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  1. #21
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    20th May 2020 11:49 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by StarDood64 View Post
    I think the issue largely boils down to money. Let me give you an example: let's take video games. Many people would argue that video games from yesteryear, things like DOOM or the 2D Zelda games, are largely better games than what we have today; the kind of stuff like endless Call of Duty rehashes. Now you have to wonder, what exactly happened for us to go from these innovative, passion-driven games to these uninspired sequels? Did people with talent and passion just disappear one day? I think it comes down to a filtering process. There was a time when games were developed by people who were A) college-educated and had to be extremely skilled and intelligent to make games simply because there were far fewer resources for making them than there are today, and B) extremely passionate and creative, which again, they would have to be to go into an (at the time) fledgling industry that didn't have the promise of huge profits. Now compare that against what we have today: almost anybody can make a video game because there are millions of easy-to-use programs that let you do so (thus, talent and education are no longer required), and passion/creativity is no longer a necessity because most people who do make games are either trying to replicate the games they played in their childhood, or are working for large corporations who bottleneck their creative freedom. This is worsened by the ever-expanding budget of said games, which further prevent people from trying new things, and instead focus on marketing-driven development. Essentially, what we have now is a perfect storm of less talented individuals, less passion and creativity, and huge budgets that scare investors.

    Now apply this to everything else. Movies, TV shows, music, just about anything. There are comparatively few emerging industries left in the world. Almost everything has been charted out and put on a graph. People are no longer willing to take risks, experiment or throw money at passion projects because there's no guarantee of success, and investors/marketers don't want to back something that isn't a guaranteed return. This is why there are so many Marvel movies for example -- these films are a proven design for success, and even though they have declined sharply in quality and increased greatly in quantity, they continue to be made because they were built upon a pre-defined outline. Unfortunately, the result is now a world where "soulful" things have been abandoned in favor of money. Most music is now produced largely by algorithms and focus group testing (even voices are digitally edited), television programs are extremely formulaic and almost never deviate from the trifecta of news-reality-drama -- even food has become almost entirely manufactured and created to yield the most gains with the least effort. Even the crops we use to make food are manufactured so to speak, through genetic engineering the like. In a way, our whole existence has become plastic.
    For anyone allergic to walls of text, no matter how well-written, the tl;dr version of the above is "the entertainment industry now caters to the lowest common denominator to reap as much profit as possible from the plebs while keeping faceless investors/shareholders happy and has thus become painfully generic", and it's absolutely correct.

    That stuff about the GM food is a bit iffy though. That's actually been very beneficial as a whole because having disease-resistant crops and higher harvest yields is a win/win situation, unless you want to spend winter eating pine cones or something.
    "It turned out that the ghost was just Mr. Finley, who ran the amusement park. The spooky part is that, as soon as the ghost appeared, the teenagers' dog began to speak! And it spoke in a tortured parody of human speech: 'relp me, Raggy,' it would say. 'I am an abomination and rould re rilled. Rill re, Raggy.'"

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaronOfStuff View Post
    That's actually been very beneficial as a whole because having disease-resistant crops and higher harvest yields is a win/win situation, unless you want to spend winter eating pine cones or something.
    Beneficial on paper, and in certain situations (like the use of Golden Rice in third world countries that have life-threatening nutrient deficiencies) but quite the contrary otherwise. Disease/pest resistance comes at a price, often times the price being the health of the individual consuming the plant. Some GM corn, for example, has been designed to express a gene present in a species of bacterium which produces endotoxins that are harmful to humans and pests alike. Other varieties still, have been designed to withstand extreme exposure to sprayings of glyphosate, the use of which has been both listed as a probable human carcinogen by the WHO, and directly linked to Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. This is but one example, as there are also issues with the pollution of wild crops with GM genes that can adversely affect wildlife, the possible issues associated with horizontal gene transfer, not to mention the fact that, ironically, use of GM crops has actually been linked to lower yields than organic farming, in part because GM plants are largely identical clones, and if a particular unforeseen disease manages to afflict the crop, there is no genetic variance to deter destruction of the entire harvest. GM technology is mainly utilized as a way for corporations like Monsanto to secure rights to particular crop breeds that they can they sell to eager farmers and monopolize the market, with very little thought given to the implications of doing so. This also ignores the fact that genetics is an incredibly complex field, and we know probably about 5% of what there is to know -- so to be releasing genetically modified organisms into our environment when we aren't even sure of what the long-term impact will be, is quite foolish. So, to say that the use of GM crops is a "win/win" or even "iffy" is, I'm afraid, not backed scientifically or even on the grounds of common sense.

    I did chuckle a bit at your notion that the implementation of solely organic farming procedures would somehow result in us eating pine cones for winter, though. I don't recall people eating pine cones prior to the release of the first genetically modified food crop (Flavr Savr tomatoes) in the mid-90s, but I'll have to look into that.

    tl;dr for people who are allergic to reading: GM technology is not what I'd called a win of any kind.

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