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Re: So what're you playing nowadays? (Gaming) by Daniel K (Jan 10, 2011)

Been playing a lot of Persona 3 Portable on the PSP lately. P3 has already become a contemporary classic, and this new version is just as much of a blast as playing it the first time. What surprises me is how they managed to cram most of the PS2-game onto one PSP disc without losing very much in the process, truly a stellar achievement. I played the new female main character route, and I like the Social Link scenarios in the female route a lot better than the ones in the male route. They're, on the whole, more interesting and better written. I really like the fact that you get a chance to hang out with every member of the gang if you want to, it sheds more light on the characters and gives their relationship more depth (I especially liked hanging out with Shinji, he's so cool). I heartily recommend P3P to all and everyone who hasn't experienced the wonders of P3 yet, and the new additions and streamlining of this new version makes it a worthwhile re-visit for veterans of P3 and P3 FES as well.

Now I think I'll go for some Startropics on the NES!

Re: The STC "Stream of Consciousness" Thread!! (Open Topic) by Daniel K (Dec 14, 2010)

rein wrote:

It's a terrible cliche to be depressed during the holidays, but being lonely, tired, and cold about does it.

Let me add to that an additional terrible cliche: you're not alone.

Re: "Alone in the Town" 100% bigger! :D (Soundtracks) by Daniel K (Dec 12, 2010)

Nice work, ST! smile "Alone in the Town" is such a great classic...

Re: Goodbye "Other Music Forum" (Open Topic) by Daniel K (Nov 26, 2010)

Even though I hardly ever post in the other music forum I was going to raise an objection here, until I remembered that sub-forums have disappeared before on STC - anyone remember the polls forum we had before the re-designing? At the time polls was removed, I thought it was a bad idea and that I would miss it, but I quickly forgot about it. It seems discussion and interest finds their channels when they need to, and that the structure isn't that important (as long as it isn't completely bloated like some places with 20+ sub-forums like mentioned above).

One thing I'd not be that keen on, though, would be to merge the discussion of game music and anime/film music into one sub-forum. I think most people would agree that the focal point and main event of STC, the one thing that unites everyone visiting the site, is discussion of the music and soundtracks of games, and that that topic should have it's own, independent sphere. If the other music forum is to go and no new substitute created, I would rather merge all of it with the open forum than with the game music forum.

But, eh. Whatever happens is really fine, I don't see a problem with leaving things as they are, either.

Re: Resident Evil 1... 2... 3... (Gaming) by Daniel K (Nov 22, 2010)

RE1: Its almost impossible for me to try to even aspire for "objectivity" in judging this game: its one of those games I will love and defend to unreasonable lengths no matter what. I know that its technically lacking in most regards when compared with later games, but I still love it. Its like that wonderful B-horror movie you love to watch time and again with your friends and then make up jokes and puns about. The legendarily hilarious dialogue is masterful in its subtlety (basically: you can't make this stuff on purpose if you consciously tried to aim for "bad voice acting"!). Everything about the game, the characters, the mood, the setting of a deserted mansion in the middle of the dark woods, I love all of it! And yes, the soundtrack of the first, non-dual shock version is definitely the better one, I think it stands head and shoulders over every other RE soundtrack. Basically, a great game hampered by some cumbersome controls and somewhat slow pacing, but with so much personality that I find myself returning to it over and over again.

RE2: Another classic, and probably the best oldschool RE if you're going by "objective" criteria. What I like best about RE2 is how ingeniously designed and thought-out it is with the branching paths taken by the two characters and the ways in which the story progresses. The whole story flows fluidly from location to location and makes the player suspend a whole boat-load of disbelief (a huge mansion-like police-station stuffed with works of art and secret passages? an underground laboratory complex hundreds of meters below a city? suuuuure...). Its not my favourite in the series, but there's on the other hand really nothing negative I can say about it, either. A fun oldschool survival horror ride.

RE3: Disliked this one intensely when it first came out, but like it somewhat better now, even though its still the weakest of the original PS1 trilogy. Like Amazingu pointed out, the "scares" are much cheaper, and it feels more like an action-game in a horror setting. It feels like the series definitely "went Hollywood" in this installment with explosions, monsters around every corner, and an invincible freak constantly chasing you. The gameplay feels a bit smoother and more streamlined in RE3, but in other respects, it just feels like a step down from RE2 and its definitely lacking RE1's atmosphere.

Code Veronica: Liked it a lot when it came out, but I've never found myself returning to it, and the end result of the experience felt pretty bland and forgettable. The soundtrack is good, but the characters and scenarios are just either tedious and completely uninteresting (Steve and his damn adolescent whining all the time), or completely incredulous and just over-the-top (the part of the plot stolen directly from Psycho, flying a fighter-jet to Antarctica, etc.).

RE1 Remake and RE0: I should have liked these more than I did, but by this point I just felt fatigued by the series. The Capcom-syndrome struck again: the games weren't bad by a long-shot, but were so similar to their predecessors that I just lost the passion for them. REmake is the better of the two oldschool GC games, it relies on the original RE1's great atmosphere and setting and really only needs to clean up some stuff and re-do the graphics (which are lovely!). The new additions were pretty meh, but I could live with them. RE0 was really more of the same in every single way minus the feeling of nostalgia REmake could boast, and it didn't stick with me, it was one of those games I enjoyed playing through but quickly forgot and never returned to. By this time, the time was way overdue for a re-vitalization of the series, and RE4 really delivered here!

Re: The Adventures Of Duane & BrandO (Soundtracks) by Daniel K (Nov 20, 2010)

Daniel K wrote:

with Duane's new solo-stuff its more often than not the original game synth overlaid with generic beats or The Plasmas helping out.

Haha, well, it seems I have to eat those words now. Duane's new band, Action Adventure World, just released their third EP (after Ghosts 'n Goblins and Mega Man 6). Its called World 1 - 3 and is a compilation of some of Duane's different songs that have been up on YouTube for a while, but they've all been re-worked from the ground up. Musically, he's moving away from the rock/metal-style that he did with The Plasmas on the two previous EPs, this one is much more electronic-sounding. The music is definitely crisper and more well-sounding in 320 kb/s original mp3s than the muddy demo versions on YouTube. The vocals have been re-done as well, and just like the case was with the LP of D, I'm in the initial state of doubt over whether they're better than the demo versions or not, but this is most likely because I've gotten so used to the earlier versions. The best tracks are still Castlevania 2, Bad Dudes, and Super Mario Land, but all of it is good really, and I find myself even liking the few non-VGM songs this time around (especially "Vigilante")! There's also a bitchin' remix of Bad Dudes. Check it out if interested: … world-1-3/

Re: The Adventures Of Duane & BrandO (Soundtracks) by Daniel K (Nov 16, 2010)

ElementalKnight wrote:

I love the Mega Man 6 album, though your criticisms are all totally right.  I think it's mainly because I love the music in MM6 so much to begin with.  He is not exactly the most creative lyricist.

I think Duane is a creative lyricist in short bouts, and especially so when he has a sparring partner like BrandO. What I disliked most about the MM6 EP is that the dynamic interplay that was present in their Mega Man 2 song (as well as much of the other material on the LP of D) was not there. When you take just one half of that formula and stretch it out over 20+ minutes, it just becomes Duane using variations of the same curses over and over. The MM2 song had those brilliant rap-battle exchanges between Mega Man and the robot masters keeping it fresh and clever, they managed to pack an explosive amount of punch into a 6-minute song that I just never grew tired of it, but the MM6 stuff is just a drawn-out, watered-down shadow of that, in my opinion.

Re: Castlevania Catch-All: Not enough talk, have at it! (Gaming) by Daniel K (Nov 15, 2010)

When it comes to Castlevania, anything from the classic 8- and 16-bit eras is pure gold (both the games and the soundtracks). CV 1 - 4, Bloodlines, Chronicles, Dracula X, the early Game Boy games, all of them are great (OK, not Castlevania Adventure... ). Symphony represents a turning-point: while the game itself is insanely great, it also laid down a mold that had a petrifying effect on the series and led to it's stagnation. I liked Castlevania 64 despite all it's glaring faults, but it was nowhere near as good as the earlier games, and while I enjoyed most of the handheld Metrovanias, they all just blurred into one anonymous mess once I had finished them, and I've never had any desire to re-visit them in the same sense in which I like to re-visit Symphony and the earlier more action-oriented ones. The PS2 games I completed more out of "loyalty" to the series than anything else, they were cumbersome, repetitive, and boring (especially Curse of Darkness, don't worry, you missed nothing there, Angela). Order of Ecclesia will probably stand as the last CV-game I played, and while I enjoyed it a lot, it didn't leave me hungry for more. Looking at all the different spin-offs that have appeared over the last couple of years, I have to say that the series seems to have become something of a parody of itself, and while I can't join in the chorus that condemns Lords of Shadow (simply because I haven't tried it), I have to say that nothing I've seen/heard from it makes me want to try it out.

Eying through the block of text above, I see most of it is negative, but overall I still love Castlevania and consider myself a big fan. Its just that it is a finished chapter for me: the series up until and including Symphony is what I will always return to and cherish in my gamer's heart. As far as I'm concerned, you can't go wrong with oldskool CV. If I have to pick an absolute favourite, it will be CV3 as the best game and CV4 as the best soundtrack.

There's so much in this thread that I could waste time commenting on, so I'll just stick to the points that struck me as most salient:

Amazingu wrote:
Angela wrote:

I plan to tackle Castlevania IV again soon, but I've been enjoying the ever-loving cross out of Rondo of Blood.  Strictly as Maria, though; I haven't the patience to play as Richter anymore.

Suddenly, it's become the most ideal Castlevania for me.  Maria's ease of use allows for a traditional, straightforward action-based Castlevania that doesn't bust your balls due to a rigid control scheme.  It's bliss.


A thousand times this.

Whenever I play a New Game on the PSP version, I rush to get Maria as quickly as possible and never look at Richter again. EVER.

Uncontrollable asshole.

I have to come to old Richter's defense here, I'm afraid. Maria just plain sucks because she completely ruins the game, for two reasons: 1. being a cringe-worthy, embarrassment-inducing abortion of a character that has no place in a Castlevania atmosphere, and 2. she's such a ridiculously over-powered character that she makes the game way, way too easy. One of the charms of the older Castlevanias (mirroring older games in general, really) was their ball-busting oldskool difficulty , and if you're playing as Maria, you're definitely playing softball and missing part of the experience.

Also... She's just wrong. Classical Belmonts FTW!

Amazingu wrote:

And that's one of my other beefs with the series as well. Far too much rehashing of old enemies, areas and music. As a major Mega Man fan, I can't help but notice how relatively free of enemy and music repitition that series has managed to stay in the past 20+ years.

Yeah. But its funny how even though the CV-games use a lot of rehashing of enemies and music, the Mega Man games still manage to be more repetitive. While the early CV games feel very distinct from each other and mix up the formula from game to game, Mega Man 1 - 6 is basically the same game. I agree though that post Symphony, the CV-series gets very repetitive in it's handheld incarnations.

Re: The Adventures Of Duane & BrandO (Soundtracks) by Daniel K (Nov 15, 2010)

BrandO also did a take on the classic first stage theme from the NES Batman soundtrack. The CV3-track didn't stick for me right away, but its slowly grown on me, and now I like it very much. The fact that I'm so familiar with the source material probably helps a lot.

I agree that Duane's absence is felt, though. He's overall the better vocalist of the two, his delivery is more powerful. But on the other hand, BrandO is the better arranger/musician. He usually re-arranges and plays all the themes on guitar himself, while with Duane's new solo-stuff its more often than not the original game synth overlaid with generic beats or The Plasmas helping out. I still like their solo-stuff, but they definitely were greater than the sum of their parts when they worked together, they had different strengths that complemented one another. With some of the new stuff, I'm just not feeling that power and joy in creating that was there before, for example the Mega Man 6 EP Duane did with The Plasmas just left me cold. Its too long-winded, the vocals are too repetitive and monotonous, and it just feels weak compared to what they created together in the Mega Man 2 song.

Re: Persona 2 PSP announced by Famitsu (Gaming) by Daniel K (Nov 15, 2010)

Great news. P2 is my favourite MegaTen-game, and everyone deserves a chance to try it. I hope they resist the urge to change too much in the game, unlike the case was with P1, the original P2 is still fully "playable" today, they only need to port it straight. And if they port IS, they have to port EP.

Re: The STC "Stream of Consciousness" Thread!! (Open Topic) by Daniel K (Sep 30, 2010)

Friends, don't forget to remind me that I owe Asclepius a rooster or two!

Re: So what're you playing nowadays? (Gaming) by Daniel K (Sep 30, 2010)

Pellasos wrote:

re-played some rondo of blood remake and got some additional items,

started symphony of the night afterwards. these games don't age.

Ain't that the truth! Especially Symphony has a replay value that's just through the roof. Apart from the very first Castlevania, I can't think of any other game that I've returned to as many times (CV1 taking the top spot because of it's comparatively short length, being very easy to just pick up and play through).

Its funny how I periodically get the strong urge to replay Symphony, while with the other Metrovanias, that never happens. That to me is one of the strongest indications that Symphony is the best of its kind: I keep returning to it, I know every nook and cranny of the castle by heart, while with the other Metrovanias, I just feel like completing them once or twice is enough, and my memory of their locales is a jumbled, scrambled mess of generic hallways and backgrounds.

Re: The PS1 Library (Gaming) by Daniel K (Sep 27, 2010)

Ashley Winchester wrote:
longhairmike wrote:

i still have not finished legend of mana (last touched 5 years ago),,, i think i have maybe 12 hours on it,, but i never felt like it was developing any story. it felt like just a bunch of mini quests

That's all Legend of Mana is... a bunch of side quests that very loosely fit together.

The above is the heart of my main gripe with LoM. I really wanted to like it because of it's legacy, and it's awesome music and art. But, in the end... It just felt completely unfocused and meandering, much more like a Romancing SaGa game than a Mana game.

Idolores wrote:

Also, gonna put P2 on hold until I get Innocent Sin going. Need to review my options for doing that. It never got the PAL treatment, did it?

It was only released in Japan. If you're not squeamish about emulation, your best option would probably be to download the ISO, patch it with the translation patch, and play it on an emulator. It runs perfectly on pSX and ePSXe. Seriously, even if you're only playing a single game on emulator in your whole life, this should be it. And if my crappy, 4-year-old laptop can handle it flawlessly, I don't think you should have any problem with it. The patch and all you need to know is here.

Idolores wrote:

I wanna learn how Tetsuya became such a badass.

It is indeed quite a story... smile

Re: The PS1 Library (Gaming) by Daniel K (Sep 27, 2010)

Ashley Winchester wrote:

It's still good, but time has shown me - much like Legend of Mana - it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

LOL, if we're talking Legend of Mana, I have to say that "time" wasn't really needed in my case - I thought it sucked right away, and every time I picked it up since just confirmed it further. I love the soundtrack and the art style, but beyond those, the game itself is just so much pointless, aimless, meandering fluff. I was deeply disappointed by it, especially as Secret of Mana and Seiken Densetsu 3 were some of my all-time favs on the SNES. Sometimes great series just die off like that in an instant, and for my money, there hasn't been a single good Seiken/Mana game since Seiken 3.

Re: The PS1 Library (Gaming) by Daniel K (Sep 26, 2010)

A long reply for a long post... Some agreement and some disagreement.

Idolores wrote:

Koudelka – This game is mediocrity redefined. How did a game as ambitious as this turn out to be such a goddamned mess? The man responsible for Secret of Mana’s music on board for directing and composing duties backed by former members of the team behind FF7 should’ve resulted in something legendary, but instead a compromised product was foisted upon us. Investigation reveals that Kikuta wanted something closer to Resident Evil, but the team wanted to do a traditional RPG. I place the blame on the stubborn team Kikuta had to direct; this game would’ve worked wonderfully as a survival horror title in my opinion.  It’s too bad the game is only barely good enough to see through to completion. I beat it in 15 hours, and that was WITH grinding. Sad, tragic even.

Agreed. Koudelka had some good ideas and a lot of promise, but the end result turned out more painful than fun. Still, it did have it's moments, and its one of those games I put in the category "I'm glad I slogged through this even if it was kinda disappointing, because the curiosity would've killed me otherwise".

Well, at least we can be thankful to Koudelka for one thing: there wouldn't have been a Shadow Hearts trilogy without it (Koudelka being the prequel to Shadow Hearts 1)!

Idolores wrote:

Parasite Eve II –I have no idea what happened here or if the writing and directing were handled by a different team entirely, but it's the only reason I can think of to explain why PE2 is such a drastically different, and in my opinion inferior product. Writing was pretty bad; between Aya acting out of character for most of the game and Kyle's last minute complete 360 in allegiance everything felt horribly conceived. The elements that defined Parasite Eve are there, to be sure, such as customizable weapons and armor and cool parasite abilities, but that’s where the similarities tragically end. Everything else came off to me as poor, lackluster and lazy. The soundtrack was perhaps the biggest disappointment, as it eschewed much of the masterful compositions and melodies of the original in favor of a completely generic, droning, ambient soundscape.

Now this, I don't agree with, at all. PE1 to me was one of those awkward games that couldn't make up it's damn mind if it wanted to be RPG or survival horror (many of the objections you had about Koudelka I consider applicable to PE1 as well). PE2 gets a lot of a crap since it's a straight-up horror game that had the deep un-fortune to land smack in the middle of Square's hysterical RPG-fanboy masses. Since almost everyone who tried it was much more a traditional RPG fan than a horror fan, it was deemed by the majority to be "not as good as the first". Well, poo on that, I say. It's only fault is that its a bit slow, otherwise its a damn fine game with great atmosphere. Dryfield, that small town out in the desert? Loved it. Felt so much more authentic than most survival horror settings usually do. Also, I'm not sure we could say that Aya acted "out of character" in PE2, she didn't have that much of an established character in PE1 to begin with. Its more appropriate to say we got to see more shades to her character here (I love all the small comments she offers when you investigate stuff in PE2).

And as for the soundtrack, sorry bro, but you're just plain wrong. You might say "I don't like dark ambient music, that's why I dislike this", and I'd be fine with that. But generic for being ambient...? Talk to the hand! *holds up hand a looks the other way* Hook it up to a great sound-system and play tracks like "Dark Field", "Abandoned Mine", or "Hold Your Breath", then you'll see. That the score fits the game like a glove to a degree that few other games/soundtracks can dream of is also a major plus. Apart from the ambient tracks, the tracks done in other genres are great and full of personality (how come no one with a negative opinion of this soundtrack ever brings them up when discussing it?). The country piece "Ghost Town" (the main Dryfield theme) is so annoyingly addicting that every time I hear it, it doesn't leave my brain for like a week afterward. The alt. rock piece "Vagrants" that plays on the jukebox in the game is damn cool, the boss theme "Crawling Waste Emperor" is pure industrial-techno mayhem, and the ending theme "Gentle Rays" blows most of the stuff from PE1 out of the water. Yes, unless you noticed by now, I'll defend this OST to death against anything and anyone! tongue

As for PE1's OST, I loved it when it first came out, but its aged badly, IMO. Whereas PE2 OST has gone up in my esteem with time, the trend is the reverse for PE1 OST. I used to place it above Legend of Mana OST as Shimomura's best, but that has since changed.

Idolores wrote:

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment –I initially balked at P2’s slow pace in story and gameplay, but much like a good novel, it needs to be given the chance to pick up the pace. The storyline is dark and mature, even coming off as a little bit creepy at times and I really love the music. Honestly, I’m not crazy about the gameplay; negotiating with demons for tarot cards is boring to me, but everything else is getting really good. Speaking as someone who played P3 and 4 first,  no S Links is both good and bad; I no longer have to deal with losers like Kaz and Kenji (Persona 3), but I will miss the teammate interaction that the system afforded us in Persona 4.

I'm glad you're warming up to it. P2 is my favourite in the series. I forgot to tell you (I think you're already aware), but Eternal Punishment is actually only half of the game, the second half. You're essentially jumping into the action midway through the story. If your PS1 can handle burned CDs, I STRONGLY suggest you either track down a copy of the Japanese Innocent Sin or download it, and then patch the ISO with the English translation patch that's available. The translation is top-notch and IS is every bit as great as EP. Playing the first part will enrich your experience of the second, and together they form the best RPG ever made, in my opinion.

I have no idea how someone who begun with the newer Personas would experience the older ones, but when I went back to the P2s last summer, I found they still trumped P3 and P4. The story, characters, and music is just sharper and more hardcore and mature, its obvious when you compare them that Atlus went for more of a casual-gamer mass audience with the later games (and they did after all succeed, considering how popular the series has now become). About the gameplay, I don't think its that much slower than the new ones, I suspect you had to deal with a beginner's learning curve and adjustment. I like how P2 holds your hands a lot less than the new ones, no dumb and pointless Social Link scenarios to suffer through, full control in battle (compared to P3), fully customizable personas on all characters, not just the main character (one thing I HATED about P3 and P4 is how only the main character gets to change personas, while the other guys are stuck with their boring old ones throughout most of the game... what's up with that?), etc....

As for negotiating with demons, you do know that this is more the norm than not in Megaten games? tongue P3 and P4 are more like exceptions in this regard. And demon negotiations are pretty light in P2 compared to the earlier games. I'm currently slogging through Shin Megami Tensei 1, and those £@£$@#%&!!! bastards are just constantly cock-blocking, taking my money then running way. sad

Idolores wrote:

Silent Hill – A clunky, flimsy gameplay experience made up for by the fact that there seems to be good story telling at work. From what I heard, it isn’t as good as Silent Hill 2, but also is a completely different flavour; I’m about an hour in and don’t really know what to expect. I really love the dark imagery, though.

As for the comparison to Silent Hill 2, that depends on who you ask. Most would say SH2 is better, I prefer SH1 (we've had this discussion many times). SH2 is beautiful, but SH1's darkness is something that will never leave me. Actually, the difference reminds me of what I wrote about old Persona vs. new Persona above: SH1 is not as technically advanced or prettily "presentable" as the later titles, but damn if it isn't more hardcore and true to what it sets out to achieve!

Re: So what're you playing nowadays? (Gaming) by Daniel K (Sep 25, 2010)

avatar! wrote:

You know what, I've decided it's simply not worth the time nor effort. I made it to the 4th Stratum, and cursed myself for wasting as much time as I did with it (which wasn't really that much).

Carl wrote:

The forced grinding isn't fun, but this game doesn't aim to be fun, it aims to make you a hardened warrior by weeding out all the chaff wannabes. You have to ENDURE and SURVIVE this game, as it WILL beat the hell out of you.

These comments remind me of my current struggle with Shin Megami Tensei 1 on the SNES. Tough-as-nails oldsk00l RPG grinding, very straining to muddle through (I've died like a gazillion times so far), but yet strangely rewarding and even addicting in a way that few modern RPGs are. The story starts out very sparse, but gets much better after a while, almost as to reward you for having the tenacity to hang in there and take the punches. Love it! I'm even starting to like the minimalistic soundtrack after having the songs pounded into my brain for so long.

Re: Thing$ you WILL NOT be purcha$ing: $ticker $hock (Open Topic) by Daniel K (Sep 25, 2010)

All the things mentioned in this thread can be easily found and downloaded off of the 'net. Just sayin'...

Re: New IRS Reporting Rules to Hit eBay and Paypal (Open Topic) by Daniel K (Sep 24, 2010)

longhairmike wrote:

holy crap dudes, this here is a game music forum,, we dont take too kindly to your type and your intellectualistic battles.
can't you just settle this the good old fashion way? by that, of course, i mean some online chess or something...

<pretends to insert picture with caption about arguing on the internet and special olympics>

LOL! You're entirely right, its pretty pointless, as we're not going to "settle" anything here. But still, sometimes these "fights" are amusing (in a rare blue moon even rewarding), and we're all friends still. Right, avatar!? smile

Now where ever did I displace my copy of Statistical Nerd Monthly...?

Re: So what're you playing nowadays? (Gaming) by Daniel K (Sep 24, 2010)

Idolores wrote:
Daniel K wrote:

An advice: don't make the mistake of going into the earlier Persona games expecting them to be like P3 or P4, its like apples and oranges. Take it on it's own merit.

I knew that going in. The game is just wholesomely average in my opinion.

LOL! Kids today, man... Kids today just crack me up! big_smile

Ashley Winchester wrote:

I've been kind of tempted by it already.... and amazingly I have a PSP.

In that case, I say go for it! Its your chance to discover an old PSX classic that's been revamped in the best possible way.

Re: New IRS Reporting Rules to Hit eBay and Paypal (Open Topic) by Daniel K (Sep 24, 2010)

avatar! wrote:

Once people have made up their mind on a subject (be it scientific, political, or otherwise) it's impossible to dissuade them. I'm sure you're just dying to say that I'm the same way, but I'm actually more than willing to change my perspective if I see *LEGITIMATE DATA*

You are exactly the same, avatar!. You clearly have a strong pro-police bias which shines through in your reasoning. Now, IF you're willing to be "dissuaded" as you say, hang in in the thread a little while longer.

avatar! wrote:

You seem to refuse to believe this because of your conspiracy-like-theory, that is, you admit that you doubt that "only" 2000 cases are legit, because it was reviewed by the Department of Justice.

You are completely making a straw man figure out of me here. I haven't advanced any conspiracy-theory and I'm not out to throw dirt on the police. I don't doubt that the figure is legitimate, I just think your usage of said figure is completely wrong. Its a classical textbook example of highly selective interpretation of statistics to suit one's own needs.

Anyone who knows anything about statistics will know what accuracy and validity means. Accuracy is whether the number itself is correct in what its trying to say. Validity, on the other hand, is whether that figure can be used for what one is trying to prove, whether it is even relevant at all to the issue at hand. What I've been trying to tell you that you seem unable to grasp is that the accuracy of your figure is correct, but it completely lacks validity for what you're trying to prove. You've already admitted yourself that the figure loses some of it's validity because not all cases are reported (thus not all cases are represented in the figure). Let's go a step further and ask the question: how can you use the total number of arrests in the US in one year (10 million) as one of the variables in your equation, when an incident of police brutality can just as well occur completely unrelated to any arrest? If we imagine that a cop hits or beats up a guy without trying to arrest him, this would completely fall outside of your numbers and thus further invalidate them, right?

This is NOT an attempt to further some anti-police conspiracy-theory or to muddle the picture, it is a LEGITIMATE methodological objection that you'd have to be able to meet if you were doing a serious study on the subject. That you keep clinging to a statistic, the validity of which has all but been torn to shreds suggests to me that you're after all yourself one of those people who are not willing to change their minds on anything once its made up.

avatar! wrote:

not just so-called "critical thinking" which in this case is based on speculation without any real hard data.

None of us have such data, that's what I've been trying to tell you. The figures presented in this discussion have been pulled off Wikipedia without much thought and they can be attacked and discredited in countless ways, if we really wanted to say anything at all of substance on the matter, we'd have to do a huge study and consider as many variables as possible. So, avatar!, you really have no "hard data", you just picked a number from Wikipedia which seemed to confirm your view, then closed your jaws adamantly like a bulldog. I'm not the one making a hen out of a feather and launching any positive claims, all I've been doing is advancing legitimate objections. What I've been trying to do with the usage of my so-called "critical thinking" that you seem to scorn (funny attitude for a scientist, I must say... ) is to make it plain that you're drawing big conclusions from minuscule data in a way that works on an online forum, but would not work in a serious study.

Re: So what're you playing nowadays? (Gaming) by Daniel K (Sep 23, 2010)

Idolores wrote:

Been playing Persona 2. Almost ten hours in, definitely don't like it as much as P3 or 4, but it isn't bad. Really good music.

An advice: don't make the mistake of going into the earlier Persona games expecting them to be like P3 or P4, its like apples and oranges. Take it on it's own merit.

Re: New IRS Reporting Rules to Hit eBay and Paypal (Open Topic) by Daniel K (Sep 23, 2010)

avatar! wrote:

No, I did not miss this point, nor does it invalidate my numbers.

Your numbers are bogus, avatar!, that's what I've been trying to show you. Dividing 2000 with 10 million is ludicrous, because 2000 is the number of citizen complaints filed and found to have merit by the Department of Justice in the year 2002. It is a gross oversimplification on your part to claim that this equals the actual number of incidents of police brutality in reality. As has already been shown, far from every case gets filed as an official complaint, either because the process itself is too heavily bureaucratic or that the victim is too intimidated or just reckons it to be pointless, because many people are convinced the courts would never turn against the police anyway.

avatar! wrote:

13.6% "had cause to complain" is NOT the same thing as police brutality. Notice that one of the complaints is discourtesy. What does that entail? If a police officer pulls you over and tells you that you were speeding and 'you better be careful or you could hit someone!'is that discourteous? Where do you draw the line?

We don't know anything more than the numbers given. I agree that its hardly likely that those 13.6% were all subjected to force, but still, 13.6% out of 12,000 randomly selected people is quite a lot... Even if we grant that as many as 90% of those people only had to suffer "discourtesy", that still leaves 10% that had to suffer something more severe. With that many cases, there's bound to be more incidents of shady stuff and foul play than we would be comfortable to admit.

avatar! wrote:

As for the other statistic, the one concerning 14 precincts, that is something that has more merit, however I don't know what constitutes "unnecessarily difficult" nor "intimidating". Where were those precincts? Were they randomly chosen, or are they from some of the most violent cities in the US?

But in any case, 14 out of 14 is quite a lot, wouldn't you agree? I find it to be a quite troubling statistic, even if it happened to be taken from the most violent cities. It shows that there's a net of bothersome bureaucracy in place that prevents many cases from even being investigated.

Its funny how critical you are to my interpretation of the numbers, and how generous you are to your own. It just goes to show how elastic random statistics are, they bend and fold to the biases of whoever is using them.

Re: Going back to CD (Open Topic) by Daniel K (Sep 23, 2010)

GoldfishX wrote:
Daniel K wrote:

(although if a player with 200 GB worth of storage and the ability to play FLAC becomes available, I might reconsider, LOL). … d2-review/

Consider this beast.

It looks cool, but I'm not sure about it. I'm inexperienced with portable music players, I hate overly complex gadgets and crave simplicity in my listening habits. Quotes like this one really put me off (from your link): However, if you want a simple, easy-to-operate audio player, then the D2 is probably not the right one for you. I don't want a jungle of different options and the ability to watch videos or surf the internet or whatever. It doesn't have to be able to make pancakes for me and rub my balls or things like that (to use the late, great George Carlin's phrase). I just want a music player with a huge-ass holding capacity and the ability to play FLAC-files (because practically all my music is in FLAC), those would be my only concerns.

Re: New IRS Reporting Rules to Hit eBay and Paypal (Open Topic) by Daniel K (Sep 23, 2010)

avatar! wrote:

Clearly, I did not just arbitrarily divide! Where do you think 26,556 complaints come from? They come when people come into contact with police!

avatar!, did you miss the second part of my last post? The fact that you didn't include it in your quote seems to suggest so. You can't divide those 26,556 cases by the total number of arrests in the country, because you (or I) have no idea whether these 26,556 cases represent all registered complaints during that year. You're just grasping at a number here. Contrary to what you seem to think, "any number at all" just doesn't cut it, you have to make sure its relevant to what you want to say.

Furthermore - and this part is even more important - your assumption is further invalidated by what I wrote in the second part of my last post. Since you didn't seem to notice it, I have to be so rude as to post it again. Please read carefully, its from the first link you provided above:

Other studies have shown that most police brutality goes unreported. In 1982, the federal government funded a "Police Services Study," in which over 12,000 randomly selected citizens were interviewed in three metropolitan areas. The study found that 13.6 percent of those surveyed claimed to have had cause to complain about police service (including verbal abuse, discourtesy and physical abuse) in the previous year. Yet only 30 percent of those who acknowledged such brutality filed formal complaints. A 1998 Human Rights Watch report stated that in all 14 precincts it examined, the process of filing a complaint was "unnecessarily difficult and often intimidating."

Now, you asked for hard numbers and statistics, and I gave them to you. In the above passage we have two statistics, one from a government source and another from an independent watch-group (the validity being made stronger by use of multiple sources). They both strongly suggest that far, far from every case of police brutality even gets as far as being reported. The first study finds that 13.6% of people asked had had trouble with the police. That is 13.6 percent out of a total of 12,000 randomly selected people, definitely not a small sum, and quite above the 0.02% you propose. Out of that number, only 30 percent filed formal complaints. This means that the actual number of incidences of police brutality is not equal to the number of filed complaints, which significantly weakens the one statistic you provided, as it is based on only reported cases.

Here you might retort and say "well, if people don't file complaints when they're abused, they only have themselves to blame". Fair enough, you can take that attitude, but you still have to deal with the fact that a lot - probably most - of police brutality goes unreported and thus falls outside your statistics. As the second study quoted above shows, in 14 out of 14 precincts examined (100%!), "the process of filing a complaint was "unnecessarily difficult and often intimidating"". I do not doubt that statistic at all. I've had a couple of friends who've filed complains about government agencies (not the police, but close), and the process is a long and grueling one where you really have to have a strong personality and be able to stand up for yourself to take it to the end. Far from everyone has that strength, and if we're talking about something like police brutality, where you in addition also have to deal with the traumatization of a violent episode at the hands of those who are supposed to be guarding the peace in society, I can only imagine it being much, much harder. This is the point that I've been trying to make: a lot of things happen "in the dark" and never reach the light of day in the courts, so any "official statistic" you might provide us with in this question should be taken with a handful if not a bucketful of salt. The figures might be plain and readily available in the natural sciences, but the situation is often not that simple and straightforward in social studies, so don't make the mistake of thinking that once you have a number, you have the whole problem figured out.

Re: New IRS Reporting Rules to Hit eBay and Paypal (Open Topic) by Daniel K (Sep 22, 2010)

avatar! wrote:

Without direct evidence you are only guessing.

As I pointed out in point #2 above, "direct evidence" is not easily available in questions like these. Again, the link you yourself posted even says While the prevalence of police brutality in the United States is not comprehensively documented, statistics on police brutality are much less available.

avatar! wrote:

As for being a scientist, that's exactly what the numbers are for. I need hard evidence.

What you want is some easy numbers you can toss off to justify your own bias. As for "hard numbers", the one statistic you provided is anything but. Let's see what is says, shall we? wrote:

The few statistics that exist include a 2006 Department of Justice report, which showed that out of 26,556 citizen complaints about excessive use of police force among large U.S. agencies (representing 5% of agencies and 59% of officers) in 2002, about 2000 were found to have merit.

First thing to note: statistics on the subject are few.
Second thing to note: out of these few statistics, one can be found in a 2006 Department of Justice report.
Third thing to note: what this one statistic says is that "out of 26,556 citizen complaints about excessive use of police force among large U.S. agencies [...] in 2002, about 2000 were found to have merit".

From these premises, you somehow conclude the incidence of police brutality to be 0.02%, when all this fragmentary statistic really says is that 2000 out of 26,556 citizen complaints in 2002 about excessive use of police force were found to have merit. That means that out of those cases investigated in the report, about 1 in 13 were found to have merit. We know nothing more than this, neither what sample was used, whether the report focused on any particular group of crimes, geographic areas, age groups, etc.. Yet you somehow see it fit to just arbitrarily divide those 2000 cases by 10 million because that's how many arrests there are in the US in one year, which doesn't have anything at all to do with it. The figures given are citizen complaints of police brutality, it has nothing to do with the number of arrests. We do not even know if these figures represent the total number of citizen complaints, or just a sampling used in the report. So I'm sorry, your number isn't "hard evidence", its not even correct, its just something you came up with to try to muddle our eyes and shut us up with numbers, isn't it?

And that is just one side of the coin. The link you posted yourself goes beyond the merely reported cases to state:

Other studies have shown that most police brutality goes unreported. In 1982, the federal government funded a "Police Services Study," in which over 12,000 randomly selected citizens were interviewed in three metropolitan areas. The study found that 13.6 percent of those surveyed claimed to have had cause to complain about police service (including verbal abuse, discourtesy and physical abuse) in the previous year. Yet only 30 percent of those who acknowledged such brutality filed formal complaints. A 1998 Human Rights Watch report stated that in all 14 precincts it examined, the process of filing a complaint was "unnecessarily difficult and often intimidating."

Something to contemplate, perhaps?

All of that said, I agree with you that the discussion has taken a somewhat paranoid turn... Most police officers are indeed honest people just doing their job. But still, 2000 cases of brutality from those who are supposed to "protect and serve" society is 2000 cases too many.

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