Failing In So Many Ways


Liang Nuren – Failing In So Many Ways

RL Politics

This is a political blog post.  I don’t really care if you don’t agree – or if you read it.  Its mostly here so that I can grapple with these thoughts in my own way.  A few people (including some coworkers) will probably read it, and I hope nobody gets offended.  I’m pretty sure that nobody I know in person is going to be offended at any rate. If you do get offended, please remember that I’m a programmer, not an accountant.  I’m absolutely positive that my back of the envelope analysis of the numbers and political situation is complete hogwash and bullshit.  And I’m a total moron, ignoramus, and idiot.  IANAL, YMMV, etc. 🙂

So, according to the IRS [], $1,175,422,000,000 in income tax was paid by 144,103,375 tax returns.  This means that the average (mean) tax return paid $8,156.80 in taxes.  According to the same data source, the average (median) American also makes $33,048 per year.  This isn’t apples to apples (mixing medians and means), but one could make the statement that your “average” American paid ~24.7% in taxes – which is a little bit more than I have seen quoted as the “average” tax paid per person.

Mitt Romney made $21,700,000 in 2010 and paid 3,000,000 in taxes [] for an effective tax rate of 13.8%.  The number cited in popular media is 14%, so I suspect one (or more likely, both) of the estimates are off a bit.  Of course, the national media (and Newt Gingrich, of course) are having a field day with these numbers.  I’m not going to go into that, and in fact I’ve only passingly read the analysis in the news.  I’ll do my own analysis, which is undoubtedly wrong and biased in some way or another.  So if we neglect the fancy accounting and diverse sources of income, I would have expected Mitt Romney’s effective income tax rate to be ~35% [wikipedia].  This would mean his taxes should have weighed in at $7,595,000 – more than twice what he actually paid.

According to the same site, in 2009 there were 8274 tax returns with over $10,000,000 on them, and they totaled for $240,133,885,000 in gross income.  I’m not savvy enough in the reading of these spread sheets to make a really detailed analysis – and frankly I don’t want to take the time to become so.  So I’ll just make sweeping generalizations that are patently incorrect.  For example, despite the fact that I know the news has been making noise about many of these people paying no taxes at all, that’s an average of $29,022,708 per return – while its significantly more than Romney made, its also seems pretty close so I’ll use him as an average representative of this tax bracket group.

So lets first examine some numbers here:

  • Romney reported as much money as 657 “average” Americans.
  • Romney paid as much money as 368 “average” Americans.
  • Romney should have paid as much money as 931 “average” Americans.
  • The “missing taxes” is equivalent to an extra 563 “average” Americans paying taxes.
  • The group as a whole should have been taxed $84,046,859,750 – which means that they would account for the taxes of 10,303,901 “average” Americans.
  • Using Romney as a representative sample (massive statistical error there – and hell the actual numbers for this are probably available somewhere on the internet), they actually paid $33,138,476,130 – as much as 4,062,681 “average” Americans.
  • Again, using Romney as the sample, avoided $50,908,383,620 in taxes – as much as 6,241,220 “average” Americans.  Putting that in perspective: fancy finances made it as though the entire populations of Los Angeles and Chicago didn’t pay taxes.   Assume they were composed entirely of “average” hard working Americans – for those anyone out there who wants to think they’re nothing but big ghettos anyway.

So really, I don’t begrudge him making all that money – he’s obviously a pretty shrewd guy and is ruthlessly taking advantage of the current tax rules.  There’s almost certainly nothing illegal in his taxes, because I’m sure he has a fantastic accountant.  In one sense, that’s exactly the kind of guy that you want to be in the Oval Office: someone that’s ruthless and knows how to set his finances straight.  Unfortunately, I don’t see him campaigning to fix this kind of behavior… and in fact I see quite a bit of campaigning to preserve and expand it.  That makes me think that once in the Oval Office he’d be excellent at setting his finances straight… and not so much the finances of the country itself.

And yet, to me Romney is the best the GOP has to offer these days.  He’s the only GOP candidate that doesn’t seem to be bowing down to the whim of the tea party and their efforts to institute a Talibanesque “Christian Fundamentalist” Theocracy here in the United States.  He’s the only GOP candidate that seems to be willing to stand up to those who are willing to hold the entire nation hostage with their shady back room politicking.  But, he is still a Republican and “his party” is drifting farther and farther from what I hope is main stream thinking.  He’s contaminated if for no other reason than his roots and simple proximity.

I don’t know whether its really true or not anymore, but I have traditionally thought of myself as a religiously, socially, and financially conservative person.  This makes tons of sense too, because I grew up in Texas – the very belt buckle of the Bible Belt.  I grew up Republican, and proudly so.  But somewhere along the line, something changed – either with me or with the party of my youth.  Probably both really… but from my perspective they broke faith with me first.  And so the really sad thing is that I’m watching the political party of my youth divide and destroy itself.

And the most galling thing of all?  I’m glad to see it.


Filed under: Personal Life, , ,

Sunday PVP

As a general rule, Sundays are a great day for market PVP and a terrible day for spaceship PVP.  Today seemed much the same to me, though a large part of that was probably because I went through the long and arduous process of reviewing, deleting, and re-encoding my steadily accumulating fraps collection (150-200GB).  At least I had the occasion to spend most of that time chatting with friends on vent – which is what I was doing when Hahbs relayed The Call to us: a Thanatos was tackled in Egg.

So all of us that could immediately switched vents over to the Heretic vent while logging in.  I took a brief moment to settle on a ship – we needed damage so that meant either the Brutix (1000 DPS of face melting neutron damage) or the Talos (less DPS but much more range).  I figured the Talos would be better equipped to deal with the fighters and drones, and the Brutix had absolutely no defense against neuts – so the Talos it was.  I undocked and made a bee line towards Egg.  Most of us – me included – were pretty fortunate in that we only had to travel two jumps, but AshenShugar01 came from much further away – charging 11 jumps though dangerous high sec while the faction police dogged his every step.

I got the fleet invite as soon as I entered system, but I was already in warp to asteroid belt 7-1.  I landed the second point on the Thanny, which allowed Airframe to go ship up from his Dramiel.  It wasn’t terribly long before Hahbs was there in his Curse and Wili in his Hurricane, and it would seem that both of them were more interesting targets for the fighters than my Talos.  When the fighters were in range (most of the time), I’d shoot at them… but I spent more than a little time shooting the carrier too.

When the thanny found that Wili kept warping out, he put his fighters on me… but I didn’t have any real trouble with them and did some kiting and web action to lay many of his fighters low.  Soon enough, all the fighters were down and we began to shoot the carrier in earnest – by this time I’d probably taken him down to denting armor.  With all of us shooting him he was dropping fast – faster than any of us expected.  And, he wasn’t repping… which meant that maybe the curse had capped him out much earlier than we’d anticipated.

By the time the carrier was hitting half structure – still no neuts and no repping – AshenShugar01 was landing in his Dramiel.  He just didn’t have time to ship up once he got there and frankly he deserved to get on the mail – by all rights the fight should have lasted much longer than it did and he was very generous in dropping everything to come help us out.  And, of course, the carrier went down [killboard] – much to the lulz of everyone involved.

AshenShugar01 found as an Imicus a few seconds later (boy howdy, is he fast on that scanner!) and then it was time for us all to head home.  Amamake, as was expected of a Sunday night, was freaking quiet… and I was just about to go to bed when I undocked one more time.

And there was an Arbitrator on the station with me.  Ok, that’s fine – start to lock him up and he warped off.  I warped to 3-1 and did some D-scanning to find him at a Minmatar plex.  I warned everyone I was going in as I hit the acceleration gate.  I went in expecting to burn after the Arbitrator only to find he was right on the entrance.  As expected, he came at me with TD, neuts, scram, and drones.  He wasn’t hitting me particularly hard but it was devilishly hard to hold a point on him.  I burned a few cap booster charges holding it, but hold the point I did – and while I was at it I took him to a very tiny sliver of structure.  3 out of 4 of us managed to get on the mail before the last 120 damage was delivered.  Jude did manage to snag the pod, and he refused ransom… so that was that.

So then I warp from the plex back to 3-1 and there’s Darthewok (a forum warrior of sorts) in a prophecy 230 above the belt.  I wait for a minute or so to see if he’s going to warp down to me, but he doesn’t so I tell Jude to warp in 200km above the belt and tackle him.  Which he does, and I warp up to help out with the Harpy.  And – as usual – I’m the tank.  He’s got me with a disruptor + scram + web + neut and I’m actually taking a fair amount of damage from him despite my close orbit.  Through the flashes of status text I get the vague impression that he’s running frigate guns on the Prophecy, which makes an evil kind of sense.  I chewed through even more cap boosters holding my tank up, but it seemed he clicked orbit and I managed to counter-orbit him for even higher transversal – gotta love that damage mitigation.  I held up the counter orbit until he died, and we exchanged GFs in local as he rejected the ransom.

Well, not such a bad Sunday for PVP afterall!

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , ,

Amamake Fun III

I present Amamake Fun III which appears to consist entirely of fights in the Harpy.  You can see some of these fights on Hahbs PVP video.

Fight 1: I included the Taranis/Harpy vs 2 Jag fight because it really illustrates how far my frigate piloting skills have come.  Also, at the time Jags were considered OP compared to blaster ships. 🙂

Fight 2: The Brutix fight is interesting primarily because its the result of some mad shit talking from Club Bear – the shit talking has gone from local to twitter to talk of hot drops and finally culminated in an attempted gank on my Harpy at Amamake top belt with a pair of BCs.  There seems to be some grumbling over how their attempted gank turned into an actual fight.  During this fight my computer is really working  The video might seem a little bit jerky at that point and that’s with good reason – I was dual clienting, re-encoding a video, and frapsing.  The video is actually much smoother than my video was.

Perhaps the most important thing to learn from this fight is that orbit is fucking terrible.  The Brutix’s liberal use of orbit allows me to successfully counter-orbit him and keep the transversal much higher than it would normally have been.

Fight 3: This fight consists of a Thrasher/Harpy/Taranis attempting to gank a Stabber Fleet.  The real magic here is seeing whether we can take a bait SFI before the blob (including 2 guardians) arrives.

Fight 4: Harpy/Jaguar/Dramiel/Vengeance/Firetail/Hurricane vs 2 claw/2 wolf/2 slicer/ishkur/3 stabber fleet/vexor navy/ferox/tornado/raven/20+ Ivy League.  This last fight is interesting in the sense that it really illustrates how over the top the new Harpy tank is.  At one point I’m primaried by the entire enemy fleet – which includes heavily neuted, quad scrammed, and triple webbed.  I think I could have performed better in the situation by making sure I kept my nos on and turning my guns back on after they’re neuted off.  I also should have utilized my natural resists against the Ferox and tackled the second SFI.  But, all things considered I think that fight went fairly well.  We ended up bailing out of the fight when Ivy League spiked local and brought in a bunch of BCs, BSs, and ewar cruisers.  We did hold the field in the end as Ivy didn’t loot the field or stay long enough for us to ship up and come back.

Here’s a bare link to the video:

UPDATE: Updated video links to pont at youtube

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , , ,

NPC 0.0 and Destructible Station Services

The CSM minutes were recently released and in it they said:

Station Services on NPC Nullsec Stations
The CSM noted that the most optimal alliance type in terms of income and power projection presently has no sov at all; the so-called ‘Iceberg’ alliances which live in NPC stations, amass supercapitals, and hold high-value moons for income. (This is because the largest sources of income available to alliances are technetium moons, which have no requirement of sov-holding, and these income sources are easily defended by a large supercapital fleet. By contrast, holding sov is a drain on alliance income.)

The CSM noted that if outposts are going to be destructible, it is important for CCP to balance NPC nullsec stations as well. The CSM advocated adding station services to NPC nullsec stations which can be disabled, like the services on a conquerable station. Unlike a conquerable station’s services, which need to be repaired by players, these NPC station services would regenerate over time.  The CSM stated that something like this is necessary so that sov-holding alliances can retaliate against non-sov alliances using NPC stations as risk-free launchpads for invasion against sovholders. The CSM noted that it doesn’t wish to have an entire region of NPC stations disabled, which is why regeneration of disabled services on NPC stations is needed. The CSM is concerned by the use of NPC stations in large-scale alliance warfare, but at the same time does not want retaliatory attacks against the stations to unduly impact small-gang activity.

CCP offered a suggestion of having a capital-only docking service added to NPC stations that could be disabled. The CSM agreed that this might work, as long as the service would regenerate over time.

I contend that the CSM is wholly wrong in this matter.  The way to counter people living in nullsec stations already exists and has been in use for quite a number of years now. You have to remember that just because the rule set governing NPC space – whether high sec, low sec, or NPC 0.0 – is different from sov 0.0 doesn’t make it wrong. Variety in the rules of space is actually a good thing – and I might even argue that raiders attacking sov space from NPC 0.0 is also a good thing.

Sov holders should have access to exactly the same options as anyone else already living in any particular NPC space – and just like anyone else that wants to attack a group of people living in NPC space, a sov holder should have to physically occupy the space in question and deprive your enemies of the opportunity to use that space. Yes, its different… and yes thats ok. Its even a good thing.

I originally formulated this thought here.

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , , ,

Amamake Fun II

I am pleased to present Amamake Fun II [].  I’ve been working on my transitions a bit and I feel like I made some really good headway here.  I don’t think it was strictly necessary to enumerate the ships on both sides of the fight.. and in some ways it was a little misleading.  For instance, in Amamake Fun I [] the Scorpion doesn’t arrive until quite late in the fight.  I saw a pretty reasonable way [] of dealing with illustrating what side people are on, but I don’t think my video editing talents are quite up to par enough for that.  I also don’t like all the flashy video effects… so expect to continue seeing mostly uncut fights slowly unfolding.

The fights actually take place in a different order than they’re presented in the video.  The order is actually the second fight [killboard], then the third fight [killboard], and then the first fight [killboard].  The fourth fight is actually an example of how I’d like to start PVPing – without local, d-scan, or convo windows up.  Its also an example of pretty reasonable Harpy piloting in my opinion.  However even in the first (latest) fight I can watch the video and see that my Talos piloting has so obviously improved since the beginning – but there’s still so much room to grow into it.

I think my biggest mistake is trying to maintain too much range and being scared of letting people approach me with scrams and webs.  I also came up with some new maneuvering options that I can quickly pull that will help keep me from overshooting so far in the future – it doesn’t do a whole lot of good if you consistently run away from the enemy and lose point!  I think maybe the next problem is that I use Null so much that I forget I actually have the option of closing up and using Antimatter (or even Void I suppose) when I finally pull someone away from the rest of their fleet.

Expect piloting improvements in the future!

UPDATE: Updated video links to point at Youtube

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , ,

The Cavalry Bomber

There has been a bit of discussion about whether or not missiles are useless.  As a spin off to this mostly trollish discussion, I pointed out that you can utilize the Doppler Effect [wikipedia] to artificially (and temporarily!) increase your effective DPS with missiles.  Garphunkle had the foresight to start his own thread [] away from the general trollishness of Eve-O lately.  I’m going to cover this topic in slightly more detail than I did in the thread – but I figured I would be remiss in my duties as a blogger not to bring the conversation at least partially over to my blog.

First, let us discuss the various kinds of damage that happens in Eve – instant damage (turrets, smartbombs, etc) and delayed damage (missiles, drones, bombs).  Instant damage happens whenever you press F1.  Delayed damage is … well, delayed.  And missiles are a bit special even for delayed damage.  See, they’re special because they repeatably attack from range.  This gives you the opportunity to use the Doppler Effect (above).  This is distinct from Relative Motion [wikipedia] because your missiles don’t inherit your speed.

This lets you pull fancy tricks with your missiles – like utilizing the doppler effect to artificially and temporarily increase your missile DPS.  There was some confusion about this be applicable to Ravens, but I don’t think that would ever work well.  Ravens just aren’t fast enough to meaningfully affect DPS.

Consider the case of a Manticore with MWD firing CN Jugs at a stationary bait Drake [killmail] tackled at zero by a Taranis in a belt. The Manticore starts the run at 80km and approaches at 2600 for ~25 seconds.

The stationary Manticore normally does 650 DPS under these conditions, but suddenly accelerates towards the Drake:
– Missile #1 is launched at 70km and will arrive at T=15.5 + 6.85 * 0 = 15.5
– Missile #2 is launched at 52km and will arrive at T=11.5 + 6.85 * 1 = 18.35
– Missile #3 is launched at 34km and will arrive at T=7.5 + 6.85 * 2 = 21.2
– Missile #4 is launched at 16km and will arrive at T=3.5 + 6.85 * 3 = 24.05

So between T=15.5 and 24.05 (8.55 sec) the Manticore deals 17,848 damage for a total of 2,087 DPS.

Compare this to if the Manticore had sat still:
– Missile #1 is launched at 70km and will arrive at T=15.5 + 6.85 * 0 = 15.5
– Missile #2 is launched at 70km and will arrive at T=15.5 + 6.85 * 1 = 22.35
– Missile #3 is launched at 70km and will arrive at T=15.5 + 6.85 * 2 = 29.2
– Missile #4 is launched at 70km and will arrive at T=15.5 + 6.85 * 3 = 36.05

So between T=15.5 and 36.05 (20.55 sec) the Manticore deals 17848 damage for a total of 868 DPS

I hope this has been informative. 🙂

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, ,

Educational Video: Stagger your neuts

Capacitor Warfare in Eve is intended to shut down your enemy’s active modules – such as their tank, guns, and tackle mods.  Unfortunately, its sometimes hard to know how to utilize capacitor warfare.  It might seem counter-intuitive at first because you’ll get less total neuting in the same time period, but its best not to “nuke” someone’s capacitor – but instead to supply a slow and steady drain on their capacitor by spacing your neutralizers out.  This is a short video [] which illustrates a Dominix [] with 5 neuts and the results of its failure to stagger neuts.

The thing to notice is that he leads his attack with a full nuke of my capacitor, and then he continues to do this like clockwork as his modules cycle.  Unfortunately, the lengthy neut cycle time gives me plenty of time to regain and use my capacitor for 1-2 shield boost cycles.  Thus, his drones + sentry guns are not able to break the tank on my Scimitar.  However, if you look at how much capacitor I gained in the 2-3 seconds between when spaced out neuts would have arrived…. its just not much.  Certainly not enough to power my tank.

Thus, remember: Less total neuting but much more effective neuting once your enemy gets to the bottom of their capacitor reserve.

Here’s the video:

Filed under: Educational Video, Eve, Gaming, , , ,

Amamake Fun 1

I’m starting a video series to extol the virtues of small gang PVP – thus I present Amamake Fun 1 [].  This represents my first non-instructional entry into PVP videos so I hope everyone enjoys it despite its apparently shitty encoding and terribad music.  I thought about keeping the vent commentary that went on with the videos but decided against it in the end – but who knows if it would have saved the video?  Fortunately, nobody thats seen it has commented on my occasional spots of absolutely terribad piloting.

Who’s in any particular fight is well explained in the video but I tended to be primary tackle and crazy bastard in the fights, which explains why my Harpy is the first thing into any particular fight.  We had literally no clue the Myrm was going to bring anyone in in the first fight, but the second we had a pretty good idea that they weren’t showing all their cards.  They decided to bait us one last time before leaving and that turned out to be quite the fatal mistake indeed.  I felt kinda bad about bringing the Scorpion in, especially because from a look at the video it wasn’t really needed.

I flew a Harpy, Harpy, Talos in these fights.

Link, for the link dead:

UPDATE: I updated this post to have the appropriate link at youtube

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , , ,

Frigfry Friday

I want to invite all of you to Frigfry Fridays.  Notably, I want to invite you to today’s Frig Fry Friday.  Come to Amamake and join the fun!

This [] is the original posting for Frigfry Fridays by Jude Lloyd

Heretic Army will be hosting a day of frigate warfare in Amamake Solar System. Simply, pilots of all walks of life within Eve are encouraged to bring T1/T2/Faction frigates to Amamake.

Whether you’re a PVE pilot looking to try your hands at some PVP, a pirate looking for hundreds of targets, or a 0.0 capsuleer looking for a change of scenery – Frigfry Fridays will bring you hours of entertainment. Solo pilots who want to try some 1v1’s in your newest frigate set-up… Experienced PVP corps who want to organize a gang to swarm the belts… New players who want to see what excitement Eve can bring you… All welcome to come to Frigfry Fridays!

-You will lose ships!
-I will lose ships!
-Bring what you can afford to replace, replace it, and come back!
-There are no rules or order, just hundreds of large frigate fights (hopefully with many different corps fighting simultaneously).

Obviously, I am not of such low intelligence that I don’t realize that corps may bring larger and larger ships to pop themselves some faction frigs. If you really feel the need to do this, just know that they usually die to a swarm to frigates.

Things we hope to see…
-Every belt full of brawling frigates and gangs of frigates staking their claim.
-No where being truly safe.
-Pilots working together to bring down those who bring larger ships.
-Every talented PVP Corp making a showing in the event.

The event will be on the first Friday of every month.
Meaning the next Frigfry Friday will be Friday, January 6th.

Many of you will look at this as a pirate’s attempt to gather hundreds of kills. That’s part of it. Mostly, after seeing Eve players frustrated with some game features and CCP as a whole, I want to keep the fun and excitement this game offers going. A few key players in Eve’s community who use to run player events have been banned… So we need to step up and make our own fun. If you don’t trust me, Heretics, or pirates as a whole, and don’t want to get involved – then don’t. Or bring something really cheap and see what happens.

December Prizes:
Top Solokiller: Federation Navy Comet – Won by Hahbahdahishboo from Heretic Army
Top Killer (Individual): Assault Frigate of Choice! – Won by Endureth of Heretic Army
Top Killer (Corp): 100 Mil ISK Monetary Prize – Won by Heretic Army

November Prizes:
Top Solokiller: Daredevil – Won by WiLi19 from Heretic Army
Top Killer (Individual): Assault Frigate of Choice! – Won by Hahbahdahishboo from Heretic Army
Top Killer (Corp): 100 Mil ISK Monetary Prize – Won by Heretic Army

October Prizes:
Top Killer (Individual): Choice of T2/Faction Fit Assault Frigate – Won by WiLi19 from Heretic Army
Top Killer (Corp): 100 Mil ISK Monetary Prize – Won by Heretic Army

September Prizes:
Top Solokiller: 200 Mil ISK Faction Fit Federation Navy Comet – Won by Aliens from The Seventh Day
Top Killer (Individual): Choice of T2/Faction Fit Assault Frigate – Won by Drackarn from SOTF
Top Killer (Corp): 100 Mil ISK Monetary Prize – Won by Heretic Army

August Prizes:
Top Solokiller: 275 Mil ISK Faction Fit Daredevil – Won by Djakku from PODLA
Top Killer (Individual): T2/Faction Fit Vengeance – Won by Mystical Might from Amarr Militia
Top Killer (Corp): 100 Mil ISK Monetary Prize – Won by Heretic Army

Killboard: Here

Use this thread to post stories of exciting kills/fights during these events. Post some good killmails too!

Join Channel “FRIGATE FRIDAYS” on Friday!

*Russian Contact – Spirt S, Russian Translation [eve-ru]

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , ,

Tutorial Video – Harpy vs Rifter

First: sorry for the lack of updates over Christmas season.  It was really hectic at my house and I haven’t had nearly as much time to play any game as I’d really like to have had.  I figured I’d make it up to you and finally obtained Sony Vegas and began to edit some of my fraps footage.  Here is the first fruit: – something of a tutorial/other perspective to try and illustrate what I was saying when he convo’d me after the fight.  I have also rehosted it at Vimeo:

Here are some comments on my flying:

  • Yes, Harpy vs Rifter isn’t a great fight.  I didn’t say it was, I said it was educational. 🙂
  • Frapsing yourself and watching yourself PVP is a great way to improve your game.
  • I didn’t have my AB on in certain parts of the fight and I should have.  Especially at the end where he might have tried to bail on me.
  • I didn’t get on my guns fast enough after the null reload finished
  • My mouse movement sucked when reloading to FN Antimatter
  • I didn’t prime my scram.  He could have gotten away. 😦
  • Some more clever piloting might have won the fight faster, but I was kinda at a loss as to why I wasn’t getting any hits up close.  I didn’t actually notice his TDing until reviewing the fraps.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a Happy Holidays and I plan to get back to blogging 2-3x per week now.  I’d expect to see more frequent videos and a couple of game design arcs that I worked on (half-heartedly) over the break.

UPDATE: I rehosted the image at Vimeo:

Filed under: Eve, Gaming, , ,