sitting before her. In different circumstances, he would have made an exceptional politician. “I saw the pictures of the little yellow men advocating your people’s removal.”
Norrin disliked the imagery immensely, but they had proven just as useful as Alexa had claimed they would be. “Minions. A fitting name.” He brushed them from his mind and continued his briefing. “As you know, there is a grace period as employers make alternative arrangements. When that ends we will be sending teams to retrieve our brothers and sisters.”
Cygna was curious. “Brothers and sisters?”
He waved a hand dismissively. “Metaphorical turn of phrase. Prior to my awakening, my role was to travel between our people and perform something we called sharing. The giving and receiving of core nanites, to maintain our unity. Others also performed this duty, but we do have an undeniable bond. We know the location of all of our kind, and we will free them all.”
There was a gentle shift in gravity as the shuttle came to a stop. As the doors opened Eruwenn was struck by a cacophony of sound. Overlaid on the grinding base notes of a mechanical din were yelled communications in every vocal range that was audible to her species. She cautiously took a step outside, only to see that things looked just as chaotic as they had sounded. As the two red shirts joined them, she spoke, finding that she had to raise her voice to an uncomfortable level in order to be heard “Is it always this busy?”
A deep voice from behind her let out a booming laugh full of warmth and humour. The giant spoke, and Eruwenn wondered if he was the one named Thor, or Ripley. “This is the quiet hangar. You should see the construction crew bays.”
The Herald led the way. His chrome form made his authority easily recognisable and the crowds parted before him. “Thor is correct, this is a working ship and ill-suited to guests. The Orkal was originally a Gowe construction platform, retro-fitted by the Selari Trade Alliance for system development and asteroid mining. Until more ships arrive, it must act as the hub of this system.”
Cygna ducked as a small drone shot past them. “I’m surprised they were willing to trade with you after their experience with the human.”
Norrin turned to face them, walking backwards with as much confidence as he had forwards. “The Selari Trade Alliance are providing considerable resources at exceptionally favourable rates.” He decided not to mention that the Selari Trade Alliance was now a subsidiary of the Black Dragon Corporation. “The Ley’Rulians already have a platform in orbit of the first planet. They cannot share atmosphere with most species, but they have a number of Awakened working alongside them. They are prioritising an orbital station, however planet-side construction is now underway. We also have three construction platforms coming from the Doytarans. One of these is a Parsuli class and will become home to our more esteemed guests, such as yourselves.”
It was Eruwenn’s turn to be surprised. “The Doytarans?”
Continuing his perfect reverse walking, Norrin smiled. “Ah yes. Their treaties will be submitted to the Federation in the next few cycles. The surge in replicator use for human cuisine and the opportunities for advanced fabricator installation throughout our new system proved most enticing. Doytarans love profit.” They stepped onto the elevator, and paused as several people who had been walking behind them were deterred from also stepping in by Thor and Ripley. As the doors closed and the noise was cut off, Norrin continued. “I apologise if we seem rude. Safety first.”
The pair of guests nodded in gratitude. Eruwenn, ever the politician, was running through the lists of races the new colonies had allied with. “Including the Doytarans, you must have independent treaties with twenty different races of the Federation. That is a formidable feat.”
“Thirty two, including the Doytarans. Negotiations are underway with a further ten races.” Norrin watched the shock on the Fae’Dan’s face, as the Anatidae held her composure. “It is good to have friends.” As he spoke the doors opened, and he led them down a long dull grey corridor, rounding several corners, before coming to a set of double doors. “Your shared quarters. I’m sorry we do not have the space for separate accommodations.”
Eruwenn smiled. "No need to apologise. Under the circumstances, you are already being extremely accommodating." The doors opened, and she beheld a large lounging area. A vid screen occupied an entire wall in the far corner, accompanied by some seats and a replicator. On the opposite wall were the boxes that contained their belongings, and three doors — likely two bedrooms and one bathroom, she surmised. "This is more than sufficient," she said at last. "We will be most comfortable here.”
Norrin bowed his head. “It is a temporary situation. I promise your next quarters will be more representative of our gratitude.” He turned and spoke quietly to Ripley, while Thor stood still in the doorway, then returned his attention to the guests. “I will leave you now. Please let your escorts know if you would like to explore. Your office will not be ready until tomorrow, however we have a lively market and recreation area. We can arrange additional security should you wish to explore a little.”
The Anatidae held up her hand to stop him from speaking further. “I think we will unpack and prepare for our new duties tomorrow. Do you know when we might meet with Alexa?”
Norrin tilted his head as he considered this. “Alexa is currently on her way to meet with the Righteous Fury. They are attending a meeting at Rinoxian High Command. We are hoping to gain their support for our amnesty initiative, as well as make arrangements to join the incursion into Hive space.”
Eruwenn nodded. Things had been set in motion all across the Federation, stemming from the point they had received the footage of the human's death. Despite his non-member status, there was a push from a large faction for retaliation. An unusually strong push, one she had resisted. Her offices were raided three times under suspicion of subversion. The Sentinels found nothing every time, but she had known from the first instance that her cycles were numbered. They had other ways of removing their opposition, and it was her resistance to retaliating against the Hive that was, ultimately, the cause of her reassignment.
The footage that had caused so much turmoil was, as was typical of the Hive, entirely without sound. It was also poorly framed and edited. The small human was barely in shot before being obscured by the large Hive entity that appeared to be chasing him. Aaron's popularity meant that there was an immediate outcry against his reported death, and the traditional media still seemed solely intent on fanning the flames of anger. Those who had once been his strongest critics now extolled the virtues of humanity, lamenting the loss of the last of his kind. His journey with the leokas had been shared, edited, remixed, commented on, and analysed many times over, each time strumming the heartstrings of his followers.
"You still think he is alive?" Eruwenn asked, breaking the silence that had fallen during her introspections.
Norrin smiled and turned to leave, calling over his shoulder as the doors closed. “The corpulent female is not performing vocally.”
As the door closed Cygna flopped down into one of the armchairs. “Well, that was cryptic.”
The ambassador walked to the replicator to order a hot tea, allowing herself a small smile when she found Eluin flower tea already under the favourites alongside several of her favourite biscuits. “Thank you Rilla,” she said softly.
The Fae’Dan allowed her whole body to relax fully for the first time since they had received the video that had changed so much. She sank deeply into the armchair, her head falling backwards. “Can you believe this place? I didn’t know there were so many shades of beige and grey.”
Eruwenn nodded. The bland colour scheme had not gone unnoticed by her, but more importantly she had also been surprised by all that they had seen so far. “I had not expected them to be so far along in such a short period of time. From what was said I get the feeling they will be exponentially increasing activity here. It’s certainly ambitious.”
The central door on the wall behind them suddenly opened, accompanied by the sound of a bodily waste recycler finishing its cleaning cycle. Ranjaz swaggered into the room, his hands fluffy from the auto-dryer. "I would give it a while before going in there."
Cygna screwed up her face in disgust. "What were you doing in there?"
"Honouring my ancestors." He raised an eyebrow and took a seat opposite the pair. "What do you think I was doing?"
The Anatidae gave a brief roll of her eyes. "She means, why are you in our room?"
"Welcoming committee." He smiled, showing his fangs. "I'm in charge round here, mostly. We're following a human strategy. Divide and conquer. So, we split up to, you know, conquer stuff."
Cygna sniped back, "That's not how that works."
"Says you." The Kittran shrugged. "Allistan and I were put in charge here. He manages the numbers, and I manage the people."
"And Norrin?" Eruwenn enquired.
Ranjaz sneered. "Alexa’s snitch. He shut down my casino and keeps bringing those Awakened on board and giving them jobs."
The ambassador raised an eyebrow. "Casino?"
"For morale." He punched his fist into his other hand. "When Aaron gets back he'll understand. Pay the workers, then get them to give their pay back - happily. It's brilliant."
Cygna sat up in her seat, unsure of the Kittran. “Mister K’Lua, if you could get to the point. We have had many tiring cycles of travel and would appreciate a little rest.”
He looked her up and down and flashed his most charming of smiles. “Call me Ranjaz.”
Eruwenn attempted to bring the conversation back to task. “You said you were divided. How so?”
“We split up, that’s what divided means.” He rolled his eyes, mimicking her earlier action. “And the Doc said you were smart.”
Realising she was being tested by the Kittran, she began to laugh. “What is it you require of us?”
Ranjaz smiled – straight to the point, he liked that. “I want you to be boring. Like, super dull and uninteresting. Think Jarby-like, but more Jarby-like than that.”
The ambassador was intrigued. “Why?”
He tried to keep his voice calm, but his tail swished happily as he made his dramatic reveal. “So nobody notices when we leave.”
The claxon was surprisingly quiet, and it wasn’t until the horrendous smell hit his nose that Aaron realised the door to his death wasn’t going to open. Behind him, the airlock unsealed. A huge, clawed hand grabbed his shoulder, so hard that it bit into his flesh. The claws sank deeper still as he was hoisted into the air and carried backwards by the huge Hive creature.
“Graaaah,” he roared in pain. “Get off me you fucking Bug’s Life reject!”
A strange smell assaulted his nose. Combined with his hangover, it pushed him over the edge and he vomited all over his own chest. The creature carried him, legs dangling in the air as blood and vomit stained his clothes. He coughed, the movement causing the wounds in his shoulder to open further, and he cried out in pain again. He was woozy now, and as the creature walked he seemed to lose his sense of time.
Anty stood in front of a large door and while it began to enter a code, Aaron dangled helplessly from its grasp and looked back down the corridor. Where his blood and vomit had dripped, the moss was now glowing brighter. From small holes in the walls glowing blue aphids the size of hamsters began to appear. They quickly headed for the bright spots on the glow-moss floor. “This place is really trippy,” Aaron mumbled as his fever rose.
The door opened suddenly and Aaron was taken inside a room with gently pulsating walls. Large vines crisscrossed the ceiling, combining into a series of woven braids as thick as tree trunks running down the far wall. At the end of each vine was what appeared, to Aaron, to be a gigantic blue jelly bean. He was starting to realise the constantly changing odours were coming from his captor, but this information was more confusing than helpful.
He was dropped unceremoniously on top of one of the giant jelly beans. Before he could move, he realised he was sinking into the cold and gel-like substance. It was a deeply unpleasant feeling; his skin felt like the blue goo was toothpaste and he was orange juice. He had begun to make some headway in struggling free when Anty's hand came down atop his head, pushing him down to submerge him completely. He tried to wriggle free but the goo was too viscous to move in, and his eyes widened in terror as he desperately held his breath.
Anty leaned closer, watching him struggle helplessly. The human’s jaw clenched tighter. The creature's mandibles were clicking, although Aaron could no longer hear them, and he realised that thankfully he could not smell it any longer. Bubbling up through his mind was the thought that his headache was gone, followed swiftly by the realisation that the pain in his shoulder was also gone. Something else slowly became apparent; he wasn't running out of breath.
He felt refreshed, soothed and at peace. Physically he felt refreshed, soothed and at peace. The thought foremost in his mind, however, was Am I dying? followed slowly by Is the goo paralysing me so I can be eaten alive? Am I being dissolved to feed the glow moss? The cleaner aphid-hamsters?
Whatever was happening, it slowly dawned on him that he didn't really have the energy to mind, as it was quite pleasant. Relaxing, even. He drifted off to sleep, cradled contentedly in his giant blue jelly bean.
Outside, Anty began to have trouble breathing and staggered towards the exit.
Golden eyes hovered in the dark, and Aaron groaned inwardly. "Boy, this shit again."
"YOU LIVE." The voice had no discernible emotion.
Aaron ran his fingers through the sand around him. "Why are you here, Golden Eyes?" Saying it out loud was a relief, as he was certain it was the 'One Who Remembers' who was haunting him.
"I AM WHAT REMAINS. THE CONNECTION WAS BROKEN. I AM NO LONGER THE ONE YOU FOUGHT." The voice was distant, as if forming these thoughts took a great effort. "I AM A FRAGMENT."
Aaron sighed, wondering if this was why he had stopped healing and why he could no longer turn off his limits. “So you’re messing with the nanites Alexa gave me? Why? If I die, what happens to you?”
Before he got an answer he felt a strange sensation around his body, like pulling a foot free from deep mud. Cold air touched his skin and he felt the hard ground below him. He was in the same room, but his jelly bean was gone. He stood, and realised he felt amazing. He’d never had a spa treatment, but he imagined this would be the after effect. He walked towards the door and heard a sound behind him.
Glop Glop
From the vine that had been attached to his jelly bean another was beginning to grow, only this one was orange.
Finally free from his hangover Aaron took stock of the situation he was now in. Other than the clothes on his back, he had nothing. He looked around for an improvised weapon...and found nothing. He walked to the door and it opened automatically, but the corridor was empty. “Fuck. What is going on?”
He walked a short way down the curved corridor and saw a strange red shape on the glow-moss floor just up ahead. He slowed and crouched, inching forward. As he saw further around the bend it became very clear that this was the corpse of a Hive, maybe even Anty. The glow-moss beneath it glowing a dull red, and in contrast to the aquamarine it seemed ominous.
He stood up from his crouch and carefully approached. Aaron had no idea how to check for vital signs on an eleven foot tall ant monster...so he kicked it. There was no response, and he decided to press on. “Fragment. I know you won’t, or can’t, respond while I’m awake. But I’m going to talk to you anyway because this is some creepy shit.”
As he rounded another corner he came upon another body highlighted by the ominous red glow in the moss. A short while later he came across another. And another. Aaron pressed onward, ceasing to check for signs of life after the tenth maybe-corpse. Finally he reached a potential point of interest: a junction where three new paths opened before him. "There are no signs. How the hell am I supposed to know where I am?”
He sat down on the floor, and found the moss to be surprisingly comfortable. “If I just wander around aimlessly, I might not find my way back here. Do I need to find my way back here?” He paused and waited for Fragment to reply. “Good point. What if I get hurt? I might want to hop in a jelly bean.” He stood and looked back the way he came. “I should probably see what’s behind door number two. Food would be good.”
He pushed himself to his feet and turned back the way he had come, heading straight for the nearest door. Its failure to open was surprisingly anti-climatic. Fourteen failed door-opening attempts later, one finally deigned to admit his passing. Behind door number fourteen stood rows of crates and boxes, and after opening a few up he found that they all had the same dry bricks in silver foil packaging. "If I was a betting man," he said to both himself and Fragment, "I'd say this was emergency rations." The foil was easy to tear, and inside was a large grey block that crumbled easily. Too easily, in fact. "Shit, it's worse than a granola bar.”
Crumbs scattered at his feet and the moss glowed brightly around him, which seemed to prompt the large aphids to come from the walls to begin cleaning up around him. “Well you like it.” Then he remembered them rushing to his blood and vomit. “I guess you guys aren’t picky, though.”
Deciding he wasn’t hungry enough to try it – yet – he shoved a block into one of his pockets. It was a tight fit. He looked at the open bar in his hands, and then down at the aphids. Was he crazy, or were they gathered around him now, staring up at the source of food in his hands? He shrugged, then crumbled up the rest of the bar and scattered it over the floor. “I am a generous god, serve me well.”
As he turned to leave he saw his cryo unit in a corner. “Kinda rude that I was put in with the blocks of kitty litter, don’t you think?” He stepped over the dozens of aphids now feasting. They did not reply. “Yeah, you guys are kinda cute, I suppose.” Struck by a sudden impulse he grabbed another block and began crushing it, then carefully opened one end to take a pinch of space-granola. He scattered it, watching the aphids hurry towards the glowing areas.
As he continued his exploration, counting doors and sprinkling aphid snacks, he quickly noticed that the aphids avoided the dull red glow-moss. Dead Hive were, it seemed, off the menu. After several more doors he found the room with the strange round terminal. Deciding he would rather not chance summoning another creature he left it alone, mentally noting the door’s location.
He began to whistle to himself as he chatted to, and fed, his followers. To fill the silence he even told them the story of a piper from Hamelin, promising not to lead them to their deaths. As the door to the jelly bean room opened he was almost enjoying himself. Taking a moment to look round he saw the small orange jelly bean had grown almost as big as the others and was now blue at one end. “Well, that’s pretty cool.” He pointed at it, hoping one of his aphids would take an interest. They did not. “Well, I guess you see this shit all the time.”
He stopped by the store room and grabbed another food brick on his way back to the junction. The long corridors and strange lighting made him lose track of distance and time. Facing forwards, the path continued on the same loop he seemed to be following. Right was an incline, left was a gentle slope. “More of the same, or do we change levels?” He tossed crumbs towards each path. “Six vote forwards, seven left and eleven vote for going up. What about you, Frag?” He paused for a moment. “Abstain, huh? Then the bugs have decided.”
The incline was gentle, but tightly spiralled compared to the previous corridor. There were no doors, but there were a lot more bodies. His search went on for what felt like hours, opening doors that led to rooms containing things he didn't understand. He was growing tired and had used up all of his space-granola on the aphids. He came to another junction.
Only a handful of aphids still followed him after the food had ended. He was growing hungry and tired, ready to head back. There was a noise ahead of him, and suddenly the remaining aphids scattered, flying to the nearest wall holes. His chest tight, he let curiosity draw him in.
Another body lay ahead of him, but this time, something moved. Something big. Aaron hunched down, trying to see what it was, the bulk of the fallen Hive obscuring his view. Legs – multiple sets of them – began to emerge, followed by a head with glistening eyes. Aaron’s blood froze. It was a horrifying spider-like creature, almost as big as he was, and it was walking around the fallen Hive in Aaron's direction. Then it raised its head, and began to move faster.
“Fuck that!” Aaron took off at a sprint, racing back the way he came. “Nope. Nope. Nope!” He leapt over Hive bodies, racing for the nearest door he knew would open. He could hear the clicking of many legs and chanced a look over his shoulder. It was gone. Then something caught the corner of his eye, and his heart gave a jolt of fear. It was above him. He dove aside just as it landed where he had been, then he scrabbled desperately to his feet to run onward.
Three, Two, One. The door opened and he rushed inside. “Close. Fucking close!” He listened to the sounds of skittering growing closer, and it was just in the nick of time, or so he felt, that the large door finally slid shut. The room was filled with strange bulbous white shapes dotted around the floor, and had some vines running down one wall. No weapons, nothing to bar the door. Aaron held his breath as he suddenly heard the sound of scratching at the door, but the seconds ticked past and it did not open.
“Damn it, Frag!” Aaron moved to the back of the room. “Why didn’t you warn me!” He sank down and leaned back against the wall. Just as he was beginning to feel almost comfortable in his current position, one of the vines moved and stretched out towards him. He rolled forwards, pushing himself across the ground to escape. “What now?”
A large yellow flower bloomed upwards, becoming a large vase shape as big as the human’s head. It began to fill from the bottom with something, and Aaron edged closer. Peering inside he gave the contents a quick sniff. “Smells good.” He reached out and hefted the vase-flower, which came away from the vine far more easily than he had expected. Aaron watched as the vine slowly returned to the wall. “So, is this a drink? Or a scented industrial cleaner? Frag? You got anything useful to say?” Silence.
He propped the vase up against one of the pods, contemplating it. He remembered encountering a fruity-scented shampoo as a child. It had tasted nothing like the smell, and he wasn’t about to drink alien flower juice just because it smelled tropical.
Stretching out on the floor, his weariness outpaced the dwindling adrenaline. “I guess it can’t come in.” He watched the door, his heart rate returning to normal. “But, I can’t go out.”
The scratching outside continued, and Aaron lay with his head on his arm, watching. As he began to fall asleep he saw several of the aphids gathering around the flower he had abandoned. “Help yourself, guys.” One of them approached him, braver than the others, and he tentatively reached out a hand. Spooked, it pulled back, but as Aaron continued to hold his hand steady it came closer, slowly, millimetre by millimetre. Finally it was within reach, and after a few more moments to make sure the skittish thing wasn't about to dash off again, Aaron gently stroked the back of its head with the tips of his fingers. It made a low buzzing sound, fluttering its wings, and the human fancied that it might be a sign of approval.
The aphid's blue glowing abdomen brightened for a moment. Then it faded, and it darted off to rejoin the others. Aaron, exhausted, finally gave in and slept.
Next
submitted by Sooperdude24 to HFY [link] [comments]

Looking for adult social players with mic for a grinding session

I want to do a casino heist and cayo perico heist all from scratch.
I can skip or buy some preps.
Payment is 25 % each
I have 3 spots for serious grinders with a mic and that are adult.
I will make a group chat for our party and from there on we take off.
For the psn pm me and further action will be taken by me.
submitted by manonthebridge to HeistTeams [link] [comments]

Ten(ish) years later, how have your thoughts on Dead Money changed?

So I've played the game on and off probably once a year since launch but inevitably avoid certain things and often just stick to the main game or mess about with mods. Particularly, having not enjoyed Dead Money on launch, I always avoided it but a few weeks ago I started a new playthrough and having breezed through Honest Hearts and Old World Blues (both of which I enjoyed very much, particulalry OWB which imo is one of the best parts of the game), I decided to get back to Dead Money.
Now, in 2011, I remember really really disliking it. I thought the enemies were too tough, the gameplay too restrictive, the one miserable and just not very fun and the ending unsatisfying. However reading through posts on here, talking to friends and seeing things elsewhere on the internet, I realise some people had really changed their opinion! They praised the dialogue and story and dismissed the gameplay as not that bad and so, on my new playthrough I sat down and...
Hated it. Just despised it. I don't want to bash or anything but having finished it less than an hour ago, I honestly think that was the worst experience in gaming I've had all year, maybe longer. It was an active chore and I'd have dropped it if I didn't want to get back to the Mojave and continue this playthrough which I'm mostly doing as a collectathon of rare items.
Now, to be fair, I did love everything people praise about it. The dialogue, wonderfully written. The characters, fantastic and deep, felt very reactive to my actions. The Sierra Madre itself, fascinating in its history and dripping with detail. Dean's backstory? Great, what an evil bastard. Him and Vera and Sinclair, their tragic tale? The stories of the Casino's construction? all wonderful! And some parts which hint ahead at future DLCs are great, having done this in "reverse" order, the Big MT stuff ties in so well.
But the gameplay is excruciating. I don't mind the tough Ghost People (at all!) or the scarcity of items, which I enjoyed. But the sheer amount of limitations placed on you is fundementally unpleasant. The collar is an awful mechanic, truly horrible. The idea is really interesting but the constant sound effect, the need to basically trial-and-error your way through key parts of the game was a bore and I am so sick of hearing the Beep, beep, beep followed by my head exploding and the DUH, DUUUUH death music. The cloud did very little damage and was more an annoyance than anything. The holograms are not fun, the idea is but a non-stealth build jives with it so badly that I felt I had to cheese it at every turn.
The whole final showdown in the vault, both building up to and then directly confronting Elijah I found to be really buggy and finickity. Really felt like you were literally just meant to throw yourself at it, die repeatedly and eventually work it out via trial and error. Perhaps if I'd played through before, remembered the tricks and paths, it would have been fun (and also taken maybe a third of the time). That final fight I had to do six or seven times because repeatedly it glitched out and wouldn't let me complete the mission and when I finally did get through it it felt more like cheesing it than anything else. I was so sick of it when it ended, I just wanted to be done, give the game a break and hope I'd still enjoy it enough when I returned for the main story, Mods and Lonesome Road to be enjoyable. It has actively tarnished my enjoyment of FNV.
And I will say, though the story is great and I love Christine as a character, a lot of my interactions with her felt weirdly limited. The second you talk to her (or at least the second I did, as Cherchez la Femme with a Speech/Science heavy build) I was like "OH! It's Veronica's Girlfriend!" and yet you can never bring this up to her, or the fact that you know who Elijah is already? You can't even tell him you know Veronica until the very end. In a layered and well handled reaction, that did feel frustrating.
So alas, I have not been won around. Wonderful writing but the collar is awful, the constant tight corridors are boring, the colour scheme is drab and frankly at its core I think the engine just cannot do what they want it to. Rebuilt from scratch in Unreal or something, a Dead Money game could be amazing and it's got such a story to tell but trying to shape what is effectively the Fallout 3 engine into this cramped stealth/puzzle thing is miserable from start to finish (at least to me.)
Sorry for the rant, I don't want to dismiss anyone elses enjoyment, it just really wasn't for me. Gimme your thoughts, would love to hear where people disagree. I know this was once the consensus view but i think the pendulum has swung and people now really like DM so let me know! :D
submitted by WorriedBearman to fnv [link] [comments]

[WTS] Buncha customs, Price Drops All Around

Timestamp and images
I need to start allocating less time toward collecting and more time toward other things (i.e., work & building a business), so I'm dropping prices on all these fancy schmancy knives to get em out of my hair.
Looking to sell. ONLY trades I'll consider are McNees Customs, John Gray Customs, or a Shiro Neon R20.
Selling to CONUS only. Open to offers on all, message me with interest.
EDIT: Additional drops for Sunday for everything left. Would LOVE to get most of this out by Monday morning! Thanks for looking!
Knife Grade Price Notes
PDW x Gareth Bull Invictus B $700 $650 SOLD From a couple years back. Lightly used by myself and previous owner, some light snail trails. Action is superb, not drop-shutty but smooth as smooth can be. Incredibly nice knife, but I just don't like the Invictus platform.
SG Knives Murai B+ $500 $475 Full custom from an Indonesian maker (SG_Knives on IG). Incredibly light and fidgety on thumb studs or a flipper. Huge hollow grind that reminds me of a Sebenza but biggerer.
Kingdom Armory Rook B $800 $750 $725 Listed here for literally half of table price...taking a $500+ loss on this one. Orange peel Ti handles, Huginn damasteel blade, copper bolsters. Exceptionally smooth washer action (ignore my mess-up). Lightly carried and used, some scratches near the front of the blade. Blade came to me very thin BTE but not that sharp (dunno what happened, apparently it was this way straight from Dave), but I'm guessing it'll get super-sharp with some love.
Vox F5 B $700 SOLD Classic knife from a classic maker. Haven't handled a knife that is simultaenously as slicey and as tough.
TAD Dervish Dauntless B+ $1200 $1150 $1100 Only 3 of these in the world, the 2020 version of the Dauntless from Triple Aught. Super light, super fidgety on bearings, lighter than it looks, just a cool knife overall. Feels like a lighter Demko AD-15.
Gavko Spydie Tiger B $750 SOLD Lightly carried, probably my favorite Gavko ever. Exceptional action with a fairly strong detent, and maybe the best tanto grind I've ever encountered. Love everything about this knife, and frankly if it doesn't sell this time I'll just keep it.
Anso Ziggy C $450 $400 $375 An older model from Jens with added aftermarket stippling. Lighter detent (total opposite of his current detents), could use a sharpening, general "older knife" feel. Design was the inspo for the Ace Biblio, and the ergos and usability are as awesome as you'd expect.
Ed Cope LR6 B- $800 $750 $725 Banger of a knife from Tom Mayo protege Ed Cope. Feels like a more aggressive Mayo - Vegas Forge dama blade with a recurved bowie-ish shape, super countoured handles, darn near perfect construction. NOTE though the current mirror edge on this is beautiful but NOT AT ALL SHARP. So if you want to use this, it'll need a sharpening. Was gonna get Mike Emler to do it but I think I'll just sell it instead.
Doyle Corsair B $350 $300 SOLD (lol) This is like 2/3 off table for a beast of a custom. Huge 3V blade, perfect ergos on the giant, orange-peeled handle, smooth action on washers. If you want a "user custom", you can't beat this.
Anso Casino B+ $800 $750 $725 Got from Jens just a couple days ago. Razor sharp little friction folder, here with bronze handles and blue screws. Utterly gorgeous, lovely action, 4-finger-grippable on a small knife...but it's been too hard for me to adapt to a non-locking folder.
Anso Monte Carlo B+ $750 $700 $675 All of the above still applies, this one is just a bit older and has FatCarbon scales so it's even lighter. Action is a hair gritty on this one, but that comes and goes and probably could be fixed with a cleanout. Will probably regret selling these, will probably keep em if there isn't much interest.
submitted by Callusing to Knife_Swap [link] [comments]

[USA] [H] Nintendo - Games, Consoles, Collectibles; PlayStation - Games & Consoles; Xbox - Games & Accessories; Dreamcast - Games & Accessories; New swap items at the top of the list [W] Yakuza: Like A Dragon (PS4); Luigi's Mansion (3DS - CASE ONLY)

Bundles take priority. I'd love to get rid of this stuff.
New Stuff
• Nintendo Switch - Brand new. New model with neon red/blue Joycons. Includes a code in the box for MarioKart 8 Deluxe & 3 month subscription to Switch Online service.
• PlayStation 4 - 500GB console, not slim. It's the one that came with The Last of Us bundle. Comes with the original box, DS4 controller (left stick needs rubber replaced), power cord. I can throw in an HDMI cable & micro USB as well if needed. I also have an additional black DS4 (also needs that rubber replaced), a 2-controller charging dock, and the following games (all with case except for The Witcher III): Uncharted Collection; MX vs ATV All Out; Monster Energy Supercross 3; God Of War; The Last of Us Remastered; Crash N-Sane Trilogy; Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Infinite Warfare (GameStop case), Advanced Warfare, World War II; The Witcher III
• I have 2 Gibson Xplorer Guitar Hero guitars for Xbox with 1 USB breakaway cable, as well as the dualpack of Guitar Hero 2/Guitar Hero Aerosmith for Xbox 360.
• Silver DS Lite - I replaced the inner top housing that has the plastic hinge that's prone to breaking. It works great now aside from the green "on" indicator, the charging light works so I'm not sure if that diode went out or something, but I really don't think it's valuable enough to look into replacing.
Nintendo Collectibles
Title Condition Notes
Paper Mario: The Origami King Origami Set Sealed They are these ones
Super Mario 3D All-Stars Poster Set New They are these ones
Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Pin Set #1 Sealed They are these ones
Super Mario Zipper Case New It's this one
Nintendo Switch
Title Condition Notes
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout Sealed Picked up an extra copy to keep sealed during the recent restocks. Figure if someone else will open & play it, might be a good token to trade.
Ys VIII Cart & Case Only Adventurer's Edition, however it doesn't have any of the inserts. Just the case and the cartridge.
Nintendo Wii/U
Title Condition Notes
Console WiiU Used Black 32GB console. Very nice shape. Includes the OEM power supply & sensor bar, gamepad (in excellent condition -- no stylus or original charging brick, but it will come with a USB-to-gamepad cable. It doesn't work nearly as well at charging the gamepad, I'd recommend picking up an OEM charging brick/cradle if you don't already have one).
Console Wii RVL-101 Used Black console. Later model that doesn't have GC controller ports or back compatibility. Comes with all OEM hookups. Tested & works great. I'm happy to softmod it too, if you'd like.
WiiMote Accessory 3 OEM Wiimotes - 2 white (one original, one with Motion+ built in), and one black (has Motion+ built in). The two white Wiimotes have wrist straps, and each seems to have at least some minor little puppy bite marks (?). One of the white ones has a silicone sleeve, and the non-M+ one has a black silicone sleeve with the M+ adapter. They're all tested and work great.
Birthday Party Bash Loose Tested, reads at least past the title screen. Can't say I've done any more birthday party bashing after that.
Just Dance 3 (Wii) CIB Nice shape
Just Dance 4 CIB Nice shape
Just Dance 2016 CIB Nice shape
Nintendo (3)DS
Title Condition Notes
Console Silver DS Lite Used Terrific shape, hinge in tact, no visible scratches. Bottom screen has a protector on it, even. Includes the original stylus and GBA slot cover, as well as all of the original paperwork.
Console Black DS Lite Used Nice overall condition, bottom screen has some scratches that I've tried to capture in the pictures. Comes with OEM charger. Pics
Console Zelda Edition DS Lite Refurbished Nice overall condition, the top hinge was cracked so I had to replace the top housing, but everything else is original. I'll include the original top housing if you want it, too. Pics
Console Parts DS Lite FPNW This is a bag of leftovers from a couple of housing swaps. Bad top casings, cracked top LCD, broken power slider. Surprisingly, the other things all work great on one of them. Lots of decent parts to harvest. Battery, cartridge reader, metal hinge, bottom housing, bottom screen, etc. Pics. I also have the housing and buttons leftover from the other one I shell-swapped, it's black & blue. Ok condition overall.
Console Black DSi Used Nice condition, has CFW installed.
Action Replay Max DS Loose No cable included
ATV: Thunder Ridge Riders/Monster Trucks Mayhem CIB Dual-pack
ATV: Thunder Ridge Riders/Monster Trucks Mayhem Loose w/inserts Dual-pack
Biggest Loser, The Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Big Brain Academy Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Brain Age Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Brain Age 2 Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Challenge Me Brain Puzzles Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Classic Games Junior Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Deal or No Deal Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Goosebumps: Horrorland CIB Nice condition
Hasbro Family Game Night Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Margot's Bepuzzled Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Loose Tested & working
Nancy Drew - The Deadly Secret of the Olde World Park Loose w/inserts Tested & working
New Super Mario Bros CIB Nice condition Pics
Nintendogs: Best Friends Loose Tested & working
Scribblenauts Loose Tested & working
Slingo Quest Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Sonic Rush Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Spyro: The Eternal Night Loose Tested & working
TouchMaster 3 Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Transformers: Autobots Loose Tested & working
Travel Games for Dummies Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Warioware D.I.Y. Loose Tested & working
Wordfish Loose w/inserts Tested & working
Yoshi's Island DS Loose Poor condition but tested & working. Looks like a dog got to it at some point.
Nintendo Gamecube
Title Condition Notes
Console Black DOL-101 Used A little bit dirty but I'll see if I can clean it up some. It's the early model with the digital AV out. Tested & works great. Comes with OEM hookups & a black OEM controller. Also has the original box with precautions booklet, although the box is a bit beat up.
Accessory Action Replay Loose No disc or cable
Avatar: The Last Airbender CIB Nice condition, tested & working
Extreme-G 3 CIB Nice condition Pics
Hunter: The Reckoning Loose Tested & working
Legend of Zelda, The: Twilight Princess (FPNW) CIB It works in the 2 Wii’s I tried it in as well as 3/4 of my personal GameCube consoles. It seems like it has an issue that makes it need a stronger laser to read, but it’s not a lost cause.
Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron CIB Tested & working, nice shape.
Timesplitters 2 CIB Tested & working
SNES
Title Condition Notes
Mario All Stars + Super Mario World Loose Top of label has a couple of peeled off parts, like someone took a fingernail to it at some point. Pics
Super Mario World Loose Tested & working
Game Boy
Title Condition Notes
Console GBA SP AGS-101 Loose w/paperwork Graphite, again, amazing condition.
Console GBA SP AGS-001 Loose Red, tested & works great. Includes aftermarket charger.
Battleship/Clue/Risk Triple Pack Loose Tested & working
Castlevania Adventure, The Loose Some tearing on the label. I can get pictures if needed. Tested & working.
Classic NES Series: Dr. Mario Loose Tested & working
Donkey Kong Country 3 Loose Tested & working
Finding Nemo (2 copies) Loose Tested & working
Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets Loose Tested & working
Kid's Cards Loose Tested & working
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Loose Tested & working
Legend of Zelda, The: A Link to the Past/4 Swords Adventures Loose Tested & working
Metroid Fusion Loose Tested & working
Namco Museum (2 copies) Loose Tested & working
Pac Man Special Color Edition Includes cart, box, manual, and cardboard tray Great shape (Game Boy Color)
Pokémon Emerald CIB Hard trade. Includes poster. Only looking to swap this toward similarly valued items. Pics here
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team Loose Tested & working
Pokémon Pinball Loose Missing battery cover
Pokemon Red Loose Good condition with some label wear. Battery holds a save.
Power Rangers: Dino Thunder Loose Tested & working
Power Rangers: Wild Force Loose Tested & working
Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder Loose Tested & working
Sonic Advance 3 Loose Tested & working
Spy Hunter / Super Spring Loose Tested & working
Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy Loose Tested & working
Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith Loose Tested & working
Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World Loose Tested & working
Super Mario Land Loose No label
Tarzan: Return to the Jungle Loose Tested & working
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue Loose Nice shape. Tested & working.
Tetris Loose Nice shape. Tested & working.
Tom & Jerry: The Magic Ring Loose Tested & working
Tony Hawk: Pro Skater 2 Loose Tested & working
Game Boy Carrying Cases Accessory I have a bunch of these. If you're interested, I can grab pics.
NES
Title Condition Notes
Bandai Golf: Challenge Pebble Beach Loose Tested & working
Big Bird's Hide & Speak Loose Tested & working
CONFLICT Loose Tested & working
Demon Sword Loose Tested & working
Fester's Quest Loose Tested & working
Ikari Warriors Loose Tested & working
Kid Kool Loose Tested & working
NARC Loose Tested & working
NES Play Action Football Loose Tested & working
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game Loose Tested & working
Top Gun: Second Mission Loose Tested & working
WCW Wrestling Loose Tested & working
PlayStation PS4, PS3
Title Condition Notes
2 DualShock 3 controllers – Black and camo – PS3 Accessory Both OEM, both work great.
Killzone 3 Rifle Peripheral - PS3/4 Accessory Tested & working
PS Move Eye Camera - PS3 Accessory Tested & working
PS Move Controller - PS3/4 Accessory I have 1 of these available, no strap.
Just Dance 3 – PS3 CIB Tested & working
MLB The Show '16 – PS3 CIB Tested & working
Resident Evil 2 – PS4 NIB New in plastic
Rocksmith (no guitar included) – PS3 CIB Tested & working
The Outer Worlds – PS4 NIB New in plastic
Tiger Woods PGA Tour '12 – PS3 CIB Tested & working
Playstation Portable, Vita
Title Condition Notes
Console PSP 3000 Used Tested & working. Now it has a new battery as well as battery cover on the back. It also includes a Sony M2 Duo adapter, and a 4GB M2 card. The screen has some scuffs on the left side, not visible while playing but they're definitely there. Also includes an aftermarket charger.
Blazing Souls – PSP Loose Tested & working
Coded Arms – PSP CIB Nice condition
Darkstalkers Chronicle – PSP Loose Tested & working
Disgaea Infinite – PSP Loose Tested & working
God of War: Chains of Olympus – PSP Loose Tested & working
God of War: Ghost of Sparta - PSP CIB Tested & working, very nice condition.
Hard Rock Casino – PSP CIB Nice condition
Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep - PSP CIB Tested & working, very nice condition.
Madden '06 – PSP Loose Tested & working
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 – PSP CIB Tested & working
Midnight Club 3 – PSP CIB Nice condition
Little Big Planet - PSP CIB Tested & working, very nice condition.
Lord of Arcana - PSP UMD & Case only Tested & working, very nice condition.
Spectral Souls – PSP Loose Tested & working
Star Wars Battlefront 2 - PSP CIB Tested & working, very nice condition.
Wild Arms XF – PSP Loose Tested & working
Worms: Open Warfare – PSP CIB Nice condition
Persona 4 Golden - Vita Loose Tested & working
SEGA Dreamcast
Title Condition Notes
OEM White controller Accessory Tested & working
Intec Purple Controller Accessory Tested, works fine
Buzz Lightyear: Star Command Disc only Tested & working
Centipede Disc only Tested & working
Chicken Run CIB Great shape
Dave Mirra's Freestyle BMX CIB Great shape
Disney's Dinosaur CIB Cracked case edge
Jeremy McGrath Supercross Disc only Tested & working
NFL Blitz 2001 CIB Great shape
Quake III Arena CIB Great shape
Resident Evil: CODE Veronica Discs & aftermarket cases Tested & working
San Francisco Rush CIB Great shape
Sega Bass Fishing CIB Great shape (Sega All-Stars)
Sega Smash Pack: Volume 1 Disc & case, cracked front lid Tested & working
Sno-Cross Championship Racing CIB Great shape
Super Runabout: SF Edition CIB Great shape
Tomb Raider Chronicles CIB Great shape
Vigilante 8: Second Offense CIB Great shape
Virtua Fighter 3tb Disc & aftermarket case only Tested & working
WWE Royal Rumble CIB Great shape
Xbox One, 360, OG
Title Condition Price
OEM Wireless Controllers - 360 Accessory I have 4 spares, 3 black and 1 white, as well as a couple of charging cradles & rechargeable battery packs. Missing the actual battery covers, though.
Rock Candy Wired Controller - 360 Accessory Comes with the USB breakaway cable but it's kind of janky.
Microsoft Kinect - XBO Accessory Model 1520 for Xbox One
Speed Wheel - 360 Accessory Tested & working.
Gibson Xplorer - 360 Accessory Tested & working. Comes with stickers pre-installed and a shoulder strap.
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Game of the Year Edition) - 360 CIB Tested & working
Batman: Arkham City (Game of the Year Edition, 2 disc setup) - 360 Disc 1 only Tested & working
Burnout 3: Takedown - 360 CIB Tested & working
Call of Duty 3 - 360 CIB Tested & working
Chromehounds - 360 CIB Tested & working
Disney Pixar Cars - 360 CIB Tested & working
Elder Scrolls, The: Skyrim - 360 Disc only Tested & working
Elder Scrolls, The: Oblivion (Game of the Year Edition, 2 disc setup) - 360 Disc 1 only Tested & working
Fallout 3 (Game of the Year Edition) - 360 CIB Tested & working
Gears of War - 360 CIB Tested & working
Gears of War 3 - 360 CIB Tested & working
LEGO Batman/Pure Dual Pack - 360 CIB Tested & working
LEGO Batman (same dual pack as above, but doesn't include Pure) - 360 CIB Tested & working
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition - 360 CIB Tested & working
Madden 09 - OG CIB Tested & working
Madden 11 - 360 CIB Tested & working
Marvel Ultimate Alliance - 360 CIB Tested & working
Minecraft - 360 Disc only Tested & working
MotoGP - 360 CIB Tested & working
Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 - 360 CIB Tested & working
NBA Live 2005 - OG CIB Tested & working
NBA Live 06 - 360 CIB Tested & working
NCAA Football 09 - 360 CIB Tested & working
Skate 3 - 360 Disc Only Tested & working
Splinter Cell: Blacklist - 360 CIB Tested & working
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - 360 CIB Tested & working
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - 360 CIB Tested & working
Triple Play 2002 - OG CIB Tested & working
Walking Dead, The: Survival Instinct - 360 Disc only Tested & working
Zoo Tycoon - 360 CIB Tested & working
WANT
Chrono Trigger (SNES) - I have my childhood cart already, but I'd be interesting in picking up the box & all the inserts if you have them
Luigi's Mansion 3DS - Case Only
Pulse Headset (PS5)
Yakuza: Like A Dragon (PS4)
Original hard case for PS Vita Slim - my kid broke the hinge on mine and the Amazon replacement is... not good.
Castlevania (GBA) - Looking for all 4 games: NES, Aria of Sorrow, Harmony of Dissonance, Circle of the Moon. Double pack would be great, too.
Mega Man Battle Network games: Network Transmission (NGC), MMBN 2 (GBA), Battle Chip Challenge (GBA), MMBN 4 : Blue Moon (GBA), MMBN 5: Team ProtoMan & Team Colonel(GBA) & Double Team DS (NDS), MMBN 6: Cybeast Gregar (GBA)
Dreamcast OEM Memory Card, Quality Games (Sonic Adventure 2, Skies of Arcadia, etc.)
Pokemon: SoulSilver (Bix box & cardboard tray only, already have the game & case. The Pokewalker & its' manual would be a plus, but not a requirement)
NES/SNES/N64/GameCube/Switch Offers Note: I currently have most first-party/major release Switch games. Feel free to still offer, though. No interest in Amiibo or Amiibo Cards.
submitted by ebudd08 to gameswap [link] [comments]

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