Tuesday, March 2, 2010

10 things that bother me (that are mostly trivial)

The number of things that bother me is astronomical. I figure that is true of most everyone. There are a lot of very annoying and sad things in the world. I could list hundreds, even thousands of things very easily. I'm not going to do that. What I am going to do is complain about some pretty trivial things (as opposed to things of actual, or at least greater, importance like: my country having a larger percentage of its people imprisoned than any country in the known history of the world; that the wealthiest nation on Earth has the widest gap between rich and poor of any industrialized nation; problems with health-care; historical revisionism -manipulating and misrepresenting historical evidence; etc.).

1. The number of people that do not realize that there is a difference between an opportunist (using the definition taking immediate advantage, often unethically, of any circumstance of possible benefit) and a person who is manipulative (such as a con artist).

2. Find it annoying when people say because a person can be manipulated they are not manipulative or use that as a reason to say that they are not good at manipulating others. All that proves is that the person has something that is exploitable.

3. Really annoyed when people cherry pick things to fit their arguments ignoring things that contradict their argument.

4. The claim that someone cheated when there were no rules stated or implied. This is particularly annoying when the character/person in question does follows the rules if rules are stated.

5. The use of combat levels in fiction. While it is undoubtedly true that a person can be more skilled, knowledgeable, or experienced the use of combat levels is annoying and pretty stupid. Taking various things like skills, tactical ability, and physical stats into account is good but remember that those things only increase the odds; they do not make the battles into sure things. A lucky strike, underestimating an opponent, being tired, use of weapons (longer reach, blades, increased hitting power, etc.), being surprised, use of poisons, or many other factors could lead to a superior fighter being defeated by an inferior fighter.

6. Related to #5: Just because a person lost a battle or has trouble fighting their opponent it does not mean the person is less skilled than the winner. There are many things to take into account such as: was the character limiting himself in some way, playing with his opponent, distracted, fighting a defensive battle (usually harder), trying to prevent the attacker from being seriously hurt, purposely letting the opponent get hits in, using a newly learned fighting style or tactic, was the intent even to defeat the opponent (people get into fights they do not want to fight or for a purpose other than defeating the opponent), did one character have a force multiplier (such as weapons), etc.

7. Stores rearranging their items for the purpose of making customers search for items longer in the hopes they will pass up and purchase something they would not have done so otherwise.

8. Companies including less product for the same price but repacking it so that this is not obvious.

9. Stupid shopping cards. I dislike that stores require you to give them information so as to get objects at the price they are supposed to be at. It is very good for the stores since it makes it easier to track shopping patterns, they can list two prices: one with card and one without so as to trick customers into believing that they are saving money when they are not, and I don't really like that they know exactly what items I purchase (view it as an invasion of privacy).

10. Lies in food labeling. Things like the over use of natural (produced without direct human intervention) which is often no different than those that are man-made and in many cases is not actually natural at all (take oranges/orange juice for example, an orange is a hybrid cultivated in ancient times, no orange is truly natural). Also just because something is natural doesn't mean it is good for you after-all arsenic and mercury are natural substances (also sadly a study I saw showed that an extraordinary amount of herbal products from China contain Mercury). I had just read a document called Food Labeling Chaos by the Center for Science in the public interest (in pdf format) that listed some of the problems with food labeling and possible solutions to the problems.

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